“I still think you should get someone with some medical know-how to look at this.”

Lucifer let out something along the lines of a grunt.

“I’m one of the greatest healers in existence, and you want me to bring in some bumbling demon to harass me? I just need...time.”

I was sitting on his bed with him, holding a bag of ice over the bandages.

“You just had a sword go clean through your knee.” I reasoned, “I’m surprised your calf is still attached to your leg.”

He waved away my concern.

“There’s a reason I’ve stuck around this long, Commander. I’m tougher than I look.”

Considering the fact that he was deathly pale, stained with his own blood, and gritting his teeth when he thought I wouldn’t notice, he looked pretty bad.

“Whatever you say, your highness.” I offered, “I’ll go get some water.”

I got up and walked out of the tent before he could protest, sending a demon to fetch one of the large jugs with instructions to leave it just outside.

I heard a crow caw and looked up to see it staring at me from a branch, its beady eyes glinting. I was about to turn away but it cawed again. I squinted at it and realized that it had something around its neck.

It looked like a very familiar arrowhead.

When the crow took flight I followed it out of the camp, catching up to it every few yards before it continued on.

Eventually I rounded a bend in the woods and saw the crow perching itself on a shoulder.

Cupid put the arrowhead back around his neck and his startling blue eyes smirked at me.

“It’s time, Commander.”

“Time for what?” I asked, as he stepped towards me.

“He’s weak. Undefended. Demands to see no one but you. We strike now.”

I didn’t bother asking again.

“Won’t I be a little suspicious?”

“You’re the only one that even knows the extent of his injuries.” Cupid replied, the crow flying off, “You can tell everyone he succumbed to them in his sleep. Named you his heir.”

“And that doesn’t sound incriminating at all?” I asked incredulously, raising an eyebrow.

“As the High Commander, you’re the highest in power besides him. Nobody would argue, not after the way you heroically took an arrow to the heart and killed the king’s own son for his sake.”

I bristled at the reminder, but nodded.

“Fine. You’re right. What’s your brilliant plan?”

Cupid knelt and I almost jumped when I felt his hands on my thigh.

“What the-“

“You remember the arrow, right? Took a damn load of effort for me to make it. I almost had him, too, but I can’t begrudge you for that.” He explained, “Well, this dagger is similarly built. But now you can finish the job.”

I realized he was strapping a blade to my leg, and when he stood my tunic concealed it.

“So you want me to stab him?” I asked, folding my arms.

“Do what you have to do.” Cupid replied, “Just make sure he’s dead.”

His eyes assessed me for a moment before he continued.

“You have the power to stop all of this aimless violence, Zara. You can save so many lives. This is your destiny, this is what you’ve been promised.”

He put a hand on my shoulder.

“I know it’s difficult. But he’s the Devil. He’s the incarnation of all evil. Think of all of the suffering he’s caused. You can change the course of history for the better. And I have faith that you will – you do what’s right, even when it’s difficult.”

His hand moved to my cheek, and I was forced to make eye contact.

“Soon this will all be over. Hell will enter an era of peace. Of prosperity. And it will all be because of you.”

I had been steadily finding myself more and more distant from the situation, so my mind was all but silent when he bent down to kiss me.

When he pulled away there was a split-second of what I thought was concern in his eyes.

“The fates have already crowned you, Zara.”

And with that he spread his wings and disappeared into the night.

The End

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