“Holy Water,” The pilgrim mumbled, bringing out a vial, then tossing it away carelessly onto his pack, “Useless...”
It was no good. None of the instruments he had with him were of any use against this type of daemonic incursion into a body. Or, at least, nothing he had could cure it... Cogs whirred and clicked in his head, trying to piece together the puzzle before him. He'd never seen anything quite like this before, at least, not in person, only read about them. An unchanged gene invasion. The theory was simple – it was what happened when someone was possessed by a demon summoned by a specific curse – but that curse was supposedly lost for all eternity during the destruction of Krass' Keep, seven hundred years before. Not that possession was exactly what was happening to her either. No, it was worse. A thousand times so.
The pilgrim hated to admit it, but – to a degree – it was already too late for the girl. He glanced at her father and sister, their faces written over with worry, and guilt spread throughout him. He looked at her again, and things were worse than when he'd last glanced over to the bed. The symbols on her skin had spread so much that they now coloured her body.
He closed his eyes, forcing himself to think on the situation. Why had the evil presence been so weak? The “infection” of the girl was rapid and uncontrolled. This would require a far more powerful demon unless... unless he was too late already and the integration was already complete. The integration – the joining of demon and human in one body caused by this particular type of possession – the reason why this was so much more serious than usual possessions.
Then he stopped thinking for a moment and realised how quiet it was. Before, the room had been permeated by sobs from the younger sibling and croaks from the father, but now... silence reigned. His eyes snapped open to see the girl, chains still attached to her arms – but no longer to the wall – silently discarding her sister's corpse in a pile on top of her father's dead body, blood dripping from her lips. No. Not exactly her lips – hersandthe demon's lips. Her skin was now entirely black from the initial runes, and a second layer of symbols (orange this time) were beginning to appear on top of them.
The pilgrim stood up and took a step backwards. This was bad. Very bad.
“Who are... well, who were you both?” he asked, hesitantly. Every piece of information was important when it came to a demon. Even if it killed him, then when the Cathedral found his body, it could extract the information from his dead brain. Not a pleasant process, but necessary for the chuch's survival.
Two voices spoke back to him, one cool and collected voice and one... frightened?
“We were Raechal, the serf's child, and she who brings night boy. But why should I tell you? Who are you to ask?” they chanted in unison
“I don't need to tell you, changeling,” he shrugged, bringing out a quill and ink from his pocket and scribbling on his hand, “Not yet anyway.”
The creature hissed at him angrily and lunged forwards, but the pilgrim was ready for it and brought the hand he'd been drawing on crashing into its forehead.
He chanted a quick prayer as Raechal jumped backwards from the blow, screaming in unison with herself, clawing at her face as the black receded into it and formed a four pointed star there. She fell to her knees and glared at the Pilgrim, part afraid, part angry and part confused.
“Who are you?” the double voice was gone now, replaced by a single tone, “Priest.”
He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her up, slinging her across his back with little resistance being offered.
“We're leaving,” he said, “You're coming with me. The Cathedral will need to see you.”