[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/tPIflLw.jpg]][center [size7 The picture style was inspired by my Blossom. Don't touch it.]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" This is a closed thread to LoveableCurse & myself. We know what we are doing. You are more than welcome to read along. There will be dark, and mature themes inside of this thread, you have been warned.]]]
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[font "times new roman" She was surprised that he had even done what she had asked. She seriously thought Sinclair would have put up more of a fight. She didn't realize how weak that male had been. She was glad she had sent this demon at him first. She cocked her head to the side as he spoke about the price it would cost her. She crossed her arms watching as his eyes moved to the branding on her shoulder. She eyed him up and down, and when he spoke about people not willing to pay the price, she was. She might seem like a weak human, but she wasn't. She wanted to take her father down, and she wanted to do it quickly. She locked her eyes on his when he spoke about her soul.]
[font "times new roman" She smirked a bit as she thought about it for a few beats. What other choice did she have? She needed this male more than anything, and she was going to take her father down, and stop the innocent killings. [#B9899E "I'll do it. I will pay the price you are asking. As long as you show me the tricks of the trade. That's the only thing I will agree too. I have nothing more to lose anyway"] she breathed out. [b [i Claudette! Are you insane?! You can't do this! I won't let you!]] the voice was stronger in her head, but she ignored it. She shut the voice out all the way.]
[font "times new roman" [#B9899E "This [i king] you are talking about, happens to be my father. I take it you didn't know that?"] she asked. She didn't know if he did know that or not. She leaned back against the shelf a bit more. She looked towards the box once more, and smirked lightly knowing what the contents were. She didn't know how long it would take to make this happen. She looked back towards Niklas, and licked her lower lip lightly. She knew she was digging her own grave, but she knew she still had a long ass time to go. She had so much more to do with her life, and she wouldn't be leaving this Earth anytime soon.]
[font "times new roman" She let the silence hang between them for a couple more beats. [#B9899E "Where does this need to take place? I think it should happen as soon as possible, instead of putting it off."] she breathed out. She felt something stirring under her skin. It was like her fingers were itching to do something. Her mind was racing, her heart was hammering inside of her chest. What had she just done? She signed a deal with the devil so to speak, and she honestly didn't care. She wanted to get every tool she would need to take her father down. That's when she heard a car pulling into the driveway. She walked over to the window and peered down. Sure enough, it was her father.]
[font "times new roman" She then turned to the male, and cocked her head slightly. [#B9899E "Not a single word about this to him. I mean it, I will kill you myself, and make sure you won't ever come back"] she breathed out. She meant it too. She heard her father slam the car door closed, and she looked back down at the male. She couldn't lie to herself, she was nervous about doing it. She reached up and touched the pendant around her neck, the only thing from her mother, that she really kept. She didn't want to harm her father, but he had to pay for what he's done to all of those families, and she was going to be the one to do it. No one else is going too, not even this demon inside of her room.]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/Ex0LKSb.jpg]]
[#fc6f4f “He served to put up very little in terms of a fight,”] Niklas admitted, watching the woman as she inspected the organs she had desired from him. [#fc6f4f “I caught him off guard, however. Perhaps if I gave him more of a warning, he would have offered more resistance. Humans in general are not very good at fighting for their lives, though… they tend to beg and plead, instead. Which is why I took his vocal chords first - I hate the pathetic words those facing death tend to udder.”]
Niklas was watching her when she suddenly asked what it would take to receive his help again. The demon barked out a laugh. He couldn’t help it. As the King’s third, his price was one of the steepest to pay, and he knew that this human would be unwilling to give him what he deserved for his further assistance.
[#fc6f4f “Let me give you my honest opinion,”] Niklas said, his bright orange-red eyes focusing on the human with deep pity, like the look one gives a young, misunderstood child. [#fc6f4f “I suggest you summon a new demon, one further from the King. The price will not be as steep as my own. In fact, you might even be able to keep your soul. And if killing humans is your objective, any of the underground can do that. Using me like this is like using a sword to cut paper.”]
Niklas leaned back against the wall. He was thinking about the cult again, his eyes wandering back to the mark on her shoulder. It looked painful. Having never been human, he could only imagine the sort of pain she was feeling in the context of his own. There was an occasional human that knew what it took to harm a demon and the ensuing pain was always excruciating. If she was feeling similar pain, she was hiding the pain well. Perhaps this human was strong, and more powerful than she knew, but she was still only human.
[#fc6f4f “My price,”] he continued, his gaze returning to her face, [#fc6f4f “Is your soul. I make the same deal as the King, what you call ‘a deal with the Devil.’ The ceremony requires a sacrifice of something innocent, typically a young animal, and a contract that ends with the consuming of your soul. This, of course, requires your death at the end. This contract would bind me to you for your lifetime, no matter how long or short, but it will always end with my acceptance of your soul. No after-life, no being reborn, only darkness. It is a price none pay willingly, not anymore.”]
[font "times new roman" The silence that washed over the two felt different. She didn't quite understand it, and she wasn't about to question it. When the male didn't reply, but simply pointed to a box on the bookshelf, she took a breath and walked over. She placed the sandwich onto the napkin in hand onto the desk, and picked up the box. She carefully placed it on the desk, and opened it slowly. The contents inside would have made anyone's stomach turn. The sight of the heart, and eyes seemed to please her in more way's than one. She was pleased, really pleased honestly. She wasn't about to tell him that though.]
[font "times new roman" She shut the box and turned around to face him. Her arms crossed over her chest. She leaned against the desk, and locked her eyes on his. Her mind racing, wondering if she should even voice her thoughts. Then again, if she didn't, it would make matters worse a little bit. She bit the inside of her cheek, took a breath and spoke. [#B9899E "You did well. I hope he didn't put up much of a fight. I know when it comes to some things, he will fight tooth and nail, but other times he won't put up a fight at all"] she said lightly. She was surprised that Sinclair had even thought about making her his bride.]
[font "times new roman" The moment that her father told her about it, it made her stomach turn. She hated thinking about this, and she wanted nothing more than to learn the trick of the trade. She then narrowed her eyes at the male before her. [#B9899E "What kind of price do I need to pay for your help?"] she blurted out. She was more than willing to pay anything. As long as she could learn how to kill her father, and break whatever this cult was doing up, she would do it. She was tired of the death, and the pain around her. She wasn't a normal woman at all.]
[font "times new roman" She did have some kind of darkness inside of her, and that scared her. She wanted to act upon it a lot of the time, but other times she wanted to be like her mother. [b [i 'Watch your step Claudette.. I mean it.. He can't be trusted..']] the sound of her mother's voice whispered across her mind again. She shivered lightly at the thought, but knew better than to let it show. She then turned her eyes to the box beside her. She reached out, and ran her fingers along the wood. It was a beautiful box, and inside of it was something deadly. [#B9899E "Tell me what I need to do"] she breathed out.]
[font "times new roman" She was done being the good little girl. She was going to go against everything her father was teaching her. Yes she would be next in line to take the cult over, and when that would happen she would need the help of someone, someone like the demon inside of her room. She would make everyone inside of this shitty cult do her bidding, a lot of changes were bound to happen, and she had to take one step at a time though. She then crossed her arms once more, and waited for the male to give her answers.]
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Niklas waited patiently for all of ten minutes before he grew irritated. He was not the sort of demon to wait for something to happen - he was always on the move, looking for more, or causing his own mess of trouble. It was hard to wait around at a human’s demand. It was not just demoralizing, but humiliating.
Did the human even know who he was? Did she have any idea the sort of power she commanded? She talked as if he were a dog, sending him off to kill a simple human… surely she did not know that he was the third to the King himself. If she had known such a thing, she might have asked for something much greater; killing a human was child’s play.
Niklas sighed and sat down on the windowsill to wait, looking out across the small neighborhood. Although it was dark, he could clearly see the movements of the neighbor’s dog as he paced unhappily around his fenced in backyard. Niklas watched the animal’s movements, wondering if his summoner saw him the same way he saw the dog - simple, lowly, easy to tame. He narrowed his eyes and looked up the street, waiting just as the dog waited, to be noticed.
He was still watching the street when the human female finally came down the street, walking casually on her way back to the house. She paused, went to the door, paused again, then opened the garage. She seemed cautious, unsure, and he wondered what could make her act in such a way when she had him at her beck and call.
When the human that summoned him finally appeared in the doorway, asking her simple question and casually taking a bite of a sandwich she held in her hand, Niklas was sure that the pendant was the only thing allowing her to live. He seethed in silence as he nodded and pointed at the box on the bookshelf.
The box itself was simple, crude even, with dark brass hinges and a matching clasp in the front. The wood was dark, polished, and looked completely normal, though the contents were anything but. Niklas crossed his arms and waited, ever impatient, for her to confirm that the deed was done so that he could get back to his schedule.
[font "times new roman" The feeling of floating brought a small smile to the woman's lips. It's been awhile since she had a really good high going on, and that's just what it was. She leaned back into the chair, wondering if her life would have been different. What if she hadn't been born to the monster she called [i daddy] and loved more than anything else. Would she be living this shitty life right now? Dabbling in the craft of magic? This was something she often worried about, but right now she shouldn't have too. She had a good buzz, sitting with good company, her father would soon be dead, and life couldn't be any better.]
[font "times new roman" She sighed lightly as the two finished the joint, and then sat there. The woman was getting hungry, the only down side about being as high as she was, she always got the munchies, and this wasn't any different. She then turned her eyes to the woman beside her and smirked a bit. [#B9899E "I should be getting home"] she said with a roll of her eyes. [b "I know, Matthew is going to be home soon anyway"] the other said. The two said their goodbyes, and Charlotte looked towards her. [b "Matthew will bring your car for you"] she said. Claudette nodded, said thank you and walked down the stairs.]
[font "times new roman" The air was slowly getting cooler, and she wished she hadn't smoked as much. She didn't even have her jacket either. She wrapped her arms around herself, as she walked back towards her home. The only place she didn't feel safe. She sighed lightly, wondering if Niklas had done what she had asked of him. She hoped that he had. A small smirk passed over her lips at the thought. She made her way towards her home, and watched as the young children came home from school, some of them waved at her, and she waved back.]
[font "times new roman" Another thought just crossed her mind. Were these children even safe? Or were they in danger? That's something that worried her. She knew her father killed children, and it saddened her. Was she really meant for this kind of life? She shuddered lightly, wishing she had changed her shirt at least. She was getting closer to home though, so that wasn't going to be too much on her mind anymore. She bit the inside of her cheek lightly, as she watched her house started looming in front of her. The place she felt locked inside of.]
[font "times new roman" She took a breath, and stopped a few houses down. She looked up at the home she grew up in. The memories of her mother, and the laughter, the tears, everything. The house was filled with memories, and now it was filled with dreams of blood shed, and a monster behind those doors. A monster that she wanted dead. She took a breath, stated walking once more, and closed the distance between herself and the house. She pulled her key out of her pocket, and then put it back. She walked to the garage door, punched in the code, and waited for the door's to open.]
[font "times new roman" When the doors lifted, she realized her father wasn't home yet. Thank God. She walked inside, kicked off her shoes inside the house, and shut the garage door behind her. She made herself something to eat, and stood in the kitchen. She had a feeling the demon was back, and she took a breath, and carried the plate up the stairs and to her room. She walked into the room, and sure enough he was there. She cocked her head to the side, and took a bite of the sandwich in hand. [#B9899E "Is it done?"] she asked, as she sat on the bed, plate in hand.]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/Ex0LKSb.jpg]]
[p Sinclair. Niklas knew this name, though at first he couldn’t place where he had heard it. He was out on the woman’s front lawn when he remembered. Sinclair was the name of the man closest to the head of the Black Lotus. He was not the type to care about such a thing, save the fact that he was in charge of this particular cult, so picking up a name or two happened on accident, even if he tried to prevent such knowledge. Niklas paused, looking back to the window of the small bedroom as he contemplated this new information. He knew that the woman was a member of the Black Lotus, she had the signature brand, so why [i was] it that she wanted to make a mess of the hierarchy? Perhaps she wanted to take the position of second as her own?]
[p A small smile crept across Niklas’s face. He could understand the desire for power that stemmed from starting out at the bottom in a cult. He, himself, was created as a [i third], something that Ash would never let him live down. As a third, he had significant power, but, unlike Ash, he was still able to be summoned and commanded about by particularly strong humans with affinity for the dark magics. The smile was still on his lips when he turned away from the house and started toward Sinclair, following a near invisible tether that connected himself to his target]
[p Niklas found Sinclair in his house, sitting comfortably in front of a hearth. He was bathed in the light of a low fire, cradling a glass of whiskey on the rocks in both hands. He had been present at the most recent killing, one of the many that chanted in Latin and granted Niklas his power. Although it was a shame to lose a member of the cult that understood how to please the King with the granting of souls, Niklas was still smiling at the idea of his commander, the small human woman, taking Sinclair’s position for her own.]
[p Standing near the entrance to the room, Niklas watched Sinclair for a moment in perfect silence. The man had a book open in his lap as he sat, reading over old scriptures from a dark, flesh bound cover. It was an old book, one Niklas himself had delivered to the humans centuries ago, and the demon all but laughed at the irony.]
[p Sinclair could neither hear nor see Niklas as he approached. It was very rare for a human to be born with the affinity to see demons and those that did were often captured and placed in psych wards for “hallucinations.” The exception to the rule, of course, was the summoners of demons, like the human woman who bid him on this twisted quest. Niklas was one of the few demons with the power to expose himself to humanity, if and when he so desired. He often used this ability to blend into the crowds and buy human delicacies, which brought intense scorn from the second and, sometimes, even the King.]
[p Niklas willed himself corporeal, appearing beside the hearth with the silence of a stealthed fox. Sinclair never looked up from his book, lost in concentration, even as Niklas reached forward and pulled the book from his lap.]
[p Sinclair didn’t even have the chance to scream as Niklas fell upon him, ripping his vocal chords from his soft human throat. The gurgling of blood was music to the demon’s demented ears and he laughed as he tore the human to shreds, working carefully to keep his eyes and heart intact. Sinclair was alive for most of the brutality, silenced while drowning in impossible pain. As quickly as he appeared, Niklas vanished, carrying a still beating heart and the soft, spongy material that the human brain used to see.]
[p Niklas returned to his summoner’s house within the hour, whistling as he moved through the front door. He went up to the bedroom, carrying a procured wooden box with the desired contents under his arm. He went straight to the bedroom, with little concern for the rest of the house, and placed the box on the bookshelf where the pendant had called him. Then he sat back down against the far wall, settling in to wait for the return of his human.]
[font "times new roman" Claudette narrowed her eyes a bit towards the male. He was really starting to get on her nerves, and she wasn't about to back down. She knew what she was doing. Plus there was something about this pendant that really pissed him off. She cocked her head to the side and nodded a bit. [#B9899E "Believe me, I know what you said. And yes I will end up paying the price, I just want to make sure you obey what I've told you"] she snapped back. She wasn't in the mood to have him talking to her like she was a child. She was a grown adult, and yet she felt nervous all around.]
[font "times new roman" Sinclair was her father's right hand man, and she was going to try and knock him down a peg. At least for the time being. She wanted to make sure that his creature would do her bidding. The moment he left, she grabbed the book she had on her shelves, and opened it. She scanned the words, trying to figure out what kind of price she would have pay. It didn't really tell her, but she had a strong feeling the male was going to tell her. She slammed the book shut, and looked towards the window. She needed to get out of here, and now. She wasn't about to wait around any longer.]
[font "times new roman" She grabbed her phone, car keys, and wallet from the floor. She then picked up the food from the floor, and put them all back into the bags. She carried them to the kitchen, and dropped them off in the fridge. She then pulled her phone out of her pocket, and scrolled to Charlotte's name, and hit [i Send Message]. Then her fingers started flying over the keys. [#B9899E [i I need to come and see you. Shit's happening, and I don't know what to do about it. I'll be at your place in ten minutes.]] She then hit send, and walked out of the house.]
[font "times new roman" She unlocked the beat up car, slid in behind the wheel, and started it up. She wasn't about to stick around the house when her father got home. The stinging wasn't as bad anymore, and she knew that Charlotte was going to question her about it. She didn't care though, she would deal with that when the time came. About ten minutes later, she was pulling into Charlotte's driveway. The red head was on the front porch, a joint in hand, her eyes landing on her the moment she pulled into the driveway.]
[font "times new roman" Claudette shut the car off and climbed out. Charlotte had the joint between her lips, and she cocked her head to the side. [b "What's going on beautiful?"] she asked. Claudette sighed as she plopped down onto a chair. [b "You got branded.. Honey, what's going on?"] she asked, worry slipping into her voice. She then put the joint out, and paid more attention to the woman before her. This wasn't going to be good, and Claudette knew it. She sat there and took a breath before speaking.]
[font "times new roman" [#B9899E "The branding happened this morning. It still hurt like a bitch for awhile, right now it's just a dull throbbing. But I did try that spell you showed me, and it bloody worked! The demon I summoned is out hunting down a target right now. I wanna make sure he'll do as I ask, before I pay the price and make sure he ends up staying around"] she breathed out. Charlotte cocked her head to the side, and shook her head. [b "You are in so much shit Claudette.. Are you sure you want to pay the price to keep the demon around?"] the red head asked. Claudette looked towards her and nodded.]
[font "times new roman" [#B9899E "What other choice do I have? He's already linked to my mother's pendant which is scaring me a little bit. I heard momma's voice in my head when I was talking to him before I sent him away"] she said softly. Charlotte shook her head, and looked towards the growing witch in front of her. [b "You need to watch yourself Claudette. Messing around with something like this, is going to bring about a lot of pain, believe me I know. I had to cut back on a lot of the craft, when Matthew was in his accident because of me. I almost lost the love of my life"] she breathed out. Claudette nodded lightly, remembering the whole thing.]
[font "times new roman" [#B9899E "I promise you, I'll be okay. I just needed to see you, and let you know"] she said. Charlotte nodded a bit, and the two talked for awhile longer. Charlotte ended up lighting the joint again, and the two started to share it. Claudette was relaxing a bit more. She was dreading going home, but that didn't bother her that much. She would get her ending prize sooner or later, and right now she had a pretty good high going on, and she wasn't worrying about anything else at the moment.]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/0aeOe9P.jpg]]
Lying? Lying about what? Knowing her father? Niklas looked again to the mark of the Black Lotus, etched with fire on her skin. It was a simple brand, a new brand, meaning she was new to the cult and perhaps didn’t understand the purpose of a demon such as himself. This only irritated him more, and he huffed to himself, grumbling about powers best left alone.
[#fc6f4f “I would need a name,”] he said, off-handedly, as he adjusted the sleeve of his jacket. He was getting restless, standing in this small room under the immediate control of a clueless human and her frustrating pendant. He was starting to understand just how unaware she was; the recklessness of summoning a demon without a clear idea of [i why] was unbelievably foolish. How did she know he would not disobey, or perhaps destroy her the moment he closed the contract? She knew nothing about keeping the darkness at bay, which brought a slow smile to his lips. This smile faded quickly, however, when she placed the pendant around her neck. With that one, simple motion, she placed a barrier around herself that disarmed him, making it impossible to stray too close. Did she do that on accident, or was she playing with him, feigning ignorance? Niklas narrowed his eyes at her, tightening his arms which stayed crossed against his chest.
When she spoke about killing someone, he listened with fascination. For a small human female, she was expressing a deep resentment that bleed into her voice and her expression. It was clear that she had a dark dislike for this Sinclair, a man she commanded not only to die, but to be dismembered in a horrible fashion. What would she do with a heart? Would she use it as a means to summon another demon, or keep him bound? Did she even understand how such a thing could be done?
Niklas cleared his throat, expressing a new patience for this interesting human: [#fc6f4f “I’m not sure you heard me. My job is to do your bidding [i once]. This human named Sinclair would be your ‘freebie’ and the contract will break after I deliver what you have requested. Anything after will come at a price, one I doubt you will be willing to pay.”]
Why was he telling her this? Perhaps there was something about her, a cold calculation and deep-rooted power, that made him want more from her. And yet, there was a certain frustrating quality about this human that went beyond her pulsing pendant and her arrogant attitude. She was so small, so fragile, so easily destroyed. Why, then, had he allowed her to done the necklace at all? He could have easily overtaken her before such an action was possible, could have killed her in cold blood the second she opened the door. He realised, then, that it was her brand that saved her. A member of the Black Lotus was an ally, someone who was willing to do whatever it took to please the King. But then why did she command the death of a fellow cult member?
[#fc6f4f “The specifics are none of my concern,”] he said suddenly, relaxing his arms to his sides and bowing lightly. [#fc6f4f “Consider it done.”] Niklas met her eyes again, his smile returning as he turned to walk from the room.
[font "times new roman" The female was slowly losing her temper. How dare he speak to her that way? Yes she might be new to the whole summoning thing, but that didn't mean she couldn't just cut all ties. Which she should have done in the first place, but she wasn't going too. She needed him, and she wasn't about to let this chance go. She narrowed her eyes and looked down at the pendent in her hand. There was a small light, and warmth to it. She could tell it was pissing the other off, and it pleased her to no end. At least something was keeping him from really lashing out at her.]
[font "times new roman" So he didn't know her father after all? That would be a total shock, but she had a feeling he was lying to her. [#B9899E "I feel like you are lying to me about that. But I won't question you about it anymore"] she said lightly. She wasn't going to pressure him to do it either. She reached up and placed the pendant around her neck, and let it fall against her chest. She looked him up and down, and wondered what kind of trouble she could stir up with this creature in front of her.]
[font "times new roman" [#B9899E "So, if I needed your help on killing someone, what would I have to do? Tell you their name? Where they live? Or do you already know that?"] she asked. She walked over and sat on the bed, and crossed her legs. She then bent over and pulled her boots off, and tossed them aside. She then slid back into the middle of her queen sized bed, and bit the inside of her cheek. Could she make him run errands for her? Gather what she needed to cast another, yet stronger spell? This would be something she would have to test out. Right now, she just wanted information.]
[font "times new roman" She licked her lower lip, as she rested her elbows across her knees, the pendant swinging back and forth on her neck. [#B9899E "There's a couple of people I want to test this out on. One of them his name is Sinclair. He's part of the Black Lotus, and he's been getting on my nerves. I want you to hunt him down, cut out his heart, and bring it back to me inside of a wooden box. The box you'll find to find yourself. Once you do that, then maybe I'll tell you who I'm really after"] she said lightly. She knew she was playing with fire at the moment but it didn't bother her.]
[font "times new roman" Baby steps is what it would take right now, and that's just what she's going to do. She then leaned back and licked her lower lip once more. [#B9899E "Also, bring me his eyes. His heart and eyes"] she said lightly. She sat there, waiting, watching with silent brown eyes.]
Crossing his arms, Niklas leaned back against the wall of the bedroom and watched the human woman carefully as she moved around him and retrieved a shirt from her wardrobe. He knew that humans tended to care about what they were, or were not, wearing, but he hardly felt it was any concern. They all died the same, regardless of their attire, so what could it matter? He personally preferred to dress like the humans did, now clothed in a plain white shirt and an older black jacket, more for entertainment than to hide beneath. Plus, the look on the second’s face when she saw Niklas walking around like a human always brought a smile to his face.
[#fc6f4f “I told you,”] he said, finding himself more irritated the longer she talked, [#fc6f4f “I am Niklas. You summoned me, so clearly you know [i what] I am.”] Not like he could demand anything from her, anyway. That was not how this sort of ritual worked. Was she new at this sort of thing? Was he her first summoned demon? The thought made him grind his teeth.
[#fc6f4f “Why the fuck would I be in there?”] he said, some of his frustration escaping as he motioned toward the necklace. The pendant pulsed angrily and he all but growled in return. He watched as the woman picked up the pendant as if it was nothing more than a simple object, instead of his tethered vessel. He balled his hands into fists and continued to watch her, noting the slight changes in emotion as she spoke. Humans were such complex creatures, yet so very, very fragile.
[#fc6f4f “I'm tied to the vessel,”] he explained slowly, at the end of his patience, [#fc6f4f “I am not a ghost, I would never [i inhabit] a vessel.”] He looked at her with burning eyes, wondering how someone powerful enough to summon him could be so entirely clueless.
So many questions. Niklas pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing. Not only had he been summoned by an idiot, he was going to have to explain [i everything] to her. This was a complete waste of his time, time he could be spending bettering his position, influencing the cult, gathering forgotten souls. When he lowered his hand and looked at her again, his stare was cold.
[#fc6f4f “When you perform the ritual, I am bound to the strongest item in your vicinity. Apparently, that pendant is powerful, especially if you did not specify it as a vessel.”] Niklas looked again to the pendant between her fingers, glaring at it resentfully. It continued to pulse rhythmically, keeping him locked within a certain radius until the woman made up her mind and cast him out to do her bidding.
[#fc6f4f “What? Look, I don’t work for your father. In fact, I don't even know who your father is. I don’t spend my spare time making lists of human genealogy. The gods are the ones who care about that sort of thing. Should have summoned one of those if you wanted answers to that sort of question.”] Niklas waved off her final questions and pushed himself away from the wall, straightening to his full height.
[#fc6f4f “You must be new at this,”] he said, his voice condescending, [#fc6f4f “So let me explain. One summons a demon to complete a task. That task is always something meant to better the summoner’s life, typically involving the death of another human. I kill the human or whatever ridiculous task the summoner demands, the contract is closed, I leave. If I am summoned again by the same person, there is a price to pay. Think of it as… getting a freebie the first time. Until you give me a task, I am bound to this ridiculous pendant. So I ask again, what is it you require of me?”]
[font "times new roman" Slowly realizing she wasn't fully clothed, she slipped past the male and to her dresser. She pulled out a black tank top, and pulled it on over her head. Making sure no fabric touched her branding. She cocked a 'brow slightly looking him up and down, and then his words seemed to sink in. Summoned? So her spell had worked after all. She didn't think it would, but seeing that he was here, and he was angry, made her wonder how well it had worked. She hadn't expected it to work honestly. What normal human being could have done something like that? Then again, she wasn't really that normal after all. She was different, and unique.]
[font "times new roman" She shook her head lightly as she walked over and picked up the pendant, that he had been staring at. She held the pendant in her hand, and she was surprised that this was really happening. She looked up towards him and tilted her head to the side. [#B9899E "Before you start demanding anything from me, what are you? And before I request anything from you, or whatever, you will answer my question, before I even think about answering yours"] she said lightly. She didn't know what was really happening, and she was getting more and more nervous.]
[font "times new roman" Had she really summoned a demon? She titled her head to the side, wondering how much trouble she would be in if her father found out about this. She had seen the male's eyes go towards the branding on her shoulder, and she looked down at it. It was still fresh, and it still stung like a bitch. She needed to get that ointment on it, and soon. Right now she had something more important to deal with. She looked back towards the male, and narrowed her eyes a bit. [#B9899E "If I summoned you, then why aren't you inside of here? Or is it because you are just tied to it?"] she asked.]
[font "times new roman" She hadn't dealt with something like this before, and knew she would be messing with something dangerous when she spoke the Latin words out loud. She had summoned something, and now she had to get the answers from him somehow. She didn't really know how too, but she was going to. She held the pendant between her fingers, and wondered why of all things, he was attached to this one. The one thing she had left of her mother. The woman that raised her, and the woman her father had murdered in cold blood.]
[font "times new roman" Thinking about her father, her eyes snapped back towards Niklas. [#B9899E "Do you work for my father?"] she breathed out. She didn't want it to be true, and if it was, maybe then if she really did have control over him, she could have him help her kill her father. Maybe then she'd be free of this nightmare. [b [i 'Don't get too ahead of yourself sweetheart. He's dangerous, and he does work for your father. You have to keep him close to you, and away from your father at all times.']] the sound of her mother's voice inside of her head, startled her a little bit. Had she really heard that? She shook her head, as she looked towards the other.]
[font "times new roman" She wrapped her fingers around the pendant, and held it against her chest. [#B9899E "Why this item of all things? Or is it something you can't help? And what do you know about my father?"] she snapped. Whatever happened a moment ago, she was going to try and follow the voice. She wasn't about to back down, there was no way in hell she would. She stood there, standing her ground, waiting silently.]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/0aeOe9P.jpg]]
The pendant continued to pulse, even as he willed it to cease. It was an object, his vessel, so his heated glare meant nothing to the lifeless, emotionless item. Still, he continued to glare at it, his jaw locked in the intensity of his anger. He was still glaring at it from his position on the floor when the creaking of a garage door suggested that he would soon no longer be alone. Niklas sighed, releasing the tension in his expression, and turned to look toward the door. There was a shuffling, the sound of grocery bags, movement...and then the door opened.
The woman in the door was young, perhaps in her twenties, wearing nothing but a bra. Niklas raised his eyebrow, not at the lack of shirt but instead at the deep wound pulsing at her shoulder. It was fresh, unable yet to scab, and held the shape that he often saw painted in blood above the dead the cult left behind. It was the symbol of the Black Lotus, what he thought was a cult made up of only plain, powerless humans. This was an entirely new development, which irked him.
He had been doing his job, working alongside the cult to claim the offered souls for both himself and his King. So why would this woman, clearly a member of the same cult, drag him from his duty and force him to manifest, to do her bidding? It was against what the cult seemed to stand for and the King himself would be angry. Still, summoning him was not a common, easy feat, meaning this human possessed power others did not.
[#fc6f4f “Since you can see me,”] he said, his voice expressing all the irritation he felt from being summoned, [#fc6f4f “That must mean you are the owner of this pendant, the one who called me here.”]
Niklas stood up, turning to face the girl. He was much taller, with broad shoulders and a dark presence. It had been a long time since a human could see him, and even longer since he was talked to in such a manner. His displeasure was physically manifested as a frown, his dark red-orange eyes trained on her surprised face. Or, perhaps, it was more than just surprised - she looked angry, as if he had invaded her privacy by showing up as [i her] ritual had demanded. As if he cared about her, or her feigned human privacy. How ridiculous.
[#fc6f4f “I’m here, as you requested.”] The pulsing of the pendant grew until it almost hurt, and Niklas growled at it as he bent into a shallow bow. He finished his sentence through gritted teeth, seething: [#fc6f4f “I am Niklas. What is it you request from me?”] The pulsing calmed, allowing him to breathe again. If he was a lesser demon, he would have surely attempted to break the pendant against the wall, but he understood the ritual and knew that even attempting such a thing would cause unimaginable pain and, in some, could even welcome oblivion.
Niklas straightened and eyed the mark on her shoulder again. Surely that was the same one he saw on the walls, the one of the cult. He wanted to demand, wanted to force an explanation, but he stilled his lips and just settled on watching her, hoping she would explain herself given enough time.
[font "times new roman" A small sigh passed through the woman's lips as she pulled into a parking lot. She sat there for a while, looking up at the building. Her shoulder was burning, and she didn't want to feel that kind of pain right now. What other choice did she have anyway? She shut the car off, pulled the keys out and slid them into her pockets. She then climbed out and shut the door behind her. She slid her hands into the back pockets of her jeans, and walked into the building. She smiled lightly when the woman looked up from her book. [b "Can I help you?"] she asked. [#B9899E "Yes as a matter of fact, I was wondering if you have apartments available?"] she asked.]
[font "times new roman" [b "I think we do yes. I would have to get a hold of the building manager, so if you'd leave your name and number that would be amazing, and then one of us will get a hold of you."] she said pulling out a piece of paper, and handed a pen over. Claudette nodded lightly as she took the pen and paper. She wrote down her cell phone number, when it was best to contact her, along with her first and last name. [#B9899E "Thank you so much, see you around"] she said as she slipped back out the front doors, and into the sun light.]
[font "times new roman" She made her way back to the car, and thought about going to other apartment building's, but knew it would be pointless. Maybe she could call around, or call up a friend or two and ask them if she could crash with them for awhile. Whatever the outcome was going to be, she wouldn't get far enough away from her father than she wanted. Now that she was branded with their symbol, she couldn't. She sighed lightly as she put her head onto the wheel, and sat there trying to clear her mind. She couldn't break away from this hellish nightmare, and she knew that.]
[font "times new roman" She pulled the keys out of her pocket, started the car up and headed into the heart of town. She made one more pit stop, grabbing some food before heading home. She knew her father wouldn't be home quite yet, and she was glad about that. She pulled into the garage, grabbed the bags of food, and shut the car off. She climbed out, slammed the door closed and headed inside. She carried the bags up to her room. Along the way, she started taking her shirt off, hoping that the burning would subside if she didn't have fabric rubbing against it. Once the shirt was off, she walked around in her bra and jeans.]
[font "times new roman" She stopped in the bathroom and found some ointment, and took some gauze pads with her into her bedroom. When she walked into the room, she wasn't expecting to see anyone. When she saw the male, she dropped the bags of food, along with everything else in her hands. [#B9899E "Who the fuck are you?"] she hissed. She hadn't seen him before, but the way he was looking at her bookcase, was kind of creeping her out. She forgot the fact she wasn't fully dressed, but she didn't care. She wanted answers, and she wanted them now.]
The blade of the knife slid easily through the skin, the sharp metal parting the flesh as though it was nothing but paper. Niklas watched with fascination as the bright blue of the young human’s eyes became clouded with pain, her lower lip quivering with words that she could not voice. The one holding the blade wore no smile, his expression apathetic as he twisted the handle. There was a pop and blood started to gush from the wound, eliciting a sharp cry from the wounded woman’s lips.
Niklas knelt nearby, invisible to the onlookers, as the leader yanked the knife away and made another incision with the perfectly controlled movements of a surgeon. His face was stoic, his muscles relaxed; it was clear that this was not the first time this man had killed. A twinge in Niklas’s face pulled the right corner of his mouth up into a smirk as he watched the blood escape the woman’s abdomen. The thick, dark liquid pooled silently at her feet. She could manage only soft complaints, her pleading voice all but lost on the chilled wind that blew through the open door.
The others in the room, all dressed in robes with hoods that bathed their faces in shadow, started a gentle chant. The words were of an old language, one Niklas was fond of, and they brought him energy that invigorated him. The demon stood and stretched, accepting the power the words gave him, the red-orange of his eyes growing bright in the midst of the violence. Niklas watched with satisfaction as the woman lost hope, falling silent under the growing intensity of the chanting. The leader, the one with the blade, stepped back, pulling his blade with him. With a wave of his hand, the chanting stopped, and Niklas shuddered as the power ceased.
When he looked back to the woman, he saw that she had given up, her eyes closed against the vision of horror that visited in the dead of night. She had thought herself safe, holed up in her home, but the cult had found her nonetheless, forcing her death to please the King. Niklas moved silently out of the way as the leader began to paint symbols on the wall above the dying woman’s head, dipping his fingers in her warm pool of blood to serve as morbid paint.
Most of the symbols were meaningless, but there was one among them that granted permission. It was a smaller symbol, a symbol of the King’s own creation, that offered the soul of the dying woman to feed the needs of the demons. Niklas was smiling openly when the young human finally exhaled, releasing her last shuddering breath.
Typically, when a human died, their soul was gathered by the nearest Reaper, but the symbol scrawled upon the wall by the cult leader warded off the Reapers and accepted only demons within a certain radius. Niklas reached forward and accepted the soul, placing the warm ball of light against his chest, where it shattered and dissipated, the power filling his body with the only warmth he had ever known.
Niklas laughed. Of all the assignments he had been given, this one was particularly satisfying. And, as far as he could tell, the cult would never stop offering him the souls his kind craved, but could never touch.
[center [i Days later…]]
Niklas was walking down the street, watching humans pass by. It had been a few days since the cult had anything to offer him and he was growing impatient for more. He was walking aimlessly, without a purpose in his speed or direction, when he felt something tug at his core, drawing him in a particular direction. This feeling was not uncommon for him, he often felt a similar sensation when he was being called back to the Underground to give reports, but this tether was coming from somewhere in the human realm, and nearby.
Confused, but not able to refuse the call, Niklas followed the tether to a plain building, which he entered without a second thought. It was a normal family home, not at all like the sort of place the King or his second would be inhabiting. Still, the tether pulled, and he followed with mounting confusion.
At the end of the tether was a pendant, that lay abandoned on a bookshelf. Niklas stared at the pendant for a long time, then made a gruff sound in his throat, swearing in an ancient language.
[#fc6f4f “Summoned?”] he said aloud, glaring around the room to find the source of the ritual. The room was empty, no one hiding within the closet or underneath the bed. Frustrated, Niklas sat down on the floor and turned his heated gaze back to the pendant, which seemed to ridicule him with the pulsing tether that demanded his presence.
[font "times new roman" The sound of breaking glass brought the woman out of her thoughts, and she groaned a bit. Was he really breaking shit this early in the morning? It wasn't like she wasn't asleep, she had been up for a good three hours, but still. What if she wanted to sleep in? What if she had a late night, and had just barely gotten to bed? That's when she heard her father's foot steps coming up the steps. That wasn't a good thing, she slid herself from the bed, and made her way to the door, and put her hand on the handle.]
[font "times new roman" She waited until she heard the knock, and she took a breath and opened it. [#B9899E "Morning daddy, is everything okay?"] she asked. The male looked at his daughter, and he shook his head. [b "No, you haven't been answering any of my phone calls, or text messages, I'm glad you are awake though. It's time to head into town, and get your next assignment"] he said. She wasn't in the mood to argue with him, and seeing as she was the daughter of the worst feared man in town, she didn't want to cross him. She nodded lightly and looked down at her pajama's.]
[font "times new roman" [#B9899E "Give me about fifteen minutes and I'll be ready"] she said lightly. The male nodded, and walked off. She shut the door behind him, and then made her way to her closet. She hated the fact she was the daughter of a cult leader. They killed innocent children, and it tore her heart apart. He was molding her into the leader she was supposed to be. A leadership she didn't even want. She didn't have much choice in the matter though. She opened the closet door's, and pulled out a shirt, along with some black jeans. She then tossed them onto her bed.]
[font "times new roman" She made sure everything she needed was out, and shut the doors. Her knee high boots were behind her desk chair, and hurried and got dressed. She sat on the edge of her bed and pulled her boots on. She then made her way into her bathroom, and piled her hair up onto her head, leaving a couple strands framing around her face. She brushed her teeth, and ten minutes later she was ready. Her heart was hammering inside of her chest, as she made her way out, and down the hall. She could hear her father on the phone, and she paused on the stairs, and listened.]
[font "times new roman" [b "Don't worry, I'm taking her into town right now, the branding is what will happen, and then she'll be able to learn how to do the killings, and figure out how to put people in charge of different families... No I know she's be able to handle it. She takes after me, she'll be the perfect leader for the Black Lotus. I promise you she'll handle it. Yes, we will see you in a little bit"] then the male hung up. Her heart was hammering inside of her chest. Was she really going to be branded? That's something she hadn't agreed upon. Maybe she should say something, but thought better of it.]
[font "times new roman" She made herself known, and her father looked up at her. [b "Ah, you look perfect. Let's get going"] he said, as he opened the front door. She took a deep breath, and walked down the stairs. [#B9899E "Who were you talking too just now?"] she asked. The male froze for a moment, before he spoke. [b "It was one of the other member's. She was wondering if you were coming"] he said. The woman sighed, did she want to go? No, but she didn't have a choice. She left it at that though. The two walked out into the morning light, her heart hammering inside of her chest, knowing her life was about to change.]
[center [i [font "times new roman" [b [u Later in town.]]]]]
[font "times new roman" When the two arrived in town, Claudette made sure to make note of where they were going. When her father came to a stop outside of an old mining building, her heart skipped a beat inside of her chest. Was this really where they met? She wasn't going to really question it. She knew better than that. The two climbed out of the car, and her father led her inside. [b "I will be back later. You just make yourself comfortable and the branding will begin"] he said. He mentioned the branding, and her heart skipped a beat once more. She looked around the dimly lit room, and sighed.]
[font "times new roman" That's when she heard the chanting, and wondered what was happening. Were they really going to do this to her? was she really about to become apart of her father's killing cult? She couldn't do this. She wasn't about to do this either. She broke out into a sweat, but fought against the feeling of needing to run away. That's when her father came back in, wearing a black robe, and he had another member with him. [b "It's time"] was all he said. Claudette was grabbed from behind, and a bag was placed over her head. She let out a scream, but was quickly silenced.]
[font "times new roman" She fought against who had a hold of her, but lost. [b "Hush child, you will not need to fight so much."] he father spoke out. That's when the dark chanting started. She didn't really understand what was going on, or what was being said. All she knew was it was in Latin. Then she was placed on a cool table, and her shirt was cut from her shoulder down. She listened to the sounds of movement, and then heard the sound of metal on metal. [b "This brand will show anyone you cross, that you are apart of this."]]
[font "times new roman" [b "This brand will make everyone scared of you, and you will learn the ways of the Black Lotus."] he father said. He then started chanting, and searing pain made the woman scream out. Her head flew back, and the pain was so intense she nearly passed out. When it was done, the member's left, including her father. She ripped the bag off of her head, and looked towards her shoulder. There was a branding there, and she knew she couldn't do anything about it. Her head was spinning, and she wanted to puke. She laid on the stone table for awhile longer.]
[font "times new roman" When she felt like she could move, she did. She slid off of the table, and managed to find her way outside of the building. No one was in sight, and neither was her father's car. She was still semi dressed, and she called out for help. Someone heard her, and she begged them for a ride to her house. The stranger was kind enough to help her out, and when she walked into her home, she was pissed. This was the kind of thing she hoped wouldn't happen. She stormed up to her room, found her candles, along with the herbs she had hidden.]
[font "times new roman" The spell book she had come across was in her dresser drawer, and she pulled out. She opened it up, and started reading the book. She put the unknown herbs into a bowl, and set it aside. She then found the Sigil of Baphomet, and placed the bowl on top of it. She then placed each of the candles on the pentagram. Once the altar is set up, she sat down and read the words over, and started speaking them in Latin. [#B9899E "Attenrobendum eos, ad ligandum eos, potiter eos, coram me."] She chanted them over and over, and the room seemed to get colder.]
[font "times new roman" When she was done, she opened her eyes, and sighed a bit. Did it even work? She didn't know. She blew out the candles a moment later, and then stood. She changed out of her torn shirt, her skin still screaming at her, and then headed towards her car. She might as well find a new place to live, before she herself was summoned to do her father's work. She slid into her car, headed back into town, and started apartment hunting, wondering if her spell had worked at all. She would soon find out.]
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