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A hunter confronts a powerful demon who controls a relic of the gods...
Chapter VI
The Baron of Hell

Blood ran down the face of Mikelia Telpies as she raised her halberd, her hazel eyes focused on the demon that stood before her. I’ve come too far to lose now. After months of tracking down Abaddon, I will not allow him to escape! But still, something does not seem right. She looked at the large wounds that covered his torso. He has grievous injuries, and yet he does not bleed? Does he have some kind of power that heals him? What is he?

“That is what I love about humans.” Abbadon ran his claws against the cuts on his black skin. “Your weak minds fall for the simplest illusions.”

“What are you talking about?” The young woman asked as she stared at him.

“You have been fighting an illusion demon hunter.” He smiled at the look of anger that appeared on Mikelia's face. “Don't worry, the other hunters tried their best to kill my real body. But humans have their limitations in battle. Its why I was able to slaughter so many during the demon war.”

“You mean…..” Mikelia stared at the illusion as she considered his words.

“As we speak, the other hunters are dead, killed by my claws. I will say, they did not expect to fight me, did they? Even for hunters, they were unusually weak. Could they have been looking for something?” Abaddon laughed as the illusion began to fade. “Perhaps a relic that once belonged to the elves that vanished so long ago from this world?” His words echoed in the air as the illusion vanished into the night sky. “Come find me, hunter. Let us decide who is worthy of the relic that you seek.”

“Damn…” Mikelia grumbled under her breath. “I can't believe I was so easily fooled.” Running through the graveyard, she pushed herself toward the temple that lay on the edge of the cemetery. “If a demon of Abbadon's power gets his hands on the elven relic, then we could have trouble. No matter what, I have to ensure he does not escape here alive. It is my duty as a hunter!

Minutes passed before she stopped, her attention focused on the bodies of the hunters that lay on the ground in front of the temple. “No….” Was all she could say as she examined the bodies of her comrades. Her fingers ran across the face of a teenage boy. “His body is already cold.” She looked at the wound on his ambadonn, fighting off every temptation to vomit at the sight of his intestines that hung outside his body. “The other hunters.” She picked up the decapitated head of one of her allies. “They were all slaughtered by that fiend!” Closing the eyes of the head, she gently lay it down on the ground. “Forgive me, but I must stop that demon above all else. I promise to give you all a proper burial to ensure your souls are not lost in the afterlife.”

“Hunter!” Said Abaddon as he landed in front of her. “It took you some time to get here.” He noted the look in her eyes. “Why are you so angry? You should have know that hunters of their skill would be easy prey for me. Especially the boy. You should have seen the look of terror on his face as I killed the other hunters one by one before his eyes.”

“Bastard!” Mikelia yelled as she pulled a throwing knife with a silver blade out of a sheath.

“You should be grateful. He threw down his weapons and ran. A coward like him deserved death.”

“Enough!” the woman threw the knife at Abbadon, watching as it passed through another illusion. “Damn it.” Growled Mikelia as she stood up.

“Come into the temple hunter. I will be waiting at the place where the elves once offered their prayers to the gods.”

The altar where the elves once offered prayers. Vile creature, what do you have planned? Mikelia pulled an Ankh out of a small pouch. “Gods, listen to my prayers.” Said the woman as she fell to her knees. “Give me the strength to finally remove this evil creature from this world.”

“Do you think prayers will help you, hunter? The boy prayed as I slaughtered his comrades one by one. The gods ignored his pleas as he begged for mercy, as I sliced open his guts and tasted his blood.”

Mikelia said nothing as she stood up. Every bit of anger that she felt was held in check by the training her father had given her. Now would not be the time that she faltered. Stepping forward, she stopped only for a second to look back at her fallen comrades. “Forgive me, but I will bury you all later. But that demon must be stopped above all else.” Screams erupted from the temple as her thoughts were broken. Wasting no time, she ran inside.

Green blood was splattered on the walls as the smell of death greeted her. Dead elves lined the floors. Their weapons were drawn. Mikelia thought to herself as she studied them. Some of them have been ripped apart. He spared none of them, even the females who were the priestesses of the temple. Raspy breaths attracted her attention. She's pregnant. Kneeling beside the woman, she gently rubbed her hands. "I know you can't understand me, but I'm sorry. I promise you, I will avenge you and your child." Mikelia stood up. "Worthless demon, I will see you die by my hand." Running through the temple, she arrived in the main hall of the temple.

"You have arrived hunter." Abaddon laughed as he threw the body of an old elf to the floor. "To think they stayed behind. I wonder what would have been so important as to cause them to not leave this world with the rest of their race."

Mikelia said nothing as she raised her weapon.

"Why are you here hunter?" He approached an Alter. "Perhaps you came for this?" He held up a gold orb. "One of the divine relics that the gods left behind in this world." Holding it up, he smiled as he studied her carefully. "You are skilled Hunter, but you can't face me."

"Don't you dare underestimate me!" Mikelia lunged at him.

"Fool." The orb started to glow. Purple energy swirled around them as he watched Mikelia's movements slow. "You don't understand the power of the gods." Dodging her attacks with ease, he released the power of the orb.

My reaction time, it somehow slowed. Is it the result of the orb? No matter what, I need to disarm him. Reaching into a sheath on her leg, she drew a silver throwing knife I have to disrupt his senses. Otherwise, he’ll simply avoid the throwing knife. She dug into a pouch on her waist. That orb can disrupt the flow of time. I can’t miss my chance.

Abaddon began to laugh as he watched her carefully. “You still don’t understand, do you?” Raising the Orb up, he watched a yellow glow consume the relic.

Mikelia has no time to react as she was bathed in a yellow light. Dropping her halberd, her raspy breaths were the only sound that she could hear as her body weakened. My body….. The hunter thought as she looked down at her wrinkled hands. What have you done to me? She asked as she felt her armor weigh down her brittle body. “It feels like if I even attempt to move, my bones would snap.”

“This is truly the relic of the gods….” Abaddon smiled as he gently put his hand on her face, his voice taking a mocking tone. “don’t you agree hunter? Don’t worry, I will grant you a small amount of mercy.” Green Energy radiated from the orb as he restored Mikelia to her natural age. “It would be a shame to kill you like this. After all, the daughter of the hunter who defeated the last Vampire King deserves better.”

“I know you don’t have a shred of honor,” Mikelia growled as she reached for her halberd. “So, I suppose you sparing me is a game to you?”

“In a matter of speaking.” Abaddon chuckled as he watched her movements carefully. “You are prey like any other human. The only difference is that you can defend yourself from me. But you will fall in time like your younger brother did. Such a tender young age when he fell to my claws. Fifteen years old, and on his first mission as a hunter. You failed him then, just as you failed the hunters outside.” He kicked the corpse of an elf out of his way. “You even failed them.”

“I will kill you!” Mikelia yelled as she raised her weapon.

“This is what makes you so much fun. I can see the anger in your eyes. It's a good emotion to have fpr a hunter of demons. Your anger will motivate you to grow stronger Who else can I take away from you? Your grandmother? Maybe the man who is betrothed to marry you? Your father? Or maybe your uncle?” He licked his lips. “No, I’ll allow him to live. He has much to answer to you about. I’ll enjoy watching the implosion of your clan. There is one thing to ask yourself as you return to your village. Have you ever wondered where the bruises on your sister come from? Or who the father of her child is?”

Mikelia said nothing as she stared at him.

“Humans are selfish, judgemental creatures. The vampires protected your kind from demons like me, and yet you turn your backs on them. Oh, how the gods would banish your kind to the depths of hell if they decided to punish you all for your sins.” He tossed the orb toward Mikelia’s feet. “I told you I would grant you a small mercy. Take it. Have a taste of the divine power mortals were never supposed to have.”

“Why let me have it?” Mikelia asked as she picked the orb up.

“Because you will give it to your father and he will give it to the royal family. King Lertines is on the verge of death, and his eldest son is widely known for hating the vampires. We are on the verge of war finally breaking out in these lands. And that Orb is the key to everything.” He smiled as he began to laugh. “Think of it hunter! Think of the rivers of blood as the dead line the streets! Soon, the glorious paradise of the dark gods will appear in these lands!”

“Enough!” Mikelia lunged at him. Another illusion! She thought as Abbadon’s form dissipated. He fooled me again. Holding up the orb, she studied it carefully. This is a divine relic of legend. What should I do with it? The bodies of the elves consumed her thoughts. He might be right if I return this to my father. But to disobey means breaking my oath to our creed and brands me a traitor. Cursed monster, I will make you pay!
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