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Heavenly Demon, Chapter Fifteen
Heavenly Demon is a fifteen-chapter novel by RCM staffer Kolemsai.

*****
I woke up late the next afternoon, starving. Dad had came and picked me up and I went to bed before the sun went down. He was waiting for me when I woke up.

"Where's Mom?"

"She went out for a while. I ordered a couple of pizzas for us, I know how hungry you get after using all of that magic." He gestured over to the kitchen where four boxes of pizza were sitting. I grabbed an entire pizza and a gallon of milk and proceeded to devour it.

"What's it like, son?" He sat down with a couple of slices of his own and a beer. "Using their magic I mean."

I finished chewing the last bite of my second slice and picked up a third. "It hurts."

Dad considered this for a moment and chose to start eating instead of prying further.

"You know Dad," I mumbled through a large bite, "it's okay." I could see the shame on his face every time he looked at me, and I wanted it to stop. "You did the best you could. I just wanted you to know that I forgive you."

He dropped his pizza on his plate. "It's not okay. I ruined your life, Devin. I made your mother miserable for sixteen years. I might have gotten Laxidan killed for his help. No son, this isn't something that can be forgiven."

"Yes it is," I mumbled through my fourth piece. "If you didn't do it in the first place, you wouldn't have Mom, or me. Besides, it's kinda cool being able to use magic and stuff."

His face went cross, but not in anger.

"Whatever you think Dad, just know I'm not mad, and I love you."

"Love you too son, means a lot," he said as he kept clearing his throat. I smiled and started in on the last piece.

"Do we need to save any for Mom?"

He laughed. "She can finish this one with me, the other three are for you." I didn't hesitate to grab another box.
*****

Devin. I need you here immediately. Make haste.

I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my Dad when Laxidan called. Something about it didn't seem right, almost like he was in danger.

"Dad, I have to go. Laxidan needs me."

He looked me in the eyes. He knew it too. "Cecorix is here, isn't he."

I nodded as I stood; somehow I knew he was. There was no other reason for Laxidan to sound so desperate. It was time to end this.

"I'm coming with you," Dad commanded as he stood up.

"No Dad!" I yelled. I wasn't going to put him in danger too. "If I have any chance of living, I can't worry about your safety too."

He looked angry. "Fine, you wait a second then." He went to his room and came back with a handgun.

"Dad, I don't..."

"Now you listen here boy. You can never have enough backup. There is a full clip loaded in here, twenty shots. Here is the safety, the gun won't fire until you push it. It has a bit of a kick, so be careful."

I looked at him quizzically.

"Just in case your magic runs out, son."

I took it and tucked it in the back of my pants, just like in the movie we were just watching. He suddenly grabbed me in a big hug. I could hear the sobs he was trying to hide, so I hugged him back just as hard.

"I love you Devin." It sounded like it wasn't hard for him to say this time.

"Love you too Dad. Tell Mom too." We let go simultaneously and I headed for the door.

*****
I pulled up to the school on my bike and screeched to a stop, throwing it down as I scrambled to the service door. As I entered the boiler room, I shielded my thoughts, wanting to try to get the jump on whoever was in there with Laxidan. Something latched onto both of my wrists before I could even take a step in the door. They were whips made of blue metal, similar to the chains that held Laxidan.

On the end of them were two of the ugliest things I had ever seen. They were no bigger than a middle school kid with scrawny arms and legs. Their bald heads were far too large for their bodies, with long pointed noses and ears that stuck far out of the sides of their heads like bat wings. Their bodies were naked, showing off round pot bellies, and their skin had an orange tone like a spray tan gone awry. The most sinister thing about them was their mouths: they were always smiling a toothy grin that was accentuated by their pointed teeth. The smile was ear to ear, as if Pac-Man was put on a body.

They pulled hard, and stretched my arms out. I thought they were going to pull them off. I struggled to pull them back in, but as soon as I tried to resist the metal began to burn against my skin. The pain was so bad that I stopped right away. The thought of surprise left my mind, and I decided to try to fight them directly with magic. I drew on my soul, prepared to blast them both with destruction.

Nothing happened.

I tried again, and again I was thwarted, as if something was blocking me. The creatures laughed, then pulled on the whips, making my wrists burn and dragging me along. I tried to gather my footing but it was impossible, they were walking faster than I could run. They went down the stairs and yanked on the whips when they reached the bottom, causing me to dive head first. I tried to cover myself as best I could as I tumbled, but as I landed on the hard concrete floor of the boiler I could feel wet spots in several places on my body. The creatures didn't give me much time to recover, they just laughed and drug me into Laxidan's chamber.

The room itself was vastly different than what I had become accustomed to. It was larger than before, the ceilings were twice as high and the room itself was twice as big. The most notable change was the giant demon standing in the middle of the room, waiting for me. Its head nearly touched the ceiling, which made it twice as tall as me. His black skin shone like onyx, looking more like stone than actual skin, peeking through heavy black armor. Its head was long and skinny with short horns poking out where a human's forehead would have ended. The blood red eyes didn't glow, but looked even more demonic.

Laxidan was in the back corner of the room, being held in the same face down, arm stretched position that I was. The same creatures that held me also held him, however they were holding his shackles instead of magical whips.

I recognized Felliste opposite of Laxidan, now wearing a black teddy. She looked sinister and confident, smile peeking out of the corner of her lips. There was another succubus with her. This one had straight jet-black hair with bangs. She had no horns but the same bat-like wings that Laxidan and Felliste had. She wore a deep red dress that was cut so low it exposed her belly button, barely covering ample breasts. I had never seen her before, but I knew that demon was Alyssa.

No, she was Cybyl right now.

She looked at me with an expressionless face, standing slightly behind her mother.

"So," the large demon chuckled in a voice so low it made Darth Vader sound like a pre-pubescent child, "here you are, finally. I have been looking for you for many years, child."

I didn't say anything as he stepped toward me. What was there to say? He bent down and grabbed my chin, craning my neck to stare him face to face. "Are you scared, child?"

I did my best to show that I wasn't, even though I was terrified. He laughed as he let me go and walked away.

"Imps, hold them up!" His shout sounded like a thunderstorm. All four of their imps hovered in the air, pulling myself and Laxidan upright like we were marionettes. Laxidan had been beaten it seemed, as black blood covered much of his face and chest.

"Both of you will die today. The boy because his soul belongs to me, and Laxidan because he should have died ten thousand years ago."

"That decision is not yours to make, Cecorix," Felliste retorted as she stepped forward. "I am his jailer. I decide when he dies."

A large sword, half again taller than me, suddenly appeared in Cecorix's hand as he turned to Felliste. It was obvious he Conjured it, but his body did not glow with magic. "Ha! Your judgement is as askew as his! Perhaps you have succumbed to the same ailment as he does."

The beautiful Felliste's face twisted ugly in anger. "How DARE you accuse me of such a thing! My judgment is as clear as yours, grunt."

Cecorix did not hide his hate for that title. "Perhaps yours is not," he lifted his sword and pointed at Cybyl, "but hers is."

Cybyl stepped back in shock. "You do not know what you speak of, Fiend."

Cecorix smiled. "Is that right, Youngling?" He moved in close to her, "tell me then, would you feel nothing if your father died by my hand this day?"

"What?" Laxidan yelled, his head no longer drooping, eyes wide in shock.

"Oh, you didn't know?" The Pit Fiend's mocking tone grated on my ears. "But of course, how could you? She was born after your imprisonment. Ha! Felliste did not have the heart to tell you. That is good for her, then. Maybe I will not kill her after all." He looked at her, smiling. She did not return it.

"I would never admit to being involved with something so pathetic. Kill him and be done with it." Each word out of her mouth seemed to affect Laxidan, and to a lesser extent, Cybyl.

"Oh I was going to anyway. It would seem that there would be no need for you to stay here any longer after he is dead. Perhaps the overlords would grant me the pleasure of having you as a personal concubine."

"No!" Laxidan screamed as he struggled against his chains. With one hard yank he was able to pull both imps toward him, and in a flash they were on the ground, heads severed. He wasted no time and charged at the Pit Fiend as his body sprouted wings, turning into its natural form. Cecorix readied himself almost as inhumanly fast and took a mighty swing with his giant sword at the charging incubus. Laxidan jumped high in the air, avoiding the killing blow easily. Cecorix recovered from his failed attack and slashed at where Laxidan would have landed, but one flap of his black wings made him change his trajectory, causing the second attack to also miss.

Laxidan was still in the air when his chains went tight and he fell, landing flat on his back with a grunt. Cecorix wasted no time, he grabbed Laxidan's head with one hand, like a basketball player palms a ball, and lifted the incubus high in the air. He hesitated only a moment to smile, then slammed Laxidan into the ground head first, leaving a small crater.

I struggled against my bonds, ignoring the pain as best I could. I had to help him, but I couldn't break free, the imp's grip was too strong. They pulled tight against my resistance, yet never slacked.

Cecorix laughed again as he stood, putting a giant steel sabaton on Laxidan's buried head. "You see that, incubus? Your mortal friend wants to help you. Love is such a pitiful emotion, one that should be extinct. I will just have to kill you first, it seems. I do not want my new soul tainted with such emotion."

I continued to struggle against the whips of blue fire, and tried desperately to channel my soul. I couldn't grasp it, like it was on the other side of thin glass. It was hopeless.

I heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot come from behind me. I saw a small golden spark on the Pit Fiend's chest armor, and the ping of a ricochet. I turned, praying that it wasn't my father come to save his son.

It was Steven.

He seemed to have found my gun on the floor and managed to get off a couple more shots before one of my imp casters turned and thrust a hand at him. An invisible force hit him and knocked the fighter into the wall, causing him to drop the gun.

"Oh splendid!" Cecorix laughed, "yet another soul for me to take. It won't be as delicious as Devin's, but I will use it up all the same." The Pit Fiend raised his sword, preparing for the killing blow. I struggled harder. "Time to die, traitor!"

Something slammed into him. It was Cybyl. She caused him to stumble slightly, making him take his foot off of her father's head. She grabbed his hand, trying to prevent him from completing the killing blow.

"Alyssa!" I screamed. I tried to grab even the smallest piece of magic to help her, pushing with all my might. I grasped at air as Cecorix backhanded her with a gauntlet covered hand and sent her flying.

"So, you love her as well, do you?" He smiled at me before he walked toward her, crumpled up on the floor. Laxidan's body was still. Felliste never moved, nor flinched. She only stared at Laxidan's body, hate in her eyes, not caring for the fate of her daughter. The Pit Fiend stopped in front of the young succubus. "Well, if you have love for this one as well, she dies first."

I screamed, struggling even harder against my bonds. I couldn't watch anymore. I couldn't stand to see anyone else I cared for get hurt. I had to save her! There was a high pitched grunt next to me as one of my leashes went limp. Steven had tackled the imp and mounted its small body.

"Now, Anson!"

I tried again to grasp magic. The barrier didn't seem as hard as before, it flexed a little. I tried harder. There was a crash. Steven was now against the wall, unconscious, clothes smoking and charred. Alyssa screamed, Cecorix had his sword raised, ready to strike.

I felt the barrier bend. I didn't care if it killed me anymore. I had to save them, even Steven. I tried one final push with everything. My entire soul at once. The barrier shattered. The greatest pain I had ever felt in my life exploded in my chest and I screamed. The room shook as I drank it all in, I wanted every last drop. The vast amount I held at once made it impossible to stop the automatic flow toward my heart. I didn't try to direct it this time, I just soaked it all in. Chills spread through my body as I channeled. Bits of rock fell from the ceiling and torches flickered as my soul dove into my heart. I felt alive, more than ever before. I felt no pain, not even the pain of magic. My weariness was washed away. I could see things more clearly now, every speckle of dust on Steven's body, every hair on Alyssa's terrified head. I looked down at myself, my entire body was glowing red, the same as my chest did when I used magic, like I was on fire. I could feel every hair on my body standing on end as my mind was processing things faster than I ever thought I could. I saw what looked like six of the mind tentacles in some type of energy from sprout like wings from my back and loom over my head.

Cecorix had just turned his head toward me when I leapt at him faster than even Laxidan did. I soared through the air and crashed into him as hard as I could with my shoulder, sending us both into the wall. I raised a fist as we hit and punched his face as hard as I could. I could feel his stone-like skin crack under my fist as I raised my other hand for another blow.

The Pit Fiend recovered quickly and grabbed my raised fist with one of his monstrous hands, but my wings reacted on their own, wrapping around his wrist and pulling them away so I could smash his face. He broke free and placed a hand on my chest, which covered it completely, and I briefly saw a flash of dark light before I was hurled back across the room. My wings spread and braced against the wall, lowering me safely. My shirt, now in shreds, exposed the swirling mark glowing on my chest had now enlarged to cover my entire body. When I leapt forward again, it was with enhanced strength. I raised my hands, yet didn't channel anything to them. A large red ball of light formed, almost by itself, and I just held it pulsing.

Cecorix stood and laughed as I held still. "Demonic magic will not work on me, mortal."

No sooner did he finish speaking than I punched with all of my might, slamming the ball into his face. He didn't have a chance to move when the ball hit him, causing him to scream in pain as he slammed once again into the wall. I launched two balls at him immediately, almost instinctively, and charged the demon again right behind them. I conjured a sword in my hands, much easier than anything I had tried before, and raised it above my head as I charged. The first ball hit him, causing him to scream again. Before the scream was done, the second one hit and silenced him. I lunged and swung the sword with all of my enhanced might, hitting clean on his exposed neck, lopping off his head.

I threw the sword down and jumped back, ready to hurl more balls of light. Black blood spewed from the severed neck as the head rolled across the floor. In an instant, the Pit Fiend's body was nothing more than a black puddle on the ground, just as the imps that Laxidan killed.

"Anson!"

I turned, expecting to see Steven, but instead I saw Felliste standing above Laxidan's body, holding my discarded sword. She began to swing, and I charged. Before she was halfway through her backswing I grabbed her by the neck and lifted her easily off the ground. I could see her fear of me, and her hate of Laxidan in her eyes as I squeezed. She dropped the sword and tried to pry my hand away. I squeezed harder. She was going to kill Laxidan, and watch the rest of us die. She needed to die. The succubus gasped for breath, but I ignored it as I raised my other hand that was now forming a ball of fire that I was going to shove into her face.

"Devin. Do not do it."

It was Laxidan. He was looking up at me, tears filling his eyes. "I beg you. Please do not."

"She wants you dead, Laxidan," I growled in a voice that I did not recognize as my own, even though it came from my mouth. "She would let your daughter die. She would kill us all."

"I know this, Devin. But I still beg, not her."

It finally clicked. I knew why he didn't want her to die. I knew why he was banished from hell.

"You love her."

Reluctantly the incubus nodded.

I felt sympathy toward him. Love was a glorious emotion, but in a land of evil and hatred, love, or even compassion, would be a terrible thing. I knew what he was going through, fighting a forbidden love, so I let her go.

The succubus stood there for a moment, bewildered. She looked at me with terror still in her eyes, then down at Laxidan. Her fear changed to hatred. She spared one last look at her daughter before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

Magic still raged through my veins as I turned to Laxidan. He smiled. "Thank you, Devin Anson. I am eternally in your debt."

I looked at Steven. His clothes had stopped smoking as he looked back to me. "Are you some devil spawn as well?"

Puzzled, I conjured a mirror. I had changed; I resembled less of a human and more like Laxidan. My teeth were pointed, my skin was red and my eyes were solid gold. My hair stood on end and my tentacle-wings flowed on my back calmly in an angelic formation. I released the magic I channeled, and the pain returned briefly as my wings faded, my hair laid back down and my skin changed back to its normal hue. I shook my head, and he gave a slight nod. A sign of respect?

I turned to Cybyl. She would always be Alyssa to me. Her face was scratched, a trickle of black blood on her cheek. Demon or not, she was still the most beautiful woman ever. She showed no emotion as I smiled at her, trying to show my affection without saying it.

My body crashed without the rush of magic, and I collapsed. I couldn't move my arms or even turn my head, I had nothing left. I landed just inches away from Laxidan. I tried to speak but I couldn't. I had no magic to draw on to communicate to him. This was it, I used up all of my soul, and now I was going to die. I could see that the skin on my arms had turned a sickly gray as they laid lifeless in front of me. Laxidan laid next to me, scooting his face closer to mine. He clasped one of my hands with both of his, but I couldn't even feel his warmth.

I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to tell him what he meant to me. He was my first friend, and my greatest friend. He was more human than a lot of people were. Most of all, I wanted to tell him that I loved him. He smiled through quiet sobs as tears raced down his cheeks.

"I love you too, Devin Anson."

*****

Light blinded my eyes and I saw nothing but white. Was this heaven? There were no clouds, no golden gate, no angel waiting to usher me in.

Where was I? I felt something heavy on me. I tried to shove it off but I was extremely weak. Maybe souls powered the afterlife as well. I heard a door open.

"Son, are you awake?" It sounded like Dad, but I couldn't see him. I tried to speak, but no sound came out. Something grabbed my hand and pulled me up. The light faded, and I was sitting on my bed, back in my room. Dad was there, holding my hand with a big smile on his face.

"Lorna," he yelled, "he's awake! Get some food for him, lots of it!" He squeezed me in a tight hug. "I was worried, I didn't know if you were going to make it."

I didn't have the energy to hug him back, so I just laid my head on his shoulder.

"Honey, hurry up!"

Mom came in a moment later with a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Dad grabbed it and put it to my lips. I drank the broth slowly, and felt my energy start to come back. As soon as I was able I took the bowl and began to devour the food. Dad kept ushering Mom to keep it coming. After a couple of bowls, I was able to speak.

"How's Laxidan?" I asked between bites.

"Who's that, honey?" Mom had just walked in with a large mixing bowl full of the noodles when she heard me.

"Uh..." I stumbled. I stalled by piling more food in my mouth.

"Laxidan is a project car that we're rebuilding, honey. She's fine son, running like her old self again. She probably wants to hear from you."

"Oh you boys and your cars, I'll never understand." She smiled as she walked out.

Lax? I didn't dare try magic yet, I was still too weak. I knew he would be reading my mind.

I am happy you are awake Devin. We had feared the worst, it has been over a month.

How's Cybyl?

I have not seen her since that night. I hope she is well.

I had a thousand questions, and Laxidan seemed to answer them all at once.

I have kept your mother out of this mess. She thinks that you have had a bad case of mono this entire time, but you have been going to school through it.

Yes, I did compel Steven to come to your aid with the bullies, and the demon. I have told him everything. He has been watching over you every day during your sleep, arriving at dawn and leaving late in the evening. He is there now, and will be in your room in a moment.

It is good to have friends Devin Anson, especially mortal ones. Considering your circumstances, and I think he will also make a great ally. He is surprisingly loyal, although he does retain some animosity toward you, however I do not think he will betray you.

Sure enough, Steven walked in the room, wearing his normal tank top. He crossed his arms and stared at me silently.

"You are a horrible fighter," he spat. "Absolutely pathetic."

I was speechless.

"When you recover, you will come train with me at my gym. If these, demons, come back, you need to be more competent than you were last time."

I nodded.

"Then you will fight me, man to man. No help, and none of that magic bullshit. Got it?"

I nodded again. He turned and left without another word. I sat back in my bed and sighed. The sunlight beamed through my window right onto my pillow. Well, that's the light I thought was heaven. I saw something else outside. Alyssa was standing there, in her human form, staring at me through the window. She was startled when I noticed her, and I waved awkwardly. She returned half a smile, then left.

I am glad she is well, Devin.

Is it wrong for me to love a demon?

It took a moment for his response. I don't believe it is. We can't choose who we love, nor who loves us. I don't believe it is anyone's right to judge what is correct to love, and what isn't. Love who you wish, Devin Anson. Do not think of what is right or wrong.

Will there be more demons?

I can almost guarantee it. It has been a very long time since a human has successfully killed a demon, and the first time any have killed a Pit Fiend. You are now, and forever will be, a prize for demons to collect. I'm afraid this is just the beginning. Greater numbers, and more powerful demons, will come for you.

I didn't really expect it to be over, not by a long shot. I didn't care though, I had a life now. I had friends. I was in love. Sure I was going to have to fight demons for, probably, the rest of my life, and the woman I loved was a whole other can of worms. But, with all that considered, it still sounded better than being invisible.

I took it all in, and I smiled.


*****
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