Return of the Reaper

Thousands of years ago, the Reaper, Demon Lord and ruler of all Creation, was betrayed and his empire turned to dust. Now he has returned, and is looking for revenge on the one who betrayed him.


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39. Chapter thirty nine

 The evacuation of the civilians was done in a surprisingly orderly fashion. Queen Ingrid had thought the rumors about demons to be nothing more than idle nonsense, but the arrival of Brügenmord’s king with thousands of refugees and one gigantic demon along his retinue convinced her otherwise: the world was about to turn into a gigantic battlefield, and, should men stand divided, they wouldn’t survive. As soon as she made was convinced of how dire the situation truly was, she ordered her city’s evacuation. Whoever wanted to stay could do so, but the noblemen and the army would leave, and the city would be left at the demons’ mercy.

 

 She was now in her war room, watching everything that was said or done. At her side, Erandiril tried to convince her to preemptively negotiate at least some basic terms of alliance between both races. She had been exposing for a few minutes about how beneficial this could be, when the queen’s limited patience got to an end. “What would be the real cost of such an alliance?” She snapped “For centuries your kind has looked down on us. When we were savage and disorganized, you would treat us as playthings, taking whatever you wished from us and razing our villages just for the pleasure of watching us run for our lives. Do you think our memories are so short? We do not forget, and we know you only take us into consideration now that we are strong. For the moment you are welcome here, but the terms of entry to your kingdom I shall discuss with the lords of your race, not lackeys like you.”

 

 Erandiril understood the queen’s feelings, and found she couldn’t blame her for her mistrust. Many evils had the fae unleashed upon the kingdoms of men, and they couldn’t expect them to be forgotten just because a stronger enemy appeared. With a sigh, she went down to the city: at least there she could find people who would value her opinions because of their worth, not because of her race.

 

 Meanwhile, on the walls, Beast and the Reaper looked down on the city.

 

 “Look, brother,” Said the Reaper “Thousands of lives sent into disarray because of our mere presence. We bring change to this world, when it should change to its own accord. No longer do we have a place here: the time of the strong has passed, and now the meek shall inherit the land. Once Death in the Wind and his army are destroyed, I shall cease to meddle in the affairs of mortals.”

 

 Beast stood watching the city for a long while before answering “The truth is, we are already dead. We take borrowed time to live in a world that no longer belongs to us, a world into which we have no place. War and conquest mean nothing when you can crush your enemies like bugs. Glory is irrelevant when it comes with no effort. You are right, brother: once the dust has settled, we should take our leave from these lesser races. Perhaps on some distant future they will become strong again, and we’ll be able to battle like before.”

 

 The Reaper nodded, watching the people moving on with their lives, oblivious to the demons that so many changes had brought upon them.

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