Understanding the Difference Between a Monster and a Man

In a world where social class really depends on what species you are, a young man discovers that a lot of what he thought might not be true. Like that he's human and that Daemons and Demons are the same thing. Most importantly that most of the social classes tend to look down not on the Demons but on Humanity


1. In Reality

Devon was twenty when he figured out exactly who he was, specifically what he was. He was an inhuman, something evil, or so he had been taught. He was a daemon, something he had always considered comparable to a demon, an evil presence. When he met Jon, his mentor, his protector, everything he had ever thought about his social status was flipped upside down. Everything he had been taught was a lie, fabricated not by the ones at the top of the social order but the ones directly in the middle. Humans, make these rules not the Angels not the Demons human beings. To say he was surprised was a vast understatement.

When he turned twenty seven he had completed his training as a royal gaurd of The Kingdom of Draun. He was a skilled fighter and a master of summoning magic, quite a feat for someone as young as himself he was told. It was quite the change of pace to have people stare as he passed through a crowd, something quite common for a member of the guard. To think he had gone from an ignorant young man who had been quite convinced he was a normal human being. Someone who would have turned and ran had he known what would lay ahead of him in the upcoming seven years. The fact that he would be expected to master a skill he wasn't aware he possessed in time of war would seem farfetched. It started when his now captain he called upon his home and brought him to the first regiment barracks in the kingdom's capitol.

"Alright kid since you seem to know nothing about the hierarchy of your own damn society it's time for a lesson in social order. First of all at the tippy top you got Angels, like Jeff over there" The older man motioned towards the figure seated at the table, his arms were covered in tattoos, a swirling pattern of color and design inked across his flesh He had a black, metal ring pierced through his bottom lip, His ear, eyebrow and nose all shared little identical pinpricks. "Him?" Devon asked trying, and failing, not to seem too suprised. "That's an angel?" The other man glared. "Well excuse the hell out of me, Ya' know we aren't all exactly the type of angels you'd read about in bible school buddy. I'm not one of those 'holier than thou' assholes you'd run into on the streets." He snapped, Devon could hear the click of metal against his teeth as he talked, he assumed due to another piecing. "He's right, angels aren't exactly the holiest thing on the face of the earth. They may have cleansing and other purifying powers but they aren't always the most decent of folk." Jon said. "Damn straight they aren't!" Jeff added, grey eyes flashing menacingly. Devon could feel mood shift in the room as the other two made eye contact, a silent agreement to move on was made. "I really don't think I should have to explain humans but" He pointed at the red headed man that sat in the other room, "there one is." The elder steered him into the living room and away from the seething angel.

Shane was absorbed in the large book he had propped in his lap when the they entered the living room. "Shane is as normal and ordinary as they come, minus the temper and the obsession with the paranormal." Jon explained seating himself beside the younger man. "I don't have a temper, you're just annoying as hell." He grumbled adjusting his thin framed glasses. "I'm not annoying!" Jon protested indignantly. "Yeah, you are. You're like a whiny four year old." Shane gave up on trying to read and turned to face the other. "You've been this way since we were kids and it's been annoying since then." he stated flatly. "Ah but you love me anyways." Jon beamed ruffling his hair playfully. "Love is a strong word." Shane replied, fighting a smile as he swatted his hand away. "I tolerate you and your hyperactive weirdness, most of the time." He added off handedly. "And if that isn't true love then I don't know what is." The other teased. Devon shuffled his feet uneasily, the movement caught Jon's eye. "Oh yeah I forgot you were here for a second." He laughed getting to his feet. "Shane always side tracks me with his pretty eyes and nerdy good looks." He added shooting a sideways look at his lifelong friend to catch his eye roll and faint blush. "Screw yourself." was mumbled as he returned to his book. "Next stop on the tour," Jon started steering the younger man into one of the bedrooms, "me". He closed the door an unsettled look coming across his usual laid back features.

"Daemons, what you and I are..." He took a deep breath, "are considered to be lesser than humans, because we can control the seven elements in our world" He fidgeted with the hem of his t-shirt, green eyes downcast. "We are the freaks, not human but not inhuman either. We don't fit. The humans are afraid of us and we want nothing to do with demons. So we're stuck in the middle." There was anger in his voice a low growl that sounded almost inhuman. He cleared his throat eyes seeming almost to be melting, melting into a pool of molten emerald that reflected the flames inside his body. "wait you said seven elements?" Devon asked rising and eyebrow in confusion. "Yes. Seven the number that comes after six but before eight" Jon sighed in annoyance.

"Now pay attention, a Daemon can control these elements and-" He began again before the younger man interrupted once more "How are there seven elements? I thought there were only four?" He pressed, it was really starting to be of concern for him. "There just are I didn't make the damn rules." The elder snapped, running a hand down his face in frustration. "Just listen for like six minutes ok because this is important. This is about you and where you stand in all of this crazy, messed up, world." He hesitated, just in case he might be interrupted again, when he wasn't the daemon continued. "When you're born a daemon, you're born with control over one of the elements.

"Your powers, however don't develop until the user is in their teens. I was born with the mark of the flame, it's one of the more common elements." he elaborated calmly, rolling up his sleeve to expose a small back mark on his shoulder, it looked like the flame a match produced. "I can only summon fire if..." He trailed off and pressed his hand against his mark and it began to glow red. Jon snapped his fingers and a small flame appeared over his finger, like he had flicked a lighter. "Fire Daemon, at your service." He grinned admiring the flame he produced.

He extinguished the flame, smothering it in his hand, and turned to the younger man. "You're special though kid, I'm on special order to teach you how to use your power." He sighed looking him over. "Why? and by who?" Devon pressed still wide eyed from the display of magic. "The King" Jon shrugged. "The King? You know the King?" Devon's asked in disbelief, everything he had been taught was that it was mortals and angels who serviced the king. "Well it'd be hard to be a part of his guard and not know the guy" The older man replied as if this was all common knowledge.

"You're a member of the king's guard?" He asked, wide eyed. Jon nodded, looking quite proud of himself. "I've been in his service for several years now, since I was eighteen I believe." He said, screwing his eyes shut as if trying to remember. "What about the others?" He asked looking back towards the rest on the house. "All my fellow guardsmen." He affirmed with a nod and a smile. "We've known each other for years, some of the best according to our instructors." The hint of pride in the man's face was endearing in an odd way, he looked like a young child who had received good marks in a class he shouldn't be taking.

"So why has the king chosen me?" Devon asked scratching his head, a puzzled expression passing of his features. "Well according to him you contain a rare power that he trusts me to train you in mastering, and for using it for the right cause." he said grimly. "Seeing as you didn't even know what you were three days ago I suggest we find your mark. I can't train a power if I don't know where it is." He sighed examining the younger boy before him. He clapped his hands together, "Right, off with your clothes then. This shouldn't take long at all." He said way to comfortably for Devon's liking. "This should be fun, not awkward at all" Devon grumbled, pulling his shirt over his head.

It didn't take long to find the small black mark on his ribcage, it was easy enough to miss if you weren't sure what you were looking for to begin with. "Well you are a rarity indeed, only seen one other person with that symbol" Jon whistled as he backed away. The mark was shaped like a fissure across his skin, a crack spanning along his rib cage. "You my young friend are a summoner." Jon said as if it was some kind of grand title. "And that means what exactly? I'm new to all of this remember?" Devon sighed tugging his shirt over his head. "Well, seeing as is this is rare I can only speculate, but as far as I know it means you can summon a companion to assist you in battle. Or any other time, not sure if you can banish them or not, it's been a while" He mused, head cocked to the side. "Either way the principle still stands. I can train you in how to activate and control your powers. Albeit on a very basic level in the case." He said circling him as he spoke. "So what do I just have to press my mark and I'll summon something?" He asked cocking and eyebrow. "Sure you can go ahead and try if you'd like" Jon said, a smirk crossing his features and drawing attention to a scar over the man's eye he had somehow failed to notice until now. He made a mental note to ask him about it some other time. Devon took a breath, reached under his shirt, and pressed a finger to the mark.

And nothing. He furrowed his brow and looked down his shirt, it wasn't even glowing. "I figured as much, you aren't ready yet" Jon said casually. "What do you mean? I thought my powers were already developed?" Devon snapped in annoyance. "They are but you aren't ready to use them, something is holding you back. Probably the fact that this is all so weird and confusing to you.

We'll study everyday to help you get over your culture shock and in a week or two I'm sure you'll be summoning a ghoul or two in no time" He said with a small reassuring smile. "A ghoul. I'm going to be summon a ghoul?" He asked looking at his own hands in disbelief. "Ah, don't pay the rumors any mind. Ghouls are good people, or monsters, usually. I work with a lot of them around the castle, they help out The King quite a bit, I've seen them sparing with some of the recruits." He said casually.

There was a knock on the door a few moments after he had finished his sentence. "What? I'm teaching in here" He snapped. "Jason's here for you" Shane called through the door. "Now? It's like seven at night" He asked opening the door. Devon followed him out into the living room, curious as to who this Jason guy was. Sitting on the arm of one of the recliners was a kid who hardly looked older than himself. The first thing Devon noticed about him was he was black, like the night sky.

His eyes were a bright blue, like the water you might find in the Caribbean. What stood out the most however were his teeth, they were all canines, like those of a wolf. His hair blended in with his the color of his skin and was short and shaggy. He bowed before Jon as he entered. "My Lord it is good to see you" his voice was much deeper than he expected with his apparent young age. "Jason, we've gone over this. You don't have to bow before me. I serve The King just like you." Jon sighed helping extending a hand and pulling him to his feet once again.

"Yes, sir I apologize." he said sounding embarrassed. "The King requires you, as well as the rest of the guard to assemble as soon as possible, there is news on the warfront." He stated, eyes sparkling with excitement. "I'll assemble them at once, thank you Jason. You are dismissed." Jon stated, he sounded so formal talking to the younger man, it was strange. Jason nodded and exitied the front door with a nod directed at the others in the room."Devon stay here, rest up, we'll be back soon enough." He said, with that same formal authority. Devon nodded but didn't move, he wanted to see how this was all going to unfold.

Shane and Jeff stood side by side, as if waiting for instruction to move. "Jeff, I want you to wake the second barracks leaders and have them meet us in the courtyard." Jon ordered looking at the angel. He nodded and for the first time Devon saw an angel's wings. They were nothing like that you would see in the paintings of early Christian artists, they were feathered but more so like that of a bird of prey, dark browns and black and massive. Jeff was gone out the back door in moments. "Shane, you ride ahead and make sure no lower officers try to listen in again.

The King would have my ass for it. I'll give the rookie a six second summary and meet up with you there." He said flatly looking at Devon over his shoulder. "Yes, sir" Shane said with and nod, he followed Jeff out thought the back. "Welcome to living with members of the guard" Jon laughed, his voice dropping the tone of authority for his casual, laid back demeanor. "The kid, with the dog teeth is a hound, yes they exist as well and most serve as messengers, such as Jason.

The reason I give the orders is because it's my duty as captain of the guard, and yes I do often go to war briefings in times where we are in fact at war." He said casually. Devon's head was spinning he could hardly believe he was here, being trained by the captain of the royal guard in a skill he didn't know he had. "I know it's a lot to ask of you to grasp all at once but, I really do have to go. I promise I'll explain more when I get back but for now, rest. Jon said sounding a bit sheepish. And with that left his apprentice in the barracks. He had an appointment with his king and he did not want to keep him waiting.

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