Demon King: The Werewolf And The Lily
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Amanda has been living happily in the village for years. Her ancestor, a Mage that helped the Hero in subjugating the Demon King about 500 years ago, made sure that the village becomes rich and abundant. Along with her friends – Irene, Jessica, and Grace – they promised to spend the next harvest festival together as they did this year. Until Jessica suddenly left with her lover. Amanda found it mysterious. After a year, Amanda was introduced to a noble during the Harvest Festival. It was supposed to be a routine marriage interview until she woke up in a place that she did not recognize. In the mountain beyond the thick forest that surrounds the village, a large castle looms with darkness. Will Amanda find the truth about her situation, or will she find love instead?
Chapter 1 Prologue
The Dark Forest is a vast area of woodlands so thick that the sunlight hardly penetrates through the canopy. Even when the sun is high up in the sky at noon, the heart of the Dark Forest is only ever as bright as the dawn breaking and never really fully committing to a full morning. Because sunlight barely gets through, the forest gets colder the deeper one goes inside. Because of this and some other reasons, the forest has become home to various creatures that are rarely seen outside. Creatures that could only be known in books and are considered to be merely created by fantasy.
Towering on the north of the forest is a ragged mountain that is hardly accessible. An old castle sits at its peak. It had been said that the castle is home to an evil lord that was vanquished by the hero 500 years ago. When one stands on the terrace of the castle overlooking the forest, one sees a stone altar surrounded by a circular column of large stones and slabs deep in the heart of the forest. The location of the altar is the only clearing amid the dark thicket and no one knows when this altar was made or who uses it. There were rumors that it was used as a sacrificial area for the previous demon lord.
It was on top of this one altar that a young girl – barely 15 years old – woke up. As she opened her eyes, she saw the full moon shining brightly above her. A cold midnight breeze blew and the girl shivered, all she had on her was a thin white cloth that barely covered her skin. Her hands and feet were bound to stubs of metal connected to each corner of the altar and her mouth was gagged with cloth. It took her a minute to understand her situation – the moon, her clothing, the bounds on her foot, and the vast expanse of woodland surrounding her. The growls and distant calls of unknown creatures cemented her previous conjecture. She is in the middle of the Dark Forest and she has just become the sacrifice.
Dread has overcome her and she started to pull her hands and feet, trying to get free from the bounds. The tight knot of the rope scraped against her wrists and ankles and she started to bleed. The horror, the pain, and the coldness made her start to cry. She could not believe the situation that she was in. Just a few hours ago she was with her friends. They were celebrating the harvest festival and she had food too many. Then she wakes up and finds herself bound in the middle of the forest, waiting to be taken by whatever creature is coming for her.
A few minutes passed and her arms and legs started to feel sore from struggling. Her throat felt dry. She wanted to urinate and she had been holding it in for like an eternity. She stopped crying now, she was too weak to even groan. After struggling for a long time, she finally succumbed and surrendered to her fate in the middle of this desolate place. Soon after, she heard the flapping of what seemed to be large wings. The area started to dim as an overcast shadow of a flying creature started to swoop down to where she was. As the creature got closer, she soon realized that it was not a bird – at least the wings were not made of feathers.
The huge wings looked like overstretched skin framed by long bony fingers. The creature itself seems like a giant bat, except the features are more humanoid. The limbs were thin and springy, the torso was small and rounded at the belly, but the ribs and clavicles were prominent at the chests. The face and the head were even more grotesque. The creature is balding with wisps of hair at the back of its head. The eyes were almost slit-like and burned red. The nose – if you would ever call it – is merely two vertical slits. The creature’s ears were long. A short description of it would be like a cross between a bat and a man – in a single word, a gargoyle.
The girl whimpered as the gargoyle drew closer. It seems to be talking to her but all she hears are growls and squeaks. The girl could not believe what she was seeing. It is a creature that is supposed to be confined to books and stories made to scare off children. It was not supposed to exist unless this was nothing but a dream. ‘That’s right! This could be just a dream and nothing more,’ she thought to herself. She was supposed to wake up anytime soon and would jump out of her bed – just like what happened when she had nightmares before. But she never woke up, she remained awake and the creature was standing right beside her. The pain in her arms and legs only made her understanding of reality even worse.
The creature started to reach out towards her; on its bony fingers were long claw-like nails. The girl almost lost her control from the fear and she finally let go of what she had been holding in. Her humiliation and fear intermingled as warmth and wetness spread along her legs. The piss spread through the altar and flowed towards the edges. The creature did not seem to mind as it was busy slashing up the rope that bound the girl to the altar. This is not the first time anyway, when seen during the day, the altar has dredge marks of different forms of liquid – rainwater, urine, blood, slime – and the creature only has one job: to gather the sacrifice and take it to its master.
The girl’s mind has gone to a far-off place now. In her mind, she has already woken up to a new day. In her mind, she is already preparing for the day to help her mother in the kitchen to cook breakfast and pack lunch for her father and brothers, of course, she will include one for her lover as well. Their village is mostly farmland so the boys at this time work in the fields to harvest. In the evening, the harvest festival continues and it will be merry just like the previous night, yes, it was the night when she woke up with a nightmare. That was a very bad dream and she will talk about it with her lover and her friends and they will just laugh it off.
It was all in her mind though, in reality, her eyes had turned glassy and dead. She has become devoid of all feelings. She did not even feel the creature carrying her toward the castle. She did not hear the voice of the Demon King ordering his maid to wash her and replace the cloth on her. She did not notice that the maid pulling her around the castle had a snake’s body instead of legs. She did not notice the moving statues leering at her along the hallways. She did not flinch as she was dipped in the warm bath – too warm for an average human. She woke up the next day in a strange large bed in an even larger room. She will stay here for about a year – until the next sacrifice arrives.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
“Hey! Where’s Jessica?!” a girl asked her friends, one of them seemed to be missing.
“I don’t know. She was talking to someone earlier,” answered one of her friends.
“Isn’t she just with Carl? The wine she drank seemed to put her in the mood,” answered another one mischievously.
“Oh! Right! Lucky her,” the girl who first asked replied. The group of friends walked around the festival grounds all through the night. They ate from the food stalls, played games with the others, and met with other friends. They did not know that their friend has already been brought somewhere else. That they would never see her again in not least than a year – unless she kills herself in that place. They did not know that another one will be gone at the next festival.
Inside the village head’s mansion, a group of men is in talking about the harvest festival. The sound of the festivities and the voices of the villager can be heard even inside the conference room. Every year, they perform the selection ritual – they will randomly choose the next pure maiden from the list and prepare her for the next harvest festival.
“This has been a ritual since the establishment of our village,” the village chief addressed the men in attendance, “This is the only way to ensure that the Demon King would leave us alone.”
“The selection that is guided by the hands of fate will now begin,” said a person in an older and rasped voice, “I will now pick from the box.”
The room was tense and silent. They know that this is an important event for the village but they are still anxious. Most of them have their daughters listed among the candidates. A young girl starts to become a Candidate when she turns 13 and she will be on the list until she gets married or until she reaches 20 years old.
“Oh! It seems that next year’s festival is highly favored,” the old man said as he read the name, “The village chief’s daughter has been chosen!”
Chapter 2 The Village Lily
No child in the village is not fascinated by the story of The Hero and the Demon King. Even some of the grown-ups are still fantasizing about the tale – men still think about defeating a Demon King and being a hero while women think about marrying a Hero who has defeated the Demon King. Among the villagers, there was one who was the most fascinated about the tale not because she wanted to be the Hero or meet one, she just loved the twists and turns in the story itself. This person is none other than the village chief’s only child: Amanda.
Ever since she could remember, she had repeatedly heard about the story from the Village Elders and different adults. Even her mother would read the children’s version of the tale before bedtime. She was amazed at how the Hero returned and gained friends to defeat the Demon King. How the gods supported the Hero, and the fact that her ancestors directly came from the Mage who created their village. Having a close historical tie to the Hero is
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