Saturday, June 18, 2016

Before my eyes, the man's face contorted into a garish, skull-like visage, changed by the demon inside him.

168 A.D.
Country of Wa

Before my eyes, the man's face contorted into a garish, skull-like visage, changed by the demon inside him. Hungry red tongues burst from his armored hands and engulfed his longblade. Even amid the din of the battle, I could hear the voice of the demon within him, taking control of my friend and companion, Wei Zhi.

It was laughing. It knew me and I knew it for what it was.

I screamed out to the Fallen, "Kasai-musuko, you have no place here! Depart this vessel, and leave this man in peace!" I spat out a mouthful of my own blood.

The demon laughed at me. "Pitiful! You, who deem yourself greater than you are, you seek to cast me into Oblivion? You think too highly of yourself, Tenet!" The creature's right hand erupted into a dancing orb of flame and I could see there was more here than mere heat and flame. This was baelfire - an unholy corruption of Divine Power itself.

My odd eyes widened. What stood before me was no mere "son of the flame", as I had called it. I needed to know more. I needed to know with whom I was dealing. I changed tactics, circling the creature who had inhabited my blood-brother. "Wei Zhi! Fight this corruption inside you my brother! Remember your training! Remember my tales of the Holy Light! This thing that has taken over your form - it is NOT YOU! You can fight this!"

The demonic samurai laughed. "Your friend cannot hear you, Betrayer. He is here with us of his own free will."

I screamed in defiance. Part of me was afraid of this creature, afraid that he knew far more about me than I he--a very dangerous thing with any of the Fallen, but especially with one powerful enough to call and command balefire--but also afraid that the demon's words were true. I let my sword lead the way and launched a series of furious blows. "You lie, O Vassal of the Lord of Lies! You do not know my friend and you have not entered him without a battle!"

The fiend was fast and deflected my blows easily, with almost no effort at all. My attacks were formidable and would have felled even the most proficient human warrior, but to this thing, they seemed inconsequential. With a word from the demon, red-hot balefire sprang into my face and I screamed in pain as my flesh was consumed by the ravenous, near-living tongues of hellish fire.

That pain was quickly followed by it's larger and more powerful brother--agony--as the demon samurai drove his longblade up to the hilt into my belly. His garish, flesh-less face next to mine, I could smell his sulfurous breath and hear the long echoes of Hell in his voice. "You see, Betrayer..." a clawed fingertip tapped the cloth fetish around his neck. It appeared to be a woman's silk scarf, embroidered with symbols that swam across its surface with arcane and diabolical energy. "...your friend, Wei Zhi has pledged himself to the protection of Pimiko, she who shall soon be Empress."

It was then that I realized how dire this situation really was. If Wei Zhi had, in fact, sworn fealty to the sorceress Pimiko, then his soul might be forever lost...

Art Source: "Demon Samurai" (c)/byJasonTN
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Tenet, #TenetTales, #DemonSamurai, #WeiZhi, #Pimiko, #CountryofWa, #CivilWarofWa, #Kasai-musuko, #balefire, #Betrayer


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