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 Chapter 3: Fall of Pride

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PostSubject: Chapter 3: Fall of Pride   Wed May 25, 2011 2:20 pm

"Its always most amusing listening to humans who claim they have nothing left to lose". It was a meeting at the seat of Pride. Several of the pride demons gathered at once, stood before Jowan who was now making his talk. Apparantly Jack had gotten some of it wrong. He hadn't been leading the others in an assault against the lords of madness. Rather, he had been in the human world. The others of course, had been fighting madness demons. Jowan was at the moment giving his little brief of activities he partook in whilst there. However Jack couldn't help but doubt every word. Ever since the others got back he had been chastised for his absense in the fight. Called lazy by some, worse by others. It was amusing considering none of them actually knew the truth behind the matter. Jack knew Jowan had a family in the human world and knew that it was all too likely that this family was the true activity that Jowan had been taking part in. Playing father. How many times. Jack thought. Just how many times had Jowan slipped off to the human world and played that role. A dual life. It had to be difficult to keep up the mask of both. And in the end, the only one who knew, was the one who had to endure the scorn. Jowan would never reveal that Jack had been on a mission to cover up that little secret by killing a clan of desire demons. Despite the scorn he was recieving, he'd waded throguh far more bodies to get that covered up than his kin had fighting madness. It was this idea that had put him in a foul mood listening to this little speech of Jowans. Oh how he longed for the day when he could just out right disembowl that bastard. It would be a satisfying day indeed. " And then I crushed the skull of another hunter after feeding on his family...yes, that will teach them not to mess with demons of pride....shame that Jack couldn't be as useful...just spent your week sitting about here eh Jack?". A mocking grin. Jack's eyes slanted. A warning. Jowan was pushing his luck. Toeing that ever loving line. The two locked eyes for awhile. It was a challenge. In the end. Jowan looked away first. Victory was his. Not a substantial one but. Baby steps. Baby steps. Any victory was a victory. And at least this showed that Jowan feared what Jack knew. He had a hold over the leader. Excellent. All at once his confidence over the victory was broken as Elisha, the female demon of pride who aspired to be Jowan's personal ass kiss. Spoke up. " Yes Jack, he brings up a good point...just what were you doing whilst we were fighting for clan?". Jack merely crossed his arms, not breaking his gaxe at Jowan. " Just as our leader said". Confidence began to once again grow. As a cynical stab at Jowan formed on his lips. " I've just been around here...sitting on my hands...". He felt like letting out laughter, but knew that he too was toeing the line. One day it would come to blows between he and Jowan. But not today.

The meeting broke as it usually did after a few hours. The rest of his kind taking their leave from the Seat and moving out on their own. One thing he did notice however was the number of ass kissers among them had grown slightly beyond Elisha. Whether this was just second handed ass kissing due to Jowan's current power or genuine loyalty was another thing to be seen. But it would give him something to think about. If he revolted against Jowan and tried to take the seat. Just how many of his kin would he need to slay along with him?

One must understand however, it was not neccisarily that he cared about killing any of them. It was just a question of numbers and threat levels. Jack was already sure that he was stronger than Jowan. Sure enough in his own abilities that he could best Jowan in a one on one fight. But the others, if they rallied with him. There might be problems. For that reason Jack was one who would resort to more, cowardly. Or as he prefered to think. Smart methods of dealing with the issue. He was a demon of Pride to be sure. And the idea of attacking someone in their sleep and killingt hem rather than facing them in honourable combat went against this ideal. But Jack was also prideful in his sense of intellect. He knew it was stupid to try and take them all at once. So. He would for the short of it. Assasinate them. " Just what are you grinning at Jack?". Elisha. Typical. " Oh nothing, speaking of which Elisha what are you doing later on?". She gazed at him with suspicious eyes. " Nothing...why?". Jack shrugged. " No reason". An inner grin. Let the games begin. Elisha would be the first to go. That much was obvious. After that he'd conduct his own little investigation to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Reap those who were loyal to Jowan and...consider. Sparing the rest. It all really came down to how much a liability they were. Jack had no qualms about killing his entire clan. Taking over the seat of Pride, was only one small step in his rise to power. Whenever Elisha said that she was doing nothing, it meant one thing. She was heading out to the plains of Externus to do some hunting. He couldn't blame her. After all he'd left his trail of blood and bodies the other day after a monster meal. Both literal, and metaphorical. His plan was at this stage simple.He was taking no risks in killing her directly. He went out into the plains and transformed into his true form.

Taking to the skies as the winged arch demon. He then hunted for any sign of her. Keeping to this form would mean that there would be no way to trace the kill. People would just assume she had bit off more than she could chew. This form was unknown to any of his kin.Jowan included. He followed her trail of bodies easily enough, and then as his blood began to sense the oni taint within her. He swooped down lower. Shew as finishing off one kill before he landed on the ground. His landing cracking the earth below. His demon aura pushing out and down on her. The look of surprise and terror on her face was to say the least, enjoyable. But he couldn't mock her. At least not now. Maybe when she was on the verge of death. In her terror she lashed out with a whip like tail. The strength behind it was great, but he was far stronger. He grasped the tail in his hand. he tightened his grip. Pain clearly apparant on her face. But it would be nothing compared to what he would do next. He tuggled hard, and she was swept off her feet. He lifted a massive foot and stomped down on the tail. But he kept pulling. The sound of tearing flesh and inhuman screams filled the air. In his hand the dismembered tail. On the ground the Pride Demon Elisha, shivering in agony and terror. He tossed the tail to the side and lifted her up by the hair. In this form he towered over her. Lifting her was easy. She dangled above the ground. Legs flailing away. He grunted. And punched. The force of the impact sent a resounding crack, ribs crunching under the impact. Her breath shot out of her lungs. Gasping for air whilst blood dripped from her mouth. He punched agan. This time less resistance, the first blow seemed to shatter most of the opposition force. He then dropped her limp body to the ground. This form was powerful. But it wouldn't be the one he delivered the death blow with. He placed a foot on her throat, she heaved away, barely able to breath with her ribs shattered into thousands of pieces. So surprised was she to see, when he transformed back. That her tormentor was one of her own. The last words she managed to stutter. " What....are you?". Jack began to let out a dark chuckle. Stomp down, twist. Neck snap.

" I'm ....complicated".

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Fall of Pride   Wed May 25, 2011 2:22 pm

II

Elisha's death for the most part went unknown for the good part of two weeks. Her body was recovered, although somewhat chewed. There was anger and a sense of loss around her death. He himself didn't show any however. But it wasn't surprising for anyone. Nor did it make him look suspicious. It was well known the two had no love for each other. And so it would have probably looked more suspicious if he actually tried to fein grief. Still his lack of emotives wasn't earning him any friends. But then consider he had no issues about putting them in a box along with Elisha. It didn't bother him too much. Her body was thrown into one of the magma pits, best of an honourable funeral as she could have gotten. Personally Jack would have just left her for the beasts. An investigation into her death did go ahead. But ti was determined by the marks and injuries on her body that it was a demon far larger than them. And that she'd likely been killed whilst out hunting. Which is precisely what Jack had anted them to think.Everything fell into place nicely. The pride demons didn't suspect a thing and there was no open point for retaliation. There were no victims in the underworld. Only cohabitant murderers. Still the death of Elisha seemed to effect Jowan, and it raised his own sense of suspicion as several days passed and there was no call for him to attend the seat. Which was...out of place.Its odd when things like that happen, scenarios start playing out in ones head, often making a person paranoid. And in trying to avoid these scenarios they usually ended up running into another one. So. Wiseman kept himself calm. And went out hunting on these open days. Keeping the fields around the Seat of Pride clear. Eventually the call for him to attend did come. And he made sure to take his normal time about arriving. Not too quick not too late. He had to keep everything normal as if nothing had happened at all. He didn't like all this sneaking around and paranoia. He would have much rather just started chopping off heads. But then again, he wasn't an idiot. He knew just what would happen if he tried such a direct approach at the moment. At the moment. Jowans face was grave, pale. The man didn't look awfully well when Jack approached the seat. The clicking of his cane and typical cheshire grin. " You called?". His voice echoing in the empty halls. Jowan didn't moved his face. Just his eyes. " Yes". Silence then for a moment. The air was tense. Far more so than usual. " Elisha is dead". Jack raised an eyebrow. Grin falling. " I'm aware, I watched her body burn if you recall". Jowan stood up, slamming the base of his fist into the thrones arm rest. " And it was a desicration that you did!". Jack shrugged. Keeping his cool. He wondered if Jowan actually knew anything or if he was just blowing off so much steam. " Its not my fault her lips were too tightly pressed to your ass to see the demon coming behind her". Once again the master of the Pride demons growled. This time actually throwing himself at Jack. At this point Jack was faced with a decision. Draw his sword, counter and imaple Jowan. Or avoid it. Continue as it was. He went for the latter. Rushing into things was never good. Jack side stepped. Jowan missing him, fist outstretched. Jack drew back. And his fist connected with the leaders cheek. sending him crashing down into the floor.

Oddly at this point, Jowan smirked, and let out a singular false laugh. " You...are faster than I recall". Jack shrugged. Jowan continued however. " But you didn't try to kill me....there was...a suspicion....you are absolved of that now". Jack raised a brow, planting his cane on the ground and leaning on it. " What sort of suspicion?". For a moment he really did have to wonder, after all they had absolutely nothing on him. " It was foolish". Said Jowan. " The others heard you asking where she would be on the day of the meeting, they thought that you may have had her killed for mocking you...I thought perhaps it had been my own fault...that I should have covered you better rather than mocking....still...you didn't make a move to kill me...you are absolved in my eyes". Interesting. It seemed that Jowan was closer than he thought to the truth. But enough was covered up that the truth motives wern't revealed. Still. He learned one interesting thing from that little experience. That there was no wheat among this group. They were all chaff. They would all have to be silenced.

That night came another dream. At least he hoped it was a dream. The annoyance caused by it was unreal. Ceila was sitting at the edge of his feet. Singing into the night with an open, light toned hypnotic voice. " Two little boys, had two little toys...one was a wooden...horse....one little boy...he fell and broke his toy...and cried till his mother came home...". She turned to face him. In her hands two puppets which seemed to be designed after both himself and Jowan. [i] " No...no...you will not have my toy, said the elder...boy...one younger boy began to laugh and destroy. ". She stepped forward her legs over his. "...Laugh and cry...scream and die....it will never bring back your toy".

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Fall of Pride   Wed May 25, 2011 2:22 pm

III

it had to be a dream, it was the only logical explaination. And yet ti had all felt so real. Like his blood boiling, warming as he felt that familar presense that told him a fellwow demon was nearby. He had felt it there with Ceila. That was something that no dream could fake. No halucianation could put into his head. It was something else entirely. Annoyance and confusion. It was amusing calling the lords of madness mad, after all it seemed that every single oni he crossed was insane in one way or another. Perhpas in truth the lords of madness were the only sane ones in this place. That everyone elses definition of sanity did not apply. Its amusing how in some cases, getting caught up with life can stop us from actually living it. In Jacks instance, his goals. Training and power mongering were preventing him from moving anywhere outside of hell for at least another bit yet. A life ruled by duty and ambition. Although at least hew ould try and have fun with the ambition part of it. The enxt death was on the head of one Azazel. A larger member of the clan of pride who much like Elisha was a supporter of Jowan. But not to the extent that hed din't get along with Jack. In a way Jack didn't quite like the idea that he would have to kill Azazel. But such was life. Or. Death. Really depended on what way you looked at it. Jackw as sitting down to dinner with Azazel. A fresh kill over a spit roasted fire. The man was an excellent cook and even made social cannibalism taste good. Which was one of the reasons that Jack was going to miss him. The man was a hearty laugher. And after swallowing 3 plates full of rotessary Yokai he entered into a laugh and to put it frank. Couldn't stop. He just kept laughing, Until his face smacked down onto the ground. Dead. Jack sighed, cleaning up what he could of the meal before chucking Azazels body into the nearest magma pit. This one was going to look too suspicious if he just left the body. Azazel was more of a glutton than a pride. So, poison seemed like the best idea. And what better poison did the demon of pride have than his own tainted blood, marinated onto the meat whilst Azazels back was turned. The blood wouldn't effect him so. At least he could enjoy the rest of the meal without letting the mans final work go to waste. Another meeting. This time he was fairly convinced that the blame had soley been placed on him this time. At least in the midns of the other demons of pride. " So Jack". He spoke, his eyes were blank, his face expressionless. Revealing nothing about his inner thoughts. " You were the last one seen with Azazel". He shifted himself in the seat. " So, what happened?". Jack shrugged, the other Pride demons wern't too happy at that. " What do you want me to say Jowan? We had a meal together, I went back home. He stayed around to finish the left overs". Jack just shrugged again, playing non chalaunt. Jowan grumbled. " So shortly after Elisha's death, another of our number goes mising, once again there is reason to suspect you". Jack looked at Jowan with a rather convincing threatening look. " Azazel is different. We got on. Elisha I held no love for and her death I did not mourn. But Azazel was a good man. He shall be missed". Jowan looked at him for a few moments. There was a grunt among the other demons of pride. Jowan made a dismissing gesture. " Very well. I'll take your word. But watch your step. I'll be watching".

Of course there were threats. But ultimately that only strengthened the reolve of Jack to see this through of course, now that everyone suspected him he was going to have to be more cautious as far as killing them went. But at the same time he would have to do it quickly. Take them all out if possible within the one night. That was going to be hard. But thena gain. He could always just do to them what Jowan had done to Ceila. An ironic sort of revenge for the girl. Its then he thought.Killing his ilk, perhaps that could be considered a form of madness, if so. Was it possible that this was just a curse of madness placed upon him by Ceila before she had died. Was he merely enacting out a final revenge thinking that he was pushing towards his ultimate goal? Perhaps, but even if it was. They would have to die anyways. It didn't much matter about whether or not this was his will or Ceilas will. They wouldn't follow him, they followed Jowan. Thus, they needed to die. That was the only way it could ever possibly be. He couldn't let them escape. Couldn't let them run. He would hunt them down and end them. For only that way could his rule over pride be set in stone and absolute. Jacks first moves for killing them all were simple enough, although he'd known the habbits of Azazel and Elisha, those two had only been on his mind because he kenw Azazel, as for the other. Well. One always kept their enemies activities under watch. The others however despite being kin were never really so close to him as for him to take action in watching what they did for hobbies or other cases of social fun. But now he was left with little choice other than to watch their daily habbits. Killing them all whilst they slept would have been infintely easier however the trouble was not all of them slept at the same times, and not always with the same habbits. For that particular task he wasn't against hiring other spirits to do his spying. And by hiring he emant threatening to dismember and disembowl if they didn't. Suffice to say when faced with that level of encouragement there was little fighting back or resistance involved. He was paitent, he would wait for the information to dribble back to him. Which it eventually did. But over that time his paranoida concerning the movments of the other pride demons bean to increase. He hadn't seen many of them in days, so he didn't know whether or not in secret they were actually planning to kill him off again. Jowan had left for the human world. He knew that much, one of the spirits he had " hired" had been watching him. And reported back that he had travelled through the doorway between Terra and the underworld a few days ago. This was in some ways a perfect oppertunity. To destroy the clan whilst its leader was away, then set a trap for Jown upon his return. It was perfect. Perfect upheval.

Over the enxt few days Jack began to systematically use the information gathered by the other spirits to assassinate the members of the Pride clan. Poisoned food, stab in the back, cut the throat. Pull them apart. Torture decives inserted in places that they don't or do belong. He had removed himself from court after murderin the first tow in one night, thus making it so that he was clearly the guilty party. But Jowan wasn't there, they could do little to nothing about it but band together. Even then though he had planned ahead for the others. In the meeting against him one of them died of a heartattack merely because hye had before hand seen to poisoning all the food stocks lying around the seat of pride. Preperation was the key to success after all. HJe was surprised whilst Jowan was away just how easy he was finding all of it. Almost as if some force was working with him, maybe it was fate. Maybe he had a guardian devil on his shoulder. Who knew. Whatever it was his assassinations had been effective. And it all continued till the last two crawling in towards him. The last two hadn;t been easy. They'd barricaded themselves isnide the Seat of Pride. Forcing him to burst through barricades. First landing outside the building and then changing his form into the far stronger and more powerful Archdemon state. Admittedly the form of arch demon was draining on him, but it would be worth it, not as if he was going to have to hold it for very long after all. He was going to tear them limb from limb, no begging no fuss. Just straight out death. He took his time in stepping in and destroying the barricades. All they would hear coming was the footsteps of a creature larger than them, stronger than them, and then a crash and bang as the barricades were destroyed with little to no effort on his part. Then as he was right outside the door to the main hall. He moved in, their faces twsiting in horror was a source of great and terrible amusement to him. After he had drained them of their pride, feeding on their power, of which there was much. He killed them. Turning back to his humanoid form. Covered from head to toe in blood stains, he walked slowly towards that throne. The Seat of the seat. A symbol of authority cast in stone that only Jowan was ever permitted to cast himself upon. He reached it, turned. And sat down. Placing his cane between his legs. And resting both hands on it. He was the Lord of Pride. And this was the begining of a new age for him. And for hell. Well. It would be. When Jowan returned and he killed him.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3: Fall of Pride   Wed May 25, 2011 2:24 pm

IV

Day and niht came and went and he waited for his one time master to return. No longer would he allow that weakling to order him. No longer would he allow that one to sit in this place and pretend that he had some born right to rule it. In the end pride was perhaps the ultimate sin of man kind. Beyond jealousy beyond greed beyond lust and beyond wrath. What was it that made pride stronger than all these things? Simple. it was a focal point, all these sins and elements of a persons nature could be driven back to one source, why did he get angry? Why did she get jealous? In the end the answer almost always came down to one source. Pride. As the source of all others, as the focal point. It represented the strength and purity of sin. And because ti was a single focal point. There could only ever be one single Lord of Pride. A ruler above all. A focal point of sin. The bodies that lay before him on the hall stayed that way, much like him now a statue of stone. A warped mirror reflection of one who brought liberty, as opposed to him being the one to take it away. Creatures stayed away from this place, none would touch the bodies but the ever erroding hands of time. It had been perhaps two weeks since he had first started his killings of the clan. And yet, Jowan had still not returned. Jack imagined him, laughing. Running. Playing father to a bastard child. It was sickening. Such a man could enver be their leader, not in this realm. The underworld was about survival. And in this place only the strong ever survived. Weakness could not be tolerated. Would not be tolerated. Not by him at least. Jowan was another matter. When the feel of another oni finally entering this building came, a slow grin moved up his face, a dn almost drunken smile towards the crack in the roof. The light of the red moon shining down upon him. The time had come to put an end to this chapter and begin something totally new. A kick and crash signalled the entry of Jowan. His face stained with rage and horror beyond belief. It seemed to be only heightened when he saw Jack sitting on the trhone. To that. Wiseman had to wonder whether Jowan was more angry at the deaths. Or that his eat had been taken. Jowan approached the now decaying bodies of the two pride demons at the feet of the Priful throne. " What...what have you done Jack?....why have you done this?". Jack looked at him with disgust, weakness seeping out of every pore like a poison. It irritated him so. He wanted Jowan to disappear. And so he would do so. " The very fact you ask me that question in such a way is your answer....you were a weak leader Jowan, you did not lead for the sake of Pride, opnly for the sake of yourself....you killed Ceila of Madness because you feared her influence, you didn't get rid of her because fo an annoyance. But because she scared you...isn't that right?". Jowan's lip trembled, whether with outrage of fear. Jack did not know. Nor care to. " The desire demons...because you feared they would reveal and threaten your little family life.....that kind of weakness...will not be tolerated". Jowan gritted his teeth, standing. Shouting. " Then why Jack? Why did you kill them all?....Why didn't ou jsut kill me? Why didn't you try to lead them?". Jack was silent for a few moments, and then leet out a laugh, growing in volume. " Why Jowan...Hahahaha...its simple....They all cared for you....They would have fought against me....so they too had to die...their love for you was their weakness...and weakness is not of pride". Jowan growled and launched himself at Jack, drawing his sword.

"Then you shall learn your own pride is your weakness!, It blinds you to whats right in front of you!".

There is nothing quite like the rough attack of a berserking idiot. Jack had never shown Jowan his true powers before. The powers that he had mastered whilst serving Jowans little games. But now, he would see them. Outstretching his hand and squeezing it in. Jack took grasp of Jowans own tainted blood. The man would stop in his tracks. Face going pale, draining of all colour. The sound of something splashing to the floor. For a moment Jowan looked down. Surprised. He didn't know just how this was even possible.Blood was seeping through his clothes, dripping to the floor in great ammounts, he was hemmoraging, yet there was no wound. " How is this-?". Jack squeezed his hand further, more blood splattered out. Jowan was forced to his knees yelping out in agony. Then, looked back up at him. Pain fresh in his eyes. Jack tilted his head. Looking at Jowan with a dark amusement. " Blood magic...one of my little hobbies....where most demons take their magic in darkness and death, I take mine into the fresh crimson splash of life...effective wouldn't you say?". Blood magic was very, very effective in its own right, and Jack had a great imagination as far as things went with it. And thats what true mastery of it required. Imagination. And a stomach for torture. Jack had both. But how to finish off Jowan, surely leaving him to bleed out like this wasn't nearly as fun as it should be kiling him. But then, any other way would be quick. And thats when Jacks wonderful imagination came into play. He stood up from the throne and walked the length of the hall over to Jowan, kicking him in the face. Sending the former lord of pride down onto his back. Jack drew his sword. And stabbed it through his chest and into the stone beneath him. " Think...thats gonna be enough to end me?". The cocky Oni said spluttering out blood as he spoke. Jack shook his head. " No actually...I'd be disappointed if it did, I just didn't want you to move before I have my fun". A length of blood red hell vine and a sordid imagination was all that it took for this little plan to go ahead. He swung the red vine around a beam high above the room. Tied the end to Jowans ankles and then, pulled on the other side, suspending Jowan upside down, swinging back and forth in a slow pace rather hypnoticly. He stepped forward tied one of the other corpes to the end to balance out the weight of both. Keeping them suspended in the air. He walked around to Jowans side, twisted his head slightly and looked at Jowan in the eye." Ready?". Jowan was about to speak when Jack plunged his sword into Jowans lower belly and then ripped it up, or rather. Down towards his ribs. Effectiely gutting the demon like a fish. The terrible thing about this death was in fact Jowans own strenght. The demon would live for at least two minutes before dying. Which meant he would live long enough in agony to watch his own entrails drip drip dripping down onto the floor. He watched it the entire time, draining every drip of pride that came from his former master, not a drop would be wasted, nor a portion of it spared. The body continued to twitch a few moments after death. Watching each twitch until it stopped and then pushing the corpse to the side, and walking past it, causing it to swing once more. Sending splatters of blood across the floor and some one the walls. Wiseman slowly approached the throne again and sat down. At the begining of this process all he'd wanted was this. To be the Lord of Pride. Yet now. It wasn't enough. This was just one small part of a much bigger pie. He slammed his stick into the ground. The sound echoing as he sat. All hail Jack. Future king of hell.

V

If there was one thing Jack had disliked ever since the dawn, it had been celestials. He didn't quite get just what it was about them that bugged him. The self rightiousness? Yes, it bugged him. Or perhaps it was the whole shining light of heaven thing. Yes, he did prefer the cool darkness over the burning light. But worst of all perhaps was the idea that these beings, their very existance countered Jacks own. Beings of good nature.Of virtue. His first encounter with one had been during his year with the human girl. Jack had been faced with a choice of kiliing a bunch of other survivors and taking their supplies, or having to go through the difficulty of hunting these supplies in the rubble himself. This was where his nature began to really emerge. He saw the logic in just killing them and taking the food and supplies. The strong survived. The weak perished. Such was life. There was no real way around it. And yet, when he had went to do it. He had been halted by a kami. A warrior who seemed to radiate an aura that almost instinctively collided with his own. It had come to blows, and the Kami had driven him off. That night, he and the girl went hungry. That planted seed of bitterness had continued to grow and florish. So you can imagine his delight when in his experiments with the taint and blood magic he discovered that by using his taint, and the correct magical wards. He could create spells that would be specifically designed to counter and contain celestial beings. The magic was however at the moment. Theoretical. Until he came across a Kami he could use to experiement with ti. Then there was no real way to prove that it would work. It was a disappointment to say the elast. That was until rmours made their way back from his contacts that a Kami was in town. He made his way past the corpses and out of the Seat of Pride. Experiements were required. For now, he could risk to leave the Seat in the hands of its dead. When the Kami finally walked out and revealed itself in the ruins of what was once the town where Jack had killed the clan of desire. Jack wiseman had already drawn the symbols and circles required. He watched as the celestial drew closer and closer to the first. What Jack called an enochian capture circle. The moment the celestial walked into the circle. Jacks breath caught. He had to watch, it continued to walk to the edge of the circle and then...stopped. The face of the creature looked. Confused. It didn't understand just what was going on. Its hand felt for a wall in front of it. Yet it met only air. But the hands could not move past the borders of the circle. It was hilarious watching this self rightous being playing the mime. The next movement was rather simple , he cut his own hand with his sword blade once more and smeared on the rock next to him another symbol. He pressed his hand to the symbol and there was a bright flash of light. The moment that light emitted from the blood symbol, he heard the celestial gasp in shock. He was no long in the circle. Well. At least he knew now that the angellic warding magic was at least somewhat effective against the real thing, however fro complete results he'd have to test it on a much stronger celestial foe. But, for nwo at least. He would have to settle with it. Experiementation and perfection of it could come later. Jack moved back to the seat of Pride after that one quick experiement and took his throne, watching the bodies of Jowan swinging back and forth. The blood on the floor had long since dried, and the bodies were attracting flies. Or whatever constituted as flies in the underworld.

Jowan's face since his death had begun to change, the gravity was likely having some sort of detrimental effect on the muscles in his face, that and well the obvious signs of decay probably wern't doing it any good either. Still, as time passed Jack couldn't help but begin to wonder just what Jowan had been thinking in his last few days. He remembered how things had been in the begining when he had first had the calling to join the demons of pride. Jowan had seemed so charismatic. Such a good leader. And yet now. Here he was, a rotting corpse swinging by the leg, gutted and rotting. He could only imagine that Jowan had suffered some kind of infection, the human kind. A family had forced him to spend more and more time on Terra, to use his resources here to defend them. Suddenly he felt that itch again, and on came another migrane. Hand grasping his head. Always came at random moments. Using resources in hell to defend something in the human world. Foolish. The human infection he suffered from was no doubt that thing that they called love. Whether it was love for the mother of his child. Or the love for the child itself. He had heard of such things being able to achieve feats both daring and impossible. One of which seemed to be turning a demon of pride into one of virtue. It was. Sickening. He didn't understand it. In the begining he and Jowan had been like minded, they knew humans, love and all those other petty things were weaknesses. They did nothing but hold them back. Yet here he was. Staring at that warped. Blood stained pale face. Like staring into a mirror and asking. " Why". He collapsed his hands, realising that it was mad, mad that he was speaking to himself now. Mad that he for whatever reason was actually thinking on Jowans reasons. Why? Was he afraid he would fall into the same trap? Perhaps he was. Perhaps he wasn't. Jack Wiseman was sure of few things nowadays. And belief in himself certainly wasn't at the top of that list at this point in time. He continued to stare in silence, until perhaps the biggest twist in this story unfolded. It started with a pressure on his shoulders. Then, on his cheek. His eyes darted to the side to see just what this was and. A pair of petite pale hands. Eyes a deep yellow. Golden hair that only enhanced the angellic look of her face. And yet. This was a demon. Ceila. The Demon of Madness Jowan had killed in the first few days of this. The one who, arguably upon meeting. Had been the begining of this story. She had been haunting his dreams ever since. Jack merely stared back. Convinced he was once again either dreaming. Or halucinating. " You must be a dre-". She pressed her index finger to his lips and then climbed over him, stradling his waist. "...Afraid not Jackie boy....or is that your name?". She chuckled lightly. Jack had no idea what she was talking about. And yet when he made a move to resist. He found that it was useless. " I have to apologise..I called you a tricksty tricksty man, but really its me whos the tricksty tricksty one...I'm not really dead...I just put my own little spell on Jowan and my clan to make them think that". She bopped him on the nose. He tilted his head. In some, terrifying way. This made sense. He had after all never actually SEEN her body. But then there was the shade. " Then what about your shad-". She bopped his nose again. " Shadow Familiars...yet you used to know that!". He was begining to get irritated. " The hell are you talking about?". She shrugged. " I don't know, isn't that the point Jackie? none of us know really!". . She jumped down and off him. Walking down to where Jowans body now swung from side to side.

" I was a bad girl". She said in a tone that would be darkly seductive. If not for the fact she appeared to be young. Perhaps around 17-18. " I sacrificed my entire clan just so I could find someone that was like me, who was willing to do it all and mroe to get their goal...and you know what Jackie? I found one....Thats yooouuu". She spun on her heel and pointed at him. Giggling away. " You killed your whole clan just to get what you wanted, and thats the kind of attitude that I wanted to find, someone who knows what sacrifces need to be made, and better yet, someone whos actually willing to get their hands dirty and commit those sacrifices....a funky chicken who can walk the walk not just talk the talk....". Ceila slowly walked over to him, crawled over his body again and murmered in his ear.

" You were fun to watch....".

She trailed a hand down his cheek. A hand that was far too cold for his own liking. " Lets play again sometime? Kay?". And with that. He juddered...awake?

For a second, he breathed a sigh of relief. Thinking once more that it was just a dream. But then he looked across at Jowans hanging corpse. A grin had been cut into the corpses cheeks. The testicals removed, stuffed into his mouth to provide pressure. To make it look as if he was actually grinning. And in his torso, the words were carved.

" Not a dream Jackie. I'll see you again on the spine of the sleeping god!".

Jack slumped into his chair. All along, she had been alive. All along she had watched them. Played them. How much of it was her mechinations he wondered. Just how well had he danced the puppet act into her hands? Regardless. That girl had a plan. Obviously more of one than he or Jowan had ever given her credit for. The Lord of Pride stood, for now, enjoying the remnants fo his victory. He approached Jowans body. And with a swing of his sword. Cut it down.

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Chapter 3: Fall of Pride
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