YA, Paranormal Fantasy Series
How far would you go to survive?
I have trained and shed blood to protect Earth, but my enemies want war. Though I’m the only descendant of the powerful ruler of Ether, my blood is key to his survival. Against wise council, I’ve joined forces with our adversary: Ronin. Risking everything, I fled to Ether with him in order to save Earth. Yet as the danger intensifies, so does our bond.
The only way to survive in my world is to kill. As the Prince of Ether, I have taken many lives. I’ve forged an alliance with Connor to overthrow my father and brought her to the very definition of Hell: my world. I must teach her to adapt to my cruel planet; though, in doing so, it will break her. Despite my unyielding & merciless ways, training Connor has started to thaw my frozen heart.
The hominids at the door were going to announce me but I shook my head. “Never mind; he knows that I'm coming.” Taking in a long breath, I opened the double doors. I entered the main room decorated in red and white walls with a gold trim. It was gaudy.
There, Monlow sat, high in his gold and white chair, dressed in a long robe above everyone else who had to bow up to him. I no longer had a taste for my fruit. I spat what I had in my mouth out and tossed it in the waste.
“What took you so long, son?” He asked, right before ordering four men on their knees to the torture chamber. His deep, aggressive voice thundered across the chamber as he asked me the same question every time I arrived in his presence.
“You haven't been waiting long. Ether has barely rotated. I do have other duties, Father.”
“None more than me, I'm sure.”
“Of course not,” I said as I ascended the three stairs, making my way closer to him and passing both the standing and kneeling onlookers awaiting their sentencing or to beg for a deal, I surmised from the blue bostuge guards to the staff. It was a daily ritual he performed but each session got shorter with each passing day the weaker he became.
Next to him, I could see his translucent skin that no longer grew hair as the black tarry veins pulsated underneath the stretched flesh. His eyes no longer turned back to their brown state. Truthfully, I didn't remember their natural color, so instead, black remained their hue.
“Everybody out!” he snarled, rising up in his chair to almost my height, then slowly lowering back down. Everybody rushed out, helped by the tall, elongated guards. Soon, it was just him and me in the huge dome that felt devoid of air when the doors shut.
“What's the big secret?” I leisurely headed back down the stairs to the opposite side's glass partition overlooking the hellhole below. It was a large room the size of his chamber, known as the soul taker. This was where beings went after being sentenced to death by either stake, hanging, some contraception of death, or other means. Watching others suffer was his form of entertainment. I just preferred the capturing and left the rest to him. Watching was not my thing.
Monlow extended his long, bony fingers with cloudy fingernails towards where I stood. “I made this.” He was referring to Ether. “I am the ruler and yet there are those that dare to defy me. They see me as weak, old, brittle even.” His jowls took a second to close. He stood up tall on his legs that I could not see under his long black cover. His bottom half moved in a fluid motion, like a devilfish would if it could walk out of the sea.
“Why do you think so?” I asked.
“Because Shanuk has not returned since yesterday. He has not checked in as instructed.”
“Maybe he is busy as…”
Monlow snapped his head quickly towards me and bones rattled. “Why did you drive yourself? You have escorts for that.” He changed the subject just that quickly. Something I found myself doing from time to time.
He wanted to know what I was hiding or if I was keeping secrets. “For no other reason than wanting to. There are plenty of days when I drive myself.”
“But you literally drove and did not use autopilot.”
“So, everyone is your spy now?” I folded my arms and leaned against the glass. “Is nothing I do sacred? Shall I check in every time the planet turns so many kilometers to give you updates of my whereabouts? Should I implant a tracker in my wrists?” I held out my arms. “Like the rest of the minions you order about so you will learn my daily routine?” I asked, furious that I had once again been summoned for this nonsense.
Within a blink, Monlow had me suspended in the air to his height, by the tip of a finger. He didn't have to touch me but it was more personal this way. His mind proceeded to squeeze the life out of me. “You try me, son. Do not think I did not hear that detestable tone you took when you said 'father' as you entered the room. You're hiding something. I could snap you as I do a pauper.” He had his face so close to mine, I could smell his foul breath. The species he now craved were horrid and his odor reflected that.
“Then do it,” I encouraged as his hand pressed on my recently acquired wound, but I refused to beg for mercy. He squeezed my body tighter. “No, huh?” I grunted. He was close to cracking a rib. I could have taken out my knife but that would have sealed my fate at that moment so I did not challenge his strength—still far superior to mine, no matter how sick he'd become. “This is why I moved away years ago. Your paranoia has gotten worse,” I retorted when he dug his finger inside my gash.
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