A Dangerous Demon KingBy: J. S. Scott
“The Sentinel Demons—A History”
Author—Dr. Talia Maris-Winston, PhD.
Many people believe that demons are evil spirits, possessing humans, taking over their minds and bodies until they are nothing but a shell, a vessel for the evil entity that dwells inside them. What most humans don’t know is that there are also other types of demons, physical beings created thousands of years ago, during a period of time when demons came to rule the Earth, having been set loose by careless gods who used them for chaos and revenge. The gods created them in so great a number that they finally had to confine all their creations to a demon realm, a prison that could contain them. Said gods, who are now considered nothing more than myth, and whose vanity was endless, adamantly refused to destroy the demons—to annihilate all of them would be an admission that what the deities had done was actually wrong. All-powerful, all-knowing gods and demigods did not make errors. They themselves declared it impossible. And how could they destroy their own magic, lose creatures that might be needed later? After all, the gods were usually at war, and what if they needed their evil creations for weapons? So instead, the demons stayed confined to the demon realm, a place where no god would venture—a realm of such vile evilness, such toxicity and so malodorous, that no selfish deity could tolerate visiting.
The realm was hidden, situated between Earth and Hades, a place where the demons remained, multiplied, and grew in strength while the gods ignored their existence. Unfortunately, ignoring such heinous immortals eventually created utter chaos, the demons finally gaining enough power to leave the demon realm and create havoc on an Earth that was, by that time, inhabited by a large population of humans. These demons became known as the Evils.
Devastation ruled, human beings taken in large numbers, disappearing in droves. The balance between good and evil tipped, evil ruling the planet, creating a rift that not even the gods themselves could fix. Desperate to restore sanity to an insane world, the gods tried in vain to destroy the vile beasts that upset the equilibrium, finally putting aside their vanity in favor of survival. But it was too late; the demon population was too large, too powerful, and the egotistic gods weren’t about to venture near the Evils to destroy them.
Desperate, the deities banded together and created a new breed of demon to fight the Evils; the newcomers’ souls would still be dark, but their purpose would be to protect humans from becoming extinct, bringing good and evil back into balance. These newly-created Sentinel demons blended in, appearing human…but they weren’t. They were magical beings, although they adapted and took on more facets of humanity as they evolved. Having given the guardian demons the power to recruit humans and thus replace Sentinels lost in the battle between good and evil, the gods no longer needed to be bothered with their “annoying little problem” and went to war with each other once again, losing power as the centuries passed and humans ceased to worship them. However, the Sentinels carried on, striving to protect the human population, governing themselves and growing in magical powers, even though the gods had embedded a set of rules into the Sentinels’ magic—supposed fail-safes imposed to keep the guardian demons in check. Still, the Sentinels brought balance back to the planet in spite of the stifling rules, finding ways to bend them or work around them, angry that the only rule imposed on the Evils was that human victims could not initially be taken by force, or coerced via lies. But manipulation was easy for an Evil, and once a human had agreed to an Evil’s bargain, there was no end to the torture the heinous demons could impose upon the duped individual in order to increase their own strength.
So…are all demons evil? They are all dark at their core, and have some degree of inherent wickedness…but demons were not all created equal.
Evils and Sentinels are both demons, engaging to this day in a battle of good versus evil that has been going on for thousands of years, a war that most humans are blissfully unaware even exists. However, for the small percentage of individuals who actually have encounters with demons…their lives will never be the same.
He only heard her when he was trying not to sleep.
Quite honestly, here in the demon realm, he was pretty much always trying not to slip into slumber because it would only make his misery worse. He didn’t need much sleep, but the deprivation was getting to him now, sending him closer to the edge of insanity. Eventually, he wouldn’t be able to avoid sleeping, and the Evils would take what was left of his reason.
Unless he heard her voice.
Kristoff Agares, King of the Sentinel Demons, wanted nothing more than to hear the sweet voice that lulled him into a healing sleep when he was actually conscious enough to respond to her instructions to sleep undisturbed. Lately, he wasn’t hearing her at all, and that meant letting the Evils enter his dreams, and they conjured up nightmares that were seriously screwing up his mind.
How long had he been trapped in the Evil’s demon Hell?
Strangely, he was more than concerned about the woman with the mystery voice. Where was she? Was she safe?
It was hard to know exactly what length of time he’d been here, shackled and tortured in every imaginable way. The demon realm ran on a different time, and varied enormously from the human world. Because he was being held captive and subjected to nearly every kind of anguish, he could well believe he’d been in Goran’s prison for eons, but it had probably only been a matter of days in the human realm.
In reality, he really didn’t know. He was considerably weakened, and it was getting difficult to separate reality from delusion.
And dammit...he was pissed off! He’d sworn to himself that when Athena had created him as the first and the king of the Sentinels, he’d never be in a vulnerable position again. He’d fucking had enough of that in his life before he’d become the Sentinel king. When the goddess had given him such a grave responsibility, he’d vowed always to put his men and the human world first. Since then, he’d had a purpose, a responsibility that he had been more than willing to take on with a vengeance.
Now, all he wanted was to see Goran pay for messing with anybody Kristoff was responsible for protecting.
He wanted revenge on the Evils’ leader for having no honor, and for the pain and suffering he’d brought to Kristoff’s Sentinels and the human world he was sworn to protect.
His burning desire to protect all of them, to not give up on the people he cared about, was about the only thing that kept Kristoff from giving up.
I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep.
He was exhausted, but the only time he dared give in and close his eyes was when he heard the voice of what appeared to be a guardian of his slumber. There were no invasions into his dreams when she spoke to him. Sadly, she didn’t speak often, or else he was getting too weak to hear her words.
Awkwardly, Kristoff tried desperately to sit up, but his chains wouldn’t allow it. There was only enough length to keep his arms stretched out to his side, and his legs straight. His clothing had been taken long ago, but he could smell the stench of his own body, and the nauseating smell of rotting flesh that had been torn off him piece by piece.
I’m a demigod, the leader of the Sentinel Demons, and I can’t even clean myself up.
His head slammed back onto the steel frame he was resting on with disgust, giving up the futile attempt to move. His magic was long gone, obliterated in this realm. It pissed him off to no end that the entire world was in turmoil, and the Sentinels were going to lose the fight between good and evil. Even here in the demon realm, Kristoff could feel the tipping point coming, the inevitable shift that would put the balance in the Evils’ favor—the point of no return. Once that happened, there would be no way for the Sentinels to make things even again. The human realm would be overrun by the Evils, and his Sentinels would perish one by one, until all of them were gone.
I should be there. I should at least be able to lead the fight, even if we’re destined to lose. I should be the first one to lose my head—literally—in battle.
But what choice had he been given?
Leave his newfound daughter, Talia, to the Evils’ mercy? Nope. Goran and his demons would have destroyed his innocent daughter in a matter of minutes. Drew might have hung on a little longer, but if Talia had perished, Drew would have welcomed death. Kristoff hadn’t been able to do that. Besides, Talia would have been needed, not only by her mate, Drew, but by the entire world. With her latent power now exposed, the Sentinels needed every special radiant they could get on their side.
We just don’t have enough strength.
The Evils had grown in power over the centuries, using unsuspecting humans and undiscovered radiants to amass a nearly unstoppable force that the Sentinels had been unable to equal.
Because we fucking stick to the rules. The Evils are no longer bound to their creator.
Kristoff despised the ingrained part of his soul that insisted he honor the laws that had been set during the beginning of the war between the Evils and the Sentinels in ancient times. Because his creator, the goddess Athena, was still alive and dwelled on Earth, he was unwillingly forced to follow those rules. He couldn’t do otherwise. The gods who had created the Evils were long gone, so the bastards had stopped following the dictates of the gods centuries ago.