“Being faster than us won't help you here, little Vaelian.”, Cestus chuckled and gave the stage a quick look, even though Vaelian wasn't able to see if something was happening up there due to the smoke. But that didn't mean he wasn't able to notice that something changed. The music and the screams were still the same, the bass still vibrated in his bones and the other guests still seemed to enjoy themselves, but he atmosphere was different somehow, more dense than before.
“You'll need a lot more than that if you want to be one of the lucky people to win here.”
“Luck is for those who lack the skill to ensure their victory.”
“Well, you'll get to prove that statement in a few minutes, it seems.” Just when he was about to ask how Cestus knew that the event was about to start, the smoke cleared off a little and allowed him to see everything more for once. Apparently someone had dragged a few humans on the stage to gut them with a skinning knife and decorate an obscenely large symbol with their entrails, skin and blood. But there was another smell amongst all the blood and sweat, another sound behind the screams, moans and cries, another shadow in the smoke on the stage.
“Thing about those creatures is that they need flesh and blood, but this one just seems to come here on its own will. It seems to enjoy watching this procedure though, so we still do it, no one cares about a few less mortals.” Vaelian didn't really pay attention to what Cestus said, he merely tried to get a glimpse of what was happening at the stage right now, although the shadow he thought he had seen seemed to play with his senses. Sometimes he saw the figure more clearly and gaining structure, then it vanished again as if the smoke wanted to keep it hidden as best as possible, other times he thought he heard laughter coming from somewhere, but couldn't pinpoint it's location. It was as if this whole place was entirely twisted all of a sudden, he couldn't even tell when he had made his way to the front of the stage to get a better look, but it didn't matter. Nothing mattered right now, something told him this was exactly the way it should be.
And then, when reality finally returned and left him wondering if all of this had really happened, Vaelian realized he was staring into a pair of emerald eyes within the most delicate face he had ever seen. The creature smiled at him with the most daring expression possible, taunting him to reach out and actually touch its coal black skin and the golden markings that were embedded into it, forming beautiful swirls and patterns all over its body. Maybe, if he was quick enough, he'd be able to grab one of its ram horns or pull it closer by its slightly curly, brown hair, but even though it didn't move from its spot and just looked at him, Vaelian felt like his limbs were made out of solid metal, he was barely able to remind himself to continue breathing at this point.
How long had he been standing here, was he the only one that saw this? Obviously not, since he felt other bodies bumping against him in order to get to the front of the stage and get a hold of whatever it was that looked at him with such an amused expression. He almost felt disappointed because he was unable to hold its attention any longer when the creature withdrew from its position to walk around barefoot with the most arrogant, yet seductive walk possible. How could something be so obvious, yet seem so subtle, how could something that was clearly male move like that? This thing was a confusing mix of contradicting emotions, signals and movements, he didn't even know what to say, let alone do. That was until Delius suddenly grabbed his shoulder and ripped him out of his tranquility.
“Always happens the first time you look right at it, was able to tell by a mile that you accidentally made eye contact when you blindly walked to the stage and openly stared at it.” Vaelian let out a slight grunt and brushed Delius' hand aside.
“I'm fine.”, he eventually mumbled, not wanting to waste any time bothering with these trivial people when he could look at that creature instead, somehow both disgusted and attracted by how it raised its hands and bowed down as if it wanted to thank everyone for coming here tonight. It knew that most people were only here because of the event, it knew that it was the center of all attention and praise and it enjoyed what it saw. So much in fact, that its hairless, smooth tail curled itself a few times before calming down again. The golden swirls and lines on its body seemed to move now and then, but he couldn't really say what he saw, simply because his sight somehow got blurry whenever he tried to focus on them a little longer.
And then Vaelian realized that the symbol on the creatures long, silken loincloth was the same that covered the walls of the former theater, the same that everyone had painted on their armor or their weapons. Did that mean...
“Is this thing what I think it is?”
“Beautiful? Perfection? A demon? I guess all three are somehow right, but it doesn't matter what it is, really. The only thing you need to know is that it's ours.”
“It belongs to our legion now and it's ours to play with.”, Cestus growled and nodded as if anyone had asked for his confirmation of this situation.
“Vaelian, remember that we're a team, huh?”, he heard Delius mutter as soon as he realized the music had stopped and tension was suddenly filling the whole room and every single cell of his body. And when the music started again, all hell broke loose. The fast paced beat and the screams mixed themselves with the howling and crying masses that tried to get onto the stage somehow and claim their price.
Last edited by Dave T Hobbit; 04-30-16 at 03:27 PM.