The Greater Demon chuckled, enough to make the old stones beneath Mirathir’s feet tremble. “Are you really prepared to waste your life on this abandoned backwater?”
“My life?” The soulless gaze of the demon known only as Nyst tracked the young Eldar girl pacing back and forth on the stage of a decrepit amphitheater, filled with dusty bones and decayed armor. The Eldar, dressed in a tattered and dirty silver and ebony dress, did not appear to notice. She gently caressed one hand in the other, her angular features etched with concern and calculation in equal measure. “That would not be feasible even if that is what I actually wanted. I was not born a century ago… companion.”
The azure skinned centaur arched a brow at that last word, Mirathir had piqued her interest. “And what is it that you do want, little one? Enslaved souls to satiate your whims and desires? Demonhood, perhaps? Maybe a chance to escape your dire straits?”
Mirathir sized up the demon that dwarfed her, striding past her tail to stand directly before the creature. She pointed to her chest and whispered in expelled breathes. “I desire the most ancient wisdom, which only the things in the Warp are aged enough to remember.”
Nyst grumbled in distaste. “You never mentioned that before.”
“You did not ask.” Mirathir turned on her heel, hurrying off the stage in a sudden rush. “You have not asked me anything of importance. What good are you if won’t lift a finger to help?”
The Eldar girl could feel Nyst roll her eyes behind her back. A playful tone echoed towards her. “Where are you going?”
The last stairs of the amphitheater drew close when heavy footfalls that shook the underground chamber began to follow in pursuit. A jammed doorway leading from the room slid open easily enough, creating an explosion of dust that made her cough several times. The demon’s shadow was already upon her again, Mirathir decided to let her skulk in silence. The moment did not last before Nyst’s irritating curiosity.
Nyst bellowed a sneeze that nearly cloaked them in microscopic debris. “What God sent you here?”
The sleeve of the Eldar’s dress rose to shield her eyes from the cloudy passage. “Why are you interested?” She paused a moment to regard the demon. “What God do you owe allegiance?”
“I ask only because I am interested in your purpose here.” The Greater Demon indicated Mirathir continue walking. “Have you truly been sent by the Gods? Or maybe the Eldar sent you on an impossible mission to destroy me. I think you’ve realized just how difficult such a task would prove.”
Mirathir snorted conceitedly, earning Nyst’s ire. “If I were sent by one of your Gods, I would not bother talking to you, now would I?”
The centaur bubbled with laughter. “And yet you’ve come here, a world so long abandoned with seemingly no purpose?” Nyst picked up a hollow skull off the ground, leaning forward to whisper in Mirathir’s ear. “You desire to know what I believe? I think you have displeased your Gods. I can hear Cegorach’s laughter inside these halls… we aren’t alone, my dear.”
“No, she is not.”
“Guardian of the lost souls.”
“Destroy them. Both.”
Mirathir sucked in a breath, her heart leaping into her throat when she realized she had come to a crossroads. A female Eldar, dressed in a holo-suit of gold and sapphire diamond patterns. The pose she struck was a dramatic bow, the like performed at the beginning of an encore. A crackling power field flashed in her raised arm, the blade coming down swiftly with her sudden rise. Her other palm was extended out to her, open and naked. Her eyes promised agonizing death, but her grin was friendlier than an old friend’s.
Mirathir did not realize the other shadows darting toward her from the right and left corridors until the last moment. Unable to discern the other harlequins with her naked eyes, twin fireballs spat from either hand toward her assailants. Explosion’s rocked the corridor. Nyst’s tail flashed overhead, neatly cleaving through the first Harlequin to reach his prey. Blood and gore sprayed an unsuspecting Mirathir from head to toe, her choking gasps filling the air as she collapsed onto the dusty stone floors.
The second Harlequin flipped over her toppled body, dodging a lightning grab attempt by the Greater Demon. Mirathir quickly recovered her footing in time for the Harelquinn to cleave into one of Nyst’s reptilian scaled legs. The Eldar girl responded with a stream of crackling lightning, leaving scorch marks along the walls for meters as she tried to swat the nimble servant of the Laughing God. Remembering her first encounter, she shot a glance from over her shoulder. The female Harlequinn twisted into her guard, cracking her nose with a precise elbow.
The power weapon in her grip flicked downward. Mirathir screamed. Her flesh just above the stomach was spliced with sickening ease, the burning blade cauterizing the inflicted wound the moment it penetrated. The much elder female laughed gleefully, no remorse in the face mere inches from Mirathir’s own. The blade came loose in a crimson mist, set to come back down in a coup-de-grace cut short by a mighty clawed foot that stamped the Harlequin into a bloody paste.
Mirathir writhed, fingers clutching at her open wound, still pumping some fresh blood. The sounds of fighting drew to a close with one last, horrifying scream abruptly put to end. Nyst’s quiet rambling was the only thing she could hear for a time.
“Bah! Never asked you anything of importance.” The Greater Demon swept Mirathir up, ignoring her bawling and stepped into an invisible breach in reality. “Do you even know what it is you’re saying? You’re in no condition to answer anything I need explained. So I suppose I have little choice, you will wait inside the accursed ruin. I shall head to the other world with an interesting proposition in mind...”
Word Count: 1005