Chapter 1: Watch Out for Flowers
In a beautiful and secluded garden a demon stood up from behind some bushes. He was good looking and might have passed for a fit young man with black hair and olive skin from far away. Closer, his short, dense, silvery -orange fur would be obvious, as would his triangular ears.
His name was Eigis.
Eigis gave a wide yawn, showing a mouth filled with pointy teeth. The fight had been long and painful and worst of all, had ruined his clothes. Once elegant, they now hung torn and bloody. Most of his whiskers on the left side of his face bent in wrong directions. His fur was dirty and on end, and bruises covered his crafty, triangular face. One particularly nasty one circled his left eye. Brushing himself off, he strode over to the middle of the garden.
There stood a stone arbor wrapped in vines and yellow roses. Under it a young human warrior sprawled deep in sleep. He slumped against a marble pillar of the arbor. Chocolate colored curls framed a long nose and strong jaw. Though dinted and caked in dried blood and dirt, most of his silver armor still shone in the light of a new day. He clearly worked hard to keep it in good condition. Near one limp hand lay a katana with a distinctive green and silver wrapped hilt. Its slender, single edged blade was dark with blood. Even someone who knew nothing about swords could tell it was the work of a master sword smith.
The demon picked up the weapon, careful not to cut himself while cleaning off the deadly sharp blade. Sliding the shinning sword into its sheath, he picked it up. His smile flashed bright as the sun rising in the East in front of him.
“I’ll take this,” He told the sleeping warrior. “After all, you won’t be needing it after you’re dead.” The warrior didn’t respond, of course, because he was asleep. A magically enchanted sleep, as you might have guessed.
Poppies, flowers associated with sleep and death, bloomed all around the sleeping warrior. More, twined with vines, wrapped around his arms and legs and chest like chains. The warrior didn’t realize the poppies were enchanted. Anyone who passed through them would fall into a deep sleep until the one who planted them told them to close.
These poppies were actually a special kind called demon poppies, because only demons could plant and command them. Demon poppies were distinguished by a single gold, black silted eye in their centers. The eye closed inside their petals when commanded to sleep. Besides red, some were a deep purple. There was also a rare sort that was black, and caused death instead of sleep (but Eigis didn’t have any of those.)
Eigis slipped the katana through his belt and yawned again, showing a long, pointed blue tongue. His teeth were long and sharp, slightly curved. Although he didn’t look it in his human form, he could open his mouth as wide as a snakes’ if he wanted to.
Licking his lips with his tongue, he tapped his chin gently with one talon and stared down at the sleeping warrior. The warrior, who was now completely at his mercy - something which Eigis had a distinct lack.
After a few minutes of deliberation (Eigis tended to talk out loud to himself):
“I’m hungry. And he smells delicious.” The vertical black pupils of his gold eyes narrowed in pleasure as he imagined sinking his teeth into that firm skin and muscle, and ripping out a piece.
He tilted his head the other way.
“But I’m really tired. He was really hard to beat. Once I start eating, he’ll wake up and fight and be annoying again. Hmm.” He scratched at his short, fluffy black hair. The black tips on his large, furry ears twitched.
Eigis finally reached a decision. With a shrug he turned and walked back to his house, which was very comfortable and luxurious and that he built and designed himself. It was made of white and pale orange stone and decorated with colorful silk hangings and paper lanterns. A wooden porch supported by pillars wrapped all the way around, leading to sliding bamboo doors. Wind chimes strung all along made a silvery music at the slightest breeze.
“Nah, I’m too sleepy. And sore.” He yawned widely. “I’m going to take a nap first. And change clothes. After all, it’s not as if I have anything to worry about. If the hero is defeated, who’s going to come rescue the hero? The answer – no one.”
Chuckling at his own joke, Eigis slid the door closed behind him. After a wash and change of clothes, he tended to his injuries. Most were only bruises or minor cuts that would heal after a good meal, but one in particular made him hiss. He couldn’t tell if he was more angry or impressed that a human could actually hurt him so much.
But it wasn’t long before, clean and content, he enclosed himself in his wonderfully soft, satin and fur covered bed. He relaxed with a deep, contented sigh, his long, furry orange tail, also tipped in black, fluffed over his nose. The air was fresh and sweet, a light breeze whispering through a half open window, perfumed with the scent of honeysuckle and hibiscus. A nice long nap until the pesky sunlight went away; and then dinner. Soon his furry orange ears were twitching in pleasant dreams of all the fun he was going to have soon, tormenting his helpless prisoner.
But Eigis was wrong. Soon his peace and quiet would be disrupted, and he would be thrown right back into trouble again.
Because heroes can have little sisters, who are often more dangerous than the heroes themselves. This is a story about one of them. Her name is Bells.