Rahar the dragon prince stood crouching in the corner of the Demon’s palace. Jagged wounds cut across his scales, ruby blood glimmering across his burgundy expanse. His lips stretched over his fangs in a vicious snarl as the enemy surrounded him. Red eyes burned with hatred all around, and Rahar’s tail slashed back and forth, a grating growl ripping from his throat. His chest was heaving, and the great hall was alight with flames all around, but he knew his time was short. The demons had attacked his people for years, and nearly destroyed his race.
But it would end here.
“Stop this foolishness now, Prince Rahar,” a deep voice called out over the sound of his own growl. A figure stepped forward, blood red crown glistening among pristine white tresses. Rahar felt a bubble of hatred in the pit of his stomach as he met the silver eyes of the man- the demon Lord, in front of him.
“I will not stop,” his voice boomed out across the hall, violet eyes gleaming with draconic fury. For too long these monsters had been picking dragons off, attacking the borders of his kingdom- destroying the human countries who supplied his great people with food and resources. “Until you all are defeated.”
A cold chuckle sounded from the hated Demon Lord’s lips. “You will be dead long before us, Prince.” The pale skinned demon gave a smirk which male Rahar’s scales crawl. Rahar’s silver claws drug across the blood stained marble floor, another rumbling growl vibrating the air around him. “Please, growl more, your rage only fuels us.”
The man’s voice was smooth as silver, but Rahar knew the lies that tongue told. Promises and betrayals told a thousand times over. He gave a soft snort, and lifted his head up, ignoring the pain throbbing in his body at even the slight movements he was making. “And your stupidity is why you will never win,” he growled back. Demons were not at all stupid- but their pride made them act so at times. This was one of them.
The demon lord’s handsome face twisted for just a moment with undisguised hatred, and then slipped back into its cool demeanor. “Stupid?” He barked with laughter, the demon warriors surrounding him joining in the echo of laughter. Rahar’s nostrils flared, and he narrowed his eyes. If he just bided his time, he would distract them long enough to attain his goal. “We are not the ones who charged alone into enemy territory. Only to wind up trapped and executed…”
The flickering of the flames hid the light of the golden chain coiled around one of his silver horns. The necklace was far too delicate to chance hiding in his claws- nor would it be very well hidden. As it was- the demons were far too involved in laughing about his own demise to notice their greatest treasure in his clutches.
Claws scraped against the marble floor again, a puff of dark smoke circling in the air above his nose. His dragonic magic yearned to tear them all to pieces, but he needed to wait for the right moment. All of his energy had to be centered within the glowing sapphire stone around his horn. It was the largest source of demonic power- and without it, the demon nation would be crippled. Demon magic as strengthened by using the souls of others, and the small sapphire gem coiled around his horn held the largest concentrated amount of collected souls anywhere within the four Kingdoms. His people could turn the tide of war easily with magic stone gone. Whether he remained in this world or not.
Sharp silver eyes drew back to him, finally, a sneer still present on the demon lord’s face. Blood continued to seep through the large open wounds on his chest, and Rahar could feel the fire in his gut flickering to just a small ember. No, he could not kill every demon in this room- to do so would only kill him. It would leave his sacrifice for nothing. His people were everything to him- he would not allow them to be taken out by such evil beings.
“Do you have any last words for us, Highness? I would so love to take you prisoner to tell the world,” The demon purred, his eyes narrowing, hatred burning in silver hues. “But unfortunately we cannot risk leaving you alive. A pity- I would love for a chance to put you in your place, lizard…”
Rahar’s growl ripped through his throat unbidden, tail sweeping through the air behind him. “You would never know what that felt like- I will not be your pet,” he spat the word out, arching his neck as his tail twitched, and slammed against the floor in a final show of irritation. His claws yearned to take vengeance upon the demon for so many brethren lost. But now was not the time. Rahar’s army would wait until the stone was gone, and then they would strike. His generals knew of his plan- and they would keep his younger brother alive and safe to take over the throne. “You will never win this war, Belial,” he hissed the Demon Lord’s name with all of the venom he could muster, “Your lies and deceit will be your downfall.” The demon stared back at him unflinchingly, a cold depth searing through his eyes.
“I have heard enough of your posturing, little lizard. Your life ends here, and the rest of your kingdom will fall before you corpse grows cold,” Belial growled out, his features darkening, a scowl marring his beautiful features. Demons were, despite their nature, quite beautiful. But the truths that Rahar had learned twisted his gut too strongly to ever find one attractive. He wouldn’t make that mistake again. A low growl rumbled in his chest again, as he saw slight movement from the fringe of demon warriors in front of him. They were about to make their move. He could only do this once- he mustn’t allow them to figure out his plan. If he simply waited for the attack, Belial would surely suspect something was up. He hated the demon with a burning intensity of their two suns- but he knew the demon was smart.
Rahar’s eyes narrowed, air hissing through his teeth as he opened his jaws. Flames licked at the corners of his mouth, before streaming out to torch the demons in front of him. The weaker ones disappeared into his flames. Perhaps they had thought him too weak to roast them alive- but they paid for their negligence. This was good- with some of their number gone, the demons would surely attack full force.
His tail slammed on the ground again, smoke curling above him, as the demons charged. Even if he died, he would destroy the demon’s soul gem, and cripple their powers. It was what he had come so far for. And the idiots didn’t even realize his plan- that their actions would be their own doom. A demon flanked from his right, his speed barely traceable, even with a dragon’s gaze. A sharp pain pierced his side as the demon clawed through his thick burgundy scales. Hot blood spilled down his side, and he swept his tail swiftly, slamming into the demon who had breached his guard. He felt the impact, giving a satisfied huff as the demon was sent flying, slamming into a pillar nearby.
The sound of stone shattering echoed along with his roar of rage as the demons pressed in closer for the attack. He flared his broken wings out as best he could, arching his neck to let loose another round of fire. It was more of a weak flicker than anything; he could feel the fire inside dimming and flickering out, a harsh, dead cold clawing at his insides.
He could feel the demons surrounding him, the Demon Lord Belial standing right in front of him, sneering up at him like Rahar was about to be put in his place. Rahar let out a thick puff of smoke, and inhaled deeply, feeling the demons ready to make their final strike. “You always were a fool, Belial,” he whispered softly, summoning his remaining energy as he lifted his head. The demons rushed towards him, ignorant of the gem hooked around his horn. His amethyst eyes burned into the demon before him, scales rippling with the draconic magic- the last few scraps remaining inside of him.
Rahar’s lip curled into a mockery of a grin, his sharp fangs flashing as the demons gathered their magic for the final strike. He lifted paw, claws hooking around the golden chain attached to the sapphire gem. He felt the magic swirling inside the stone- a raging storm that threatened to rebel against the dragon holding it.
Too late, Belial realized what he was holding in his claws, clutching it to the magenta plate scales along his underside to the left, just where his heart was. Where the demons were aiming.
“Stop!” The Demon Lord cried out in vain.
Rahar let out a triumphant growl as the first spear of magic thrust into the gem over his heart. He felt a burning pain as claw, spear, and magic alike pierced through his scales. Time seemed to stop as a resounding crack echoed in the hall around them. The flames in the dining hall flickered out, and everything fell into silence. For just a moment time seemed to freeze, as a small crack spread along the sapphire gem’s surface.
Rahar’s frame wobbled, claws struggling to find purchase on the blood splattered marble floor below. He felt a surge of heat shudder through him, the sapphire gem giving off a blinding light as magic flooded out from the small fracture across its center. Heat crackled through the air around him, as Rahar’s frame began to sink to the ground. He let out a rattling breath, amethyst hues lifting to the enraged silver of the Demon lord in front of him. Rahar heard the demons shouting all around, one struggling to get close to him. But the inferno of released magic annihilated all who stepped close.
He felt a shuddering burst behind him, the feel of something ripping behind him, as a piercing ringing shrieked from the broken gem in his grasp. A wealth of power surged behind him, and Rahar’s scales shivered at the feel of it. Something was happening behind him, but he did not have the energy to look. He didn’t have the energy to stand.
Rahar’s vision blurred, his wings drooping at his side now. He could hear the sound of his own harsh breathing echoing in his ears. Vaguely, he heard the hate-filled voice of Belial screaming his name, as his consciousness dwindled.
Rahar felt something pulling him backwards, claws sliding through the mess of blood on the marble, not strength to resist as the demonic magic pulled him towards the source of magic behind him. Something tightened within his chest, a burning heat pulsating from within. The magic seared through the wounds across his body, something snapping, shifting inside of him as the rest of the world dimmed.
The last thing he heard before the abyss dragged him in, was the sound of his name ripping through the room from a new voice, filled with pain and longing.
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