With black mist covering the body, the demon's presence was intense. It gave off a dark and heavy aura and the atmosphere turned into a ghastly one.
The demon's eyes were bright red, its horns were so long and bizarre, and its wide mouth was unable to cover its sharp teeth. The demon's face was disfigured, and its limbs were stuck in weird places. It was unrecognizable to know what it was before, but its figure was standing on two legs and had four arms with bony claws protruding out of its hands and feet.
The demon's body was black as if it was burnt.
"Where did it come from?!" asked one of the nobles.
The whole scene was a chaotic mess. No one had expected a demon would pop out during this celebration. Scattered demons had been hiding for the past three years and now, one appeared in the palace.
Fortunately, Sir Rowan was still on duty and was near the demon. So, before it got out of hand, Rowan unsheathed his sword and released his divine powers.
The sword glimmered with a white aura and Rowan lunged fast towards the demon. With the swing of his arm, Rowan slashed his sword but the demon dodged it.
The next second, red symbols floated in the air forming two rings that encircled the demon. Its four arms were waving wildly.
"It's a caster!" someone shouted.
Rowan quickly stepped back and materialized his powers into a barrier surrounding him.
People near the fight ran away with the help of the other knights. The nobles who had no divinity to withstand demons were shaking with fear, especially since no one could stop a demon spell once it was cast.
The demon roared and suddenly, there was a wide black beam with wisps of scarlet lightning rushing out from it and aimed at Rowan!
The black beam thundered, flashed, and whizzed through the air.
The red-haired knight went into a slight panic as he never thought that the demon caster belonged to the upper class. The attack felt so strong! With its figure, it was supposedly a lower grade one.
Another barrier surrounded Rowan and the others near him, completely different and superior.
Icarus had also cast a spell and the instant it was created, it collided with the demon's attack beam, making it disappear. Rowan felt a shockwave and stood his ground. So powerful!
Almost immediately, there was an arrow flying past and made the target. The demon was hit, and part of its shoulder melted as the arrow was made from divine powers.
"A critical hit, brother!" Jarl Amund shouted, seemingly excited with the sudden turn of events.
The demon was taken aback and avoided Jarl Amund's divine lance. It did not hesitate to cast another spell but before it did, the Duke of Redgrave appeared beside it!
The demon didn't notice him, and the spectators also could not help but marvel at the scene when Duke Redgrave moved.
The Duke's sword swung, and it chopped off the demon's other arm.
The demon cried out in anger and backed away, leaping. Duke Redgrave, Jarl Amund, and Rowan Griffith followed instantly and cooperated in their attacks with Jarl Runar at the back.
The demon, quite frustrated, roared loudly and used its powerful legs to create a large gap between it and its enemies.
The priest and clerics that were part of Icarus' procession went on and used their divinity for longer-range attacks. Small white orbs appeared on their staff and flew fast towards the demon.
The demon moved agilely and evaded but the remaining knights who were on duty surrounded it, leaving no room for escape. It made the dark creature growl.
The demon's blood-red eyes flickered, its gaze towards its enemies. As the demon felt it had no chance of winning, it cast another spell. This time the red symbols glowed brightly, completely enveloping the demon. The black mist grew intensely, enshrouding the area.
Rowan's heart beat fast as he shouted, "It's self-destructing!"
The demon let out another roar as it neared the end of its spell. This scene made other nobles cry out in fear.
"Regnier's Authority, incante de sellamento."
White symbols appeared and shined brightly. It gave off a strong sense of the divine and sailed through the air. It formed a golden chain that detained the demon. A second later, the demon's spell had finished, and it finally exploded.
However, no one was hurt.
Ashes fell into one place, red lightning lapsed, and the black mist gradually disappeared. The dark aura vanished into thin air. What remained was the faint mystical sense.
And the once chaotic hall went silent.
The Redgrave Duchess' POV
Seeing Ethan and Emilia were fine at the Summer Wing, I went back to the Royal Rex Hall.
After that scene, King Henry consoled the nobles and promised to find out why there was a demon that got into the Royal Rex Hall. I saw my father's exhausted face, pale and ashen. Wisps of white strands on his hair were visible.
King Henry was born with a little amount of divinity compared to others. Despite that, he showed excellent results in all other aspects and was finally chosen as the heir amongst his brothers. The royal family made no complaints.
But still, using the royal ring artifact Gormal required a huge amount of divine powers. Even one spell would put him into such a state.
Despite being tired, the King stood tall and gave orders to his subjects.
A demon during the twins' first birthday celebration, no less...
I stared at King Henry and felt that this event will certainly put more strain on our relationship.
Will he blame me? But it's not like I wanted this to happen.
The twins... My children had nothing to do with this matter.
Ethan was also fine earlier.
Lately, the curse has not flared up at all except at that time when I was tired with the birthday preparation. I was determined to rest and make my body healthy to help Ethan withhold his curse.
Was I too greedy to think that everything will be fine?
I glanced at my husband who stood beside the guests from the other kingdoms, talking about the current situation.
Oh, Edward, what do I do? How I wish I could tell you right now...
But as I remembered what my teacher told me two years ago, I put down the thought of telling my husband.
Almost two years ago, when I was pregnant with the twins, I found out that I was cursed. At first, I thought it was just pregnancy symptoms, but the pain was so intense while I was having nightmares about Lucifer - the Prince of Darkness.
Then, one day I saw red symbols covering my body - just like the one the demon had had earlier.
I was so terrified that I didn't know what to do. Edward was at the knights' training ground and if I went there, others would see me creating a scene.
And so, I went to the person I could always rely on since I was a child. My teacher - the royal tutor, Hayden Osborne. After the demons were defeated, he left the Royal Library and his abode turned into a quiet and humble home, filled with books.
Hayden Osborne was an expert at artifacts and relics and held a vast amount of knowledge about demons.
He told me I was cursed by a demon and most likely, the child within me was cursed too. I cried hard that day, begging my teacher to save me and my child.
"Lillian, one way to end this suffering is to abort the pregnancy so the chance of you surviving the curse is higher. The curse is eating away your divinity and likely converting it into demonic powers, " My teacher told me, and I cried even harder.
But my teacher continued, "We humans cannot control such demonic powers, and it would only drain you of your divinity. And little by little, your life would be at stake. Worst, you'll even become a demon."
I shook my head, and I could not help my tears from falling. I could not even mumble a few words.
"You would be able to hold on for a little longer since you could fight against it and already have divine powers, but the child had not developed it yet and would not survive."
I cried, "No! No..." I felt myself losing to my emotions, almost fainting.
"So instead of waiting for the worst to come, it's better to end it now."
But how could I ever do that? To kill my child with my own hands?
Or to let the curse do it? Sooner or later, it was the same...
Without any way to vent my frustrations, I lashed out at God, asking 'What did I do to deserve this? Why me? Why involve my innocent child?'
What do I tell Edward? I didn't even know how I got cursed?!
"How did I end up this way? For the past few months, there aren't any demons at all!" I shouted at my teacher as if he was the one who sinned against me.
Edward was the hero! A child of light! What would he think when a demon cursed his wife and child? The hero who led thousands of knights and even defeated Lucifer...
Lucifer...? I keep having nightmares about that demon...
Wait, was it Lucifer who cursed me? No... but... I never had gotten close to Lucifer himself.
Thinking about it, for the past few months, ever since we got married, I stayed around Edward. And then I was pregnant with his child.
I hesitated for a moment then spoke about my suspicions. I calmed down so I could speak.
"Before Edward and I got engaged, Edward spent a year at the Holy Empire," I muttered to my teacher.
"What do you mean?" my teacher asked, rather confused at my sudden state.
And so, I told him everything that happened.