Demon King's Steward

The new clan chief looked at his family longingly as his wife and newborn son are slumbering. It is still quite early but they went on a trip earlier and both of them were exhausted from the hiking and the running around. His smile was suddenly replaced by a frown after he realized that his family could be living in a better place. The human’s attack on their settlements when he was young still seems fresh in his memories.

After knowing about the secret in the forest, the werebeasts were attacked and displaced by humans so that they can claim the source of power. The women and children were evacuated and the new clan leader, who was still a child back then, had no choice but to leave his father and the village that he grew up in. it was true for the other children as well. That night, every child in the village lost a parent to the humans.

It was unfortunate, but at least their race lives on with them, the new generation. And so a new but smaller village was erected. He was chosen as the new chief as soon as he came of age, and it was his best friend who became his steward. From then on they made a promise to protect the children the way their fathers have protected them when they were younger, and they have been preparing for the day when the humans might attack again.

As he looked at his wife and son, he could not help but think that he would definitely lay his life down so that these two people could live even a little longer. The Chief took one last long glance and turned towards his study. He still has some work to do. There are still some things to discuss with his steward. The village needs to be run properly and although they are relatively doing well, the village could use more improvements.

“How are they?” The steward asked as he noticed the Chief enter the study.

“Fast asleep,” The Chief replied, “They closed their eyes as soon as their heads hit the pillows.”

“They were exhausted,” the Steward replied, “It was quite a day. My boy slept right away too.”

“They will be joining the hunting rites tomorrow,” the Chief replied, “They will need all the rest that they can get.”

“Yeah.” The Steward replied. There was a hint of nostalgia in his eyes. “I still remember back when it was us who had our first hunt. You barely managed to kill yours and would have died if not for me.”

“I was never a fighter. You know that.” The Chief replied.

“Yes. You mostly kept to yourself.” The Steward replied. “But you have the smartest brain. I guess you were meant to be the leader and I was meant to be the protector.”

“If you were a little older back then, you would have died with our fathers.” The Chief replied.

“And I would have gladly done so.” The Steward replied with all his pride.

“So, what do we need to talk abou-” their conversation was cut off as soon as there was a loud explosion, the cracking of a tree, and then a thud.

“Did a lightning hit another tree?” The Steward asked, thinking that it might be the usual.

“There wasn’t even a single shred of raincloud earlier, how could there be lightning?” the Chief replied as he got up. “What is that smell?”

The Chief twitched his nose to pick up the scent that he suddenly noticed in the air. The Steward followed suit and realized that it was a familiar smell. In fact, the smell was too familiar that it invoked a certain memory from the two of them.

“Henry, could this be. . .” the Steward replied as they both immediately went outside to check what was really happening. There was already some commotion outside and the village seems brighter than usual. They both quickened their pace and the chief noticed his wife standing by the doorway to their bedroom; she had their son on her arms. He raised a hand telling her to stay there and observe. She nodded; she completely understood what she needs to do.

AS soon as they opened the door, the breeze brought with it a waft of gunpowder and something burning. The Steward and the Chief were stunned as soon as they noticed that some houses were already on fire and the others are starting to burn. They know that the fire would definitely spread throughout the village in a matter of minutes of nothing is done. They nodded to each other and the Chief went to check with the other leaders to see if they know what was going on. 

The Steward went on to check the cause of the commotion and as he drew closer, he could hear the clanging of metal and the shouting of the villagers and other unidentified individuals. There was no mistaking it. It has already happened. The humans have attacked once again and they were once again caught off guard. The steward instinctively dodged as he heard a swish behind him. A sword gleamed just a few centimeters away from his face. He threw a punch and the attacker was practically sent flying towards a burning hut, never to stand again.

“Can you hold out here a little longer? I will return to the chief and see if the other villages can help.” The Steward screamed his command to the leader of the warriors. He left without waiting for an answer. The attack was a surprise and they will need all the help that they can get to hold the attackers off, he needs to make sure that the women and children can escape, even Henry.

“Henry!” the Steward called as he reached the Chief’s hut. He noticed the chiefs of the werebears and the rabbitfolk as well. They, like the werewolves, were also attacked.

“It seems like a repeat of what happened back then,” The Chief explained, “the humans launched a simultaneous attack on all the villages.”

“What the hell do they still want?” The Werebear chief asked, “They have already sacked our old village, they already took the fragment. What else do they need?”

“We will find that out.” The Werewolf chief calmly replied, “But for now we need to prioritize the escape of the women and the children. I presume you can handle that.” He looked at his wife.

She nodded but there was longing in her eyes. She knows what was going to happen next. She was one of the youngest when they were attacked back then and she lost both her parents to that one. She does not want her son to experience that, and she does not want to lose her mate as well bu they have very little choice.

“Father? What is happening?” The Steward’s son who was clearly awoken by the sudden commotion entered the hut.

“Good that you are here,” The Steward said without answering the question. There was no need to explain what was happening. “I need you to do something. You need to help the others escape. You are one of the eldest children, you need to protect them. Most of all, you need to protect Dimmie. The future of our race depends on the two of you. Promise me this.”

The Steward’s son still did not understand what exactly was happening but he nodded nonetheless. All he could remember after that was being pushed along with the chief’s wife through a secret backdoor in the chief’s house. That was the last time that he has ever seen his father and everyone who were in that house that night. The next few hours were filled with seemingly unending hike through the thick of the forest.

The fugitives went deeper and deeper towards the heart of the forest and the burning village slowly became smaller and smaller until all they saw was bright orange in the horizon. The sky turned pale as dawn came. The villagers were exhausted but there was hope. A huge castle that seems uninhabited looms in the near distance. The Steward’s son felt relived. He did not want to walk any longer and the other children were clearly tired. They need somewhere to settle into and the castle looks inviting.

The group quickened their pace and their knees gave way as soon as they stepped on the cobblestone of the castle. It was completely deserted; they could settle here. But the Steward’s son suddenly got up as he noticed things moving in the keep. That was the first time that he met the creatures of the castle. The chief’s mate was the one who spoke with a woman that had the body of a snake for its lower body. They were unexpectedly welcomed and the creatures even bowed down to Dimmie. It was then that the Steward’s realized what his father meant.

From then on, Alex has dedicated his life to serving his tribe’s chief and the Lord of the Castle. He has never doubted his leadership. Dimitri is wise and strong. Alex agreed with every decision he has made because he knows that it is for the good of their people. At least until today; When Dimitri suddenly decided to hold off on the blessing ritual to bend the will of a woman sacrifice. Something is definitely up and Alex will find it out. There is also another thing that is welling up inside him, something that he is yet to find out will only understand a little later.

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