Chthon Age 213 Abraxas Age 81

Chapter One

It’s the 100th anniversary of Ruths death and Chthon is more drunk than ever before. Since Abraxas became thirty he had picked up the habit again. It wasn’t as often as it used to be but you could expect once every week or two for him to be falling down drunk. This was a whole new level. He had barely quit drinking for a moment the entire day. Nigel finally decided enough was enough. Yes today marked 100 years of him being without her but this was ridiculous. He destroyed all the alcohol that remained in the house then told Abraxas to make sure Chthon didn’t hurt himself or anything else tonight while he was on his date.

About half an hour later Chthon was passed out again so Abraxas carried him upstairs. He started to mumble about Ruth again. Abraxas frowned wondering why any demon would choose to love a human woman. If they didn’t agree to change you’d end up like this. He thought love was stupid in general. It had only left his mother and father with broken hearts that would never heal. He could remember his mom crying atleast three nights a week. Love was for the stupid and he hoped he could always keep it at bay.

Dax who is now 51 was traveling to Chthons castle on the back of his horse Vesperia. He was traveling as fast as his horse could go without getting overly tired before they got there. His daughter Rosa was pulled into a lake and the monster somehow disappeared with her even though it never left the water. He nor her husband could understand how this happened. He was still by the lake searching the water and the woods around trying to figure out where she was while Dax sought the help of his great grandfather. When he arrived he jumped off his horse then ran in the doors. He asked the first person he found to tend to his horse outside. He ran to Chthons room but was stopped by Abraxas. “He is down for the night. He’s been on a real bender.”

“God damnit! Rosa was taken by some demon monster thing! We  were out by a lake and somthing grabbed her, pulling her under. It somhow just vanished with her. We didn’t see it leave the water with her and it definitely is not in the lake anymore so Roger, Veronica and I are at a loss. She coudl be in serious danger. Would you help Abraxas…please!”

“Of course I will, I’m sorry my father can’t come”

“You are just as good, Chthon has bragged to me how you and him are pretty close to equal in power. He thinks you’ll even surpass him one day if you hone your skills more. You don’t have the years of experience but I trust you to get my daughter back.”

“It sounds like there is probably a dimensional port in the lake. I want you to show me where she disappeared at then I want you just to wait. I know it’s hard but you will be more of a burden than a help. It will be easier for me to save her if you stay behind in Barense.”

“I understand”

“I’ll come help you Abraxas!” A female voice sounded. It was Empusa, she and her son had helped Chthon get back home after he hit the pub in Tresnia.  “I’d appreciate the help, thank you” Abraxas got down “get on my back please.” Dax did as he was asked then they all left the castle to go find Rosa. Abraxas ran as fast as Empusa and Manah could go. They were very fast but still required him to slow down. They halted and Abraxas asked “Point me to this lake”

“Just keep heading north. You’ll run right into it” Abraxas, Empusa and Manah took off again. Abraxas and Empusa stopped on a dime while Manah skidded. He sighed and his mother said “you’ll get there son. Don’t be discouraged” Abraxas could breath under water just as his father so he jumped in and began to look around. He swam deep until he could feel where the port was. He swam back up “I’ve got it Dax. Find Rosas husband and you two bide time. Empusa, Manah and I will get her back.”

“Thank you Abraxas!”

“How will we follow?” Empusa asked Abraxas got out “I know this is weird but I can make you temporarily breath under water by kissing you. It will last twenty four hours so it’s more than enough time to swim to that port.”

“alright” Abraxas held a kiss to her lips a few moments then pulled back “I know it’s weird Manah but I must kiss you too. Just be a man and let me”

“alright” Manah didn’t like this but it was necessary to save one of the descendants of a dear friend. Abraxas kissed him as long as he had to then told them to follow. Even though Empusa and Manah knew they were going to be able to it wass till surprising when the water acted just as air did in their lungs. Abraxas held out his arm for them to grab then he pulled them into the port. This was Manahs first time traveling through dimensions and he hated the feeling. They arrived in more water so they started swimming to the surface. They stood on the land and saw that most of this world was water. “Oh god, if this takes more than a day you’ll have to kiss me again” Manah said in a disgusted tone. “Grow up Manah, it’s not like he enjoyed it. He didn’t even get enjoyment out of kissing me. he did it because it was needed for us to come”

“I’m sorry mother”

“Youre fine son, you are just grown now and being like that about somthing that needed to be done is childish. It’s not like Abraxas slipped you tongue”

“I could if you want it” Abraxas gave a playful wink and Empusa laughed “stop before you scare him Abraxas”

“we need to find Rosa as fast as possible. Do you two know her scent very well?”

“Sadly no, we dont’ really interact with anybody but you and Chthon.”

“Ok, just follow me then. You two will be very useful in a fight. Give me a second to get a good hold of her scent. Since this world is covered in water it doesn’t diminish scent like water does in our world. I’ve actually studied this place so it’s lucky this was the world she was brought to. The water is different here. Don’t just go jumping into any body of water. Some could be very harmful to us”

Once Abraxas had a better lock on Rosas scent he told them to follow. He ran along until he arived at a royal purple body of water. “This water will not taste very good. Just warning you. Follow closely to me, let nothing distract you” Empusa and Manah nodded then they all dived in. Empusa and Abraxas acted as if they couldn’t taste it but Manah felt like puking. It was one of the worst tastes that ever entered his mouth and he hoped they wouldn’t be in this body of water very long. He tried to act as they did though. He was getting old and needed to start acting like it. About an hour passed when the water started changing color and soon they were in baby blue water. It wasn’t by much but this water tasted better than the purple water. Suddenly a bunch of eyes met theirs. Empusa and Manah stiffend and prepared to fight but Abraxas just rolled his eyes then crossed his arms.

“I have no time for you. I’m looking for a relative of mine. We will quickly pass through your home I swear.” They both were frozen looking at eachother then the monster swam away. Abraxas swam forward with Empusa and Manah following again. They were in shock the creature let him by without a fight. Abraxas started swimming to the surface again and they all got out. “This will be our last chance to hunt food for a little while. You two stay here while I hunt somthing for us to eat.” They nodded and Abraxas took off. Empusa got a fire going then Manah said why couldn’t we help him hunt?”

“He knows this place and we don’t. It’s probably just simpler if he goes alone to hunt”

“I guess, I wonder why this will be our last chance to eat for awhile”

“Ask him when he comes back. I am much older than you but I don’t hold all the answers to this world son. In fact, to spite Abraxas being younger he knows a great deal more than me. He spends all his free time studying worlds and cultures.” An hour passed and Abraxas was not back making Manah worry. “stop that son. He will be back. He is Chthons son. Do not underestimate his abilities.”

“It has just been such a long time.”

“Who knows where he had to go to bring us food. Perhaps most things around here would kill us if eaten” They had not heard Abraxas coming but heard him say “you are correct. I had to find somthing you two could eat.”

“us two? What about you?”

“You two are posion magic. about 70% of the creatures that live here would turn your own poison against you if you consume them. Posionous demons such as yourselves would have a hard time surviving here for more than a brief trip like this. It took me awile to find somthing that would not kill you two.”

“I’m sorry we’re such trouble. Should we go home?” Empusa asked. Abraxas shook his head “No, you two will be sueful if somthing is foolish enough to fight me. Because posionous demons can not survive here there isn’t any. If a demon attacke dus they would not understand your magic so you would kill them quickly”

“It’s a good thing we came then”

“Yes, thank you. You two are no trouble. I can handle anything. I just worry about feeding the two of you. We need to stop and eat anytime I smell somthing near that you can eat. Rosas scent is pretty far off so who knows how long it will take to track her down in this world.”

“You’d be surprised how long my son and I can go without eating. Do not worry about us. Do what you can and concentrate on finding Rosa. I don’t want to imagine what the demons here may be doing to her. Since the demon only took a female out of a group you know why it probably wants her..”

“Yeah, lets hurry and eat so we can get on the way” Abraxas cut it up then stored what they weren’t going to eat while Empusa cooked. They all ate as fast as they could then put out the fire. “I only want us to sleep if it’s absolutely needed. We will keep going unless one of you tells me you need to sleep. Don’t overdo it. When you’re tired you’re tired so don’t just try to push on to the point you’re useless when needed.” Empusa and Manah nodded then Abraxas took off.

They ran a few more hours then had to swim again. This orange water had an odd taste but Manah was glad that it atleast didn’t taste bad. They kept swimming in this water straight through the night. It was a little after nine am when they surfaced and Manah was panting. Abraxas sighed “are you tired Manah?”

“I’ll be fine if we eat somthing.”

“Then we eat. Will you cook again Empusa?”

“Of course” She answered and he pulled out some meat for her to cook. “This animal will only feed us once more. I hope we find her before I have to hunt again. It took Dax atleast five hours to find us since he is human. I alos don’t know how long he searched on his own before coming to the castle. The demon who has taken Rosa has a big head start and is probably already at his destination because he can swim faster than us. Any demons born here are amazing swimmers. We probably swim only half as fast as they do.” Empusa sighed then finished cooking. They all ate quickly then followed Abraxas’s lead.  Just as they were approaching more water they heard a ground shaking roar behind them.

“fuck” Abraxas said then halted. It swiped at Manah who easily dodged. Empusa cast hundreds of poison ice shards at the monster to distract it while Abraxas was trying to get on its back to break its neck. A small spike from its back dislodged as Abraxas was trying to reach its neck and impaled Abraxas. He acted as if it didn’t happen then finally grabbed the monsters neck and twisted. It fell immediately, breaking apart the ground beneath it. “Abraxas!” Empusa shouted “it’s fine” Abraxas jerked it out then rummaged through their bag. The bag his father always had waiting by the door so he could just take off always had healing potions. He poured a small amount on his wound to close it enough to not be fatal. His body could handle the rest. “why aren’t you finishing healing it?” Manah asked.

“Because who knows how long we’ll be in this world and we need to only use what we must. It is hard to tell how near we are to Rosa. The water doesn’t destroy the scent but it makes it impossible for me to judge how near we are for now” Manah nodded “I’m sorry I ask so many questions”

“Never be sorry for questions. You can’t learn if you dont ask.” Manah smiled then sighed “I wish you two could eat this creature. That’s so much meat.” Empusa laughed “it’s fine, if we run out of food Manah and I can survive quite a while. Don’t fuss over us. If we run out you aren’t poison Abraxas, you should still eat.”

“I could never eat while a woman goes hungry. I just wouldn’t be able to” Empusa smiled then said “we better get going” Abraxas nodded then took off. Chthon was standing under the hot water of his shower trying to get sober. The only problem with that is the more sober he got the more he felt like laying in bed an sobbing. Ruth filled his head even though he was trying as hard as he could not to think about her. He was thinking about all the times he would come home to hear giggles coming from their dance room. He would open the door to see Ruth dancing ith one of their children. He especially thought it was cute when the children were toddlers and they danced with their mother. Silent tears started falling as he watched them and heard them laugh in his head.

He stood there long after the water grew cold. He couldn’t feel anything except the heaviness in his heart and the longing to have his family back. He hoped Empusa and Manah had stayed the night so he could thank them for bringing him back home. Chthon turned the water off then grabbed a towel to dry. When he was dry he pulled some pants on then walked to breakfast to see if Empusa and Manah were there. He did not see them and frowned. He didn’t see Abraxas either which puzzled him. Abraxas never went anywhere without telling him he was leaving. Chthon wondered if maybe Abraxas had told him the day before but he got so drunk last night he forgot.

Chapter Two

As they approached more water Abraxas said “I’m going to have to kiss you two again to make sure you get through here.” Empusa turned towards him and Abraxas kissed her. He then approached Manah “I swear I don’t like kissing you any more than you like kissing me.”

“I’ve already gotten over it. Plant one on me quickly.” Empusa almost chuckled at how uncomfortable her son looked but she was proud he was trying to be more mature about it. It wasn’t his fault he was acting like such a young demon. She had babied him most of his life and only in the past ten years had been toughening up on him. Empusa almost died trying to fight a male demon off that wanted her and it made her realize that Manah wasn’t ready to be alone. From that day forward she quit treating him like a child and started trying to mold him into a man so that when she did die or he found a mate he’d be ready and not die quickly because he wasn’t educated or tough enough to handle things on his own.

When their lips parted Abraxas said ‘come on you two.” Abraxas dove in and they followed. They didn’t surface again until nightfall. This time when they rose Abraxas could actually tell they were near to her, that she was actually on the same piece of land they were “we’re close. Whereever the demon who took her lives it’s somewhere on this strecth of land. Her scent is so clear. We should sleep in preparation to whatever he throws at us. He may have minions or other demons he can call on for help killing us. I hate to make her stay another night but it’s better we rest and win than go in tired form skipping two nights of sleep while doing all this traveling.”

“I’ll start a fire to make us warm and I’ll cook the last of our food.”

“Good, I’ll try to find another animal you two can eat. I’ll hunt for two hours but somthing to eat here will be very scarce. I need to rest to fight so I’m sorry if I can’t find food in that time.”

“Don’t be sorry Abraxas. Do your best and if you can’t find somthing we’ll live”

“Could I come?” Manah asked “of course you can help but do not engage anything unless I tell you. We don’t want any more trouble than needed.”

“I’ll listen” Abraxas took off running and Manah followed. Once again Manah was making his mother proud. They surprised her by coming back within forty five minuets. They had killed a very large creature “wow”

“Yeah, Manah actually spotted it and asked if it was edible. If we can find and save Rosa tomorrow before dinner this will be all the food we need to get back home. ”

“I’m so proud of you Manah”

“Thanks mom” Abraxas portioned it all out and stored it before he ate what Empusa had prepared.”So Abraxas, I was wondering somthing about you.”

“Yes?”

“Why do you still not have a mate? There’s many beautiful women who frequent your castle and I’ve seen a few try.”

“I have no interest in love. Love has destroyed my mother and my father. It brings nothing but misery on fools who get involved with it. I have built a wall around my heart and reinforce it every time I see my father get drunk like you just saw him at Ruths grave. I know Ruth was an extraordinary woman and I do wish I had the honor of meeting her. I don’t think she had any ill will towards Chthon but at the same time she destroyed that man. He went from being a powerful and fierce demon to being nothing but a mere shell for a crumbling heart to reside in. He only shatters more and more each year. If he continues like he is Chthon will die of a broken heart. He may be powerful and he may try to be somewhat of a person for me because he loves me but even a demon as strong as him will crumble and it is all because he was stupid enough to fall in love. I will not allow love to destroy me as it did my parents.”

Empusa didn’t know what to say. She felt bad Abraxas felt that way. Manah sat there without anything to say to until Abraxas asked “what happened to Manahs father?”

“He was just sex” Empusa answered simply. “I see, so you’ve just never fallen in love?”

“Nope”

“Good for you. I hope love never comes to ruin your life. You seem to be a wonderful woman and I’d hate to see you broken as my parents were.” Empusa put out the fire and they all settled down to sleep. It was odd to hear Abraxas talk that way. He was so happy and full of life when it came to everything. She didn’t know he was capable of being so stone cold. She could understand though, she didn’t think any child could grow up watching what Chthon had become since Ruths death and have any desire to fall in love. She hoped one day Abraxas’s mind would change. It’s a sad thing to never have love, it was somthing she knew too well.

Abraxas woke first the following morning and woke Empusa. “Morning Abraxas”

“Morning, I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I just hate what my father goes through. My tone is always icy like that when I talk about love…I just love my father so much..hes a really good man and it’s hard for me to see him. I hear about how he was and I want that man back. I would do anything in the world to bring Ruth back to him. I want him to have love again but I know theres nothing I can do. It makes me hate love. I’m just sorry I didnt have a better handle on my tone.”

“Don’t appologize. I can understand why you feel the way you do. You’re a sweet man Abraxas and you’re entitled to ahte love after what you’ve watched your parents go through because of it.”

“Lets eat before we travel again. Your son seems to have troubel missing meals.”

“It’s my fault, he’s my only baby and I havent raised him as I should have. I’m fixing it now and hoping I can have him much tougher before anything happens to me.”

“My father and I will help him if he isn’t ready when you die. I doubt you’ll be dieing on us any time soon. I’ve seen you fight and you’re very impressive.”

“Thank you Abraxas”

“Dont thank me for pointing out the truth and dont feel bad for babying your son. I think the demon population could really change for the better if more demons treated their children with love as you and Chthon do. Demons do nothing but train their kids until they are 12 then they just abandon them. It’s a horrible and sad fact. If I wasn’t so set against love I’d raise my children and always stay by their side as my father has done with me and would still be doing with Nero if he’d let him.”

“Youd make a good husband, it’s sad for the femal population you dont want love” Abraxas laughed and it woke Manah. “Morning Manah.” Abraxas said cheerfully “morning, when are we leaving?”

“After your mother makes us somthing to eat. Will you start cooking please Empusa?”

“Yes” Empusa cooked then they ate and got back on the road. Abraxas ran faster as then scent got stronger making it hard for Empusa and Manah to keep up but they didn’t ask him to slow down out oif fear for Rosa. She had been at these demons mercy for days and needed help as fast as she could get it. Suddenly Abraxas stopped. “They are not far. Are you two ready to fight along my side? There are seven demons, four are very strong.”

“We are ready, aren’t we Manah?”

“Yes mam”

“Good, Manah I dont want to offend you but your mother has much more fighting experience. Your priority is to get Rosa and Run with her as far from the fighting as you can. You are to leave us behind and get her tended to.” Abraxas handed him the bag “Heal and feed her. They’ve only been feeding her enough to survive I’m sure. You feed her all she wants. She’s human so I can hunt her anything”

“I’m not offended, thanks for giving me such a big job”

“Lets go save her.” They ran in and soon were confronted with two of the more powerful demons Abraxas could smell.

Just as Abraxas thought the two did not know how to react to or anything about Empusas magic. They had the advantage and easily took the two down. They soon were confronted by three demons so Abraxas guessed the other two strong ones were closer to their new toy. These three looked like humans as Abraxas, Empusa and Manah did. Manah was eager for Abraxas to tell him to run after Rosa but Abraxas didn’t want Manah going to retrieve her until they were fighting and distracting the other two strong ones. He knew Manah was no match for the two nearest to Rosa and wouldn’t let Empusa lose her child.

Chapter Three

Dax was growing impatient for his daughter. Her husband Roger urged him to go talk to Chthon and see if he had any way of knowing their progress. Dax agreed and took off. Roger wanted to go too but didn’t want to travel with their seven month old. Dax quickly started his journey to see Chthon. He began to pray silently that his grandaughter Yuna hadn’t lost her mother. They demolished the three fairly quickly and soon heard Rosas screams. “alright Manah!” Abraxas said as the other two powerful demons began to charge them.

The demon named Lico who could fly grabbed onto Empusa laughing. He soared in the air with her as Abraxas was busy fighting with Poquin. He cursed then attempted to make the demon combust but he was immune to it. Abraxas tried to drown Poquin and it failed aswell. After he tried to burst his blood vessels with no luck Abraxas grew frustrated and commanded the ground to open. Poquin, not expecting it fell in then Abraxas shut the earth again.It crushed Poquin in the dirt. Lico came slamming into the earth with Empusa. She had stabbed a large chunk of her posion ice through his stomach. Abraxas rolled the demon off of her then helped her up “you ok?”

“Yes, I’m so glad they dont understand my magic here. It was pleasing to see him go from cocky to oh shit I’m going to die” Abraxas was almost tempted to laugh but he had to make sure Manah had successfully obtained Rosa during the fight. They ran towards the cabin. It was covered in blood, a mixture of the demons, Rosas and Manahs which worried Empusa a little but she was proud to see the dead demon laying on the ground and that he had gotten Rosa away. Abraxas got away from the house and looked for Manah and Rosas scent. It was hard with their blood so near but he found it and ran.

Empusa had extra energy as she worried about what injuries Manah might have. They finally found him holding Rosa who was nude and still covered in blood. Abraxas could see all her wounds were healed so breathed easily. They approached making Rosa jump at first until she noticed it was only Abraxas and Empusa. “are you hungry Rosa?” She nodded and kept crying. Empusa began to cook for Rosa while Abraxas stripped his shirt off. “will you let me carry you to some water and we’ll get the blood off of you. Manah, follow and clean yourself too. The blood will attract predators. Empusa I will escort you once I’ve helped them.”

“Alright” Abraxas picked Rosa up and they walked away. Empusa had food waiting for them when they returned “you and Rosa eat. I’ll be back with your mother later”

“Ok” Manah answered then Abraxas handed Rosa the shirt he had taken off before walking back to the water with Empusa. “Your son seemed a little freaked out by her tears”

“He’s not used to crying. The only crying he ever sees is when we visit Ruths grave to pay our respects.”

“I think Ruth would be proud of him.”

“I do too, I have been very proud during this trip. I’m glad we could help protect someone of Ruths line.”

“I’m grateful I had the help. This is the first time I’ve saved anyone without my father. I just hope he’s sober when I get home.”

“He’ll recover one day”

“I don’t think so, his heart only wants Ruth. Shes the only thing in any world that can heal and mend him.”

“He has to realize there’s no getting her back”

“He does but it does nothing but make him more depressed when he thinks of it.”

Empusa cleaned herself then walked back with Abraxas. Rosa was just staring off into the distance while Manah tried to offer comfort. He looked at his mother asking what to do with his eyes and she nodded her head to tell him he was doing all he could. Abraxas got down infront of Rosa “Are you ready to travel? I can’t carry you through the water so you’ll have to be fit to swim if we want to travel.” Rosa didn’t answer but Abraxas could tell she heard his words. He waited patiently, his heart heavy with his sadness for her. “I can travel” she said softly. “alright. I’ll carry you until we’re at the water.”

“Thank you Abraxas”

“I’m sorry we couldn’t arrive any faster” Abraxas said as he lifted her. Empusa and Manah stood to follow Abraxas back home. They ran until they were at water again “are you ready to swim? We can take all the time you need. I wont let anything else harm you.”

“I want my husband and daughter”; Abraxas set her down “Empusa you swim behind and Manah you swim at her side. I’ll lead, that way nothing can get to her without going through one of us” Empusa and Manah nodded then Abraxas said “I have to kiss you so you can breath underwater. I wont kiss you any longer than I need to.”

“alright” Abraxas kissed her then they all jumped in the water. Dax made it to Chthons castle and quickly entered. Family was always welcome so he didn’t have to knock. Nigel saw the panicked Dax and ran to him “what’s wrong?”

“I came to the castle a few days ago to seek Chthons help to save Rosa because a demon took her. Chthon was too drunk to help so Abraxas went with Empusa and Manah. Her husband and I are worried since it’s taking so long and wanted to see if Chthon had any way of knowing how they were doing”

“Yes he does, I’ll go get Sanja. You knock on Chthons door and explain” Dax ran to Chthons door and knocked loudly. When he answered Dax explained and soon Nigel was back with a woman. Sanja began chanting with her hands flat, palms upward. Soon a picture of the four appeared in the air and Dax was reduced to tears “they have her. What is that weird liquid they are swimming in.” Chthon stared hard then said “it looks like they are in Voperomtiyu. It’s a world the is mostly water. If they are there you ahve no worries. I only know because Abraxas has talked ot me about it. It’s one of the worlds he has studied. If anyboidy can get Rosa out of there, it’s my son”

Dax hugged his great grandpa. Chthon hugged back “I’m sorry I wasn’t sober to help but Abraxas is more than capable of doing this. I would’ve given him lead anyway.”

“I trust him grandpa, we just miss Rosa”

“I understand, stay with me until they come back.”

“;alright but I need to send a bird to Rosas husband. He is a mess.”

“Nigel, please go get him somthign to write with and a bird”

“I’ll be back”

“Thank you my old friend” Chthon said as Nigel left. Chthon sighed “;I don’t know what I’d do without my son and Nigel. They hold me together”

“I’ve been happy since I learned you had another son. Your kids were always so important to you so i knew he’d bring light to your life”

“He’s been an amazing and understanding boy. I try my best but I know I’m not always the father he deserves”

“from what i’ve seen you’ve done great”

“I love you Dax, have I ever told you that you have Ruths eyes.”

“More times than I can count”; Chthon smiled “I’m sorry, it’s always my first thought when I see you.”

“;I’m glad I can give you a little bit of her. You were always a good grandpa. I just wish you weren’t always sad.”; Swimming with Rosa made the trip under water even longer but they were happy to wait on her. When they surfaced Rosa was exhausted. Abraxas lifted her into his arms “Please sleep while I carry you. You can relax in my arms”

“Thank you”

“You’re my family, family helps family” Rosa smiled at him before laying her head on his shoulder to rest. When she was out Abraxas whispered “we rest before we swim again. I want her getting all the sleep she needs. As a human all that swimming is very taxing even if she hadn’t just gone through a trauma.”

“she’s one fifth demon though isn’t she?”

“Thats not very much.”

“True” They kept going until they were at water again then Abraxas laid Rosa down gently. Empusa began to cook without Abraxas asking her. “I’ll be out of it for a little bit. I want to knwo what she went through” Empusa nodded and Manah looked interested to see how Chthon and Abraxas viewed memories. Abraxas laid his hand on Rosas then his mind left him. Empusa finished cooking and he was still gone “wow, is he ok?” Manah asked. His mother answered “Yes, it just takes a long time to do that.” When Abraxas pulled out his food was cold but he didn’t mind. “what happened to her?” Manah asked “Thankfully they weren’t after sex like is often the case when demons take only the femal of a group. They just like how women sound when they scream. They were torturing her to listen to her screams. Manah frowned “That was obvious…I had to use almost all our healing stuff to fix her.”

“I could tell as soon as I walke din that cabin by how much of her blood was in it.”

“Whya re so many of our kind so cruel” Manah asked looking sadly at the fire. Abraxas sighed “I’m glad I don’t know. I’m just happy it wasn’t for the sake of sex.”

“Me too” Empusa answered feelign sad for the girl. “They also were only feeding her one meal a day.”

“Do you think we should wake her to eat?”

“No, let her rest. We’ll feed her again when she wakes. They weren’t letting her sleep very much either since they were taking turns torturing her. She’s very sleep deprived.” Abraxas stood “I’m going to hunt somthing small for her so she doesnt have to eat the food that is just for you two. I’ll make sure it’s clearly marked so one of you doesn’t accidently eat it.”

“alright, we can keep her safe”

“I know, I’ll be back as quickly as I can” Abraxas came back in only fifteen minuets. ‘it’s easy to hunt when I can get anything” Abraxas said then carved up and wrapped the meat. He tied purple string aroun the packages that weren’t safe for Manah and Empusa to eat. “We can’t all sleep and my father has trained me to go long periods without rest. You two sleep and I’ll stay guard”

“we’ll take turns Abraxas. Being a single mother I too am good at not sleeping”

“So I’ll take tonight and you take tomorrow night?” Empusa nodded then laid down with her son. Abraxas got the fire going a little more and just stared at Rosa to make sure nothing sneaky got around him and drug her off before he noticed. He may know a lot about this world but the creatures that live here knew it better and he didn’t want her to suffer any more than she already had.

Morning came and they set off again. Day after day passed uneventful which they were all thankful for. When they finally got into Barense again Rosa cried with relief to be home. “I’m taking you to your husband now Rosa. I’m so sorry you went through this.” Rosa just kept crying as Abraxas carried her home. He stood her up then pushed the door open for her. Roger was trying to soothe their crying child when he turned and saw Rosa. Rosa ran to them and wrapped them in a hug as they both cried. Abraxas walked over and took the child so they could really hug. Empusa tapped his shoulder “I’ve had practice with this. Let me take the little one.”

“Thank you” Abraxas said and handed off Yuna to Empusa.They eventually parted and Rosa took her baby. “Thank you so much”

“No problem, we’re all going to go home now. Take care” Roger hugged them. Empusa and Manah said their goodbyes to Abraxas then they went their separate ways. Abraxas ran home as fast as he could and burst through the doors. Dax, Chthon and Nigel came running out. “She’s home?”

“Yes, go to her.”

“I’ll take you” Nigel offered. “Thanks” NIgel picked up Dax then ran off. Chthon tightly embraced his son “I’m so sorry I wasn’t sober to help. Are you upset with me?”

“No, It was a hard day for you. I know how much you still love and miss Ruth. Every anniversary is hard and I could see that one hit you really hard. I knew that place and did fine on my own.”

“You make me so proud Abraxas.”

“Thanks dad, I’m really tired though and want somthing thats actually good to eat so could you excuse me?”

“Of course, I love you very much son”

“I love you too dad. I prefer doing jobs with you so I hope next time you’re available.” Chthon smiled as his son ran into the dining hall. He felt guilty that he had allowed himself to get so drunk. It made him feel worse when Abraxas didn’t blame him. He was a wonderful son and Chthon knew he deserved better. He hoped Abraxas knew how proud he was of him and that he actually did try not to be selfish. He knew he should quit drinking but somedays he just needed a break from all the pain and sorrow. Even a hundred years later it was no easier to live without Ruth.

~ The End ~

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