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Daemon Hunting

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“It’s a what now?” Rune watched the pale blue butterfly crawl up his arm. The creature had appeared when they were shoved into the portal during a battle against one of Karl the Alchemist’s creations, but for the life of him Rune couldn’t figure out where the portal had opened to. The butterfly didn’t seem harmful. If anything, looking at it made him feel calm, and it whispered to him, sounding like the water sprites he had lost. She hadn’t strayed more than a foot from his side as Rune tried to find Water and the other dragon knights.

“A daemon,” the man said like Rune was a particularly slow child. “Part of your soul. Really, what do foreigners teach their children these days?”

Rune frowned. Demon? “But demons are…” He pictured some of the grotesque monsters he had fought over the years. Then he pictured some of the more human shaped ones. None of them were as beautiful or comforting as the butterfly. Except maybe Rath when he smiles, he thought, but he banished the thought. Rath wasn’t all demon. “Never mind.” The butterfly fluttered to perch in Rune’s hair. Now that he thought about it, the man had a bird on his shoulder. And the townspeople he passed all had animals with them. Part of their souls? “Have you seen a man with red hair and scars on his face and a large appetite? Or a man with dark hair with a light streak carrying a sword?” 

“Can’t say I have.” The man scratched his cheek. “But I can say that there have been some strange rumors about a daemon-less man assaulting people lately. I’m not sure if that helps or not. His eyes are supposed to have an unholy red glow.”

Rath. Shit. Rune fought the urge to groan. Wait a second. “Demons. Shit.” Somewhere Rath was out there. In a world where everyone had demons. There were going to be hundreds of innocent lives lost if Rune couldn’t find him. Though it was a troubling thought that Rath might not have a part of his soul to appear externally. 

The butterfly moved down toward Rune’s ear to whisper. “Worry about that later. Follow rumors now.”

***

Elsewhere, Thatz and a raccoon argued over who would have the last apple from the bag they’d nicked off someone earlier. Because why worry about being in another world or how part of him was now a talking animal that couldn’t move more than three feet away? There was food to be eaten and treasure to be had. And Earth and the others to find. But food first.