Two: Partial Demon Jasper

Two: Partial Demon Jasper

A Chapter by Ember Quinn
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Introduction to Cooper and Jasper

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I was never meant to be king.

There it is. The ultimate truth. I wasn’t supposed to be king and I didn’t want to be. The b*****d song of the king was nobody and should never take the throne, especially when he had lived off thievery and lies for most of his life.

“Do not be afraid,” a voice whispered in my ear.

I glanced to my left and could just barely make our Glimmer, a girl who followed me everywhere, yet whom nobody else seemed to notice. I called her Glimmer because I could never see her except out of the corner of my eye and even then, I couldn’t see her fully.

“You will be a wonderful king,” she continued, her breath warm against my already sweating skin.

Why was it always so damn hot? In the past, I would just ditch the silky button down shirt I had been instructed to wear, but those days seemed to be over. Especially if me becoming king was true and not a dream.

I pulled the curtains of the carriage back to watch the sun-bathed land go by as we continued our way towards the white city just visible off in the distance. It was white to try to keep the heat from the three suns that scorched our lands from killing everybody.

Tarves was our largest sun and it always reached the middle of the sky first, which always caused the temperature to go up at least ten degrees. Javaz was the second largest and strangest because it gave off a red light for whatever reason that only affected certain parts of the Sun Territories. The third sun, Manx, was the smallest and the only one you could look at as long as you pleased without it destroying your eyes. I had heard it could also change the eye color of certain people, but I had no way of knowing if that was true or not.

I played with the ridiculous, frilly cuff of my shirt as I debated taking it off despite the letter I had gotten this morning. It didn’t help that the pants I wore were also long and the boots went up to my knees. The only decent part of the outfit was the fact that everything was a few sizes too big and therefore let some air in. Who picked out such ridiculous clothes for the Sun Territories anyways?

I pulled back the curtains again when the carriage slowed to a stop. Oddly, we were no longer where I could see the city we were heading to. Instead, we were in the middle of what appeared to be some dark woods with trees that stretched for the sky. Where were we?

“You should stay,” Glimmer said when I reached for the door.

Ignoring her, I stepped out of the carriage. The man who had been driving the carriage with magic was gone, which meant I was completely alone in the middle of who-knew-where. Luckily enough, I had slipped my knife into my boot before I had left this morning and I pulled it out. It was a small blade, but it made me feel a bit better.

“Hello?” I called out. “Anybody out there?”

I didn’t know who I expected to answer, but I wasn’t expecting the yelled, “Hey!” I heard. The yell came from my right and that was the direction I headed. Perhaps this is some sort of test, I thought. Perhaps they wish to see if I can handle myself when alone.

“Where are you going, Cooper?” Glimmer asked from behind me.

“To see who yelled,” I answered.

I growled in frustration when I tripped and my legs got tangled in some vines. When I attempted to pull my legs free, they only got tangled more. I froze when I realized that the vines were actually climbing up my legs.

“Don’t you dare,” a voice said from behind me when I rose my knife.

I started to twist to see who it was, but more vines wrapped around my arms and torso to keep me from moving. Whoever it was moved without so much as snapping a twig under their feet as they stayed just outside of my vision.

“Who are you?” I demanded.

“Jasper. Perhaps if you stop struggling I would let you go.”

I instantly made my body go slack and felt the vines loosen. I turned towards Jasper and had to hide my surprise. He was a thin boy with ash grey skin, ruby red eyes, a pointed tail, bat-like wings, and two horns poking out from his thick, black hair. If I was correct, he was a Partial Demon.

When demons were able to run through our world, they mated with whomever they pleased, which caused Partial Demons to be born. After King Harmlen closed the portals and sent demons back to Hell, Partial Demons were banished from living with humans.

However, there were some Partial Demons who looked so human that they could blend in with us. Jasper was obviously not one of them, which explained why he was in the middle of some random woods rather than in the city.

“Why are you here?” Jasper asked me.

“I was on my way to Pantex. I’m not sure why we have stopped here, but the man who was driving my carriage has disappeared.”

“It’s foolish to be alone in these woods, especially since this is where most Partial Demons in the Sun Territories were banished to.”

“And would Partial Demons attack me unprovoked?”

“Perhaps, since you are human.”

“What about the fact that all Partial Demons have human in them?”

“What about it?”

“Doesn’t that mean anything to them? To you?”

“To me, it makes no difference what you are,” he said, shrugging. “My brothers and sisters are not as open-minded however.”

“And what do you plan on doing to me?” I asked, well aware that while the vines had loosened, they remained around my body.

“That depends, I suppose.”

“On what, exactly?”

“On who you are and why you are heading to Pantex.”

I knew enough to know that that was dangerous information to give to anyone. He could have a problem with Pantex and, therefore, a problem with the one who would be its new king. He could have a problem with my father, my family, my people. He could have a problem with humans in general, of course, but there was no need to make things worse.

“I have family in Pantex that I am going to visit,” I told him.

He studied my face, probably smelling my lie since he lived off them. From what I knew, lies were something that fed demons, and even Partial Demons, like food.

“I like lies,” he finally said. “I’ll held you get out of here and to Pantex if you like.”

“Is that a lie?”

“Perhaps, but it would seem like you have no other choice.”

“Lead the way then. It would nice if your vines would let me go first, though.”

The vines instantly dropped away and I kept my knife out, but hidden enough not to worry him as I stood up. Who knew what he was capable of with demon blood running through his veins.

“Follow me,” he said.

So, I did. I followed him through the oddly dark and cool woods, making sure to keep away from any vines that would trip me.

“Tell me about yourself,” I said, hoping it would keep his mind off the fact that I was human.

“There’s not a lot to tell. My father was a demon and my mother a Partial Demon, which is why I look so much like a demon. I was born in these woods because I was born after King Harmlen took over and banished my kind.

“One thing that humans haven’t been told is that there were some demons who stayed in this world. Many rule over places like these woods and they rule over Partial Demons. My father was one of those demons, but he was killed by another demon who wanted these woods. My mother was forced to become the mate of this other demon so I guess in a way I’m a prince.”

His voice sounded scornful and bitter.

“I spend most of my time roaming these woods in search of any lost humans. I stay away from humans who come here looking for a fight, but I help those who have simply stumbled upon my home. They don’t deserve the end they would receive if any other Partial Demon, or my step father, found them.”

“How come we haven’t been told about the demons who stayed in our world?” I asked, wondering how much of his story was true.

“I suppose to keep humans from being scared. There’s no way to fully get rid of all demons and there’s nothing your kind can do about it. It’s a hard thing for humans to accept that they are completely powerless.”

“And why is it that you help lost humans?”

“Like I said, they don’t deserve the end they would receive if anyone else found them.”

“Do you not hate humans for banishing your kind?”

“It was unfair, but not surprising. Humans fear and hate what they do not understand, after all.”

He hadn’t answered my question, but I didn’t know if I really wanted to know his answer. My only hope was that he was really going to lead me out of the woods and that I could then get to Pantex. It was a good thing I knew how to fight, though, if it came to it.

I watched as a crow flew from one tree to another above our heads, cawing loudly. It seemed to be the only creature in the woods, or at least willing to make itself known. I glanced to my left, but Glimmer wasn’t with me. I hoped she hadn’t stayed back in the carriage.

“What about you?” Jasper asked, bringing me out of my thoughts.

“I don’t know my father,” I lied. “My mother moved us out of Pantex to Cliver when I was younger, but she has hardly been a mother. In order to keep myself alive, I’ve had to go to thievery.”

“A liar and a thief, huh? Perhaps you should stay here with me. You’d probably fit right in.”

His words made me uneasy, but I kept my face neutral. I ran my fingers over the bark of the greyish brown trees we passed to find them just as dry as the trees outside of the woods.

“You know, you look oddly familiar,” Jasper said after a moment.

“Do I?”

“Yes. You remind me of King Fayx. I believe he had the same ginger hair as you.”

He was right and it made me nervous. If he knew I was the son of King Fayx, a king who hated all demons and Partial Demons with a passion, what would he do? I suppose it helped that my eyes were mix matched rather than the solid green of my father’s, though one was the same green. The other was blue, like my mother’s eyes, and instead of having fair skin that burned easily like my father’s, I had my mother’s golden tan skin.

“It’s almost unsettling how much you look like him,” Jasper continued.

I was starting to regret agreeing to follow him. That feeling was confirmed when we passed through a section of thick bushes and found myself standing at the edge of a large clearing. Partial Demons were everywhere with a demon sitting upon a throne of bones in the middle. Off to my right was a deep pit with two kids stuck in it already.

“Welcome to my home. You’ll meet my father soon enough, Cooper.”

Before I could ask how the hell he knew my name, he shoved me into the pit.


© 2017 Ember Quinn



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Added on October 2, 2017
Last Updated on October 2, 2017