Chapter 5 - Betrayal
Zelas Metallium leaned back in her large chair, crossing her legs and sipping her thick, red wine. She was a woman of expensive tastes, of course, and nothing she owned was cheap. Frowning slightly at the blood-thick liquid in her glass, she realized that some expensive things were not always the best. With another frown of disgust, she set the glass down and went over to her wine cabinet to get another bottle.
She sat back down with her new glass of wine and smiled wistfully to herself. Action had slowed down considerably in the last year. She still didn’t have another servant, although there were a few parasites that wanted the job. Her grin grew wider. Some of those were quite amusing. She could feel one of them around now, lurking in the shadows. He’d been there for some time now, watching her, as he did quite often. She imagined that he knew she was aware of his presence, but he was a strange one.
“Koru, do stop stalking me from the corner. Have a drink.”
The dark figure stepped out of the darkness, his face partially obscured by the hood of his black cape. He slid it off his head, revealing a pale face with red eyes, surrounded by long, black hair. He was very tall and slender; his human form was not ugly in the least. However, there was nothing admirable about him. He had been nothing but amusing to her at first, but she was slowly growing tired of him. Everything he did was more violent than cunning. He used dirty ways to get the job done, even for a Mazoku. That didn’t bother her at all, but his ways of doing things were careless and reckless, without any form or structure, or even planning. It wasn’t surprising that he’d been denied servitude for all the dark lords, despite the fact that he was a very powerful Mazoku. She merely hired him to kill Xelloss because she knew he would get the job done, and it didn’t matter to her how it would be done.
“Good evening, Zelas,” he said, his voice strangely low and soft. “Do you always drink this much?”
“Of course,” she said. “Everyone has their own little habits. Just like you and your collection of fuzzy pink stuffed rabbits.”
He chuckled, only sounding somewhat amused. “How funny. You like to insult me, don’t you? It’s not nice to lead a guy on, you know.”
She gave him a charming smile. “Me? Lead you on? I think you’re mistaken.” She sat back down, crossing her legs to leave little material covering them. She smirked as she caught his eyes wandering. He was so easy.
“What do you want?” she asked him, already bored with his presence.
“You know what I want.”
“And I’ve told you a million times. No.”
He chuckled again. “You drive a hard bargain, Beastmaster. I did your dirty work for you. I killed your most powerful servant, who was only the most powerful servant any dark lord has ever had. Not even Sherra could defeat him, that’s why Grausherra never dared to go up against you. But you’re sitting in hot water now. How long do you think it will be before the Ice Lord comes after your beautiful island?” He gazed at her legs some more and then met her eyes in a sharp gaze. “I would take care of him for you.”
She held his gaze for a moment longer, as if letting his words sink in. Then she laughed. “You really are funny, Koru. If you think you could stand up to Grausherra, you’re crazier than Deep Sea Dolphin.”
Koru sighed. “Zelas, you know I’d be a good servant. Besides, not even Xelloss had all his powers until you gave them to him, and even then I was able to crush him. You could give me those same powers. Why won’t you make me your servant?”
Zelas smirked. “Xelloss was more reliable than you could ever hope to be,” she replied.
Koru scoffed. “Please. He betrayed you, Zelas. He turned against you to taint himself with that filthy dragon girl. He did the absurd. He disgraced you. You call that trustworthy?”
Zelas took a sip of her wine, scowling at the other Mazoku. “Yes, he did betray our race, and he lied to me. That alone was cause enough for his death.” A dark smile turned up the corners of her lips. “But he never tried to cut my head off when I wasn’t looking.”
Koru coughed, and his face turned red. “I, uh…what makes you think I would do such a thing?”
She chuckled. “I know a lot more than you think.”
Koru took a sip from his drink, the first one, to hopefully get out of the subject. No matter how hard he tried, he always seemed to back himself up into a corner whenever he talked to her. For the last year he had tried to get her to make him her servant, with a small hope that he could kill her and take her powers, or maybe get her into bed. Gods, she was gorgeous. None of his goals had been fulfilled yet, but he wasn’t about to give up that easily. He knew that her patience with him was wearing extremely thin, but even if she did kill him, it wasn’t as if he had much to lose. So what if he had managed to kill her servant for her? His reward hadn’t nearly been enough.
Still smiling an equally dark smile, he gazed at her thoughtfully. “Why haven’t you killed me yet, Beastmaster?”
She shrugged. “I’m not sure. Perhaps I need the comic relief.” She winked at him.
He sighed. “Just like a typical woman. You use ‘em and lose ‘em, or you keep stringing them along for your own personal enjoyment.”
She nodded. “’It’s true. But one has to admire your greediness, determination, and lust for power.”
“It’s more than what that poor excuse for a servant had, my dear Zelas.”
“No, Xelloss had all of those. However, he was a complicated one, and hard to figure out. Oh well, no matter.”
“I’m very easy to figure out, Zelas. My life is an open book.”
“One that I haven’t been interested in reading.”
“Ouch. You’re a cold woman.”
“Thank you.” Zelas yawned, then waved her hand towards him. “I’m tired of this. You can go now, Koru.”
He stood up, watching her as she stood up as well. She was aware of his eyes on her as she turned around and set her glass on the windowsill. “Are you gone yet?” she asked without turning around, her eyes on the dark ocean below.
“Goodnight, Zelas,” he said softly. Then he was gone.
Zelas sighed wearily. Something would have to be done about him. He was pushing his luck more than he knew.
On to Chapter 6
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