My Past, Not Relevant
By G Heiss
Volume 1 Issue 8
June 8, 2021
Image provided by The Guardian
It has been hours since the king had been summoned home. He previously was in the mortal realm to take care of affairs and deals people wanted to make. Then his second-in-command called him down in an emergency pentagram. He almost felt sorry for the guy who was probably standing there confused for a while, staring at the scorched ground left in his wake.
Why did you summon me here, Corvin?" Since he was in his home now, Varis could feel his energy boost and return to him, large magenta wings now protruding from his shoulder blades and spreading out to their full 11-foot span before folding against his back. Four horns painlessly growing out from his skull, two curling upwards from the top of his head, the other two sprouting out from seemingly the bottom of his brunette head of hair. By this time, his nails had extended to claws, his eyes turned from white and brown to black and red, sharper than average teeth growing more and a whip like tail extending from his lower back. The tail thrashing as it grew before it settled as he waited for his second in command to answer his previous question.
Corvin Rex. An ash demon who had a raven animal morph. The two have known each other their whole lives, despite them being away from each other for a long period of time.
"Your presence was requested, Varis. An Imp by the name of Zodariis has been causing trouble in the slums and was brought here.
His pale skin seemed to vastly contrast from the king's own tanner skin. And when Varis turned to walk to the throne room, one of Corvin's pale hands caught his wrist. Red irises met black and Varis felt himself tense at the rare sight of Corvin's face of concern.
"Be wary, Varis.. Something seemed off about this imp…"
Varis forced his body not to shudder as he swallowed down his nerves and scowled.
"I'm not scared a low-leveling Imp from this ring of hell."
His voice echoed in the hall as he twisted his wrist slightly to get the other demon to let go. When Corvin did let go, Varis began to walk down the lavishly decorated hall toward the throne room. The halls were decorated with large pillars and numerous paintings of the previous rulers of the 9 rings. Said pillars were Roman in origin, laced with small golden details that he had never really bothered to look at in the past. Red eyes flicked to the many photos on the walls as his scowl grew.
Varis could almost feel the eyes of the previous rulers follow his moments in almost a judgmental way.
Calrash. One of the first demon queens to take the throne at the beginning of what the humans call the Cambrian. She was a tyrant to say the least, but she had been the first who dared to challenge Lucifer for the title, and she had been the only successful one at that.
"Meus Rex." A distant voice made it way to Varis's pointed ears and immediately his attention is on an incubus guard that was standing in front of his father's painting. Ur'Gest Cicero. Benevolent to the 9 circles that watched his every move. Behind closed doors however, Varis knew better.
"The Imp is being held by the best of the guard. It has shown some impressive strength for an Imp."
Varis could hear him talking, but his eyes were trained on his father’s own red eyes.
The sound of echoed skin on skin was deafening in the castle halls. Each slap of skin was followed by a child's cry of pain.
"You were supposed to be the powerful one! Why were you born a runt?!" Guards who passed the door always had a look of sympathy for the child. But none had the nerves to stand up to Ur'Gest. Anyone who seemed to do so, weren't seen the next rise of the blood moon.
"What do you mean, father?"
A young version of Varis, bruised and red looked up at his much larger father with tear-stained cheeks and unshed tears still stinging his eyes. Then he got picked up by his small wings. Another cry of pain came from the boy as his father tightened his grip on the wings and tossed him aside.
"Pathetic. You should be able to fly by now."
Varis's eyes widen in fear as the king, his father, drew closer...And closer. Raising a hand to--
"Meus Rex!" The guard choked out, clawing at the hand around his neck and struggling for oxygen.
Varis let go of the guard and had a look of regret on his face.
"Please, escort yourself to the infirmary to see to any potential wounds. I am so sorry about that, I got lost in thought."
The guard bowed his head and quickly walked away to head in the direction of the infirmary. Varis looked down at his hand that had been choking the guard previously, scowling and taking a few deep breaths.
His father was gone. Ur'Gest died over 8 centuries ago. While Varis was still relatively new to the throne, having only been king for two centuries, things were already vastly different. Varis had spent most of his "teenage" years in the mortal realm. When he learned to adapt as time went on, he closely observed how the world leaders went about managing their countries. Taking liking to George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte for a short amount of time, Toussaint-Louverture, and Henri Guisan. His magic had allowed him to learn, to study with the children that were "his age."
"Your Highness." There was a voice again that pulled him from his thoughts, this one was different from before. When Varis focused, it was two of the most decorated soldiers he had made sure were kept in the army.
The two soldiers were kneeling down with their wings folded against their backs with one arm on their knees and the other on the odd-looking Imp. The Imp should've had a red pigment in his skin if he were to be from the pride ring. Maybe even an orange. However, this one had green. Varis narrowed his eyes to see into the Imp's soul. His real name was Niagron, he died of an assassination and was a greedy man in his life by the name he can only find being Kyoji. A dark aura surrounded the demon king and a low growl came from his throat as he approached the Imp and grabbed its face by its chin.
"What do you want, greed spawn?" Venom laced with Varis's voice as the Imp growled back and moved to get out of the king's grasp.
"I want to challenge your authority, Cicero!"
Every other demon in the room went silent. They all recall just how powerful the last king was and how the king's own wife, Varis's mother, killed him by essentially drowning him in lava. Ur'Gest was a fire demon, his wife, Flanora, a lava demon. It was publicly known that not even Varis knew the full extent of his own power.
"We can escort him to a separate location where--"
"No." Varis butted in and took a deep breath. "Why do you propose to challenge me, greed spawn?"
Murmurs from servants, guards and soldiers rose at this notion. Varis was interested in the fight and the fire in the Imp's eyes reminded him a lot of himself back in his youth. The last challenge to a king that had happened that wasn't an internal matter was when Ur'Gest came into power. And that was nearly 3000 years ago.
"I came to challenge your logic! What made you say you had the right to waltz down back into hell and take the place of king? What in your past make you king?!"
Another round of silence. The soldiers who were previously holding the Imp backed away as they knew just a fraction of what their king is capable of. The servants are also hyper-aware of his untamed power that had direct ties to his emotions. Especially his anger.
The Imp's eyes widen in alarm and any previous fearlessness he had quickly dissipated as the king's appearance began to change. Growing in size in all proportions by at least another ten feet. His previous human looking skin now turning an angry red and his eyes appeared as if they held the infinite space of void. Magenta wings turning a deep shade of scarlet and the tip of his tail igniting in blue flames.
"Prior actus non refert…" Varis's voice was loud. The whole castle seemed to echo the deep guttural voice that now belonged to the king.
Not even moments later, the screams of the damned could be heard throughout the entire pride ring. Servants of the castle looked at what remained of the Imp with some pity and others looked disgusted. Ashes were quickly swept away as Varis returned to his normal size and his second in command pushed the doors open as if he were in a hurry.
"What happened? Where is the Imp? What did he want?"
The look on Varis's face alone was enough to shut the ravenette up, black eyes looking to the king's face as he slowly approached. Something was evidently wrong. But Corvin knows better than to pry.
"He came to challenge my authority, asking what gave me the right to sit on the throne."
Corvin sucked in a tense breath, his jaw clenching at the notion and he gave a strained nod of his head to show he understood why Varis looked the way he did.
"And… what did you say?"
"My past? Not relevant."
Meus Rex: My King
Prior actus non refert: Prior actions do not matter