Chloe Valencia

Devil Insider

Devil Insider #4: The Hellhound King

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Startled by the fire she thought should have burnt her to a crisp, Nell coughs and grumbles. Still with her eyes closed, and finding her balance, more annoyed than confused, she asks herself “What the hell was that? That’s not what the ritual is supposed to do at all!“. She rubs her face before opening her eyes to reveal to her, she’s in a different place.

When she was at a lifeless and cold desert before, she now finds herself in a fiery cave, the air is hot and dry, and burning twigs can be heard from everywhere. In front of her lies a path in the middle of a magma sea, to the entrance of a huge wall in front of an even bigger castle city. And she looks at it in awe, with the realization of how huge this one part of hell is.

Nell loses no time and begins walking towards the entrance, remembering her goal with all this. As she’s walking she thinks to herself, looking at the ground rather than forward: “Why do I have to come all this way for him? I wish I didn’t have to do that stupid creepy ritual to come get him. He’s my father, he should be at the very least in the same world as me. Why is he in here anyways? I…don’t have time for this crap-”

She rushes to the gate, no thoughts, head empty, fiery bats the size of a lion come falling from the ceiling, and they spit lava towards Nell, she just dodges them by jumping high, unsheathing her sword she lands on one of them stabbing it, and jumps to another, over and over until there are none left.

Out of the lava come grotesque demons, like twisted humans with a giant hand instead of legs. They run towards Nell as fast as a jaguar. She lands and stops her momentum to jump back towards the demons, moving in the middle of the group, as she cuts in half the ones on the right, and repeats the move to cut the rest and continue forward.

From the ground sprout scorched trees, taking Nell by surprise, they grab her limbs to stop her and drag her away from her destination. The branches hold her up in the air and several of them stab her guts over and over, causing her to spit lots of her own blood onto the burning soil, boiling it and burning the remains.

Out of nowhere Nell lights on crimson flames like before. The branches already scorching in normal heat, burn up to a crisp in the flames from Nell. The wounds on her gone already, she lands gracefully on the ground, flames dissipating and her red skin showing itself, watching the trees die off.

“I don’t have any time for this, if they keep coming like that I’m gonna be here much longer than planned.” And so, she takes off much faster, jumping forward rather than stepping, and pushing on the air with her wings, as more demons come out of the lava and pursue her, though she ignores them.

Nell arrives at the entrance at the end of the path, and the demons following her desperately suddenly give up the chase and retreat. She looks back at them while the red on her skin sheds, she remains silent, and turns back around to the gate and begins walking forward as it opens to swallow her whole.

The opening gate, like a mouth, appears to be “drooling” fire, and “exhaling” smoke, the growling of a huge beast can be heard just in front of Nell. The smoke begins to clear around her and the fire cools down. She looks into the smoke with an smug look on her face.

A fiery figure can start to be seen through the smoke. The beast speaks to Nell: “What is a filthy human doing here? Are you lost little bug? Perhaps you meant to go up, but you fell down here…” and as the smoke finally clears completely, revealing the three headed beast, chained to the very gate.

“Excuse my scent, my perfume ran out and I had no time to go buy another one today, got places to be…and I’m not lost, I meant to come down, and you’re in the middle of my way buddy…” Nell replies to the beast, as she unsheathes her blade, and the beast stands up.

“You’ve come to be squashed then, no human is allowed through this gate. Apologize for your insolence and I just might consider letting you turn back around!” he exclaims, stomping on the ground, the chains binding him audibly hit themselves.

She eagerly replies: “Sorry pal, I’m not one to back down, so I guess we’ll have to do this the hard way, eh? Oh! Hey, I remember seeing years ago a stinky little pooch that looked just like you! In fact…I remember it so well…his screams of pain and terror when I was finished with him…oh, so very sweet…I wanted to stay with him to keep savoring the moment…but just like today, I had places to be and not that much time, so I had to go unfortunately! When I came back he was already dead, and it made me feel disappointed, but eh, whatever was I gonna do about it? Am I right…buddy..?”

Upon hearing Nell’s words, the beast grows larger and goes up in flames, enraging at the thought of this puny human being so disrespectful. “He was weak and pathetic, but I am king of the Cerberus clan! You will pay for your disrespect with your bones and flesh, and there is no way out!” he exclaims, and Nell responds “You feel sorry for your friend? That’s so cute! When I’m done with you, are you gonna be gone or is double hell a thing? Give me your best shot, Fido…”

To Be Continued…

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