Chapter 2: Accepted by Humans or not?

Cornelius and the others believe I have amnesia (not too far from the truth) and have accepted me as part of their hero party. They really don’t see me as a threat. Since the demon king, my old boss, fled, we have the country back, but we have to return to the castle where the king of our country resides to report this. I wonder where the demon king fled to though.

When the Demon King left, the teleportation circles in the castle activated allowing us to leave the castle without having to go through mazes and stairs. That’s good since it seems like a lot of trouble. With us out of the castle, we began to head to the closes village. If my memory serves me right, the closes village is Crimson Valley…it was named after the massacre of the previous village that cannot be named (nobody remembers the name)…that’s really horrible. It needs a new name.

As we walked, I saw lots of green. For an area near a demon castle this place is full of life. So pretty. Ah, there are some cute birds in a nest in the tree. AHHH! One of the baby birds is falling. I caught the cute birdy and then tipped toe. I couldn’t reach the nest, so I flapped my wings to make me higher. I was at finger length from the nest, so I was able to place the baby bird back in the nest unharmed. Thank goodn…AHHH! I crash into the ground with a groan. That really hurt. I need to learn how to fly.

I noticed the heroes looking at me and I swear I could feel my face heating up. Their looks make me feel so embarrassed.

I suddenly heard Cornelius laughing and faced him. He helped me to my feet and stated, “You really have changed.”

I would think so, since I am a different person.

We continued to walk, but Luna suddenly glanced at me and then faced Cornelius saying, “We’re close to the village, but is it really wise to bring Phoenix into the village. I mean he IS a demon.” Cornelius looked at me with a complicated look.

Oh yeah, humans hate demons like me, so I should find a way to blend in, but how can I when my wings are so huge? Maybe I can cut them off…that would hurt. Maybe I can shrink them…but I don’t know how. I then remembered that Korra, the magician of the group, was good at spells, so maybe…

“Korra?”

“Yes?”

She sounds pretty scared.

“Can you make my wings disappear?”

“HUH?”

Was it that shocking for me to ask this?

“I thought your race takes pride in their wings.”

So my wings are precious to me…right now they are a nuisance, so…

“Please make them disappear.”

Korra looked reluctant, but urging from the others convinced her to do what I asked. She held her scepter at me and stated, “I’ve never tried this before, so don’t blame me of you get hurt.” I nodded and then a flash of light erupted from the scepter and collided into my body. This feels very comfortable. I want to sleep.

I tried to close my eyes, but snapped them back open when Korra yelled, “It’s done!” The light had faded and when I glanced over my shoulder, I saw no trace of those giant wings. No more weight on my back.

The heroes looked relieved, but I suddenly heard a small flap. I glance over my shoulder again and saw that my wings were not gone…they had shrunk. They look like penguin wings now. Looks like Sebastian noticed, since he began to laugh hysterically as he fell to the ground laughing. The others seemed to notice as well and had different reactions: Korra looks depressed, Luna has her hand over her mouth with wide eyes, and Cornelius is chuckling to himself in a light fashion unlike the rolling Sebastian.

“I can at least hide them now,” I stated, but now I feel a small chill on my back. I see, my wings shrunk, so my back that is not covered by the armor is now exposed…I’m cold.

It looks like Luna noticed me shivering and wrapped my back with one of her priest robes.

“We should get you new clothes when we enter Crimson Valley.”

I nodded with chattering teeth.

We continued our walk once again, but for some strange reason, Luna and Korra were sticking close to me. It is hard to walk, but they are so warm. They are nice girls.

…Now I feel a different chill…emitting from Sebastian. Why? Is he cold too?

We soon reached the village that was bustling with people. Luna nodded and then looked at me asking, “Are you OK to walk on your own?” I nodded and then Korra and Luna separated from me. I see, they thought I needed my wings for balance, so them sticking with me was to prevent me from falling. Such nice girls, but walking without wings is a lot easier than with wings.

I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder and saw Sebastian grinning at me…is he happy? I don’t know. It seems forced.

“You must have been popular with the demon ladies.”

Popular? I wonder what he means by that. He actually looks a little angry right now.

Cornelius suddenly shoved Sebastian off of me and said, “Leave him alone, Sebastian.”

I don’t know why, but Sebastian began to kind of tear up as he spoke.

“It’s not fair! I am the good guy who helps damsels in distress during our journey and even fought sub bosses the best I could and yet, the enemy is already wooing the girls of our team. NOT FAIR!”

Sebastian sounds frustrated, but judging by the shaking head of Cornelius, this must happen often.

Ah, I suddenly felt something soft yet hard hit the back of my head. Blood…no, this is definitely tomato juice. Did someone throw a tomato at me?

“What are you doing child?”

“That man is a demon. There’s no mistake!”

Huh, oh, I see, that little boy must have thrown the tomato at me, but I wonder why? The boy threw another tomato at my forehead, but an elderly woman grabbed the boy trying to carry him off, but he struggled in her arms trying to throw another tomato at me.

“Stop this at once.”

“Why can’t you guys see? That man is Phoenix!”

This time, everything grew quiet. All eyes fell on me.

“Is that really Phoenix?”

“It must be. He wears the same demon armor.”

It looks like everyone knows my true identity…oh dear, someone is pulling out a machete. That’s very dangerous.

“That bastard, he’s the one who slew my friend!” the man with the machete yelled and then rushed toward me. He wasn’t the only one coming at me…everyone in the village had a weapon and were coming at me. I don’t want to hurt them, so I think it is better just to take their attack and then heal myself later…if I am still alive.

Before the machete could even reach me, Cornelius blocked the attack with his hold sword and then the other members of the hero party also joined in to block the attacks of the villagers.

“Stop this at once!” Cornelius ordered with a roaring voice. He reminds me of a mighty lion roaring.

“Why is the hero protecting a demon?” muttered one of the villagers with a very large hammer in his hand…that looks pretty scary.

“This person is not Phoenix. He’s…”

“But I am Phoenix.”

“…COULDN’T YOU TELL THAT I WAS TRYING TO PROTECT YOU?”

Cornelius looks mad at me, but all I did was tell the truth…oh right, the people here hate Phoenix. I guess it would have been better to lie.

One of the villagers, an old man with a cane, stood before the people, so I guess he is the leader.

“Hero,” the old man spoke, “I don’t know why you protect this fiend, but he must be killed.” Outbursts of agreement exploded from the villagers. They must really want me dead…I feel a little sad.

Looks like Cornelius is trying to clear up things by trying to explain my amnesia, but no one seems to be convinced. Actually, I see a few of the villagers sharpening their knives. That would really hurt.

Hang on…I think another memory is surfacing. I see a building with children. They looks really happy…hold on…they now look scared. Flames are engulfing the children! This is too scary! Please make it stop!

The memory ended, but now I know I did something horrible in this village. I came to a school of children (I don’t know why) and burned the school to the ground along with the children. I can see why the villagers would want me dead.

I went in front of Cornelius forcing him to stop talking and faced the villagers.

“I did something unforgivable, so please feel free to hurt me.”

“Phoenix, these people aim to kill you,” Cornelius tried to reason with me, but I shook my head saying, “I deserve what they plan to do to me.”

I knelt on the ground to allow even the children to attack me. I glanced at Cornelius hoping he would get the message that I was ready to receive my punishment. Cornelius seemed to understand since he made Sabastian, Korra, and Luna step back.

When the heroes were far enough, I waited for the first attack with my eyes closed, but as I knelt there, I felt no one approaching. I opened my eyes and saw that the villagers were beginning to hesitate. I don’t understand. I know I deserve to be beaten.

That old man, who I think is the leader, approached first glaring at me. I waited for his attack, but he didn’t even raise a hand against me. He sighed and then looked at the villagers.

“Phoenix’s punishment will be kneeling here with no food or water for a month. If anyone feels it is not enough then please speak now.”

No one spoke out, so my punishment was decided. I wonder why they decided not to beat me anymore.

The old man faced me again and stated, “We expected you to fight back, but you surrendering was out of our expectations. We are not killers, so this punishment should be more than enough.” The old man turned away from as did the other villagers who continued doing their errands. The boy who attacked me first still glared at me, but walked away with the old lady. I think that lady is his grandma.

Cornelius, after telling the others to find an Inn, knelt before me and asked, “Are you really fine kneeling here for a month?” I nodded saying, “This is my punishment.” Cornelius only sighed before wishing me luck and leaving my side.

…Now that I think about it, wouldn’t I die anyway without food and drink for a month? Let me just hope I will be fine in the end.

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