Helstrum was bored.

He, and his summoned army of Demons, had – as promised – subjugated the land. Well, this land. He didn’t much care for the others. The Slave Pits were working at full strength, the City had been ground down to a sea of misery. It have been going on for a while too – so all hope for that meddlesome costumed heroine had been stolen from the inhabitants.

This meant that his nightly rounds were never interrupted. He didn’t even need a guard now.

“It takes all the fun out of the bleeding, let me tell you.”

The terrified inhabitant squealed. He was being held over the edge of the Dark Lord’s balcony. The unfortunate had endured the Dark One’s whining for over a hour and hoped that Helstrum’s arm wasn’t getting tired.

“Oh – what do you car-” Helstrum faltered.

He was a vampire. His hearing was beyond all imagining. He could hear the sweat leak from the pores of the villager he was terrorising, he could hear the breathing of the only living person in the building.

So hearing a second pair of lungs inflate and deflate, and the almost silent sound of someone landing in the room behind them wasn’t a problem at all.

Other then they shouldn’t be there. It couldn’t be a rescue mission, this guy was randomly plucked from the slave pits. He sniffed.

It was almost scentless, and with the stench of panic coming from the one he was holding, almost should have been good enough. If Helstrum hadn’t been, as stated before, a vampire. Male. Not the costumed one, but could it be a new challenger?

It was, to Helstrum, deliciously exciting. He was about to turn round and confront the intruder when he heard the air itself part and a third step into the room. A teleporter? A Gate spell? They weren’t demons. Demons stank.

He looked out at the human he had dangling. There wouldn’t be much fun in that one. “You know, I hate to leave you hanging around.” He let go.

Now – the turn should be masterful. It should be…why wasn’t there a scream? Or a thud.

“He knows we’re here.” Helstrum turned. Where was the usual fear in the voices of those who faced him.

He saw a small man clad in black. Only his eyes were visible behind some black mask. Was he an assassin? Someone had sent an assassin to kill him?

Helstrum laughed until the appearance of the other in the room broke his train of thought. At least 7 foot tall, as pale as the Vampire was, his eyes were milky and yet he moved around the room with a practiced ease.

“I don’t care. I know he’s here.” He spoke with a voice that also seemed to tear the air. Helstrum had no idea what that was. And he figured he should be worried – especially with that lack of thud.

A familiar scent flooded his memories. And it wasn’t just the stench of the panicking villager.

He turned to see that one floating, albeit in an awkward fashion, in the air.

A word was breathed, so softly that only Helstrum could hear. It was a command. A command that filled his bored heart with joy, fear and excitement.

It was joined by the steps of the two behind him moving.

He span a kick out to where the little one should have been and watched as the shape leapt over the his own outstretched leg and landed, sending a crushing blow into his cheek before sweeping his supporting leg out from under him.

Helstrum leapt up.

The villager had been placed safely behind the three. The Assassin, the freak and, on point, the cloaked, masked figure of his nemesis. A figure he hadn’t seen for years.

Naomi spoke, and her voice was as thunder. “Missed me?”

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