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One's man Chaos is another person's Entertainment

Vista, Princess Of Hell

She gazed into the brass mirror. For a moment her eyes lingered on the five dragons encircling the edge of the reflective surface. A gift from her adopted father. Beautiful, yes, but she often wondered if he gave it to her as a continuous reminder of half of her heritage and… eternal debt.

She allowed different versions of herself to fill the mirror. Blondes and brunettes reflected back at her. Maidens and matrons mixed with red horned devils and long fanged temptresses. By accident she paused, as a young woman with a face full of delicate green scales stared at her.

An angered cry escaped from her lips and she quickly turned her back to the mirror while transforming herself into a short-horned beauty in a close-fitting scarlet dress.

Storming away from her wing, she felt the familiar waves of anger building over her. Advisors told Vista her true father remained cold, careful, and calculating.

She wondered if her first desire would be to kill him if they ever met.

Her pointed heels clicked over the iron corridors of the Infernal city of Dis. She had, long ago, ceased to let the glowing red-hot floors bother her.

Part of her, perhaps the human part, still felt like the twenty-year-old girl she often appeared to be, although her age was nearly five times that.

My nintieth birth– no she couldn’t really call it a birthday, since a birth isn’t the same thing as being torn out of your mother’s dead womb. Gritting her fangs, she allowed her train of thought to continue. I’ve been alive for ninety years and still I’ve rarely set claw out of Dis and have never left the endless fires of Hell.

Thinking back to her summons she contemplated, but perhaps this is all about to change.

*         *         *

She entered the Room of the Boiling Throne. She knew her adoptive father had several throne rooms scattered about his black tower in the center of Dis, but this remained one of her favorites.

The room stretched to heights which allowed its upper reaches to stay lost in the bellowing pewter smoke and clinging ash created from the five bowls of boiling lead. She imagined creatures such as humans wouldn’t last a minute within the room and this suited her fine. She had pledged herself to bring about the destruction of the creatures which owned a fourth of her blood.

Her father sat on the boiling throne as though it was covered with pillows and not a churning of spattering iron. Despite its undulating surface, the boiling steel of Dispater’s throne never left the slightest stain on his regal rust colored robe.

With him stood only two other figures; even guards appeared to be absent. Titivilus caught her attention at once. Although the goat legged and scowling Devil had remained a Dispater loyal second for millennia, she would not need an additional hand to count how many times she’d seen them in this room together. Dispater kept Titivilus too busy to linger in his master’s throne rooms.

The Devil gave his head the slightest of bows toward her as his split tongue worried over one of his three-inch fangs.

As casual as Titivilus was reverent, Allethel’s beauty felt out of place in the stark iron clad chamber. A more recently fallen angel, the mere centuries of her banishment did little to mar her perfect face and body.

Vista hated her for it.

Long waves of amber locks tumbled over her alabaster shoulders leaving her looking more like the finest sculptor’s attempt to make the archetype of the height of female exquisiteness, instead of a living breathing being. Yet unlike Vista, who allowed half of her feminine assets be on display, Allethal was a creature of war and her slim but voluptuous body stayed obscured by her full set of ebony plate mail.

She didn’t bother to nod but locked eyes with Vista as if she read her soul and found it lacking.

Despite the powers radiating from his servants, no one could compete with the majestic presence of her adoptive father, Dispater, and she bowed without hesitation. Her father dressed in royal robes of the finest silks woven by spider slaves he had stolen from the Queen of the Demon Web Pits. Without his small horns he could have been a bearded king like any other, but when he leaned forward to regard her, enough of his robe moved to reveal one of his cloven hoofs.

“Vista, dear daughter, welcome. You of course know Titivilus and I believe you are acquainted with Allethel.”

“We have meet, father.” She shot the fallen angel a look, but the Erinyes remain aloof and acted like the meeting burdened her.

“I have brought you here, Vista, for it is time.”

“Time for what?” she asked slowly.

“Your training is complete, or at least the training we shall provide you at this time. The outer world shall provide the rest.”

“What are you saying father?’

He paused and regarded her with a silence which stretched far too long. “Everyone has a place and your place was never meant to be here in Dis. You are a creature of the mortal coil and to the place of man you shall return.”

“But father I-”

“I shall allow no debate on these matters. Everything in the multiverse has a place and tasks to perform and you are no different. You have learned much and honed your skills while living within these walls, but your time for palace intrigue and decadence is passed. You, my daughter, will now be granted your destiny.”

“But father I’m in the middle of many complex plans and half-finished goals.”

“These will seem like ashes escaping a fire, once you are presented with your true missions. You are not complete Vista, but soon… you shall be.”

His words filled her with trepidation. For decades she had longed to return to earth and explore the place of her origin, but now as the day drew upon her, she knew fear.

“But what is the mission or missions of which you speak father?”

“Allethel will explain the finer details to you, but Vista one thing.” His eyes glowed with a red fire as he addressed her. “You have waited long for your vengeance and you will regret it if you gulp it down too quickly. Ours is not the way of the mindless Demon. No, we savor our victory and delight, why slaughter an adversary in a single night when we could torment them for months or even years slowly breaking off pieces of their lives and happiness until they are helpless and shattered.”

“You speak of The Virgin, the one who killed my mother.”

“Yes, and you will be allowed your vengeance, but for the moment she might remain a useful pawn in our battle against the Abyss.”

“In what way father? She represents all that we loathe. She fights for both light and Chaos.”

“True, but enemies are often the most useful individuals to use. More will be explained to you by Allethel for she will accompany you back to the plane of mortals and will remain there with you as your advisor, mentor and guard.”

Vista exchanged another look with the tall armored woman, but this time Allethel allowed herself the slightest of grins.

“But father there are questions I need to ask you and-”

“As I have already stated, your learning here is complete. My final words of advice to you are these: remember to rain in your anger child and do not let it rule you. Patience, thoughtfulness, and plotting will take you further than the spell and the sword. Control your emotions or they will control you and you will become no better than the swine we fight.”

“Farewell, dear daughter.”

She opened her mouth to protest, but was already gone.

*         *         *

Vista had never met the old woman who had torn her out of her dead mother’s body. It played tricks with her perceptions and made her head hurt when she kept reminding herself, for Ein Nessa, she had only removed Vista as a dying baby ninety days ago instead of the ninety years Vista had already experienced.

Ein Nessa seemed old, although Vista had already lived more years than her. Humans are so strange and weak. Death has already half claimed the old witch.

Ein Nessa wore the black hooded robes of a priest and in her own way worshiped her father, Dispater, which she also saw as a concept difficult to absorb. I’d want to hide my wrinkles too. And that face, if I looked half as ugly, I would have killed myself decades prior.

Moving with a bent gait, Ein Nessa looked over her shoulder at Vista while their feet continued down the narrow stone corridor. “I wasn’t expecting you back so soon, my princess.” She let out a nervous laugh. “It was less than a hundred day for me that you were a tiny baby in my arms. So small, I could have held you in one hand.”

“Best to put such thoughts out of your head,” Vista started, “I am leagues removed from such things with years of wizard and combat training. I shall become the ruler of these lands shortly.” Her voice took a darker edge as her eyes bore into the brown orbs of the old witch. “No one needs to be made aware of such things.”

“Yes, your grace,” Ein Nessa replied and also lost her jovial tone.

Vista wondered if the old woman had been cowed or if the Nessa’s affect had been contrived since her arrival.

At the end of their painfully short walk, Ein Nessa stopped and opened a wooden door. Its recent creation was evident by its rich pine scent and the visual traces of sap running in thin strings down its length.

“This can be your quarters my grace. I apologize and we will endeavor to improve your comfort, but for now, it is the best we can offer.’

Looking past her, Vista took in the haggard room. A bed unfit for a foot soldier jutted away from the cold stone wall. Everything felt damp and dripping with small pools of condensation lining the walls and the percaline chamber pot. A small desk and chair appeared to be recent additions to the room as well as the sad attempt at a floral arrangement near the arrow slit of a window,

“This will not do, I wouldn’t force my lowest servant to live in such a place. Where is your room?”

“This was my room, your Grace. Perhaps you remember warriors of Bak Dannis destroyed the building which used to hold the elite residing at the Hidden Bridge.”

“Bak Dannis?”

“The name Amethyst changed Uttman to, my Princess.”

“I should just level that place.”

Ein Nessa eyed her. Vista saw a glint of intellect there.

Perhaps I should ensure I don’t underestimate this one.

Ein Nessa spoke with a slow intention. “I doubt your mother believed such young fools would bring about her end. Tread with care when fighting people who believe they are heroes.”

“How many troops do we have?”

Ein Nessa laughed. “We have eight warriors loyal to our Lord who used to serve your mother. Them and some forty goblins, mostly run aways your father is gracious enough to ignore. Mostly likely ignored so he can hold it over us later.”

“My father…? Wait, you mean the dr- Rattle Jik is not my father,”

“As you wish, my grace,” Ein Nessa bowed but met Vista eyes as she did so.

“I’ll take the room for now, but if you people can’t prepare a decent room, I’ll do it myself.”

*         *         *

She inspected the grounds: A guard shack, a goblin hovel, an empty slave pen, and a boring stone square housing everything else. She had already grown tired of the most handsome of her mother’s guard and didn’t so much as give him the rest of the day off after they shared a bed.

A light rain left the forest damp and promised of a cold to come. She wanted to curse herself for it, but the scents and colors of this lush lands awakened feelings within her. Half of the blood flowing threw her veins were from her forest dragon linage. She felt a new energy moving through her.

I might be stronger here.

But even as she felt those words, she cursed herself for them. She was a Devil, a Princess of Hell, not some giant lizard. She let her illusion fade from her hand and took in the soft green scales which covered her skin, twirled her long fingers a moment, and then renewed the form she’d been using.

Everything is so alive. Life is exploding out of the ground. I never saw a patch of green grass my entire life and now it would take me a week just to clear a space for the size of a castle worthy of me.

She spied an odd figure approaching her. He wore leather armor and a swagger, A crossbow hung from his belt but he kept his hands as empty as her dreams.

Nearing her, he stopped five paces away, bowed, and then let loose with a smile so greasy if would have made a Devil proud.

“Hello my lady, I thought I should introduce myself to you personally. I, as you have undoubtedly guessed am, Sin Loch, the most powerful spell caster to survive the destruction of our first attempt at a castle.”

“So you were there when my mother died but didn’t prevent it?”

His smile fell. “I…I assure you I fought until we were overrun. I was holding the wall against their infantry. I killed dozens but we were swarmed. I wasn’t near your mother when she dueled The Virgin.”

“The Virgin. You’re sure it was her?”

“Yes, but she also has a core group of very loyal adventure types, you know the kind. I’ve fought them more than once. I wouldn’t go after them alone.”

“Good so you’ll be the first I enlist.”

He turned pale. Then his eyes lit up. “I know of something else. Amethyst has a magical stone of immense power. She is using it to build walls around Bak Dannis. She has already crafted miles and miles of walls. Perhaps instead of striking at her we could try to steal her stone and anything else she might have laying around.”

“Just because I have been sent to this mortal coil doesn’t mean I have to degrade myself to the level of thief the first week I arrive.”

“Wait, wait,”

She stared.

“Oh yes, your lady. I mean my lady. I’ve seen her use it. The thing is, the stone is huge, bigger than an orc’s head. We could wait until she is off having a drink at the tavern with those chaos lovers, grab the stone, and then a powerful sorceress like yourself could build yourself a huge castle in a few tenday.”

“It does sound tempting, but I’m not going to leave this to chance. I have certain allies.”

“I’m glad to hear it. I’ve heard about the white winged Fallen One some of the guards have seen flying into Marble Canyon.”

She felt her brow tense. “Speaking of our Fallen One, let’s keep this plan to ourselves. I have other allies… let’s just say, they can pass through walls.”

“That should help.”

“And also leave you free to watch my back.”

“Why, what are we doing?”

“I’m going to catch a glance of this…Virgin.”

“Not good.”

“I never am.”

*         *         *

Vista waved her hand casually, like she owned the primitive fort her small team found themselves in. Near the cusp of trees where they spoke, soldiers and peasants went about their tasks well past sunset. Wagons moved and the sound of horses echoed through the small village which had grown up around the north gate of Bak Dannis.

Her spies, two Succubae, each one with a preferred gender, looked at her with their beautiful yet bottomless eyes. Dollie’s slim body moved like liquid sex. Her ‘brother’ Andayose stood in a more reserved manner but eyed Vista like a delicacy he’d like to savor.

“The Virgin and her allies have headed to the Misty Corners Tavern, my mistress,” Dollie hissed through her fangs as she leaned over the tree like a lustful cat.

“Superb, You two go and steal the Earth Stone,” They turned to go, but she held them, “and kill someone she cares about while you’re there, like a beloved servant or a family member.”

It appeared her smile disturbed even the fiends for without another word they winked out of sight.

Sin Loch looked her way. “Are you sure you want to do this?” then he quickly added, “My Lady.”

“So nervous; aren’t you a powerful spell thrower, dear Sinny?”

“Um, sure. I might have the skills to get me out of there alive.”

“Can you not smell the power here? I want to feed on it, but not all tonight. I want to savor my hunt and allow my prey to learn the full length of her doom before I pounce, but tonight, tonight, little warlock, I just want to see. See the face of the girl who murdered my mother.”

“By Hell’s unholy bells, I fear this will be a long night.”

*         *         *

So young she looked like little more than a girl. Where Dollie’s face screamed sex and desire, Amethyst’s had a calming peace to her gestures. Her smile reminded one of the love of creation and why…why I hate you so MUCH.

Vista cast a whirling ball of fire twenty feet wide into the tavern and centered it on the Virgin.

People screamed while others died. Half the tavern was set ablaze and as windows exploded outward, bellows of black smoke followed the rain of glass. Vista felt a brief moment of supreme satisfaction. It lasted perhaps two seconds and then things began to happen quickly.

The first thing she noted was a jet of water putting out most of the fires which her spell had begun. The second was a brazen youth leaping through the half-shattered window. He led with a magic shield and hit the ground running. She could already make out his blue eyes before he crossed more than half the distance toward them. He wore little more than metal reinforced leather, but this let him move like no human she’d seen.

“Shit, crap. That’s Phants the major’s son!” Sin Loch let out a shout followed by a lightning bolt which hit the young warrior in the chest. He crashed back against the wall of the tavern, but even after being hit with both fire and lightning, Phants already struggled back onto his feet.

But she had other issues. Some kind of knight ran out the front door. “Foul creature of Ill. Hurting innocents, halting joy. there is no darker crime!”

She saw him cast a protection spell as he rushed toward her. Something exploded around her and she cried our as her flesh split and trickles of blood flowed from her torn skin. Taking a step back she saw Sin hadn’t taken any damage. He’s using his best spells to protect himself instead of attacking, the coward.

Brushing off the dust she said, “I think our little virgin has finally joined the game. I-” She cried out in pain as a magic arrow sunk into her left shoulder. She hadn’t noticed the two warriors which followed the knight out. The female had an enchanted bow which could pierce both her defenses and skin.

Amethyst

Her hatred filled yell tore into the night, “Amethyst, you killed my mother, I will be your destruction!” Vista cast a spell which should have torn apart their minds and left them half helpless. They screamed in agony, but most of them pushed through it growing only angrier.

Phants rushed in to her and brought his sword point up into her ribs. She gasped out as it sunk four inches into her chest. Withdrawing the blade, he dropped low and hacked a deep crescent into her leg.

Stumbling back she saw Sin Loch being pressed by the Knight, the wild maned warrior, and some rogue she only now saw.

She tried to regather herself and cast a new spell but was hit in the chest by a lightning bolt instead. “I ordered a mug of ale, not crazy,” Amethyst said, her face full of fury behind the streaks of soot.

She was far from dead. It would take much more than frying a ten-inch-wide weeping wound of burning pain to take her out of the fight but when she saw Sin Loch go down, she managed to get out, “I not going to make this easy on you. I’m going to savor your misery long before you draw your last breath, Amethyst.”

She just managed to hear Phants say, “I’m going to mount your head on the wall in my dog’s house,” before she teleported away.

Phants

*         *         *

She wasn’t leaving because she didn’t want to see Amethyst again. It would be difficult for me to care less about some backwoods bumpkin and her ratty band of braggarts. I have her Earth Stone already which is certainly the most valuable thing that pathetic little virgin has to offer.

Vista had enjoyed playing with the Earth Stone. Knowing where it came from added to the thrill, but something nagged at the back of her soul, a doubt not so easily ignored. I could gather a force and go back and destroy them all, of course I could. I could kill them one at a time in the dark, poison and shadow. It is my choice to let the battle continue. It is what my father said I should be doing, so I’m just following an immortal’s advice.

The Earth Stone could only be enacted an hour a day. Vista used it to make a large addition to her chambers, but drudgery was never something she could abide. So she allowed Ein Nessa to use the Earth Stone in the slim hope the Hidden Castle could become a livable and defensible estate.

My first on this life injected world.

Her mind told her she had unfinished business with the Virgin. She put this off by preparing to do the one task she dreaded almost as much. Setting out her finest scarlet dress, she set out to prepare to meet her father.

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If you liked this tale you can grab some of my SkinJumper-Punk fiction here.

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