Drumming of his Heartbeats

Blood drumming in his ears, his booted feel hitting the hard pavement beneath him in hurried steps as he ran from house to house. The soft clinking and rasping of his armor were barely heard, nor the occasional slap and clank of his cuisses against the edge of his shield. His sword whispered through the air as it was brought in a wide arc that bit deeply into the Succubus’ hip. The unearthly scream of the demonic soul, however, brought him to full consciousness. He brought up his shield to beat away the clawed hands that swiped at his face, and the sound of his blade pulling free from her flesh would have made a weaker man sick. He took a step back, parrying her swiping claws and brought his sword in again, severing an arm, then as she hurled her body at him in a rage, bit deeply into her thigh on the rejoinder. He made quick work of dispatching the Succubus, before his attention caught the imp that hurried away from him. He swore. Can’t let that one get away. He gave chase, letting the thick cord of woven unicorn hair keep his sword from hitting the dirt as he pulled a knife from his belt. A quick throw, as he turned the corner of the butcher’s shop saw the imp’s wing impaled. It fell in a flapping, snarling heap to the blood-stained ground. Zeth had set upon the creature quickly.
"Parlay!" It screamed, it’s voice like dull scissors ripping through paper. "For all that is unholy, parlay!"
"Would you beg for mercy, filth?" Zeth brought his sword’s blade to the creature’s neck.
"From a half-blood like you? Never. I don’t expect to keep my pretty little head. Were you any other soul in this place, maybe, but stories abound of the half-blooded traitor Zathurial Trenelus. Do it quickly, then." The imp spat, laying still with all the dignity it could muster.
"Have it your way, filthy pest. When you see the other side, be sure to tell them that I won’t stop until every last one of the lords under the earth are dispatched." Zeth laughed, bringing the blade back enough to deliver the final blow.
"I’ll be sure your father hears of the hatred you carry for your blood." The imp laughed even as the blow to his neck separated head from body.
"I hope he does." Zeth said to the corpse, retrieving his knife before skewering the imp’s heart to be sure it stopped beating.

A bright explosion of pain brought Zeth whirling back around, his tail switching from where claws had gouged into it’s flesh. He dropped into a low stance, shield up to engage whatever had offended his sensitive tail. The beast that loomed over him laughed, the split in it’s lower jaw creating the perfect place for stinking drool to drip from as it swiped massive clawed hands down at the much smaller man. The demon that loomed nearly twice his height was slow, however. Newly conjured, not the same as those who had been in the world for long. It’s skin was still hot and swollen from the fires that had birthed it. "A big one, ain’t you?" Zeth taunted as he whispered an oath. His blade became sheathed in holy flame, cleansing away the tainted blood of other enemies it had claimed before this one.
"Big enough to crush you beneath my feet." It spat and gurgled. Laughing as it bat the warrior’s lunging blade aside.

Zeth muttered another oath, the runes carved into his horns flashing bright as the silver flared holy light. "By my blade and name, I call forth my will. Guide my blade, and let all foes before me fall." Once more his blade was consumed in white hot holy flames. "I will bring you down, piece by piece if I have to." Zeth grinned lopsidedly as he burst forward, planting a foot on the demon’s knee as he launched himself upward. The flaming blade carved cleanly through the demon’s arm, bringing forth a scream only heard in the pits of hell below. Letting momentum carry him, Zeth slammed his shield into the beast’s belly, causing it to double over. In the brief moment the demon’s head was brought down, Zeth’s blade shot upward to spear into the creature’s neck, erupting from the top of it’s skull with sizzling fury. The remaining arm managed to grab hold of Zeth’s body, claws digging into his armored chest. "Bring, it, down!" Zeth yelled as he poured his will into the blade, the fires expanding until it left nothing left above the scorched demon’s abdomen, the arm having fallen aside as it released him. He dropped to the ground and staggered. It had taken quite a bit more of him than he intended to pull that off, but he had enough left in him to stand again. Only the drumming of the blood in his ears remained. His heart’s beating in his chest gave out a ragged rhythm that drove him forward. He’d not rest until every last tainted soul was destroyed, driven back to the world under the earth where they came from. He glanced around the smoldering remains of the village, not seeing any other blight, nor feeling the presence of demon blood that still had life in it. A quick chant closed the wounds under his armor, scarring the gouges in his body. A quick flick of his tail confirmed that no lasting damage remained. He was once again whole.

He needed a drink, and a barmaid.. Or a bath and a good scrubbing by a pretty bathgirl. Both, really. Thinking of the place he’d most like to be, he muttered the words to the sacred journey he wished to take, before leaving the smell of burnt buildings, and bloody flesh behind him.

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