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Daughter of Realms

by Ember East

Chapter One

Wren and I moved in unison, our senses heightened. Every rustle of shadows and every distant whisper a potential threat.

As we forged ahead, our goal clear — to find the elusive portal back to the mortal realm— I felt a subtle shift in the energy around us. The oppressive darkness seemed to recede, replaced by an unsettling sensation that prickled at the edges of my awareness. Instinctively, I tightened my grip on the hilt of my axe, my muscles coiled like a spring, ready to strike.

A figure materialized before us as if emerging from the very fabric of the demon realm itself. His dark black hair skated like a waterfall, framing a face of sharp angles. He had an air of calculated elegance. Dark brown eyes, nearly black, locked onto mine, their intensity threatened to pull me in. He was eerily beautiful. His gaze captured mine with an intensity that shook me. My heart quickened my pulse, echoing in my ears as a surge of wariness coursed through me.

“Who are you?” I demanded, my voice steady, despite the uncertainty that churned within. I brandished my axe, ready to fight. 

The stranger inclined his head, a hint of a smirk playing at the corner of his lips. His eyes were dark pools, deep and fathomless, and in them, I saw lifetimes of knowledge and secrets. A shiver ran down my spine, my breath catching in my throat. I knew that this demon was powerful, perhaps more powerful than anything I had ever encountered. And yet, there was something about him that intrigued me. “I am Kaelan,” he replied, his voice soft yet commanding.

Wren’s low growl reverberated through the air, a testament to his distrust. We shared a wary glance, the bond between us reinforcing our shared sentiment. Demons were cunning, their intentions often veiled in shadows and deception.

“What do you want, demon?” Wren pressed, his gaze unyielding.

A chuckle escaped him, a sound that seemed to reverberate through the very air itself. “I merely wish to offer my assistance.” He stood tall in the shadows, his black jacket whipping around him in the chilling wind of the demon realm.

Wren’s shoulders remained raised, his wolfish eyes narrowed with suspicion. “We don’t need your help,” Wren said. I could feel his skepticism mirroring my own, our instincts urging caution even as the stranger presented himself as an unexpected guide. 

“Don’t be so sure,” the demon said, his tone tinged with amusement.

I met Kaelan’s dark gaze, my expression defiant. “And why should we trust you? You’re a demon, after all.”

Kaelan smirked in the face of our doubt. “Do you not think,” he said, cool and collected, “that my understanding of such realms makes me uniquely suited to brave them? Agreements of this kind can be fragile, but sometimes it is necessary to forge even unlikely partnerships.”

“What’s in it for you, demon?” I hissed, the accusation burning in my throat.

“I’m not looking for much, little half-breed. Just your name.” He drawled, his lips curling into a wry smirk. 

“My name? What could you possibly want with that?” I ask incredulously. 

“Well, I’ve given you my name, it would be rude of you not to give me yours.”


I stood there for a moment, crossing my arms. Wren gave me a knowing look as the demon continued to hold us in his gaze.

“Vale,” I finally breathed out, immediately regretting my decision, the finality of it sinking it. What mischief could this demon possibly get up to with my name?

“Vale.” The demon smirked, my name rolling off his tongue dripping with oil and honey.


“Lead us to the portal,” I commanded, my voice unwavering. The urgency of our situation demanded action, and while Kaelan’s motives remained shrouded in mystery, the promise of escape was too enticing to ignore.

Kaelan inclined his head, his dark eyes locking onto mine with an intensity that sent a shiver down my spine. “Very well, Vale. Follow me, and I’ll lead you through the shadows.”

Wren’s gaze remained fixed on Kaelan, his wariness a tangible presence. I shared a silent exchange with him, the unspoken understanding between us a testament to our shared determination.

“Lead the way, then,” I said, my voice laced with authority and caution. With each step, the path we had chosen grew more uncertain, and as we followed the mysterious demon into the heart of the demon realm, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were stepping into a web of intrigue that had been intricately woven long before our arrival.

With trepidation gnawing at our heels, we followed Kaelan. Each step carried us deeper into the demon realm, the twisted landscape shifting as if responding to his command. The shadows around us grew thicker, the crushing chill seeping into our bones. Kaelan led us through the labyrinth of the demon realm, his dark gaze fixed on the path ahead.

Time seemed to stretch and contract, the boundaries of reality blurring as we traversed the demon realm under Kaelan’s guidance. And my skepticism remained an ever-present undercurrent, but begrudging respect began to take root. There was an undeniable mastery in his command of the realm, a power that was both captivating and unnerving.

The tension and unease were palpable, the weight of uncertainty bearing down on us. We had placed our fate in the hands of a demon, a being whose motives were unknown and who was undoubtedly dangerous. Yet, we were left with no choice but to rely on him if we wanted to survive.

Kaelan led us deeper and deeper into the twisted landscape, his steps sure and confident. “Do not stray from the path,” he warned, his voice a low murmur.


The ground beneath our feet was now shifting, the shadows becoming more insidious. The air around us grew colder, and I could feel a subtle shift in the atmosphere. The demon realm was a dangerous place, a land of endless possibilities, both wondrous and horrifying.

“Are you sure this is the right way?” Wren whispered. His gaze flickered around us, his body tense and alert.

“Yes, this is the way,” Kaelan answered, his voice firm and confident.

The shadows were closing in, and the air was filled with an unmistakable sense of foreboding.

“I can’t see a damn thing,” Wren muttered, his words barely audible.

“Stay close,” Kaelan ordered. “We’re almost there.”

We moved together, our steps in sync, each movement guided by the sound of Kaelan’s voice. The darkness seemed to press in around us, its inky tendrils threatening to engulf us.

“How can you be sure we’re even going in the right direction?” I questioned, the uncertainty creeping into my tone.

“Trust me,” Kaelan responded. “I know these shadows better than anyone. We’re getting closer to the portal, I can feel it.”

Ahead, the darkness seemed to grow denser, a swirling vortex of shadow and chaos.

“There’s something in the darkness,” Wren murmured, his voice laced with curiosity.

“The portal is up ahead,” Kaelan confirmed. “Be prepared, the shadows are thick here.”

I could feel the anxiety rising within me, my heart pounding in my chest. The air was thick with an ancient power, a force that was both dangerous and exhilarating.


“Don’t worry, half-breed,” Kaelan murmured, his voice low and steady. “The portal is close, you can make it through.”

Finally, as if emerging from a dark dream, we stood before the portal, our promised return to the mortal realm. The weight of our journey hung heavy in the air, we had ventured into the heart of darkness and emerged.

I turned to Kaelan, his gaze holding mine. “Thank you,” I uttered, the words a reluctant admission of gratitude.

“It was my pleasure,” he replied, his voice rich with promise, his dark eyes glinting with the hint of a secret. Without another word, we stepped through the portal, our journey coming full circle as we left behind the demon realm, and returned to the mortal world. 

As I stood once again on familiar ground, rain-soaked and battle-worn, I couldn’t help but wonder about the beautiful but mysterious demon who had guided us through the abyss. His motives remained a mystery, his secrets hidden in the shadows, but his aid had been a crucial turning point in our quest. As I took in the sight of the mortal realm, its mundane landscape a stark contrast to the twisted landscape of the demon realm, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of relief. We had survived the journey, and our path forward was clear.

The night was a cloak of darkness. Our bodies were still recovering from the rigors of the day, but our spirits were high. We had defeated the demon and made it back home, a victory hard-earned.

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