• Published 13th Jun 2015
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Hell Yeah - sunnypack



A demon summoned from the depths of the Other is irked when Twilight wants nothing more than to talk. A story of demonic proportions with a diabolical plot and hellish characters.

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2 - A Demon-stration

Chapter 2: A Demon-stration

Twenty four hours. That’s the amount of time it takes to know if your magus is incompetent enough, delusional enough, or otherwise unlucky enough to be free of them. It only takes one mistake and revenge is... sweet. You can take that literally if you like.

As a demon, it’s hard to get used to the idea that I wasn’t given a mission to do in the mortal realm. The Other was a diffuse, abstract kind of place where things that constrict mortals like time and space didn’t apply. So to alleviate my boredom, I followed my mistress.

“You can’t follow me!” Twilight exclaimed. “This class is only for foals.”

I stared at her blankly. “You told me I could do what I like, or were you lying, magus?”

She frowned. “My name is Twilight.”

“So it is.”

She frowned deeper. “Anyway, you can’t follow me, I’ve got class!”

There was that word again, class, if I remember correctly scholars and the such would congregate together to discuss things like science, philosophy, and foul magic. Not a place I would be too fond of going either, except…

“What did you say, foals?”

The little one nodded her head earnestly. “Mmhmm, I have to go to class.”

A sudden thought struck me. “Hey,” I said slowly, “just how old are you anyway?”

“I’m eight years old,” she replied proudly.

A sneaking suspicion crawled into my mind and died there. “You’re not a grown-up are you?” I hazarded that such a term existed in this world.

“No,” she said with a frown. “Why?”

I put my head into my claws. “Why indeed,” I growled, “don’t you know that summoning demons is dangerous? You could—” I stopped myself, I was beginning to have some serious déjà vu. “Never mind, fine, how about this?”

I snapped my fingers and disappeared.

Predictably, the magus gasped. “Wow, how did you do that?!”

I sighed. “I just bend light around me.” She gave me a blank look as I sighed impatiently. “Like a rock in the river—wait, why am I explaining this to you?”

“Aww,” the little thing pouted. “No fair.”

“Just… go to your ‘class’,” I growled.

The magus trotted a few steps towards the door, then paused and doubled back.

“You’re going to behave, right? Don’t come to class with me.”

“Yes, yes,” I said hastily. “We had an agreement, go, go.”

She nodded again and skittered out of the door, the steel hinges groaning as she shut the comparatively large door. The room was suddenly stifling with its quietude. As a relatively free demon I was at a loss to what I should do all on my own. For the first time in the service of a magus, I was free to do as I wish.

For a time I drifted around the room, pacing like a caged tiger. Even though I was allowed to almost anything I wished, as long as it didn’t involved destruction, mayhem, or anything harmful to living things, I found the list of things I wanted to do frighteningly short. I tripped over an ancient tome.

“Ooof!”

I scowled at it darkly and considered burning the book, but the familiar tingle of disobeying a direct order from my magus reminded me to hold back. Knowing her True Name rendered the warning meaningless, but I wanted to be in her good graces if she could send me back quickly. I could feel the oppressive constraints of the mortal plain press down on my being, what mortals would commonly associate with a soul.

It’s funny, right? A demon with a soul?

On the floor I sat back and leered at the books around me. Well, I had some time, and I didn’t have much faith that the magus could get me back to the Other by herself.

Better take a look at these books, how hard could it be?

———————

It didn’t take long for me to throw up my claws in frustration.

The books were a mess, nothing was ordered, nothing was categorised, all the information were tough as nails to sift through. Many of them were written in the archaic misbegotten language of the magi, rendering them meaningless to me. Some even had active protection on them which prevented me from remembering the contents. Still, the stuff I could read was confusing enough. As I waded through the confusing complexities of equations, azimuth angles, planes, intersections, bisections, bifurcations, monosectification, retention and refraction among reflection, I started to get an idea of what these crazy magi tried to accomplish with their spellcasting.

Don’t get me wrong, I barely scratched the surface, but what I gleaned was that the complexity of summoning even a wisp from the Other as opposed to a full-blown demon was staggering. This was way beyond me, it could take millennia for me to decode all this.

With a frustrated sigh I shelved the book back where it belonged on the new sorting system I made for the shelves. The room was enclosed, with no light source whatsoever. The only indication I had of the passage of time was the almost extinguished candles scattered around the room.

With a yawn, I realised I had spent a few hours perusing through the magus’ books. A sense of accomplishment welled up within me before I hastily quashed it under layers of annoyance. There wasn’t a reason I should feel anything but numb servitude. That was my lot in life.

The candles were almost burnt out and I eyed them warily. It didn’t seem my summoner would come back in time to replace them. Much as the prospect of sitting in the gloom and dark with nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs appealed to me, I was going to venture out and find something else to do. Luckily, my mistress had provided entertainment in the form of her misgivings. She didn’t want me to follow her around.

I rubbed my hands together in glee. It was something that didn’t contradict her orders, yet gave me something to do to break the boredom.

Oh well, it wasn’t like I was expressly forbidden to follow her. She said ‘you can’t follow me’, which I can correctly interpret as a statement rather than a directive. Of course I can. I’ve got two legs and some wings, of course I could follow her. She also said, ‘don’t come to class with me’. Well I’m not. I’m not going with her, I’m going alone. I took a cautious step towards the door. Gingerly, I focused on the intent to find my mistress. No telltale tingle? I grinned. Excellent.

———————

Since I didn’t want to cause a commotion, I stealthily cracked open the door, making sure I was invisible. When a door opens by itself, you can be reasonably sure it was a demon when it shuts itself back politely. We know etiquette, but it’s mostly habit after doing some breaking and entering around someone’s home. The best practice is to be long gone by the time they realise you’ve been there, or in the case of some envious magi, when something is missing.

Still, the humble abode of my dear mistress was surprisingly normal. There weren’t scented candles, the cloying scent of incense, no circles or inscriptions carved into wooden surfaces or the walls. It was simply a normal mortal dwelling. Nicely coloured furniture in ugly interior earthen colours. Drapes that hung low and wide for the unwary stranger to get tangled up in… I’m not saying I got tangled up in them. I’m just saying that if one were, it’d be totally understandable.

I walked through the house, taking in the living room of a young magus that would unwittingly summon an apocalyptic demon. Photo frames hung on the wall showing smiling, happy mortals. Though they didn’t look similar they certainly seemed familiar enough to show that they were all family. It seemed like my mistress had an older brother, a father and a mother. The room was clean and tidy, quiet and homely, all descriptive words that would be at odds with a normal magus’ home. I shook my head in wonderment, who would dip into the magic arts if not for power, prestige, or pride?

I shook my head. Maybe I could learn more about the magus if I looked into her room. It was insultingly easy to find. Her brother’s room was a white, their parent’s a bluish grey, and it didn’t take a genius to figure out the purple one would belong to my mistress.

Inside, the room was surprising, in a different way. Her room was similar to her brother’s room, in that it was very sparse, with many of the same certificates, trophies and other achievement paraphernalia scattered around. It boggled the mind.

Instead of exiting through the front door, I simply opened one of the windows on the first floor and clambered out of it, shutting it behind me. The window’s lock clicked making me wince. I wanted a way back in, but I had forgotten the annoying habit of mortals inventing mundane things that were endlessly complicated. The Other didn’t have locks, or anything material for that matter.

Glancing down from my vantage point on the window’s ledge, I took in the steady flow of what I assumed were the non-magical part of the populace moving around. I noticed some differences to the little magus that had summoned me. While she sported a horn and had no wings, others could have wings, or a horn, or neither. Their size confirmed my suspicion that she was young for her age in attempting to summon a demon, but I didn’t know that at the time. Maybe I could have taken advantage of her weakness and have forced another magus to send me back to the Other.

A demon always keeps their promises though, so I had to wait the week. I thought of it as a sort of break from the shackles of normal magi and my previous mistresses and masters. I was relatively free to roam around, and apart from not being able to destroy anything, I had it pretty good. Popping up as a demon to scare the local populace wouldn’t get me very far, and I wouldn’t be able to get to that school.

Hopping from rooftop to rooftop I took in the sprawling city. It was beautiful in a mortal kind of way, with the complexity and scale that were characteristic of mortal development. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but I can appreciate the effort that went into building it, even if I preferred the formless void.

I’d have to ask one of these creatures for directions, I’d get nothing from wandering aimlessly around. Sequestering myself in a little alleyway, I quickly morphed into a copy of my mistress and headed out. I cantered happily, stumbling a few times trying to remember the gait of a four-legged creature.

“Twily?”

I froze mid-step. What the—? I’ve barely made it a block before I was recognised. I turned around slowly.

The white coat, three toned blue-grey mane… I recognised him. Wait, this was my mistress’ brother! Hold up, hold up, I didn’t plan for this to happen! Were they close? This’ll blow my cover in no time!

“What are you doing out of school?”

I didn’t say anything and tried to look really small, pitiful and guilty. I stared at the floor as if it held Holgum’s treasure in its depths. Don’t know it? Probably for the best. It’s cursed, you know. I sniffled and turned up the waterworks, things that would tug on the heartstrings of an adoring family. I just hope she was a part of an adoring family.

“Oh Twily, did they tell you to take free study again?”

Yes, success! I nodded glumly.

“You can’t keep skipping school. You shouldn’t let the teachers let you leave.”

I did what every kid did when faced with immutable logic.

“Why?” I pleaded plaintively.

There was a heavy pause. Was I laying it on too thick?

“Well…” he sighed. “I know you already know everything they teach in class, but there’s stuff there that they could teach you that’s not in class.” He paused. “Like… friends.” He knelt down next to me and placed a hoof on my shoulders. “School is meant to be where you make friends. You should go back there.”

I didn’t respond. Sometimes mortals filled the gaps in themselves and created their own stories.

Another weary sigh. “Come on,” he cajoled. “I’ll walk you back. At least I’d be doing my job.” I glanced at him all teary-eyed and snot-nosed. “Here,” he said, lifting me up onto his back. “I’ll carry you the rest of the way there.”

——————

My ‘brother’ dropped me at the front gate. He tapped his armour proudly and paraded around while making funny noises. I nearly got caught out forgetting to laugh in reply. It might have been an in-joke between them, but I wasn’t sure. Was this what mortals considered humour? Sheesh, mortals are complicated. For some reason my pause made him more concerned. At first I thought he found me out, but then I realised I had simply missed the social cue.

“Are you sure you’re alright, Twily?”

I nodded resolutely. Your job here is done, mortal.

He smiled warmly. “Okay then, off you go, and don’t let me catch you a second time. What would Mom and Dad say?”

Ahh! Demon!

The smile faltered slightly, but he made up for it by patting me gently on the head. “Stay in school, alright?

“Okay,” I replied dutifully as he waved at me and left.

Seeing him go, I chuckled to myself. Who would have thought a demon had pretended to be one of their close family members? The idea was pleasing, but I was more interested in seeing what my mistress was up to. According to her brother, this disappearing act from school seemed to be a regular occurrence. Was this a problem child? I looked around. Where was the school, all I saw was a massive castle…

Wait, don’t tell me this is the school?

“It is indeed,” a reedy voice said from behind me.

I must have jumped a foot in the air. By the Other, I was voicing my thoughts out loud. I really need to get a grip on my mortal form.

“Twilight? Aren’t you the filly that Princess Celestia took in this year?”

I turned around, seeing an elderly stallion with rickety looking knees and a ragged mane that looked like a gale had blown it sideways. He eyed me with that same mixture of sadness and pity I’d seen from her brother. Mistress was certainly well-known around here for a child. Connections with royalty no less. Maybe I was wrong with the problem child thing, maybe she was spoilt and they made special exemptions for her? The way he was looking at me, though, made me unsure.

I nodded. Less talking, it’s safer that way.

There was that sigh again. Don’t mortals get tired of doing that?

“Would you like to go to class? I can lead you there.”

I shook my head. “I can find my own way,” I said quickly.

My assurance didn’t seem to inspire confidence in the old stallion.

“Okay,” he replied uncertainly, “but come visit anytime you need anything, Twilight.”

I nodded once more. I hope my mistress was the silent type.

He gestured down the path. “Off you go, then. Don’t cause any trouble, not that you need to be told at all.”

“Okay,” I mumbled, then dashed off because he could start digging into my disguise. I have a theory. Anything more than five minutes of interaction and mortals will know something’s off about you. When you take the form of a mortal, try to avoid social contact. There’s all these little social cues that—

“Hey you!”

What the dross? Can’t a demon catch a break? I stopped trotting.

“Yeah you! What are you doing out here?”

I frowned, the voices sounded ridiculously youthful. I turned around to see a trio of fillies. One was purple-coloured like my mistress, the one on the left was lemon like a… like a lemon? I’m not that great with mortal metaphors. The last one was a cream colour that reminded me of yoghurt.

The yellow one nudged the centre one with a timid hoof. “Ammy, you shouldn’t mess with her, I heard she was so powerful she hatched a dragon on her entrance exam.”

‘Ammy’ flicked back her two-toned hair with a harrumph. “I don’t believe it,” she retorted primly. “I’ve never seen her with a dragon, it must be made up.”

You know, I might not like my mistress for summoning me, but there was something about these three that made her sickly sweet decorum suddenly more bearable.

“Yeah, Lemon. I bet she’s nothing special, that’s why she gets kicked out of class.”

Well I’ll be, her name was Lemon. Though from the looks of her cringing, flustered reaction, maybe not. A derogatory name?

‘Lemon’ swallowed. “But she always answers the teacher’s questions perfectly. Miss. Widgin didn’t know what to do.”

“Don’t be such a scaredy-cat. Are you with me?”

They advanced upon me. I tensed with a grin so savage that they skipped a step and widened their eyes.

“W-What we’re not s-scared of you,” Ammy cried out in an ear-piercing shrill. I winced, then my own eyes started to ape theirs when I realised something.

My own orders not to harm any living being.

Oh how the tables have metaphorically turned. I didn’t know their True Name, not that it would have helped in this particular circumstance. I groaned with frustration. The order had been bound before I learned of my mistress’ True Name. I couldn’t just strike at them without some serious repercussions. Zachrand’s pentacle was a major pain in my demonic behind. I gnashed my teeth in frustration.

Ammy and the others took a few steps back.

“Uhh,” said… I’ll name her Cream Puff, because she looks like one. “She doesn’t look normal.”

“Don’t freak out,” Ammy ordered in a voice that broke embarrassingly in several places. Were they that scared with such a lacklustre performance? Maybe if I turn it up a few notches?

“If you come after me, you’ll regret it.” I chuckled darkly. “You don’t know what I’m capable of. I’m pretty much a demon inside.” I didn’t even have to lie. What a bonus!

The trio galloped away as fast as their little legs could carry them. I caught myself feeling pleased and then smacked myself in the head. Way to be proud of terrorising younglings. Some malevolent force of evil you are.

This world is starting to get to me. It’s giving me the willies. I have to get back to the Other.

I continued along the path scanning along it for something or someone to take me closer to my mistress. Hmm, it might not be a good idea to just burst into class with two copies of my mistress. That would be a major pain.

“Twilight?”

Oh for the love of dross, where do these creatures that know her come from?

This one was bigger, much bigger, than the normal ones I’ve been seeing. The second thing I noticed was whiteness. Her coat was a brilliant sheen of pure white, and she took good care of it. The first thing I noticed was the crackling aura of magic that surrounded her like the angry corona of the sun. Which was apt because I did notice the symbol plastered on her flank, and the regalia she wore naturally. Was she important? One thing was for sure, this creature was not to be trifled with.

“Hello?” I ventured cautiously.

The pony’s smile faltered and she peered at me intently. Her demeanour changed from radiant to sub-zero in a heartbeat.

“I think you should come with me.”

I think I might have been able to take her, if I didn’t have countermanding orders and a healthy dose of surprise and preparation. As it stood, I would be an easy piñata by the end of it.

“Okay,” was all I could say.

If I kept it up, that word would become my catchphrase.

Author's Note:

Finally, this gets updated. Wow, I almost forgot about this until I saw some activity in the comments. If you want something updated faster just shoot me a PM, or leave a comment below. It's pretty much the only way I remember to update something.

Next Chapter: Did Celestia see through Morpheus' excellent disguise?

As always, my highlighted readers, thanks for reading!

P.S. Unedited because I'm a butt.
P.P.S. Now has some minor mistakes squashed like the evil things they are by the lovely docontra.