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312 Mercenary for Hire

    Na'roga family manor, master bedroom.

    Inside the biggest of the rooms in the young demoness' family manor, a middle aged couple of demons was sitting on a large bed with expressions filled with pain. The male demon possessed massive folded leather wings as black as the night itself, while the demoness, while devoid of wings, had long and thin horns.

    "We haven't even tried to fight back.." muttered the demon while clenching his hands, and causing his wings to emit a faint black smoke.

    Feeling her husband's rage, the demoness put a hand on his shoulder, and said "We have no other choice.. Ever since your father was killed by his, we have been too weak to resist. She knew that too.. That's why she made this decision."

    "We could leave.. I could go in there, rip his throat open, and then we could leave." Added the male demon with odd calmness, after turning to look at his wife. He hated the idea that his daughter had to give herself to a member of the Oni Tribe, as the leader of the Oni Tribe himself had killed his own father during their last encounter.

    The woman shook her head softly, before placing it on her husband's shoulder.

    In response, the husband opened one of his large wings, and wrapped her body in a hug. The two then spent two hours in silence, before they finally decided to leave the room.

    When they reached the main hall, they saw their daughter. She was looking at them with an apologetic look.

    Her mother quickly approached her and gave her a comforting hug, before saying to her ear "My little demon.. You are so brave.." Tears were forming on the corners of her eyes.

    As the father observed this, his deep black eyes seemed to lose a bit of their life in a matter of moments. However, the words that his daughter pronounced moments later, made all of that life come back and more.

    "Nothing happened." Said the girl while gently removing her mother's arms from around her body.

    "What happened? Did he change his mind?" asked the father with eagerness. The idea of his daughter being given as a wife to the son of a leader of brutes, was beyond what he could bear. To accept their situation had already taken all of the mind power he was capable of.

    The girl shook her head in front of her father, then said "He is dead.."

    "WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?"

    The young demoness looked at the worried expression of her parents for a few moments, then sighed, and began to explain "..The ring I have obtained last year.."

    -----

    While the Oni Daniel had killed was not as powerful as the parents of the young demoness, she was still miles away from his level. The Oni Tribe was a power only second to that of a faction, and its leader was what in hell would be called a 'Noble Demon'.

    High demons were, like the name suggests, beings similar to high humans and dragons, who had cultivated their own powers to a level that could rival that of a gifted being.

    The difficult living conditions of Hell had forced the once humans into numerous branches of evolution. But while their bodies remained similar, each major family had gained a particular power that was passed down from generation to generation.

    In Hell's hierarchy, the various groups were divided into three separate casts referred to as Minor families, Noble families, and Highborn. The belonging of each group was based on the power of its leader.

    When compared to the power division of high humans, minor groups would be the ones lead by demons at the phase one to thirty-nine, noble families were lead by demons between the fortieth and the seventy-ninth phase, and finally, highborn groups were lead by demons above the eightieth phase.

    An example of the latter group were the Dagon's family, to which the white horned demons belonged and was lead by a phase eighty-five Noble Demon, the Varija family, also known as the Golden Thread family, to which the demons with golden hair belonged and was lead by a phase eighty-seven Noble Demon, and the various factions like the Church of Damnation and the Law of Mimicry, both lead by demons beyond the hundredth phase, also known as Demon lords.

    To the noble level of groups, belonged the Oni Tribe, whose leader possessed a power comparable to the seventieth phase, and the Na'roga family, whose late leader possessed a power at the sixty-eight phase, and that after dying by the hands of the leader of the Onis, had caused his family to drop at the bottom of the Noble groups.

    The levels of High Demon's cultivation, however, were not divided into phases, but into stages instead.

    After reaching the high demon stage, each demon would only have three stages of cultivation to go through. These stages were the High stage, the Noble stage, and the Lord stage. All High demons possessed a power comparable or lower to that of a forty-ninth phase high human, while noble demons possessed powers comparable to that of high humans between the fiftieth, and the ninety-ninth phase. Finally, all demons who possessed a power similar or beyond what was a hundredth phase high humans, were considered Demon Lords.

    For thousands of years the Na'roga family had been able to keep the Oni Tribe away thanks to the protection of their leader.. However, the Oni leader had been faster in his cultivation, and during their last battle, had been able to kill his enemy of a lifetime.

    However, while the current leader of the Na'roga family was not a Noble Demon like his late father, his power was still enough to keep his family from falling out of the status of nobility.

    Nevertheless, that power was not enough to keep the Oni Tribe at bay.

    -----

    "That is how it went.." muttered the young demoness after finishing to narrate what had happened.

    After listening to her story, the couple walked into her room, and there, they saw the the lifeless body of the Oni. The single injury on his chest, as well as the cutting of the bones, was clean. It almost appeared as if the body of the demon had been disintegrated upon contact, instead of being ripped apart.

    The same was for the massive spiked club, next to which were no splinters or fragments. Just a simple hole that went from one side to the other.

    "What kind of demon can do something like this? Look at the injury, there was absolutely no resistance to the blow." Said the young demoness' mother in shock after inspecting the Oni's body. She then turned to look at her husband, and asked "What do you think?"

    "I have almost reached the Noble stage, and yet I do not believe I would be able to do something like this to him." Said the male demon, current leader of the Na'roga family, with a stern expression and cautious tone. "Whoever did this, is not an average noble demon."

    After making sure that their daughter had told them the truth, the couple walked out of the room, and back into the main hall, where their daughter was waiting for them.

    The moment the couple reappeared, the young demoness was able to see the worry on their faces. Most would expect them to be happy that their daughter hadn't been tainted by such a brute, but not them. She was perfectly aware of the reason why their faces displayed that expression.

    The Oni's death meant the destruction of their family.

    The middle aged demoness looked at her daughter in deep worry, while at the same time, her husband thought of their options. He had said more than once that he would have liked to rip that demon apart, but that was only his way of venting.

    He hated the idea of losing his entire family right after losing his father, and he hated even more the fact that his daughter had to pay the price to prevent that from happening.. All of that, was because he did not possess the power to defend his family like his father had done for so long.

    "There is no other way.. We have to leave, now. The moment the leader of the Onis learns about his son's death, he will march here and destroy us." Said the male demon to his wife and daughter.

    "We could hide in my family's territory, but that is going to be the first place where he will look for us." responded his wife, trying to think of every possibility they had.

    Before her husband could respond to her proposition, a silhouette covered in darkness appeared just a few meters away from them. Around it no power could be felt, and the darkness of which this silhouette appeared to be made of, would swallow every bit of essence that dared to come too close to it.

    "How about killing him?" Said Daniel while shocking the middle aged couple, but not their daughter.

    The moment the couple noticed Daniel, the male demon covered his family by opening his impressive wings, which immediately began to emanate a powerful unique essence similar to dark essence. At the same time, two silver katars appeared in his hands.

    "Who are you?!" he asked in anger while preparing for battle.

    From behind his cover of dark essence, Daniel calmly responded by saying "Just your average individual. Asleep in my ring, forced to wake up to the sight of that thing. I think you can imagine why I had to kill him."

    "What do you want from us?" asked the middle aged-looking demoness from behind her husband's fuming wings..

    "As I have said. Why not destroy the Oni tribe? I will gladly give you a hand.. As long as I get to keep the essence gems we find in his territory." Said Daniel while pacing around the hall, and looking at the odd interiors of the manor of the demonic race.

    Daniel's behaviour was too much. Ever since his father had died, the current leader of the Na'roga family had been unable to live with ease. Before he could have the time to conduct the funerary rites for his father, the son of the demon who had killed his father had arrived to threaten them, and in the end, he had had no choice but to allow his daughter to offer herself in order to save their family.

    These events had weighted heavily on his mind, and now that the worst had passed, and the cause of the worsening of their problems was behaving so rudely in front of them, something inside him clicked.

    With fuming eyes, the high demon flapped his wings, causing for the black smoke that surrounded them to fill the entire hall, and shroud it in darkness.

    The style of fighting of which the Na'roga family were experts of, was assassination. The unique power emanated by their wings would prevent others from seeing or sensing clearly, and was even able to stop sound.. However, this cloud of dark-like power, did nothing to hinder the demon who had generated it.

    The assassination skills of the Na'roga family were opposite to those of the Oni Tribe, who cultivated their bodies to the extreme, and excelled in sheer power. They were exactly what the Ki Faction was for the humans.

    Unfortunately, by reaching a higher power than the former leader of the Na'roga family, the leader of the Oni Tribe had become immune to the attacks of his old enemy. And after weeks of fighting, the Oni was able to come out victorious.

    However, that did not mean that all demons would have a body as resistant as the Onis.

    The demon walked quietly in the black mist he had created, pacing around Daniel without a specific pattern, just to make sure that he was not seeing through his power.

    In his eyes, Daniel was looking around with curiosity. It almost looked as if he was not interested in fighting, and would rather spend time looking on the room's design instead.. So he decided to move closer to him.

    Like a killer that waited for the right moment to attack, the male demon walked closer and closer to Daniel, with his katars ready to slash his body into thin strips.

    The idea of killing Daniel and telling the truth to the Oni Tribe had formed into his mind.. But the moment he reached the two meters of distance, the demon felt a shiver run down his back, as the head of he faceless silhouette turned to look directly at him, and asked calmly "I am still waiting for an answer."
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