Short Story (Prequel to Whispers of War)

It was that time that came every thousand years. The time that the Reapers would all gather together in a much more open space of Hell, to sacrifice the souls they had gathered and create the newest generation of Grim Reapers.

They were very powerful beings, often they would grow up to seek new realms, to harvest even more souls than any Reaper did in their own lifetime.

Hell was made up of black rock, all with bright glows of orange lava flowing through it and while it did loop around and the patterns varied, it all went the same way.

This empty layer of Hell was the fourth, out of the way of everything else. Just plains of the black rock. Right now, Reapers completely surrounded this plain. All forming several huge circles around it.

All of their hands formed a particular gesture, three of their fingers loosely touching while the others remained tucked into their hands. Beautiful colours of their mystical magic flowed into the ground in the middle of the huge group, towards the huge hoard of souls being held there.

They collided, a very bright light followed it.

The only demons here were close to it, the four Kings of Sin. Lamrus, the King of Arrogance, felt himself fussily covering at his eyes when the flash sounded right ahead of them. He never asked for a headache at this summoning!

But after it all cleared up…

This was no generation at all.

A single tiny skeleton sat in the middle of the whole group, sleeping on the ground for now. Like all the reapers around it, it also wore thick black robes. But it had no legs, no Grim Reaper did. They floated in place, rather than standing.

It wasn’t long before muttering started between all the Reapers. What had happened?

“Everyone, everyone.” the most powerful demon king, Velhar, spoke out loudly. He stepped forwards, his regal and silky red suit surely bringing him a lot of attention on its own. His hair was a darker red, while neatly across his head, it was very spiked to one side. It matched the look and colour of the thick beard on his chin. He stared down unsurely at the summoning. “How strange…” he muttered.

He looked back up. “We will decide what happens to this little one. We need to make up for this summoning with it somehow…” he explained briefly. He really didn’t know what they were going to do.

Would this one get much more intensive training than all the others got? Last generation there were too many of them, and negligence proved to be dangerous concerning the disasters caused by Geeara…

But right now, he was a mere legend.

He watched as his announcement had given a lot of the Reapers permission to leave. A lot of them rather disgruntled, complaining that their hard work all felt it was for nothing.

Velhar looked back down to the child again, not turning to all of his brothers joining his side.

“Perhaps we need to raise it more closely.” Verne, the king of deceit suggested quietly. He sorted his big round glasses on his face as he spoke. They all wore the same sort of silky red suits, Verne’s dark red hair was tied at the back and even braided. But none of it hung in his face too much.

“Bah! That’s ridiculous.” Leore complained, the king of greed folded his arms. He certainly didn’t like the idea of raising a child. “We should just give it to some of the Reapers again. The ones that always train these things.”

The four of them loosely bickered between each other of what they should do. It looked hopeless, this had never really happened before. There had been too many Grim Reapers before, but definitely not too few.

In the crowd of the Reapers that were leaving, one had turned around to come back their way.

Anyone in Hell probably knew this Reaper, it was Eiji. Many told him to be the strongest of his generation. His black robes bounced around heavily while he stormed over to the bickering kings, they didn’t notice him for a while.

“Hey!” the black haired Reaper yelled for their attention, they all turned to him quickly. His yellow eyes scanned across them carefully, before looking down to the problem at hand.

“What is it, Eiji?” Velhar asked patiently. “What brings you back here?”

The man with big red circle markings rushing through his eyes was quiet, still staring down at the child for a bit… That was it, he was just a child. They were only going to force him into harsh training that would likely drive him insane if he didn’t step in.

He crouched down, taking the tiny Grim Reaper into his arms and looked at the kings blankly. “You want to know what to do with him?” he asked sternly. “I’ll take him. Let me raise him.”

The four kings were startled by the demand at first, the unsure glances they all exchanged surely gave that away.

But then again…

Eiji had looked after the Sage of the Earth, as he was restored as a zombie. And he had his own son, too! Perhaps he wouldn’t be such a bad place to leave the little one.

“It gets him off our back!” Leore grinned eagerly.

“Leore, please…” Verne complained quietly. He stepped ahead to be at the same place as his eldest brother. “I feel confident leaving the little one with you. Will you train him, as well?”

“Yeah… I guess I have to.” Eiji answered with a nod. But his attention was more fixed on the child he was holding. It was so small, and still soundly sleeping, at that.

“Very well, he is your responsibility now.” Velhar agreed to this insanity with a nod. He really wasn’t too sure how this was going to go, but this wasn’t a bad idea at least. “Feel free to ask for any changes, or to even give him back should you need to.”

“Sure.”

They disbanded, the kings watched the Reaper take the child off with him, ready to settle him into a new home.

Lamrus ran a hand through his dark, black hair. “This is nuts.” he muttered. “One Grim Reaper at the summoning, and then Eiji Rendred of all peoples comes to claim it!”

“I have confidence he knows what he’s doing.” Velhar spoke up once more. His golden eyes stared off  into the plains that led back up to the higher layers of Hell. He could only try and imagine how this was going to go…

Whatever happened, it had to be better than what came of the last summoning, and the terrible legends of the rogue Grim Reaper Geeara.

This was a little short story about an event before my bigger story, Whispers of War! You can find that on Wattpad for now, if you’re interested.

But yeah, enjoy!

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