Micah gaped at the monstrosity before him. He had been impressed by Azgoth’s ancestral home, but this was, well, he couldn’t even find the words.
“What the hell?” was all he could get out.
Rakon grinned at him evilly. “As you say, this is indeed hell. Phenex just brings a little extra.”
Micah groaned at this partner, then followed him up to the main entrance, his Pack guarding his flanks. Arroc had gone on high alert as soon as they entered the estate grounds. The pups had once again followed his example, and were now practically vibrating with tension.
They had reached the massive doors, which immediately began to glow as soon as they neared. The doors swung open, and they entered carefully.
“Well, if it isn’t the lost boy. It’s been awhile Rakon,” said the demon who waited for them. Now that he knew what to look for, Micah was alarmed at the flaring colors of Rakon’s sigil.
“Why hello there, I don’t think we’ve met,” Micah said loudly, walking forward with his hand out. The pups scrambled to stay at his side and Arroc grumbled. The demon looked at Micah as if he was a gnat to be swatted away, and Micah felt his own sigil flare. The demon’s face was an amusing study in incomprehension then terror.
The demon took his hand warily then stepped back, keeping an eye on them both.
“I am Hirath, butler of the House Phenex. Rakon, why do you bring with you a human that is marked for the House Kurush and bearing Lucifer’s colors?”
“Hirath, Micah here is my partner and we are here to see Phenex. It is official business. Tell him not to keep us too long. Arroc there grows bored easily and might wander off to find entertainment,” Rakon said, with a look at the hell lion grumbling beside them.
The butler gave him an exasperated look before turning on his heel and stomping off. Rakon laughed then began to circuit the entryway. Micah wasn’t sure if he was impressed or appalled by the decor. Gaudy and over the top couldn’t even begin to describe it. The floor to ceiling chandelier type thing that illuminated the space was a waterfall of sorts of glowing demon forms in purples and greens. He startled as he realized that some of them were occupied in quite risque activities.
“Is that even possible?” he asked bemusedly staring at one particular coupling.
“If it is, I’m sure Phenex has tried it,” Rakon replied with a snort, then waved Micah over to an alcove. “There’s a sitting room here. Normally that’s where they stash visitors waiting to see the Lord, but I fear that we threw Hirath off his game today.”
“I gather you have a history of sorts here?” Micah asked carefully after they entered the sitting room.
“You could say. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, my family dabbles in the political game. I was a pawn in that effort for a long time, before I was able to remove myself from play entirely. There are those that resent my new freedom, and seek to claw me back into the fray. I have no desire to find myself back in that stew.”
“But you played so well, and we do miss you so,” said the beautiful demon that entered the room, a pout on his face that made Micah wish to make him smile. Then he shook his head. That desire was not his own, and had no place in his head. Arroc rumbled approvingly as he placed his head under Micah’s hand.
“Impressive, you one,” the demon continued, looking at Micah with interest as he circled him. “And you must be Azgoth’s new Packmaster. So very intriguing.”
“He is not for your games, Phenex,” Rakon said sharply.
“Oh, but everything is part of my games, my dear boy,” Phenex replied.