The Chronicles of Horny
See first chapter for disclaimer.
Chapter II: Wisdom
Several months had passed since Ire-Tyan had met with me, and I was suffering from minor anxiety. You see, he had disappeared.
Although he had worried me when last he visited, he was still the only thing approaching a competent Keeper in the entirety of the Underworld; his army, too, was numerous and each individual was well-trained (inasmuch as you can say that of a typical Goblin... or Bile Demon, for that matter).
He had in fact become key in my plans for the conquest of the Overworld, and without him those plans would certainly fail. I could have waited longer, of course, but after having spent ten thousand years locked away in the Underworld - curse that fateful battle! - I was beginning to become quite impatient, you might say.
In fact, so impatient that I had spent the previous two weeks with no retainers, having had them all roasted and devoured by some of my luckier minions in a fit of rage when my efforts to locate Ire-Tyan had failed for the third time.
Random acts of undirected violence are so refreshing, don't you agree?
It was fast approaching a fourth month without any sign of the missing Keeper when, finally, the man himself appeared again, waiting in my throne room as I returned from a quick razing - well, not that quick; I had spent three days alone slowly crushing the skulls of the dead in front of the soon-not-to-be-survivors - with my retinue of Vampires.
It was just as well that the calming screams of all those children were still going through my mind, or he would have been vampire-food before he'd even said 'hello'.
"Where in the Underworld have you been? I've had three hundred miserable Flies and a battallion of Trolls searching for you for over a month now!"
My words caused a change in him; a quick transition from his usual collected pose to panic. Obviously my anger was not under as much control as I'd thought, but then my attitude had not been improved when several of the Trolls had asked for directions to their own encampment. That memory still hits a nerve even now.
"Forgive me, your Hornyness, but I assure you I was not absent without good reason."
"It had better be a bloody good reason, or else you'll have the duty torturess to report to within the hour, and we shall see if those claws she has have a use after all!"
"Your Hornyness, forgive me! I was caught up in matters of the utmost importance! I -"
"Treason, my Lord! There has been treason in your ranks! I was hunting down the traitor myself!"
"You snivelling worm, why should I believe you? How do I know you're not simply making up excuses to save your stinking human skin?"
I was shouting at that point.
"Because of this, your Hornyness..."
Whereupon he reached down to a box at his side, a box I had not noticed before, and before I could react pulled out the head of Keeper Tranos, one of the most venal and gluttonous cowards I had ever had the misfortune to meet. Tranos was the sort who gave a bad name to evil.
I gaped, momentarily stunned into silence. Ire-Tyan took the opportunity.
"Your Hornyness, I have in my pocket several documents signed by Tranos himself, admitting to participation in a conspiracy with several other Keepers to ally with the hero scum and turn on yourself in battle at the critical moment. There were several witnesses to the confession and I felt that, with such an admission of guilt, it would be acceptable to ignore the usual custom and simply execute him there and then."
I was still stunned. Such treachery on the part of this Keeper? Treachery against me? Me, the feared Lord of the Underworld, the tightness of whose iron grip was matched only by the fury of his revenge?
Was it possible that someone could possibly have enough resolve to betray me? I had thought not, and so this news was like a dagger in the heart, a major blow to my previously invincible ego which had thought me to be in total control.
"Bring in the witnesses. I want confirmation of this, Ire-Tyan, before I take any definitive action."
I struggled, but stiffened my resolve and managed to get the words out with no sign of weakness in my voice. It would not do to show weakness now...
How glorious indeed is battle, and how thrilling an experience to kill! To watch the life-blood drain from a slaughtered foe, to see the light fade from their eyes... to kill and not to be killed, so beautiful!
The force swam through the sea of death, sword swinging gracefully, adding bodies by the moment to the ocean around it. Pausing only to untangle the sword from someone's ribcage, it moved swiftly, bringing eternal rest to all who stood in its way, until finally they cowered and fled from it.
Laughing, it pursued them deeper into the enemy lines, running as quickly as it could... until it stopped, seeing the figure before it.
At last. An equal. It gripped the sword more firmly, and began to circle...
The witnesses hastily brought in, I was displeased to see that they were thick-witted Trolls, three in all. I said as much, too.
"Your Hornyness, they were all that was nearby at the time. They are also well suited to this task, too stupid as they are to lie."
He had a point.
"Very well. You, there, on the left; did you indeed witness the confession by Tranos?"
I waited a few moments while they debated over which was their left, before someone pointed out to them that their left differed from mine.
A few moments more as they debated which was my left.
A few moments as they finally settled the argument, having decided that it was in fact that particular side which happened in reality to be my right.
And a final few moments as I lost my temper, strode over to them, banged their heads together and gave them a short lecture on how they were the best argument in favour of genocide I had ever seen, before pointing out my actual left to them and sitting down again.
The Troll on my left stepped forward slightly and cleared his throat. I leaned forward, anxious to hear his answer.
"Um... da question, it can be rep... rep... said again?"
I was told later that my cry of anger was heard in the dungeon of Kriep, seven leagues away.
Several minutes afterwards, the now bruised and battered Troll actually answered me.
"Yeah, big boss man sir. Tranos, he made der confess shun thing. And he said he dunnit, too."
It was just as well for the Troll that I expected him to be stupid, or else he would have been dead within seconds of that work of genius that he probably thought of as a 'sen tunce, yeah, and a group of wurd what make since'.
I did take the opportunity to give him an impromptu lesson on the language, though. The study of language is one of my lesser-known hobbies.
Ire-Tyan interrupted my lecture just as I had finished explaining the relationship between the subject and the predicate.
"Are you satisfied then, your Hornyness? I know you have only questioned the one, but - "
"Not just yet, Ire-Tyan; I have questions of the others as well - "
A cry went out as all three Trolls suddenly sprouted arrows; I grabbed my scythe and leapt to the room's edge, cutting down three archers and throwing a fireball at another. Then my Vampires leapt upon the others, tearing at them, ripping out their throats and feasting on the blood. It was over within seconds, but by then my witnesses had already died, turned as they were into pincushions.
Breathing heavily, I looked up at Ire-Tyan from my decapitation of an archer's corpse.
"Newly proclaimed Inquisitor Ire-Tyan, purge the land of traitors. All of them. Every last stinking one. No-one challenges me and lives."
Thus concludes Chapter Two.