Clouds covered the vast expanse of the sky overhead, threatening of rain. It was late afternoon, the gray light left much of the scant forest in shadow, but it failed to hide the gleam of silvery armor that steadily approached the castle, which sat perched precariously on a cliff face. The knight strode forward, his visor raised. The sneer on his face spoke volumes on what he thought of the place before him.

The castle was a gruesome place, all black stone and spire, no light shining from the thin, barred windows. The drawbridge was raised, not inviting any to cross the murky waters of the moat. Even without armor on, no one would dare approach those deadly waters if they valued life. Despite the ghastly appearance of the fortress-like castle, there was something even more frightening standing on the parapet.

Magus yawned, barely hiding the contempt he felt for everyone around him.

"Ozzie I'm bored," he whined.

Magus was a young man, barely more than a child. A prince in his past life, or at least he claimed. At that moment Ozzie had no doubts. This child, one harboring unimaginable destructive power, was incredibly annoying. He was insufferable to tell the truth, and he was really, really pissing Ozzie off that morning. Not that Ozzie the XXIII would ever let it show. Ozzie the XXII had died that way. As aggravating as Magus was, there was no doubting that he was by far the most powerful wizard in the world at that moment. He was useful, so far as he let himself be used and if Ozzie played his cards right…

"Why don't you go train with Slash?" Ozzie grumbled.

"His arm is broken."

"Again? Can't he use his other arm?"

"I think I may have dislocated that one, he kept crying when I was pulling it out of the socket…"

"What about Flea?" Ozzie sighed.


Ozzie cringed. This kid was doing more harm than good at the moment. Sure he was powerful, but could he take on all of Guardia alone if he kept decimating their own troops?

"Magus thou fiend! I demand thou drop thine gate!"

"Oh look," Magus mumbled off handedly. "A toy."

Ozzie sighed in relief at the provided distraction. It would keep Magus out of his scales for a few minutes at least. Ozzie peered down the wall of the parapet to view the knight who stood on the moat's edge. He looked like all the other's that had come to slay the new fiendlord. It had only been a few months since Magus had made his début on the battle field and already there had been numerous attempts to eliminate the newest fiend threat. None had very pretty endings. The fact that this knight had made it through the danger filled caves set to deter enemies from confronting Magus, and the rest of the fiends for that matter, was a testament to his skills. Ozzie wondered how long he'd last.

"Hast thou heard me Fiendlord?! I demand thou lower this gate and face me!"

Magus peered casually down at the knight, his look of boredom replaced by a tiny, cruel smirk.

"Are you sure you wish for me to do that good knight?" he taunted.

The knight was nearly hopping up and down in fury, his fists clenched at his side.

"I do not fear thee Fiend!" he shrieked. "By order of the King I demand that thee drop this gate!"

"Too easy," Magus mumbled petulantly.

"Didst thou not hear me perchance? I said drop this-"

With a wave of his hand, the drawbridge began to creak and then swiftly slammed down, right upon the head of the knight. The slow leak of blood out from the gray-washed wood was unnecessary evidence for the knight's demise. Ozzie rubbed his head nervously. That hadn't taken nearly as long as he'd hoped.

Magus turned to him again, his cruel smile replaced with a grouchy frown.

"Ozzie," he griped. "I'm bored."