The young man looked up from his breakfast of egg sandwich and orange juice, “Hmm?”
“I asked if you wanted to go do the assignment now.” Raul glanced down at his classmate's plate, “Well, after you eat, I guess.”
Nate swallowed, “No thanks, I'm gonna go take a nap in my car after this, didn't get enough sleep last night. I hate having an early class.”
Raul waved about his own cup, “Wouldn't be a problem if you drank coffee, like every other college student in existence.”
Nate smirked as he sipped his juice, “Right, cause replacing my sleeping problem with a caffeine addiction is just what I need.”
Raul shrugged, “Whatever, see you later man.”
Nate finished what was left of his breakfast and made his way back to the car, backpack in tow. Thankful that the mid-October weather meant it was neither too hot nor too cold to take a nap, he surveyed the vehicle, a gray hand-me down sedan from his parents.
“No bird shit,” he murmured to himself, “hopefully that means it's gonna be a good day.”
He climbed inside and glanced in the rear-view mirror, he still had dark circles under his gray eyes, and his black and somewhat greasy hair was an absolute mess. He was fairly certain he had a comb somewhere in the glove compartment, but if he brushed it now it'd just be messed up during the nap.
A quick glance at his cell phone told him he had about three hours 'till his next class; he quickly set an alarm and lied back in his seat, hugging his backpack against his chest.
Two Hours Later
That was the first thing Nate was aware of, a small, cool breeze wafting across his face.
He could have sworn he left the windows closed. He opened his eyes a crack and bright light suddenly flooded his eyes.
“Ah!” He groaned, quickly shielding his eyes.
“The hell...” He set his back to the side and sat up, pushing off against the grass and-
“Wait.” He looked down and saw that he was lying on a patch of grass. He quickly looked about and took in his surroundings; instead of his car, he was now in what appeared to be a small clearing in the middle of a forest.
“Where the FUCK am I!?”
The land of Serenium is a diverse one, filled with species ranging from the usual humans and elves, the brutish orcs and ogres, to more demonic creatures such as succubi and legions of ghouls. Of particular note were the imps, who had seen a rise to power over the past few decades that surprised many, and angered more.
The Imp Empire, also called the Impire by most of the people across the land, was made up of five, small, previously feuding kingdoms that had been brought together in a series of brutal wars.
Ruling the empire was King Zedesh, the ultimate victor of the conflict, a very dour imp that oversaw the realm for nearly a century now.
Although the imp could have had as many suitors as he wanted, he had only ever married once, and had a single son, Prince Zericho.
At the moment, Zericho was where one could normally find him, in bed with after another night of sorting, as the nobility would choose to say in polite company, through potential suitors. Unlike his father, Zericho wasn't what one would call choosy when it came to his sex life.
“Prince Zericho! Prince Zericho!”
The purple imp lazily awoke as a distant voice called to him, he rolled over in the spacious bed, rubbing his eyes, looking to see that his sexy toy from last night had already left. Then who...?
There was a great pounding at his door, “Prince Zericho! Prince Zericho please open at once!”
Zericho groaned, it sounded like it was one of his father's many servants, no doubt come to fetch him for some important meeting or some such; one that he was required to attend on occasion as the heir to the crown. It must be one of the newer ones if it was bothering with knocking, the more senior of his father's servants usually barged in, having grown accustomed to his hobbies.
“One second, let me put something on!” He called out; hoping out of bed and slipping on his loincloth.
To his surprise the door then swung open; the head servant, Jardal, a serious, elderly man that ruled the rest of the servants with an iron fist, pushed aside a young, slim imp; what must have been the one who was knocking at his door.
“There is no time my lord!” He proclaimed, grasping Zericho by the hand and quickly dragging him out the door.
Zericho stumbled as he was dragged along, “What the hell are you doing?! Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with wearing just my cloth, but something tells me that the court calls for more than casual attire.”
Jardal slowed slightly and looked back, a cross look on his face, “You mean the boy didn't tell you?! We're under attack my prince!”
“What?!” As he said this, the loud clanging and shouting that he had been hearing since waking came more into focus; it was not that of servants running about to keep the castle running, this was far more violent. “Shit! How bad is it?!”
Jardal sighed, keeping a brisk pace all the while, “I don't know, it was all very sudden. A sneak attack. Someone on the inside must have let them in, or perhaps a powerful enough mage warped them in.”
“Who's attacking us?”
“From what I could see? Incubi and Succubi, as well as their various thralls. Our relationship with their kingdom has always been rocky.”
Zericho scoffed, “Figures, always knew those... things were waiting to stab us in the back. What exactly are we doing then, huh?” He asked.
The sounds of fighting seemed to be getting louder, and judging by his increased pace Jardal had noticed as well, “Your father ordered me to fetch you, and meet him down in the vault; it's the safest place.”
Zericho blanched, “The vault? Has he gone senile, we'll be trapped down there!”
“The king said he had a plan, although he refused to specify further.”
The two came to a point where two halls made a T intersect, and were about to round the corner when Jardal suddenly halted and grabbed Zericho. “What the-”
Jardal slammed his hand over Zericho's mouth and motioned to be quiet. He slowly peaked around the corner, Zericho following his example.
“Ohhh fuuuuck...” The prince whispered. Right around the corner was his father with his three trusted bodyguards. Joining them however, was a horrible sight, Osmodai, lead general of the Incubi army, an enormous crimson demon decked in gaudy armor, leading a small contingent of troops, made up of heavily armored demons of all kinds, all of them seeming huge compared to the imps.
Osmodai leered down at his father, the look of bloodlust in his eyes unmistakable, “Well hello there Zedesh, I've been looking for you. You know, it's considered impolite not to greet a guest, and even more so to try and avoid them like you've been.”
The king stood his ground, “How dare you Osmodai? We were to closest your people had to allies! Do you really think-”
Osmodai cut him off, “Don't make me laugh, worm. What is an alliance with you little vermin worth? Look at how easily we were able to crush you.”
“This castle you may have been able to take in a sneak attack, but do you really think the rest of my empire will fall so easily? My people will see you burn.”
Osmodai cackled, “Don't bluff Zedesh, you aren't very good at it, you know as well as I that with you gone, your mighty empire will split apart in a matter of days, then you Imps will fall ever so pathetically.” He motioned for his troops, “We only need the king, you lot can have fun with his pets, try not to make to much of a mess.”
As the troops made their way forwards, Jardal leaned in and whispered to Zericho, “When the fighting starts, we make a break for the stairs.” He pointed to the other end of the hall, to where the stairwell began.
Zericho glared at him, “Are you insane, they'll see us you-”
A yell rang out around the corner as the bodygaurds were set upon.
Jardal quickly grabbed Zericho's hand and began to run, with Zericho forced to follow. Zericho prayed to the gods that, in the chaos, they would be able to pass unnoticed.
“Hey!” A voice rang out, “It's the prince!”
As he ran, Zericho quickly glanced over to see that several of the troops, the ones that weren't busy slaughtering his father's bodyguards, were all staring at him.
“Fuck!” Zericho broke out into a sprint, no longer trying to be quiet. He could hear the rustling of armor as the demons gave pursuit.
He and Jardal, unusually spry for his age, made their way down the stairs as fast as they could, but he could hear the demons closing in, their longer strides allowing them to catch up with ease. He leapt forward as he heard a blade being unsheathed, and felt a sharp sting as it manged to slice through the tip of his tail-spade. “Ah!”
He crashed onto the landing, swung around, and was immediately met with a spear to his right arm; he cried out as he fell to the ground.
As he looked up, he could hear Jardal call out for him, and that several more demons were streaming down the stairs, but his attention was focused on the spear-wielding demon standing over him, who was bringing his spear back for another strike.
Thew purple imp quickly outstreched his left hand, and with his inborn talents of magic, a trait passed down through the lineage, he cast a spell of domination on the trooper, causing him, for the moment, to heed his command.
“Attack them!” He demanded as he pointed at the other soldiers, mere steps away from the two. The demon turned around stiffly, and began marching towards his former allies.
Jardal quickly helped the prince to his feet, who himself was still nursing bleeding his arm. “Come my prince!”
The two quickly made their way down to the basement level, Zericho's momentary slave biding them enough time.
As they rounded the corner to the vault, Zericho was met with a surprising sight. “Igirn? Why the hell are you here?”
The head mage, his former tutor, looked shocked to see them as well, and rushed over to the two “Zericho, oh my- what happened to you?” He was looking at Zericho's arm, which was still bleeding somewhat profusely.
“What, that? Oh it's nothing, you're just looking for a reason to dote on me like you used to, aren't you?” Zericho chuckled slyly, “You know my bedroom door is always open.” In truth he was a little worried about the wound himself, he had never received one this bad, but he was pretty sure that it should still be in pain, not have gone numb.
Jardal snapped at the two, “Would you stop this foolishness? We need to get inside the vault before they show up!”
“What about the king?”Igirn asked.
Jardal sighed, “My lord has been... captured, I am afraid.”
Igirn slowly looked over at Zericho, “Then that would mean-”
Loud stomping could be heard from the stairwell; Igirn quickly ran to the vault door and pushed it open, “Come on!”
The three rushed inside and Igirn shut the door behind them, sealing them in the dimly lit vault. “We have to be quick; thick as it is, that door won't hold them forever.” He quickly made his way towards the further reaches of the vault.
Zericho quickly caught up with him, “Quick with what? What was my father's plan?”
Igirn looked over at him, “He didn't tell you? Well I suppose that makes sense, you aren't exactly known for your tight lips.” Zericho glared at him as he began to rummage through a chest.
“In the case that we ever became trapped within the castle by seigeing forces, or in this case a surprise invasion, the king had me make one of these.” He pulled out what looked to be a large lavender gem.
Zericho looked it over, “And that is...?”
“It's very rare, and very difficult to craft, it's a warp gem” He smirked as he looked down at it, “The damn thing took me thirty years, even after I had gathered all the ingredients.”
Jardal was growing impatient, “As good as it is that you've taken pride in your work Igirn, I think the prince meant, what does it do?!”
Igirn glowered at Jardal before turning back to the prince, “Exactly what it sounds like, it can warp us to anywhere in the land, perfect for making a quick escape.”
Zericho grinned, “Alright, now we're talking! Let's get moving!”
Igirn held up a finger, “Wait Zericho, first,” he reached into the chest and pulled out a small sack, “you should take this. The king didn't say what was in it, only that it was crucial to the survival of the empire.” Zericho took the bag with his strong arm and slung it around his shoulder, doing his best not to aggravate his wound. “Secondly, we should take care of that arm of yours,” He held his hands over the wound, and a soft light began to emanate from them, “Imps may not be the best at healing magic, but I can-”
There was a loud banging sound from the vault door, startling the three of them, Igirn caught his breath before sighing, “Don't worry, it should take them a few minutes before they can knock it down.”
Suddenly a loud explosion rang out; the three looked over to see the door reduced to rubble, a succubus crackling with power standing on top of it.
“Unless they've got an archmage!” Igirn shouted, hurridly taking the warp gem into both his hands. “Everyone's hands on it now!”
Jardal and Zericho quickly complied, Igirn began to chant, and the gem began to glow.
The succubus raised a crackling hand “I don't think think so!” Out shot a lightning bolt, aimed straight at the gem.
Zericho saw it coming, “Oh SHI-”
And then everything was light, for an instance there was nothing else, and then Zericho hit the ground.
“Ahh...” he moaned, trying his best to regain his bearings. He quickly looked around and saw that he was now in a densely forested area, he grunted as he picked himself up off the ground. “Well, I guess it worked Igirn.”
There was no response, “Igirn? Jardal?” He looked and saw that Igirn wasn't there, nor was Jardal, not a trace of either of them. “Hello?!”
He panicked and looked down at the gem, still in his hands. Could they have gotten separated? It was then that he noticed that there was a crack in the gem. “What the?” He poked at it.
The gem instantly crumbled to dust.
Zericho gaped at his empty hands for a few seconds.
“Motherfuckers!” He yelled at the top of his lungs.
An hour later...
So far Nate had managed to somewhat gain his bearings, which in this case meant he found a river. Well, less a river and more a small stream, but it was a start, he figured. He had remembered watching a survival special once that said to follow a river downstream if you got lost, people tend to build along them, and if all else fails, it'll eventually lead you to the ocean.
He was just desperately hoping it wouldn't take that long, as other than that, he had very little idea of what to do in this situation. He knew that you weren't supposed to drink from rivers because they were all polluted nowadays, but he was starting to get thirsty.
It was scary to be honest, the whole forest gave off a very strange vibe, and they weren't like the woods he was used to walking in as a child. Maybe he wasn't even in the same state anymore, maybe someone had drugged him, and then dumped him on the opposite side of the country for some reason.
He rubbed his temples, and reminded himself that worrying and theorizing was only going to make him feel worse. He'd probably find a road or a bridge any minute.
It was at that moment that a loud rustling sound came from the other side of the stream, and Nate froze. He was hoping that it was just a deer trotting through the bushes, and not a bear, but better safe than sorry, right?
About two seconds later, a purple shape let out a shout and came tumbling out of the undergrowth and down the slope at the river's edge.
It moaned as it nursed its side.
“Holy fuck.” Nate whispered, his eyes wide as they scanned what now lay a few feet away.
It looked... almost like a person, a small child to be more accurate, as it was only about two to three feet tall, and had a large head. But it was purple for one, it had large ears that were pointed, two sharp, black horns that jutted straight out of its head, a tail ending in a spaded tip, and hands and feet that had three large claws instead of five fingers. And it was bleeding from one of its arms, rather badly from the looks of it.
“What in the hell?” He made his way across the shallow stream, and was only a few feet away from the thing when it turned and looked at him.
It looked... scared. “Don't worry little guy, I'm not gonna hurt you.”
It held out its uninjured arm and pointed at him, “You stay the hell away from me human.”
Nate froze, his mouth agape. It talked! It fucking talked!
After a few seconds of glaring at him, the creature tried to pick itself up, only to fall back down as it was forced to put weight on its injured arm. “Agh!” It hissed.
He made his way over to the creature's side, still afraid, “Holy shit, l-let me help you... um.... uh...”
As he crouched down beside it, the thing quickly thrust its hand out at Nate, palm facing at him, and narrowed his eyes. His hand almost seemed to glow, and Nate froze, afraid what the thing would do. This lasted for about a second, at which point the creature panicked, “What, why isn't it working?!”
Nate was puzzled; well, more so, “C'mon, you're hurt, you need help.”
The creature (a he, Nate mentally decided, based on its voice), snorted. “Oh, you're gonna help me human? Please, I know your kind, you just wanna stab the imp you found in the forest, and then parade it back to your village as a big hero.”
Nate was taken aback, this was insane, “A what?” He shook his head in confusion as he tried to look at the wound the... imp? Was hiding. “Look you're hurt really badly, I can help you.”
“What, like you're a healer?”
He kept using that word, healer, not doctor, “Well, I'm kinda training to be one... kinda.” A degree in pharmacology was pretty closely related to a medical degree after all.
The imp glared at him, “And what if I said no?”
Nate sputtered, “W-what?! Look at yourself, if I leave you you'll die out here!”
He chuckled as he tried to rise again, “Please, I think you're underestimating my- OH GODS!” He cried out and fell back to the ground as more blood spurted from the wound.
“Screw this.” Nate grabbed the imp with both arms and carefully flipped him over onto his front, careful not to aggravate the wound. “Let me see it.”
The imp slowly lifted his hand away from the wound, and Nate hissed, the wound, which thankfully wasn't too large, was covered with dirt and other debris, “Fuck, that thing is filthy, we're gonna have to wash it out.”
“Just heal it!” The imp cried out.
Nate went rummaging through his backpack, “Give me a second!” He pulled out a bottle of water he had been saving, along with the shirt he would have used for gym; he could use the river water, but that would probably lead to an infection. He poured water over the wound, washing out most of the filth, but some still remained behind.
He sighed, “I'll try to be gentle, but this is going to sting, try to stay still.”
“What are you- ahh!” The imp cried out as Nate tried his best to gently brush away the dirt. “What the hells are you doing!? Healing isn't supposed to hurt this much!”
Nate struggled to keep the arm still, “Well I don't have exactly a full medical cabinet to work with here, I have to make do. Now stop struggling before you make it open wider!”
The imp stilled as Nate finished the job, and then looked over the wound, “Okay, it doesn't look like any major arteries got hit, and it's not too big, so I don't think it needs stitches. We'll just wrap it up tight, and you should be fine.”
“Should?! What the hells, I thought you said you were a healer- use your magic and heal it!”
Nate glared at the imp, “Okay, you and I are going to have a conversation where we answer all of each other’s questions, but first I'm going to finish up here.”
Nate looked at his gym shirt and realized it was the only suitable material for bandaging available, “Wish I had something to sterilize all this with.” He muttered, as he tore the shirt into strips.
He then wrapped and tied several layers of cloth around the wound, hoping that this would allow the wound to heal. “Okay, done.” He sighed, and felt slightly woozy as something drained from his body, likely the adrenaline rush that came with the situation.
The imp examined his arm, and then looked up at him, “You're a crappy healer, you know that?”
The imp glared at him, “What?”
“My name, it's Nate. What's yours?”
The imp looked him over, as if appraising him, before smiling devilishly, “You've got a wierd name, Nate. Name's Zericho.”
A story written for readasaur about this guy right here: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/11016855/, being found by a random human dropped into his world.
Prince Zericho must now go around the land of Serenium to save his empire with his new friend in tow. Adventures ensue! (Also sex)