Trenton gripped his sword tighter, continued to creep through the dark, his eye's darting back and forth. He knew that his prey was hiding in this dank catacomb, he just had to find her.
He was hundreds of feet below the city, even below many of the sewers and underground aqueducts. He had continued chasing her down from the surface and though he had nearly lost her psychic scent on several occasions, he had now trapped her in one of the lowest levels.
Having erected a psychic barrier over the only entrance and exit, she could no longer escape.
Though he was confident he could take her down Trenton knew one thing, a beast cornered is when it is at it's most ferocious.
Coming to a four way intersection in the dreary corridor, his supernatural vision peered down each hall. Realizing she could no longer evade him, the demonic woman had increased her aura instead of attempting to hide it, to the effect that it felt like she was all around him.
Declining to go in a wrong direction, thus allowing her to move and prolonging the hunt, he settled down into a cross legged sitting position in the center of the intersection. Pressing the hilt of his katana to his chest, with blade centered on his nose, Trenton fell into a meditative trance.
Expanding his psychic presence so that it enveloped the whole area, he now did to her what she was doing to him. Just as he couldn't pinpoint her presence, now she could no longer know his movements and thus avoid him.
Rising from his meditation, but maintaining his extended field of psychic vision, he chose the pathway in front of him and continued to creep, relying on his natural senses.
Trenton followed the ancient hall to its end, searching its edifices and holes along the way. A three way intersection lay at the end of the hall, so he randomly chose left.
This path was even more dingy than the last, with part of the ceiling tiles on the floor, which itself was covered in seepage from the sewer's and aqua ducts above. Nearly to the end of the path, where it turned a corner to the left, he finally felt her nearby presence.
Trenton stopped, being careful not to narrow his psychic presence, so as not to alert his demonic prey. Directly ahead the right wall of the corridor had collapsed, creating a cave-like edifice. The edifice was filled with a dark so deep even his eyes could not pierce it. But his psychic eyes could.
The demonic priestess had stifled her natural breathing, but he could detect the faint flickering of her presence, a flickering that could not be hidden at such a close proximity. Though he had not narrowed his psychic presence, she must surely be aware of his presence, just as he was of her. He had to trick her somehow.
Shifting his psychic focus, he narrowed his presence and focused it up ahead, to create a psychic doppelganger. Though his psychic sense was averted, he could hear a slight stirring noise with his ears, so he increased the viability of this mirror image, telekinetically moving the water and air near the psychic doppelganger. Further rustling from the darkened edifice signaled his success. She was preparing to double back.
Suddenly erasing his doppelganger, he quickly prepared a psychic blast and threw it into the cave, catching her off guard. A stifled cry issued from the cave, followed by the splash of her body falling into the water. Grabbing a flare from his belt, he quickly ignited and threw it into the cave.
The priestess, though her skin was pale and her eyes without a pupil from the demonic corruption, was beautiful. She was laying belly first in the water, the wind knocked out of her from the psychic blast. Trenton raised his sword into a guard position, simultaneously raising a psychic shield around him, being careful not to rush in.
The young woman was slowly picking herself up out of the muck. She was extremely sexy, Trenton thought to himself, though he didn't let that thought change his desire to wipe her evil out of the world. Her white and red robe had soaked in the water, clinging to the priestess' skin. She smirked up at him, wiping her midnight black hair out of her deceptively gorgeous face.
"Never fought a demon like me have you boy?" the girl teased at him. She must be a possession, Trenton thought himself, now seeing her up close. A shame, this one could not be exorcised, the demon was too powerful.
"No, but I have defeated much more powerful," Trenton responded.
The demon girl gave a truly contemptuous look and then took a different route. "You know, this confrontation doesn't have to become a battle. I'm sure there is a lot you'd like to know about demons, knowledge I posses," she offered.
Removing her robe, she revealed her possessed body in its erotic splendor. "There could be other...benefits... as well," she said, eyeing him coyly.
Trenton couldn't deny it, he was tempted. She was so beautiful. A series of images flashed through his head; him lying naked, being serviced by this beautiful woman; promoted because of his extensive knowledge about the defeating demons, knowledge gleaned through this demon. His guard lowered, a tiny bit, but tangibly so.
"Think about it, a young stud like you, already so powerful. Just think how much you could gain with me at your side," the woman tempted. Trenton considered it, he really did. But then new images flashed in his head; Himself on the run, being hunted by his former mentor, whom he betrayed. Being twisted and corrupted by demonic energy. Become so evil and terrible that he brought chaos and destruction to what he cherished.
These new thoughts brought him back to reality. Maybe if he had a soul stone, to bind this demon to his will, maybe then what she promised would become reality. Then he could perform other rituals of binding, bending her to his will so that she would become his personal servant, sharing her body and her secrets. But he didn't have a soul stone, and binding demons would still earn the ire of his own order. It was not to be.
"Sorry, but I'm afraid I'll have to decline your offer," Trenton declared. Smiling at her he continued, "Maybe when I'm in your world, hunting down your King, we can get together. But I doubt there are any beautiful girls for you to possess in the Underworld, and I just can't stand demons in their pure form. I'm sure you understand," he said to her condescendingly.
"You know nothing of the Underworld!" she snarled back at him. "I am what makes this pathetic human beautiful!" She then got into a fighting stance, conjuring a fiery dagger into one hand. "If you won't form a partnership, then I will be forced to slay you."
Smirking, Trenton didn't waste another world. Expanding his psychic shield, he energized it, and threw it at her. It unfurled and became visible, attempting to surround her like a net. But she was to powerful for this. She shouted something foul and demonic, then fell into a crouch and punched the ground, a fiery burst surrounded her rising up and obliterating itself and the energy net. However this was but a diversionary tactic.
As the energy net sped towards the Priestess, Trenton leaped forward, swinging his katana back and infusing it with arcane energy. As the demon's energy burst obliterated the net, he jumped to the side and swung his sword. To her credit, the demon was fast, but not fast enough.
Though she leapt backwards from her crouch, simultaneously shielding her face with her forearms, the swing caught her. The infused blade, which would have decapitated her in her crouching position, swept across her forearms. Though not deep enough to sever them or cut through the bone, it none the less drew blood.
Trenton resumed his guarding position and waited for her to make a move.
The nude demon side stepped, maneuvering so that Trenton was now towards the back of the cave and the demon had her back to the exit.
"Before I vanquish you I'd like to know your name," Trenton declared, staring directly at his foe.
The demon paused. "Viriquesesh," she answered. "Happy?" she questioned him angrily.
"Very," Trenton responded simply.
Viriquesesh then clasped her hands above her head, summoning demonic fire, which enveloped her hands. "Contend with the fire of the Underworld mortal!" she screamed, multiplying the force of the fire and suddenly flinging it at him.
For Trenton it seemed to happen in slow motion. Surely such a simplistic attack, as powerful though it was, couldn't possibly be meant to finish him off. The fire bolt inched towards him. She was trying to buy time with the attack, time enough to bolt out the exit before he could throw an attack at her. Glancing down Trenton noticed the burning flare he had shot into the crevice earlier at his feet.
Using his foot to kick the flare directly up into the air, he threw his arcane infused sword with all his might. The flare flew directly into the path of the fire bolt, his sword passed just below both objects. Glancing forward Trenton saw that Viriquesesh was turning, her hair waving wildly, towards the exit.
Trenton summoned as much of a shield as he could so quickly. Time seemed to resume its normal speed.
The fire bolt struck the flare, both exploding on impact. Despite the shield, the force was enough to send Trenton off his feet. He flew backwards, the stone wall breaking his fall. As the explosion filled the room, he tried his best to clamp his eyes shut of the blinding light.
When he opened his eyes, it took his a moment to get used to the returned darkness. Up ahead, he could hear gurgled gasping. It was the sound of a body attempting to drag itself through the mucky water. Hauling himself to his feet, he lit another flare and tossed it in front of him. The scene meeting him when light once again returned was grisly but, oddly satisfying.
His tactic had succeeded. His sword had run her through from behind as she had attempted to flee. Now, she was attempting to drag her nude body away. The sword was still inside her, the handle sticking out her back, the front protruding from her slim belly.
Walking up to her, Trenton turned her over with his booted foot.
"You...bastard," she exclaimed between heavy breaths and coughed up blood. "I offered you...this!" she reflected, grasping at one of her naked breasts. "How could you refuse?"
Trenton crouched beside her, sure that her weakening soul could not hurt him. "You did have me tempted. I really did consider your offer," he consoled. He couldn't believe himself, he was feeling regret at slaying a demon.
Viriquesesh attempted to raise herself from the muck, but her strength failed and her body shuddered back to the floor, her head becoming partially submerged.
Trenton stood over her, and, grasping the hilt protruding from her back, pulled his sword from her failing body. She screamed out as the blade slid out.
Trenton then walked behind her and grasped her from her armpits, raising her up. Dragging her back into the corridor, he propped her up against the wall and sat down across from her.
"Why aren't you...finishing me," she gasped.
"Because, you're dying anyway," Trenton reasoned. "And I can't perform an exorcism; the soul of the body you inhabit isn't present." Trenton was puzzled.
Usually when a demon took over a body it left the original soul inside, so as to provide a strong anchor to the mortal realm. This was not done in this case. "How come you expelled the original soul that inhabited your body?" Trenton asked her.
"You expect an answer?" she responded.
"Maybe I can still save you," Trenton offered, secretly using her own temptation tricks against her.
"I..." she started. She paused though and tried to raise herself up more, as her wet body was sliding down the wall. "The soul had already left the body," she finally revealed.
"What?" Trenton exclaimed. "That's not possible, this body hasn't died yet."
"The soul and the body don't always...expire...at the same time," Viriquesesh answered. "The soul departed, a ritual kept the body alive, and then I inhabited it."
"No wonder you were so hard to track. I was looking for a soul to sense that wasn't there," Trenton pondered out loud.
Viriquesesh's body shuddered as she became cold. She had lost too much blood, which was flowing between the fingers grasping her stomach and from the corners of her lips.
"Please, save me. I can give you so much knowledge...Knowledge you can use in your crusade against my overlords," Viriquesesh pleaded.
"You'd betray your own kind?" Trenton questioned.
"You human's do it all the time, and you're His favored creation. Betraying my evil brethren could only gain me holy favor...correct?" she asked.
"It's possible." Trenton once again pondered the possibilities. The crusade was not going well. Despite the Order's increased numbers and power, more and more demons were roaming the mortal realm. It did indeed seem that a build up for a large battle ahead was taking place. Despite the Order's divine aid, the demonic army was legion, and for any true victory to be won, the fight would eventually have to be taken to them. No easy task. Trenton could see how much value a demonic informant would have.
"Maybe, if you help us against the demons, just maybe you could be pardoned from your original sin. I don't think it's ever happened before, but, maybe with a human's blessing..."
Trenton got up from up his sitting position. He was no longer baiting her to gain more information. If he was actually going to try this, he'd have to act quickly, her life was fading fast.
"I...please hurry," she pleaded once again.
Trenton gazed at her. At first thought he considered she might be playing him. But her power was now so weak, he could see right through her. He sensed none of the malevolence that enveloped her before. She was desperate to be saved. Had she done something to anger her masters?
"Alright I'll do it," he finally agreed.
The only way to keep her anchored to this realm was if he transformed her into pure energy, and then anchored that energy to an object. Not his sword, the arcane energy of it would obliterate her demonic soul. He glanced down at his hand, and at the ring on one of his fingers; the ring that had belonged to his mother before she died. It would have to do.
"Do you know how..," she started.
"I think so," Trenton interrupted. "You're going to be in a weak and wretched form, but you'll be "alive."
Trenton then stepped in front of her and lowered himself to his knees, so that her face was even to his. Closing his eyes in concentration and placing his hands on her temples, he focused as much energy as he could summon on her soul, separating it from her body. Compressing the energies of her soul he then siphoned off some of the energy he was feeding her, leaving just enough to sustain her soul, but little more. Her body then died, with one last gasping breath. Trenton further compressed her demonic soul, moving it into the confines of his ring. Trenton uttered runes of entrapment, as best as he could remember them, molding her soul into its new body, the ring.
Opening his eyes he looked at his handy work. The ring was shining, and her soul had gone into shock from the procedure. But it was not passing into the underworld. He had succeeded.