t never prioritize societal temptations over the organization and its stability, ” Julius said in a reprimanding tone. ”Information is most certainly one of those compulsions. Besides, shell tell me the knowledge she withholds someday, I know this for a fact. ”
”So then why… ”
”Well, I wanted to see if I was truly worthy of being your leader. If I had felt myself compelled to force the information out of Lili here, then I would be no more than a failure. ”
”Sir! ” Kumotta interjected loudly, concern inlaid in his voice. He could not stand to see his lord talking in this manner, it would be an embarrassment to his dignity as both a warrior and a servant if he allowed his own master to collapse.
”You are perfect! I am not very good at verbalization, not in the way Lili or Inquisitor or Ajax are, but you are a man beyond words anyways. You are the perfect devil to lead us, please do not doubt yourself! ”
”Oh, I know. ”
Julius descended from atop his makeshift throne of rubble and ran his fingers through Kumottas smooth black hair.
”My worth as your leader was never truly in question here. Even if I postulated it as a matter of failure or success, this is a much more complex matter. It was more so- ” he paused to contemplate his next words. They had to be perfect, complete, articulated.
After all, every eye in the room was on him, hanging off his every word. Every man and woman in that room had an obsession of some sort with Julius, like how an ant views its queen. As divine, intangible, in this case as the accumulation of all the darkest parts of themselves wrapped into the body of a single man.
”It was more so an experiment. A test of expression and identity, if this makes sense. I wanted to measure myself on the basis of how far I would be willing to even conceptualize for that information. ”
”A-and what is that conceptualization? ”
”Nothing! ” Julius laughed, letting go off his hold on Kumottas face. He laughed with the fervor of a child who been given a toy, and in that moment that was truly what he became. A child, and yet a man all the same. Interchangeable and fluid in state and nature, unbound. At a particular angle it was possible to even interpret his figure as that of a female.
How hopelessly depraved it was, for an individual to exist in such a state. But for a moment, Julius flickered, he slipped, he toed the line of existence itself.
No one in that room understood this phenomenon, this seemingly impossible moment, but to them it was beautiful all the same. And then, they saw their masters face, and that beauty, manifested itself quite differently.
Julius was no longer a man, but a monster of otherworldly proportions, bubbling with the cloak of a human being.
”I felt absolutely nothing! Even as I played and toyed with Lili, not once did I feel even the slightest compulsion to give her up, especially not for a thing like money or knowledge. ”
”But did you feel like giving her up? ” asked another voice. It belonged to a man named Inquisitor, who stood at the far end of the room, trembling in fear and excitement.
”I…I did actually. I felt that if I fancied it, I could do anything to her, as long as my heart truly, irrationally craved to do so. ” his face twisted into an expression of bliss, as if he were describing heaven itself.
No one could bear to look at him though in that moment. They were afraid, not even of him, but of disturbing the strange, incomprehensible peace he had actualized right then and there.
That fear caused the entire room to became draped in silence. The way he had said that last sentence, it dripped with a false sweetness that was teetering on toxic, and it made everyone present break out into a cold sweat. They couldn explain it, but they found themselves unable to look at their masters face, as they were too afraid of seeing his twisted expression.
The only one genuinely afraid of Julius as an individual in that moment, even if it was just for a brief instance, was Lili. But she was also the one who had the best picture of what the monster beneath Juliuss flesh looked like. The imaginary, intangible monster which was supposed to be without shape or definition. Yet she could conceive its presence, its shape, and it scared her more than anything she had ever imagined in her life. She stifled herself immediately, stuffing her thoughts in, afraid exposing them to anybody else. And yet despite how insignificant her thoughts had been, they did not go unnoticed.
Julius made his way over to Lili and stood before her, scrutinizing her figure which was at present in a kneeling position.
Suddenly, her face was grabbed by two cold, clammy hands, like the hands of a dead man. The hands pulled her up until she was staring face to face with Julius.
His expression wasn as twisted as she expected now, but he did have an unsettling smile stretched across his face.
”Why did you avert your eyes Lili? Did you see something scary? ” he asked with an irresistibly child like voice.
”Yes my lord, I did. I-it was terrifying, like nothing Ive ever seen ”, said Lili. She hadn meant to blurt out those words, but Juliuss tone had subconsciously awakened the tiny, honest fragment of her being.
Suddenly his innocence warped into malignant curiosity, and Lili felt chills yet again. Nevertheless she continued.
”It was nothing sir, just mere delusional- ”
”Tell me Lili. Do not hold back in your honesty Lili. This is the one time I shall not allow you to hide from me. ”
”Y-yes sir. This sounds rather insane of me I know, however- ” she tried to avoid Juliuss gaze whilst saying this, but was left no choice but to stare directly at him. She took a deep breath and continued.
”However for a brief second, I saw some kind of…creature, I guess you could say. Like a demon or something. From your back I could see wings, mouths were scattered across your frame, multiple heads extended from your neck, your arms looked like some sort of jello, and your eyes…. ” she froze.
”What about my eyes Lili? ” Julius asked, eyes alight with fascination upon what Lili was describing.
”There were eyes all over you just like the mouths, but for some reason they were all closed. ”
Lili stopped, afraid of being asked to continue. But Julius seemed satisfied. He took one hand off her face and raised it to his lips in contemplation. He didn notice that everyone else in the clearing was staring directly at them, but when it did come to his attention they all directed their gaze back towards the floor.
”Hey, hey, hey! ” he cried, reverting back to a more playful tone and releasing Lilis face. ”Don be afraid! You are all my lifeblood, why do you fear me? Come on…raise your heads and carry on as you were! ”
The thirteen other fellows gathered there raised their eyes and slowly but gradually eased back into conversation. They were quite adaptive in that way. It took a few moments but soon they were back to being merry and making conversation once again. They had all felt the terror Lili had felt, and both rejoiced and recoiled from it all the same. But the only face on which worry still lingered for quite a while was hers.
It disappeared soon enough though…just in time for another announcement.
Julius rose his voice again, in the same authoritative tone which never failed to capture their attention.
”This gathering was initially intended as a means for us all to interact once again, however I have come to a conscious realization. And I think…there is something I would like to discuss with you all. ”
Every single male and female in that room fell in line clustered around their leader immediately. Every one of them was immensely powerful and dangerous, a heinous villain in their own form. But nevertheless these disobedient, violent souls all complied when their superior issued a command.
However Julius was not on top of the pile of rocks, and was instead pulling out a table from the other side of the pile. Then he carefully placed some stray rocks on top of the table in different formations and configurations.
”For many years up until this point, we have carved our name on this continent as a small but extremely deadly organization of warriors. We remain shrouded in mystery, but have crafted a name with such infamy attached to it, that countries all over the land know us! But that is far too shallow for men of our caliber. As I trust, you all have spent the last several years stealing and killing as you please? ”
A man named Ulgoath spoke up. He was a warrior belonging to the barbaric lands of EMorgaez near the south of the continent. One of the most dominant races there were the Zar Knulls, bulky, grey skinned figures with bodies like bears and skin as tough as boulders. Ulgoath was the second largest man in the room after Goro, and he was a man who lived and breathed on his raw instincts.
”I have slain many warriors over these past several years and stolen a variety of their most valuable treasures. If they will be of service to you I shall happily transfer my ownership of these items to you. ” Ulgoath said, with surprising elegance for his stature and nature.
”That would be most appreciated Ulgoath ” Julius said in what sounded like gratitude. ”As I said, we are fighters and schemers of the highest degree. Our power alone is enough to shift the balance between nations themselves! Have you heard the names they attach to us? Mar Golzuth, The Clan of Shadows, Ellvor Sayruneth, and of course as the Volicheans call us…the House of Wolves. ”
Murmurs rippled amongst the crowd in admiration of the name. The organization had never settled on an appropriate title, they found and associated each other as comrades through different ways. But they all seemed to like the last name.
”And if we are wolves
” Julius said, cutting through the murmurs,
”is it not our job to tear apart the weak? Is that not the very spirit which drives every one of these beasts? So…if we
e to be worthy of such a name, we must do something truly grand. It will require some time to put in motion, but…. ” in just a single word Juliuss voice transitioned from one of authority and confidence to one of deviousness and devilry.
”When its over well have left so much carnage and tragedy in our wake history shall have no choice but to remember us for what we are. Monsters, outcasts, demons, I can just imagine the names theyll call us! They won even recognize us as one of their own! ”
”How so? ” asked Undyne, the youngest member of the House, but one with immense bloodlust all the same.
”Well its simple, isn it? Well create such climactic and nauseating tragedy that they may even question their own existences! Wouldn that be fantastic! How could people do such a thing? is what theyll say. Well become dehumanized, and in the process immortalized! Even if we
e cut down we will be remembered for what we are; just imagine that! ” Julius cried with frenzied insanity.
But this time, his subordinates did not look at him with fear, but with excitement, and a piercing roar filled the air and rang far beyond the confines of those small, empty ruins.
No amount of preparation could protect the world from what this House of Wolves had set in motion that day…
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