Demon Lord III - Grey God
out now."
    "Good."
Mithran thumped his shoulder, and they set off through the trees,
Grem following.
     
    "Goddess, that
is amazing. He found Ashynaria after a thousand years of
searching," Mirra whispered into the thick silence that fell at the
end of Bane's tale. They sat around the kitchen table, their faces
illuminated by the golden light of the many candles on the table
and on shelves around the walls, mingled with the blue glow.
    Bane nodded.
"Quite a feat, even for him, I think."
    "You must save
her."
    "I will not
leave you."
    Her face fell.
"But Ashynaria... I will come with you then."
    "It is too
dangerous. We have to travel through somewhere called the God
Realm, to the domain where she is held prisoner."
    She frowned.
"You promised to take me wherever you went."
    "Which is why
I am not going."
    "You must. If
you do not, I will be to blame for Ashynaria's suffering."
    Bane shook his
head. "I do not think I can save her, anyway."
    "Of course you
can."
    "You do not
know that any more than I do. I could be killed."
    "Kayos would
not allow that. Neither would I, which is all the more reason for
me to come with you."
    Bane rubbed
his brow and sighed. "This is insane. I am not taking you into so
much danger."
    "You will be
there to protect me."
    "No. We are
not going."
    "I will not be
able to live with that guilt, Bane. It will eat me alive."
    "I would not
do it anyway."
    "So you are
just using me as an excuse?"
    He eyed her.
"A good reason, but not the only one."
    "What are the
others?"
    "I told you, I
do not think I can defeat a dark god. I did not beat Arkonen on my
own."
    "Perhaps Kayos
will help you as Lyriasharin did."
    Bane raised
his hands. "I am not going through that again."
    "That is
selfish, Bane. You have to save Ashynaria."
    "No, I do
not."
    Mithran spread
his hands on the table. "I agree with Mirra, Son. You have the
power to save a goddess, you cannot refuse."
    "Yes I
can."
    "Well you
should not. Has the dark power corrupted you already?"
    Bane shook his
head. "Kayos says I am incorruptible."
    Mithran looked
startled. "That's wonderful!" His brows lowered. "Then I don't see
the problem."
    "The problem
is I am not taking Mirra into a dangerous place like the God Realm,
which, according to Kayos, is full of beast gods and demon gods,
the kind no one wants to meet. Especially me."
    "It's a noble
quest," Grem muttered, earning a scowl from Bane.
    "Mirra has
more courage than you," Mithran said.
    "It is not a
question of courage," Bane said. "It is common sense. Who amongst
you was witness to my battle with Arkonen?"
    Mirra snorted.
"No one could have got close without being incinerated."
    "Exactly."
    "But I was
there, even though I do not remember it."
    "You were
protected by my demons."
    "Exactly.
Summon demons to protect me, a demon steed to carry me."
    "No!" Bane
thumped the table, making the candles jump, but only Grem started.
Mithran regarded him stonily, while Mirra bowed her head and
clasped her hands.
    "No, do not,
Mirra," Bane groaned, shaking his head, then he jumped up and swung
away as Lyriasharin appeared beside the table, her hands folded
before her. Mirra bowed her head, Grem and Mithran fell to their
knees, their chairs scraping as they vacated them.
    Lyriasharin
gestured. "Arise, good people."
    Bane turned to
face the goddess, inclining his head. "Lyriasharin."
    "My Lord. You
are beset, it seems."
    "Indeed."
    "This angers
you."
    "Of course it
damn well angers me."
    The goddess
smiled. "You would rather they agreed with you mindlessly?"
    "No, just see
common sense."
    "My Lord, you
are the only one who doubts your abilities. You should be
flattered."
    "I know my
abilities, and it has already been proven that I cannot defeat a
dark god. Why will no one believe that?"
    Lyriasharin
moved closer. "You were brash. You did not think about how you were
going to defeat him. You were driven by hatred and a lust for
revenge, made fearful by Mirra's peril, and weakened by your
wounds. Many factors were

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