The wrethkar herd continued their free roam in the ravine. Wandering amongst the herd was Legion, the great demon sorcerer, who searched for a flower, the Deathly Bloom, that would be suitable for Rosemary's upcoming presentation for her class. And where was Rosemary Gravely? She sat away from the old demon an a small boulder pile, no longer interested in her project but more so on the gentle herd that allowed the two of them to roam with. She sketched out drawings of a few of the beasts in her notepad. She drew in detail of each spike and scale of the young and the old. She even drew Legion guiding the herd like a old shepherd, which made her smile even more.
Suddenly she felt a tug on the back of her hoodie. She turned and saw an infant wrethkar gnawing at the cloth. It was the same baby that Legion helped birth. The newborn released her and gave a small squeak, then jumped down from the boulder pile. It was born not that long, perhaps only an hour or two, yet it was already walking and running at an accelerated rate. With every couple feet it ran it would always look back at Rosemary, coaxing her attention.
"Oh, you want to play?" Rosie giggled. She could resist its temptations. Jumping down from the pile, Rosemary pursued the swift infant. It ran farther and farther from the human girl that she could barely keep up. She soon chased the newborn down the ravine which led them to a canyon. The infant cut through a rocky corner and disappeared. Right then she heard frantic squeals of the infant.
"Oy! Snagged another one!" A grizzled voice cried out.
Rosemary darted for the large rock and crouched down. She poked her head from behind the large rock and saw three demons, that she has never met until now, gathered around a small campsite and safeguarded a set of large, wooden crates. One demon appeared like a muscled skeleton, much like Ghuul, but the horns on his head were longer like a gazelle. The second demon was much thinner and shorter than his comrades, with his appearance head and legs appearing rather goat like. The third demon was much more sinister looking than the others, with his muscular appearance much like a cross between a human and a lizard, complete with flaky scales, a short tail that swung behind, and his left eye so scarred up he couldn't open it.
"Remind me again why we're snatchin' up these babies." The skinny goat-demon whined. "Why can't we hunt down the bigger ones?"
"Their hides are only soft like this until they get bigger." Their horned leader explained. "Good for makin' some smooth leather, and worth quite a fortune to the right buyers. I gots me a flyboy in the heavens whose looking to buy off on some of their skins."
"Oh I can't wait to tell me brother." The skinny goat-demon giddied. "He's gonna be jelly of me when I come back stupid rich."
"You best keep your gob shut less you don't wanna loose your head!" The scarred lizard-demon warned his eager partner. "If any higher demons finds out what we've been up to it'll be our hides that's skinned."
Rosemary grew angry of what these demons were planning. She knew she had to get them out of that crate. As the demons talked among themselves of how their profits would be split, Rosie sneaked quietly to the crate. The closer she drew she heard the desperate pleas of the baby wrethkars inside the crate. She reached for the lock and tugged with all her might, but the lock wouldn't budge.
Suddenly she felt something yank at her hood and hoisted her off the ground. She could help but let out a small yelp from the hoisting. Off the ground she dangled in the hand of the scarred demon, who barred his sharp teeth at her.
"Looks like we've got ourselves a spy in our mist, boys!" The scarred lizard-demon hissed to his comrades.
The other two demons gather around the two. They watched how Rosemary kicked about in the air and her small naval was exposed from her hoodie and shirt being held up.
"What is it?" The skinny goat-demon asked.
"Looks like a soul." The horned leader commented.
The scarred lizard-demon took a couple sniffs at Rosemary and hissed once more, "Don't reek like one. Too fleshy and clothed to be a soul."
"I'm a girl, you jerks!" Rosie retorted. "And you better let these baby wrethkars go!
"Or what?" The horned leader jeered.
"Or I'll tell my stepfather!" She warned. "May have heard of him. He's the devil, sometimes referred as the boss."
All three of the demons gulped at the mention of her stepfather. Small sweat beads dripped down from their monstrous heads.
"She's the boss's brat!?" The skinny goat-demon squeaked.
"No she ain't!" The horned leader denied. "She's a liar!"
"Hey, what if she's telling the truth?" The skinny one asked. "What if we're ratted straight to the devil?"
"She's a kid. Kids always tell lies to get outta trouble." The lizard-demon spat. He then drew a large bowie knife from his belt and raised up to the girl's chin, to which she gasped at its sharpness. "Kids also know how to keep their mouths shut or risk their tongues cut out if she spills to anyone."
"And what of me?" A familiar voice bellowed nearby. "What is my punishment for knowing?"
All four looked to the path and saw the great demon sorcerer supreme himself lingering down their way. His old staff tapped the ground with each slow step. Each pair of spider like eyes glared to each of the poaching demons. The horned leader and skinny goat-demon pulled out their machetes from the sheaves of their pants and readied themselves.
"Oy! That there's Legion, the royal adviser." The skinny goat-demon gasped. "Kid was speakin' the truth!"
"This ain't your concern, old timer." The scarred lizard-demon hissed.
"You are trespassing on ground you do not belong in," The old arachnid said. "You are holding my assistant hostage and are threatening her life, and you have a few infant wrethkars boxed up with intentions to craft their hides into leather and sell it to the black market, an act to which I myself established a ban all across the depths of Hell. I would say that this indeed is now my concern. I am will grant each of you mercy and pardon your crimes if you do the following: release the wrethkars, apologize to the girl, leave this place, abnegate your professions, and never return.""
"Gut this old wizard!" The horned leader ordered.
The scarred lizard-demon dropped Rosie onto the ground and charged forward with the skinny goat-demon following suit. Legion spun his staff around and struck it against their heads. The skinny goat-demon took few more strikes against his body before being sent flying to the canyon wall by a final blow. The scarred-lizard demon tried to blast Legion with a couple fireballs, but, without a single glance, the sorcerer dissolved them with his hand. A purple glow emitted from the arachnid's hand followed by a great gust of wind, which blasted the scarred attacker into the canyon wall as well.
The horned leader charged forward only to drop to his knees when Legion's staff jabbed him below his belt. A hard strike across his head knocked him on his back, which forced the demon to groan loudly from his pain. He then gagged when the wooden staff pressed down on his throat with the sorcerer standing above him.
"My offer still stands." Legion reminded them.
After their humiliating defeat at the hands of the old demon, the poachers did exactly as he instructed. They dropped their weapons, unlocked the crate of baby wrethkars, to which the babies scampered back to the herd. The poachers then followed up with a short apology to Rosemary, who mockingly smiled and laughed as they all ran out of the canyon, screaming like scared girls. Legion raised his left hand, which emitted a hazy green glow. Sprouting from the tainted ground were large roots that coiled around the crates, crushing them down into tiny splinters, so they can never be used again.
Legion then looked on to Rosemary and said. "For one so small you seem to constantly find yourself in big trouble."
"It's a bad habit." Rosie jested. "What about you? I thought you were against violence."
"I am. But I am for self defense."