The two imps scampered off to find their own paths back to the world of Men. Rabdos waited until they were out of sight and snatched up two lemurs close at hand. He marked them quickly and then stared hard at them uttering several arcane words at each as he did.
“Now, you are mine. Follow those two imps who just left. When they’re occupied join with them and keep me apprised of all they do in the next three days. Go.”
The lemurs each licked Rabdos’ hand before leaping to the ground and following after the two imps. Satisfied he had things well in hand, Rabdos turned to face his tower and watched as another new course of stone was mortised in place.
Movement of the line of slaves caught his attention and he began to circle the tower. The line stretched to the rocks roughly one hundred yards away and disappeared there. Presumably the quarry where the stones were cut was somewhere beyond but he wasn’t exactly sure. Perhaps he’d pay that area a visit shortly. Maybe he could find another few imps to commandeer over there.
“You have done well, young demon,” a familiar throaty voice said from behind Rabdos.
Radbos didn’t turn around. “My Lord Malphas. To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”
“I wanted to see how the construction of your stronghold was coming and if you were able to secure any new minions,” Malphas said.
“You know perfectly well I’ve secured my first soul and two new imps,” Rabdos said.
“I know nothing of the sort, having just arrived,” Malphas lied.
“Then you’ve not been keeping to the rules you taught me about how to manage a cadre,” Rabdos said finally turning to face his benefactor.
Lord Malphas smiled at Rabdos as he turned to face his master. “You are a exceptional imp. That’s why I recruited you.”
Rabdos began to object to the reduction in rank having been newly raised to demon but Lord Malphas held up a hand and cut him off.
“Yes, yes, you’re a full-fledged demon I know. But don’t let that go to your head. Others know you are newly promoted as well and will try to take advantage of your inexperience. I come to warn you,” Lord Malphas said.
“Warn me? Of what?” Rabdos asked.
“A high-ranking demon or direct servant even will be dispatching minions to pose as recruits very soon. Be wary of those who are too eager to please you,” Lord Malphas said seriously. “Those two you just bound…”
“Have had lemurs bound again to them,” Rabdos interrupted. “If they speak with another demon, overlord, or even a direct servant, I will know just as you taught me.”
“Just as I taught you,” Malphas echoed but did not look convinced.
“You have tasked me with opposing this man Paul Thomas at that company Tech Evangelists. I have remade Robert Dante and sent him back there to fill his own position again. This will put my man directly in contact with the money of the company. You and I both know following the money is the root of all information, and I will soon know everything there is to know about what Tech Evangelists is doing,” Rabdos reported.
“Indeed. Very good,” Lord Malphas said, nodding his head. “So tell me about your tower. How tall will it be and where is your stone coming from?”
“I haven’t decided yet how tall it shall be, though not overly tall. I’d like to have it done soon and get started on the inner walls before you have me make an enemy of one of those other demons or overlords,” Rabdos said, deciding a change of subject was for the best.
“Well, keep a sharp eye on the stone quarry. Much can be done to a cut piece of stone that can destroy the best laid plans,” Malphas said. This statement peaked Radbos’ interest.
“Done to it, how so?” Rabdos asked frowning in confusion.
“Have you not seen how they are cutting the stone or what they’re making the mortar with?” Malphas asked. Rabdos shook his head. Malphas smiled a broad, toothy grin. “Once you’ve seen how the stones are cut and mortar made, play around with what you know about binding a soul. You’ll figure it out. Call on me when you understand more.”
Lord Malphas stared at Rabdos for a moment more. The silence drug on and after several seconds Maphas snapped his fingers. A giant scythe appeared in his hand. He tamped it on the ground and a deep bass boomed across the gravely plain. A familiar crack circled Lord Malphas and the inky black smoke rose up rapidly obscuring the large demon. Rabdos held his tongue, choosing to find out from experimentation what his benefactor had alluded to. As soon as Malphas was gone, Rabdos turned and strode purposefully toward the rocky crag where the line of slaves carrying the stones came from.
Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm. For more information about this story please join us on our Facebook page community at www.facebook.com/firstchevalierbooks.