The Youth of the Dark Lord
By Jennifer Kohl
“Father!” Maida greeted Vilnus with an attempt at a warm, happy smile of the sort she’d given him many times before. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
They hugged, and he nodded a greeting at Karnath over Maida’s head. He looked exhausted by his long journey, and yawned heavily.
“We should get you some food,” said Maida, and Vilnus shook his head. “I am much too tired to eat. It’s finally done. I’ve rid myself of them all, and fulfilled the geas.”
Maida and Karnath looked at each other. Vilnus had dropped hints from time to time that his departure from Lemuria and journeys with Maida’s mother were not entirely voluntary, that they had something to do with the originals of the many, many magical books he had copied out in the basement library over the years. If he was being this open about it, he must be very tired indeed.
“You should rest, father,” said Maida, and Vilnus nodded.
“It will be good to sleep in my own bed,” he said. “Goodnight, children. I will see you in the morning.”
He walked out of the room, and Maida let out a long, slow breath.
Karnath smiled slyly. “You were afraid,” he said. “Afraid your father would witness your shame.”
Maida bowed her head. “Yes, Master.”
“Don’t worry. It does not serve my purposes for him to learn what you are, at this time. Come, it amuses me to use you in your own bed while your father sleeps in the next room.”
Maida shuddered. It was so wrong, so dangerous... She imagined what her father would think of her if he saw her with his apprentice, how shamed he would be.
It was so very exciting.
Maida tried to stifle her cries as Karnath fucked into her. She shoved her fist in her mouth, even bit down on it in an attempt to keep from crying out in pleasure.
Karnath gleefully watched her do it, both with his normal eye and the eyes of magic. He could see the energies in her body, and he deliberately raised her lust higher with every thrust. This was the most shameful sex they’d had, so he wanted to be certain it was the most pleasurable as well.
Try as she might, she couldn’t muffle her sounds completely. Her cries of ecstasy still filled the air as Karnath came inside her, the presence of his essence in her body maintaining the magical connection that gave him such control.
She collapsed, panting and sweating, on the bed, as he settled on top of her. “You understand, don’t you?” he said. “The more you degrade yourself, the better pleased I am. And the more pleased I am, the more pleasure you experience.”
“Yes, Master,” Maida said dully.
“If I ask you to do something terrible, you will do it, knowing that the worse it is, the more guilt and shame you feel, the greater the reward will be.”
“Yes, Master,” Maida repeated, with just a touch more enthusiasm. “Please, I... I need...” She closed her eyes, a wave of misery passing over her, misery that she knew was caused by her submission to the cruel demon’s power, yet could only be relieved by him. “I need you to command me, Master. I need to serve you.”
“Yes you do,” Karnath said. “And there are no limits to that service, are there? Any act I command, no matter how degraded, you will perform.”
“Yes, Master,” Maida replied fervently.
“I want you to make a sleeping draft,” Karnath told Maida. “Then you will go naked into your father’s room and force it down his throat.”
Maida froze. “What... what are you going to do to him?”
“Does it matter?” Karnath asked. “You’re going to obey either way.”
Maida shook her head. “I... Master, please, I don’t know what you’re planning, but whatever it is... please. Leave my father out of this. We can run away, spread your power somewhere else...”
Karnath slapped her. “Stupid bitch. Do you think I came here for you?”
Maida shrank back, trembling—but part of her had surged with desire at the slap, and she knew he knew it. “Master, I—you came because my wickedness—”
“Your wicked heart, your diseased lust, gave me entrance to this place. But I came for the library. The mortal magics it contains are of course beneath one such as me, but they could empower the servants I gather, and that makes them valuable. And you dare suggest simply running away?”
“We could—” Maida hesitated. Her father had impressed upon her since earliest childhood the importance of that library, the danger and power of it. Any disruption of it was unthinkable—but compared to this dilemma, none of that mattered. “We could steal what you need.”
“And then he simply follows us. I am perfectly content with that, of course. He lacks the power and will to actually use most of the magics he possesses, and therefore represents no threat to me. But if you rob his library and run away with his apprentice, he will quickly come to realize what you are. Is that what you want?”
Maida squirmed uncomfortably. Being discovered by her father of all people shouldn’t excite her, but nonetheless she could feel desire mounting. I truly am disgusting, she thought, unaware that the desire was being implanted by Karnath for exactly that purpose. “I...” she bowed her head. “I want to serve you, Master. I will do as you command.”
“Good. Once you have made the draft, give him a quarter of a cup. Tired as he appeared, that should be enough to make him confused and disoriented. And then...” Karnath smiled. “Then I want you to get him hard by whatever means you can.”
Maida’s eyes widened. No! she thought. I can’t! But she knew she could. She knew she would.
“And then you will ride him until he realizes who you are. And in that moment, when his confusion clears and he recognizes the horror of what his own daughter has done, and his own complicity... you will slit his throat as a sacrifice to me.”
Maida’s eyes filled with tears. This was it. This was the final line, the worst possible thing. If she did this, then she and Karnath would both know for certain that there was nothing she would not do. There would be no point in ever resisting him again, because nothing he ordered could be as bad as this. She would be lost, completely and utterly, a slave forever.
As she deserved. As she wanted.
“Yes, Master,” she said, and slid from the bed. Slowly, dejectedly, she walked toward the door.
“Stop!” Karnath commanded, and she did, freezing in place as his cruel laughter echoed. “I only wanted you to see that if I commanded such a thing, you would do it.”
Maida looked up in surprise. “You mean—I don’t have to—”
“You are mine now,” Karnath said, “and I do not share my possessions. Nor do I have any need for your father to die. I wanted only to show you that you would do it if I commanded. Do you understand?”
Maida trembled. “Yes, Master. I... I understand that I...”
“Say it,” he said.
“...I am a filthy demon-enthralled slut who would fuck and murder her own father if her Master desired it.”
“And?” Karnath demanded.
“...and I would enjoy it, because it is what my Master wills.”
“Correct, slave,” Karnath said, and reaching mentally into Maida’s body, pushed her directly into a shattering orgasm. She fell to her knees with a cry, then onto her side, writhing on the floor and panting, moaning, gasping as he pulled orgasm after orgasm out of her.
Then he stood and walked out the door, spitting on her as he passed her. There wasn’t much point to it, as she seemed to have passed out, but it amused him nonetheless, which was the important thing. I’m done, he thought. She’s mine, completely and utterly. The only questions now are... what use do I make of her? And who’s next?
As it turned out, however, there was one he hadn’t thought of. “What in the name of all the gods and demons do you think you’re doing to my daughter, Tyryn?”
Karnath turned to face Vilnus. The old man was clearly still tired, only just woken up from the perhaps an hour of sleep he’d gotten while Karnath played with his daughter. He looked so frail and pathetic that it was all Karnath could do not to laugh.
Except, why not laugh? He wasn’t an apprentice any more. So he laughed. “Funny you should put it that way, Vilnus.”
The old man’s eyes narrowed. “You are to call me Master,” he said. “I have clearly allowed you far too many liberties for an apprentice. How dare you! Soiling my daughter? She is half-Lemurian! And the Sea People, primitive though they are, are at least conquerors. She is a daughter of kings and wizards, and you are just some outland Yrian barbarian, who would be rooting in the mud with his hedge-witch mother if not for me! Is this how you repay me?”
“No,” Karnath replied. “It’s how I take what I deserve.”
“Deserve?” Vilnus spat. “You deserve nothing! You have some power, yes, and reasonable control when you apply yourself, but you never do! You are lazy, disobedient, and arrogant, and that will prevent you from ever fulfilling the potential I saw. I understand that now.”
It was Karnath’s turn to get angry. “Potential? I can show you potential! In your absence, I’ve crafted spells that—”
“I know just what spells you’ve crafted, boy,” Vilnus snapped. “When I woke to hear my daughter screaming, do you think I didn’t check for magic? Didn’t sense what you had done to her? You are a disgusting child, indulging his lusts by violating my daughter’s body and mind. You will not spend one moment longer in my home! You will depart now, and if I ever see you again, I swear I’ll—”
“You’ll what?” Karnath replied, stepping closer to the old man, looming over him. “You don’t frighten me. I have surpassed you.”
“You’ve surpassed nothing!” Vilnus countered, and Karnath felt him beginning to gather magic.
He didn’t recognize the shape of it, couldn’t predict what the old man was about to cast, but he knew it couldn’t be good. Karnath did the only thing he could think of: he shoved the old man as hard as he could. Vilnus staggered back a few steps, but was still readying his spell, so Karnath tackled him.
Vilnus staggered back, right
He didn’t cry out as he fell, tumbling backwards, fragile old bones colliding heavily with stone. He rolled down the stairs a short distance, nothing near the full height of the stairs, but he lay still when he came to a stop, and some of his limbs were bent in ways unintended by nature.
Karnath walked over to him, knelt on the step beside his head.
“Please...” Vilnus moaned, in obvious great pain. “Tyryn...”
“Not anymore,” Karnath snarled, and wrapped his hands around Vilnus’ neck. “How did you put it? Tyryn was the son of a hedge witch, an outland barbarian? But that’s not who Karnath is. Not who I choose to be.”
Vilnus’ eyes bulged, and Karnath squeezed harder. This was more difficult than he’d expected, but he had leverage and the old man could barely move. Eventually, finally, he stopped.
Karnath knelt over him, panting. Then he grabbed the old man by the shoulders and dragged him back to his bed. This is going to take some cleaning up, he thought.
Maida woke slowly and painfully. Lying on the cold stone floor all night had been a bad plan—and it was all night, judging by the pale gray just-before-dawn light filtering into the room from outside. She sat up with a moan, rubbing the hip she’d slept on, and saw Karnath sitting on her bed.
“Master!” she gasped. “I—why are you here? Father will wake soon! If he catches us—”
“He won’t,” Karnath confidently replied. “He sleeps still. He will remain asleep as long as I wish it.”
Maida nodded. That made sense to her—she assumed Karnath had drugged her father like he’d briefly ordered her to, or else used some demonic power she wasn’t privy to. “How can I serve you, Master?” she asked.
“Go to the library. Gather any books that involve spells of control or manipulation. Glamours, geas, anything. Everything else, douse with lamp oil. Meet me outside with the books you take; I will pack the rest of the supplies for our journey.”
Maida stared. Not just rob father, but destroy the library? That’s... why would he do that? It’s senseless cruelty—ah. That’s why. All she said, however, was “Yes, Master.”
She hastened to obey. She was familiar with at least the description of most of the books in the library, and the few she wasn’t she could flip through quickly. All told it took about half an hour to gather the books she needed and douse the rest, as much as it hurt her to do so. She could imagine how her father would feel, his life’s work destroyed, his daughter and apprentice gone. The betrayal, the despair... would he give up? Seek out the originals he had spread across the world? Or pursue the ones who betrayed him?
She couldn’t be sure, but she knew it would hurt him terribly, and that hurt her. But I’m doing it anyway, because I am the kind of creature for whom caring for the man who loved and raised me my entire life is less important than obeying the demon who rules my lusts. I’m as much a monster as Karnath is.
She came outside to find Karnath waiting for her, a heavy-looking pack on his back and another, presumably for her, at his feet. He also had a burning brand in his hand, which he handed to her.
“I have oiled the upper levels,” he said. “We are lucky that the old fool would read at night so much; he had a great deal of oil.”
“The upper...” Maida trailed off in horror, but she took the brand. “But Master, that means the entire tower—”
“Will burn with the library,” he replied calmly. “It will be gutted. Only the stone will remain.”
“But my father—” Maida tried.
“Will sleep as long as I wish it. Now go.”
This is another test, Maida thought as she entered the tower. Master will call after me, stop me before I light the library. She used the brand to ignite several books, then tossed it into a puddle of lamp oil she’d spilled on the floor while dousing the books. Then she fled back up the stairs while the flames spread eagerly.
He’ll wake father, she thought. This is a test to see if I’ll kill for him. But he won’t actually—there’s no reason for him to want father dead, didn’t he say so?
She reached Karnath, out of breath. “It’s done, Master,” she said. The flames hadn’t reached the above-ground levels yet, weren’t yet visible through the tower’s windows, but they were past stopping now. He’ll wake father any minute. We’ll leave, but father will live. I haven’t killed him.
Karnath handed her the pack. “Come, slave,” he said, and led her away from the only home she’d ever known, while behind her the tower, the library, the body of her father, burned.
I’m a murderer, she thought in despair.
But then: For him.
And that thought felt very, very good.