Girl’s eyes were filled with resolve and determination. “Evil mister took me and my friends and locked us up. Help me free them! Please.” Amelia clarified her request.

“Okay,” I replied without hesitation. Getting out of the barrier first, asking for details later.

“Do you promise to help me and not hurt me or my friends, miss demon?”

I smiled, the book she read probably had some good advice on contract details and Amelia was smart enough to follow them. I didn’t plan on hurting a child, of course, but I can admire being thorough.

“I promise. And stop with miss demon thing, my name’s Vivi’gaxan.” Well, half of it translated to Common, at least.

Amelia mouthed it silently for a bit. “Is Vivi okay?”

“Sure.” It also probably wasn’t the best idea to introduce myself by demon name on this plane if I wanted to blend in.

The girl nodded, then opened her summoning book and started reading. Probably was trying to find how to release the barrier… I gave her some time. After a couple of minutes, she closed the book, stretched her arm, touched the barrier and said a simple “Release!”.

With the quiet sound of shattered glass, the barrier restraining me was broken and my awareness was assaulted by new feelings. I inhaled deeply trying to feel this new world… Now that mana was able to flow to me, I immediately felt many new auras from outside: people walking nearby, background mana flow, my summoner also had a magical aura that felt more potent than average people I could feel outside.

Amelia suddenly bent down and started coughing. I realized that probably I overdid it when I pulled background mana and choked the little girl with its flow. I stopped and caught her before she could fall.

“Sorry, sorry. I will be more careful next time.”

Amelia took a few deep breaths. “I am okay, thank you.”

“Now why don’t you tell me who is the evil mister and what exactly happened?”

Amelia sighed deeply. “I’m not sure who he is, but a few days ago he came to our orphanage with other armed people, they threatened our teachers and took me and all my friends. They locked us in some creepy place, I don’t know why, but I’m sure it’s nothing good. I’ve seen the mister use crystals and books to do magic stuff. So while he was away, I slipped between bars in my cell, grabbed some book, a crystal and ran away. I wanted to call for help, but city guards didn’t believe me. I read part of the book, and it says that I can use magic to summon help, so I did!”

I nodded and smiled at her. “Lead the way, Amelia.”

We went out of the shack, and I found myself on the edge of a small town, it’s been late evening sometime after sunset. We moved through quiet streets without meeting anyone else. Amelia led us to a big two-story-high house not far away surrounded by a tall wooden fence. We stopped near the fence on the side opposite the entrance.

“Now, I’m going inside and will help your friends. You need to stay here and out of sight, understood?”

Amelia nodded. “He kept us in the basement, by the way… Will you be alright on your own?”

“Sure thing, no person unable to wield their own magic is a match for me, don’t worry.” I smiled at the girl and hopped over the 3-meter tall fence in one motion.

I landed behind the house, looked around and concentrated on my surroundings. Not counting Amelia I felt only one other magical aura nearby, in the basement, along with some humanoids in different parts of the house and nearby. I started circling the house slowly until I spotted a back door, which, by the looks of it, led right into the basement. Good, it seems like it can be more quiet operation than I expected.

A lone guard stood near the door, he looked bored. He was a tall man with brown hair and a bushy beard. He wore leather armor and carried a short sword on his hip. He also was too easy. I stepped into the shadows near the house and become practically invisible. I was able to get right behind him without him even noticing me or suspecting anything. I reached my arm and covered his mouth before he could make a sound. Shadow tendrils crept into his throat and blocked the airflow to his lungs. He choked in the manner of seconds and I carefully lowered his body on the ground.

I even giggled gleefully, first assassinated mortal! I wasn’t all that big on killing things, but as an Envy demon, I craved the experience of doing something for the first time. And I always loved a clean infiltration job, it’s an art, in a way, for me. I checked the guard’s pockets and found a key on a ring that I used to unlock the backdoor. I stealthily moved through the basement, following the hint of magical aura I sensed, until I reached another closed door. I stopped concentrating on sounds and auras inside, here it was easy to sense a dozen of other weak auras behind the door, probably the children Amelia asked me to rescue.

I slightly pushed the door and peeked inside, I could see a room lit with torches, some tables sat by the perimeter of it, with different things and books on them, and a single man moving between them doing something. He looked distracted, so I was expecting another clean kill. I slipped inside, but as soon as I stepped into the room a loud screeching noise echoed starting somewhere from under my feet.

I looked down and noticed a glowing spell circle. It didn’t look like a trap, it was a passive alarm specifically against silent intruders… or small kids running away. My cover was blown. The man reacted fast, he grabbed one of the red crystals from the table, turned around and pointed his finger at me. A split-second after, white glowing lines appeared around it, forming an intricate circular pattern. The pattern quickly dissolved, and with ear-shattering sound, a lightning stroke from his finger right in my midsection. I was caught off-guard by the alarm and didn’t have time to dodge or protect myself. I screamed in pain of being struck by electricity, it wasn’t much compared to what I’ve been through in Hell, but feeling it in the mortal realm was new and different.

Crystal, which “evil mister” used, broke into small pieces and he quickly grabbed another one from the table. Seeing that I was still standing, he charged another lightning bolt. This time I was ready, I ducked, and the bolt zipped above my head. I dashed forward, covering the distance between us in a blink, and kicked him in a knee. He lost balance and started falling, I caught him with my left hand and grabbed him by the neck. I raised him above me until his feet broke away from the floor. Before I could kill him though, I’ve heard a voice from behind.


I turned around and saw another guard holding Amelia with a sword pressed to her neck.

“Release him or I will kill the girl!” The guard tried to threaten me.

I looked him up and down. “Why do you think I care about her?” I replied to him with my usual shadowy voice while looking in his eyes.

The guard visibly tensed, fear started creeping in his soul. “You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to release the kids!”

I grinned to him widely, my smile breaking all limits a human can smile, showing him my teeth. “I’m just following my contract, there is no compassion in Hell.”

Kids started crying in the back, my aura of fear touched them too. They will probably have nightmares either from it or from all kidnapping experience. But it worked as intended, the guard was paralyzed in fear. I snapped the neck of the man I’ve been holding all this time, and with it, the guard’s heart stopped too. He fell on the spot, Amelia was free, but scared even more than the first time she saw me.

I approached her and patted her on the head. “Shh. You have nothing to fear anymore, it’s over.” I smiled to hear trying to be least threatening. “Here, why don’t you help your friends?” I gave her the key. “I’m sure they will be happier if it was you than me.”

Amelia took the key with a shaking hand and darted away from me to the cells where other kids were locked. She started unlocking them and trying to calm them down. She was taller than most of them, probably one of the oldest, but equally as malnutritioned as the others.

I left her to deal with the kids and investigated the room. This room looked much more suitable for demon summoning than the shack Amelia summoned me in. For starters, it had candles and torches, different magical books and contraptions on the tables, including a few more of those crystals. The floor was covered with a huge spell circle, probably drawn in blood, but very old. I wasn’t sure of its purpose, but it was big and complicated, which usually means powerful. The mage himself looked like a more typical cultist too, he was bald, withered and in a black robe, he had a pretty ritualistic dagger on his belt. I rummaged through his pockets and robe, checked titles of books and looked through things on the table for anything interesting. After I’m done with the contract, I was planning to stick around enjoying all the goods the middle realm has, so I might need some of those things.

I found a few dozen gold and silver coins. I also took a few of those crystals, it looked like they were made of concentrated mana that can be used to cast spells if the caster can not pull in enough mana themselves or don’t have enough of their own. They aren’t really useful to me in spellcasting, but I can think of a few other uses for them.

Books were mostly about demons and mortal magic. Again, useless to me, demons use magic differently, but I took a tome titled “Spellcasting for dummies. Fifty easy to learn and master spells.” I also grabbed the guard’s dagger, it might be useful. I didn’t take cultist’s dagger, deciding to leave it as evidence. I deposited the items in my extradimensional inventory and tucked the dagger under my dress.

While I was rummaging through the stuff, Amelia released and gathered all the kids. They looked lost, but organized. This girl might have a great future if she survives everything Fate has for her in-store.

“What next, mi- Vivi?”

“I was planning to leave cleanup and your return to the town’s guard, let’s go find some?”

Amelia hesitated for a bit. “They didn’t help me before, why do you think they will now?”

“Well, I can be… persuasive.” I winked at her with a smile.

We went outside and found a guard patrol. At first, they were wary of me and my party if 15 children, but some demonic persuasion can go a long way…

“If you look through this house, you will be able to find remains of a cultist I dispatched. He abducted those children for an evil ritual, truly he is the lowest scum. Please, make sure they’re safely returned to their homes.” I smiled at the guard while looking in his eyes.

He nodded. “Yes, of course, it’s our duty to protect the weak and the law!” He looked to another guard. “Find sergeant and tell him what’s going on, I will make sure kids are safe. Let’s go, kids, I will protect you with my life if needed!” I didn’t need a lot of mind manipulation to achieve this, maybe the guard was a decent man on his own.

“Thank you… Vivi.” Amelia hesitated and then hugged me. I was lost for a moment, then patted her on the back. Hugs wasn’t a new experience for me, of course - one of my succubus friends is really good at cuddling. But it was the first time in this context. With that expression of gratitude, I felt the contract spell, binding me, dissolve, and I was free to explore this new realm. But first…

“Here is a little gift for you.” I gave Amelia the spellcasting book I took before. “You have great talent and potential in you. If you study, one day you will become a strong mage and will be able to protect your friends without my help.”

Amelia took the book and bowed slightly. “Thank you again! Hope we meet again, Vivi! Goodbye!” She waved me and ran away to follow the guard and other kids.

I waved back at her and muttered to my self: “I doubt it, but stranger things have happened…”

I sat in one of the town’s taverns drinking ale, it was one of the drinks of the mortal realm that fellow demons rated highly on their to-do-when-summoned lists. It was pretty good, I shall admit. Mortals certainly knew how to make good drinks and food. When I was in the middle of a third pint, a voice interrupted me.

“Hey, is it you who freed the kids from this scumbag?”

I looked up. The voice belonged to a tall woman in leather armor with a big sword on her back. She looked pretty young, with smiley face, slightly curly ginger hair up to her ears, both of which had silver earrings in form of a crescent moon. She grinned at me with a wide smile. Accompanying her was a slender man in a dark blue robe. He was leaning on a tall and intricate wooden staff, taller than he was, adorned with some white crystal on top. Those two couldn’t look more different.

“I am,” I replied to her.

“Great! I’m Helena and this is my friend Arthur, you did a great job.” She stretched her hand to me.

“Vivienne”, I introduced myself and shook her hand. Good manners can go a long way.

They sat at my table and Helena got to her business right from the start, I got a feeling this girl loved the sound of her voice. “We’ve heard from the guards about the kids. We are traveling adventures, passing through the town, and guards said they have never seen you before. So we thought if you might also be a free adventurer and you would be able to help us in a small endeavor?”

I smiled at her. It looks like I’m growing a taste for adventure…