Here’s to the start of my M/M Fantasy novel. This is still considered the draft version, and stuff is liable to change as I continue, and hit upon better ideas, like Names for places or countries, or have to some scenes. That’s why also there’s still probably grammar or style errors, though I did do a basic run through the text. This part might also end up getting merged with Chapter 1, but we’ll see.
Anyways, Let’s go~
Demon Lord’s Little Bride
The stairway leading down to the dungeons was much cleaner than Adriel had expected. It was as dark and gloomy as he had imagined whenever his thoughts had touched upon the subject, but there was no grime and very few cobwebs. The walls were made from cold stone that almost seemed to glow eerily as it reflected the light of the few fire crystals that were placed along the walls to let people see their way ahead.
It was Adriel’s first time in the dungeons. Since he was, or had been, part of the Holy Maiden’s congregate of servants there had been no reason for him to have any business in the dungeons meant for those who had committed crimes against the Holy Empire and its religious leader. Ordinarily, he would have been full of curiosity about the place the other servant boys always mentioned with dread and suspicion in their voices, but that was not the case now.
Not since this would be his new place of work.
Adriel raised his head higher as he, and the servant who was meant to lead him into the dungeons, reached the bottom of the staircase and approached the large double doors that probably lead into the dungeon itself. There was a guard standing on either side of the door, with their backs straight as steel rods, and their silver armor polished to a pristine condition. Adriel thought the effort a bit wasted, considering the amount of traffic around here was probably very low, and the fact that polishing armor like that took a whole lot of effort, as he knew from experience.
His guide spoke briefly with one of the guards.
“A new one, eh? All the luck to him.” The man responded in a bored tone as he went to unlock the doors.
Adriel scoffed a little to himself. He doubted the Saint of Fortune was particularly inclined to be so merciful as to shine her gaze on him right now, considering the circumstances that had led him to here.
The large doors swung open with a clamoring sound, and Adriel proceeded through them, following his guide. There were more guards on the other side, their armor just as polished. The room they had entered seemed like an entrance chamber as there was nothing of particular note there, except for the several passageways that lead out of the room, and a sturdy table on which l there stood a heavy book that was probably used to record the comings and goings of the visitors to the dungeons, few as there might be.
An older man sat at the desk, but what drew Adriel’s eyes was the man standing next to him.
The youth was maybe a few years older than him in appearance, but other than that they looked remarkably similar. A short, slim build, coupled with a pair of blue eyes and blonde hair. He had obviously once been part of the group of youths that served The Holy Maiden. Even the uniform he wore was similar to the one Adriel had still been wearing a short time ago. And it was the same as the one he was currently wearing.
The main difference was that the sleeves were longer, the fabric thicker and there weren’t as many patterns embroidered on the edges.
Adriel bet it was made this way to both keep them warmer in the cold and dreary dungeons, and to serve as a reminder of their previous status.
The youth glanced at the servant that had guided Adriel here and then trailed his eyes to him. The gaze passed from his head to his toes once and returned back. However, there was no change in the young man’s expression.
“Is this the new addition to the roster?” the expressionless guy asked. His guide nodded his head, and turned to leave like he couldn’t wait to leave this place. The youth did not stop the man either, so Adriel just watched as the man left through the same door they had entered a minute ago, feeling like the heavy click of the door had just sealed his doom.
“My name is Caleb. I’m the one in charge of all the servants that work in the dungeons, including the boys that serve the Demon-Lord.”
Adriel turned back as the youth, Caleb, spoke. His tone was brisk, but detached. He did not offer any further explanations or any questions, but signaled Adriel to follow him as he went towards one of the passageways out of the chamber. It seemed to be the largest one and was directly opposite the doors leading out. As they entered it, Adriel felt tiny pinpricks run over his skin, the sign of having passed through a magic barrier.
The fact did not cause him any surprise, it was a prison of sorts he was entering after all, you had to expect some sort of magical protection to be in place here. The reason he had managed to pass through it was probably due to some recognition sign sewn into his new uniform.
“What did you do upstairs?”
The sudden question momentarily threw Adriel for a loop. He hadn’t expected his new overseer to actually ask him something before they had arrived to wherever he was taking him.
“I…mostly tended to Her Holy Ladyship’s gardens.”
“Hmph,” Caleb made a dismissive sound, “right, well, there aren’t any gardens around here. I don’t think there’s even a single plant in the beast’s cage, doubt he is even let near them.”
The reminder of his old and new duties stung at Adriel’s heart. However, there were things he felt he needed to know, and the person in front of him was probably his best bet at getting some answers.
“What are my duties, exactly? There are lots of rumors going around among the servants, but…”
Caleb turned his head back and threw him a glance that Adriel couldn’t really comprehend.
“Well, in reality, it’s not much different to being the personal servant of a lord. We bring him his meals, clean his rooms, and heat the water if he wishes to bath. The demon also likes to read on occasion, so you might have to run to the library to get some books.”
That did not sound as terrifying as Adriel had thought or heard. But that had not been the end, as Caleb continued.
“The problems start around the time the beast gets too bored in his cage, and you’ve done something wrong, or have annoyed him. He might be locked up, but he’s not chained up and that means he’s still lethal enough. He usually ends up killing a servant or two every once in a while. It’s why we always have some openings, and this has ended up becoming a punishment.”
Adriel listened to Caleb’s explanation as he felt a shiver run through him, but he tried his best to keep his expression neutral. It wasn’t like that wasn’t something he had heard amongst the rumors concerning the ‘cursed’ servants. But Caleb was still not done.
“The worst case though is if he takes a fancy to you, and decides he wants to fuck you.”
Adriel’s eyes did go huge at that. That sounded…terrifying. Adriel had never seen a demon, but the descriptions of them sounded savage enough.
“Well, hopefully you won’t have to deal with that or you’re basically toast.”
By this point, they had ended up almost at the very end of the passageway, and Adriel could see another set of doors in front of him. They were made from metal and as far as he could tell had several locking mechanisms engraved on them. There were two soldiers standing on either side of the door, and both looked even fiercer than the one’s he had seen guarding the entrance to the dungeon.
Caleb stopped in front of the soldiers, and gave a polite nod to them.
“I’ve brought the new servant to introduce him to the demon.”
The two soldiers had no visible reaction other than a nod of acknowledgment, but Adriel froze on the spot. He now realized they were right in front of the cell of his caged, sort of, new master. He hadn’t thought he would be brought to greet the Demon-Lord straight away, with no actual instructions of what he was supposed to do.
“Relax, this is just to let him see the face of the new servant, and to show you around the cage before you actually start working. You don’t have to do anything.”
Caleb said to him, apparently sensing his hesitation. It did sooth him a bit, but he was still mostly on tenterhooks. This was, after all, the start of his new life of serving the worst kept secret in the whole Holy Empire.
How was it? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Things are gonna get way more interesting in the following parts. Like meeting the ML~
Here’s a sketch of Adriel, the main hero:
Anyways, I’ll return with the 1st chapter in a day or two, it still needs to be edited between me continuing to write further chapters.
Anyways, see ya soon~