"Lariona, get down here. Customers are coming", my mother said, tight-lipped and emotionless. That was what happened when you worked with dark magic for all your life. She, like all my family, extended and close, had never seen what life was like outside of Malefice crafting. They'd drawn me in too, but I was different. I had dreams. Dreams of helping the world, of happy days, not supplying the Maleficers of the world with their means of terrorism. I didn't want my life to consist only of that. Still, for now, I would have to make do.
I pulled on my demon-skin gloves, the rough, chafed surface rubbing against my hands. I had been wearing those same gloves every day for the past four years. I felt tired. How on Earth was I supposed to tell my family that I wanted nothing to do with it? I walked down the steps, the creaking wood weakening every time someone stepped on it. Soon, someone would break it, and we'd have to replace it. I wondered who it would be... Would it be Marilic, my brother, who was always running around and not thinking? Perhaps it would be Jiona, my spiteful cousin. No one had ever liked her, and she was still making sure it stayed that way.
As the moonshine poured upon my face, I could smell it, the dark stank of Malefice. It was like someone poured tar over rotten eggs, and then enchanted it. Not everyone could wield it, and my family was the oldest, richest, and most powerful ones that could. It was probably due to my famed family that I had survived so long in the underground world. I pushed myself behind a workbench and waited until a customer arrived. That was how it worked, I waited until someone gave me an object to enchant. It was dreary, but it reaped massive profits and fame.
"Are you Lariona? My guildmate spoke said great things about you." My eyes snapped up as if by a rubber band. In front of me stood a small wizard with crazy eyes, a golden cloak, and a necklace. I stood there, not speaking, as if by a spell. A spell... why was he trying to keep my mouth shut? What enchantment did he want? I wanted to scream, to kick the wizard out, but I couldn't. The spell was like a load of bricks. I couldn't move.
"Do me a favor and enchant this necklace. I want it to be able to desecrate cities." He said, a twinkle in his eye as he placed it on the table. I picked it up, thought about it, and set it back down. Even if it was him leveling those cities, I would never agree to be an accomplice. He leered at me, eyes burning into my brain. "You don't seem to understand. Enchant this necklace, or I will rip you apart until there is nothing left." He hissed. I couldn't breathe. Why was this happening to me? I picked it up and began to hum the enchantment.
The necklace grew purple and gold, as it mottled and changed. Almost immediately, every enchanter in my family turned and saw what I was doing. Marilic snatched it out of my hand and asked me
"What are you doing? This could destroy whole cities!" I pointed to my mouth and at the wizard. Every one of my family members turned to him and sharpened their gazes staring at him with evil eyes.
"What do you think you're doing, enchanting my daughter? Undo the enchantment now, or we will show you the extent of our powers." Steam hissed above my mother as she threatened him, and smoke began to rise out of the eyes of all my family members. This was one of the special abilities of my family. Our magic. And I was pretty sure that our combined magic would overpower his.
"Fine. You win. I will leave." He said, and suddenly I could speak again. the air rushed back into my mouth and I had to hyperventilate. My family rushed around me, trying to comfort me, but I assured them that I was fine. Never before had my family been so loving and kind. I guess they weren't all as morally corrupt as before thought.
"Lariona, you have to stay away from that man." My father warned, his hands shaking. "He is part of the Demogor guild." I gasped, my mind reeling. The Demogor came into being a thousand years ago, and their only pleasure and joy was destruction. They were responsible for the death of millions of magical beings, not to mention normal humans. And to think that I had come that close to one of them.
"What did he want, Lariona?" Jiona said, her eyes wide with shock. The appearance of a Demogor had shocked even her.
"He... H-He had wanted t-to to make an enchantment... that c-could... desecrate entire cities." I choked out, my mind still a fuzzy mess. My family started crafting curses and yelling spells and even sending out a demon in anger. Never before had I thought myself on the same side as my family.
"If you ever see that man again, teleport back here immediately. No matter the circumstances. Next time, he will not travel alone." My father's voice was dark and grim as if haunted by a shadow.
"I understand, father."
As I looked around the store, browsing for the strickleberry juice, the wizard crossed my mind. He had looked so crazed as if he was a rabid dog begging for people to bite. I wondered what his guild's plan had been. What city they had tried to destroy.
Still, my family and I were no longer at odds. I knew that they would do anything to protect me.
"Only juice, miss?" the cashier asked me, his hands held out for the money.
"Yes, please," I replied, handing him six maros, the universal currency. I walked out of the shop, breathing in the fresh air of the marketplace, the spices assaulting my nose. Suddenly, I stopped. I stood there, unable to move, to teleport away. What was happening?
A voice breathed down my neck:
"You're dead, enchanter."