Etna's Heroes

Chapter 1-"A Favor"

All her life, Etna had been made fun of by the Noble Demons for being a commoner. Why, they asked, was a commoner being allowed to live in the Overlord's castle? They nearly drove her to suicide after they killed he pet and only friend, Scorlia. Their justifacation of the killing was rhat the animal had been trying to steal food from them.

It was then that King Krichevskoy, the Overlord and the one who had let her live in the castle, had held out his hand and help her bury Scorlia. For that small gesture of kindness, she pledged her deepest loyality to His Highness.

When the King had met the Queen and proposed to her, Etna felt her loyality being tested. The Overlord marrying a simple, human witch: it felt like he was somehow leaving her. She was confused, angry, and strictened with despair. When the Queen had given birth to the Prince, she felt joy, envy, and hatred towards no one in particular. The King was a father. His bloodline would be succeeded. And, when the Prince fell ill, and the Queen, despite the King pleading her not to, took her own life to save her son, Etna was in a state of calmness, anger, and saddess. She was sure she would never believe in love after that, like the Prince.

That was, until that fateful day.

She stood on her bedroom's balconey, staring at the full moon that hung in the night sky, deep in thought. Demons weren't supposed to fall in love, yet, these days, that's what was happening. First, it was the King, followed by his son and succeeding Overlord, Laharl. Plus there was Adell and Rozalin. That was another case of a human and demon finding love.

She didn't even hear the knock on her door.

"Etna, you there?" an obnoxious voice asked.

Etna walked to her door and opened it. Standing in the hallway was Laharl, his blue hair in a mess. He might have been Overlord, but he would never be as great as Krichevskoy.

"What do you want, Prince?" she asked. "It's the middle of the night."

"Can-can I come in for a second? I need to talk to you."

He never asked for permission before. This must have been important.

"Sure," she replied, letting him in. She closed the door and turned to face him.

"I-I have a favor to ask of you, Etna," he started." It's... it's about Flonne."

Why wasn't she surprised? Flonne was a Fallen Angel who lived in the castle. She was a really good friend of Etna's and was always there to listen to her and her problems. She listened better than the Prinny Squad.

Despite calling her a Love Freak (that was all she seemed to talk about), Laharl cared about her. Everyone knew how he felt towards her, especially after he risked his life to save her not once, but twice.

Besides, he had already saw more of her than usual. All of the vassals knew of the whole shower incindent. The little angel wasn't so innocent, it seemed.

"What do you want me to do, Prince?" she asked slyly. "Oh, let me guess: you want me to steal a pair of her panties for you?"

"WHAT? Hell, no, you stupid moron!"

"I'm only joshing ya. Calm down."

He was easy to pick on. Hell, she remembered his last birthday party. One of the vassals (Dratti, if she remembered right) had got him a Succubus stripper cake. Oh, his face had gone so red that day. Etna still had the video one of the Prinnies took of the party hidden away in her dresser.

Laharl finally calmed down. "No, I'm thinking something more... personal, from me to her."

"Sorry, Prince. Can't help you there."

It took him a bit to clue in.

"ETNA! Not that personal!"

"Okay, then, what kind of personal?"

"I want you to get me a Fallen Rose."

Etna gasped. The Fallen Rose was the rarest flower to ever grow in the Netherworld. The only place it grow was filled with ultra-strong demons. It was even rumored that a Demon Lord who's power rivaled even the former King's lived there.

And there was only one use for a Fallen Rose.

"Prince, are-are you serious?" she managed to say, still shocked.

"I'm dead serious."

"We still have the one your father proposed with to the Queen somewhere in the castle." It was a test to see his resolves. If he truly loved Flonne...

"No. She deserves a fresh one," he whispered. She smiled softly. He might have been a brat, but he was slowly maturing, bit by bit, day by day.

"Very well, your Highness," she said mockingly as she pushed him out the door. "I'll gather my vassals up in the morning."

"Why in the morning?"

"Because I need my beauty sleep, you dope!" as she slammed the door shut.

Etna stood by the dimensional gate, waiting for the last member of her team to return from the armory. Cross was taking longer than usual. The rest of the team were muttering to themselves.

"Wonder what's taking Cross?" one said, a magic-wielding Nekomata named Elity. She wore a long, crimson-coloured robe that extended to her ankles, a blue bowtie in her brunette hair.

"Who knows?" another replied, a Succubus Archer named Sno. She had been born as an Archer, but took after her mother in looks. She was actually Cross' wife and was two months in with their first child. She refused to stay behind while Cross risked his life in battle.

"Or he's flirting with another woman," Wicket, a sword-wielding Galaxy Skull, joshed. Sno just punched him in the arm, hard.

Hanako just snorted. "He better get back here soon before I'll be forced to drag him back." She was the younger sister of Adell and a Demon Lord-in-training under Etna's training. She looked just like a mini, pink haired Etna, complete with attitude.

Wicket laughed. "You? Drag him? You couldn't lift a Prinny over your head!"

He regretted it instantly as she kicked him square in the balls. He fell over, cringing in pain. Etna just shook her head, chuckling. Wicket had to learn to keep his trouble making mouth shut.

A Strider-Class demon walked up to them, looking at Wicket's prome form. "What happened this time?"

His wife looked at him. "Made fun of Miss Hanako's small stature. What kept you?"

"Sorry, had to fill in a store survey. Got all the supplies we need, including Devil Ham." He winked at Hanako.

Etna pounded her lance on the ground, calling their attention. "Alright, roll call," she ordered. "Elity?"

"Here."

"Cross? Sno?"

"Here," they said together.

"Hanako?"

"Here, Master Etna."

"Wicket?"

"He-here," the Skull whimpered as he got up slowly off the ground.

Etna nodded to the gatekeeper, who inputted the coordinates into the portal. Etna turned and stared at the portal before entering into the darkness.

They'd have a helluva fight on their hands at Blood Glutch.