I kept flipping until I came to an entry of one paragraph. That was it. One measly paragraph.
“D-dardaptoans. Found in the realm of Gaia, they are descendants of an Evalanedean goddess of mysterious past. Dardaptoan females are exceedingly weak compared to demon females, and most cannot s-stand up to the rigors of mating with demons. It is best to avoid, to prevent damaging such frail beings. It is believed that the Three Queens of the Three Hells are possibly of Dardaptoan origin. Then it references Epic of the Three Hells.”
With some more flipping, I found that listing.
“It’s a ballad.” I handed it to my sister.
Kellis began to read aloud, her voice soft, beautiful, and lilting. She had a hauntingly beautiful voice. I loved listening to her sing.
I listened closely as she spoke, reading over her shoulder for myself.
Epic of the Three Hells
Also known as the Story of the Queens…
Great Palos, Beskre, and Phrymos,
Eighteen thousand and one years,
Three hells these brothers once ruled,
And all creatures small or vast
would go to the hells upon their rest.
To take the Three Hells of the kings for his own,
Adril—the envious, greedy, and uncrowned—
Twin kings Paleos and Phrymos,
Adril locked within the ground.
Eighteen thousand and one years, Beskre,
Their younger brother, searched, relentless and loyal.
The twins of the hells, Beskre said, will be found.
But eighteen thousand and one, they decreed,
Those Four Fates of whom we rarely tell—
Half sisters of the brother kings—
So envious, spiteful, and cruel,
Declared their honorable half brothers will never rule
Prophecy, declaration of fate,
Or the product of jealousies, cruelties, and hates
The Fates confined their brothers
—until they were to meet their mates.
In Relaklonos, land of demons all,
Adril—the Weak and Cruel—
locked them in the ground.
It is in Relaklonos where the kings of hells
Will soon each by their queen be found.
For after eighteen thousand and one.
Their incarceration in earthen graves now done,
The time to find their queens has finally come.
The earth will quake on the first resting place—
First Phrymos, eldest, bravest, and the great king,
Phrymos, the strongest, will rise—to claim his queen.
The queen of the Phrymos demons will be kind.
Young and fair and more than humble,
All will follow this former servant and never once stumble.
Next Paleos, younger twin to the first,
From the earth—he will soon burst.
His soul of empathy guides him still.
Yet for his queen, Paleos will gladly
and mercilessly and swiftly kill.
Young and frail and weak, frightened and quite brave
—The great sword of hells this smallest queen with curls possesses.
She will find Paleos buried deeply in a cave,
And it will be the darkest crimes of evil this pair addresses.
Last will be he who scoured the earth.
Resolute and loyal to his brothers, all will still say.
This one king who still rules the hells even today,
He is known only from legend as the Beskre.
His queen is one so soft, and frail,
None know how this queen with golden curls he will meet,
But with her at his side—
kind, fair, almost silent, and sweet—
The king of Beskre demons prevails,
This third brother who has always ruled the hells.
With their queens joined close,
Their swords they now possess.
And all demon worlds will reunite,
True seers of their Kinds do foretell,
This is what the ancient bards with stories tell.
It is once the three queens are loved and well
It is the dark sorcerer, you three kings of hell—
Phrymos, Palos, and Beskre, it is Adril,
Who you will once and for all finally quell…
When she was finished reading, we just looked at each other. “H-how are we supposed to know what that means? Explains why that demon liked your h-hair, though. All curly and queen-like.”
“It was weird.”
“No kidding. And we are the only Dardaptoan females I know who have these stupid curls. Other than some of the Tanisses. If they’ve not met many Dardaptoans, maybe we look magic to them or something.” Kellis shot me a wicked grin. “Who knows, maybe they’d be willing to let us do some research for Alaun? Field research? Find out what it’s like to feed a demon?”
“I’m more i-interested in the legend.” The last thing I would want was to feed a sex demon. Anywhere. “I don’t want my first affair to be with a sex demon.”
“I know what the three hells are. And I know that there are demon Kinds called Phrymos, Paleos, and Beskre. But Adril? Never heard of him. If he’s at war with a bunch of demons, I don’t think I want to.”
“M-me either. Still…this doesn’t explain why they were staring at us like that at all.”
“Maybe it does,” Kellis said slowly. “This line here, queen with golden curls and what it said about Dardaptoans, maybe they just thought one of us was this legendary queen. Here’s another about curls and a smallest queen. Maybe demons don’t have curly hair?”
“Maybe it’s us? D-demon queens. And Alaun is the third…She always has been obsessed with sex demons.”
Kellis and I just looked at each other.
Then we burst out laughing, like total loons.
The idea of one of us being legendary queens, well…
We were Woald. The very idea is preposterous.
Before the night was through we thought we’d figured it out—the males we had met tonight were all part Incubi.
Sex demons had their reputations, after all. We were unattached females. We probably looked like we would make great snacks.
Alaun’s books made that very clear.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if Alaun’s own sisters fed demons? Fun to think about, but it was never going to happen.