There was four of them sitting around a table. Herself of course. Rinazi was there too. Her personal commander of her Terrestial forces the Water Aspect Kin Uzan. Finally rounding it out was Crimson Stalker as he was officially known but to friends he was simply called Jian. He was of the Night Caste like her. Yet while she was still relatively young by Solar standards he was a respected elder. A survivor of the Primordial War he was now one of the major managers of the Realm police and security forces. He was discussing a security matter that had sprung up in her domain.
His finger tapped on a laid out flat metal square. Magical dusts of various jade's had formed to make a very accurate map of her area. "It is here. The Sidereals have noticed problems there. They think the tangles are from demonic activity. A cult has likely sprung up. Some fool has invited some demons into this world and they are starting to set up a base there."
The others listened carefully as he continued. "We would like you to make a group of your most skilled demon hunters into a strike team. The Regional Directors and I want the village wiped out to the last. Rinazi one of the Zenith Caste shall be arriving soon. While the village is being removed you will work with them to help select a village that can manage a loss. Those villagers will be transplanted to where the current village is after the inhabitants are gone and will have their memories changed to believe they have always lived there."
This was one of the newer policies of the Deliberative. When it is just one lone sorcerer making trouble and making Yozi pacts they are made an example of. When villages turn they are wiped and replaced. It was a policy in place for a century or so now. As far as Creation was concerned the Yozi stopped getting a foothold in Creation a while ago. The Celestials and many Dragonblooded knew better but it was easier on mortal minds for this fiction. Such infestations were never a threat but it made people believe in the invinceable strength of the Deliberative and made those few villages who did turn less careful then they might.
"Of course. The matter will be dealt with in a few days I swear it." She said resolutely. This would be her first serious mission without her husband at her side. It was a little bit exciting really. Still she was well trained. She had learned from the best the world had to offer and possessed powerful artifacts that could make any beginning warrior a deadly threat and she was no beginner. She would also have some of her elite Terrestial warriors with her. There was a little bit of back and forth just to determine a few details. See if there was any extra information about the possible demon infestation and what the village was like prior to the trouble.
She didn't sleep that night. She was up late from excitement. There had been little serious matters for the Exalted to worry about for some time. The Sword of Creation was complete. Most of the major threats left after the War had been subdued. What serious fights she had engaged in she had done so with her husband at her side. With his age and charm knowledge she was never in any serious danger. Here though she was sure to face at least a second circle demon. Maybe more then one or even a third circle. There were natural events that could let them free at times. So she paced and thought of the coming battle and not even her husband's loving pleas for her to come to bed would calm her.
Kin Uzan had a proper roster set out for her. Ten of his best trained warriors and demon hunters all suited into the Most Benevolent Armor of the Water Dragon. These powerful suits would limit any demon's powers in their presence. She herself had her own personal suit. The dark leather forged from the highest of spells was intermixed with the high technology of the time into a useful stealth suit. They would take one of the flying transports docked. The battle carrier was easily capable of carrying the group hundreds of miles in a day. She took the time to inspect each one of her group as they stood at crisp military attention for inspection by their Solar Queen. Finding all in order she slipped her helmet turned and jumped up onto the ship. She wasn't great at speaches but of course not great for a Solar like her meant little. It was short, crisp, inpiring before the troops loaded into the vessel. Her husband had jumped onto the ship as well to give her a warm parting kiss and wish her glory and victory before jumping off and the ship flew out.
They stopped in the forest some half day's travel on normal foot from the village. While the demon hunters began to march through the woods towards the village she went on ahead to confirm their targets. Her suit and charms carrying her swiftly through the dense trees without any delay and her body barely more then the slightest of wavering in the air as she passed. Less then a whisper even. She didn't even have to get the village into view to check for her targets. Settling into place she was a still as a stone as her hearing reached out past the trees and down to the small little river village to listen to the voices. It wasn't long before she found it. The inhuman voice of a demon. No...more then one of them.
So she waited until her troops caught up with her. The time she had spent meditating and regaining her essence. Moving before them a rapid series of hand signals between her and the group told them all they needed to know. They would go for speed after the demons. They would offer her support and to keep others from interfereing and handle any first circle demons while she went after the larger ones. They waited quietly until twilight started to fall. There was an intangible hum as the suits activated their Ghost-Binding Wall generators and then the 11 exalted swept down into the village.
Their arrival was met with shouts and screams. Demons, humans twisted into grotesque mockeries of what they once were, offspring of unnatural unions rose up to oppose them. Yet they were no match for the armored warriors. Blood marred the walls as they danced amongst their foes. Weapons of jade and a spear with a tip of fire cutting and searing a path. When the great demon Ulanos rose from the river her anima flared up as powerful combat charms activated. Ulanos was a terrible and powerful demon. He was one of the major souls of Hegra, the Typhoon of Nightmares. What event had brought him out she was not sure. His form was a mass of writhing tentacles. Each tentacle ended in a jagged hook of the purest white. The mass of tentacles that would writh would sometimes reveal a single great eye that seemed to be the things body. It was always a different eye too each time you caught a glimpse of it.
Three of her warriors broke at the sight of him. His overwhelming aura filling their minds with madness and despair. She and the remaining seven were resolute though. Her body moved from place to place as she fought with it. She seemed to teleport she moved so fast yet its terrible eye could not be surprised no matter where she struck from. Spear met tentacle, dark ichor made the ground bubble and the river scream. The 7 of her champions were soon reduced to 5 by its lashing body and they withdrew. Though it could not strike her she was expending more and more of her energy reserves to ensure it did not. Though it bled its vile ichor from a hundred different spots and the eye when one could see it bore a jagged white ooze dripping cut across it seemed that her power would run out before its might did.
Yet she became aware of something as they fought. It would not leave the water. She knew it could. There must be something in the water that it was protecting. Her voice relayed from her suit to the ones of her warriors she ordered the water aspects into the river. Three of them obeyed. Her unit haveing been composed of air and water aspects exclusively. In a dangerous gamble she activated her most agressive combo the Rain of Light and Leaves. While it would not ensure her victory and if her impression was wrong she would only hasten her defeat but...the terrible damage it would inflict and the pain and speed of her blows would hopefully bring the great demon's full attention onto her.
Her motes soon spent she had no defense left when one tentacle caught her. She was swung through three buildings and she felt several ribs break and the bones in her left leg snap like kindling under its grip before she was sent tumbling into the dirt. She lifted her head up to see one of those terrible tentacles starting to descend down at her to crush the life from her. Moments before it hit the demon vanished in a shower of dark motes. Though her suits communication system the Terrestial's relayed that they had found a dark beating stone. Some holdover of the war left burried and forgotten until the river had unearthed it and the demon had come out.
"What are we to do with the remainder? Some of them have fled and there are young ones hiding in cellers." One of them asked her. Using her spear to support herself she forced herself up onto her good leg. "Two of you stay with me. I want the other five of you to find and take out the runners." She looked two the two volunteers and nodded. "A demon like Ulanos is too powerful. The ones hiding must die. The Yozi have tainted and claimed their souls. Only Lethe can redeem them." And with that order the two with her went from house to house and slew the old and young inside. Demonborn or just child who had been forced to give up their soul all were cut down. Though it cut at her heart she watched from within her suit where none could see the expression on her face as a boy who remainded her so much of one of her own sons when he was young was stabbed through the chest. His mouth opened as blood was coughed out and he seemed to want to speak when...
Lu Zhin awoke suddenly and sat up in the bed grabbing at his beating heart. He could see that child so perfectly in his mind's eye. There had been no doubt in the dream but now he wasn't sure. He couldn't really remember anything about the Yozi or their demons. He knew nothing of demonic infestations or what the demon's of the Third Circle could do. Had their been another way? Was that the only one no matter how hard the order was. His breathing slowly calmed as he lay back down. The warm body of the fire aspect Sesus Viola shifting beside him, moving an arm over his chest as she turned to cuddle into him. He lay awake though remembering another life and a child's eyes.