The steel visor hummed as I placed it over my eyes and hooked the ends over my ears. My gaze happened to drift up towards the clouds, and there I saw my first spirit creature, erasing all doubts. It was larger than the largest castle, and rotund, with dozens of wings and a head like a lizard's. The spirit inflated as it sucked in a breath, then deflated as it puffed out clouds. The clouds, in turn, became a playground for hundreds of small serpentine spirits, and their flight shaped the gigantic puffs.
I gathered my wits enough to say, "I see them."
Piotr cleared his throat. "Good, Sire. Now look over there."
I followed his gesture towards the Mount Ola in the distance. Famed for being the birthplace of our foremother, the mountain was revered, but in all my life nothing important had gone into or come from it. Not that I could see, anyway.
Now I saw the fabled King of the Mountain, Ola's father. He was large enough to swallow us mortals whole, and he had horns, and donkey hooves, just like the ancient texts warn. The demon stood on mount Ola and below him spread a sea of smaller demons, too indistinct to describe at such a distance, and too many to count. Was it as the prophesies said? Did he conspire to capture his errant daughter and her offspring?
I swallowed past the knot of fear in my throat. There was no denying it now, no hoping that Piotr had finally lost his mind. "Call the generals... And the priests."
Piotr smiled wickedly, the smile that I had always thought meant that he had tricked me somehow. "Yes, Sire."