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THE WITCH AND THE DEMON—SYNOPSIS
After being falsely accused of witchcraft, eighteen-year-old EBBA flees her village. She stumbles upon a demon named KRYPTOS in the forest, left for dead with his heart ripped out. He promises her power if she gives her heart to replace his. Although Ebba knows better than to trust a demon with a pretty face, she’s already fatally injured. Out of a desire to make her death mean something, she gives Kryptos her heart.
Ebba wakes up with nothing beating inside her chest. Kryptos has conscripted her into a death match. She’s been gifted with blood made of fire, and a deadline—a week to kill the eleven other champions of Hell or she’ll die. The twelve demonic gods are competing for the right to invade her world. Ebba only cooperates because Kryptos can kill her at any time by severing their magical link.
With little time to prepare, Ebba faces the god who nearly killed Kryptos and his champion, a knight who can turn into shadows. Her survival comes down to luck and a pit trap. The knight’s dying pain sends her into a state of shock because her missing heart lets her feel other’s emotions.
Next, Kryptos drags Ebba off to ambush another champion. She rescues two imprisoned slave children, but her fight goes poorly. After escaping, Kryptos takes her to another world, where time moves slower, to teach her sword-fighting. This is the first she learns of the existence of parallel worlds, including alternate versions of herself on each one.
Next fight she fares better, but the champion still manages to stab her through her missing heart. When Kryptos gives up on winning, Ebba is enraged enough to get up and kill the champion. She tosses the severed head at Kryptos before collapsing.
Once Ebba wakes up in her defeated opponent’s cabin, Kryptos has become much friendlier—cooking her a hot meal and inviting her to visit his castle for more training. The real surprise is that he’s hung the severed head on the wall. It turns out that her angry gesture was interpreted as a courtship present. Charmed by the demon’s shy side, she lets the mistake stand.
Her next target is a witch who controls ice—who terrorized her village for years and killed her mother. Kryptos is horrified when Ebba almost dies in the fight, and they grow closer. In demonic tradition, Kryptos promises Ebba a kiss if she wins against the last remaining champion—the God-King of Sama, subject of the King of Hell.
Ebba’s planned strategy to cancel out the God-King’s magic fails. She drags out the fight as long as she can despite being sorely outmatched. Before the champion can behead her, Kryptos jumps between them. He’s seriously injured, but she manages to kill the champion.
Because cheating among demons doesn’t count if no one notices, Kryptos is still the winner. After recovering, he cheerfully details his plans to lead a demonic army into Ebba’s world and install her as queen. Ebba is stricken with guilt. Even though she’s fallen in love with Kryptos, she tricks him into a banishing circle with one last kiss. Although Kryptos has the opportunity to kill her for betraying him, he doesn’t.
Ebba ends the story sadder, wiser, and with renewed confidence in her abilities to survive alone in the world. With all demons locked out of her world, she’ll never see Kryptos again. But she made one last request of him—to find a parallel world version of her so they can meet again. The story ends with Kryptos seeking out different Ebba on a distant, demon-ruled world.