A minute or two passed. Finally, Joya felt able to stand up. She carefully and slowly staggered to her feet, holding her head as if she feared it might fall off. That wasn't too far off the mark. She didn't want to do any damage to the fragile, mending bones in her neck. She leaned against a tree, and surveyed the scene. It looked like the boy had also been knocked a fairly good one, and was having his own difficulties. The demon and the girl were gone, hopefully not together. She hadn't seen that part. Joya growled. Now it was a personal thing. No one had ever dared fling Joya about like she was a rag doll, and it could not be allowed. And she had a splitting headache.
The hunting horn sounded again, and she could hear the baying of the hounds. And then, the Lord of the Hunt himself arrived in the clearing. He was tall, unreasonably tall, and there was a kind of shifting about him that made him hard to see properly. And her blurred vision didn't help.
He surveyed the damage. "So. The imp was not exaggerating. Explain, Lady Joya."
Joya didn't move. "Being the Lord of the Hunt, you might know what sort of beast made those tracks."
He gave a cursory glance. "A demon."
"Yes, and last I saw of him, he was tearing apart the forest at whim."
"The demon has trespassed on my territory. I will deal with it. May I ask why you did not act? There are many who fear you."
"I am not a fool, Lord Huntsman! I well know my limits, and this demon is far beyond them."
The Lord of the Hunt was silent for a moment. Finally, he said in his poderous voice, "The Hunt will continue!" He yelled into the surrounding woods. "Our prey has changed! We now hunt a demon!"
As good as she was likely to get. But still... "Lord Huntsman, I fear that the demon has taken someone I agreed to protect, for what reason I cannot fathom."
Silence. He knew her of old, and knew that while she followed her own peculiar brand of morals and ethics, they were unshakable. He said, "I will lend you one of my hounds." A great, wild looking beast bigger than a wolf and an order of magnitude more fierce leapt forward at his master's command. "You can handle him, I assume."
She looked at it critically. "Yes. For this Lord Huntsman, I will allow your imps access to the Grove of Moonflies at the next full moon."
"A fair bargain, Lady Joya." And with that, he turned and vanished back into the surrounding woods, blowing another blast on the hunting horn. His entourage followed, leaving the great Hound behind. She turned to the boy. "As soon as you are capable, we shall track him."