Genoa started off with the easy ones. The slow, the sluggish, the immobile. None of them had the ability to move out of the way.
Most of the golems had the same weakness. While the sewn on demon bits had strength and durability, their human parts were just as weak as any other human.
Their creator had learned a few tricks since the attack on Brakket. A good number of the golems had armored plates stapled onto the human body. One, Genoa noted as she stabbed another through the throat, had a shiny black carapace that might have come from one of Arachne’s relatives.
Those ones could be dealt with after the crowd’s numbers had been pruned.
Genoa dropped to the ground. Being unable to blink thanks to whatever wards the nuns had set up was annoying, but not an insurmountable issue.
It just meant she had to move fast enough to dodge the jagged edge of her opponent’s rusty sword.
None of the golems at Brakket had been armed aside from whatever natural demonic attachments they had been fitted with. A sword wasn’t much different from an unusual limb, but if the necromancer gave them guns or figured out how to have them cast magic, she would need to watch her back.
Her dagger, sheathed in brilliant fire, dragged up the man’s chest as she stood. The thin trail of fire left behind spread out from the cut and enveloped him.
Genoa was forced to jump away from the heat, though she couldn’t complain. The hallway would be pitch black without the burning corpses scattered around the floor.
Raising her hand, Genoa ferrokinetically pulled against the golem’s sword. It tore from his weakened grip, spinning through the air as it flew towards her. Genoa took one step to the side, caught the blade by the handle, and used the momentum to swing around and take off the top of another golem’s head.
Sword in hand, Genoa twisted it into a barbed spear. Fire from her dagger leached out and enveloped the head of the spear just before Genoa buried it within the skull of another golem.
Glass from an overhead light shattered. Flecks of reflected fire danced in the shards as a scythe-like arm scraped down at Genoa.
She dashed forward, ignoring the sharp glass, and buried her dagger inside a golem’s chest.
Her companion was proving himself to be marginally useful. While Genoa tended to go straight for the kill–head shots, decapitation, and the like–just knowing that anything cut by her flaming dagger would burst into flames from within gave some peace of mind.
In the slight reprieve, Genoa glanced back at the alchemy professor. He stood at the doorway, barely having moved since the fight started, incinerating anything that came near him. Not much got close aside from the golems that Genoa passed by for more open targets.
His eyes twitched back and forth in the flamelight. They never stopped on any one thing for more than a second before darting to something else. Someone unfamiliar with the mind-acuity that pyrokinetic mages used might think he was on drugs. Or having a stroke.
Even knowing what was happening, it was somewhat unsettling. It was a testament to his ability, both in accelerating his mind and his pyrokinetic skill in general, that he was able to attack and manipulate the fire on her dagger to such a fine degree.
And not burn down the entire hotel.
The fire alarms and sprinklers hadn’t even gone off, though that might have something to do with the power being cut.
One of the armored golems moved to block her view.
Its arm was already swinging towards her.
Readying herself, Genoa used the earthen version of the self empowerment spell. Her skin hardened and her bones turned to steel.
The arm crashed into her, sending her smashing into and partially through a wall.
Cursing her inattentiveness, Genoa pulled herself out of the wall. A few slivers of wood made it past her defenses; most slivers centered on her legs where she struck a beam of wood running along the wall. Nothing deadly. The cuts, along with those she got from the shattered glass, might even make it into her collection.
Genoa smiled at her attacker with a crack of her neck. “My turn.”
She pulled at the spear of metal, yanking it out of the remains of the earlier golem’s face. It formed into a bar mid-air and hammered into the back of the armored golem’s leg.
It teetered but did not fall until the bar returned for a second pass.
Genoa spun out of the way of another sword wielding golem.
With a heavy nudge, the sword arced down on the armored golem’s legs.
Her dagger found its way to the sword-wielder’s throat, half removing his head and igniting him all in one swing.
Free from immediate attack, Genoa took hold of the new sword and the bar of metal. She shaped both into one massive spear.
With a grunt, she brought it down one-handed on the armored golem’s chest. Again and again until the armor cracked. With one final thrust–with the tip ignited from the flames coating her dagger–the spear plunged into the meat within.
Genoa wiped sweat from her brow and flicked it off her wrist, splattering the carcass. This barely qualified as a workout, but that didn’t stop the flames from heating everything up.
For a moment, she considered whether or not she should be worried about the oxygen levels in the room, or lack thereof. If nothing else, the professor seemed to know what he was doing and Genoa had yet to feel lightheaded, so she dismissed the concern.
Zoe should be here soon enough. If it was a problem, she would notice and would be able to provide a breath of fresh air.
Another bunch of flesh golems rounded the corner at the end of the hallway.
“How many of these things does he have? Is this ever going to end?”
“Unless I am much mistaken,” Wayne said in a clipped voice–a side effect of not toning down his processing speed enough, “you asked for this.”
Genoa’s lips curled into a grin.
“That I did.”
— — —
The wall looked inviting. Too inviting. Irresistibly inviting.
After incinerating a corpse on the floor that may or may not have been a zombie, Devon stumbled over to the wall and leaned against it.
He couldn’t go on much longer at this pace.
His feet ached. His legs ached. His hip wasn’t doing so well. Worse above all else, he was sweating.
Not for the first time in recent years, Devon started recounting and individually regretting several mistakes in his life choices that had led up to this point. Being born in this age was one of his first and greatest mistakes. It was followed closely by being raised by that deadbeat of a man. It was a wonder he had turned out so well with that being his ideal for most of his childhood.
Of course, those were far in the past. While mistakes, he didn’t have much option and he certainly couldn’t change it now.
More recently, he had beholden himself to Ylva in asking it to save Eva. Temporarily, true, but he was still its slave for the immediate future. It had been oddly generous in giving him only a few months of servitude. That only compounded his suspicion that it was intending to help Eva without his prompting.
Without that little deal, he wouldn’t be in this nightmare.
“Devon,” the professor snapped, “are you going to sit there all night?”
Devon shoved himself off the wall and marched across the landing to the next set of stairs. “Just catching my breath, girly.”
She made a pointed glance at a number painted on the wall. “This is only the ninth floor. I figured you would be in shape from climbing up to your ‘penthouse suite’ at the prison every day.”
“You think I walk up all that?”
Her lips pressed into a thin line. “I suppose not. Regardless, we have been delayed enough as it–”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m coming.” He glanced up the stairwell. Only four floors left. And then…
And then back down.
“Maybe I’ll just throw myself out a window,” Devon mumbled to himself as he followed up the stairs after the professor.
“Did you say something?”
“Yeah. Mind your own business.”
At her impolite harrumph, Devon coiled his tentacle around the railing and used it to half drag himself up the staircase.
It had proven useful. For the most part. The lack of opposable thumb and fingers was surprisingly not that big of an issue. The tentacle’s dexterity combined with the suckers made up for that deficiency. For tasks that did require use of his fingers, he still had his other hand.
Tragically, it did not possess the carnivean’s raw strength. That came more from the demon’s innate magic than any musculature in the limb itself. While it worked as a replacement arm, he wouldn’t be tearing the limbs off of Arachne any time soon.
That it did not produce its own mucus made Devon happy. Very happy. That had been his main concern over attaching it in the first place. He might have had to line his trench coats in plastic. And his bed.
And everything, really.
“So,” hedged the professor, “you’ve been broody lately. Broodier.”
“And you’ve been nosy.”
“Just wondering what has been bothering you.”
“Bothering me?” Devon snorted. “My life’s work is mostly dead on her bed; she’s lucky she doesn’t need to eat often. I’ve been conscripted by Ylva to do its dirty work. And I’m here, with you, in this necropolis.” He paused, then added, “several other things as well. The little things do add up over time.”
“Eva is your life’s work?”
“Well,” Devon scratched his beard with his tentacle, “I was planning on finding more test subjects soon. Lady Ylva might keep me busy with her chores for–”
The professor stopped and turned at the landing. She sent a blade of razor wind off to one side, bisecting a zombie, on her way to face Devon. “What do you mean test subjects?”
“I was under the impression that Eva had mentioned our little arrangement to you…”
She shook her head.
“Ah.” Oops. Whatever, Eva can deal with it.. “Ask how well her treatment is going next time she is awake.”
Devon slipped around the still professor and continued up the next flight of stairs. He had just gotten into a rhythm and wasn’t about to stop for a trifle of inane chatter. Especially if she was just going to repeat back whatever he said as a question.
He froze at the top of the next landing.
A demon leaned against the wall next to the door to floor twelve.
Not a half-corpse half-demon abomination. This thing was an actual, full-bodied demon–full-bodied for an eight year old, perhaps. It was about the size of an eight year old. But still, a real demon.
And one he recognized.
At least, Devon recognized parts of it. The tentacles hanging down from its head matched the green with black cross-marks on his substitute arm. One of the two larger tentacles was shrunk slightly. Still growing back, perhaps.
It turned its head towards him, revealing empty eye sockets surrounded by dark black rings.
Devon slipped his arm behind his back despite the demon’s lack of working eyes. As the demon opened its mouth, Devon tensed.
“I’m sorry,” it said in a low, basso rumble.
He blinked. That was not what he had expected.
It took him a moment to realize that the words were aimed at the professor.
A very ill-looking professor, Devon noted with a glance towards her.
“We couldn’t feel the effects of your ring all that well without you wearing it. Naturally, we didn’t know what it was until afterwards. Our summoner just said that he wanted a ring.
“We were,” the demon paused to shudder, “talked to about that little incident. The jezebeth did not make it.”
It took a moment for the professor to open and shut her mouth enough times to form words. “D-didn’t make it?”
Devon rolled his eyes. She had been competent thus far. Being waylaid by a memory? He shook his head.
“That particular jezebeth no longer exists in any way, shape, or form.”
The professor gave a slow nod, looking fairly relieved as she did so. “And you?”
The carnivean smiled. It didn’t have as many teeth as Arachne, and only a handful were sharp. But demons all had the same smile.
An unnerving smile.
“Well, I can check apologizing off my list of things to do. Still have a debt to Hel, but that is more of a long-term thing.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Devon took note of the professor clenching her fist. If they didn’t have to fight, Devon did not want to fight. He moved to grip her arm in an attempt to defuse her.
“That’s it?” She spoke in a voice almost too low for Devon to hear, and he was right next to her.
“That’s it?” she repeated, louder. “‘I’m sorry?’ You tortured me for what felt like days! And all you have to say is that you’re sorry?”
“You can go on if you want,” the carnivean said with a flip of its tentacle towards the ascending staircase. “That guy summoned me almost as soon as I got out of the void, but nothing in my contract requires me to fight you. Frankly, I’m hoping that bastard fail–”
“What if I want to fight you?”
Devon gripped the professor’s arm, still trying to keep his tentacle arm out of view.
She shoved him off with a glare.
“I’m relatively certain that I can defend myself, ring or not. And I will.” The carnivean scratched its head with its own tentacles. Its more human-like arms sat still at its side. “Look, if it helps, I am genuinely sorry. Really.”
“You’re not sorry that you tortured me. You’re sorry that you got tortured.”
“Even if that was true–”
Which it is, Devon thought.
“I wasn’t torturing you. That was all the jezebeth. I mean, maybe I broke an arm and a leg. That isn’t torture, that’s just part of the fight. And you seem to be climbing the stairs without trouble, so I assume it is all fixed–.”
The professor lifted her arm, pointing her dagger at the carnivean.
Devon gripped her arm and yanked it down to her side while whispering in her ear. “Listen girly, if that thing is letting us pass, we pass. I know you didn’t see it because of your injuries, but that thing did a number on Arachne. It had broken and missing limbs as well as its carapace cracked in several places. Think about what it is going to do to us.”
The muscles in her arm did not release their tension in the slightest.
“Let’s get the nun and get out.” Devon grit his teeth together. He could feel the bile rising in the back of his throat. I can’t believe I’m about to say this. “Think of the children.”
The professor blinked and glanced down at Devon.
He released her arm and turned away before she could say a word. Whatever mania had taken her subsided with that statement.
She did not lift her arm again, nor did she strike in any other way.
She simply nodded.
“Now then,” Devon said with a glance towards the carnivean, “if you’ll excuse us, we will–”
“Us?” The carnivean turned its vacant look on Devon. “I don’t believe I mentioned you getting a free pass.”
Devon went very still. Out of the corner of his eye, he noted the professor tightening her grip on her dagger. “I’m with her,” he said with a jerk of his head in the professor’s direction.
“You have something of mine.”
“Yeah?” Devon’s arm squirmed beneath his sleeve. “You weren’t using it. Cost of battle, if you wanted to keep it, you shouldn’t have lost.”
“Oh yes, I am well aware. I can feel her here. If I see that eight-eyed lying sack of meat again… Well, she has as many limbs as I do and four times the eyes. I’m sure I can find a way to repay her.”
Devon leaned over and mumbled in the professor’s ear. “Maybe it is a good thing that Arachne disappeared.”
“But,” the carnivean shouted, taking a step forwards.
Devon and the professor took a step back.
“That is neither here nor there. You may keep that part of myself. You may even freely walk past me.”
Sighing, Devon ran his fingers through his stringy hair. It was getting to the point where a trim wouldn’t be a bad thing. “What do you want?”
“Just one teensy tiny little favor.” The thing held out a hand–or a tentacle–and offered out a small black rectangle.
Devon flared the little ball of fire hovering in front of him, brightening the landing.
“A book?” It barely qualified as such. Almost more of a leather-bound pamphlet. There couldn’t be more than a handful of pages inside. “Probably a beacon as well, right? I’m not touching that.”
“Details for a special ritual, actually. I’ve already got a beacon set up just in case I need it.”
Devon frowned as he snatched the book out of its grip. He was only vaguely aware of the professor leaning over his shoulder while he flipped through the pages. With every page turned, his eyebrows crept up his forehead.
“Is this a joke?” The woman at his side half shouted in his ear.
The book almost slipped from his tentacle’s grasp at her sudden voice. He scrambled for a moment to keep it in his hands. It was far too valuable to let fall.
“You want us to open a portal to the Unseelie Queen?”
“Well, I want someone to open it. They only answer mortals. I was going to have the necromancer do it, but I’ve seen him tear apart demons just to see how they work. He wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to kill the Unseelie Queen.”
“You’re still in one piece,” Devon mumbled.
“He ran out of time, I think. Just wanted extra muscle for fending off nuns. Guy is an amateur at contracts or I might be obligated to fight you.
“But that is off-topic. I have a wish,” the thing said. “And I have a feeling that the unseelie will be far more sympathetic than the seelie bastards.”
Devon frowned. Apart from a few of the lowest tier unseelie–Arthfael the cait si was the only one he could actually name–he didn’t have much interaction with any fae. All of them, seelie and unseelie, were far to chaotic for his tastes.
The professor butted in. “You realize that all deals with the fae go poorly, right?”
“It is all about the phrasing. That and the payment. I just happened to lift a few souls from around the hotel. I should have more than enough to get what I want.”
“You what?” Devon shouted, dropping the book as he took a step backwards. With a thumb aimed at the professor, he said, “do you even know whose ring she’s wearing?”
“Of course I do,” it said with a flippant wave of its tentacles. “Payback is half the reason I am doing this.”
“You’re going to get yourself killed. Permanently. Us too. How do you even have souls? Shouldn’t the reapers have–”
“As incompetent as the necromancer is in diablery, he knows his way around Death. I’d be surprised if a reaper could set foot within this hotel for the next hundred years with the wards he erected.”
“Ylva should be able to destroy the wards. Or find someone who can. Turn the souls over to it and curry favor with Death. He is more powerful than the Unseelie Queen.”
“But is he willing to grant my wish? I think not.”
“What good is your wish when you are dead? There are two goddesses of Death sitting around in Hell. Your domain won’t keep them out. Even if you hide out on Earth, Hades and the Baron freely roam around. Not to mention all the reapers, banshees, dullahan, and everything else in their service. Dullahan specialize in hunting down thin–”
“You sure care a lot about me. Touching. I think I’m tearing up.” It rubbed a tentacle around the darkened edge of one eye.
“I care about me. And you are trying to drag me into this souls business. I’ll open a portal to the damn bitch, but find a different payment for the fae or I may as well cut off my arm right now.”
The carnivean tensed.
Devon gripped both of the professor’s arms and pulled her in front of him, eliciting a yelp from the girl.
Just in time for a tentacle to come to a screeching halt inches from her nose.
“Don’t fight back and don’t move yourself,” he said in her ear. Her actively moving to block the tentacles might justify the carnivean attacking her. Devon doubted he would last long without his shield.
Devon flared his flames, tossing them around the professor’s body while pulling her into the path of each tentacle.
Quite the difficult task. There was only one professor. The carnivean had more than one tentacle.
One found its way over the professor’s shoulder and almost made it around his neck.
Devon had already raised his hand in preparation for another attack. He gripped the tentacle and sparked the flames inside it.
It shrieked, pulling the tentacle out of his hand before he could do more than superficial damage.
“You’re cheating,” it said.
“Think it’s easy to fight while dragging a woman around?” Devon quipped as he tried to incinerate another tentacle.
“This plan isn’t working,” the professor hissed as Devon shoved her into the path of a tentacle.
Her moving left Devon wide open to another tentacle. It coiled around his tentacle arm and yanked, dragging him out from behind the professor and putting him face to face with an angry carnivean.
Had that arm had bones, he would have suffered a dislocation at the very least.
He clasped down on it and started filling the tentacle with fire.
Another tentacle coiled around his hand and spread his arms wide. The carnivean stood just in front of him with plenty extra limbs left to fight with.
Devon gave a half-glance towards the professor. “Well, I’m open to suggestions.”
“How about you open my damn portal before I tear you in two,” the carnivean growled.
Devon leaned back, winding up. With a grunt, he slammed his head down onto the carnivean’s head.
His vision split into double.
“They make it look so easy in the movies…”
The five sets of carniveans turned black as Devon passed out.
— — —
Nel patiently sat in her chair.
She didn’t have much choice in the matter.
The restraints held her down to her chair as tightly as the day she woke up in it. It had become somewhat disgusting; she tried not to think about it too much.
No. Thinking about it didn’t matter. None of her thoughts could affect the world around her at the moment. No matter how hard she tried, she could not access any form of magic. She couldn’t even get a glimpse of whoever had the necromancer all worked up.
He had called them her old comrades. The nuns probably. All hope of being rescued had died with that simple line.
At least they would kill her quickly. She wouldn’t have to suffer through Sawyer’s experiments any longer.
Nel tried to avoid glancing at the blob of flesh in the corner of the room. It wasn’t easy when half of her was trying to analyze what exactly the bag of flesh was doing with a couple of her eyes implanted within.
As far as she understood from Sawyer narrating to himself, that was a failed attempt at replicating her augur abilities. There was another, more successful eye-blob that had been moved somewhere else. Nowhere near her ability, but possibly on par with glimpsing.
Then again, it might be on par with her abilities now. She hadn’t had any chance to actually test it out, but her entire arm was nothing more than a withered husk of its former self.
That… that freak had stolen her eyes. All of them in one arm, up to her shoulder.
She doubted it even needed to be bound to the chair. The magic that kept her arm shape and function mostly normal had vanished along with the eyes. She couldn’t even feel anything from it. No pain. No movement of any muscles. Just a useless lump of flesh.
Not that it mattered. She was going to be nothing more than a lump of flesh and bone soon enough.
Hopefully the nuns will be here soon, Nel thought as she eyed the zombie shambling towards her. As much as she did not wish to die, a lightning bolt to the brain sure beat out being eaten to death.
It was that stupid girl with the stitches. It was all her fault. She left the door open on purpose. Nel being captive was Des’ fault. If she hadn’t started that stupid attack on the school…
Watching the little girl’s torture session under her father had provided a few delightful moments of catharsis.
Until he had stitched up her mouth and turned his attentions to Nel, that is.
With a sigh, Nel shut her eyes. It was the only control still afforded to her. She wasn’t about to watch the zombie start eating her.
Her eyes snapped open at the sucking noise just in front of her–not unlike the sound of boots being pulled free of mud.
The zombie had five black needles poking through its face. The entire body was thrown against one wall. Blood splattered out as the wall cracked from the force of the impact.
A figure stood, shadowed in the darkness where the zombie had been. Limbs twitched and jittered behind it, looking like skeletal wings of an angel. Eight glowing eyes stared down at her.
Relief flooded through Nel. She would have sunk into her chair had the restraints been looser.
Her relief turned sour as Arachne just stood there. She wasn’t moving.
In the blink of an eye, Arachne had her face half an inch away from Nel’s own. Her white teeth stood out in a very unfriendly smile.
“If you do not save my Eva, everything you have experienced here will look like a vacation to paradise. Nothing Ylva says or does will save you. Do you understand?”
That sinking feeling in the pit of Nel’s stomach grew. Other than being stabbed with Sawyer’s dagger, she had no idea what happened to Eva or why Arachne thought she could fix anything. For a moment, Nel almost wished that the necromancer would come back.
She nodded anyway. Or tried to–the restraints were too tight. Hopefully rapid blinks would suffice.
Arachne’s limbs snapped forward, severing her bonds all at once.
Nel tried to stand. Her good arm shook as she tried to pull herself out of the chair.
She made it, only to have her legs give out from under her. Nel collapsed, grasping at Arachne’s knees.
The demon took a step backwards. “You’re disgusting.”
Nel opened her mouth in an attempt to say, ‘I know.’ Nothing but coughs came out.
How long had it been since she had last spoken, or gotten proper food and water. The gruel she had been fed through a tube in her restraints had been nothing but putrid muck.
A week at least. Two? The days blurred together after a while.
And in all that time, she hadn’t once stood on her own two feet.
Sharp claws reached down, uncaring as to whether or not they scraped against one of her eyes. She was hoisted up and over Arachne so that her stomach was on one of the demon’s shoulders.
Arachne turned to leave the room and bumped into Genoa and someone who looked vaguely familiar. The man held a ball of flames in his hand, lighting up the room.
Both of whom took one glance at Nel and wrinkled their noses.
“Is she alive?” the man asked.
Nel would have shrunk in on herself had she the energy to care. She couldn’t look that bad, could she?
Genoa took one glance around the room. “Where’s Zoe?”
“We decided splitting up would be prudent given the situation. I showed up just in time too. Dear old Ylva’s slave was about to be a zombie snack,” Arachne said with a gesture towards the splattered remains on the wall. “If you didn’t find her, she’s probably still making her way up here.”
Frowning, Genoa nodded slowly. “Let’s go pick them up and get out of here.”
Nel forced her shaking arm in the direction of the bubbling lump of eye-infested flesh. “My eyes,” she coughed out. “I need them.”
All three turned toward the corner of the room. Everyone winced away.
“I already have one disgusting sack of flesh. Someone else can take the other.”
Genoa and the man shared a glance before the man sighed. He took off his suit jacket and wrapped up Nel’s eyes. Tying the sleeves together, he picked it up and held it as far from his body as he could manage.
As they started hustling down the hallway, jolting Nel up and down, Genoa half turned her head. “Did you find the necromancer?”
“He escaped. Mortals like to go hunting, correct?” Arachne leaned her head to one side–away from Nel. Her hair tendril things brushed against Nel’s skin, some poking her in her eyes.
Probably on purpose.
“I think Eva will enjoy a nice and relaxing hunting trip once she gets back on her feet.”
“Yes, yes,” Arachne said as they entered the stairwell. Nel could almost feel her rolling her eyes and Nel wasn’t certain that they could actually roll. As it was, her claws just dug further into Nel’s backside. “I am certain that Eva will want to rescue the mortal children as well.”
A deep, rumbling voice interrupted Genoa. “What do we have here?”
The voice came from a little eight-year-old with a head full of tentacles. Zoe Baxter stood across the landing from the tentacle girl with her dagger out in a fighting stance.
Devon Foster lay on the floor, face down.
“I’ve been looking for you, Arachne.”
Again, Arachne cocked her head to one side. Again, Arachne poked her stiff hair tendrils into Nel’s eyes. “Have we met?”
“You stole my eyes. And then killed me. After you said you would let me go, you lying bit–”
“Oh. Sorry. I don’t really keep track of pathetic demons like you. Still, that was what, two or three months ago? You got out of the void quick.”
Her voice unnerved Nel. Something about the deep bass coming from what looked like a child sent her hairs on end.
“One such as I,” the tentacle girl continued, “is far more powerfu–”
“How often do you die to be so experienced in escaping the void?”
“I suppose acquiring that experience is laudable, though.” The disdain was absolutely dripping from every word out of Arachne’s grinning mouth. If nothing else, she was enjoying herself. “Get good enough at coming back and you might return before your opponent has a chance to heal. Of course, your eyes are still missing and one of your tentacles is shriveled. Maybe you should work on healing a–”
“I’ll tear out your spine or whatever passes for it.”
The tentacle demon jumped up the stairs at them, flailing her tentacles around her.
Nel tried to scream. Her hoarse voice wouldn’t allow it.
Arachne didn’t even move.
The tentacle demon was struck simultaneously by lightning, fire, and about a hundred silver spikes. The fire and lightning blasted her into a wall while the spikes nailed her down. She struggled for a moment before hanging there, limply.
“I beat you on my own. And now you think to attack me while I’m surrounded by my master’s allies?”
Arachne casually walked up to the pinned demon. Her hand thrust through the demon’s face.
A purple void opened on the wall behind the tentacle demon and she was dragged in by a few dark tendrils.
Before the portal shut, Arachne called out. “Maybe next time you should consider who your betters are. Then again, I could always use a servant of my own.”
Arachne turned to face the rest of the group. Zoe flicked her dagger towards Devon, lifting him up in the air along with a small black book. The other two looked at each other with the man eventually giving a shrug.
“Demons,” he said as if that explained everything.
Genoa returned his shrug. “Any reason to stay?”
“Let’s get the nun back to my Eva,” Arachne said, absolutely bouncing on her heels.
Again, jolting Nel all over the place.
And Nel couldn’t bring herself to care.
They were finally headed home. To Lady Ylva.
And her glorious bath.