Chapter Eighty-One – Pain
The wildness was frigid far north in Alberta, near the eastern border. Zayna didn’t seem to mind despite her attire. Daveon, Renatta, Deena, and Arlandria followed behind her garbed in goats and scarves as they delved deeper between the trees. There were hardly even the sounds of animals around them as they neared a dark cave entrance within the rocky hills.
“This is it,” Zayna explained. “Anzu and the others. We were all staying here. She called us Sagitta Malum.”
“So she probably wants a lot more than we’ve seen already, if she’s given her people a name,” said Daveon.
“She never said exactly what she wanted in the end, but it seemed that way, yes. Now be on guard. There’s no telling who’s going to be in here. But if she is, we’ll make her pay for this.”
Chapter Eighty – Dirty Deeds
Hours had passed since the incident in Spokane. Not a single person within the city retained their memory of the demon attack. In fact, a different thought supplanted the original, which was a tale spun by the government to once again cover up the existence of magic on Earth. They would possibly go on with their entire lives believing a powerful storm came through the city, and emergency teams were already on-scene to help those in need.
That was far away, however. Whitfield stood by a sharp-dressed older gentleman with peppered hair and a goatee, sitting behind a desk covered in papers. There were no windows, and the specific location was entirely unknown to others. They could have been across the planet, underground, or beyond.
The third being in the room was the one that hadn’t a clue, as her fuzzy bat body was helplessly blinded by the big she was placed within. Whitfield placed it down in the center of the room and undid the string that held it closed. The material fell loose to reveal Anzu’s avatar, messenger, and whatever else one would like to call it. They both shared her purple lips, but it was otherwise entirely different from her normal body. And it was laying motionless.
Chapter Seventy-Eight – Contained
Standing at around the same height as the stone beasts before was a creature completely black from head to toe. He had cat-like eyes, teeth like daggers, muscles that could grate cheese, curved horns, and claws the length of swords coming from each finger, but the head on top was tiny in comparison.
Beside him was a car nearly cut in half by claw marks that pierced the metal like a warm knife through butter. When he turned, his tongue lashed out, but a grin of absolute glee was always present across his face.
Deena and Daveon ran up, then Renatta landed beside them.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” cursed Deena.
“Who’s this?” Renatta looked to her. “A friend?”
“No. We faced him before. Remember the Elixir of Strength? This was one of the first to drink it, during that whole debacle.”
Chapter Seventy-Seven – Seek and Destroy
Deena’s hands clapped together, and around them swirled a dark violet energy that manifested quickly—a chaotic but skillfully contained power. She thrust them forwards, and from the tips of her fingers came a piercing, black arrow, that soared through the air and directly through the chest of the stone-like beast. The area around the point of contact cracked and crumbled but it otherwise unperturbed. Death Arrow!
She had read much about demons, and it was true that they were unpredictable, but having no inner organs was a bother. None of her curses would work, nor would a stab through the chest. They would have to knock it to pieces.
“Hey!” Deena called.
Renatta, unsure if it was to her, glanced down from the rooftop. “Me?”
“I’m afraid there’s no strategy for now. We just need to break it apart, so throw what you can. Just remember that it isn’t organic.”
Chapter Seventy-Six – Attack of Titans
Before them was an elderly woman surrounded by a cute wood workshop of machines and tools and layers of fabrics. Her skin was tinted a sickly green beneath blond locks of hair, and where her eyes should have been, were a pink and blue button sewed to flesh. They somehow were still able to see, however, as she did her job as any craftsman would. Said job, being a seamstress, was easier for her, as hanging from her body were many loose strings that she controlled as any would do so with arms.
Kevin watched as she completed the last strand of her project. This time, his skin was only as white as his ginger nature allowed. It surprised himself that he wasn’t terrified.
“So you were able to find what I asked about?” Eldrian had waited patiently for her to be finished. “I know it was an odd, tricky request.”
Chapter Seventy-Four – Face to Faceless
Only the girl’s neck to her head—covered with golden locks—was visible in the mirror due to her stature, so she had to step on the tips of her toes occasionally to see the ends. This normally didn’t bother her, but her fury had grown hotter with each passing day. Her best friend, which she referred to affectionately as a sister, had been taken away, and not only that but they failed against Eldrian’s friends, and were thrown aside by Tyreth.
All she truly wanted was princess-status, with unlimited wealth and daily praise. Was that so much to ask? Instead, she still lived in the same run-down house, but alone.
What bothered her even more was that her pendant, the one with a skull and crescent moon, was stolen. She was using it to puppet skeletons she dug up from the local cemetery, but one corpse moved on its own. It stormed away with the necklace around its neck. So she was out a sister and a magic item.
Chapter Seventy-Three – Runnin’ with the Devil
Everybody gathered, again at Deena’s house. Perhaps she was getting used to it, or perhaps she was biding her time to one day kill them all for intruding on her home for the hundredth time. Either way, Eldrian explained all he knew—about Rend, about Kali.
“But no leads,” Deena immediately said.
“No, but I figure with all of us, we can start looking into it tomorrow. We’ll probably discover something. But also, everybody be as careful as possible. Any of those guys could be after us. Watch your backs. Stay in public, where they wouldn’t dare out themselves.”
“Roger!” Renatta said. “I will not be hypnotized into trying to kill you again.”
“That’s good to know.”