B4 — 25. Unexpected Turn Of Events

PoV:

1. Rachel Park (Our Lunar Hare!)

Recap:  Xazzos has been turned to smoking organs and Nia is about to sleep for the rest of the day!  However, our girls are still trapped in this nightmare and Rachel needs to find a way out!  How is she going to overcome the odds that are stacking up against her?!

Let’s see what Fate brings us next!

I want to thank my patrons for continuing to support me:

Kriden, Dantalia, Gordon Freeman, Thomas Borrmann, Kyle Markman, John Haywood, RedWolf17, Edward O’Neil, Morgan McLees, and my other Patrons!


Rachel broke past the last group of demonic insects with Grace and Gisele trailing behind to clean up those the bunny gang and she missed.  Ears were still scanning for Maria but quick movement dampened her long-range hearing.

Nia had fallen asleep a few minutes ago, and after breaking past the initial wave, the main group had changed course to hover around the airfield.  Their changing motive made it clear to Rachel that they were following a different order than she was led to believe and that it might have been on purpose.

Asher made it sound like the swarm would continue to mob them until they were dead, but in reality, they only came to the ritual location to drive them off.

A small throng still pursued them, but it was far less than it could have been; Rachel wondered if the devilish man expected Xazzos to kill them by the point they arrived.  Being underestimated wasn’t a happy thing for Rachel, but it was acceptable, if only for her to show them how wrong they were.

Unfortunately, there was one thing that would stop her, and it was causing her heaving chest and burning limbs—fatigue.  Really … I know I’m not supposed to be a drawn-out fighter, and Xazzos managed to blast me pretty hard, but I shouldn’t be getting this tired…

Lungs pumping furiously, she guided the group between two closely built houses on the dirt road they were traveling through, trying to still her thumping heart.

“One … moment,” she breathed, seeing a few spots across her vision; it was then she realized she’d been fighting non-stop for the past thirty minutes.  “Cover the exits and sky.”

Gisele sat near the top of the roof, waiting to strike the flying insects with her beams until they came closer to not draw notice from any of the other packs in the air.  Hayan took the northern opening while Coral and Rose posted up near the south.

The cowgirl didn’t seem to be faring any better than her, drooping into Jim’s saddle with a low groan and resting her head against his neck.  “Mhm-hmm-hmm-hmm … My hand’s numb,” she cried.  “I’m starting to miss shots … How many have we even killed?”

“A lot,” Rachel whispered, pulling her braided pink hair over her shoulder; the action made her aware of the white and orange streaks going down it.

Well … that’s new.

Sliding down the side of the building to her butt and settling into the overgrown grass between the structures, Rachel played with the end of her hair.  “Take five … There’s only about fifteen left on our tail—the others are taking up some kind of formation around the ritual.”

“Great!”  Grace mumbled, turning her head the opposite way and adjusting her hat to look down at her.  “So … hear anythin’ on the horsewoman that doesn’t look like a horse?  Well … in the ways that count—or should those curves count in that department?”  she snickered.

Rachel placed a hand on her heart, realizing it was beating so much faster than a human’s.  “Nothing yet … I’ve found six Wolfgangs in total, three of which have gone off the radar.”

“The one we’re headin’ toward?”  Grace asked, forcing herself up to rub out her stiff, trembling fingers.  “That’d suck after we fought through that hornet’s nest.”

“No, he’s still there; in fact, I don’t think he even knows what’s happening outside.”

The Wolfgang she was focused on was inside the basement of what appeared to be a massive complex of buildings, sifting through papers, writing notes, and seemingly organizing thoughts while muttering to the female demon next to him.  Not another soul could be heard in the building.

Her pets cleared up the remaining bugs, Hayan battling it out with a big worm-like fiend that snaked through the ground like it was water.  The insectoid’s open stomach oozed an acidic spittal from its tongue-like underside that flicked out to snatch its prey or spike it on one of its many twitching fangs; it kept trying to pin the blob, but he simply opened up a hole in himself to bypass the attack method.

Rachel had no clue how the thing actually ate its food since it had a mouth with dozens of thin, pointed teeth, and she didn’t want to.

The front end of the structure she was facing was blown in as Hayan sent its upper half flying into it; the buns seemed to be building strength their entire fight instead of exhausting, and Rachel was reminded of the Energizer Bunny, which put a smile on her lips.

“So, what’s the plan?”  asked the cowgirl, her hands working down her left thigh now to get blood pumping into it.  “Hate to say I’m losin’ steam, but … my train ain’t runnin’ how it should be.”

“I get it,” Rachel sighed, leaning her head back against the sheet metal lining the building’s walls.  “Rest for a bit; we can’t rescue Maria if we burn out before getting there, and the…”

She rubbed her forehead and closed her eyes as the worm’s tail blew out a wall inside the house, Rose and Coral finishing their targets and slamming through the window to help their brother.  “I haven’t fought this long before … Let’s pace ourselves to the facility.”

Grace grinned.  “Guess even you have some limits, huh?”

“Meaning?”

The girl swung her right leg over her horse, adjusting her hat while dropping to the ground.  Patting Jim’s neck, she dismissed him and sank down the opposite wall to face her.  “Ugh … Just sayin’ ya seem to be the spark behind your little group that gives the TNT its kick; I don’t know if we’d have made it outta the last fight—heh, heck, I’d probably be dead had ya not stood up for me yesterday.”

Grace puffed out a long, whistling breath while scratching her right ear.  “Crazy to think about, really … I could be dead right now because I jumped the gun—still sad about that one Máximo guy.  Was he a cool dude?”

Rachel lifted her eyes to look at Gisele, protectively keeping a watchful eye on the skies to make sure they weren’t ambushed.  She hummed with a short shake of her head, “He was a loser—although, I suppose it’s a product of his environment.  I don’t think we would have been able to get here as fast as we did if he was still around—I don’t know … I can’t say I’m sad he’s gone, as bad as that sounds.”

Carefully maneuvering her bangs, Grace’s lips pulled to the side.  “Mmh … I mean, sure, I don’t have the empathy to care about everyone, but I feel bad for taking a man’s life when I didn’t have to.  Uh … What’s his girl doin’?”

Rachel grimaced, scanning for the pair; her brow furrowed as she sat a little straighter, leaning forward a little to shift her ears with her head.  “I … can’t hear them … They might be out of my range or not talking, but I haven’t caught their voices for a while now.”

“Hmh, spooky,” Grace mumbled.  “I was hoping they’d be okay.”

Rachel’s eyes shifted to the side and she puffed out a long stream of air; her muscles were still sore from the attack Xazzos made against her but they needed to get going.  “Scarlet’s gang are trying to lay low; I’ve heard Armand running around for a while—half the city is rubble.”

Grace gently reached over to grip under her armpit and slowly stretched out her left arm.  “Mmgh … Okay, so, what’s the plan?”

Getting to her feet, Rachel huffed, leaning left and right herself to get ready to go.  “Not a clue.  Capture Wolfgang—force him to talk—that’s all I’ve got.  If that doesn’t pan out, then we figure something else out.”

“Plan Improvise!”  Grace laughed, twisting her interlocked fingers around while applying pressure to her elbows and wrists.  “Now you’re talkin’ my language!  Wanna join me on Jim—save a lil’ energy?”  she asked, summoning the large animal and putting one hand on her hip and the other on his side.  “I’m not really the frontline’s type, if ya haven’t noticed.”

Lips parting for a second, her blue eyes darted to the left.  “Eh … not that I can’t handle a fist to the face … It’s just not my specialty—gal’s gotta worry about her looks, too.”

“Heh, I get it,” Rachel smiled, taking a deep breath before appraising Jim; it would give her time to go over her new passive and Nia’s skill.  “I’ve … never been on a horse.”

Grace’s teeth flashed as she held out a welcoming hand.  “Don’t sweat it!  You can ride in back, and we’ll take it nice and slow—eh-he-he, I mean, Jim’s kind of tired after that tug-of-war with that stacked blue lump of muscle.”

Her expression turned forced.  “Was … I, heh, the only one trying not to look between his legs?  Not that—I’m just saying,” she ran her hand through her hair and put her hat back on.  “I don’t know, just felt wrong, ya know?”

Rachel looked up, shaking her head; Grace had a way of lightening the mood.  “Can’t say I was too focused on that with his ax swinging at my face—it’s not like there was anything there.”

Grace’s lips tightened, finding too much interest in the wall.  “I mean, do we really know that?  Plenty of animals hide their junk until—yeah…”  A shiver ran down her frame as she tightened her hat.  “Eh, heh, just me, I guess—if you could keep that between us after all the flack I give Scarlet.”

“Just between us; you’re lucky Nia’s asleep—who knows how she’d react,” Rachel laughed at the girl’s red cheeks.  “Anyway, what do I do?”

Flush clearing as swiftly as it came, Grace got up and helped her situate behind.  “There we go … now ya gotta wiggle your hips with the horse; heh, it’s why they call it ridin’, and not sittin’.”

Rachel couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous and uncomfortable with how the process pressed her against the girl’s back and against her rear end; Jim’s rising and falling sides against her legs didn’t help with the sensation.  “I’ve … never ridden a horse before,” she mumbled.

“Heh, ya don’t say?”  Grace snickered, grabbing the reins and adjusting Rachel’s legs a little to properly straddle the horse and her positioning.  “Just don’t make it weird, and we’ll be good!  Oh, and you’ll need to hug my stomach—we’re gonna be movin’ kind of fast, but I’ve seen how balanced ya are while runnin’, so it should be fine.”

She didn’t respond, tightening her grip around her gut, causing Grace to wince and tap her arm.

“Oof…”

“S-Sorry,” Rachel mumbled, easing up a little.  “You okay?”

“Heh—right as rain … Hey, and I thought the Vamp squeezed hard,” she wheezed with a chuckle.  “No, problem—just watch my ribs and follow my lead.  Not wantin’ to throw up everything I drank!”

Relax…

Grace’s abs tightened.  “Ever ridden a motorcycle?”  she asked, patting Jim’s side and causing him to walk forward at a slow pace.

“Mhm-uh…”

“Shame,” Grace sighed.  “Well, it’ll be slowly picking up the pace—ya good to give me directions?  Heh, by the way, ya got really smooth hands for a brawler.”

Rachel gave the back of her head a light glare.  “I thought we weren’t going to make this weird.”

“Just an observation!”  Grace defended.

“Ugh…”  Rachel puffed out a long breath, releasing tension while feeling the horse’s powerful muscles work beneath her and its gentle trot press her further against Grace’s soft body.  “Yeah, it’s only a few fields away to our southwest—huge buildings by the noise of the generators still running there.”

“Alright.  Hold … eh, not too tight!  Don’t need a pukin’ navigator at the reins.  Let’s go, Jim!”

Hayan and the rest of the crew had been in what seemed to be a game with the demonic worm they’d been fighting the entire time Rachel and Grace rested; they appeared to be seeing who could deal the most damage in a given combination attack, taking turns.  The worm had been split into a few pieces as they tore it apart, but the head still operated, determined to kill the puff bun.

When they noticed Rachel getting ready to go, all three charged forward and obliterated its head with a lunar charged tackle.  Her brow furrowed upon seeing the creature drop a small chest that seemed to magically appear out of blue flames—Cahira was nearing them again, and it put a chilling question in Rachel’s mind.

If that thing dropped items, does that mean Xazzos wasn’t killed, and he’ll regenerate over time, or has Cahira just come back within range for her passive to activate?

Somewhat uneasy at the likely answer, Rachel put it to the back of her thoughts to focus on the advancing and new skills she’d gained.  She needed a better grasp of her abilities and identifying what she could advance further.

Rachel’s mind quickly receded as Jim carried them into a gallop; it wasn’t as challenging to balance as she thought when allowing her instincts to direct her motion with Jim and Grace while focusing on the upgrades she’d just received.

The somber atmosphere of seeing bloodied sacrificial altars, crucified people, or the wandering lesser demons in their path faded away, trusting Grace, her bunnies, and Gisele to handle the fodder.

I’ve certainly come a long way since huddling in a corner with Zoe at college … Without a doubt, Nia and my maximum Lunar Pool increases are the largest gains.  Lunar Surge mixed with my new cap is going to put my strength on another level—although, it doesn’t increase my speed by a significant margin.  Force does have a minor effect on Dexterity, but minimal.  The problem is…

Her gaze lifted to the sparking crimson lightning covering the infernal barrier blocking her access to the moon.  Gisele was spiraling through the air, practically singing by the hum in her voice; she seemed happy with the body count she’d racked up, somehow even larger than all three of her buns.

The Lunar Phoenix’s brilliant feathers were dimmed by quite a bit and singed in several areas from what Rachel could see with her enhanced vision, but that couldn’t dampen Gisele’s spirits.

A grimace touched Rachel’s lips as the thought crossed her mind again; she didn’t want to do it, but having Gisele recharge as much of her Lunar Pool as possible might be her only option.

Focus shifting to the three buns sticking just above Jim’s rear, scanning the landscape for danger to intercept, Rachel discovered the option to absorb them blocked.  Hayan was becoming a bit salty with Gisele because of her increased speed, beating them to the punch.

I might need to sacrifice them to increase my Lunar Pool … I can’t?  That’s … unexpected.  One of the unintended conditions in putting Nia over them was that I relinquished control, and she gained full authority, and she’s passed out.  Luckily, Gisele is still somewhat independent of Nia since she wasn’t attached to my Skills.

Still, I’ve just increased my max Power and Toughness Stats by over 262.5% at my complete 315% Lunar Pool.  I’ve essentially tripled my output … I shouldn’t underestimate Xazzos if he was actually fighting seriously.  If he does come back … No, if I want to fight Asher, then I’ll need to be at my peak.

It surprised her, but Rachel didn’t want to give up her little pets; they’d been invaluable in allowing her to focus on the primary threat without splitting her attention between two war fronts—she might not have a choice, though.

Grace’s belly tightened, showing more muscle than Rachel thought there’d be.  “Hmm?  Something up, Rachel … No, wait, it’s Lunar Abyss, right?”  she snickered.

Rachel’s fingers tightened around the girl’s abdomen; her mental processing had quickened considerably because they hadn’t gone far by the time she’d analyzed her Skills.

The reason for her changed hair became clear, though; naturally, Flush Lunar Energy was her main Lunar Source, and her unconscious mind didn’t want to lose its enhancing affixes.  In response, Lunar Diversity’s conditions increased to allow her to set one as primary.  Still, 153.9% a week could be problematic in a lot of circumstances.

Her weekly cost had taken effect two days ago, which meant she had five days to build it up, but the future was a concern; if she wanted to live, she had to sacrifice half of her Lunar Pool a week and rebuild it.  At the wrong moment, it would drop her Healthy Status into the red, and she didn’t have an immortality Skill like Maria—which maybe she should consider working toward.

Pulling her mind away from the troubling thoughts, Rachel sighed; the secret was out about Nia’s little pranks.  “Nia’s nickname … Umm, I’m just thinking about our future battles.  Do you have any way to recover your strength?”

A hiss passed through Grace’s teeth as she maneuvered Jim into a faster gallop.  “Eh  … I wish there was somethin’ nearby, but I’ve been havin’ to increase my stopping power and ability to identify weaknesses to target; unfortunately, my recovery is based on booze…”

Looking around at the half-burned and ravaged metropolis, Rachel hummed.  “There might be some bars left standing.”

“Eh…”  Grace took one hand off the reins to push up her hat a little and scan the demolished farmland and carnage; blood was visible everywhere, from dragged across the roads to pained into warnings or symbols.  “Ya think the locals would let a drop go untouched after livin’ through this for two weeks?  I think I’m outta luck.”

“True … Let’s hurry, then…”

Rachel paused, large ears twitching before refocusing to follow Scarlet, Fiona, and Relica’s conversation.  Their response made her groan, sucking in air through her tight lips.  “Ugh … Scarlet thinks Armand is guarding the place Maria is being held.”

Making it to a treeline, Jim slowed on Grace’s prompt.  “Should we back them up?”

She took a moment to ponder the rough time Scarlet was having after being injured by Xazzos.  If I did go, we could lose this option, and if she’s wrong, we’d be back to step one.

Rachel watched Gisele leisurely hovering nearby.  I’d need to absorb her Lunar Energy to restore my stamina before I fight something as strong as Armand … If Xazzos is some mid-tier demon, Armand is on another level; he’s already basically demolished most of the city just moving through it.  I can make use of his bulk, but if he can shrink down, which is likely, it could be a problem.

Shaking her head, she shifted her hips, leaning into Grace again.  “No—we keep going.  They’re working their angle, and we’ll work ours.  Let’s hurry … It’s just beyond this thicket.”

“On it, boss!”

They shot forward, Jim rushing into a sprint as Gisele weaved through the undergrowth with them; the horse found expert footing with Grace’s guidance, and before long, they made it to a massive facility.

The partially standing sign outside the massive facilities read Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas José Martí.  

[i.e., José Martí University of Pedagogical Sciences]

What had been teal colors walls, green grass, well-laid concrete, monuments, or buildings was now a crumbled, half-destroyed ruin.  What seemed to be university professors had been tied to the flag poles by their necks and lifted into the sky with their bellies cut open for what ravens in the area could pick clean.

A mass suicide by hanging seemed to have been attempted off the roof from what she could see, but by the looks of things, the demons had gotten to them while they were choking.  Spanish phrases could be seen painted across the still visible parts of the wall that Rachel couldn’t read, but she knew enough to know what infierno meant … messages about the underworld.

“Wow…”  Grace whispered, sliding off Jim after Rachel descended.  “I just realized I can’t even hear insects in this place … Maybe that’s what all these demon things are,” she mumbled, rubbing her left arm while following her into a nearby building.

Gisele, Hayan, Rose, and Coral protectively jumped ahead of her, but Rachel had already thoroughly scouted the area out with her hearing; then again, she had to remind herself that there was more than one creature as of late that bypassed her perceptive staple abilities.  Still, she could only hear two personages inside.

Walking into the halls, Rachel’s full visual scope caught every gruesome detail; women, children, men, the elderly, it didn’t seem to matter.  The cult that had given their lives for Asher’s ritual appeared to have made this area a prime example of furthering their devotion to their satanic cause.

Occult symbols were cut into bodies of people that had been staked to walls or tables in broken conditions; hammers were probably used for crushing bone and stopping escape or resistance, and nails through fingers to boards had been set up for half-finished rituals that seemed abandoned.

Making it to the stairs, Gisele landed on her shoulder as Rachel descended, heading for the soft muttering of the German man; she moved carefully, keeping her senses sharp to identify any hidden threats, but nothing met them other than the horrors of demonic minds made manifest in nightmarish artistic form.

Hayan and Rose rammed the door as she neared, breaking it off its hinges and sending it sliding across the floor; the occupants looked up with mild surprise as Rachel hovered in the dark hallway, glowing eyes and pink hair illuminating the space.

Wolfgang wasn’t smiling as he set his papers on the side of the desk in front of him.  Leaning forward to place his elbows on the surface and link his fingers, the young man brought the steepled fingernails to his lips and nose in a premeditated look.

His deep blue eyes were somewhat covered by his mess of sandy blonde hair.  Wolfgang met Rachel’s stare without a hint of fear, seeming to peer right past her and into her soul.

The silence stretched as Rachel paid close attention to every muscle twitch the Angel of Death’s personification made; Grace shifted uncomfortably behind her, small pistol out.  Her slimes surrounded the pair, and Gisele’s sharp eyes were fixated on the blonde, ready to blast his face with Moonfire.

A black-haired demonic woman with tattoos, bone-like tattered wings that seemed to be composed of moving blood and veins flared out while generating a gentle wind without motion.

The sounds her body made were unnatural, similar to Scarlet’s in a way that made Rachel sure she wasn’t human.  Since the area had been isolated the entire time, and Relica knew all the key players without mentioning this woman, Rachel was left to assume this was a real demon, similar to Xazzos.

Her long, silky, perfect locks framed her smooth face, and monstrous horns branched out from the back of her head to curve into a w-shape.  She wore a low-cut strapless red shirt and black leather pants that clung to her impossibly thin sides and thick hips; in her hands was a large black purse.

 A succulent and secretive smile moved her cherry lips and slit-crimson gaze as her long, reverse-barbed tail curled around her legs; in Rachel’s mind, she could have been Maëlle’s cousin.

Wolfgang spoke first, his tone even and perfectly controlled.  “I assume you are one of the figures Asher warned us about.  You seek your friend,” he said, sitting back and plucking out a folder from a pile beside him and opening it.  “I cannot help you.  You may leave without closing the door—seeing as you’ve broken it.”

Hayan jumped inside, bravely willing to test the waters with his sisters following shortly after, and when nothing happened, Rachel made her way in.  Grace kept her focus on the silent demonic woman as her laughing gaze moved over them.

“I think not, Wolfgang.  You will help me,” she stated, closing the distance and reaching out to snatch a handful of his folders.

The woman’s tail shot out like a viper, far faster than Maëlle’s, but Wolfgang held up a hand, vision still on his file; the demon was fast and would have likely grazed her.  “No need, Yseress … I’m finished with those reports.”

Calling his bluff, Rachel held her ground and tossed the folders for Coral to open her big mouth and swallow it whole.  “How many do I need to destroy?  Research is your passion.  How much data are you willing to lose?”

Grace was a hair’s breadth away from pulling the trigger and shooting Yseress in the eyes, yet held her gun steady for orders, even if nervous.

Wolfgang sighed, looking up at her again.  “Do you really think you’ll make it out alive?  I assume you took care of Xazzos—at least for a while, and you believe you’re strong enough to face Yseress?  You know she is a class above Xazzos within their demonic hierarchy?  She is quite mannered, too, unlike the pompous brute.”

The information only told Rachel that she’d need to have Gisele use that Skill.  I’m far stronger than I was, and if I can increase my Lunar Pool to increase my strength and durability, I should stand a chance.

He looked down at his papers and frowned when she didn’t back down; Rachel put a finger on the desk, and then another, tempting him while slowly moving toward another set of files.

“Hmm … I do admit, you have a certain … look to your spirit that I find mildly intriguing.  To have an intertwined soul with a living being infusing the clothing you wear … Seems something Relica would be fascinated in.  Still, the results are what I’d like to know.”

Wolfgang reached over to another pile and pulled out a few papers to flip through the pages.  “Mmh … I do find English to put me in a better mood at times,” he whispered, handing Yseress the paper after a few seconds.  “Escort them to the bunker location, observe, and report.  I know you don’t like getting your hands dirty when necessary.”

Yseress pulled a finger away from her bag and took the file, shifting her hips to the left and releasing a low, harmonic chuckle.  “English … is this the tongue you’ve moved to?  A curious twist to the tongue,” she mused, opening the bag to reveal several clawed, demonic hands that reached out to snatch the item and return it to its depths.  “It should not take long, Master.  You mean for them to deal with Armand?”

Rachel was taken aback by the turn of events, Grace even more so.

“Wait,” the girl’s lips parted in question, “you’re … going to help us?”

A soft popping emitted from the demoness’s throat.  “No, Earthling.  I am going to lead you to your doom before killing Armand myself.”

Grace’s focus shot back to Wolfgang.  “Huh?”

“It’s elementary, really,” the young man stated, leaning back while moving through more research papers.  “I had a use for Asher and Armand; they had a use for me.  Asher has completed his project; Armand has risen to the heights he will reach within this confined field … might I add, given his, quite frankly, limited intellect.  Foreseeing this outcome, I utilized both Relica and Asher’s projects to create a perfected one of my own.”

He gestured at Yseress.  “Now, I have more to ponder on our next steps once Asher releases his demon on the world; I have a liaison now, after all.  This particular entity that Asher fantasizes about is far more patient in his plans … Yseress assures me that conquest will take time.”

The woman smiled amenably.  “Of course, Master.  I follow your every command, and Abraxas is mighty … far more powerful than I, yet there are creatures even stronger than he lingering beyond sight on this planet.  He will move cautiously and needs allies.”

Wolfgang nodded, leaving the demoness to bow slowly, and walked around the desk while folding her massive wings; the taps of her stiletto heels against the concrete echoed through the room as she leveled a smirk in Rachel’s direction.  “Shall we, human changelings?”

Grace kept her gun aimed at her eye.  “Eh … Rachel?  We aren’t seriously doing this, right?  It’s like … red flag city!  Look at her!”

Yseress’s lips fell a bit, glancing down at her outfit.  “I do wear red—although, I would call it more salmon-colored from the times I’ve spent in Earth’s other parallel worlds.  None like this, of course; I do find this dimension far more intriguing.”

Rachel had been closely examining Wolfgang; his interest in them had utterly washed away.  Improvise … A demon woman that comes from a Hades-like dimension and has been to multiple Earths.  This place really has been out of our league from the start.  I suppose that’s what you get from massacring nearly two hundred and sixty thousand people and using their lives as fuel.

“Rachel?”  Grace forced a chuckle.  “Right?  I’m all for improvising, but this, uh … this feels dirty…”

A short huff blew through Yseress’s nose as she glared at Grace, shifting her bag to the opposite side while straightening.  “I am far from dirty, human meat sack.  On the contrary, you are quite hideous and smell atrocious.  Would a dolorgas even lick you?  I think not.”

Her imperial eyes turned to Rachel.  “I was under the impression you two were in a hurry to save some precious soul of yours from being snuffed out.  I suppose you must not care that much after all.”

Rachel kept her ears peaked; she wanted to face this fancy demoness, but Maria came first, and due to the tiny twitches her body made, she was sure something more was happening beneath the surface of this creature’s facade.  Her instincts told her that there was misfortune ahead for Wolfgang, and it intrigued her.

Turning away, Rachel motioned for Grace to follow.  “If she can lead us to Maria, then we’ll gladly take her guidance, and if she turns on us, we kill her.”

Grace popped her lips and slowly nodded.  “Mmh … Well, roll the dice, I guess.  Alright, let’s go, ya sassy cow.”

Yseress followed with her pets, watching her from the rear.  “Sassy cow?  How sad, a human that has never witnessed a cow.  The ignorance.”


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