It was a stupid idea. Just – only I would think of something like it.
“Just walk out there and say you want to meet her,” the other me had suggested. Stupid idea.
Stupider yet, I tried it.
“Hey!” I stood in the middle of a street full of medieval peasants. On one side of the street, before tall buildings that looked straight out of the modern era, there were several knights in shining armor. “Shit-faces!” I called out, marching towards the knights.
The knights lifted their visors. Peasants rushed just out of the way – then turned around and stared. It was like a good old-fashioned showdown. Me on one side of the street, the knights on the other. I began crossing the open space. People gasped and pointed.
“Demon!” More than one cried out. Why? Must be the eyeliner or something.
I marched straight up to the guards, flicking my swords out into my hands. That made them jump and recoil. Ten steps away from them I stopped. “I want to meet the god-slayer!” I declared.
The guards took a good look at each other. Then, as one, they charged at me. Crap.
I took them head on, magic coursing over my swords. Metal clashed on metal, and I began making short work of them. These were certainly not as well trained as those who had been attacking the nuns. I needed no fancy tricks to knock them to the ground and skewer them mercilessly.
The last three, as seemed usual, began to run away. I chased after them, wholly expecting to be led into a trap. They would round a corner and bam! There would be a hundred of them and I would be screwed.
But still, I chased after them. Maybe because I trusted the Sephira to be watching out for me? Maybe, more likely, I just knew that I had to. I had to do this.
We rounded a corner and the three soldiers disappeared into a building. I chased – and was stopped by a very solid door that refused to open.
“Augh!” I shouted, kicking at the solid glassy thing that was most definitely not fragile. Stepping back, I was thinking of which spell to cast when a voice said “Hey, demon.”
I spun. There, in the middle of the empty street was a young woman, probably in her twenties. She was all in black, a scarf wrapped around her head, wearing a long shirt and jeans with a sword in her hand. “You were looking for me?” she asked, striding forward.
“Are you the god slayer?” I asked sharply. I was busy!
“That is me,” she said crisply, drawing to a stop beside me. The door opened for her, and she waved at me to enter. “Come.”
Uhh. I looked from her to the door, and back. “Why?” I asked.
“Because it’s polite,” she said flatly. “Or do you want to speak in the street?”
I just looked at her. Was this a trap? I really didn’t know what to do.
“Are you a friend of Kuryo?” she asked. “He’s inside.”
“Kuryo?” my eyes flew wide. “I’m looking for him!”
She nodded into the door. Okay. I walked in, senses on high alert.
We were met by the most polite-looking reception desk. The god slayer marched past it, and we went into an elevator. Or at least, it was like an elevator. It sort of lifted us up in a ray of light and vwoosh- we were up on another floor.
“You must tell me what you are here for,” she said as we began walking down a starchy corridor, all white and steel.
“I am here from the Sephira,” I said flatly. “I’m to stop you from killing any more gods.”
“Hmm.” she looked at me from the corner of her eyes. Then, with another ‘hmm’, she smiled. She gestured to a door on the right, the only one there. “Your friend is in here.”
I let her open the door. Our eyes crossed, and she ushered me in with a neutral face. Or was there a smirk?
Cold air struck my face. A smell, a smell of – battlefield? Spices? Somehow, I knew it was Kuryo, and a very unhappy Kuryo at that. Without thinking, I launched into the room.
It was like a giant meat freezer, complete with corpses and all. There, on giant hooks, dangled beings with halos, crowns, and mystical animals wrapped around them. But there, closest to the door-
“Kuryo?” I yelled, running towards him. I skidded on a patch of ice and almost collided with him.
Kuryo spasmed. He was hanging from a hook that was protruding from his collarbone, his eyes rolled back in his head. He wasn’t breathing- but I could tell he wasn’t dead either.
“He hasn’t died. None of them have,” she said calmly, stepping to my side. She crossed her arms, looking Kuryo up and down. “It’s strangely hard to kill them.”
“What?” I looked from her to Kuryo.
She nodded at the room. “These are the ones who wouldn’t die.” Then, tilting her head to the side, she added. “Help me kill them.”
“What?” I fairly yelled. I patted Kuryo’s face, felt his arms. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Searching for some sign of life? There was none, but – I swore he moved, his arms twitching.
“You want to negotiate? Hear me out. You will have your friend back, if and only if you help me kill the last of the gods.”
“What?” I repeated, panic flooding my mind. Kill the last of the gods?
“The gods are a pest on these worlds, and they are cruel and fickle. I will give you back your friend, sans powers, if you help me with the last of the gods.”
“I can’t do that!” Morally, I meant. Killing one god was enough-
“I know who you are,” she said sweetly. “You’re a god slayer too.”
“I am no such thing!” I stepped between her and Kuryo. “I-”
“Chaos,” she said sweetly. “Don’t you want your friend back?” Yet she drew her sword.
Behind me, a tortured sound escaped Kuryo. From the corner of my eye, I saw him spasm, head flinging back. I stepped to him, and his hand gripped at my arm. It was a death-grip, vice like and too strong for Kuryo. His eyes suddenly focused on me, and they were desperate.
She stepped to us, sword scraping over the floor. “Or should I kill him before you? Just to make a point?”
I flicked out my swords – and my arm was yanked. With a sickening thud, I felt the sword slam into flesh. Into Kuryo, dead in the heart.
“NO!” screamed the woman. In a flash her sword swung – I ducked – and Kuryo’s head went rolling. I staggered back, my sword dripping cold blood. The body, headless, didn’t dance or anything. It didn’t even spout blood. It was cold.
But she wasn’t. Her eyes were wide and she was breathing like she’d run a marathon. Wild, her eyes fixated on me. “Where is she? Where- do you have the powers?”
“What powers?” I asked stupidly.