I hadn't known Gus long, but his tone of voice was serious enough to seem out of character. "Why is this not a good thing?" I asked. "She saved my neck!"
"That part is a good thing, sure," he said. "But owing Kivra a favor is definitely a bad thing."
"Why is that--" I began.
"With your permission, boss-man," he interrupted urgently, gripping me tightly by the forearm, "you need to learn some mojo fast. We should go back to your office."
"Uh...okay," I said. No sooner had I timidly voiced my assent than he yanked me off down the hallway toward the office.
The door that Kivra had broken had apparently been repaired and replaced. After entering the office, I realized the chair that I'd broken had also been repaired and replaced. The office looked completely normal and free of any supernatural dramatics.
Gus closed the door behind us. "Do you remember that little blood spell thing your predecessor worked on you?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said, still disoriented from Gus' sudden take-charge demeanor.
With an earnest expression, he explained. "That spell gave you access to all the abilities he had. Telekinesis, pyrokinesis, some level of telepathy, strength, regeneration...basically you have the resources to be the biggest badass in Hell. Hell is already full of badasses, so that's saying something."
"So I can set this chair on fire with my mind?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. "And you can take on any number of powerful demons with similar abilities. Because you're the Devil, you're number one. But until you learn to use all that crap that your predecessor dumped on you, you're extremely vulnerable. And your position as King of Hell is a very desirable one. Do you follow what I'm telling you?"
"I'm in charge, but I'm weak," I summarized, "So anybody who wants power has a window of opportunity to take over by getting rid of me before I become too strong for them to take on?"
"Exactly," Gus whispered fearfully. "I can think of about two hundred demons who'd love to take your job, maybe a hundred with the balls to try a coup, and a couple dozen with the skills to pull it off like it was nothing." He gripped me tightly by the shoulders. "Demonkind is gunning for you right now. You gotta prepare."