Kivra’s demons were wisely wary of attacking the ruler of Hell, so they approached us with caution. That gave me a little bit of time to figure out a game plan.
I considered fleeing, but I really needed that army of Pit Guards. I knew that as long as Kivra had the power to stand in my way she would. Which meant that, if Kivra decided to run away, I’d have to chase her and take her down. This would have to be a fight to the death. Or maybe a fight to the incapacitation. I wasn’t really sure if I could kill Kivra.
My best bet for killing her was probably to telefrag her. If I could land a teleportation jump right in her center, maybe I could blow her into a million pieces and actually be rid of her. But I also had to contend with the backup she’d brought. If I went off on a one-on-one fight with Kivra, that left Jaelin on her own against twelve demons who were all at least twice her size. But if I landed a direct telefrag on Kivra right away, maybe I could call them off.
Some of the demons were peeling off from the group to circle around behind us. I decided that the time for action was about thirty seconds ago, but that acting now was still better than waiting any longer. I glanced over toward Kivra, focused, and jumped.
I appeared exactly where I’d wanted to, but Kivra had moved. I felt my wrist materialize halfway up her forearm, but the rest of me was in its own space. As her severed hand fell to the ground, she let out an agonized shriek that made every single one of her goons’ heads snap in our direction.
Kivra’s reflexes were good—less than a second after I’d appeared and removed her left hand, her right hand was swinging toward my face, claws forward. I ducked and rolled out of the way, but by the time I got to my feet, ten of her demons had teleported over to protect their master.