Jaelin and I watched intently from our vantage point at the edge of sector 140. My confidence was giving way to a nauseating fear. There was guilt, too. As much as I rationalized the expected losses of Pit Guards and demons, I wondered how many of them were about to die because of my military hubris. I wasn’t a general. Who was I to lead the denizens of Hell into a slaughter? Sure, they were demons and monsters, but the only friends I had these days were demons and monsters.
Apparently sensing my inner turmoil, Jaelin said quietly, “This is going to work.”
I gave her a weak, appreciative smile and turned my gaze back to the battlefield. “Yeah, that’s what we thought last time,” I muttered.
Just before the first of the Pit Guards collided with the defensive line, hundreds of demons teleported in behind the Firstborn army. Halkkor’s forces were immediately torn between a larger army of weaker enemies in front of them and a smaller group of more lethal warriors behind them. The confusion was visible even from our distant perspective.
“Okay, let’s go,” I said to Jaelin. “I’ll be aiming for about dead center.” She nodded and we both teleported away.
We appeared a few yards away from each other, immediately immersed in the chaos of combat behind the Firstborn lines. I had less than a second to get my bearings before I was ducking beneath the swiping arm blades of our grotesque adversaries and swinging my own weapon in return. The Firstborn lines were thin—in a few places the demon forces were already meeting up with the Pit Guards from the other side.
But our advantage wasn’t absolute. A few feet away from me, one of Halkkor’s soldiers dispatched two demons and six Pit Guards on his own in mere seconds. And it was obvious, after only a minute or two, that the element of surprise was wearing off rapidly and Lucifer’s Firstborn were adapting to fighting both halves of my army simultaneously.
And then, with a shockwave of pale white light and a gust of air, all my demons were gone.