“Terms?” I echoed the messenger. “What kind of terms did you suggest to Halkkor?” Had Kivra attempted to ally with Halkkor? It wasn’t such an outlandish possibility, but it hadn’t occurred to me until just now. Had she used the Halkkor crisis to her advantage, despite his apparently unwavering determination to eradicate demonkind?
“Shut up,” she answered me languidly. Then, with frightening speed, she turned around, claws flashing, and disemboweled her courier. And slit her throat. And gouged out her eyes. And I’m pretty sure a talon or two was inserted into the demon’s rectum. All of this happened over the course of about three seconds.
Kivra, standing over her bleeding subordinate, chastised her thunderously—it was obviously intended to be a public censure, as even Kivra’s hardened guards failed to completely mask their terror at what they were witnessing.
“Now I realize that I never specifically mentioned this to you,” Kivra sneered at her helpless aide with supreme disdain, “But I had assumed that, even to a worthless imbecile like you, it was unmistakably obvious that when I enlisted your help to make a deal behind the Devil’s back, it was of the highest fucking priority that the Devil not know what I was up to, you pathetic little fuckwit!”
The demon at her feet reached up toward her with a bloody arm and gurgled something. Kivra put her foot on her servant’s neck and applied firm pressure. It was not a move intended to stop the bleeding. “Shush,” Kivra said chidingly, “Let’s not spoil this moment by having you speak to me. I like it better when I can at least pretend that you’re dead.”
I decided to spoil Kivra’s moment by reminding her that I was alive too. “What deal did you make with Halkkor?” I asked her, trying to imbue my voice with as much strength and authority as I could.
Turning away from her prey to face me, she flashed me a fake smile and said, “None, apparently. Somebody had to go and double cross him and now he’s totally abandoned every option that doesn’t involve the extermination of the demons.”