Niven was hesitant to provide me with information but I was doing my best to be persuasive. Soon I’d stripped enough flesh from his body that his defiance started to go with it. I kept him pressed firmly to the wall, hemmed in by the two rickety beds. He was completely at my mercy, and for all his bravado he was starting to realize it.
“Where is Rathros?” I asked him again, passing the sword off to Sylnie. For the past few minutes, she’d been honing her limited demonic skills by trying to burn the blood from the surface of the metal. Some of her attempts had yielded mild success.
“Fine,” Niven said hoarsely. “I’ll be honest with you.”
“Awesome,” I said thinly.
“I don’t know.”
I rolled my eyes. “Thanks. You’ve been such a big help.”
“I don’t know where Rathros is,” he repeated. “Honestly. I was sent here to kill him. As far as I knew, he was supposed to be here.”
That caught me a little by surprise. Apparently it did the same to Jaelin. “You were sent to kill Rathros?” she blurted.
Niven nodded wearily.
“Who sent you?” I asked. It seemed like the next logical question.
The late Halkkor’s second in command smiled grotesquely, revealing rows of tiny, needle-like teeth. “Your mother,” he sneered.
“Oh, funny,” I commented, plucking my sword from Sylnie’s hands, digging its tip into Niven’s shoulder and twisting. “I think you should probably drop the macho wisecracks and actually answer the question. I’m running out of skin to slice open.”
“I won’t tell you who,” Niven said flatly. “No matter how much you cut and chop and threaten, I won’t tell you.”
“Don’t tell me you’re loyal to a demon,” I scoffed. “I thought the Firstborn were supposed to be the purer species.”
“It’s not loyalty,” he snarled. “It’s survival. The demon I’m stuck working for is much more creative than you are when it comes to punishments. I won’t reveal his identity.”
I believed him. “Then I guess I’ll have to get more creative,” I said with as much menace as I could muster.
He gave an unimpressed shrug. "Or you could kill me. That'll be simpler."