Two blocks from the main road, an auto body shop was in flames. On the street in front of it was an overturned fire truck that looked like it had been snapped in half and set on fire. A few other buildings in the area had smaller blazes as well. It looked like someone was running from building to building on an arson spree.
“Something’s not right about this,” I said slowly, staring at the fiery scene before us.
“Yeah, the whole town is burning down,” Jaelin snapped sarcastically. At least she was talking to me now.
“No, I mean…besides that, something doesn’t look right. I can’t figure it out.”
“Where are the people of the Living Realm?” Fikhos asked pointedly.
That was it. There were no people. No fire fighters were visible. No one was fleeing from burning buildings. Nobody was even standing outside watching the tragedy unfold. Lyonsville was not densely populated, but fires of this size tended to have victims, concerned citizens, onlookers and emergency response personnel. There should have been people.
“How can there be no people?” I said. “Are they hiding or did the demons kill them all?”
We slowly approached the burning garage. As we got closer, we could see a fireman’s body, severed at the shoulders, resting beside the burning wreckage of his vehicle. Through the window of the repair shop a mechanic’s grisly corpse was visible, although his arms and legs were missing.
Fikhos answered the question I’d asked before our period of stunned silence. “Maybe both.”
An explosion rocked the building across the street, which appeared to be an old house converted into an antique shop. The second floor had been smoldering a moment ago and was now engulfed in flames. A purple demon crashed backwards through a ground floor window and landed heavily on the pavement outside. As he got to his feet, a dark brown demon leaped nimbly out through the shattered glass and approached him like was about to seriously fuck him up.
Jaelin’s breath audibly caught in her throat. I glanced at her and was surprised to see her staring at the two demons with teary eyes. “Talamur,” she whispered.