"So what's the situation?" I asked. "How many are there?"
"Five that I've seen," Talamur said. "They're wreaking as much havoc as possible, mostly, moving from one building to the next, breaking windows, starting fires, and of course killing people."
“And you’ve been fighting them alone?” Jaelin asked, clearly impressed.
Talamur shrugged modestly. “I’ve been stranded up here for a long time. I’ve picked up some tricks they don’t know about.”
“Tricks?” Jaelin replied with a raised eyebrow. “That sounds fun.”
“Not for that guy, it isn’t,” Talamur said, jabbing a thumb toward the unconscious demon in the grass behind him.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” I said, “Why are you trying to stop them? I mean…they’re demons, you’re a demon…you know. You don’t share similar goals?”
Talamur gave me a stern but slightly amused look. “That’s kind of racist, wouldn’t you say?”
Fikhos let out an explosive snort as a prelude to a fit of laughter. “Trust me, Talamur, this Devil has a reputation for being a little more enlightened than most. He even made a pit guard the Director of Development.”
“You mean Construction,” Talamur corrected.
“No, Development,” Jaelin assured him.
“Developstruction,” I said exasperatedly. “You still didn’t answer my question. What’s your stake in all this? Why are you trying to fend off the demons?”
“This realm has become my home since I’ve been trapped here,” he said. “I was really angry for a really long time and I took a lot of that out on humans. But they’re not that bad, actually. Not as bad as demons, anyway. These people don’t deserve what the invaders are trying to do to them.”
“Spoken like a human,” Fikhos said oddly. It was difficult to tell whether he was expressing disgust or admiration.
An antique shop down the road exploded suddenly, sending fragments of ornamental vases and grandfather clocks skyward. Talamur gestured broadly toward the disturbance. “Shall we?”