I was covered in my own blood again. This was becoming a regular thing for me.
“Ugh,” I said. “I really need to bring a change of clothes with me whenever I die.”
Fikhos extended an arm to help me up. “How did it go, sir?” he asked. “It didn’t take as long as last time.”
“It went pretty badly, to tell you the truth,” I griped. “Conrad wasn’t very helpful. He didn’t know a thing about the demons in masks. But he did say something interesting about how he needed me to—” I stopped suddenly, feeling my heartbeat pulsing in my temples.
“Sir?” Fikhos said. “Are you okay?”
“How do you know anything about how long it took me to come back from the dead last time?” I asked him. I was pretty sure I already knew the answer.
“What do you mean?” he asked. It was possible that he was genuinely confused, but it was more likely that he was stalling while he floundered about for a lie to cover his mistake.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “The only people that were here the last time I died were Gus, Sylnie, General Gavsot, the prick who killed me, and the unknown demon who rescued him.”
“I heard about it from General Gavsot,” Fikhos said in desperation. But he was backing away from me. He knew I’d figured it out.
“I guess the demon who was working with Niven isn’t so unknown anymore, is he?” I snarled, approaching the traitorous sycophant. “So, what, once you got away clean, you decided to wriggle your way into my inner circle so you and your fucked up friends could spy on me?”
He laughed softly. “Pretty much,” he admitted. “It’s amazing how far a little ass-kissing can take you.”
I glared at him. “I’d tell you to go to Hell,” I said. “But, well…you know.”
I lunged at him and he instinctively teleported. I wrapped my arms around his torso in a flying tackle just as he departed. The two of us collapsed in a heap in the center of what appeared to be a meeting of the very cult I’d been trying to locate.