“Azraal is dead,” I announced. “If you look around, you’ll see that a number of your comrades are dead, too. You aren’t winning.” The demons stared back at me inscrutably. I wasn’t sure if they were frozen with fear or smoldering with defiance.
“I was wounded, but I’ve healed. My power is back and, let me tell you, I’m pretty fucking pissed. You all have one chance to give up and go back to Hell before I start killing,” I explained. “If you leave the Realm of the Living, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not punish you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
I was really hoping none of these demons had seen Taken. It might take some of the punch out of my little speech if they realized it was mostly lifted from a movie. None of them were laughing or smirking at me, so I figured I was probably in the clear. “You have until the count of three,” I said. “One…two….”
To my great pleasure, several of them teleported out before I even got to two. There were maybe twenty-five of them left by the time I shouted, “Three!”
I looked around at the rebellious demons, took a deep breath through my nostrils, and closed my eyes. I wasn’t back to full power like I’d implied, so I needed to make the best of what telekinetic prowess I had to scare the rest of them into obedience. I opened my eyes, selected a nearby target, and instantly relocated myself into his body. I arrived amid a shower of bloody chunks of flesh, immediately spotted a new mark, and blasted her to pieces before most of the demons had even reacted to the first kill. Within only a few seconds, I’d telefragged five of them and exhausted almost all the energy I had left. All the other demons had fled in a panic.
Except Kezin. He stood his ground, pointing a clawed finger in my direction reproachfully. “This isn’t over!” he quavered. “You haven’t seen the last of me!” And then, not unexpectedly, he departed.
I scoffed. “It’s like he read that line out of every cheesy movie ever,” I said. “At least Azraal could come up with his own taunts and threats.”
“Yeah,” Jaelin agreed. “Because the cleverness of their banter is really the best way to determine how much of a threat someone is.”
It took me until she had finished speaking to realize she was being sarcastic.