"Okay, okay," I admitted. "I'm partly responsible for what happened to Vilnius. But I didn't have much of a choice. If I hadn't used a spell on him, he would have taken Hell from me. And if I hadn't ordered him to attack Halkkor, Halkkor might have taken Hell from me."
"All I hear is me, me, me," Zyzyfus snapped.
"Why does no one care for poor little Zyzyfussy?" Gus whined quietly as he cowered in the corner. He'd almost finished his cigarette and seemed to be savoring the remaining stub like it was the last smoke he'd have for the rest of eternity. Luckily, the vengeful son of Vilnius didn't appear to have heard his mockery.
"Look," I said, attempting a more frank tact, "I'm sorry that I got your dad killed. It's not how I would have preferred things to play out. But we can't go back and change it."
"Oh, I agree," Zyzyfus said, advancing carefully. "Which is why my only option is vengeance. I'm going to take Hell from you and throw you in the darkest, smelliest little hole I can find down here."
"Oh," I said, backing up just as carefully. "Uh, okay then."
Onslaw stepped between us. "Look, we really don't have time for this right now," he began. He opened his mouth to continue, but his face went rigid. His eyes darted around fearfully as a thin greenish sheen shimmered across him. Every muscle in his body was stiff and immobile and he slowly toppled over on his side. The second he hit the ground he cried out in pain and seemed to regain control of his limbs. "What the hell was that?" he panted.
I glanced at Zyzyfus. He was standing there with a confident smirk on his face and it seemed clear to me that whatever had happened to Onslaw had come directly from him. He moved past my rattled comrade and trained his gaze on me.