I was spoiling for a fight at this point, my sword slashing through one of them.
…to absolutely no effect. “Illusions!” I called.
“I noticed!” came Kanesha’s ascerbic tones.
Hans broke into a run, and I followed him, trying not to slash at what I knew wasn’t real. It was hard to do, though, but their own blows didn’t actually do anything.
All a distraction. Proof we were in fact heading the right way, I thought. But all illusions. “Anansi, this isn’t funny.”
No response, and I was probably blaming the wrong trickster anyway. Or maybe it was Lucifer after all.
We got past the illusory demons, and onto…the edge of a cliff above a pit of fire. “Apparently they gave up.”
Kanesha grabbed me to use as a brake. “Apparently.”
Hans had gone over the edge, but he’d managed to catch himself by twisting on the cliffside. He’d lost his axe, though.
I dropped to the ground to offer him a hand, which he took.
“Nice one,” he grumbled. “But at least they gave up on the fake stuff.”
“Next it’ll be a dragon, and I’m not slaying this one,” I quipped.
“Maybe you can…I mean, fool a dragon.”
Maybe I could, but I doubted it, now they were on alert.
“You should have stayed right where you were.”
“Let my dad go.”
“Oh, the dog got him out. But it’s too late. I’m the one in charge now. Join me or…well…after I’ve dealt with Heaven I’ll move on to Asgard.”
“You might not find that that easy.”
I tapped the bracelet again. A third time. Lucky, perhaps.
“I already destroyed your angel friend. And now I’ll destroy your mortal one.”
“You have?” Kanesha had backed off.
Tyz’vel had appeared…in his full fallen angel form. Black feathered wings, from which blood dripped. “I have.”
“I don’t think so,” she said, abruptly. “I really don’t think so.”
I looked at her. Our eyes met, and then she reached into her pocket.
And pulled out a single feather. “Sorry. He asked me not to tell anyone.”
I stared, not sure whether to be angry or impressed, but unable to take my eyes off of her. “As long as he remembers who you belong to.” How had she? When had she? I felt just a little bit cheated on, but so proud to know this magnificent woman.
And she tossed the feather into the air.