The door didn’t break in.
It shattered. The place was apparently every bit as rundown as it appeared. And I was promptly face to face with a war demon.
I swung, and my blade went straight through it. Make that the illusion of a war demon. “Nice one.”
Why not a real war demon? Probably to get me off balance. “I’m here for Derek.”
“Of course you are.” The demon formed out of smoke. “It’s too late.”
“No it isn’t. You’ve been trying for him for months. He’s stronger than you.” I hoped I was right.
I hoped that horrible feeling that he was compromised was just me being paranoid and cynical.
“Want to see for yourself?”
“You just don’t want to fight me.” Keep him talking, I thought. Keep him talking while the others found a back door or whatever Thruor had in mind.
He laughed. “You aren’t worth the effort of fighting.”
Well, that was a better reaction than launching himself at me. I wasn’t confident I could beat him. “Okay. Show me.”
He turned and descended into a basement which, surprise surprise, was done up as a movie summoning zone. Best way to put it.
Derek was sitting there, a sardonic grin on his face. I narrowed my eyes, but still saw no taint on his soul. Then again, this demon had blocked me before.
“I suppose you’re going to tell me you’ve seen the light now?”
“I’ve seen where the real power is, yes.”
But I’d see it. I’d sense it. Instead, I sensed a vague presence of light. I laughed inwardly.
The angel with a sense of humor. The one who liked my dad.
“Well, then, nothing I can do here.” Come on, Thruor, I thought. Come on.
There was a back door into the basement. It was one of those cases where the place was a bit of a slope.
Thruor and Kanesha came through it a moment later. The demon whirled, startled.
Derek abruptly said something mostly in Latin. The demon yelped and vanished.
Derek laughed. “What a bloody idiot.”
“What did he do?”
“He was so wrapped up in himself he didn’t realize I was lying to him and he…”
“…handed you his true name on a platter. World’s stupidest demon.” I was laughing too.
“I was paying attention. You had help, though.”
I nodded. “Yeah. Somebody was helping hide your aura from him. Not from me. It was quite amusing, though.”
“Well, then.” Thruor was not quite laughing. “Let’s go get some ice cream.”
That sounded like a very good idea to me, and probably an even better one to the person who had just been kidnapped.