“Okay. First things first, was he bluffing?” I glanced at Clara.
“You could do what he said with magic. Or with, you know, fertilizer bombs. It would take a lot, either way. I’d suspect he’s bluffing, but can we risk it?”
What would Loki do? This struck me as a good time to ask myself that particular question. What, indeed, would he do?
“We don’t go for a direct assault.” I glanced at Zaid.
“No. We don’t. But we also don’t leave him in his fortress until he finds the energy to do something worse to us.”
“Can he get Apep himself here?”
Zaid considered. “Possibly, but he’d be limited by a physical manifestation and we might…might…be able to beat him. As long as nobody touches him.”
“Let me guess, instant death touch?”
Zaid nodded. “Might even work on you. He can’t touch your soul, but he might be able to kill you.”
“Okay. If he shows up, we’ll bear that in mind.” I glanced at Kanesha and Clara. The latter was pale, the former just looked determined.
In fact, she spoke after a moment, “And if we just riddle him with bullets? Would that slow him down?”
“It would. But he’s…not vulnerable to the cycle of life the way we are.”
I closed my eyes. Wondered at that, but at the same time, I reached within myself. I didn’t have to…this wasn’t my fight.
Except it was. The people on the train had been under my protection in that moment. Not for eternity, no, but I was the one who had been there, the one who had stepped between them and death.
And I’d sort of enjoyed it. No, more than sort of. If I hadn’t been so terrified I would have been having fun. It was like a really extreme roller coaster. With the danger being real.
“I don’t care. If we deal with the priest, what will he do?”
“If you do…”
I sighed. “Zaid. He was right. I can’t be the one to deal with the priest. I can protect people from him, but if I actually deal with him, it’s going to start a war. We can help, but you’re the one who needs to stop him.”
Thruor paused. “She’s right. I hadn’t…”
“…We were all rushing in and going off half cocked. Zaid and Clara, you have to do this.” Kanesha couldn’t because she was connected to me. Mike couldn’t for much the same reason.
Zaid had to take this guy out. He probably had to kill him.