CHAPTER 33 - Maou (4)
Alex was climbing out of the wagon as he barked the orders.
“Celia, take over for Treya and bring the horses somewhere safe. Quinn, Treya, you’re with me. Aundell, cover our six. Try and stay back, but just in range to reach us with your magic.”
One by one, his companions sprang into action. He grabbed his tactical vest and checked the magazines before sliding it on. Once secure, he retrieved ALICE from the lip of the wagon and slid a magazine in. With a practiced motion, he pulled the charging handle and loaded a bullet into the chamber.
“Once more, unto the breach, eh?”
That sarcastic, arrogant, familiar voice rang out, bringing a smile to the tense soldier’s face.
“You know that quote means to ‘try again,’ right?”
“Yeah, but it sounds cool as shit, don’t it?!”
“No, Alex. Just… No.”
“Hey, you in or out?”
Quinn and Treya finished their preparations and hopped from the wagon to join him. Aundell was taking a bit longer but appeared almost ready.
“If you need to ask, then you have learned nothing about me over these years. Get your ass in gear, soldier!”
Alex’s relieved smile grew to a full-blown grin of excitement. He waited for Aundell to join them before taking off at a dead sprint towards the smoke in the distance as the others followed behind.
Encis grinned as another village guard fell beneath his sword. Blood sprayed from the now-headless corpse, staining his pale gray hair, bringing out the red of his eyes. Flare Wolves ran into houses and set them aflame before dragging out more villagers, kicking and screaming in terror. The ones that the wolves didn’t get stopped crying out shortly after as figures crafted of smoke entered the burning buildings with gleaming swords of their own.
The stench of blood and smoke assaulted the senses and made the eyes water, but this only served to heighten the man’s deviant glee. Three more guards rushed at him, this time displaying some modicum of teamwork as they surrounded him. Attacks came from his blind spots in a fast rhythm.
As he was fending off the blows, three other demons approached. One woman among them began chanting, and seconds later the guards started screaming as their metal armor turned to molten slag, melting through their flesh.
Encis spun around and brandished his sword at the offender, rage replacing the joy in his eyes.
“Victa, you bitch! Those were mine!”
“Oh, stuff it, Encis. We aren’t here to play, remember? Her Majesty has given us direct orders.”
Victa approached Encis along with the other two demons, her face a stoic mask. The quartet wore form-fitting black leather armor with a white dragon emblazoned over their hearts. Three of them carried swords that glowed with a sickly white light, while Victa carried an ornate staff topped with a spinning piece of carved obsidian.
“And who said we can’t have fun while following orders? It’s because you’re so stuck up like that that you can’t find a man, Victa. Don’t worry, though, I’ll still give you a good time if-“
Encis’s head snapped to the side as if he had been slapped. He reached up to wipe a small trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth, spitting more towards her feet.
“Who said we were all going to make it back from this mission? Remember, maggot, I could end you here, and nobody in Draco Albus would question it, let alone shed a tear.”
“You’re only feeling high and mighty because of the Queen’s Blessing. Mark my words, bitch, I’m going to have your head on my wall, one of these days.”
Victa flicked her wrist, and Encis’s head snapped the other direction from an invisible strike.
“Learn your place. Before I make you.”
He shot her another withering glare. The other two stepped in front of her, pointing their swords in his direction. Encis stared them down for a few seconds before scoffing and sheathing his own blade.
“Call off your dogs, Victa. We’re on a mission, remember?”
“Segri, Kalthus, stand down. Our work is nearly finished here. Search the village for survivors and dispose of them. None of the despicable humans can be allowed to live.”
The two men guarding her turned and bowed.
“By the will of Her Majesty, Matron Victa.”
They began running after a group of fleeing survivors, a pair of Flare Wolves joining in the chase. Just as the group was about to reach the mother and her three children, one of the wolves suddenly erupted in a blossom of ice.
Traveling slower than the bullet itself, the loud sound of a rifle firing floated through the screams a moment later.