TKoT Vol. 3: Chains of the Heart

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28: The Resonance of Chains

Andrea's mind races as Heather will take Oliver; no, I can’t let that happen. In Andreas' mind, she could hear the chains beginning to rattle. Katalina’s presence leaves her. She had never felt this emotion at such intensity. She was angry. This was not just anger, but a focus of all of the hostilities, her feelings, what she was about to lose all because of one greedy crazy bitch and her own inability to act. Her mind was wrestling the last bit of magic she had left, grace; she felt no more pain. Andrea felt nothing but her own anger and rage; she reached out and grasped the golden ribbon, the thread that represents the grace of the dark goddess.

Heather levied in her anger, her face contorted as she raged, “You fool Oliver, why do you put yourself in front of my anger. You will be so punished for this! I am going to make all the ones you care about to suffer!”

Oliver had been knocked to his knees; the pain in his shoulder was great. He gritted through his teeth, “She’s not like you. She still has a soul that is worth protecting. Not you, Heather.” He pulled off his glove to show the three remaining command sigils.

“You actually do love her, don’t you? GRrawh.” Heather readied for another swing, “You once loved me! You are mine! My pet, I will lock you forever in a cage of your own mind, and I will be the only one you can hear! Look one last time at your love.”

Oliver turned to Andrea, “Sorry I failed you. Ka'Azalin I,” then the sound came.

Both Heather and Oliver stopped for a moment to listen. The sound of rattling off what could be chains; the scraping, dragging sound was at first far off in the distance. The sound was soon coming from all around them, from deep underground even from the surrounding walls.

“Eh, What’s that?” Heather went from being completely raged to a bit warier. The succubus has quick mood swings.

Andrea stood up through her pain and broken bones, using staff for support. “How dare you want to harm my Master! How many chains can you dodge? One or two?” Her body was aglow with a crimson aura. Her eyes were burning red; the flames struck out of the sockets. Oliver had actually only a few times before, the last time when he called Katalina to opened the door to the Vault. Andrea was now channeling her grace without Katalina’s aid. The sound of chains grew louder. Small items around them began to vibrate and dance around. Loose items started falling to the ground; rocks bounced up and down. This had happened once before in his bedroom. He felt something dark coming.

They could now all see the light as Andrea’s chest glowed, her sigil of the Circled Hand flared, “I am Ka’Azalin, I am the Hand of Katalina. And I will not allow you to take Master, not now, not ever!” Her rage was focused, her voice filled with hatred. Her flaming eyes narrowed as she stared at Heather. She did not even have to cast the spell; she just thought about what she wanted to happen. Andrea merged her arcane Binding Chain spell with her remaining infernal magic and the grace of the dark goddess; the spell erupted from her will, the will of a god. All around Oliver, dozens of black serrated chains erupted out of buildings, walls, and the cobblestone streets. The chains snaked skyward and stretched hungrily towards their target. Heather launched herself further upward into the sky, trying to dodge the persistent pursuing chains. She dived, spun, circled, and evaded.

Heather knew she could not dodge these chains of death. She attempted to teleport away back to her lair. Her body burst into brimstone, but the body reformed immediately in the same place, leaving only a puff of smoke. Ka'Azalin had altered reality around her, blocking teleportation. This was not a false hand; she had angered a demon goddess.

The dance was beautiful for anybody to see. Heather had a fine skill in the air, but even she could not block with her scythe or evade the sheer number of chains chasing her. One finally caught up with her leg and wrapped around, finally coming to rest above her ankle; the serrated edges were stripping the flesh. More chains caught and wrapped around her in a tightening circular motion that shredded her flesh as they locked around her body. Andrea ordered with a twisted smile, “Retract.” The chains pulled Heather downwards with a bone-crunching thump that sounded like a wet bag of flesh impacting something hard; she crashed into the ground.

Heather’s body was splayed out and stretched; the chains had attached themselves to different points of her and retracted. Heather was still alive, barely. She felt broken bones, and some were already trying to mend. Andrea limped over and placed her leather boot on Heather’s chest, looking down. Heather was not flinching, crying, or even screaming for the amount of pain that she must be enduring. Heather had control of her pain; this was one of the frightening aspects of demons, the amount of pain they could endure. She had discovered too late that this was indeed the Hand of Katalina, and she had angered her.

Heather tried to summon her bound minions, the other demons she had under her control. The same effect that prevented her teleportation prevented her from calling reinforcements.

“You wanted to hurt my precious Master, take his mind, and twist it, DIE!” Andrea parted her hands away from her body. The chains retracted even further, slowly pulling apart Heather's now screaming body, dragging the separate bloody pieces back into the wall sections the chains spawned from. Normally when a demon’s body dies, the body bursts into flames and turns to ash in an instant; that did not happen.

She turned back to Oliver her rage now sated; she had a smile of triumph on her face. The image he saw was not that of the demons, the twisted smile. It was one who generally cared for him. He heard the voice of Katalina; it was a memory from the dream he had. Bond with her before it is too late. You have potential; this, in the end, will be your decision.

“You are safe; this time, I could save you.” Her body began to heal; the broken bones popped back into place. Her tail and wings regrew. Andrea had tapped the remaining grace that she had stored in Blood Fang. Her gait steadied as the legs, bones, and flesh healed.

Oliver had already begun to drink a few of his healing potions. He always carried a few for emergencies. She grabbed him by the collar and pulled him up, her eyes still burned, “I need to feed.” She stretched her wings outward and dragged him upwards with her. She brought him to the top of the tower, where she usually watched for her prey.

Andrea pinned Oliver up against the wall and grabbing the back of his head and kissed him hard. She took what she needed as he gasped, groaning under the stress of her kiss.

In Andrea's mind’s perceptions, she was standing in the slow-moving river. She could see the serpent on the shore; it seemed to be constantly hissing. There was a bloody woman chained to a pole; the binding chains were black and serrated. Her blue horns and black feather wings were Heather; what she was doing was unknown, maybe like the other victims she had killed. The difference was she seemed alive, squirming in the chains. The serpent was distracted with her. The creature was climbing and constricting in various places of her body, causing Heather more distress.

Oliver thought back to the dream and Katalina's words, ’You must do the one thing you are afraid of doing, let her inside.’. His pain increased as his body felt that he was being burned alive.

“You still won’t let me in. I will not hurt you. I will not do what Heather did to you. I can not.” she stopped, frustratingly looked at him, releasing him, "I won't cause you pain.", stood back, and she divided off the building backward. He could see her rise up into the air and dive down into the street between some houses. He heard a man screaming as he was lifted into the air; she was dragging somebody right off the street. No subtlety at all. He quickly became quiet, and she headed over the city walls and into the farmlands and forest outside of town.


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