Amanda’s body lies on the ground in a clear black aura. Kid stares in disbelief.
“It’s over. If your sister makes it out of that aura, it means she’s made a deal to stay alive, and she’ll be working for me. If she doesn’t make a deal, she dies,” Jamie says.
“Are my ears deceiving me? Is Amanda getting ready to die? Kid, you know this is your fault, right? I told you she wasn’t ready. Her blood is on your hands,” Richard says.
Jamie looks over at Nancy and Jacob. “You two, kill everyone but the little girl.”
“No,” they both say at the same time. They instantly decay and turn to dust. Nancy’s deity disappears.
Saira teleports to her sister, then teleports them both to Ana’s house.
Ana looks up. “Oh, what a surprise! What brings you two to my lovely—”
“Cut the shit,” Saira interrupts. “You know why we’re here. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have made yourself visible for me to see. Save my sister.” She speaks passionately for the first time.
“Aren’t you a rude little shit? If you know everything, then you should know how I feel about rudeness. Rude people deserve to be punished. But given the circumstances, I suppose I can let it slide this one time. If I remember correctly, Jamie said that once the aura around her disappears, she’s made a choice about her life. Well, the aura is gone, and it looks like she’s chosen to die.”
“I already knew she would choose that decision, but I was hoping to get her healed before it happened. This isn’t the end for her because you have the power to bring someone back from the dead.”
“Well, now you’re being a lot more interesting. If you’d had time to read the spell, you would have noticed that it said it requires a life for a life. There are only two options here, and I’m not one of the choices.”
Saira looks over at Jamie’s son, who is lying on the couch, looking sick and fragile. “You haven’t been doing anything to save him, have you?”
“She was, until I took over and stopped doing it. You can call it a hunch, but this outcome was predictable. No reason to heal a child when he was just going to be sacrificed anyway. I knew one of you girls would die, I just hoped you wouldn’t turn to dust. Can’t bring you back from dust, but believe it or not, this has all been to help Amanda. She’s getting a ton of battle experience in this fight, and the more she fights, the more prepared she’ll be when the destroyer comes. Preparing her for that by any means necessary is my only job—nothing else matters to me. She’ll hate me now but will thank me later when she’s able to save the earth. The same goes for you and Kid, too. I’ll turn you all into unstoppable warriors with conventional and unconventional methods. Now, I suggest you hurry up and make a decision before more of your comrades die.”
“I already made up my mind. Use the boy.”
“Wise choice.” Ana cracks her neck.
Iri prepares to attack Jamie but is sent flying through the concrete and into the water, knocked unconscious by Chigaru.
Reign manipulates the water, forming a hand with it and grabbing Iri. Iri floats within the hand and is brought a safe distance away from the battle, where she is thrown on the ground.
“I’ve pulled all the water out of your lungs, so you’ll live. Until I kill you.” Reign flies away.
“I’m getting tired of fighting these ants. Hurry and finish them, boy,” Chigaru says.
“I didn’t require your help,” Jamie replies.
Kid snaps out of his state of shock and gives Jamie a mean stare. He takes his sword and blasts it toward Jamie while turning himself into electricity and latching onto it. He comes back out of the sword and grabs it just as it’s getting ready to pass Jamie, but instead of striking quickly like he normally does, his movements are slowed drastically. Jamie easily dodges his attack and tries to grab Kid. Kid dodges his grab by flipping backward.
“I don’t care how fast you are. The invisible field I have around me slows the things close to me down to a crawl, making your powers useless against me,” Jamie says.
They continue to fight, and Jamie touches Kid’s shoulder. Kid backs away and looks at his arm, which is now flaccid.
“Just one touch ages your bone,” Jamie says. Kid readies his blade, and a lightning bolt strikes directly behind him, leaving an afterimage. “Is that flashy light show supposed to scare me?”
Kid appears on the non-skeleton side of Jamie, swinging his sword. Jamie bends his neck sideways and easily dodges the swing. Kid flips away from him.
“Can’t you see? All your flashy actions and cheap tricks are futile,” Jamie says. A lightning bolt strikes brightly behind Kid, and he quickly disappears, leaving an afterimage in his place again. “The same trick twice?” Five lightning bolts dance around Jamie, blinding him. He reaches for Kid’s throat but finds it is just an afterimage. Before he can wheel around, searching for the real thing, a sharp stab of electricity crackles through his cloak. He looks down and sees the end of a sword protruding from his chest.
“Speed is just a bonus attribute. I don’t need it to win. Experience always wins over abilities,” Kid says. He twists his sword around in Jamie’s chest, but then, his sword starts to rot away.
“Don’t get cocky. There was nothing there to stab!” Jamie grabs Kid’s metal arm.
“Sorry, no bone in that arm.” Kid snatches his arm away.
“What arm?” Jamie smirks. Kid’s arm starts to rot. Kid quickly detaches his entire arm. “Three seconds of touch is all I need to begin rotting something.”
“Well, that sucks. That was my favorite sword. Either this new form you’ve taken has made you cocky, or you’re just a terrible fighter. I feel like I should be dead already, given the power you possess.”
“Perhaps I have been going rather easy on you. Why not just strike me down with your lightning bolt?”
“You’re interested in me? I’m flattered. Don’t tell me a little lightning has you worried. My lightning can’t be used to harm—only to heal and promote life. Reign, make the visibility nonexistent out here!” Kid disappears into the rain.
“This changes nothing.” Jamie points his hand out and begins shooting rays of energy in every direction.
“Damn it!” Kid screams out as he sees a huge ray of purplish-black energy coming toward him in the rain.