Noah stood victorious over his fallen opponent. To Kazzak’s credit, not so much as a whimper escaped his lips. With a broken knee, that silence was no mean feat. He glared at Haynes murderously.
Noah stepped back to the recently rescued damsel. “Who..?”
“Like I said, my name is Noah, and everything’s going to be fine.” He smiled, retrieving his blades. “Thanks for keeping an eye on these for me.” The girl blushed as their eyes met.
Green. Here eyes are such a beautiful green. Where have I seen that color before?
“Kazzak!” an enraged yell shattered the tranquil moment.
Oh, right. Those guys. I should probably get on getting us out of here.
While Noah’s back was turned, Belron had stalked over to his fallen champion. “You promised me victory! You swore to grind him into dust!” If before his eyes had been stormy, now they held tempests.
Kazzak looked up at him resolutely. “Lord Belron, I have failed-”
“You have failed your entire bask!” Belron grabbed him by the neck and drug him to his feet. “A human into our realm. Not a human, no, two humans fall into our laps, and you can’t win a simple contest of combat.” Belron released him, forcing the hobbled devil to balance on one leg. The other hung at a sickening angle.
“You’ve made me a laughing stock.” Belron’s massive fist uncurled and tensed into a claw. “What I do now is for the sake of every member of the bask.”
Sudden understanding dawned upon Noah. He broke into a run and cried “Belron-”
Belron’s hand flashed up under Kazzak’s chin. His talons tore chunks of flesh from his subordinates throat. Kazzak bowed his head one final time to his lord as blood boiled forth from the wound, and then fell back on the dusty ground.
Noah stopped dead, starring horror struck as the devil lord casually flicked blood from his claws and strode towards him.
“I apologize for that,” he said, smiling with teeth that were never meant to be reassuring. “It really was a kindness. He would never have been able to live with the shame of being defeated by a human.”
Heartless bastard. Noah checked his wrath. Nothing for it now. Just get the girl home.
“The contest is over,” he stated brusquely. “I want assurance from you that of your group will harass us as we leave.”
Whatever shred of friendliness had managed to take root in Belron’s smile was swallowed whole by predatory glee.
“I can certainly grant you that guarantee,” he replied, oozing smug self assurance. The other devils formed a loose rank behind him. “You see,” he chuckled, stepping back to stand at the head of his vassals. “We don’t plan on allowing you to leave at all.” Vicious laughter emanated from the assembled devils. “Riffle, the girl,” Belron commanded. “And don’t kill her. We’ll need post dinner entertainment.”
A short, lithe, reptilian devil burst from the rank, no doubt intent on downing the groups original prey.
Haynes’s blade snapped out across the devil’s flank as he passed, opening up his side. The devil dropped to the ground and whimpered, ineffectually clutching the terrible wound and trying to rise.
The line of devils collapsed as they rushed to fall upon Noah. The first was a smaller was easily kicked aside as a second, larger devil took a point in his stomach. Suddenly Belron erupted from the mass of devils, intent on taking down the troublesome interloper himself. The scaly grey-black mountain slashed downward at him with five steely talons. Noah voided the blow with a stop cut to the forearm, slice to the bone effortlessly. Another slash opened Belron from hip to short rib, and the imperious devil fell, spilling infernal organs onto the ground.
The victory brought no respite. Noah parried attacks from two different devils. Pain shot through his body as his vision exploded with light. As he fell, Noah saw a clubbed tail whipping at the edge of his vision.
God, please let her have had the sense to run.