Chapter 120

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Raea opened her eyes and frowned. Her head throbbed, and she brought her hand to her temple. A silk blanket slid off her bare arm. “What was I doing?” she asked herself and blinked her bleary eyes. Her vision was blurry, but she could tell she was lying on a bed. She sat up and looked around after rubbing her eyes. She was in her room at the outpost. “Something important was happening…”

She climbed out of bed and shivered. The floor was freezing, and her body was covered only by a thin nightgown. She tiptoed to the closet and pulled on the handle. It was empty. Raea frowned and waddled over to the door. The floor was so cold that it burned her feet. She tried to pull the door open, but it didn’t budge. Her brow furrowed as the room began to get colder. Icicles began to form on the ends of her hair even though there was no water. The bed seemed to glow with a soft-yellow light. She bit her lip and returned to the bed.

Raea’s body began to heat up. The icicles evaporated, and the burns on her feet disappeared. “What is going on?” Raea mumbled with her brow furrowed. There was a knock on the door. She attempted to use her powers of patience but no chains appeared. There was another knock on the door. “Who is it?”

The door opened and Palan stepped inside. He didn’t seem to be bothered by the cold floor or the chill in the room. “So you’re awake,” he said and nodded at her. He began taking off his armor, chucking the metal into the closet.

Raea frowned. “Since when did you learn how to knock?” she asked. “What happened?”

“What do you mean what happened? Did you hit your head?” Palan asked. He took off his belt and leather pouch, placing them in a corner. He only wore his leather pants which had been modified to accommodate Danger Noodle.

Raea averted her eyes. Her body burned, and she touched her feet to the floor. It wasn’t cold anymore. “I think I might have,” she said. “What happened with Ishim?”

“Ishim?” Palan asked as he walked over to Raea’s bed and sat down on the side. Raea thought she smelled blood. “He died over a year ago. Are you feeling alright?”

“What?” Raea asked and blinked at Palan. “Wait. What?”

“Are you ill?” Palan asked and frowned. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

“I….” Raea bit her lip and lowered her head. “I don’t know. I remembering Elly leading an army against Ishim. We were waiting for them to come out of the tunnels. And”—her brow furrowed as she clutched her head—“that’s all I can remember.” Her head felt heavier.

Palan had placed his hand on Raea’s head. “That was over two years ago,” he said. “You really don’t remember anything?”

Raea raised her head. “No,” she said. “I don’t. Are you playing a trick on me? Promise me you’re telling the truth.”

“I wouldn’t lie to you, Raea,” Palan said and touched her cheek with his hand. Her eyes widened. His touch sent a shiver down her spine, and she backed away. Palan sighed and dropped his hand while lowering his head. “So you really have forgotten.”

Raea’s heart jumped. “Why do you look so sad?” she asked and bit her lip. “Did something … happen between us?” Palan stared at her wordlessly. Raea’s brow furrowed. “Really?”

Palan nodded. “I’ll ask Pyre if he has any cures for memory loss,” he said and looked away. A tremor ran through his lower jaw as he stood up.

“Wait,” Raea said and grabbed his right hand. It was rough. “Tell me about … us.” She pulled him back down onto the bed. Her heart pounded, and blood rushed to her neck and face.

Palan squeezed her hand and rotated his body to face her. He brought his left hand to her face. “Is there anything that needs to be said?” he asked as his fingers slid down to her chin. He tilted her face up and leaned forward. A surge of electricity ran through Raea’s body, and she closed her eyes, slightly parting her lips. Her heart beat harder. She could feel Palan’s warm breath on her face. Their lips touched, causing her to arch her back and snake her hand around Palan’s neck.

***

A scream rang through the air as Palan retracted his battleaxe, pulling on the shaft. It made a squishing sound as it left the angel’s flesh. Raea let out a moan, causing Palan to frown. He turned his head towards the scorpion-tailed demon. “What the hell kind of illusion did you give her?” he asked.

The female demon shrugged. “Just a standard lust trip,” she said. “She won’t die or have any lasting damage.” She licked her lips. “It sounds like she’s enjoying herself though.”

Palan snorted and returned his attention to the angel on the ground. It was Tuic. “So you going to dissolve that contract?” Palan asked as he pat the side of the angel’s face with the battleaxe. The bull-headed demon sat nearby with a yellow piece of paper in its hands.

“I refuse,” Tuic said and attempted to spit a mouthful of blood at Palan. Palan sidestepped the glob and shrugged, bringing the battleaxe down again. Severed fingers, toes, hands, feet, and arms lay around Tuic’s body. This time, his arm was removed. Tuic started to laugh as the blade of the axe ground against his bone. He laughed harder with tears pouring from his bloodshot eyes. “I’ll die, and he’ll die with me! I can see death coming. She’s so beautiful.”

“Sorry to disappoint you,” Palan said and licked his lips. He crouched next to Tuic and placed a glowing hand on the dying angel’s chest.

“Stop! No!” Tuic shouted and wriggled his torso. He screamed unintelligibly as tendrils of flesh snaked out of his stumpy shoulders and legs, reattaching his limbs. The other angels shivered as they saw Tuic scream and shriek. Their mouths were gagged, and the two-faced demon was forcing them to watch.

“Shall we start again?” Palan asked and stood up while lifting his battleaxe. Tuic’s face was pale as he lay in a puddle of blood. He was too weak to move. Metal flashed and screams rang through the air.


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