Uzziel frowned as he crossed his legs and leaned back into his chair, staring at the approaching demon. He tapped his chin and tilted his head. “That magic,” he said. Before the words even escaped from his lips, Palan had already stuck his fingers in his ears. “He’s a pride demon?” Uzziel turned his head to look at Raea. Her body was collapsed forward on the bed, unmoving. He clicked his tongue and faced Palan again. He shouted, “Halt!” Cleo’s body stiffened and fell over.
Palan took his fingers out of his ears. Blood trickled from them as he continued to walk forward, the wood splintering beneath his feet. Laughter echoed through the room as Tara sat on the foot of Raea’s bed, watching Palan approach her contractor. “He punctured his own ear drums,” she said and smiled. “What are you going to do now, Uzzy?”
Uzziel narrowed his eyes as he climbed off the chair and picked up a sword that was resting beside him against the wall. “Why are you acting like this doesn’t concern you?” he shot a glance at Tara who was yawning and asked.
“Ah, what was that?” Tara asked. “I couldn’t hear you over my yawn. It’s your fault for breaking his pride. You can take care of him.” She crawled towards Raea and reached over her body, taking the angel’s pillow.
Uzziel snorted. “You’re the one who tossed him around,” he said as he pointed his sword at Palan. “It’ll be troublesome for you if I die.” Uzziel hooked his foot underneath the chair beside him and kicked forward, launching it at Palan. Palan placed his hand in front of his body and blocked the chair. The instant the wood made contact with his palm, it accelerated towards the floor and splintered into pieces. Uzziel stepped forward and swung his sword right after he kicked the chair. The blade sliced downwards through the air towards Palan’s outstretched arm.
The edge of the sword made contact with the top of Palan’s forearm. Palan’s eyes widened as Uzziel smiled and released his grip, the blade accelerating downwards as Palan retracted his arm. He was too slow. The sword cleanly cut through his forearm at an angle, creating a slanted bloody stump where his hand used to be, before smashing through the floorboards and disappearing into the ground. Palan let out a roar as his severed hand fell to the floor. He punched Uzziel in the solar plexus with his stumpy arm, his radius and ulna stabbing into the angel’s body like two crude spears, causing the flesh around the bone to disconnect.
Uzziel’s legs buckled, and his back hunched over as if a great weight was hung from his neck. “Tara,” he gasped as Palan retracted his arm. “Help.”
Tara opened one eye and watched Palan kick Uzziel in the face, causing the angel’s head to fly towards the floor. “Is that an order?” she asked in a lilting voice. “You only have two more left. Are you sur—”
“Yes!” Uzziel screamed as Palan twisted his arm and lifted him into the air. Palan opened his mouth and sank his teeth into the flailing angel’s bicep. Uzziel punched at Palan’s face with his free hand, but Palan only released him after tearing off a chunk of flesh.
“You didn’t let me finish my question,” Tara said and pouted as she sat up in bed. She smiled at Uzziel who was struggling to crawl away from Palan. Palan snorted and stomped on the exposed angel’s exposed humerus bone, causing it to splinter beneath his feet.
“I command you to save me! Get him off me!” Uzziel shrieked, bloody saliva flying out of his mouth as tears poured from his eyes.
Tara sighed. “That’s no fun,” she said. Palan raised his amputated arm and stabbed downwards towards Uzziel’s eyes. When the pointed bones were a few millimeters away from their target, Palan’s body was lifted into the air and gently placed onto his bed—or what was left of it. Tara stood up and walked over to Uzziel, crouching next to him. “Why are you being such a baby?” she asked and giggled as Palan’s severed hand floated in the air and wiped the angel’s tears away. “The medics can easily patch you up.” Uzziel whimpered as Tara traced her fingers along the cracks on his exposed bone.
Tara stood up and beamed at Palan. The translucent wings on his back had faded away, and his face was contorted as he panted, sweat dripping from his forehead. “Not bad for a regular demon. I was hoping you’d struggle more so I would be forced to save him again,” she said. “Oh right, you can’t hear me.” She frowned and looked at Raea. The angel’s body floated into the air and drifted towards Tara. “Are you awake?”
Raea didn’t respond. Tara slapped her cheek, causing the angel to let out a yelp as her body twitched. Her eyes fluttered open, and she gasped as her gaze landed on Palan’s severed arm. “Let me down!” Raea said, ignoring the stinging pain in her cheek as her limbs flailed in the air as if she was trying to swim towards her demon. Her body fell to the floor, causing her to land face first. She shot a glare at Tara as a trace of blood started to trickle from her nose. Raea scrambled to her feet and placed her hands on Palan’s chest.
“After you’re done with him, heal my contractor too,” Tara said. “He’s useless, but I don’t want to lose my senses even if it’s only for a few days.” She yawned as her eyes drooped. She floated over to Raea’s bed, scooping up the frozen Cleo on the way. “I did so much work today. I deserve to sleep for at least a month, don’t you agree?” She smiled at Cleo who was still stiff.
Palan’s eyes dulled as his body relaxed. The stump on his arm squirmed, and five fingertips began to protrude out of the flesh. His eardrums stopped bleeding while the few scrapes on his face faded away. Soon, his hand was fully regrown. Sweat poured out of Raea’s body, causing her robes to become drenched. She wiped at the blood trickling from her nose as she stood up and walked over to Uzziel, her eyes widening.
Uzziel stared up at her, tears still streaming down his face. Raea scratched her head as she knelt beside him. “I apologize,” Raea said, returning Uzziel’s earlier words back to him. “That is just how he is. At this point, he is quite irreplaceable for me.” She took a deep breath and placed her glowing hands on Uzziel’s chest. “No hard feelings?”
Uzziel let out a hollow laugh as his eyes began to close. “I was wrong. You and Elrith are more alike than I thought. You’re both bastards,” he said. “Angel of kindness my ass.” The last thing he saw before his eyes closed was Raea’s frowning face.