Kumo’s legs regrew, twitching occasionally as I stared at him. Sacrifice wasn’t interested; he was dealt with in her eyes and wasn’t a problem anymore.
“We have to get to the throne room,” she said, grabbing my de-thumbed hand and walking down a street briskly, dragging me along. “The King needs to declare his victory while he can, and the fact we killed three of his personal guards already means he’s going to have to downsize instead of taking Brazil.”
Apparently we saved Brazil. Who knew?
“Wait, we can beat the King?”
“That was part of the original plan. Beat him, take throne, abuse the Immigration and Exile powers to move allies about, have a small nation at your control with supertech built by geniuses.”
I was in awe. “Is that why you kept your knowledge secret? To avoid anyone getting the same idea?”
“Not exactly. Think about it, Ryan. If everyone knew there was a way to become an absolute, undisputed ruler with no way of being stopped or killed that doesn’t come down to being a complete moron and waging war or some shit, do you think there would be a non-kingmaker nation left?”
I paused to think, putting the knife in the back of my belt due to the lack of pockets I had.
She continued with an amendment. “Do you think there wouldn’t be a world war three? Or some other disaster?”
I didn’t need to think hard.
“No,” I said. The castle was up ahead, large and imposing. How did sh-
I was launched into the air, almost taking Sacrifice with me.
Another one of the King’s men. Sacrifice Didn’t waste any time. I fell down, getting my bearings. She already killed whoever attacked in seconds.
We made it to the castle where the king should be; where Taker lay waiting. All were gone in the city but the occasional pedestrian, hiding away but trying to get a glimpse of us.
We were winning so far. Bloodwitch; dead. Jawbreaker; dead. Glutton; dead. Trauma was stuck in a maze. Kumo was pinned down.
That left Fractal, Druggie and Taker. I’d assume Druggie was killed already. He was a chemical-oriented super-genius, and Jawbreaker was killed easily by the king. No, We don’t know how many men the king has. We counted three killed, maybe Taker’s group killed one too? Also, Event Horizon. She’s still alive.
Sacrifice opened the door, peering in.
Nothing. The hall was empty.
We walked in, anxious. Itching for the next fight.
The castle was big. Bigger on the inside? No, don’t be silly. The insides of the castle cheated, though. It was larger than you’d think.
“Ryan,” said Sacrifice quietly as we walked down another empty corridor, “Do you want to hear the plan now?”
“Yes,” I replied, happier than I should have been.
“Good, because we are going to have to break everything inside.”
“Break stuff?” I asked, confused. “Why not kill the king?”
“Kingmaker is an enchantment type metahuman. Anyone can be a king if you have an item he enchanted. That’s the big secret; the big problem.”
I took a moment to digest that. I could be a king, if my powers didn’t interfere. Anyone could. That’s a scary thought, suddenly having yourself lorded over my a complete stranger because they got lucky.
“I know you lied,” I said, not thinking. Sacrifice stopped.
“I don’t like talking about my past,” she said, a little taken aback. “That’s another thumb when we’ve finished.”
I deserved it.
“I understand,” I said, starting to walk with her again. I stopped, Sacrifice walked ahead and paused.
“I’m stuck,” I replied. “It’s Event Horizon.”
Sacrifice looked around. Nothing in sight, as far as her reaction gave. She gave me a little push here and there to gauge what she was holding.
“She’s gotten stronger,” said Sacrifice, both impressed and annoyed. “Taker’s work, I presume.”
“Don’t kill her,” I begged softly. “She’s weak, you ca-”
“I’ll kill her because she’s weak,” she shot back at me. “I’ll kill her and save her the trouble of wishing she was dead when she gets caught by another group of villains who have guys who can’t handle their urges, unlike my former teammates.”
Cold. I felt a chill as she said it.
“Not that I can trust them when they have Taker fucking about in there, anyway,” she muttered, looking harder.
She checked everywhere. She nearly checked behind every pillar when it hit me.
I looked up, and was disgusted. Webbing covered the ceiling above me, barely noticeable with the architecture above. A web ensnared Event Horizon. She was cacooned; a human booby trap.
I had to get help somehow. Sacrifice would kill her. I couldn’t move. King wouldn’t help. Taker was the enemy. I was alone.
“Sacrifice, above me!” I cried. She came over and saw the webs in the ceiling, smirking at the trap Taker made for us.
“Good boy,” she said, walking over. She looked about my clothing for something, anything. I still had the bloody knife. She took it from me, practicing her throw a few times.
“Close your eyes, Ryan.”
No. Don’t do this. Don’t kill her.
“Sacrifice, you shouldn’t. You can knock her out, like you do to me, or something!” My panicked voice told no lies. I didn’t want to see her die. She was innocent. A victim.
“I don’t know what tricks Taker has up his slee-”
“You can take as many fingers as you want,”I interrupted, shouting. “Just please don’t kill her! Please!”
Sacrifice gave a large grin. Wait, was she tric-
She ran up the pillar at lightning speed, ignoring all conventions of gravity. She tore Event Horizon out of the web and fell back to earth, cratering the ground beneath her. Marble cracked like it was merely glass.
“It’s a promise,” she said, holding her hand out for me to shake. Event Horizon was okay. I could deal with that.
I could deal with Sacrifice’s acts, as long as she helped me. As long as she was there. I held out my good hand, shaking hers.
“Deal,” I said, smiling in relief. “I’m glad you saved her for me.”