The House of Asmodeus: A Trial by Fire Chapter 12

“And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.” – Revelation 6:1-7

TODAY

Asmodea’s blade hits a dead end, the dead end being Beatrix Bone.

Asmodea, don’t! It’ll actually harm your blade!” Azale warns the Reaver, but Asmodea doesn’t relent.

With a boiling smile her face she presses forward, pooling her strength behind her swing. The winds vibrate off of Beatrix’s destructive skin, red mushrooms blooming and dying all around her like its some kind of overshield. It’s loud and rings like the cracking of glass as neither Beatrix nor Asmodea seem like they’re about to give in. 

Asmodea shouts with glee at the excitement of it, assuring the rest, “My sword isn’t a mere weapon, Gram is the embodiment of a legend that rings across the multiverse! Her power won’t harm it!” 

Beatrix holds the overshield with the strength of one hand, and upon hearing Asmodea carry on, she raises her other to challenges that notion. “Such big talk for a slab of metal I’ve never heard of!

The destructive overshield starts to look like a translucent film, just before Asmodea’s winds blow up in her face.

Flume!

The winds throw Asmodea back into the air. 

Her back’s met with a cushiony wind, one that holds her in the air and centers her. She moans, “Oh?” at the breeze that helps her out, and looks down at Asmodeus. She blows him a kiss.

He does a little salute back with two fingers pressing off his head.

She’s grinning down at him until she smells the smoke and looks at Gram. “Shit,” she curses as she waves it off her blade to see that Beatrix has eaten an inch dent into her huge sword. “That bitch, look what you did to my sword!

Noella laughs as her from below. “Azale warned you!”

Asmodea grows infuriated until she sees Gram’s damage start to grow back, rebuild itself. She pumps her fist, shouting, “Yes, behold the power of legend!

Azale sees Asmodea cheering above her, and can’t help but smile back at Asmodeus. “She really has gone too long with a challenge, hasn’t she?” the angel asks.

“She has,” Asmodeus agrees, “I guess we can let her have a few minutes of fun…” with a devious growing over his face.

But that chance has to wait, as Beatrix’s shield comes down, and in its place is a large ball of flowing magma, that heads straight for Azale and Noella. It moves fast enough that it flies under under Asmodea before she can speak, and the angel and her Mistress only have the time to raise their weapons and look shocked.

Swoosh!

The magma ball explodes in a splash, sent back away from Noella and Azale. The magma fizzes and pops as it begins to harden. 

As an effect of her magic, magma particles sparkle as Petra twirls her umbrella.

In the nick of time, Petra was ready with a twirl of her umbrella. She has a stark smile on her face for the Bone Twins, with herself between them and the three they attacked. 

Her smile for Axel unnerves him. The way she giggles and eyes him up like food, all as she presses these incredibly white leather glove to his lips, makes him think of a demonic and demented Mary Poppins. 

She points to him, interested in his control over the elemental compound of Magma, a combination of the magical elements of fire and rock. 

“I see that you use magma magic,” Petra asserts, tipping her feathered hat to him, behaving in a way that’s infuriating the Bone sister. “Tell me, Mr. Bone, are you a mage or can you use enough elements of magic to be considered a sorcerer?”

Axel arches his brow, confused at the question. She throws these terms and concepts he’s heard before but doesn’t understand. 

“Fire is all I need,” he claims, assuring Petra just as to how completely uninformed he is of his own power.  

She lets out a sigh, disappointed. Despite that, she still notices him scratch behind his head, and embarrassingly mumble to himself, “Maybe I should get some more long ranged attacks though…” 

Petra laughs at the boy, and does so so loud that it sounds fake. 

Beatrix immediately hits her brother on the head as she scolds him. “Don’t tell them that, you idiot!” She shakes her head and growls to herself, prepping her mind for what she figures they’ll have to do if they want to defeat these guys. She tells her brother, “If we have to get in close, we’ll get in close!

Azale and Noella start to look mean at that threat, the both of them ready to meet the challenge. They’re both close range fighters, they figured it would be a risk they would have to take anyway… at least until Petra starts full on laughing.

Ha ha ha ha!” 

It’s actually quite distracting and cartoonish how the Reaver of Sadism openly laughs in the sight of her enemies. With her umbrella open on her shoulder and her hand covering her mouth, it’d be hard to believe she’s here for anything but tea. 

The only one not surprised is Asmodea, floating above with her arms crossed and a smirk of her own on her face.

They all get distracted by Sadism’s laughter, but Beatrix is steaming. Literally from the molecules being burned around around her hair.

“What are you laughing at?!” the fury yells as she steps in front of her brother. She stabs her finger towards Petra across the courtyard, furiously claiming, “If you don’t stop I’m going to wipe that smirk off your face!” 

Petra stops for a moment, pausing in surprise at the Bone sister’s threat, but then only giggles some more, prompting Beatrix to growl, “Grr…

Petra is delighted by the opponents before her. These are two people with interesting abilities who seem to have no real idea of how to use them. 

Petra knew right when Axel called his magma fire, that he was a clear novice, just one with powerful reserves. Magma is the combination of the fire and rock elements of magic, and if he isn’t purposely combining them, then it’s a natural affinity. Natural affinity is supposed to give individuals an edge in becoming more powerful magic users, but naturals always squander their talent, it gives too many a reason to be lazy. Most just assume that it’s born gift, a superpower, but I knows better.

Because what the Bone Twins do not know, is that the Reaver of Sadism on the other is a master sorcerer, the likes of which the Bone Twins have only seen once in their entire lives. 

She’s studied mastered several elements of magic, fueling her dark magic into that instead of weapons or simple constructs. So few daemons and angels can use their magical energy to make constructs with efficiency, and even fewer can use it to master control of an element of magic.

Even fewer can master multiple, and can only do so through training, hard work, quality mentorship, and then even more of those three. Even then a person may find themselves only ever pushing the level of novice. 

Axel has the capacity to learn the elements of fire and rock, but he’s had no idea what to be doing. It excites Petra as his opponent to wipe the floor with him, but it disappoints her as a sorcerer.

Being that he only knows one elemental compound, Petra identifies him as a mage, and taunts him as such. “What a poor, poor little mage you are, Axel, I’m going to have so much fun burning you alive,” a threat which prompts a deep growling voice, “it’ll be so much fun, I hope I don’t forget to use my whip,” and ends with a happy quip.

The jumps between Petra’s tones and emotions show themselves in the constantly shifting smile, one that holds clear malice in her face, and then in the next moment hides it behind her eyes. It undoes Axel, leaving him staggered, trying to hide the shaking feeling in his leg. 

Asmodeus threatens to ruin her fun by reminding her, “We do have somewhere to be, Petra, in case you forgot.”

Petra flips over her umbrella to pout at the King, begging him, “My liege, I know we’re on a timetable but can we pretty please take a detour?” She makes a small gesture with her fingers as she begs further, “Just I want to tear at him a little bit, just a smidge, it’s been awhile since I’ve fought anyone worth anything!”

Asmodea comes crashing down next to Petra, swinging her giant sword around with one hand, giddy at the idea of a battle. “Please, Clay cutie,” she playfully begs, turning her back on the befuddled Bone Twins as she throws her hands up, “I can’t remember the last time I had good fight! Since the war, who messes with us anymore? And I saw these guys fight in the rebellion, they took down anyone worthwhile before we got here!”

Asmodeus really can’t help but chuckle at how fight hungry these two are. They became Reavers to fight more than anything else. Any other bonuses were just that, bonuses, and as much as he wants to hurry, seeing Asmodea and Petra so happy makes him crack. 

“You know this isn’t going to help us recruit Coldo, quite the opposite actually,” Asmodeus reminds them.

“As if that’s still possible!” Beatrix yells at the Demon King. The Bone sister takes their attention and gives them an ultimatum with her fist held tight. “The only way out for you is to run with your tail between your legs, or stand and fight!

Azale steps closer to Asmodeus to whisper in his ear. “Don’t forget, Master, these are Wrath daemons, furies, they live for battle even more than Asmodea and Petra. Defeating them may be the only way to gain their respect.”

Asmodeus’s eyes narrow on the Bone Twins.

Petra watches her king rattle the decisions around in his head. Please, oh please, let me teach these kiddies a lesson in pain!

“You don’t think that’s a little… racist do you?” Asmodeus points out to Azale who looks away and bunches up her shoulders in response.

Noella tells her husband, “I believe Devotion meant it more as a cultural practice, not that we don’t have similar ones in our own Circle.”

“True,” Asmodeus agrees.

“And as far as I can see, Miss Bone did only give us two options, fight or flight, and I don’t see how running away could possibly help us.”

“You make a good point.”

Axel turns towards his sister, whose turn it is see her mistake. “Look what you did!” he snipes at her.
“Oh, as if we can lose to these two witches! They’ve literally turned their backs to us, how good can they be?”

“Enough that you didn’t attack them the first chance you got.” Axel’s retort catches the words right out of his sister’s mouth, leaving her with nothing to do but glare at him.

Having listened to them, Asmodeus turns to his two Reavers and gives them the nod to cut loose.

The two old friends immediately shake their fists together in triumph.

Asmodeus wraps his arms around Noella’s and Azale’s shoulders. “We can stand down, let them have their fun,” he tells them, gaining an accepting nod of the head by Azale and an annoyed shake by Noella. 

Asmodea blows him a kiss and tells him, “I promise to make it up to you all later,” making Noella cross her arms and fume.

Noella points behind the succubi to remind the Reaver of Seduction, “You’re still leaving your back to the enemy, what if they attacked you?!”

Asmodea pursed her eyebrows, and looked back over her shoulder at the two furies watching, utterly dumbfounded by their opponents as they were trying to formulate a plan. 

Asmodea shrugs at the sight of them, “Eh, even if they were brave enough to try it,” and lifts Gram to her shoulder, “it wouldn’t work.”

What did that whore say?!” Beatrix yells across the courtyard, shaking her fist at them. 

Axel grabs her from behind, holding her back by her armor. “Bea, I think we really need to reconsider strategic withdrawal here!”

Beatrix turns around to stare him down with her empty yet expressive yellow eyes. “We are the Crusaders, we do not retreat.

Since when?!” Axel levels with her, proving to be the more level headed if not more easily tricked of the two siblings. He pulls her in and whispers to her, “I don’t think you’ve noticed, but these two seem like pretty big stuff for us without Coldo. I mean, one is clearly a sorcerer and a sadist at that, kind of in her name, and the other is swinging around that giant sword with one hand. I’m usually all for running all blind and stupid, but I’m questioning this one!”

Beatrix sticks her finger in Axel’s face. “Listen here, little brother.”

“You’re older by mere seconds, and that’s just a theory.”

“Good enough, we’re going to fight these bitches, we’re gonna merk them and we’re crush them.”

“We are are gonna get molly whopped, the hell are you on?!”

Swish!

Asmodeus moves faster than the two furies can blink to stand behind Axel, making the hairs on his neck nearly fall off. 

“Clearly on adrenaline,” he answers Axel’s question, “and that’s good, you’ll give my dear Reavers a good fight.” Then he raises his hand with a faint whisper, and a strong wind gust blows them back into the courtyard towards the Reavers of Seduction and Sadism.

Beatrix and Axel roll across the ground, and Beatrix recovers to her feet first, fist in the air yelling, “What’s the big idea?!

A shadow appears over Beatrix’s face and she barely dodges the giant sword in time. Gram smashes the ground where the Crusader was standing, with Asmodea calling out, “I call the bitch who called me a whore!

Oh, did I hurt your feelings?!” the fury taunts, smirking as she flies in the air, but then clenches her teeth as she narrowly dodges Asmodea’s swing. 

“Quite the contrary,” Asmodea assures her as she holds back Gram, charging up a wind attack, “I want to thank you for the compliment,” and she swings Gram, sending out powerful gusts of wind. They’re barely visible with how they twist light, so Beatrix doesn’t even try dodging.

She crosses her arms and uses her born ability. The destructive field that emanates from her skin is pushed out, and creates a bubble around her, turning the magical wind gusts to dust, literally. Asmodea watches dust fall to the ground with confusion all over her face.

“How does that even work?” the Reaver of Seduction questions. 

Beatrix Bone curls her fingers, pushing her ability focus to the points of her claws. She growls, “You’re about to find out!” right as she flies up and descends on the Reaver of Seduction. 

Axel rubs his head where he landed on it, and starts rising to his feet. He starts emitting magma from his hands, waiting to see where the Reaver fo Sadism will attack from. She’s a sorcerer, master of several elements, he at least realizes that her attacks don’t have to come from her.

At least he knows something 

Zap!

Axel turns around in time to block the lighting strike with his magma. It burned through the fluid to his palm, making him grind his teeth in pain, but the magma stopped the electricity from coursing through him.

Petra is still standing where she started from under her umbrella. With a her pointer finger sparking, it doesn’t seem to Axel like she’s doing much. He turns towards her, feeling pretty good about himself after blocking her attack. 

“You’re not gonna merk me with those bolts,” Axel warns her, a smile barely forming on his face.

Petra can’t help but smirk as the air above Axel, a story high, begins to grow dark with storm clouds. Axel looks up as the shadows cover the area around him, and he realizes that he shouldn’t have talked shit.

Zap!

Zap! Zap!

Zap!

Axel blocks one lightning strike, and then another, barely in time for the second one. He leaps forward to dodge another, making Petra grin. Suddenly, he’s struck in the shoulder by the fourth. Being Petra, she laughs at his pain, having lured him so easily into being struck. 

It’s a numbing feeling that follows being struck by the Reaver’s lightning. It’s this sharp pain that makes the skin around his wound feel stretched and tightened together. He lets out a silent cry right before another strikes him in his pect, leaving a bit of smoke.

Noella still stands with her arms crossed, yelling to remind Petra, “Don’t kill him!”

Petra lets out a little whine to go along with the grimace Noella doesn’t see, but knows she should hold back on really hurting Axel after zapping him a few more times.

Axel breathes heavily as he tries to stand, and admits, “Usually, I would taunt you, *huh* right about now, *huh* but I’m pretty sure it won’t help, since you’re… so far away…”

“Not to mention that I would enjoy it,” Petra tells them, and she waves her hand as if she were scooping something up right in front of her. Snow crystals form as she uses the elemental compound of water and wind, ice. 

As Axel watches the snow crystals in her hand, his yellow eyes only growing wide with shock and fear. “I’m not gonna enjoy this, am I?”

“Of course not,” Petra assures him, and then closes her fist around the snow crystals. 

Whiiirrrrr…

Axel is not surprised when the wind turns cold, neither he is surprised that he can see his own breath, two things he’s never experienced this deep in the Circle of Wrath. He’s not surprised when four walls of ice start forming around him, rising a story high, and then closing off at the top. 

What surprises him is how the ice box seems brighter on the inside than the whole of the Circle of Wrath. 

Petra slowly walks towards the wall as Axel looks around him. He tries to force combustion from his hands, but everything is far too cold. He doesn’t notice until his feet are uprooted that the ground before him has iced over, and he’s trapped.

When Petra makes contact with the wall, she walks through it, into it. Without warning, Petra appears on all four sides, split in hundreds of different angles of herself with the rocky texture of the ice. It’s not smooth, and that’s on purpose.

“Wh-wh-what, is this, Re-re-reaver?” Axel questions, trying to keep form shivering. 

As a Wrath daemon, I’m sure cold winds are not something he’s terrible used to. “Poor little fury,” she taunts him, “if you’re good I’ll end it all soon.”

Petra’s voice echos all around him, loving being able to see him from all different angles, and able to see him without the prying eyes of others. It lets her indulge in her sadist ways without having to worry about being judged, both for her methods and the arousing air she spreads around. 

She feeds on his pain, loving the act of watching him slowly crumble as his bones grow brittle and his knees crumble. Oh, come on fury, I want it to last a bit longer, she thinks to herself, he’s about to fall unconscious and he hasn’t fully basked in my greatness. 

“You see,” the Reaver of Sadism begins her torturous game, “once you master control of an element, it’s less about spells with pretty names, and more about manipulating it to your will, but, I can’t help how fun it can be to name them…” 

Watching him grovel and the pain he’s in brings her more happiness than the sweetest dish or the greatest orgasmic bliss. This is both of them combined for Petra, her mouth open with the smile. “I call this, my Ice Prison, but the more I use I realize, it’s much more of a tomb.

Zip.

Sinkt!

Errgh,” Axel groans as a tiny needle, an icicle stabs him in his shoulder, where it caves in between his shoulder blade and his neck. The pain shoots up his neck, driving him to let a silent scream with those yellow eyes of his.

“Did you know,” Petra’s voice bellows throughout her Ice Prison, as a mass of ice rises from the floor, “that each species of mortal daemon’s have a different nervous system?” He hears her voice come directly behind him, and he looks over his shoulder at this horror. 

From the ground has come a jagged and sharped edged being of ice, in the shape of woman, with an empty and toothless smile. It grabs him by the back of the head, and pulls his neck back. 

“Of all seven kinds, Wrath daemons have the smallest amount of pressure points, so you have less points of pain. On so many levels your kind are bred to fight, but it doesn’t matter how few points you have…” 

This ice monstrosity pulls him up to his knees as Petra’s face fills every edge and vertex around her Ice Prison. Even as the monster whispers in his ear, every voice rings out to tell him, “I know them all.”

Zip. Zip. Zip.

Zip. Zip.

Zip. Zip. Zip. Zip.

Zip.

Zip. Zip.

From all directions in front of him, little ice needles shoot out, aiming for his pressure points, causing the most precise and intense pain he’s ever felt. It makes him bleed from places he wouldn’t have expected. 

She’s taking him down without killing him, but Petra still get her sick kicks.

Axel’s body goes limp, and Petra believes he’s fallen unconscious by the pain, so she does what she does best.

She laughs. 

She laughs until the room starts getting hotter, and the ice hand on the back of Axel’s head starts to melt. The ground around them starts to shake and the magma flow below the ground can be seen burning towards the ice.

Petra’s many eyes look all around, trying to understand what’s happening as lava pools out from Axel’s pores. At first, she thinks it’s a defense mechanism, a byproduct from being beaten unconscious, but then magma pools out his back, burning through the back of his shirt and reducing most of Petra’s ice avatar to steam.

Lava pools around Axel’s feet, burning up to his knees as he tries to stand up straight. With the ground still shaking, and Axel clearly conscious, the Reaver of Sadism can’t figure out what is going wrong.

The boy should be crying in a puddle of pain, crippled by suffering, every bone feeling like it’s on fire! 

Axel feels it in his veins, he feels it as a fury of Wrath. She shouldn’t have tried to cripple him through pain. Maybe a weaker, lesser fury would have fallen, but not Axel Bone. 

Like daemons of Lust all give off pheromones of arousal, ones that can help their reaction speeds in battle, Wrath daemons give off pheromones of rage, they get an adrenaline boost, a second wind.

Petra just fast tracked it, and now she’s looking a pissed Crusader.

Axel’s yellow eyes show a hint of blood red veins pulsating through them, and he looks around at the ice around him. “You shouldn’t have done that,” he tells her.

Petra’s brow twitches, and the idea that her enjoyment in his pain only helped him infuriates her. 

Oh, you’ll learn better than to criticize me,” she warns, and with an expression of malice behind her, she snaps her figures for more ice avatars to form and jump down from the walls.

Axel looks at the swarm around him with only wrath. He open his palms and yells, “Bring it on!

*****

Beatrix’s wrath isn’t holding up too terribly either. 

Outside the Ice Prison Beatrix is letting loose, taking no care to spare Asmodea as the Reaver does her.

With her claws coated in her destructive power, Beatrix would eviscerate any other daemon and their weapon in seconds. Gram is what saves Asmodea from death, the closeness of such an end pumps Asmodea full of the adrenaline she wanted.

Beatrix’s claws hammer into Gram with Asmodea holding her giant sword as a shield. The slam of magic against metal rings through Asmodea’s ear like a war drum, her heart slowly beginning to pump in tune to her mind’s desire. 

She really could fit in as a Wrath daemon. 

Slam!

Unlike Asmodea, Beatrix lets Wrath and rage get the better of her. She throws all of her weight behind her blows, and the second the Reaver feels comfortable enough, she uses it.

Sli-cccck!

The Reaver tilts the flat of her blade down, sending Beatrix’s claw straight into the ground. Beatrix’s power destroys the ground below, making her hand sink in around it, but the time it takes to pull it out is more than enough.

Bang!

The second Beatrix pulls out her hand, Asmodea slams her giant slab of metal right into the side of Beatrix’s head. It makes the fury’s skull ring and throb, she nearly falls unconscious. 

Asmodea holds Gram at the ready as she watches Beatrix stumble of a few steps, giving her the chance to recover. Oh, I can’t let it all end just yet. 

And the Crusader meets Asmodea’s hopes as she shakes her head. The dazed look of pain is replaced by the dazed expression of rage. 

Beatrix roars and turns to slash Asmodea-

Bang!

-but the Reaver hits her with Gram instead. 

Bang! Bang!

Asmodea hits Beatrix in her sides in succession, keeping her from recovering, making her feel like a dummy as her torso nearly ragdolls to the ground. Asmodea refuses to destroy their mission by mortally wounding her with the sharp end, and instead is close to knocking the Crusader out by using the flat sides like a big wiffle ball bat. 

Beatrix raises her arms to block, catching Asmodea’s sword on them and her shoulder. It only helps a little, and the dulling pain knocks her rage meter down a few clicks. 

The fury sees what’s happening, she’s losing and losing badly. Trying to match the Reaver of Seduction close up when she’s faster and stronger is a foolish effort, and with the regenerating blade she’s only wasting time till her opponent knocks her unconscious. 

Seduction watches the girl think, Is she learning? Come on, don’t make this easy for me.

Beatrix needs to fight from long range, but she doesn’t have any attacks from long range, Axel does. As weak as they are against a sorcerer like Petra, they would be far more effective against Asmodea.

She’s thinking, Asmodea thinks as she goes after the fury, what are you thinking about little fury? Come show me.

Beatrix takes the barrage of blows, her mind getting hazy before a big stumble. How can she stun Asmodea and set up Axel? If she lets down her arms, the succubus’s humongous blade is going to whack her in the head, and at this rate that might kill her… but the Reaver isn’t allowed to do that. 

Would she risk it?

Beatrix ducks down, and drops her hands flat to the ground, her power aiming make the ground implode, but before that happens Asmodea swings Gram for Beatrix. Only this time the Reaver’s sword is heading for Beatrix’s head.

Swift.

Asmodea stops her blade short of bashing Beatrix in the temple again, knowing that the blow should seriously hurt the fury. Beatrix smirks and destroys the ground, but…

Guuussshhh!

Crack!

… at the same time Asmodea blasts her with wind. Beatrix is hit in her side with this strong pulse, one that breaks her arm at the elbow, inwards. 

Beatrix’s blast destroys the molecules in the ground, and those touching it for a good distance. That means it expanded to Asmodea’s feet, and up her shins. It’s like having chunks of metal thrown hundreds of miles per hour at you, and it tears off chunks of flesh.

Beatrix rolls across the ground until she uses the claw on her good arm to sink into the ground. She tears up grass until she stops by colliding with and obliterating a bench. 

Dunk.

Asmodea rests Gram into the ground, blade first as she falls to her knees. Her legs are seriously hurt and bleeding, missing chunks of flesh. 

Huh,” Asmodea gasps, “didn’t expect that.”

Swish.

The Reaver of Seduction turns around to see her King coming with a healing spell, but she grabs his wrist before he can. “Don’t, I nosedived into this mess, cutie, I can finish it.

Asmodea,” he growls, more flustered and annoyed than angry as the succubus uses her wings to lift herself off the ground. She hovers with Gram in her hand and winks down at him. 

“Get back, cutie, I’m not done yet!”

The Reaver hears the flap of more wings, but presses her hands towards Azale who just lifted herself off the ground. 

“I’ll be fine, dear dove!” she calls to the Reaver of Devotion. She sees the worry on both Azale’s and Asmodeus’s faces, the anguish of watching her clearly in pain. As much as she hates to see it, Asmodea wants a fair fight, to accept help is to admit defeat. 

I can still win on her own.

Azale may have stopped, but she’s about to fly to Asmodea’s aid anyway, despite the succubus’s wishes. Noella grabs Azale’s ankle, taking hold of the angel’s eyes. “Don’t do that to her, if you needed to finish something she’d let you.”

Beatrix stands up to one knee as she grasps her broken elbow. She winces at the pain, realizing, “Maybe… touching it isn’t a good idea…” She roars and growls of pain catch the attention of the others, especially Asmodea’s. 

The Crusader lets her destructive field die down around her claws, evenly distributed it over her body so it can focus on her arm. It’s like a thin red veil is clothed over her body and scrunches up around her wound. She holds her arm and with a good twist…

SRAP!

… she snaps the bones into place, making Asmodea twitch. Beatrix lets her ability meld the bones she forced back into place. It isn’t fixed, but it will fix itself.

Asmodeus looks up at Seduction’s shocked face, seeing that she’s more than a little taken aback by the display. “You sure you want to continue?” he asks her. 

She squints down at him, taking his taunt as motivation to finish what she started.

The Reaver of Seduction doesn’t answer her King, instead she blasts off towards Beatrix. Beatrix pools her power into her claw again, and takes off head on at Asmodea.

The moment they do, there’s a crash.

Brash!

Asmodeus is the only one who watches it happen, as it happens far too fast for his Reavers to see. 

Behind him, lava burns through the Ice Prison from all the walls except one, and after the lava blasts out, Petra is floating out of the ice. It’s like she passed through the ice,  dashing backwards, gliding with her outspread umbrella, truly Mary Poppins.

The ice wall she glides from shatters, and Axel is flying towards her, magma pooling from his body, a ball of it already pooled together to slam into her. 

In front of him, he watches Asmodea swing her sword to meet Beatrix’s claw, and it doesn’t make sense. Asmodea’s sword is coming down inside Beatrix’s arm, she’s going to sever the Crusader’s one good arm, but the Bone sister still grins. 

Asmodeus turns around, and sees a flicker of lightning pulsating from the top of Petra’s umbrella, her shielding from his magma attack. She’ll be fine, it’ll easily hold against the magma attack, but Axel still pushes on a smirk on his face.

That’s when it happens.

They both flash step, just like before, and switch places.

The Reaver of Seduction and Sadism are caught completely off guard when the Bone Twins switch places, utilizing their special power. 

Suddenly it’s not magma brushing up against Petra’s shield, but Beatrix’s destructive force passing through it like water. It’s not Beatrix’s arm that’s about to be severed, it’s Asmodea’s blade that cuts open Axel’s magma ball.

Petra tries to save herself with a lightning overcoat, but still feels Beatrix’s claws dig into her chest. Asmodea blocks some of the magma with her blade, but it splashes over her, getting the arm that protects her face, plus her chest and the arm holding Gram.

Beatrix’s hand explodes into Sadism’s chest, sending a smoking succubus crashing across the ground until Azale is there to catch her. Asmodea feels the burn of lava creep over her skin and she screams in pain, not even being able to hold her sword. 

Lava is about to swarm over Asmodea as she falls back, but the lava hardens without Axel’s say so. Asmodea falls to her back, a groaning and squirming mess of pain, but Axel is still shocked by whatever stopped his magma.

Axel Bone looks over to the face of Asmodeus, with his brow furrowed in barely contained rage, more so with himself than Axel. 

Axel sees Asmodeus’s hand held high in a fist, as if he hardened the fury’s own lava. With magma still bubbling over his skin, Axel deems to question the King, “You think you can out match my fire?! Watch yourself get smoked!” 

Axel flexes and becomes a geiser for lava, the hot liquid rock rising and flying up like a plume. As little drops fall on Asmodea, causing her more pain, Asmodeus’s rage shifts from himself to Axel.

With a mere wave of his hand, Asmodeus shows that no matter how powerful or latent in talent that Axel may be, he’s nothing to the King of Flames and Fire. 

He makes the lava stops in place, shocking Axel.Then  Asmodeus throws his hands down and it all floods around Axel, swarming him, coating him in a shell of lava that Asmodeus hardens with a closing of his hand.

Asmodeus traps Axel in a prison of his own making.

Beatrix glides down to the ground after landing a hit on Petra, and falls to her knees, both exhausted and aching in her bones. 

She looks up at Azale trying to blow away the smoke off the Reaver of Sadism with her wings. Beatrix thinks she may of killed the Reaver, but she was wrong. 

Azale blows away the smoke and helps Petra sit up. Petra looks dazed at first with her feathered hat having fallen off and her bun having come undone. With a mess of her violet hair hanging over her face, stray stands in all, Petra looks angrier than she’s been in a century. Then she feels the smoke coming from her chest and sees the scorch mark there.

Petra grows enraged, and Beatrix is in awe of the Reaver who not only survived a direct attack, but appears mostly unharmed, if not unfazed.

Petra jumps to her feet, her fists clenched in front of her. The veins in her eyes grow closer to her pupils as anger seeps her brain. All around her hands pulsate the many elements under her control, from fire, to lightning, wind, water, and the compounds of ice and a flaming wind. 

You dare to lay a hand on me?! No one hurts me, I’m Sadism, I am pain! I am suffering, and YOU WILL PAY!!!” she screams, and from her hands she sends forth a dozen random blasts from all of her elements, enough to flatten the block, and without any of the precision to keep it from blowing back on her.

As Asmodeus picks Asmodea’s pain-riddled body to his chest, he sees Petra’s attack and curses to himself. 

He shoots out his hand and calls, “Dion Ravut!” A favorite spell using the dark element of shadow to create a black hole between Petra and Beatrix. It absorbs most of Petra’s attacks, particularly the stronger ones, but the small ones bend around it.

Beatrix has no defenses against these kind of attacks, so the Bone Twins switch again. 

She flash steps and is replaced by her brother who raises a wall of magma before him to absorb the blow. He is neither in time, nor was it powerful enough to save him from getting away unscathed. 

The explosions send him rolling back, but he doesn’t recover. He rolls until he has no momentum left and lays on the ground beaten. 

Asmodeus realizes that if Axel is there then…

The lava prison that he used to trap Axel disintegrates as Beatrix destroys it from the inside. With a hand around Asmodea’s waist, Asmodeus leaps up to dodge Beatrix’s claw before it destroys the ground they were standing on.

Asmodeus curses to himself, “I’m getting real sick of them trading places!” and summons the Incantorum to his hand again to magically look for a spell. One of the first spells he learned was a spell to find other spells. 

In a split/second Asmodeus goes from the ground to high above the buildings with Asmodea, leaving Beatrix looking for him. She sets her eyes on her brother, struggling to get up with an out of control succubus.

She’s about to step in when she’s hears what sounds like the voice of god calling down to her. “Ostende mihi faciem nexum!”

Beatrix looks up yelling, “The fuck was that?!” and as she yells she finds these blue strings, with dark magic smoking from them. These lines stretch out across the courtyard where her brother sees them stemming from him too.

Noella, Azale, sever the line!” Asmodeus calls down to them.

Beatrix freezes as she realizes what he’s done. 

Her husband having made the connection between the Bone Twins a physical manifestation, one that can be attacked and cut.

Noella doesn’t hesitate to dash for the line with her hand on her rapier’s grip, holding it steady. Azale lifts her silver warhammer and points it towards Noella. As the warhammer lights up with light magic, so does the rapier. 

Their synergy always makes Asmodeus smirk.

Beatrix is worn out, and while she’s not out of the fight, she would never catch Noella on the Pride daemon’s worst day. But to be safe, Asmodeus raises the land below the fury’s feet to trap her, making her fall flat on her face. She has to struggle to get a first row view of Noella temporarily severing the connection with her brother.

With a pull from its sheath, Noella’s sword moves at light speed, slashing the lifeline between the Bone Twins with the point of the blade. The light magic infused with the demoness’s metal is enough to sever the connection between them.

The connection between the two Bone Twins has never once been broken since the day they were born. It’s like having their heart cut out and having the all the arteries and veins connected to them burned closed.

The first wave of pain knocks Axel unconscious with his eyes wide open. Beatrix hangs on long enough for Asmodeus to see the yellow fade away to reveal her purple pupils, right before the attack leaves her unconscious.

With both Bone Twins down for the count, Asmodeus lands, cradling Asmodea in his arms. He’s already formed a healing spell to repair the burns on her hands. 

With one arm holding her by the shoulders, she looks up at him with his stern expression. “You’re too young to be looking so serious, you know,” she tells them, her voice trembling as she deals with a pain she hasn’t experienced before. She’s surprised by how strong these furies were, and how dangerous their powers are. 

I’ve fought black daemons with fewer ass-pulls than these two. 

A smirk teases along Asmodeus’s lips as Asmodea hopes for it, but seeing all of her wounds he can’t do it. “Let this just be a lesson for all of us,” he says.

Lesson?” she questions after wincing at the burn on her sword hand. He’s literally replacing missing skin now, but she acclimates enough to give him shit. “You sound like an old man but I got thousands of years on you, cutie.” She tries to raise her hand to his face, but the pain stops her halfway. He catches it, and starts healing it. 

That’s the point where it finally sets in how bad of shape she’s in, and it’ll take a few hours for him to restore her to full strength. With the Bone Twins unconscious, they have it, but for their mission…

I’ve screwed up, she thinks. She lets her head hang back, staring up at the sky. 

*****

I will kill that stupid little fucking fury!” they all hear Petra screaming behind them. 

Asmodeus has strict words for the succubus as she storms towards the unconscious Axel Bone with several elements flying around her hand. As she curses up a storm, Asmodeus puts on his True Asmodeus voice. 

Petra,” he growls, making the Reaver fo Sadism stop and shiver. She hates that voice. Her neck might as well creak with how she turns it. “Don’t you dare,” he orders her, and with only a twitch of her finger the elements dissipate, but she stands frozen. That form has always scared her from the time of the previous Asmodeus. 

It’s not until Asmodeus turns his gaze away that Petra’s body relaxes. She curses to herself, and the Bone Twins as she looks at her clothes and misses her feathered hat. 

Mostly, she curses at herself. She was given a chance to cut loose, just like she wanted, and she not only lost control, she lost control in failure. 

Azale sees her fellow Reaver growing frustrated and offers Sadism her umbrella and her hat with its broken feather. 

Petra looks up at the angel, and returns Devotion’s warm smile. “Thank you, dove,” she whispers as she hangs the umbrella on her arm, and puts the hat on her head, spending sometime to fix it. 

She does her best without a mirror and asks Azale, “How do I look?”

Azale tilts her head with a smile. “Perfect.”

“Beloved,” Noella asks Asmodeus, “what are we going to do now?” She’s looking at the Bone Twins around them, and the district too. 

They would be hard pressed to say Asmodea and Petra won, there’s no respect to be earned. Not it’s on for plan C.

“Don’t worry, I have a plan.” Asmodeus repeats, not assuring her as he tends to Asmodea’s wounds, but himself, “I always have a plan.”

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