“Trying to gang up on me?” He assumed when he saw Drew sitting five feet from me. “You might as well head on home, kid. She used magic during her testing period. I’m just doing my job, coming here and collecting her soul. You know that.”
“What I know…” Drew started standing up. The inspiration hit me then. Drew couldn’t stand up to Sikal for my sake; that’s not what was supposed to happen. He would be interfering with fate if he did that and then he’d find himself in as much trouble as we hoped for Sikal to be in.
“What I know,” I echoed jumping up and silencing Drew behind me. “Is that you won’t be taking my soul. At least not tonight.”
“Well, missy, when did you get so brave while in my presence?” Sikal asked, shocked by my demeanor.
“When I realized that you’re just an old demonlord, subjected to the same laws of the universe as the rest of us.” I explained, gaining confidence with each word that left my lips and built the threat.
“What is your point?” He asked, coming closer and towering over me in an attempt to intimidate me. “Or are you just trying to further delay the inevitable?”
“My point,” I started calmly and without anger in my voice. “Is that you, in a very clever move which played on my mortal weakness of empathy, tricked me into using my magic. Neither you nor I can prove whether or not I would have used my magic if that flaming car had not materialized in this alley. With that said, you chanced altering the fate of a mortal, which goes against the order of the universe and the law that we all are bound to.”
Sikal stood there, taking in every single word that I said and probably looking for a flaw in what he thought was my logic. In reality, I had Drew to thank for my success.
“Sikal,” I said, for the first time in my life, addressing my demonlord by name. “I wonder what his majesty would think if he knew what you had done. I wonder what flaming consequences you’d have to endure.”
“What is your point?” Sikal exclaimed, displaying his fear.
“I want to make a deal.” I told him without hesitation.
“A deal? You want to make a deal with me?” He repeated.
“A bet of sorts, if that’s the terminology you prefer.” I clarified.
“I’m listening. Let’s hear this deal of yours.”
“Here’s the deal,” I said, preparing to make another deal with a devil. At least this deal was one that I had a choice in. “I want a duel. Between me and you. I bet that I can beat you without my magic. If –”
“Without your magic? You’ll automatically lose!” Sikal laughed devilishly. “You want to make a bet you’re bound to lose?”
“If,” I started again, but nervously looked at Drew. He nodded slowly in order to make sure that Sikal didn’t notice my need for encouragement. “If you win, you get my soul and no one tells the King what you’ve done. However, if you lose, I get my soul, no questions asked. Now, with my destined to lose, I see no reason why you wouldn’t agree to the deal, but, if you find yourself scared or nervous and decide not to agree with the bet or you back out at a later date, then his Majesty will find out that you chanced fate. Understood?”
“Understood and,” Sikal thought for a moment. “Agreed.”
“Good.” Drew and I said in unison and Sikal flinched with the slightest ounce of worry.
“You’ll be seeing me in two months.” Sikal said, setting the date for our duel. “And, Miss, remember that by then I’ll be stronger!”
“Oh, I’ll remember.” I reassured him as he disappeared into the darkness. He was a lot less fancy in his exit than he had been about his entrance. I took that as a good sign.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.