One of the things that surprised me the most that night, was that Isabel sort of protected me, by making Muriel unable to attack. But why protect me and not Khuna or Valerie? They just sat there, helpless, while Muriel raised her sword for attack. She savoured the moment, it seemed. The goddess in charge, her majesty the victor.
Muriel made a slanted downward swipe, aimed at Khuna's throat. And connected.
The tip of the blade tore open the flesh, but she was far away enough not to cut the head completely. If nothing was done, she'd bleed to death. And bleed it did, quite fiercely. She tried to put her arm over the gap, attempting to stop the flow, but it was to no avail.
Valerie moved back when she tried to do the same, but now she was on the edge of the roof and could crawl back no further. Muriel just made another swipe, from left to right this time, cutting open Valerie's throat in the same manner. It was a horrible sight.
I gathered my strength and sprang up, running for Muriel, maybe push her off the roof and save my friends. She turned around as she saw me coming, a light smile on her face, happy for the coming battle presumably.
She slashed, a long slash from her lower right to her upper left. I had to lean to the right to avoid it, touching the roof lightly with my fingertips. But it did allow me to get to her side and punch her just below her ribs.
It was like hitting marble.
As my hand gave a warning twinge of pain, I had to retract my arm before her sword moved in a fast horizontal slash, the sword almost vertical. She was so fast with it, despite it's length. And the way she moved it now made it impossible for me to get closer again.
I stepped back, two steps to be out of her sword's reach, noticing Isabel on the side, still smiling and looking at our movements with interest.
"You can't win, why do you fight me?"
I sighed. "I don't want to fight you, I only want to save my friends."
"You talked to Afentis after you saw me?"
I didn't expect the sudden turn of questioning, but decided to roll with it. Talking fast as Khuna and Valerie's blood was already seeping over the edge of the roof. "Yes, he told me part of his story, how he was turned, your disappearance, seeing you later."
She mumbled to herself, looking down for a moment. "So he really is still alive." Then she looked up sharply. "And he trusts you enough to tell this?"
I nodded. "He made me, helped me fight against a strange enemy."
Something in her was changing, I don't know why, but it was like gears turning that hadn't been moving for a long time. Her stance changed a little, loosening up. If I had wanted to kill her, now would have been the perfect time. But of course, I didn't want to kill anyone. I just wanted to save Khuna and Valerie.
She sighed. "This is a bad idea, but I'll help you keep them alive. For now. I don't want any of you running away. Something here isn't right. This is the third time they've send me after Afentis's children and, to be honest, none of them appeared followers of the dark."
I blinked and stepped sideways, slightly moving towards the two still bleeding. "Can I?"
She nodded. "Yes. But don't try and run, I will be faster and I will kill you if you do."
I nodded in understanding and appreciation. Taking a careful step towards Khuna and Valerie, thankful that Muriel stepped aside for me. I made no sudden moves, making sure that none of my actions could be seen as hostile. I was almost near them when Isabel interrupted.
"No!" She sounded like a cross child. "This is not how it's supposed to be!"
A darkness fell over me and, apparently, Muriel too. Both of us slumped down but, as 'luck' would have it, I ended up facing my friends. The blood was a large pool now. Some part of me tried to remember how much blood was actually in a human, would a vampire have more or less? It didn't matter.
It had mixed with the rain.
It was a very large pool of almost black, surrounding them. And because the rain had caused the roof's drains to be overflowing already, I could just see how the red fluid flowed over the edge. Briefly I wondered if it tainted the windows, scaring the people below.
The darkness pulled me further, I didn't have the strength to scream defiance. Isabel walked into view and bend over the bodies of Khuna and Valerie, she looked up at me and smiled, but not in her usual innocent way. Her smile was decidedly more evil. It was dark, a humor that no one but her would appreciate. Her voice was different too, gone was the playful innocence, replaced by a sharper tone that sounded misplaced on her childish voice.
"This is how it needs to go."