I Wish Book 5: Chapter 25

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Shannon O'Reilly was bullied and everything his older sister wasn't. When his sister Sarah gives him a chance to change things through a single wish things don't go as planned.

 
 

I Wish: Book 5
Chapter 25
Sihaal the Unseen

By
Amethyst
I was ready this time as another gout of flames erupted around my hastily erected dome. “Shit. Three crystals down, I really hope he doesn’t decide to call my bluff.”

 


 
Author's note: Here's chapter 25 of book five of I Wish. I was hoping to post it yesterday, but a thunderstorm and exhaustion conspired to prevent it. Thanks once again to my readers for their support, and to the Big Closet staff.
 

** Mason **

Have you ever met a person who, by their mere existence, turns your life completely on its head in the most unexpected ways? For me, that person was Shannon O’Reilly. Shannon is that rare kind of person who draws other people to them and changes their lives as a result. Unlike most people like that, she usually changes the lives of those who become close to her in weird and supernatural ways, but more often than not, those changes are for the better too.

The day that we met at that café and I asked her out, I had been following one of my hunches but I never really expected that one action to change my life the way that it had. Before that day I had been focused on my dream of becoming a movie star, and the rest of my life suffered as a result. I was so focused on getting modeling jobs, auditions, reading lines, and especially acting lessons that I hardly spent any time with my old friends anymore. Despite my hunches, I missed seeing something important. My mom and some of my friends got sick and probably could have died because of the Demons that were feeding on their life energy.

I was so focused on what I wanted from life that I ignored the feeling that what I had was in danger until it was almost too late. When I finally did give in to that feeling I had been surprised to see an actual Demon. However, I was even more surprised to see that same, sweet, redheaded girl that my hunch had pushed me to meet earlier in the day use magick to destroy the creature. She probably saved my ass too.

Shannon, Sarah, and Ziralin saved my mother’s life, and the lives of a few friends who had been ‘sick’ as well. They also invited me to join them, to use my gift to help other people the same way that they did. Shannon pulled me into her gravity and now my life was weirder, but so much better than before.

Sure, I still wanted to be a movie star someday, but I was also doing something amazing. I was helping people, protecting them, even if they didn’t realize it most of the time. My hunches were becoming more reliable and happening more often too since I had joined Sarah’s and Shannon’s team of Demon hunters. The biggest thing that meeting Shannon had brought into my life would also be the most innocuous to other people though. It was because of her that I met Jennifer.

That first night, when Jen had given me a ride home from Shannon’s house, the two of us just clicked. She was smart, fun to be with, and a lot prettier than she would ever give herself credit for. We had been going steady for two months now, longer if you counted our time in Nhekar together, and I had fallen for her hard. Now, I couldn’t image my life without her in it.

I hoped that she would be okay. I know that splitting up and taking on all of the Generals at once had been my idea, but I was certain that it was the only way that we would all live through this. That is if I had chosen the right targets for us. This was literal Hell though, and I was well aware that worse things than death could happen to us here if we failed.

We couldn’t allow ourselves to fail here, we all knew that going in. I had to believe in my hunches, and believe in the others. “Don’t doubt yourself now, Mason, and have faith in your friends. We can do this,” I mentally scolded myself. Still, that didn’t stop me from worrying about my friends, and especially Jen, as I appeared in a large cobblestone courtyard with a sixty-foot tall tower in the center.

I couldn’t sense any Demons in the tower, or the courtyard at all. Beyond the walls I could hear fighting though, it sounded intense. Kisha must have managed to convince the resistance force of Demons against the war to rise up after all. It sounded like chaos out there, I only hoped that the distraction would work to our advantage.

I had a feeling that the Demon general that held this gatehouse was out there, trying to stop the apparent insurrection, and that gave me two options. The first was subtlety. I could try to get a good vantage point, hope that my psychic ability could help me pick them out of a crowd, and try to take them down with my shotgun. The second option was to get their attention and make them come to me, hopefully without reinforcements and before the news started to travel about the other Generals and the Demon King being attacked.

Forget it, subtlety was out. That was more Jen’s kind of thing than mine and even if I could pick out the General in a crowd of fighting Demons, long-range accuracy was also something that Jen would be better at, it was why I used a shotgun instead of a rifle. My Celestial ability was also far more suited to defense, and protecting others, than to attacking.

The armor and shield that manifested on me when I changed to my Celestial form contained powerful holy defensive enchantments, so I figured that the moment that I changed form I would light up like a flare to any Demons nearby, even without my Celestial aura. If anything would bring my opponent to me, it would probably be a Celestial in their gatehouse. It was time to wake up the neighbors.

I concentrated on the shield-shaped mark on my chest and changed forms, feeling my wings emerge behind me and the familiar weight of my armor and shield settle upon me. Now I could sense the seething mass of demonic auras in the ring beyond this courtyard and, almost immediately, the most powerful aura I had ever felt separated from the fray and moved straight to my position. Whatever it was, it was fast. I only barely reacted in time to my hunch to raise a defensive dome before the courtyard around me erupted in flames.

My armor and shield only protected me from physical attacks. As far as I knew, the armor was damn near impenetrable, except for a few weak spots, and any Demons who so much as touched it or the shield would be burned by the protective magicks. For magical attacks, and things like this fire, I needed to use my actual Celestial ability and not its physical representation though.

I quickly drained one of the okka crystals in my pouch as the flames faded and I allowed the silvery dome of protection to vanish. I had been hoping not to have to use it so soon since it was a power hog of an ability and I only had four crystals to work with. Well, three crystals now.

My opponent regarded me from atop the courtyard wall with wide reptilian eyes once the smoke cleared since half the courtyard was blackened and cracked from the heat of the flames, except for a ten-foot-in-diameter circle around me. The Demon was covered in black and blood-red scales, was roughly eight feet tall as it stood on its hind legs, and had a long sinewy body and tail with black spikes emerging from its spine, and a wedge-shaped head. It had short forelegs with talon-like hands tipped with nasty-looking claws that were easily six inches long.

It was a Salamander, I recognized its kind from Lunael’s memories, smaller distant relatives of Dragons. How the hell did this one get so fast though? It hissed, flicking its lizard-like tongue at me from between rows of teeth designed to rend flesh. Then its mouth erupted in flames again and I barely reacted in time to the glow in its mouth to raise another shield.

“Damn. Two crystals down and two to go,” I thought bitterly as the flames started to clear and I fired a round from my shotgun, one that the Salamander deftly avoided in a blur of motion. I needed to bring this thing in close to fight in a way I was better suited for and hope that my psychic instincts could help to counteract its raw speed.

I had an idea as I quickly fired off a round toward where my instincts were telling me that he would appear next. There was a hiss of pain as it again deftly avoided the shot, but it sounded as if I had grazed him with some of Shannon’s special buckshot at least. As he moved again I tried to get into the role I had in mind and casually called out, “You know, I came here to fight a General in honorable combat, not some lizard with bad breath. Feel free to keep trying though, I don’t need to draw on the toxic magick energy here to keep this up. I can keep canceling out your little flames all day long.”

I was ready this time as another gout of flames erupted around my hastily erected dome. “Shit. Three crystals down, I really hope he doesn’t decide to call my bluff.”

When the flames cleared and I turned to their source, the Salamander was watching me warily. “You do not draw upon the essssence,” it hissed. I tried not to breathe an audible sigh of relief. From what I knew, Salamanders were mostly physical combatants and couldn’t sense magick very well. It could probably sense if someone was drawing on the ‘essence’ around it but I had been hoping that it wouldn’t sense me drawing on the magick stored in the okka crystals since they were so close to my body and the powerful enchantments in my armor and shield.

“Nope, I do not,” I cheerfully agreed. “So I can do this all day unless a General decides to face me in honorable combat. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone. What do you say? You stop wasting both our time trying to barbeque me, and I’ll put away my boomstick, and we’ll try to kill each other like civilized people.”

“Sssselessstials and your honor,” the Salamander hissed in distaste. “Very well, I will give you credit for courage, at leassst, to challenge Ssssihaal the Unsssseen.”

“What can I say? I like a challenge,” I replied as if I actually had any idea who he was. I am Mason, the… uhh… thespian.” I needed to keep playing along so I could get him in close and hope that the crazy plan that I had just come up with would work. So, I carefully shouldered my shotgun. If I tried to aim it at him, he would probably have moved before I could even pull the trigger.

As soon as I had shouldered the weapon, Sihaal made his move. I didn’t even see it, one minute he was standing there watching me, and an instant later I was reacting so a very powerful hunch and moving my head to the right as quickly as I could with my enhanced Celestial speed and reflexes. The bastard had gone straight for the eye slits in my helm with those long claws of his and I had barely managed to move aside in time.

The fight carried on like that for a while as Sihaal moved too fast for me to see and tried to land killing blows while my hunches were barely keeping me alive and in one piece. Then I got a hunch that wasn’t related to my current fight, one that tugged at my heart as well as my mind. Jen was hurt, and probably in trouble, but if I took my mind off this fight for even an instant, I would be dead within that same moment. I had to trust in my girlfriend, she could win as long as she used her head.

Still, I wanted to go to her side so I needed to finish this up quickly. He was coming for me again, on my right side, where I didn’t have the shield to intercept him. I swiftly pivoted and at the last second, I summoned a protective dome as I slammed my shield into where I thought he was going to be. I was rewarded with an impact on my shield and a hiss of pain from my opponent as the divine energies in my silver shield made contact with his scales.

When he tried to retreat and put some distance between us, he was in for an unpleasant surprise and another hiss of pain, more intense this time, rang out to my left, followed by a curse in the demonic language. I turned, slamming my shield into him again while he was still stunned and pinning him between it and my barrier. “Did you just realize now that you’re trapped in here with me?” I asked, not caring if I got an answer. “My protective domes don’t just keep things from getting in, they keep things from getting out too, and the barrier is made of pure holy magick.”

“You sssaid no trickssss!!!” he screamed as he was burned from both sides.

“I was acting, Asshole.” I gave a push with all the strength that I had as I drained the last okka crystal to keep the dome up a little bit longer. Sihaal’s screams and the smell of burning flesh permeated the courtyard for another couple of minutes before they suddenly stopped, and I felt no more resistance to my pushing as he turned to ash.

I let my dome fade as my exhaustion from the fight set in. What about Jen? Was she okay? She had to be, if she had died, I would have felt it, I would know. No, I had a strong feeling that she was hurt, but that she had won and had used her bugout bracelet. Should I stay and help the others?

It didn’t take me long to decide against it. I would have to fly to get to any of them in time, and I had just used every bit of magick energy that I had to kill Sihaal. It would take me too long to purify enough to safely make the trip to even the next gatehouse.

No, the others could handle their fights. I had faith in them. I needed to go home and check on the girl that I loved. I dismissed my Celestial form and reached for my bugout bracelet and as I spoke the emergency number that would take me home, I thought that I saw a lone Succubus flying overhead, toward the center of the city. There was no aura, and she was moving with a purpose, so it seemed that Lisa, Michelle, and Rebecca had won the battle at the first gate as well. “Good luck, Becca,” I thought as the courtyard disappeared from my sight and I returned home.

© 2013-2023 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved
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Comments

Acting

Amethyst's picture

Yup, Mason put on a great act. The Salamander probably didn't get the Princess Bride or Army of Darkness references though.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Great chapter

Great chapter
Nice filling in the back story between Mason and Jennifer

Thanks

Amethyst's picture

I thought this was a great opportunity to show their relationship from Mason's point of view, and more than just reference the fact that they had been dating and getting close.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Drama

in 2 acts:
"Die, scum."
"*rasp*"

Well, an actor can usually pull off a good bluff. :-)

Though I wonder how long exactly it would have taken Mason to purify enough energy in order to fly to the next gate. 5 mins. would have been worth a try, I think. 3 h or more probably not.

Thx for another nice played chapter^^

lol

Amethyst's picture

Yup, actors are good at bluffing. The energy in Heil is extremely tainted and Mason hasn't had much of a need to purify energy before so it would have taken him quite a bit longer than Sarah or Shannon, who are well versed in purifying energy for holy spells.

Even Sarah balked at the idea of purifying it easily under pressure during their first brief trip to Heil.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Depends

Amethyst's picture

It would depend largely on how the water was sanctified. It probably wouldn't have done much more than give it a nasty burn though.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3