Mercenary Magic Page 48

“You’re not in any position to be making threats.”

Dragon fire flashed behind his eyes. He’d leeched a lot of magic from Kai. This was going to be fun.

“How’s this for a threat? First, I’m going to knock the stolen magic out of you. Then, I’m going to make short work of your minions.”

“There are many of us and so few of you.” His grin was pure rapture. “Give up now.”

“Yeah, so you’ve got to know by now that that’s just not going to happen.”

“You’re being stubborn.”

Twin pillars of fire blazed up behind Finn, casting him in demonic light. Beside him, illuminated strands of bright silver magic began to twist and turn together, slowly shaping into a dragon.

“That’s bigger than your last one,” Sera commented. Maybe if I wrap my legs and arms around it, I can…push out my magic and shatter it?

Even in her head, the idea sounded ridiculous. Finn was high on Kai’s magic, a power both potent and resilient—so potent and resilient that it had allowed Kai to survive being shot at by a tank.

“Yes, it is.” Finn’s dragon continued to grow. At this rate, it would be fully formed in another one or two minutes max.

“Callum,” Sera said. “You go for the spatting siblings. Dal and Tony, start working your way through the rest of these bozos. I’ll deal with Finn.”

When they didn’t charge into battle, she looked back. They just stood there, their eyes wide as they stared at the forming dragon. They were tough guys, but right now they looked scared out of their wits. Kai was struggling to peel himself off the floor, and they didn’t move a muscle. Fear had frozen them.

Finn laughed. “You are alone, Sera. And yet you’re not scared. Why is that?”

Not scared? Of course she was scared. She was terrified. But when you’d spent two decades in constant fear for your life, you’d long since learned to deal with the fear. You didn’t let it paralyze you.

“Nothing scary about you,” she told him. “All show and no substance.”

The dragon’s tail swung at Sera. She ducked. It came again, and she jumped back. The tail smacked the floor hard, crumbling it into a crater of cracked and broken pieces.

“No substance, you say? How about that!”

“She’s right,” Kai’s scratchy voice said as he stumbled to his feet beside her. Sera extended her arm, and he gripped onto her shoulder, using it to steady himself. “You are playing a game. You’ve only ever played games.”

The fire pillars doubled in diameter, forcing Finn’s army to scramble to avoid the angry flames.

“Playing with magic is very different than fighting with it.” Kai took a heavy step forward.

“Wait.” Sera swung her arm down in front of him like a gate. “You’re in no condition to fight.”

He looked pointedly at her blistered hands.

“The rest of me is fine,” she said.

He gave her a hard look.

“Mostly fine.” Her body was sore and her head was pounding with the thumps of a herd of stampeding horses, but she was still standing. “I’m in better shape than you. He just drained your magic dry.”

Kai stepped around her. “Not completely dry.”

“I’ll gladly take the rest,” Finn called out.

That did it. Kai charged forward, preparing to tackle his cousin. But Finn threw him back with a gust of wind that slammed him against the wall. Sera jumped over the dragon’s tail. Blasts of icy energy flew at her, nearly kissing her cheek as she rolled. They shattered against the back wall, singing out like frozen chimes. Sera jumped up and ran at him.

Finn’s fist crackled with lightning. He swung a punch at her, but even juiced up as he was right now, he wasn’t a fighter. Sera slid aside and slammed her elbow into his ribcage. Roaring in pain, Finn stumbled away. A ring of red and gold energy burst out of the floor, sending a shock through Sera’s body.

She must have blacked out for a second because the next thing she remembered was lying on the floor, watching Kai body-slam Finn into a brick wall. Blood and sweat were smeared across both cousins’ faces. Kai was barely staying on his feet, but he kept fighting, powered solely by fury. Finn looked even worse. His head was bleeding, his steps dizzy, and his arm hung at an awkward angle.

The summoned dragon had faded out to the point that it was nothing more than a ghost; soon it would disappear completely. The commandos were finally fighting. Finn’s army was falling. Olivia and a few others lay unconscious in the corner. Harrison was making a run for the exit.

Kai hit Finn one final time, and the leader of the magic revolution crumpled to the floor. Kai pulled out a pair of handcuffs—a special type designed to block out all magic. As he slapped them onto his cousin’s wrists, Harrison and a few other mages made their exit. Kai’s eyes slid across the room, falling on Sera. He trudged over to her, his boots thumping heavily against the cracked floor.

“Hi,” she croaked, trying to pull herself up. Her body refused to cooperate.

“Hi.” He crouched down and wrapped his arm around her waist, helping her up. He nearly fell over. “You look like shit.”

“Thanks, so do you.”

She managed to sit. Her butt felt like someone had hit it with a war hammer. She looked around the room. Most of the mages had fled. The commandos had managed to capture a few. They were slapping magic-blocking handcuffs on them.

Prev Next