Chapter 29 – All around me are familiar faces
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“So, let me get this straight-” Josie began, before being interrupted by Robyn, who was enjoying herself sitting on the ceiling, looking at us upside down.

“If you can.”

“Shush you.” Josie continued. “After screwing us all collectively over, and fixing your mistake, you want us to help you deal with this weird fairy wolf creature, that right?” She looked at Leonard, who wasn’t doing too well from the confrontation.

“It was Lily’s idea and I fucked her over too.” Leonard tried to protect his hide, only time would tell whether his attempt was successful or not.

“Dunno about you, but I personally find my new self a net positive, so if you need my help go ahead!” Félicie was sitting on the table in blob form, a book in her paws: ‘Self-Confidence Boosting Brews, or: How to make a coffee that’ll remove your beard forever’. Definitely going for the transition care alchemy.

“Yeah, I know I freaked out about it originally, but being able to pick Diego up with ease has opened up a completely new dynamic for our relationship.” Amy contributed, sitting in her blue and buff form, shrunk down height wise to fit comfortably in a chair (Which still meant she towered over everyone, but like a person instead of like a giantess. Human scale not Oni scale). “Plus grandpa is great and visits as much as he can. I’m up for helping.” Amy shrugged, which left Josie sighing.

“You’re gonna peer pressure Robyn into this aren’t you.” Josie’s glare was that of a concerned partner.

“They can’t peer pressure me into it Jo. What I want to know is how I’d even contribute. I’m a flying snake, not a big buff oni or a slime catgirl or a fiery succubus or a powerful wizard.” Robyn shrugged on the ceiling. Seeing someone shrug while sitting upside down was kind of wild.

“I wouldn’t use Powerful Wizard to describe Leonard.” I finally joined the conversation, having left the pitching of the idea to Leonard, since I figured he had an air of teacher assistant to him when it came to giving presentations.

“I wouldn’t either. You all got awakened specifically because I craved power I didn’t have.” Leonard sighed. “And I needed to get humbled for my hubris. I’m working on accepting my flaws and working on getting better. Right, anyways, big wolf monster possessed by an angry evil angel. Show of hands, who is definitely helping?” Everybody raised their hands. Amy, Josie, Robyn, May, Me. Everybody, except Félicie.

“You said hands. These are paws.” She poked her tongue out, still in blob form, making Leonard roll his eyes, before Félicie raised her paw too.

“Thanks everyone.” I cracked my knuckles. “Now let’s plan this beat down.”

 

So. Sitting down with a group of people to plan a hunt for a large creature, with said people having specific sets of skills that you’re unsure how well would work together, is not as easy as you’d think. We ended up needing to order dinner from the Question, which resulted in Olivia delivering it and seeing us all in demon forms.

“Greasy wizard fucked up the whole building?” Was what she asked the moment she collected herself. 

“Greasy wizard is also present and took responsibility for his actions!” Leonard called out from his little huddle spot, where he was looking through demon logs online, trying to find out all our abilities. Olivia just put down the food on the table and left, shaking her head. We knew Amy had muscles and size shifting. That Robyn could fly. That Félicie could change her form and material, plus all the magic she taught herself. And my empurrserker abilities were explained to me by May, when she contributed to the conversation. As I was told before, succubi are creatures of emotion. We can influence others’ emotions to make them more or less intense as needed, and our emotions had powerful effects. She didn’t give me a spiel about controlling them. She gave me a different, more important lesson.

Targeting. Feelings are real and valid. But you need to be careful not to lash them out and hurt innocent people in the process. Anger can be constructive. Despair can make you improvise. Determination? Oh you don’t want to mess with someone who is determined to fuck you up.

Right, back to the problems at hand. With pretty much everyone except May untrained in their abilities, coming up with a plan was proving difficult. The best we could think of was to have Amy grow big enough to grab the wolf as it leapt, with Félicie turning herself effectively into handcuffs, while Robyn helped lift the wolf into the air. That would leave it contained, but would result in me not contributing in any way, and if Khazmiel was truly possessing the wolf, who knew what he’d attempt. So, we needed back ups. As many as we could figure out.

“Oh this is helpful. I found info on Quetzals.” Leonard piped up, so we collectively turned to face him. “Robyn has wind powers. The wolf leaps a lot and has that tail to catch wind. What if… wind pressure to keep it from leaping?”

“And then Amy grows building sized and sits on it to make it stop moving.” I offered as the next step.

“Consider the fact I don’t want to get feather acupuncture from its neck feathers.” Amy pointed out, making me nod in agreement.

“Right, those, we’d have to deal with those.” I was scratching my chin while humming. I barely registered Félicie closing her alchemy book so that she could scoot through Leonard’s collection of tomes for something. She returned to the desk by stretching herself between it and the spot she was standing at, a book in her paws. ‘So your loved one is possessed by an angel, or: How to block Gabriel calling you for a crusade’.

“Do all magic books have such ridiculous naming conventions?” I rolled my eyes and sighed.

“No, just this one publishing house. Everyone else tends to be more direct with their titling.” Leonard explained, as Félicie started flipping through the pages.

“‘Out Damn Spot’. Forces angels out of those they’re possessing, severing the connection. The angel can repossess the individual if further precaution isn’t taken.” Félicie read out loud, before flipping further. “You said they’re naturally friendly? So we’d just need to make sure the nasty angel doesn’t take over the…” Félicie grimaced “...dog, again. And to keep it away from me. Am kitty.”

“Right, yeah, makes sense. So we just have to contain it until you or Leonard-”

“Definitely Félicie.” Leonard interrupted me, and honestly? He was right. He wasn’t really up for this.

“Okay, until Félicie casts the depossession spell, and then what?” I looked around the room, to see May shrug.

“And then we wing it from there.” She contributed, which made all of us nod in agreement.

 

We made sure everyone was in position. I was standing on the rooftop of the apartment building, wind dramatically striking me, my hair flailing around. I had changed clothes to be wearing shorts, a shirt, and a long vest, plus my stompy boots. If I was to be the martial artist of the party, I figured I oughta look the part. May was waiting out of sight, nearby, as we both planned to be bait for the wolf.

I scanned the horizon for signs of the creature, until I saw it. The moment I did, I signaled May, who came out of her hiding spot, to join me by my side.

I could tell the wolf had noticed us, the second it started leaping towards us across rooftops. With the knowledge the bait worked, May and I legged it. I hadn’t been practicing flying whatsoever, and so we agreed we’d go for a jump and glide technique instead. I knew the wolf was gaining on us the second I caught a whiff of its smell. Wet dog didn’t begin to cover it. It was closer to ‘Wet dog that got wet in a potion cauldron and is shaking in fear as a little mouse now’. And if playing horror games taught me anything, it was to not look back at the thing chasing you. Thus, me and May kept running. Our destination? The park outside of town. The others got it cleared out by pretending it was needed for a movie shoot, to make sure civilians wouldn’t be hit in the crossfire.

What I wasn’t expecting was to be taunted straight away. You ever seen one of the videos of huskies ‘talking’? Well, imagine that, but deeper and growlier and barely understandable. That’s how it sounded, when the wolf yelled towards me and May. And what did it yell? “Meassael, Whore of Hell, I have you at last! You and the last of your spawn! You will not escape your judgement this time, like you did so long ago!” All I could think at that moment was ‘Wow. Millenia to prepare a challenge, and he goes for that.’

No effort to it. No creativity. Just a weakass insult and a declaration of murder. Why did the fucker plaguing my family have to be an idiot? I was kind of wishing dad was the big bad in this situation. He at least had a creep factor to him. Which reminded me that I should check in with Bournie about how dear old dad is doing. After I was done dealing with a possessed bus sized dog, of course.

The edge of the park came into view, and me and May jumped right into it, landing with a roll and turning around, seeing the Dog leap for us.

This was the arena. This would be where we free the dog. This would be my third big fight.

The night air was lit up through fists of hellfire. “Alright you son of a dog, I hope you like the smell of scorched fur.”

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