Erin ran. The steady rhythm of her legs pumping up and down and her feet meeting the stone floor, were the only sounds other than the continuous screaming. She jumped stairs and ran faster, aware that the screams were coming from below them. Meihui had tried to stop her, but she was not strong enough to do much more than flail her hands about weakly and the other guard who’d tried to get in her way, now lay in a tangled mess where she’d left him. She hadn’t the time to fool around.
The screams were getting louder and Erin stopped for a moment, closing her eyes to listen. She was on the first floor now and the sound bounced and reverberated off the walls. She tuned everything out but the original sound, a trick taught to her in the early days of her warden training. Pinpointing the location, she took off in the direction opposite the library where Meihui had welcomed her.
She ran as adrenaline pumped through her, jumping another small flight of stairs, then another, until she came to a bamboo door. The bamboo had been woven and rewoven to create a kind of lattice work that Erin was unfamiliar with, but there was no time to admire it. She pushed harder than she needed to, as the door gave way the moment it was touched. Erin swallowed hard when she entered the room, not quite expecting what she saw before her.
The room itself was a veritable masterpiece. Satin and silk pillows in shades of pink, red and violet were strewn across a padded floor. The floor itself was layered with white chiffon and red rose petals lay underneath, giving an ethereal look to the scene when added to the dim, but inviting lighting. Two beds faced each other, their headrests embedded with virtual screens which were kept on mute and streamed erotic acts meant to further entice those in the room.
They were about fifteen occupants. Humans in various stages of undress and incubi and succubi using them for their pleasure. They didn’t stop when Erin appeared and if anything, seemed more aroused that she was watching them. The room smelt as Meihui’s perfume did and mingled with the sweat and sex of those enjoying the orgy, Erin felt herself somewhat lightheaded and blinked hard, recognising this as her spell wearing off. She’d performed it hours before, but like cloaking spells and some others, she was not yet able to use it again.
Clearing her head, she honed in on the screamer, a human girl who was indulging the fancy of one of the more depraved incubi, allowing him to whip her repeatedly across her legs and back. Erin was about to express her anger for thinking something was wrong, when she took a closer look. A few of the humans were not moving and the supernaturals simply continued to take for their pleasure, to feed, while the dead were ignored. They moaned and writhed, eyes changing shades as they gave into their demon-like selves.
“Erin.” Meihui was behind her and Erin stiffened. She didn’t look around right away, gearing herself up for what would come next.
“All lies,” she said, “And here I was almost ready to believe you.” She turned. Meihui still looked rather weak, but she must have taken from her guards as she was not as pale and drawn as she had been some minutes before.
She replied in Mandarin, “I know you will find this hard to believe, but these are not of my house. I cannot tell you from where they hail, but an idea forms.” Erin shook her head. She was so tired of the lies and pretense. She knew how difficult it was for a warden to have a true friend in a supernatural, but she’d thought that she and Meihui were at least a bit more than acquaintances.
I felt that way about Zach too, she remembered bitterly. “So they just happened to get past your security and make it all the way down to the basement of your house without anyone seeing them?” Erin retorted. Meihui tried to reach for her hand, but Erin pulled away.
“There is a passage, someone must have known of it, they could have used it to—”
“Stop,” Erin broke in, “Humans are dead Meihui, one of them almost died upstairs. You know what I have to do.”
Meihui’s expression turned to one of desperation and she reached for Erin again, this time clutching her arm tight, “Please Erin, Praesidium will destroy me. If this was my doing why would I have come down here alone to face you? To plead for my life? Why would I help that human before if I was killing others? Come now, none of this makes sense, Jiao must have somehow—”
“Jiao? It seems she was right about you.” Erin shook off Meihui’s hand. “Sacrem notios bellundon.” The binding spell rolled off her tongue and Meihui looked stricken. She fell back against the wall, tears filling her eyes, but Erin had no time to feel compassion. As the other supernaturals in the room realised that she’d trapped them, their desire for the flesh was overshadowed by their need to escape.
Four incubi charged her and Erin used their nakedness against them, releasing a pulsing blue flame that singed and burnt their skin, until soon the intoxicating scents were consumed by that of burning flesh. Seeing her attack with such ferocity, humans and supernatural beings alike tried to flee the room, but Erin blocked the path; all that stood between them and life and unfortunately for them, she was not nearly done.
She strode towards a succubus, her dark eyes fearful as Erin touched her chest with her palm, pushing her back. Eyes opened wide, the succubus fell to the floor clutching her heart and gagged from the blood that was now spilling freely from her opened mouth. There were new screams now, but none of it fazed Erin. She felt the strength of her magic coursing through her and it made her feel as though nothing could touch her. She remembered this feeling. It was what she’d felt during her Kaleb fight. Something inside her told her she should pull back, but she didn’t want to. Not quite yet.
Her rampage continued, excited by how powerless they were against her. These beings were strong, but against her dark magic, were little more than fawns to the slaughter.
“Not the humans, what are you doing?” Meihui’s voice broke through the fog and Erin looked up, realising that she held a human in her grasp. She released the woman, not even sure when she’d done it and looked around at her handiwork. Her heart beat hard in her chest, as she surveyed the results of her execution style judgement. She’d done containment’s job and much messier than they would have. The room was now reduced to a bloody tomb and the humans that remained huddled together terrified, looking at her as though they were sure they’d be next.
She turned to face Meihui. “Thanks for stopping me, but it doesn’t change anything, there will still be justice for your crimes.”
Meihui shook her head sadly, “Erin, I swear to you, I don’t know how they got in here, I never would have allowed such—” Meihui stopped talking, looking down at the sharp end of a brass spear slowly making its way through her heart. Blood pooled in her mouth and Erin reached out to hold onto her, but she fell forward, the spear breaking her fall as it pierced the padded floor.
From behind her stepped Jiao, a ravishing smile on lips painted luscious red. Erin threw up her hands to attack, but from behind she felt another pair of hands hold onto her neck. Immediately she felt the danger, as she was no longer protected by her repulsion spell. Her hands dropped involuntarily and giving into the new sensations overwhelming her, Erin leaned back into the arms of the incubus who held her.