Demrin stared at the girl as her uncertain eyes darted back and forth between the three of them. He saw the flicker of her wrist towards the door-handle. He locked it with a flick of his wrist.
“We just want to talk, Ana”, he said, his voice low and soothing. He gestured for her to take a seat again. Reluctantly, she moved back to the sofa and sat down. Fear filled eyes stared up at the three of them.
“W-what is he doing here?” she asked, indicating Adder with a nod of her head.
“He won’t harm you again. He has learned not to try. You are special, Ana. You have powers”.
“What do you mean?” she asked, but hidden in her eyes was the truth. She knew that something weird had been going on in her life, and it had just been confirmed.
“You have powers”, Demrin repeated. “Exactly what those powers are, I am not yet sure. However I would like to learn more. I am willing to offer you the position as my apprentice. My name is Demrin Artuna. I am a Warlock”.
“But, Demrin... you have never had an apprentice... are you sure you are ready?” Calla inputted.
“I am. Let the girl speak now, Calla. Ana, you do not have to decide immediately, however I hope you will give my offer serious consideration”.
The girl nodded, still extremely unsure looking. As she was about to open her mouth to speak, the apartment door exploded in and they were all thrown in the blast. Dust clouds erupted, clouding their vision and Demrin called up a quick gust of wind to dispel them.
As their vision cleared, they saw the shadows which were now creeping through the door and up the walls, steadily coating the apartment. Standing in the doorway was a large, black clad figure. The shadows appeared to be sprouting from its feet. In its right hand it held a black blade, in its left, a ball of black fire. The Black Assassin had arrived.
Demrin was on his feet immediately, his silver dagger sliding into his hand from within his sleeve. He quickly summoned a ball of fire, completely surrounding his other hand. He glanced back at the others and uttered one quick word. “Run”.
He flung himself at The Black Assassin, silver meeting black as their blades crashed against one another in a flurry of quick blows and parries. Balls of flaming orange and black fire were flying around the room, bouncing off every wall. Demrin felt an immense pressure on his skull; The Black Assassin was trying to enter his mind again.
“I see you have warded against my mind probes, Warlock. Impressive. They will not last. Sure enough, Demrin was beginning to feel the strain of holding him off. During a quick break in the fight, he glanced back. The others were still standing there, gaping at the scenes unfolding in front of them.
“ADDER, GET THEM OUT OF HERE AND GET THEM SOMEWHERE SAFE, NOW!”
Demrin didn’t wait to see if the vampire had listened. He was immediately back in the action again, silver dagger thrusting, slashing, blocking and swirling as he and the Assassin moved in a circle. All the while the shadows were continuing to grow on the walls. They had reached the ceiling. Demrin chanced a quick glance around the room. The others were gone.
The glance cost him ground. He was on the back-foot now, desperately attempting to keep The Black Assassin at bay, both physically and mentally. Demrin was facing the door again now, and another figure was silhouetted there. As the figure came into the room, a fireball lit his face. It was the necromancer, John Scott. Checking in on his hired help no doubt.
The Black Assassin stepped back and stood next to Scott. Both raised their hands as one and brought them crashing to the floor. The shadows which had steadily been coating the room heaved and buckled, smashing down around Demrin, tossing him around the room, crashing of walls and the floor, through shelves, cupboards, tables and chairs.
The wave of shadow bucked once more, and tossed him straight through the window. Demrin plunged down and crashed to a landing on a parked car, crushing his left arm. He toppled off the car, sprawling to a heap at the feet of Adder, Calla and Ana.
With a groan, Demrin looked up and saw The Black Assassin and Scott floating down to the ground on a platform of shadows. The landed gracefully, both drawing shadow blades.
“Let’s finish this”.
Demrin rose shakily to his feet, and readied his silver dagger in his right hand. Adder stepped forward beside him and together they shielded the women. Demrin acknowledged the vampire with a nod, too fatigued to argue. Together they stepped forward and began fighting, Adder with his bare fists, Demrin with his dagger.
However with Demrin weakened, and Adder unable to make up the extra ground, they were forced back.
“Girls, run!” they yelled as one. Calla moved to obey, attempting to draw Ana after her, but the young girl shook her off. She stepped forward, pushing between Demrin and Adder and stared at the two assailants, both of whom had stopped their assault to size up their new opponent. Ana appeared to be trying to do something, her face was creased with concentration.
All of a sudden, both Scott and The Black Assassin clutched their heads, cringing with pain. Demrin and Adder seized on their momentary advantage and unleashed a fury of blows on the duo. Shadows rose up from the ground and engulfed them, leaving Demrin and Adder hitting air. They had survived, somehow.
“See Ana, I knew you have powers”, Demrin said and then he collapsed.