Robert turned on his heel, heading out of the room.
“Wait, where are you going?” Isabella asked, stepping forward.
“To get Beth,” he said, looking back.
“Not alone, you’re not,” she said forcefully.
“Then hurry up. I’m leaving in five minutes while I still have the element of surprise.”
Then Robert left, leaving a flurry of activity behind him. He headed straight to the armoury. Grabbing several long daggers, he strapped them to his thighs, across his chest, in the waistband of his trousers, to his back. He didn’t bother getting changed, leaving the armoury and lingering in the corridor for the others to be ready.
Isabella was the first to join him. She squeezed his hand comfortingly.
“We’ll get her back,” she promised.
He nodded, knowing they would. He had no doubt that she would be back safely very soon.
After a further minute, everyone who was coming was ready. Everyone but Grim, Ez, Tamar and Thorn were coming. Robert took a deep breath to ready himself.
“Let’s go,” he said.
As soon as everyone was in agreement, Robert disappeared, materialising half a mile away from the hunters’ old hideout. Within a second, everyone else was there, crouching down in the darkness.
“Why are we this far away?” Isabella whispered.
“She’ll have sentries, won’t she?” Robert replied rhetorically.
All at once, they spread out in one long line. Drawing weapons, they approached slowly. A few lights were on, indicating that it had become occupied again.
With each step, Robert knew he was getting closer to Beth. He knew that he wouldn’t leave until he had her safely in his arms.
A sudden call went up; the demons had noticed their presence. In one synchronised movement, they all leapt forwards, daggers ready to kill.
The demons that had been rushing towards them were cut down in their tracks.
A yell reached Robert’s ears and his head snapped around in the direction it was coming from. His eyes landed on Isabella. She was completely surrounded. He shot over faster than a mortal eye could follow; stabbing one of them in the back as he kicked another one in the ribs. The two he’d attacked fell to the floor, allowing Isabella the chance to finish the other one.
After making sure they were dead, Robert turned back to his brothers, who were just checking that none had been left alive. When they were done, they all turned to him.
“You five make a loop and make sure nothing gets in or out but us,” Robert said, pointing at Joshua, Caleb, Nathan, Eko and Zeke. “In fact, Caelan, you stay too.”
“But—” Caelan began to object.
“No buts, this is going to be dangerous and I’m not going to let you get killed on your first night in the field,” Robert replied in a very matter-of-fact manner.