I glared at him.
"You're supposed to be dead."
"Shame, isn't it? That you didn't rid yourself of me down in the tombs. It was just getting the good part."
"Ugh." I vocalised my disgust at the slimy Russian. He laughed, and withdrew a shotgun. He began to shoot, but the same as all the Russians I had ever met, he was an awful shot. I ducked and dived his various bullets, and jumped round a corner, pushing my back against the wall.
"Ah, you want to play games with me? I do like a bit of hide and seek."
I knew exactly how I was going to defeat him this time. He could only heal himself if he muttered the words of the charm. If he couldn't do that, then he would meet his end. There was only one way to do it:
To chop off his tongue. Or behead him.
Disgusting in theory, but it had to be done.
He was close. I could hear his footsteps. I snuck out briefly into the light and saw him, turned to the other way. He was clicking his tongue, summoning me livestock.
"Here Lara, come on."
I sighed inwardly. Seeing a recently deceased guard lying by my feet, it gave me an idea. I drew his sword from his sheath, as quietly as I could. Then, gun in hand, I took my aim. I shot him in the back, but he laughed as he fell. He thought he would be safe. He needed a few seconds to recover, but I wasn't giving them to him.
I leapt on to him, straddling him from behind. I placed the cold blade against his neck.
"Do svidaniya, my friend."
In one clean movement, the sword slashed through his skin, muscle and bone. Blood spurted, staining my clothes. His severed head rolled in one small circle before rocking gently to a halt. Just to be sure, I cut out his tongue, and flung it as far as I could throw.
Suddenly a scream pierced my ears, and it echoed off the stone walls. A woman, dressed in what I could only describe as a white habit, appeared wailing from the top of the palace. The symbol of the Infinitio was emblazoned onto her dress, and her eyes were scarlet red. I could have almost sworn she had little fangs.
"She killed Taras! Seize her!"
The few remaining guards emerged from various areas of the palace grounds. All of them were so regimented they ran at me in a complete circle.
"Oh, come on!"
I swept round three hundred and sixty degrees, sword straight out in front of me. Several severed heads flew, and blood spat like a fountain.
The woman looked utterly enraged, and began muttering in another tongue. I felt the ground being dragged from beneath me, then emerge again a second later. I looked up to see twelve thrones surrounding a central orb.
She had brought me to their meeting place.