“Catherine-” Akua began, but I shook my head.
I met her gaze. Trust me, I silently asked. I have taken us from one mess to another, and twice you’ve had to save my life tonight. Trust me anyway. Slowly the shade nodded.
The shade was better at this: they’d put up their soldier against my schemer. And while we were fresh off our wars with Above, they’d been stewing in a hole of their own making for millennia. We had the edge, by the slightest of margins. That edge just wasn’t being used for what I wanted.
And so finally I knew what everyone was after: Akua wanted to trick the sisters to their death, Komena wanted heads for her spikes and Andronike wanted me to walk to the altar willingly.
And I needed to outmanoeuver the three of them simultaneously, while prone and having my mind ransacked.
GOOD THING YOU DON’T NEED TO ACTUALLY OUTMANEUVER AKUA
JUST ASK HER TO TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH 😀
And that meant, unfortunately, that putting all my coin on the madwoman trying to fool living gods wasn’t an option.
Catherine, if I may?”
“Try not to make a mess,” I sighed.
I am perfectly okay with things that are happening currently!
what i did not expect
– Akua addressing Catherine by her first name
– Catherine trusting her to rifle around her fucking head
I THINK THESE COME BUNDLED
I have learned much from you, darling one,” Akua Sahelian smiled. “I may fail, true. In my hour of judgement I may – most likely will – be unmade and cast into the deepest burning pits. But until then? Oh, what a glorious ride it will be.
There’s no walking back the Folly,” I told her. “Not even for this. I’m one life, Akua. That’s the weight I have on the scales.
She’d always been gorgeous. Even when I’d first met her, before I’d learned to truly hate her, I’d thought as much.
“So, the power of friendship,” I said. “Feels a bit ungrateful to say as much after such a touching interruption, but we’re not really friends. Acquaintances, at most, and that’s being generous.”
“You break my heart, dearest,” Diabolist drawled. “Again.”
“And I didn’t even need to punch through your ribcage first this time,” I replied, genuinely pleased. “I am getting better at this.”
Akua had grown on me, rather like the bubonic plague,