Chapter 12:

Heated Delivery - Part 4


Annabeth's eye was a very abnormal characteristic for humans. It could detect spiritual energy above a certain level from as far as three hundred meters and she was knowledgeable enough to use it well.

More than that, she also had a fifth meters wide stealth barrier that, although not perfect, would hide her well enough from afar. All of it seemed useless against this one enemy as she was being bombarded right now from outside of her revolver's range.

She knew there was something strong out there.

Throwing a fireball that far with accuracy wasn’t an easy feat, so that much was obvious even if she couldn't see it.

It was still way too much of a pain though.

At least it meant that she was fighting against another winged demon, or ifrit, or fire-attuned thingy, or whatever. They controlled fire, had wings, and could fly, that was all that mattered.

Spells could technically be used to throw fire too, but if one were to use one that big from that far, then Anna would be very much dead instead of wounded a lot. Knowing this much didn't change her situation though.

“Come closer and fight me, yer damned…!” She shouted to the sky as a growing red spot appeared in her sight. “Of course not, 'aight?”

She got up in a rush and rolled her way away from the earlier spot right before it exploded.

And then her next stop exploded.

And the cover she took after this one.

And then a stream of explosions took down the wall when she hid inside a house.

And it kept going and going and going.

She could take a direct hit if needed or, hells, even a few of them due to her constitution, but it would still hurt and, worse than that, would make her burn the limited supply of catalysts she had.

Anna was dodging as much as possible, but the burns and other wounds caused by the half-hits and blocks were stacking at a rapid pace. The red-haired inquisitor was still up somehow.

Eventually, her tenacity won that fight and the barrage went silent for a while.

Anna only have a few seconds of rest before the winged demon would take to reach her position though.

“Out of juice already, bastard...” She told the approaching creature that couldn’t hear her while injecting herself again with some supplies from her bag.

It wasn’t safe or a perfect solution, but ‘juicing’ up again with more elixir would at least stop the bleeding and weaken the burning pain. It would also lower the chance of a chain breaking due to overextension.

Her body was getting sluggish again, even more than it already was, but that was a cheap price.

“Y'should take yer friends and leave, mate!” Anna shouted when the fire-shooting thing landed close to the house she was hiding at now. “I don’t wanna throw mah’ cards ‘ere yet.”

There was a thin wall between her and her foe, an unusually weak-looking demon with red skin, black eyes, big wings, and some small horns. He was wearing some baggy and simple clothes and had dark bags under his eyes. At a glance, he would be a weak foe, but even a weak ifrit could punch Anna to the reincarnation circle.

“Couldn’t you just have died with the barrage…?” A tired male voice came from the open area as its owner walked closer. “I should be napping right now. I’m not very fond of fighting and all…”

“What ‘bout turnin' and leavin’ then? I ain't seeing ya and ya ain't seeing me.” She kept going while moving her body down the wooden floor and pointing her gun barrel at the ground. “Very easy, no?”

“No, not really...” The sluggish voice paired with the sluggish walking forward answered as it approached. “An inquisitor snooping around won’t make the boss happy and if he’s unhappy, I have to work more. No good, right?”

“It’ll be a fight then.”

“What a pain…”

A second of silence passed after their exchange was over.

Both sides were waiting for the other's first movement.

One because she wasn’t expecting to have a second chance and the other because he used too much of his energy trying to solve the fight from afar. The long second had to end though and the tired demon was the first to make a move.

He kicked the door and threw his shining red hands inside the building, creating a stream of flames that filled the whole room. In just a few seconds, the whole building was set ablaze and nothing but flames could be seen inside it.

It was a little overkill again, but if not going overkill would mean risking to have extra work, then that wasn’t even a choice.

Even so, it was weird that no cries of pain or a counter-attack came.

The artifact was still inside there, he could feel it. It meant that the girl had either thrown it and fled or she somehow was able to survive a flamethrower. And to the fire-thrower man, his choices were either wait and risk the cops showing up or charge forward and risk falling into a trap.

“You better be dead there, girl… You’re making me very angry here.” He said with an annoyed tone in his voice while stepping inside the burning mess that was this house.

The moment he stepped inside the building though, the shining hole right on the door's blind spot gave his answer.

“Y'should’ve left, partner.” The girl inside her recently made hole in the ground snickered as she packed everything she had left on her last bullet.

With her chains almost breaking, her golden eye shining almost enough to blind her other eye, and the last catalyst in her finger forced to breaking point, she fired the revolver. 

Every single bit of her power was weaved on a single spell meant only to multiply as much as possible the bullet damage.

“Bye, fuckah.”

The multilayered circle that was in front of the revolver broke as the weapon fired its last bullet.

In a split second, the lump of silver became a big golden bolt, and such a bolt blew the demon away on impact. 

His body flew away, breaking through the walls of the house and then further through other houses. All of him still around was the path of steaming black blood.

It should've been enough.

More than that would mean causing a little too much collateral damage to Anna's taste, so it also HAD to be enough. She still had other problems to solve. but that was fine.

In a hurry and with her body barely able to move, Anna grabbed the fainted couple she threw into the hole before and jumped away from the burning building. Unless they were unlucky, the two animal hybrids should be alive.

With this much out of focus, Anna patted the embers on her shoulder bag and forced her body up. She then moved towards the barrier pole, turning it back to a trolley bag and trying to limp away from the area.

As she was giving her first forced steps though, movements in the place the winged demon had landed drew her attention back.

“Sigh… Now that’s a problem.”

The red man was getting up and Anna didn’t have the energy to get another cylinder of spell bullets or another catalyst. Keeping up with the elixir was taking a toll on her focus and she had already used everything that was safe.

She would very much prefer to have something to patch herself up, but again, she wasn't equipped for a fight right now. In this situation, there was very little she could do other than turn this place into a hellscape. It was either that or die.

Nothing she could do about it then...

As she was apologizing for the civilians that would have to die and focusing on her tattoos though, something got her attention. Something that brought a smirk to her face and calmed her burning body.

“Draggin’ my pride on the mud ‘ere, are we?” She commented in a tired tone while falling on her butt. And before the pissed-off red man could reach her with his heavy but still sluggish steps, a hymn-like voice in old language filled the area.

The cavalry and their little witch had arrived for Anna’s dismal.