Alicia snarled as she broke through the golden barrier. Her hands hurt like someone had poured acid on them. Steam rose from them as they were burnt by the angels’ divine energy. The skin blackened, crackled, and popped.
But she didn’t stop pushing her power through one particular point in the barrier, which she had weakened to the point she felt confident that she could bulldoze through it. With one final scream, with just another application of raw power, a small section of the barrier in front of her shattered. Before the angels could even think of repairing it, she stepped through.
The angels were too startled to act. Their eyes were wide, mouths agape, bodies frozen solid. Alicia used their shock to her advantage.
A magic circle appeared in front of her fist, which she slammed into the nearest angel’s face. She didn’t often hit people. However, she didn’t want to start a war by killing someone, so hitting it was.
She had to admit, it was very satisfying to feel the woman’s face cave under her fist, which had been infused with the Powers of the King. Watching the angel fly backwards and hit the ground like a ragdoll was also nice. The woman rolled along the blacktop, stopped, twitched for about a second, and then went still. She was still breathing. Good.
“S-she’s escaped!” shouted one of the angels.
Alicia would have snarked about how he had stated the obvious, but she’d already struck the next angel with a powerful attack that sent him flying. This time, she plowed both of her fists into the chest of a man who was too slow to react. A loud scream emitted from the angel’s mouth as he was blasted off the ground, a result of, once again, the magic circles appearing on her fists seconds before the impact. With luck, he’d also fall unconscious.
“Get her!” another angel shouted.
“Stop her from casting!”
It was a good thing these angels only had one pair of wings. They were probably specialists whose only real ability was casting that barrier. None of them were that strong, especially in regards to fighting.
Alicia channeled her powers through her arms, creating another magic circle in front of her. It was large, far larger than her other circles, and also a lot more complex. She wove her demonic energy into the circle, determining the type of spell she wanted, and she did it all within less than a second.
Then she unleashed it.
To say that a shock wave was released upon her completing the circle would have been like saying someone turned on a light when it was really a floodlight. The wave of energy that spread out in a circle around her crashed into the remaining four angels. Each one found themselves being lifted into the air, sent flying, their screams overpowered by the roar of her demonic magic.
It was even worse for them. Just as devils were susceptible to an angel’s power, angels were weak against a devil’s power. This went doubly for angels with only one pair of wings.
Alicia was a pureblood devil, the daughter of King Bael, the strongest King in the Underworld. While she didn’t have his overwhelming power, she had inherited his Powers of the King. It was the unique ability of her clan, the Bael Clan, and far stronger than anything a regular pureblood devil could produce.
In short, these angels didn’t stand a chance.
Once she was sure that the moaning, groaning angels on the ground wouldn’t be getting back up anytime soon, Alicia turned to Gabriel and Jacob. Her friend was still lying on the ground. There was still a blade impaling him. He and Gabriel were looking at her with varying levels of surprise.
“Get away from him!” Alicia shouted, sending what amounted to a lightning bolt of demonic energy at Gabriel.
The twelve-winged angel cut her attack in half, but it did its job. Gabriel was forced to remove her sword from Jacob.
Jacob seemed to have finally snapped out of his stupor. Power exploded from him like a geyser. The ground was upheaved, the air became superheated to the point where even Alicia, standing several meters away, broke out into a sweat as it felt like gravity had suddenly increased by a factor of ten. The air itself seemed to be combusting as gold and dark purple energy surged from his body.
Gabriel leapt into the air, her pinions flapping as she ascended higher and higher. The power around her friend diminished. Alicia ran over to Jacob, who was slowly clambering to his feet, holding his shoulder, from which blood poured.
“Are you okay?” she asked, staring at his shoulder. The wound was clean, a single stab wound with perfectly straight edges. That said, it was bleeding like nobody’s business, so she was worried.
“I’m… not quite fine,” he admitted. “But I’ll live, thanks to you.”
Alicia nodded and looked up at Gabriel. “Now to take care of her.”
“No.” Jacob placed a hand on her shoulder. She frowned at him, but his expression was firm. “Please, let me take care of this.”
There were so many things Alicia could have said to that. In all honesty, she wanted to tell him that he couldn’t fight Gabriel alone, that she wouldn’t let him. She was afraid that if she let him fight by himself, he might capitulate to Gabriel and allow her to win. However…
“Don’t you dare let her kill you,” Alicia said. “Promise me you’ll fight her with all your strength?”
… She would trust him.
“I promise,” Jacob said.
“Fine then.” With a sigh of resignation, Alicia took a step back. “I won’t interfere.”
Granting her one last, grateful smile, Jacob flapped his wings and ascended into the air. Alicia watched him. Worry for his safety settled like a led ball inside of her gut.
You had better keep your promise, Alicia thought, clutching a hand to her chest.