There were several more pairings just like that at each junction and I took care of them just the same. The one we were at now was blocked by a grate and the grate was covered in silver. Which mean nothing good – likely it was keeping a supernatural caged. These were two vampire guards and not exactly the weak willed ones like the prior times. These two were primeval from the shapes of their patterns and the flux of it all. I wasn’t sure what kind and neither was anyone else.
This would be our first real fight. Except they were vampires and I didn’t play fair. I had the element of surprise – they didn’t know I was here. It was easy enough to split two weaves of air wrap it around their heads and twist – insta-broken neck. The vampires collapsed and Ant looked at me with concern, “Isn’t that going to affect you?”
I nodded, “Yes, but I didn’t kill them with the power specifically. Meaning I didn’t suck the life from them, and they aren’t exactly dead. It’s like throwing a rock and the rock kills them. It’s not the same as if I were to weaken their neck at the bone level and break it that way.”
“You can do that?” Ryan said grabbing his neck to shield it.
Ryan frowned, “So you are telling me that one of you could disintegrate us all?”
The look that they all gave me was abject horror. But it was Alec who smiled, “I’m so glad I’m on your side.”
I grinned at the domination master vampire. “It’s theory. The Venatori don’t heal with the elements though we likely all could. No one really cares enough.”
“But someone might.” Ant said. “Forever is a long time.”
“No one has done it yet.”
Ant laughed, “No Venatori has ever fought with the elements before either – until you.”
I nodded, “But obviously I’m special.”
It was meant as a joke and Ant grinned at me but the others just bowed their heads like it was something reverent I said. Ryan rolled his eyes, “He’s joking you dummies. He’s a special kinda stupid some days too.”
The look they gave Ryan was almost worse than before when they thought I could kill you with a mere thought. And I could. I knew it. I’d never done it, the toll it would take to do it would be catastrophic to my psyche, but I could do it.
Ryan teased more and I rolled my eyes. “Let’s go.” I said as I pushed past them all. Ant was first to catch up but he stopped at the edge of the circle drawn on the ground. Ryan walked past but the others all stopped, well everyone except Jae. The only difference being was we weren’t vampires. I looked up at Ant, “What’s keeping you out?” But why Jae.
Ant looked down. “Nothing. It feels like sacred ground, but I can cross sacred ground. This is something different.”
“It’s limiting cursed and primeval. The guards were outside of it. So what are they keeping in? Seraph can’t cross either. So therians and vampires.”
Ryan looked at me and I shrugged even as I broke the line in the ground. But it didn’t move. I squatted down and ran my fingers over the line. I felt the magic in it. There was a spell here, though I didn’t know what kind, and it was not working to remove the marks on the ground. I drew a drain magic rune on the line with fire, it burnt the magic away in every sense of the word. There was a gasp from everyone in the room even the vampires who couldn’t breathe.
Ant rushed past me with Seraph on his heels. Ryan stayed with me as everyone else went forward. Jae lifted the silver gate from from its hinges and tossed it to the side. It clanged. It was going to alert people but that was alright at the moment we had found something. Three of Bernstein’s men stayed and he came with me and mine.
We headed down the long corridor. The sounds coming from ahead of us were pained. Ant wouldn’t let us hurry past he walked faster and he and Ant pulled swords from the shadows and Jae only had one misstep before he was back with the rest of them. Seraph was at my back and she was completely calm. I didn’t hurry or try to rush because I knew Ant wouldn’t let me past. Ryan and Ant had a gun in their opposite hands. I had shields ready and a fireball hanging ready to be sent at a moments notice, but it was not visible.
As we neared I heard rattling chains, coughing, screaming and then silence. A vampires power flared in front of us. Ant laughed as the man in front of them tried to attack. He threw a fireball which I easily blocked. It crashed into the wall above the heads of therians in chains. Silver chains. It burned their skin. But they weren’t magic proof. At least not for me. I eroded the metal with air, earth and water and they crumbled to the ground.
We didn’t need to do anything more as the therians shifted and attacked. The vampires that were chained fell to the ground lacking the strength to move – drained of all sustainable blood from surviving. They would desecrate without blood, and some would die. Only the strong could survive.
Their vampire captor screamed as the therian chewed him to bits, tore him limb from limb and then when they were done they turned on us. They growled, hungry. I let my power go, let the connection to Adrian flow through me. I didn’t really know what I was doing but it came easily. It was part of me. I pushed the power out, the vampire and dragon too. I encompassed the room with a calming joy and they settled and shifted back into their human forms. Weak and sick and they collapsed to the ground. We had to get people out quickly – thankfully we had a shadow walker with us.