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The Soul's Great Dagger

Prologue

The moment Astrael started to fall, the others yelled out her name and stepped back to close in around her. It was too late for any or all of them to save her, as she had been punctured innumerable times. Rage in their hearts grew over the loss of their counterpart and a fire was once again kindled in their blood. The air around them started to increase in temperature and the Reglan closest to them backed away.

Another fire, a real one, rose up from under the wide, now visible catwalk and light ran up the walls and invaded the cave with a semi-dim glow. The six could now just see how many demons there were attacking them. The catwalk was covered and more were lined up in the tunnels, waiting to replace their fallen comrads. The six knew that all of them were focused on this attack, whethere armed with swords or with bows and arrows. "Not one of them will leave this place alive," Tirma said.

Arrows fired at them were reduced to mere ash in the heat of their anger. It did not grow as hot as the fire that forged their daggers, but it was a great deal hotter than any normal fire. Their clothing had burned off their bodies, revealing a particular brand which now glowed a firey orange. It grew bright enough that the Reglan that chanced to glance upon it could not bear to look at any more than that initial cursory view.

Ochness, who could tell exactly where every living creature was, mind-spoke to the others. ~They're all in these tunnels. There would be a quick way to dispatch them all at once.~

Everyone knew what he meant and they also understood the sacrifice they would have to make. Tirma mind-spoke to them saying, ~Alathea is already gone and we can't keep this up forever. There are too many of them to fight and it would be a disgrace to our kind if we perised by their blades and a dishonor to Alathea and each other if we died one by one.~

~We have no other choice.~ agreed Cufess. With his opinion voiced, a general consensus was formed among them. They dissipated the heat all at once, joined hands to form a circle around their fallen sister, and closed their eyes to work in concert one last time.

The Reglan did not attack when the heat faded, but were instead confused and fearful. They froze when the six still alive joined together, but at the same time the Talented demons as well as their eight-foot tall winged masters arose. All thirty of them appeared and circled the six as soon as the lesser Reglan had left the vicinity.