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.The black stone is barely noticeable under the layer of gore.His red eyes hold pity as he looks at the barely breathing gypsy on the central table.Her skin is slowly knitting back together, but the moist blood remains as a reminder of the torturous pain she has been forced to endure.“I trust you will clean this room,” the Lich mentions, turning his gaze on the man washing blood off his hands.“If I feel like it,” the man replies with a bored smile.He appears behind the Lich and adjusts the cuffs of his pristine, black shirt.“Can you tell me how long I’ve been working down here? I can never tell in this hole and it feels like it’s been days.”“I don’t know, Stephen,” the Lich says.He cringes when his ally’s face turns into a condescending scowl.“I only know that it’s morning.Maybe you should find a nursery and eat some children for breakfast.”“Such an amusing creature,” Stephen hisses.He begins to yawn and appears next to the Sari.“Nothing like this beauty.”He strokes the gypsy’s hair and grins when she shivers at his touch.A layer of ice appears on his hand, which he casually examines before it melts.Putting on a glove, Stephen runs his hand down her body.The glove is solid ice by the time he reaches her knee, so he stops and shatters the glove against the side of the table.“Magnificent!” Stephen exclaims, putting his hands in his black hair and madly scratching his head.“This champion has a defense that stays active even when she’s in a magical slumber.I’ve noticed that this ice grows faster and thicker the longer I torture her.You can’t see it, but it grows inside her.Just an hour ago, I found her stomach had frozen completely and I had to sing a gypsy lullaby to make it stop.This means that her powers are dependent on her mood, which may be true for all of the champions.”“I could have told you that,” the Lich scoffs.He drifts back when Stephen appears in his face, snarling like a fiend.“You haven’t faced any of the champions.They are fueled by their emotions, especially this one and the caster.Now, stop toying with something that could destroy us.”“I’m not as foolish as Ulgrik,” Stephen declares.He bends down to wipe some blood off his pants, the moist liquid drying and flaking off at his touch.“This is important work and could be the key to my final victory.”“You will leave the girl alone and deliver her to your father.”“Who are you to give me orders?”“The master of this house and realm.”Stephen’s laughter echoes throughout the room.“Has the wretched worm grown a backbone?”The Lich is about to speak when Stephen pounces on him, grabbing the necrocaster’s neck and slamming him against the wall.With a choked cough, the necrocaster casts a spell that covers his hands in acid.He clutches Stephen’s arm and melts the sleeve of the sapphire-eyed man’s shirt, but the pale flesh heals quicker than the acid can eat through it.The Lich can feel his neck start to crack beneath Stephen’s touch until he is dropped to the floor.“Never take a tone of superiority with me, lapdog,” Stephen growls, shaking crumbs of bone off his hand.“I swear my father is too nice to keep a creature like you around.I would have cast you out decades ago.”“You are trying to bring about my downfall,” the Lich whispers as his throat struggles to heal.“I know the krypters were really a set up for me and you closed the barrier on me.”Stephen licks his lips and cracks his knuckles.“Trinity has been talking.I’m going to have to punish her during our next session.Though, I don’t see why she would put herself in so much trouble.”“It confuses me as well,” the Lich admits.He floats to his feet and moves out of reach of his ally, even though he knows there is no such place.“One would think she actually cared about me.”“Not because of that, idiot.I never made my hatred of you a secret.In fact, I’ve been trying to turn my father against you for the last fifty years.Your recent failures have given me enough leverage to set you up without the threat of the old man’s wrath.Not that he would kill me, but I’d like to avoid any messy explanations.”The Lich holds his tongue and conjures a chair to slump into.He watches Stephen go back to examining Sari, whose body is completely healed.With mild interest, he keeps his attention on the scene before him.Stephen with a pair of pliers removing the gypsy’s fingernails brings a smile to the Lich’s face.The smile grows as each fingernail unleashes a spike of ice that nearly impales Stephen.When one of the spikes cuts the evil man’s arm, he shatters all of them with an angry swipe.The ring on Sari’s finger hums and glows, coating her in pink aura that activates the healing process.With a snarl of frustration, Stephen reaches out to take the ring and let her feel the full pain of her injuries.He is stunned when a slimy, skeletal arm bursts from the floor and wraps around his wrist.It yanks him to his knees and tosses him away from the table before sinking back into the stone [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]