It twisted and turned towards Lai, indicating that it could feel its way around despite lacking a head and the eyes that would come with one, and its massive belly-mouth, lined as it was with teeth long and sharp like swords, was more than eager to get to a fine chomping.
In contrast, Lai had on a pair of black slacks and a blue dress shirt. He looked nice, but that wouldn't help him here.
With a start, the demon grunted and let go of the ceiling, launching itself forward towards Lai. The floor shook as it landed with a solid thump, and it immediately started to lurch forwards, its belly fat pooling across the floor like slime.
Haley had gained enough composure to start putting her family name to work. With a trembling finger, she'd drawn a rune in the air. The ancient letter glowed crimson before projecting a torrent of flame that gushed forwards in a brilliant and bright nova of sunset orange and blood red.
Lai ducked in anticipation for flames to roll over the fat demon and continue flowing past it, but things didn't go so smoothly. The demon thrust out one of its chubby arms in a surprisingly quick reflex. Its palm had yet another mouth centered on it, and it inhaled, drawing in the flames like a vacuum.
That brilliant burst of fire, large enough to have almost covered the whole living room – a true testament to Haley's raw talent – vanished into the demon's hand like it was being drained into a black hole.
"Magic resistance," said Lai, loud enough that Haley could hear.
Demons strong enough to obtain a physical form always had some form of magic resistance, and they had a particular resistance to human-sourced magic, known as they were for swindling humans and granting them magic in the first place. A sorcerer of Haley's caliber was useless against it. Needed someone from the church to do anything about this.
"Haley, I want you to prep a barrier. Any kind of shield. Make it big enough for two of us."
"It'll work out," said Lai, trying to project his voice as forcefully and convincingly as possible. "Just trust me."
Lai took the sight of Haley drawing up a circle of runes around her as a yes and put his plan into motion.
The demon grunted as it surged forwards, faster than before, empowered by the magic it had feasted on. Still slow enough that Lai had an easy time maneuvering around it, rolling under one of its clumsy swings. While right under the monster, Lai shoved a hand into his own chest. His hand disappeared, sinking into his chest as if he'd pushed it underwater.
He reached inside, to the one thing that made him so unique among sorcerers, the one thing that gave him the qualifications necessary to be a Sentry. The Planetarium, his singular ability, his personal world, an entire reality hosted within him. And from there, he didn't take out a wand or stave or staff.
He took out a grenade, pulled the pin, and rolled it under the fat bastard. The demon didn't sense any magic from the trinket, so it ignored it, instead deciding to try swiping at Lai again.
Once more, Lai evaded, this time sprinting towards Haley.
Haley gave a quick nod and slammed a palm to the floor. The ring of runes around her lighted up in a dazzling display of multi-colored letters, and Lai managed to get inside it right as the grenade exploded.
The explosion was muffled, not all that loud, honestly. Hollywood shows grenade explosions like they're artillery blasts, gouging out big, smoking holes in the ground, but really, they didn't pack that much of an oomph. It w
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