Home > Fallen Academy: Year Four (Fallen Academy #4)(10)

Fallen Academy: Year Four (Fallen Academy #4)(10)
Author: Leia Stone

Just as I was about to explode from where I stood and slice him up with my sword, Scarlet’s meat cleaver spun through the air and stuck into the side of his face.

Holy shit!

“I panicked,” she screeched from behind me.

I wanted to refrain from using my gun, because the sound could bring more demons, and I didn’t want to lose the element of surprise on the others, so I burst forward just as a hideous roar left the Larkspur demon’s mouth. He reached up to try and pull the meat cleaver out, and I went into full-on attack mode.

Most of the demon’s skin was leathery and thick, but he was vulnerable just under the neck. With a burst of power, my large sword sunk into his body as I stabbed him, just under his chin, taking him down quickly before the nausea and flu-like symptoms could incapacitate me. Within two minutes, he was dead at my feet.

Chest heaving, I spun to see Scarlet with her back to me, watching the alleyway as she protected my back.

“Let’s go,” I whispered, handing her the bloodied meat cleaver back, as I wiped demon blood off of my hands and onto the leg of my pants.

If demons were raiding the academy, I needed to protect my summer school students, and the vulnerable staff members.

We made the quick dash across campus in record time, and slipped into the gymnasium quietly. The lights were off, but the emergency exit lights cast shadows on a group of students and staff at the back of the room, as well as another person I didn’t expect to see. Emberly was standing in the middle of the room with a gun pointed right at me.

“It’s Brielle!” I whisper-screamed, and she lowered the Glock. “What are you doing here?” I asked, as Scarlet and I rushed over to meet her.

“Bad pain day. My dad wouldn’t let me go to the raid.”

She was in her Pj’s, looked sweaty, and her features were drawn in a slight scowl. Something I’d come to learn was the look of a ruthless day with her pain management. I felt bad that she’d had to stay behind because her wings were hurting her, but I was also glad she was here; I couldn’t protect everyone alone, and she’d be a huge help—even in pain.

I peered past Emberly and nearly sagged in relief as I counted heads, noting Elodie and her son, all eleven of my students, Mrs. Greely and a few of her patients from the healing clinic, as well as the librarian, Rose, were here. Everyone was accounted for, but I was the most senior officer in the room, which meant I was in charge.

I turned to Scarlet. “I want you to hide in the back with the rest.”

She nodded, and I swooped down to grab a two-pound dumbbell that had been left on the floor, tossing it up into the emergency light. It shattered, plunging us into total darkness.

Plan A was to hide.

Plan B was to fight.

Without a word, Emberly strode with me to the back of the room, and I pulled my cell phone out, to give us a little light that I could control if I heard the main doors opening.

Elodie’s son was whimpering, and a few of the injured Fallen Army soldiers from the clinic looked worse for wear. One was hooked up to what appeared to be a transfusion of blood, and another was in a wheelchair with a bandage around his abdomen that was soaked with blood. She’d gotten them out in a hurry, no doubt.

“We’re going to try and hide in here until we can get some backup, but on the off chance we’re attacked, Emberly and I will be on the front line.”

The fifteen-year-old beside me nodded without hesitation. She had skills that no one in this room could rival, and I needed her to help me.

“I want my students in a line behind Emberly and me, and the injured and others are to hide behind them. Got it?” I called out to our small group.

Everyone nodded, and my students slowly stepped out of the cowering crowd. Most of them had thought to bring weapons, thank God. Tiny was clutching a sword, she looked feral and ready to kill. Nick and Ray both had weapons as well and stood on either side of Tiny, forming a line at our backs. If Emberly and I fell, my eleven students would be the only thing protecting the weak and injured.

“Tiny, you’re in charge of the group. I won’t be able to give you direction. You need to just go on instinct.”

She nodded. Her small frame, and mousy brown hair was unsuspecting, but she was a fearless badass , and that went a long way when fighting demons.

I met each of their eyes with confidence. “Your job is to protect the weak and injured,” I confirm in a low voice. “If you do that, I’ll make sure Raphael passes you into year two without going through the gauntlet again. Tonight, is your gauntlet. Understand?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Tiny nodded as the others echoed their agreement. They fanned out in a wide arc, standing like sentinels before the patients and staff behind them.

My attention shifted to Emberly, and something passed between us. We would do whatever we had to do to win this fight tonight.

Turning my phone light off, I plunged us into darkness, and tucked it into my back pocket.

Five strides and we were on the front line, the first defense if the demons found us.

All we could do was wait, and pray that they weren’t here looking for bloodshed.

Eight

Emberly and I stood there, wings touching, swords and guns at the ready as the demon alarm blared outside. Was it just a raid for weapons? Was it a raid to kill students? Or something far more sinister? Was Lucifer here?

It felt like an hour had passed, but it was probably only ten minutes, when the metal doors screeched open, letting the moonlight flood the entrance of the gymnasium, lighting up a tall Abrus demon and two Hellhounds.

Frick.

The Hellhounds would sniff us out, no problem.

Plan B.

“Put up your shield,” Emberly whispered.

Oh yeah, my shield. Could I use it to protect the others? I’d never attempted something on such a large scale.

“Use your mind control,” I whispered back. The demon alarm was so damn loud that I was hoping it covered our voices.

I could barely see her standing in the dark, but her whole body went rigid. “It’s against the rules,” Emberly hissed.

I rolled my eyes. “Screw the rules. It’s an Abrus demon, not another human,” I told her as I pulled my power forward and tried to create a bubble-like shield over me, then extended it to Emberly.

In that moment, the hounds howled long and deep, and the Abrus demon grinned. Reaching over, he flicked on the lights, and all hell broke loose.

I should have turned off the power to the building, but I didn’t, and now two Hellhounds were gunning right for me. Hellhounds were categorized by the Fallen Army as upper-level demons, because they could eat an entire carcass, bones and all, in under an hour. They also couldn’t be killed unless you beheaded them, making it difficult to end their life.

“You have to behead them to kill them!” I shouted behind me to Tiny and her team.

“Roger that!” she called back with confidence.

Okay, we could do this. No one would die today. I could take one Hellhound, Tiny and my students could take the other, and Emberly could hopefully control the Abrus demon’s mind.

We can do this.

The Hellhounds had reached us. I stepped forward, sword raised, as one of them leapt into the air.

“Go back to Demon City!” Emberly boomed at the Abrus demon, just as my sword gored the Hellhound in the chest. The weight of the beast on my blade caused me to topple forward, losing my grip on the weapon. Both the Hellhound and my sword fell forward, collapsing onto the gymnasium floor while I stumbled to regain my balance.

Everything was happening so fast.

In my peripheral vision, I could see the next Hellhound trying to come at my side, but I didn’t have time to pull my sword out of the fallen hound’s chest. Whipping out my gun, I unloaded it into the beast, only slowing his approach.

“Let’s finish him off!” Tiny screamed behind me, and her team advanced, weapons at the ready.

As I was reaching forward to lift my sword out of the two-headed Hellhound before me, the Abrus demon let loose with his dark magic. Black bees swarmed into the space like a freaking tornado, and the funnel was heading right for Emberly.

“Did you think that would work on me?” the demon asked her, wings snapping out behind him.

Shit!

The Hellhound I’d gored was standing again, sword sticking out of its chest, and it came at me, both jaws snapping.

This was mayhem.

I had no time to reload, so, cocking my arm back, I pistol-whipped one of the Hellhound’s faces with my emptied gun. It was just enough to stun him, so he fell backward a bit. Wasting no time, I yanked my sword free from his chest and, in one big arc, came down on one of the heads, severing it.

The fricking black bees had started to swarm around me now, and I couldn’t properly see Emberly. Luckily, my shield was keeping them at bay so they couldn’t sting me. Was the Abrus demon attacking her? I knew she was well trained, and her dad was Archangel Michael, but she was still a first-year student here, and only fifteen years old. Now, I was doubting my choice to put her on the front lines with me. Was she in too much pain to fight?

With a roar, I sliced off the other Hellhound’s head and then broke through the wall of bees to find Emberly locked in battle with the Abrus demon.

Anger ripped through me when I saw him grab onto her fragile wing and pull. A cry of pure agony left her lips as her knees collapsed beneath her.

How dare he!

Red-hot rage flooded my system and I called my magic forward, letting the dark side of my energy pulse through my veins, and then drip from my palms like oily tar.

“Let go of her!” I commanded, with barely contained fury in my voice.

His head snapped in my direction, and he grinned. “Brielle.”

I’d never met this Abrus demon before, that meant Lucy had sent him. Without time to waste, I thrust my hands out toward him. The inky-black force I’d conjured, flung from my palms, and wrapped around his face, cutting off his ability to breathe or see us. His fists fell away from Emberly’s wings, and immediately went to his face, trying in vain to rip off the black goo. The bees were swarming me now, but I strengthened my shield, and warded them off as Emberly and I attacked the Abrus demon in unison. She dropped to the ground, picking up her sword and shoving it right between his legs, nearly cutting off his man bits.

   
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