“I can't believe she's gone,” Steven said, his hand embracing his forehead. “She's.... how?”
Roderigo didn't answer. Instead he stood there, by the window with cup in hand, staring out at each flash of lightning. “Leave him be,” Devon said, pointing out Roderigo's once again blank expression. “This issue doesn't need to be brought up right now.”
“It's fine,” Roderigo said, keeping his back turned. “It's hard, but there's not much we can do about it. But now that we know what he is capable of, we should be prepared to fight for our own lives.”
“That won't be easy,” Carlton said. He held an icepack to his bruised and bandaged forehead, shielding his eyes from the light of the lamp. “Most things man-sized can go down with a single blast of 00 buck, but that thing... he tanked my shots. All of them.”
“It really does suck that Roderigo got downed so easily,” Pepper said. “I guess immortality doesn't equal invincibility.” She placed a stick of pocky in her mouth. “Except in Blades' case, apparently. Too bad.”
Once again Roderigo didn't answer. Instead, he tossed his paper cup in the trash and went upstairs. “Nice going, Pepper,” Steven said.
“Not my problem.”
“Pepper!” Fiona's voices rang loud and clear, filled with a scolding and angry tone. Her niece froze, dropping her cup to the ground. She apologized, and went upstairs after Roderigo.
“I'll get it,” Fiona said in annoyance, rushing into the kitchen and emerging with a fistful of paper towels. As she began wiping up the mess, she said, “I don't know what we're going to do. It's clear that what we have won't help us. Blades is too skilled, and we don't stand a chance against a god.”
“Who says we don't?” Carlton said, setting the icepack on the table beside him. “We know that this god has a mortal form. If we find out which of the little rugrats she is, we might be able to kill her.”
“And risk the death penalty,” Devon said. “Which, to be fair, is better than the alternative, although not by much.”
“You guys are playing too much God of War,” Steven said. “We can't face her head on. Hell, we don't know what happens if we kill her avatar. Who's to say she doesn't get a massive power boost and drop a comet on us right then and there?”
“Either way,” Carlton said, “we're better off knowing who we can and can't trust.”
“But nothing really prevents the other one from being in league with her,” Steven said.
“I think we have reason to believe she isn't,” Devon said. “Fiona, didn't that prophecy say that Dheania wouldn't know her sister?”
“Yes,” Fiona said, “It did.”
“There's the possibility it wasn't even referring to her.” Twister's voice startled them. Looking upstairs, they could see him leaning on the railing. “The Beast has a sister of her own. But even if it isn't her, I doubt Dheania would try to turn a little girl to her side.”
“So exactly how do we figure it out?” Steven said. “We need them both in the same room at the same time, and we need some way to figure out which one she is.”
“We have Princess' warning,” Fiona said. “It was pretty scrambled, but there's enough there to go on. As for them being together, I don't know. We obviously have to be discrete, and showing up out of the blue isn't going to accomplish that.”
“I have an idea,” Twister said. They all looked to him again; this time he seemed glowing. “Ash approached me not long after I came here. He wanted me to baptize Sabbath.”
“Ash?” Steven said. “Baptize?”
“Yes,” Twister said. “And it'll be a good way to monitor both of them without causing a fuss.”
“Were we even invited?” Steven asked. “Because I haven't received any phone calls.”
“Sorry about that. The last few days have been rather distracting.” Twister grinned. “I was told to ask you to attend.”