Karkash did not take the bait. Electricity gathered in his fist, and Stoker only had a moment to shield Nize from the attack.
The current ripped through his body, explosions of pain everywhere, but Stoker was no stranger to such agony. He used transfiguration, after all, arguably the most painful class of servant abilities.
Transfiguration was a power for the thinking man. It required practice, precision, and chemistry. Its true strength was lost on the simple-minded.
Stoker could replace any part of his body with hydrogen--not so threatening a power as Karkash’s, to be sure, but like most transfiguration abilities, it was prone to being underestimated, as others had learned to their cost.
Stoker’s back and arms sizzled beneath his clothes. Hydrogen bonded with the oxygen in his blood and skin to create water en masse, which vaporized immediately; and when it hit the cool air, the result was a sudden fog, expanding quickly out from Stoker’s flesh. He retreated into its pure white cover and added his soul to the cloud in order to prevent Hoyohté from sensing him.
Nize, on the other hand, could still sense Karkash and Hoyohté perfectly. Stoker’s soul permeated the mist in a confused mass, but their souls remained clear beacons.
Stoker’s missing flesh left a lingering burn, like being set on fire, but it did not last. Nize initiated the regeneration and enhanced his strength, then attached herself to his back to conceal her soul within his.
He needed an answer from her. ‘It’s only Karkash here, right? No other servants?’
‘Yes,’ she said privately.
Fleeing was perhaps still an option, he realized. He merely needed to leave Karkash’s range, preferably with a new car. It would have been nice if letting Nize go deep underground were an option, but he knew that even if she managed to escape Karkash’s reach, Abolish’s subterranean net had already been completed. Just as Stoker and Karkash provided aerial defenses, another team specialized in below ground tactics. A gigantic, soul-empowered net was often used to prevent enemy reapers from infiltrating cities and regenerating their servants from scratch. Of course, it also prevented friendly reapers from leaving cities by the same means.