Hector kept thinking someone would attack him again, particularly Melchor, but it seemed that Darktide didn’t want to divide his attention again, seeing as he did end up losing Horatio the last time he tried. Still, it was a very odd thing, just watching the violence unfold rather than participating.
Dimas and Salvador had thinned their opponents down to the last one, and Dimas moved to assist Asad, who’d been stuck in an apparent stalemate with Ismael and Nere up to now.
‘This seems too easy,’ said Garovel. ‘The way they talked about Darktide, I figured he’d be able to do more with pan-rozum than flail around like this.’
Hector was getting a similar vibe. ‘You think he’s holding back?’
‘Maybe. I’m not sure why he would, though.’
‘Well, if it were me, I might try to create an opening first--possibly by tricking the opponent into thinking they were beating me...’
Garovel paused. ‘Colt taught you that, didn’t he?’
‘Er. S-sorta... But, uh. I’m probably wrong. I’m sure that’s way too simplistic for a fight of this level. And if I could see through it, then Lord Xuan would obviously--’
As if on cue, a chunk of Darktide’s body pierced the center of the smoke and detonated with such force that even Hector was thrown into the wall. The blast filled the whole foyer, leaving behind long-lingering tremors that made Hector feel like he’d been caught in a sudden earthquake. He could hear more crumbling rock, but the smoke was so dense that he could scarcely even see until Dimas’ gravity swept the air clear again.
And when Hector returned to the busted guardrail, what he saw made his breath catch.
Darktide’s hulking form had been torn asunder, and pieces of mercury boiled beneath pools of acid. But the liquid metal beast was still standing, while the white fumes had all but dispersed. And Darktide was already in the middle of tearing Duvoss free from the Seadevil’s almost smokeless figure.
‘Time to help,’ said Garovel.
Hector leapt off the second floor and slid down on an iron ramp, already running when his feet touched stone again. He chucked a materialized spear as he charged forward, shield first.
Melchor saw him, but just carried on anyway and let his liquid body devour the iron as if it had been intended to feed him.