Hector was getting accustomed to running in full plate armor. He glimpsed a nearby corridor and considered fleeing through it, but the narrower quarters struck him as more of a death sentence than anything. He proceeded straight ahead, bounding over a pile of rocks that used to be part of the high ceiling and trying to reach Asad.
Frozen mercury shot up around Hector, caging him in completely, but Asad was close enough now to punch through with glass-coated fists. They kept running together. Hector decided to leave a few iron walls in their wake, while Asad was busy keeping Ismael away.
The first wall was simple enough--it spanned the entire length of the foyer, but it wasn’t nearly tall enough, and Darktide just splashed right over it. The second wall, at least, was a large enough obstacle that Darktide chose to break through rather than lose time scaling it. The third was the same, not enough to buy even a moment of extra time.
The fourth, however, was not a wall at all. Instead, Hector materialized a sphere where he expected Darktide to be, but still made it massive enough to look like a wall for the brief glimpse Melchor would get of it after busting through the third. So when his liquid body slammed into it, no doubt expecting to smash it down, the sphere began rolling away instead, creating a moment of stumbling confusion as Melchor ended up rolling with it. Hector had even added a few dents in its surface, so the giant ball ended up veering off to the left and distracting Melchor for a moment more.
It was a stupid trick, Hector knew, but extra time was extra time, regardless of how he achieved it. And now he had the opportunity to work on an old scheme: a soul-empowered maze. It had hidden his presence against Karkash. Maybe it could do so against Melchor.
He set to work, creating a four-way intersection with himself and Asad at the center, then expanding each branch in three different directions. Then again. And again. All while he and Asad kept pressing through the tunnels together.
Melchor wasn’t having it, though. The same kind of explosion that had subdued Xuan shook the chamber once again. Hector’s tunnels shattered under the impact and went flying, sending him and Asad along with them. White dust filled the air just as before, but Dimas wasn’t around to clear it away this time.