The blades started to disintegrate as they desperately launched themselves towards Lance and Pierce. However, none of them reached and became particles that were virtually harmless.
Before Atticus realized what had happened, another voice yelled out, "Bind!"
Vine like tendrils of blue energy slithered up his legs and wrapped around his arms making him immobile. Atticus frowned and tried to break the bonds when a different voice called out.
A hundred thin mana needles penetrated Atticus all over his body, specifically on the joints, causing Atticus to feel pain. His body became virtually motionless, except for his head.
Using his still mobile head, Atticus coldly glanced at the three who had managed to place him into his current state.
Three mages glared back at him with defiant gazes..
"This is payback for what you did to me earlier you mother fucker. It still fucking hurts," said one of the mages before walking over and kicking Atticus in the face.
One of the other mages frowned. "Compose yourself. Your actions are unbefitting of one from the Tower."
"I don't give a damn about looking like a saint. This mother fucker cut me, so I'm going to kick him," the mage spat on the ground, "I would kill him if our mission wasn't to bring him back alive. I'm going to enjoy his execution day."
Atticus let out a grin, "I'll make sure to be there at your deathbed too. I reckon I can stay around as a ghost for a couple centuries-"
Atticus was once more kicked in the face by the ill mannered mage when Lance and Pierce arrived. Upon arriving, Lance gave a nod to the three mages.
"Thank you for your service. I will make sure the Tower hears of your great contribution."
"More like the only contribution," said the ill tempered mage. "Those mindless warriors and archers were barely useful."
The leading mage let out a scowl at the other mage before expressing his gratitude at Lance. "Thank you for those kind words. For now, shall we send this demon to the capital. We have a Ley Line set up in one of the prisons. We just need to heal up our other mage and we will be able to start up the portal."
The mage hesitated before giving Lance an apologetic glance. "You don't happen to have any Elixirs do you? I'm afraid we ran out."
Lance nodded before handing the mage an elixir. The mage took it and fed it to the last mage who was still on the floor, bleeding.
Once the last mage woke up, they stood around Atticus and started chanting.
Atticus gave a maniacal chuckle before calling out to everyone as the portal started to transfer him to the capital. "You all are invited to my execution. Especially you Lance. I want you to see my head drop to the floor when it gets sliced off-"
With a loud pop, Atticus disappeared and the four mages collapsed.
"Are you ok?" Asked Pierce with a concerned look.
The mage nodded his head. "We are just low on mana. If you give us a couple of minutes, we will be able to walk again."
Pierce nodded before turning towards Lance before hesitating. "Should we.... look for the.... others?"
Lance frowned before slowly nodding his head. "We shouldn't leave them in the forest.... it's better if we.... take them home to be buried."
As the two of them were about to dash into the forest, they saw three limping figures making their way out of the forest. They were the three archers that had supposedly perished to Atticus's hand.
Lance immediately dashed over and hugged the female archer who was supporting the two other archers.
The female archer scowled. "Stop holding me as if I died. I'm still alive you dumbass. Let me go."
"Reha! You are alive! How?"
Reha rolled her eyes. "Atticus grabbed me and teleported me somewhere far away. The other two teleported to me a few minutes later. It took us a long time because we had to walk back and the two of us had a broken leg."
Reha looked around before frowning. "What happened? Did we lose him?"
Lance shook his head. "We caught him, the mages sent him to the capital."
"Then let's hurry up and go fetch the others. I bet they are still alive around her somewhere."
Lance furrowed his brows. "Why do you think the others are still alive?"
"Atticus told me that they were alive, and that I should hurry up and save them before they bled to death. We confirmed that this was true. One of the other archers found the priest in a log, injured, but still alive. I reckon he is still somewhere around here."
Pierce frowned. "Then why would he tell us that he killed all of you?"
"He told you guys that?" Asked Reha with a bigger frown as if something wasn't making sense in her mind. "Why on earth would he do that?"
"To make us angry and lose our sense of reasoning?"
"No, he wouldn't do that. Lying that that we were slowly dying would be more effective," said Reha, "he knew that Lance and I were going out so.... he should've lied to Lance that I was dying and needed help. That would give Atticus a chance to run away. On the other hand, by telling Lance that I died, he made sure that Lance would focus his attention on him. None of this makes any sense!"
Lance stared at Reha with a confused look. "Atticus wanted to get captured?"
"It sounds unreasonable but yes. It's almost as if he wanted to get caught."
"But why? Why on earth would he want that?"
Reha looked far into the distance, towards the direction of the capital. "We will never know. The only person who does is in the capital."
She let out a sigh before giving Lance and Pierce a pat on the back. "Let's go help the others. We will have time to ask Atticus before his execution. For now, we have a priest in a log to save."
Atticus glanced up from the ground stripped of all clothing except a pair of shorts. He was still riddled with needles and his arms and legs chained up for good measure, Atticus let out a grin. "Welcome to my humble abode Lance and Reha. I congratulate you two on your successful reunion. Is it too far fetched of me to expect a baby soon? Maybe a ceremony with cake and bells?"
"Why did you lie about killing Reha."
Atticus shrugged. "I never said I killed her so I never lied."
"You said you broke her bones."
"Words can be misleading."
"Why would you do this? What do you gain for doing this?"
Atticus shrugged. "Demonic things that humans wouldn't understand. You two should go and leave. This ain't no place for a couple."
Lance frowned before leaving the prison cell and slamming the door shut. Reha sighed before turning to Atticus.
"Will you not tell me why you wanted to get captured? You realize you will be executed right?"
Atticus lazily closed his eyes.
"There are some things that are worse than death. Years of helping humans kill demons, you think they would welcome me back with open arms? A parade? At least with you humans I'll be able to die. Those assholes would keep me alive for decades all the while torturing me."
Reha hesitated before asking Atticus a question. "Why did you decide to help us humans?"
There was a moment of silence before Atticus replied. "Why do you wish to kill demons?"
"Money," she said without hesitation. "It's nothing honorable really. Killing demons gives you a rich award."
"Then what about Marissa? Why does she seek to kill demons?"
"She had her entire family murdered by demons."
"Well you can say that I have a similar reason."
Reha gave Atticus an incredulous look. "The demons murdered your family as well?"
".... you should really get going Reha. Before others start to think that I have bewitched you with my demonic charm."
Atticus sat there in silence as Reha left his cell, staring into the sky through the bars on the window.
"Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. The weather today is brilliant, it is as if the goddess herself realizes the significance of today."
The man paused.
"Today, we execute a particular someone. A demon. A spy."
The man did a subtle hand gesture, calling out some guards to drag out a man covered in chains from neck to toe.
"He goes by Atticus, a former ranker that was apart of our ranks, aiding in the extermination of Demons."
The man shook his head.
"Little did we know that this man was a demon himself. A spy sent to infiltrate our defenses, to identify our weakness and report back to his home country. The reason why humans were losing the war."
The man paused before drawing his sword he ran his blade across the cheek of the man in chains. A dribble of black blood flowed down from the cut and onto the floor.
"But no more. Today, we show the demons our will to fight back. Our will to survive. If they consider us to be bugs, then we are roaches. We will come back to fight even when our heads are cut off. Our desire to survive knows no bounds. Today, we kill this spy. Today we turn the tides."
The man raised his sword and gently rested it on the neck of Atticus. "Let us give this demon human compassion, even if he himself doesn't appreciate it. Do you have any last words?"
There was silence as the man waited for Atticus to speak. Atticus slowly rose his head and stared directly at the camera with a slight grin on his face.
"If you need for me to be a spy, then I shall be one. If you need for strength to fight, then I shall provide one. If you feel the need to shed blood, then I shall sate that lust. All I ask for is this. Exterminate the demons, if you can. Prepare yourself for doom before bringing doom unto others. The end is near and when it comes, it will be either humans or demons who stand on top."
The man frowned before raising his sword. "Today will mark the death of a demon-"
"Good luck humans. And May the goddess be with you."
"-and the rise of humanity."