Home > One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(11)

One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(11)
Author: Kristy Cunning

I scrub a hand over my face, turning back to face Paca, as Lilith is carried off by her newest harem, who’ve come to collect her.

“I can’t believe we’re all fucking panicking about not buying roses and talking about it this fucking much!” Jude snaps, lifting his head to glare down at our petty, childish, hell-spawn girlfriend, who is walking with a sassy gait.

“Cain, show no mercy,” Lucifer says in a cold tone.

He hugs his skull to him, still glaring below.

“Didn’t plan on it,” Cain states as he stands, stretches, downs his final bottle of booze, pops a few questionable pills, snorts a line of something, eats his eighth burger, and finally disappears from sight.

I wonder if we’ve been witnessing the embodiment of gluttony power-up on all his favorite binge-worthy things.

“This is all insane,” Ezekiel whispers to me, cutting his eyes around. “She gets sucked in too easily to Hell’s antics.”

I nod, but then I shake my head. “She learns more about her powers when she’s in real combat where she doesn’t trust the opponent,” I point out.

“She doesn’t trust anyone but us,” Kai dutifully reminds us.

“I expected more of a challenge from Lilith,” Jude says, not acknowledging our conversation.

“Clearly, since you covered your eyes like a little bitch boy in a horror movie,” the twins state in unison.

Jude cuts a glare toward their smirking faces, as they fist bump each other and waggle their eyebrows.

“Seeing Death cower in fear was more entertaining than the fight. I hope you do it again, considering I’m greedy and enjoyed that immensely,” the embodiment of Greed tells us.

“I was embarrassed for you,” the other twin says with a shudder, proving, possibly for the first time, that they don’t have one coherent mind they share. “Have some pride,” the embodiment of Pride adds.

My lips twitch when I worry Jude’s head is going to blow off his shoulders with the visible fury that is vibrating his body. His jaw tics, his fists clench, but he forces himself to return his attention to the arena, same as the rest of us.

Cain is stepping under the shower of roses being provided for him, lifting his arms to signal for the crowd to cheer louder for him. He needs as much praise as he does other things, it seems.

“Gluttony is fierce in battle. Considering it has more influence over the world at current, aside from Greed and Pride, it shouldn’t be so easy for my secretive daughter,” Lucifer bites out. “A daughter who fails miserably at deception but has fooled me into believing her weaker.”

“I think she just relies too heavily on muscle memory, and is recording each new subconscious action she can later reuse on purpose,” Pride points out. “It’s a shit battle plan.”

“Cain won’t give up the praise of the crowd so easily, though. He’ll go all out,” Greed states, smirking. “Then it’ll be our turn.”

A knot twists in my stomach, and I slink down in my seat, forcing myself to watch, even though I’d like to shield my eyes.

“We tried to stop her. We used our best manipulation tactic, considering it’s Paca, and she walked away like she wasn’t tempted,” Kai tells us, running a hand through his hair in frustration.

This. Is. Miserable.

Utterly miserable.

I know it’s Hell, but…this is the worst it’s been so far.

My knee bounces as Paca merrily struts in a circle, not paying any attention to her opponent as she hums the Super Mario Brothers theme song.

Cain catches a bottle of booze that’s thrown at him and scratches his balls as he drinks it, eyes on her like he’s considering how much of a power surge he needs.

This doesn’t look like a bloodthirsty battle between ruthless siblings. It looks like a bad comedy routine that mocks Hell.

“I can’t tell if she’s overconfident or simply her reckless self,” I snap.

“Neither would be considered a compliment, and we’re in enough trouble, apparently. Keep your mouth shut,” Ezekiel gripes, glaring over at me as though I’m going to somehow make this worse than it is.

“No fighting, boys. The Horsemen need a certain unity, or things get a little toxic,” Greed informs us a little too smugly. I don’t look back at him as he adds, “And we wouldn’t want the vicious audience and underground tribe getting bold enough to rush the arena when your girlfriend is frozen in her physical form, fatigued from her concentrated bursts of power, and trapped below, now would we?”

Paca stops dancing in a circle, which is what ceases our own argument. Cain carelessly tosses the empty bottle over his shoulder, and he smirks when it shatters.

Two gold, ornate daggers appear in his hands. They both have gems that begin to glow red as he tilts his head, still smirking at Paca.

With a quick spin move, he flings the daggers, and as Paca throws up a wall of fire to shield herself, the gems get brighter and brighter as they near it.

Just when I think they’re going to collide with the fire wall, they stop and stab into the ground.

It’s almost anti-climactic…for a second.

“Ooooh, he’s damn serious. Going big right off the bat,” Pride says as though he’s excited.

I almost want to scratch my head and shout out a warning to Paca at the same time, but I’m too confused as to what is going on.

Until the whole ground quakes so hard that even Paca is staggered by it, tripping backwards. Her ass slams against the shaking ground. Even the stands quake and rattle, despite the fact we’re shielded from the power.

“That’s my boy,” Lucifer states with his evil grin in place.

Still confused, I watch as the ground starts shifting, breaking apart, and Paca struggles to get her feet under her long enough to attempt keeping her balance.

Those glowing gems only grow brighter, as dark shadows begin emerging from them.

The steady roar of the quaking ground is only disturbed by the whirring of those rapidly emerging shadows that seep into the ground, disappearing from sight.

My heart is in my throat, because if the twins are excited, this could be bad.

“Paca! There are shadows doing something nefarious!” Kai shouts like it’s a good warning.

Paca curses when she’s knocked down again, the lava of hell’s tail seeping through the cracks.

She glares over at Cain, but her eyes widen as those shadows suddenly emerge into one giant shadow creature right in front of her.

It’s all I can do not to yell when it slams down on top of her, and she vanishes from our sight behind the thick veil of darkness.

Chapter 9


If she survives this, Jude is going to punish her, Gage is going to do something sappy, Ezekiel will do something pathetic, and I’m going to fuck her into a coma so that she can’t do it again any time soon.

This is hell—metaphorically and literally.

The crowd waits with a collectively held breath, as Paca’s agonized screams fill the air. They’re not sure if she’s faking the screams or if she’s in real pain, given how this evening’s battles have gone.

She hasn’t faked any of it. She’s just held back and let them hurt her.

She’s not deceptive, but she can be fucking tactical.

“She wants to learn to take a hit, but she doesn’t know what these hits do to her,” I grind out between clenched teeth, cringing when I hear the next scream, as Lucifer forces us to remain in our seats, watching this without concern to how painful it all is.

Biting down on my fist to keep in my own pained sounds, I watch, waiting on her to do something only Paca could do in this situation.

The shadow swells, only seeming to grow in power, as Cain laughs manically, his black eyes going wild as the wind begins to whir. The ground continues quaking, the roar of the wind grows louder, and the shadow seems to only grow stronger.

“More! More! More!” Cain shouts, almost seeming to lose his mind to the throes of power, as he lifts his arms high and lets his head drop back.

As it all builds, the stands lift higher and higher, raising us farther above the growing storm.

The twins start laughing uncontrollably, as though this is the funniest shit they’ve ever seen and enjoy it wholeheartedly.

“C’mon, Paca. Do something! Fucking fight back!” I shout, feeling my entire body shaking with worry, since I still can’t even see her.

Fire races out from under the shadow, and the twins stop cackling.

The lava brewing under the broken plates of the ground suddenly spews straight up as though it has come to life under her authority. The scent of sulphur blankets the air so thickly that it almost staggers the senses.

“Fire and brimstone…that’s not good,” Pride states quietly.

“She’s advanced that much without me knowing?” Lucifer snarls.

Hope tries to swell in my chest, and I sit up a little more. All four of us look on with bated breath and nauseating anticipation.

Manella is the only hell-spawn who has returned to the seats behind us, and I hear Lamar waking him up.

Cain’s eyes widen just as the flames shoot heavenward, blazing through the center of the arena, and almost blinding us with how close it is.

Lucifer leaps from his seat as the heat of the flames force us to lean away.

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