WALKING OUT of the hotel room, Phoebe jumped back in surprise. Her dog, Ace, ran up to her. “Ace! What are you doing here?” She leaned down to pet him. “Come inside with me and we will get you something to eat.”
Bringing him inside with her, she glanced over at Apollo. She met his questioning eyes with a shrug. “I have no clue how he got here. It seems impossible, but here he is.”
Apollo shrugged. “Weirder things have happened. I guess we can just bring him along with us. Having him could help.” Standing up, he grabbed the bag of weapons and restraints. Together, they left the room and got in the car.
Parking near the jade shop, the pair sipped coffee as they waited for Qilin to close the shop. They inched the car along behind her as she went to a park. The sunlight was quickly fading away and few people were in the park. Quickly, they got out of the car and followed Qilin into a clearing. Although they walked in absolute silence, Qilin turned around.
“I knew you were there. This is your last chance to turn back. Are you ready?” She widened her stance and stood confidently in front of them. Phoebe stepped back so that Apollo could do what he came for.
Grabbing a dagger out of the bag, Apollo nodded. “I am ready if you are.” As soon as he finished the sentence, Qilin became a blazing ball of fire. Flames radiated from her arms and curled into balls within her hands. Throwing the fire at Apollo, she moved forward. Apollo ducked the flames and tried to get into an offensive position.
Ace whined next to Phoebe. Leaning down, she patted his head reassuringly. In reality, she was shaking in fear. Still unused to the world of daemons, the fiery daemon before her was a frightening surprise. She felt less terrible about the possibility of Qilin’s death. The daemon before her was far from defenseless. Before this moment, how many other potential leaders had tried to kill Qilin and failed?
Qilin threw another ball of fire and it singed Apollo’s heels. The grass in the clearing was quickly becoming torched by their fight. Ball after ball of fire was thrown and Apollo managed to shrug it off without any difficulties. Unfortunately, he was unable to stand long enough to get close to her. It was too late when he realized that he should have just used a gun. Rolling away from another ball of fire, he quickly darted in the opposite direction. The sudden change of direction surprised Qilin, and she let the ball of fire go too soon. It released from her hand and flew directly toward Phoebe. Apollo either did not notice where the fire was headed or did not care. He adjusted his stance and lifted the dagger behind his head to throw it.