Holly had acquired a working knowledge of magic; she could knock someone over with Senkilo’s Cannon, or create a semi-transparent haze with Shindalthi’s Cloud, but the purpose of the Cannon was to kill or maim, and the purpose of the Cloud was to conceal the caster.
Holly could do neither, and it pissed her off to no end.
She’d been at war for several goddamn years and she was fucking sick of it. Forty of her best were currently on standby, ready to hop on their mounts and assault the pass.
Flaysac and his bandits had become complacent. His guards laughed and joked as they manned their posts. Some of the lazy ones would strut around without armor, or take a quick snooze when they thought no one was looking. Even though their lax behavior was unacceptable, it was perfectly understandable. Victory bred complacency in the mightiest of warriors, and Flaysac’s guys were no exception. They’d been tearing the ass out of Holly’s army like rabid frat boys going after high school va-jay-jay.
(During her time as a cheerleader, Holly had gone to several college parties where she’d caught some would-be rapists trying to roofie her friends. She wasn’t altruistic—that wasn’t why she’d uppercutted seven douchebags square in their nutsacks and Krav Maga’d the shit out of their faces—she saw her peers as valuable resources. They were pieces on a chessboard—pawns she needed to advance her position.)
Exactly like the Indashi. These roided-out ape-monkeys were simply her pawns—tools to help her return to Earth, so she could rip Peter’s face off and revel in his screams.
“Warriors!” she shouted, riding Braveheart-style before a line of mounted barbarians. “My Death Rider elite! Chosen for your ferocity, as well as your gigantic fucking balls!”
Evil chuckles swept through the line.
“And now!” Holly swung her gaze from side to side. “Now you fulfill your motherfucking destiny!”
The Death Riders erupted with raucous cheers. They banged their shields with brutish weapons or their metal gauntlets, screaming and hooting like meth’d up linebackers. Spittle flew and dotted the ground.
“That’s right!” Holly roared. “Let’s skullfuck Flaysac in his motherfucking FACE!”
The Riders went into a crazy-ass frenzy. They bumped chests, slapped skulls, and shoved each other as best they could from atop their mounts—like they were inside a mosh pit for dino-borne maniacs.
“TO WAR!” Holly screamed. She raised her blade high above her head.
“TO WAR!” An assortment of morning stars, spike-clubs, and squared-off swords punched toward the sky.
She galloped toward the encampment’s exit, the Riders following hot on her heels. As the men made a beeline for the mountains, she smiled beneath the shadow of her helmet.
Holly Dent was a coldhearted bitch, but she wasn’t wrong.