Death Walker: Demons of Sedona 3
After being chased to the edge of the world by the imperial army, Tobin and Vera finally won. They found the lost city of Sedona and the warrior civilization that still that lives nearby, uncovered a plot to dethrone the king, and defeated the relentless Leggett.
But their time in Sedona had unintended consequences, as they accidentally awoke the oldest demons in existence from a centuries-long slumber. And after being trapped behind a wall for ages, the demons are ready to be free and to feed upon the living.
Now the entire world is in danger. To save it Tobin and Vera will have to dig deeper into the secrets of Sedona and its people. But something’s happening to Tobin at the same time, something that might be worse than death itself.
The battle was in full swing by the time Vera arrived, with the Eori facing off against a massive swarm of the dead. And although they fought with tremendous ferocity, they were outnumbered by the scores of demons.
My god, she thought, they’re here to destroy the wall, and there’s too many for us to stop.
A demon crossed in front of her path on its way to the wall and she ducked behind a hut. She waited a moment before turning around and checking to see if she had been spotted. The demon shuffled forward, unaware of her presence. She took the opportunity, drawing her bow and aiming an arrow right at its skull. She loosed the arrow and the beast fell.
One down, an impossible number to go.
She repeated the process, downing three more of the dead before racing to join the fight from the front lines. The Eori continued the engagement, the hunters on the ground hacking and slicing with swords while the ones atop the wall rained down arrows. But it wasn’t enough; three demons stepped up for every beast they felled.
She spotted Tuvia ahead, hacking at a beast. He brought his sword down hard, and the blade bit into the demon with ease. But it became stuck on the way out, and Tuvia’s rhythmic fighting was suddenly lost. He placed both hands on the blade and kicked the demon, yanking the sword free a moment before he was knocked down by two others.
Vera quickly nocked an arrow in place and loosed, hitting the first demon in the head. She reached back for the second arrow, knowing that she wouldn’t be in time and watching in horror as the dead thing moved in on Tuvia.
Then, to her surprise, the beast kept moving, shuffling past Tuvia on the way to the wall. Tuvia took the opportunity, swinging his blade from the dirt and cleaving the demon’s right leg off. The beast fell, and he drove a dagger into its eye. He exchanged a confused glance with Vera as she helped him to his feet. “They are not interested in us,” he growled. “They are here to break the wall.”
“What do we do?”
Instead of replying, Tuvia charged forward, blade out, and began swinging at every demon near him. He beheaded one demon before ducking under the arms of a second and stabbing it in the face, withdrawing the blade and hurling a dagger at a third. “If they are not paying attention to us, we will destroy them in peace,” he yelled back.
He was right; this was an opening to take down as many demons as possible. She was wasting time. Pulling her bow, she reached back in her quiver.
The next half-dozen ghouls fell without consequence. Vera was automatic, drawing, nocking, loosing and repeating without missing a single target. She was racking up a body count that rivaled Tuvia’s, and as the demons fell, she began to hope. Maybe they would make it through this without the unthinkable occurring. Maybe they could win this fight.
And then the screaming sounded from above. Vera followed the sounds and found the Eori that previously provided backup were now directing their arrows to the other side of the wall. Into Sedona.
“Vera!” Tobin’s voice sounded out from behind, and she turned in time to see him shoving demons out of the way to get to her. “They’re not after us,” he said as he collapsed into her arms.
“I know, they’re after the wall, and there’s too many of them.”
He looked around at the scene, and Vera noticed he was bleeding through his shirt.
“Your wound,” she began, but Tobin shook an exhausted hand at her.
“It’s just the stitches, I’ll be fine.” He started fumbling through his pockets as Talia announced her arrival with a fury that matched her brother’s. Every Eori warrior was doing their best to cleave off the numbers, but there weren’t enough of them to make any real dent.
“I’ve got it,” Tobin shouted as he pulled a long, white tube from his pocket. Vera recognized it immediately: it was the tube they found in the charred ruins of Farmer’s Brook, the one that contained a letter from the Camian king and a map that led them here. It was the tube that turned out to be an encircling crystal, the tube they had burned all night while in Sedona, saving them from the demons that they were now trying to keep locked up.
Tobin stepped forward, lighting a candle with the flints he kept on him at all times. A circle of light shot out the moment he dropped the candle into the tube, and he held the tube out, shining the beam on every nearby creature. The demons howled and screamed as their skin and bones began to burn. Now they felt pain, but they continued to move ahead, one giant, suffocating force that seemed determined to reach its goal, casualties be damned.
Vera spotted Tuvia about a few hundred paces ahead, hacking away at demons left and right. Taking aim, she fired at a demon in front of him, catching his attention when the demon went down.
“Torches,” she stressed as she caught up to him. “We need as many lights as possible.”
A giant crash sounded behind them, making the wall and the ground surrounding it shudder mightily. Several Eori fell from above, each one hitting the ground with a sickening crack. Others screamed on the way down.
“The ones on the other side!” Tuvia shouted over another crash. “They are throwing boulders!”
“Goddammit!” she cursed as she raced to a ladder, slinging her bow over her shoulder and grabbing a torch along the way. Casting one last glance over at Tobin and Talia, she began the climb to the top.
She had no plan. How could one plan for demons that were smart enough to work together and throw objects? But if she could burn the rock-throwers, or even land an arrow on the Demon King, that might be enough for the defense below to regroup.
Another boulder crashed into the wall, and the entire thing buckled. Vera was thrown from the ladder before she could process what was happening. She landed on her back, pain ricocheting off every bone in her body as the wind left her lungs. A back-breaking collision was spared when she landed on three demons that were pawing at the wall below. When she could move she turned her head to see the demon corpses she landed upon. The dead had saved her life.
Picking herself up, she lifted her head in time to see the wall bend toward her from the impact of another boulder. For a moment she thought it might collapse on top of her, but it groaned as it rebounded back into place.
That was no relief, as the boulders had left a sizable crack in the stone, and the demons began clawing at it immediately. Dozens of them marched to the crack, all trying to expand it.
Vera was yanked up by her arm, and she looked up into the eyes of Talia. Neither woman said anything, and she shook off her aching joints and drew her bow. She began loosing off like mad, knowing it was a hopeless cause.
“Come on!” Tobin screamed from behind them. “It’s over! We need to get out of here now!”
She flicked her gaze from Tobin over to Talia, who stood frozen and unresponsive, her eyes pointed ahead to the wall. Vera shook her. “Ta—”
The impact of another boulder cut her off as it crashed in the wall, sending dust and stone debris into the air and coating her eyes. She brought her hands up to her stinging eyes to shield her vision and in that moment she heard a terrible grinding and groaning sound. She looked again in time to see a large portion of the wall just as it collapsed onto the demons below it.
Another pair of hands grabbed her, and she found herself and Talia being yanked backward by Tobin just moments before another wave of debris rained down in one loud, dusty boom.
Then there was silence.
For a moment all of the fighting stopped, as stunned Eori watched as the constant object in their lives toppled. It was followed by a loud hissing from the other side of the wall. Through the cloud, Vera saw a flurry of deep red eyes.
Then, out of the wreckage stepped a central figure dressed in a frayed purple robe and tattered slippers. The figure looked frailer than even the gauntest skeleton, but it wore an extravagant bejeweled crown atop its head.
The Demon King gave a deep-throated hiss as it stepped out of its prison and into the Eori village. Three Eori warriors immediately charged, despite Tobin’s screams for them to fall back.
The warriors attacked in unison, all swinging and hacking with what had to be practiced ease. But the demon dodged all of their blades, moving with a speed that made the humans look as if they were standing still. It shot its arms forward, grabbing two of the Eori and tossing them backward into the arms of the beasts behind it. The last warrior trembled for a moment before swinging his blade desperately, aiming to behead the beast. The demon bent backward before grabbing the man by the neck and raising him into the air. The Demon King then scanned the scene, looking over every human and ghoul. Its eyes settled on Tobin, and Vera saw him shrink before the beast’s gaze.
The demon then growled, tensed its arm and snapped the man’s neck. It hissed again, and suddenly all of the beasts that had been working on destroying the wall turned, a renewed sense of hunger, hatred and aggression visible in all of them.
The demons of Sedona were free.