Noah watched Bryce's retreating form, staring with wide eyes. He couldn't bring himself to move forward, still too exhausted to burst into a sprint. He wanted to reach out for the demon, but he knew that he wouldn't be able to stop him even if he tried.
He felt a reassuring hand on his shoulder, but he couldn't think of anything then.
"It'll be okay—" Ben started, sounding amused by this and not at all sympathetic.
"Don't touch me." Noah yanked his shoulder away from Ben's grasp, turning to glare at the other human.
Ben scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. "I did nothing, Noah. You were the one who decided to manipulate a disgusting—"
Noah twisted his body backwards, raising his arm rapidly and punching Benjamin straight in the jaw. The taller hunter stumbled backwards, wincing at the sudden hit. He lifted his hand up to caress his face, staring at Noah in disbelief.
Why was Noah attacking him over a demon?
"Stay away from me," Noah ordered bitterly.
"Are you alright?" Ben asked, shaking his head in disbelief.
"No, I'm not," Noah threatened, glaring at Ben. It didn't matter that this was his human comrade or that he was picking a demon over his own kind. Benjamin had caused this and that made him guilty.
Ben blinked several times as realization hit his face.
"So, you do like the demon!" Ben stated in disbelief, his jaw slacking as the realization set in. "Why?"
Ben didn't have a time to step backwards before Noah withdrew his dagger and slashed at Ben's arm, shoving him down onto the ground. Ben's repulsion shouldn't have made him as angry as it had, but it did anyways.
Ben was still grinning from the floor, pressing his elbows against the ground to keep his upper body off the ground. "Well, I think we have established sides now, haven't we?"
Noah shrugged, ignoring the instinct to apologize. There was no apologizing now, no matter how awful he felt about snapping. Besides, Ben was just going to manipulate some random demon; he didn't deserve pity.
"You think so?" Noah growled at him.
Benjamin nodded. "Yeah, call it instinct," he replied sarcastically. "Oh, Noah. You're so pathetic."
"Stay away from me," Noah repeated before storming off towards his room, struggling because of his feet, but lifting his dagger, threating the sole soldier that tried to get close to help him. They could help Ben, but he didn't need it.
Ben didn't miss the slight limp on Noah's step. The hunter was weak. He could've easily beat him in a fight, but he restrained himself simply because he knew Noah was more likely to self-destruct if given enough time. Besides, Noah's attack hadn't been meant to kill him or he would've been dead already.
Noah was a threat.
All threats needed removal, even if he was a human.
Ben had his crossbow with him, unlike Noah, who had rushed out of the house without his bow. However, the kind of removal needed to be sneakier than blunt murder. With the amount of demon soldiers patrolling the perimeter of the house, not to mention near them, one of them was going to witness Ben killing Noah if he tried and would probably kill him as well upon seeing the chance to do so.
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The Equity TrilogyFantasy
Noah Engel, the human chosen to represent the Human and Demon Integration Cooperative Peace "Integration" Program has the task of assuring the effectiveness of the ambitious mission through his own presence among them, defying centuries of pre-conce...