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Cadell assumed she did not like sharing her gadgets because, a moment later, he found himself barely ducking a spinning kick to the head. She instantly continued with a vicious onslaught, a quick flurry of punches and kicks. Cadell's pupils darted around, following her motions. Summoning a mountain of willpower, he forced his already aching body to keep up with her complex combinations.

It wasn't long before a seed of frustration sprouted in Cadell's brain. There seemed to be no openings for retaliation. Her attacks were too accurate and fluid as if choreographed.

Who knew? Maybe it was choreographed. But regardless, one thing was clear to Cadell. There was not going to be any lucky escapes in this fight. She would capitalise on any mistake.

Cadell sidestepped a knee to the stomach when something odd happened.

Hands by her sides, for just a second, the woman...

did nothing.

The timeframe felt like an agonizing eternity. Goosebumps began to prickle his body. His brain crackled with thoughts.

What next? A punch? A kick? What am I missing? I don't understand. Her team hasn't engaged yet and everyone is in my sight so why is she... This doesn't make any

You fool, boy! The voice growled. Don't be so passive. Do something!

Cadell was almost relieved when, at last, a fist flew towards his face. He leaned back his body to evade when her punch abruptly pulled back three inches from his face.

Wait. What?


A powerful kick hurtled into Cadell's stomach, stealing oxygen from his lungs. An uppercut quickly followed, crunching into his chin.

Cadell staggered backwards, his eyes losing focus. A smirk curled from his lips.

She was good.

The squadron advanced, but, despite the dilemma, the vigilante found himself lost in thought. Would they be so eager to move closer if they knew what the voice had in store for them? They seemed willing to get up close and personal but a four-inch blade and a decision to obey the voice would certainly change that.

He shook his head, swallowing blood. "That punch wasn't very lady-like, lady."

The woman showed what Cadell could only describe as a shark's grin. "Call me Lila."

"That's a beautiful name," Cadell said, taking a large step backwards. "Do you know something, Lila? We should do this more often and by more often, I mean never again! Peace out, losers!"

A blue flame violently flared within Lila's body. Was she already onto his plan?

Cadell flung twenty marble-sized delirium spheres in the air and broke into an explosive sprint across the roof. He dived towards a portal, glancing behind to see the MI0 agents slipping and sliding and Lila in hot pursuit, charging madly in a desperate attempt to close the large gap.

Cadell rolled onto an empty street and instantly made a beeline for a nearby alley. Along with everything about his illness and more, MI0 had somehow figured out the portal's two-second lag time. But could they get there in time?

Cadell heaved a loud sigh of relief as he slowed to a halt. There were no sounds of footsteps.

He was just about to generate another portal when a lightning-quick hallucination illuminated the city in crimson.

The boy frowned.

Sizzle, sizzle.

"I was hoping to use this when I could hear your screams," Lila shouted from afar. "But we can't have you escaping, can we?"

A deep, gaping hole seared through Cadell's shoulder.

Another laser beam shot out of Lila's wrist, cutting into his calf. He fell to his knees.

"Cadell!" Elijah yelled.

Shock overriding his brain, the vigilante froze like a statue. Lila came into view, bending down to reach his level. He screamed as his face met hers.

The average man would consider her attractive. Long black curls, thick thighs, pretty eyes.

But all Cadell could see was a tortured soul.

Thick crimson gushed from her eyes before gradually expanding across the alley, swarming crumpled wrappers and empty liquor bottles

"Demon!" Cadell shrieked. "Demon!"

Lila looked away for a split second before a bombardment of knees crashed into Cadell's face.

Thud! Thud! Squelch! Thud! Thud! Cadell's right eye closed shut.

Thud! Thud! Cadell's head hit the ground.

The merciless assault continued. She kicked and kicked and kicked until finally a boot forced onto Cadell's head as if it was trash bag needing to be stuffed into a garbage bin.

Lila panted heavily. "You have a series of devil genes which led to mass murder and I'm the demon? The idiots who are quote-on-quote helping you must have misinformed you, so let me feed you bitter reality. You are not a hero. No matter how hard you try, you cannot redeem yourself. You were never a victim in this, and you are nothing but a murderer."

Behind the Psycho mask, Cadell grinned bloodily. "Great," He said. "We can agree on something at least."

They both sunk into a portal and fell together into an empty train carriage engulfed in darkness.

Lila quickly put the vigilante into a chokehold.  "Where are we?"

Cadell began to feel groggy. "Wow, I'm offended, Lila," He wheezed heavily. "How could you forget? This was where we first met. Isn't this romantic?"

"Medium level voltage has been authorised by... Elijah Shin"

An electric current travelled through them both. Lila's grip around Cadell's neck tightened even more until it abruptly went slack. She didn't move.

But Cadell did.

Somehow, he forced his broken body onto his feet, and somehow, he slowly limped to his last remaining portal.

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