I leveraged the weight of my entire body to hold Deimos down as she struggled by trying to push me off by using her unimpeded hind legs to buck her body.
Cheetahs were light cats, focused more on speed than strength. Seeing that she had no time to let divine power remould and strengthen her body, Deimos, currently was just as strong physically, as she was in her Bestia form, which is to say about as strong as me.
If she used magic… that was a whole different matter. Ferals had their magic amplified by the influence of divine power. A Tier 1 magic from a Feral would carry the might of a Tier 2.
As Deimos was a borderline Tier 2 mage in that she could use the Tier 2 magic: Blade Edge Hurricane with infrequent success rates. If she used that on me… I didn't fancy my chances against a pseudo-Tier 3.
Thankfully, Deimos' consciousness was suppressing magic usage. So, I just had to hold on till father came.
Snarling ferociously, she bucked hard, nearly throwing off my grip on her. I clenched my teeth and insisted, my biceps bulging under the strain as the force nearly dislocated my arms.
My hands were growing sweaty from the wire walk between life and death and I could feel my grip slipping. This way I wouldn't be able to insist till father's arrival.
Resolving myself, I gave up on holding her down, locking my legs around her midsection instead. Now all I had to do was hold on till help arrived.
With an angry wail, Deimos turned into a blur and slammed into a wall back first, crushing me against the mortar and stone, causing fissures to spread at the point of impact. All the air was knocked out of my lungs by the jarring impact.
Damn it. I was naïve and underestimated the intelligence of a Feral. Just because it ran on instincts didn't mean it was retarded.
She took some distance and ran up and smashed me against the wall again, nearly dislodging my grip.
The third time, I felt my rib cracking and I coughed up blood.
Before she could slam me again, I spat my bloody spittle into her eyes, blinding her.
Thoroughly wild with rage, she lost all reason and started dashing about the room, crashing into anything that got in her path.
The Barrier protected her but I felt like one of the sandbags I usually practiced against or like a thoroughly tenderized piece of meat.
Maybe that was what she was doing, tenderizing me for her meal.
I tried to distract myself from the pain with my gallows humour and it worked in that I still kept my grip on her. Until…
My world turned white as my right arm slammed into the corner of the bed and snapped, hanging limply.
Seizing the chance and feeling my grip loosen, Deimos sank her teeth into the forearm of my broken arm, jarring the fracture and gouging out a large chunk of flesh.
Unsatisfied, she began to worry my arm. The sound of the grinding of bone against bone reverberated throughout my body like sounds from the depths of Hell while I grew lightheaded from the blood loss.
Finally, unable to hold on anymore, I slipped off her back.
As I drifted in and out of consciousness, I could see her face looming over me with her fangs bared.
So, this was where it all ended…
Sorry Phobos… I couldn't follow your last injunction…
Deimos… I hope you won't blame yourself too much… it's not your fault…
Ahhh… it's my name-day today, isn't it?
After yesterday's gift… I can die with no regrets…
Suddenly, the air in the room stagnated and there was one more person in the room.
I could see my father's golden eyes glitter within his face which was hidden in shade as he stood behind Deimos.
I didn't even see him move and Deimos' head was smashed into the ground by his fist.
The ground fissured as her barrier lit up with a blinding brightness, indicative of the strength of the strike.
Without pause, he chained his fist into an elbow strike to her head, driving her deeper into the shattered ground and lighting up her barrier again.
With a final shoulder drop with all his body weight behind it, the barrier shattered with a sound like breaking glass.
Father's infamous three hit combo: The Nutcracker.
He shot a look at my mangled arm and at the unconscious Deimos, who was slowly morphing back to her Bestia form and walked out of the room.
Always the cold shoulder from him… like he feared I would turn soft if he showed me any affection.
He-he… I can see your clenched fist, you know…
And mother's probably on the way… there's no injury she can't fix.
Forcefully clinging onto consciousness and dragging myself to Deimos' naked form, I dip the finger of my left hand into the blood from the open wound on my right arm.
Using it as ink, I shakily painted the contract rune on the back of her left hand. The rune meant speed in the old language.
Deimos… you had to bite my dominant hand, didn't you?
My left-hand writing is poor you know?
It's not a stick-on… it's permanent. Permanent, you hear?
A burning pain that felt as spiritual as it did physical originated on the spot on my left hand corresponding to the runic tattoo on Deimos. It cut through the fog of delirium that was covering my thoughts and I saw the crimson rune etch itself onto my skin.
In the last moments of my lucidity, I saw mother rushing into the room, her face a rictus of concern, followed by a hysterical Phobos.
Don't make that face girl… I'm peachy…
I just… need… to…
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