Dipping my Pontianak feather in ink dripped from an eldrich rift, I quickly scrawled my first letter and imbued my words with suffering,
To my brother and protector of Earth Eisenhardt,
I crave to assist you more directly against Hydra, but my battles lead me to the roots of the contamination, not the diseased flesh.
I will not beat around the bush, my friend; you need to expand recruitment. The circumstances in Hell have started to deteriorate, and I foresee even more demonic movement than five years ago.
I am doubling the Brotherhood's funding, prepare my companion, prepare your soul, your troops, and the children of power that are this planet's only hope.
With the blood of your foes still on my fingers,
Three taps and the message was now in Max's hands; the second letter was a bit more trouble as the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences had powerful wards that would keep out most intruders.
Switching to a red Garuda feather to permeate a wish to have dealings; I choose my words carefully and begin negotiations with another of the eight Lords.
To the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Lord of Illusions, and Exemplars of Ikonn,
John Paul the II.
I write to you with critical information as per the wager's rules.
First, the sixth Exemplar has been discovered.
I name one Nicholas Joseph as the Champion of Balthakk and master of the blinding brazier.
Recognizing I am temporarily not a champion (corrected by the time you read this letter), Nicholas Joseph is not in violation of the ceremony of the Octessence for his failed attempt on my life, if only per the letter of the laws, if not the spirit.
However, I write to you today on a personal matter.
I have recently added a 16th-century European Badelaire of Judas red sliver into my collection. Comprehending your desire for such a weapon, I would propose a trade.
Seeing as no Champion of the Octessence can be eliminated until the last of the champions is named, I will deliver one Nicholas Joseph champion of Balthakk and the weapon you desired for so long in exchange for your assistants with a personal matter.
I prefer to explain the detail in person as I will be near your territory in the coming weeks.
With every good wish to Your Holiness,
I am, sincerely yours,
Standing, I grab a giant bottle of whisky and two glasses as I left my bed-chamber.
Slowly going over the problem with my boy, it was clear that steps were needed.
The dilemma was that any effort I could take would take far too much time.
He had a war to win.
As did I.
Whatever apprehensions he had, I would continue to hunt down his enemies who foolishly proposed escaping to Earth.
A quick trip to the alchemy lad to check on the potions I was brewing, and I paused one of the maids asking where Logan was.
We exchanged pleasantries, and after swiping her mind, I handed off my letter then proceeded to the magical nature sanctuary.
Sometime later, I stood in a hall with purplish vines growing from every surface and cat-sized fireflies lazily dancing in the air.
I pushed past the larger golden doors and step into a world of midnight.
The moon hanging in the fake sky dominated my view, magically made more prominent than it could ever be.
The chilled winds, the trees, and the soft grass were deliberately beautiful to symmetrical to ever be natural but lovely in a way only the unnatural can be.
The sounds of people singing, fighting, and hunting was a soft background to the fake forest.
A group of lycanthrope children stood around and watched as Logan was testing his new claws on a runic barrier I had set up recently in the heart of their forest.
He had taken to spending his time here and the dragon pits the last few days as I worked out how to break into the Department of Mysteries.
I held back and waited as Logan stood in the center of two immense stone columns cloaked in a network of glowing runic patterns with claws out.
He struggled as ripples of magical energy persisted against his blades, but slowly his adamantium blades changed tone until they appeared to harmonize with the barrier.
Then like a flesh wound, the enchantment unrolled, and he crossed the border.
The children clapped, and I recognized Lupin's daughter in the crowd.
As the child of the Alpha of the Cult of Khonshu, her outfit, a soft grey dress with golden trim, was of better make than her peers.
She had her mothers' middle-eastern features but her father's blue eyes and chestnut brown hair. However, the spots of blue skin across the princess, a reminder that she was the last of the children of the Pharaoh is what set her apart.
Much like her progenitor Apocalypse, her ability to manipulate astronomical objects like the moon was far too dangerous, twofold for a girl of nine.
I watched Logan bypass the magical defense three more times before I approached glass of whisky in hand.
Logan took the glass of Ogden's old firewhisky with infinitely more respect than he did our first night in the manor.
It turns out his healing factor made getting drunk almost impossible for the man. The magical properties of the Cherufe fire used to make this brand didn't seem to care about that.
Logan and Rogue started dancing around each other that night, but I had far too many problems at the moment to care.
They recovered just fine from passing out in the stables.
"Are you ready for tonight?"
We walked to the makeshift camp Logan had taken over his guest room.
With a careful sip of his drink, he answered, "Depends; how good are my claws against spells in a fight?"
I sat down on a bolder as I answered.
"Not sure, but as a general rule, if it's any shade of green dodge."
As Logan tended to the fire and removed whatever he was cooking, he shot back.
" I can keep myself safe."
I wasn't sure if he was lying to himself or me, but today that was a perfect answer.
" I am sure, but just placate me; I don't want to bury a friend."
I could market his insulting smile,
I see, with the mission in mind I answered.
"We were once a long time ago, and I don't see a reason why we can't be again."
He answered with a soft grumble,
"Other than the fact that you're a demon, I agree."
I leaned in, taking a drink for some time to think of the best path forward.
"That's a lot of judgment coming from a man lusting after a sixteen-year-old girl."
His eyes glistened with a mix of passions.
"I just want to keep the kid safe, and she is seventeen; her birthday is today."
I push past that meaningless detail.
"That makes it so much better; you have pubic hair older than the girl."
He laughs as we both take a few moments to watch the fire,
"If you want to date women your age, then I know a few vampires."
The anger when I mention vampires was unexpected, but I move on quickly,
"If not, there is a graveyard not too far I know a bit of necromancy, but I can understand if you don't feel the need to stick your dick in a corpse, old man."
He scowls, and over the next few minutes, we get into a comfortable back and forth of drinks and insults before he asks the question that seems to be the reason for his mood.
"You called her a succubus, but why does that scare you?"
I stand and point to the children spying on us; he deliberately refills his glass, packs up his meal, and makes his way to the entrance.
We walk in silence until we enter the war room, with magical maps covering every wall and more wards than any place on Earth; it was the perfect place for more delicate meetings.
"It scares me because she is still too young to be damned to Hell."
I take a moment to look over the map of the Department of Mysteries I picked up for the goblins.
With a haze of affront, Logan took one of the seats.
"I am guessing you're not talking metaphorically?"
Pulling my eyes off of the location and basic details of the runic crystal, I answered the unwelcome question,
"By every law, in every land in the magical world, that girl legally requires to be killed."
Logan's jaw locked, and I hear his teeth grinding against each other,
"What does that even mean?"
Getting comfortable, I prepared a quick history lesson for my oldest friend,
" It would be more accurate to call me a druid than a wizard; the same is true for most of the magical users on this planet."
Fist balled and anger just under control, Logan snarled,
"What this got to do with Rogue?"
Going to be watch heist movies all week, Oceans 1 to 20, infinity war part 2, and more. I have a basic plan on how to get in, but it feels too unpolished right now.
Next time Peace in the magical world.