"This will only take one second," she told rat poison, setting the cloth aside.
"I told you, I'm fine. Besides that, I'm a-"
Mantha turned away and walked across the room towards Erasmus. Arsenic wasn't the only person who had done bad things at one time. She wished she could help him realize that and forgive himself.
"Mr. Hale, the enemy is out there, the helicopter just landed. Do you have a lockable cellar, or someplace to take the wounded?"
"Oh, um, yes. Well, it's no bomb shelter, but I have another cabin about a hundred yards into the woods." Erasmus replied. He hated having so many people in his house. It made him feel claustrophobic. When he'd first moved here, Persephone has insisted that he was becoming a hermit, and would soon start talking to squirrels.
"Great, could you take Arsenic and Gustav over there? Not-Igraine and I will divert their attention. Don't worry, I'll be careful not to destroy your house."
"Not-Igraine?" Erasmus asked. "Alright, I'll take them over, but-" Erasmus stopped and laughed. "I was going to ask you to protect her, but she never needs or wants anyone to help her. Not even her friends." He pulled Arsenic to his feet, and began to drag the still-unconscious Gustav behind him.
Adamantha smiled. "I protect people whether they like it or not. I'm annoying that way." She started to turn towards the front door, then looked back. "Thanks for doing this."
She grabbed a couple of bandages and wrapped them loosely around her wrists and ankles, then she burst out the door and yelled. "They're getting away, they have a ten-minute head start! I tried to stop them..."
Olivena Destiny raised one eyebrow, not believing any of it.
"Snark, did you seriously think you could defeat them single-handedly?" Olivena snorted. "You're even dumber than I thought."
"It wasn't just me, there were plenty of others. I'm the one that didn't die. I'm not a coward like you, Lily-liver!"Olivena's hazel eyes flashed angrily, and she pulled out her dagger. "You'll wish they'd killed you by the time I'm through." Snark had called her 'Lily-liver' for the last time.
Persephone saw the woman pull out a dagger and darted over behind her. She grabbed the sorcerers arm and twisted it behind her back. "Naughty, naughty. Mustn't play with sharp things."
Mantha dropped her charade as soon as she heard Igraine and flung the bandages off.
"Watch out, Iggy! Her fingernails..." Lily-liver carried poison needles that were retractable, like claws.
Persephone shoved the woman away, then kicked at her knee. Her foot connected, and she heard bone crack.
Olivena grunted in pain and flailed her hand back desperately as she fell, her left middle finger catching briefly on her assailant's jacket, but not piercing flesh.
She rolled onto her back, kicking up with her good leg, the spikes of her boot starting where Iggy must have been, but then switching direction. A much better target came into view.
Mantha grinned, catching the boot with finger extensions (that couldn't feel pain) and twisting. "Good leg? What good leg?" she taunted as Olive's ankle screamed.
"When Mevolent hears about this, he'll make your lives miserable!"
Mantha's face hardened. "What do you think he's been doing this entire piffling time? I should have come to my piffling senses a whole lot sooner."
"'Rat Poison' blinded you to it all, didn't he?" Lily-Liver sneered.
Mantha's face grew red as she tried to think of a retort.
While Mantha was distracted, Persephone heard something behind her, a slight rustle among the trees. Olivena hadn't been alone, after all. Persephone turned, just as a body slammed into her and knocked her to the ground.