Riwenne and her friends finally manage to trap the demigoddess Huamani. But that leaves a new problem: what to do with a demigoddess in a cage?
The new and improved device was made of steel covered in gold leaf, with a mouth of sharp teeth like a bear trap. It cut into Huamani’s legs and pinned her in place. A gilded cage fell from the radio tower to fully enclose her. Janera and I ran forward, locking the cage down onto the trap so she was sealed inside.
The demigoddess shrieked in pain and anger, but the device was already working. The gold metal drained her magic and filled the crystals hidden inside the warehouse. She slumped forward, her eyes glossing over and her body going limp.
The cage had six sides. I made a mark on one, imbuing it with my magic, using a sigil that Kyra had taught me. On the other five sides, the planetary warriors stepped forward and did the same.
Once the shield was complete, we could all feel how Huamani was locked inside. Her light flickered and faded until she almost looked like a normal human again—except she was still eight feet tall with impossibly long hair.
I almost didn’t believe that it had worked this time. Holding my hands at the ready, I circled around the cage for signs of weakness. My magic probed the barrier but couldn’t find a way through. I’d been so ready for things to go wrong again that I didn’t even know how I felt when we succeeded.
She wasn’t even fighting against us. And although the sun was still rising overhead, there was no sign of Chysa coming to free her most powerful servant.
Finally, I took a deep breath and nodded. “It worked. We’ve got her.”
My friends cheered and hugged each other. The planetary warriors were more reserved, but they each gave me a nod of approval. Illari came running up onto the roof to examine the trap and eagerly took notes.
Fairuza smirked at me. “You seemed so worried about this, but it worked like a charm. Maybe you didn’t even need our help. She wasn’t that strong.”
I shook my head. “We weakened her because we kept her from killing so many people. Last time, there was nothing we could do to stop her.” My lips spread into a grateful smile. “Thank you all for your help. You really added a lot.”
Searching the sky, I realized that the imperial forces still hadn’t reached us. The fight was over so fast that the airships were still on their way.
“We have to brace for the main attack,” I warned the others. “Do we know how far away they are?”
Amena checked in with our scouts over the radio. “They say the first ships won’t reach us for at least half an hour,” she said. “There’s time to prepare.” She walked a few steps away, relaying the information to other groups and instructing them on our next strategies.
By now, Huamani was unconscious, although she winced every so often as the spikes continued to dig into her. It seemed cruel to keep her pinned like this, but I didn’t know what alternative we had. We’d never discussed what would happen to her if we caught her.