Beating up the Bad Guy
The German shepherd let out a whuffing sigh as he approached the large warehouse doors. Ever since he took up bounty hunting he seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of time in and around abandoned warehouses.
As if mirroring his thoughts, the recently soul bound soul of a deer girl popped into 'existence' over his shoulder "Kyyyyyyle, how come you never take me anywhere nice"
Normally he did not allow the souls he bound to manifest at all, never mind to do it freely of their own choosing. However normally the souls he bound were of evil wizards and their ilk, as was going to be the case tonight. The deer on the other hand was a special case.
"Well, Danielle, why don't we go ask..." he paused a second to fish a notepad out of his pocket and check it "Baddius Gaivere why he couldn't do his soul harvesting at the Ritz"
"Baddius..... BAD GUY? HIS NAME IS BAD GUY? No wonder he turned to soul stealing. Oh my god Bad guy!" Danielle Managed to get out between wheezing bursts of laughter
Kyle shrugged and headed toward the small entrance off the side of the main warehouse doors, tracing arcane runes to prepare some spells as he went. As he reached it he motioned for Danielle "you may want to make yourself scarce, who knows what kind of soul snares he has set up."
"Fine, but let me know when I can come out. The other psychos you've got in here don't make good conversation. It’s all revenge this and I'll kill him one day that” As she listed off her complaints, the little ball of soul essence faded from view, leaving Kyle with the nighttime sounds of the industrial park.
'Don't worry, this shouldn't take long' he thought to himself. Grabbing a set of lock picks from another pocket on his sleeveless red duster, he quickly broke his way into the warehouse turned evil factory. He had learned a long time ago that those with magic tended to overlook the simple physical things, especially when it came to security.
The scene he entered into was a bit of an oddity. Cages housing sentients were scattered all over the place, each holding a magically docile individual. Most appeared to be from the local homeless population, which certainly explained how this guy had been doing this for so long without getting caught. Unless bodies started turning up the police mostly ignored the less fortunate, and any magic user worth their mana could easily make a body disappear. Far more numerous than the cages were empty cardboard boxes and wooden crates in varying states of smashed. All had been cleared away from the center of the warehouse though, which featured an incredibly large and intricate magic circle, its fractal patterns incredibly hard to trace, causing the eye to skip around. The whole thing glowed with an ultraviolet hue. In the middle of it all stood an elderly gray rabbit, holding a limp body up by the chin with unexpected strength. Then, as Kyle watched, the body began to dissolve from the inside, glowing green goo that was definitely acid despite acid not actually looking like that began to leak from ever growing holes as the empty husk was slowly rendered into nothing. Finally, all that was left was a large puddle of glowing green goo, which the warlock cleared with a wave of his hand.
'There are so many better choices than acid' Kyle caught himself thinking. What he really would have liked to have done would be to just down the lapin from his hiding position, but there were Rules with a capital R when it came to collecting on a violated contract of a magical nature (VCMN he called them in his notes) so that wasn't an option. Instead he straightened up from his position and strode into the clear, making sure to not enter the magic circle.
"BADDIUS GAIVERE! YOU STAND IN VIOLATION OF A SEALED PACT AND YOUR SOUL IS FORFIET! SURRENDER PEACEFULLY SO THAT THIS MAY BE QUICK AND PAINLESS!"
In response the hare whirled around to face Kyle, stereotypical wizard robe billowing as he spun, and hurled a deft arrow of acid straight at the canine’s face, where it harmlessly splashed across his earlier prepared shield because they always did that. Lowering his voice from dramatic declaration to more reasonable conversation, the canine implored "Come on man, you knew this was coming. You stiffed [#%#%#%#%#%#] and kept the souls."
The warlock spoke for the first time, his voice equally venomous and dusty "And so this is the best he can send? Some cowboy wannabe? I have grown powerful on these souls, and by the time they realize of your failure I will be more powerful than they. Run back to your master and tell them to prepare to kiss my ass."
Kyle shook his head "First off, I'm freelance. Secondly, you have no idea the scales of power with which you are messing. Last chance." A Blob of acid the size of a car dropping on him was the only response the canine got, and really the only one he expected. "Fine"
Launching off a dozen seeker spells of varying elements, Kyle dropped into a headlong run and began to circle a wide berth around the outside of the magic circle, leaving footprints of hellfire as he went. As each of the seekers impacted, the Baddius met and neutralized each one with a staff Kyle hadn't seen him conjure. He then began tracing a large glyph in the air, so Kyle shot several lines of hellfire across the floor, forcing the wizard to break his casting to intercept each one. Meanwhile Kyle continued his large circling run around the outside of the magic circle.
The lapin sent dozens of small orbs of acid towards Kyle in a shotgun blast, a few of which slipped past the canine’s shield, distracting him enough that he crashed into one of the crates and went sprawling. The caster charged the canine, wrapping his staff in a swirling maelstrom of acid green energy. As he brought it down two handed like a club towards the canine, he rolled to the side, the blow barely missing his head. Instead he got a face full of concrete shards as the staff left a good-sized crater in the floor. Kicking at his assailant’s legs in a purely unmagical and mostly undignified way, Kyle scrambled to his feet as the lapin lost theirs. Kyle followed up with a quick blast of hellfire to the chest to keep him down before resuming his sprinted lap around the magic circle.
Just as Baddius struggles to his feet, breathing hard, Kyle closes his loop, the hellfire left in his wake blazing bright and connecting into one solid wall. Stepping through the wall into the center of the room, Kyle slowly begins to rise off the floor, the pentagram on the back of his hand glowing impossibly bright in counterpart to the magic circle on the floor, which was now completely retraced in its entirety with the fire of darkness.
As the wall dropped, from Baddius's perspective Kyle seems to grow to impossibly tall, much too big for the warehouse, while simultaneously not changing size in the slightest. The canine reached for him dragging him into the center of the circle which was no longer his to control. In a last-ditch effort fueled by growing terror, Baddius pours all his energy into attacking the hand that holds him. Dropping the hare and shaking the injured appendage, blood drips from the bleeding wound. Pushing his will into it, more blood pours from the wound and forms into an infernal dagger, a jagged piece of obsidian glowing from within. Kyle stabs the knife into the hare's chest, and the warlock feels something inside himself metaphysically sever. There is a rush and a large blast of impossible light, and the rabbit feels his power stolen though the reversed magic circle.
"Just one last thing" states the canine. Kneeling on the rabbits back, Kyle grabs the rabbit’s long ears and uses them as leverage to pull the ex-warlock's head back. Using his free hand Kyle traces the ritual glyph that will end things, and violently rips the hare's soul from his mortal form, holding it inside the glyph on his hand, retaining it instead of binding it. After all, he had his own pact to fulfill if he wanted to get paid.
"You know, that’s a lot less sexy than how you did it with me” remarked the deer's spirit, having appeared once the caster was safely severed from his power. Kyle wandered over to the staff the rabbit had dropped, and put it into one of his pockets. Upon seeing the deer's questioning look he simply offered "Bag of holding” As he started out, the glamour keeping the caged individuals docile started to wear off. Several started trying to call to him as he started to walk away, wounds already starting to close due to his innate regeneration.
"You're just gonna leave them?"
Kyle huffed then sighed. "No, I’m not gonna just leave them."
Stepping outside away from all the magical radiation and into the cool night air, Kyle produced a cellphone from the same coat pocket. Dialing emergency services, he quickly rattled off the warehouse's address followed by "I think something exploded and it sounded like people screaming." before hanging up and declining the return call
"There you go. Emergency crews will get those people sorted out."
"You could have done more than that."
"I could have done nothing at all. You know, when I took your soul I don't recall agreeing to you harassing me."
The deer laughed a bright sparkling laugh "Well get used to it."