Will she embrace her inner demon to face the ultimate evil?
Velos and the Nameless blade have been stopped—for now.
Sepia has managed to manifest the Jade Demon, but there is one problem: with each transformation, she loses a part of herself to the demon within. The Order has declared her Unholy and banned from the Hunters.
When Chimera, the Nightmare Lord, formulates a plan to destroy the wards around the Park, Sepia must gather the remaining Hunters to stop him before he unleashes all of the Unholy.
Now Sepia, the Sisters, and the remaining Hunters must face the greatest Unholy threat in history. Together, they must stop Chimera before the wards collapse, the Unholy escape, and humanity is wiped out.
Can she use the Jade Demon to stop Chimera? Can she harness the power within to defeat the Unholy, or will she surrender to the darkness and lose herself forever?
Join Sepia in the conclusion to this thrilling series today!
Release date: June 11, 2022
Publisher: Bitten Peaches Publishing
Print pages: 251
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
Demon - Sepia Blue Book 5
Orlando A. Sanchez
The cold gripped my body as I lay in the bed with my eyes closed.
Gan had just left, after informing me that he was going to give Chimera what he wanted. He was going to destroy the wards around the park and free the Unholy.
It was madness.
The Unholy roaming free in the city was the worst of all possible outcomes. Millions of people would be at risk. I couldn’t believe he was serious—this had to be a ploy of some kind.
“You’re going to have to drink that eventually,” a voice said. “It tastes worse when it’s warm.”
It was Mercy.
She was still wearing her white silk robe. The wards inscribed all along its length pulsed with deep blue energy as she entered the room. She kept her long blond hair pulled back into a tight braid, and gave me a look of quiet resolve.
I glanced over at the blue drink of death on the side table next to me. Drinking that poison was the last thing I was going to attempt in my lifetime. I looked around, taking in the state-of-the-art medical room. This was a world away from the stone rooms of the Hunter’s Keep.
Somehow, despite the advanced tech around me in the Sister’s Med Station, I felt safer at the Hunter’s Keep. It was probably due to the fact that the Keep resembled a small fortress, warded against threats of the Unholy. This place felt like a hi-tech hospital room.
I felt exposed, raw and sore all at once. The memory of facing Velos raced into my mind. More than that, it was the image of the Blight that burned bright in my vision.
His words echoed in my head: It will be my honor to take your life, but not tonight. You’re not nearly strong enough to face me—yet. You’re not quite there, but you will be, once I inflict enough pain upon you.
He was right: I wasn’t ready. I barely survived Velos. If it hadn’t been for Cade’s assist, Velos would’ve ended me. I groaned in pain as I shifted position.
“It tastes horrible cold, too,” I said with a shudder. “Can’t you just bandage me up?”
“What you’re going through is beyond any bandage,” she said. “How are you feeling?”
“My body feels like I’ve been brute-stomped all over,” I said, watching Mercy glide across the room. “You want me to extend the agony internally as well?”
“We need to get you recovered quickly,” Mercy said, pointing at the glass. “That will help.”
I winced at her words.
“I seriously doubt it,” I said, sitting up and grabbing the cool glass. “The last time I drank this liquid—does it even have a name? The last time I drank your potion of destruction, my taste buds went on strike for days.”
“It’s good to see you haven’t lost your questionable sense of humor,” Mercy said, stepping closer to the bed. “It’s called Hunter’s Milk, and it’s designed to deal with your special constitution. Now, drink it all.”
I grabbed the glass, held my breath and drank the contents. My tastebuds were seared into numbness and my stomach rumbled as the “milk” threatened to dissolve my internal organs.
“I swear you could remove paint with that milk,” I said, handing her the empty glass with a wince. “What’s in it?”
“Alcohol and paint thinner with a dash of spice to make it palatable,” Mercy said with a smile. “How do you feel now?”
My body was suddenly warm, as if wrapped in a thick, warm blanket. The aches and pains I had felt earlier were vanishing, but a core sensation of cold remained in my center.
“Mostly good,” I said. “I can still feel Perdition, but it’s not giving me body chills.”
“That can’t be helped,” she said with a short nod. “You and your sword have been fundamentally changed. The cold will become second nature over time.”
“It’s like holding a block of ice in my chest,” I said, placing a hand on my center. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.”
“You will, in time,” she said, placing a hand on my arm. “I’m pleased to see you came through the events at the Keep intact.”
“Cade saved my ass with Velos,” I said, remembering the shot that stopped Velos. “He and Calisto saved me.”
“Which is why you must recover,” Mercy said, her voice grim. “I have a feeling the Jade Demon will be needed in the events to come.”
“Why am I here?” I asked, taking in the room again. “This place doesn’t feel as safe as the Keep.”
“It may not look safe,” Mercy said, waving an arm as wards around the room bloomed to life with different colors. “But the wards in this room rival those of the Keep.”
Every surface was inscribed with wards. It was impressive and worrying all at once.
“Are those wards to protect me, or to protect everyone else from me?”
“Both,” Mercy said, before waving her arm again, causing the wards to fade from view. “Anna knows about the threat you may pose. She suggested this room.”
“Are you saying the Keep isn’t safe?”
“The Keep is safe in the short term, but after Velos and the Blight,”—Mercy looked away for a few moments—“the Park isn’t safe for you right now.”
“This is just another cell,” I said. “Disguised as a hospital room, but still a cell.”
“It’s only a cell if you make it one.”
“That makes no sense,” I said. “Can I leave right now?”
“I think Anna would prefer you didn’t,” she said. “You still have to recover from your confrontation with Velos.”
“I feel fine,” I lied. “Especially after that Hunter’s Milk.”
“Give it time to work on your body.”
“Aside from not being able to taste anything ever again, I’m good,” I said. “Aches and pains are the new normal for me.”
“Your ‘new normal’ is accepting the transformation of the Jade Demon,” Mercy said, her voice firm. “That means recovering first.”
Her words brought Gan’s plan to the forefront of my mind.
“Where’s Gan?” I asked. “He told me he was...he was—”
“Going to destroy the wards?” Anna said as she stepped into the room. “Mercy, may I have a moment with Sepia?”
Mercy gave me a short bow and exited the room silently. Anna pulled up a chair next to the bed and sat, staring at me. Her short salt-and-pepper hair had become more salt lately. She looked tired and worn, the lines on her face deeper, more pronounced.
I could see she held the weight of loss on her like a physical mantle. Her body looked tired, but her eyes—her eyes were barely controlled infernos of determination and spirit.
She was the leader of the Sisters, and a force to be reckoned with.
“How bad is it?” I asked, looking away from her piercing stare. “How many did we lose?”
“Kala decimated the Sisters, but we will rebuild,” she said. “We are Sisters. It is what we do. I heard you faced Velos and his dark blade; how are you still alive?”
“I had help.”
“Two Hunters stronger and more experienced than you fell to his blade,” Anna said. “They had help, too. They perished. You didn’t, Why?”
“I was able to nullify the effects of his blade with Perdition.”
“Try again,” Anna said, crossing her arms. “Your blade alone was not strong enough.”
“I was able to stand against him with the Jade Demon.”
“The sooner you embrace this aspect of who you are, the sooner you can harness the power within.”
“It’s Unholy,” I said, keeping my voice low. “It’s dark.”
“We all contain darkness,” she said. “That does not mean that the darkness defines us, unless we allow it to.”
“Are you here to officially remove me from the Sisters?”
“What gave you that impression?”
“I haven’t exactly been acting like a Sister these days,” I said. “Kala was after me when he attacked the Sisters’ compound.”
“Once you become a Sister, you are a Sister until your last breath,” Anna said. “There is no leaving us…ever. We are the outcasts.”
“Even if I’m not entirely human anymore?” I asked. “This Jade Demon, it changed me, changed my sword. I’m not even sure where I belong anymore. There’s no group for hybrid human-demon Hunters.”
“You are the Jade Demon, and a Sister,” Anna said, her voice firm. “We do not cast out those who belong to us. We are not Hunters.”
“I thought that…it was my fault we lost so many.”
“No. Wrong,” Anna said, looking away. “The eventual confrontation with Kala was going to happen. It was a matter of when, not if.”
“Do you know who sent him?”
Anna looked away and remained silent for a few moments.
“You have some powerful enemies,” she said. “Whoever unleashed Kala and his Black Hunters also facilitated Velos getting a dark blade.”
“That would take some serious pull,” I said, thinking about who could access the dark blades. “Someone fairly high in The Order. Someone with access to the vaults.”
“The Sisters are working on it with Regional.”
“With Regional?” I asked, somewhat confused. “The same Regional that has no problem sacrificing Sisters on missions no one else will take?”
“Yes and no,” she said. “This particular situation works to our mutual benefit. We will find the mole within Regional who unleashed death and the Black Hunters.”
“What about Kala…?”
“He has been dealt with—permanently—but not before we suffered losses.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I heard about Lexa and the others.”
“She died protecting the Sisters,” Anna said. “It was an honorable death. She chose her path to leave us. It’s the least any of us could ask when the moment arrives.”
“Tell me what Gan is planning,” I said. “It sounds like suicide.”
“I will—but first, tell me about the Blight you encountered.”
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