My eyes opened to the second sitting room that was behind the library and connected to the main sitting area by a hallway.
"Did something happen?" I whispered in a semi-daze, vaguely recalling my hand thumping something.
I stared at my hand and saw it had stopped bleeding, but some cut wounds were across my knuckles and phalanges.
"Huh. Stopped bleeding," I muttered, absentmindedly.
I realized my situation. "Colonel. Small Cap!"
_"Silence!"_ Leinard spoke curtly in my mind.
He was standing near the doorway, peering at the dark space beyond.
My eyes widened when I saw Small Cap perched on his shoulder. The spider's eyes were also staring out at the darkness.
_"I sense strong demonic signatures. Do you sense anything Small Cap?"_ Leinard said telepathically.
Small Cap dropped, lightly, to the floor and flattened his body to the surface.
_"Me feel cold, strong buzz. Very strong. Some breathing like sleeping or waiting. Others moving slow but strong and heavy. One. Two. Maybe three,"_ he answered.
_"Freend awake. Good."_ Small Cap's voice perked up when he caught sight of me.
He ran up my body and into my belt pouch.
_"How do you know it's demonic?"_ I asked telepathically.
_"Don't you feel it? That sickness to your stomach with the taste of fudge to your mouth?"_ Leinard answered.
Now that he had mentioned it. I did have something of a bitter aftertaste that was fudge-like and my stomach was queasy as if I had stepped out of an elevator ride.
Strange that I hadn't noticed this feeling when I was up against the juxtapositioner demon.
_"You encountered that demon in his lair, so his signature wouldn't have been released. Demon's only let off their signature when they're out on the hunt, like a pheromone,"_ Leinard explained.
_"So where could Death be? What sort of demon are we expecting?"_
I was praying that Death hadn't been caught by some big six boss type. If he was, I would be useless in rescuing him, considering I had no magical ability whatsoever.
_"A big six boss type,"_ Leinard answered.
I detected a tone of sarcasm. Well, if he found some satisfaction in teasing me, it was compensation for putting all of us into this mess.
_"I'm not sure about your brother. No one was here when we arrived. Speaking of, your hand. It's healing fast."_ Leinard gently examined the damage to my hand with an expression of surprise.
_"I've always been a fast healer. This will be gone within the hour. Although, I might have a scar for a memento," I answered, and asked if we could use our voices because this mind-speaking was starting to give me a headache.
"Fine, but no voice louder than whispers. At least for now," Leinard whispered. "So far we haven't been noticed."
_"They notice. Not attack yet. Maybe like me do on a hunt. Me wait; they come."_ Small Cap added to the conversation.
Leinard nodded his head.
"So, what now?" I whispered.
"We can't stay here forever. If we're lucky, the demon has chosen to replicate our world, so we'd have the advantage of knowing the area," Leinard answered.
Sounds of scratching on glass drew our attention to the gold gilded mirrors on the walls. All the mirror panels were black save one, which had an unlit white church candle standing in the lone candle holder next to it.
"Is this the one that I broke?" I whispered low.
"As I suspect, we've been caught in an arima trap." Leinard sighed.
He showed me in my mind how the trap worked, which was pretty much what I had unintentionally performed when I was calling out to Death.
Every day mirrors could be used as trapping tools to imprison certain demon egos for transportation into Hell's Labyrinth where the trapped ego would then be released into a container of magically bound lead and iron material, impossible for that ego's escape.
For an arima trap to work, it required burning wax from a white candle, the blood of the one to trap and the calling of a victim's name.
The caster spoke the victim's name to the mirror once to acknowledge its presence, then burned a candle down so it produced hot wax. They mixed the hot wax with the demon's blood and smeared it on the mirror surface whilst saying the victim's name a second time to imprison the demon ego. The trap was sealed when the victim's name was spoken to the mirror a third time.
I was still uncertain of the process, especially when the way we invoked our trap wasn't according to the described method. My blood was used at that time, and I was hardly the criminal. We also weren't pulled in until Death's name was spoken the third time.
Regardless, there had to be a way out. Otherwise, why go to the trouble of transplanting the demon ego into another container for good.
"A good conclusion and right on the money. You do have some smarts about you." Leinard's voice intruded on my clever analysis.
"Fresh," I thought, projecting an image of a smart alec monkey going, "bleh."
"So, do we light this?" I threw Leinard a sideways glance and saw him staring at my damaged hand.
"You're right. It healed with a slight discoloration for a scar." He noticed my former damaged hand, and stroked his chin thoughtfully for the moment before shaking his thought clear.
I frowned when I couldn't see or hear his thoughts. So, he had a method for shielding his thoughts that bastard.
"You're ten years too early to invade my inner thoughts Famine." Leinard smirked.
"Fine." I huffed. "So light or not light."
He handed me a salt shaker he had pulled out of his pocket. "A weapon for you. Be mindful of how much you shake out as too much may cause blow-back damage."
"Huh?! I'm to season a demon?" I scratched my head at how a salt shaker would equate to a nasty demon bomb.
"It's a precaution. Of course, it won't work on all demons, but I suspect it would be effective for the ones we'd encounter in here. Just don't drop it." He explained and fished through his pocket again to pull out a box of matches.
"Keep this safe," I thought as I placed the salt shaker in the belt pouch.
"Yip," Small Cap answered.
I shrugged my shoulders at his odd response. I held my breath with both hope and fear when Leinard struck a match to light the candle.
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