HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 316

“I’m no expert on this world’s theology,” Carmen said, “but I’ve seen evil. I’ve been evil. And this guy? I don’t think he’s got it in him.”

“I know you just vouched for me but for some reason I still feel vaguely insulted,” the demon said.

“You get used to it,” Frederica said.

“I’ll take your word for that,” the demon said, and rose from his seat. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do and, as we’ve established, I’m on a rather tight schedule.”

“Maybe we could help,” Marcus said.

“You almost helped me out of existence,” the demon said. “I’m safer on my own.”

“But Norman isn’t,” Frederica said. “He stands to lose just as much as you do. So maybe, for his sake, you could get over yourself and sit your ass down.”

The demon chuckled and sank back into the seat.

“Alright,” he said, smirking. “If you’re so sure you’ve got all the answers, what’s your plan?”

“Well, I don’t have one right this instant,” Frederica said. “But… maybe Carmen was on the right track with the exorcism after all.”

“Did you miss the part where it almost killed me?” the demon asked.

“Of course not,” Frederica replied. “But, I mean, the spell was working, right? So her magic is clearly effective on… whatever energies you’re made of. Maybe there’s another spell that could send you back where you came from.”

“Worth a shot,” Carmen said.

She snapped her fingers. The air seemed to ripple for a moment, then a massive book landed on the table with a resounding crash. It looked ancient, with yellowed pages and tattered leather binding. She flipped it open; Frederica recognized the language from Verden but couldn’t read it.

“It might be possible to incorporate the binding charm into the exorcism ritual,” Carmen said, skimming through the book. “That way we could transfer the demon out of Norman and into the pendant.”