It was thankfully getting to be a bit easier to inflict hits on her sister now.
Meliora unfortunately had no time to admire the sword cuts on Malum’s body, as she had to jump out of the way from a lunging attack.
By this time, Malum had become a snarling mess, with her hair flying every which way. She glared upon her sister, and began slamming her hunting knife against the floor.
“No fair!” She hollered. “This is no fair! You’re cheating!” Meliora remained unmoved by her display of rage. Instead, she began to approach her while holding her own weapon with two hands.
In a sort of last resort, Malum placed both hands to her heliotrope, and shut her eyes. She was at least aware that she couldn’t use it directly on her sister.
But there was another method she could use.
Once more, to Annette’s shock and dismay, the room was empty when she entered. And unlike the last empty room, she didn’t have a single clue who could possibly show up to be the juror in this one.
“Oh, this is just perfect!” She snapped into the nothingness. “Now who am I supposed to help to get this over with?!”
When she was done complaining, Annette felt the location beginning to turn. Frantically, she ran about the room in an effort to stay where she was.
“Wait, no! I didn’t get the okay to help from anyone!” The setting continued shifting around her.
Then, what looked like a pair of shadowy arms grabbed hold of her, and yanked her through a hole that had formed in the air.
“Huh?” Annette now found herself in a pitch-black void, one that seemed to stretch on forever. She tried to run in one direction, but it was futile.
“Anybody there? Don’t tell me I’m alone!” She shouted into the darkness, but her voice was absorbed into it.
She tried walking backward to get to her starting point, but ended up backing into something.
“Uh…?” She didn’t get another word out, as she felt a slimy appendage take hold of her neck. Straining to look behind herself, Annette was confronted with a being that defied explanation.
The creature just smiled deviously at her, before opening their mouth and letting out an enormous tongue. Said tongue then licked Annette’s face, cleaning it of any blood that had dried on her face.
“Holy shit…” She croaked out upon seeing just how grotesque this creature was. She then shuddered out of disgust from what it was doing.
Then, the monster’s tongue slithered back into its mouth. It chuckled darkly a few times, before opening its mouth to speak:
“Hello, my dear.”
Annette was now absolutely mortified at what she was seeing. No longer was her sociopath of a wife in the guise she’d come to associate her in.
For one, pre-Malum Builder certainly didn’t have six pairs of arms. The entirety of her current form was enough to instill fear and disgust into her, with a vaguely reptilian appearance.
“What the hell is going on?” Annette tried to step away from her, but to no avail. “What happened to the last juror? Did you kill them?!”
More chuckling. “Me, interfering with the jury? You dumb bitch.” She then took a clawed hand, and swiped it against Annette’s chest.
When Annette fell to whatever counted as the ground, she tried keeping her eyes open as she looked upward at her.
“Do you really not understand how this all works? Of course the final room is empty! But then again, I wouldn’t put it past you to not realize all this.
“Isn’t that sad? You can’t grasp the magnitude of this ridiculous trial, just like you can’t grasp the consequences of what you’ve done in your life.”
Malum then began dripping some kind of foul-smelling substance from her mouth. “Because of you, hundreds if not thousands are dead. And so many of them were those you supposedly cared about.”
The awful stench of whatever Malum was drooling forced Annette to try and hold her nose.
“What are you talking about?!” She only wished her voice wasn’t altered from holding her nose like this. A groan that delved into yet more laughing came from Malum’s throat, before she spoke.
“I have been to all circles of Hell, dearest,” she growled out. “All of them, every single one of those you called ‘loved ones’? They reside there.
Another clawed hand reached towards Annette, and pointed one of her long fingers at her. “I have spoken to them all, and they despise you for your hand in your deaths.”
“That’s not true!” Annette shouted despite the blinding pain she was in. “I never wanted them dead!”
“Oh no?” Malum then pointed behind her. “Why don’t you ask them yourself?”
A reluctant glance in the direction she was pointed elicited another shocked and terrified gasp at who stood before her now.
Seeing all the familiar faces of her past, each in a very twisted form, was probably the most unbelievable sight Annette had ever saw.
“Hello to you all!” Malum announced to the newcomers with a lofty, ambitious tone of voice. “I’m sure you’ve plenty to say to this evil bitch, now don’t you?”