Fenrik snapped the Grimoire in front of him shut and looked over to where Vigor stood, eyeing himself up in the full-length gilt mirror in the corner of his office.
‘It won’t be long now,’ he said, resting his hairy hands on top of the Grimoire.
‘Oh brother, I hope so,’ said Vigor, stepping closer to the mirror and pulling down the corners of his black eyes to inspect them, ‘every day I seem to be shrinking a bit more. My skin is becoming so tight that it looks like I’ve wet myself every time I walk. I’m beginning to think it will never-’
‘You don’t trust me?’ asked Fenrik, clenching his fists tight and pounding the book’s cover like a gorilla.
Vigor turned around to look at Fenrik, his sunken eyes almost disappearing into their sockets, ‘Of course I trust you, it’s just that…we have tried so many different ways…and nothing has worked so far. I don’t know how long-’
‘No more of this self-absorbed nonsense! I will not have it Vigor. Do you understand me?’
‘I brought you back to life, didn’t I? Do you think I would let you die again?’
‘No…I…sorry brother,’ said Vigor bowing his waxy head, which was resembling the skull candle holder on Fenrik’s desk more and more every day.
Fenrik leaned back in his black leather chair and folded his hairy hands on his huge stomach, his hairy belly button peeping through a gap in his light blue shirt. ‘Lately, I have,’ he said, twirling his thumbs around themselves, his thick gold rings glinting in the light from the tallow candle, ‘been thinking a lot about your predicament and I think I have finally found the perfect solution to our problem.’
Vigor looked up at Fenrik and clasped his hands in front of him, ‘Yes brother, go on.’
‘Your body is fading fast and up to now, we have found no cure for this, despite trawling through every Grimoire I can get my hands on. But in this one Vigor,’ said Fenrik tapping the book in front of him, with the red dragon on its cover, ‘has provided some new insights.’
‘It seems that the dead bodies our demons exhumed were not suitable because they had no Life essence still left in them at all. That is why the bodies provided by the Shadow Walkers have proved unsuitable too.’
Vigor nodded his head. ‘But they were fresher.’
‘But not fresh enough to allow your essence to pass over into the new body,’ said Fenrik. He leaned forward in his chair, and rested his clean-shaven chin on his hand, his thick gold bracelet falling beneath his shirt sleeve. ‘What if,’ he said, his eyes locking onto Vigor’s with a burning intensity, ‘We use fresh meat?’
‘I don’t follow,’ said Vigor.
‘Funestus Black, brother?’
‘Yes, what if, instead of using a dead body as a vessel for your life force, we simply transfer your essence into a living person? Funestus would be the perfect candidate.’
Vigor tried to smile but his skin was stretched too tightly over his skull. ‘That is perfect,’ he said, clapping his hands together in glee. ‘Do you think it will work?’
‘As soon as the complete Emerald Key is in my hands we can do it. The Red Dragon,’ said Fenrik, patting the book’s cover in front of him, ‘alludes to a spell that we can use for the procedure but the details are a little sketchy. There are some preparations we can make but we will need the completed Key before we can proceed any further. The Key will give us the magick and the instructions on how to do it. I have no magick of my own, I can only summon demons, but once we get the two halves of The Emerald Key re-united, all that will change.’
‘Let me fetch it. Let me fetch it!’ said Vigor, clapping his hands together excitedly like a seal.
‘Patience brother,’ said Fenrik, holding up a hand to silence his brother, ‘Only if Drake fails will I allow you to fetch it.’
Vigor nodded his head, his hands moving in front of his body like wriggly spiders. ‘Oh brother, to have a new body!’ he said, turning back to look at his reflection in the mirror. He tried to smile, flashing his jagged teeth and then ran his skeletal hand through his wispy hair. ‘And one with such beautiful hair and such pretty eyes!’