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Misguided Turning his head slowly, Keizen regarded the figures standing before him. There were eight in all. He couldn't remember the last time he had faced down so many opponents on his own, let alone on their terms. The psion couldn't believe he had let them sneak up on him like this. He blamed it on the fact that it was so hard to see anything in this forest, especially at night. That he shouldn't have been walking through here on his own was an issue he wasn't willing to address.
"I'm giving you one chance to back off," Keizen said authoritatively. "Otherwise you're all going to die." Ordinarily, he wouldn't even think of trying to scare them off. But a fight like this had the potential to see him severely wounded. His only chance of getting out of this unscathed was if these bandits weren't very highly trained - unfortunately the only way to find out would be to watch their movements, and once one attacked him, most certainly all of them would
Information Leak "The Northern Blade's identity revealed! Photographs inside!" The words emblazoned on the journal jolted her with more fear than she'd ever felt when facing down a dragon. Thorin stood there for a moment, staring through the shop window at the cover of the newest issue of a monthly publication. But she realized that if those terrible words were true, then she needed to hide immediately. She darted into a nearby alley, hoping that no one saw her.
Identity revealed? How was that even possible? Had someone spotted her with the Northern Blade's sword? Had they seen her while she was changing out of his trademark garb? But she had been so careful... she always was. How had she slipped up?
And... photographs? What were those again? Then she remembered hearing about it once - there was apparently some way of using light magic to burn an image into a special kind of paper, or something like that. But didn't that require a
Hopelessness I winced as the strap was tightened around my back. I don't think the boy behind me had any experience with suiting someone up with armor - he kept pulling the straps too tight, and some of the pieces were on crooked. All the same, I supposed I should just be grateful that I was even being given armor at all.
"This is an important position, as I'm sure you already know," the white-haired man in front of me said. No, "man" wasn't the word for him. He was a monster. How dare he smile at me while he say something like that? "Few men get the chance to further our cause as you do," he continued, ignoring the obvious anger on my face. "Training dummies can only do so much for my troops. Tracking and fighting live prey? That's what they need."
"Shut up," I murmured. This really wasn't the time to be indignant, and I knew it. But what was he going to do about it, kill me? I was as good as dead anyway.
Another Day, Another Town Surprising. Even in a quaint little town like this, you can still find a halfway decent cook. It just goes to show you don't really have to go to a fancy place to eat well. "Thank you for the meal," I told the proprietor. "It was quite good."
"Thank you," she said, smiling. "We appreciate you patronage."
I dropped a few coins on the counter. I wasn't quite sure how much the food cost, but I was certain that would be enough. The way her smile widened told me as much; in fact, perhaps I had overpaid. But that was alright. I could afford it today.
I exited her restaurant into the street. It was a beautiful sunny day, which contributed to my good mood. I slid my hands into my pockets and strolled down the street. There was no reason not to be courteous, so I waved to the townsfolk as I passed. This was such a friendly little place. I wondered to myself: were all small towns like this? Who knows.
Taking a Gamble "Hold on, sir," Charles said sternly. He placed one arm in front of the stranger, stopping him from entering the casino. Ordinarily, anyone who walked into the casino was welcomed - it wasn't an exclusive club or anything. However, it was intended for people who were well off, people who had plenty of cash to spend. It was impossible to do at a glance, but staff members were asked to use their best judgment to weed out the ones who didn't fit that. The stranger Charles had just stopped certainly looked the part.
The stranger's long, nearly white hair was really the only remarkable feature about him. He was dressed from head to toe in plain, shabby clothing that he might just as well have pulled out of a dumpster somewhere. Charles wouldn't have been surprised if he was just some homeless man who planned to loiter around in here just to get out of the cold - it had happened before.
"Is there a problem?" the young ma
Light Reading "I got us a present!" As usual, Taphram was grinning.
"What?" As usual, Keizen was not. "That doesn't even make any sense."
"Sure it does." Taphram plopped onto his bed in the hotel room and fished through his shopping bag. "I found something really neat at the store today-"
"While you were supposed to be getting supplies?"
"-Yeah, on the supply shopping trip. Anyways, I found something really neat at the store today that I think will be of use for both of us."
Keizen grunted. "Was it free?"
"No," Taphram said, drawing out the single syllable, giving his companion a duh! look. "I was at the store, not the dumpster."
Keizen sighed. "Well, then this better be good."
Finally, Taphram found what he was looking for in the bag. He pulled out a thick, heavy book and held it
Take Your Medicine Sometimes, Kirstaad wondered why he even bothered to have slaves. More often than not, they couldn't do anything right. He would come back to his chambers at the end of the day only to find that his things were in some sort of disarray. He supposed that maybe they didn't understand the methods he followed for organizing his possessions - they were just humans, after all. But that didn't really matter; whatever the reasons were, it still amounted to the same thing, that being that he had to straighten his room on his own.
It was this activity that was occupying him this evening. But today was different. As he was reorganizing a pile of books on a desk, something fell out of the chaotic mess: a little bottle. He picked it up, looking at it quizzically. It wasn't often that he found objects that he didn't recognize while cleaning his room. He had no idea what it was - there was no label on the bottle at all. But judging from the shape of it.
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