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  1. Jaro would have snorted at Shanna's attempt to protest and pointed out very politely in his own way. "In my studies of culture's both on my world and here in feudalistic societies any person who owns a significant portion of land is considered at least the lowest rank of nobility by simple peerage. Lady Shanna." The former spoken in his usual informative, almost teacher like manner the last a gentle (for Jaro) teasing was had at her expense. Of course the woman had to go and apologize for the way he was naturally because forgive the peasants for actually having a personality that didn't bow and scrape at their lordly masters. Quelling then sudden desire to burn something or everything really before his passion got out of hand. Then of course Jezehr took over and was his excitable self. "Cody?! I want a Cody dragon! Shanna we should get a dragon named Bob so they can be friends. OOOooOO we can arrange playdates and stuff too!" The magically empowered teenage minded man drifting off into an unintelligible ramble before once again rediscovering his sense and bouncing along with Shanna excitedly. Oooing and aahing as if they were some sort of deranged synchronous act as they regarded the beauty that only such extravagant opulence could provide. The stiff formality of the greeting at the gate had forced the man to endure a nearly impossible degree of control before he exploded into excitement and babbling once more as they burst into the even grander sights on display inside. Once they were required to wait he ambled about until he froze as if lightning had struck him. "Meet the Queen?!" He huffed in a great breath. "JARO!" The man seemed to do a bit of stumble before looking around sharply. "What is it? I don't see any trouble. Hmm? Oh.. good point.. we should.." A heated and unintelligible argument ensued for a brief moment before the body stalked over to Shanna "Hold still." Jaro grumbled out with a smile before slipping of a glove momentarily and poking Shanna's shoulder. Anyone magically attuned would sense the very sudden and brief exchange of magical power. Suddenly she would feel refreshed and more importantly entirely tidied and clean. Her hair would part slightly to frame her face better and two hair barrettes in the impossibly detailed likeness of a hellhound head.. Her clothing changing to be fit for a princess. The alteration which made it truly unique in special was how it shifted subtly and elegantly through the color spectrum in the same everchanging manner of her own personal features. Jaro held up his chin as his own appearance changed. The stubble that threatened his face flecked away and his hair was tidied and cleaned in the same manner. His long sleeve shirt shortened to just below the shoulder revealing the dancing bluish symbols that moved whichever way they liked without ever touching one another in some manner of organized chaos. The same symbols never duplicated as they also appeared and disappeared at whim across his arms and disappearing under his also magically changed clothes. His pants and shirt changing to be the shining definition of gray but of some unknown material that moved with him unnaturally. As plain as the black gloves that covered his hands and he refused to change the vest that appeared on his person was something else entirely, looking as though someone had taken a scissor to the most interesting portion of the night sky and turned it into a vest. The view of the stars changing as he moved to display some other spectacular portion as if taking some grand telescope and panning the view. Jaro took a moment to admire his own handiwork to the both of them before nodding to himself. "Much better."
  2. At the display of, whatever it was the man was trying to display jaro's eyebrow rose a fraction. By the end of it all he looked like a man who had been forced to stare at paint for the last hour both summarily unimpressed and bored. He blinked as the glow refilled the tavern as much to get the droop of out of his eyes as to readjust to the sudden reappearance of the light sources. Yet again it seemed Jaro was reaffirmed in his dislike of royalty in general, the sheer arrogance of anyone wearing a an adornment atop their head in conjunction with a fancy title seemed to make people ugly to Jaro in every way that he weighed people against. All because they had the good fortune of dropping between the right persons legs. Hmph. It appeared that in all of Genesaris a ruler or person of nobility he could actually tolerate or like would be the exception instead of the norm. Refraining from any further words towards the man just incase it would prompt any further 'demonstrations' he ambled along Shanna's side. To the outside he was a stoic quiet individual. Inwardly he was assimilating all he had learned of the Prince for he refused to categorize him by the foolish title for to him there was only one Dark Prince and he was a being of truly unfathomable power that dwelled in the lower planes. Jaro wasn't about to earn the ire of far more powerful beings by calling the fleshbag that lead them on by any such gentrified title. Afterwards he settled on possible ways to annihilate the city or just its denizens and all the other numerous contingency plans he allotted for whenever he visited somewhere new. Finally he came to the conclusion if he spent one more moment aware of his surroundings he would probably enact at least one of those contingency plans and that wouldn't do at all. His foremost concern was Shanna's plans and aspirations and he saw only one way in which he could deal with that. Letting out a rather big sigh which he knew would attract Shanna's ever concerned attention before he looked at her. "Going to try something, i need a vacation. Don't let Jezehr do anything crazy. If you need me just shout." Turning to face forward and closing his eyes. Suddenly he was slumping less and walking smoother. In a higher tone then his usual voice he suddenly spoke. "What you mean I am taking over? I can't see a gods be damned thing! Huh? Oh yeah. Heh." Suddenly The gentleman's eyes opened and he gasped. "JARO THIS IS COOL!" Then suddenly looked over at Shanna. "SHANNA!" Grabbing the woman with a hand and shaking her. "Where are we? Arethosedragonsohmygodtheyare!Canweseeone?IWANTTOPETONE!" The rapid fire utterances only stopped for the requirement to breath which sent him coughing. "Oh yeah forgot to breath! Whose the that?" Leaning over to Shanna and whispering conspiratorially as he pointed at Marce. "Whose that?" Then as so as he mentioned he forgot and leaned up to draw in another deep breath inhaling deep all the scents and smells of the town as if it was his first day alive.
  3. "I would find it just as well no ruler ever learns of happenings instead of broadcasting our arrival from the top of the nearest tower." And that didn't even begin to touch the subject of politeness which he found rather ironic given her half stuffed mouth. As ever in her company he held back a sigh. Shanna did things her way and for whatever magic damned reason it seemed to work out ok. Of course when things didn't work out he usually spent most of his time casting magic like the world would end if he didn't. WHich wasn't far off the mark if he considered it in more then a passing thought. Then it took all of his not inconsiderable willpower to refrain from slapping himself in the face as Shanna greeted Mr. Stares Rudely. "Yes.. bacon.." In such a manner that spoke volumes for his recent displeasure at greeting a complete unknown. He wondered how long the woman would last without her terrifying brand of magic and found himself shuddering softly at the thought. He sighed and nodded. "Bacon is good. Order as much as you can eat." Eying her sideways as she teetered on the edge of drifting over as the thought of bacon seemed to halt any other thoughts to the point she drifted over. As ever as soon as he thought he might have to right her in her chair she snapped out of it forcing Jaro to nod at whatever little self-preservation instinct the woman bore. "Oh Shanna you know I would never let anyone stab you." For once the usually stoic man smiling over at her then shrugging. His own order was much more reserved of his favorite. Egg soaked toast with some ashplum pudding on the side. And just as ghoulish that Shanna's table manner's were his were the opposite. Taking his time to fully enjoy his own meal and then chuckling as she leaned against him. He wraps an arm around her to squeeze her to him briefly. "If you must. I think we more then paid for the ability to occupy some space for a time." Of course just as he wanted to enjoy the closeness of his companion someone had to go and rain on the parade. His eyes following the man as he approached, hoping that he would walk past. Of course, he was disappointed as he always seemed to be in place where there were others that could intrude and often did. The little swagger the man had and the nasty looking sword spoke volumes to the usually paranoid Jaro. The vicinity around the seemingly older gentleman dropped several degrees and their was a dull brief glow beneath his clothes even as he smiled somewhat to greet the man in a neutral manner. "I see. That would be most fortuitous should that be the case. Forgive me for saying when I state I find it odd that a member of the royal family walk about without any sort of accompaniment, great swordsman or not." His eyes glancing about as if to exact his point as noone had risen with the man. Regardless of his apparent senior status amongst the two his eyes looked over at Shanna in a deferring manner even though he knew with his subtle words of warning the woman would most likely jump at the chance to just waltz in through the front gate. Personally, and as he did with most strangers, he could care less for the man.
  4. The man blinked barely able to comprehend her words before he was tugged along like some huge overgrown child's doll. It was only through is best efforts he managed to not eat the road as he cartwheeled with he free arm to regain balance as he hopped momentarily on one foot as she suddenly changed direction on him. Eventually he found his feet and voice "The castle? Why do we need to visit every castle for every town we go too?" Thankfully it was a painfully quick journey until his animated companion lost grasp of him to fully emote the pleasure of her discovery. "Oh yes, very good." He muttered without really listening to what she was saying as he attempted rotated his shoulder a few times to make sure it wasn't out of its socket. "The red one?" Then he saw her chipmunk face and his palm met his face with a resounding crack. 'River of magic protect me.' Of course the other J that occupied his mindspace chimed in with a laugh 'And yet you like this insane woman.' A stern look crossed his face momentarily as he chided his brainspace companion into silence before looking at the red ashplum. The triple backflip of his stomach indicating it may as well be some heinously large grub and the manner in which he plucked it up with his thumb and forefinger spoke volumes in that regard. Almost agonizingly slow he finally bit into the red one and mentally suppressed his stomach as he admitted it did taste rather good and slowly munched down the offending not-grub. Hoping somewhere the universe recognized his infinite patience for his companion for the upwards of 100 time so far on this leg of their journey. His eyes looking about now that he had the opportunity to do so. Meeting the gaze of the rather huge man at the bar who was staring and promptly announced "Let us find a seat unless you are planning on eating only fruit and spoiling your stomach?" Not really bothering to wait for her to answer as it was his turn to nudge her towards the door and a table at the same time as she made up her vapid mind. Shoving down the huge hat further on his forehead to hide his face some. Of which suddenly prompted his reminder of dislike for the thing and wonder why he had't 'lost' it over the edge of the airship. Further opportunities were sure to arise.
  5. Jaro wasn't entirely sure he liked the view from the railing of the airship. He was as fearful of going over the side as he was quesy at the thought of how humans most certainly were not meant to fly. The sigh of Shanna leaning so carefree over the railing sent even his toes tingling in nervousness. Even more so when the heels of his boots skidded across the deck of the ship and he was forced to a more dangerous perspective. He tried very hard to look at all the things Shanna was pointing out (and failing horribly). "Yes who doesn't love magical flying death machines? A bit like the one we are on." Of course that was when Shanna flung herself over the edge and he sighed as he was entirely too proficient at when around the rambunctious woman. He forced the rediuculously large brimmed hat onto his head and held it before following Shanna over the side. Floating down gracefully under the power of magic and barely given a chance to collect himself before he was lead on, not entirely against his will as her ambition infected him and the last traces of any curmogenous attitude wore out. "Well not all in one day! That would be foolish and terrible for your stomach I might add." Jaro was still feeling a bit green from the trip, but wouldn't dissuade her from trying anything she wished. Mostly to take some grim pleasure out of telling her 'I told you so.' when she tried too much. His gaze glancing up when a telltale shadow of a dragon passed overhead. "Where I am from we have a healthy respect for dragonkin. Mostly due to the aforementioned magical hobnobbing." he took on a curious look. "I think that is the word I want." Before shrugging. He gestured a direction "Smells best that way if my nose is any indication."
  6. Jaro had only really been teasing about going to Mageside City. Now however he was only evermore curious about just what had happened between Shanna and whatever college this was that she came from. It also had the unintended side-affect of completely derailing Shanna from his inquiries about just how in the great ocean of magic they were supposed to find her insanity driven quest for her precious grimoires. His eyebrow had perked in a rather pronounced matter as she mentioned an Airship. "Airship?" Jaro entirely didn't like the sound of whatever the hells that was. If it saved them both of them, well him mostly, from walking it surely couldn't be all that terrible. His inner musings interrupted as he looked at the gibberish that was the map. Geography hadn't been a strong suit of his on the best of days and now that he was in what was effectively a new world he had given up on it entirely. Shanna seemed to be guided by something other then something so mundane as cardinal directions or landmarks anyway. "All my stuff is already packed." Not adding that he was waiting for her to break out of her nightmare fueled fugue so they could be about it for pressing issues of his own. "What is this about Leviathan scales?" He asked as he stood with a grand stretch even as he mentally prepared himself for the journey back to Umbra and this 'airship'.
  7. There was a tinge of amusement in his eyes as Shanna thanked their cook for taking care of them when he was more then capable the last week to fend for himself. He contented himself with eating his egg toast as they dispensed with their nicities as he turned into his reserved self in the company of others. There was a slight bit of grey to his cheeks in eyes as he sipped at his watered down wine and watching Shanna eat when she wasn't looking. Now that they were both well fed he leaned back in his chair some and listened to her talk. "Your the navigator I am just along for the adventure as it were, well mostly. A coastal town sounds good. Not sure i have ever eaten fish that fresh before so that should be a treat. Sure you do not want to return to Mageside to snub some old fools noses in your successes?" He inquired with the slightest glitter of amusement and humor in his eyes. "As much as I despise the idea we should use horses this time instead of on foot. My joints were killing me from all the walking. Though it is dubious if enduring the jarring and the smell will be much better." The older looking gentlmen offering his own counsel on the matter. "Ah! Yes I had a thought now that I am thinking about it. Can we fashion some sort of detector for your grimoires? So we know if a book is in the town we are in at least? I doubt all of them are going to be available for sale and in the hands of private individuals in which case it would be dreadfully difficult to even know of their existence should they be tight lipped or reclusive. Divination aren't my forte however. If I had the spell i could enchant it to something, but other then that." Jaro spread his hands apart a bit. Before reaching up to rub his chin in thought and one could see the train of thought on his face before he dismissed whatever further idea it was. "Well if your ready I do believe our things are all packed up curtesy of our excellent staff. So whenever you feel up to it."
  8. It didn't take a scientist to tell that the woman was downplaying his words or he thought after a moment she simply couldn't believe it the way he meant it. After the barest of moments to consider his options he just smiled simply and gave her upper arms a squeeze before separating from her entirely. Caught up in the whirlwind of her renewed vigor he let it lay as it was before nodding to her and watching her wander off.One of his eyebrows raised a bit and his eyes twinkled in amusement. He would have to remember that for whatever reason she was easily fooled by illusions. Though he gave her some leeway given the circumstances. "Yes the Cook said she was making your favorite today." Not that Jaro could remember what that was all of a sudden. "With egg toast for me." he said with a bit of relish. "Are you going to want a bath before we go? I can get one of the maid to help you." He raised a hand up and snapped his fingers together and just like that they were back where they had started with nary more then a few moments passed. The two of them back side by side on her bed. he gave her shoulder an affectionate pat on the shoulder before standing with a grimace. The old aches and pains of his real body remembered all too keenly until he adjusted back to the arthritic rhythms. "Don't tarry everyone is waiting for you." Then in his own impetuous way he left to carry out her wishes and meet up with her later in the dining area.
  9. The long quiet that clung between them seemed barely noticed by Jaro. Simply doing as he had stated and laying there staring up at the sky watching the clouds drift overhead until she started to speak. He listened quietly and without judgment and started to watch her as she moved about. When she stood he watched her smile and offered her one of his own in his typical reserved style. The fact he made no move to get up and his words reinforced the fact he was in no great hurry to go anywhere. "We are alot alike you know. I am not sure if you recall or if I even told you. My father was not a kind man. Blamed my very existence for every trouble he ever had and if the man had one defining trait it was the ability to accumulate troubles at a vast rate." Unable to help a grim smirk at the thought. As it faded quickly he turned his head to look at her with a serious look on his face. "I promised that I would not lie to you Shanna and to help you how I can whatever troubles may occur." Finally he stood and far more easily then he had any right too, without the grimacing and creaking. "I have been accused of a great many things, but being good with people certainly has never been one of them so I apologies if it comes off as uncaring, it is anything but the sort." As if to punctuate the severity of the situation and how seriously he considered all of what she had to say in minute detail he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. A pause was given before he opened his eyes as he exhaled before reclaiming breath to speak. "One must consider what is important to one at all times and to what lengths one will go to accomplish such. I assume your referring to your very personal living memory you were pulled into. For those two the answer is simple. He loved power more then he loved her, if he even loved her at all. One might argue to him she was, but a required means to an end." Jaro shrugged at that unable to offer anything further in that regard. "The hearts of people are easily swayed by dark desires. Most just want comfort and a rare few fight or work toward something greater then themselves." "I often think fate is something to blame when something terrible happens in our lives while I hope it guides us to be better then ourselves. It is also wise to regard the fact that Brutus is not human and as such feels things differently then you and I." Jaro attempted an encouraging smile that was a bit like an actor attempting some new facial feature for the first time. Being genuine with his expressions far harder then with words evidently. "Wolfs often let their wounded fellows tend to themselves after all and hell hounds.." he shrugged before continuing. "And what sort of mages would we be if we only delved in the mysteries of the arcane while ignoring the most crucial component of any spell? Ourselves." Then the final point which he could no longer stave off any longer. He steeled himself once again and moved forward. This time he walked forward and grasped her in a hug that went beyond the hug friends gave one another. It was warm and wholesome. An outpouring of how he felt on the inside, but couldn't find the words for. Half afraid she might vaporize him for the act the other half utterly not giving a shit. He held her quietly for a moment and continued to hold her as he spoke. "I love you Shanna. If you shatter me, i will melt myself down and recast myself stronger. I cannot promise I won't push you away, but I won't cast you aside. I cannot promise that I will understand, but I will always try. And I cannot promise that I won't change, but I do promise I will always care about you." And so having poured his heart out he just held her and willed more of the Shanna he had grown fond of to come back.
  10. The man could scarcely remember a time where each tick of his watched felt weighted with such great responsibility. His resolve almost evaporated once he plunged her into the waiting depths before steeling himself with the reminder it must be done. Regardless of whatever he convinced himself with his foot tapped impatiently for any sign that Shanna possessed even the smallest of will to live. Glimpsing an astounding lack anything on her part he sighed diverting more attention to watching her reactions. Dolls had more semblance of life then she did at this moment. Finally she seemed to finally look up weather it was for saving or a last glimpse at the light before letting herself drown he wasn't aware as he decided it was the former. His hand dipped into the water and seemed to stretch across the vast expanse of the depths without hindrance and grasped her forearm with a reassuring squeeze. A light tingle of a taste of power that was Jaro's and they were else ware. The fragrance of fresh air and a rainbow assortment of flowers assaulted their nostrils. He had shifted the illusion and they were now surrounded by a small field of flowers with them laying in the midst of it all staring up at the sky that moved as if they were actually outside. Jaro laid like that staring up at the sky for a moment before drawing in a deep breath. "Not usually one for the outdoors as you well know, but even I find myself liking this place. Tis a small ways away from the tower actually. One of the maids informed me of it after asking after a few flowers." he went quiet for a small time before resuming. "Did I ever tell you where I am from has no greenery at all save for the grand park? It has all been cleared away for pristine streets and thoroughfares. A grand prison my home country was. All this greenery is rather an assault to the senses as well as how it seems to ooze life of all sorts in comparison to the functional paved streets and buildings. I miss my mother at times and in some way how it gave me all the knowledge I have rattling around in my head. Not enough to make me ever want to go back though." he gave a dry chuckle at that. Now he tilted his head to look over at her. "I would have came to check in on you more, but admittedly I was exceptionally out of my element in dealing with convalescing women or even friends for that matter. Matters dealing with others was always my friends forte not my own. Likened me to a golem sometimes. So please tell me. What ails you Shanna? It pains me to see you devoid of passion or life. I can't promise I have the solutions or answers, but I will try my best to help and above all listen."
  11. Jaro completely ignored the wolf's growling as if he didn't exist. In the intensity of his resolve he did not dare let the wolf distract him into backing down. Despite his frailty at inopportune moments he was glad he managed her onto the bed without causing her any serious harm. When he plopped down next to her and she listed like an aimless doll he grit his teeth, but made no outward sign of dissent. In the immediate moment he ignored her words and threw a blanket around the both of them in an attempt to get her warmed up a bit. An arm wrapped about her waist in case she dared pitch too far forward and returned to the floor. "I am not going away for the foreseeable future Shanna. You see I have decided that you are indeed my friend both in my heart as well as my head. I may not be the sort of friend you want or deserve, but I will be the one you need even it makes you hate me with every fiber of your being. Tis a small thing to be hated by the ones you love so long as you do right by them regardless if they want or understand it themselves." The words were meant for himself as much as hers even if it didn't reach her in her less then perfect mental state. He made sure he had whatever attention she could spare. "So I apologize in advance for doing what I must in lending the hand you do not wish. We have honored your wishes for what I feel is long enough." He tested her arm to make she was no longer cold before slipping the blanket off the both of them. Given how uncaring she seemed to be he simply picked her up in his arms as if he was carrying a child. Even in her dulled state she could probably tell he thrummed with magical power. Then without barely so much a tickle of energy an overly large bathtub was in the center of the room complete with steaming water. It took everything he had to keep his face neutral as he stepped towards it and stopped once he held her over it spoke grimly. "I must see how much of the real you is left in there." Just like that he dropped her into the bath and raised his left arm. A wristwatch was now there somehow and he watched her with one eye as the other rested on the time. The reason was quickly apparent as there seemed to be no bottom to the tub. She drifted down into a dark wet warm abyss, the only window of light shone down from where she had been dropped through. Jaro's silhouette ringed by light as he waited for her to seek help and do something other then just die. Watching both her and the time carefully. Normal humans couldn't breath underwater after all.
  12. The majority of their first day back was spent resting. The visions that had been forced upon him and the magic he had spent in their efforts to escape had left him drained in their haste. The following days were spent as much mulling over his own revelations of their short sojourn to the place of nightmares and dealing with 100 little things to work out with himself and Tristram. His visits to Shanna were indeed sparse. At first it was to leave her to her healing privacy. Then as the days passed he found he was inexperienced and under-prepared on how to deal with injured women. Despite his usual grumbling self he found he missed the screeching wakeup calls and her endless energy to get things done Not that he would ever admit such things aloud or to her much to Jezehr amusement. As he hadn't graced the woman with his presence the day before he got dressed up in serviceable black suit and for once forgoed the gloves, the runes that glittered and danced on his flesh tucking themselves hidden up his sleeve so he wouldn't bother their 'servants'. He even raised a hand to William as he passed the sprite on his way to Shanna's room. He knocked twice on her door to announce himself before peeking curiously inside (instead of barging in like she would). An eyebrow shot up in alarm when she wan't in bed and quickly strode in further only to discover her on the floor. His other eyebrow perked up and he hastily went over to her side. "Shanna are you alright? What happened?" Then his lightning quick mind shot a dark look to the bastard wolf laying lazily at his spot. "Why didn't you help her back into bed?" His teeth grit hard as his hands flashed blue. "Leave us." his power flashed angrily and his words were back by a magical compulsion to leave himself and Shanna alone, such was his irritation. His eyes settled back on Shanna hastily and offered her an bare hand. "I came to ask you to breakfast. The people of this tower miss you." Once he had helped her sit on the bed and examined her state further. His tone softened further still. "Would you like a bath and some help dressing? I could summon one of the maids to help?" He could beat himself up about her sorry state later.
  13. Jaro longed to be far from this twisted place. The way magic and darkness intertwined like lovers about them with a near sentient longing for their living walking vessels. Unlike the trapped memories or souls or only the gods knew the truth of the what they were seeing Jaro and company could leave and it seemed desperate to stop them now that the precious blood that he ventured fueled the darkness about them scented a fresh source of power. All these thoughts were second to his own morbid fascination as he watched magic pour forth from his companion. Such careless oozing of unkempt power. Were the woman in any sort of fit mental state he would feel a inkling of requirement to admonish her. Instead his gaze was locked on her as they moved hurriedly away. His thoughts far faster then they had any right to be. 'What would she turn into? How much power is that using? Could I do that if I tried?' Were just the first three that flitted between his ears like magpies. Then the rolling fog became far more tangible threat. Annoyed he was distracted as the source of his curiosity fell from view as the wolf lurched to a stop. Impassively he turned to watch the outcome. 'Can we do something? Should we?' No answer was forthcoming or thankfully needed. Shanna in much the manner some adolescents learned they had the gift for magic lashed out with it instinctively, harshly, powerfully. Jaro finally managed to blink once as he regarded it with all the favor of a passing firework show. Before he could settle his thoughts and form a consensus with himself the immediate concerns were over with. In any other situation he would be more then a bit offended at having anyone carry him on a shoulder like a kid let alone a woman even if the bastard wolf was currently occupying her body. Be it the indignation of the situation or having contributed nothing to this current outing the fog muddling his brain snapped free with less then kind things echoing in his head from Jezehr. "Try not to jostle me wolf." Seeing as how magic wouldn't immediately make his brain explode he had no choice. Enduring whatever visions that plagued him he cast and the staff in his left hand flared a brilliant azure as the mage muttered a fast incantation under his breath. Suddenly they were surrounded by a warm protective light as a quintet of beings made of the matching light surrounded them protectively to drive back and dissuade any further attempts by the darkness. One of the beings dimmed a moment and the light seemed to concentrate on Shanna's wound, staunching the flow of blood. "It isn't healed but it won't bleed further." Jaro offered to anyone bothering to listen. A trace of self satisfaction in his voice.
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