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Meraxa

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Meraxa last won the day on July 3

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  1. "...Then nothing done." Argi realised, bitterly. Suddenly, and to the great surprise of those around him - including the one it immediately concerned - Peldun's gripped relaxed around the angel, who immediately bounded to the other side of the church upon realising their freedom. "Idiot!" Jennifer was quick to admonish, readying her shadows once more. "What are you doing?!" "Wait," Peldun held up a hand as Argi spoke, before pointing to the angel, who seemed to be taking a moment to recover. "New deal." "...Hm?" The angel turned towards the automaton, spreading noticeably thinned wings, but nevertheless with a presence that seemed vast beyond their physical form. "You would... offer something to me, after contesting me for the children?" Peldun nodded, and seeing that the angel was now waiting, Argi answered them in his own tongue. "Yes. I would ask that you... protect the children, but not take them. Not yet." The angel raised what might have been its equivalent to a brow, expressing its curiosity soon after. "'Yet' implies a time where it would become acceptable. Further, how would you propose that I prevent them from coming to harm?" Argi narrowed his gaze from within the strange space that he currently inhabited; suspecting that he was being tested in some fashion. Raising Peldun's hand, and then curling the fingers save the index as though to be raising a point, he remarked, "You could see us, or feel us, somehow, in spite of all the darkness. Such a power could be applied to these 'Enrele' as well, no?" "Technically correct." The upper half of the angel's face opened in a toothy grin, appearing to appreciate the observation. "I believe such creatures have thwarted all manner of detection, for they rely upon information that can be distorted and manipulated. But a simple affirmation of the existence of life, that cannot so easily be denied." "You... see life?" Jennifer chimed in, expressing a professional curiosity. "In the same way any other creature sees light?" "It has a colour all its own, shining through all substance, and it is beautiful, even from these otherworldly parasites. Indeed, despite proximity, each manifestation of this colour does not blend with another." The angel's answer drew even greater curiosity, causing Jennifer to step forward a bit without thinking, focused upon asking, "So if I had one of these things stuck inside my neck or whatever else, you would see it? Clearly?" She gestured with fingers against skin as pale as the absent moon. "I would say as clearly as you see the sun, but then I remember that lesser creatures cannot gaze upon it directly. Yes, I would see it, though the Enrele here instead cling to the bosom of their unwilling hosts, like children upon the teat." "Anyway," Argi interceded after the angel's answer, "You can see the Enrele. Thus you can keep them from harming the children. So our deal is possible." "Hm..." The angel hummed, beginning to float its way around the burned out, broken husk of a building in which they all, still stood. When it hovered close to the children, their crawled away from it, desperate hopes supplanted by other thoughts. The angel saw this, and then in one swift motion, approached Peldun, staring the automaton straight in its equivalent of an eye. "It is. But a deal requires an exchange. What is it you or this lich would offer to me - to my Lady - in exchange for this service?" Jennifer bit her lower lip, moving her hands across her person. There was little of physical value that she could offer upon her person, and while there were more abstract possibilities, she was adverse to conside- "Me." Argi answered in the midst of Jennifer's thoughts. She wasn't even sure if it was his tongue or her own, but she got the gist all the same. "You would have me, if things happen."
  2. Even without human form, Argi's confusion at the term was apparent from the way that the automaton somehow linked to him held itself. It looked between both the angel and the weaver of shadows for some sort of answer, and it was the latter that ultimately chose to oblige him. "You really must be from a mountain to have not heard..." She mused briefly, though upon noticing the curious, anxious stares of the children at this turn in the conversation, took it seriously as she spun visuals for the story from the shadows, having them dance between her fingertips. First, came the image of two people, nigh-identical in their silhouette. "Terrenus is plagued by an uncertainty that the person before you is who they say they are. They might look it; they might feel it; they may know everything that person has ever experienced. All the people they have loved, their hopes, and their fears. But the person is but a shell, host to a parasite that has been dubbed 'Enrele'." The image shifted now, to that of a jewel falling across a landscape of obsidian. "They come from beyond the stars. How far, and for what reason, I don't know if anyone could rightly say. Perhaps this is their means of conquest. Or maybe it's a simple game of survival. Whatever the reason, they are here, and they have spread across the land like a plague." So then did the jewel strike the land, and ripples spread from it, as though cast into a pool of water. Where the ripples swept across, sometimes the shadows did not fall with the rest of the surface, leaving difficult to discern but visible points upon it. A thousand little pins standing in defiance. "There was a... symposium about this some years ago. They said almost twenty three million people had been taken then. Over a hundred million animals of all kinds. Given the lack of celebrations, I would imagine those numbers have only grown." "Oh, lich, it is more than merely that the fight is not being won - it is hardly fought at all." The angel sneered as it regained some composure, derived from a sense of superiority over those it spoke to. "Though I would not imagine such creatures were so purposeful in such, they could hardly have chosen a better time for their invasion. The continent is broken. Would-be masters waging war to see who will be last among them. Millions scattered to the wind, seeking safety; when they find it, they either come changed, with none knowing the difference, or they are already surrounded, without the protection of friends and family. Worse still, these parasites may be so deeply embedded that family becomes its own peril..." Focus returned to the children now, particularly as Argi found himself blurting out, "I'm sorry!" It broke the will of one young boy, who threw his face into his hands, as though thrust down by the sheer weight of the revelation before them. "Why... Why none fight?!" Argi's confusion turned aggressive, causing the angel to grunt as it was again squeezed as a result. "It would do you well to listen, mortal, when I know you understand me at least. It is because they think there are more important things in their lives. Whether it is fighting someone else, struggling to survive, or simply perpetuating the miserable lives they already lead. Because surely, someone else will deal with a threat of such significance? But if they all think that..."
  3. "...wuh...?" The children did not so much answer as they simply made a noise when prompted. They had huddled together in the midst of the fighting; clearly while they were expectant of the angel's appearance, they had known nothing of its actual nature, or how it would use its abilities other than to 'save' them. "Why you run?" Argi repeated his question, though the tone of his voice wavered with uncertainty. Jennifer realised that was leas an uncertainty in asking the question, but one of how to ask it. So, stepping away from the trapped angel, she interceded on the younger man's behalf, saying to the children, "I believe he means... why are you trying to leave this city? Why are you trying to run away from home?" "..." They small group, perhaps half a dozen in total, held their silence, awkwardly exchanging glances. One, towards the back, finally broke with the others to answer, "T-The demons..." "Demons?" Jennifer blinked in disbelief, given the sort of creature that was in their midst. "Idiot!" One of the older children snapped. "They're not demons! They're... something else. Something worse." "Regardless of the term's accuracy," Jennifer stepped in, allowing her own presence to quieten the children from not knowing how to react to her, "What are they referring to, when they say 'demons'?" It was the eldest, though that was hardly by much, that elected to clarify the term. He explained, "For us it started a few years ago, but... we... we think it's been happening longer. Five years or more. Back then it was probably not a lot, but now... it feels like everyone. All the adults." "Adults what?" Argi spoke up, drawing visible confusion at the 'statue' that appeared to he moving and talking, now that the children could probably see it for themselves. "What happen?" "They... uh..." The child took a few seconds more to process the circumstances that surrounded them. When at last that seemed to have sorted itself, they were able to say, "They... changed. If you ask them their birthdays, their favourite food, or their favourite memories, they can seem fine... and if you never knew them, you would never know. But... the way they speak. The way they walk. One day, it's like they had to learn it all over again, and they become more like each other. Kids like us are the ones who notice - because we had an older sibling who changed just like that. We... we don't wanna be changed by whatever hit everyone else." It was impossible to tell externally how Argi may have reacted inside his automaton, but a slight wheeze from their angel prisoner suggested that it was something in which he was tightening his fist. As for Jennifer, she actually turned to the angel once again, and wondered aloud, "Would you know of the force of which they speak?" "I-it... is known, hehe. But the mortals... foolishly ignore it. G-Gaia... sits idle. O-only we, of the lady Meryam, answer their prayers!" "So yes." Argi bluntly assessed, before telling the creature. "I come from mountain. Do not know this place. Its problems. Explain." Jennifer, who had cupped a hand around her chin, suddenly lit up with a realisation. A realisation that seemed almost to... hurt, causing her to wince as she considered it. She gave it name as, "The Enrele." "Yeeeeees..."
  4. Whether it had exhausted its supply of feathers, or perhaps it wanted some kind of personal satisfaction to its triumph, Jennifer could hear the hiss of the 'angel' grow loud in her ear as she struck up the match. It approached her swiftly from behind, that much she could know even without sight, but she ignored it as she sheltered the naked flame with her hand, and gently held it to the wick of the candle. Loose strands were the first things to alight, though it did not take long for the fire to engulf a fibre that had been burning but minutes prior. Jennifer did not turn to face the hideous creature that came up from behind her; both for lack of interest in beholding its visage, which had lost any facade of humanoid beauty for something that reshaped itself with every twitch of their equivalent to muscle, but also for lack of need. The result was the same to her whether she faced her foe or not; for the result that mattered was that from the light before her, a shadow was cast by her form. Not the absence of light, but its denial. She had power once more, and she affirmed it with but a flick of her wrist. "Lich! This will not hold me!" Jennifer turned to the creature as it struggled within the chains that had sprung around it, and now held it suspended in the air like some children's puppet, cursing her in tongues she could understand, and others not. "I would wager that for a kind as yours, manipulating the elements around you takes a time that it does not for me." Jennifer mused to the 'angel's' face, placing one finger beneath its at times double, others triple, occasionally pointed, chin. "So yes, once you are able to will the wind as you wish, you will be free of me again. But..." A hand the size of a person's torso clenched tight around the 'angel's' mass, and at its quite evident discomfort of such, Jennifer released her chains. "I don't think you'll fare quite so well against this... 'Peldun', was it?" She asked as she looked up at the automaton. "Yeah," Argi answered through the construct, even nodding its head as - within the space he occupied, not that he knew how to define it - he nodded his own. "Fascinating..." Jennifer whispered under her breath, before returning to the matter at hand with a wave of her hand. The shadows became a hand of their hand, carrying the candle from its stand to wherever the others lay about the scene, returning light to the moment, and with it, a certainty of her standing. She summoned a blade of her shadow to her hand, and held it to an exposed portion of the creature's chest, just below where Peldun held it. "Shall we try this again? How do I get the others back?" "That is... that is not something... I can offer!" "Yes, yes, your lady Meryam, I believe you called her." Jennifer rolled her eyes and sighed, before lightly shaking her head. "But she's not here, is she? I am, and what I offer you is your life, if you simply cooperate." "I literally cannot offer them! I... I cannot defy my master! Even if I were to desire it, I cannot!" "A shame then." Jennifer drew back her blade, readying to thrust, spitting to one side. "Then I'll just...!" "...Wait." Peldun - and by extension, Argi - suddenly lifted the creature within its grip, staring at them face to face, such as it was. "This offer... is agreement?" Both the angel and Jennifer seemed equally confused by the sudden inquiry, but the latter turned curious as well, lowering her literal edge. "...Y-Yes. It is an agreement, that I will take the children from this place, from their suffering, to be at Meryam's side." "Then we make agreement. Meryam and me." Argi answered in turn, as simple as could be. Then, Peldun turned to face the children, who huddled at the centre of the former church, and another thought seemed to cross the mind of its rider; its face furrowed as if it had a brow with which to do so. "Or... this agreement no longer needed. Children, why you run?"
  5. Meraxa

    What's Past Is Present

    Summary: Confronted by the strange and innovative concept called 'democracy', Téshuk is forced to try and win over the people of Totenborough so as to have their consent to rule. To this end, he meets with a minor political rival by the name of Braseg, a hotblooded dwarf that runs the most prominent market within the city, in an attempt to convince them to lend their support to his campaign. After a quite public debate with Braseg, and learning what it is the people of the city truly desire - a safe and prosperous home, above all else - Téshuk unearths a vein of mythril running beneath the city. Between this and a snowballing build to his reputation, he wins the election to become Governor of Totenborough. Minor Summary: Téshuk becomes Governor of Totenborough after the discovery of a new source of mythril, adding to the mines there. Consequences and Opportunities: [C] Totenborough has a formal Governor in the form of Téshuk [C] Totenborough gains a mythril mine, in addition to the iron and gold primarily found there. [O] This addition to the city presents potential new trade opportunities, both to profit from and to exploit. Shipments will likely require protection, both from wildlife and from thieves. [O] With the appointment of a proper Governor, one may now seek their approval and support for expeditions, studies, and other opportunities within the area of Totenborough. [O] With the new mine, the Gravekeepers Legion begins to equip itself with new armour and weapons. A good opportunity to test their mettle.
  6. Meraxa

    What's Past Is Present

    Weeks passed, the season gradually shifted, and so too with it, the moods of the people towards the one they called Téshuk. Swiftly, in their eyes, had he gone from strange enigma, to established figure, and then recognised as someone that might lead them. Even without the election proper, more and more did people come to the titan's chamber hall, whether to offer their thanks, their tribute, or even to seek his counsel. Each one increased the number that would subsequently do the same, granting their legitimacy to the one that towered above them. With the resources he gathered, Téshuk either gave back to the city - having little need of such possessions himself - or bolstered his campaign, passing them to his aide to spread word of his... not right, but suitability. Even if he could not so easily speak with the people of Totenborough, he could certainly speak for them, against the world that assailed them so. The Mythril mine had remained a point of contention, in the background to all that, but it also became a tipping point. It was one of the most doubtful things that Téshuk had to his name, for many. It could be he had discovered the sole clump in the entirety of the rock that surrounded the city. Maybe there was once such a mine, but it had been exhausted, and that was why the founders - which they could not say that Téshuk was even one of - had fallen so long ago. It might even be that while the vein truly existed, there was something down there, like Téshuk or like that other thing that had emerged from the depths, and it was all a trap. But, the question had lingered: What if the titan had been sincere? What if there truly was such a mine just waiting to be tapped into? So, with some reluctance among the miners tasked to do so, the digging began - specifically within Téshuk's assistance. Stoneshaper rings were used with great frequency to clear away much of the stone and soil at once, carted aside in an ever growing pile, with the aim being to simply dig down as far and fast as possible; if it should be that something untoward truly lingered there, then they could dump all of that same material right back down on its head, and bury it once more, whatever it was. Down and down the shaft went, a ten foot by ten foot slice into the ground that lay below the city. The hole was wide as to allow light from above to filter through, and permit watchers above to keep track of all that occurred. The deeper it went, however, the more difficult their task became. It was late at night, as far as the surface world was concerned, that one of them should spot a flashing from within the hole. A shimmer not unlike that of starlight, coupled with the celebratory howls of those that had found it. After that, when the great day came, and the governorship of the city was to be determined at last, it was perhaps not surprising to see the result. Of roughly 38,000 votes cast, Téshuk won 23,237. The city was his.
  7. For a moment, she had wondered if she made a misstep. Only when Dylan did speak did Amira realise that... no, things had simply taken a different turn than expected, but the general path remained unchanged. In fact, she might well prefer this route if she kept with it. "Your company is no issue at all." She answered, by way of technical truth. Indeed, she stepped up to close the gap between them one more, and should he not be resistant to such, would wrap her arm around his. "But a dance is not what I prefer any longer, no. Not this kind, at any rate..." She stoked his imagination, suspecting she knew what images might be drawn within it. She turned a glance towards the main centre of events, considering how to account for it in how she played the scenario. Perhaps, let it seem like his idea... "If we were to... disappear somewhere, would anyone notice your absence, you think?" Amira asked, suggesting while sounding like she promised. "Your father seems a meticulous man, but... he would understand that you are a man yourself, no? With your own whims and desires..." If she had done this right, she should be among them, however fleeting it would be. But, she stopped and realised, there might be another matter at play. "Or perhaps there is more to be concerned with from your mother? She seems... very focused upon appearances. Maybe it wouldn't do, for the firstborn and heir to be off somewhere... well, it wouldn't be correct to say 'unattended', would it?" She giggled, as if she were younger - and far more jovial - than she truly was. The extra layer of performance would ideally seem as nuance in the eyes of the beholder.
  8. Meraxa

    What's Past Is Present

    Soil and stone fell to either side of Téshuk as he re-emerged from the ground, rising like a tower out of the sea. The crowd parted quickly to be out of his way, while he was slow enough as to give them the opportunity to do so. When the titan was fully emerged, the ground was as level as it had first been when he disappeared, and even the loose fragments that had been scattered by his rising returned to the soil beneath him. It was here that the people noticed two things: that he was indeed possessed of a stoneshaper ring, and within the hand that said ring was attached to, he held a lump of ore. It was unusual in the ways the light caught it. It was of a silvery sort, but where the flash flashed at purer edges, it shimmered in a way less akin to silver, and more like that of starlight. Braseg's eyes widened, as did those of any familiar with it. "Mythril..." He gasped, rising slowly to his feet. "That is... Mythril!" Téshuk admitted he knew not the name of it in the tongue of the citizens before this moment, but he had suspicions of its value to the people nevertheless. It was precious. Strong. "I'll say..." Braseg was still spellbound, hands reaching as if he might touch it. Then, Téshuk lowered his hand, allowing Braseg to do just that - and to allow onlookers to realise the lump was comparable to the dwarf's torso in size. At the very least, one of his limbs. "Where did you find it?" Téshuk looked to his aide, desiring measurements. After an explanation and demonstration of common scales, he opted to explain: 500 metres down, a vast vein. It would take time to dig that deep. Not for him. "...blackmail!" Someone brave, foolish, or both, called out from the crowd. "You would deny us prosperity if we do not serve you?!" Confusion. Genuine confusion. "Idiot!" Braseg answered before Téshuk might, to the surprise of some. "Even just proving this exists, he has done us a service! When was the last time you knew a mythril mine to be opened in Terrenus, eh?! In this sorry state the world is in?!" Whoever had shouted out before, was silent now. Braseg, by contrast, continued, "But whether or not the undead upstart helps us to reach it, we know it's there! I can craft a mail from this as proof to whoever's ass I have to kiss to get the resources we would need to mine it! And they would go for it because the promise of Mythril cannot be denied! As of this day, we are the source in this world, and we could go on to be that for the world we left behind! Everywhere has gold, but only a few places have this." After taking a moment further to process all that was going on, Braseg turned his head towards the titan, shaking his head with a wry grin. "Alright ya cheeky bastard, you've got my vote." Confusion, before the realisation it was a compliment came. At this, Téshuk merely stood proud. The city might be his yet.
  9. Meraxa

    What's Past Is Present

    Téshuk traipsed through the city with enough of entourage - willingly or otherwise - that it seemed to quickly garner attention. Moreso than his previous presence upon the streets seemed to on its own, at any rate. His pace was slow enough for word to spread, build intrigue, and then, encourage the curious to come out, intercept his path, and then join him. Without a word on his part, a crowd of hundreds slowly built to thousands in his trek through the lower levels; no doubt whatever he did here would be spoken of, for good or for ill. Ultimately, Téshuk and his crowd spilled out from the city proper, and into the westernmost sector of its constructions. Quickly, it was realised, the titan was making his way towards the mines. Chatter, conversation, and contemplation soon followed; he had spoke of getting what Braseg - implicitly, the city at large - needed. Did he intend to join the miners in their work? Or did he not realise the mines were already known, buried beneath the soil so long, and thought he could gift the city the gold and iron that was its lifeblood? The immensity of the crowd that followed him could be seen from the balconies of the levels of the city higher than the first, only serving to spread that a story was forming, even if those witnessing it from afar had no eagerness or ability to take part. So then, did Téshuk at least stop at the entrance to the great network that branched out beneath the city. The workers that emerged from it paid him little heed, in all fact, too focused upon their work, while Téshuk had the presence of mind to gesture that crowds provide space enough as to not interfere. Then, the titan knelt, and laid a hand to the ground. There was a rumbling, and soon, the earth rose up to encase the giant, swallowing him whole. The crowds were aghast at the display; such seemed like the power of a stoneshaper ring, but were they even capable of encompassing a being of Téshuk's size? The documented range was five feet! Moreover, had the thing just buried itself again?! Minutes passed, and uncertainty among the crowd grew. Téshuk was gone, it seemed; why did they even remain here? Well, what if something should happen? But how should they tell if something should happen? At one point, someone or another suggested, for whatever reason, to look to Braseg. But when they did so, the dwarf was already sat upon the ground, firmly planted. "He'll be back." The dwarf said, absolutely certain of it. He would wait five minutes, before being proven right.
  10. @Roen @Vilhardt @Thotification Back to you guys, and hope things are still going well enough. Will check with @SweetCyanide as to their situation
  11. (OOC: @SweetCyanide has admitted they may be held back from posting. I will clarify their situation, but for now, skipping to continue) Argi's feet had left the floor, and it all felt so strange. He knew it meant he had to be falling, and indeed, relative to his own position, that was precisely what seemed to be happening to the boat. But he himself was almost... floating? In the air. Or perhaps he was falling too, but not as fast as the vessel, resulting in this functional loss of weight. Then, the boat's descent slowed, allowing the young man to awkwardly catch himself upon the floor, and then close tight the chest around the device that the scholar had given him. He breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that perhaps, the worst was at an end. It was at that moment the crash occurred. Argi personally was flung forward, his momentum dissipating not so quickly or easily as the boat's had. But when he hit the floor, the impact he felt was... not so strong as he would have expected. He had fallen in boats before, as well as upon other things, and he knew that some large part of the pain was the result of what was, effectively, the object hitting back as much as you hit it. That... did not feel as if it had happened here. It was more like the boat had simply stopped, than it had really 'crashed', and while he was sore as a result, Argi felt like there could and should have been worse. Something had happened up there, and after working his way up to his feet on the admittedly not angled floor, he made his way up to the deck. "What...?" He had begun to ask the question, until to be sent into silence by the sight before him. Having missed the collapse of the sphere that had protected them from the worst of it, Argi was there to simply behold the sheer sight of the construction that loomed high above them, their craft having come to perch on some jagged edges just before the presumable entrance. This hold of some sort was crafted from stone, though only loosely cut into the shape required of it so as to reinforce the exterior, and mixed from many visible sources - some of it was limestone, others sandstone, and other pieces simply unrecognisable, unless one was versed in the particular substances of the former Wastelands, far to the north. "Everyone okay?" Argi asked simply as he slid down to the bow of boat, trying to see if everyone else had gotten off as lightly as he had. With that soon to be assessed, and after checking his empty hilt remained secure within his belt, Argi hopped from the boat, and set his foot upon this strange new 'shore', however relatively small it seemed. He tapped the ground with foot a few times, and when it failed to give way, he held up his hand and thumb as to suggest its apparent safety. Whoever else followed him off of the vessel, and whoever was first to open the doors ahead of them - not easily pushed, though some small exertion of strength would be enough to seem them parted - would find themselves entering into a vast hall of many stairs, taking up every wall save for the one that held the door through which they had entered. Some passages even descended below, though not so many as those that spread in the various directions upwards. "Which... way?" Argi asked, hoping someone would some idea as to what direction they were heading in. That said, beyond his own curiosity, he admittedly didn't have so much of a plan. Was there... any way to turn 'off' a flying fortress, really? Though, for those attuned to it, they would most distinctly feel a great source of power from below; they also might pick out the various pricks of life scattered all across the stronghold in the storm. @Roen @Vilhardt @Thotification @SweetCyanide
  12. A nice post, and I replied in turn
  13. Well, that begged the question as to whether or not plans had been kept tightly confined to those for whom it was immediately relevant, or if the insinuation had been so slight as to go over the younger man's head. Still, the facade of interest did not slip from Amira's face as of yet; aided by a genuine intrigue, even if not exactly in him, as such. "I do not know if one would consider my name to be good or bad..." She mused to herself, swaying within the embrace of Marish man's arms. "But one would normally consider it good manners to offer, and then receive." The smile on her lips was a playful one, to suggest that she did not take the supposed 'offense' too seriously. Indeed, even if the Marish hadn't offered up his name, she would tell him hers. "Amira." She told him, a slight purr at the end. Amira turned now, slipping a hand between her body and his. A physical barrier, and yet to some minds, a sign of closeness. She could not push him away whenever she so wished, but until she did so... he would be free to imagine whatever he liked of the moment. "I hear your family in particular has many trade connections. Where so many names fell, that yours can still be uttered, leads those that remain to rely on you. Recognition is as powerful as any service rendered." She noted to him, and were nothing else to be between them, her hand would leaned back, save for the index finger, stroking wherever a fleeting thought might desire. "That's why everyone is here after all. They know your name - at least one of them. Even if you don't recognise half of them yourself. A pretty face without value behind it means so little, after all." She mused further, her feet finally coming to a dead stop. That finger from the younger man's chest would rise upward, in an attempt to perch itself beneath his chin. "Such a compliment then, I presume, that mine should draw you in, leaving all those others behind in a heartbeat..." Amira pursed her lips, but did nothing else as yet.
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