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EpicRome23 last won the day on November 14 2019

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About EpicRome23

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    The Last True Knight

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    Reading, writing, purging heretics, video games (Strategy and/or RPG all the way, especially Fire Emblem.) large flying and fire-breathing lizards, history, necromancy, obtaining unlimited power, and conquering the world. That's all the important stuff. What do you mean, 'one of these is not like the others?'
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  1. The prize was survival, and the time for talk was over, indeed. It was that simple in the end, all motivations and rationale be damned. How could those mean anything but nothing when it devolved into a struggle where the lives of each side were on the line? As the queen took into the air to escape the charge of the war elephant Surus, Gormaric darted in on Eri's back, striking at the queen with darting attacks. Shadowfang could not penetrate her barrier, it seemed, but the queen would feel the blade itself exerting its will against the barrier, desiring to break through and strike at the queen. On its own it could do nothing against her barrier, yes, but it would possibly draw her attention as an anomalous point of interest. A point of interest that, if focused on, would leave the queen's attention diverted from Sheryl's crushing atmosphere. An inadvertent bit of teamwork, but one no less effective for it. ----- Surus let out a frustrated bellow as the queen took to the air and out of his reach. Captain Jorge's patted the war elephant's head, then barked out an order for his crew to keep up their volleys of arrows- even if they did not pierce the barrier, the volume of projectiles obscured her vision, and that was a tactical advantage that would be key to maintain. 3-13 strode across the platform to whisper into Jorge's ear. The captain looked toward the legendary archer with an incredulous stare, but then hesitantly nodded in agreement after a bit. Satisfied, 3-13 returned to his position, sending out a constant stream of arrows that precisely struck the queen's barrier at eye level to obscure and confound her vision. Jorge, meanwhile, began to enact the archer's plan. He leaned over to stroke Surus' head, and spoke into the elephant's ear. "You want to crush that damned bug, don't you boy? Yet she flies out of your reach, leaving you with naught to do but stomp despondently along the ground... Surus, you are not bound to the ground here. You want to get her, and she'll keep you on a merry chase unless you change the game. Surus... fly, you beautiful beast. Fly, and swat that insect from the air." Internally, Jorge did the mental equivalent of a facepalm. He was literally asking an elephant to fly! What kind of cracked-up goose chase of a plan had 3-13 sent him on? But outwardly, he portrayed his usual calm and confident demeanor. Surus could not pick up on his doubts if this were to somehow succeed. ... To the good captain's astonishment, Surus began flapping his ears with extreme vigor. And somehow, with that force, the armored war elephant with a full group of archers on a platform on his back began to rise into the air. The crew gave cheers and shouts of encouragement toward Surus, and he rose into the air without wobbling, while continuing to gain speed. The others in the group were assuredly mystified at the sight before them- though there was a loud chuckle from Gormaric that echoed throughout the area. There was nowhere for the queen to flee to now, and Surus let out a triumphant bellow before launching through the air and into the queen's barrier. A one, a two, a three- a series of slams, then the elephant flew into the air above the queen, slamming down into the queen's barrier with force enough to hopefully send her crashing into the ground below- as much as you could call that ground, that is. The rain of arrows did not cease in the midst of all of this- though some of the archers diverted their fire into the writhing maggots below. To be freed from here was to die. And to die was, from what Frederick and all the rest had been shown, to end up in a different kind of hell. It was a possible course of action, of that there was no doubt. But... the power he had gained in the lair of the ratkin, in that den of inequity and betrayal, what was it? Was it something that affected his physical body, or was it a power that only existed in the mindscape they were trapped in? Would he be able to bring that power to bear on the other side were he to take the necessary route to get there? The answer was not forthcoming. But the Subversor captain still pondered. Focusing on his body, he extended his senses- not to his eyes, they wouldn't see through the fluid that encased his body anyways. No, he reached for more arcane senses granted by the Inanis, that would give him a picture of the situation on the other side like the queen had shown them. ... It was chaos on the other side. But through a broken gap in the wall, Frederick saw a light of hope. Ilene was up and active, and obviously in full connection to the power of Inanis. In the shadows beyond that gap, he could make out what seemed to be... was that the queen? Had Ilene found the other half, the one the queen had smugly said would keep her safe as long as it was safe? The Subversor captain smiled widely, and returned his senses to himself- or, at least, the manifestation of himself in this mindscape. Jets of black flame propelled Frederick a short distance into the air, at a point where no larvae could feasibly reach him without stacking themselves into a large pile, leaving them vulnerable to easily being swept in one blow by another. The commander of the Subversors floated there, and then raised his hands into the air. A orb of black flames and dark energy began to take shape there, growing as his power flowed into it. He bowed his head for a moment, recalling the fallen who had accompanied him here, whose sacrifices had brought him this far. Bors. The orb expanded. Oswin. The orb expanded further. Amelia. Bigger. The noble horse Zenith, steed of Gormaric whose sacrificed had allowed for the Shadow King's revival. Bigger. The orb was large and powerful now- but it was a race between it reaching the size and strength to hopefully take down the queen and all of her larvae, and Frederick being interrupted and losing focus on the gathered energy. The rest of the adventurers would find a notion in their minds as they saw the charging attack, that of contributing their own energy to it to help it grow faster. That was, of course, if they could afford to do so while contending with the queen and the larvae. Surus and Gormaric kept up their efforts on the queen as they saw Frederick's course of action, intent on keeping her from engaging with Frederick. The archers took turns sending energy to Fred when they weren't keeping up their barrage of arrows on the queen or shooting at maggots down below.
  2. A cut off cry from Fidelitas. "Find the main b-" B... what started with b that would work? Body? Find the main body? And those tentacles... even through the exhilaration of battle and the light madness clouding her mind that the rational, detached part of the Shadow Guard leader's mind could sense, Ilene recalled what she had studied of the Order's records of Yh'mi prior to this expedition. A Sri Maash. Of course it couldn't be a regular Maash, that would be too easy. But regardless, if it was a matter of finding the main body, and the creature had already set up an illusion? Then there was one solution that was viable. Lay out attacks on every damn inch of the room she could see before her. It would take a lot of power, and Ed might be caught in the crossfire- yet she had never before hesitated to trade the safety of an ally for victory. It would be up to him to keep himself from being destroyed by what was to come. From what she had seen so far of him, he would probably be fine. And if he fell in the process, so be it. But first things first, she would need the fuel for her attack. She concentrated, reaching out to the familiar presence of the Inanis. Tendrils of shadows absorbed a burning flame nearby her as she murmured beneath her breath. "Neque... let me channel it all, everything into one devastating blow. Volke, Leila, Matthew... this land claimed you. But even so, lend me your power, to put this farce to its final end. All the rest of you? Bear witness to the power of the Shadow Guard, of Neque's chosen!" And with that, Ilene gathered together the energy she had been collecting and made it manifest. Black flames billowed forth from her curved blade, and she slashed forward in a wide arc. A wall of ebon fire moved forward from the arc of the slash, a powerful and inexorable barrier of dark magic and flame that pushed forward from the opening into the room toward the back of it, passing over everything within. Ilene stood grinning maniacally at the room's entrance, watching the wall of fire advance.
  3. aagahghaagh I finally posted for this I'm so sorry for the delay, I've been minorly busy but not enough to the point where it's an excuse for not posting. I've kind of been in a slump and finding it hard to draw up motivation, but I should have at least mentioned something earlier.
  4. Cerik nodded his assent to Maria's proposal. "Hmm. Searching for something, you say? Well, I agree that it would probably be most prudent to wait for it to pass and see what it does." He too wondered what the beast might be searching for. Could it be him? No, though he had once crossed blades with the dark knight named Gormaric, he had not otherwise crossed Aligoria in any manner. As well, Gormaric had not held any grudge over the matter (in fact there had been obvious respect for Cerik's skill there), and rumors said that he was now in the depths of dark Yh'mi and leading Aligorian operations there. Cerik thought that he might go there himself after this, the Order was said to be in need of whatever help they could get. But in the here and now, Cerik watched the Hellmauler intently. If it was searching for something, what for? His gaze followed the creature's trail. There was a mound that it seemed to be approaching. The coloration, size, general shape... a dead horse? Perhaps just one loose from its pack, intent on its next meal. But the hair on the back of the knight's neck stood up, and there was the subtle, creeping feeling of dread. The mound arose. It was no dead horse, but a living centaur serving as bait for a trap. Cerik whipped around to see a group of centaurs charge from the woods behind them, whooping and hollering. So it seemed that the two of them were caught in the crossfire. The knight braced for impact, turning Stormfire around so that he was in front and would take any incoming blows. The first centaur passed by and struck... he attempted to parry the blow, but was instead knocked off of the horse and onto the ground by an unexpectedly potent force behind the blow. Stormfire reacted quickly, moving to the side to take Maria out of the reach of the charging centaurs. A drawn-out groan and slow movement showed that Cerik wasn't dead or heavily wounded, just winded after having been unseated by that blow.
  5. @ticklefarte@Zashiii@Trexasle and that sends it! Thank you for writing this with me and riding the thread out to its end, it's been a fun one! If any of you are so inclined, feel free to drop in "aftermath" posts for your characters if you'd like, since the thread is technically still open until such time as jaist canonizes it. But it's completely fine if you don't want to, of course! In other news, I'll be opening up an interest check or two in the near future, most likely for Yh'mi quests. So if any of you are interested in writing with me again and would be available, keep an eye out for that. and finally, that's all for this one, folks. Keep it cool out there. 🧐
  6. Oh yeah, it was all coming together. Will and the two ladies whose company he most often taken up in this excursion all volunteered to aid the third group in their task. Leon, meanwhile, volunteered to aid the second group, and even offered to take charge of it. Stella accepted this with a nod, though she did pull him aside for a short time in order to give him a more thorough breakdown on their role and what they needed to accomplish. Maric leaned on his greatsword, glancing at the two of them for a moment, but mostly keeping an eye on the Saevion and readying himself for the task at hand. Tenebra and Anywhere guided Will and the ladies to their positions... while Umbra and the Shadow Guards moved in through the shadows for the kill. Or, in this case, the capture. Whether it was luck, skill, or a mixture of both favoring one or the other, it was soon obvious that the plan's beginning had been successfully executed without a hitch to be seen. The Saevion had spotted the approaching illusions, snorting and pawing the ground as if preparing to charge, but backed off at an order barked out by their tamer between bites of raw Chhitten. The illusions advanced cautiously and in a defensive formation: doing their sole duty of drawing attention, for they would fade into nothingness when interacted with. Hands shot forth from the shadows, one deftly clasping over the strange man's mouth to stop him from making noise, and the other pricking a specially-prepared dagger into the back of his neck, injecting a paralyzing poison that would spread rapidly throughout his body. Umbra hoped she had gauged the dosage accurately. Too little and he'd be able to struggle free, too much and it might overwhelm him to the point of death. But she was confident in her ability. And if worse came to worse, the accompanying Shadow Guards had the man's legs and arm held in place to prevent him from struggling, and would be able to swiftly bring their weapons to bear if those became necessary. ... But there had been no need for concern. The man soon slumped still and unconscious, though still breathing and bearing a pulse. Umbra and the Shadow Guards gagged him and started to tie together the man's limbs, and moved into the shadows to watch the progress of the other groups. --- The second group sprung into action as the first group finished subduing the strange man. Leon produced his guitar and played a strange and infuriating tune with all the gusto he could muster, while Stella and Maric accompanied him with a cacophony of swords and shields being banged together. This racket caught the attention of the Saevion quickly, and the seven of them readied for the charge... though a burst of magical energy slammed into three at the right, doing a bit of damage to the beasts and drawing their attention. Similarly, a construct charged toward three at the left, accompanied by a flurry of bolts. Six Saevion were sufficiently diverted, leaving the magnificent black and gold specimen to be the sole one charging toward the second group. It built up momentum, broke into a charge... and was greeted with the sight of a Tempest Vine in the hand of the Subversor commander, Stella. The Saevion's seeming expression, and overall aura of territorial anger, immediately changed. It drove furrows into the ground as it slowed its own momentum. It came to a stop in front of the second group... and took a brief nibble at one of the vine's leaves, before letting out a noise that seemed happy and gently butting its head against Stella's breastplate. She let out a pleased, booming laugh, and then cupped her hands and shouted over the din of the battlefield. "They work perfectly! Break out the vines, and let's ride this bunch back to Inns'th!" --- With the collected Tempest Vines being passed out and used to calm the rest of the riled up Saevion, the group soon reunited with seven placid Saevion around them, and an unconscious an paralyzed man trussed up amongst them, one who had apparently tamed the beasts without the vines. Tenebra gestured toward him first as she began to address the group. "The Order will have many questions for this one, I will bet. We, the Ebon Triad, will help ensure any interrogation goes smoothly, and without loss of life or limb of our friends in the Order. Any of you are welcome to bear witness when the time comes, if you'd like. As for these Saevion... well, it remains to be seen what we'll end up doing with them. But I think we have the start of a great potential future on our hands, given how well they reacted to the vines. And that's it for what I have to say to you. We will keep you in mind for future tasks, but until then, we'll treat you to something nice back in Inns'th. Nothing exceptionally fancy, the supply situation doesn't allow for that, but it will be filling and at least taste alright!" And with that, Stella climbed onto the back of the black and gold Saevion, and with a whoop and a holler, sent it galloping up the Broken Plains toward where Inns'th lay in the far distance. The rest of the group, along with their prisoner, got onto the backs of the remaining Saevion and followed after her. Anywhere, surprisingly, kept good pace with the beasts following alongside them. Whether that was due to the extra weight upon the beasts, or a testament to the construct's own innate speed, was a question that was not so easily answered. Perhaps it would be, some other day. ---THREAD END---
  7. All eyes in the room turned toward Lily, and then toward Micaiah. The priestess had an intrigued expression cross over her face for a moment, and one might have sworn the red-orange bird on her shoulder narrowed it's beady eyes at the blue-haired girl. Then, the moment passed, and she smiled lightly. "You would like to talk with me? ... I see. In that case, here is not the place. Come with me." She turned her gaze toward the Ebon Knight for a moment. "Zel- Sir Knight. This shouldn't take overly long. But if I have not returned within the hour, then do as you must." With that, she turned on her heel. Lily followed without uttering another word to the gathered group, though her gaze lingered over Roland and Rolliam for a moment as she walked by the brothers. A minute or so after the two had departed, the Ebon Knight turned toward the brothers and Jill and chuckled lightly. "Something tells me that conversation is not just going to be girl talk. Otherwise, they would have invited Jill here along, no?" He paused and shook his head. "Doesn't matter how long you've known them, women always remain so mysterious in the end. But that's just how it goes, in the end. Jill, break out the board. Perhaps it is for the better that Lily isn't here when we discuss the finer details of our plans to deal with Sparmo. Rolliam, if you overhear Innes returning while we're still in the midst of discussion, would you go over and guide him here?" Micaiah and Lily walked through the hallways leading away from the Exarch's chambers. The latter might have wondered where exactly they were going- this was not the way leading into the throne room, but rather in the opposite direction. Yet as she drew in breath to ask, the priestess cut her off with a shushing motion. This wasn't the place to talk- and while the Knight had good security, and the men around were loyal to him, there was always the possibility of a spy, of ears being within the walls. So the two walked in silence, thoughts presumably bouncing around in their heads. The two of them finally arrived in chambers somewhat reminiscent of the Exarch's. Although, here... there was this pervading sense of slight unease. And the signs were obvious of how these chambers were hardly used, if ever. Layers of dust thick enough to where every footprint was visible. The bird on Micaiah's shoulder let out a chirp, and the priestess turned her gaze to Lily before finally breaking her silence. "These chambers... A man whose machinations set many current events into motion was killed here. The previous Exarch of Isore, Madon's father, died in these chambers alongside his wife, at the hands of an assassin who was never clearly identified. Words of great import were spoken here before. And if you seek to say similar words now, then let me hear them." Lily could only wonder at the purpose of the history lesson the priestess had given. All nice for the dramatic effect, but why come here when there were surely other places in the palace equally safe against potential eavesdropping. Regardless, when prompted, she went straight for the point. "You... you know something, don't you?" The priestess smiled serenely. "I know something? Yes, I do know a number of things, as all people do. But you would not have sought words in private unless you thought I knew something others did not, no? What is it, then?" Lily took a moment to take a breath before continuing her line of questioning. "The Ebon Knight is oddly aware of the nature of the stones. More so than one might expect from someone in his position. So how else could he know such things, unless somebody were to tell him? Somebody like... you?" That intrigued expression flashed over Micaiah's face again for a moment. Then, her previous expression returned, the smile widened a bit and a glimmer in her eyes. "And what do you know of the extent of the archives of Byrn, girl? A man of the Ebon Knight's position would have access to a great deal of materials, and such information as you speak can often be found in the most unexpected places." "... I cannot discount that possibility, yes. But such information lurking in military records? I'd say they'd be more likely to be found in the likes of a temple." The priestess' eyes took on an almost predatory gleam as she stepped closer to Lily in a brief flash of motion. But in moments, she had returned to her calm and serene state. "I suppose you are right, in that regard. In light of your persistence, I will tell you at least this much, Lily. The Ebon Knight... I have known him for a long time now, back even when the title he held now was the dream of a bold, yet inexperienced young man. He often visited the temple in which I resided up until recently, and he was and remains still my fondest friend. And together, in the musty archives of that temple, we somewhere along the way learned of the nature of the stones... Is this an answer that is satisfactory to you?"
  8. Bitch shook her head in response to Wanker's sudden change of heart. "Oh, now that you've seen the possibility of acquiring more booze, suddenly you're all for taking the altruistic and honorable approach? ... A simple man with simple needs, I suppose." She turned to meet the concealed gaze of the armored man called Princess, who directed towards her a knowing nod and a brief hand gesture to carry on. She turned toward the drunken duo on the beach, cupping her hands to ensure she would be heard. "Come aboard! And of course, of course, bring that box with you! We certainly aren't going to turn down such a kind and generous reward, you know?" She shifted position in order to help the two onto the boat, to help ensure that they wouldn't trip and fall face first into the water. Probably would be a faceful of sand, seawater, and seaweed at worst- but better to avoid the issue and the embarrassment in the first place, if it could be helped. And if they fell... all it would take was one foot pressed down onto the back of their heads. They wouldn't get back up. Future possible thorns in the side removed. There was an allure to that, though doubtless Princess would not be much fond of such an action. So... best not to let such a situation arise, indeed. The drunken duo and their box, with one cracked demijohn within, were loaded onto the boat without a hitch. Princess took a hold of the oars, guiding the boat out onto the currents leading away from the island and back into the open sea.Tolok, depending on how much capacity he had for rational thought at this point of time, might have found something about the person in armor, the one that their gracious hosts referred to as Princess, familiar. As well, the red-haired woman called Bitch turned and looked at him every so often, staring for a few moments. Along with her, he might have sworn he also saw a mouse on her shoulder, pointing at him and rolling with squeaking laughter. While all of that was occurring, Princess turned toward Wanker. "So. What are you thinking we should do now, Wanker? Are we going to continue our war against the denizens of the sea with these two..." He paused for a moment, searching for the right words. "... with these two aboard? Because if we are, I still would like to find that swordfish and combat it. Or, are we going to simply pull in to shore and join the festival at large? It's a decision I could make myself, of course. But this time, I'd think I'd like to enjoy the novelty of leaving decisions to somebody else for a change of pace."
  9. Cerik responded to Maria's mention of leaving her village with a jovial and musing tone. "When you think about it, would somebody with a clean past and a happy home to return to really want to be out here like we are? Not saying there's not anybody out there like that, of course, just thinking that the kind of work us adventuring types undertake tend to be a bigger draw to those of us with less to lose." He paused for a moment, his tone shifting to one more normal and less bemused as he resumed speaking. "Oh, and thank you for your kind words. I would have greatly appreciated such words back at the time, as opposed to the whispers and thinly-veiled scorn I received instead. But they'll do just as well now, I suppose." He turned away then, looking at the road ahead as he guided Stormfire toward their destination. They were skirting the outskirts of the Scudder Forests south of Aligoria now, en-route to the mountains where the end of this trip would be. Keeping Amura's previous warnings in mind, he scanned the area- and froze as he spotted a blood-chillingly familiar sight. A dog-like creature was a short distance ahead of them, low along the ground and sniffing as if on the trail of something. A hellhound, covered with black flames that twisted and writhed over the beast's body and limbs. "A Hellmauler... I fought one of these things prior to my banishment. A creature created by the entity known as the Shadow King. That particular one was a favorite act in the local circus, ironically enough. The dark wizard that corrupted my king brought the beast under its control as well, in his lust for power. My best friend and brother in arms died in order for us to bring down the beast. Maria, if you have an idea of how we can successfully sneak past it, I'm all ears. Or, if you're feeling particularly bold, perhaps we can work out a plan to take it by surprise and strike before it can muster a response." As he finished speaking, the knight drew his sword: the blade covered in a silver sheen, it's guard shaped like bird's wings, and a grip of black leather. A knight's blade, through and through.
  10. At least in the past, though I haven't seen one in a bit, Yh'mi had quests that would automatically count as failures if they weren't taken up in the listed period of time, leading to consequences for Inns'th/Yh'mi as well as new, though maybe not better, quest opportunities. As well, there's the system where the quests get dinged with a failure after 30 days of inactivity, and getting three 'strikes' would result in the quest failing and no more attempts would be available. This also leads to consequences and quest opportunities as stated above. Is that the kind of thing you're trying to get at here? For an example that's not already existing, I've considered slapping a time-gate on at least one of Aligoria's quests. Probably the A-level quest, wherein if it's not taken up in that time, the second wave into Yh'mi will be led by like, General Alexios or something. Haven't thought of any other consequence at this point other than the lost opportunity of influencing Aligoria's second wave/gaining power and prestige within Aligoria.
  11. EpicRome23

    Yh'mi AMA

    Good to see some other people contributing to the greater good of Inns'th, Aligoria seems to have been spearheading the lion's share of the work as of late lmao Anyways, to actually ask questions: Firstly, I've noticed that there's been a slowdown/lack of quest/timeline updates recently. Is this due to real-life constraints, or are you waiting to make a big 'ole update until after the conclusion of the Furthest Point arc? Secondly, is the Order wanting (or even willing?) to draw out a more formal arrangement with Aligoria? It's definitely been informal so far, with a sizeable force coming from the Kingdom with little warning and then setting up camp. A second wave is coming eventuallyTM, so I was curious if the Order wanted a clearer picture of what would be coming, or would want them to bring along certain supplies and such as well instead of just coming and kind of doing whatever like the first wave?
  12. in my defense, from Gormaric's vantage point it very well looks like Charlie is just taking a nap on the ground (while thinking there's better places for that, but not his immediate problem)/it's not clear from that distance and height that he burnt himself out, so to speak. and Frederick is busy focusing his UNLIMITED POWER on breaking free to reality and shiz
  13. Cerik let out a chuckle for a moment in response to Maria's statement about guiding entities. "Life would be a bit easier, and maybe even better, if those guiding entities would be less cryptic. But oh well, that's how the cookie crumbles." He also noted her comment about the rarity of mounts in parties, mulling over it while not offering a verbal response. There were some parties that preferred the feel of a swaying deck beneath them, and others that liked to ride in the sky in airships- but were riders truly so rare? Well, perhaps that was just her personal experience, since Cerik hadn't found riders in adventuring parties that uncommon. Not common, but not super rare either. Simply a difference in experiences, perhaps. Soon enough, the two of them were on their way out of Aligoria and headed toward the mountains where the trial would be held. It wasn't much longer before the knight broke the silence that had settled between them. "Well, Maria, you must be at least a bit curious as to why I was banished. And it's a matter of public record in the kingdom of Marcygate anyways, so it's not like a dark secret I dare not utter. So, what could lead to the banishment of a seemingly model knight like myself? The answer to that is simple, to a sad extent. I hold strongly to the oaths I make, for oaths are one of the things that set humans apart from animals. If we break oaths at the drop of a hat, then how much better are we than vicious beasts?... Anyways, on the day of my banishment, I broke the greatest oath I had made at the time. By my own hand, the liege lord I had sworn service to, my king, was slain. He was being controlled like a puppet by an evil wizard, so at the time, it seemed like the only right course of action. Yet..." He paused for a moment. "I still wonder if it was the only proper way? The king was still alive. Killing the wizard first might have broken him free from his enchantment, or if not, I would have been able to acquire aid, or research myself how to break him free from his curse." He fell into a melancholy silence, then. There was a determination in his gaze when he finally turned and looked back at Maria. "... But whether it was wrong, or right still, never again. I am stronger now, strong enough to not be forced into choosing between breaking an oath or losing everything through inaction."
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