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Eternity

Un-Foretold Journey

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It had been a few days since Okina was first brought to the castle that Paris resided in, and she was still trying to get acclimated to the way things were required of her as a companion of the great Paris. The first night she spent on the duvan in his room, then she found her way around the bathroom to clean herself up from the nights activities. Since then she found herself memorizing her way around the castle, and to the areas in which she was allowed for sure.

Okina found herself summoned by her paying employer, still sporting much of her own gear she found herself being lead to his main meeting chambers. Every time she found herself in that room, she was fascinated with the organization of everything that room contained. Amber wolf eyes often moved through the room taking in its details, always finding something new.

This time she would find herself entering the room with another one of Paris’ companions, someone she hadn’t met yet. He had spoken about her to Okina a time or two, but this was for sure not someone she could miss. Her keen sense of smell picked up what the woman was, and herself was too captured by the man obsessed with extraordinary beings.

Stepping into the room she would notice that Paris hadn’t yet arrived at his own meeting chambers, it must have been set for her to wait with another like herself in a collection. Although Okina could walk away at any time, Paris hadn’t done anything she was totally uncomfortable with yet.

No words would be shared yet with the other, Okina waited at a sort of attention stance for the man who employed her to arrive. Unsure how to be presented for him in this room, she did what she would do if she was preparing for someone of such higher status to appear.

@King @Lacernella Rubra

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Helaine had long since made herself comfortable. The few demands Paris had made of the creature – she found them agreeable, and far kinder than being out in the cold. The rich foods provided alone, more than made up for the servitude expected. Helaine had never felt so full, so …warm kept before. Memories of a normal childhood had long fled in favor of survival, and she was undoubtedly unwilling to give up the safety of the castle walls.

As such, when she arrived with Okina, her the mane of fur around her neck stood on end for the briefest of moments. The ebony fur that covered her body finally settled only after a hiss produced between the fangs that slightly protruded from her upper lips. A display of displeasure, before settling as she sniffed at the Okina curiously, before her attention turned elsewhere.

Helaine had come to wearing only the barest of clothes – finding anything else cumbersome and unnecessary. She wore a piece of fabric that covered only her chest, and a skirt of soft lionhide that matched her perfectly – almost looking like her own as it settled just above her knees. Unlike Okina, however, Helaine moved to rummage through the office. As a feline, she had no sense of privacy and therefore Paris was not afforded any either except when it suited her. Talon’d toes curled against the ground, scratching at whatever fabric lay beneath their feet as Helaine poked through a few drawers, but found nothing of interest.

Not to say these things weren’t interesting, but they weren’t to her. Of course, the feline’s lessons were slow-going, mostly due to her resistance. Frustration often found her fleeing the classrooms – much to her teachers’ chagrins – and she returned only later to continue. Her speech has made decent progress, but that simply was that she used it more now. Reading on the other hand, well, she still couldn’t.

Her favorite lessons were with the large knight Solomon, and of course, the delightful bouts with Shinguri. Though both left her sore and wanting – Helaine enjoyed them. The thrills that came with both always left the kitten eager and willing to participate in whatever silly lesson Paris thought to impart on her after.

The meeting room was a familiar place to Helaine, though it was less a meeting room and more a...room. It had plush accessories and was decorated beautifully - with one exception. 

The duvan was left in tatters, and one might wonder why it was left that way, but Paris seemed fond of it and Helaine as well. She plopped in it eagerly, stretching out across it as talon'd toes and fingers reached for the ceiling. 

"MRrroooowww!" She chirped, before flopping in that boneless way felines seemed capable, tail flicking as she gave Okina a stare, as if to say "This is mine, no touchy" though the words are not vocalized. Now, if only she had a ray of sunshine, life would be grand.

Edited by Lacernella Rubra

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The doorway to the balcony remained parted, and just beyond its threshold, at the heart of the vista it offered, Paris soaked in the warmth of the sun and cool waters of the arguably shallow garden pool. The crown-prince smiled lazily as he rinsed the remaining aromatic suds from his bronzed flesh, the waters seeming to come alive as they lapped at the shores of his body like the tides. It was not a second later that a face emerged from the water, cherubic and beautiful, her peridot eyes large with dismay.

“We won’t be gone long,” Paris purred.

The Naiad’s frown deepened.

“I promise, darling,” he said with a smile. “And when we return, I’ll take you to the Great Lake and let you run about for several days.” Paris curled a finger beneath her chin, lifting her head to better inspect her. The nymph never looked more beautiful than when she was upset, though it pained the prince to bring her any manner of strife. “I know you’ve made some friends there, haven’t you?”

Shinguri’s expression brightened considerably. It was a struggle to maintain the frown, which gave way to a reluctant smile thereafter. Then the nymph smiled, full and true, and nodded her head.

“That’s my--”

MRrroooowww!

Paris cast a glance back toward his room, realizing he’d lost track of time. It was an easy thing to do when immersed in such peaceful thoughts and sensations. “It’s time, darling,” he said to the nymph, gesturing her closer. The water shifted as it more of its volume consolidated into the nymph’s body, her nude torso and two willowy arms now formed. She draped them around his shoulders as they kissed, full and passionate, before she sloshed away, back into the pool.

Entering the room, Paris made no effort to conceal himself, both women having seen him quite naked before. “An early afternoon, ladies.” As with all things, he was in no rush, and lazily made his way over to the divan with all the aloofness of a young lion readying to greet his pride. “I see you’re well, pussycat,” the prince murmured, gently scratching behind her left ear. Knowing how fickle the she-cat could be, as were all her kind, Paris left her be to stretch and bask in the warmth of the sunshine now pouring over the sofa.

Instead, he turned his attention to Okina. The she-wolf seemed tense, a bit on edge. He pondered what she expected after their night together. Had they not progressed well-beyond the realm of formality. “You look well,” he commented as he approached, running his hands over her when she was within reach. Paris touched as he pleased, squeezing, groping, and bouncing her curves as he so desired. “I trust you slept well after last night, mm?”

Dipping his chin, Paris placed a kiss on the center of her brow, just long enough to inhale the wild spices of her hair. “Helaine,” he said, looking back over his shoulder at the she-cat. “This is Okina, an employee of mine.” He waited a beat, allowing the apparition to demonstrate the manners they had been working on (specifically introductions). Then, he said, “Okina, this is Helaine, a companion of mine.”

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Okina could smell Paris all over in this room, even her own scent was spread over the tattered divan that Helaine now stretched her cat body over basking in the sunlight that pushed through from the balcony doors. She had watched Helaine move about the room briefly going through everything before she had settled herself in the sun on the divan. With her brow slightly raised, she turned her eyes to the doors that lead further out towards the pool in which Paris was currently finishing his play with another of his harem.

Not shocked by Paris entering from the pool in full nude, she watched as he moved through the room greeting Helaine then herself. Tense was one word to describe Okina the day after her first night spent with her new employer, she did sleep some after their late-night playdate. Her morning was spent cleaning up and replacing her clothing what little there was. It was definitely going to take her time to get used to her new arrangement, and a lot of time for her to become comfortable with Paris although last night could prove differently.

Oddly she relaxed just a bit with his kiss on her brow, exhaling a breath she wasn’t aware she was holding when he entered the room. Turning her amber hues to the kitty that laid in the sun enjoying its rays of warmth upon her fur, she gave a smile and a bow as she in turn greeted her. “Hello Helaine.” Relaxing her stance, she unknowingly took as she waited for Paris, as if anticipating orders right away to some battle she would be pushed into.

 

 

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The Princeling unfolded the doors and basked Helaine in the golden rays she so longed for, and from her throat drew the loudest purr she could muster in response. A lazy stretch followed as tail flicked back and forth leisurely – no rush or concern burdened her face. The gentle touch upon the dark furred ear only solidified the pleased noise that fell just past her lips, throat vibrating with the intensity of it even as her golden gaze followed along Paris’ buttocks – finding nothing strange about his nudity. Clothes were a human invention, afterall – nature had no use for them, there was no shame in ones’ body, no modesty or embarrassment over such little things as appearances.

However, her reverie is broken by another one of Paris’ tedious lessons, and her golden gaze flickers towards Okina, though a hint of irritation lies behind as fanged teeth are shown in an impressive yawn. The rough tongue flicks out over her lips before drawing back into her maw as she resumes appraising the wolven woman before her nose wrinkles as she catches the others’ scent on her divan.

“Smells funny.” Helaine rumbles, rolling over to face away so that she might soak up more of the sun. In truth, if one paid attention, they would see the fur of her mane and tail lightly poofed in displeasure as she made a show of curling herself along the divan to rub against it with a soft “mrowwwwl” as she marked it with the scent pouches in her cheeks and along her body.

It was a display to ensure Okina knew that this was her spot, and while she would tolerate – and even come to care deeply for the others of Paris’ harem – she was not going to give up the divan, or the garden, or the rich foods that she looked forward to each meal time and even sometimes between. The fact that Paris’ had allowed Okina on the divan was an affront to the feline as well, and a scowl laced her pretty face as she glared at a random spot on the wall – because clearly, it too, was at fault. 

“Guri not come?” Helaine questions a moment later, her nickname for the little Naiad packed full of affection and something deeper as a leg drapes lazily off the side of the divan, her attention finally, once more turning to Paris.

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“No,” Paris answered the she-cat. Though she too was another of nature’s beautiful creations, the crown prince was particularly protective of his little Naiad. Where Helaine and Okina would hone their skills and become warrior treasures, the nymph was a trophy he could not bring himself to risk. “I’ll make sure you two have some time together when we return.”

It was endearing how fond Helaine had become of the nymph. They’d come a long way from that night he’d found her wandering the wilds, shield and sword clumsily in hand.

Paris returned his attention to the she-wolf still in his grasp, both hands kneading and squeezing her hips with the possessiveness both women knew him for. Though she’d relaxed, it hadn’t been enough, and he dipped his chin to press a kiss to her full, pouty lips. Paris pulled her into the embrace, opening her mouth and tasting her for a long, quiet moment before he pulled away. Could she taste the fresh-water nymph’s taste on his tongue, feel her wetness still rolling down his skin? These creatures with their heightened senses, it was enough to make even the most spoiled of royalty envious.

He made his way across the room, stopping at the divan. Helaine’s displeasure was almost palpable, and her crown prince could hardly justify himself for his transgression. “I’m sorry, pussycat,” he whispered to her. Soft fingertips danced over her leg, up the across the swell of her pert backside. “I got carried away. You know how I can sometimes be.” Paris smiled sheepishly. “It won’t happen again. The divan is yours.” Not daring to push his luck with the apology and perhaps scratch behind her ear, Paris lifted himself and continued to his closet.

“We’ll be going to the outskirts of the kingdom,” he explained from inside his closet. “Surveying some of the smaller villages that were most heavily affected by the Whispernight. We are still sending resources and supplies to the people, but we know that certain leaders can, mm, exaggerate the plight of their people. So, we need eyes on them, to see the true extent of the damage.” There was a pause as Paris busied himself with tugging up his pants. “We’ve received reports of some marauder activity in the region, as well. It will be a good opportunity for you both to get some exercise.”

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Turning her head towards Helaine who seemed to be very upset about the fact her scent was all over the divan, she even stared at the wall as if it too would apologize for crossing her. Okina only did what she was asked to do, and even now she did what she thought was wanted of her.

Feeling her attention brought back to Paris as he squeezed her hips possessively, her eyes met his in time to take the full pressure of his lips against her own through his kiss. Pulling her into the full embrace her hands moved around him resting on his lower back just above his buttocks. The tips of her fingernails pressed into his flesh shortly before he broke the kiss between them.

Dropping her hands to rest at her sides, she watched as he crossed the room to his closet to dress himself. The taste of the water nymph rolled around on her tongue from the kiss she shared with Paris, her thoughts diverted to the strangeness of it all.

“Has it been said how many marauders have been reported?” Okina became easily interested in the journey they were to take outside of the castle to the outlying towns affected by the Whispernight. Okina’s hands moved to the blades she carried so easily on her back from her belt, the hilts welcomed her sweet caress.

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A pout wormed its way across Helaines’ features, though a purr followed at the gentle affections of Paris. His touch was welcomed, despite her irritation and fluctuating moods. Her clawed foot stretched out, splaying the talon’d toes before her golden gaze settled back on Okina as their master gave her attention. Chuffing quietly, Helaine flicks her tail as Paris explains his plans to them. Her ears swivel atop of her head as she contemplates what this means. Villages, horses, people…Helaine may have come to trust those she knew in the palace, but like any feral she was wary and untrusting of anyone beyond that. She had no true desire to see these people and she certainly got enough exercise in her training with Solomon, thank you very much.

A clicking of her tongue filled her maw before she spoke. “Don’t wanna.” She huffs, crossing her arms like a petulant child. “Get plenty of cercise here. With Guri, and Sssolomon.” She hisses the guards’ name.

 

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“I wasn’t asking,” Paris replied sharply. He emerged from the closest only half-dressed, his expression an exact mirror of his tone. Those eyes, so quick to smolder and seduce, were hard with a severity not often glimpsed in the crown prince. In all the weeks and months Helaine had been in his company, it was time spent in his good graces, and only once before had he been forced to use such sternness with the she-cat. “You’re coming, Helaine, even if I have to drag you the entire way.”

He snapped his fingers, drawing a quick lash of electricity between his fingertips to underscore his point. Though she’d been fortunate enough to never once experience her master’s wrath, Paris had made it a point to show the she-cat what became of those who dared believe themselves beyond reproach.

Returning to the deep closest to continue dressing, Paris’ voice took on its familiar rich, airy tone as he addressed Okina. “Reports vary. Some say fifteen, while others double that. I imagine between the being killed and recruiting, their numbers are far from static. I’ll say there are no less than fifteen, but should be no more than forty.”

Stepping back into view once again, Paris looked Okina over, confident in his presumption of her skill. While Helaine was something of a “work in progress,” the mercenary that stood across from them had years of experience. She was a seasoned killer, one that should—should—be able to handle a rag-tag group of marauders terrorizing unprotected farmers. And then, there was the beast inside her that he’d not yet had the pleasure of meeting. I wonder if she knows the cycles of the moon, he pondered, eying her thoughtfully. It will be interesting, either way.

Paris wore a simple outfit of charcoal breeches, a tanned long-sleeved tunic, and well-traveled riding boots, gravely scuffed and caked with days old mud. He made his way across the room to the wall directly opposite his grand bed, to a single rack where his sword, Medivh, sat quietly. He plucked the lion-pelted sheath from its place and started for the door. “I took the liberty of having your equipment sent to the stables, she-wolf,” he said from over his shoulder, not looking back at them. “Yours, as well, Helaine. Come along.”

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Okina stood still in place with such a military stance, her eyes never once moving away from the master as he came out to scold the cat woman who seemed too spoiled in Okina’s own opinion. Shifting her eyes to follow Paris as he moved through the room, his expression matching the look he held for Helaine.

A moment later she watched him disappear back into the closet to finish dressing, his voice changed to a lighter tone with Okina as he answered her questions. Fifteen to forty marauders to get entangled with in battle, a slow trickle of excitement rose in her veins.  Paris retrieved his blade making his way to the door, Okina didn’t hesitate to take up his rear leaving the room. Not worth the glance behind her, Okina cared less how long it would take the cat to leave her pedestal.

“Thank you, Master.” Okina greatly showed her gratitude of having her equipment sent to the stables in wait for them to take their leave. Passing through the door without waiting for Helaine, Okina took up her place slightly behind her new master unless otherwise directed.

The night before she didn’t have time to wander the castle halls, the activities had worn her out with just enough energy to settle in for a bath and sleep. Her mind combed over the events of the night before, of how her inner wolf wanted to be released to play with the interesting man. The excitement of a possible battle brought her beast a little to the surface, the rest would be up to those who wished to cause harm to the outer villages.

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Paris glanced back over his shoulder at Okina, apparently settling into her new role – and lifestyle – rather quickly. “You’re quite welcome,” he replied, flashing a warm, inviting smile her way. It would be interesting to see how much longer her presence in the capital city remained on a purely contractual note. There was no questioning whether she’d enjoyed herself the previous night, and pleasure, if nothing else, was a powerful motivator in these dark times.

Perhaps I’ll give her a reminder when we make camp tonight, Paris mused as he led the beautiful pair through the halls. Helaine, as well. I’ve not had any time with her in the last few days.

Every so often, they chanced upon a lion prowling through the halls. Black as night, with eyes redder than rubies, they lounged about the corridors and watched as the crown prince moved by them. Toward Helaine, they exhibited familiarity, purring, and even licking the she-cat’s leg when she happened to stray too close. Toward Okina, they offered only fixed gazes – not threatening or worried, but curious, as any pride might be to a wolf in their midst.

“The Lorean lions,” Paris explained, gesturing to the beasts. “They’ve had a close relationship with the royal bloodline since the beginning. Legend has it that their bite can kill a dragon, and they were instrumental in the rebellion against the archdragons that once ruled these lands.” A fond smile curved his lips. “They used to be bigger, of course. It is said that when their patriarch roared, the earth itself would tremble.”

Emerging in the courtyard, Paris guided his two beauties to the stables. Their horses waited, fully provisioned with their weapons fastened and secured. He slid into his saddle with a practiced finesse, letting Medivh hang proudly from his waist. Ser Solomon was there as well, clad in black armor, his Lochaber axe in his right hand.

“Shall we?” Paris asked his delightful entourage.

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The warm smile that Paris gave her over his shoulder was surprising to her, which in a way perplexed her to have such a thought. The man was definitely able to be warm and kind when he so felt that way, so why did she think that he really was incapable of those emotions? Returning the smile he gave her, she continued forward like the good little soldier she believed herself to be.

The scent of the lions were not foreign to her in the halls, but to actually get a glimpse of them was spectacular. Her amber hues met with the red rubies of their eyes as they passed by, the animal instincts in her wanted to come out. Although she felt they weren’t a threat, her primal side begged to be release just to sniff them.

Turning her eyes forward to the sound of Paris’s voice telling of the tale of the Lorean Lions and the strength they provided to his family through life times, a mental note was made to learn more about these lions and the significance they held for the family. Okina liked to learn much about where she was staying, about who she worked for and what was most important to them. It paid for her to be well informed, knowledge was everything to her.

Emerging into the courtyard, the sun warmed the pale skin of her face. Closing her eyes as she continued to follow her proprietor, she invited the warmth of the sun rays to continue to dance over her flesh. Opening her eyes as they made it to the stables, she would notice which was her horse as it held her blades. Indeed the horses were well provisioned for the journey, leaving less for her to do besides mount the beast that would carry her long distances.

Stepping up to the horse that would be hers for the journey, her fingers found their way into the soft velvet black brown fur. Sliding her hand up the neck of the horse, she would gently press her forehead to its own. It knew very well what she was, yet it held a calm demeanor to the touch of her head to its own. Moving to the left of the horse, taking her swords and placing them on her lower back with an obvious routine movement, Okina then pulled herself up onto the saddle. Reaching forward to give the horse a gentle pat, she would feel a smile form over her lips. “I am certainly ready!” There was some excitement hidden in her tone as she spoke.

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The crown prince and his entourage rode at a steady pace, keeping the urgency of their mission well in mind but doing well to avoid overworking their mounts. They were several hours from the outskirts of their destination, and like always, Paris saw no reason to overexert themselves. Reports suggested the marauders had taken a liking to this undefended area of Lorean’s borders—the subjects had become docile in a matter of two raids, slaves almost. They’d not be uprooting any time soon.

The thought of a battle stirred his blood. How long had it been since he’d unsheathed Medivh in combat? Not a spar, not an elaborate showing for his father or siblings, but a genuine battle? It would be good exercise if nothing else. Okina’s presence in the troupe brought with it an educational element, as well.

Pale jade eyes looked over the she-wolf’s ensemble, her three odd, foreign swords swaying in the day’s gentle breeze. He’d never seen such weapons before, and immediately his mind was taken with fantastical images of how they were used. They were not like Medivh at all—straight, double-edged and thick, but curved, with only a single edge, and looked as though they were meant to be drawn with an arch to the motion.

What manner of swordplay does she employ, the crown prince thought, not bothering to voice his inquiry. I’ll see soon enough. Maybe, in the pursuit of understanding all that there was to know about his growing menagerie, he would forego participating in the battle himself. It would be a fine test for the wandering mercenary, letting her handle the caravan of twenty-plus murderers and cutthroats (if the report’s numbers were to be trusted). His own eagerness saw him quickly push the notion aside.

Instead, he would supplement his curiosities with more academic unveilings.

“You have lupus in your blood.” Paris’ tone was matter of fact, yet rolled with the softness of a purr, for such was his way. “I find that rather curious. How did it come to be? Are you a werewolf, or something else entirely? If so, how did you come by it? Curse or inheritance? Can you control which pieces of your body exhibit your more canine attributes at will?”

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As their party traveled with ease down the path towards the outskirts of the main city, Okina rode behind Paris and Solomon naturally. Her eyes never once glanced back at their other companion, as she didn’t hold any importance to her. She remained active in her mind, as she scanned the area they rode through as if waiting for an ambush to happen. Occasionally her eyes would stop on Paris, dancing over his form while memories of the night before came back. It was an odd thing for her to hover over past events, but something primal inside her really liked the man.

Snapping out of her head to the sound of the man’s voice she was admiring, secretly. Tilting her head for a moment thinking over his question, which there wasn’t much effort put into an answer she has given others who knew of what she was. “Inherited, I was born in a werewolf clan.” A clan that have completely been wiped out, so she has come to believe. It had been years since the last time she came to find another of them, but then again, she didn’t much care about what happened to the people who threw her out.

Shifting her weight in the saddle as they continued to ride down the road, reaching back to adjust the way her swords were resting against her backside. The hilt of her katana was rubbing a little on her back, an agitating feeling for someone who didn’t travel often on horseback. “I can control some of the features my wolf form shows, the more control a lycanthrope has over form is a show of power a werewolf has. “The more control her kind over their beast side was a show of the extraordinary amounts of power as an individual they had within the clan, which often moved them up in the hierarchy.

 

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“Fascinating.”

Paris earnestly listened to the woman as she told her story, eyes not daring to move away, lest he distracted by the beauty of their surroundings. As a great admirer of all things strange and exotic, the crown prince did what he could to educate himself on matters concerning their origins, habits, and abilities. Unfortunately, there were few werewolves—lycanthropes, as she’d called them—this far north, and those south of the Great Barrier were stingy when it came to their heritage.

“The books I have, they all seem to revolve around a curse of some sorts.” Paris frowned at the thought, realizing how one-sided his library was in this regard. “There are maybe a pair that reference lycanthropy as something one can inherit, and when they do, it’s done so in the same fashion one might a disease or other genetic anomaly. That’s probably because they’re written by humans,” he added after, to dissipate any insult she may have taken at the comment.

Born a werewolf, the crown prince thought to himself. So, she wasn’t human—not entirely, at least. The wolf was as much part of her as the human flesh he saw, making her a cousin, at best, to his species. I’ll need to need to speak with the conscripts when I return, he decided. I’m sure they’ll be able to find something more satisfying in the Red City’s library. If not, perhaps the Midlands might have more books on this subject.

“So, your clan,” he continued at a moment, eyes still trained on her. “Do they operate similarly to that of a typical wolf pack? Alpha male paired with an alpha female? If so, how is this determined? Brute strength, or are they elected by the others of the pack?” Perversion aside, Paris found himself intrigued by the balance of the wolf and human halves. Which proved triumphant in terms of government and social hierarchy?

Okina was clearly sharp of mind, determined, but she’d been detached from her clan, it seemed, for quite some time. The others—were they more beast, or more man?

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