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A Change of Heart (Hyde)

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It was no longer than a week ago that the Viceroy's emissary returned home without collecting Arashi as inteded, in which the emissary did indeed deliver her whereabouts to his Lord. Upon learning that Arashi had lied to him about not having a home or family, Xartia was at first a bit aggrivated. Though it was easy enough to get over the small lie when he considered that the girl likely didn't wish to get in trouble with the woman that has now been identified as Arashi's Mother. Considering the fact that she was practically homeless in his mind was the only reason why he might have considered enforcing the contract upon her that should have never been made. However, her absence found itself justified by being found in the comfort of her own home. This inspired Xartia not only free her of her contract of servitude, but also to free her from the pact formed against her with his son. He was once reluctant to waste this valuable gift he hoarded on another, though he never met someone so deserving of such a precious, yet dangerous gift. And having dipped his toes into Godhood, he'd be honestly lying if he said he hadn't all but completely forgot about it.

So here he was after what was roughly five days travel, traversing the cobblestone roads of a humble city detached from the terrors of the more modern tech found in high variety around the world. This place was quaint and homey feeling, much like the diamond in the ruff he discovered known as the nation of Nvengaria. Why Arashi would have traveled so far from here in the first place is beyond him, even if she said she ran away he wouldn't understand. Though he whole heartedly understood why she would lie about her origin and refrain from sharing such knowledge with anyone outside of her immediate trust. Perhaps the girl wasn't as foolish as he had originally assumed of her. As the well dressed man entered the town proper, it patrons spoke of his presence with the same fierce spreading of a wildfire. He was an obvious outsider, though the way he carried himself and with such feminine beauty, surely he was someone of at least mild importance. Arashi might have had a harder time recognizing him with his now copper tone complexion and his shorter, wavy black hair that didn't dare surpass his cheekbones. Admittedly, this was the shortest he had ever dared to cut his hair, though he decided shorter was better after all. 'Oh how right you were my dear Gustave.'

He wasn't sure of where exactly to find Arashi, though he was certain it wouldn't take him long to find her searching through the Great Aether. With his WIZARD EYES he looked threw everything, yes threw, in search for the specific hue in the either that was specific to the hybrid girl. When he doubted his ability to be certain, it wasn't heard to pin point a body, viewing through a different frequency, that was missing a heart.

@Metty @FirePenguinDiscoPanda

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Draco South was a region of steam and copper, and possessed an unfortunate level of crime within it's borders, but Hyde managed to survive such geographical tribulations as Xartia made his way from his homeland It was only a couple hours travel time through Elendaron before he saw the lights and smokestacks of what had to be the village he was searching for. A creek visible flowing freely alongside the path with a bridge crossing it's shallow waters to the town of Hyde. It was quaint to say the least; there was no indication that it was a renowned city revered for anything more than crops. A cobblestone path breaking away from the main path and leading him to the village, despite it's looks...the town seemed to bustle with activity and excitement. He immediately feeling eyes on him, and they weren't wary or unnerved by a new presence no, they seemed...ecstatic to see him.

A feline couple greeting them as they crossed his path "Looks like we have a traveler in our midst! Hail and well met" The husband said. He was a thin, and possessed pale orange fur that covered most of his body, standing slightly shorter than Xartia himself as he outstretched his hand to shake the newcomer'. The wife under his arm beaming at him curiously "He has such a cute face doesn't he?" She asked, a tail matching her black and white spotted fur seen flicking lazily behind her. The couple waving him a farewell as they soon departed through town. 


He made it a few more steps before there came a sudden rumble of laughter from behind him "AHA! Worries too much that mayor does! Told him you'd arrive soon, man of many talents you are" Moshra's voice boomed heartily. The visitor turning around and seeing a wolven woman nearly seven feet tall, white and grey peppered fur marking her as another furred creature like the couple he had come across earlier, only this one had all the features of a wolf. Her eyes bright blue as they practically glowed in mirth; her breast plate leaving her arms bare showing off her rippling muscles that were as wide as his head. She came off strong, and spoke even stronger "Lookin for The Mayor are ya? Good at guessing these things I am! Must have been traveling quite awhile you have! Come, drink! Newcomers have to drink with me they do! It's tradition it is!" She said with a might grin before giving him a not so light pat on the shoulder before waving him to follow. her information blatantly wrong, and yet how could he say no?

This was certainly an interesting introduction to the town.

It was a surreal experience to have such a simple village harbor a cast of welcoming and forthcoming individuals. Xartia finding that more towns folk waved at him as they passed. The large wolven leading him, stopping every so often and chatting with some of these folk as they asked excitedly about this newcomer. It seemed he was the talk of the town as it were. The populace much more diverse than he originally thought as Moshra gave a particularly flustered tiefling girl a noogie before a resounding laugh from Moshra quaked the air. "Ow Ow Owwie, Moshra Stop!" The tiefling girl squeaked helplessly against the goliath blending her head into a smoothie. Other races seeming to be just as prominent as they watched on curiously and excitedly.

Moshra releasing her and beaming at the lithe creature "Your studies are coming along way they are! Keep at it and you'll be a scholar for sure you will!" Her voice boomed with that rhythmic charm. The Tiefling looking at Xartis with a sheepish smile, pushing up her glasses and immediately fleeing the scene with as much composure as she could muster up. A small thank you tricking out of her as she vanished around a corner "A bit shy she is" Moshra said with crossed arms "The town is full of different views it is. Quite a thing ain't it? Come lad! Times a wastin!" She said as they continued a block farther to what appeared to be a cornerstore. It was an Inn. A simple wooden sign hanging at an angle so both intersections of the street could see what it said;
Strange Bedfellows Inn
 ----

Arashi had been a sleep for nearly a week since she had been strung up. The girl sprawling from her verdant dreams to the room she had grown in, despite her constant running. It was always strange how accepting Moshra had been, the alpha wolf always keeping her children in her heart. Arashi hadn't ever seen Moshra do such feats of power until that day. It was hard to not imagine it delirium from her wounds. 

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She could hear a sudden knock on her door as her older sister; rivana called through the door "Hey! I can hear ya moving around in there dweeb! Hurry up and come eat! Mom's out patrolin" Rivana said before slipping her headphones back on and heading back into the kitchen where Fyedahlia was drowning herself in whip cream.

She was back home. 

 

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The draconian had been having nightmares and some weird dreams after she returned back home. It was a weird thing, she felt scared to go out and fight the man that did this to her. There was many questions going through her mind at the time of when she was getting tortured. She still didn't who that blonde haired man was. Maybe she would find answers one day, but for now she would have to settle on trying to get back to normal. 

When she woke up, she felt like crap. Her body was still recovering from her wounds after all, she had dismembered limbs and all that. When she woke up, she found that her wounds were fully healed, including the one she had over her eye. Where she got her wound from her eye, there was a huge scar over it, as well as multiple scars on her arms and legs from the injuries she took. Getting up out of the bed from the knock at the door, she growled at Rivana calling her a "dweeb". Just as always. Arashi was always the weaker one anyways, due to her not wanting to learn how to use her powers.

She went to put her clothes on, as she was completely naked from what Dredge did to her. She would have to take a shower or bath later, but this would do for now. She went to put on her scarf, looking over to the bed she had nearby for her two pet Beeflies. Which where pink and blue colored. They were about the size of her hand, curled up sleeping in a bed next to each other.

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These creatures actually were pretty intelligent and were able to talk via some form of telepathy. They were sentient creatures. Arashi loved them and took care of them, even if they weren't meant to be used as companions in combat. After all, they seemed to run away if there was a fight or two, as they seemed to be scared of it, rather than trying to help out. They were snoozing quietly in the bed, cuddled up together. After she made sure they were okay, Arashi opened the door and walked out to where Fye was, struggling a bit to walk as she hadn't done so in a while.

"It's nice to see you too. Do you always like eating that?" Arashi then glanced over to Rivana. "I don't like being called names, watch your tone!"

 

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The region was beautiful, certainly admirable in its own right. Had he not already been investing in territory in Nvengaria, perhaps he would have considered this region instead. Not that it wasn't possible in the future, but before he could continue this place he even had to hopefully establish his claim of at least an acre in Orisia. Oh how he longed to get to know La'Ruta at least a little better. Though such were thoughts for another time, for now, he needed to remain weary in this new territory. Suddenly, a laugh sounded from behind him, in which he suddenly stopped moving and swiftly turned sharp on his heels as he craned his neck and turned his head, glancing at the wolf from over his should until he completely faced the  stranger. She seemed nice enough, however he was genuinely taken aback by the fact that this person referred to him as an expected visitor. His agent certainly didn't mention anything about direct contact, and if such detail were true and the man simply failed to inform him, he would most certainly be fired. 

"I beg your pardon?"

He questioned with a puzzled expression on his angular face. The Arch-Daeva produced a fake, albeit, completely convincing smile devoid of his inner sadist intent as a product of his own paranoia. The wolf woman continued to speak, and the more she did, the more Xartia began to think something wasn't quite right with her. The talk transitioned from mayor, whom he was not here to see as far as he was aware, to getting a drink. Something told him he shouldn't, though after his long travel here, he did admittedly wish for such a thing. By the time he was wondering just whom this wolf woman was, she elected a tiefling to mildly bully on whom was smaller than her and had some obvious familiarity with the wolf. Moshra. She called her Moshra. The tiefling thanked him silently as she fled the scene in relief. He simply smiled and nodded his head to her once as he ultimately continued following Moshra. As they arrived at an inn, he took a look at the sign in passing. Like the gentleman he was he stepped ahead of the wolf woman out of habit and held the door open for her. As he followed her inside, he finally found a gap in his speech to ask her;

"Moshra, was it? Do you know who I am?"

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"A hard days work needs a worthy inn to relax the bones and spirit it does!" She said, Xartia hearing the sound of voices and conversations being had as she opened the door for him to enter. Moshra having to duck under the doorframe to fit, but she had grown used to it after doing it for so many years. Several cheers and drunken shouts heard when Moshra was seen entering with the newcomer 

"Aye there he is!"

The bartender said. A human with light brown skin and ratty brown hair, a gap toothed grin on his face. Moshra wading through the small crowd that had suddenly gathered around them, her voice continually vibrating the air as she greeted everyone she passed and seemed genuinely happy by the constant attention. It was hard not to feel the adoration everyone had in the air. The pair finally finding their seats at the bar

"Sorry 'bout the excitement 'N all. We don't get many visitors and the mayor told us you'd be comin! Names Harken! Nice ta meetchya" He said outstretching his hand.

"Buying him a drink I am!" 

Moshra bellowed with a matching laugh as she put a few gold on the bar. Harken nodding and beginning to pour two pints, sliding them in front of the pair; the glasses sparkling with bits of crushed crystal and possessing a  brown ale with foam spilling out the mouth. Bubbles swirling around within and making it quite desirable. A hyde brewed speciality. 

Moshra responding to his question now that they were comfortably seated "Aye! That I do! We are a curious bunch! Outcasts and wanderers found promise! I'm aware that my dearest daughter of mine got herself in a heap of trouble. I'm hoping with this you'll understand my love for this child. A blessing ta this town ya see."

Moshra lowering the glass from her lips as she looked dowm into her mug. Her aura seeming to shift as she seemed more calm, thoughtful.

"She only ever had that scientist before she came to me. His heart was true, but she needed a family. A home...I knew that I would protect her witb my very soul. The people of Hyde finding her a light in the inconceivable dark surrounding us. This is no trick or kindly veiled threat. A proud mother i stand before your objective and ask you what her bounty or capture is worth. I will pay you more" She said, laying down a heavy sack upon the table.

Harken ducking under the table and taking a small chest, putting it with the bag of gold "as do I"

Xartia seeing patrons stand up now and provide handfuls of hold, or only a few gold pieces from others. A sizable pile soon stacking next to the chest. A sizable teeasure hoard now before Xartia.

"Please feel it in your heart of hearts how much she means to us

----

Fye immediately springing up to her feet with a healthy whipcream mustache upon her lips, licking it off in one easy motion before leaping at Arashi and hugging her tightly "Oh im so glad your okay!! I was so worried! That guy was a big jerk!"

Rivana waved a hand with a laugh "Calm down Arashi; your always so defensive! Good to see you girl" She said hugging in this group of sisters before pushing off and yawning "Mom's on her patrols so she should be back soon..ish? She made us dinner though. In the kitchen" she said pointin to the archway next to Arashi' room where a rather humble kitchen stood.

Arashi remembering so many memories of Moshra' excellent cooking.

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Arashi nearly fell over on her back from Fye's sudden hug that she was given. She almost lost her balance after all, as her muscles were weakened from being in bed all long. She hugged Fye back, her body not as strong as it was before. Arashi clearly needed to get used to her body again before she would be able to even try and fight again. Her weakened state wouldn't let her probably use her fists to the minium potential she could use them at. 

"I am alright...I just feel even weaker than usual. Perhaps it's the fact I haven't been up for days." Arashi grinned as she replied to Fye and then Rivana talked to her back with her whole "you're so defensive" comment. After she was hugged, Arashi made a smirk to the Wolf girl.

"Last I checked, you couldn't even hurt a moth Rivana. Don't give me that crap about being defensive. You can't fight. None of us can except from Mum. Let's keep it that way." The hybrid said in a saddened tone, before walking off to the kitchen to get some food and drink for herself. She was quite jealous of her mum's cooking and was always interested in how she was so good at it. She certainly wanted to take it up as a hobby...but her powers and abilities did not want her to. The amount of times she's burnt things just by holding it and her electric-flames suddenly activate is way too common or that time she literally broke a glass bottle while trying to open it...she clearly had no control over these things no matter how much she wanted to try. All she knew is that she can control them better when she was mad but other than the times she was mad? Zero control whatsoever. She annoyed people with how unpredicatable they were after all.

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So they were well aware of him leagues before he arrived. This was the first comment singled out before his attention became much more focused. He allowed her bubbly personality to draw him in, and now he was alone in the midst of strangers. While an ambush was a minor threat to the likes of a great Magician such as himself, it was a threat none the less. Now that he was truly present in this realm and once again mortal, he had to be ever so careful in watching his back. Lots of enemies chased him from his bloody past, and surely new once would inevitably come to join them. In the couple of years he had been present on Valucre, Xartia has been fortunate thus far not to gain such types of enemies, save for the ire the Ruined Kitsune harbored against him. He disregarded such as a tarnished record, considering their meeting and collaboration up to it's bitter end predated their existence on this world.

"You seem to severely misunderstand, Lady Moshra. While I am now a humble Regent, I once sat upon a throne as King. I am also one of the greatest Magicians that have ever lived, and I am so much more. Money was the farthest thought on my agenda, otherwise I would have shipped her back to Terrenus once she was detained in my Port City in Genesaris. As you said, Arashi lacked family. My objective was to indirectly take her in and teach her responsibility. Likewise to keep her out of trouble until she figured out how to do that for herself."

He paused a brief moment to organize his words in his mind before continue into nonchalant ramble that he could often be known to do.

"If I were simply going to collect her, I would have never traveled so far from home to personally visit. My emissary would have simply brought her back himself. Fortunately, he reported to me that she has found you as a result of a few days surveillance. I am truly relieved that she has you, all of you fine people in this town. My responsibilities are great enough as is."

In another life, Xartia was certain this was a place where one like himself would wind up. He spent the better portions of his life alone, save for the company of his twin brother. Though successful now, deep down inside he was something like of them here, though he was also something completely different. Had he have been here, there's no telling how much of his past would have been the same in this town, or what portion of it. 

"I am here to give my goodbyes and good lucks to our precious Arashi. I'm sure I might see here again one day, though before she is away for anymore time than she has been, there is something I must do for her. My son isn't a very good person, he did something to her that is nigh impossible to undue without her being able to kill him herself. Because of how daunting of a task that may prove to be considering the extensive circumstances, I was also trying figure out how to help her while she worked to replace the property in which she had damaged. Her reward along with her freedom, was going to be her full freedom once more. Though I had a difficult time trying to find the correct answer, the safest answer without harming, changing, or killing her in someway...I finally found it. You see, I've got a jar of dirt, and I know what's inside. Well, more accurately it's sand. There is also a very powerful Djinn trapped within it though. Customary to this one, three wishes are allotted to the one that find the jar."

He wouldn't mention how it had technically been centuries since he was supposed to use his final wish to free the poor trapped creature, nor the hazards of dealing with Djinn in general. He simply continued to speak normal and direct, certain that wish magic was the best viable route to success, no matter the cost to him. After all, he was responsible for his own child, even if it wasn't his direct fault that he had become the way he was.

"I would like to use my final wish to restore your daughter to her whole self, before her current state leads her down a much darker road, potentially shattering her very soul by it's end. In the least her sanity."

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The tavern was silent, every patron in it looking upon their newfound guest with only anxious worry. Whether Arashi knew it or not. They cared for her. This girl being brought in and enveloped almost immediately. Zobuuris finding his other half in her who sought purpose; as they all did. Day by day enjoying the life they had and providing for each other.

Moshra acting as the very shoulders of Hyde. She kept them straight as the guard captain, but kept them hopeless as a mother. The mayor cultivating all of this in what appeared to be one night. This entire town attracting the disenfranchised of Elendaron, and providing a haven for those escaping Vechynacht. 

Thraice understanding what made his people and provided to the best of his ability, and it showed; in every cobblestone, in the very stream that passed through their town, in their bountiful crops, and in every proud villager. 

Moshra silent through his explanation and seeming to contemplate everything he absorbed. She wasn't a liar; she didn't put on a face for others. The jovial attitude she showed guests and to the villagers her true self, but it wasn't always what was necessary. 

Harken and the other patrons held in a nervous stillness as Moshra listened to his every word. This was important...this was the fate of her daughter. 

"What illness do you plan on curing Arashi with such dangerous means? She is not all she seems and possesses more than I understand. Would this harm her? Put her in danger? Understand my concern, she is my child and means to me as though she were flesh and blood. I have pulled her from the jaws of one monster, and despite your lordship, and confident words, I don't intend to throw her into the jaws of another. She is in a dark place because she hasn't found purpose. She will in age and time; that darkness of hers stemming from a past i swore would be left in the past. The mayor did want to speak with you yes; he too believed you came for her head, but as her mother i sought to handle this matter personally"

Moshra taking stock of the dozens of eyes surrounding them with a smirk "But as a town, we never handle anything on our own. We take care of each other. We don't need Thraice to take care of our problems. He does enough as is. Arashi is our own, greatest wizard known, please understand and feel what that means. Too much has been taken from that girl as is. She can't lose us fighting off some king" She said before boasting a hearty laugh and slamming a hand upon his shoulder

"Alright everyone! Take your money back and get to drinking! You did your part and i won't forget that! Drinks on me!"

She cheered with a raised mug before knocking it back in unison with the whole bar, even the bartender himself. Moshra slamming the mug down and leaving her sack of gold for them to enjoy as they pleased, ushering Xarria back out into the relatively empty town. It's inhabitants acting like fools in the tavern after the sun had fallen. 

"If this Djinn solutions of yours backfires. I want you to feel how serious my wrath will be. You do not scare me, but a creature like that does. If it loses control than you will be hard pressed to escape me" She said seriously. She wasn't one for ego or even threats. Her code seeking betterment through self, not through power, but her kids were everything to her. 

Moshra moving through the town, passed a decedent mansion that seemed almost out of place with its white gold construction. Moshra nodding forward to a two story home where the lights flockered inside. Her patch of heaven.

-------

"Yea you took such a long nap I thought you died!" Fye said, giggling more as Arashi hugged her back, pulling away from her sister and frothing more whip cream in her mouth, puffing her cheeks out before squishing them together and blasting the whipped topping over herself and chocking on a laugh as she rolled back onto the couch. 

"Fye you...friggin dork!" Rivana barked at the pile of fur and laughter before looking back at Arashi with that glint in her eye; a competitive air always about her around Arashi. "Well mom has been training me! Im gonna beat her some day. Gonna prove Im the next Alpha around here" she said, unaware that Fye was mimicking her words due to this always being her first and last argument piece. 

Rivana distracted for a moment as she heard voices, Fye scrambling to the window and seeing Moshra "Mom's home! Who's that with her?" She asked

Rivana taking a bead on this new guy and squinting her eyes "Maybe it's some one who'll like you for once!" She said, flicking Fye' ear

"Owww! Hey! People like me! Least im not a grumpy pants all the time!"

Moshra opening the door with a wide birth and taking a scan at her children as they scrambled away from the window, keeping their distance as they saw this new visitor 

"Oh wow! Hey mister! Are you my mom's boyfriend?!" 

 

 

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Arashi seems to be completely lost in thought after Rivana had said she was going to be the best one around here. Arashi knew that was a lie to begin with, after all she knew damn well she'd be stronger than her sister. After all Arashi was part dragon and dragons were naturally extremely powerful. Her strength was limited right now, but she knew at least she would be strong enough eventually to be able to deal with everything thrown at her if she did do combat training. Arashi wasn't the type to want to learn combat however, she had no interest. No interest in fighting in a world where she would most certainly get killed. 

It was a waste of time even gaining strength to begin with. She knew that. What's the point in training for something to fight for, when you were going to die in combat anyways? Arashi with quite annoyed tone, replied back to Rivana. "Your funeral then. I don't intend to learn to fight to be killed so easily like I'm a rat." It was better being a coward than fighting a battle you cannot win. Arashi knew that.  With that being said, Arashi walked into the kitchen to grab some food. She was hungry from being out so long anyways. 

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”Blah blah blah blah blah... blah... blah.” Arashi and only Arashi would hear a voice coming from within her own mind. 

 

”Listen to them prattle on like their lives actually matter, as if they know what’s best for you. They don’t respect you, Arashi. They see you as weak. As beneath them. Just the black sheep of the family to be cast out.” The voice said before a feeling of comforting elongated fingers could be felt on the girl’s shoulders. 

 

It wasn’t a hostile presence, nor one that would even have an ounce of danger to it. It was familiar and warm, something that could be counted on even in the worst of times. The phantom sensation of gentle and comforting hands would remain on the child’s shoulders. Then it would speak softer as it moved in closer to Arashi‘ ear. 

 

”Did they ever once ask you what you wanted?” And just like that, the presence and voice would vanish.

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"Your daughter is clearly not one of the Undead, and yet I'm sure that even yourself has possibly asked yourself how she is alive, yet she has no heart? This is her illness, in which I wish to undue, restoring to her what is her's. Her life."

He understood well their fears, shared said fears with them even. His mind continued to test probabilities in his mind as he surmised the best viable plan to dedicate to, was one that left all involved parties as potentially happy as possible. Including the Djinn herself. But how could she not be made at him for forgetting about her for two long miserable years in that jar?Especially with him plotting to use his final wish to help another, making him go back on his word to her from their first meeting. Surely he hadn't been the first to play her, but how many times would she be played before she retaliated? It wasn't so rare for a Djinn to gain sole consciousness and revolt against their Master, often only becoming sated once they have killed said Master. Still, Xartia was sure he'd know what to do when the time was right.

"Your threats are not necessary dear, I assure you that I have made enough mistakes in my life that I now know how to properly handle such delicate situations. If anything bad comes of my actions, your precious town and it's citizens will not be collateral damage. I promise."

Oh how many times had he made promises like that? How many times had he lied and then left those convinced at the mercy of their fears? How many times has he made such a promise and became the force to break said promise himself? This world, these people, they knew not of his history and it's graphic details. If they did they certainly wouldn't trust or trifle with him. Fortunately for both sides, he was trying his damnedest to remain a good person by the myriad of social climates available on Valucre. Not that he was ever necessarily evil, saved for his past experience with possession.

"If any harm comes to you and yours, I will surrender myself to your mercy, Lady Moshra."

He chased his words with a smirk, knowing that he was only telling a half truth. Nobody in their right mind would harm a man affiliated not only to the Scarlet Queen apiring to Empress, but also with the likes of the Emperor of the Arcane East. This small nation would fall to the simplest of each other larger nations respective military might. Of course if pressed, Xartia was still certain he was completely capable of surviving and escaping should the need arise. However, he sincerely hoped that the plan now forming in his mind would suffice, allowing him to keep his half empty word.

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