Castle Roland


by D'Artagnon


Chapter 18

Posted: 15 Jan 15

Pretzel Logic

The arrow zinged off my shoulder pad. I know that might seem like it shouldn't hurt me any, but, well, it was my hurt shoulder and modern people really have no idea how much force a bow can really zip into an arrow. Sure, the shaft bounced high off my armor and tumbled a few times before my startled eyes, but the impact was what stunned me.

No wonder Legolas from Lord of the Rings has such a following. A true bow master is accurate, powerful and lethal at almost any range. My arm throbbed almost at once.

Then the ground literally opened up like an entrance to hell. It heaved upwards like the surface of a pool that a diver's breaking up through, desperate for air. Then it just exploded outwards the last little bit to the surface and the thing stepped out.

Right, thing; because I don't really know what else to call it. Kinda man shaped, but like a really bad 5 year-old's clay statue, all lumpy, out of proportion and wicked thick. I guess the clay analogy is really accurate, because the thing was made of rocks, earth, tree vines and thick roots, clay and boulders. It stood about five meters tall and didn't have a problem with moving fast when it wanted to. Musta weighed a couple of tons, easy.

"An elemental!" Yoseph screamed, shifting all the way to werewolf form in the space of a few seconds. I was busy looking around for the archer when Kay suddenly slammed into me, tackling me to the ground. I saw why when we rolled apart. If you'd drawn a line from where that arrow suddenly appeared back along it's shaft as it stuck into the rock floor of the cavern, just seconds ago, my ears would have been right in that line. I'd have looked like Steve Martin, only dead.

We'd come up behind a low, wide boulder, barely big enough to use as cover while sprawled out behind it. I heard an arrow shatter against the rock above our position. Whomever had that caster in hand knew exactly where Kay and I had wound up.

"This isn't good," Kay whispered to me, pulling out his spear weapon and using a direct cantrip to summon his helmet. Fortunately, mine was in easy reach so I chanced sticking my hand out to retrieve it. Just as I was about to touch it, another arrow appeared, poking up through the face grill. Had my hand been just 5 cents more to the left, I'd be stuck to the cave floor too. And these weren't just normal arrows either. These things were about a meter long, thicker than my thumb. I snatched my hand back.

I chanced a glance over at Yoseph, Croaker and Caspian, who were taking on the rock monster. All of a sudden, it was like some part of my mind figured out what had just happened. Kay and I were cut off by the sniping archer or archers, allowing the elemental to have an easier go at our heavy punchers. I might be quick and agile, but there's no denying that Caspian and Yoseph were the strong guys of the team. Kay and I relied on speed and Croaker relied on toughness, but the adults were the raw muscle power. And fighting that rock creature would require serious physical pounding. Of course, Croaker could always take a bite out of it, I guess…

"Kay, we need to get over to our guys or else this sniper is gonna cut them down and let Rocky there finish the job. You got any suggestions?"

"Yeah, Sky Fire and a lot of luck."

I shot him a curious glance, slightly annoyed, verging on getting ticked off. See, adrenaline turns me into an asshole sometimes, like, oh say now. "That's not very helpful, Kay." And yeah, I said it with kind of a nasty tone.

"Sorry, my lord. It's the best I can come up with right now."

"Okay, here's what we'll do then," I said, and we stuck our heads closer together to set the plan. When we broke from our huddle, I turned ready to enact my part, when I saw things weren't going so well for us. Caspian grunted through his clenched teeth. Teeth that were clenched around the broken haft of an arrow sticking out of his hand. As I watched he pulled it out and spat the fletching to the floor, gingerly wrapping his hand back on the haft of his war hammer to rejoin the fray.

Yoseph was doing significant damage to the rock thing, but let's face it, he could only strike it with the double-blader and expect to do it harm. His teeth and claws, the weapons that nature had provided him with, were wholly ineffective, and while he was a skilled fighter in his own right, he wasn't trained in using sabers like the rest of us. He was going on instinct and the urge of the moment alone.

Yoseph went in low and tried to sweep the rock creature off its feet, but it was like trying to smack through a stone bridge support with a feather. The elemental tried to bury Yoseph with a descending fist to the head, but Croaker leapt and bit into the elemental's hand, sinking Magnum Denti into the thing's forearm for good measure as he jumped. I heard the sound of Croaker's flat, relentless teeth as he worked his over-sized jaw back and forth, squeezing for all he was worth. I've never personally been in a junk yard when they flatten out cars, but I imagine that's exactly what it sounded like when the car crusher turns a big truck into a one meter cube of steel and plastic.

I leapt out, Sky Fire in my hand, my new dueling saber in its sheath across my back. The blade lit off at my command and I stood there waiting. I didn't have to wait long. The first brace of arrows shot my way seemed to be like two fired from the same bow at the same time. Even I'm not stupid enough to think I can take them both at once. They travel just a few meters per second slower than bullets, after all, and with that kind of size to them, they probably hit harder. I leapt high and back flipped in the air, Sky Fire unconsciously drifting into parry nine (over the shoulder and across the back) to block the arrow destined for my spine. I landed and came set again. But the sniper didn't have to be told twice to try for me. Another shot flew, probably drawn just as the archer let the last two fly. I brought the blade around into a close two handed parry two held up close to my shoulder, incinerating the arrow as it hit. I took a fraction of a second to look around and see if there were other arrows coming at me, but they seemed to all be emanating from one ledge, a good 60 or 70 meters away. I leapt over the next shot and took a quick sidestep and a ducking step past the two that followed.

"Is that the best you can do?" I screamed, holding Sky Fire up. The blade surged with energy from my anger and seemed to almost double in length. Not really an effective sword for fighting or blocking incoming arrows (as if any sword was designed with parrying high velocity lawn spike javelins in the first place, right?), but in the wan light of the cave, fighting a rock beast by a pile of torches on the ground alone, it was probably more than a little intimidating.

I mean, that blade is composed of lighting and starlight. Don't ask me how they did it, that's a secret lost to time. But the fact is, it's pretty damn bright when I'm in a fighting mood. Almost as if it can use the Dragon's Ire all on it's own.

That's when the shadows and light playing around me from Sky Fire's glow touched upon a face up in that crevice. I couldn't make out any details at this range, but I recognized the universal human familiarity we are all hard wired to expect from birth. Then I saw a brief flash of movement near that face and suddenly another arrow was in the air.

That's when Kay struck. I know I've always called Kay's weapon a short spear with a really big spear point of crystal latticed with gold and lapis strands. But he's always used it in the past as just a sword like weapon with a really long hand grip. I never imagined him actually hurling it like a short javelin.

And flew it did! The thing sped from his arm like it was fired from a cannon. Two more arrows spiked my way and I barely deflected one a finger's width from Sky Fire's grip. The second passed wide of my foot by about a step. This archer, whoever it was, knew what to do. Now I was having to guess the main attack and whatever second intention might come as well. Just like a fencer would.

Kay's weapon apparently struck something, however, because the arrows stopped. With a snatching motion of his hand, the weapon hurled itself across the distance and fell back to his hand. The tip was reddened. But while it was on the return trip, I spun to deal with the elemental. But things there had gone from bad to worse. Caspian was physically grappling with the thing, hand to hand. Yoseph was on his back, holding his left arm which looked seriously out of shape. Croaker was pulling himself up off the floor, slowly, looking like he had a close encounter with a pile of cave rocks. We had to do something quick or that thing would main event all of us.

I consciously willed Sky Fire back to a more comfortable fighting length and ran in. But the elemental had other tricks up its sleeve aside from just being big, tough and mercilessly strong. The ground heaved in spikes of rock as I moved forwards, forcing me to hop over obstacles and pull near impossible acrobatic moves I didn't even realize I had in me. I guess Robyn and Robby were so submerged into one another at this point that all aspects of me, past, present and future, were all on the same page, firing on all cylinders, drawing the same breath.

So it took me the better part of two minutes, hopping around like an insane pin ball caught between spinners, before I got close enough to the elemental to lay a blade on him. During this time, Croaker had made another attempt to bite off more than he could chew and got backhanded to a wall. Gotta give credit where it's due, he was trying, just not thinking. He'd have lumps to show for it if we survived this. Yoseph was still healing, and as fast as werewolves apparently do that on their own, it was taking him some serious time. Caspian was losing up close. Seems the elemental had done a little time at Killer Kowalski's pro wrestling training gym in Boston, because he had Caspian spun around, grabbed both of his arms from behind and was planting his foot on Caspian's back, trying to stretch his arms out of socket, for good.

And I can't let my boyfriend's father just get maimed, now, can I.

I leapt up high from my last spike evading bounce and dropped in near enough that I managed a wicked backhand slash with Sky Fire. The blade was in my left hand, so it wasn't full power, but the strike was dead on target and the creature howled in pain. I gathered my feet, reversed directions and put both hands to the blade, ready to try an uncork a flagon of kick ass on this thing, when it grew a second pair of rocky arms and basically slugged me in the jaw with a fist full of brick.

For future reference, I don't recommend getting hit by a fist full of brick. That shit hurts! Friends don't let friends is all I'm saying, okay?

I drop to a knee, kinda wondering why the stars are out so early today. Then I hear a monumental war cry and look up in time to see Kay descend on the elemental like a kid possessed. Granted, had I just watched him take that kind of beating, with my father about to be put on like snow boots, I'd be royally pissed as well. It was inspirational watching him dive in like that, holding his spear overhead in both hands and coming down like he intended to plant that thing through the elemental and into the ground itself. I had high hopes, a smile coming to my face.

But one of the elemental's new arms back handed Kay against a stalactite and he crumpled to the ground, twitching. The echo of that stony fist contacting my Kay's sweet body resonated inside me, stoked the fires of my own rage and before I knew it, I was standing again, Sky Fire blazing in my hand like the core of some gigantic, powerful blue star, and my body surrounded by the fluttering phantom winds and rippling fire fountains of the Dragon's Ire. All my thoughts were focused on just doing severe damage now. The dragon wasn't even a factor. All I wanted to do was kill rocks.

I Hopscotched myself right at the thing, probably looking like a slimmer version of a DragonBall Z character, and engaged the creature directly, going after it's head. My stroke encountered some resistance as I hacked through one of the thing's new arms, and I landed on my hooves, already spinning to go for it's mid section. The rock monster let go of Caspian, suddenly realizing that I was the more dangerous foe right now. A pissed off Satyr is nothing to take lightly, especially when he's just watched his beloved get spewacked across the cave. I know I had tears of rage and sadness on my face, but there really wasn't a lot I could do other than go with the moment.

I turned and made the slash at it's gut, only to find another arm to block that shot. The floor was getting thick with the limbs I was hacking from this beast, even as it grew more. It was almost toying with me, but I was too far gone to the rage and anger to see it. I didn't care. Kay may be dead or maimed over there and I was in no condition to just let this thing anywhere near him again.

I must have fought with it for two minutes solid, dodging its attacks and hacking at anything that got remotely near me. I was so lost to the fight that I wasn't aware of the others around me getting back into the fray as well. Caspian was up first, plowing in with his war hammer. Yoseph next, his twin saber working at dismembering the creature same as I was, only his saber wasn't cutting as deep or fast as mine was (consequence of having two blades, you lose some strength to gain speed and defensive abilities). Croaker charged in low and bit into the thing's leg, trying to chew through. With the three of us busy hacking at it, Croaker stood more of a chance at disabling the thing that way.

The mind goes into a kind of odd state when you're fighting angry. Everything is immediate and desperate and full of emotion, but this one part of you sits in the back of your brain and gives you insights of such startling clarity that you wonder why it took being full on pissed off to figure it out. That part of my mind quickly came to the realization that we weren't really doing any damage to this thing, no matter how well we fought it, or how many times I could have sworn I'd pierced a major organ or the head with Sky Fire's bite.

We couldn't do it serious harm and it would eventually wear us all down, one by one. We were going to die. Just like Kay may already have died.

In that instant, I knew that my fate had changed, radically. Fear of death keeps us healthy and alert to danger. Embracing its inevitability makes us resigned to any courageous act required, no matter the cost. In the end, life isn't about planning for tomorrows as much as it is in living in the moment. And I guess in that way, just at that moment, I grew up a whole lot. I guess seeing your boyfriend get pasted and seeing the thing that did it about to do the same to you is incentive enough to transcend fear, even if it's done through cultivating anger, sadness and utter desolation.

"Milord! We must seek a separate tactic!" Caspian shouted.

"Its connection to the earth gives it strength! Heals it!" Yoseph barked. His blades whirled and two more limbs slipped earthwards, only to sink into the ground and ripple back to the elemental.

"Give me space!" I shouted and jumped backwards from the fight. The Dragon's Ire left me, my skin still tingling from its power. I reached into a pouch on my belt and withdrew the dross coin the Countess had given me for defeating Croaker in that duel that seemed ages ago. Several things clicked in my mind at once. Yoseph said water hadn't carved these caves, wind had. Then he said the creature drew strength from the ground. And it was an elemental. I had a plan, and it would take a lot of Glamour to make it work, but it was our only chance.

I concentrated all the Glamour clinging to me from the Dragon's Ire, drew all the Glamour out of the dross coin, watching as the energy left it and the coin itself crumbled to dust, and let loose with a movie quote for a bunk. "Yippie kiayea, Motherfucker!" I screamed and the fairy lights shot out from me, impacted the elemental and then…

Whooosh! It must have shot a good twenty meters straight up. High enough that as it started to fall, I was able to spin and go through a quick series of almost comical fencing postures from bad pirate films and pushed Glamour at the falling rock creature in another way, a way that was almost instinctual, yet one that I had never tried in this incarnation.

You've heard of people saying things like "looks like someone opened a hole in the sky and let the rain out today," or something similar to that. Old people mostly. But I'd never actually considered what that would look like. There I was humming in Glamour's near orgasmic rush, a spot of pure cold fire pulsing light from under my jawline as the Tear of Cerulean leant it's power to my cantrip shaping, when the sky really did open up and let the waters flow down, right above the elemental and completely dissolving it in a torrent easily as wide as my parents' house. Caspian plucked Croaker off the ground and held tight to a stalagmite, hanging on for dear life as the deluge passed around and over us. I, strangely enough, didn't even get wet. Yoseph had scrambled for a high spot and reached down to pull something out of the water.

The glow faded at my throat and I let the Glamour flow as it wanted instead of conforming to my grief and pain and anger. Of the elemental, we couldn't see any traces. As for the water, it did what water always does, and sought the lowest places of the cave, sinking into the earth, joining several of the smaller stagnant pre-existing pools in the cave into larger ones. The flood faded, and when all had settled, I dropped to my knees, tears, the only wetness on me, streaming down my face.

Caspian quickly ran to Yoseph's side as Croaker ran to me.

"Robyn, you alright?"

"Kay?" was all I could choke out, weakly. Croaker moved in slowly, cautiously, and embraced me. I didn't know what else to do. I just stood there, like a statue, uncertain of anything.

Caspian's booming voice turned all of us around and I saw him kneeling, hugging Kay tightly to his own armored chest. He was sobbing, a sound that was at once strange and didn't quite fit with Caspian in general. My worst fears suddenly came true then. Kay… Kenny… my beloved, must have been killed.

Then Caspian shoved Kay's body back out to arms length and I heard him say, "let me look at you, boy!" with the joy of a father who hasn't seen his child in a while and is marveling at how much he's grown. Croaker released me and spun about to watch as well and we both saw something that made us grin like idiots. Kay was alive.

Without even thinking about it I exercised another use of Wayfare and didn't even bother with the bunk. I unconsciously used a cantrip called Wind Runner to literally fly Croaker and myself across the cave floor. We landed a little roughly, but close enough that I was practically on top of Kay and Caspian.

"Kay! Beloved!"

"Didn't think I was leaving the party so soon, did you, milord?" I knelt behind him and draped my arm across his chest, drawing him back against me, our heads coming together roughly. But I don't think either of us minded. My smile was so deep and wide I probably looked like I had a flip top head. I just nuzzled there, holding him, realizing how close we had just come, again, to losing each other.

Yoseph coughed loudly. "Maybe the three of us should see what happened to that bowman while Lord Robyn assists Kay Neth a while.

"Agreed!" Caspian said, although with some reluctance. He too had watched as someone he loved dearly was nearly shattered on rocks. Knowing that his son was safe for now was enough to keep Caspian happy. But there was a reluctance to let him go, even if it was into the hands of someone his son loved more than any other in the world (this one or any other world, for that matter). The reluctance of parents letting their children find their own path, of growing up.

When we had a spare moment, I took full advantage of it and kissed him, softly but with the devotion of a saint (although with considerably more lip action and passion than most saints are remembered for). When we broke from that kiss, both of us clutching tightly at the other, foreheads resting together, I knew he would be alright.

"You're not hurt?" I whispered, feeling my breath bounce of his lips and nose and chin. He grinned back, on the verge of giggling.

"I'm sore enough for both of us," he spoke back, keeping his voice no louder than mine. "But nothing seems broken."

"That scared the hell out of me, watching you get smashed like that."

"I'm sorry I frightened you, beloved."

"It's okay, Kay. I just… I love you so much that the thought of you not being with me…"

"Is unbearable," he said, finishing my sentence. "No words."

"No words," I whispered back. We just held each other for several minutes, enjoying the warmth of each other.

"You know, I kinda like this," he whispered to me, snuggling deeper into my arms.


"Yeah. I can feel your heart knocking around your chest, just like mine."

"Can you feel anything else?" I teased, slightly embarrassed that he could feel my heartbeat past my skinny ribs. One of these days I'll have a little more meat over my bones and maybe that will silence the mad drummer in my chest. Maybe.

"Actually, Robby, I can." And his fingers reached under my tunic's arm sleeves, up to the edges of my chest padding, and he stroked my shoulders and neck. I couldn't believe the erotic power of that gentle touch, those probing fingers, no where even near my now throbbing penis. I shuddered, literally, and nearly came from that simple invasion of my clothing. I tilted my head back as the feelings took me over, and I moaned loudly.

"Oh god, Kenny, I don't know if we should."

"I know. Just wanted to give you an idea of what it is you're fighting for. To give you hope to survive."

"I will, babe. If only to return the favor to you later on."

"I'll hold you to that," he said, grinning in that way that he only uses when it's the two of us, alone together in the dark. I must have been smiling like that too, because he leaned forwards and planted a deep kiss on my mouth, almost sucking my tongue past his teeth with a savage hunger. When he released us both from that kiss he looked up at me and smiled. "I just wanted to have you in me, if even only for a little while."

"When this is over and we spend a week apart from everything changeling related for a while, I'm gonna hold you to that!" I said.

"As long as you hold me, my lord, my love, my Robyn the Blue."

"As long as there's time for the world, there's time for holding you," I said back. A subtle rumble of thunder cased around in the cave and we both realized that we had basically made yet another oath into the Dreaming. One that bound us ever closer together.

Caspian and the others returned a moment later, with a single prisoner in tow. A Sidhe maiden in light leathers and half open silks bound under the leather. Her ornaments and the craftsmanship of her armor said she was a retainer of the Countess, and the weapons Croaker carried behind her marked her as the archer that had nearly impaled me several times. Kay and I immediately recognized her. She was the herald that had demanded I appear at court the night of my Chrysalis.

"Her name is Elzbeth, milord," Caspian said, holding up a lead rope which bound her hands to the front. "We have treated her wound." Sure enough, she had been struck through the shoulder by Kay's spear/javelin/sword, whatever the hell that awesome weapon was.

"Let's rest a moment and bind up before we go seeking any further troubles," Yoseph said. I nodded and we again sat to have the sandwiches we had brought along. I noticed that Croaker had an odd look to his face as he stared at the Sidhe prisoner. If I wasn't mistaken, he had just fallen head over heals in love with her, at first sight.

"Your pardon, warriors," the Sidhe maiden asked, looking about in what appeared to be genuine concern and confusion, "but whence art we, how came we hence and... and if you take no offense at the question, whom are you?"

Yep, it was gonna be one of those days, for sure.

You gottah hate and respect it all at the same time; when everything goes to crap, it all goes at once.

We sat around the circle of our torches, dressing each other's wounds, Croaker keeping watch over our "captive." There was a look in his eyes that kinda reminds me of how Kay looks at me some times. It's not lust, mind you, even though Kay's about as horny as a billy goat (which would be me, too, heheh), but something more akin to affection or attraction. The best way to describe his watchful eyes on the young Sidhe maiden before him would have to be smitten. Fully head over heels for that girl.

And while my tastes don't run to the more female attributes, at least in this incarnation, I can sorta see the attraction. She was very pretty, had that slim and trim look you associate with a jogger or a swimmer. And, well, we all know about her skill with that bow. My arm was still throbbing from that arrow that deflected off my armor. Had I moved just a little in the wrong direction, this might be Kenny's story instead of mine.

"The dragon will be wary now, my lord," Caspian began, testing the flex of his fist with the bandage wrapped through his palm. His minor cuts seemed to be healing faster than the rest of us, but he was the most resilient anyways. "He will doubtless be watching for our next approach. Freeing Elzbeth from his thrall will place some haste to his movements now."

"I dunno about that. He's been very good at slowing us down so far," Yoseph said, pulling himself to his feet. The huge double bladed lightsaber looked small in his paw hands, but he had used it most effectively. The power of his muscles finally could sting chimerical things with that now enchanted weapon. He grinned ferociously and went over to watch our captive at Croaker's side. "I don't think we can just charge in and expect him to be unprepared."

"What sort of magic can we expect to see this thing use against us next, Kay?" I was hoping that there were some common tales, some lore or stories that he had accumulated over the millennia that might give us a clue as to what to prepare for.

"Sadly, my lord, it seems that few dragons are alike enough to make a wise estimation of them. They are as crafty and unpredictable as they are brutally powerful." I sat down heavily on one of the nearby boulders, raising one leg up as I sat and leaned heavily on my knee. "It is said," he continued, "that the things they share in common are enough to make them a species, but their differences are enough to explain how truly old and powerful they are."

"What similarities?" Croaker asked as he took a bite from a nearby rock. Caspian broke out our supplies from his massive pack and began distributing some beef jerky. I looked to my wineskin as Kay spoke up again.

"Well, they all breathe flame, or other powerfully destructive things, from their mouths. They are hideously strong when compared to their size."

"No doubts there," Caspian said, handing me a fist full of dried meat and cheese. Did I ever mention how big his hands are? Caspian not only can pick up a basketball with one hand, he can almost squeeze it flat and knock all the air out of it. Just using his thumb and pinky.

"They are resistant to most forms of attack and usually can fly."

"All of which we've seen already," I deadpanned.

"And have more than a little magical talent. These are powerful forces we're up against." I looked over to Kay as he said it and saw him give me the brave smile. The one that everyone knows is full of shit because of how scared he really is, but he's not gonna back down either. Eshu, it seems, always love a challenge.

"Well, we wont get anywhere proceeding too cautiously. We just have to keep our guard up and our eyes moving."

"Dragons are also known for their personality traits. Most are thought to be extremely lazy, that they like to hoard treasures, that they thrive on fear and intimidation, and that, above all else, they view all other beings as beneath their notice or unworthy of their attention."

"We'll have to change that perception," I said, getting a murmur of ascent and nods all around. "Anything else that we might use against it?"

"Well, there is evidence of another personality trait, but I don't know how accurate it is."

"What is it?"

"They enjoy toying with lesser creatures."

"Like cats?" Yoseph asked, curiously.

Kay nodded, "So much so that they may underestimate the lesser's abilities and skills."

"Or courage, which this party hath full measures more than said fell beast doth know." There are times I hate it when Caspian talks like that, but just then it was fitting the mood. We had so far done pretty well. We'd gotten past it's chimerical shape shifter, fought off that weird elemental spirit and had managed to free his arrow-sniper from his hold and from using us as pincushions.

Considering that we had no idea what lay ahead, we hadn't fared too badly. Some minor wounds, some close calls (especially from that earth elemental) but we were none the worse for wear.

And the strange thing about it all, I think I was actually learning. I hadn't tried anything other than Hopscotch before entering the glass cave, but for some reason, I felt that my magical powers were coming back to me, full fold. Like I was remembering cantrips that I had lost in reincarnating. I don't know if the normal mortal experience contains such a sensation as remembering from past lives. If so, I wish that the rest of you would learn from your ancient mistakes. But for we changelings, it's almost innate. You just have to survive each new existence long enough for the previous stuff to make sense I guess. Battling that elemental, certain things began to click.

Anyways, we ate, took water, tended our wounds and cleaned up our area. Caspian took over the watch from Croaker so that the Redcap could deal with a more pressing matter of nature (he had to piss) and it allowed me a quiet moment with Kay.


"Yes," he whispered back to me.

"Do the old powers come back in any way that makes sense. Some specific order or maybe a pattern of events that triggers their return in memory?"

"The old powers are as unpredictable and often as wildly distributed as the person wielding them. My guess is that they may surface at any time."


"I'm only a traveler, milord. I don't experiment with every bit of lore and talecraft I hear," he giggled, leaning against me. "But if you do sense the old powers returning to you, be careful in how you use them."

"Kay, I'm not even sure I remember what they are. But I keep using them. So far we've been right on the money with them. Is there some kind of instinct about them that I might have? Maybe some Glamour gift from the Tear?"

"I do not know, Beloved. Just a friendly warning in case you decide to do something impulsive and reckless."

"Who, me?" He smiled and stood apart from me, checking his spear weapon (I still don't know what he calls that thing, I only know it's wicked vicious). I figured that it was time to resume the search.

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