Chapter 45: Interrogations

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The world will pay for our weakness. The world will pay for our depravity. It will pay that price a thousand times over. Our evil has grown to threaten all, but I have seen it destroyed.

***

It's working.

Laidu's hand dug into the cold hard earth. At least, it felt stiff. Cold was an alien feeling to him. It was a feeling that he had never experienced. But he imagined it was cold. After all, a layer of hoarfrost dusted the grass around the cabin. It wasn't as icy as some of the places he'd been -Saefel Caeld was the most frigid of locales Laidu had visited- but it was cold enough.

Hopefully, the earth had insulated the creatures within from the harsh Alberion chill. Even in summer, it was quite cold. But Laidu could still walk around without freezing to death.

Did you not hear me? Kasran demanded. I said it's working!

Good, Laidu responded back, forcing sarcasm into the thoughts. That is what you're supposed to do.

Yes. And it is fine handiwork, isn't it? Kasran asked. It was painfully obvious that he was fishing for something, some compliment or remark. Heat, he was growing vain as well. Soon, Laidu would have to deal with a massive ego along with the cruelty.

I am just excellent. You should be happy, no, you should be honored to be my vessel, Kasran said. And it is not my fault if you can't sense my prestige. It is not my fault that you are blind. Oh, wait. Right by your left hand, there's one! Grab it!

Laidu's claws scooped up a clod of dirt, careful not to kill the centipede inside it. The bugs had a use. He dropped the dirt clump, insect and all, into a jar. There's another!  Rhaem said. Laidu grabbed it with two fingers, dropping it into the jar, giving the first centipede a very creepy friend.

After a few minutes (and the help of the mad voices in his head) Laidu had about six centipedes, a beetle, and two worms crawling around in his bottle. Now, Kasran said, we get to work.

I hate these things, Laidu said.

I know. Get over it. And hopefully, that miserable piece of slime hates them too. 

Laidu walked back into the cabin, washing the dirt from under his claws in the small ceramic washbowl. Soon, the cream-colored basin was flecked with dark dirt, the once clear and only slightly murky water now stained a brown so dark it bordered on black. Dirt under his nails would irritate them more.

He picked up the jar of bugs, carrying it down to the basement, using one hand to grasp each rung. No blood this time, Kasran said. No cheap tricks. Just a hope that the slimestain isn't allergic to these things.

That might be problematic, Laidu agreed.

Well, he isn't a small child. Otherwise, he'd be more fun to kill. Kasran was sick. But that wasn't too surprising. After all, he was a voice in Laidu's head. 

As Laidu opened the door, he assumed a scowl. After all, if Torvan was to fear him, and eventually, be more terrified of Laidu than the one who told him to keep quiet. He had to play the part of the monster quite convincingly.

Torvan looked up, meeting Laidu's eyes, before flicking down to the jar in his hand. And that was around the time Laidu noticed his piglike skin starting to sweat. Good. He was afraid of them. 

"So," Laidu said, voice cold and distant. "Tell me, do you want to tell me who hired you?"

Torvan shut his mouth, eyes wide. Laidu rolled his eyes. "Fine, then." He set the jar down. "Have you ever heard of the Raededrid Pits?" he asked. Torvan shook his head, as Laidu expected. He would have been surprised if the bandit had; Laidu had just made it up, with the help of Kasran.

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