I theorize that the Eight are actually incapable of love, incapable of any form of love. While there are lurid details circulating around concerning Ishta'ana, these are purely physical acts, devoid of good and wholesome emotional attachment. Touching evil renders one incapable of forming any healthy relationship, turning each relation to another into a parasitic one.
-The Necromancer's Notes, Tablet 3343a, Philosophy Wing
It was dusk when the two of them reached Indra's home.
She lived in one of the cramped city houses, crushed between two equally small houses. They were four stories tall, but a connected balcony, a walkway, allowed access to the third level.
"Why are they so small?" Thaen asked. His home was large, but then again, it had around seventy people living in it at any given time.
"Only two people live in one unit." Indra said. "And a unit is two floors. Not all four." She looked around. "This entire neighborhood is owned by the University."
"Oh," Thaen said. "And you live with Mirsari?"
"Yes," Indra said. "You have the directions?" Thaen nodded and patted his pocket. Indra had written down the directions to a classy restaurant that Thaen was to take Mirsari to. Supposed to. It was all very bizarre. Indra had conscripted him for a date, and the tone she had used made him not want to resist. Normally, the man was supposed to make the first move. But what were you going to do when the first move in this romantic exchange had been made by a third party? How do you deal with a situation?
Apparently, you capitulate. That seemed to be a good idea.
They walked up to one of the bottom-row homes. "Hold on," Indra said. "Just wait out here. Hopefully, this shouldn't take too long." She stepped closer and knocked on the door. "Mirsari!" Nothing happened. "Mirsari!" Still nothing. "MIRSARI!"
Finally, the door opened, and a Vesperati peeked out. "Give me a minute before you start pounding on the door! I need to actually be able to walk over to it," she said, glaring. And finally, Thaen saw the lady he'd be taking out for dinner.
Her fur was pure jet-black, with streaks of white at the edges, and her hair -kept back in a large braid- was a dark grey, only a few shades lighter than her fur. Her eyes were brilliant red, the color of a Sensedancer. A Vesperati magician. She was like him.
He, like his father, and his grandfather, and a few of his cousins (the less annoying one), had inherited the red eyes of the Sensedancers. And so had she, it seemed.
And she was rather shapely. Not in the curvaceous way of a woman who only cared about her body in respect to how attractive she was, but she had the poise of a dancer, an athlete. It would have been a shame otherwise. It always saddened Thaen to see one gifted with the blood eyes, but one who let their body go to waste and obviously didn't care for themselves. It was a fine tool, wasted and broken.
In short, she was beautiful.
"Who's he?" she asked, pointing to Thaen.
"We need to talk," Indra said. "Thaen, stay out here for a moment." With that, she stepped in.
Thaen waited for about half a minute before his curiosity got the better of him. He leaned in, closed his eyes, and listened.
Well, he did more than just listen. He used the blood. It was there, situated a few inches above his heart. From all research done by the doctors of his hold, what seemed like a useless, closed-off branch of the esophagus (akin to the appendix) in Vesperati changed with the Sensedancer's. When Thaen was young, and had began to have the dreams of blood, when his power began to awaken, he had felt pains as that small part of his body changed into what contained the blood.
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When Laidu, a half-human, half-dragon Ranger, rescues a mysterious girl from slavers, he doesn't know it but he's in for a world of trouble. Teaming up with an insane scholar, a chatty assassin, and two mercenaries, they go to take the girl -Kyra- h...