Chapter 90: Cast Out

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It is ironic that the greatest enemy to the Eight was one considered unclean and monstrous. For centuries, they considered the Dragon King a bloodthirsty tyrant. Of course, what else could he be? He was an illegitimate born, a patricidal warmonger, and more horrifying to scholars, a staunch traditionalist. They objected to virtue; virtue's greatest defender was considered a bastard and a murderer.

-The Necromancer's Notes, Scroll 4432h, 54th Column, History Wing

***

"A report?" Thaen asked. He stared up at Laidu. "I need to write a report?"

"Yes," Laidu said. The two of them were back at Saefel Caeld Manor, in Laidu's room. It was nearing nighttime, and Thaen was getting anxious. Or antsy. It was a toss-up; both looked the same. "This all needs to be documented so that the process can be observed and filed away in case I make a breach of conduct, and they can use this as evidence for or against me."

"Oh," Thaen said. "Wouldn't it be better if you don't write a report? That way there's no evidence against you?"

Laidu sighed. "Thaen, that's stupid." 

We know he's stupid, Kasran said. Just wring his neck and get it over with. He annoys me. He offends my delicate sensibilities.

Your 'delicate sensibilities' a new voice, a female voice smooth as honey, snapped back, are to kill anything that moves. 

Bah! Kasran smiled. Laidu could feel him grin, feel the venomous anger rise in his own heart, Kasran's emotions frighteningly indistinguishable from his own. It would be fun.

He felt it, felt Kasran's nigh-lustful imagination. He felt Thaen's neck under his arm, the fine fur covering the tendons and muscles of his neck. He could feel the life being crushed out of him, feel the-

That's enough, Laidu said. He willed the image away, filling his mind with KYra, with the smell of her hair, the touch of her lips on his. It worked for a bit, and Kasran was silent. If only it worked on the rest of the voices. Then Laidu might have some peace and quiet. 

Thaen started writing something on the desk. "You know, I went on a date with Indra's friend. Mirsari, remember?"

"I remember you saying something." Laidu consciously kept his voice down. He wanted to shout, just from the din of the phantasmic voices in his head. It sounded like a throng of angry people, all shouting at him, all angry at him, and there was nothing he could do to get them to calm down. 

"Well, guess what?" Thaen gave him a smile. "I got a kiss from her. Before I was rudely interrupted by you and your job." 

"Oh?" Laidu wasn't terribly interested. He loved Thaen like a brother, but the second the Vesperati started to talk about his love life, it was as effective as the most potent of sleep medicines. It bored him, bored Laidu to no end.

"Yes. I could have had a romantic evening with Mirsari, who I must say, is not hard on the eyes," Thaen said.

"If you're a bat."

Thaen ignored that. "Instead, I helped you. I felt obligated to help my brother out and do a job that, need I remind you, last time, I  got whacked in the head by a freakishly quiet butler and thrown into a sack that reeked of pig guts."

"Will you just shut up!?!" The words came out of his mouth before he could think. They were a reflexive reaction, and that scared Laidu. What did that say about his heart, that those words were the first to bubble up from the surface, words of anger, words of hate?

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