THIRTY-THREE (Part 1)

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The air was thick with smoke and dust

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The air was thick with smoke and dust. Morita couldn't resist breathing a little of it in, reminding her of Djinhelm. She ran in front of Laptus, but she felt that the more experience deity should be the one leading her.

She had no idea where she was going, where she was aiming for. Without her even knowing, she had been on the receiving end of a collar and leash by Falor her whole life. The feeling of being responsible for more than herself was still relatively new to her.

The entire court was silent save for the sound of their boots against the ground. She felt like a mouse in a maze, with a dozen invisible eyes watching her. Waiting for her to take the wrong turn and face Laptus's judging eyes.

She would have let out a sigh of relief when they reached the entrance, but someone was terribly off about it.

The entire part of the court had collapsed, but not without help from someone.

Our gifts can be so destructive. She looked down at her hands. Or they can build something so wonderful.

She glanced up at the Motion deity. Or they have a foot in each realm, she thought, remembering the fear when Laptus had taken control over her movements for the first time and when she had used her power to save Morita.

Laptus kicked a large rock the size of a train wheel with ease and scowled.

Morita noticed something. The Dishonored that could control fire was missing from where they had left him. Upon further inspection, she found charred chunks of the doors. Black cinders had been sprinkled on top of the mountain which meant that they were not from their fight.

Laptus took one look at it all and said, "We'll have to go out a different way. I'd rather not go through that."

"But we might be wasting time we don't have. Can't you just...I don't know, move the boulders at the top so we can climb over it?"

"I can't move something that's first off, not moving. And secondly, it would require a great deal of energy." At Morita's surprised expression, she added, "What, you thought there were no limits to my gifts? Energy and motion must always have an exchange."

"Hmm," she made a sound of acknowledgment.

They continued through the court. This time, she made sure to lag behind so that Laptus led.

Suddenly, a deafening crash came from one of the rooms. Immediately, the two pressed themselves next to the door, one on either side.

Laptus pressed a finger to her lips and quietly pulled the ring door handle. Morita lightly nudged it open. Now, she could see inside from her position. It was one of the ballrooms.

Corvid was standing in the middle of the floor, the beak of his mask up at an angle.

She moved forward ever so slightly to see what he was staring so intensely at.

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