Episode VI: Ranch Dance (1) Pt.1

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Herith, an industrialized machine-powered pinnacle of buoyancy—opulent, vibrant, just like the cities you'd see on postcards. Tall copper constructs and embroidered estates outlined the streets, while tube chimneys expelled thick, rich clouds of Ghryzite. Overhead, spires and pipes hung high as mech-winged riders hovered beneath rocket lines. Seemed like majesty has kept quite a bit of technological advancements to his home district. Dhazesr, or as Cabil would call it, The Land of Corpses, harbored an ample amount of Ghryzite beneath rockbeds. And sure enough, Mhalfoynt exploited Aegelleon soldiers to forage and excavate burrows hollow for the potent mineral.

It had only been a few short years since Cabil had last been in the safest district of Khorgathe. Through his eyes, Herith stood nearly unrecognizable, from its colorful landscape to its pompous, snobbish people. Well, maybe not completely unrecognizable. The chauffeur dropped him off in an inner-city port on Carrimasse, where he'd take a direct lift to Mancheuur Castle.

A pearl nylon hot air balloon awaited him from afar. Crowned with cabochon Obsidian and Jasper gems, he could already see the shimmering through the white screen of fog and passersby. With an operator to his side, he boarded the vessel and cruised the sky. In no time, he found himself hovering over the bridge suspended above a blanket of coral blue. Before him, the King's castle, embedded in the belly of Kerr Mountain.

It was then his falling-out with the Councilman dawned on him, accompanied by a rather hellish fever up his spine. While altercations between the two continued to stagger behind-the-scenes, one very bold move on Cabil's part severed the two permanently:

Jerson Ckarhadii, a former exiled chief minister to the King, had channeled his way through a number of escorts, servants, personal maids, and even councilman during his brief title in the royal home. With the King's trust instilled in him, he was one of the last few suspects to the disappearing of residents, until Princess Desonna stumbled upon his demonic secret. With his word challenged against the Princess' before the King, Jerson was removed from the royal home, stripped of his rank, and exiled off Herith entirely. Enraged, Jerson broke free from his mask and confirmed what Desonna already knew to be true; the Dessarian sought after her with fangs curled back, lunging at the countering Cabil. The struggle was short lived, as Mhalfoynt intervened and ultimately forced Jerson into hiding.

Since then, there were no reports or sightings of the beast, until Cabil followed Mhal one night, alone, strolling down Dwentul District—he called it an impulse; the man always looked rather suspicious to the flame wielder. But tonight was the night. Tonight was when he finally caught him playing with fire.

The conversation between Jerson and Mhal was all too clear, the agreement still fresh in his mind. With stealth on his side, Cabil dashed off, straight for King Ethedmon's quarters. Despite his hurry, it seemed Mhal may have had been on his tail all along, arriving just as Cabil approached majesty:

"Ah, Vyn, just the man I wanted to see." A twist of rage and panic crossed Cabil's face as Ethedmon addressed the approaching Mhalfoynt, who then stopped by Cabil's side. Poise, graceful, yet stern faced—

Perched on his throne, Majesty followed, "Now what is this... this cry I hear of you dealing with Jerson? These, accusations of sin and blood? Are you in alliance with cult nobles? Selling the lives of my people to Dessarians?"

"My Lord, you know better than I, I would never tie hands with durja scum, especially that of Jerson." He rested his right palm over his bulged chest, and with a sound smile, he followed, "my loyalty rests with you, my honorable King."

"I sure do hope so. I wouldn't want you to follow in that monster's footsteps. Now, you are my most faithful councilmen, but because of Jerson's betrayal, and for that reason alone is why I've kept my Chief Minister seat cold. All in due time, Vynser, but Cabil here is like a son to me. Whatever he says, I take into high consideration, just as my other children."

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