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“How are you feeling?” The sudden voice, though familiar, still startled him. “Not good, if you didn’t even noticed me coming in,” ZenTar concluded with a worried expression.

“How are things outside?”

“As you’d expect. No one is speaking openly about what happened, but I could bet my sword that everyone has heard about it. There’s also some confusion regarding some … obvious small … discrepancies?” he ventured, peering at the bed, and Nox ZaiWin couldn’t help smile sarcastically.

“Small?!”

“Well, are we really sure he isn’t one of the Demon Clan?” he asked, hopelessly hopeful. “As to be expected our men did find a bunch of them being held downstairs, in some kind of dungeon, all tied up and ready to be shipped out who knows where. The rumored prince is also among them, so that’s a good thing,” he added and took another peek towards the bed. “I mean … there are so many things wrong with this picture that I don’t even know where to begin.”

“I wish I could tell you you’re right and simply ship him away with the rest of them.”

“Hum … he is a he, right?” ZaiWin couldn’t help stare at him with a critic expression. “I mean … have you ever even heard of … something like this?” He shook his head.

“And believe me. I have read a lot on the matter.” If nothing else, so he would be able avoid the exact situation he currently found himself in.
ZenTar sighed and a cold smile stretched his lips.

“How about we kill him? Dispose of the body and be done with it? We can say that what the men saw was in fact one of the Demon Clan, and that poor bastard was dispatched back home with the rest of them.”

“Nothing I haven’t thought about,” he confessed, coldly looking at the boy sleeping on the bed. “It’s not like I accepted the pledge or made any vows. It probably wouldn’t kill me right there and then,” he added grimly and ZenTar’s face paled.

“Oh, shit! I forgot about that!”

“At least I’d have a chance, right? Since I’ll be dead either way.”

“We can always cut off the wrong parts and dress him like a girl.”

“Is that suppose to get me killed sooner or later?” he countered and held his aching head. “Like this, with some luck, I’ll simply become their laughing stock. The fearsome Demon General that was paired up with a defective, clearly abnormal Celestial.”

ZenTar leaned forward to closer inspect the boy’s face and that mere gesture was enough to heat the blood running in his veins.

“He’s what? Thirteen? Fourteen? They shaved his head. But his eyebrows are white.”

“Well, the Heavens truly know what they’re doing. We’re both freaks of nature.”

“You stop that nonsense right now!” ZenTar scolded him in the the same exact tone he used to chastise him when he was a child, and he couldn’t help smile. “Instead of spewing shit like that, you’d do better occupying that head of yours with trying to find a way to get yourself out of this mess alive!”

“As if that were even remotely possible. This damned brat will be like a bright sign, reminding them of everything they’ve tried so hard to ignore and that I’ve tried so hard to make them forget. I still think my chances will be better if we simply kill him. Like I said, with some luck, I won’t drop dead where I stand.”

“How can you joke with something this serious?” ZenTar grunted and he sighed, allowing his tired eyes to close.

“Do I look like I’m joking?”

“No. You do look like shit, though …” he replied after a short silence. “Are you sure you’re all right? From what I heard this … kind of … thing takes its toll, to the point where it can throw one in bed for more than just a few couple of days.”

“I’m fine. I just feel tired …”

ZenTar sighed and sat on a chair, on the other side of the bed.

“Rest then. I’ll keep watch and wake you up if he so much as stirs.”

He nodded.

“Don’t touch him, though. I can’t really explain it but … my blood seems to heat every time other people try to touch him. My markings too, get annoyingly unstable. I almost tore that healer to shreds a good dozen times. It’s kind of worse with you.”

“Damn …” ZenTar breathed, scooting his chair farther away from the bed.

“I’m just too tired. I need time to find my balance again. That’s all,” ZaiWin added without even opening his eyes, and he was sound a sleep in the next instant, which only went to show just how tired he really was. ZenTar had known him since he was a child and, as far as he could remember, the last time he’d seen the small Lor-her sleep this heavily he’d been no more than an eight-year-old kid.

 

 

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A note from Sophia Carpersanti

Language:

ZenTar: Literally zen (silent) + tar (wind).

Nox ZaiWin: Literally nox (night) and zai (blade) + win (chaos). Where Nox is the name of the Clan, also the name of a Province.

Lor-her: Literally lor (lord) + -her, suffix meaning boy child, or a child of the male sex and an endearing form to call a child.


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About the author

Sophia Carpersanti

Bio: Sophia CarPerSanti was born with her mind lost in another world. Not too strangely, writing is her only passion since childhood, and so there's not much one can do to correct what was weird right from the start. Once deprived of writing total mental breakdown follows and yeah, nothing good comes out of it. And so there are a lot of books and manuscripts inside boxes and drawers just waiting for an opportunity to see the light of day. I hope you enjoy my beloved ones as much as I enjoyed creating them ♥

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