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Ch071-A Rose By Any Other Name

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“We bumped into them on the way home. Erin offered good money and only wanted help being escorted to the crypt. We made it to the crypt with no issues, very nearly settled down and had a solid defense barrier, and were attacked by elves when they were minutes away from it fully forming,” Edna explained, her face lost some color as she went on.

Sylver nodded quietly.

“Some of the mages swore that they were seconds away. But it doesn’t matter, they broke the barrier as if it were made of thin glass. We temporarily retreated inside of the crypt, but when we tried to go back, one of those giant walls appeared, and blocked us in,” Edna continued, and pointed at the giant wall through which Sylver had entered the area.

“We walked as a large group for a while, but then zombies fell out of the walls and started attacking us. Henra handled them fine, they were extremely weak to my magic so we didn’t have any issue, but they just kept coming and coming, they were endless. It’s obvious now, but they weren’t there to kill us, or even harm us all that much. Just to separate. Henra was hit from the back, and I rushed over to heal her. Essa came after me to protect us, and all of a sudden there’s a giant black wall separating us from the rest of the group,” Edna explained, staring at the small portable campfire, with her arms wrapped around her knees.

“Did everyone else get divided into their respective parties? How did the crypt know who was with who, did anyone get mixed up?” Sylver asked.

“No, at least everyone who made it here were all in the correct group,” Edna answered after a few seconds of thought.

“Doesn’t it strike you odd that-,” Sylver changed what he was going to say mid-sentence as he felt the faintest vibration at the base of his skull, “-how many people made it here?” Sylver asked, a small wave of relief passing over him as the vibration receded, brushing itself at the ever-present, ever-increasing, bottled-up rage.

“It’s not that strange. They’re mostly crafters, so the differences in their levels are huge. I know the ones in charge of food have one cook who was level 110, and 3 others who are barely 30. A level 110 cook, can handle things that are level 50 or 60, even if there’s 4 of them. A crafter wouldn’t stand a chance against a normal person with a combat class, even if they were 50 levels below them, but the ones they fought against were like big ants, and slow enough that the level 110 cook could beat them,” Edna explained, as made a gesture towards the small campfire and made one of the wisps of flames rise up and out of it.

“Remember when things were simple?” She said changing the subject again, as she curled the wisp of fire into a circle and then a slightly rounded square.

“Things are simple,” Sylver said bluntly.

“We’re stuck inside of a challenge crypt, with a very slowly decreasing supply of food, elves ready to ambush us if we try to go forward, and waiting for either more elves to come in from the back and kill us, or for Eliot’s reinforcements to arrive, which still doesn’t mean with certainty that any of us will get out of this alive,” Edna reasoned, losing control over her magic for a moment and causing it to sputter and spark.

“Sure, you can think of it that way, or you can make it, pun fully intended, dead simple. Either you live through this, or you don’t. Either I manage to get through the elf ambush, get past all the traps and challenges, get lucky that there isn’t some sort of obstacle that I’m unable to overcome, and that getting to the end of the crypt teleports everyone to the entrance, or I don’t,” Sylver explained, as Edna looked up at him, and saw that he looked like he could fall asleep at any moment.

“Why are you always so calm about everything? Even when you-” Edna leaned closer and brought her voice down to a whisper, “-even when you just barely made it out alive out of that island curse, could barely move your hands and slept gasping for breath and tears in your eyes from the pain, you were still chipper about everything,” Edna asked, putting a bitter emphasis on the word.

So something did happen to them…

“Like I said earlier, pride, carelessness, and a mixture of overconfidence and the capableness to match it. On top of that, I’ve made peace with myself. If I die, I die. If I don’t, I don’t. I’m always doing everything in my power to make sure I don’t, but there isn’t anything more I can do than what I’m already doing, I’m already at 100%, there’s no 101%, not for me. There’s no purpose in worrying about the things you can’t control. What if this, what if that, what if 50 elves are lying in ambush, what if they all starved to death, what if there’s just a giant drop going nowhere, what if they’re all level 1000 and there’s 50 of them?” Sylver asked, as he flicked his hand towards the portable campfire and caused one of the flames to rise out of it.

“Alright, what if you’re right? What if there’s 50 elves, each one armed to the teeth and level 1000?” Edna asked, furrowing her brows as she tried to copy the figure 8 loop Sylver was making his flame do.

“I’ll negotiate with them, I’ll take one of them hostage, I’ll find a place to hide and slowly whittle down their numbers, or I’ll do something unexpected, or the second I cross through I’m riddled with silver-tipped arrows, and I drop dead before I even know what hit me. Either I win and carry on, or I don’t. Right now the best thing I can do is relax and make sure I’m well-rested before crossing over. The worst I can do is sit around thinking about it, worrying about the what-ifs and having to face them anyway, but exhausted and sluggish from lack of sleep,” Sylver explained, staring at the large woman.

“What are you worried about, right now?” Sylver asked suddenly.

“I’m not-”

“I’ll believe whatever answer you choose to give me, but this is one of my few things I know what I’m talking about,” Sylver interrupted, as he closed his hand into a fist and snuffed out his flame and Edna’s in unison.

She sat quietly for a while, her arm placed back around her and her face very nearly hidden entirely by her knees.

“Fine. But tell me one thing, can you do anything about it? Can you go back in time and fix it?” Sylver, asked after nearly 10 minutes of silence. The room was big enough that only the faint sound of metal meeting grindstone permeated the sound of the quietly crackling fire they were sitting near.

“No,” Edna said as she looked up.

“Then focus on what you can do. The past is the past, it can’t be changed, only learned from. No amount of worrying can change it, so don’t worry about it,” Sylver said quietly.

Edna continued to sit where she was, silently staring at him. Sylver slowly stood up from his makeshift seat, and dusted himself off.

“It was great seeing you. If we live through this, let’s have a drink and catch up,” Sylver offered, with a hand extended out towards Edna. She took his hand and pulled herself up from the floor.

“You’re really going?” Edna asked, with a tone somewhere between asleep and scared.

“The alternative is just sitting around, waiting, and I don’t have the time for that. And I’m afraid that if I sit around here for too long I’ll end up killing Eliot,” Sylver explained, as he moved his gear around inside of his robe.

“Because you missed out on the 100 thousand gold reward?” Edna asked.

Sylver was caught off guard by this, as he tried to remember where Edna had gotten that idea. He remembered too late, the lie had been made on the spot and he hadn’t committed it to memory.

“You lied about the reward… You needed it for yourself,” Edna said, before Sylver could respond.

“Yes. But this is what I was talking about. I can’t change the fact that Eliot wasted what I had paid an arm and a leg for, so I’m not going to dwell on it, and I will move on. Emotionally, but in this specific case, literally too. I am moving on, in every sense of the word,” Sylver said, as he called Sabo and the harpies over.

Edna didn’t say anything else, even as Sylver approached the barrier that led to the next area.

*

*

*

Sylver stood facing the one-way barrier, and had one hand on one harpy, and another on the other.

The one on his left was glowing a faint yellow color, small tendrils of yellow sparks lazily crawling underneath her already glowing feathers. The one on the right had lost her glow entirely, and was covered in bruise-like shadows on her wings and body.

Sylver finished with the one on the left and allowed her to fly into the air to join the others. A small crowd had formed while Sylver was preparing, mostly the people from Erin’s group, who weren’t so badly damaged that they couldn’t move around. Necromancers were rare after all, and it wasn’t like they had anything better to do.

“I feel like I should mention this, just so you’re aware,” A voice from behind Sylver said.

Sylver continued to quietly work on the harpy with both hands now, and waited to hear what Eliot would say.

“On the off chance you do somehow manage to finish the crypt, you should know that-”

“Yes, yes, I know, first come, first serve, whatever at the end is mine,” Sylver interrupted, disliking Eliot’s tone and adding yet another reason to dislike the man who had inadvertently made Sylver spend so much time and effort on a dead end.

Sylver understood on a rational level Eliot couldn’t have known about how much he needed the [Dead Man’s Last Stand], but it didn’t matter to the emotional part of Sylver. Eliot was lucky Sylver had a handle on himself right now, and that he was pragmatic enough to let it go, as he had suggested Edna do too.

“What I mean to say was, my team and I have claimed this crypt,” Eliot explained.

“You have? Doesn’t appear that way from where I’m standing, but who am I to judge?” Sylver said, before Eliot could start his next sentence. The man spoke in a very lazy and bored-sounding manner, as if he were a school teacher that could take all the time in the world explaining himself, because he was just that smart and so knowledgeable.

There was a pause as Sylver finished up on the shadow-filled harpy, during which he could almost feel the tension in Eliot’s leather gloves.

Come on, hit me. Just give me a reason. Sylver thought, standing up from his crouch and turning around to face Eliot.

If not for the fact that he could feel the animosity emanating from the man’s soul, Sylver would have thought he wasn’t angry. His smile was disarming and alarming at the same time.

“Good luck, is what I meant to say,” Eliot finished. He turned around and walked away from the small crowd. Sylver watched his leave and made a mental note about steering clear of the man.

Edna was among the crowd of onlookers, but remained almost hidden behind them, as much as a woman who was over 7 feet tall could. She didn’t meet his eyes, and Sylver silently accepted her and her sisters’ decision.

Sabo stood in front of Sylver, while Sylver stretched and jumped on the tips of his toes to get the blood flowing. Sylver backed up slightly, as did Sabo. The harpies flew up into the air, circling near the ceiling, and waiting for Spring’s command.

The circle broke as the 8 harpies formed into a fast-moving line, and Sylver and Sabo sprinted forward. They passed through the one-way barrier in perfect sync.

*

Sylver jumped behind Sabo the moment he saw them. With neither Sylver nor Sabo slowing down, they all continued to run forward, toward the group of elves. Sylver counted 3, and was pleasantly surprised to recognize something on them. A small dark green purse, with a gold-colored tear-shaped symbol on it.

As the first arrow passed through Sabo and just barely missed Sylver’s head, he knew what he would do.

The two charged up harpies flew down and crashed into the floor, one after the other. The brightly glowing harpy exploded into a brilliant flash of white, so bright and powerful that Sylver could see through Sabo, and saw the skeleton and nerves of the man inside of him. The harpy that followed right after, exploded into a devastating cloud of black, the kind of smoke that looked like someone had simply torn reality away and left the empty colorless void of space behind.

Arrows flew through the air, passing through Sabo and hitting the smooth wall behind him, as Sylver was nowhere to be found.

The elves fought in silence, reacting to the sounds of footsteps, the sound of steel being drawn, and destroyed the shades in a very quick and professional manner. Sylver felt the ground shake under his feet as Sabo fell to the ground and started to melt, and noted that the harpies were similarly killed off.

As the darkness started to settle, Sylver helped it out slightly and moved it down to the floor. He was already done, it didn’t matter how quick or professional your opponent was, when they were blinded, then blinded again in a different manner, and had 10 people trying to attack them simultaneously.

The remaining two elves turned around at the sound of a sharp breath being drawn and saw Sylver standing directly behind their leader, with a dagger piercing her side. Sylver’s hand burned slightly, from where he made contact with the elf woman’s neck, but he didn’t relent and kept his hands steady.

The woman was on her knees, and because of the height difference, Sylver was only slightly crouching. His head was over her left shoulder, but Sylver had enough leverage to block any arrow coming for him with her head. With his back to the wall, they can curve their arrows all they liked, Sylver was ready.

“Do you speak Eirish?” Sylver asked the two elves, who had both of their bows drawn and pointed straight at him. They nodded once, but didn’t put down their bows.

“Right, first things first. Even if you manage to pierce my head, I’ll still have more than enough time to twist this dagger and kill this woman. Second thing, even if I somehow don’t she will die the moment you remove it. But if you don’t, the poison already inside of her will kill her in about half an hour. There’s a nick on your cheek from where you dodged out of the way of my darts, try healing it,” Sylver explained, still holding onto the woman.

He felt the healing mana move up from her core and up to her cheek and side, neither one healing the slightest amount.

She made the faintest of nods towards the two remaining elves, Sylver could feel her tense up in the way most people did when they learned the damage could be permanent. There was silence for a few seconds, the two remaining elves pointing their bows at Sylver, and Sylver standing right behind their leader, with a dagger sitting motionless between her ribs.

The two elves released the tension on their bows and pointed them downwards, but didn’t remove the arrows.

“Alright. Now, I know how this looks, but I mean you no harm. Let’s negotiate, and see if a deal can be made,” Sylver offered, half speaking to the woman with the dagger’s tip pressing against her beating heart, half the armed elves in front of her.

Sylver was initially stalling for time, but now that Spring and the others were in a good position, he could take them out any time he wanted. But if this could be solved without violence, all the better.

“…”

“Or I could kill her, grab the bag of seedlings and turn them into ashes, and you can kill me. Your call,” Sylver suggested, as he glanced down at the small green-colored bag sitting up against his thigh.

“How do you know about that?” The elf in front of Sylver asked, the question snapped out of his mouth out of reflex. He wore the same armor and green-colored tunic as Darr had near the entrance, but his sword was shorter and placed at a slightly tilted angle near his back. The one who had spoken had dark blond hair, very recently cut short and just barely lying flat against his scalp.

“It’s a long story. Here’s what I want. I want to get out of here so I can finish this crypt and go home. Maybe pick up a few artifacts on my way, but I’m more concerned with finishing this. You guys are waiting for reinforcements, and that’s fine, but I would rather not kill you, if I don’t have to,” Sylver explained.

“Reinforcements?” Sylver’s elf hostage asked. He couldn’t see her face from this angle, but could feel that she was genuinely confused.

“A male elf, level 82, spell sword class, called himself Darragh, and had 3 women elves with him, one of them was level 89, mage class,” Sylver explained.

One of the elves swore in a language Sylver didn’t recognize. But he could tell it was a different one from the one Darr spoke.

“Did one of the women have a scar running across the top of her head?” The woman in Sylver’s hands asked.

“Like a bald spot? I don’t know, they didn’t take their hoods off. They asked if I was with the council, and attacked me when I said I didn’t know which council they were talking about. And I still don’t, just so we’re clear, and I’m not in any council,” Sylver said.

The woman elf and the other two started to speak in their language for a few seconds, gradually increasing in speed and volume, until they were having a full-blown argument.

Sylver spoke when there was a short pause. “Can we finish this first, because the poison is spreading. I have the antidote, but it’s a spell, won’t work without me,” Sylver lied, trying to bring them back to reality.

“What do you want?” The elf woman in Sylver’s hands asked.

“I want to finish this crypt, and maybe collect some artifacts on the way… And for some of the people over there to stay alive,” Sylver repeated. He added the last part when he realized Edna might try following after him.

“You’re not here for the flower?” The woman asked. The way she said it sounded like ‘flower’ was the closest word she could think of to describe the item.

“There’s a specific item you want; I have no qualm with letting you take it. We can share what we find equally, 50/50, but the flower is yours. Ah, but I want something specific too, but I won’t know what it is until I see it,” Sylver offered.

There was another stretch of silence, and Sylver was glad for all the time he had spent training his arms, because otherwise his hand would be shaking and killing the woman right now.

His other hand’s fingers had burned down to the bone and Sylver was ever so slowly leaking blood down onto her neck and beneath the front of her armor.

“The terms are acceptable,” The woman finally said.

“Great!” Sylver answered, with a sigh of relief. Sylver remained as he was, still holding the dagger inside of her, but he started to undo the curse in her bloodstream.

There was another moment of silence.

“We would like to come with you, to help retrieve the flower,” The woman in Sylver’s arms said.

“Why didn’t you leave before? People have come through here, and they…” Sylver looked sideways and could see several bodies neatly laid out in the corner. Spring informed Sylver that all of their possessions were still on them, and they all died from an arrow impaling them in the head.

“Huh…” Sylver said mostly to himself, and could see the two elves in front of him looking towards the same corner like him.

“They were after the flower, there were no alternatives,” the woman in Sylver’s arms said.

Oddly enough, she was still telling the truth.

“This flower… What is it?” Sylver asked, as he gently pulled the dagger out and checked multiple times that all of the curses were collected.

“… I am not at liberty to say,” The woman said simply, as Sylver nearly got the dagger out of her.

“If you got this flower in your hands, who would be affected by it? Would it help in the war against Silia, would it bring ruin to Arda, would the dwarves or the gnomes suffer for it?” Sylver asked, keeping a hand on the woman’s side to maintain direct contact with her.

“No. At least not for another several hundred years, I cannot predict what the outcome will be when the flower is done growing,” The woman explained. Sylver double and triple checked but she was telling the truth.

This sounds like it could be a problem. But it’s a problem for the future, I’ll be strong enough to deal with whatever it is by then.

“Alright, I’m Sylver by the way, Sylver Sezari, necromancer and adventurer extraordinaire,” Sylver introduced himself, offering a slightly formal bow as he cleaned the woman’s blood off the dagger and allowed it to disappear into the folds of his robe.

Sylver could see all three of them physically recoil from him, before catching themselves and pretending they were simply altering their stance to put away their weapons. The woman pretended she was reaching to look at the wound she knew had healed perfectly.

Not regular soldiers or adventurers. But not professionals either.

“Rosa. This is Basil and this is Flax,” Rosa said as she introduced the two others.

Basil was the one who had spoken with Sylver, short dark blond hair, a small indent on the side of his cheek, and maybe half a head taller than Sylver. His build was as slender as most elves tended to be, but there was a practiced ease to his movements, that Sylver ventured were more to do with training than any natural talent he might have had.

Flax on the other had black hair with a faint tinge of red, with a similar indent as Basil on his chin and ear, and he stood almost exactly at Sylver’s height. They all wore the same thin chainmail with a green tunic on top, but Flax’s looked a little more worn than the other two’s, not rusted, but it looked like it had been repaired several times already. He was also oddly stocky for an elf, not to the point Sylver could pick him out of a crowd using such a description, but enough that Sylver took note of it.

Weapon-wise, all three of them used a bow the majority of the time, and if their hands were anything to go by, they would be beyond fucked in a close-quarter combat situation. According to Spring one of the shades nearly disarmed Flax.

Rosa was the tallest of the two, or three if you counted Sylver, nearly 2 heads taller than him, in the way Henra and Edna was, but it didn’t feel as jaunting with her. Henra and Edna were tall, but their tallness was universal, they were, simply speaking, big humans. Rosa, on the other hand, was tall because her legs and torso were stretched, but similar to Flax, it didn’t look out of place on her. She kind of looked like grown-up Lola in that regard, if Lola were to continue growing for some reason.

“I’d like to ask this now to make sure we are on the same page, but to what degree do you have an issue with necromancy?” Sylver asked, rubbing his hands together to get the strain out of his dagger holding hand, and to get rid of the wilted flesh from where he had touched Rosa. It was healing, but it would take a few minutes.

There was a pause. A suspiciously long pause, as Rosa stared directly at Sylver, while Flax and Basil looked at each other in turn.

“As long as it helps us get the flower, we have no issue with it,” Rosa said.

Flax’s body moved slightly as if he were about to say something, but he stopped before even opening his mouth when Rosa turned around to glare at him.

“I see… And the people you killed over there?” Sylver asked, pointing towards the carefully laid-out corpses.

The pause was even longer this time, Sylver stood still and waited, the relationship elves had with necromancy was… finicky. Some considered it magic like any other, and some considered it an affront to everything they stood for, to be wiped out from the world, even at the cost of their own lives.

“We have no issue with it, do as you must,” Rosa said. There was no change in her expression or soul as she said this.

‘As long as it helps us get the flower’ Sylver added to himself.

As Sylver walked towards the corpses he became worried that Poppy was involved in this somehow. On top of that, Sylver found the fact that the person he was most afraid of in the world was called ‘Poppy’ oddly unsettling. It was the difference between walking down a dark street and seeing a grisly-looking grown man with a knife, and seeing a pigtailed little girl with a knife.

While both were dangerous in their own right, mostly due to the presence of the knife, the image of the little girl carried something darker with it.

Sylver looked back at the three elves, and didn’t know how he felt about the fact that they were all purposely staring at the other side of the room so as not to have to look at him. He ultimately decided that as long as they were civil, and didn’t try to kill or attack him, they could have whatever opinion it is that they had.

To Sylver’s surprise, all 14 corpses were in pristine condition, and every single one had a soul attached to it.

We’re in a crypt built by a necromancer, why are you surprised it’s holding souls in place? Sylver thought, as he stood over the corpse of a warrior, with an oddly curved sword. It was the same one the deaf man had used, but it was longer. Sylver summoned some shades as he inspected them and divided them up. There were 4 mages here, 1 of them a healer.

That left 5 swordsmen, 3 archers, and two dagger wielders. Sylver had the mages moved off to the side, while he waited for the darkness to build up. He decided he would leave the mages alone, they would be a waste of time as zombies, and a waste of space as shades if Sylver couldn’t make them use magic.

*

*

*

[Shade (Common)] Raised!]

[Raise Shade (III) Proficiency increased to 16%!]

15% increase for only 10 shades, I must be doing something right.

The final shade struggled to crawl out of the whirlpool of darkness, which was understandable considering he had to suck up the whirlpool into himself to build a body. Nonetheless, one step at a time the black as the night figure made his way out of the slowly disappearing pool, and began to be covered by very distinguishable yellow cracks. As with the other 9, he started from his forehead, and spread out from there, leaving his hands and feet almost entirely black.

He stood around for a while, taking in his surroundings, before Spring pulled him down into the shadows and added him to Sho’s section of shades.

Sylver wiped his hands on his robe out of habit, and turned around to tell the elves he was done.

They walked in pairs, Rosa and Sylver at the front, Basil and Flax at the back.

All three of them were ready to fight when the walls started to break down.

“Don’t waste your arrows, they’re handled,” Sylver explained. He snapped his fingers and heard a small gasp from the back as he turned around to look at the approaching horde.

Spring was showing off.

Sylver didn’t understand why, but accepted it.

Ulvic’s wolves came out of the shadows and ran towards the proto zombies, shoving them to the floor with a powerful pounce. When they landed, they each bit down on the torso of the closest proto zombie and swung it around, sending the other’s flying. Fen, Dai, and Sho appeared near the edges, and in an extremely theatrical fashion decapitated the stumbling masses of undead.

Fen, in particular, skewered their nearly fallen heads and threw them against the others, the resulting sound somewhere between a hollow rock being hit by another rock, and flesh slapping against flesh.

Dai and Sho kept things simple, cutting the proto zombies down the middle, starting from the area where their shoulder met their neck, and going down to about where their belly buttons would be. The fountain of blood this created, was precisely the reason Sylver always kept damage minimal and precise. It was unruly.

[??? (???) Defeated!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]

The violence continued, as Sylver and the others had to stand and wait for them to finish. Body parts flew left and right, black greasy blood splattered against the walls and covered the glowing and pristinely onyx-like shades with its dull and disgusting hue.

The wolves had figured out at some point that the proto zombies had weak joints, and Spring directed them to rip their arms off, before crushing their heads and charging further down the corridor, causing more proto zombies to stagger in the process.

Everything was finished off with a grand finale. Massive jaws appeared out of the floor, followed slowly by a neck as thick as Sylver’s body was, giant yellow eyes and claws thicker and longer than any of the blades Sylver or the elves had at their side. The creature carried on crawling out of the shadows, its head tilted sideways and its mouth dragging against the floor, chewing up everything in its path as it pushed forward, creating, and at the same time sliding, the mound of chewed up gore, forwards and out of the way.

Sylver started to walk ahead, but could see the three elves were frozen in place for the moment. With another snap of his fingers, a bright blue flame appeared at Sylver’s feet. It spread until it reached from one wall to the other, and slowly began to move down the corridor, burning up all the blood that littered the floor, and created a temporary pitch-black smog in the process, before it too, dissipated into nothing.

Sylver used his eyebrows to gesture that they should follow, and started to walk when Rosa, Flax, and Basil did.

What was the purpose of this? Sylver asked, very lightly flicking his fingers to communicate with Spring.

You do understand you’re fucked without the element of surprise? Now they’ll be afraid of going against you. Spring tapped back.

Or they’ll see me as enough of a threat to take out when the first opportunity arises. But I can spin this. Sylver tapped back, his shoulders ever so slightly slouched.

“Sorry about that, there’s so much miasma in the air it’s a struggle to keep them all in line. But don’t worry, I’ve been doing this for years, short of dying, there’s nothing that would make me lose control,” Sylver explained, as he watched the color, ever so slightly, drain out of Rosa’s and Flax’s face.

“What would happen if you were to die?” Flax asked, getting yet another glare from Rosa as a result.

“I’m not entirely sure. The skill description doesn’t mention it exactly, but I’m almost certain they would still be around, even if I died,” Sylver said with a faint smile.

He wasn’t getting the feeling Rosa or the others weren’t doing this in good faith, but you couldn’t be too careful when you’re outnumbered 3 to 1. Even if Sylver’s 1 had 64 shades in it.

Still, it had the intended effect. They were adventurers so they weren’t exactly unaccustomed to violence, but Springs demonstration showed the sheer savagery Sylver was apparently capable of.

Even if Sylver himself thought the whole thing was unnecessary and grotesque, he was just happy to see Spring taking the initiative.

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