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Nothing better than the smell of cooked flesh in the evening.

Basil rejoiced at the sight of steaks warming up on his grill. Rosemarine’s Fire Seeds burned in the castle’s shiny new courtyard, their very presence providing as much heat as coal. Gargoyle ham, bug drone ribs, and the few fish the party harvested from the lake nearby would make for fine dining.

The rest of his party sat around a long table next to a pool. Rosemarine, the only one too big to fit in the courtyard, instead squeezed her body halfway through a stone archway in the outer wall. Saliva drooled from her lips and Bugsy snapped his mandibles in anticipation.

“Dinner’s almost ready!” Basil tossed a slice of wolf-man to Ronald. The burger used his tongue to lift a plate covered in bread and catch the meat in midair. The food briefly glowed and transformed into a delicious meat burger, which he served to Plato.

Like every monster joining Basil’s party, Ronald had developed a new Perk: Bistro Butcher. It allowed the fanged burger to craft meals without a need for a recipe, though he couldn’t use fruits or vegetables. Basil guessed it made sense for a living veggie burger to swear off cooking his fellow plants.

Bon appétit!" Basil said.

“Less words, more food!” Plato replied before hungrily biting into his own burger. The others looked at him with jealousy and awaited their turn in tense silence.

“How does it taste?” Basil asked as he kept tending to the grill.

Plato briefly raised his eyes from the food to grin at his best friend. “Like victory.”

Good answer.

“So good, Bosh!” Bugsy thanked the cooks as his turn came. His mandibles swiftly closed on his own burger. “Thanks Ronald!”

“Do we keep humans for dessert?” Rosemarine asked cheerfully. “I’m sure they taste sweet.”

“Rosemarine, royalists aren’t good for your diet,” Basil chided her. “I wouldn’t feed those four to cannibals.”

“They were a complete disappointment,” Shellgirl complained. “I barely found a golden tooth and a silver watch when I looted their corpses. A pauper’s bounty.”

“Where did you dispose of the corpses?” Vasi asked. “I could make burning skulls from their remains.”

“I thought you got rid of them?” Shellgirl frowned. “Uh. Where did the corpses vanish then?”

Ronald belched in response.

I’m torn between worry and amusement, Basil thought. Best not make it a habit though, he might develop a taste for it… hmmm?

A stream of red particles flowed in front of Basil’s eyes.

“The repairs aren’t over yet?” Basil’s gaze followed the particles, half-expecting them to flow into the walls. Instead, they swirled around Ronald. “Are you reshaping the rooms again?”

“No,” Ronald replied. “Hired help!”

Basil wondered what he meant when the particles suddenly condensed into solid forms. The shape of horns and fangs appeared… alongside wolflike-ears.

“Oh, newborns!” Bugsy swooned with happiness.

“Sweet!” Shellgirl replied with a grin. “New interns!”

“I hope there are plants among them.” Rosemarine licked her fangs. “Or else…”

Could it be? Realizing what was happening, Basil observed the phenomenon with great interest. Half his group was born this way after all. So this is how it unfolds…

Eight new creatures stood in the courtyard when the cloud of red particles cleared. Half of them were the same bestial humanoids that Basil’s party fought earlier today, although none of them appeared hostile. The rest were a trio of demonic stone gargoyles with cruel claws and a rusty knight’s armor. When Basil looked into the last creature’s helmet, he found himself staring at empty darkness.

Gargoyle
Level 18 [Demon]
Guild: Homeowner Revenge Association.
Lycan Warrior
Level 14 [Beast/Humanoid]
Guild: Homeowner Revenge Association.
Haunted Armor
Level 16 [Undead]
Guild: Homeowner Revenge Association.
Gargoyles unlocked the [Dark Claw] active Perk. Lycan Warriors unlocked the [Beastman Melee I] passive Perk. Haunted Armor unlocked the [Grudge] passive Perk.

The dungeon had spawned new mooks.

“My liege and overliege!” The empty armor bowed at Ronald and Basil, its voice sounding like a creaking door. The rest of the newborn monsters followed suit and knelt. “We answer to your will!”

Basil remained silent as he analyzed the situation. The System warned him that the dungeon’s newly spawned creatures would be under his guild’s command, but watching it unfold raised many new questions.

Those were the same particles used by the castle to repair itself. Basil glanced at the auroras in the skies. They all followed the same color scheme, so these phenomena relied on a single source to function. Did it mean that the dungeon drew from its own mass to create new monsters? Did the neurotower produce these particles or did it summon them from somewhere else?

He needed to find Kalki as soon as possible. He was probably the only person with the answers Basil sought.

“Go fetch more steak,” Basil ordered his new recruits as he focused back on his grill. “I’ll think better with a belly full.”

“At your service, my overliege.” The rusty armor turned its empty helmet at the rest of the guild. “Must we kill one of them or fetch the food elsewhere?”

“Just try,” Plato threatened.

“There’s a storehouse in the castle, first door to the left,” Basil replied half-mindedly. “Ronald, I leave them to you.”

And like any good middle-manager, Ronald immediately barked out orders.

“You slice!” The fanged burger pointed at the armor with his tongue, and then at the gargoyles. “You tend to fire! Rest, get raw food!”

“Ugh, hazing…” One of the gargoyles groaned. “One minute in and I already want to die.”

Ronald roared loud enough to make the new recruits flinch. Tomato sauce dripped from his fangs like warm blood.

“You complain about food?” Ronald asked. The flames of the grill flared briefly, as if to echo his anger. “You become food.”

Basil wondered if McDonald's ever considered that turnover method.

In any case, the mooks swiftly went to work and never complained again. The haunted armor proved itself an excellent kitchen assistant too, though Basil insisted that it clean its rusted sword before it could cut the steaks. I expected more vegetables among them. Seems like the dungeon determines the kind of creature summoned, not the Boss.

A Boss has no control over which monsters are spawned by a dungeon nor their numbers, though they are automatically under their control. The levels and Types of the summoned creatures depend on the dungeon. Château Muloup can spawn [Bug], [Beast], [Demon], [Humanoid] and [Undead] Types with a level range of 13-22 each day.

“Couldn’t a cursed castle spawn teddy bears for a change?” Basil asked. “Where’s the originality?”

Dismaker Labs wishes you a happy apocalypse!

Of course a Metaverse corporation would make a bland, soulless product.

Still, the monsters might have been walking clichés, but they were all relatively high-levels. The haunted armor could probably massacre a small human settlement the same way Megabug rampaged through the Ogre Den.

And there were eight of them.

Basil did some mathematics in his head. If the dungeon summoned new monsters at the same frequency each day, then Château Muloup would grow a sizable garrison of over two hundred soldiers within a month’s time. An organization with dozens of neurotowers under its control could generate entire armies on short notice.

This realization solidified Basil’s decision to either claim or destroy any dungeon he came across. Mankind would never survive the unceasing flood of monsters they unleashed daily otherwise. Especially if they unlocked new Perks at random…

The realization hit Basil like a ton of bricks. “System, you said some of my Guildmaster Perks applied to my entire Guild?” he asked. “Which ones?”

As the Homeowner Revenge Association’s Guildmaster, your following Perks apply to your entire Guild: [Monster Charmer III], [Monster Cure I], [One for All I].

Basil reread the notification a few times and mulled over the implications. As he suspected, newborn monsters recruited into his Guild immediately unlocked an additional Tamer Perk. They would benefit from enhanced stat growths, more metamorphosis choices, free healing…

No wonder Megabug wanted to recruit Basil. His class could potentially strengthen thousands.

“Finally,” Basil whispered as he finished cooking the food. Ronald served him his own hamburger. “Thank you.”

“Want bone fries?” Ronald asked. “With blood sauce?”

“I’ll pass.” Basil sat between Bugsy and Shellgirl to join the feast. How could bug meat taste so good? “Like victory indeed…”

It might be a long while until the group could enjoy a feast like this one. Apollyon’s troops cleared the castle of supplies. What they couldn’t take in their mad dash to escape their base’s takeover, they poisoned and burned.

The new Homeowner Revenge Association would have to ration their remaining food or hunt game, but that could wait for tomorrow. Basil’s friends deserved a moment of joy after all that happened today, however short-lived.

Short-lived. Basil’s burger suddenly tasted like ash in his mouth. Where do monster souls go?

The thought wouldn’t leave him. Basil had seen a mermaid raise the dead as zombies, so souls definitely existed in some form. Yet where did dead monsters go? Was Orcine in some orc Valhalla and Kuikui breeding with angel chickens? Basil’s faith used to provide easy answers to the afterlife questions, but now… now he wondered.

They hadn’t even followed Orthodox rites for their dead. Orcine scattered her parents’ ashes to the winds, so the party did the same with her remains. As for Kuikui, they buried him under a tree outside the castle so that he may watch the view from the afterlife. The same way Basil had once buried the Old Man.

Who else would he outlive?

Basil glanced at Bugsy. The centimagma sensed his leader’s gaze and raised his eyes from his plate. “Boss? Is something on your mind?”

“How are you holding up?” Basil asked. His friend’s wounds had closed thanks to Rosemarine’s healing.

“I’m alright, Boss. No offense, but you hit me harder the first time we met than anybody else since.” Basil winced at that. Bugsy cleared his throat. “I-I, I mean it’s good that you did! You taught me respect, and self-respect too!”

Yet the last battle had been a close call. If Bugsy hadn’t received emergency healing, he might have died fighting Lalande’s party. Kuikui and Orcine’s deaths already hit hard even though Basil barely knew them. He didn’t want to imagine Bugsy’s potential demise.

“Why are you still with us?” Basil asked Bugsy.

The centimagma looked at him in confusion. “Why wouldn’t I, Boss?”

“When I first asked you if you wanted to leave soon after we first met, you stayed to become stronger,” Basil pointed out. “You succeeded.”

“I still have a long way to go to surpass you, Boss.” Bugsy raised his head with pride. “I’m strong, yes, but I don’t just want to get stronger. I want to become the strongest. So strong we can rebuild the house and that nobody will dare to interrupt our Major Chicken marathon nights again!”

Basil couldn’t help but chuckle. “Is that truly your goal in life?”

“Yes, it is,” Bugsy replied with a nod. “I guess you rubbed off me, Boss. The good way.”

“I hope so,” Basil said as he finished his burger. He felt the calories travel down his gullet and into his veins.

Ronald’s [Wolf-Warrior Burger] buffed your strength for one hour.

Neat. A shame they would leave Ronald behind when they moved to Bordeaux. His food would have eased their woes.

“Why were you asking me these questions, Boss?” Bugsy’s eyes widened in fear. “Y-you’re not going to kick me out of the party, right? I didn’t disappoint you?”

“No, of course not. You can stay as long as you want.” Basil would respect his wishes, whatever they were. “But you’ve got to understand that our next battles will only grow deadlier.”

“When weren’t they, Boss? Mister Megabug almost killed us all in our first fight.” Bugsy locked eyes with Basil, his eyes brimming with determination. “Boss, I made the same oath as you. What the bugs did to our rabbits and place wasn’t right. And Kuikui…”

He snapped his mandibles in anger. “His death makes me want justice all the more, Boss.”

Rosemarine, who had listened to the conversation from afar, loomed over the table.

“Once we find a cannon big enough for me, Mister, we’ll kill them all,” she told Basil. “I will pull our carriage and we will sow each corner of the world with their corpses. Flowers of death will bloom over their graves to cover the Earth!”

His monsters spoke with such sincerity that Basil couldn’t help but feel moved. For a long time since René’s death, he felt he had finally made dear friends. “Bugsy, Rosemarine?”

Bugsy tensed up. “Y-yes, Boss?”

“You have brave hearts,” Basil said before patting him on the head. Bugsy’s antennae wriggled in response and Rosemarine giggled at the sight. “I swear to you, today’s fiasco won’t happen again. We’ll train for battle from now on.”

“We won’t disappoint you, Boss,” Bugsy promised, head raised with pride. “I won’t disappoint you.”

“I’ll need a new gun, Mister,” Rosemarine said. “One big enough to shoot down the moon.”

“We’ll find one in Bordeaux, I promise,” Basil promised. “Even if the army doesn’t have any, Bordeaux has one million and more inhabitants. We should meet a crafter equipped for the task among them.”

Shellgirl, who hadn’t touched her own dinner—a pile of bread, since Ronald refused to cook vegetables—turned in Basil’s direction so fast her slimy neck squeaked. “One million customers, you said?”

“That’s nothing,” Basil replied with a shrug. “Paris had ten million inhabitants before the apocalypse. The place’s a goddamn ant mill.”

“Mmmm…” Shellgirl joined her hands with a pensive look. “Partner, don’t you think it’s time we officialize our relationship? That we go public?”

Basil raised an eyebrow. He felt Bugsy’s heavy stare on his back. “What do you mean?”

“So far we’ve danced around the subject,” Shellgirl said. “We’ve met in your old basement at night, tried not to look too close in public… don’t you think it’s time we announce it to everyone?”

Now Bugsy’s eyes reeked of… condemnation? Basil didn’t know what to make of it.

“The hell are you talking about?” Basil asked Shellgirl.

“Our company!” Shellgirl grinned wickedly and waved a hand at the new mooks. “Look at our new employees! No more garage start-up, Partner! We’ve scaled up and the world should know!”

“Ah, I’m so relieved!” Bugsy let out a loud sigh. “I’m sorry I doubted you, Boss. I thought you were cheating on Vasi behind her back.”

“I’m not…” Basil frowned at his friend. “Wait, what does that mean?”

“Ah, uh…” Bugsy looked strangely embarrassed. “You know… you and Vasi…”

“Someone called me?” Vasi walked around the table and sat on the edge next to Shellgirl. She held a half-asleep Plato in her arms, his belly fuller than a Swiss bank account. “What are you gossiping about?”

“Nothing!” Bugsy lowered his head to avoid the witch’s gaze. “I… I thought you and the Boss… you know…”

“You thought that they shared a toothbrush?” Plato asked mirthfully.

“Yes!” Bugsy replied immediately. His antennae wavered, his voice trembled, and the lava in his veins let out a faint mist. He was a terrible liar. “Yes, I thought you shared a toothbrush! Which is good and healthy!”

“I doubt that,” Vasi replied with a coy smile. She was no blinder to the obvious lie than Basil was. “Though Basil is welcome to clean my teeth, if he dares.”

“Don’t confuse him,” Basil groaned as Bugsy gasped and swooned. Too late. “Look at what you’ve done!”

“Stealing someone’s spotlight?” Vasi winked at Shellgirl and petted Plato’s behind the ears. The cat purred in response. “I’m sorry dear, please go on.”

“Thank you.” Shellgirl clapped her hands, happy to regain the group’s attention. “Imagine, Partner. Millions of customers are lost, terrified, and confused! They demand to be spoiled! Reassured! We could barely satisfy a few dozen, but with an ever-growing number of unpaid employees, we can flood the market with cheap scavenged goods!”

“You want to hire newborn monsters as merchants?” Vasi asked. “I see. So you would follow Walter Tye’s example?”

“I’ll go beyond! Corporations steal, but entrepreneurs innovate!”

“What goods would they peddle?” Basil asked with skepticism. They were already stretched for supplies.

“What we’ll find,” Shellgirl replied with a wave of her hand. Of course she focused on the big idea over the pesky limits that reality involved. “Look at Dax. The city was full of gizmos we didn’t have space to store.”

“Wouldn’t merchants have the same problem?” Vasi asked. “Basil and you can transport items thanks to your inventory. I don’t think newborn monsters possess the same ability.”

“Vasi, Vasi, open your mind!” Shellgirl joined her hands with a devious face. “If each guild member can draw upon the Guild Inventory, then they can safely transport items with no risk of theft nor troublesome logistics! What can be stored can be unstored, right?”

Basil opened his mouth to say that the Guild Inventory didn’t work that way, realized he didn’t actually know, and swiftly asked the System for clarification. “How does the Guild Inventory work?”

Your [Guild Inventory] can store 50 item slots per neurotower under your Guild's control. You can set permission for each item or category, allowing you to regulate who can access your supplies.

“I’m limited to fifty items per dungeon,” Basil explained.

“We could always build storerooms inside the castle, Boss,” Bugsy suggested. He seemed to have calmed down from… whatever he believed was happening between his chief and Vasi. “Or an underground storage vault.”

“We could,” Basil conceded. As Château Muloup’s new Boss, Ronald could alter its layout once per day, organize space, split stones to create open gardens, duplicate towers, and even dig tunnels underground. The dungeon couldn’t create new matter from nothing, but it could instantly reshape what already existed. This courtyard used to be the hall where they fought Lalande’s party mere hours ago.

The System set one key limit to the interior decoration: a path to the neurotower always remained. The party’s efforts to wall off the dungeon’s core had ended in miserable failure. New doors opened into nearby rooms or the layout changed to accommodate a route.

The message was clear: a dungeon would never be entirely safe from a takeover.

“But my idea can be done, right?” Shellgirl asked for confirmation.

“I can give special Inventory permission to guild members,” Basil confirmed. “On paper, your plan might work.”

“Deep dive into the next generation, Partner!” Buzzwords started flowing out of Shellgirl’s mouth in a confusing storm of business advice. “With our core competency, we can ballpark the hell out of this new market, achieve synergies, leap over the pain points, and achieve a quick win! Complete holistic takeover!”

Her audience grew more and more confused with each new buzzword, except for Basil, who simply scowled. Shellgirl hastily stopped herself upon seeing his expression. She looked at him anxiously, the way a start-upper would after pitching their idea to an unfeeling venture capitalist.

Once, Basil would have decried the idea as risky… yet his experience with Orcine and the short-lived Barthes market showed that trade had become all the more relevant after the apocalypse. In spite of Basil’s dear hopes, complete self-sufficiency was difficult to achieve.

The more he thought about Shellgirl’s idea, the more promising it sounded to Basil. Faraway crafters could provide goods that his team needed and they needed to rebuild food stores for the winter. Traders might encounter potential allies or friendly communities, and the Guild Inventory would allow the group to access stored supplies across vast distances.

The risk of discovery remained, but Château Muloup broadcasted an aurora visible across the entire region on its own. And besides, Basil was done hiding.

“Alright,” he said.

“Now, I understand your reservations, but I can show you the business plan and—” Shellgirl blinked. “Did you say yes?”

“I did,” Basil replied with a shrug. “I’ll give you access privileges to the Guild inventory so you can set this up.”

“Great!” Shellgirl had clearly expected him to argue over it, but she wouldn’t look at the gift horse in the mouth. “I knew you would see it my way!”

“You can even stay here if you want to help Ronald manage the castle,” Basil suggested.

“Woah, woah!” Shellgirl crossed her arms. “Why would I do that?”

“You could manage your ‘unpaid employees’ more easily,” Basil replied. The expression sounded bitter in his mouth. Too many unpaid internships. “I mean, you joined my party to expand your own business. Nothing forces you to go with us to Bordeaux. If anything, it’ll be detrimental to your idea.”

“What kind of mimic do you take me for?” Shellgirl sounded genuinely offended. “You think I would suck you dry and then leave with the money? That I would abandon you midway? I’ll teach the newbies the basics and trust them to innovate. I don’t micromanage.”

Basil chuckled. “You’re sure?”

“Weren’t you listening? We’re Partners, thick and thin.” Shellgirl grinned. “I’ll stick to you whether you like it or not. Vasi can attest to that.”

“I do,” Vasi said with a chuckle. “You’ll grow fond of it.”

His last doubts cleared, Basil smiled at his teammate. “Thank you, Shellgirl.”

“Thank me by assigning your goddamn levels,” Shellgirl said, her fists pumping. “I’m soooo close to a premium promotion. I can feel my bank account shuddering in anticipation!”

“When I evolve again, I will gain wings.” Rosemarine glared at the rising moon on the horizon. “And then we will see… we will see!”

“Come to think of it, now is as good a time as any to discuss your class progression, Basil,” Vasi said with a coy smile. “Unless you want to ask me if I want to leave your new association or commit?”

How insightful. “I thought I would wait to survive Halloween first.”

“We will survive, and I’ll stay.” Vasi scratched Plato behind the ears. “I can’t abandon our dear king of cats or my lovely Shellgirl.”

“Aww, you’re so sweet,” Shellgirl replied. “You make me swoon inside!”

“I appreciate this group. You’re fun.” Vasi winked at Basil. “We aren’t done yet, handsome.”

“I hope not,” Basil replied. “I appreciate you too.”

Bugsy glanced at Shellgirl, Vasi, and Basil in quick succession. His breath shortened and he struggled not to squeal. Basil shuddered at the idea of whatever dark thought crossed the centimagma’s mind.

“I asked you earlier if you knew what you wanted to become.” Vasi gave Basil a sharp look. “I think you do now.”

Yes, he did.

A part of Basil always wondered if his party stayed with him because they had nowhere else to go. Half of them were born from dungeons barely a few months ago. For all of their intellect, the likes of Bugsy and Shellgirl remained naïve.

But tonight’s discussion cleared his doubts. Basil’s party stayed with him because they cared. A small community had formed under his eyes, odd yet tightly-knit. Maybe that was what ensured their victory against Lalande’s group: mutual trust.

He would honor it.

“My Tamer Perks apply to all members of the Guild, including the killswitch.” Basil clenched his fist. “I’m responsible for everyone who’ll sign with us, but I’ll also strengthen them.”

“The more, the merrier,” Shellgirl replied. “I’m sure we can milk it out for money.”

“I understand I have minor temper issues, and I’m working on them,” Basil said, ignoring the remark. Plato opened his eyes and squinted at his owner. “I’m working on them.”

“You can’t tame your inner bear, Basil,” Plato said. “I tried, I failed. It’ll always bubble up beneath the surface and burst like a volcano.”

He was probably right, but Basil would make an effort all the same.

“Anyway, a part of me knows Berserker is the best class for me. It’s the one that fits me the most.” Basil glanced at his allies. “But it’s not the best class for you.”

“That’s one way to put it,” Vasi replied with a soft, affirmative sound.

“What I want, besides unleashing the wrath of God on the Apocalypse Force, the Unity, Dismaker Labs, and all the assholes that crawled their way into this world, is to make sure you all live through it.” Kuikui and Orcine’s deaths had opened his eyes on that front. “You guys…”

Basil crossed his arms and struggled to find the right words. How could something so simple sound so difficult to say?

“You’re my friends,” he finally said. “I care for you and I want you to live long and happy lives.”

“Aww…” Bugsy had tears in his eyes. “Boss, I’ve waited so long to hear those words…”

“That’s noble of you,” Vasi said, more grimly. “But you can’t guarantee it.”

“I can do my best,” Basil replied. And that would have to do. “Instead of hoarding strength for myself, I can share it with you all. I’ll make sure our Guild’s monsters behave, and that they’ll help people rather than hunt them for levels. That’s who I want to become.”

Basil inhaled sharply before speaking.

“The Apocalypse Tamer.”

He would domesticate the shit out of Armageddon.

His party welcomed his declaration with silence… which Plato quickly broke.

“Apocalypse Tamer?” Plato choked on his own laughter. Vasi herself struggled to hold him, her lips curling into a smile. “Seriously, Basil? You came up with it on your own?”

“Judas!” Basil accused his cat. “I show my heart to you, and that’s how you answer?”

“It’s alright, Boss.” Bugsy at least showed some support. “It’s amazing.”

“I like it!” Shellgirl replied. “Sounds trendy… and appropriate.”

Rosemarine nodded in appreciation. “We will tame the apocalypse and let it run wild, worse than before!”

“Bootlickers.” Plato snorted. “I’m the only one willing to speak the truth to power.”

“Then speak a truth I can agree with,” Basil replied.

“Apocalypse Tamer…” Vasi’s coy grin didn’t falter. “If you want to walk that path, you should complete the Tamer part first. As Walter said, Perks exponentially increase in power as you progress in a class. Once you’ve done that, I suspects new options will present themselves.”

She was right of course. After trying out multiple paths to power, Basil went back to the basics.

It was time for him to specialize.

Tamer Level 12, 13, 14 & 15 Stat Gains: +3 STR, +4 AGI, +1 VIT, +4 MAG, +3 INT, +4 CHA, +2 LCK. You have earned 80 HP and 65 SP.
Monster Insight (Passive): You can passively glean information from monsters by observing them closely, including their elemental affinities and useful trivia. Your chances of analyzing a monster depend on your Intelligence, their level, and the influence of secondary Perks.
Monster Lair II (Passive): Your monsters can now create Lairs of their own; however, they must have undergone a metamorphosis at least once. Your monsters will keep this ability and their lair even if they leave your party.
[Monster Lair II] will apply to your entire Guild.

The rush couldn’t compare to Basil’s terrible glee as he read the last lines. It unsettled Vasi greatly. “Basil? Basil?”

“Oh, a new Perk!” Bugsy rejoiced. “I can make my own Lair now!”

“I can make my own litter now.” Plato shrugged. “Big deal.”

Clearly he didn’t see that Perks’s potential.

“Samhain is a dangerous night and we should expect a fight,” Basil said. “Those were your words, Vasi.”

“I said the dead would rise, that fairies would come out to play, and that with dark magic at its apex we should expect a fight.” Vasi’s frown deepened. “What do you have in mind, handsome?”

“Killing many birds with one stone.” Basil grinned ear to ear, as a devious idea crossed his mind. He glanced at the pelt on his shoulders.

It had been a while since he put a Halloween costume on…

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About the author

Maxime J. Durand (Void Herald)

Bio: I'm Maxime Julien Durand ([email protected]), a European warlock living in the distant realm known as France, spending all his time writing tales and forbidden scrolls.

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