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Изменено (AggressiveBacon): 8/26/2018 1:27:50 PM

The Lords of Ambros (Chapter 7, Part 2)

Table of Contents: [b]Chapter 7, Part 2[/b] "I spy with my little eye...a tree." "Which one?" "The one on the right." "Oh. Okay. I win again." Roak stilled for a moment, absorbed in thought. "This game seems too easy..." The boy shrugged. "It's pre-Golden Age. People [i]were[/i] pretty stupid back then." Roak nodded in silent agreement, his mind searching for an alternative pastime. "Got any other games?" "Not really, no. Shouldn't we be focusing on training and stuff anyway? Games aren't gonna help us kill Warlords." "Yes", Roak conceded, nodding slightly, "but that stuff is boring." "Aren't [i]you[/i] supposed to be the mature one?" The boy asked, catching the Warlord by surprise. "Excuse me?" the frontiersman questioned. "I mean, we're about to go fight immortal warriors, we're practically defenseless, and you want to play travel games. I'm taking this more seriously than you are, and I'm thirteen." Roak halted, and his companion-though confused-responded in kind. The Iron Lord turned, staring at the boy in slight confusion. "And?" he asked dumbly. The refugee responded with a confused stare of his own. "And...well, you're a Warlord. You're immortal. You're probably older than my great-grandfather." Roak turned back to the trail and resumed his march before answering. "I'm three." "Oh. You don't look three", the boy said earnestly. "You don't know many Risen, do you?" the Iron Lord questioned. "No, just you and...just you." "What was that?", Roak questioned. "Well, I talked to our Lord once, a few months ago-on my birthday. He talks to everyone once they turn thirteen. Tells them about the Scavengers...and the Ambrosians", the boy trailed, "and the Wolves...", he finished, casting his eyes downward. "He does?", Roak asked, interested. "And what does he say about us?" "Nothing", the youth said dismissively. "Tell me...", the Risen insisted. "Well, you know...just that you're liars...and murderers...and thieves...and cowards...and that you smell like shit and have fleas. Y'know, just like normal wolves." "Do you believe those things?" Roak asked, his reaction a mixture of indignation and amusement. The latter was short lived. "I dunno...", the boy said, staring at the ground as he walked. "Hey", the Warlord said, his voice stern. "Answer the question." Startled by the harshness of his companion's tone, the refugee blurted out a response. "I mean, I guess so." Roak halted instantly and pivoted to face the child. "Why?" he demanded. "I saved your life. You said so yourself. What more do you want?" The boy's only reply was a weak shrug, and he continued to shuffle ahead. Roak grabbed him by the shoulders, denying his escape. "[i]Why?[/i]" he asked again, his voice growing hard. "If I were a murderer and a coward, why would I save you?" "Just because I'm a kid doesn't mean that I'm stupid", the refugee mumbled. "What's [i]that[/i] supposed to mean?" "You're using us!" the boy shouted, frustrated by the barrage of questions. "You're forcing us into [i]your[/i] war!" Roak recoiled from the accusations. "I'm not forcing [i]you[/i] into anything", he rebutted pointedly. "[i]You[/i] volunteered." "[i]They[/i] didn't!" the youth exclaimed, motioning toward the other refugees. "I need help...", the Warlord said quietly. "I can't fight them alone. I need you to help me...[i]all[/i] of you." "[i]No[/i]", the boy insisted. "That's a lie. You need us to [i]die[/i] for you. You just want to impress your friends." "Why would I lie to you?" Roak asked, his anger replaced by hurt. "I don't know", the youth said flatly "How can I? I barely know you at all. Hell, you haven't even shown us your face." The Iron Lord reached up, grasped his helm at the sides, and pulled it off in a flash. A gaseous hiss lingered in the air as the armor's pressure was released. Roak stood silently and allowed the boy to study his face for several seconds before he spoke, his voice that of one making a simple observation. "I don't even know your damn name." The refugee stared up at Roak for a moment before responding, his voice relaxed. "Locke. My name is Locke." _______________ [i]Tips, criticism, questions, etcetera are greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading my work.[/i]

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