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10/24/2020 6:27:12 PM

Plotting to kill Taniks with magnets 12/1/2020 4:20:32 PM

Gifts, Page 5: Alike Friends

[url=]Table of Contents[/url] “Variks,” Petra Venj is surprised to see me, “What is it? Do you need something?” “Yesss,” I reply, looking into the single eye of the Queen’s Wrath with all four of mine. She meets my gaze, unwavering. I know she respects me as I respect her. We understand each other very well, our strengths and our agendas, and for that I consider her to be one of my closest friends. “I need your help. For Prison of Elders.” Petra rests a hand on her hip and tilts her head, jaded but with a hint of friendly curiosity. “You’re the Warden, Variks. Running a prison isn’t really my specialty.” “Advice for the Guardians,” I specify, swaying as I adjust my footing, “Some have lost interest. Do not want the same things. Glory, honor, same treasures, no longer enough. Must find new ways, new rewards.” Petra frowns thoughtfully, “I see. How can I help?” A rumble of satisfaction rises in my throat. She does not suspect my real motives. I am very good at keeping secrets. If any being can help me find a suitable gift for Shadow, it is Petra. They are alike in many ways. “Different types of Guardians, must know what they like. Human, Awoken, male…” I pause, emphasizing the last word, “Female.” Petra straightens abruptly. She has understood my insinuation. “I’m no Guardian, Variks. I don’t know what they like. And…” She turns her head away and lowers her voice, “And between you and me, I’m definitely not an expert on things that girls like…” I nod understandingly. Petra was raised by the Coven, a very unique childhood indeed. I fear the witches and the powers twinned to them, but I might have liked to take her place if it meant learning their secrets. There is no telling what knowledge they have hidden. But in many ways Petra is similar to Shadow. They are passionate, bold soldiers, caring friends, strong hearts. Perhaps if they spent more time together they would become friends. That would be good, they both could use a smile. I push my thoughts aside and step closer to Petra, tapping my staff on the floor and speaking confidently, “But Petra is fierce, proud warrior. Strong, like Guardian. In these ways you are the same. You will want the same things as them. What do warriors want?” Petra is quiet for a while, thinking. I wait, I am very patient. She looks troubled, weary. When she speaks again she looks to me with a new firmness and releases a frustrated sigh, “The riches of the Reef are enough. We’ve offered them weapons, amethyst, glory, everything in the vaults. If some of them don’t want those or have had enough then there’s nothing more we can do.“ I lean on my staff, deep in thought. It seems Petra will be of no help to me. I will have to think of something myself. Maybe something Petra likes will be good for Shadow. Petra watches me carefully. She is patient, too. She appreciates fine weaponry, the armaments of the Reef, but Shadow has shown no interest in acquiring new equipment even in the Prison of Elders. What else interests the Queen’s Wrath? I sigh and stroke my chainmail mask pensively. This will not do. There must be some gift suitable for a Guardian like Shadow. An idea tickles at the back of my mind. Shadow gifted me something of my people and my House. Maybe I can gift her something of her people. If not the Awoken, then her House among the Guardians. Maybe. “You thought of something?” Petra asks. “Yes, yes,” I answer, concealing my excitement and turning my back on her, “Must go now, much to do.”



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