“Ngh… gah…” muttered Kayah, as she hacked away at the rubble burying the exit with her axe. The lynx gave one last shout before petering out. “It’s no use. The rubble’s too thick,” she said to Ayli, out of breath. Ayli’s eyes drifted to the side, nervously. “If you untie my hands… I might be able to get us out of here,” she mumbled, not expecting much. Kayah looked down and gritted her teeth. “I don’t have much of a choice, do I?” she said, still cautious. “If you even think about trying anything funny…. I... I won’t hesitate to kill you...” continued the lynx, pointing her axe at the dragon and making sure to assert her command over the situation. “I’m not sure what exactly I could do, anyway,” said Ayli, disappointedly. She turned around to let Kayah remove her arm bindings, leaving only her wings restrained. “Okay… let’s see if I can pull it off…” said the dragon, unconvinced of her own ability. Ayli faced the sturdy pile of rocks with her feet firmly planted on the cave floor. Holding her right claw out in front of her, she began to chant. “Moronei magunem.. telavu-” orated Ayli, before being cut off by a painful shock of purple lightning. Unknown to her, Kayah had jumped back, startled by the unfamiliar experience. “Ngh… one more try…” said the dragon, rubbing her arm, before starting up again. “Moronei magunem telavi fuletna- AAAGH!” screamed Ayli while the Reverb jolted through her body. The candy-red dragon breathed heavily, trying to shake off the pain after her failed casting. “I’m sorry… I can’t do it…” she muttered, feeling like a failure. Kayah put her paw-finger to her chin and brainstormed. “Well, in that case, it looks like we’re gonna have to go further into the cave,” she explained. “F-further in? Are you crazy?” exclaimed Ayli. The lynx smirked. “If starving to death with nothing but the company of your kidnapper sounds good to you, then be my guest,” she said, before turning towards the shadowy abyss ahead. Sighing, Ayli followed suit.
Echoing drips and drops were the only sounds to greet the two girls as they wandered into the eerie darkness. “It’s been over a week… I hope Lyle and Liza are doing okay on their own...” mumbled Kayah, brushing the stalactite drippings from her forehead while showing her motherly side. Meanwhile, Ayli was midway through orating another spell. “Sehratum altiste liumena!” exclaimed the dragon, forming a small ball of light right above her claw. “W-whoa!” said Kayah, surprised at the successful spellcasting. “I-it’s nothing much, just a simple illumination spell,” responded Ayli, scratching her dark brown hair. “Simple, my ass! I’ve never seen anything like that!” said the lynx, raising a paw in response. The light helped show the way through the long stretch of cave, which, unknown to the girls, was beginning to show signs of habitation. “You furs don’t use magic like we do. It’s nothing special, really,” explained Ayli, in a monotone voice. Kayah rolled her eyes. “You should give yourself some credit. Just ‘cause you couldn't get us out of here doesn’t mean you’re useless. Everyone’s good at something,” she said, slapping the dragon on the back. Ayli was confused. “W-why are you saying this? I thought we were bitter enemies...” she asked. The lynx was twirling her axe in her paw, trying to keep herself occupied as they delved deeper into the cave. “Dunno,” she responded, before chuckling. “Maybe it’s Azalea speaking through me, because I sure as hell haven’t forgiven anyone.” Ayli merely shook her head to get her bearings and continued. “Looks like… bones,” she muttered, noticing the cold, white structures that began to litter the cave ground. “They don’t look like any bones I’ve ever seen,” mentioned Kayah. “That’s because they’re dragon bones,” corrected Ayli. The two came to a stop as they reached a clearing in the cave, and when Ayli brought her light up to illuminate the room, they both gasped. “We… might have a problem on our paws,” said Kayah.
Ayli put a claw over her muzzle in awe. Kayah stepped back. Sitting above them was a throne built from the skeletons of countless dragons, and atop it was their king: a terrifying, towering wyrm adorned with a thorny black diadem. “W-what is this place?” questioned Ayli, moving her light around only to find more skeletons. “One hell of a tomb. Come on, let’s get out of here,” recommended Kayah. The two tip-toed their way to the end of the cavernous sepulchre, only to be met by a deafening roar. “I SMELL THE LIVING AMONG US!” shouted a booming male voice. A terrified Ayli and significantly spooked Kayah huddled together, back to back, when green torches began to ignite. All around the two, the cave became illuminated in an eerie green color, revealing countless ores and jewels embedded in the stony walls. As the emerald light fell upon the dead, the bones began to rattle and turn, slowly coming back together. All around them, skeletal dragons rose to the call of their master. “It has been 300 years since someone has dared to defile my tomb with their presence!” exclaimed the bony king, now burning with jade-colored flames. “We haven’t defiled anything! We’re only passing through,” explained Ayli, with a shaken voice. “Silence, mortal!” shouted the massive skeletal dragon, as his servants let him down from his throne. “No one disturbs the sleep of King Varkhan! I led my people through Granval during the darkest days of our species! If I cannot have my slumber, then you shall pay for it with your lives!” Varkhan’s anger echoed throughout the tomb, calling his skeletal servants to battle. Kayah bumped backs with Ayli. “Can you fight?” she asked the dragon. “I think so…” Ayli responded. “Then let’s clear a path.”
Varkhan’s skeletal minions overwhelmed Ayli and Kayah, their sheer numbers in the cramped space put them back to back. Kayah drew her axe and began bashing the bony dragons. The lynx whacked her enemies with all of her strength, disassembling some, and shattering others, but they were relentless in their attack. “Ngh… get off of me!” Kayah shouted, throwing off the grasping, decrepit claws of her bony attackers in an effort to get away. Now her back was against the wall, but she wasn’t too keen on letting this place be her grave. One by one, the undead dragons fell to pieces from her attacks, being reduced again to their inanimate state, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to slow the horde. “We’re gonna need some of that magic of yours!” she shouted, trying as best she could to knock away the vicious claws and jaws of the ivory-colored zombies. “I’m trying!” she grunted, having an even harder time than her furry counterpart. The ruby red dragon then held both claws out and gave everything she had. “Latuna liumena sehratum sagara- ngh.. sagari solais!” shouted Ayli, letting out a wave of blinding light magic through the pain. “Now’s our chance!” exclaimed Kayah, taking advantage of the disassembling wave of energy. “Aaah!” yipped Ayli, her arm being grabbed and pulled along with the lynx. “Fools! Your tricks cannot slow my undying legion!” roared the king, reanimating his fallen minions once more. Kayah and an unwilling Ayli then plowed through the thin line of bony soldiers blocking the exit, and escaping narrowly into the next room. The hallway they dashed into was filled with the same shiny ore and the same green torches, breathing life into the long dead dragons. “Take this!” shouted Kayah, slashing through a skeleton as she dragged Ayli through the thin, torchlit cave. “They’re catching up!” cried Ayli, pointing to the gaggle of skeletons encroaching on their position. The red dragon pulled on her captor, suddenly stopping them both. “What’s the big idea? I thought we were trying to get away!” exclaimed a miffed Kayah. “I have an idea,” responded Ayli, bringing her arms out and speaking draconic once more. “Nazeh fultena duonem ignalme earti!” she shouted, performing the spell perfectly. An ethereal shroud covered the two girls, its starry protection obscuring them from the rest of the world. “What did you do?” asked Kayah. Ayli smiled, finally happy with her own deed. “Illusion magic. They won’t be able to see us as long as we keep still,” she said. The skeletal minions filed in, with the undead king leading the horde, just as expected, but he did not find what he was looking for. “You cannot escape me, mortals! I can smell your very essence!” he shouted. Kayah shuddered as the dragons passed them by. “Can he?” she asked her partner. Ayli shook her head, confident in her spell. “Your flesh shall make a fine feast for my men!” shouted Varkhan, from up ahead. Kayah gripped her axe. One wrong move and they would be pinned. The skeletal servants already lined the long hallway leading out of the cave. Unless they thought of something, they wouldn’t be getting anywhere. “Come, and face your death!” came the booming voice of Varkhan, now coming back down the hallway. Ayli and Kayah stood perfectly still as the rattling legion made their way towards the position. When the undead king reached where Ayli’s illusion spell obscured the two, he stopped. “I can almost taste you…” he whispered, coming mere centimeters from Kayah’s muzzle. The lynx gritted her teeth and shut her eyes until she couldn’t take it anymore. “Don’t touch me, you disgusting beast!” she shouted, kicking the long-dead king in the ribcage. “Aaagh, she reveals herself!” shouted Varkhan, his bony body falling apart from the kick. “Let’s go!” cried Ayli. Her call was correct, as when Varkhan crumbled, so did his minions. “I shall consume you! I will tear you apart and devour your very souls!” exclaimed the skull of King Varkhan II, but he was unable to stop the girls from escaping. Sunlight shone from the end of the cave, illuminating Kayah and Ayli’s escape route. The lynx and dragon tripped over a few bones, but otherwise made it out unscathed.
Both girls wheezed and sputtered, out of breath from the chase and battle. “Goddess, what the hell even was that?” asked Kayah, plopping her short-tailed butt onto the mountain ground. Ayli sat down next to her, just as tired. “Did you know that was down there?” said Kayah. The red dragon shook her head. “I’ve heard stories in history class about King Varkhan, how he led our people through the mountains and claimed our side of Calesca… but I had no idea his restless spirit was still around…” she muttered. Kayah reached into her pack and pulled out a piece of dried meat to snack on. Now that they had made it out safely, she was one step closer to saving her brother and sister. “You look dreadful. How long has it been since you’ve slept?” asked Ayli, noticing the bags under Kayah’s eyes as she ate. “Eh, 30 hours or so?” responded the lynx, tearing into the meat with her fangs like the cat she was. “Do you want to rest for a while, to get your strength back?” recommended Ayli. Despite still being a hostage, Ayli seemed genuinely concerned. “How I’m feeling is none of your business. Besides, I’m not taking any risks,” responded Kayah, licking her paws to clean up. Ayli looked down, forlorn. “It’s not that… You had my back in that cave,” she said. Kayah put her arms around her knees. What she said reminded her of Zeke. “I kept you close because you’re my ticket out of this stupid situation. Not ‘cause I care about you, or anything,” said the lynx, flatly. Sighing, Ayli lay her legs flat. “I thought you might have been remorseful...” she said. Kayah growled. “Quit trying to read me! You don’t know who I am!” she exclaimed. Ayli turned her head to look her reluctant ally in the eye. “I’m upset about what happened. I really am. I feel betrayed by the world, by Razak himself. But you don’t seem like a bad person. You didn’t kill Gaelen and kidnap me because you hate us… you did it because you had to,” she told her. Right when the cherry dragon closed her mouth, she was met with a fist in the stomach. “Oooh….” groaned Ayli, looking up at the vengeful lynx, who had turned away, refusing to look back. Kayah stopped, shook her paws, and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry. That was uncalled for. I was… frustrated,” she said, turning her neck towards the recoiling dragon. “If I really am gonna turn you over, then I might as well treat you better than a punching bag,” continued the lynx, holding out her paw to Ayli. “You’re still going to do it?” she asked, taking Kayah’s paw. “I have to. You said it yourself,” responded the lynx. Ayli nodded remorsefully. “Then I’ll go. Better me than those siblings of yours,” she muttered. Now both the girls were on their feet. The sky above was bright, and the day was nowhere near done. “Why… why do you value yourself less than the siblings of a stranger?” asked Kayah, genuinely curious. “I… just don’t see what’s left for me. I just want to help, help someone, anyone. I guess helping you is the best option right now,” responded the dragon. “You’re… the kindest person I’ve ever met. I can’t fathom how a dragon is that person, but you’re it,” said Kayah, bewildered, yet grateful. Ayli gave her a soft smile. “T-thanks. I suppose you aren't so bad, either. For a Fur, at least,” she admitted, before chuckling lightly.
The two girls stood on the edge of the cliff where the cave exited out to. The sun was out, the sky was bright and blue, and it was a beautiful day. For Kayah, the only thing between her and a safe and comfortable life for her brother and sister was a steep cliff and a gentle stroll. The lynx was starting to feel a little uneasy about turning the dragon over, but she wasn't about to take this whole journey and flush it down the drain. “There doesn't look like any other way down,” said Kayah, ears waving in the wind. “Hmmm… I might be able to fly us down. Although, it's going to be a bit hard with my wings tied like this,” responded Ayli, tugging at the bindings keeping her from flying. The lynx turned her attention to the captive dragon, and back to the ground below, weighing her options. “If you're thinking about flying away, I'll have to warn you, I've got a pretty good aim,” she said, twirling her axe threateningly. “You can trust me. I don't have any reason to go back, anyway,” responded a moody Ayli. Kayah bit her tongue. “You sure? I wouldn't blame you for trying. You're kind and you’re talented. Those bastards in that town back there could use more dragons like you,” she said. Ayli brought her head up and blushed a bit. The wind pushed her long, slightly bushy, hair to the side, revealing her eyes to Kayah. The turquoise-eyed dragon was honest in what she said: she didn't want to go back to her home. “Thanks,” responded Ayli, as Kayah cut the rope tying the dragon's wings down. The red dragon spread her wings, flexing the thin appendages to warm them up. “Alright, go ahead and put your arms around me and we'll take off,” stated Ayli, unaware of the consequences of what she just said. Kayah merely shrugged and cracked her knuckles before going through with the request. The lynx wrapped her arms around the red dragon's neck and let her weight fall into Ayli. “Waaagh!” she cried, not expecting the rather bulky lynx to be so hard to lift. “You better not be about to call me fat! I'm a hunter, not a stay-at-home-mom. You gotta have a little muscle...” explained Kayah, pouting as Ayli struggled to lift the two off the ground. “I dunno…. maybe a little TOO much muscle…” sputtered the dragon, flapping her wings just hard enough to lift the two off the ground. “Whoo… whooh… We're good…” said Ayli, catching her breath. “Aren't you guys supposed to be really strong, or something?” asked Kayah, gazing down at the perilous cliffs below. Her grip and Ayli's stamina were all that were between her and certain death in the spires below. “Y-yeah, but I'm a student… You don't get big and strong by sitting in a lecture hall all day… And besides…. You're like, twice my body mass…” muttered the dragon, fluttering and dipping in her flight path. “Am not! It's my pack and armor that's weighing you down, not me!” pouted Kayah. Ayli rolled her eyes the best she could. “Because… hoo… that makes a big difference….” she said, gritting her teeth as she hovered narrowly above the rough, mountainous terrain. “Whoa, careful!” shouted Kayah, steering her mount sharply to the right to avoid a jutting out rock. “H-hey, who’s the pilot here?” Ayli cried in protest, her wings starting to tire out. A few close grazes past that and the two were on the ground, safe and sound. Kayah's dragon companion collapsed, exhausted from the perilous task she had just undertaken. Before she could complain, however, a small biscuit and strip of dried meat was thrown her way. “Eat up,” said the lynx, brushing the sweat off of her forehead. “H-huh?” exclaimed Ayli, confused at the edible gesture. “A dragon's gotta eat to keep up her strength, right?” responded Kayah, putting her arms behind her head. “T-this is your food, isn't it? Don't waste it on me!” exclaimed Ayli, feeling undeserving. Kayah rolled her eyes and turned her back to the out-of-breath dragon. “If you're not gonna eat, I'm gonna have to force feed you. Those Altyris guys aren't going to want a starving specimen,” she said. Ayli sighed, smirking a bit. She heard what the lynx had said, but something was telling her that Kayah really wanted her to have something to eat. “T-thanks,” Ayli muttered, taking a bite out of the tough piece of bread that was handed to her.
After finishing her snack, Ayli's energy was replenished, and she stepped up to gaze at the horizon. She had spent her entire life on the other side of the mountains, so the rolling green plains that lay ahead of her were unfamiliar territory. “Well, let's quit standing around. The kids are probably worrying about me, so the sooner we get back, the better,” noted Kayah, encouraging her loosely-held captive. Ayli nodded and the two took a reluctant stride forward. Galde had been where Kayah always went to hunt. It was like her second home, in a way. The area her and Ayli were in, however, was…. unfamiliar, to say the least. The grass was a shade of dead brown, only persisting from the strong Remnant that possessed the area. “Oh, God…” muttered Ayli, as the two stepped into a field of yet more bones. Luckily for them, these bones had no life left in them. Kayah drew her weapon, her head darting from side to side in anxiousness. “No… these aren't like the others…” Ayli explained, a forlorn look spreading across her face. “W-what do you mean?” asked the lynx, still on edge. Ayli placed her claw on a bleached ribcage, still rough and sandy from the wind and sun. “These… are my ancestors… the ones Varkhan was talking about...” she mumbled, knots growing in her scaly stomach. “Is this some kind of burial ground, like the tomb we just came through?” asked Kayah, unaware of Ayli’s wariness. The dragon shook her head, staring at the lynx with cold eyes. “Not a burial ground… a slaughter ground…” she responded, choking with grief. Kayah’s eyes widened. “S-slaughter? Who killed them?” she exclaimed. A bitter taste in Ayli’s mouth was a grim reminder of Gaelen’s fate at the paws of Kayah. The red dragon gripped her claw in anger, but released it and sighed just as fast. “It’s not fair! Why do we have to hunt and kill each other like beasts? What did we all do to deserve this stupid world?” she screamed into the air with misotheistic intent. “J-jeez, calm down,” muttered Kayah, holding her paws up defensively. “You and your ilk did! Just like Varkhan said, it was the darkest time in our people’s history…” responded Ayli, anger slowly petering out. The gears in Kayah’s brain turned for a moment before she realized what the dragon had said. “You dragons have been burning our towns down and snatching our livestock for centuries! They probably did it in retaliation!” exclaimed the lynx, not too keen on having her entire race portrayed as murderers. “I might be a dropout, but… I know enough about our history to see that this wasn’t retribution…” Ayli said glumly. She leaned down and brushed the dirt off of a lone dragon femur. “We were driven into the mountains, chased tooth and nail to the last breath…” mumbled the still living dragon among her dead brethren. Kayah didn’t know what to think. She had always thought the furs were the persecuted ones, not the other way around… Yet here she was, standing in a field of bones, being given a history lesson by the girl she kidnapped. “Look… It’s not my problem that some dragons died a hundred years ago… What matters to me is that my brother and sister have a decent pillow to lay their heads on at night. War is none of my business,” explained Kayah, setting her axe back in its sheath. Ayli only sighed again, fiddling with her claws in uncertainty. “I feel like I should hate you… despise you, even, but… I just can’t bring myself to. Even after what you did to Gaelen… It’s just not in me…” she mumbled, staring down into an open palm. “You’ve got a good heart, that’s for sure,” stated Kayah, nonchalantly. The lynx had had enough of the boneyard and began making her way out, unannounced. “I wish it didn’t have to be like this. AIl the hate and death… I suppose… if I have to be the sacrifice to make this world a better place… then so be it...” Ayli said to herself, before following her captor.
The journey back to Landalsta was relatively quiet. Calm winds blew through Galde, the sun was shining brightly, there wasn’t a cloud in sight, nor a beast to attack the two. It was a nice treat after the strenuous journey so far. Once Kayah and her captive reached the Taldas River, they entered the home stretch. One stroll over the stone bridge that lay between the Swamp and Vele, and Landalsta was within their sights. “That’s the place you’re taking me to? It’s huge! Way bigger than Laktal or Korvale, that’s for sure...” exclaimed Ayli. “Well, it’s home,” said Kayah, a smidgen of reluctance in her voice. Just up on the horizon, however, was an unexpected guest. “Huh? Is that….?” questioned the lynx, scratching between her ears. “I’ve gotta see this… Don’t move a muscle,” she ordered, running off after the figure. “H-hey, wait a minute!” exclaimed the dragon, confused at Kayah’s sudden departure. The lynx approached the figure, and upon further inspection, found that it was a small, confused little girl carrying a miniscule satchel. A cat, just like her, with soft, pinkish-purple fur, and bright green eyes. She couldn’t have been much older than Lyle or Liza, either. “Hey. You seem lost. What are you doing out here?” Kayah asked, placing a paw on the kitten’s shoulder. “Umm… my mommy and daddy said I had to find a new place to live… but I don’t know where to go, and I’m getting real hungry…” she mumbled, her stomach making an audible growl. Kayah frowned and thought for a second. “Well… I don’t have much food to give to you… but I can show you how to find berries that are safe to eat,” she said, scouting the grassy plain for bushes. Kayah felt for this girl. She had been just like her, once upon a time. “You’d really do that? Thanks, miss!” exclaimed the girl in her sweetest voice possible. The lynx smirked softly and led the kitten over to the closest brushy patch. “You’re coming from the city?” asked Kayah, curious as to where this girl was from. “Uh-huh. I live in the lower city. Or, at least I did…” she responded, slowly losing spirit. “What’s your name?” asked the lynx, ears perking up with surprise. “Emerald,” said the younger cat, as the two kneeled down over a bush filled with brownish berries. “These ones are safe. They’re called rindleberries, and they grow from here all the way to Vele. Don’t pick the small ones, only the ones that are soft and juicy,” explained Kayah, putting her hunting skills to use. Emerald picked out the biggest rindleberry she could see and popped it into her maw. Kayah could only smile at the look of utter joy on Emerald’s lilac muzzle. “If you’re looking for a place to stay, Andea down south is probably your best bet. Stay on the path and out of the swamp and you should make it there just fine,” explained the lynx, as carefully as she could. “Wow, thank you so much, Miss… umm..” said the young cat. “Kayah,” she responded, finishing Emerald’s sentence for her. “I won’t forget this!” shouted the eight-year old kitten, waving as she ran off down the path, berries in tow. Kayah smiled, satisfied, before returning to Ayli to finish her journey.
“What was all that about?” asked Ayli, being reapproached by Kayah. “It was nothing. Just a stranger who needed directions,” lied the lynx. As the two neared Landalsta, Kayah yawned. “I need a nap,” she said, putting her paws behind her head to stretch. “That was nice of you to help them out,” noted the dragon, dragging her tail lazily, as she was tired as well. Kayah glared at Ayli. “Whatever,” she muttered, not wanting to seem ‘nice.’ “You’re really going to turn me in?” asked Ayli. The dragon slowed her stride as she changed the subject. “You’re the one with so little regard for yourself, not me,” responded Kayah. “You sound like you want to let me go,” said Ayli, eyes drifting to the side. “I-I didn’t say anything like that! I can’t afford to let you go, for Lyle and Liza’s sake,” exclaimed the lynx, growing belligerent. “Sorry… I just feel like… I’m not going to contribute anything to the world. At least this way I can make you and your brother and sister happy...” muttered the dragon, self-confidence waning. “That’s an awfully stupid reason,” pointed out Kayah, beginning to leave Ayli behind. “H-huh? What?” she asked, hurrying up nervously. “You’re a good girl. Far from useless,” responded Kayah, looking back at the dragon. “Isn’t that detrimental to your cause? Why are you trying to cheer me up?” questioned Ayli, reaching the same pace as Kayah. “Probably. It just… seems like a waste. That girl back there got me thinking about the future,” said the lynx, staring down at her open paw. “This isn’t for revenge, that’s for sure. Handing you over to those dogs in the high palace won’t do a thing to get us to stop killing each other,” she continued. Ayli gasped. “Y-you really want that?” she asked. “Sure. Seems a hell of a lot better than this,” responded Kayah. Smiling, Ayli kept her pace. She was ready for this. “We’re almost there. Let’s get this over with,” said the lynx.
Solan stood in the Grand Hall of the Magistral Palace. The evening light was sparkling through the stained glass windows, he guards had cleared him, and he was ready for answers. “Ah, our precious fennec scholar... What brings you into our presence on this fine evening?” said the First Magistrate with a condescending cougar smile. The fox gave a hmph and brushed his robe back. “I believe our arrangement indicated I’d have my specimen by the end of the third Azal month. Today is the third day of the fourth,” he stated, resentful, yet reserved. “I think you of all people would know that this was not a simple task, yes?” said the Fifth Magistrate, waving his serval tail craftily. “We sent our best men, yeah, but you can’t expect to have your dragon in a matter of days!” shouted the Third Magistrate in his characteristic weasel arrogance. The Fourth Magistrate held out a wolverine paw, indicating the Third Magistrate was out of line, only causing him to sneer. “Of course, but I was under the opinion that you were being conservative with your estimate! I simply must have my specimen if I am to complete my diagrams!” exclaimed Solan, obviously miffed. “Giving you what we do not have is impossible,” noted the Second Magistrate, brushing back his wolfy hair. Solan growled and turned to leave, but was swiftly interrupted. “It would be best if you remember that you are completing this work under contract. Besides… as the organizer of this little Project, your presence is, should we say… required,” said the First Magistrate in a callous voice. The robed fox turned his head angrily. “I have no further business here. Send a courier when the dragon is ready, and I’ll gladly return, but for now, I must return to my daughter,” he said, intending to shut down the conversation. Before he could leave, two of the Magistrate’s royal knights stepped in front of him. “You aren’t in much of a position to be making demands, fox,” the Third Magistrate laughed unprofessionally. “That wasn’t a recommendation. You’ll complete your work along with the rest of our researchers here in the palace,” finished the First Magistrate, giving a signal for the two knights, a well-built rhino and a jackal carrying a golden spear, to escort him out. “Ngh.. You won’t get away with this!” exclaimed Solan, both arms being grabbed by the knights. The First Magistrate showed his teeth in that same condescending grin. “I’ll have Zechsia stop by to collect your things. In the meantime, enjoy your stay,” he said in a sinister tone.
Chapter 7 of Chosen of Fir Gaiden: Blood, Bonds, and a Bittersweet Promise.