Fable - Ask Monsters In A Cage

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Matias

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San Siveia - Walls

"Seventeen days." Matias voice was ornery, angry, and outright pissed off. "Nine fucking days we've been trapped behind these walls."

He let out a huffing sigh as he sat himself down against the parapet, sliding until he was on the ground and then reaching to rub at his face. Lips thinned as he shook his head and drew a heavy breath into his lungs. His eyes squeezed shut, and the loud rumbling of his stomach seemed to echo out loud enough for a man a few feet away to hear.

"How long is it going to take the rest of the Regiment to get here?" He asked quietly, knowing that no one around him really would be able to answer.

Harlowe, Felice, himself, and a few others from the Regiment had been sent to San Siveia near a month ago. A little after that that city had come under siege from a force ten times the size of it's own garrison. It had been seventeen days since the siege had fallen. Almost three weeks of being held on a leash, three weeks of being unable to escape the city walls.

They had tested the corridor which surrounded the city half a dozen times, had tried to break through in one spot or another, but each time they had either been overwhelmed or driven back.

There was no way out. Not until relief came.

Rations were getting short, and the city behind them was slowly beginning to starve. A few of the soldiers were already talking about surrender, though a hard stare from Vix had silenced all of them. He had no idea where his...mentor had gone now, likely talking to the Viscount about not yet raising the white flag of surrender.

This entire situation was as frustrating as he possibly could have put it. They were monsters, not cowering little dogs. Yet there was only twelve of them, and twelve against ten thousand...those were not numbers they could survive.

Matias leaned his head back. "Fuck me I'm hungry."
 
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Harlowe

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"You're hungry?"

The silver-haired vampire raised her head from her arms where they were draped about her knees and fixed her friend with a dark look. At least there were food rations left. Half the monsters in here however didn't eat food. They ate people. Which was strictly off limits with the townspeople they were trying to protect, as per the contract. If they wanted to eat they had to take a chance with the soldiers beyond. Despite her speed and strength, even the young vampire had only managed to do it once in the last seventeen days and it was beginning to take its toll.

Even Matias was looking appetising.

"They'll be here soon," she said miserably and put her chin back on her arms. "Orin will," the other vampire would be one of the first with that speed. "Maybe Nazara can just shadow murder them all."
 
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Felice

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Ignoring the hunger had stopped working before the end of the third day. Now there was nothing left to tear her brain away from the primal cravings. The longer she went the worse the cravings got, the less control over her power, and the frailer she felt.

Navaia had insisted that everything the Regiment knew about harionagos indicated they couldn’t starve to death. “But they can become so weak that they are unable to move until they’re fed or violently slain,” she had insisted.

Felice’s typically straight red hair was fraying at the ends, randomly shuddering from one side to the other, and curling in odd directions every few hours. ”How bad would it be if I just ate… you know… one of the small ones? Or one of the really old ones?”

She lacked the energy to scrunch her nose or add anything witty. At this stage she’d have settled for eating a week old corpse, even if it likely wouldn’t do much for her.

”You think he could just shadow cripple one? Maybe shadow disembowel one for uh, feeding purposes?” Felice could already feel the control over her locks slipping. If they took much longer she was pretty certain she’d have no control at all until she fed. ”Maybe ice boy can freeze one of them in place for me.”
 
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Matias

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"Ice boy?" Matias said with a frown, though his head shook for a moment as he let the comment go.

Unlike the two others...food was not as much as a necessity for him as it was for them.

He didn't really understand why, and even Vix had been unable to tell him. Navaia had said that Jotunn's had the appetite of the gods, but even with the ravening hunger clawing at his stomach none of his strength had really waned.

It was puzzling. He felt the pain of starvation, but felt no weakness. His friends though? He could see the weariness on their faces. The thin lines, the ache that must have been clawing through their bodies minute by minute.

The Frost Giant couldn't help but feel sympathetic.

He frowned, letting his head roll from Felice over towards Harlowe. After a few more seconds he slowly drew himself up the parapet. "Fuck it."

Matias said with a scowl.

"Come on." His hand jerked. "Follow me."

He'd be fucked over half way to sunday if he let his friends starve to death.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe really wished Felice would stop describing food. Especially when that food was living, breathing, people with families and lives of their own. She didn't want to take their lives. After the first feeding frenzy she had always taken care to eat on the battlefield or find someone who wasn't deserving of life; men who beat their wives into bloody pulps, or silent knives in the dark. Orin had mocked her for having a conscious but he had also seemed... proud. Like he respected her decision to turn what wasn't a nice thing into something less monstrous. She'd noticed recently how he had begun to do the same.

The years erode your humanity, sometimes it takes a kid to remind you, he'd chuckled when she had pointed it out.

When Matias abruptly stood she was half expecting him to threaten to burn the place down - that was his usual style. Instead the mysterious order made her raise both brows. Doing something was better than dwelling on how weak she felt though so she forced herself to her feet and trailed after him, keeping a hand on the wall to steady each shaky step.
 
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Felice

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When your stomach wanted to eat itself there was little room for snark.

Which was a real shame because the regular, fully fed, Felice would've loved to comment further on the, 'ice boy,' quip she lobbed over to Matias. Maybe it was because of the general despair and hunger but she was pretty sure she had finally struck a nerve with the frost giant. Or maybe that thought was what the warped reality of a week plus without feeding did to the brain.

Both of her crimson eyebrows perked up at the words that poured from Matias' lips. Did he know where they could find something to eat?

"Where are we going?" Her tone was impatient and short. If Felice didn't have to exercise energy she didn't want to and if there wasn't food at the end of this little journey she was going to be more than annoyed at the detour. Sluggishly she fell in line behind Harlowe.
 
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Matias

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"Out of the city." Matias bit back some of the irritation that normally would have ebbed through his tone.

The Frost Giant could feel his stomach rumble once more, though he did his best to ignore it. He wouldn't die, but they would eventually. Vix had forbidden them from going beyond the wall after the last excursion, citing that their numbers were simply too few.

She, however, was not starving to death.

The demon could make her meals from the dreams of their foes. There was never a shortage of nightmares, not on either side. Not during a siege. "We need to get you guys some food."

He told the two girls as they descended from the wall and began to head towards the eastern walls. There they would find a sewer grate, and through that they could break out of the siege. At least for a little while.

If they didn't get slaughtered.
 
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Harlowe

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"Not the sewers again," Harlowe groaned as they approached. The smell was just what she remembered from their last crawl through it: disgusting. Her feet dragged a little more. Death might have actually been preferable to crawling through there. It was only the hope of food that kept her moving even if a tiny bit at the back of her mind told her this was unfair.

They weren't the only hungry monsters.

Just the most stupid apparently.

"Vix said to stay within the walls, we could get killed out there. I can barely run more than a minute and my strength...." she trailed off nervously. Matias would have to carry the team if they ran into any trouble that was worse than a surprised guard.
 
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Felice

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"The sewers, again?"

Not even the insatiable feeling in the pit of her stomach could staunch her curiosity on that subject. Going into the sewers seemed like a filthy venture that Felice could really only bring herself to do because of the promise of food. Whatever had compelled Harlowe and Matias to move through a sewage system previously had to be a very interesting little tale.

A frown touched her lips. "What Vix doesn't know won't hurt him," she offered with as much courage as she could. Knowing that there was living, breathing, humans at the end of this voyage would've been enough for Felice to brave any danger. "My abilities are waning too," the redhead added with a frail wag of hair, "but we've got our icy friend here to take care of any danger up ahead."

She feigned a look of encouragement at the other two monsters before stepping up to the grate. They hadn't even gone inside yet but the smell was so awful that she briefly considering turning around.
 
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Matias

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"Her." Matias corrected Felice as he stepped up to the grate besides her and ripped one of the bars clean off.

It was enough of a space that they would be able to squeeze through, and he could cold weld it back into place when they made their return to the city. He frowned for a moment at the smell, remembering when he and Harlowe had traveled through a sewer in their first mission together.

"It's hard to tell with Vix." The Dream Eater was a bit more...monstrous than some of their other companions. "But she prefers...she."

His boot made a disgusting splash as he stepped forward, a wretch nearly echoing from his throat as he crinkled his nose on disgust.

He shook his head as he stepped forward. "And don't worry. I'll see you back here."

After they caught a scout patrol or something of the like.

As long as they had a meal he'd be somewhat happy. His own strength wouldn't go down any, but he'd be fucked if he let the two of them slowly wane. Especially if there was going to be a battle at the end of all this. He couldn't starve to death, but he could still be run through with a sword.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe bit down on her bottom lip, her fangs dimpling the skin briefly, before she reluctantly nodded and stepped forward. Her thirst far outweighed the sensible part of her mind telling her this was going to end horribly. If one of them died... She pushed that thought to the side and tried to focus on the possibility of eating.

Even though her strength and speed were failing her the young vampire still managed to move almost soundlessly through the waste. In her delirium she wondered if silence was another superpower in and of itself, like Matias' ice. Could she push the silence out beyond herself to mask other noises like that of her companion's breathing or their odd heartbeats? She daren't speak her thoughts aloud. Not because she was afraid they would be overheard though, but because she was afraid of tasting the stench of the sewer around them. It was very hard to focus on not breathing but so far it was working in not making her want to retch.

"Footsteps," she pulled up short after what felt like an age of walking through waste. Her face contorted into a grimace as the sewer smell wafted over her tongue. "Four, up ahead."
 
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Felice

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”Wait, that thing is a her?”

The surprise didn’t last very long as the stench of human waste assaulted Felice’s nostrils. At that moment she wished harionago didn’t have a sense of smell but that remained a simple wish. Even with breaths through her mouth she could smell the filth all around them as her limp feet waded through the muddy waters of the sewer.

At least, she hoped the waters were just muddy.

Hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and motions stopped at Harlowe’s words. Initially, she was nervous they’d been found out by the enemy but then she recalled what she was now. Felice remembered the incessant rumbling in her stomach.

Four of them meant both she and her bloodsucking companion could feast on not one meal but two. The promise of food was so intoxicating that she began to salivate in spite of the lingering stench. ”Let’s get them. Quickly.” She wanted to add, ‘I could eat ten of them right now if you let me.’

Loose strands of hair wavered all around her body in a weak display while she trudged forward. Felice moved far too slow to outrun her compatriots but that didn’t stop her from being the first to charge forward. She was just so very hungry.
 
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Matias

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Matias froze where he was standing.

Not literally of course, but he reached out a hand to gently grasp the two women so that they did not walk forward in a haze of hunger. He knew very well that the two of them could likely slaughter four mortals still, but a thought occurred to him.

The enemy was in the sewer tunnel.

These were not men on their side, that much was obvious from how they'd found the grate, but if their foe knew of this path...then trouble would be up ahead. "I'll freeze them in place."

He whispered.

"Leave one of them alive." A slight growl echoed in his stomach, but he did not speak further as he leaned down. Instantly the murky brown water flashed, and then ice began to travel up the length of the sewer. It turned a corner, and then a scream echoed.

"What the fuck is this?"​

Another sound followed.

"I-it's ice! Fuck it's! Kress!"​

Matias looked up at his companion, and then jerked his hand in a quick motion to send them forward.
 
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Harlowe

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Matias could have picked her up by the scruff of her neck and shaken her for all the energy she had to fight it. She would be lying if she said she wasn't relieved he was going to do some of the work for them though; she could have probably run four of them down if push came to shove but she didn't want to. All she wanted to do was sleep. Harlowe raised a hand to cover a yawn as the frosty soldier did his thing and only stepped from the shadows when he gave them the nod.

Their heartbeats were loud and fluttered in their ribcages like a frightened bird looking for escape. Fear was one of the best sweetners for blood that the young vampire had tried so far; that and lust. Taking blood in the middle of sex was on par with taking it when they begged not to die.

Selecting one of the men she forced herself to take her time and not rip open his jugular. That was a waste of precious blood.

"Please, please - no!" her fangs sunk into his neck and she gave a groan as the blood gushed over her tongue and down her throat. Her hand gripped his throat tighter to quieten his cries and she begun to drink her fill.
 
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Felice

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A sly grin covered her face while she inched forward, through the putrid waters and the filth-covered stone walls of the sewers. Grunts of desperation and struggling echoed all around the trio of monsters and Felice kept her pace up even as one of the ensnared humans tried pleading with Harlowe.

Their cries would fall on deaf ears. There were few things more terrifying than famished creatures that craved flesh.

"I-I'll fuckin' kill you if you come any closer," one of her prey barked while pulling a short blade from the sheath that dangled off his belt.

Felice's loose hair moved forward but without the swift pace or precision her abilities usually offered up to her. One strand wrapped around the metal of the captured man's weapon to hold it firmly in place. A dozen other strands cut into his flesh, her weakened state meant it was a slower process than normal and she tried to ignore his agonizing screams. Once the first parts of him were returned to her gaping mouth, second row of teeth on full display, she began to feast.

Normally she just ate the organs and moved on. But, she was so hungry that she didn't stop until there was nothing left of him above his frozen legs. Felice tried a bite of the frozen meat too but found that it was cold, dry, and tasteless.

"We have to spare one?" Her red hair moved faster now onto the second meal inside the sewers.
 
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Matias

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"Yes." Matias said as he moved past both of the women.

Red hair flickered to his right and blood sprayed onto the wall to his left, but the Frost Giant did his best to ignore it. While the two girls could gorge themselves, his own hunger would continue. It wasn't that he would starve to day, but the hungrier he got...well it was hard not to get annoyed.

He reached out and grabbed one of the men as he moved past Felice, his hand seizing him by the collar.

"What are you doing put me do-"

There was a snap as Matias wrenched the man from his place. The ice at his feet shattered, and his bones went along with it. Screams filled the sewers, but The Frost Giant didn't much care. A loud thud echoed, and he knocked the man unconscious.

The man was tossed over his shoulder, and then he looked back at the two women. "Done yet?"
 
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Harlowe

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The drained man slumped to the floor, bones snapping as his legs failed to bend around the ice encasing his feet. Harlowe could have eaten a dozen more but the one was enough for her to feel her strength returning and the black veins that had been pushing against her skin vanished.

"Have the last one," she said to Felice, motioning to the only man left who had pissed his breeches and was muttering a prayer under his breath uselessly. Another smell was attracting her attention. Kneeling beside her finished meal she tugged at the satchel that had been draped over his shoulder and rummaged through it.

"Here," her lips twitched in amusement and tossed to Matias. Inside was a good half a loaf of bread, cheese and dried jerky. It wasn't much but she hoped it would at least take the edge off the gisnts hunger.
 
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Felice

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A toothy smile followed Harlowe's permission and Felice's second meal went down much smoother, much faster, than her first. Clean strikes, graceful motions of her scarlet hair, and all of that followed up by the gruesome devouring that always accompanied her feedings. Her second row of teeth receded and her jaw returned to a normal size just as the jotunn inquired about the two ladies feeding status.

Her eyebrows raised in a gleeful manner as the color returned to her cheeks, "I'm good." The satisfaction in those words was nearly infectious.

Part of her wanted to inquire as to what Matias planned to do to the man he had just plucked from the frozen floor but she stifled the question. Once they were done with whatever purpose he served it would only be correct and proper to offer the poor being to her vampiric pal.

"So uh, what's your name buddy?" The hair monster leaned forward, resting her elbows upon her thighs, and glanced up at the terrified man slung across the frost giant's shoulders.
 
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Matias

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Matias glanced back at Harlowe for a moment, looking down at his stomach and biting his lip. The hunger was there, that craving, but he knew that he didn't need it. His eyes closed, and he let out a quiet sigh as he shook his head.

"Save it." He told the Vampire. "Give it to some kid on the street."

It was almost painful saying that, but even a monster had it's moments. Then the man slung across his shoulder began to speak.

"D-Doyle."​

The man said as head head warbled a bit from side to side. He wasn't entirely sure what he'd just seen, but he was also sure that it was something out of a horror story. Matias looked back at Felice for a moment, frowning and adding. "Don't play with your food."

It was of course a jest. The man was already fated not to die, at least not yet. There were some question that Matias wanted answered.

Eventually they moved back through the sewer until they pulled out past the gate again, at which point Matias slung the boy from his shoulder and tossed him up against the wall.
 
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Harlowe

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The moment might have been a sweet one for Matias to show a shred of linger humanity had it not been followed by Felice's cooing and the front-giant's jibe. Normality restored, Harlowe thought with a twitch of her lips but slung the satchel over her body and quickly rummaged through the other belongings that the other two men had dropped before being eaten. She also took care to move the drained body out of the main tunnel and throw him into one of the deeper rivers; hopefully it would be so bloated by the time it was found they wouldn't be able to tell what had killed him.

She had to jog to catch back up with the others.

"It usually helps if they're not broken," the vampire drawled as she exited the sewer a moment after Doyle was rammed up against the wall hard enough to make the stones crack. "I'm very sorry about our friend here, he's just a touch unhappy with the current situation," she prowled over to stand beside Matias and Felice. "Why don't you tell us what you were doing in the sewers?"
 
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Felice

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Fresh air was a sweet relief as Felice briefly dismissed Matias' comment about playing with her food.

However, while she didn't dwell on the fact it was undeniable that knowing the young man's name had sparked something deep within her. It was like when a child discovers an injured puppy and they give it a name. It wasn't acceptable for them to just abandon the dog or giving it away. Doyle was part of the family now, that's the power that a name had.

"Careful!" The redhaired creature called as poor Doyle's body was thoughtlessly slammed against the rough stone. Feeling more emboldened by Harlowe's words, that she sincerely believed were genuine concern, the brown-eyed harionago moved closer too. "Just answer our questions and then we'll make sure..."

A look of distress crossed her pale face as she saw the stubs where feet should've been. "Y-you... you hurt his poor little feet." Her pet was injured and now was being interrogated.

Felice couldn't tell through Doyle's sobs and panicked gasps if he was even processing the situation. She knew exactly what she had to do after they got whatever information the jotunn required.

They'd need to get Doyle on the contract too. Somehow.
 
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Matias

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"Wha-what?" Matias looked first to Felice, and then towards Harlowe.

His expression towards the Vampire was very much; 'can you believe she's worried about this guys feet?'. A frown touched his lips, and he looked back towards the hair demon in confusion. His head tilted in both question and concern. "He...you ate like two of his friends."

The Frost Giant pointed out.

Was she drunk?

Matias still wasn't entirely sure of what eating was actually like for Felice. He had heard rumors that some of the monsters in the regiment received a sort of 'blood high' after they fed, though he wasn't positive such was the case with Felice.

"Look I just need some answers. Like Harlowe said." He grabbed Doyle by the collar tightly, dragging him up. "What were you doing in the sewers!?"

His voice raised, becoming more threatening.

Doyle nearly wet himself, cowering back as his eyes grew and he began to stammer.

"I-I-I-we need a way in! The King is growing tired and wants to end the siege so we were sent to look for an entrance!"​
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe had to cover her mouth to stop herself from laughing at both Felice's outburst and Matias' spluttering indignation. It ruined the whole threatening terrifying monster skit they were trying to pull off. She half turned away and disguised her giggle as a cough. Once she was sure she had a control of her emotions once more she schooled her face and turned back to the human pinned up against the wall.

"Where else did your king send parties searching?" this wasn't the only sewer in and out of the city she would wager and there was probably other weak points in the wall. She tried to think through which areas Nazara would have them probe and then remembered he would simple send them up and over the wall.

"O-O-Other s-sewers a-and an old forgotten service tunnel... apparently it l-leads right to the centre of the city."
 
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Felice

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With a glare the redhaired monster responded to Matias' rude question. "I can't control the fact that I have to eat," her brown eyes softened as she caught the fear in Doyle's, "besides, I didn't know their names."

Perhaps it was the utter despair she'd experienced the past few days, the realization that she might die again, or the crippling hunger she had to endure, but the idea that they could spare this Doyle person was one she felt the need to cling to. Like a kid with a first pet. This wasn't just some enemy soldier it was their enemy soldier.

"We need to get to the service tunnel," she inched closer to the pinned Doyle. "Can you guide us to the entrance?"

The frightened man nodded his head while sweat, and maybe tears, pooled upon his face. "Y-y-yes, I c-can give you d-dir-directions to the grate." Felice nodded and a long strand of her hair flattened out and patted the top of Doyle's head. "Good boy."

Before anyone else could speak she turned and looked upon the jotunn, "you'll carry him on your shoulder? Or I could carry him with my hair. We'll have to keep him safe until we can get him to Vix or Nazara."
 
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Matias

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Matias gaped at Felice, his hungry brain connecting the dots that she was leading them down. 'Oh dear fucking Kress."

The Frost Giant said as he splatted his hand onto his face and slowly rubbed.

"You want them to give him a contract." He paid no mind to Doyle himself of course, the soldier by now flickering his gaze between the three monsters. Terror flowed through him, practically cascading from his body by the way he twitched every time any one of them moved even and inch.

His palm rubbed against his forehead.

"You realize Vix will kill us?" Matias wasn't sure if that was exactly true, but the dream-eater absolutely terrified him. "I don't know about you but I like my dreams to be pleasant, not nightmarish death sentences."

A grimace flickered over his face. "She specifically told us not to stra-"

"I-i won't tell an-anyone. I promise!"​

Doyle cut into his word, looking at Felice like a lost puppy.
 
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