“Now ain’t this just great? The daring duo, back together again for a reunion tour.”
On the tail of his pronouncement, Seth turned on his heels to walk backward down the damp sidewalk, long brown coat flapping a bit in the breeze as he passed in and out of the illumination cast by the flickering streetlights. Smirking, he added, “With a few additions, of course.”
It was, for certain, an eclectic group. Beyond Seth, they consisted of Asenath, the daughter of his sire and the girl he considered a sister, Namythiet, his tiny yet fierce apprentice who happened to be a pixie, her animal guardian Clubber the green sabertooth tiger cub, and Asenath’s frequent partner, the mercenary Pooka named Twister. Senny and Twister walked alongside one another, while Namythiet rode on the back of her emerald-furred companion.
In response to Seth’s words, Asenath simply gave the old vampire…
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“Another failure for the record.”
The admission came with no small amount of frustration as I entered the information into the research log. It had been the twentieth attempt. It had been the twentieth failure.
The resources spent. Time lost. Effort made. All of it was splayed out in front of me in the form of another page of the journal and another dead rodent that I’d finished dissecting.
I could still recall how it writhed in agony the moment I had a few drops of the liquid mana vaporized within a sealed vessel. I knew that pain very well considering what happened during my unexpected trip in the realm of the spirits. The failure of the potion to stop it only showcased what would have happened to me if not for Aeria—a reminder of the stakes involved.
“Are you finally done?” My sylphid’s wispy voice was followed…
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