As for Verhen, you should better not underestimate him.
He has already destroyed two lost cities and there\'s no guarantee that the Golden Griffon won\'t end up being the third if your enemies hire him for the job. Just by looking at Thrud\'s frown, Night knew to have her full attention.
The Mad Queen had countless pawns and contingency plans in place, yet if anything happened to the Golden Griffon, they would all crumble along with her ambitions of conquest.
Lith was the only man to have ever achieved the impossible, not once but twice.
Lost Cities were supposed to be eternal and yet they had fallen.
\'I thought it was Orpal\'s obsession to outshine his brother talking, but she made a point.
Verhen already entered and escaped Sevenus\' office, something not even Jormun managed to do.\' Thrud thought.
Besides, I said that I want Verhen dead, not that either of us has to dirty their hands.
Here is my plan… The Horseman smiled like a kid pulling the wings out of a butterfly just to see what would happen.
Once she was done, the Mad Queen wasn\'t just convinced, she was impressed.
We have a deal. She sealed the pact with a handshake before starting to discuss its terms in detail with the Horseman.
\'My Queen, that\'s a reckless choice.\' Sevenus said via a mind link and Jormun agreed.
\'You can teach her the secret of the white core in a few sentences whereas there\'s no telling how long it will take us to figure out Baba Yaga\'s workings.
\'On top of that, the life force of the undead has always proved to be immune to the Unwavering Loyalty array.
My guess is that unlike the fixed life force of living beings, an undead\'s life force is made up of countless energy signatures and it changes greatly over time.
\'Any rune applied to their life force gets washed away after a good feeding or a big fight.\'
The slave spell needed to be carved on the victim\'s life force to work, but while a living creature\'s essence would slowly dwindle over time, taking years if not decades for the life force to be altered enough to get free from the slave spell, undead were different.
They would consume life force along with their mana every time they used their abilities and replace it by feeding.
Even if Sevenus managed to enslave an undead, the spell would fade a few days after entering the academy.
\'Good to know.\' Once again, Thrud\'s calm baffled her generals.
\'I never trusted either Orpal or Night, they are too deranged.
\'I\'m certain that they will betray me at the first opportunity they get, but this doesn\'t mean that I can\'t exploit their help before getting rid of them.
\'Their offer has undeniable merits and as long as our interests align, they will play ball.
I can\'t enslave undead, true, but why should Night\'s human thralls remain loyal to her once I offer them Awakening
\'I only need to keep them here long enough for the array to work to steal her assets forever.
As for the secret of the white core, I\'ll keep it for last and demand to study Moonlight from the beginning.
\'Even if I started right now and kept working on it 24/7 with my best Forgemasters, the war will start and finish before we have learned the secret of mage towers.
Night knows it as well, that\'s why she is so confident.
\'She\'s going to try and exploit our research to actually study my white core but I\'m not going to give her anything but a swift death.
There\'s no place for traitors in my Kingdom.\'
Zedken Region, city of Ruham, the following morning.
The upper echelons of the city had yet to stop gossiping about the reasons that might have brought the god of healing to literally poison their existence when the news of the arrival of the Knight\'s Guard Commander and his handsome aide had spread.
The presence of one of the strongest Archmages of the Kingdom, if not the strongest, was already a good reason to worry.
Yet the presence of another Archmage as his bodyguard could only mean the presence of a threat capable of endangering even the life of the god of healing.
People were still debating if it was Thrud, one of the Horsemen, or the copycat when the news that Lady Ernas would come to Ruham as well spread like wildfire.
The god of healing, the Commander of the Knight\'s Guard, and an Archon This must be the biggest case of the Kingdom since Othre! The nobles rushed to make sure that their dirty business was properly covered up.
Each one of them hoped that their respective rivals were the ones under investigation and prepared anonymous tips against them, just in case the authorities needed the help of a concerned citizen.
They all placed their men near the Warp Gate, hoping to understand what was happening.
When Jirni asked where she could find Orion immediately after her arrival, none of the spies were surprised.
The fact that she had come wearing a simple day dress instead of her uniform and that she was accompanied by her daughter instead of her assistant left everyone flabbergasted.
Lady Ernas had no written orders with her which was even more confusing.
To know where to find her estranged husband as a civilian she had to pull many strings and ask many favors.
She even offered Quylla\'s services as a healer, causing her daughter great embarrassment.
When the couple finally met, things went from odd to awkward.
What the heck are you doing here, woman I accepted this stupid task to stay away from you. Orion said in outrage.
Please, you can\'t keep avoiding me forever if we want to save our marriage. Jirni replied.
There\'s nothing to save! You played with my feelings, you made a fool out of me in front of my family and the Court.
If I wanted just to teach you a lesson, I would have already withdrawn the papers for the divorce!
If what you say is true, then why do you still keep my betrothal gift If you really hate me so much, just destroy it and our marriage will be over. Jirni said amid tears.
I keep it only because I want to see you squirm! Because the longer the divorce takes, the longer you\'ll know how it feels being at the mercy of a cruel monster that once you loved. Orion snarled.
Please, I beg of you.
Think about our children. She sobbed.
That\'s exactly why I kicked you out.
I need to protect them from you.
Now get out of here before I get you arrested for abuse of authority and exposing the location of an officer!
She will stay here.
I won\'t let you poison her mind any longer. Orion had Jirni escorted outside the local branch of the army by force and thrown in the middle of the street.
The conversation had happened in the privacy of the headquarters so of course all those on the same floor had stuck their ear to the walls to overhear it.
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