Quite the contrary. The anger disappeared and the vampire\'s tone turned stone cold.
My Vassal wronged you, but your retaliation was too extreme.
He has lost most of the abilities the Blood Blessing granted him and he might not be able to turn into a vampire anymore.
My price takes into account the compensation you owe me.
Take it or leave it.
It was a lie.
Xolver\'s blood core had just been weakened, even though none of the Night Court understood how.
Only Awakened ones and Abominations knew about the existence of different kinds of cores and how did they work.
I owe both of you nothing.
Your Vassal tried to manipulate me and my property, while you inflicted me an injury that almost cost me my life while facing those flesh monsters. Lith had no qualm adding a lie of his own.
Gentlemen, please. Sylla interrupted their quarrel.
Let\'s keep your personal business outside the parlay.
Otherwise it will take hours to reach a compromise.
Inxialot was already tired of all that chatting even before it started, so when he heard the word hours, his mind spun at top gear to figure a way out of that nightmare.
Both parties have suffered too great a damage to trust each other. Inxialot spoke for the first time since his arrival.
According to article four of the Courts\' code of honor, to prevent hostilities from escalating is required to perform the Foul Moon, so that blood wash out the blood and peace can return.
With all due respect, Lord Inxialot, article four states that the Foul Moon should take place in case of an irreconcilable difference between members of the Courts.
This is merely a business treaty between an Awakened and the Night Court. Sylla didn\'t like the sudden turn of events.
The Foul Moon was an ancient trial by combat that hadn\'t been invoked for centuries.
It required a fight to the death between peers, which meant Sylla and Kaelan.
She had no intention of risking her eternal life for a mere mortal, no matter how tasty.
You are wrong. Inxialot rebuked with a glare that silenced any further objection.
They are not discussing business, they are seeking reparation, since I have yet to hear a single counteroffer.
Article four, section three, sub paragraph one.
If the probatory member of a Court assaults a guest from another, to avoid the conflict to spread to their respective Courts they must meet in a duel.
Unless both their patrons are willing to take their place, of course.
The Lich was indeed right.
It was an obscure codicil, which sadly had never been repealed.
The silver lining was that Lord Inxialot could propose the Foul Moon, but only one of the offended parties had the right to put their lives on the line.
To Sylla, Lith asked: What\'s our esteemed guest talking about
Long story short, if you win, you get what you want and pay nothing.
If he wins, you die and he gets to keep your corpse as a trophy. Inxialot chimed in without giving her the possibility to reply.
Against which one of them am I supposed to win Lith pointed at the vampire and his Vassal.
The proto vampire. Inxialot used spirit magic to nail Count Xolver to the wall and clear any doubt.
Let me get this straight, your Lich-ness.
If I kill that poor excuse of a noble, his master will give me the information I need, right Inxialot nodded.
What if Kaelan decides to seek revenge on me It seemed all too easy, Lith preferred to stay on the safe side.
If he decides to ignore the result of the combat, he will have to put his life at stake.
The Foul Moon is a sacred ritual.
Plotting against you would be an unprecedented violation.
Any of his underlings exposing his treachery would be entitled to obtain his position within the Night Court, while his superiors who are afraid of his rise would be authorized to kill him and split his resources among themselves.
\'So, I don\'t have to trust something as unreliable as his honor, but rather the greed of his rivals, within and outside the Night Court.\' Lith thought.
\'It\'s not much, but what choice do I have I can\'t leave empty handed without a perfect excuse for the Queen.
\'I don\'t know the value of some of the listed ingredients, but I\'m pretty sure the Royals would rather lose Manohar than give away the jewels of the crown.
Sooner or later, a man dies, whereas an artifact is forever.
Lieutenant Colonel Kaelan, if you allow me to call my Queen, I\'ll ask her what I can offer you to have both sides satisfied with the outcome.
Neither I nor the Griffon Kingdom wants to spill blood.
The choice is up to you.
That\'s impossible. Sylla shook her head.
Amulets and their calls can be traced.
It would endanger the Dawn Court.
And the Night Court has no reason to grant you any leniency.
Not only do you refuse my generosity, but also you dare to speak like you\'re doing me a favor Either you have the authority to accept our terms or you don\'t.
The Night Court had no intention to help the Griffon Kingdom from the beginning.
The unreasonable demands were to force a lose-lose situation on them.
If Lith accepted, the Crown would be weakened and blame him for it, whereas the Night Court would grow in power just by sharing the details of their customer.
If he refused, the Kingdom would lose its Royal Healer, their enemy would escape, and Lith would be branded as incompetent.
Kaelan had made sure there would be no happy ending for his enemy.
\'The human is out of luck.
The Lich is doing exactly what I expected, and Sylla is either too afraid to speak or she just wants to corner him as much as I do.\' He inwardly smiled.
Kaelan\'s arrogance made Lith think again about his options.
\'He should know I\'m way stronger than his thrall.
Why even bother to save him just to toss him away like this\' Lith thought.
Duchess, what are the rules of the Foul Moon He wanted to understand if the gap in magical prowess could be overcome with powerful equipment, since Lith had nothing but his clothes.
It\'s a contest of pure might.
No weapons nor protections are allowed.
If you win, Kaelan will not be able to harm you or your propriety without risking his own life, but if you lose, you\'ll die a horrible death. She replied.
Even though Lith couldn\'t see the trap, he could still smell it.
It was all too easy.
\'No matter if I accept or refuse Kaelan\'s rip-off deal, my career in the army and the Association will be over.
The Foul Moon actually solves two problems at once.
It\'s much better to face a single opponent head on than watching my back every night.
\'I\'m not strong enough to kill that vampire, yet.
Since I can\'t force him to leave me alone, at least this way I can prevent him to gang up on me with the help of other members of the Night Court and give him a good scare.\'
Count Xolver, I challenge you to Foul Moon.
As he feared, a smug smile appeared on the faces of both the vampire and his Vassal.