• Published 19th Dec 2016
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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell - Evilhumour



A thousand years after the death of Mane Six, a new generation of Bearers are chosen.

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Chapter Seven: Xvital, Night Blade, Page Turner, Wind Breaker, Vix-Lei, Rex

Chapter Seven

Xvital

The ahuiztol let out a sigh, rubbing her eyes with her hands and scratching the back of her head with her tail hand.

It had been a dull day reading through all these dusty and dry tomes, but she had been seen and had built up the groundwork for her credibility for being a nice person. So when the time came to make the switch for those scrolls, Xvital would be leaving Canterlot a lot richer without anyone giving her so much as a second glance.

And then it would be enjoying the frontiers as a rich single ahuiztoless for a long time if the rumbling in the markets were right on the price of those old scrolls.

“Excuse me, madam?” the elderly griffon matron, one Hush Tone, came up from behind her.

“Oh hello Matron,” Xvital tipped her head politely, feeling a tiny stab of guilt at eventually ripping off this kind grandmotherly griffon that had made it her business to send tea over to her table every few hours. Although not that bad… “How can I help you?”

“It’s the other way around, dear,” the griffon smiled at her, reaching to take the empty tea cup away. “While the Grand Library is still open for a few more hours, you have been here all day and the Honour Festival is beginning tonight. A young lady like yourself shouldn’t be cooped up in here; take it from me, you only seek solace in the Grand Library after you have been spurned by love.”

With that unintentional jab, Xvital felt her face flush and found herself agreeing. “Woe to anyone that ignores the advice of those more wise,” she said, getting up to stretch properly before gathering her belongings. “I do believe I will return to my studies after the Honour Festival.”

“I would turn you away in any case,” she clicked her beak, guiding Xvital out of her small isolated seclusion and towards the general library. “I had seen one of my wards go off on a date with her coltfriend and I do hope that they don’t come back until tomorrow night.” The old griffon smirked, sharing a rather pointed look with Xvital. “The goddesses knows that it would do that colt some good to enjoy himself, as it were.”

Blushing, she remembered that colt that the matron was speaking of and was given unpleasant images of the nox pony enjoying himself.

“One could hope,” Xvital said as they reached the front doors of the library. “Thank you for all the tea today, Matron Tone.”

“You are most welcome, dear, and don’t be too timid to find yourself somepony tonight,” the griffon clicked her beak with a sly smirk crafted on it before pushing her out of the door.

Standing shocked at how this old griffon was acting, Xvital simply snickered to herself before starting to make her way to the inn she had paid for long in advance and did her best to enjoy the creeping night.

Night Blade

It was almost the end of the day, with the crowd in the front of the stage growing larger and those on stage doing their best to remain dignified.

Representing the first Three Tribes were Decorated Page, the unicorn director of the Academy, Raindrop, the assistant captain of the weather management team of Canterlot, and Shining Apple of the Apple clan. As it had been since the time of King Blueblood, there was no official clarification of which Tribe of the three were actually the First Tribe as to promote unity and end tribalism. Next to the three was an empty space for the Changeling leader, always there as if their leader actually came to the Festival or they even existed anymore. Along the empty space was Delighted Gem, the assistant governor of the Crystal Dominance for the Fifth Tribe, and princess Flotsam of Atlantria for the Sixth Tribe.

Night eyed them with indifference as his job was nearly done here; as soon the sun sat and the official of the public Honour Festival - a rather dull pony named Windbag - took over, he would be free to enjoy the festival with Page Turner, who was doing her best to distract him by using her magic to tickle his sides.

Flashing a smile at her, with the beautiful new necklace around her neck, Night Blade let out a tired sigh as the sun finally sat if how the pony on the microphone whose sole role tonight was to tell them when the sun sat was any place to judge.

Stepping forwards to the microphone, Windbag cleared his throat. “My dear friends, before we begin this Honour Festival I must thank young Night for his and his family’s generous contributions, to which without the dedication of the Blade family this Festival would not be as grand as it is,” he snipped, looking directly at Night while enjoying the applause of the crowd. “Tonight, however, this is a special Honour Festival, my friends. For this is the thousand year anniversary of the day when we lost the our goddesses Celestia and Luna, and our dear Virtues to the vile changeling Chrysalis who went against the Tribes and Equestria and dared to attack the demi-goddess Mi Amore Cadenza on her wedding. Due to that deranged changeling, the goddesses Celestia and Luna were forced to leave us, Mi Amore Cadenza the demi-goddess of love had her wedding annulled and the Virtues were slain in a cowardly manner, while the foul changeling did not have the courage to perish in her suicide attack against our fair and just nation.” Windbag paused, collecting himself. “Of course, it was King Blueblood the First who brought Equestria back into order and peace to the Tribes by laying low the vile Chrysalis and destroying her control over the Fourth Tribe and bringing them home. But at alas, her spawn continues its shadow rule even to this day. It is our hope that one day this miscreant will be brought to justice and all the Tribes would be as one.” Windbag paused again, looked at the crowd and smiled. “But enough of our lacking Cousins my dear friends, this is a time of joy and merriment, to honour the days long past. Good sirs, madams?” Windbag, proving his name and talent emblem was accurate, barely waited for the representatives of the Tribes to show their approval before turning to face the crowd again. “With that, I call for this Honour Festival to begin!”

Rolling his eyes, Night turned to face Page Turner saying, “Well that was a terrible speech.”

That’s when he noticed he was alone. Looking around, he saw a stagehoof trot up to him. “Your marefriend said she wanted some air, sir,” he said.

Nodding his head, he was left wondering how he would find her when Night slapped his forehead.

Holding his necklace in his hoof, he activated the spell and went off to find Page Turner, taking to the air so he could spot the yellow unicorn.

Page Turner

Page Turner giggled to herself as she tickled Night’s side again, causing her colt to squirm as he tried to stand at attention while a stallion climbed onto the stage, which was her signal that she had to behave herself.

She began to tune out the stallion, with his speech being less about the Virtues and goddesses and more about being another bigoted hate speech against changelings. Rolling her eyes, she turned to wander away, telling a nearby stagehoof to inform Night she was going to try and enjoy herself.

Key word was try, as the ponies milling about were none too friendly, pushing and shoving as they wanted to get to a stall that caught their eye. Working with the crowd, Page found herself on the far edge of the festival with very few ponies around her.

She let out a sigh, breathing in the cold mountain air. If she could fly, she would imagine that she would have the most amazing view of Canterlot at night right now. Looking upwards, she could spot the few couples on the clouds as well as those being towed around in carriages and wonder if she could get Night to fly for he-

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing, buggy?” a voice snapped her out of daydreaming, her heart racing as she saw half a dozen or so ponies skulking in the alley, with a really disheveled unicorn at the center of the group staring down at a huddle black mas-oh by the elders, it was a changeling nymph. With a rough shove that sent the changeling into the side of the building, the lead pony of this gang sneered at the poor nymph shaking in fear. “I asked you a question, buggy,” he snapped, brandishing a switchblade that matched his talent emblem and held it close to the nymph. “Because what I think is that you’re one of those old buggy queen bitch’s countless broods that are holding back unity for Equestria. Now ain’t that a shame, that because this selfish buggy bitch here refuses to do what’s proper, we can’t do the goddesses proper honour and I don’t think that’s what they want, right boys?”

There was a chortle of agreement from his yesstallions and yesmare, with some rather vicious suggestions being bantered about, and which Sharp Point, as Page learned his name by the lowlifes egging him on, seemed to drink in. The nymph tried to say something but was knocked to the ground by a punch to her face by Sharp Point for daring to speak back.

“That’s enough,” Page snapped, pulling her magic to herself as she stormed forwards. “Leave her alone.” She zapped a jolt of magic across the air, causing Sharp Point to pull back.

“Oi, what the hell you damn pin head?” Sharp Point shouted at her pointing his switchblade at her, with his ponies crowding behind him. “What are you, some fucking buggy lover?”

“What I am is a decent pony,” Page narrowed her eyes, keeping her attention half focused on the nymph and half focused on the thug, stalking forwards. “What kind of colt threatens a helpless nymph with a bunch of ponies to back him up?”

“The kind that doesn’t like noisy bitches mouthing off,” Sharp Point snarled. “Now get the fuck out of my way or else. Because there’s only one of you and a whole lot more of me and my ponies. So be a buggy fucker somewhere else and let us do some work to make them goddess proud.”

Outraged at this crude bastard, Page was about to respond when she heard a flap of wings and something land beside her.

“Count again, dipshit,” the winged individual with a familiar voice snapped. “And for the record, I don’t care about changelings but like her, I have actual morals.”

Flashing a smile at the griffon she met this afternoon, Page felt a bit relieved that she was stopped from following what her instincts told her to do before returning her attention to Sharp Point.

Wind Breaker

He had wanted to drink away this shit morning but Wind Breaker couldn’t bring himself to do so. Half because he was a bit too annoyed at the whole matter to do so, half because the rules against intoxication would end up with him spending some time in jail.

Instead, he spent the entire time getting buzzed as well as mulling over where he could go next to find a job to help pay down his debt as well as resupply his stock. Flipping the newspaper pages again, he let out a sigh; there was no reason to keep denying it.

He would need to leave the sponsored work of the Hatchery and go to the Middle; everything in the Upper wanted a team of griffons or was so snooty that he’d end up dealing with a bastard brat noble that had a massive stick up his plot.

Making sure his bottlepack were tight on his back, Wind Breaker scrunched the newspaper into his saddlebag. He wasn’t sure what he’d be doing for an alchemist as he had no knowledge of mixing stuff together and most ponies had small rooms, so a griffin wouldn’t be the bes-

He tilted his head as he heard a thud outside the wall and frowned. It was far too early for the booze to be served or a pony to be that drunk.

“What I am is a decent pony.” The voice was familiar and for some reason his throat felt rough all of a sudden. “What kind of colt threatens a helpless nymph with a bunch of ponies to back him up?”

Okay, that didn’t sound right. Sticking his head out of the window and looking down, he saw a dirty looking stallion glaring at the mare he had saved this morning, with a changeling directly beneath his window. “The kind that doesn’t like noisy bitches mouthing off,” the stallion snapped, holding a pocket knife with his dirty grey magic. “Now get the fuck out of my way or else. Because there’s only one of you and a whole lot more of me and my ponies. So be a buggy fucker somewhere else and let us do some work to make them goddess proud.”

Wind Breaker had had enough at this point, shoving himself out the window and flying down to join the mare. “Count again, dipshit,” he glared at Knife Head, cracking his talons as he prepared himself to get into another fight. “And for the record, I don’t care about changelings but like her, I have actual morals.”

“That’s what all buggy fuckers say,” the stallion growled, swiping the air with his knife. “Now tell your damn mare to mind her DAMN business!”

“She’s not my marefriend,” Wind Breaker said, hearing a pony run up behind him. Sneaking a glance, he saw the same noble brat from this afternoon running into the scene. “That’s him.”

“Page, what’s going on?” the noble brat asked, glaring at him and then at Knife Head or whatever his name was and the gang behind him before standing next to the mare’s side.

“None of yours or anyones damn business!” the other stallion hollered, bringing the knife close to the nox’s face to try and scare him. To his credit, the batpony didn’t even flinch, only deepening his glare. “Now tell your fucking buggy loving whore mare to get the fuck away or this changeling bitch won’t be the only thing that gets cut up tonight if you understand me.”

Both the changeling on the ground and the mare next him gasped, with Wind Breaker almost able to feel the sheer rage emanating from the nox pony. Speaking in a very strained voice and drawing his blade, the pony said, “For saying that about Page Turner, I’ll carve your talent emblem out of your sides, you damn swine!”

Laughing to himself, the unicorn spat in their direction, running his pocket knife against the sword in the nox’s wing. “Like I told that sult there, we outnumber you bastards and I’ve got magic, you broken pegasus!”

Briefly widening his eyes at the fact this idiot was actually going that road when some of his followers were nox ponies, Wind Breaker was about to toss a near empty bottle when there were a series of thuds beside him.

“That’s what you think, mister racy,” a very familiar voice sang out, causing Wind Breaker to clench his talons as the minotaur he’d met before had literally jumped out of the window. “And take it from a comedy master such as myself, you are the kind of sad funny that needs a good bopping!” the minotaur, Vix Lei if he recalled correctly, said while spinning her hammer. “Let the mare go and I’ll only smack ya a little.”

“As much as I dislike the minotaur, I dislike your beliefs far more,” a diamond dog said as he appeared now, dragging his claws down the side of the building to get him on the floor. For some reason, he didn’t have a collar on; as far as he knew no diamond dog would leave their collar behind as it was their way to tell who belonged in what pack. The diamond dog reached into his pockets and started pulling out glass bottles.

“What they said, ya creepy dink,” another voice chimed in as an ahuizotl of all things slammed into the ground, holding a knife in her tail hand with knuckle busters on her other hands. “And now it seems the numbers are a bit more even.”

Vix-Lei

Vix-Lei was so done with Equestria; not a single pony knew how to have fun. Well, none of the adults; the kids seemed to have good heads on their shoulders with their parents whining about her being a pest and the guards complaining she didn’t have the right papers! Who needed papers to juggle stuff, or do a bit? How could anytaur put a limit on what was good comedy and tell her to get lost?

Only Equestrians could be that dull, just like the ‘taurs back home…

Well, enough of that mopey garbage, time to head out and blaze a brand new adven-

“None of yours or anyones damn business!” someone screamed, startling her something wicked. Looking outside to the festival she was ignoring for being lame, she saw that there was some sort of rumble going on outside.

Now while something told her that Loudly McLoudmouth wasn’t the most honest customer, she also spotted that grouchy griffon with a unicorn mare and bat pony standing beside him. If only there was some way to tell who was the good guy and who was the bad- “Now tell your fucking buggy loving whore mare to get the fuck away or this changeling bitch won’t be the only thing that gets cut up tonight if you understand me.”

Welp, that did it! Reaching for Senor Hardhead, Vix-Lei was musing to how best make an entran-

“For saying that about Page Turner, I’ll carve your talent emblem out of your sides, you damn swine!”

“Wow, that bat is a bit batty for that mare,” she chuckled to herself, watching the pony of the night pull out his sword.

McLoudmouth spat in the trio’s direction, bringing his small little knife against the sword. “Like I told that sult there, we outnumber you bastards and I’ve got magic, you broken pegasus!”

Welp, she’d put it off for long enough and she doubted she’d get a better opening then that.

“That’s what you think, mister racy,” she called out, jumping out of the window while remembering to brace her landing. Spinning her hammer, she said, “And take it from a comedy master such as myself, you are the kind of sad funny that needs a good bopping!” Looking to see the cowering changeling, she was certain that she made the right call of who was the good guy and who the baddies were. “Let the mare go and I’ll only smack ya a little.”

“As much as I dislike the minotaur, I dislike your beliefs far more.”

Startled by the sudden voice, Vix-Lei pulled back in surprise as Rexy dropped down beside her, using his claws to get down on the ground. Rexy then reached into his pockets and pulled out some neat looking bottles.

“What they said, ya creepy dink,” a female voice called out, as one of those jungle cats joined them on the ground, holding a knife with her tail and iron punchers on her other hands. “And now it seems the numbers are a bit more even.”

“So either go back to your mommies or get ready for some mucho buttkicking, eh guys?” she flashed a grin at the big jungle cat who gave her a funny look before facepalming and muttering something under her breath.

“Yes she is, good madam,” Rexy said with an annoyed grunt. “And you just met her.” Shaking his head, the doggie turned to look at McLoudmouth. “Now good sir, and I say good sir out of habit only, perform a smart activity and walk away.”

“I don’t need any advice from a dumb mutt!” the stallion shouted, practically throwing his knife at Rexy, with his gang following behind him as they went against Vix-lei and the rest of the ‘taurs around her.

Finally, things were getting interesting. Vix-Lei thought to herself as she leapt to smack a rather large earth pony.

Rex

Rex frowned as he heard some commotion out of his window, with some bigotry being tossed around.

Recalling to why he had departed the Under and chose to reside in the Middle; to be a good person and at ease with his decisions in his life.

From what he had heard, there was a changeling nymph in need due to some intolerant pony taking advantage of the so called Honour Festival to act upon his immoral views, although by the contents of what this Sharp Point was saying he seemed to have an issue with everything…

No matter, it was high time for him to join the fray as it were and do wha-

“That’s what you think, mister racy,” the minotaur he had met earlier called out as she vacated the room next to his, an unexpected surprise that he was glad he’d only learned of now. Brandishing her hammer, she continued to say “And take it from a comedy master such as myself, you are the kind of sad funny that needs a good bopping!” Well that was a gross inflation of the ego if he heard it. “Let the mare go and I’ll only smack ya a little.”

Well, he had stalled long enough, Rex mused to himself. Using his far more durable claws to act as means to lower himself down the street via the side of the inn. Speaking clearly to the bigoted ingrate, he informed him as well the griffon, nox pony, unicorn and the minotaur, “As much as I dislike the minotaur, I dislike your beliefs far more.” He reached into his vest’s pocket and retrieved some of his more potent concoctions.

“What they said, ya creepy dink,” another potential ally added as they jumped down, revealing themselves to be from the Cuanmiztl Kingdom. She seemed to be properly armed with a short blade and brass knuckles. “And now it seems the numbers are a bit more even.”

Hopefully, Sharp Point would decide that this wasn’t worth the effort and-

“So either go back to your mommies or get ready for some mucho buttkicking, eh guys?” Vix-Lei flashed a grin at the Ahuizotl.

Said Ahuizotl gave her an odd look before facepalming, muttering "¡Ay dios mîo, no otro de esa gente!"

“Yes she is, good madam,” Rex replied ruefully, shaking his head as he continued to say, “And you just met her.” Returning his attention to the stallion, he said “Now good sir, and I say good sir out of habit only, perform a smart activity and walk away.”

“I don’t need any advice from a dumb mutt!” Sharp Point all but bellowed, throwing his switchblade at him with his magic propelling it faster. Bringing up his fists to block it, he was nearly barreled over by Vix-Lei rushing ahead to knock a towering earth pony to the side with her hammer.

Tumbling to the side, he had to roll to the side as the yellow unicorn mare snapped a shield around the nymph as a pegasus tried to do a dive with a lead pipe. It vanished as the nox pony flew in front of her, fending off a swish of Sharp Point’s knife.

The griffon and ahuizotl both tried to go after the same foe, causing a massive pile up with his two allies managing to disengage before their bat pony with a board that had a very large nail in the wood smashed the weapon down where they were.

Bringing himself back to the fight at paw, he threw the bottle that would cause some irritation on contact at an opposing foe when he was forced to abandon a muscle relaxant potion on the ground to lob a punch in the gut of a running earth pony.

It was then, as the bottle was broken by the staggering earth pony he knocked backwards, that he made a mistake and grabbed a smoke bomb instead.

With everyone coughing, Rex was faintly aware of more approaching individuals although he wasn’t sure if they were friend or foe.

Xvital

It was late by the time got to the inn she had rented a room from, doing her best to edge away pre-celebration drunks as well as those who wanted to get their photo taken with her. Beside being a major pain her tail, it would also be a trail for anyone to find her.

She hadn’t got this far in life by acting dumb beyond the few incidents, and when she had acted without putting herself first usually served to teach an important lesson.

Like knowing when to fold in a con and how not to get too involved with others. Painful lessons, but important lessons for a con artist nonetheless.

Checking into the inn, some dump named the Carousel Boutique owned by some minor noble family, Xvital opened the door to her room and let out a tiny purr at seeing the comfy looking bed. She was all ready to toss her stuff in the corner and hop onto the bed to enjoy some well deserved sleep when she heard something outside her window.

Opening it told her enough; some stallion had some deep changeling desires that he was doing his damnedest to hide by being overly the top in his threats against the ‘ling and the unicorn mare that had come to try and stop the fight.

Blinking in surprise as a griffon came to join the love-hate whatever was going on and then that Night Blade fellow she had run into appeared on the scene.

She was debating to herself whether or not to join in when she remembered the most important rule in her life; to know that rules were meant for breaking and she had to go help out.

Pulling out her brass knuckles and knife, she filed away what a minotaur and a diamond dog said as they both jumped down, with the latter being a far better talker than she’d imagine of their kind.

As Xvital had nothing better to add to the conversation, all she said when she jumped down was, “What they said, ya creepy dink.” She allowed herself a smile, flexing her muscles as she eyed the jerk. “And now it seems the numbers are a bit more even.”

He didn’t seem that much of a threat, hopefully puffing out both of their chests would calm things dow-

“So either go back to your mommies or get ready for some mucho buttkicking, eh guys?” the minotaur then flashed a grin at her.

No way that this ‘taur actually, Xvital stopped that train of thought. Facepalming, she lapsed back into Burroñeso, saying "¡Ay dios mîo, no otro de esa gente!"

“Yes she is, good madam,” the diamond dog said to her, actually understanding Burronñeso! “And you just met her.” He then turned to the stallion holding the knife in the air, he said “Now good sir, and I say good sir out of habit only, perform a smart activity and walk away.”

Being backed into a corner did it for the stallion, snapping off with an “I don’t need any advice from a dumb mutt!” before lunging to attack.

And… as much as she hated to admit it, but the idiot had it up against her. His gang, as pitiful as it were, had fought together in the past and her newfound allies…

Grumbling as she and the griffon went after the same target, she pushed apart in time to avoid some crazy mare with a nail in a board!

Throwing a punch that connected with of the mare with the board, she peered around for her next target when there was a sudden blast of blinding smoke.

Coughing into her hand as she got low, Xvital tried to get her vision back when she heard the sound of a lot of ponies approaching at once.

As soon as it came, the smoke was gone with a number of police looking at them-and the stallion, his gang and the changeling had all proven to be smarter than her and run off as soon as there was smoke.

The police was were all shouting at them to stand down and not to move.

This… wasn’t according to her plan, but she could adapt.


“As I told you, good sirs,” Night Blade said to the police officer for the fourth time. “We were all responding to an individual in need.”

“And I told you, mister Blade, as it was a changeling, we don’t know if this wasn’t some elaborate plot or con job,” the police pony said, rolling his eyes. “What we do know is that you and those in the cell were involved in some kind of fight. And as such, you and them will need to meet the judge in a few days.”

“Fine fine,” Night grumbled for all of them, with the griffon, diamond dog, minotaur and unicorn watching the exchange with her carefully. They’d all been questioned and it was only when Night had revealed his roots that the cops were actually loosening up on them. “Allow me to pay for the mare’s and my bond then, at the very least.”

Xvital shared the angry look on the griffon’s face, with the minotaur muttering to herself, the diamond dog shaking his head and the mare facehooving.

“No, it is far too late and due to this being a joint fight, the only way I’d release all of them is under your view, mister Blade,” the cop said with a bit of a grin, no doubt enjoying the opportunity to mess with a noble. “That means you will be responsible for them, mister Blade.”

“I understood full well to what you had meant,” the colt snapped, risking the cop’s wrath.

Which proved to be tempered enough that the cop just pushed him back into the cell before leaving them alone.

“Thanks for looking out for all of us,” the griffon sneered at the colt, wasting no time to get into his face.

“I owe you nothing, you drunk,” he said back with the same amount of venom. “In anycase, you owe me for saving your plot this afternoon.”

“How the buck is getting me fired helpful?!” the griffon shouted with the diamond dog barking at him to lower his voice lest the cops got further annoyed at them.

“If the Inspector saw you were drunk, the fines your associate got would be pocket change compared to yours,” Blade snapped back, causing the griffon to blink before scowling off to the side.

“Look, it’s late and I think it would do us some good to get some sleep,” the mare said, walking in the middle of the room, shooting a look at the bat pony which seemed to calm him down.

“The pretty mare is right, guys,” the minotaur said a bit too cheerfully for Xvital’s tastes but at least her heart was in- “The name is Vix-Lei; seeing as we’ll be spending some time together, I think it’d be best if we’d swap names.”

Oh right, that was a thing she would have to deal with now. That and a court appearance.

Wonderful.

It seemed that the diamond dog and griffon shared her feelings on the matter, but the mare just smiled. “Sounds like a wonderful idea, Vix-Lei. My name is Page Turner and this is my coltfriend Night Blade,” she tilted her head towards the bat pony, who gave a half-hearted attempt at a smile. Turning to face the griffon, she said, “I know your name is Wind Breaker, yes?”

The reddish griffon nodded his head in agreement, saying, “Yup, that’s right. A bit surprised you remembered me, to be honest. And yes, I’ve heard all the jokes, so please don’t start.” He moved his eyes away from a pouting Vix-Lei to face the diamond dog next to him. “And your name?”

“My name is Rex, my good sir,” the diamond dog said, holding out his paw to shake the talon of the griffon before going to do it for everyone in the cell. “While it is not the most ideal place to meet new people, it is good to know that there are like minded people when it comes to how others are treated,” he then flashed a smirk at her, which made the ahuiztol feel a bit better about everything. “Care to finish off the introductions, ma’am?”

“I’m Xvital, everyone,” she said, flashing an easy smile as she leaned backwards, trying to get more comfortable. She wasn’t sure why, but she had a feeling that tomorrow was going to be a good day.

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