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Hero, Don't Kill The Demon King! Chapter 1: Lives Not Yet Thrown Away

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"I am glad we are in agreement, Marina. Though I question why you allow him to influence you, should you realize that." Nessraya noted, taking a seat on the grass and laying her back against the thick trunk of the old oak tree. Oh well, no use letting it dampen her mood any further... as much as she wanted to take Marina where she stood, if more to rub Agni's face in it than even to lay with the heroine, which was impressive ire enough on it's own, trying to force the issue would likely do little more than put Marina on guard.

"I do not know what it was you wished to speak with me about, Marina, but if I might begin with a word of advice... be wary of that man. It is easy to tell at a glance that his loyalties lie not with Marina Fairchild, but with the Hero of the Church." Nessraya began, looking up at Marina to gauge her reaction.

"For now, he views those two identities as one and the same. But If you continue on your path of redemption, they will become... irreconcilable. Bishop Carlon wants nothing less than the destruction of Vaia and her people, as his multiple crusades have proven. If you cannot convince Agni to follow Marina instead of the Hero... I fear his knife will find it's way into your back, instead of your enemies." Nessraya concluded for the moment, a sigh escaping her lips.

"But that is likely heavier than what you wanted to discuss, and I would imagine at present you trust him more than me. Just something to keep in mind."

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She listened intently to Nessraya's words of advice. Everything was practically on point with how she was thinking. She was conflicted. It wasn't the first time she considered the fact that Agni could go back to the church at any time. It was mostly a means of...

"...Because I don't know if, when, or how he may try to leave..." She suddenly answered after Nessraya finished. "I... I want him to turn around, but it's a means of... being careful how I tread." She wanted to word this right, not sure if she'd sound stupid for her means of answering the succubus' question. Marina gathered her bearings for a moment, and moved to sit with Nessraya,

"I'm afraid if I do something... too drastic, he may just up and abandon me," She admitted, "I wasn't the first one, right? Hero, I mean. Imagine I do something that the church discovers, and they denounce me, see me as a lost cause? And then, all of a sudden a new person is brought here, being labeled as the newest 'Hero of Coteon'. And Agni just... runs and swears loyalty to them. Then... what reason would any human have to listen to what I have to say, if the only one who ever stood by me cut and run...?" Then, a tear dropped. "I feel like I'm trapped in a limbo... I want to do what I can to please everyone but... I just end up disappointing one person, or myself, or everyone around me." She held her head in her hands, "I once was told, the hardest part of making a decision is not knowing whether or not it was the right call. And I hate how right they are."

Ruffling her own hair, trying to mask the sudden headache she'd formed from all this stress, she followed onto her comment about trusting her, "Nessraya, I do trust you. You saved my life, when you could've blasted me once and just... made me nothing more than a distant memory. Honestly, I'd love to offer myself up to you. With all the crap I've been putting up with the last month, rejuvenation from it would probably be the best feeling right now. I just... I don't know."

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Oh, Jade had surprised the visitor. Curious. Rocking forward on the balls of her feet a little, leaning in and looking up at the taller woman, a slight wisp of smile on her face, she blinked a few times while taking in the other's expression, as the dragonewt recovered and began to explain herself.

"Umu," she grunted at last, satisfied enough, then nodded. "Wait here a moment," the zombie instructed, before turning to the wagon--its 'mares unhitched and fed already, now both laying down about a stone's throw away, enjoying a small rest, though they were by no means exhausted--climbing up and making her way to the driver's seat. After Lavinia had told her more about the weapon, she'd changed where she'd been storing it. No longer was it in the back with all the other goods, she'd relocated it to a lockbox she kept in the space under the seat, opened with a key she wore around her neck. It was for things of a more valuable or sentimental nature than her typical cargo, and this Requiem now certainly qualified for a spot within.

Weapon retrieved, she drew it from its sheath, holding it rather awkwardly, untrained and unused to its weight, while she stared at it. Thought at it. But it showed no signs of moving, of morphing, of... whatever it was it had done--what she'd seen it do--in Lavinia's or the thief's hands. Upset enough to remember to breathe so she could sigh in disappointment, Jade hopped somewhat carelessly down from her perch and, returning to her visitor, gave the dragonewt another, more appraising, look than before. What was she even hoping to see? She felt she'd know it when she saw it, though.

"Can you use a sword..." Jade started, a smirk on her face as she knew the question was pointless. While the woman probably could, it was clearly not her weapon of choice. But for Requiem in particular, it seemed like that wouldn't matter. Still, she got a little pleasure from the asking, of marking the first impressions of a response, though she did not intend to give enough time for a full interruption.

"No... that's the wrong question. Can you use this sword," the zombie quickly revised her query. "Will you? You know it comes with risk?" Jade turned around, then, facing her back to her visitor, and holding the sword out in front of her, pointed away from the both of them. "I can't seem to make it work, and now I'm burning to know. How? Why? What does it feel like? Take my hand in yours, if you want it. Make it change. Let me taste it. Then, I would have no objection to your using it, at least until the King claims it once again for their own."

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