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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Purifying Fire - Chapter 13



Chandra and the ruler of Diraden.


The Purifying Fire - Chapter 13

Chandra wakes to a pounding in her skull, and to find a stranger in the room. And that she's naked beneath the bedsheets of a very opulent room.

"Yes, I think you may surprise us and survive," said the voice, some unknown time later. "I love surprises. Are you waking up?" the voice asked, dripping with amusement. "That’s it. Open those eyes wide. Surely it's time for us to meet?"

It's Prince Valrev himself. He's tall, slim, fair-skinned, and has black hair. His eyes are red-rimmed and his lips are so dark they're almost purple. He's not even close to her type.

The prince tells her that he's won the wager that she'll survive her wounds. He tries to be a gracious host, wanting to provide her anything she wants... except dismissing her repeated requests for her clothes. She warns him to not touch her and commands him to get of the bed. She's not interested in conversation, especially not until she's clothed again. She however does accept his offer of water, and she makes sure she's properly covered with her bed sheet before heads over the pitcher of water where she drinks three full glasses in a row.

"I like a woman who's that concentrated on fulfilling her needs," Velrav purred.

"I don't care what you like." Her voice sounded more normal now. She must have been unconscious for quite some time.

(Wow, he is just so sleazy.)

He tells her that he was unimpressed when they first brought her. He thought that perhaps the villagers lied to him to save their lives, but now that she's awake, he can believe that she really fought off the villagers and put up quite a fight against his fog riders. He tells her that she's such an exquisite creature and remarkably healthy... and she's also a fire mage... it's just so much for him to take in.

She tells him she'll be happy to show him what she can do if he just removes his enchantment, but he regretfully tells her that cannot. It's only proper that he look after his own well being. She should just forget about the spell that covers the world in perpetual night. He wants to know more about herself and her lover.

Chandra's a bit confused, but after some questions she learns that Gideon was taken after he tried coming to her rescue. She tells the prince that Gideon is not her lover and is actually a bounty hunter that's been trying to capture her. He's not quite convinced she's telling the truth, but if she wants to see him, all she has to do is look out at the courtyard through the window.

Chandra takes a look and sees Gideon strung up between wooden posts, with more wounds than Jurl ever gave him. She tells him how disgusting she finds the whole situation, and Prince Valrev admits that usually he would be dead right now, but Gideon actually managed to kill one of the fog riders and so needs to be made an example of. Eventually Chandra watches another man appear, slice open a new wound in Gideon's back, and then begin licking the blood.

They talk a bit more and Chandra finally just tells Prince Valrev that she should just end his own life because he is constantly bringing up how bored he is. She says she knows he's been in complete control for centuries with food simply captured and brought to him and so he has no more purpose. Things are too easy. So he should just end it all. Prince Valrev admits that it's crossed his mind over the years.

But...

She and Gideon have appeared and now he knows what can make living bearable once again. It's quite clear through their unique appearance and healthy state of being that they aren't from here. They're not from this plane.

"Now I know there is more beyond Diraden." he said. "So much more, in fact, that I am eager to explore it. And somehow, you and your bounty hunter will help me."

* * *


Prince Valrev, The Talker

I like good conversation, but wow does Prince Valrev just keeps on going on and on. And the way he keeps on dragging out the return of her clothes is just creepy. I think this chapter certainly could have benefited from some cuts.


Pet Peeve - "It's a long story."

Prince Valrev wonders what crime she could have committed for a man such as Gideon to be sent after her, and Chandra's response is to tell him, "It's a long story."

Is it really?

"I stole an ancient scroll from a sacred museum."

Although I suppose at that time she doesn't want to admit she's a planeswalker... but then she can answer in a different way. This is a bad guy. The prince isn't her friend, partner, superior, etc. She doesn't have to tell him the truth. Why bother even saying "It's a long story" as if it's something she'd ever want to tell him.

No one should ever use, "It's a long story." Not in books, TV, movies, or in real life.


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