“Who are you?” Asad asked.
“Caster Egmond. Are you going to answer my question or continue to ignore me? I dislike impolite people, you know.”
“Uninvited guests are extremely impolite,” said Asad.
“Ha.” Caster bobbed his head. “I suppose you’ve got me there. But you know how it is. Orders being orders.”
Asad took a step forward. “What are you doing here, Marauder?”
“Ah, you know of me. How nice. And I know of you, Lion.”
“Of course you do.”
That made Caster laugh. “Cocky, for one so young.”
Zeff stepped silently next to Asad.
And Emiliana observed the ensuing staredown, able to feel the oppressive tension filling the whole chamber. The pressure of this Caster’s soul power was enough to tell her that he was no normal foe.
And yet, the sight of her father and Asad there, standing together before her--it was enough to make her feel, for a fleeting moment, as if no one in the world could possibly harm her.
If he was honest, Zeff didn’t entirely understand what was happening. Or where he was. Or why Asad was here. Or who the guy in the armor even was.
But he understood enough. Somehow, when he’d woken up, he already knew what he needed to. Or, more likely, that was why he’d woken up. Because of that person’s presence. That dangerous aura.
He’d heard of the Marauder of Calthos before. A man responsible for the destruction of dozens of towns over the last decade. A rising star among the Abolish elite. Abolish didn’t really have formal “ranks,” as far as Zeff was aware, but from all he knew, this man before them was probably near Parson’s level of strength.
Because of course he was.
Zeff might have been disappointed otherwise. He was growing accustomed to being perpetually overmatched.