Saturday, July 4, 2020

Page 2447

~~((The July 4th Special -- page 12 of 12))~~
'Pretty much, yeah,' said Chergoa.

'But what if Gohvis doesn't even get involved in the war?'

The reaper allowed a beat to pass. 'Well. Yeah. I mean, that would be a bit of a problem for us.'

Emiliana was somehow not surprised by that response.

'But on the bright side,' the reaper went on, 'that would probably be even better for our allies, since it would mean that the Monster of the East isn't one of their opponents.'

Well, that was true, Emiliana supposed. Above all, that was thing the she wanted to avoid most. Her father trying to confront Gohvis. After all that he had been through? She couldn't imagine that would result in anything good.

Truthfully, though, a part of her almost felt as if that meeting was inevitable. She doubted her father would ever give up looking for her. And he was immortal. It might take him many years to find her all the way out here on the dead continent of Exoltha, but she had a terrifying degree of confidence that he would do it eventually.

And when that day came, she wondered if there would be anything she could do save her father's life. Perhaps, she thought, Gohvis might spare him in order to avoid making her hate him. Was that possible?

It was hard to tell anything when it came to what Gohvis was thinking. And it seemed the peak of hubris to assume that he would place that much value upon her feelings.

Unless she tried to win his affection before then.

Which was a similarly terrifying notion. Gohvis did seem to have a certain sense of humanity behind that colossally intimidating exterior, but she was still far from convinced that he wasn't still just as monstrous deep down as his reputation implied. Sure, he was more academically minded than she might have expected, having taken up the charge as the Keeper of the Library, but that didn't mean he was genuinely benevolent.

Page 2446

~~((The July 4th Special -- page 11 of 12))~~
It didn't help that Gohvis had begun behaving a bit differently lately, as well. His purported reason for even bringing her here to the Library of Erudia in the first place was to 'study their link,' the one that she had apparently inherited from Agam Elroy, but Gohvis had hardly been paying attention to her in the last few weeks.

She didn't necessarily mind that part so much, especially because her training had already progressed enough so that she was no longer concerned that her mutation power would go out of control, but still. She couldn't help growing more and more curious about what he was up to.

From the way Hector had described this Second Continental War, it sounded like Abolish was intimately involved. And Gohvis was one of Abolish's most notorious members. So... was he going to participate in it, too?

Didn't seem like it so far, but maybe he was just preparing or something. She was a little afraid to ask.

Scratch that. She was extremely afraid to ask. No doubt, Gohvis would wonder how she had come to learn of the war in the first place. Maybe he would believe that she'd learned about it from his followers, but she didn't want to risk it.

Chergoa, at least, had talked to her at length about the war, offering all manner of rationale and reassurances. Which Emiliana appreciated. Greatly, in fact. The reaper was good at spinning a tale.

'I'm telling you, this is actually perfect,' Chergoa told her in the echo of privacy. 'I mean, obviously, it's not so great there's a war going on, but you and I are in an ideal position. We're safely tucked away behind enemy lines while still having a means of communication with our allies.'

'...You're saying we can spy on Abolish from here?' said Emiliana, unable to conceal the doubt in her mental tone.

Page 2445 -- CCXXX.

~~((The July 4th Special -- page 10 of 12))~~
'are you saying that Abolish has been deploying aberrations in large numbers during this war?' said Orric.

"Yes," said Renart. "The invisible ones in particular. That seems to have become a favorite tactic of theirs, especially before an assault. Having their soldiers or saboteurs sneak into a territory and sow discord before striking hard--that has been happening all over the continent."

Whoa.

The Blackburns of course knew exactly what the man was talking about. They'd experienced it firsthand. Suddenly, it was looking like Dunehall had been some kind of trial run for Abolish.

Did they really have that many invisibility-wielding aberrations? Raul would've expected them to be fairly difficult to come by, but from the sound of it, that wasn't the case. Or Abolish had just devoted a ton of resources to that endeavor.

Either way, it was unsettling.


Chapter Two Hundred Thirty: 'Thine ally, thine enemy...'
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Of late, Emiliana Elroy was even more uncomfortable than usual. She tried to remain focused on her training, but it was difficult. Ever since she had caught wind of another great Eloan war, her mind had been clouded with worry almost all the time.

She'd first heard of it here in the Library, in whispers among Gohvis' followers. And when she'd asked Hector about it via her Shard of the Dry God, he indeed confirmed it.

Her worries had gotten so bad that she had started relegating them to a constant place in the back of her mind. That didn't seem like the proper or healthiest solution to her, but at least it allowed her to think about other things simultaneously.

Sort of.

Too often, her other thoughts twisted back toward those in one way or another. She wondered if this training of hers would be of any help to anyone other than herself, one day.