Friday, April 6, 2018

Page 1660 -- CLXXIX.

((TZKS 5th Anniversary -- Page 9 of 24))
Chapter One Hundred Seventy-Nine: ‘The Leech’s gambit ...’
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It had been an uncomfortable week. Roman Fullister from Atreya liked to consider himself an adaptable man, but his time spent traveling with this Leo from Lava Base had made him reevaluate a great many things.

The journey here to Capaporo had been quiet enough. Leo was rather chatty during it, but so could Roman be, when he wanted to. No, the trouble arose after they got here, when the Rainlords arrived.

Leo had neglected to mention what he had planned for them, and looking back on it now, Roman knew that Leo had indeed planned it all along. At the time, it had seemed like a spur of the moment thing, an impulsive and unprovoked decision, but not anymore.

It hadn’t helped that the Rainlords weren’t particularly friendly during their encounter. A reaper by the name of Mevox had been especially prickly, as it sounded like Mevox knew something about Leo and didn’t like him as a result. Roman hadn’t gotten the chance to find out what that was, precisely, and even now, he was reluctant to have Voreese go and try to do so in his stead. He wanted to keep her as far away from Leo as he could, at least until he was reasonably confident that the man wouldn’t simply snap and go on a killing spree.

He was doubtful that such a time would ever come, however. Sure, Leo was amiable enough towards him, but would he be that way towards Voreese? Or worse, would she provoke him?

Probably. It was Voreese, after all.

Yeah, he’d probably made the right call in not letting the two of them meet. Better safe than exploded into meaty chunks, he figured.

“Tell me something,” said Roman as he mulled over the cards in his hand. He already had three fives, and they hadn’t even started guessing yet. “And be honest with me.”

Leo sat across the steely table from him, observing his own cards. “Yeah?”

“Do you really think that Sai-hee will forgive you? I mean, I know how you feel about negativity, but just--seriously, do you think your plan is going to work?”

“What kind of idiot would I be if I were tryin’ a plan that I didn’t think was going to work?”

A desperate one, Roman wanted to say. “What if she doesn’t, though? I know you said she hates the Rainlords, but handing them over to her as an apology gift... what if she just decides to kill them and then you, too?”

Leo was quiet a moment. Then he looked Roman in the eye and said, “Do you have any twos?”

“Go fish.”

“Tsk.” Leo grabbed a card off the top of the deck.

“Answer my question,” said Roman.

Leo flattened his lips together and kept his eyes on his cards. “It ain’t just about getting her forgiveness, man. It’s about getting Ericoros’, too. And there ain’t no way he’s gonna agree to not release my soul unless I go back to workin’ for her.”

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