Friday, April 6, 2018

Page 1665

((TZKS 5th Anniversary -- Page 14 of 24))
“Hmm,” mused Leo. “Maybe you’re right. I’ve known a fair few folks who did some bonkers stuff ‘cuz of love. Or so they said. Hard to know these things for certain, right?”

Roman only returned a lame shrug and waited for Leo to guess a card.

Leo did not oblige, however. “You really think you can help me with Eri?” he asked.

“Dunno,” said Roman. “But I promise to try, at least.”

“Heh. Arighty, well... Ericoros is what you call... a drama king.”

Roman raised an eyebrow.

“He has a tendency to overreact to things. And sometimes he lets his emotions get the better of him. I mean, he makes an effort to be rational, but y’know...”

“I see. How old is he? Do you know?”

“He’s in his two thousands now.”

“Where is he from originally?”


“Where in Luugh? What country?”

“Doesn’t exist anymore.”

“Really? I thought all the countries there were pretty old.”

“They are. Not his, though. The Kingdom of Polura, was what it was called. These days, it’s known as the Republic of Grant. Named after that uppity Vanguardian, y’know.”

Roman did know. Field Marshal Grant. Celebrated hero across the continent of Luugh. Roman had been there a couple times. They had some real nice stuff there. Plenty worth stealing, certainly. And they were big fans of statues, those Luughans. And trees. And water. That was pretty much their entire culture condensed into three things, according to Roman’s admittedly meager experience.

It was too bad he hadn’t spent more time there. Might’ve been helpful, right about now. He considered asking Voreese, but she was probably still busy with the others. And she would probably just distract him, anyway. “Why do you think he’s so dutiful toward Sai-hee?”

“She saved his hometown four hundred years ago or so.”

“Mm, yeah, that’d do it.”

“Wasn’t actually her, though,” said Leo. “It was a group of her followers. Rescued the place from a small time warlord. Not even all that impressive from the sound of it, but to hear Eri talk about it, you’d think she descended from the heavens ‘r somethin’.”

“Is Ericoros religious at all?”

“Yeah, kinda. He’s a follower of Cocora.”

“Oh, hey, so he might like it in Atreya, then.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

“That’s a start, right?”

Leo made no response.

Not the kind of reaction Roman was looking for. Probably best to push quickly onward. “So Ericoros doesn’t share your reservations about Sai-hee? You mentioned that you thought she was worse than Dozer, even.”

“Oh yeah. Eri doesn’t see any of that. Thinks the ends justify the means ‘n all that.”

“Maybe the solution to your problem lies there, then. If we could convince him that Sai-hee isn’t as great as he thinks she is, then maybe he’ll agree to quit with you and go do something else.”

“You think I haven’t tried that already? He won’t listen, man.”

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