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APH: Harsh lessonsWhen dreams no longer offer rest and escape from a harsh world, they become nightmares, terrible reminders of a past we had thought that we left behind.
"And so the great and powerful Centurion finally defeated the great dragon and conquered the city. Women worshipped and men envied him, but for himself he only wanted the best, the king's beautiful daughter. And so began a new golden age in that once accursed city." Rome flashed a wide smile and rolled up the scroll. "Wasn't that a fantastic story? Battles, fights, monsters, wars and women!"
"Tell me more stories, Grandpa Rome!" Chibitalia asked. He could barely sit, so exciting the story had been.
"Come now, it's time for my favourite grandchild to go to bed!" Rome answered and stroked Chibitalia's hair. He covered the young child with a blanket and smiled. "Tomorrow is a new day and we can make art together again, like today. And you can watch as I win Germania in an arm wrestle!"
Chibitalia tried to protest, but already he fe
ReflectionsVal's pursuit led him to the foul beast's domain. The hollowed-out cavern reeked of blood and rancid meat. The dim light he had seen as he charged through the tunnel after the monster could now be identified: torches. Rows of mysteriously lit torches lined the walls of the huge cave. At its center was a substantially large labyrinth of mirrors.
He spotted the beast entering.
He spun his silver broadsword in his hand and hurried in behind it.
His garb was a simple blue and white crusader's leather with thick armored pads and reinforcing steel studs. Lightweight and flexible, but quite effective defense against blunt blows and – in a pinch – the slashing claws of the unholy spawn of the earth. All monster-hunters wore a similar variety in Val's experience. It would serve him well in these close quarters of the mirrored maze.
Right, left, forward, left, right he turned, always catching a glimpse of the beast's tail as he wove his way through the corridors. Every so often he sp
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