The Mist and the Lightning. Part 13

Ви Корс
The Mist and the Lightning. Part 13

Dedicated to Nameless from Pokrovskiy

0

Joker

1

Madness and control

When action is required, willpower is needed to accomplish it. Cast aside all hesitation, boldly follow a new path.

The expression on the face of their commander Atley Alis was confident and firm, there was not a drop of fear or doubt, not even any excitement. And it was very much felt that Lis was not playing, and this was not a pretense, not a mask of confidence, put on the face of an inside frightened and confused person, but a real inner strength that came from the depths and involuntarily reflected on his face. Both the commanders and the mercenary soldiers: the unclean and black, seeing such Lis, perked up, calmed down and also with joyful excitement, casting aside doubts and fear, rushed to carry out his quick and clear orders. And, if at first, perhaps, they were a little confused, now there is no trace of their confusion.

Marcus was standing at the top of the fortress wall, his head bare, on which dark hair had grown slightly. His face, under the very eyes, so as to hide the shameful tattoo, was covered with a black mask-shield.

“Fast! Explain how to proceed!” Lis nodded a little nervously towards the box. They used the reds’ supplies and poured the “mixture” that Marcus made into their stock. Marcus began to show, he set fire to the fuse himself, which was surprising, because he was a scientist, not a warrior, threw the ball far down from the wall into the enemy crowd. There was a deafening roar, fire broke out and smoke poured out. From the explosion, the reds scattered like chips in different directions. Kors’ mercenaries grabbed the balls: they understood everything. Marcus looked at what he had done with a crazy, unseeing look; even through the roar, the screams of the wounded and crippled people were heard. He turned to Lis, and he bared his teeth in satisfaction:

“Run, do more! More is needed!” Lis turned to the black warriors. “Help him fill up the gunpowder and bring it here! Faster!”

“Yes, sir!” Marcus shouted, and as if not realizing that he had killed or maimed several people with his own hand, he rushed down the stairs to his workshop. Marcus was in euphoria, some kind of frenzy and wanted to fight like everyone else, and only later he would be able to soberly think about it.

Kors found Nikto on the left side of the Fort near the bear cage. He had no doubts that Nikto would be here, with his unclean ones, and it was hard not to recognize his blond hair. The reds managed to break through a small section of the old wall near the menagerie. They stormed this weak point of the Fort just as Lis’ warriors once did, and the unclean ones held the defense with all their might, not letting the enemy pass.

Kors saw at what a frantic pace his Nik, Prince Arel and the unclean ones were fighting, not allowing the reds to enter the Fort through the rift in the wall. Kors, without a second thought, rushed to them. Nikto saw him, he was distracted for a moment, turned around:

“Kors?! What are you doing here?”

“I'm with you!” Kors shouted, trying to make Nikto hear him through the roar of fire-shooting “sticks of reds” and “lighters” of Marcus. He didn’t see his face and couldn’t understand how Nikto reacted to it.

Nikto didn’t say anything to him, and there was no time for that, the red ones climbed through the gap made in the wall, and they had to fight back. Kors himself was not up to talking, as he was immediately attacked, and he was distracted by the red warrior who had attacked him from the side. Kors managed to dodge and block the blow, immediately responding with a counterattack and despite the noise surrounding him, it seemed to him that he very clearly heard a gurgling sound escaping from the throat of the red when he fell choking on his own blood.

The roar of explosions, screams, the glitter and clink of swords, the crunch of breaking bones and the groans of the dying – Kors “heard” everything at the same time. He caught this crazy drive, and some other strange union with the unclean, as if he was now connected with them. Zaf, Nija and the others were all here. And Kors saw that they were fighting as one. Prince Arel paired with Nikto guessed his actions several moves ahead. Nikto gave him any orders, but Arel acted as if he were part of him, an extra hand.

And Kors even became a little jealous, because as far as he understood, Arel didn’t hear the Demon as well as Kors could hear him. Nikto said then about Kors: “He hears whole sentences at once, and not just single phrases” and was impressed by this. And Kors, proceeding from these words, concluded that Arel hears mental orders worse, probably only the simplest ones.

But when they fought now, Arel seemed not to hear the Demon, but to become a Demon himself. And Kors also understood what Daniel Crassus had in mind when he said that Nikto lacked speed. Yes, despite the pace at which they had to fight back, he was really slower than necessary, performed some series of blows and from this he risked getting faster in response.

Kors’ hearts literally sank at the sight of these dangerous moments, he felt sorry for Nikto, involuntarily forced to take such a risk. And at the same time, Kors was amazed at how his Nik, despite his physical limitations and lack of stability due to lameness, compensated for his disability, and his technique was really very good and not at all primitive, as one might think. His moves were difficult to predict. He, as they say, “led the enemy under pressure,” literally “twisting”, thereby increasing the possibility that he, sooner or later, would make a mistake.

Prince Arel insured his master and managed to attack along the way. He beat the opponent with force in the legs and then in the head. He knocked down the helmet, dissecting the forehead and the vessels above the eyes, so that the blood flooded the face and interfered with the view. Without giving the enemy time to recover, he beat the stunned red on the arm, breaking a bone and knocking the sword out of his hands. If the red warrior, losing his weapon, tried to cover himself with a shield, Arel quickly bypassed him and beat in the neck area, breaking the spinal column. The fighter lost his orientation in space and couldn’t keep his balance, with a strong kick of the leg Arel knocked over the red one, completing his attack with a thrust blow to the face or neck, where there was no defense. All this often lasted less than thirty seconds. Arel did it reflexively, automatically, with practiced movements at maximum breakneck speed, immediately switching from the fallen disabled enemy to the next one, which took the place of the killed one. At the same time, he managed in a couple of seconds to hit the red one, who was trying to get around him or Nikto from the side.

At some point, they still managed to throw the reds behind the wall, there was a short pause as a respite. The unclean quickly moved, putting on the first line those who were previously on the second. It was necessary to have time to rest a little and take a breath. Kors, breathing heavily, bending over, leaned his back against the bars of the cage with the bear, without even noticing it. Nikto grabbed him abruptly by the shoulder and pulled him back:

“What are you doing! Don't lean against it, there’s a barla!” He shouted, calling the bear as the unclean called it.

Kors turned and saw the beast rushing about the cage. Nikto’s shoulders trembled, apparently he laughed, because of the noise Kors didn’t hear it, and on Nikto’s face was his deaf, faceless mask and the slits for the eyes were obscured by black glass. Kors knew, and Nikto had told him before, that daylight and especially the “fiery lighters” of the reds blinded him greatly. No longer able to restrain his emotions, Kors rushed to him, dragging him into some kind of broken arch in the wall and ripping off the mask from his face. He remembered that in the morning, after Lis announced to them about the attack of the reds and the attack on the Fort, Nikto immediately rushed to dress and to his weapons.

He didn’t have enough time to stick the mask to his face, Kors was sure of this and was not mistaken, – the mask gave in, and Nikto looked at Kors with his bright eyes:

“What are you doing, Kors?! I will stop seeing now!” Nikto shouted, however, quite good-naturedly.

And Kors leaned towards him, rushed, no worse than Arel, his face was tense, with excitement, doubt – what would Nik-Demon do him now? Would he give him a cold shower of indifference, or…

But Nikto was all towards him, embracing, hugging him.

“I missed you, I missed you terribly,” whispered Kors, seeing that Nikto was in tune with him, and reciprocated, “I love you, I love you!”

Nikto gently pressed a hand to his forehead and the white strand that had been knocked out during the fight, and Kors’ body was pierced by a convulsion: demonic energy filled with pleasure that didn’t belong to this mortal world. Kors groaned, arching and cumming right in his pants. Nikto kissed him on the lips, and Kors answered him feverishly with all his passion.

“Kors, you get stoned with me,” Nikto laughed, “you are the same as Arel. No wonder you got along and were lovers for so long.”

“Yes, let me get stoned, let… my Demon…”

Nikto pulled away:

“Be patient a little, now is not up to this, you see.”

Kors didn't care, he had been alone for too long, tired of being alone and now he wanted to be near this creature and feel pleasure. Nikto put on the mask again. They came out of the arch, and Kors saw Arel’s grim gaze. He stood nearby, but didn’t interfere.

The unclean warriors divided into three lines of defense in order to repulse the attacks of the reds in turn, since it was clear that the attack could last for several more hours at least, and it would not be possible to withstand it, without the opportunity to catch their breath and recover.

 

The sky was covered with smoke, and it was already impossible to determine whether it was sunny or not. Kors didn’t feel his hand, and his pace slowed noticeably. Incessant flashes from the reds’ weapons hit the eyes, their feet slipped into a mess of blood and mud. Nikto, and oddly enough, Prince Arel, insured him, and Kors was very pleased by it. The unclean ones fought as if they were wound up, and Kors was already beginning to doubt that they were flesh and blood creatures, not machines. All around was littered with corpses. Fortunately, the reds were also tired, slowed down, and by the evening it became noticeably quieter.

Lis rode up to them on horseback. He apparently decided to bypass the positions. His horse squinted with his eyes and constantly strove to stand on its hind legs, emitting a nervous whinnying, there was foam on its face, the incessant roar and red lighters finished off the poor animal, but Lis didn’t pay attention to the almost distraught animal.

Atley Alis’ face, stained with soot, was focused, and at the same time somehow strangely joyful:

“How are you?!”

“We are coping!”

“On our right wing, they retreated.”

“Here too.”

“Now they will retreat over the moat and start at dawn. Close up the wall, faster!”

2

Protection

Trust your own capabilities, increase them with knowledge and experience. Trust your intuition and let it grow into effective action.

Lis decided to urgently gather all the commanders to discuss the situation:

“Have you called me?” He asked, and Kors nodded.

“Yes. In half an hour, everyone will come. Emil Gabriel died on the defensive.”

“Brother of your former lackey?”

“Hmm… Yes.”

“That’s already your second officer, Kors.”

“Menerhis was subordinate to Prince Ariel Riel.”

“They came with you.”

“They came for the wealth of the reds, there is nothing to be done, this is a war. And I heard rumors that Emil was leaking information about our actions to the Black City to his brother, and Clive Gabriel was reporting everything to Leonardo.”

Lis shook his head, he looked upset and gloomy, lit a cigarette as usual. Kors noticed that Lis’ face was still dirty, streaks of soot smeared across his cheeks. He didn’t wash or clean himself up after the fight. Before the meeting, he laid out Fort’s plan on the table and made notes in pencil, but didn’t take a minute to simply wipe the dirt off his face with just a wet towel. Lis was so preoccupied with his war that apparently he didn’t even think about it, it seemed he didn’t think about anything at all except the war. And Kors bitterly concluded that this attitude towards himself and seemingly trifles gave up Lis as a commoner, a poor man, accustomed to do without water and walk dirty, without discomfort. Kors moistened a napkin on the table with water from a jug and handed it to Lis:

“Alis, wipe your face, please.”

“What?” Lis looked up from the Fort’s plan. He looked at Kors a little questioningly, as if trying to understand what he wanted from him.

“Wipe your face, please, you're black with soot.”

“Kors, don't bother me with any bullshit now, okay?” But Lis took the napkin and wiped his face. Kors felt relieved from his heart, now his noble friends would not think anything bad about his son-in-law. Lis lit a new cigarette, his pensive glance back at the plan. Nikto and Arel entered the room.

“Nik, have you called your commanders?” Lis asked quickly.

“Yes. Zaf, Nija and Tazh will come now.”

“Whose commander is Nija?” Kors remarked skeptically. “Of five unclean ones?”

“Kors, I need him,” said Lis, “I also can't stand him, believe me, but now I need him,” he glanced at Karina. She averted her eyes. She didn’t open her face, because her lips had not yet fully healed and Karina didn’t want her father to see that Lis was beating her. Moreover, Lis told her that she could only be with an open face in their rooms. And he forbade her taking off the scarf. Therefore, Karina, obeying his orders, remained with a black silk scarf on her face.

“Send Karina away,” said Kors, “she has nothing to do at the meeting. Let her rest in the room.”

“She fought on a par with everyone else,” Lis objected. He turned to Karina:

“If you want to rest, you can go to the room. If you want to stay by my side, you can stay.”

“Can I stay with you?” Asked Karina, pleadingly looking at Lis with her expressive eyes.

“Yes, you can.”

And Karina, right in front of her father, fell on her knees before Lis, bending over to his boots:

“Thank you…”

And Nikto, smiling under his mask, made Kors feel what Lis felt now, when such a beauty as Karina, with her noble black father, humiliating herself, crawled at his feet. And Kors went up inside with indignation. Lis lifted Karina, again placing him on the chair next to him.

“You yourself, Alis, run into trouble, at first you drag her everywhere you go, where some men are, and then she kisses others,” said Kors.

“She will not do it anymore,” Lis smiled.

“Maybe you will also wrap my daughter in a cape?!”

“If I want, I will close her completely with a cape.”

“She is not a slave, but a noble lady!”

“She is my wife, and if I so want, she will wear what I command,” Lis seemed to enjoy teasing Kors.

“My wiff,” whispered Kors, he, like many black ones, was infuriated by the red accent of Lis, “put a bag on her head!” With annoyance, he reached for his gold cigarette case, decorated along the edge with blue stones.

Lis just grinned, flashing in a half-smile that looked more like a grin, the edges of his even white teeth, and again bent over the drawings.

Karina didn’t look at her father, she silently adjusted the scarf on her face so that it reached her eyes and put a hood on her head, covering her hair tied in a ponytail.

Kors mentally addressed Nikto: “What is he doing?! He plays with her as with a living doll, covers her face and still flaunts her!”

“Lis likes it when she sits next to him, admires and admires him, looks with loving eyes,” Nikto also mentally answered him.

Kors just shook his head, opened his cigarette case in frustration and saw that, on top of that, his favorite cigarettes had run out, and he hadn't even noticed it. Kors feared smoking cigarettes of Nikto, expecting to find there something else besides tobacco.

“Alis, give me a cigarette.”

Without looking, Lis handed him his pack.

Kors inhaled nervously.

“How strong, you motherfucker! Alis, what strong cigarettes you smoke, one after another! Are you crazy?!”

“What I need, I smoke,” answered Lis, not taking his eyes off the plan. “I’ll have to shit, I will shit. You are not a decree to me.”

“Alis!”

The noble blacks of Kors entered the living room.

All the remaining mercenary commanders came. Initially, there were eight of them, including Vitor Kors himself. There were now six left.

Daniel Crassus, despite his advanced age, looked cheerful, fought well and established himself as an experienced and dangerous warrior. And also, he was a great mentor for his young soldiers, whom he brought with him from training. Kamiel Varah, despite all his pretentiousness and arrogance, also showed himself from the best side. Salafael Mirt arrived, and two more remaining commanders: Zagpeace Gezaria and Ariel Riel. The unclean ones came: Zaf, Nija and Tazh, as well as Shrad, the head of Price’s militia, and the red warrior Marmer. When everyone was seated at the table, Lis began:

“First of all, I want to thank you all. You are excellent warriors and commanders. The reds got a kick out of it today if they thought to crush us in a couple of hours! But let's get back to business now, because the situation is critical and we don't have much time to discuss a plan to defend the Fort. They will probably start the assault again at dawn. Does everyone already understand black? Zaf, Tazh, Marmer, do you understand black more or less? I don't have time to repeat the same thing a hundred times.”

“I understand,” Marmer said.

“Well, you understand, you communicate a lot with Shrad and other militias,” said Lis, “Zaf? Tazh?”

“I understand,” Tazh said with such a terrifying accent that at that moment it was necessary to see the faces of the noble blacks of Kors. And Zaf was silent and he looked at Nikto, who at the last meeting translated the words of Lis for them. Lis noticed this:

“Zaf, you know black!”

But Zaf didn’t answer, the flame of the candles was reflected in his precious plugs, and the stones in the deformed nostrils shone brightly, iridescent. Lis took a breath and let it out with a noise, slightly protruding his lower lip, as if barely holding himself back, and thus trying to calm down:

“Okay, let's go! We have a pain point, a broken wall. I want Daniel again to put you with your squad to Nik, now not to hammer, but to protect the back gate and a section of the wall near the menagerie.”

“Yes of course!” Said Daniel Crassus cheerfully.

“You performed well last time, let's return to the proven scheme. Consider the fact that the inner wall is almost destroyed in this area.”

“No problem, Atley Alis, it's even better for us,” replied Daniel Crassus.

“Nik, you and your unclean ones are here.”

“Yes.”

“Then you will explain things to Zaf.”

“He has understood everything,” Nikto answered.

“I see.”

Lis began to move his pencil around Fort’s plan, quickly and clearly outlining the situation:

“Here we have a weak point and here. This is where I put you, Peace.”

“Yes, well,” said an officer named Zagpeace Gezaria, whom everyone called Peace, shortening his name, although it was not long. At the same time, for an unknown reason, the black ones always pronounced the name of Salafael in full, and only the unclean abbreviated it, calling him Salaf among themselves.

Listening to Lis, Kors caught himself thinking that now, like the others, he was looking at him with respect and some admiration for his military abilities. Imbued with this universal love. Either Atley Alis really had an undeniable charisma, or it was the enchantment of Nikto who fulfilled his Mission with Lis and supports him with magic in such a way that people are fascinated by what is essentially nothing of a crude half-blood.

Kors remembered, how before, Nikto had argued that Alis was a bad commander, who kept everything on fear. Now he no longer thought so, because both the unclean and his mercenaries really respected Lis as a commander and loved him, especially after the victorious capture of Fort. Kors himself admired him now and how quickly and clearly Lis spoke.

was is his feature and his habit in conversation to very quickly and briefly blurt out a whole sentence at once, as if never wondering which word to choose without any: “uh, mmm, eh”. And always so clear, and often even funny, if not rude. All these curses and sayings of commoners, which he poured, as if without thinking at all. Kors liked all this now. And Lis at the meeting spoke quickly, but without obscene expressions, and his eternal: “fuck, in nature, motherfucker.”

“We don’t have the ability to hold the defense along the entire perimeter of the Fort, here the places are strong – we will leave them, the reds will hammer at weak points.”

“And they won't guess that there are unprotected sections of the wall?” Crassus asked.

“They will. But not at once. Therefore, Nija and his warriors will control the wall. As soon as you see where they are still going to climb, immediately report to me and Nik. Our task is to react quickly to changes in the environment.”

“They go there, and we go there,” nodded Nija.

“And if it’s hot here too,” Varah shook his head, “from what position are we going to shoot people? From the back gate? From the walls?”

“Not much from everywhere, the main thing is that the information arrives quickly and speed is important to us.”

“Who is at the main gate?”

“Maximum five people only on the cannon. The main gate is already strong. Here you are, Marmer. You know about red guns.”

“Yes,” nodded Marmer.

“There are enough cannon balls. Shoot, don’t regret, as soon as they poke their heads. The reds should get the impression that there are many of you there.”

“Clear.”

 

“Tazh, you and your warriors are here,” Lis indicated a point, which he marked with a pencil on the plan and signed with the name of Tazh.

Tazh leaned forward, examining the spot Lis pointed to:

“The task is clear.”

“Nik with Zaf, Crassus, you are here. I am upstairs with your mercenaries, Kors, we annihilate them from above with Marcus’ lighters. You don’t allow from below to break through as well as today. How many times have you thrown them back against the wall?”

“Ha, we lost count,” smiled Kors, recalling the madness that happened this morning and kiss of Nikto.

“Barla needs to be taken to the basement, it will be a pity if he is wounded,” said Zaf in unclean language.

“Eh, he is already going through the second assault,” Lis answered him in the unclean one too and grinned.

Lis put everyone in points in his plan and explained who would be where and how to act.

“The sewer drain is walled up, but I'm sure they will try to undermine it, you are standing on the wall at the top, Ariel, and your people, don’t allow them to do it.”

“Yes, it is clear.”

“Nik,” Lis turned to Nikto, “what about the Portal?”

“I have blocked it,” Nikto answered. He didn’t take off his mask and was at the meeting in it. He didn’t even pull out the black glass that obscured his eyes, although the room was dim, and only a few candles were burning on the table. But Kors didn't care what his commanders would think, yes, his Nik looked shameful, but now Kors even liked it and it gave him perverse pleasure.

“Does he pose a threat?”

“I put a block long ago and during this time they tried to break through from Horn twice, but could not.”

“And from the Ore town?”

“No. Well… I knocked down all the landmarks, this Port is no longer visible in our World, is not visible from Ore town. For the Upper World I couldn’t do that. I just blocked it.”

“Great!”

“Do you understand the action of the Portal?!” Asked Prince Ariel Riel in surprise, and unlike Prince Arel, he really was the king's nephew.

“Ariel, then read the “Upper Messenger” at your leisure, there everything is written,” the Fox cut him off sharply, – now we are discussing the current situation and the defense of the Fort.

“I've read it,” said Prince Ariel.

“Then all the more, what the questions?”

Ariel said nothing.

And Kors again admired Lis and how impudently he stopped the push on Nikto, despite Ariel’s high position.

“If, nevertheless, they from Upper or from Horn manage to break through, Nik?” Lis didn't care about titles.

“I hope it won’t happen,” Nikto replied, he didn’t react at all to Ariel’s words.

“The door is locked, even if they unlock, they will not leave the basement,” said Nija, “we have closed all the doors and holes in the basements tightly. All the cracks. You cannot leave the Fort and you cannot enter it.”

“Like a rock, exactly,” whispered Shrad quietly, “even if you want, you can’t get out.”

“Who could have tried to reach us from Horn?” Lis said thoughtfully. “Do they care about the frontier Fort?”

“I had an assumption,” said Kors, “that the chief of the garrison had a woman in Upper World. He went there a couple of times a month. Maybe she is worried and looking for him? I assume he has a woman or a family there.”

“I don’t know anything about his family, he never mentioned her,” said Lis. “Marmer, what do you say? Did Digmer have a family?”

“He is from here, from our World,” Marmer shook his head, “No, Digmer was definitely born here. He is from Ore town. I knew people who knew him, I don't know about his family. But I heard about Horn that there is no more beautiful city! It is a rich city and filled with jewels. They drink from golden cups, eat from golden dishes,” as the story progressed, the eyes of the former marauder flared up with an increasingly unhealthy, greedy gleam, and he spread his arms to the sides, as if to show wealth. The noble commanders of Kors listened to him with a haughty, slightly condescending grin.

“And they have many, many beautiful things, and watches and pictures!”

“And there are many of them in our rooms,” said Salafael Myrtle, “and pictures and things. Did they steal jewelry from the Horn? And here they hid it. Who would guess to look here? Everything is packed with this shit in the main tower.”

“Oh!”

“Okay,” said Lis, “then we'll figure it out.”

“If it’s stolen,” Nija said, “they will come for it and try to break through and take their jewelry in any way! Can we enter into negotiations with them?”

“That’s the last thing,” objected Zagpeace Gesaria, “to enter into negotiations with thieves!”

“Let's defend the Fort first,” Lis interrupted them, “and then we'll decide how to sell the stolen goods.”

And the unclean ones, Shrad and Marmer and Lis himself laughed.

3

New life

Value friendships. Try to understand your partner and he will understand you. Understanding will help restore what was destroyed and overcome any obstacles.

Kors returned to his room. He had several hours to clean himself up and sleep, but he could not. He wanted to be with Nikto and listened nonstop to his thoughts. What if suddenly the Demon would call him? But Kors didn’t hear him. Kors wanted Nikto to call him, he wanted to hear his voice in his head and immediately run to him.

But he didn't hear anything. Nikto wasn’t calling him. And Kors couldn’t do anything, not even just fall asleep, although he was very tired. The tension kept him from relaxing. Why wasn’t the Demon calling him?

Jealousy began to gnaw at Kors, he began to imagine that Nikto, instead of calling him, caressed and kissed his prince Arel. Shitty, fucking crazy Arel, whom the Demon not clearly because of what loved so much. All these thoughts drove Kors crazy, it seemed to him that a whole eternity had passed, but looking at his watch, he realized that he was tormented for no more than half an hour. Maybe Nikto would call him a little later?

But Kors couldn't wait any longer. Unable to bear it, he decided to go to them without an invitation.

He knocked on the door.

“Come in, it’s not locked,” Kors heard the voice of Nikto.

He entered.

The room smelled strongly of chemistry and blood from weapons and ammunition. Kors was relieved to see that Nikto was not lying with Arel, but was sitting at the table and giving himself an injection. Prince Arel was sitting on the bed undressed to the waist, and Verniy gave him an injection too. They didn't fuck, but injected themselves, and Kors felt a relief from his heart. In his room, Nikto was finally without a mask, he looked at Kors and raised the syringe:

“Will you?”

“Yes,” Kors replied, not believing what he was saying, “I cannot sleep.”

“Now Ver will stir up something for you, sit down,” Nikto responded, he didn’t react at all to the words of Kors, he was not surprised. Everything was somehow ordinary, as if nothing had happened, as if Kors was not his slave now, and as if Kors had always done this – coming and taking drugs with them.

Kors sat down on the edge of the bed and looked at the prince, with a sealed cheek and without a ring in his nose he looked very dignified. Arel didn’t show any aggression towards him, looked indifferently and turned away.

“Did you free his tongue?” Kors asked Nikto. Maybe Arel was silent because he was still limited.

“Yes. It is difficult to fight with this decoration in the mouth. I freed him,” Nikto answered, “I always release Arel so he can fight.”

“So he can talk?”

“Nope,” Nikto shook his head, “He has been wearing the braces for too long.”

“What?! And he will remain dumb now?”

“It takes time for the tongue to recover.”

Kors even felt a little sorry for Arel, this metal instrument of torture, which he had to carry in his mouth, and which Nikto called “jewelry”, was really rigid:

“By the time it recovers, we’ll take the Fort back and you’ll decorate it again,” he said.

“Maybe,” Nikto answered.

Verniy approached Kors and handed him a filled syringe, drops of the “restorative” were dripping from the tip of the needle. Kors looked at the unclean one with some dismay:

“I'm not very good at injecting drugs into a vein,” he said, embarrassed.

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