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#Realme Book
buckities2 hours ago
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i nearly renounced books altogether after finishing assassin's fate. i'm still grieving for the end of the series, a sentiment so deep that it leaves me blank and numb and sobbing. i nearly said 'that's enough with books, it's not worth it.' i guess that's exactly why it's worth it. the impact that words can have on you, the worlds in the sentences, the people in the lines. but it's still raw and tough.
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dead-welsh-kings9 hours ago
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Okay but no guys I made fake Instagram and Twitter accounts for Realm Breaker characters and I have spent way to much time on them. They are hilarious tho
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plotbunbun21 hours ago
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i know there's negative two things about the Seven Realms on the Internet or whatever buT I'M SO HEATED LMAOOOOOOOOOO
LITERALLY EVERY POST IS ABOUT HAN X RAISA
AND LISTEN
THAT'S FINE (f i n e) ALRIGHT 馃拃 HAN IS COOL
we're not talking about Adrian, we are NOT talking about Shattered Realms, okay, I made it like... a third into Flamecaster before I yote it LMAO
BUT YOU CANNOT TELL ME I WAS THE ONLY DINGUS WHOSE DIEHARD ENDGAME HOPES WERE AMON X RAISA
C'MON LMAOO ASIDE FROM THE FRICKING BLOOD RITUAL
AND THE FUN TRADITION OF UNREQUITED LOVE
(also Raisa's jealous spell - which gave me secondhand embarrassment but it was in-character askdssf - giving us evidence it wasn't even unrequited)
I JUST THINK... AMON X RAISA COULD HAVE WORKED OUT... but I guess that's what fix-it fics are for. LASDFKJ
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andreiadoodlesa day ago
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Painting a Fool with ink and watercolors
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lilyharvorda day ago
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Realm Breaker LIVE READ
Alright Y鈥檃ll it鈥檚 here and I鈥檓 as sooooo excited to read this book. This is a LIVE READ. which means: SPOILERS. I will be putting read mores on every post to try and hide these, but follow this thread to keep with my read!! I鈥檓 starting tonight and planning to finish either tomorrow or the day after so lets see how it goes!! (((:聽
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sammisbooks2 days ago
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REALM BREAKER REVIEW
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The book is amazing. I loved every second of reading this. The world was so detailed and the story was overall amazing. I loved how the world has so much I had to use the map, which I love. The map has everything you could ever want from a map. For short yes, yes I would recommend this book to everyone.
World Building: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
World Building
The world building was executed so well. I felt like I didn鈥檛 have to reread to understand the world, and that the world was so detailed but was shown in a easy way to understand. Also you got a map to show where things are, the creatures in the water. It was just beautiful.
Characters
The characters were developed so well. For a lot of the characters I felt connected to easily. And the characters I didn鈥檛 love when I first met in the end cared about a lot. For example Domachridhan I wasn鈥檛 the biggest fan of, but by the end of the book I would cry if anything happened to him. And that goes for all of the characters except Taristan and Erida. My favorite character is Sorasa the assassin. Her character was so interesting and I loved every chapter in her perspective.
Plot
The plot was very solid. It had a good cast of characters to execute the plot. I loved how the whole plot had a connection to the first line, which is 鈥淣o mortal alive had ever seen a spindle.鈥 And the plot has to do with spindleblades and spindleblood. Also as someone who loves Red Queen and was expecting a plot twist I wasn鈥檛 expecting what what happened to have happened.
Romance
I enjoyed the romance or lack of romance in this book. I really appreciated not having romance in a book because in every ya fantasy there is romance and a lot of the time it is just a side plot. As an asexual person I really liked that there really wasn鈥檛 romance.
Quotes
As I read this book I put together my favorite quotes ( a lot of these are from Sorasa chapters ) so here they are:
鈥淎gain I wished for Garion, if only to push him into harms way.
But I am alone. It鈥檚 the road I鈥檝e chosen.鈥 - p.g. 104
- I love this quote. Sorasa is a queen and the road she chose was right.
鈥溾楲et alone a lady.鈥
Or a princess or a fairy queen or any other hero in a story for children and fools鈥 - p.g. 116
- honestly I relate to this quote. Like Coryane sometimes I don鈥檛 want to be some hero in a story (sometimes).
鈥淲hile lower peoples of most kingdoms are free to wed as they choose, man, woman, between or neither.鈥 - p.g. 136
- So I don鈥檛 like Erida, but I do love that it includes people who aren鈥檛 man or woman in this quote.
鈥淢aybe he鈥檒l drown, Sorasa thought idly, half a wish.鈥 - p.g. 285
- I really just find this quote funny. Sorasa really didn鈥檛 like Dom and I still don鈥檛 love Dom but I don鈥檛 want anything to happen to him.
鈥淥ne insufferable immortal life is worth the Guild. It is a cost I am happy to pay.鈥 - p.g. 364
- (another Sorasa quote) I love how much her character changes from this point on.
鈥淪mashed rails in either side of the galley. Lost cargo. A dead captain, along with a dozen members of the crew. All in all, not so bad for a battle with a sea serpent.鈥 - p.g. 480
- I honestly love how beautifully written this is.
鈥淥ur only hope is surprise. Get a sword, get a dagger, get any weapons we can. Fight until the numbers are back on our side. Let Dom do the heavy lifting. I could manage the rest.
Above all else, she knew, keep Corayne an- Amarat alive鈥 - p.g. 518
- one this is beautifully written. Two I love how Sorasa realizes what needs to happen.
Overall read this book it is amazing and I love. It is one of the best books of 2021. I loved Red Queen and I love Realm Breaker just as much. So in conclusion GO READ THIS BOOK.
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hummingzone2 days ago
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Realme GT 5G LAUNCHED with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset - Check Price, India availability, specs and more
Realme GT 5G LAUNCHED with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset 鈥 Check Price, India availability, specs and聽more
Realme GT 5G launch: The smartphone brand Realme has finally launched its much-awaited smartphone Realme GT globally.聽 The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset and it will be available in three colours: Dashing Silver, Dashing Blue and Racing Yellow. Realme GT is now available for purchase in selective countries, including Poland, Spain, Russia, and Thailand with additional鈥
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books-and-doodles3 days ago
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@electropeach鈥 did this amazing fan art of me because of my salt about Fitz in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy ahahahah
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Realm of the Elderlings is my favorite series, I swear
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auxxc3 days ago
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Realme GT 5G: Realme GT 5G phone global launch today at 5:30pm: How to watch live stream
Realme GT 5G: Realme GT 5G phone global launch today at 5:30pm: How to watch live聽stream
Realme GT 5G phone is set to launch today. The handset will be launched globally via a virtual event. The smartphone is the company鈥檚 flagship device that launched in China in March this year. The launch event will start at 5:30pm. The event will be telecasted live on the company鈥檚 YouTube channel along with other social media platforms. Those interested can watch today鈥檚 event by clicking on the鈥
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zeenewsindia3 days ago
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Realme GT 5G will be launched today with 120Hz refresh rate, also preparing for laptop and realme tab!
Realme GT 5G will be launched today with 120Hz refresh rate, also preparing for laptop and realme聽tab!
Realme GT 5G is ready to be launched today (June 15). This phone will be presented globally through virtual event. This phone is the company鈥檚 flagship phone, which was introduced in China in March this year. The launch event of this phone will start at 5:30 pm, whose live streaming can be seen on the company鈥檚 official YouTube and social media platforms. It is expected that with the launch of鈥
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livingworldnews3 days ago
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Realme GT-5G Lobal Launch Event Today With The Debut Of Its Flagship Smartphone In The Market, Outside of China
Realme GT-5G Lobal Launch Event Today With The Debut Of Its Flagship Smartphone In The Market, Outside of聽China
聽 Realme GT-5G global launch event today with the debut of its flagship smartphone in the market, outside of China, as well as the virtual event will be the launch of a new product category. Realme has teased the introduction of a laptop and a tablet, and rumors suggest that the book might be called the Realme Book, and the Realme Path, respectively. The Realme GT-5G made its debut in China in鈥
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tiptopnews3 days ago
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Realme GT 5G to Launch Today, Laptop and Tablet Also Expected: All Details
Realme GT 5G to Launch Today, Laptop and Tablet Also Expected: All聽Details
The Realme GT 5G global launch event will mark the debut of the flagship smartphone in markets outside of China today, and the virtual event will feature new product categories at the same time. Realme has announced the introduction of a laptop and a tablet, and there are rumors that the two may be called Realme Book and Realme Pad, respectively. Realme GT 5G debuted in China in March with the鈥
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vulpyx4 days ago
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some tawny man trilogy doodles! i changed up my design for the fool to fit the book descriptions a little more 鈽锔
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author-erileigh4 days ago
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Realm Breaker Review
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(Spoiler free)
Wow, what a book. I sincerely enjoyed Realm Breaker and can鈥檛 wait to continue in with the series.
Rating: 猸愶笍猸愶笍猸愶笍猸愶笍鉁 4.5
(Link to full review here!)
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This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and it mostly lived up to my expectations. Below are a few of my thoughts:
Pros 鉁
- Main protagonist is a fun twist on the typical young, inexperience boy heading out into the world. Instead, we get Corayne, a curious and intelligent young woman eager to see the world.
- Queen Erida is so fun to read and I love me a bad bitch.
- The world is rich and Victoria Aveyard did a wonderful job explaining it without it feeling like a geography lesson.
- Interesting plot and I鈥檓 excited to see where it goes in the next books.
Cons 鉁
- My biggest complaint is the chapter length (though really they鈥檙e not that long). I dive more into this on my blog鈥攂e sure to check it out!
- Honestly, not much else. This was a solid book.
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鉁 Would I recommend this book? 鉁
Yes, absolutely. If you love fantasy and want to tip-toe into more traditional fantasy, then Realm Breaker is a good place to start.
I dig more into the characters, the romance, plot, and more with the full review on my website! Link to full review here.
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rwfosterwriter5 days ago
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Buy here
Fourteen-year-old college student, Carter Blake, aspires to become a Nobel Prize-winning physicist until the night the villain from his favorite tabletop role playing game shows up in person and turns his life upside down. Drawn into the setting of BattleHammer, he begins a journey of self-discovery and learns his destiny is much different than he expected.
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bhaskarhindinews5 days ago
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Realme 啶囙じ 啶︵た啶 啶侧啶啷夃お 啶ぞ啶班啶曕啶 啶啶 啶侧啶椸 啶忇啶熰啶班, 啶熰啶 啶曕 啶 啶曕ぐ啷囙啷 啶侧啶ㄠ啶
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啶氞啶 啶曕 啶熰啶 啶曕啶え啷 Realme (啶班た啶げ啶) 啶侧啶啷夃お 啶ぞ啶班啶曕啶 啶啶 啶忇啶熰啶班 啶曕ぐ啶ㄠ 啶溹ぞ 啶班す啷 啶灌啷 啶曕啶え啷 Realme GT 5G 啶啶 啶曕 啶膏ぞ啶 啶呧お啶ㄠぞ 啶す啶侧ぞ 啶侧啶啷夃お 啶 啶椸啶侧啶げ啷 啶侧啶ㄠ啶 啶曕ぐ啷囙啷啷 啶す啷 啶ㄠす啷啶 啶囙じ啶曕 啶膏ぞ啶 啶曕啶え啷 啶熰啶げ啷囙 啶 啶啶 啶曕ぐ啶ㄠ 啶掂ぞ啶侧 啶灌啷 啶灌ぞ啶 啶灌 啶啶 啶囙じ啶曕 啶溹ぞ啶ㄠ啶距ぐ啷 啶班た啶げ啶 啶囙啶∴た啶ぞ 啶曕 啶啶ㄠ啶溹た啶傕 啶∴ぞ啶ぐ啷囙啷嵿啶 啶ぞ啶оさ 啶膏啶 啶ㄠ 啶熰啶掂啶 啶曕ぐ啶曕 啶︵ 啶灌啷 啶班た啶啶班啶 啶曕 啶啶むぞ啶た啶 啶曕啶え啷 啶ㄠ 啶す啶侧 啶侧啶啷夃お 啶曕ぞ 啶ㄠぞ啶 Realme Book 啶斷ぐ 啶熰啶げ啷囙 啶曕ぞ 啶ㄠぞ啶 Realme Pad 啶灌 啶膏啶むぞ 啶灌啷
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mygyanguide5 days ago
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Realme will enter the laptop market on this day, will also launch the tab
Realme will enter the laptop market on this day, will also launch the聽tab
Digital Desk, New Delhi. Chinese tech company Realme (Realme) is going to enter the laptop market. The company will also launch its first laptop globally with the Realme GT 5G phone. Not only this, the company is also going to present a tablet with this. Recently, Madhav Seth, Managing Director of Reality India has given this information by tweeting. According to the report, the company could鈥
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sweetbriared5 days ago
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chapter two: theo
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description 鈫 Kylan can't wait to see Theo.
notes 鈫 link to the book
Kylan Ironheart was a savage boy. And that was saying something in a society built of and for savages.
The Ironhearts were an influential house, the family that controlled the sourcing and manipulation of iron from the Western Mountains. Their ancestors were among the first people to venture into the caved darkness of those earthly giants to find its malleable treasure within, building mines to procure that treasure that were still used to this day. The Ironhearts controlled everything about its functional existence; their company paid the miners that mined it, governed the mountain towns that housed those workers, funded the wagon caravans that carried down crate after crate down the slopes, trained the metalsmiths in twisting it into shapes that harmed, protected, and served, and then marketed their product like they were just mere feeble merchants, and not everything else that was far beyond the caliber of merchantry.
It also went without saying that the Ironhearts were incredibly wealthy, absolutely filthy from rolling in it, and so it was no trouble at all for them to have even Kylan, their third-born, brought to Dailana鈥檚 Summit to have all six of his Fates read. And Kylan was no ordinary boy; he was born for something great, fate literally dictated it so.
Kylan had a Mark for his Love Fate, a splotchy shape placed just below his hips but right above his groin. That earned him several dark whispers from the more prudish elders in the house who gossiped the placement of Kylan鈥檚 Mark into every which way of vulgarity.
That鈥檚 where his love will first touch him? There? Are you certain鈥
Better keep him away from the whorehouses, best it be one of them鈥
By Kaislan鈥檚 grace, what kind of boy will he become that that is where his Mark is鈥
Kylan didn鈥檛 mind these whispers so much. Besides the glimpse that his parents and several choice aunts and uncles had gotten from when he was a baby, his Mark was hidden away under layers of clothing most of the time, which was a relief since it was very darkly colored. The darker the color, the higher the pressure or force of the touch will be. Undoubtedly, he told himself with wry certainty, it was gonna be a kick to his groin whose aim will have gone amiss. But he kept that thought to himself and guarded his lower half closely.
His other Fates were more of an issue.
His Life Fates were cloudy. Kylan was assured that the demonblood who had read his Fates was the most experienced seer in the whole temple, hair speckled with white and skin wrinkled with age. But he had concluded that Kylan鈥檚 Kiln event was indeterminable, and that his Arrow was concise but vague: this boy will achieve his life鈥檚 greatest victory only to reap the worst rewards. When his mother had pressed for more 鈥 some Kilns and Arrows went on for entire pages 鈥 the demonblood had simply shrugged and repeated the same sentence. This boy will achieve his life鈥檚 greatest victory only to reap the worst rewards. According to the linguistic judgement taught to him by his language teachers, 鈥榳orst rewards鈥 sounded like an oxymoron. But only a moron would deliberate on a puzzle that couldn鈥檛 be solved with present resources, so Kylan chose to ignore his Life Fates as well.
His Low Fates were slightly more specific, but all the more confusing. His Weakness was anginophobia, a fear of angina, or choking. Like all Weaknesses, he couldn鈥檛 really explain why he was so averse to the idea, but the mere imagination of someone or something constricting his airflow was enough to send him into a mild panic. He experienced it for the first time when he was six years old, falling off the manor tree swing at the highest point of its arc and getting the wind knocked out of him. The lack of breath wasn鈥檛 as bad as the heart-pounding fear that gripped him when he realized his one guarantee in life, breath, was cruelly being withheld.
He had tactfully avoided the tree swing ever since. And people touching his neck. He found out that that freaked him out too at a nanny-assisted bath later that day. But, thankfully, his Weakness was mild and it rarely interfered with his day-to-day activities.
His Breaker was even more confusing than his Arrow: he will realize that what he wants most is beyond all of his capabilities. Again, when pressed for more, the demonblood simply repeated himself. He will realize that what he wants most is beyond all of his capabilities. Sometimes, Arrows and Breakers were intertwined as it made sense that the event that charts the course of your life can often be the result of its worst moment, but no matter how much Kylan mashed the two together in his head, it made no sense. What could he possibly want more than 鈥榟is life鈥檚 greatest victory鈥? What鈥檚 the point of the 鈥榞reatest鈥 thrown in there, then? What does 鈥榳orst rewards鈥 have anything to do with 鈥榳hat he wants most鈥?
None of it made a fleck of sense to Kylan.
This morning had been more bothersome than usual. Chastity, the irony of the name astounded Kylan on a daily basis, had found his side route to the manor鈥檚 dining hall, the side route he had charted precisely to avoid her. Chastity鈥檚 Love Fate was a faint Mark on the fingers of her right hand, a fact that she liked to whisper to him while giggling and looking at him through her eyelashes. He was no stranger to all the jokes and snide remarks about his Mark, hell鈥 he was the creator and champion of most of them, but something about Chastity making them with her pointed, suggestive stares at his groin made him feel acutely ill.
Chastity was the third daughter of the second family of the Wrayler House, the house specializing in fruit production. But third daughter could be a little bit of a stretch as that family tree was decidedly messy, a family in which next-of-kin meant nothing in the face of who-is-next-to-me-that-I-can-bed. Chastity was the product of two cousins whose four parents were siblings, but the fathers were resultant of grandparent-aunt (Kylan wasn鈥檛 exactly sure) relations, one mother was the product of stepsibling incest, and the last parent was produced by a clandestine affair between mother and nephew-in-law. The Wraylers were perhaps the messiest example, but their type of family tree was not altogether uncommon in a world defined by fixed points in life determined by Fates. And when the world is ruled by things so predetermined, balance practically mandates for the messiness of others that weren鈥檛 so resolutely set into place.
Morning. Bothersome. Yes.
Kylan had gone to his morning meal later than usual as he had been up late the night before. There was a problem at the mines, some regional workers union stirring up trouble, so the last shipment of iron ore had been less than desirable. Normally, Kylan would have just waited until the next shipment to aggregate the supply, but the Iron Bellies had a meeting with the Deadened the next day, the subject being the annual renewal of the trade contract between the two crews: ruddle for iron. These street contracts were concrete and resolute, serving as the baseline for trade, leverage, and negotiations for other things within the fragile financial peace of Kaistven. And so for a crew to not renew their annual contract was risky, dangerous, and downright stupid鈥攊t meant the termination of amicable relations between crews, a cut off of the supply of an essential product, and the complication of other relations against the crew boss who would do such a risky, dangerous, and stupid thing.
Kylan鈥檚 supply for the meeting today was concerningly low, he was five bonedaggers and three tableware sets short on the goodwill exchange. This was very, very bad; depending on the crew, it could be an issue that would potentially put the contract into question. Kylan had pushed the house metalsmiths, questioned the house traders, and had gone as low as flirting with Madam Tradrie to try and squeeze out any form of loose iron in the manor. But he had no such luck. And after hours of pulling his hair out trying to think of a solution, he had simply given up, blown out his candle, and gone to bed. That was tomorrow Kylan鈥檚 problem.
But now tomorrow Kylan was today Kylan, and that Kylan was screwed.
Lightly throwing his fork onto the tray he had hurriedly carried up to his room after his run-in with Chastity, Kylan pushed the remainder of the ham porridge and egg scramble away. He may have to resort to bringing Theta and Fracht to the meeting, but that would also be less than desirable given accepted street rules and the lack of leverage he had from his pressing need of ruddle. Kylan rose from the table and began to pace about the expanse of his parlor room. He could say that it wasn鈥檛 his fault, which it technically wasn鈥檛 given that it was a sourcing issue, but the Ironhearts controlled everything from the sourcing to the trading, and so it was a flimsy excuse at best and an acknowledgement of his lowly position in his family鈥檚 company at worst. Kylan stopped to pinch his nose and stretch out his neck, rotating his head in wide circles. He simply had no other choice. He may very well have to work with flimsy.
Kylan grinned as he replayed the sentence back in his mind. It made him think of Theo.
Focus.
The leader of the Deadened was named the Owl, her second the Raven. While other crews favored titles like 鈥楤omber鈥 or 鈥楽harp Claws鈥, the Owl鈥檚 crew seemed to prefer simple names derived from simple animals. It almost made them more intimidating; most people would rather recount how they were defeated by 鈥楤omber鈥 rather than some common bird, the peculiarity of their names contributing in part to the Deadened鈥檚 explosive rise. The Deadened were a deadly crew, the one that was able to defeat all the other competing ruddle crews in the city to monopolize the trade, and the nature of their product meant that they dealt anywhere from the filthy rich who needed ruddle for their family鈥檚 Fates reading, to the common man who was addicted to smoking the leaves. And so the Owl was said to be quite the fancy talker, and a deadly bladesman to boot.
Kylan could feel wrinkles setting in between his brows with the amount of frowning he had done in the last twenty-four hours. He wouldn鈥檛 have wanted to go to a meeting with the Deadened with guns and ship ablazing, much less at this embarrassing state.
鈥淜ylan! Are you in there? Madam Tradrie said you got your morning meal an hour ago! You realize it鈥檚 the second tenth strike, right?鈥
A loud knock interrupted Kylan鈥檚 thoughts. He glanced at the clock. Half past ten strikes. He had told Theo that he would meet him at the second eleventh, and given that it took almost exactly an hour to get to the Iron Bellies warehouse off the west bank of the Tangang River 鈥 Kylan was very late.
鈥淭he hour is well past evening meal, much less morning! What have you even been doing all day?鈥 More pounding. Kylan swore under his breath. 鈥淚 know you鈥檙e in there! I can hear you moving. Don鈥檛 you have a meeting with that Theo kidling soon? Why are you still here?鈥
Grinding his teeth, Kylan took a couple quick strides to the door. He opened it to expose the shining face of Fracht, rudy from the sun and hair tousled from the wind, pearly whites set into a wide grin on his face.
鈥淚 knew you were still in there. You鈥檙e late, you know.鈥
鈥淪o are you, Fracht. You were supposed to be at my door half an hour ago and yet here you are.鈥
鈥淚 had business to attend to.鈥
鈥淒oes your business start with 鈥楻鈥 and end with 鈥榓sa鈥?鈥 Kylan ushered Fracht inside and ran to his dresser to grab his black outerwear cloak. 鈥淭heta would kill you, you know. She hates missing out on these things.鈥
Theta and Rasa were somewhere between best friends and lovers. Theta and Fracht were somewhere in between siblings and lovers. All of it was rather unclear.
Fracht shrugged as he sat down at the table with Kylan鈥檚 unfinished meal, helping himself to the leftover porridge as he waited for Kylan to finish changing his breeches.
鈥淏usiness is business. Theta could have joined if she wanted to.鈥 Fracht waggled his eyebrows at Kylan as he spooned the last bit of porridge into his mouth. 鈥淭he same goes for you, if you were curious.鈥
Kylan stopped tying his boots for a moment, looking up at Fracht to flash a mischievous grin. 鈥淜nock on my door next time and we鈥檒l see what happens.鈥
Fracht threw back his head and laughed as Kylan crossed the room to the expansive parlor window. In a matter of seconds, he and Facht were skidding across and down the angled tiles before leaping to the next neighboring roof that topped the manor stables. Fracht was a guardsman whose scaling skills weren鈥檛 taught at the academy, and so Kylan chose to follow after letting Fracht go first, carefully climbing down the walls using the hand and foot holds he had chipped into the stone four years ago. Locating the second floor window of the office, Fracht heaved it open and slipped through, holding up the glass so that Kylan could crawl in after. They stumbled into the pretty stablehand who had been crouched behind the master desk and Kylan stopped to wink at her before Fracht had the sense to drag him down the stairs from the offices to the actual stables. Salter and Pepper, the speediest anyone-can-ride horses, were waiting for them in the back stalls, and the two tacked the mares quickly before speeding out of the stables at breakneck speed. The slopes of Ironhold were as pleasant to ride as any side of a mountain could be, and so they were soon through the base gates in no time at all.
鈥淐ome to the Twitch Clock by midnight. Bring Theta.鈥 Kylan had already hopped off Salter and was climbing the nearest shanty hut that crowded the other side of the Ironhold gates. 鈥淎nd watch the horses, Fracht.鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not a stablehand, you know.鈥 Reaching out to grasp Salter鈥檚 lead with the same hand that held Pepper鈥檚, Fracht paused. 鈥淲here am I supposed to leave them?鈥
鈥淔igure it out. You always seem to manage just fine with your own.鈥
Jumping atop the roof before Fracht could figure out what he meant, Kylan took one look at the sky before breaking into a run. Kaistven was an incredibly crowded city, sitting at the crossroads between mountains, sea, and farmland, and so what it lacked for space was made up for with elaborate staircases, tiny doorways, and walls that leaned against its neighbors like drunk friends at the end of a very long tab at the bar. This also meant that any particularly nimble individual could traverse the city without once touching the ground, and this was the way of travel that Kylan preferred. He jumped from roof to roof with his knees loose and weight held low, crouching and straightening when necessary, following the familiar path he practically knew by heart. Take a diagonal at the red fish scales, turn right at the third identical set of grey gabled roofs in a row, make sure to touch the rusted weather cranes that topped the city temple 鈥 before long he was at the silvery warehouse overlooking the dirty river that housed the Iron Bellies.
The warehouse used to be a small hotel in a time where people had money for frivolous travel, in a time before Kaivsten sorted out its economic balance, and so all the windows were equipped with the necessary apparatuses for awnings. But as the fabric drapings have long since faded away, the Iron Bellies put durable metal boards onto all of the awning structures to be used precisely as Kylan was using them now: to get down from the roof.
鈥淭heeeoo!鈥 Kylan called out immediately as he walked through the front entrance. Making a large step over a pile of concrete that was suspiciously placed under a large hole in the ceiling, Kylan looked up to realize that there were a lot more of them than he was used to. The Iron Bellies had stripped the building down to its concrete bones once their headquarters had been made official, deliberately leaving whatever wreckage they created alone to serve as their claim to this land. However, that didn鈥檛 excuse the fact that there were a lot of new, bigger holes with their accompanying piles of debris littered everywhere, but the ability to view into the floor above made the central room look incredibly expansive. There were now new tables too, from the looks of it, already messy and piled high with remnants of food and past plans.
Kylan grinned as he heard the telltale clicks of guns being put back away. Any crew worth two flecks would of course be silent when arming and taking aim, but the audible giveaway when putting those guns back was much less important. Any person who attempted to walk through that door wouldn鈥檛 have even heard them on account of being very, very bloody, and very, very dead. But Kylan was different. He owned the land that that door stood on.
鈥淚鈥檓 sowwy I鈥檓 late but I got here as fast as I possibly could!鈥 Kylan practically skipped over to the crowd gathered by what was obviously the primary and most important table. There was a low grumble that would have to do as Kylan鈥檚 reception, and he settled at the empty part of the table that was closest to the door he had entered from. 鈥淵ou know, blah blah blah, traffic, weather, the 鈥榬ents and what not!鈥
Giving a quick glance through to take a census of who was present, Kylan realized that though it had only been a few months, all the faces that stared back at him had gotten profoundly older, acquiring new lines and new scars. Rune, the resident knife-happy bladesman, was still as tall and as willowy as ever. He seemed to have gotten a tan over the course of a very hot and deathly humid summer, and his freckles were set dark on an olive face interrupted by dark webs of long lashes. Next to him was Wyot, the curly-headed biggest of the bunch who hadn鈥檛 much in the head but made up for in the size of his arms. Jancis, the brown-skinned girl who gave him a very displeased look down her hooked nose while absentmindedly unloading the bullets from the cylinder of her favorite revolver. No doubt she was disappointed that he wasn鈥檛 an actual intruder. There was also Duarte, Blake, Lydal, Ainslee, a couple of new underlings next to the other older underlings that Kylan had never bothered to learn the names of 鈥 but one face was noticeably not present.
鈥淲here is Theo?鈥
鈥淪hut up Kylan, you鈥檙e too loud. Always making an entrance just because you can,鈥 said Jancis. She had finished unloading the bullets and had dropped them onto the table, picking one up to polish it with the edge of her shirt. Kylan wasn鈥檛 sure if she was doing it on purpose but she was definitely using more shirt than was necessary for a single bullet and the expanse of skin consequently showing was quite鈥 provocative.
鈥淲hile I appreciate the view, Jancis 鈥 I really, really do 鈥 I would much prefer looking at Theo鈥檚 face instead.鈥 Ignoring Jancis鈥 virulent glare as she tugged her shirt back down, Kylan smiled as he craned his neck to look into the offshoot hallway placed diagonally to the left from where he was standing. 鈥淲here is he?鈥
鈥淗e stepped out a bit to do recon on the drop spot later tonight, he said he鈥檇 be back in an hour but that was two hours ago.鈥 Duarte, the small nervous kidling, spoke up. Duarte was Theo鈥檚 cousin, barely more than a child who had yet to come into anything of hirs own. Kylan narrowed his eyes. He knew that none of the Iron Bellies gave hir much grief for that given that ze was Theo鈥檚 ward, but Kylan was more unforgiving than most. He had gotten into all sorts of trouble by the time he was fifteen, trouble that would not have been possible without at least some accumulation of essential life skills, like the ability to throw knives and make up a convincing story.
Duarte鈥檚 hands were trembling.
鈥淒uarte,鈥 Kylan singsang, walking around the table and parting the crowd where necessary to shimmy up next to the kidling. Placing a soft hand on Duarte鈥檚 face, Kylan pursed his lips and began rubbing his thumb against hirs cheek, trying not to be put-off by the immediacy by which Duarte, whether knowingly or not, leaned into his touch. Kylan frowned. These poor street rats were more prudish than Kylan鈥檚 grandmother, withholding their affections for the sake of looking tough.
鈥淲hy do I get the feeling that you鈥檙e not telling me the truth?鈥 Kylan leaned in and whispered into Duarte鈥檚 ear, feeling the flesh under his hand beginning to burn with pleasure. Poor attention-starved street rats. 鈥淵ou wouldn鈥檛 lie to me, I know that baby, but I don鈥檛 think you鈥檙e telling the whole truth either.鈥
Duarte trembled with each word, finally breaking at the way Kylan purred the pet name. Kylan stored that information for later in some dark crevice in his mind; Duarte likes to be called 鈥榖aby鈥. He didn鈥檛 know what he would possibly do with it, but he noted it nonetheless.
鈥淏efore h-he w-went ou-out, Th-Theo s-said鈥斺
With a sudden loud boom that echoed against the concrete walls, a figure dropped down from the second floor. Everyone who was engrossed in the odd show of intimacy induced by Kylan turned towards the noise in surprise. Kylan smiled smugly, giving Duarte鈥檚 cheek one last pat before propping his elbow onto the table and his chin onto his awaiting hand.
鈥淎pologizes, everyone. I didn鈥檛 mean to be so late, I鈥斺
Upon laying eyes on Kylan, Theo froze, his whole body going motionless. Kylan batted his eyelashes at him, making sure to give a big overdone sigh for good measure. Theo truly was dreamy looking. With an enormous height that he claimed was from Giantsbane genetics, Theo鈥檚 upper body was swollen with muscle resultant of the years of labor he had done at the harbor he grew up on. He wore his light blonde hair down across his forehead, the edges long enough so that they just barely brushed his equally blond eyelashes, eyes a creamy brown that was the exact color of light milked coffee. His lips, the lower ever so slightly fuller than the upper with a narrow cupid鈥檚 bow, were always pursed in some hesitant fashion as he liked to slowly deliberate on his thoughts before uttering their form in words. Kylan tilted his head. Theo was just built and acted in a somewhat regal way, giving off a noble air that made him stand out in a world of lean chasers and even leaner runners. Of course, Kylan also adored the rosy color of Theo鈥檚 blush whenever Kylan would say something particularly raunchy. It really riled him up.
It was odd that at House Court, Kylan was considered quite conservative by all standards, boasting a relative lack of bodily relationships to speak of. But here, the streets of Kaistven had constructed social rules in place of a routine knowledge of one鈥檚 Fates, rules that pretty much said that one could not copulate as they choose. Kylan knew that he had all the wits and charms necessary to bring about the kind of blush he could induce from Theo, but he also knew that the flush was brought about in part due to such silly ideas that told Theo that he was less than a man for succumbing to Kylan鈥檚 wits and charm.
But that was fun in its own way as Kylan loved to play with that steadfast virtue whenever he had the chance. And Theo, knowing that, had been avoiding him.
鈥淭heo. Nice to see you.鈥
鈥淜ylan.鈥
The tension in the room was thicker than the flesh of a choking fat man, all of the onlookers, with the exception of Jancis who looked stupendously bored, looking nervously between Theo and Kylan. Kylan could feel it but remained unbothered, knowing that it was all one-sided on Theo鈥檚 end. He really needed to loosen up.
鈥淭rying to avoid me at an unavoidable meeting you set?鈥
鈥淣-no, I was doing recon by the drop鈥斺
鈥淚 heard. Not from you though, where it should have come from.鈥
鈥淚-I鈥檓 sorry I got sidetracked鈥斺
鈥淒oing what?鈥
鈥淚 nearly ran into the Raven who was doing his own recon and so I had to take the long way back鈥斺
鈥淲hat long way?鈥
鈥淚 had to cross over to the east bank and across the temple roof鈥斺
鈥淚 came here that way. Why didn鈥檛 I see you?鈥
Theo鈥檚 face went blank, his way of controlling what would鈥檝e been a completely dumbfounded expression. Theo was not particularly gifted in the skill sets required for deceit, which is where Kylan had come in to assist. Only, after years of witnessing Theo floundering at negotiations of varying importance with his poor lying abilities, Kylan knew exactly how to trap Theo into a corner with words and how to read him like a book made of clear pages.
鈥淵ou were deliberately late.鈥
鈥淣-no, of course not鈥斺
鈥淵ou鈥檙e lying.鈥
Kylan, taking points from Jancis, made sure to maintain an absolute light, almost bored, expression. No mistake, Kylan loved to flirt with the handsome nervous blond boy, but he was the boss of the Iron Bellies first and foremost and Theo鈥檚 behavior was downright unprofessional.
鈥淚f you wanted some sort of punishment, baby boy, you could have just asked,鈥 drawled Kylan, testing the waters to see whether the affection for pet names was genetic. Just because Theo had a lack of professionalism didn鈥檛 mean Kylan had to make up for it, and to his pleasure, Theo鈥檚 familiar rosy flush proved his test to be true. Kylan noted the information in triumph, storing it in a much more readily accessible place in a much darker section of his mind.
鈥淓nough, Kylan. This is not the place.鈥
鈥淵ou have no one to blame but yourself, honey kitten. I was going to get through business first before unleashing the full brunt of my demuring wiles, but you are the one who decided to be late.鈥
Theo鈥檚 face went positively scarlet.
鈥淪hut it!鈥 Throwing both palms down onto the table, Jancis鈥 interruption startled the room out of its rigidity. Rune took out his iron knuckles and strung his fingers through, clamping and unclamping his fist through the holes. Duarte started doing an odd thing with his face, blinking rapidly as if he had somehow forgotten to in the last few minutes. Ainslee and a few others took out their daggers and began fiddling with them on the table.
鈥淜ylan, shut up. Theo, go get an ice pack for your face or something. We have to talk about the drop with the Deadened and your stupid talk is only making me have to look at your stupid faces longer than I ever want to.鈥
鈥淎h, Jancis. I forgot that your stupendous vocabulary is truly an unmissable part of your substantial set of skills,鈥 said Kylan. He was seething. Jancis really had no manners, interrupting his precious time playing with Theo鈥檚 conscience. He hadn鈥檛 spent over three months thinking about Theo this, Theo that, only for an overly tough street rat to tell him when to feel. Kylan was the crew boss, he ultimately decided when business will and won鈥檛 get done.
All of the eyes around the table watched him warily to finish. And out of spite, Kylan allowed his tongue, normally so well leashed, to lash out.
鈥淎long with, of course, your sizable set of鈥斺
Kylan made a rude gesture with his hands at his chest.
In a flash, Jancis cocked her revolver, aiming it straight at Kylan鈥檚 head. Kylan felt his lips yank at the edges as he moved over the table just as quickly, reaching out and gripping the barrel of the gun. Jancis鈥 eyes went black, finger twitching at the trigger, her face like stone. Kylan held her gaze, his other arm straight to prop up his weight on a stack of papers, still wearing that cheshire smile. He could have stayed in that position for ages.
The room was once again frozen as everyone held their breath. No one dared to speak the words that were strung through the air.
Do it.
It sang in Kylan鈥檚 head.
Do it. Do it, street rat.
鈥淭hat鈥檚 enough.鈥
With a loud clearing of his throat and a large, overexaggerated movement of his arm, Theo placed a hand atop the offending firearm, fingers light between the barrel and the grip.
鈥淭he drop is in鈥︹ Theo trailed off as he checked the clock behind his shoulder. 鈥淟ess than twenty minutes. We have to head out, now.鈥
As Theo released his hold and stepped back, Jancis slowly removed her finger from the trigger guard, eyes recoloring. Kylan didn鈥檛 let go but instead gave a light downward push on the barrel as it descended, only releasing once it was clear that Jancis was going to holster it somewhere on her person and not drop it on the table within easy reach.
I win, Kylan thought.
The Iron Bellies had to hurry to collect their things before leaving the warehouse, with Kylan keeping a close watch on Theo, who seemed determined to ignore him, counting his bullets. But that didn鈥檛 stop Kylan from watching, especially as he trailed behind the stragglers in the crew as they hopped over the rooftops to head to the Twitch Clock at the central district of the city. The view from the back was fantastic.
I always win.
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