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Towards Authority.


"You sure you want to do this? Last chance to back out."

"No. I am ready." I steeled myself, clutching onto the Red Dragon. His wings carried us over the orchards, which were extinguished from the fight, days prior. Back home, to Therion.

"… Good."

It still did not sit right with me, since this was the first time I genuinely wanted someone dead. But I was willing to do whatever it took to have justice. He needed to go.

As we approached my home, I noticed a chill in the air, as the temperature started dropping. Far lower than it should be for the Seventh Circle's usual climate. Then I remembered.

"Do you remember how I said earlier that Therion came from the Ninth Circle?"

He nodded. "Yes. I already know. You didn't expect him to take over the house?"

"Well, no. I did. I just did not expect him to start so soon."

I looked ahead, towards the manor. It was… snowing. Mother never let Therion bring snow on the property, since it would damage the lawn and flowerbed. Additionally, most demons could not efficiently adapt to the climate unless they were royalty. Or whatever the Red Dragon was. He looked down to me. "It's why we're attacking now. Staff is low, so security is at its weakest. You know where you're going, right?"

"I do," I nodded. "Hide in my room, wait for him to leave his office, hide in his office."

"Good. I'm going to start dropping you now. Tuck and roll, like you practiced."


He swooped closer to the ground, and let me go. I must have fallen only a few meters, but the speed at which I was moving forward was great. I tucked, rolled, and landed on my knees in the crouching position. While he continued to fly around to the front, I went through the back door.

Every surface was cold to the touch, as if a thin layer of frost coated each centimeter. I had less than a minute. I got low. Quiet. The heat of my breath was visible, so I ceased breathing. I crept past the kitchen and up the stairs. I took a brief look around along the way, keeping watch for Therion or staff, but also noticing all of mother's belongings removed, Therion's trophies replacing them, often hung from chains along the ceiling. The manor looked nothing like I remember it. What used to be decorated with foliage and potted plants now held stone and iron trophies. Some he stole, others he had commissioned every time he conquered a foe.

Then there were the chains almost everywhere, making everything seem more and more… Cocytean. Therion must have missed the Ninth Circle, or simply hated mother that much.

Shutting the door to my bedroom, I turned around, and exhaled, relief that I made it in without a hitch. Despite my room being more or less how I left it, the harsh chill that crept over the entire house served as a reminder of who really owned this house.

The doorbell rang, which was my cue to listen in for Therion's movements. I heard him scoot back in his office chair, and stand up. The shoes he wore gave each step a distinctive clack, so tracking him all the way down the stairs was simple. It was time to move. I armed myself, and quietly slipped out the door and into Therion's office, making sure to open the office door at the same time as when Therion answered the front door.

"Ah, finally," Therion greeted. "Well, get in, we don't have all night."

I heard the door close as the Red Dragon walked into the foyer.

"Alright, where's Pluto?"

"I dropped his head and body around back for salvage. I did not want to bloody the house."

"Hm. Fair enough. Honestly, it took you long enough. Too busy fooling around with girls to do your job properly?"

"No, sir."

"Oh, of course, what am I saying? Who in their right mind would ever fuck you?" Therion's laughter echoed throughout the manor as he slapped the Red Dragon on the back.

"Yes, sir. Nobody, sir."

"Hah! Shame you weren't born a woman, I would have gotten a lot more use out of you if Project Valkyrie worked out."

"Yes, sir."

His laughter died down slowly. He savored each and every moment he tore into the Red Dragon. My stomach churned just listening to all of that.

"Well, speaking of mistakes, once that boy regenerates, I'm gonna have to smack some sense into him. Or at the very least, smack all that nonsense that whore put into him. I presume that's Blood Rose?"

"It is." He likely presented the weapon case we prepared for him.

"Excellent. Follow me, I'll put this someplace safe and get your little allowance ready… you aren't going to bitch again are you? You don't look injured."

"No sir. I took out Pluto before he could designate me."

"Good. Despite your numerous shortcomings as a person, I admit you're still are one of my best assassins. Do you know why?"

"No, sir."

"Of course you don't, idiot. You've got Theleman genes in you. Helps balance out what that slut mother of yours left you with."

"…Thank you, sir."

"Really, I should've gotten my hands on a better angel." Therion sighed. "Oh well, she was a decent enough lay, at least from what I remember. What about you, bird brain. You remember anything about her?"

"…No, sir. I do not."

I could hear the very, very faint trace of anger in the Red Dragon's voice. I felt my stomach drop as Therion confirmed what I had suspected. The Red Dragon was my older brother. Therion turned his own son into his slave, and from what little was implied about his Mother, and what he would have done to us if we were 'born a woman'… I felt sick.

I turned my disgust into anger and gripped Blood Rose tight.
Therion's abuse had gone on long enough. I… no, we were going to kill him.

I found the best hiding spot I could: behind one of the curtains… Not particularly inspired, but effective enough for the situation. The last thing he expects from the Red Dragon is betrayal. As far as he is concerned, he won.

I tightened the ballistic vest that the Red Dragon provided over my head, and soon enough, he opened the door to his office.

I would have designated him immediately, but I did not want to accidentally give away that I was here.

Therion spoke. "You know, I spent so many resources in getting that boy to be what I need him to be, and what does he do? Runs away. You were never like that; you followed orders like a good dog. And you're a bird."

"Of course, sir."

Therion smirked. "And always so agreeable. You sure you weren't born a woman? You're submissive enough to be one."

"I'm well aware, sir. Shall we discuss payment?"

"Yeah, yeah. First though, let me put this away." He turned the case towards him, unlocked it, and just after I designated him…


The case exploded in front of him. The shockwave from the blast sent me to my knees with ringing ears and fuzzy vision. Thankfully, the ballistic armor stopped most of the shrapnel from disabling me. As I stood up, I noticed Therion still standing in the same place though he had lost much of his face from the blast, and the parts that remained did not look happy. He reached up to pull a large shard of the case that had impaled him through the chest before the Red Dragon opened fire with a Kimaris V-44 12.7mm Assault Rifle loaded with his custom HEIAP rounds.

That explosion was not enough to kill him, and we both knew it. Its purpose was to surprise him well enough so that I might have the opportunity to neutralize him through crystallization with the Red Dragon providing suppressing fire. Therion's regeneration was fast, although the rapid-fire explosive-acidic rounds were doing a good enough job at slowing down his muscle and sinew from reforming.

I clenched Blood Rose tightly, letting its thorns dig into my flesh, and charged him.

I thrust my weapon at him, but it did not meet flesh. It met metal. I looked up, and saw a frozen, iron chain coming from the ceiling. He parried and Blood Rose stabbed itself harmlessly into the wooden floor.

The Red Dragon continued dumping rounds into Therion's body, tearing apart and melting his upper torso and arms. But we knew this could not last for long, Therion's regeneration was speeding up, and would soon outpace the Red Dragon's damage. He only had 30 rounds in an extended magazine, and had to reload soon. He would only have a short window of time to switch to a fresh magazine and continue firing, and I was not sure if we could afford it.

I squeezed my hands tighter and pulled Blood Rose out of the wood floor, my blood steaming on its thorny handle. I looked and saw Therion's face and throat reforming at a rapid pace, despite the shots thundering across his skull. I lunged forwards, looking to impale him as I did with the Red Dragon.

Blood Rose hit something solid. Too solid to be flesh. I saw Blood Rose entangled in a lattice of cold iron chains, holding it in place.

I heard the clatter of an empty magazine as it hit the floor, requiring the Red Dragon to reach into his pouch to grab a fresh one. According to him, his fastest reload time was a second. It was blindingly fast, faster than I could ever manage with a firearm.

But it was not fast enough.

Therion's arm had fully regrown, and with a wave of his hand, he froze the fluid in the Red Dragon's eyes, blinding him. Two icicles punctured through his eyes from within, his blood froze in the air before it hits the ground.

With a grunt, The Red Dragon attempted to slot the mag into the magwell, but failed when Therion's chains shot out from the walls to wrap around him, and slammed him hard against the floor. Once, twice, and on the third hit the floor cracked. The Red Dragon groaned, as the gun fell out of his hands. Therion hoisted him up to pinned him against the wall, and continued to freeze him.

Therion turned to look at me, his head and face having mostly regrown. "Would you like to know something, Pluto?" he said as he walked over to me, "We only named you that because your mother wouldn't allow me to name you Therion II. I was always rather insulted by that, honestly…"

I tried my best to pull Blood Rose out from the entanglement of chains but I failed. Therion walked closer to me as the rest of his face regrew.

"But in hindsight? Perhaps that was for the best." His chains wrapped around Blood Rose tighter and pulled it up to the ceiling. And me along with it. "Pluto Theleman. Let. Go," he commanded.

I spat at him. "Fuck. You."

He blinked. He was clearly not expecting me to speak to him like that. I was not expecting that from me either. "… Unbelievable", he shook his head. "I was surprised to see you and that freak teaming up against me. Really took me off guard there, but I suppose it makes sense. Both of you are ungrateful little cretins who took everything I've ever given to you for granted." He looked at his other arm as it fully regrew.

I always knew the speed of his regeneration was fast, but it was so much faster than I ever expected.

He pointed an icy finger towards me. "You. I clothe you, house you, and build you up with more souls than any other demon would see in a lifetime. I paid for the best education money could buy, and guided you from birth to be a worthy successor. A worthy heir to the Throne of Violence. A Winner," he snarled at me, his face etched deeply with anger.

He turned to the Red Dragon. "And you. You were nothing but a failed experiment that I rescued from termination because I felt that you could still be made into something useful." Therion rolled his shoulder, his joints connecting back properly as sinew reattached themselves. "My own infernal seraphim, I saved you from your fate as a living afterbirth, and made you into a weapon Heaven itself would tremble at. And this is how my kindness is repaid?"

Therion fumed, blue ice cold fire emanated from his body. I had never seen him like this before, something was wrong.

"Answer me now, the fucking both of you!" The anti-fire spreads throughout his whole body and hits the ceiling, freezing it solid. "IS THIS HOW YOU REPAY ME?!" Therion bellowed as the room erupted in Cocytean flame.


A wave of freezing blue fire hits me and I felt… cold. A deep and aching chill that radiated from within me. A moment later I felt it, pain more terrible and blinding than I could imagine as my blood froze into a labyrinth of icicles that impaled me from within. A cold explosion of pain that never stopped. I collapsed onto the floor. I saw the same wounds appearing across Therion's body before quickly closing in the blink of an eye.

I looked over to the Red Dragon and saw that he was in a similar state as I was, spikes of ice stabbing through his body as he writhed quietly. I felt a pang of guilt knowing that I had put him through pain like this again.

Therion stood above me and took a deep breath, calming himself down. He reached down with one of his chains, wrapped it around Blood Rose, and tugged hard. Despite the pain I was in, I held on firmly. I let Blood Rose spread its roots into my arm and lock in place. I grit my teeth and fought through the pain. I would not allow him to take this away from me too.

Finally, he stopped and looked at me again, more frustrated than furious. He sighed and then squat down next to me.

"Pluto," his voice had lost the commanding tone he took earlier, now sounding firm but gentle, "let me tell you something about Blood Rose, something you may not have known."

He began, "Did you know that Blood Rose was made specifically for you? It was meant to be a gift to you when you finally came of age and…", he reached out, hovering a finger over one of Blood Rose's thorns which extended violently and almost stabbed him, "…it was designed to kill me."

"… What?"

"Oh, yes. When you finally came of age, Babalon would pass Blood Rose straight to you, which you would then use against me… your own father." He looked at the weapon with utter disdain etched across his face. "She poisoned you against me and has plotted this from the very start. It's not lost on me that she pushed you into taking Pyromancy as an elective in school. You were her little weapon, her own homegrown kingslayer. You can't possibly tell me that you never knew about this?"

"I… no that-"

He sighed and stretched his neck, "Of course you didn't know. You were her puppet. After I was dead she would rule as a shadow matriarch and gorge herself on soul gems to keep herself alive and in power forever. The moment she elected to give birth was the moment she crippled herself… Unless of course she had someone young and strong to gather as many souls as possible."


I stammered, but no sound came out. Was he right? Was I groomed to hate him this entire time? That could not be true, Therion was a monster for as long as I have known him. Mother only wished to protect me…


"Pluto… I apologize, truly", Therion said, putting a hand on my icey shoulder to warm it up, "…I admit I was, perhaps, too harsh on you as a father. I only wished to push you towards excellence but now I see I only pushed you away from me."

I did not know what to say. I could not believe that he truly said all of this. I had… always hoped for an apology, some kind of reconciliation from him. To hear it now is…

"Yes, I killed Babalon, but I did so in self defense. But not in the defense of myself," I looked into his eyes, I had never felt such warmth from Father before, "I killed her to save you. I knew I didn't have a lot of time left, I had to act fast, if I didn't you would have spent the rest of your life under her heel."

"F-Father…" I had always wanted this. I always wished I did enough to earn his affections. His love. I could feel tears welling in my frozen eyes.

"You carry the Theleman royal family name. And the Theleman royal family are not subservient to anyone." Father touched my face to warm my cheek, allowing my tears to fall. "In you runs the blood of Kings, Lords and Victors. Winners who triumphed over every obstacle the lesser people threw at them."

Perhaps… perhaps I was wrong, about Mother and about Father. Perhaps it will be different now. That Father was not who I thought he always was. I could feel my grip loosening on Blood Rose.

"Pluto. You are my one and only son. You're irreplaceable."


I blinked. "I-I am what?"

"Of course you're irreplaceable! How could you not be? My pride and joy, my little Prince of Violence. You are the one thing I value above all."

I was a fool.

A fool to believe that Therion was not who he always was.

A sadist. A rapist. A cruel little despot.

A liar.

The only person here who was ever unfit for Mother's love was him.

"… You are right, Father," I remembered what he said about how Mother had me learn pyromancy, and… perhaps in a way, Therion was right. She was planning on having me kill him. "I apologize," I inhaled, slowly and silently building up energy.

"Good boy. I'm so glad that you were able to see reason," his smile widened ever so slightly. "Why don't you let go of that old thing and come back to the winning side? I'll make sure it's put to much better use"

"Very well, Father. You may have it."

It was thanks to Therion that I remembered that the melting point of iron was a mere 1,538° Celsius. So with the energy that I had built up, I elected to explode, and burn ten times hotter.

His chains did not melt. Or disintegrate. To say that they shattered would be an understatement. The rapid and drastic change in temperature caused each link to burst like a miniature lightning grenade, forcibly and in all directions.

Our bodies were pelted with shrapnel, but since Blood Rose was now free, I did not care. I only received half of the brunt, while Therion experienced my own pain threefold.

"AUGH- oh you little FUCK!" His first instinct was to lash out with more chains, each one meeting the same fate as the last, creating burst upon burst of plasma in the air, showering him in a hailstorm of sharp metal and lightning.

"I am NOT your son! I am the child of Babalon the Great; her Whore of Blood."

"A fucking Wh-!?" Therion was interrupted by the Red Dragon. Both I and Therion had become so preoccupied with each other, that neither of us noticed him break free and approach Therion.

The Red Dragon lifted one of Therion's legs and kneed him in the groin as hard as he possibly could. I could see a dark, chunky red mess in between his legs as the Red Dragon pulled his knee back. Therion's face contorted into a rictus of pure agony as he let out a choked, silent scream before the Red Dragon threw him to the ground.

He stood above Therion, his foot on his neck, and regurgitated a flood of acid on Therion's face, turning it into a bloody and liquified mess.

"That was for my mother," the Red Dragon hacked as Therion desperately clawed at him, spitting his own melted tongue out as he tried to curse at him.

"And this is for mine," I followed, still engulfed in an unholy yet righteous flame. I brought my equally blazing weapon far up, and thrust it down upon Therion's groin. "Try and replace us now, Father." My words dripped with disdain.

Blood Rose's roots worked quickly, spreading to every inch of Therion's body. Through his melted face I could see the roots wrap around his skull. Seconds later the thorns erupted, more violently than I've ever seen them do before.

Therion spasmed and cried out as Blood Rose's thorns tore through his body and locked him in place. Therion was down, and with the heat of my flame preventing him from making better use of his chains, he was not going to be getting back up unless we allowed it.

The Red Dragon stomped down on Therion's snout and shattered his newly grown teeth. "Where are they? My mother and Babalon?", he stomped down again, hard enough that Therion's teeth have embedded themselves in the sole of his boot, "What did you do to them? Answer."

I joined in, twisting the fork in Therion's flesh as a show of solidarity. "Tell. Us. NOW."

Therion gasped and twisted in pain. "Fuck you…" he spat. "You want to know where your cunt mothers ended up? Fine!"

Therion pointed at the Red Dragon. "I dumped that slut onto Heaven's doorstep after I was done with her. Knowing those psychos, they probably sacrificed her the moment they found out I fucked her." Therion laughed darkly and I saw the Red Dragon squeeze his hand into a tight fist.

"And you?" Therion directed his attention towards me. "I thought you might try and break in and steal her from my trophy room. So, I gave it to someone who will never let her g-"

I interrupted him with a hard punch to the snout. "WHO?!"

He paused, reeling from the impact. He spat a bloody, tooth out and slowly turned his head back towards me. "Wouldn't you like to know, whore.", he cackled bitterly.

"I am not interested in torturing you to find out, Therion. If you are not going to tell us, then we have no reason to let you live."

He looked at me silently for a moment before he saw me grip Blood Rose tighter. His eyes widened and I saw his fingernails dig deep into the floorboards.

"… You'll never find her, not now… not ever", he said quietly, each word drowning in an ocean of fear.

"NEVER, DO YOU HEAR ME?!", he screamed, unable to stop his body from shaking, "DO YOU HEAR ME?! ANSWER ME YOU STUPID FU-"

I cut him off. Hearing his voice brought me nothing but pain.

I concentrated, and activated Blood Rose's primary ability and began the Soul Gem process.

For demons who willingly submit themselves to the process, it would be as Mother intended it. Instantaneous, painless, merciful and dignified. A life brought to a humane ending.

But for those who fight back? For those who are being punished? It would be anything but.


Therion begins to compress down to a single point, at the tip of Blood Rose's prongs. His body distorts and stretches like he was sucked into a black hole. His legs fold and stretch infinitely as they are pulled into the singularity, his torso and arms following suit. His mouth opens before his jaw distends and stretches out grotesquely. He attempts to scream but the sound itself is lost, pulled into the event horizon. The very last thing I ever saw of him were his eyes looking into mine.

The fear in them is something I will never forget.

I do not know how long Therion truly suffered in that state, perhaps from his subjective view as he was being pulled in the singularity it may have taken centuries to complete.

But for us it was over in moments, the great King Therion was gone. Nothing but a small, glowing blue crystal in his place.

It took me a moment to process what just happened.

He was gone. Forever.

I had an urge to shatter the gem where it laid, furious that anything of Therion should be left behind. But I remained calm. I finally let go of Blood Rose, and fell to the floor. And the Red Dragon followed suit.

"… He's dead", the Red Dragon said quietly. "He's actually… dead."

"Yes…" I breathed in deeply, my hands still shaking "it is over, finally."

"And… that's what's left? The combined power of every soul he has ever consumed."

"It is, more or less."

I looked at it. Part in guilt, part in… apprehension. "You should have it. You are the oldest, and are probably more deserving of it. I am way too young to have this kind of power."


"… N-no?"

"Pluto, I never wanted… any of this," he said gesturing to himself. "Power was thrust upon me by Therion so I could be his attack dog. I was barely even a child before he separated me from my mother and turned me into a weapon. I never wanted power, I just… if I could not be my mother's son then… I only wished to be something to somebody."

I did not know what to say, so I remained quiet. I picked the soul gem from the ground and rolled it between my fingers. It was so much smaller than I expected it to be.

I turned to look at him. "For what it is worth, I am sorry about your mother. For what Therion did to her, and to you. I do not see you as a weapon or as a mindless attack dog." I stood up and walked over to him. "You are my family. However you see yourself I promise that you will always be family to me." I extend my hand out in front of him.

He looked so small seated down in front of me. So… unsure, so helpless. It took him a moment before he gently took my hand and allowed me to pull him up. "…Thank you," I heard him sniff quietly. I gave him a moment to compose himself before I held the soul gem out.

"Should we destroy this, then? It is far too much power and responsibility, and it is even more dangerous to keep around. Someone could abuse its power."

"Hm. Yes, someone could misuse it… however I do not think you will."

"I- do you seriously believe I deserve this sort of power?"

"I can think of no other person more deserving. If you truly wish to continue your mother's work, to improve the lives of others, to help as many people as you possibly can, then I believe you will use the power of that gem responsibly."

I considered what he said to me, his utter trust in my character to not misuse power like this, to not end up as another Therion.

I thought back to Mother, her smile and her warmth, and her confidence in me to do what was right.

I squeezed the gem in my hand and accepted its wealth. My eyes shut and all at once I felt the massive hoard of souls flood into me, into every single fiber of my being. I could feel myself glow for a brief moment as I fully digested and absorbed the massive quantity of soul stuff. When my eyes opened I saw that the gem was gone, nothing remained but a small ember in the center of my palm.

I felt fear for the briefest of moments, I felt a spike of anxiety as I thought about the possibility of misusing my power, to discharge my strength on those weaker than me, to see the world as Therion saw it.

And then I felt the amount of faith Mother and the Red Dragon had in me.

I banished those thoughts from my mind as quickly as they came. I promised that I would always be just, and to always work for the benefit and betterment of others. To be a true successor to Babalon the Great. To make Mother proud of me.

"Thank you for believing in me," I confessed to the Red Dragon.

"Well… thank you for doing the same for me earlier." He gave me a nod before turning his attention to the door of Therion's office. "We need to check if what Therion said was true. Do you know where his Trophy Room is located?"

"Yes, we do, please follow me." I picked up Blood Rose and lead him to Therion's Trophy Room. We swung the doors open and walked in. I had never truly been in his trophy room before, I had always done my best to avoid it, if not for my own extreme discomfort at the mere existence of it, then for Therion's threat of violence should I break anything inside.

We were surrounded by skulls, countless numbers of them, with the most prominent amongst them having their own ornate display. I scan each plaque, searching for mother. Instead I found one singular display empty, with enough space for a skull and a weapon to hang above it. I did not need to guess who that display was intended for.

The Red Dragon puts a hand on my shoulder. "I am sorry, Pluto. It appears that Therion was telling the truth this time." My heart sank as I tried to hold back my tears. Mother truly was gone, hidden away by Therion. I felt the Red Dragon squeeze my shoulder reassuringly before he spoke to me. "Wherever it was he hid her, I promise I will do all I can to find her. I promise we'll bring her back."

"Thank you," I sighed as I looked around the room in a slight daze, "but… what about you? What are you looking for exactly?" If Therion were telling the truth then his mother would not be here, would she?

He scans the room once, twice, before his eyes stop on a small closed cabinet at the far end of the room. "… I can feel it, it's in there," he said as he walked towards it.

"What is?"

"The answer to whether or not my mother is dead." He was tense, his shoulders and hands shaking slightly as he threw open the doors of the cabinet.

My eyes widened and I gasped. I did not believe what I saw.

In the center of this cabinet, floating above a small circular pedestal was an Angel's halo: A Glory. From the looks of it, it belonged to a member of Heaven's upper class.

It was broken, snapped in half, however it still glowed. It was still active.

The Red Dragon takes it out slowly and held it in both hands. He turned to speak to me. "Before… she was taken away from me, my mother gave me two things: My name and half of her Glory. She kept both a secret from Therion. She told me that she would always be with me as long as I had her Glory and that… that she would find me again someday."

His hands trembled as he squeezed the Glory "… I tried to hide it from him, from Therion, but he found it. He took it from me and… punished me for hiding things from him. I thought he disposed of it. I hoped for so, so long that he had it here as a trophy, but I could never know."

He holds the Glory tighter, afraid that he would ever lose it again. "I have it back. Her Glory is still active. Somewhere, my mother is still alive." He could barely hide the relief and happiness that flooded into his voice.

"You promised to help find my mother. So allow me do the same for you," I said, putting my hand to his back. "We will find them. The both of them; my mother and yours. We will rescue them from wherever they may be. And we will do so together."

The Red Dragon looked at me for a moment before he does something that I never saw him do up to this point.


He smiled.

"I knew I was right to trust you." He regarded the Glory carefully before placing it on his head. Despite its broken status it locks perfectly into place and glows brighter than it did before. "I've never had a family before… What… do families even do?"

"Well, proper introductions would be a good start. I doubt you would want to continue being the Red Dragon, that is the title of Therion's assassin. As for myself… well… Pluto Theleman never really suited me."

"Oh? You wish to change your name?"

"Yes, I do. I was planning on changing my family name to Mother's maiden name, Fatish. And maybe change my given name from Pluto. Maybe to something… flower related? Something that starts with a P?… Petunia?" I tapped my chin mulling the name over. "… Hm, I will have to workshop it."

"Petunia Fatish has a nice ring to it."

"Well, it shall be a placeholder then. Now, introductions," I stuck my hand out. "I am, temporarily, Petunia Fatish, what is your name?"

The former Red Dragon hesitates briefly before reaching out to shake my hand "… Morningstar, my mother named me Morningstar."

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Morningstar. If it pleases you, I would be honored if you became part of the Fatish family… but only if you want to of course."

"… I'd like that." He smiled again, for the second time in his life.

"I am glad. I imagine this is all a bit overwhelming and we have a lot of work ahead of us. However, I am not worried…"

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