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By December 25, 2017IC

Ura rounded the corner of a tight alleyway, the tail of his black funeral robes trailing behind him and picking up the dirt and mud from the streets. The chants of “Fuck the King” had reached a fever pitch with the crowd. Ura ducked from the alley into the crowd unnoticed, a useful skill to have, and entered the midst of the mob. Aismon followed nearby.

He fidgeted with his implant and the roar of the crowd immediately silenced.

“I wish to say a few words. I consider this demonstration in poor taste.”

A thud interrupted him mid-sentence, and then the familiar surge up his spine of arcane energy welling up inside him. He grasped his stinging head and felt the warm, sticky blood from a cut. The culprit clattered to the ground, a half-empty bottle of ale.

“Who threw that?” Ura shouted.

Aismon drug a man from the crowd. “I saw him with my own eyes, Your Highness,” his tone chastising, as if to scold the entire crowd.

The drunk jerked his arm away from Aismon’s grasp, and overestimating his balance, stumbled forward towards Ura. He took a wild swing as he passed by, falling to the ground.

The crowd quickly dispersed and after a split second, it’s just the three. The drunk climbed to his knees and pulled a shiv from his boot. Before he had a chance to stumble forward again, a blast of heat erupted violently from his chest, instantly cauterizing the now-gaping concavity in his torso. He collapsed, still, on the ground. The few onlookers still remaining began whispering.

“We’d better go, Sire,” says Aismon, “I know a safe place.”