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#the assassins blade spoilers
thehighqueenofhiraeth · a month ago
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yall ever think about what would have happened if arobynn hadn’t set up sam and celaena with farran??? if nothing had gone wrong and they’d have completed the job killing jayne and farran??? and gone to the southern continent??? because like... celaena would’ve gotten her powers back and i know she had them pretty well forced down in her human form but what if she had gotten overwhelmed and shifted and set their house on fire??? not to mention that i personally don’t believe sam and celaena’s relationship would have ended well if he had survived??? i dunno this is really interesting to think about and it won’t leave me alone
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thehighqueenofhiraeth · 2 months ago
rank the aelin pov tog books without rowan (assassin’s blade, throne of glass, crown of midnight) pls im so curious
assassin’s blade > crown of midnight > throne of glass
Throne of Glass is my least favorite in the whole series if I’m being honest but especially the beginning part, once we meet Nehemia the book gets better but I could not stand the first part of that book. i actually really like Crown of Midnight just not as much as the other books in the series, and honestly The Assassin’s Blade gives you such good insight on Celaena’s feelings about Sam and also how the rest of the series connects with the novella’s when Aelin starts setting things in motion during qos
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thehighqueenofhiraeth · 2 months ago
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Sam being loyal to Celaena and not Arobynn while The Thirteen are loyal to Manon and not the Blackbeak Matron... there are a lot of similarities between those dynamics including... ya know what i’m not even gonna say it
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thehighqueenofhiraeth · 3 months ago
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The Assassin’s Blade Thoughts
Wow. I finished the book but oh my god. I’m glad I paused the timeline to jump back and see that before moving on in the series but I really want to destroy Arobynn Hamel. I mean I know the guys King of the Assassins and all but Sam of all people?? he didn’t deserve that at all and I understand Celaena’s feelings over the situation a lot better after reading what happened.
And now I’ve gotta move on to Queen of Shadows and after the ending of Heir of Fire??? i just know in my bones that was not the worst ending of the series to come and that’s saying something considering what the king did to Dorian and Sorcha... Uh Oh™️
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thehighqueenofhiraeth · 3 months ago
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The Assassin’s Blade Thoughts
I finished the Assassin and the Underworld novella and all it did was make me love Sam and Celaena more and hate hate hate Arobynn even more than I already had... not quite sure about Lysandra yet—kinda annoyed with her but could be from Celaena’s warped perspective on her but either way having already read Throne of Glass through Heir of Fire and knowing what’s coming next in this novella... well I didn’t quite believe anyone when they said this would be an emotional series but I was seriously mistaken so whoops
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alatismeni-theitsa · 5 months ago
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Legacy of the first blade AC Odyssey Dlc spoilers:
I've been playing the DLC and I recall people having complains that Kassandra (and Alexios) became a parent in a hetero relationship. First of all by people can end up in heterosexual relationships. Second of all, and the most important, bloodline is very important in the story of the DLC, so the character had to have a biological child. And in this era this can be done only through male-female relationship.
I think the game handled motherhood and fatherhood very well. I mean it wasn't the basic trope "the hero is a parent now and they have settled". (Because you still have adventure and you never settle). You are a parent AND a missionary and I made Kassandra a pretty badass mum. I liked the bloodline plot and how Kassandra/Alexios is the great grandparent of the amazing Aya of AC Origins!! 😍
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stuckonjbbarnes · 8 months ago
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Gab is traumatized by the death of Sam Cortland and I keep bringing it up as if it doesn’t haunt me everyday.
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fynslife · 9 months ago
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re reading TAB made me think of this quote that always cuts me deep in KOA, & it’s so heartbreaking to think about especially after reading Sam’s death and remembering everything that happens between then and KOA
any single one of the awful events that have happened in Aelin’s life would be more than enough to warrant her being so unbelievably exhausted and just done with it all, but when you put them all together it’s devastating to remember just how much she's had to face and overcome
in TAB she goes from planning her life with Sam to being bereft in the world without him & sent to a death camp in the space of a few days. you would think that that should be the worst thing to ever happen to her (not forgetting of course her tragic history before even the prequels), but no. there’s so much more & she doesn’t even know what lies ahead when we pick up with her in TOG
from friends being murdered, betrayal, actual torture both mental and physical, the ever-present & inescapable weight of responsibility to her kingdom, trying to win a war with the odds stacked against her, and she goes through everything only to find that her life is forfeit to make things right with the gods? after every devastating turn, every gut-wrenching goodbye, she finds out that she survived all that just to wind up a sacrifice and dead anyway? 
the heaviness of Aelin saying “I’m so tired” just breaks my heart, because she’s not just talking about recent events, she’s talking about all of it,  all the way back, & it just rips my soul apart idk
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officialotakudome · 6 days ago
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New Post has been published on Otaku Dome | The Latest News In Anime, Manga, Gaming, Tech, and Geek Culture
New Post has been published on https://otakudome.com/yasuke-anime-review/
Yasuke Anime Review
As Netflix ramps up it’s anime acquisitions it also continues to expand on the production of original anime. This includes an adaptation of the true story of legendary samurai Yasuke. A black man from Africa who made his way to Kyoto in 1579 Japan working alongside Oda Nobunaga. Netflix’s take on the legend brings it into a dark fantasy full of science and magic with Lakeith Stanfield starring as the lead.
Yasuke is a 2021 seinen anime series, it is produced by MAPPA and licensed by Netflix for global streaming. It is available now.
Editor’s Note: An advanced screener for Yasuke was provided by Netflix in support of this review. Minor spoilers may be present within this preview.
The legend of Yasuke gets an anime adaptation on Netflix.
If you follow Japanese history you may or may not be aware of Yasuke. As the story goes Yasuke was a former African slave owned by Europeans, but made his way to Japan. There he was met by daimyo Oda Nobunaga who would train him as a samurai. Not much else is known about Yasuke past this as his history has been lost to time. There have been several suggestions of his whereabouts following his run with Nobunaga, but none have been confirmed. The anime (mostly) follows what’s known about the warrior while fantasizing it as well.
Yasuke does well with it’s titular history.
THE GOOD: So due to the nature surrounding the legend of Yasuke itself I’m going to try and be fairly light on the spoilers. I thought about adding in some theories spread out through time on Yasuke’s later life. But decided against it as it’s likely the material will be used for a would be second season. The story of Yasuke reminiscing about his final moments with Nobunaga before he commits seppuku while being invaded. As the story goes on Yasuke’s true history is spread throughout the series. However, the story uses fantasy elements including mechs and magic to help broaden the plot. In fact, the series actually starts off with a war between two nations who use magic to battle one another. 
Yasuke is forced to leave his old teacher’s side living his later years in a village. There he befriends some of the locals including a boy named Ichiro as well as an inn singer named Ichika & her daughter Saki. Saki has magical abilities which makes her a target for an ancient demon who wants to absorb her powers. Yasuke after years of retirement is forced to draw his blade in order to protect Saki from the hired assassins out to capture her.
Fantasy elements help expand the anime’s story.
First, the animation for Yasuke is pretty damn good. It’s not as strong as some of MAPPA’s recent work, but considering this is a much smaller series in comparison that’s ok. Even with what I assume was a fairly respectable budget given the series does have an excellent look to it for six episodes. Flying Lotus kills it with the soundtrack. The artist has a history with Japanese media as he’s a bit of a fan. And it shows with the unique sounds he chose for it’s soundtrack. The action scenes are gory on occasion, but have solid direction. Most of what you need to know in regards to Yasuke’s story is well represented. I honestly don’t mind the fantasy elements of the series. There’s some fun ideas used, but it won’t be for everybody.
Apparently, Flying Lotus had some creative control in the development of Yasuke. Like for example he stated in an interview that he was the one that created the character Saki. So it can be assumed that he was behind a lot of the fantasy and magic from within the show. There’s some solid character direction for the main characters and antagonist. And the original story for what it is has some enjoyment to it.
Yasuke has potential, but is ultimately dragged down by the use of magic and machines.
THE BAD: There’s a lot to love about Yasuke, but I’d completely understand of the fantasy of the series wasn’t for some. While this was obviously done in an effort to fill in time and story gap voids I do think that the story suffers because of it. The Yasuke legend is enough in of itself for a proper adaptation, but it seems like Netflix has a lot of faith in the series as a continuation is looking likely. As I mentioned above, season two is probably going to be based on the theories and suggestions of where Yasuke ended up post-Nobunaga. 
Yasuke’s history comes to life with the anime, but it should focus more on the reality of the story.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: Yasuke is a solid attempt at being the warrior’s story to life. As expected by MAPPA there’s some strong animation with good action sequences. Flying Lotus’ score really pops out the flow of the series. Personally, I think Yasuke stands best on it’s own legend, but I don’t hate the direction that was taken with the series. I also think there’s a lot that can be done to expand the world. And they’ve made it clear that season one is just the beginning, but more time should be invested into the real Yasuke in my opinion. Otaku Dome gives Yasuke season one a 78 out of 100.
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a-duck-with-a-book · 9 days ago
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REVIEW // Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan
★★★☆☆
There are many things that Ngan, in my opinion, does incredibly well-her writing style is beautiful (and, as I noticed in my Kindle edition, very quotable-there were so many frequently highlighted sections!), the story is interesting, and the characters are likable. Then why is it that I didn't love it? The main culprit was the pacing. I felt like I spent a lot of time waiting for things to happen. There isn't even a lot of build-up. This is not the kind of slow plot that builds more and more tension and excitement that it releases in an exhilarating finale. Mostly, I simply felt like we were walking around aimlessly waiting for Lei to do something or, as was more frequently the case, for something to happen to her. I almost felt like Ngan made a mistake and meant for Wren to be the protagonist, but published the version of the story where the character who does all of the interesting things is only a side character.
image: official cover art
[SPOILER] It felt a bit cheap in the end to have played up Wren and all of her abilities just to make Lei the one to finally sink in the blade. While I understand Lei's rage at the way the king had violated her (and I will admit that her killing him was supremely satisfying after recent events), I still found it hard to believe that someone who was entirely unaware of the conspiracy until shortly before and had only begun training to fight shortly thereafter was entrusted with the execution of such an important assassination. [SPOILER END] The constant "well... when's the plot going to start moving" feel of the story made it difficult for me to get invested in the characters and their relationships, [SPOILER] which meant that I, unfortunately, did not feel strongly one way or the other for Wren and Lei's romance. I think that if I had encountered their relationship a year or so ago, when I still hadn't read as many f/f fantasies, I would have loved them a lot more. However, I have since read a lot more well developed and emotionally impactful romances between two women, so it simply didn't stand out. [SPOILER END] I do think I will pick up the sequel,(especially after that ending!!! I was honestly really upset at how it undid all of the satisfaction of the climax of the first book) but I was just a bit too let down by this novel.
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aion-rsa · 17 days ago
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Mortal Kombat Easter Eggs and Reference Guide
https://ift.tt/32FL0Or
This Mortal Kombat article contains spoilers.
There’s a new Mortal Kombat live-action movie out on HBO Max, and it comes after nearly 30 years of games, cartoons, and movie adaptations. With such a long history to pick through, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the new movie has more than a few easter eggs and references to the series’ most famous moments and characters. Why wouldn’t there be? Why even make a new movie if you’re not going to throw your fans a bone or twenty exploding skulls?
We’re keeping track of all the neat easter eggs that fill the 2021 film, from obscure character references to loving nods to the games’ most gruesome Fatcalities. Here’s what we’ve found so far:
Kombat Jargon
Cole Young rightfully notes that “Mortal Kombat” is spelled incorrectly. Series creators Ed Boon and John Tobias each have their own explanation for the spelling. Boon claimed that “Combat” was a workshopped name for the game and someone added a K to be weird. Tobias said that the K was there just so they could trademark the term.
As it’s custom for the Mortal Kombat announcers to say who won each match, Kano takes care of this himself when he kills Reptile and smugly says, “Kano wins.”
When Kung Lao kills Nitara, he notes, “Flawless victory.” That’s what the announcers say in-game whenever someone has a perfect round. At least it’s used correctly here, unlike the original movie, where people would say, “Flawless victory,” in regards to fights where both sides took blows.
There are many deaths in the movie, but only Liu Kang announces, “Fatality,” like in the game.
Scorpion and Sub-Zero
Bi-Han killing Hanzo Hasashi has been depicted many times in Mortal Kombat media, though canonically in the game Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. The version in this movie more closely resembles the events of the animated film Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge. The big difference that sets this movie apart from the others is the fact that Hanzo existed centuries ago and not in the present. That, and the depiction of Sub-Zero as pure evil. While Bi-Han is no saint, his killing of Hanzo is usually depicted as strictly business. In the games, the murder of Scorpion’s family is the doing of Quan Chi, who uses the tragedy to manipulate Scorpion into his service.
Outside of his feud with Scorpion, Sub-Zero’s villain status in this movie more closely matches the origin of Erron Black, the anachronistic Wild West gunslinger who first showed up in Mortal Kombat X. Centuries ago, Shang Tsung felt threatened by a potential challenger in the Mortal Kombat tournament. He hired Erron Black to assassinate the threat, and in return Tsung would teach Black the secrets to living for thousands of years.
Scorpion pulls off his classic Toasty Fatality, which also turns his mouth into charred bone. Scorpion’s always had this weird situation going on with his face where sometimes it’s flesh and sometimes it’s just a skull. Here, we get a bit of both!
Sonya Blade and Jackson Briggs
On Sonya’s research wall, there’s a book excerpt on a Native American tribe called Matokans, focusing on shamans and warriors. The clipping mentions a tribe member known as “the Night wolf.” Nightwolf is a character (and title) introduced in the third game. He strongly resembles the sketch included in the clipping. “Matokan Warrior” is one of his variations in Mortal Kombat 11.
Also on the wall is a photo of a sculpture of the Mayan God of War, Buluc Chabtan. In Mortal Kombat lore, this is the Outworld warrior Kotal Kahn, who for a time ventured into Earthrealm and was worshipped as a god by the Mayans. The character was introduced in Mortal Kombat X when he took over Outworld in the aftermath of Shao Kahn’s death. While still barbaric, his rule was considered more progressive than his predecessor’s.
While Sonya’s rings attack is treated as a superpower here, in the games, it’s treated as more of a high-tech wrist weapon.
The subplot about Sonya’s worth due to her lack of dragon tattoo could be interpreted as a commentary on how the original movie handled Sonya in the third act. Shang Tsung kidnapped her and chose to make her the finalist in the tournament, which everyone treated as a fight Sonya could never win in a million years. The way the original movie turned Sonya into a damnsel in distress annoys many fans to this day.
The origin of Jax’s metal arms has been told many different ways through the decades. He’s lost them at the hands of Baraka, Ermac, a Special Forces goon, and Goro. This is the first time Sub-Zero has been responsible.
Jax splattering his opponent’s head with a clap of the hands is a Fatality he’s had since Mortal Kombat II.
Kano and the Black Dragon
Kano has trouble using the GPS to track Raiden’s temple. This is probably a callback to the original movie, where Shang Tsung’s Island caused Sonya’s compass to go haywire.
Kano’s face gets clawed up, and later he’s able to shoot a red laser from his eye socket. In the games, Kano has a metal plate over his eye, giving him that laser ability.
The heart rip was Kano’s Fatality in the first game. He’s since introduced many variations of it.
The Black Dragon is brought up a few times. A scummier offshoot of the terrorist organization the Red Dragon, Kano’s group has included such characters as Kabal, Jarek, Kira, Kobra, Erron Black, and Tremor.
Kabal blames Kano for why he’s stuck in his respirator-based costume. In the games, Kabal was a Black Dragon member who left the group and became a cop. During the events of Mortal Kombat 3, Kabal was burned alive by Kintaro. Kano actually saved Kabal and hooked him up to the respirators in hopes of recruiting him. Shang Tsung tried to use magic to heal Kabal’s lungs, which gave him super-speed as a side-effect.
Kano refers to Raiden as “Gandalf” and considers his comrades’ magical attacks as “Harry Potter shit.” Fitting that Kano’s references keep with properties owned by Warner Bros.
Kano’s overall story here is a lot like the ’90s comic book Mortal Kombat: Rayden and Kano. In the comic, Rayden (they spelled it differently back then) attempted to hire Kano to help destroy Shao Kahn, as he was the descendant of a hero who liberated Outworld long ago. Kano ultimately betrayed Rayden, just as he betrays his teammates in this movie.
Liu Kang and Kung Lao
Kano refers to Liu Kang as “MC Hammer” due to their shared love of puffy pants.
Liu Kang brings up Master Bo’ Rai Cho, a character introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Bo’ Rai Cho (a play on “boracho” meaning “drunk” in Spanish) is an Outworld warrior who sympathized with Earthrealm and chose to protect it from Shao Kahn. Being from Outworld, he could not enter Mortal Kombat without it counting against Earthrealm. Instead, he’s dedicated thousands of years to training Shaolin warriors in hopes of one of them winning the tournament and ending Outworld’s streak. He mentored Liu Kang and Kung Lao firsthand.
Kung Lao mentions being the descendant of the original Kung Lao. The Great Kung Lao was a Shaolin monk who regularly defended Earthrealm in Mortal Kombat. He even defeated Shang Tsung at least once. But his streak came to an end at the hands of Goro. Later games revealed that the modern Kung Lao is a reincarnation of the original.
Read more
Games
Mortal Kombat: Sub-Zero and Scorpion’s Rivalry Explained
By Matthew Byrd
Movies
Mortal Kombat: The Challenges of Making the Movie Reboot
By Gene Ching
Liu Kang is able to get the better of Kano by spamming the leg sweep. This is a reference to a very annoying tactic in the early games.
The way Kung Lao kills Nitara is similar to his Fatality from Mortal Kombat 9, the difference being that, in the game, the victim is cut apart crotch-first.
Kung Lao dying to drive Liu Kang’s story forward is a regular trope in Mortal Kombat. Lao’s death first came in Mortal Kombat 3. But in the Mortal Kombat 9 reboot, Kung Lao went on a major winning streak during the retelling of Mortal Kombat II, but then Shao Kahn grabbed him from behind and snapped his neck. Liu Kang reacted by punching a hole through Kahn’s chest.
Raiden’s Temple
The paintings depict the Great Kung Lao standing over a beaten Shang Tsung. Kung Lao is probably the victim of the painting of Goro tearing a poor guy in half. Other images show Bi-Han murdering Hanzo and the rule of Shao Kahn, the true villain in the Outworld invasion.
One painting shows Argus and Delia, protectors of the realm Edenia, watching over the prone body of a bearded man with some kind of war going on in a cloud above. This man appears to be one of their sons, either Taven or Daegon. Both were put in a slumber as part of a prophecy/contest to stop Armageddon, an event where so many Mortal Kombat characters were at war that it threatened to destroy reality itself.
There’s a fan on display belonging to Kitana. Kitana is Shao Kahn’s adopted daughter and brainwashed assassin. She tends to betray Outworld and align herself with Liu Kang. Strangely, while she isn’t in this movie, her clone Mileena is.
Shang Tsung and Outworld
While Reptile has been around since the first Mortal Kombat game, the design used for the movie is based on Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Like in the game, Reptile’s abilities include invisibility, an extended tongue, and acid saliva.
In the games, Nitara first appeared in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. She’s depicted as a loner and manipulator who wants to bring back her lost vampire realm. A very random choice to be sure, but she also had a cameo in Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, so somebody out there really digs her.
General Reiko was first introduced in Mortal Kombat 4 as one of Shinnok’s henchmen. He was given an extremely vague ending that had him running into a portal to parts unknown, but certain home ports expanded on it to show him putting on Shao Kahn’s mask, suggesting they were the same person. This was later handwaved away as Reiko just really liking Kahn’s mask and wanting power for himself.
cnx.cmd.push(function() { cnx({ playerId: "106e33c0-3911-473c-b599-b1426db57530", }).render("0270c398a82f44f49c23c16122516796"); });
When Reiko was brought back in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he was given the giant warhammer as his weapon stance.
When killing Kung Lao, Shang Tsung tells him, “Your soul is mine!” That hammy quote was Shang Tsung’s go-to threat in the first movie. Also, eating souls is Tsung’s go-to Fatality in just about any game.
Goro threatens to tear out Cole’s spine. While that is more of Sub-Zero’s thing, it’s also the iconic Fatality that Mortal Kombat is remembered for. Fellow Shokan warrior Sheeva also has a spine-ripping Fatality in Mortal Kombat 11.
Johnny Cage
The movie ends with a teaser for Johnny Cage, who will presumably appear in the sequel if that project happens. In the final shot of the movie, we see a cropped image of a movie poster for Citizen Cage, one of Johnny’s many established movies from the game’s lore. The poster shows him wearing his large “CAGE” belt buckle, which was introduced in Mortal Kombat 9. That makes it all the more likely that he’ll have “JOHNNY” tattooed across his chest.
There’s another movie poster to the side that we can’t see too much of other than it having “Fist” in the title. Going on the games, this could be The Gist of My Fist or Dragon Fist.
Let us know in the comments if we missed anything!
The post Mortal Kombat Easter Eggs and Reference Guide appeared first on Den of Geek.
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yandere-lovebites · 25 days ago
Could you write a yandere Joseph where the reader is also a yandere for him?
That I can do! This is my first time writing yan! Reader so I may be a bit bad at it ;-; Also Joseph is a himbo boi so he’s a bit oblivious
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Yandere! Joseph Joestar x Yandere! Reader
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Cw: afab reader, yandere! Reader, yandere, stalking, major character death (not a spoiler), jealousy, possessiveness, delusional behaviours, graphic violence, kinda messed up fluff
Joseph Joestar was seething in rage, watching his beloved little crush (y/n) be hit on by the blonde casanova Caesar was almost too much for the man. Although (y/n) seemed rather disinterested with the Italian male, what mattered was that he had the gal to try and flirt with his girl. Oh he’d pay, it would only be a matter of when.
Before Joseph could go and bite his head off however, (y/n) was already leaving Caesar behind, scoffing at his flirtatious antics and walking away. Joseph watched her leave, feeling a bit sad that he wasn’t in her presence anymore but feeling ecstatic that she was away from Caesar.
He walked towards Caesar, pointing at laughing at his failure like a child, bouncing up and down. “Hahahahaha! Nice going Romeo!” He laughed, his antics making the blonde male roll his eyes in annoyance. “Don’t you have someone else to bother Jojo..?” He asked dismissively, placing his hand onto his cheek in deep thought. “Nope! Right now the only one I’m bothering is you Caesarino!” He said cheekily, poking the blonde males side with his pointer, prompting Caesar to swat him away with his slender hand.
Joseph had a hearty laugh before walking away, feeling like he had given Caesar a sufficient punishment for trying to take what was his. Now the British male was off to the kitchen to look for an apple and peeler, wanting to annoy Caesar more with a sound that he hated.
Joseph hummed show tunes to himself as he entered the kitchen, rummaging through the fridge looking for an apple. For some reason, Joseph felt like he was being watched, but he shrugged it off as just paranoia and a silly fear. Joseph groaned upon not finding any apples, so he had to give up on his annoying plan.
He shut the refrigerator before he began to pace around the kitchen in thought, wondering how he could annoy Caesar, but soon enough his thoughts wandered to (y/n), he cute smile, her sexy body, the way she called him ‘jojo’, it all made him smile. He began to recount how annoyed she seemed with Caesar’s flirting, he knew it! They were definitely destined to be! As he was pacing he noticed something was amiss: on the knife rack the largest knife was missing from its spot. Before Joseph could investigate it however: he heard a bloodcurdling scream, it sounded like a girls voice screaming.
Now thuroghly shaken up by tbis he bolted out of the kitchen, running towards the sound of a girls slowly weakening cries, was it another vampire? Or perhaps an assassin here to get rid of Coach Lisa? Joseph’s imagination was running wild, until he saw a sight he could only describe as romantic
(y/n) was atop poor Suzie Q, a large butcher knife in hand as she stabbed down at the blonde female, each thrust of the blade erupting a increasingly labored scream from Suzie, (y/n)’s eyes were filled with rage as she continued to stab her until Suzies struggles ceased, indicating her death. (y/n) continued to stab downward, filling the girls corpse with a few more stab wounds before she stood up, her clothes crimson with coppery blood.
(y/n) let out a few labored breaths before standing up, her head handing before she brought it up, only to see Joseph standing before her, having witnessed the whole thing. (y/n) gasped, tears pricking up in her eyes as she backed up, trying to explain herself. “J-j-jojo! It’s not what it looks like I-“ before she could plead her case any further however, the British male was already approaching her, his expression unreadable. She was petrified as he approached her, expecting him to attack her, or proclaim his hatred for her, oh god... (y/n) wouldn’t be able to live if he hated her...
Before (y/n) could lie even more about the brutal murder, Joseph hugged her, not caring if the blood stained his tight clothes. “It’s ok... you don’t have to explain...” Joseph told her soothingly, completely ignoring the corpse of the poor girl mere inches from his feet. (y/n) softened into his embrace, beginning to cry as she explained herself truthfully. “Jojo she...she was trying to take you away from me...” she confessed, hugging him back with a newfound possessiveness. “B-but you’re mine...right..?” (y/n) asked, her voice desperate for reassurance.
Joseph chuckled, placing a kiss on her head before saying: “yeah baby I’m yours, and you’re mine..” he told her, his possesive words making (y/n) smile wide with a blush on her face. Joseph tightened his grip, holding her close in a loving hug. Joseph pulled back, gripping her face in his hands as he said: “Maybe I should get rid of that pesky Caesar to make him pay for trying to take you from me” Joseph proposed, his naturally playful voice making it impossible to tell if his was joking or serious.
“I’d like that~” (y/n) giggled before the two shared a kiss, not even bothering with the corpse at there feet.
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Episode 30: Beat me up, Meg
Music kicks off with Phoebe Bridgers x Maggie Rogers "Iris" collab (12:00).
Made in Lagos x WizKid was a smooth album (15:00).
A little chat on the Pluto x Baby Pluto project by Future and Lil Uzi Vert (18:10).
Good News x Meg Thee Stallion (22:13).
Home for the Holidays x Love Renaissance (31:05).
The Recession 2 x Young Jeezy (36:00).
Anime chat kicks off here (37:30).
Quan leads the chat on "Brand New Animal" (40:00).
Rambling on our all-time anime favorites (44:30).
Kezo wraps up his thoughts on Assassination Classroom[some spoilers] (54:20).
Blade of the Immortal introduced (1:02:40)!
A chat on the Eyeshield 21! Manga (1:09:45).
Gaming chat starts here with Apex Legends, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Rocket Leauge (1:14:00).
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dreeamcatcher · a month ago
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ACOTAR- CC- TOG
This is my attempt to compare and relate the characters of ToG, Acotar and CC. There are obviously spoilers for all series
Yrene - Hypaxia: The two healer queens. I think that's very obvious. Yrene and Hypaxia are both healers. Hypaxia is literally a queen and Yrene is one at heart. Both are incredibly strong women and especially with Hypaxia, I'm excited to see where her journey will take her.
Azriel - Elide: I would love to see these two interact, so whoever would write a FanFiciton on this, I would be very grateful. I also find this very obvious. Both have been physically and mentally abused by a family member and both think they are not good enough. (Elide really thought she could do Aelin's laundry...). I think they could both relate to each other's trauma in a way that few other characters could.
Gwyn - Fenrys:  First of all, Fenrys deserves all the happiness and love in the world. He is such an underrated character. Secondly, Gwyn and Fenrys are almost 1:1 the same character. I also considered comparing Fenrys to Rhysand, but I got someone else for Rhysand. To begin with, the most obvious: Fenrys and Gwyn have both lost a twin. Both had to watch the twin die. Both were sexually abused. Both were so introverted after the death that they did not speak. (In Fenrys case, it was partly because of what he had to watch happen). Gwyn and Fenrys both have incredibly big hearts and are there for their friends when they are not well. They overcome one of their biggest fears for their friends and push their own problems aside. Not to mention, I love them both to death and so wish we read a lot more about both of them.
Lysandra - Rhysand: I don't know if that would surprise anyone but I see great parallels in both characters. Lysandra and Rhysand were both sexually abused and in both cases it was assumed that they did it willingly. Both seemed like the "bad guy" at the beginning. Lysandra was portrayed as Celeana's biggest rival in "the Assassins Blade" and it's not until part 4 that you get to know her better and start to love her. It was similar with Rhysand. He was introduced as the villain in Acotar. He was supposed to be the one to be afraid of. It's only later that we really get to know him and learn that there's more behind his facade.Both hide behind a facade. Lysandra and also Rhysand are called whores at the beginning. They hide their true intentions to protect those they love and care about. They both have to hide their true abilities (flying, shape-shifting) for a very long time. They have lost and given up so much in their lives. 
Amren - Manon - Fury: What else can I say about the three of them? All three are deadly, dangerous and unapproachable. They act as if they hate everything and everyone, but actually they have a big heart. They don't often show feelings and when they do, it's usually only for a specific person (or wyvern). I love Manon and Fury (Amren has never been my cup of tea, I'm sorry).
Hunt - Cassian: The two are so similar somewhere. Hunt and Cassian have both been trained to kill and lead armies. They are basically known everywhere for being deadly. At the same time, they both lost their mothers and experienced exclusion as children. Cassian in particular isn't always taken very seriously in the fandom, which I think is a shame because there's a lot more to him than just being the funny guy. Cassian and Hunt are so normal at the same time, which I really liked as a reader. They can admit mistakes, make jokes and protect. They also respect and accept their partner's space and understand the trauma that Nesta and Bryce have been through. Both of them give them the strength, time and support they need. 
Lorcan - Nesta:  I am a huge Nesta fan but find Lorcan only so mediocre. Still, I think both are more similar than many believe. Both have the power of death. Nesta is literally called the Goddess of Death. Nesta's behavior also reminds me a lot of Lorcan. For most, she seems quite aloof, bad-tempered and cold. Lorcan as well. Lorcan made a big mistake and apologized to Aelin and the others for it, just as Nesta did. Both have their partner for whom they would do anything. (Lorcan has hung his lifespan on Elide's and Nesta has altered her body so she can have Illyrian babies someday). In addition, both feel a strong bond with their closest friends (although Lorcan would never admit it, it is often clear that Rowan is very important to him as a friend).
Now these are just rough thoughts that came to me last night. I hope they make sense somehow.
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rosereview · a month ago
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Top 9 Favourite MaasVerse Couples
I did a favourites list of couples in the Shadowhunter universe last year that was really fun so I thought I would do one with all of the couples from Sarah J. Maas’ universe, especially after reading A Court of Silver Flames (review coming soon). Because of all that and given that Sarah J. Maas never fails to be sneaky with which guy the main character ends up with in the end, this favourites list will be full of spoilers. So like before, the top couples all are couples that for sure end up together, while the honorable mentions are couples that I like or ones that I think would be good together or who I want to be together. 
Honorable Mentions
To start off we have character couples that I love but don’t know enough about to be super invested.
Amren & Varian- from ACOTAR. I just think that they are so cute and I love Amren and I’m so happy that she has someone who is there for her. I also think Varian is an interesting character who is the perfect balance for Amren’s intensity, also at all the family gatherings with Varian there, he just feels like the typical come-home-for-christmas-with-a-guy boyfriend who the family gets to know, but also plays around with because he’s new (don’t know if that makes sense, but if you’ve ever had a sibling or cousin bring a partner home for the holidays to a joking-around type family then you’ll get it).
Kallias & Viviane- from ACOTAR. Also don’t know a lot about them, but for the few interactions we see of them, I think they are super cute! The other courts always intrigued me, but especially the Winter Court because I love snow and I also love how close Kallias, Viviane, Rhysand, and Morrigan are (especially Viviane and Mor). I just think it’s so nice that they have other friends in other courts, and again they just seem sweet. 
Juniper Andromeda & Fury Axtar- from Crescent City. We only find out that they are a couple near the end, but from the few times we see them together, I think Juniper and Fury are adorable. Fury is just that super badass bitch that I love to see vulnerable in a couple. I just like seeing that badass girls can still have a very raw and human side, especially when they are with their significant other. Also Juniper was always a favourite minor character throughout the book because she’s such a good friend to Bryce. I can’t wait to see more of them as a couple in the next books!
Next I have people who I want to end up together:
Ruhn Danaan & Hypaxia Enador- from Crescent City. I thought Ruhn and the mediwitch had a great amount of chemistry, and when it was revealed that she was actually the young Queen Hypoxia of the witches, I was so excited! I feel like her and Ruhn will end up together, and because I love Ruhn and just want to see him happy, I think that the two of them as a couple would be great!
Morrigan & Emerie- from ACOTAR (more specifically ACOSF). When Emerie saw Mor in the latest book, I giggled so hard! I think the two of them would be adorable and it’s high time that Mor got a new love interest who will make her happy. (I also really want Emerie to be happy now that I’ve gotten to know her more as a character, and I do think the two of them would work really well together!)
Elain & Lucien // Azriel & Gwyneth- from ACOTAR. This next one I won’t talk a lot about because I’m saving it for the review for ACOSF, but just so you know what side of the debate I’m on, I really do think Lucien and Elain would be good together if Elain gave him a chance, and now since reading the special edition short story about Azriel at the end of ACOSF, I ship Azriel and Gwyn together. (Although I’ll honestly be happy with whoever ends up together as long as all the characters are happy!)
Nyx & Unborn Child of Rowaelin- from ACOTAR and Throne of Glass. I saw this post one day of someone shipping Nyx (Rhys and Feyre’s son), and the unborn daughter of Rowan and Aelin, I fangirled so hard! No matter if Rowan and Aelin have a girl or boy first, I already ship them so hard with Nyx. We already know that Nyx would have been born during the time of the war at the end of Kingdom of Ash (because Aelin fell through the worlds and saw pregnant Feyre and Rhys standing during Winter Solstice) so if Aelin and Rowan had a child not long after, they would be close to the same age, and because of that moving between worlds moment, we know that’s it’s possible for the two kids to meet one day. (Also I have a theory that what happens in the Crescent City books will tie into the possibility of world jumping because it’s already talked about in there how most species in Crescent City came from different worlds, so yay!) I know that this is all just wishful thinking, but I think that would be the cutest thing Nyx being together with Rowaelin’s child! Let me believe what I want to.
9. Nesryn Faliq & Sartaq
This list was so hard to make and I’m sad that these two are so low on it, but I just couldn’t get them any higher! At any rate, I loved these two during Tower of Dawn and when they ended up together I was ecstatic! First of all, I think Sartaq would be an amazing Khagan of the Southern Continent and he’s honestly the only real good one of his siblings. Him and Nesryn leading the Southern Continent will be amazing and I love the way that they bonded over riding the ruks. I do wish that we got to see them even more, but considering all of the characters and storylines, I was still satisfied with the development of their relationship and themselves as characters (just want more content with anything from the Throne of Glass series because I know it’s over and that makes me sad!)
8. Dorian Havilliard & Manon Blackbeak
Next is another couple that I love so much but had to put lower on the list because there are just too many great couples in the Sarah J. Maas universe! I never thought that Dorian and Aelin (or Celaena at the time) would be good together, but was absolutely heartbroken when Sorsha died. BUT that death did lead to so much sexual tensions between Dorian and Manon that it was all worth it! I love these two because, again, it is so nice to see a badass female character also have a loving side, but also seems pretty “dominant” (for a lack of better word) in the relationship. I think Manon and Dorian are so great together, and their banter and cute nicknames (Princeling and Witchling) just gave me life! Even though the end of Kingdom of Ash left me completely shattered, I was very happy that Dorian and Manon still had each other, and I think the two of them will be great monarchs in their separate kingdoms, but also together.
7. Elide Lochan & Lorcan Salvaterre
Another amazing couple from the Throne of Glass series! Even though Lorcan was kind of an asshole when you first met him, when he and Elide had their whole adventure together, I fell in love with the two (especially Lorcan). I love a good “bad” boy “good” girl trope, and Lorcan and Elide were definitely that perfect fit. The way that Lorcan cared so much for Elide while they had to travel together was really cute, and I was so happy to see how Lorcan softened up and Elide became strong as well. It was nice that they still weren’t the typical weak girl, always rescued by the strong Fae. Lorcan and Elide made each other show the world their other sides as well. 
6. Nesta Archeron & Cassian
This couple I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about but most of that will be in my ACOFS review coming soon, but for now I will just say that I LOVE them! We always knew that Nesta and Cassian were probably going to end up together, but still their journey as individuals and a couple was so fantastic to read. The way that the two of them helped each other out in terms of mental health while still being the individually strong characters was so good to see. Their sexual tension was great to read, and I loved the way that their whole story arc developed through the book.
5. Chaol Westfall & Yrene Towers
Again, I loved these two so much probably because they had their own book practically dedicated to them. I loved Chaol in the first two books from the Throne of Glass series, but like most people, I lost that love as the series went on. Going into Tower of Dawn I was really worried that I wasn’t going to like it because of Chaol being the central character, but like always, Sarah J. Maas writes such good redemption and flawed character arcs that it was impossible not to love Chaol again, and the woman who brought the light back to him. Similarly, I really liked Yrene when we first met her in The Assassin’s Blade stories (The Assassin and the Healer), and I was so happy that we got to learn more about her in the whole Tower of Dawn book. The way that Chaol and Yrene went from hating each other to falling in love was done absolutely perfectly, and by Kingdom of Ash when we found out that Yrene was pregnant, I almost threw my book in happiness, I was so excited. This couple is well deserving of the number five spot!
4. Aedion Ashryver & Lysandra
Now we have another favourite couple from the Throne of Glass series (that series is just so big and full of characters, most of the people on this list are from there). I really loved the idea of Aedion and Lysandra from the beginning when we start to see Lysandra play a bigger role in the series. Again, it’s the banter between these two characters that gets me every time, and the way they make fun of each other while also flirting is just so great to read. I was a little worried about what was going to happen to their relationship in Kingdom of Ash, especially since everything was going so well in Empire of Storms and then ended so badly at the end, but knowing that they got married almost immediately after the war was exactly what I needed. Also I LOVED Aedion with Evangeline and all their interactions, which was also why I knew that Aedion had to end up with Lysandra. Every time a kid comes into the picture I feel like I ship that couple just a bit harder. The three of them make the most perfect family. 
3. Bryce Quinlan & Hunt Athalar
I know that technically we don’t know for sure if these two will be endgame, but if they aren’t I will sob and never forgive SJM! I love these two with all my heart and the only reason that they are in number three (and not higher!) is because we only have one book with them. I would not be surprised if they went up higher on my list after the next books come out. First of all, their sexual tension is fabulous. Second, I just adored how they both helped each other health through the book  and how they went through so much together emotionally. I feel like that made the strongest foundation for a relationship, and if that foundation breaks, I think I might just dig myself a hole and stay there. While both are strong characters separately, they are just so much better together! Every scene of them was like magic, and they were the whole reason I could stop reading HOEAB. I need the next books so badly, just because I need to see them together more!
2. Aelin Ashryver Galathynius & Rowan Whitethorn
Finally at the top two, and this decision was probably the hardest one I’ve ever had to make. I love both Rowaelin and Feysand so much, this was impossible to decide, but it came down to the fact that out of every SJM book, A Court of Mist and Fury is my favourite. That book is a f*cking masterpiece and the reason for that is because of Feysand. So Rowaelin is second. Aelin and Rowan are amazing characters individually, but like the reason for all of these favourite couples, the journey that they go on together and help each other through, is what makes them so special and so strong as a couple. Rowan helped Aelin in a way that Chaol or Dorian never could, and Aelin in turn helped Rowan through centuries of pain just because they understood each other so well. The best and strongest part of all these couples is that they became friends first, before going into a romantic relationship (except for Nessian a couple others, but you know what I mean). Being able to create a strong bond before anything physical is so important with these characters, especially helping them get through so much trauma, and ultimately seeing that growth on the page connects you so much more with them as a couple. Seeing these characters go through so much together was really what made me love them to this degree (which is a high degree) which is also why I’m having a hard time believing that their stories are done. I will always need more Rowaelin content. 
1. Feyre Archeron & Rhysand
And now we’re at the top. Like I just said, this was a hard decision, but it also feels so right. Feyre and Rhysand had an amazing development as a couple through the books, and A Court of Mist and Fury is definitely my favourite SJM book precisely because we see their relationship develop. I am beyond happy that we aren’t at the end of the ACOTAR world and we get to see more Feysand in the years and books to come, because I am not ready at all to say goodbye yet. Just thinking of Feyre and Rhys’ lives now (especially with Nyx) brings a smile to my face, and I think that it's amazing how an author and a book can do that. Both Feyre and Rhysand’s characters are so strong and their journeys were so heart wrenching to follow but so worth it at the same time. There is really nothing bad I can say about this couple, besides the fact that I want to thank Sarah J. Maas for writing such great characters, and I can’t wait to see more to come!
Thanks to anyone who read to the end. I know it was a long ramble again. Stay tuned for my ACOSF review coming soon as well.
Until next time!
~Rose Reviews
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wolfie-bee · a month ago
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kinda based on the 6x01 spoiler where kara sacrifices herself. thought I'd take a whack at it.
Despite the many assassination attempts, Lena had heard Lex declare that he loved her countless times before. His actions, of course, didn't align with his words, or his ability to feel the full range of human emotion. There was always a disconnect between the emotions he tried to convey and the depth of malice burning brightly in his dark eyes. He was unhinged, madness consuming him from the inside, a sharpened blade honed with deathly accuracy against the Supers.
Lena knew better than to confront him without a concrete plan. She knew better than to try to take him down on her own. But she also couldn't stand idly by waiting until the next crisis struck. The Superfriends would never have agreed to her reckless plan. And Kara, well, things between her and Kara were still strained.
In the wake of thwarting Leviathan's plan to enslave the world using the obsidian platform, National City had seen an uptick in crimes. Lena knew that Lex was responsible for most of it, especially since it kept Kara and the gang in constant superhero mode, putting out fires all over the city. 
Lena hadn't had much time to interact with Kara since they'd forged a sort of truce. It also didn't help that every single time Lena watched her fly out of the large windows of The Tower, she had to coach herself to breathe. It was much harder now, watching Kara run headfirst into battle. Supergirl was no longer an impersonal hero out saving the day. She was Kara. Lena's Kara.
In the days following the reveal of Kara’s true identity and subsequent betrayal of her trust, it was easier to use the anger welling up within her chest to bypass the work of fusing Kara's two personas together. It was even easier to blame Supergirl for everything instead of sifting through her memories, both happy and painful, in order to sort through her complex feelings on the matter. 
It still stung that Kara didn't tell her but now with understanding, of her brother's betrayal, of Kara's reasonings for doing what she did...Lena's rage had dwindled to a quiet hum, leaving a desperate yearning for her former best friend in its wake. A yearning that she studiously tried to avoid thinking about. This is what had hardened Lena's resolve to personally take down her brother. Lex needed to be dealt with and if Lena could speed up the process in any way, she was going to do it. 
Lena still liked to think that she could outsmart him. She’d been there to see the changes within her brother shift from the warm shades of childish emotion to every dark murky color in between. The hatred he harbored for the Supers had burned away any semblance of the loving brother he once was to her. And yet, a part of Lena had childishly believed that Lex held just a modicum of affection for her. There was a line he never crossed – he had never once physically harmed her himself. Which isn't saying much since he used his underlings to do just about everything else. 
Lex used his words to hurt her, the falsehood of his honied affectionate tone shifting to a sharp grating noise that held a devastating microscope over her shortcomings. Which is why, she supposes, it should not have come as a bit of a shock when she confronted him in her former office at L-Corp (now Luthor Corp once more) and found herself staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. 
He claimed to know about her tentative reconciliation with Supergirl a week before and her subsequent integration into the Superfriends. It was grating on her nerves just how 'all knowing' he claimed to be, and Lena had bulldozed right over his mighty claims with a bold faced lie.
"I'm here because, against my better judgement," she works her jaw, staring directly into his eyes. "I still want my revenge against Supergirl."
"Do you really?" He asks, a sardonic twist to his lips. Lena tenses as he moves the gun to his side, slinking around her like a predator stalking its prey. "Because the last thing I seem to recall is you calling me a monster for wanting the same thing."
"You are a monster." Lena says coolly, mollified by the brief flash of anger in his eyes. "and you lack the subtlety needed to execute such a delicate plan."
"Do you expect me to believe that it only took a week of playing happy family for you to decide to come crawling back to the winning side?" Lex laughs, the sound grating on Lena's ears. "You're too soft." Lex continues, "too idealistic." He adds with a gentle shake of his head, the malicious glint in his eyes telling of the destruction he was about to lay at her feet. "Too in love with your Kryptonian pest to do what is necessary."
The statement effectively blindsides her, ripping the floor from beneath her feet and sending her spiraling in emotional chaos. The weight of his words settle over her like a veil of truth, revealing the very thing Lena had yet to admit even to herself. There's no evidence of a rebuttal on her lips and her brother's eyes gleam, an unforgiving shade of dark brown and Lena's reminded of the words he'd said to her the last time they were in this room together. 
I keep you around because you’re useful to me, he’d told her as she’d sat, drugged beyond her senses and strapped to a chair, basking in the rays of a sun he'd managed to turn red. Lena shudders at the memory, blinking away the scene to refocus on the problem at hand.
The forgotten phone clutched tightly in her left hand buzzes twice and she briefly glances at it to see Kara's name. That nervous panicked feeling pressing down against her chest abates just a little at the part of the message she views, like a lifeline tossed at a drowning person.
hey..did u leave to get food? Because Alex bought potstickers and --
It had been a long time since they'd texted each other. This text was the first virtual interaction they'd had since they'd ended their friendship. And yet Kara was casually talking about food. Lena fights the smile threatening to curl at the corner of her lips, at least some things never changed.
"There's that nauseating look of love on your face." Lex smirks, drawing Lena's gaze back to him. And just like that, Lena's emotions shutter away, leaving behind a telling silence.
Lex raises an eyebrow, a perfect imitation of Lillian. "Don't tell me that you didn't know."
"I –" it's the only word that escapes her, the revelation like an obtrusive light cast over her friendship with Kara, the nuances of it once again revealed to her by a sociopath. She pockets the phone as it stops vibrating, hiding it away from Lex's probing eyes as if somehow it could diminish the truth in his words.
There's cloying satisfaction in his beady eyes when Lena's phone starts up again, this time ringing with abandon and breaking the stony silence that had settled over them. He smiles, an emotion that always looked like mimicry on his face as he glances down at the pocket where her hand was still wrapped tightly around the phone. But she doesn't answer it.
"As a matter of fact, that should be her right now." He declares matter of factly, taking a step towards her that Lena mimics with a step back.
"You see this gun?" He asks, pointing it lazily in her general direction. The barrel glints a sick neon green and Lena automatically knows what its filled with. "It's a condensed particle containment unit that can release a devastating shockwave capable of taking down a Kryptonian." Lex smiles and Lena's jaw tightens, a reaction he of course notices. "Now, I haven't tested it yet, of course, but I have reason to believe that your girlfriend will come running the minute you're in danger."
Dread pools like liquid poison in her veins as she realizes yet again that she's blatantly walked into one of Lex's traps. Her thoughts were on a loop, desperately wishing she'd thought this through before boldly coming here. He was going to kill Kara...he was going to- her chest tightens and the inevitable burn of angry tears glaze her eyes. 
"Oh Lena, Lena, Lena." Lex coos, a cool finger tracing the line of her jaw with the perfect amount of mimicked affection. The child in Lena, the one deathly afraid of disappointing her brother, shrinks a little before him. It takes all of her courage to tug her jaw away and take a step back, effectively trapping herself between the floor length bay windows of her former office and her brother. "I had such high hopes for you."
"We're going to stop you." Lena hisses, eyes burning holes into Lex's smug face. "I won't allow you to hurt Kara." She declares, the only truth of the moment escaping her in a breath. It was honestly so tiring having him one hundred steps ahead when they were barely even managing to keep up.
Lex sighs, tutting gently at what he explains to her was a reaction he was counting on and once more raises the gun towards Lena.
"I really am sorry, sis." He says with a nonchalant shrug before a powerful blast of compressed kryptonite air hits her squarely in the chest. The force of the impact pushes the air from her lungs, shattering the glass windows behind Lena and launching her out of the building.
-----
Shards of glass rain down upon her, slicing into her cheek and biting into her skin as she shields her face with her hands. The impact of the explosion briefly deafens her, makes it almost impossible to suck in any of the air readily available. The seconds float by as if they're lengthy minutes, body suspended in a feeling of weightlessness as it accelerates with the force of gravity. 
The last thing she feels is the comforting press of a warm familiar body against hers before another explosion of kryptonite from above rocks the air around them and sends them hurtling like a projectile towards the ground below.
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archesa · a month ago
Oooo! Some words for your current WIP: fur, blue, kiss, sword, gods, and dress.
Ooooh! Okay so this one’s gonna be fun! HUGE SPOILER ALERT for chapter 85 (and forth) of The Dragon and the Bear
Fur :  The grids screeched deafeningly, iron bending and tearing from the stone as the hinges gave way to the gigantic mass of muscle and fur throwing its weight against the bars. The assassin froze, eyes wide with terror as the beast straightened in a mist of ground stone and dust, ice-blue eyes fixed on its prey and a predatory growl on its lips...
Blue :  She curled next to him, the warmth of his skin against her and slow rise and fall of his chest enough to lull her through any hardship to sleep. A freezing wave of horror crashed on her when she found his skin damp and feverish, and his breathing a struggle that soon came to a deathly end. Fire errupted at her fingertips, lighting the two chadeliers on each side of the bed, casting a dim, and almost unwanted light on the jarl. His skin was deathly pale, beading with cold sweat, and the veins along his neck stading an alarming dark blue against his white skin.
Kiss (Nothing in chapter 85 for this one, but the next one is a good one ^^) : “You may kiss the bride.”
Sword :  She froze as the blade dug dangerously in his skin, drawing droplets of ruby running along the razor-sharp edge as tears of terror escaped the child's closed lids “Drop your weapon.”, the Redguard seethed angrily. "Now." His grip tightened as the young woman took a hesitant step forward, her sword still in hand, but lowered in surrender.
Gods : Curling her fists into a ball, she aimed a plummeting blow at the jarl's chest. The blessed sound of a cough, weezing and wet, but - by the grace of the gods - followed by a breath shook the jarl. Sharp and shallow, each breath burned painfully, his chest constricting as to fight against drowning, and the creep pattern of blackened veins progressing with each heartbeat.
Dress (once again not in chapter 85, but here’s the next one) : Eliana approached slowly, a sweet smile on her face and eyes locked with his. She was wearing an ivory dress, a crown of blue mountain flowers and dragon's tongue adorning her forehead and the small braids tied through the length of her copper hair flowing down her back.
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sixteenthshen · 2 months ago
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Episode 1 Notes/Meta
Contains minor spoilers up to Youtube's schedule and references to the novel
Since I don’t have any new episodes to watch until Friday, I decided to watch the drama all over again, very closely, to see if there’s anything new to discover.
Zhou Zishu's character: 
Drama immediately sets the backdrop/tells us why his character is kinder, more compassionate than in the novel. We don't know that drama!ZZS is kinder yet at this time, but we can see that he's schemey and sneaky
He wears a mask of indifference as the Window of Heaven's leader (sorry ZZH, I was wrong. I thought your acting was stiff during one scene, but now I know better). It's one of the many subtle faces of ZZS.
Wen Kexing's character:
He must be a highly-skilled martial artist based on how easily he kills two ghosts and that he can spot another skilled martial artist from a distance (beggar Zhou)
He's quite schemey. First, when he orders all his subordinates out to hunt for a man he just killed. Next, when he lets Gu Xiang go to check on the beggar, he's also subtly using her to test that unknown person's martial arts skills.
Why they're soulmates:
WKX understood immediately what "beggar" Zhou was doing (suntanning)
They're both well-matched schemey bastards
Behind the cut, geographical details and some details about the supporting characters. This is a very text-heavy post FYI
In chronological order:
20 years ago, Rong Xuan was killed by the Five Lakes Alliance and the gathered heroes.
Prince Jin is based far away in the North (Hedong 河东), where he holds power. It implies most of the story later takes place closer to the south of China.
Prince Jin ordered the Window of Heaven (TC in short, for Tian Chuang) to assassinate the Military Governor of Zhenwu (Officer Li). The Zhenwu Army is located somewhere around Inner Mongolia today.
Prince Jin falsely claims the Military Governor is a traitor to the country and has him assassinated. Prince Jin harbours treasonous thoughts, and in turn, makes ZZS and TC traitors.
Officer Li recognized Zhou Zishu by sight (calls him Officer Zhou), which means that they must have met previously somehow. He is shocked to know that ZZS is the leader of TC, so TC must be a secret assassin/spy organization (like an ancient CIA)
Zhou Zishu gets a drop of blood on his sword and flicks it off – he does not like blood.
Princess Jing An knows ZZS and first calls him Zhou shixiong (her first instinct is to use a familiar address). She later changes it to Officer Zhou when she realizes what he did.
Princess Jing An quotes, "The flowers blossom in all four seasons, knowing everything in the world", which makes ZZS turn to look at her - he sees the hairpin that his shidi Qin Jiuxiao made for the one he loves. ZZS gets super sad.
This line of poetry refers to the Four Seasons Manor (ZZS's martial arts sect)
ZZS, during his time as a court official, intentionally has a blank mask, so his emo is seen only in his slightly teary eyes.  Removing this mask is also part of the freedom he seeks. Possibly symbolic that he feels freer living behind a physical mask than he does with his face.
Prince Jin ordered ZZS to personally nail the seven nails into Bi Chang Feng (Uncle Bi). It seems somewhat cruel of the Prince. ZZS walks with 2 of his commanders – Duan Pengju and Han Ying.
Uncle Bi calls ZZS Manor Lord (庄主)*. He says he cannot help but suspect the motives of Prince Jin. ZZS shows a slight reaction to this. He knows the motivations of Prince Jin by now. Not only is he a traitor himself, but he dragged all his 81 men down with him.
This is the root cause of ZZS's different personality traits in the drama and novel. I think his character in both the book and drama adaption is similar, but his additional compassion stems from being placed in different circumstances.
Novel!ZZS did terrible things for the right reasons. As a result, he won't feel as guilty and has less reason to be so compassionate.
Drama!ZZS followed the wrong master, and the awful things he did were for treasonous reasons. There's no justification for the lives he took. Because he did worse things, he's better able to "see the light" and understand things in life better. Therefore, kinder.
The motto of the Window of Heaven (as requested by Prince Jin):
The members are to carry out their missions without leaving a trace (shadow without traces)
Once a person enters TC, they're never to leave (entry without exit.)
To know everything and to be everywhere.
When the camera cuts to ZZS's two senior officers, Han Ying shuts his eyes sadly while Duan Pengju has a slight smile on his face 🤨🤨.
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Nails of Seven Torments (七窍三秋钉) – seven nails, each to be driven into the seven primary acupoints (for martial arts) in a person's body. After that, a person won't get to see more than three autumns. They would lose their martial arts ability entirely, and their five senses deteriorate over time, preventing the secrets of TC from being leaked. (see #2 of their motto)
ZZS does not like anyone who's not from his sect to call him Manor Lord, as it's a reminder of his failings. He doesn't think he has the right to be called that any longer since he ruined his sect.
Prince Jin calls ZZS by his name directly (Zishu); it implies a certain level of familiarity. However, ZZS hasn't been presented himself in front of Prince Jin in some time, suggesting he has already distanced himself from Prince Jin (and a certain level of disrespect)
From Duan Pengju, we learn that ZZS hadn't taken up his sword much in the past year due to a lingering injury; this time at the Military Governor's residence was the first time he wielded his sword in a while.
DPJ also uses this word again (又) in Chinese to describe ZZS aggravating his injuries again (that isn't in the YT subs), which implies that he has suffered other internal injuries before, not solely from QJX's death. DPJ is subtly suggesting to Prince Jin that ZZS is no longer very fit and not suitable for his role (shows us his ambition).
ZZS's current injury (that Uncle Bi refers to and why he coughed up blood in the snow) came about after Qin Jiuxiao's (shidi) death. He coughed up blood then and fainted.**
ZZS's residence is called Chongming Garden (重明苑), where he has a mural of 82 white flowers and the line of poetry about the Four Seasons Manor. He paints each flower red when one of his original sect members pass away. There's only one white flower left --- himself.  See this link for a more detailed translation.
ZZS scolds a vision of his shidi not to cry. ZZS's assertion that men shouldn't cry comes up several times later. His eyes only get teary after this scene, and not a single tear falls again (still canon for now).
ZZS has an official court position. He's an Imperial Guard with some seniority, and it's likely why the Military Governor calls him Officer Li. (A governor would not call a low ranked Imperial Guard “Officer” 大人 daren)
ZZS has several battle wounds from a blade, but the ones on his back (shoulder blades) look messy. Not sure what they are yet, but I think it could become relevant later.
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Prince Jin appears unstable when he talks about everyone leaving him. Yunxing and Beiyuan are both characters from Lord Seventh. Beiyuan is the titular character of that novel. When Prince Jin said, "Beiyuan is gone too", ZZS displays a minute reaction because he knows Beiyuan isn't actually dead.
Prince Jin says ZZS is ruthless, but he's even more so to himself (recurring description).
Here, we see that ZZS knows of DPJ's ambition to take over his job when he says they both get their wishes today. DPJ becomes the new TC leader.
Prince Jin lets ZZS go. As he watches ZZS leave, he recites two lines from a poem, which title roughly translates to "on one's deathbed/imminent death".***
“涓涓江汉流,天窗通冥室。谗邪害公正,浮云翳白日。” Small streams can become large rivers; even a window as small as a skylight can brighten a dark room. Rumours and evil can harm the public good; clouds can block the bright light of the sun.
There's some foreshadowing here. Prince Jin sees ZZS leaving as a threat. It could be that one person leaving TC "standing" may lead to an exodus or that ZZS knows too much to be left alive outside for long. Prince Jin sees himself as the righteous and the sun here. He follows the recital by saying he's only letting ZZS go for now.
ZZS's beggar styling is supposed to juxtapose his strict and neat dress as the leader of TC, including his hair and overall CBAssed-ness of how his clothes hang.
Hanged ghost died super quick. We see an arm covered in a red sleeve strangle him to death. Red sleeve dude seems to be the head of the Ghost Valley (yaaaaa we know who you are)
WKX lies to the masses about the Hanged Ghost and tells them to set forth out of the Ghost Valley. We can see that all of them are scared of him. He has a scheme -- but we don’t know what it is yet.
WKX and ZZS meet (yay!!!) in Yue (modern-day Zhejiang, in the south), far away from Prince Jin. We should note that this is very far away from the North, where Prince Jin and TC hold power.
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ZZS would rather be a beggar than the Emperor. The freedom to live and do whatever he chooses is more important to him than riches or power.
WKX understood what ZZS was doing right away (while GX thinks he's a beggar). This is why they're soulmates!
Gu Xiang's cuteness comes off as a little forced here, but upon re-watching, I believe it's because she hasn't been out in the "human world" before. Her mannerisms are all learned from her life in the Ghost Valley. She's also about ten years younger than WKX, so she's supposed to be more energetic.
WKX allows GX to go down partly because he is curious about the beggar, who seems to be very skilled at martial arts. GX is quite a straightforward and innocent person. She's unaware that she's helping to test the beggar's skills for her master.
WKX notices the ZZS's martial arts and stands up right away. This scene is also more important than it seems to be at first. Later in episode 2, it's revealed that he recognized the beggar's particular martial arts as unique to the Four Seasons Manor sect. I think it's the first hint that beggar Zhou may be "Zhou Zishu". (We find out that WKX knows ZZS's real name in episode 6.)
ZZS intentionally hits himself to make himself seem like a poor injured beggar and GX a bully. It shows that ZZS is sneaky – and again, ruthless, even to himself.
* ZZS is not a real lord. He's the sect leader (Manor Lord comes about because his sect's name ends in Manor, and the address "my lord" comes from Manor Lord). ** This is a fictional type of injury, where people in Chinese historical dramas cough up blood when they suffer severe emotional shocks that cause some unexplained internal injury. *** 《临终诗》
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darling-archeron · 2 months ago
Text
Felled by You, Held by You - Feysand
AN: For the wonderful @highladysith: "I told you not to fall in love with me." They made this request quite a while ago, and I have no excuse for not finishing sooner, except that Feyre and Rhys absolutely did not want to talk to each other! I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, it’s a mob AU. No spoilers for ACOSF involved! 
Most of my organized crime knowledge is gathered from either true crime documentaries or Peaky Blinders, so don't judge me too harshly! I just finished the first season, and certain events in this are based off the show. Title from NFWMB by Hozier.
Summary:  Rhysand Nox is the Crime Lord of Prythian's most feared gang. Nothing can shake him - except Feyre Archeron.
------
Rhysand Nox was whistling, of all things, and he took the stairs two at a time. He was plenty anxious to get back to Feyre, who he had left standing by the bed with a small smile. That, and the promise that when he returned, she would be wearing a lovely red number that left certain areas exposed.
It still felt a little bit unreal, like a dream. His brothers had found love and folly in the recent years, but Rhysand had never wanted to try for it again. Better to never risk being hurt than suffer the consequences. He had his family to keep him busy, and that was enough.
But then she had turned up. The sharp-tongued barmaid had appeared on Windhaven’s doorstep, looking for a job at the pub.
At first, he had told her no. Said she wouldn’t last a week with all the characters that skulked around the pub. On top of that, she didn’t look like she had made a drink in her life. But she had persisted, and he had said yes.
In the past few months, she had become his personal secretary. And then – something more. Somehow, that sharp wit, that bright smile, had become something he looked forward to each day. Rhys didn’t even know how long it would last, if she would truly stay with him – but he wanted her to.
More than he had wanted anything or anyone. Even the title he had fought so hard to earn; Crime Lord of the Night Family.
Amren was right, love really had made him a fool.
Rhysand reached the top of the steps and swung the bedroom door open, the bottle of vodka in one hand. It nearly fell to the floor as he beheld the sight that awaited him.
The list of people who Rhysand expected to hold him at gunpoint was quite long. But he had never imagined Feyre Archeron would be on it.
She stood across the room, on the far side of the bed. Her hands didn’t tremble, finger resting squarely on the trigger with the gun aimed at his forehead. He couldn’t see her feet, but he knew she would be standing with perfect form. Just like he had taught her.
“So jittery that you’re pointing a gun at every man who walks through the door?” He quipped, grasping for a way to get ahold of the situation. “Did the break-in last month scare you that much? You know the bastards that did it are –”
“Quiet!” Feyre exclaimed. Her voice wasn’t the slightest bit shaky.
His hand instinctively crept for his gun before he realized that this was the one time – the one time he had gone anywhere without it. He had taken it off along with his suit jacket when he went downstairs for the liquor. Now it was sitting on the desk across the room, right next to his holster and a heavy-looking decorative vase. Next to Feyre. He had a single blade in a forearm sheath, but besides that, he was unarmed.
Rhys had, quite literally, brought a knife to a gunfight.
So he fell back on his wits to save him, raising an eyebrow. “Or what? You’ll shoot me? You told me you had never killed a man, Feyre. Is that true?” He ventured a step forward, leaning forward to set the bottle of vodka down on the dresser. Her aim tracked his movement.
She didn’t say a word.
“Was any of it true?” He asked again. “What the hell is going on?” The anger came out halfhearted; he was still shellshocked. But the pieces were beginning to weave together. Feyre had been an unnaturally quick study. Too quick. Eager to learn when he had offered to teach her to defend herself. This would likely not be her first kill.
Rhysand took another breath to steady himself. It wasn’t the fact that he was staring down the barrel of a gun, that somebody was threatening his life. It was practically a weekly occurrence for him. It was that the one with a finger on the trigger was Feyre.
“I told you not to fall in love with me,” Feyre whispered, and for the first time, she looked like she might cry. “I told you because I knew it would come to this, you idiot, that both of us would only get burned, and that in the end, we would still be right here.”
Somewhere, Rhysand’s heart was breaking, but right now the cold anger was rising up. “Was I supposed to take from that conversation that you were planning to assassinate me? Was fucking me just another way to get close to me? For the money, for influence?” He studied her – the strands of hair falling out of her tidy bun, the beads of sweat gathering on her forehead. The storm-grey eyes that held oceans within them. He couldn’t find the answers he sought within them.
She shook her head, still keeping the gun steady, and aimed at his forehead. “No – never. I thought then that I could somehow find a way out of it.“ She paused. “You truly believe I was using you?”
“I don’t fucking know what to think, Feyre! One minute we’re coming home from a prosperous day and I’m imagining all sorts of things with you, and the next, you have a gun to my head. I don’t think you’re in a position to be making any judgments about me right now.” There it was. That rage that could break and destroy enemies, barely leashed.
She sucked in a breath sharply. “That’s fair.” It sounded so small. As if those were the only words she could think of to encompass it. Then she added on, “I didn’t want it to happen like this. It would have been so much easier if we both had kept our distance.” As small as she sounded, there was steel in her eyes. Feyre had never been meek of subtle in the time he knew her, but now she was pure willpower. Whatever mask she had been wearing was gone. Her mind knew what she had to do, it was just a matter of convincing her body to pull the trigger.
Rhys would know.
He cut her off. “What you felt was real, then?” Was it as real for you as it was for me?
“Would it be easier if I said no?”
The tone of her voice said it all. She remembered the same things he did, had felt that magnetic spark between them. She remembered their first meeting, how she had walked with that stillness and grace. How he had found her staying late at the bar one night, cleaning up long after everyone else had gone home. How she had seen a shadow skulking by the window and saved both their lives.
How that same night had ended with them in the same bed, tangled together with no beginning and no end. Her hands, feather-light as they traced his tattoos. His hands in her hair, between her legs. Rhysand had always been a man of cold edges, steel and willpower. But with Feyre, he would always be gentle.
Yes, they both remembered it. She had whispered into his chest that she would only break his heart, that they couldn’t be together. At the time, Rhysand had thought she was prideful, knew she was too good for a bastard who washed his hands in blood. But he had been willing to take whatever she would offer. Men in love were desperate creatures.
He remembered how he had let her lay her head on his chest and pressed a kiss to her forehead. Their breathing evened out as his arms looped around her body, protecting her from the draft coming in through the window. And no nightmares plagued either of them that night.
It had been two weeks since then.
“If someone is threatening you, we can work our way out of it. Whatever you think of me, I do have the resources. Our coffers are plenty full.”
Once again, she didn’t say anything. Her brow only furrowed, as if grinding out a single word would be unbearable.
“If you’re going to kill me, you could at least bother giving me a straight answer before I die, Feyre.” He let a bit of that anger seep into his voice again. No matter who she was, she had betrayed him and his family. “Answer me this, then. Who are you working for?” He felt ridiculous, asking all the questions like a confused schoolboy.
“The Hybern Kings sent me. Told me to get a job at Windhaven, to get close to you. I believed the rumors, I thought you were a monster.” She whispered. He fought a flinch as she continued, “they have my family and there’s practically a noose around my neck. I didn’t want this, I’ll…admit that.”
Of course, it was the Kings. The only gang in Prythian that rivaled the Night Family. The same ones that had been robbing his businesses and getting in the way of his plans with the stock market. The only ones Rhys would give any real thought before crossing.
“Let me help you, Feyre.” He said softly. The anger was still there, but how could he judge her? He would do the same for his family. Hell, he had done worse for them. But he could find a way to help Feyre, save her from the same damnation that awaited him. If there was one thing he was known for, it was defying the odds.
Cauldron, he didn’t even know what family she had, who was being threatened. Everyone he let into his life went through such scrutiny that spies were practically impossible. He had done a bit of looking into Feyre, but clearly, not enough. When she was vague with her answers, he had assumed that it was linked back to the trauma he knew she was harboring. And he wasn’t enough of a bastard to pry into that.
“Feyre.” He said again. It was enough for her to finally lower the gun, ever so slightly. It was pointed at the right side of his ribcage now. Off-center enough that a bullet wound probably wouldn’t kill him. He took another step forward. He knew better than to condescend and insist that she put the gun down.
“Tell me what I can do.”
“Rhys, even Night won’t stand a chance against Hybern now. They’re joining with Springer. It’s been planned for months.”
“Then we strike now, rather than later. I have more dirt on them than you would believe.”
Her face remained impassive. “They will destroy my family, Rhys.” He could see in her eyes just how much the thought of it killed her.
“If you were going to kill me, I think you would have done it by now,” he mused. “You’ll be screwing over half the city by killing me – that’s what Hybern wants, isn’t it? The Seven will have so much infighting that they’ll be primed for the taking. Do you want that kind of blood on your hands?”
“It’s yours or my sisters.” She ground out. From here, he could see her grip on the gun tighten, knuckles turning white. Still aimed at his chest.
“Do you even know what I have on them? Just because you’re my private secretary doesn’t mean you’re privy to all of my information. You don’t have to choose.” He let that sepulchral, smooth tone into his voice. The kind of tone he had used to get a great number of people to do quite a few things.
Something flashed in her eyes. Feyre lowered the gun slowly as if it pained her to do it. Then she glanced to the side, to the neatly made bed. A quick motion and she had tossed the gun across the bed, far out of her reach. So she couldn’t change her mind.
In the span of a heartbeat, Rhys had pulled his knife free and stepped forward, only a few feet separating them now. The wall on one side, the bed on the other. He kept the knife steady, ready to use it if he had to.
Feyre eyed the blade. “Oh, so you’re going to kill me instead?” He was surprised she hadn’t tried to do any bargaining when she had him at gunpoint, tie him into a promise of honor.
Rhys snorted. “Just a precaution, Feyre darling. In case you decide to claw my eyes out anyway.”
She stepped forward, tears in her eyes threatening to spill over. She reached a hand up to cup his cheek, close enough that the long knife was only a breath away from puncturing into the soft skin of her stomach. Part of him cried out to lean into that touch, hold her and never let go. But instead, he backed away. If it stung her, she didn’t let it show.
He might be holding the weapon, but he wasn’t stupid enough to let the person who had held a gun to him that close.
She leaned back again and whispered, so softly he could barely hear it. “Leave the city, Rhys. Lay low for a while. Hybern won’t stop until they have your head.”
“And let Night be taken over in my absence?” He wouldn’t leave, and they both knew it.
“I offered you my help, and I intend to keep my promise. Explain the whole thing from the beginning.” Feyre looked pointedly at the knife. With a sigh, Rhys slid it back into the sheath along his forearm. His gun, still on the desk, was well within both of their reaches now. But neither one grabbed for it.
Finally, Feyre spoke. “Pour me some liquor first,” she insisted, jerking her chin toward the dresser where the vodka sat, all but forgotten.
“As the lady wishes.” Rhys did grab his gun off the desk now, slinging the holster back on over his shoulders and tucking the revolver into it. He strode over to the dresser, pouring her a knuckle into the glass sitting there.
The impossibility of the situation was still catching up to him, he couldn’t reconcile with the volatile storm of emotions in his chest.
Suddenly, he felt something hit his head with a thud, and the world went black.
----
Feyre dropped the heavy vase, just managing to catch Rhys as his eyes rolled back in his head, grunting under the weight. The blow had hit him square in the back of the head.
She heaved him so he was – mostly – on the bed. His legs still hung off at an awkward angle, but at least he hadn’t hit the floor.
Cauldron, when had she gone so soft?
You could still kill him. A voice whispered in the back of her head. Kill him, and be done with it. He had underestimated her this whole time – didn’t realize that her soft feet could sneak up on even him, Prythian’s most cunning Crime Lord. If you couldn’t hear you enemy coming, all the cleverness in the world wouldn’t save you. Hell, he had been stupid enough to turn his back in the first place. Anyone could have killed him. He was lucky that she had settled for knocking him out with the metal vase.
Was lucky that she couldn’t bear to see more blood on her hands.
She should really kill him. He had killed Clare, he was all that was standing between her and freedom.
She took her gun back again but didn’t bother pointing at him. The lump in her throat wouldn’t go down.
Who was she kidding?
She loved him.
Those hands that had killed Clare were the same hands she had held in her own. The same hands that had held her in her weakest moment.
Somehow, impossibly, she had been so wrong about him. Her whole plan had gone to hell because she couldn’t kill one man. And now it was an insurmountable mess. But she wouldn’t let herself fall apart now, wouldn’t let the tears fall.
But now she had to work fast - she had ten minutes, maximum, before he woke up.
Ten minutes to get out and get a head start to his office. To find his papers with the intel against Hybern.
Feyre’s eyes darted around the room. No rope, but the heavy navy curtains had thick ties that they could be pulled back with. Darting across the room, she ripped them off the curtains and made quick work of pushing Rhys onto his side. With her shaking hands, she tied his hands and feet into complex knots that would take him a few minutes to get out of. She was sure to take his knife as well, tucking it into her own belt.
When he woke up, he would be mad as hell. Who knew if he would forgive her – for trying to kill him, for knocking him out anyway. But it didn’t matter. She would get to his office, steal anything useful she could find. From there, she has until morning to get her sisters out of the city. If she was lucky, she might be able to leave as well, and never see him again. And leave the only home she had ever known.
Hybern would be sending more assassins to Rhysand, but this time he would be ready. And she couldn’t be looking back for him. Not when she had the Archerons to look out for.
She took one final look at Rhys, unconscious on the bed, knocked out cold. There was an uncommon look of peace on his face, though his raven hair was swept messily to one side.
Then, making sure her gun was secured in its holster, she opened the second-floor window. She sprang from it, graceful as a wraith, and landed on her feet. She always did.
From there, it was only a matter of moments before the night swallowed her up.
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AN: I might continue this with a few more vignette-style looks into Feyre and Rhysand's encounters. They never can seem to stay away from each other.
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