Aria: Thankful... and a Shadow

Aria smiled at Plantagonox, and spoke sweetly. "Thank you, Agonox... I'm glad that you'll help me..." She wanted to get out of bed and hug, but due to her condition, she refrained from doing so.

---

Elsewhere, leagues away... a man cloaked in black and white was surveying the landscape.

A goblin approached him, and spoke in a strained voice. "Lord Xeranad... what are your orders?"

Xeranad Lekard turned slightly, and said in a voice as cold as ice. "Continue your search... attack the caravans that you come across... I'm sure your warriors will find the artifact that I seek..."

The goblin nodded, and walked off. Another goblin, this one wearing a blood red cap, approached, but showed none of the reverence his fellow had shown. "YOU! I'm sick of attacking humans, with no intentions of enslaving them or killing them... you have reduced us to thieves and marauders! We are warriors!! Not a bunch of bandits that can be easily scared into doing as you say!!!"

Xeranad looked at the red cap with darkened eyes, his face hidden by a white mask with blood red markings. "Oh? Perhaps if you showed more backbone against the Knights Draconic from the night before, I would have outfitted your forces more effectively... but instead, you have merely reinforced my thoughts that you are an incompetent creatures that would run from their own shadows unless someone was there to scare them into fighting... now, be quiet. I wish to be alone."

The red cap growled. "You cannot order me around like some dim witted thug! You'd have to be an idiot to send us against a Knights Draconic without proper weapons, though they worked well against the girl dressed in rags and the silver sword... but that dragon decimated us!"

Xeranad looked down at him fully now. "A girl with a silver blade and dressed in rags? Why was I not informed of her presence in your debriefing?"

The red cap sneered. "She's just some peasant wench... probably a thief, since no peasant family would own such a marvelous sword... it's a shame we didn't steal it... Anyway, I'm sure she's dying a slow and painful death right now-"

He never finished the sentence. Xeranad, fully angered now, cut the red cap in two with his blood red claymore sword, and without even showing any signs of remorse, crushed the goblin commander's head until it was as flat as a pancake. The other goblins watched in horror, and jumped a step backward when Xeranad looked up at them.

"That girl is more important than you know... if she's dead... you will all pay the price for it. Understand?"

The End

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