She opened her eyes to see Gabriels right before her. He lay beside her fully clothed in his white shirt, black pants, boots, cloak, watching her. "How do you feel?"
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"A little heavy."
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He nodded slowly in understanding. "Why don't you take a bath and have some breakfast?" She nodded. "Zarathustra."
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Zarathustra entered the room. "How are you faring Miss Sophie?"
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"Sorry for the commotion. It was a bad dream." Zarathustra met Gabriels' gaze, then looked back at Sophie and nodded.
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"Can you have the maids set up a bath and prepare a meal?"
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Zarathustra nodded again. "Right away Sir." And he promptly left.
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"Sorry." Sophie whispered.
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"You don't have to be. We all remember bad things in our past from time to time. Some more horrifying than others." She pursed her lips. After the maids set up the tub, Gabriels left and Sophie was alone with her sorrow. She took her time bathing in the hot, soapy water, coming out refreshed but solemn as her thoughts kept returning to her friend. She ate something though she had no appetite, and finally unsheathed Unholy Might, watching the blade glimmer in the firelight. She took breath after calming breath, then slowly went through some fighting paces, imagining Olaf there beside her, remembering him teaching her, feeling him do the paces with her. He was her swordmaster and he'd live on in her swordmanship. Her heart calmed, leveling. Taking a breath, she opened her eyes. There was a knock on her door and she went to it.
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"Miss Sophie." She hesitated. That was that blond man from the courtyard....Cecilio's voice.
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She didn't want to see him. Especially right now. But she opened the door anyway. "Cecilio." She welcomed, though her tone was bland and her face blank.
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He was smiling nervously. "Can I have a minute?"
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"Sorry, but I am busy."
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"Ah, I heard you weren't feeling well and wondered if a walk would do you good."
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"Not right now."
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"Really?" There was swift movement and Sophie stumbled backward, pain slicing her neck and warm liquid soaking her shoulder.
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Eyes wide, her hand drifting upward. "Wha-" She was growing breathless as she looked at the hand she had grasped her neck with. Red.
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Cecilio clicked his tongue. "Too shallow."
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She looked at him, still not comprehending as she felt her strength leaving her body. Her gaze sharpened, however, when he backed her into the open door, cutting off her escape. "what do-"
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"Obviously I am going to eat you."
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~Eat?~ None of this was making sense. It was hard for her to think.
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"What's with the look? You don't know anything do you? You...are food for us, the goblins. those from Iesmiarian have extremely pure blood. And of those there are them that have the purest of the pure, often, but not always from the royal line, are called Regiis. When a goblin drinks your blood, he lives longer. If a goblin eats your flesh, he will obtain eternal youth. If he marries you, you will bring prosperity to his family." He readied the small dirk he had in his hand, and Sophie stiffened, still pressing a hand to her neck wound. "Well...I'm just interested in eating you." He said with a smirk. Sophie narrowed her eyes. She was weak from loss of blood, she couldn't fight him. She ducked and ran out the doorway. She didn't get far when she was yanked back by her hair.
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She instinctively screamed in fright and pain. She didn't want to leave, she didn't want to die yet. "Gab-riel!" She screamed without thinking. There was movement and Cecilio was being jerked away from her.
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"Sophie! Are you alright?"
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Sophie's knees gave out on her and she let herself fall, relief and shock flooding her. She couldn't believe he had actually saved her...again. Tears flooded her eyes. "Gabriels." She sobbed as he came closer, watchful of where he'd tossed Cecilio into her room. "Gabriels."
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He smiled comfortingly. "Sorry for being late." He knelt before her, noticing the blood. "Were you scared?" He cupped her face in his large hands and gently angled it, leaning forward and licking her wound. "You..." He said, eyeing Cecilio. His gaze was...cold, but it somehow made Sophie feel safe. For some reason, ever since Cecilio had set eyes on Gabriels, the blond had sat where he had fallen, staring, terrified. "For a small fry like you, possessing a human body, to dare infiltrate my castle? You don't stand a chance against me, King of Drakon." Gabriels took off the blue jacket and white shirt he had been wearing and black bat-like wings unfurled from his back. Sophie stared, still in shock.
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Cecilio paled even more. "Yo-You're G-Gabriels Drakon..." He gasped as Gabriels was suddenly before him, lifting him up off his feet by his neck. "I-I'm sorry. Don-Don't kill...me..."
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"You think that after you have hurt Sophie, sorry will be enough?" A thin black smoke rose from Cecilio, as an unearthly scream sounded, not from Cecilio this time, but the smoke itself. Gabriels unceremoniously dropped the now unconscious human. "He'll be fine." Gabriels told her without turning around. "Now." Sophie stared at him as he finally turned toward her. "Are you hurt anywhere else?"
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"No." She wanted to say more, but her voice wouldn't work.
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"Sophie?" She couldn't respond. He worriedly felt her forehead, as if that would tell him something, his sudden movement startling her. "Zarathustra."
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The blond appeared near him, then his narrow eyes widened slightly at the blood. "Sophie! Is she okay? I'll go get a healer." Gabriels nodded and Zarathustra disappeared. Sophie stiffened when Gabriels gently picked her up, then collapsed in his arms, finally relaxing as he carried her back into her room...ns18.104.22.168da2