02 – Talvian

TEN YEARS PRIOR

“Edmund, there is someone who’d like to see you.”
The Royal waved a gloved hand to the servant. “Let him in,” Mr Dantes advised from his couch, where he lay lazily. He had been reading a book. He wasn’t expecting any visitors, but the reading was dull and he would relish the break.
As he sat up and placed the book, still open, face down on the table, what greeted him when he looked up was entirely unexpected.

It was a young boy. He was wearing all dark greens, and looked extremely nervous. His hair was in the process of turning grey and his eyes were covered with thick, unbecoming sunglasses. The queerest thing about this boy was what shook behind his legs- a tail. Big and poofy, like a Collie’s.
“And who might you be?” Mr. Dantes was hardly able to stand and greet the stranger before he began to talk.

“Please. You have to help me. I heard you help train soldiers to kill the phoenix. I had to come. Please. The last Phoenix destroyed my town while I was away. I feel so guilty! You have to help me, Mr. Dantes.”

It was true, Edmond did train others. He had even helped found Monte Cristo, albeit held no true political power. He was a teacher at heart and a soldier at best. But still, something was off about this boy. Edmond cocked a brow, eying the tail. The last phoenix had been in the forestlands… What was that country called? Talvia?
Yes, he remembered now.

“Talvians don’t usually leave the woods. Even for an event such as the Phoenix. Why didn’t you stay with the surviving clans?”

The stranger bit his tongue. “They… Don’t like me. I got help to control my soul…” He fingered the black collar he wore, no doubt some sort of limiter. “… They say I am too human. Too much technology. I like guns.” He was quick to change the subject.
“But Mr. Dantes, none of that matters! If you know about Talvians then you know how far I’ve come to see you!”

Edmond shifted his weight as he thought over what could possibly be a life changing decision.
“All right,” he finally concluded.
“But you will be a servant first, and work up to becoming a soldier. And there is a dress code…”

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