What’s bothering you? I’d have thought you’d be quite happy with our defense of the Academy.
I am. But I’m also concerned. There’s no way the Barzillai is going to allow this to stand.
Huh. He’s done little enough in response to our other successes. His beiggest response so far has been that ridiculous attempt to claim our actions as his own, and offer us his tainted “rewards”.
This is different though. It’s one thing for us to hit him a few times with surprise attacks, disruptive as they have been. It’s completely another for us to show that we can throw back his own authoritarian actions and protect the people. I fear our victory at the academy will be short-lived; we won’t be able to stop him again if he sends in a larger force.
And what of it? If the academics are foolish enough to hang around they deserve whatever comes to them. We gave them time to get both themselves and any important work out of there. Barzillai taking the Academy now will be obvious for the hollow victory it is. I very much doubt the esteem we have gained with the people of Kintargo will be any less as a result.
Even those who fail to recognise that will still be impressed by the fact we took out Tiarise.
That too will likely prompt Barzillai to action. His witch’s death will be like a bell announcing the arrival of the Children as a true force within the city.
Ding-dong. They’ll be singing in the streets. And we’ll build further on it, a tornado of rebellion sweeping through the city!
Yes, but I don’t think we’ll be in Kintargo anymore. Not as it was anyway. I suspect our missions will become more fraught from here on in.
Well, what did you expect? That we’d just follow this golden path to our destination with no trials on the way? The more we act, the more he will be compelled to fight back against us. Until he can’t.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Last time we were becoming this confident we lost several of our number.
True, but I feel this group are more hardened than the last. Bug is no longer a lone gutter-rat, he has built himself a guild to represent. And Augus seems to have found his nerve and sharpened his claws.
Those things help, it’s true. And having Cato and Bodeen gives us a little more steel than we had before.
Indeed. While fighting encased in tin would hardly be my preferred approach, I do take heart from them being there to deflect some of the nastier blows.
Aroldo’s powers have grown too. He has become more versatile, and he also seems to have a knack for helping others to grow confidence in their own talents.
As long as he doesn’t have some mishap with those floating boots of his and get himself carried away! But let’s not forget your own development.
Before all of this started you’d lost me. One could argue that you’ve gained an entire brain throughout this journey!
Hmmph. I think the one I already possessed was probably more than adequate. But you are far more adept than I at frightening Barzillai’s cronies.
Indeed. So you see? I have no doubt we’re all up for this fight.
And what about the citizens of Kintargo?
What about them? You’ve always believed in success based on merit. Those who are deserving have never had such a great opportunity to rise! Kintargo will be a much stronger city by the time this is over.
And if we fail?
Then there will be nothing worthwhile left here, and we’ll be in no state to care. So let’s just enjoy the journey.
I think I’ll let you indulge your hatred by embracing the death and destruction aspect of this. I’ll plan for the future.
As you wish, but I’ll be the one having fun!