(WARNING. THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR A BUG IN THE SYSTEM. Don’t read unless you’ve finished it or don’t care.)

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(Also, no actual gross details given, just terrible things implied.)

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Niklas was not at the tiny table he was using for a desk. He was not in the common area of the Temple either, nor was he eating.

It took the better part of half an hour for Ambrosine to find the necromancer leaning over a balcony railing, retching over the side.

“Local cuisine not agreeing with you, Nik?” She knelt next to him, resting a hand on his back. She didn’t feel illness, however…

“No,” he rasped, taking the flask she pressed into his hand and gulping greedily. “No, this is all in my head, I’m afraid. We got…I was new given notes today. On the scarab plague. And these weren’t just historical records, Ambro.”

She sat on the ground next to him, as Nik didn’t seem inclined to move very far at the moment. He remained limply leaning against the railing. “These were notes. Detailed experiment notes, complete with holographic recordings. I shouldn’t…I shouldn’t have watched those, but even the descriptions were enough. The…” And there he went, retching over the railing again.

“You’re a necromancer, Nik. You pass out diseases and poisons in combat like an old granny handing out candy on Halloween. You construct minions out of corpses.” Granted, she seemed to recall that he gagged even doing that. Minions weren’t really Nik’s thing.

“Yes, and this is horrifying.”

“And…do we know why the Priory is having you research this again? I thought it was, ah, a historical illness.”

“I saw the dates on the notes, Ambro. These are….fresh experiments.”

Despair settled, cold and heavy, somewhere in the pit of her stomach. “And how did we get this information?”

“The notes drip Asuran superiority, and the experiments themselves are inhumane, so I’m guessing Inquest. They didn’t exactly give me all the details.”

No, they wouldn’t, Ambrosine thought. “I’m going to assume there is no cure.”

“Death?” Niklas shuddered and reached for the flask again. “I suggest throwing yourself into the nearest bonfire just to be sure. I shouldn’t even be telling you about this, I’m sure. I’m sorry. I’m not used to this restricted research stuff.”

Ambrosine shrugged, and gently squeezed his shoulder. “My lips are sealed.” Oh Nik, you don’t even begin to know the secrets I keep. What’s one more? “I’ve dealt with my fair share of it.”

“Have you? I had no id….oh.”

This time she gave his shoulder a gentle pat. “Exactly. You going to be okay, Nik?”

“No?” He looked up at her, despairing. “I’ve stayed off the front lines for a reason. I help as much as I can, but I don’t have the stomach for…for the realities of war. For the realities of the…the terrible things we do to each other.”

She leaned back against the railing and extended an arm. Nik leaned against her and sighed heavily.

“…your hugs aren’t as nice when you’re in armor.”

“Yes, well. My hugs aren’t as nice if I get eaten by a hydra either, so we’ll make do.” She looked into the Temple proper, and thought a lot of thoughts.

Author Ambrosine
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