Ariel’s eyes were glowing. Karen’s words, though spoken with conviction and truth, were not kind. They were not forgiving. They were not merciful.
“It is His word, a command not to be ignored.”
“Do you think me a fool, Karen?”
“I see the doubt in your eyes; the hurt of betrayal in your lion-heart, and rightfully so.”
“Then know that, yes, my wrath is seated in a sense of betrayal. Aras is our own, not of His flock.”
“The culling call sounds same for all.”
Ariel eyed the lesser with sudden fury. His shadow, something that should have been nonexistent in the vaporous air, stretched back. Only in the silhouette did two large appendages unfurl from his back and
beat the air furiously. Ariel’s eyes, not golden-flecked but nearly solid in color, bored holes into Karen, who shrank back.
“Perhaps your call is as close at hand, Karen? How does your servitude fare then?”
“His will is all.”
“Your blindness disgusts me. Are our numbers to be vulnerable to His every whim now?”
“His will is all,” Karen repeated, regaining his conviction. “Be wary—another of our kin once shared your thoughts and was cast away for the actions that followed.”
For all of his experience, Ariel could not see if Karen’s words were a simple reminder or a pointed threat. Nevertheless, he had tired of the conversation. If this new turn of events was to be carried out, then time was not something to be wasted. Aras was a brother to him, was a brother to Karen and the rest of their kind as well, but he would not die a member of their proud faction.
Ariel would not allow that.