by Max Barry

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Region: Lazarus

"Your eminence, Sinyal has requested assistance in combating the undead threat. What are your orders?".
Artholo glared down at the small framed messenger from his throne and tilted his head to one side, letting out a drawn-out sigh. "Why are you addressing this to me? Military pursuits are to be taken up with the Shepherd". The little messenger, no younger than 20, shifted uncomfortably when he met the questioning gaze of the cardinal. "Your eminence, Knight Holtr is currently preoccupied in his own affairs,". At the enduring stare of the cardinal, the messenger continued. "He is on hold indefinitely as of now,". He hesitated before finishing, "due to his current mission, to track down and 'tame' a leviathan".

Artholo's expression changed from his typical passive grimace to an incredulous gape, if only for a brief moment. The cardinal nodded, his face now clear of any emotion, before speaking again. "If it had been any other person, I would of called them mad," the cardinal spoke, partly to himself and partly towards the messenger. "Nevertheless, I am next in line to take control of military affairs while the Shepherd is indisposed. Very well messenger, you have my decree to send two elite Arden knights to assist, now out of my sight". With that, the messenger scampered towards the exit of the room, before two large guards opened the heavy doors for him. He bowed one last time before exiting the great hall, the great doors booming as they closed, their echoes reverberating around the hall as it once again fell into silence.

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