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The light cleared, and Malika was momentarily blind. Then, she looked to Orthael, uncomprehending, only to see the wizened old man looking confused and unsettled. His sword had been extinguished completely, and he stood as one who had just been betrayed.
Malika felt the rage rise up within her, and so, too, did the flame along Morduth's edge. She charged the creature before her, her fury overwhelming her better sense. She struck the Greater Dead along a thigh, and just like that, Morduth's own fury puffed out. Malika slid to a stop just beyond the deathless -- and was swatted with a great backhand from the creature.
Something inside her left shoulder popped and tore as she was flung through the air, crashing into the wall of a nearby building. She landed in a slump, shocked, bewildered, and just as confused as Orthael had been.
Whatever this creature was, it was no ordinary deathless, and for the first time, fear clawed at her belly. She clutched her shoulder, rising to her feet -- and ran.
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There was a still silence. Orthael exhaled with a still patience, keeping Varenniel's presence with …Silhouette and Shadow
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