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Preparing for the Return

The Don

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Taking a to'raken from the capitol to the main military port was a short flight, but to Muaghde it seemed like an eternity. He had just finished with his second ever audience with the Emperor, may he live forever in the Light. Not only was command of the Return given to him, but so was the duty of protecting his daughter. But it wasn't just any of the Emperor's children, but his heir, the Daughter of the Nine Moons. That, with his recent adoption into the Blood was more honor than he could handle in such a short time. With such great honor came great responsibility. He was being trusted with the Empire. If he failed, there would be no court martial, there would be no banishment... there would only be death. Muaghde had been on edge since his utter failure as the Commander at the end of the Hailene. Even after so long and so much success since, it was still in the back of his mind.


He looked at the der'morat'to'raken up in the front. He remembered training him about 10 years ago. He was an excellent flier, but didn't have a mind quick enough to handle the smaller raken. Life was simple as a common soldier, even as just the Air General. He had grown up around raken. He knew everything about them. He was perhaps the most famous flier in recent history.


He then thought about the girl to his right. The Daughter of the Nine Moons. Light. He looked at his laquered pinky and ring nails. Life was much more complicated now. Until recently, he knew little of land battle or of many of the other exotic animals they used. He knew nothing of politics and issues with the Blood. Now he knew. Even those of higher Blood were envious of this honor. To lead the Return, and to have the stewardship of the Daughter of the Nine Moons was an honor too great, they thought, for one who was once of common blood. However, the Emperor, may he live forever in the Light, had chosen Muaghde because not only was he a military man and far superior in martial knowledge than any of the Blood, but he had been to the east, and he had seen these lands first hand. If he weren't so high in Imperial favor at the moment, he would have been dead long ago.


The cold air of the upper skies quickly turned into summer heat as the decended to the landing site, just outside of the port. Muaghde had just now snapped out of his own thoughts to notice the sight in front of him. Ships as far as the eye could see. Thousands. He had long known just how many ships and men he would take, but the sight of it made the Hailene seem like a training excursion.


A gaping hole was made in front of them as the four Deathwatch Guards walked in front of Muaghde and Ruan. In matter of minutes, they had arrived to his flagship. He was the largest and grandest ship in all the waters of the world. The Guards went up first, followed by Ruan, then tailed by Muaghde. In such distinguished company, Muaghde was little more than a rear guard, even on his own ship.

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