Chapter 12: Acatl

“In the flesh,” said Itzpapalotl. He smiled. Bare bones glittered and clattered in the moonlight, faint rouge dappling the cheeks, as the waves slowly lapped at the shore. Nash’s fists clenched and unclenched, watching the strange god stand. Itzpapalotl’s stance was lazy and relaxed, a hand on one cheek, hollow eyes staring at him. The long moment of tension held, but Itzpapalotl did not attack him again. Nash didn’t relax.

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Chapter 11: Ozohmatli

The change in the city was shocking. When Nash had entered the Aztec’s Bloody Crescent, the air had been full of tension. Anger. Fear. All of that had vanished in the short time that Nash had been inside. The low, throbbing drums had been replaced with smaller, higher pitched ones, which beat out a rapid and catchy tempo. Dancers spiraled and twisted through the streets, carrying streamers and torches with them, drawing lines. Night remained over the city, though it couldn’t be later than two in the afternoon. He was still in the midst of the Aztec’s world.

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Chapter 10: Malinalli

The slaves were led towards a great paddock. It was little more than an enclosure of sheet metal. It wouldn’t have stopped a determined child, let alone one of the monsters or heroes among the Vemana. The chains, the walls, they were all just a reminder of the thing that was really keeping them trapped. The gaze of the gods above, three of the great gods of the Aztec, made it clear. There was to be no escape from this place. Nash looked casually around the paddock, and faded towards its back. The gods gaze would not stop him.

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Chapter 8: Tecpatl

“Cooking is one of the oldest human gifts,” murmured Heather. She smiled at him, and Nash’s heart ached. He felt the tears dripping at the corners of his eyes. “In the ages long past, men sat by fires, and lured the beasts out of the darkness with the promise of fresh-cooked meat.” He looked around. The warm summer sunshine fell through pine trees, illuminating the back lot behind the old motor lodge. Tables set up. People joining together for a feast. A deadly quest ahead of him, but that wasn’t what frightened him now. It was the look on their faces.

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Bad Days

Today is the worst day of Pearl’s life. As an immortal embodiment of fire, as one of the four Sisters who stand between this world and the apocalypse wrought by humanity’s own suicidal urges, and as a being who has spent an unquantifiable amount of time in Tartarus, one of the few places that can be called Hell, this is really saying something. But she’s still justified in saying it.

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