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The Lost Dragon 11.1

by soundofmind


Chapter 11 Part One - Wakey Wakey Big Mistakey

Splash!

Harsh, cold water hit her face, causing her to jolt up from the ground with a start. She let out a groan as her hand went to the back of her head, but she was easily drowned out by the loud voice of the man above her.

"Go home, ya drunkard! Get outta my alley!"

She winced at the yelling and peered at the aproned man through barely open eyes. She had a blinding headache, and if she had to guess, some kind of concussion, or something. As the angry man shooed her and she scrambled to her feet, the sunlight greeted her with a blinding brilliance. She would've wondered how long she'd been out, but the just-rising sun told her it had to have been all night. That must've been some hell of a hit, and the bump on her head confirmed it. She winced and hissed as she touched it under her hair.

It took her a few moments to collect her thoughts. Everything had happened so quickly.

She didn't get a chance to apologize to the owner of the tavern. At least, that's who she assumed he was, as he disappeared into the building. With another groan she looked out into the street with a frown, beginning to replay the events of the night before in her mind.

Matt was Tiberius. The guy from the tavern was a bounty hunter who'd come to find him and take him back to... to...

She fumbled with her jacket, patting herself until she found the poster of the wanted man still in her pocket. With a relieved sigh she pulled it out and looked it over again, but her heart sank as she did so. Tiberius was wanted in the Moonlight Kingdom. That was southward, and a long ways away. If the bounty hunter guy was trying to get his reward soon, he was probably moving fast, especially if Tiberius was the kind of person to try to escape. Her grip on the paper tightened, causing tight creases to run along Tiberius's face.

"Who the hell are you?" she whispered under her breath, accusing the image in her hands.

She didn't understand. He looked genuinely sorry when he apologized as he put the cuffs around her hands. The cuffs - wait. The cuffs. She looked down at her wrists. The cuffs weren't there anymore. Did that mean that the bounty hunter took them when she was out? Did someone else free her?

She let out a low growl and crumpled the poster back into her pocket. There was too much confusion and not enough answers. She began to stomp out into the street with tight fists in her pockets, trying to fight back the tears of frustration welling up in her eyes.

All she wanted to do was see him again, but not like that. She hadn't meant to lead a bounty hunter right to him, and if she had been left in the alley - then Tiberius had to have gotten captured. She refused to believe he would just leave her there, even if he was some mysterious wanted guy. At least he had enough human decency to apologize to her for her getting dragged into his mess (even though she willingly ran into it, but that was besides the point).

But the fact still remained that she hadn't actually had the chance to talk to him. And now he was on his way to the Moonlight Kingdom where he would probably be imprisoned forever and she would never see him again. She knew the smart thing to do would be to leave it be, and let Tiberius get taken to jail where he belonged. For all she knew, this was fate telling her to give it up and move on, to let bygones be bygones, to forget about the mysterious cowboy she'd befriended under odd circumstances and stay away from the danger surrounding him.

But she'd made a career out of chasing danger. She was a monster hunter, and she was going to do what she did best: hunt another monster. The bounty hunter who deceived her and used her to find Tiberius so he could use her as leverage had another thing coming for him.

--

Tiberius woke to the sensation of his body being dragged through the dirt, and when he opened his eyes and looked up, he was staring at the rump of a horse. He immediately fought to get back on his feet. With a jolt, he pulled back on his wrists and stuck his feet in the ground, only to feel a sharp pain shoot up his arms.

He still had the cuffs on, and they were tied by a short rope to the saddle of a horse. It took him less than a second to realize he’d likely been dragged behind the bounty hunter by his wrists for far too long. With his wrists and hands aching, he pulled himself to his feet, pulling the rope taut to steady himself. Before he even looked at the man on the saddle he stared at the knots around the metal that bound his wrists and tried to work out a way to un-tie them. He studied the knot closely, but it was a long, thick amalgamation of knots that would be far too obvious to untie while simply following his captor. Especially since said captor was periodically looking back at him from his stop on the saddle.

Tiberius gave the man no formal recognition apart from his pointed glances, and the bounty hunter only responded with a watchful stare.

For several long hours Tiberius followed behind on foot and no words were spoken. With each passing moment, he was awaiting the right moment to flee; to veer to the right or the left, to wrap his rope around a passing tree, or to jump off a ledge, and throw the saddle off balance. But at any time the terrain proved hopeful, the bounty hunter quickened his pace. Under normal circumstances, Tiberius might have been able to keep up with no trouble, but it had been a long time since the bounty hunter had veered off the path and into the wilds of the forest. That, and he’d been without food, water, and sleep for at least a day.

It wasn’t unusual for him to go without, but it wore him down every time. As the sun reached its peak in the sky, and a chilly breeze started blowing from the south, Tiberius’s thoughts drifted from escaping to the man on the horse leading him.

He’d been caught several times. Each bounty hunter had their own way of doing things. This was the first time he’d been given the freedom to walk behind his captor while the former rode their steed. He knew it was a tactic to exhaust him, so he would be too weary to escape, and though he resented it, it was working. Enough time passed that he even ceased dwelling on his annoyance towards his captor and all he could keep his mind on was keeping his steps steady.

Their stops were short and far and in-between. His knees and his lower back ached, and every misstep on a rock or a jutting plant sent pain through his foot and up his leg. Years of running kept him nimble, but his joints were not what they used to be.

It was at that point - with his mind clouded, and his body one wrong step from stumbling - that the bounty hunter finally spoke up.

“So who was that girl back there?” he asked, turning back in his saddle to look at him with a curious glint in his eyes. “Did you make a real friend, or did she not know who you really are?”

Tiberius didn’t look up. He kept his eyes on his feet. From the sounds of it, the man had heard stories, or done enough research to know that he always lived under an alias - which meant he already knew the answer. He wasn’t going to answer for him.

“She was looking for you, you know,” the man went on, despite his silence. “She wanted to apologize, I think. Which doesn’t seem fair, seeing as you’re the one who’s a criminal, and she was the one who was lied to.”

Tiberius kept his eyes down and remained silent.

“Well. However it went down, that was a pretty cold of you to leave her like that. She seemed like a sweet girl. It’s a shame,” he said, shaking his head and then smiling down at him. “Then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. If you were too soft you’d be in jail by now.” He paused, putting a finger on his chin. “Oh… wait. I suppose you will be not too long from now. Spoke too soon.”

Tiberius kept his face straight like stone, but his chest began to burn with annoyance. Whoever this bounty hunter was, he was a prideful, stuck-up pain in the-

“The name’s Alexander Kingsman, by the way,” he said with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes.

Tiberius shot him a glare, but the moment he did so, he tripped over a rock. His legs folded under him and he fell face-down in the dirt, hopelessly failing to catch himself with his bound hands. His hat fell off, and his whole body groaned as another layer of dirt was added to his person. But he had little time to recover. Alexander kept the horse moving forward at a steady pace, and before he knew it, he was being dragged again. Tiberius cursed under his breath and pulled himself back to his feet with a grunt.

“Don’t give up on me just yet, Tiberius. We’ve still got a long way ’til the Moonlight Kingdom.”

Tiberius took hurried steps behind the horse, trying to regain his balance. His legs were starting to quiver under his own weight.

“And what?” he finally spat. “Run your horse into the ground along with me?”

Alexander laughed. His voice echoed through the trees and sent chills down Tiberius’s spine.

“Don’t presume to know my methods, Tiberius,” Alexander cooed. “I’ve been a bounty hunter for many years.”

At that moment, they came to an abrupt stop. Tiberius almost ran into the horse’s rump, stopping himself just a second before he collided with the beast’s tail. He gave a questioning look up ahead, only to have his ears answer the question for him when he heard the slow trickling of water. His gut filled with dread.

The spot at the river was shallow, and the water moved slowly like molasses, but he knew he was undoubtedly going to get utterly, utterly soaked. His shoulders scrunched up at the thought as he felt another cool breeze brush up against him, and he flinched when Alexander led the horse forward. Alexander looked back again with a smug, self-satisfied smirk and Tiberius shot back with daggers in his eyes. He couldn’t keep his upper lip from twitching in contempt.

Tiberius shivered as he stepped into the cold water. What went up to the horse’s haunches went up to his chest, which meant there was no comfortable way to spare his entire body from the chill that overtook him. Moving through water took thrice the amount of effort, which reduced him to swimming weakly behind them. With only his legs free to do so, he fought just to tread water and keep his head afloat as the rope dragged him along. Naturally, once he was thoroughly preoccupied, Alexander launched off into a lecture.

”I heard from many a bounty hunter that you’re a tough catch and a damn persistent escapee,” he began, “But I didn’t expect you to be so… oh, I don’t know. Boring? Maybe it’s the years of being on the run and getting caught and escaping over and over again that have run you down and ruined the thrill of it, but it’s kind of disappointing when your bounties just give in so easily. Part of the thrill is the chase and subduing them by force. Though, I guess that’s partially my fault. I didn’t really give you a lot of options. I would’ve killed Clandestine had you not come willingly. That really would have caused a scene, though. A gunshot? A blown out brain? The killer right there in the street? That would’ve drawn people out of their homes in the early morning, and that really would’ve been the perfect cover for you to slink back into your alley and run away. But I suppose that’s the downside to being an outlaw with morals...”

Alexander kept talking but Tiberius stopped listening. Alexander assumed that he knew him and that he knew his motives. He wasn’t wrong that he had morals, like any self-respecting human being, but he didn’t have the time or the patience for Alexander’s drivel.

The more Alexander droned on, the more Tiberius’s body began to succumb to the binding fate of fatigue. As he was pulled out of the water onto the muddy bank on the other side, his legs refused to keep working for him, and he was dragged again - this time, through the mud. Alexander wouldn’t shut up. He managed to flop onto his back, to keep his face free from being caked in mud, but he knew what was coming next.

He fought to keep his eyes open, but weariness hung on them like a weighty blanket. His stomach reminded him again that he was hungry, but the pain passed away in a moment as darkness overtook him, and he passed out.


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Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:20 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Beginning Chapter 11. I think the halfway point of this novel has been passed by now.

First Impression: Well Clandestine making a very stupid decision right there. The protagonist's curse unfortunately for the poor girl. And the bounty hunter appears to be pretty good at his job if a bit too egotistical. He leaves no avenue of escape which is great and to be expected if Tiberius has escaped so many times and the previous hunters would've shared their stories.

She didn't understand. He looked genuinely sorry when he apologized as he put the cuffs around her hands. The cuffs - wait. The cuffs. She looked down at her wrists. The cuffs weren't there anymore. Did that mean that the bounty hunter took them when she was out? Did someone else free her?


Well if Alexander was going to leave her right there anyway why did he knock her out. Seems like an unnecessary act of violence right there.

But she'd made a career out of chasing danger. She was a monster hunter, and she was going to do what she did best: hunt another monster. The bounty hunter who deceived her and used her to find Tiberius so he could use her as leverage had another thing coming for him.


Two words: Bad decision

Under normal circumstances, Tiberius might have been able to keep up with no trouble, but it had been a long time since the bounty hunter had veered off the path and into the wilds of the forest. That, and he’d been without food, water, and sleep for at least a day.


Well this is a very suitably painful way to get literally dragged into jail. This bounty hunter seems to know his stuff.

“She was looking for you, you know,” the man went on, despite his silence. “She wanted to apologize, I think. Which doesn’t seem fair, seeing as you’re the one who’s a criminal, and she was the one who was lied to.”


And he is definitely not a nice person if he didn't bother to explain these things to Clandestine and maybe tell her his crimes and make her understand what sort of lies she'd been told. He just left her knocked out in an alley.

“Don’t give up on me just yet, Tiberius. We’ve still got a long way ’til the Moonlight Kingdom.”


Well Tiberius is not going to survive that walk. Also what happened to those goblins? Are they going to make an appearance on the road to this kingdom?

He fought to keep his eyes open, but weariness hung on them like a weighty blanket. His stomach reminded him again that he was hungry, but the pain passed away in a moment as darkness overtook him, and he passed out.


Well that was some great description there to sum up that kind of very painful experience.

And that's it.

Overall: Well a questionable decision by Clandestine. She could've just gone on with her life but I guess the story needs to happen somehow. And some great description on Tiberius' capture. And I hope the goblins were not forgotten.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:44 am
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mellifera wrote a review...



hello! I'm back again! slowly on my way to catching up :D


CLANNY my girl!! she's kinda okay!! maybe she should have taken up William Diamond's offer for medicinal supplies though.


"Go home, ya drunkard! Get outta my alley!"


oh its his alley? I don't know why but that strikes me as kinda funny because nobody ever claims to own an alley lol not in a bad way and I suppose its accurate I guess I just didn't consider that.

The cuffs - wait


OH my perception is on point today I DEFINITELY noticed she didn't have the cuffs on rip

All she wanted to do was see him again, but not like that.


isn't that always how it happens

At least he had enough human decency to apologize to her for her getting dragged into his mess (even though she willingly ran into it, but that was besides the point).


how "willingly" can you run into something with no idea what it is you're running into?

The bounty hunter who deceived her and used her to find Tiberius so he could use her as leverage had another thing coming for him.


YEAH you TELL him Clanny!! I mean,, she hasn't,,,, done that,,, but I want her to.

That, and he'd been without food, water, and sleep for at least a day.


I mean,, he was unconscious,,, that's technically resting,,,,>.>

“So who was that girl back there?” he asked, turning back in his saddle to look at him with a curious glint in his eyes. “Did you make a real friend, or did she not know who you really are?”


So this is another line that makes it sound like these two are familiar with each other? I don't know? this line sounds like it would come from someone you were acquainted with and not just some rando but I have also never been hunted by a bounty hunter so I could be a bit off my mark.

“Well. However it went down, that was a pretty cold of you to leave her like that. She seemed like a sweet girl. It’s a shame,” he said, shaking his head and then smiling down at him. “Then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you.


"she seemed like a sweet girl" says the one who HIT HER IN THE HEAD WITH A GUN ):<
(does this bounty hunter have some kind of? creepy obsession with James? if they don't already know each other? because the way his dialogue is coming across makes it seem

like he knows him? or knows a lot about him?)

His hat fell off, and his whole body groaned


my brain kinda short circuited as soon as I read "groaned" so I was like aha silly man he's frustrated he lost his hat and has to reveal embarrassing hat hair but then I read on and the joke was ruined.

“And what?” he finally spat. “Run your horse into the ground along with me?”


carter would be so disappointed


SPEAKING OF HORSES WHAT HAPPENED TO ELLIOT please tell me that Clanny like, brings him along??


he flinched when Alexander led the horse forward.


This is nitpicky of me but isn't he still on the horse? that wouldn't really be "leading" the horse forward if he's not on foot?


As obnoxious as villains/antagonists who talk constantly are, it makes any defeat later on all that much sweeter? Like, yeah, keep talking about how Great you are my friend. we'll see about that in a bit.


OKAY so one thing that kind of strikes me as odd is how quickly Tiberius gets exhausted? I've walked for hours before, I work a labour intensive job that keeps me on my feet almost all day sometimes, but I'm never this tired? And Tiberius is pretty fit I imagine? If it was running, that would be understandable, but just kind of hiking for a while doesn't seem that bad? or at least not enough to warrant passing out? Though I understand he hasn't really taken care of himself? But it still seems like he gives out pretty fast.


!!! I'm super excited to see what happens next?? things just got kicked up a notch and the stakes are higher now so wheee I'm ready for more!!

Alas I think that's all I have for today. Another really good chapter, of course :) and I should be back tomorrow for some more!

I hope you're having a wonderful time!! <3


WAIT QUICK EDITION: I kind of leafed through the other reviews after I finished this one and it reminded me that I FORGOT I was at work today and I was thinking about this (I forgot about the thought not that I was at work lol) and I kinda wondered,, the goblins were super mad at Clanny and James before, and they killed the assassins sent after them. do the goblins just,, give up? after that? because they seemed really mad before but then we don't see them again?




soundofmind says...


does this bounty hunter have some kind of? creepy obsession with James? if they don't already know each other? because the way his dialogue is coming across makes it seem like he knows him? or knows a lot about him?


Alex is kind of supposed to give off that vibe, but James actually doesn't know him. That's kind of just how Alexander is? he's just.... creepy like that with all his bounties. you could ask the others but they're either dead or in jail
I guess I should just mention that James doesn't know him or is annoyed that Alex is pretending like he does? I might have him think that in the next chapter or the one after but I can't remember lol

OKAY so one thing that kind of strikes me as odd is how quickly Tiberius gets exhausted? I've walked for hours before, I work a labour intensive job that keeps me on my feet almost all day sometimes, but I'm never this tired? And Tiberius is pretty fit I imagine? If it was running, that would be understandable, but just kind of hiking for a while doesn't seem that bad? or at least not enough to warrant passing out? Though I understand he hasn't really taken care of himself? But it still seems like he gives out pretty fast.

ashgdfjkhlkj... .yes he is.... more fit and probably shouldn't get tired so fast tbh

I think I might've just... sped it up/shortened the time period to a day because I was worried about Clandestine losing him if it was too long and everyone was ... talking about pacing lol so I didn't want it to feel like it took forever. I know I could just like, say it takes a few days and go into a little detail of it being mundane and feeling hopeless or whatever? That would probably make more sense, and wouldn't be too big of a change.



soundofmind says...


do the goblins just,, give up? after that? because they seemed really mad before but then we don't see them again?


HHh... the goblins do make a comeback!! i just.... am struggling to figure out how to do so and have been putting it off......



soundofmind says...


SORRY FOR LIKE A THIRD REPLY BUT I JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKS FOR YOUR REVIEW S OMUCH



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Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am
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Vincian wrote a review...



OOOOOH I’M SO EXCITED AND NOW I’M CAUGHT UP. TIME TO REVIEW!

So, I totally didn’t think that Clandestine wouldn’t be brought along with James (Tiberius? I’m just gonna say James XD) because, well, the bounty hunters are nothing if not practical people, and the guy didn’t need Clandestine, he just used her to get to James. I’m still gonna say he’s Alexander XD BECAUSE LIKE, WHY WOULDN’T HE BE? RIGHT? RIGHT! IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE TO ME

I mean, she doesn’t know how bad the things James did was, so technically he might be a monster? So, her hunting him makes sense, right? Right. I’m gonna go with that. And you should, too, Clandestine!

IT IS ALEXANDER I KNEW IT I TOTALLY CALLED IT I completely called it I’m so excited XD yikes so this is looking grim for James, but we all know that he’s gonna get saved by Clandestine. Right? Right. Although I’m really not sure how Clandestine will save the day. Because, like I said before in some of my earlier reviews, she really seems inept at everything she does, including making friends? Ouch, low blow XD but yeah I’m not sure how she’s going to save the day, because, like, a lot of odds aren’t in her favor.

I’m excited to see where this leads, though. Because, the bounty hunter said they’re still a ways away from the Moonlight Kingdom, so we’re probably not going to see it for awhile. But, in the off chance that we do, it might make things more interesting. I’m just a little worried that the next couple of chapter parts might be a bit one note and the same as what you just gave us, because, well, there’s not much to do with James right now, as he’s in no position to escape right now, and a lot of Clandestine’s thoughts would be inner dialogue, and we’ve already received a lot of that in the past chapter parts. You did a one-off with the goblins. Maybe you could do something more there? I thought that we would see more of the goblins since you wrote for the, but it seems now that it was a way to fill your chapter a bit more and clue your readers into what’s going on (even though Clandestine and Matt definitely spilled the beans for us anyway). I just don’t want to see the story lull because both of the main characters are in a bit of a bind.

SO now that I’m caught up, I’m excited to see where this goes! I think you really got into a stride with the past few chapters, but now things have slowed down (even though, story-wise, James just got caught). I’m hoping you find something to keep the rhythm and spruce it up :D Can’t wait to read the next, whenever it’s posted.




soundofmind says...


You did a one-off with the goblins. Maybe you could do something more there?

I PrOBABLY SHOULD. I just gotta... figure this one out... AShjfdhlkj

Also YES lol I'm glad you caught on to Alex and what he was doing and all of that.



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Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:50 pm
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Vulcanite wrote a review...



Hi there @soundofmind I am here to do review on your work.
What I like

Harsh, cold water hit her face, causing her to jolt up from the ground with a start.
I really like this line the description is really good here to, the way you talk about the water, there is something that I am not shore about in this line. there were a lot of bits that I liked about this chapter.

His stomach reminded him again that he was hungry, but the pain passed away in a moment as darkness overtook him, and he passed out.
I feel like this bit is really good, it just really the way you right it how his pain past, and then he passed out that is really good

Wakey Wakey Big Mistakey
I also noteds this bit before the chapter started it is a really good rime that you have put to gather here nice work.

What I think needs work

Harsh, cold water hit her face, causing her to jolt up from the ground with a start.
The one problem with this line I think is the bit that I put in bold I am not really shore about why its there, I will put this in suggestions, I will change on word there

"Go home, ya drunkard! Get outta my alley!"
over here I find that it is very hard to understand what the person is saying, for the way you have spelt it is not really easy to read.

With another groan she looked out into the street with a frown, beginning to replay the events of the night before in her mind.
I feel like this bit is the bit that needs a bit more description in it of when she was in the ally way, I feel like it was mostly about how she felt and what she was doing but there was not much description of the place really. I must say that describing things is the hardest part for you cannot describe it to much or to little



The Characters
The way you described the characters was a some I really like there names, all thoe I now see that I have seen the name Alexander before I feel like it is a popouler name, but that is okay it is not to bad so you can keep it or change it other one I do not kear, but I am just pointing in out to you, now here Tiberius is a name that I really like in the story, I do feel like you don't go in the the mane Characters thoughts a nofe I mean like what they thinking


The Plot
I can say that there is really something going on here with the plot, there are somethings that need work but I am shore that not every chapter is perfeked, I find that the last and the first start of the story was the best part for me.

Suggestions

Harsh, cold water hit her face, causing her to jolt up from the ground with a heave.

So that is all that I can say, If I came akros as being to harsh on you I am sorry about it, So keep up the grate work never stop writing. :D

@EagleFly out to seek and kill, you have been blazed by Team Red Like Roses




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Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:47 pm
FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Hi Shikora here with a review.

What i like

I really like how you began this chapter, it was really interesting and it drew in me in right away, but to be honest i would read the chapter any way. This chapter was really well connected to the last one. I wasn't confused when I began to read this chapter, in stead I gt really excited. Your writing has gotten a lot better since the first chapter, and it's made the story a lot better.

The characters

I really like how your bringing the characters along in the story, I've found out so many new things in this chapter about everyone. I like it that your describing them a lot better, i'm getting clear images.

Plot

I can see that the plot is moving along really well, and i'm looking forward to see how this story will end. I like it that your telling us about the plot, and yet your keeping some of it undercover. At the moment I'm really wanting to know more, and that is what keeps me hooked.

Setting

I can say that the setting needs a little pit of work, I'll show you what i mean.

With another groan she looked out into the street with a frown, beginning to replay the events of the night before in her mind.

When she was in the ally, you don't really tell us what it looks like, and in this sentence when she looked into the street was it bright and it had people walking in it, or was it empty? It's things like that you need to keep in mind.

Well that's all from me for now, I look forward to the next chapter and I'll try to review that one as well. I hope you have a great day/night, and never stop writing.

Your friend
Shikora. :D

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Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:11 am
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FireSpyGirl says...



A perfect chapter! I am absolutely dying to find out what happens! I am also very, very excited!!! This is going to be a good novel, and I hope that someday you will be able to publish it! It is great! I think my favorite part of this chapter is...everything! XD
Keep up the amazing work! :)




soundofmind says...


AAaat thanks so much! <3 <3




Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
— Voltaire