A Beauty Half-Betrayed #Theo #Andy #Zaza

Steph
 

Who: Theo
With: Andy, Zaza
Where: The Witch Queen's Palace, the Jewel of the Desert
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Theo wasn't sure what he liked least about this whole excursion, but the fact that he was sober was definitely close to the top of the list. He knew, logically, that he had to keep a clear mind in order for his abilities to work to their fullest, in order to keep an eye out for immanent threats to his safety, in order to discern if the Witch Queen intended them harm. Not to mention, she'd probably smell the hypocrisy on his breath and curse him. She was a dangerous woman, not to be taken lightly.

But sobriety had left him with headaches the whole dusty, gritty journey down here, and the headache of having the girl he shared his mental space with chiding him for his flippant behavior lately. Minnie did not approve of Theo abusing the fact that he had easy access to cleansing rituals as an excuse to get away from the burdens that came with being somehow supernaturally blessed with a pure heart. All of his internal conflicts were just made worse by the fact that he was on this mission along with his childhood crush (who he still didn't know how to really talk with like they used to before she got married and then the world went sideways) and his uncle (who was no longer secretly an assassin but still had all the perception of an assassin).

They'd come by river, at least, but even traveling upriver through the desert, the wind caught the sand and flung it at you, and it got absolutely everywhere. It only grew more and more oppressively hot the further south their ship went, until they finally docked at the Jewel of the Desert, the capital of the Southern Desert and home of the Witch Queen. The Witch Queen's welcoming committee escorted the Peacekeepers to her palace, led them to their quarters, provided them with water to wash up and food to eat, and notified them to go to a particular garden once the evening sun stated setting and the air cooled somewhat.

So, now they were waiting in a surprisingly lush green garden with at least three sparkling fountains pained blue to make the water in them sparkle all the more brightly. Fruit-bearing fig trees dotted the garden here and there, and white star jasmine climbed lattices and sent out a heady floral scent. Other flowers in a rainbow of colors bloomed in beds. It was all so well-cared for that it encouraged a sense of wonder. So much life grew here in such a barren place.

The sky wouldn't hold on to sunlight for too much longer, but at least as the sun sunk lower and the shadows grew longer, the air was cooler, too. All they needed was for the Witch Queen to arrive, so this meeting could start. Sooner all this was done, the sooner he could be safe in the Island Castle in the People's City.

"An evening meeting like this. Are you not worried about vampires?" Theo asked aloud--the question more aimed to the voice in his head than either of his companions, though maybe Andy and Zaza had input there, too. 

*They don't tend to venture into the desert. Too little protection from the sun. You shouldn't have to worry about that,* Minnie whispered back, the voice that only Theo could hear.

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