|Ability||Destroy an enemy minion nearby your General.|
Destroy an enemy minion nearby your General.
Zirix's future self had faded entirely from view, and his bone-scattered battlefield with it. Sajj wondered how many days--weeks? years?--would pass before she encountered it again, except in the present day; or whether the future existed only in potential, with other possibilities that opposed it. Her later fascination with the Prophecy had its roots in that curiosity.
Sajj knelt before Zirix. ‘I will serve you,’ she said, ‘no matter what my future holds.’ No matter what our future holds.
‘Don't be concerned about it,’ Zirix said, clasping her shoulder. ‘I will make use of you. My troops require an additional general.’
She could think of many things to say to him. Don't leave me and Let me be useful to you and I will not fail. But deeds, not words, would persuade him best.
One of the Masters bowed to Zirix. ‘Zirix,’ she said, ‘the other Mirage Masters and I wish leave to bring your scion with us into seclusion. It may be that we can identify and correct her flaw. You need not put her at risk yet.’
‘I wish to stay with Zirix,’ Sajj said.
‘And so you shall,’ he said.
The Master huffed. ‘Zirix--’
‘No,’ he said. ‘I will take her into battle with me, and there she will prove herself before me, and before the eyes of the Imperium.’ To Sajj, he said, ‘Come with me and we will begin your training.’
Sajj followed him away from the pit with its huddle of Masters, to the straight path with its perfectly fitted cobbles. She walked in lockstep with Zirix. If this suited him, he gave no sign.
‘You will need to learn many things,’ Zirix said. ‘The sword arts. Strategy and tactics. Logistics. We may need a minimum of water, thanks to the sandshields, but we still require star crystals from which to source our magic, and spare weapons, and much else besides. And most of all, you must show, through example, that the gods are not to be trusted. Everything we need, we can make ourselves.’
As they reached the palace, the gate guards saluted Zirix. He acknowledged them with a curt nod. They did not question Sajj's presence. Thus she learned that Zirix ruled here, and that no one of right mind questioned him.
‘There will be more scions,’ she said. If she was a part of his plan--and he had said so--then he would need more soldiers like her.
‘Yes,’ Zirix said, ‘but there will only be one like you.’
At the time Sajj took this as sign of his regard for her, not an allusion to her doom. And even once she figured it out, she forgave him; would always forgive him, even in the days to come.