Last chapter of the story. Read the note at the end to find out what comes next, etc.
Cover Art: Z-ComiX
The farms outside of Menagerie bustled with activity as the well-kept wagon trundled down the cobbled-brick road. Farmers paused in their activities to look over, while inquisitive cows pulled their heads up from the grass to stare. The odd child, running or playing in the grassy stretches of land between wooden fences and the road pointed and guessed at their purpose, while others waved dramatically, their hands whipping back and forth over their heads with no knowledge of who lay within the caravan.
Lady Pyrrha Nikos, Arcanist of the White-Crimson, waved politely back. At thirty-two summers, she'd been told she had a personable and charming smile that made her fit for work such as this. Her companions less so.
"There's no point getting chummy with this lot," Lady Sanderson said – a minor noble, though no less ambitious for it, and one who was not at all pleased at being sent so far away from the city, less so here. "A city of outlaws, rogues and filth," she said. "It's a miracle they've survived so long. I daren't say they will much longer."
"They have survived and thrived for over ten years now." Pyrrha said. "The Collegium can no longer afford to pretend otherwise."
Their wagon continued on its way toward the large gates of the city. They had been repaired anew but it was still possible to see where old stone met new by the slight discolouration. Wooden buttresses had been built out over cracks in the stone, both to hide and to provide support for the guards patrolling it. The great wooden gates, studded with bronze and quite obviously fresh, stood open and pinned back, but each caravan entering faced a quick inspection by a squad of Menagerie's soldiers, locally known as the Braves. Their bright blue cloaks and chainmail armour glinted in Menagerie's warm midday sun.
"Halt there!" a man called out. Their driver brought the two mares to a stop. "All caravans to be inspected as per orders of the Grand Arcanist. What is your purpose for visiting Menagerie?"
Pyrrha moved out the caravan before Lady Sanderson could insult anyone. "We are a diplomatic contingent from the city of Vale. I have a signed missive from Grand Arcanist Belladonna allowing us entry."
The man grunted and took it, unfurled the scroll and read it. A few behind him watched carefully, ready but not eager for a fight. The man hummed once or twice, scowled and handed it back. "We still need to inspect the caravan. The agreement permits no more than three of you. Come on out and let's have a look at you."
"Of course. One moment." Pyrrha leaned back into the caravan to stare firmly at Lady Sanderson, and a little less so at the younger man sat awkwardly opposite her. "Be on your best behaviour!" she hissed before signalling them out. To the guard she said, "Here we are. But the three of us."
Pyrrha had them stand in the shadow of the gate as the guards searched the caravan. They would, of course, find only food supplies from the journey and a few personal belongings.
"I am Arcanist Pyrrha Nikos and this is my apprentice and student, Leon Bright." The young man bowed awkwardly, unused to life outside the Collegium of Vale. He had been inducted at the age of twelve and while now twenty and an Arcanist of the White proper, he had little to no experience outside its walls. "Accompanying us is Arcanist Rebecca Sanderson."
"Lady Rebecca Sanderson," said woman sniped. The guards were hardly immune to it, and a few scowled back her way. Pyrrha wished she could boot the woman back into the caravan. Why, oh why, the Grand Arcanist had ordained she come along, she would never know. The woman was cantankerous at best – perhaps that was why. To humble her.
Luckily, the Braves were a disciplined lot and soon allowed them back into their caravan. "Make for the Academy down the main road. You can hardly miss it," the guard said. "Keep to a slow speed – we won't have horses running about inside these walls. You'll need to make lodge outside, but there are plenty of inns you might stay at. You'll pass several on the way and I'm sure the Grand Arcanist will have some booked for you."
"Thank you, sir." Pyrrha slid him a few coins by way of thanks. It did not pay to be stingy. "For you and your men."
"We don't accept bribes, madam."
"No bribe. An apology." Her head hinted back toward the caravan. "We are not all as prickly as she."
The man chuckled and handed the coins along to his men. An equally generous gesture. "We'll be keeping that in mind. Fare you well here in Menagerie. Will ye be staying for the festival?"
"We may." Pyrrha demurred. It really depended on if they were welcome or not. The driver cracked the reins and the wagon moved slowly on. It was strange to see the city so vibrant and bustling, especially given that it had been a ruin only fifteen years prior.
If one looked closely, the signs were there. They passed by a two-storey building whereupon the stone base wall gave way to cleaner rock, then a wooden second floor that jutted out above it by way of wooden struts. Beside it, another of the same design, but its first floor was half wood, the original stone structure having cracked away at an odd and visible angle. It was now incorporated into the new building as nothing more than a decoration, but it once would have stood as a whole wall before the Grimm destroyed the city.
Much of Menagerie was a cross of stone and wood, with little to no buildings being one or the other. They had been built by people making use of what resources were at hand, often stone foundations, and then building on top of them and upwards. The city wasn't tiered like Vale, and it had fared the better for it. There was no slum for one. In the fifteen years since the great flood, the slums of Vale had begun to populate once more, and that was despite the city's best efforts. Plans to demolish and turn it into something else had failed when the rainwater from the farms flooded in again as it always had. Once more, it had become home to the disparate majority cast down from the Merchant's Quarter.
None of that here. Though some of the folk walking by looked leaner than others, none looked unhealthy or hungry. It would be hard to suffer for that unless one had a deathly allergy to fish, for Pyrrha had seen the hundred or so fishing vessels dotting the water as they approached.
Menagerie exported fish, especially shellfish, all across the coast, both to outlying towns and villages, but also all the way to Mistral and even to Vale. The Arc family had sole rights to Vale's supply of that of course, the bonds between menagerie and the Arc family being a known thing. Lady Juniper Arc had done well of that, elevating House Arc to a noble house both in Vale and, ironically enough, in Menagerie – a city that did not have noble families. Not as Vale did, anyway. The people respected and loved the Arc family for what they had done, but they were not seen as being of a higher caste by right of birth, only by action. They felt more the exception to the rule than anything else.
"Is it true this city had fallen to the Grimm?" Leon asked. His mousey brown hair hung before wide blue eyes as he peered out at the streets and buildings. He would have been but five when the Grimm invaded Vale, and she doubted he remembered it.
"They did. And they came to Vale after to try and destroy us as well. Fortunately, they were fought off by the might of the city."
"By the might of the Collegium." Lady Sanderson interrupted. "And by the sacrifice of the Lady Glynda Goodwitch."
Pyrrha smiled faintly and didn't dispute the widely accepted tale. It was, sadly, also the officially taught side of things, and it was beyond her ability to challenge the Grand Arcanist on the matter. It remained a point of contention between the Collegium and the noble families as well, who taught a very different view of Lady Goodwitch. As did the crown.
"Menagerie was rebuilt by the daughter of its previous and reigning Grand Arcanist, Blake Belladonna." Pyrrha lectured. Leon was her student, and she relished his attentiveness. He had been so excited when she offered him mentorship, but then she was well-known as the youngest dual-stone Arcanist in Vale's history. A rising star in her own right. "Lady Belladonna rules now as the new Grand Arcanist of the Collegium of Menagerie, though they call it the Arcane Academy, or the Academy for short."
"It's a lawless place." Rebecca interrupted again. "What Pyrrha isn't telling you is that Lady Belladonna employed Rogue Arcanists and even Wildmages in rebuilding the city, and she opens her so-called academy to both. Many of those who live here were rightfully cast out from Vale for crimes against the city and its people."
"Lady Sanderson." Pyrrha said. "I will thank you to leave my student to me."
"Hmph." The woman crossed one leg over the other and turned to stare out the window, lip curled. "I was just making sure the boy receives a proper education. I wouldn't want poor Leon being led astray."
Poor Leon looked positively confused and rather awkward as the two women, both his superior, stared harshly at one another from across a small caravan he also occupied. He was wise enough to stay silent.
"Are you implying something, Lady Sanderson?" Pyrrha asked.
"Only that your connection to the criminals who reside here is well known, Lady Nikos. There are some who question your impartiality with regards to this mission. It is why I was sent to accompany you."
"Because you are impartial?" Pyrrha chuckled. "I think not."
The silence lingered. Leon broke it. "M-Master," he said, "What was this about a festival?"
Not a bad change of subject. Pyrrha leaned into it. "This month marks fifteen years since people settled back in Menagerie, and they celebrate every five with a grand event. I am told people travel from far and wide to attend, and that numerous ships must be linked together by bridges to fit the people as they celebrate. Sensing the profit, merchants and entertainers come from far and wide to sell to those same people, and that has had a knock-on effect, making it larger and larger."
"It's become so grand that even noble families from nearby Mistral have been known to attend," she continued. "And I dare say a few from Vale and Atlas as well. Certainly House Arc. From what I have heard, they party for a week straight, with food and drink and entertainment aplenty."
"Will we get to attend!?"
"If the Grand Arcanist allows it," she said. It was best not to get his hopes up. "We are here not only to open diplomatic talks, but also to congratulate the Academy on its success. If all goes well, I will see to accompanying you. Such will only happen if we make a good impression, so be sure to be on your best behaviour."
"I will, master!" he promised.
It wasn't Leon she really doubted, sadly. Lady Sanderson huffed from her seat, glaring out the window as if everything she was a personal offence. Sadly, it was not a rare point of view within the Collegium of Vale, nor was it to call Menagerie the city of rogues.
If one were to ask the greatest difference between the Arcane Academy and the Collegium of Vale, it would be in how open it was. Open gates, open doors, civilians openly walking around inside and students free to walk outside as they wished. They wore the same colours and robes of their own, including grey shawls for the Initiates, but unlike theirs the Initiates here were not mandated to remain on Collegium grounds.
It was more a shock to Leon than either of the more experienced Arcanists. Pyrrha kept her head high and smiled for any who met her gaze, working double time for the white-robed Rebecca, who only yanked her hood up and refused to speak a word to the guards at the gate. They were ushered quickly and politely to the front of the great academy building.
"It's bigger than anything in Vale!" Leon gushed.
"Don't be fooled." Rebecca snapped. "This houses all of their Arcana and students at once. Combined, the Collegium of Vale is far grander."
"I-I only meant-"
"It is big, isn't it?" Pyrrha distracted him with a fond smile. "I was a little surprised myself. I wager a fair few students have gotten lost trying to navigate the place."
"Yeah! I'd have no idea where to go."
"Thankfully-" a familiar voice said, "That is not so much a problem. Initiates are limited in what areas of the academy they can frequent, with their permissions increasing year on year. That lets them get used to it in smaller segments over a longer period of time."
Glorious white and golden robes, ornate silver clasps and a heavy-looking necklace set with sparkling gemstones. The woman who approached them was short, but she carried herself like a far taller woman. Her snow white hair was drawn back into a single ponytail clasped with silver, that flowed down to the middle of her back. Time had been kind to Weiss Schnee, granting her an ageless grace that left her age difficult to determine. Her eyes were no less sharp than Pyrrha remembered, however.
Nor, it seemed, as Weiss remembered. "Pyrrha. It's good to see you."
"You look well, Weiss. Good."
A small smile. A good sign, Pyrrha hoped. "I am well. Better than I was at any rate. And you, I understand, are doing well for yourself. There are some who tell us you are slated to become the next Grand Arcanist."
"Rumours only!" Pyrrha said quickly, aware of the awed look from Leon and the angry one from Rebecca. "The current Grand Arcanist is hale and healthy, and I am focused on my own tasks, namely training my apprentice here."
"As I can see." Weiss nodded and then addressed said companions. "Welcome. I am Weiss Schnee, headmistress of the Arcane Academy, and assistant to Grand Arcanist Blake Belladonna. On behalf of the Grand Arcanist, I welcome you all to Menagerie. Care you to introduce yourselves?"
"L-Leon Bright, l-lady Schnee."
"Lady Rebecca Sanderson, Rogue."
Pyrrha hissed and Leon looked positively mortified. Weiss merely rolled her eyes, snorted and turned her back on the woman. It was far greater an insult than any words might have been. "Please follow me. I shall escort you to visit the Grand Arcanist. I have also had rooms made available for you at a local inn, the expenses covered. I will have someone show you to those once you are done."
"We're not to stay in the Collegium?" Rebecca asked.
"In short, we do not trust you enough to stay here. And this is the Arcane Academy."
"It is a Collegium no matter what you call it."
"Stick to that attitude and your meeting shall be a short one indeed. Blake has greater patience than I, but even hers is not without limit." Weiss paused to glance back. "And think twice before testing anyone else's.
Rebecca bristled. "Is that a threat?"
Weiss only laughed.
They were brought soon to a well furnished and lit antechamber with an ornate door to the side, bid wait as Weiss entered the Grand Arcanist's chamber. In the brief moment of peace, Pyrrha glared at Lady Sanderson for jeopardising their mission, but the moment was short, and Weiss soon retuned.
"The Grand Arcanist will see you."
Pyrrha had never met Blake, for all that she'd later learned the woman had been in Vale since the very beginning. Seeing her now, it was hard to imagine she had ever masqueraded as a pauper. Blake Belladonna was tall and stately, even sat behind her grand, cedar-wood desk. Her skin was fair, her hair so black as to appear shimmering blue in the light of the flickering torches nearby. Two feline ears poked inquisitively from atop her head, and they turned in their direction as they entered.
She set down a golden quill, sealed a letter with her Arcanum and stood. Her robes were a shimmering silver in colour, so reflective that it would have been a disservice to call them grey. On her shoulders, strange metal decorations rose up and slid down her back, while a belt ordained with stones clasped her slim waist. Eyes the colour of amber regarded them coolly, inspecting each of them with clear calculation.
"Grand Arcanist Belladonna." Pyrrha bowed shortly. "I am Pyrrha Nikos, Arcana of White and Crimson. Accompanying me are Rebecca Sanderson of the White, and Leon Bright, also of the White and my apprentice. We represent the diplomatic contingent from the Collegium of Vale here to the Arcane Academy." She made sure to stress the latter no matter how much it insulted the other Collegiums. "I am here to extend the Collegium of Vale's congratulations for your success in rebuilding Menagerie."
"Thank you." Blake smiled and nodded her head briefly. "It has been a challenge but one I have enjoyed. Menagerie is now returned to its former glory, and I daresay beyond it. I trust, however, that this is now all you were sent here to convey."
It was not, and yet Pyrrha had been hoping they might dance around the topic a little longer – or that she might have more time to butter the woman up. She wondered cynically if that was why Lady Sanderson had been sent with her, not to accompany but to make sure Pyrrha did not lose her nerve. An insulting suggestion, but one she could not entirely dismiss.
"The Collegium of Vale wishes to offers its support to the Arcane Academy…"
"Does it now?" Blake's smile, and her words, told Pyrrha she wasn't about to be fooled, and that she'd make this conversation drag out. "How interesting. There was little support to be had fifteen years ago when we had to fight our way out of Vale, but please, go on."
"Y… Yes. The Collegium of Vale offers its support with improving the infrastructure of Menagerie, both the city and the Co- Academy here. This support would include furnishing of Arcana Buildings or wings, your library or libraries, and also the construction of…" Pyrrha hesitated.
Of something she knew she did not want to say.
"Of a Sanctum." Rebecca said, either seeing the chance to get one over on her or being utterly unable to read the room. "We offer support in building and maintaining a Sanctum, so that you might apply the proper rule of law, Grand Arcanist."
"I see." Lady Blake Belladonna closed her eyes and hummed as if she were considering it – though Pyrrha knew she was not. "And this… generosity. I expect it comes with certain… requirements."
"Trade of goods and knowledge," Pyrrha said weakly. "Opened communications, a sharing of laws-"
"You would have to comply with the laws and tenets dictated by the Collegiums."
"Oh? And those would be?"
She knew. Of course she knew. Pyrrha wanted to throw her hands in the air and tell the faunus that this wasn't her choice, that she was just a messenger and that maybe Menagerie should argue with Vale if they wanted to. Again, and to her relief, Rebecca's arrogance won out over common sense.
"You must surrender criminals to Vale and change the way things work around here. Academy-? Nonsense. You're a Collegium. You have Initiates wandering out among the populace as if they pose no danger, and you employ a wanted criminal as your own assistant. Weiss Schnee is a known associate of Maria Calavera, who has studied forbidden arts. Then there is the escaped Wildmage Adam Taurus and the traitor, Ruby Rose. All must be surrendered to Vale to face justice for their crimes."
"I see." Blake nodded. "May I see the proposition?"
Pyrrha handed the rolled-up and sealed scroll, and was only mildly surprised when, after taking it, Blake held it to the nearest candle on her desk and let it begin to smoke and burn. Even then, she was only surprised she'd do it right in front of them and not that the offer was being cast aside.
"You dare!" Rebecca surged to her feet. "Do you really think Menagerie can resist the might of Vale and Atlas if we band together? I encourage – nay, for the sake of your people I beg you to reconsider our generous offer."
"It has been considered and found lacking. As for our capability." The Grand Arcanist looked beyond them, to the curved windows that made up the entire back wall of her office. "A moment please. It's hard to concentrate when they begin."
They-? Pyrrha turned, as did Leon and Rebecca.
Suddenly, the sky became red. Not because it had turned to twilight, but because, with a mighty rush of air, a pillar of solid flame had sprung up from outside the city. Leon cried out, as shaken by the sheer force of magic they could all feel washing over them as he was the sudden tornado. It grew in intensity, boiling over and widening until it was like a chute aimed directly up toward the heavens, wrapped with fire, lightning and crackling ice.
Pyrrha had but felt the feeling once, when the escaped Wildmage Cinder Fall marched upon the White Cathedral and burned it to he ground. At the time, she'd felt helpless, and she had not been alone in it. Fifteen years had not made her any better at withstanding it, though it had enabled her to pretend.
For minutes it burned, rolled and twisted in the air, growing and dimming in intensity. It felt as though it might never end, until, with a final angry howl, the inferno dissipated, and the sky turned blue once more.
"W… What was that!?" Leon gasped, shaking like a leaf.
"Once a month, students are taken out to burn away magic so that it does not overwhelm them. We give them a safe space outside the city to vent their surges. I believe Adam is with them today, making sure they're all well."
"Students." Pyrrha said.
"Surges?" Rebecca echoed, face pale. "Y-You mean more Wildmages?"
"Oh yes." Blake said with a coy smile. "When it became known we protect and teach Wildmages to handle their powers, many who felt unsafe in the shadow of the Collegiums of Magic flocked to us. Young and old. It turns out there are many more than any could know. We have over a hundred now." The Grand Arcanist acted as though she could not see the naked terror on Rebecca and Leon's faces. "Their powers are destructive, true, but given space to vent their surges, they are good members of our society. The people of Menagerie have even gotten used to the monthly surges. Many come to watch the displays if they don't have work."
"Y-You're mad!" Rebecca stammered. "You are insane. You cannot trust Wildmages, you cannot rely on Wildmages. They will destroy Menagerie and kill you all! The tragedy that cost you the city once will happen again!"
Blake's eyes remained on Pyrrha's. "Your superiors and I know that not to be the case. As for the loss of Menagerie, I do believe that was caused by an Arcanist of Vale."
"Lies!" she spat, rising. "I will not sit here and listen to any more! Know that the Collegium of Vale will learn of this – as will Atlas!"
"And you ought know that should they attack, they shall be decimated in the field." Blake said coolly. "The oceans will swallow the fleets of Atlas long before they reach our shores, and that `display` you saw outside my window shall be aimed firmly at your own camps."
Angry, defiant, shaken, Lady Sanderson stumbled to the door and out, leaving Pyrrha the lone experienced Arcanist in the room, and Leon frightened and confused. A boy his age should have been more confident, but a life spent trapped in the Collegium had left him childish beyond belief. Not unlike many other nobles she knew.
"The message had to be delivered." Pyrrha said. "I do not believe Vale wishes conflict."
"Of course it doesn't. Vale wishes to bluff and bluster and hope we will bow down. We shall not. Let them know, let your Grand Arcanist know, and tell him or her that we do not care for what lies you tell in Vale or how you defame us. We care only for our home and will protect it with our lives. This is not a Collegium. This is the Arcane Academy."
Pyrrha rose, nodded and said, "Understood. Thank you for your time, Grand Arcanist. May we stay a few days, or would you have us leave?"
"Stay if you wish but collar your companion lest she insult someone she shouldn't. If she angers Adam, Ruby or heavens forbid Ruby's sister then she may not survive the night." Blake inclined her head. "I've asked someone to show you to your inn. Please, enjoy the festival."
"Thank you. Come, Leon." Pyrrha moved slowly, allowing her nervous apprentice to catch up. She could sense his questions, no doubt hundreds of them. "We'll talk later," she assured him. "But not tonight. I need time to think. Know you did well – better than our erstwhile colleague."
"L-Lady Sanderson was not wrong, master. The White says-"
"Do not share what the White says here, child. It is not popular."
Pyrrha recognised the voice instantly. How could she not? Ruby was waiting for them outside, dressed in a dark red cloak with the hood drawn down, her chest clasped in a dark leather corset with a belt running diagonally between her breasts. To say she was dressed as an Arcanist would have been a lie. Ruby had done away with her long robes for a thigh-length skirt and black hose beneath, along with knee-high boots in dark grey. A thick tome hung on her left hip, two more strapped on the other side of her belt.
Older, perhaps, but no less Ruby. The silver eyes remained the same, as did the shape of the face. It was as if she'd only aged five years in the last fifteen. She could have been mistaken for being in her early twenties.
There was something deeper too – something even Leon felt if his gasp was any indication. Ruby hummed with power, simmering beneath the surface. Not wild, however. Not out of control. It felt tightly packed and under lock and key, present and overwhelming, but passively. Almost calm. Like the deep ocean when you were out on a ship.
"R-R-Ruby Rose." Leon stammered. "The Scourge-"
Pyrrha slapped his shoulder quickly.
Ruby laughed. "The Scourge? Is that what they're calling me now? Adorable! Most of the kids here call me the librarian nowadays, though one or two call me Auntie. Usually the other Wildmages. Well. No words, Pyrrha? It's been fifteen years. Are you really going to stand there staring at me and not say anything?"
"Do you hate me?"
"Really?" Ruby chuckled. "Those are the first words after this long?"
"I chose the White Arcana over you," Pyrrha said, feeling so much older than her thirty-two years. "You left-" She paused. Left me behind was a dangerous thing to say if anyone heard from Leon that she said it. "You left the city without ever once telling me."
"And yet I'm the Wildmage," Ruby said. "I'm the Scourge of Vale or whatever it is they're calling me. A monster who might lose control at any second and kill everyone." Her grin, and the easy way she held herself, was as bold as calling the lie out to their faces. "Don't you think I should be the one asking you that question? You're White-Crimson, Pyrrha. Do you hate me?"
"No. No, I…" Quietly, she mouthed I miss you.
Silver eyes widened. Surprise, realisation and something else. Ruby looked away, eyes closing. "I see. Well, I should show you all to your inn, shouldn't I? You should stay for the festival," she told them both. "There is much to see and do. The Academy will be hosting our own display to entertain, including the Wildmages."
"T-That sounds fun…" Leon said uncertainly. "Is that allowed, master?" he asked her. "I don't want to run afoul of any rules."
"The White will not hear of it from me," Pyrrha told him.
"Weiss, Jaune, Yang and I are having our own little get-together," Ruby said suddenly. "A quiet dinner away from all the festivities. It's only going to be a few of us, but we were planning to reminisce about the good old days. Blake will be joining us after she's done her duties opening the festival."
"That sounds nice," Pyrrha said sadly. "Please say hello to them for me."
"Or you could tell them yourself." Ruby said. Pyrrha looked up, surprised and tense. Ruby acted as though she hadn't noticed. "I can bring a guest if I wish, and it might help diplomatic ties between the Academy and the Collegium of Vale if I invited you along."
A lie. A lie for her sake, so that if Leon were to tell Rebecca it would only seem as something she agreed to for the sake of her mission. Pyrrha saw deeper, however, and her eyes watered. There was a tight sensation in her chest, and she wiped quickly at her face.
"I… I'd like that. I humbly accept your invitation."
"I'm glad." Ruby smiled back at her, and for the first time in fifteen years, Pyrrha felt the weight upon her shoulder lift but a little. "It will be good to catch up with you, Pyrrha. I know Weiss feels the same way, as much as she will refuse to admit it."
"Yes. I… I hope so." Pyrrha smiled back, and then laughed. "Menagerie has been good to you, Ruby. To all of you."
"It'll continue to be, as we will to it. This is our home now, and home to a lot of other people as well. Come on. I'll show you the best places to eat and drink – it'll be like old times."
To Pyrrha Nikos, White Arcanist, nothing had ever sounded so beautiful.
No romance in this story – not directly anyway. I kinda didn't feel it with Ruby at any point and with anyone, despite some people wanting Jaune x Ruby or even Weiss x Ruby. I'd honestly say Weiss x Ruby would have been the closest, as Jaune was never into romance in Vale because he was defeatist about his future and didn't want to put any person through the pain of loving and losing him. It's implied he gets with Yang and develops an interest in her, but I'll leave that possibility open with this ending.
Next story is undecided – I have a few in my head but am deciding which. That next story will take a Tuesday slot however, which means that "Eternal Crown" (already published) will be taking this Sunday slot.
Not next Sun though. It will be out next Tuesday as originally planned, and I'll be informing people in that chapter as to the change of schedule. As such, you'll get a chapter of Crown on Tuesday 8th, then another on Sunday 20th, and then a new story will appear on Tuesday 22nd.
Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed.
P a treon . com (slash) Coeur