A Breath of Respite

«That None Shall Ever Again
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Oh, Forename, my dear. I regret to say that all this moving about has begun to take its toll. Yet my darling husband soldiers on like the redoubtable soul he is.
I am entirely unqualified to help him with the Talos, of course, but I do what I can to make him more comfortable. A cup of water here, a massage there...
Gah, there's no point worrying about such things now. I'll get back to my calculations. You, meanwhile, should go and rest as your friends suggested.
My wife and the Exarch should be in the tavern. Why don't you join them?
Oh, and Forename? Ahem... Thank you.
Why are you still here? Go and get some rest while you can!
...The Exarch? He went outside a moment ago, my dear. I would've thought you'd have seen him.
He kept me company for a short while, but then he came over rather pale. He's clearly been straining himself, the poor thing.
Anyway, he excused himself, saying that he needed a breath of fresh air. Weak as he looked, I did offer to go with him, but he assured me he would be fine. I do hope he's all right...
Did you find the Exarch? I don't imagine he could have gone far...
...
There you are! Ahhh, what a relief... When Dulia told me that the Exarch had disappeared, and that you had been a long time finding him, I had feared the worst had happened right before the moment of truth!
The Exarch is back, thank heavens, and it seems the sea breeze did him a world of good! I do hope you managed to get a spot of rest as well!
Worry not, my friend. I am much revived for the fresh air─and your fine company, of course. Now then, let us turn our thoughts back to the task at hand.
Your Radiance. I have taken the liberty of quashing the vile rumors that your heir is possessed by a devil.
With the nation in the grip of war, we may rely on patriotic zeal to prevent them from resurfacing.
And what of Emet-Selch?
He has taken himself to the First, to usher that world to its end.
Or so I believe. He did not disclose the details of his mission, having ever preferred to work alone.
Even to those who have known him since the beginning, his actions can prove...unpredictable.
I am no stranger to his ways. He joys in playing me for a fool. Full many times have I been convinced I was acting of my own volition, only to discover all was as he willed it.
My dear grandfather...
On the subject of our esteemed colleague: his last report, though brief, did contain one item of interest.
You have doubtless wondered why the Scions of the Seventh Dawn have not taken the field of late.
It is because they are no longer in the Source.
The hero of the Scions has journeyed to the First─as have his comrades, albeit incompletely. Their bodies yet remain here in the Source.
This presents an opportunity. If we can defeat the Alliance prior to the Scions' return, we may eliminate their order at a stroke.
And with the Scions gone, none shall remain to thwart our plans. It will be but a matter of striking down the hero upon his homecoming.
Which, lest you forget, is essential to the realization of our objective. Of both of our objectives.
Through Hydaelyn's meddling, Her champions threaten to wrest the reins of fate from our grasp. The world is at risk of being dragged down the false path.
One which will never see man reclaim his true form.
'Tis unthinkable that he should supplant us, incomplete as he is. Such a devolution is abhorrent. And it must be stopped─before it is too late.
The hour is come, Your Radiance. Order your armies to march once more. Crush all who stand in your way.
This is your heart's desire, is it not? To seize a victory that is yours and yours alone─for the future of Garlemald!
Oh dear... You do not wear the mummer's motley well. I was never one to take an interest in tedious conflicts.
The whereabouts of my one true friend, however─they interest me greatly. I but hope the beasts of this “First” are providing him proper sport.
I would know every detail, Lord Zenos. Or would you rather I called you Elidibus?
...Hm. Unexpected. Most unexpected.
That immortality should be within the reach of one with a borrowed Echo.
You have outdone yourself, Zenos yae Galvus.
I have no particular attachment to that name─but I am rather fond of that body. Without it, I cannot enjoy my hunt to the fullest.
Your secrets or my flesh. I care not which you give me first. The choice is yours.