By Eric Brennan
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When I reached him, he opened his arms to me and bowed. I drew my jade daiklave, the same blade I had been given upon Exaltation, and advanced. He looked as if he wanted to play as if a cat with a toy, but I didn’t have the time for that. I was there for a reason, and I intended to do what I came to do. His hands, still outstretched, began to change and resemble something akin to cats paws. I stared at them and didn’t flinch. I had a plan. I’d heard of how these demons operate. I swung my blade at him, and he batted it away with his paw, advancing on me.
I tucked my chin under her forearm the best I could to relieve the pressure of her choke while my hand found the forearm of the hand holding the knife. Instinctively, I found the pressure point and dug my thumb in, causing her hand to spasm and drop the knife. I moved as quickly as I could, one hand groped for the fallen knife by my head, while another pressure point strike and a push rolled her off of me, robbing her the use of her other arm. I jumped to my feet. She stood a couple of feet away, flailing her arms to regain feeling in them.
It came to a head, of course. There was a banquet held when my father celebrated his second marriage. Due to a perceived insult on my part, Temer spoke to me harshly. He raised his hand in anger, and I’m sure the whole incident would have escalated into a shameful brawl had not my father stepped in and forced my brother to leave. It was a scandal, and many of those who hold me in esteem stepped in to console me. I made it clear to them 36 CHAPTER TWO • A LIFE OF OBLIGATIONS that all I wished for in the world was that my brother and I could put aside our differences.