Kodara may be a little prick, but at least he’s quick about completing a mission. It shouldn’t surprise me considering that he’s one of Hembila’s handpicked soldiers, but it’s hard to believe someone I dislike so much could be competent.

Everyone who remains of our party was waiting for us right where we left the rest, just a mile or so west of the entrance to the tunnel. Eight of Hembila’s men are alive and Wudan is on his feet and ready to move. Inifra, Timber, and Balthandar were all anxious for our return, though, even more, I believe they want to get as far from this place as possible.

We can oblige. Already we have made a half-day’s journey north together. I hate the feeling of nearing Matasten again; it’s the same sensation of ascending the slope of an active volcano, hoping that for just another day it remains dormant until the descent is over. Matasten has a noxious caldera that is better left unapproached – how daunting to know that it won’t be long before I must throw myself over the edge in hopes of extinguishing its inferno once and for all.

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My entire life, I was raised to this end. To fight and die in the defeat of the Daedra. Glory in the Tetrarch is tallied in releases. How many Daedra have you killed? How advanced were they? How exciting it is when the opportunity to release a high level priest or even a Daemon presents itself. It’s different when you’re facing one on the verge of godhood.

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I don’t want to throw my life away, but I see little chance of surviving this.

Then again, what chance was I given in the first place? I should have died a dozen times over already in this jungle. What’s one more wretched threat thrown into the mix? Over time it all loses its sense of scale anyway. Add a sword to a pile of knives and you notice immediately; but grow that pile of knives large enough, and no sword will even register in the mass.

We have another day’s march to the tunnel that will take us east and into the territory of the Batsu. I’m ready to move on from this place, and even more ready to meet Nienatara.

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