“Mystic Tower,” Jacen declared, nudging his last armor exe into position with a satisfied grin.
The rest of us at the table frowned, Mike especially, since his face looked like it was permanently set that way. “Whaddaya meen ‘Mystic Tower’?” He growled. “You need-“
“A Sentinel-Sentinel-Sentinel combo, yup.” Jacen waved a hand over his side of the playing board. He had far fewer play pieces than when he had started, but somehow that fact hadn’t deterred him from playing on like it did most guys in a game of Suijin. At the moment, he had moved three of his vanguard pieces to surround one of Mike’s shield pieces in a triangular formation; a pair of barrel-shaped, toad-like zentils and the gold armor exe he had just maneuvered into place. “And I just set it up.”
Mike Wyzen glared at Jacen, not in the least bit amused by what was Jacen’s idea of a joke. There were only two things that could please the big ogre; one was his job and the other was punching a guy’s face in with his meaty fists. Right then, I would have placed my money on the bet that he was inches away from the latter. “Last I checked,” he said slowly, and his anger was starting to show itself in the way he spoke without his broken accent. “An exe is a Ravager.”
Jacen blinked in mock surprise. “I had no idea you could actually read, Mike.”
“I don’t understand this either,” said Angel, cutting off Mike from a quick retort…or a swift punch to Jacen’s blonde-haired face, depending on which side of the bet you were on. Angelo Vivaldi sat on Mike’s left, his dark grey, eight feet tall wings spread out behind his stool. He was androgynously handsome, like the rest of his Empyrean race, with short locks of white hair and hawkish eyes the same color as his wings. Those sharp eyes made him an excellent marksman, and I’ve lost count of the number of times his quick fingers have saved us from more than one early grave. And despite his slender physique, I have seen him stand his ground against Mike in a fair fight on several occasions.
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