Azar could switch easily between situations, and the teasing and lusting was quickly replaced with cool professionalism. His face was stoic and he calmly looked discreetly over a balcony that oversaw the lower level lobby where the trade was taking place. The slaves had the bodies piled on carts and Azar recognized several of the ones he tampered with among them.
The Pureblood watched in silence as the trade was completed, though he could overhear some of the slaves complaining about malfunctioning droideka that decided to do a suicide run into a hole. There was a bit of bickering but the Colicoids left satisfied enough. The slaves would receive a shipment of more droideka at their other rebel base as promised.
Azar stepped away from the balcony and walked towards a window that gazed outside. He silently gestured for Karys to join him, providing them both with front row seats to the show. The insectoids wandered off for a distance, but then they paused to consume some of their newly acquired meals. At first, nothing appeared out of the ordinary as the insects devoured the bodies.
They began to move again shortly after, but suddenly one of them paused. There was a shrill, high pitched cry. The colicoid began to twist and contort, thrashing and flailing in pure agony. Within moments, every orifice began to leak a steaming, acidic goo that Karys would begin to understand was its entrails in purely liquified form.
If Karys looked, he would realized Azar casually opened another packet of chips and began to munch on them as he watched. One by one, each colicoid fell and went through the same, horrific and agonizing torment before they rolled onto their backs dead. Two of them survived and they were witness to the tragedy. Between this and the droideka all falling into a hole, the perfect amount of doubt was planted.
Within moments, the two Colicoids began to click and communicate, sending signals to their brethren. They began to turn and charge back towards the hospital.
“The slightest tremor,” Azar said, referring back to his earlier logic on indentured triggers, with a faint grin before popping another chip into his mouth.
Once his composure had been regained, Karys followed Azar in utter silence. A cold rage roiled within him for the untimely interruption the Colicoids had provided. But he swallowed his anger to watch what the Champion had planned for the bugs. Karys would come to a stop alongside the Potionsmaster when he was beckoned forward. He sucked idly on the wound in his palm to ensure none of his blood dripped onto the floor. Azar had stated that there could be no trace of them and so Karys wouldn’t break that commandment.
His crimson eyes watched with interest from their perch. The Colicoids were disgusting, their forms were as offensive as their droidekas. As the trade took place, Karys quizzically looked to Azar. Had the Potionsmaster just allowed this trade to occur? Why?
Karys wouldn’t have long to wait to find out.
Colicoids were ravenous beasts, they only cared for what they could consume. As such, there was no hesitation for them when they consumed the corpses offered to them. Erratic twitching, spasms, and seizures would take hold of many of them as Azar’s brew took hold. Karys leaned forward to watch as the creatures writhed in their death throes.
The pleasure that radiated off him was palpable.
Almost in synch with the first death due to internal liquification, Azar had bitten into his first chip. Karys eyes filled with amusement at the Kissai’s reaction to his handiwork. Over the next handful of seconds all but two of the bugs met the same horrid fate. Karys in turn found that his anger had abated, this death was far worse than anything he could have imagined and was precisely what they had deserved.
<This was not what I had expected.> Karys told him. <You are not what I expected.> He continued.
In all honesty, when Karys had been told to remain on world to aid with the Sith representative, he’d figured there would be one of two outcomes. Either he would die in some pointless assault, or he’d lose his mind in some discussion room. Instead, he stood on a balcony and had just witnessed the first death stroke of a rebellion…without a lightsaber being activated.
<Show me more.> The words came more hungrily than even he expected.
Azar calmly finished his bag of chips, debating on which was more entertaining to observe - the colicoids rallying to confront the slave rebels or the other Pureblood’s complete fascination and disbelief. He chuckled quietly to himself when Karys spoke, “I count on others not knowing what to expect from me, little Loth-kitten,”Azar said with amusement glinting in his eye as he teasingly brushed a finger along the underside of Karys’ jawline. The other man had a hunger for knowledge that bordered on gullibility. Azar wondered how easily manipulated he could be and filed that away for later. He was useful thus far so Azar wouldn’t act on anything.
“Come,” He ordered as he spun on his heel, walking back towards the balcony overseeing the lobby. The slavers were discussing things among themselves, still unaware that the colicoids were advancing back to the hospital. Azar could sense fear among the slaves as they pondered their next move.
Fear leads to a collapse of discipline,He spoke telepathically to Karys. Azar was tasked with teaching, so he would use opportunities to do so. Karys would sense the use of the Force, but it was subtle and within the minds of those speaking underneath them. The slaves would feel a heightened sense of anxiety. Azar did not plant anything new, he simply nurtured something that was already there, tending to a budding bloom that would grow into a twisted flower with thorns. They would feel the prickle of those thorns as they looked across their brethren. They would begin to question the true motivation the other slaves had. Were they really in this together? Wasn’t it just so easy to cut a deal with someone and sell the others to bail themselves out?
Questions began to arise in their minds and it became clear from the way they looked at one another. Their idle chit chat died away and some of them began to pace. Through it all, Azar watched from above, existing as nothing more than a shadow, as the conductor of a symphony preparing to play.
And then crescendo…
The doors burst open as the colicoids charged in and demanded to know why the others were killed. Confusion, chaos, and then…. Accusation. It was one of the slaves that pointed the finger at another slave, the subtlest little nudge of the Force in his thoughts pushing him over the edge.
The one who holds the true power is often the one who wields no blade at all, Loth-kitten, His velvety voice would resound within the corners of Karys’ psyche. Azar smiled to himself, turning and striding away from the scene. He knew the entire hospital would erupt into a fight soon. And it would be the first of many to jumpstart the collapse of the rebellion.
Karys felt himself drawn to what Azar was showing him, despite their differences of opinions, despite their different viewpoints. For their kind, the lure of power was irresistible. Azar's honeyed words acted as the bait whenever he spoke, it drew Karys into an intricate web that he had no hope of escaping. He was helpless to resist the call of the Dark Side, especially when the messenger so effortlessly exemplified it's seductive methods.
Karys felt the stroke of Azar's finger, it traced his jawline smoothly and effortlessly. It added to the seductive influence of his words. When Azar commanded Karys to follow him, there was no silently withheld complaints, no doubts, just the continued echoes of an unquenchable hunger. As Azar flowed into the next room, without willing it Karys would feel himself following in his puppet-master's footsteps. The proud and independent Acolyte had been reduced to a simple marionette in these moments.
Wordlessly, Azar's teachings would echo into the mind of Karys only serving to fuel this fugue state. The world peeled back as Karys felt his mind expanding to feel the room below. Still faintly aware of his own consciousness, the fears and anxieties of the slaves were laid bare before him, he felt them as if they were his own. Each of them was unique, each of these otherwise imperceptible flaws were still in their infancy. Until the discordant melody of wrath and anger rushed into the room.
Then Azar's garden bloomed.
As he watched, Karys was vaguely aware of Azar's presence leaving the room, like a child is aware of their parent's absence. But he couldn't move, something kept him still, something made him watch. The flowers bloomed, the garden was over-ripe in a matter of moments. And then one by one, they withered on their vines, greying with decay.
...true power is often the one who wields no blade at all, Loth-kitten.
The words echoed in Karys' mind, unclouding it from all doubts and fears. The Dark Side's flickering flames lured another moth into it's fiery embrace. But Karys could only relish in his own burning.
With a blink Karys found himself standing on the balcony overlooking nothing but the dead and dying. Nausea welled up within him for the briefest of moments. But the footsteps of Azar echoing somewhere in the distance called to him and Karys heeded their siren's song.
<Wait...> His voice faintly echoed, the rumble fading from it forever.
Nothing but a hapless puppet on the string now, Karys pursued.
Azar was far out from the hospital, and he wouldn’t stop his gait until he found himself atop a hill. The sun was just beginning to set, the skies an abstraction of painted blues, purples and countless other colors. Red slowly streaked across the horizon until it began to creep over the other colors, the sun burning with an angry ferocity. The Pureblood watched it in silence, his yellow gaze reflecting the otherwise haunting sunset.
If Karys came to stand beside him, he would see that for the first time since his arrival on Zygerria, there was no fighting happening at the city square. Instead he would see little plumes of smoke at dispersed zones dotting the valleys before them sporadically. Karys would work out soon enough that these were slaver bases that had been tucked away. One by one they were being rooted out by the colicoids or the droidekas that were given to the slavers abruptly began to turn on them.
From where they stood, they had the perfect view of it. Azar observed in silence for a long while, “When we come out to this galaxy..so far away from our people.. We have a choice to make,” He said without looking at Karys, “A choice to assimilate, to don new chains, to become like them,” He paused there, “Or to bring what we are, what we were meant to be, what we are destined to be out into this galaxy.”
Azar turned to look at him at last, “You are Sadow. The failures of your fathers does not erase the rise of the empires and forged kingdoms of your brethren before that. You were born with it, the Dark Side manifests in you…you need only to embrace it,” His own three digit fingers brushed over Karys’ extra fingers, “Never forget where you come from.”
The Pureblood gazed forward again, a faint smirk gracing his lips, “You do not care because you do not know..” He repeated again what he had said earlier, whispering the words into the wind.
The sounds of Azar's garden expanding rang through the hospital as Karys ran. The screams of men and women being devoured alive, the shrill death screeches of Colicoids, and the echoes of dual blaster cannons chased after Karys. He shut them out, none of them mattered anymore, Zygerria didn't matter anymore. Karys could hear the faint echoes of Azar's footsteps just ahead of him despite the Pureblood having already made it onto the hilltop. Was this the call of Power? The song of Understanding? The Dark Side tugged at a soul that it already owned, spurring it's bearer forward into the flames of hell.
Breathless, Karys found that architect of his demise upon a hilltop. An unholy prophet that watching the fruits of his labor as they bloomed across the city. Karys joined him wordlessly. Barely understanding what he had truly witnessed, barely grasping the magnitude of the event. Then, when Azar spoke, it wasn't in condemnation but with all the tenderness of a lover's embrace. The words called to Karys was they flowed from Azar's tongue, reigniting a long extinguished flame in the student's heart.
And then Azar's gaze fell onto him.
The prophet spoke of his lineage, his past. The failures of his forefathers and the sins he had been made to carry from their names. As he did, the shame in Karys heart withered on the vine. He was finally beginning to understand, his eyes turned from Azar to gaze out at their fertile garden.
The prophet of Korriban and the son of Ziost stood before the wrath they had wrought.
When Azar's fingers touched Karys' own, the younger Pureblood would take his hand, interlocking his fingers beneath Azar's own. His gaze finally returning to fall upon the most beautiful being he had ever seen. The words that he replied with were an echo of before but damned his soul.
Time passed by on that hill and it was almost peaceful to behold. There was a strangely tranquil space created by Azar’s presence. It was elusive and mysterious, and yet it allowed Karys room to coexist to embrace all facets of himself. There was no judgment then, just a calm sentry next to him that observed the machinations of his grand designs execute with perfect accordance. The main square remained untouched.
Azar finally rose from that hill, silently making his way back towards the city center, “Now we meet with them,” He said calmly to Karys, referring back to their initial objective. Unlike the past few weeks, the path was entirely undisturbed. The two walked past countless slaves strewn across the roads, their entrails splattered across the ground. Dismantled droideka were scattered all around, static and electricity buzzing through exposed circuits.
The Pureblood ignored it all, calmly stepping through the carnage and towards the town square. He came to a stop shortly before the palace, where he could see two slaves with spears. They were all that remained from the rest being drawn away to fight the colicoids. Azar stepped forth, lowering his hood so the slaves could see what he was.
If Karys moved to fight, he would see Azar lazily lift a hand to stop him. Instead Azar stared at the two slaves, letting them stew in the reality of their circumstances. The slaves tightened their grip on their weapons, but doubt had already begun to course through them like poison. The Pureblood didn’t attack them, and it only allowed them to slowly fall apart inside. As Azar had predicted - only a single trigger was needed to create a domino effect for those that knew nothing but indentured life.
Azar started walking again and Karys would see the slaves take on a defeated look. In the end, the Pureblood walked right between them and past them and the men remained standing, their hands loosely gripping their spears. Azar kept walking without looking back, entering the palace now.
Karys' eyes watched Azar as they stood upon the hill, overlooking the fruits of his labors. Karys knew his breath was unsteady, not from lust or desire but this time from sheer awe. Even still, his mind still wandered through the halls of his memories. It tried to grasp what he has experienced, what he felt just moments before. How was any of this possible? The Prophet Azar was everything the oldest legends had described of the Kissai but plucked from their pages and placed before him.
And then the Prophet turned and left.
Something barely perceptible whispered in his mind. It's echoes ran hot through his veins and Karys willed himself to do as it pushed. Karys followed the Prophet through his garden, the peace of the grave had overtaken the slave's encampment. As he followed, Karys took care to not crush what the Prophet had caused to bloom beneath his feet. The Prophet lowered his hood, revealing who had orchestrated such beautiful destruction to the only two seedlings left in this place.
Their fear was palpable.
Karys felt his hand instinctively dip for the hilt of his lightsaber but the hand of the Prophet gave him pause. Karys eyes flitted between the Prophet and the two armed guards, he watched as the bloom began. The pleasure of drinking in their cowardice couldn't be brought to words. When the Prophet walked onward, Karys paused to gaze at the two men for just a moment longer and then his legs would carry him onward.
<Teacher, but they've seen our faces.> Karys whispered as he caught up to the Prophet, his gaze cast itself back to the pair of guards behind them.
Azar smiled at Karys’ concern, “They now know the faces of their gods,” He said simply. Revealing faces was only a concern when you were on the backfoot and at a disadvantage. Timing was everything. This was an opportunity to have Zygerria fully convert their loyalty over to the Sith instead of any discreet, weak agreement. Azar would ensure it.
It did not take long to find the Prime Minister that was being held hostage. He was bound and terrified, but Azar cut him free. He looked up with wide eyes.
“What’s…what’s happening out there? You are Sith!”
“The rebellion is done,” Azar said as he addressed the Prime Minister, “Call your slave masters to reclaim their property,” He suggested.
“You-You stopped it?”
“It is done,” He said again with his heavily accented Basic. It used to bother him, but he cared little now.
The Prime Minister rose to stand, looking between the two Purebloods, “You have done us a great service, Sith.”
“This..rebellion,” Azar began, “It can happen again,” There was subtle sway of his hand, very discreet, but he purposely nudged Karys so he could witness. It was that same kind of subtle use of the Force that stoked the flames that already burned - the paranoia and fear festering within the Prime Minister’s mind, “They have taste of free. They will try more.”
“H-How do we prevent that? Much of the galaxy does not wish to cooperate with us.”
Azar nodded, “Formalize alliance with Sith. We need only few to accomplish much,” The very proof of that stood before him. Every piece of Azar's plan was put in a nice little gift box to present to him. The Prime Minister looked between the two men again, nodding slowly. He had the vague bearing of a child that had been given a teddy to grip after running away from monsters. The Purebloods were that comfort. The Sith were that comfort.
“I will speak to the Queen at once,” The Prime Minister said, “Please stay at the palace as our guests.”
The meeting did not last too long before the Purebloods were left on their own in the palace. Azar slowly walked towards the courtyard in the palace, overlooking fountains and gardens from a gazebo. The Pureblood eyed it all in silence before he turned to regard Karys, “If we spoke to the Prime Minister before dealing with the rebellion first, that conversation would have gone very differently. We came after a successful display of swift retribution, we came as the saviors, and we designed the narrative instead of the Zygerrians shaping it for us. Once you write out the script and only leave the other party to do nothing but sign at the bottom, you control the story, Loth-kitten,” Azar leaned in close, his fingers playfully brushing against the ridges along Karys’ chin, “Have you noticed that the original source of the rebellion to begin with has suddenly become....irrelevant?” He asked with a smile, recalling back to the fuss about Dark Jedi or red sabers. None of that mattered anymore. Azar's touch lingered a bit longer than prior. Karys really was a handsome thing to behold, and that fascinated look in his eye invoked all manners of stirrings.
But Azar drew back, weighing the implications of this move. With the Queen on board, the entire planet itself would become Sith territory.
At the Prophets words, a cold chill ran down Karys' spine. The faces of their gods. Something within his blood stirred at the thought of these level of exaltation. Karys would pull his gaze from the two terrified guards and to what laid before them, the Palace itself. He followed the Prophet into the innermost sanctum, finding the that the slaves had taken dignitaries from the planetary government hostage. Karys couldn't help but wonder how closely the slaves had been to conquering the world? How close had the Sith been to losing a valuable ally?
He silently watched the exchange between the Prophet and the Prime Minister. Keeping his mind open as the Prophet once again inflamed fear to feed into his grand design. He was in awe at how masterfully the planet had been manipulated into full submission to the Sith. A victory had been snatched from the jaws of defeat without drawing a single blade or firing a single shot. The value of this lesson wasn't one lost on Karys, this was true power.
After the conversation the Prophet led Karys to a gazebo overlooking the gardens and the city itself. He explained the design behind everything he had put into motion. He had shaped the perceptions of the Zygerrian people, he had shifted the Sith from profitable to invaluable. Had everything been planned?
Karys' eyes shifted in thought as he pondered these things. And then the Prophet leaned into him, teasing him by gently stoking the ridgeline of his jaw. A shiver of pleasure ran through Karys' body as he listened to the Prophets words, his eyes returning to those golden pools. When the Prophet stepped back from him, a pang of loss echoed within Karys' gut. Instincts screamed at him to embrace his own lusts and passions.
In the hospital, Karys had hesitated. Here he didn't make the same mistake.
When the Prophet stepped back, he would feel Karys' arm wrap his waist. The younger Pureblood would jerk the Prophet into his chest and inches from a hungry kiss. His eyes restored with lust, his lips quivered in anticipation before he whispered to the Prophet.
He knew this win over Zygerria would be escalated directly to the Dark Lord. He could only hope it wouldn’t result in another large ‘reward’ that involved him giving away more of his secrets. While he was willing to teach other Purebloods or a select few outsiders, the thought of making his knowledge mainstream repulsed him. Azar’s thoughts were brushed aside when Karys slid an arm around his waist and pulled him. Azar didn’t protest, amusement already beginning to appear on his face.
Gleaming, yellow eyes gazed up at Karys when he recited a part of the Code. That got a brief chuckle out of him shortly before Karys closed the distance. Azar didn’t stop him, tilting his head to kiss the other man. There was a hunger there that manifested in the way he deeply and urgently kissed Karys, his hand coming up to grab fistfuls of his hair. He sank into the other man’s arms, his smaller frame fitting perfectly against Karys’. He lingered on that kiss, taking from it exactly the amount he craved.
Azar drew back with a teasing bite to Karys’ lower lip, almost enough to draw blood. He smiled up at Karys, “Mm your blood runs hot, red stallion,” He said with a chuckle, his hand sliding down the front of the other man’s torso. Azar wasn’t shy, his hand sliding down between his legs to trace along the culmination of Karys’ desire for him, “But alas, you can only sleep with an individual…not an idea,” He said as he pushed Karys back into a column behind him, keeping a hold of a fistful of the front of his clothing, “I will have you when you tell me it is Azar you desire,” He said before he leaned in to steal a quick kiss from him again.
The Pureblood smirked as he stepped back, fixing up Karys’ clothing where he had ruffled it and even putting his hair back into place. He gave the other man a wink, “Come, loth-kitten, we are summoned to dinner with the Queen,” His gaze flicked down Karys’ body and then back up, “Put that away, darling,” He said breezily before turning on his heel and striding away.
Karys felt the Prophet's chuckle die at the beginning of their embrace. Karys felt his pulse increase as he finally understood what the Prophet tasted like and he drank him in. When the Prophet ran his hands into Karys' hair he responded by sliding a hand up to grip the Prophets throat and giving a throaty chuckle.
Their embrace felt natural.
<Passion has to burn hot to survive on Ziost.> He hissed as the Prophet nipped at his lower lip.
Karys barely felt the tiny wound that allowed black blood to run in a tiny stream down his chin. He was too focused on where the Prophet's hand had ran and what it traced between his legs. A small groan of anticipation escaped Karys' lips and his crimson eyes snapped open, a wild unquenched desire burning brightly in his eyes.
And then the Prophet shoved him away, his back collided with the pillar behind him. The grip he had on the Prophet's neck was broken, similarly Karys desire was once again unfulfilled. Karys' jaw tensed in momentary frustration. He licked the blood that trickled from his lip and grimaced between huffs as he tried to calm himself. And then the Prophet kissed him again and Karys barely reacted in time to kiss back. His hand reaching up to faintly caress the point of the Prophet's chin between his thumb and pointer finger as he did so.
Lust still burned hot in Karys, as the Prophet pointed out.
After their kiss, Karys began to fix himself as the Prophet aided in straightening his clothes and hair. He took deep and controlled breaths to slow his beating heart to a more manageable pace. The rejection pained worse, not because of a lack of mutual desire, it was clearly there, but because he had failed to view Azar as he wanted to be seen.
Karys eyes flickered from side to side as he thought over what he had been told. You can only sleep with an individual…not an idea. Karys had viewed the man as a symbol, in many ways he still did, but that wasn’t the other man's desire. Karys eyes tensed to slits as his instincts raged against the low burning embers of faith born from what he had experienced. His mind walked him back to Ziost as a child.
A lesson from the past to mull over.
He remembered his father's wife, one of his mothers, not his biological one but the one he looked to with reverence. She was his father's partner, yes but she was more than that. She was his closest advisor, sitting on his right hand and aiding him with decisions for the house. She was a potent sorceress that led Karys and his siblings in their first steps towards understanding the Dark Side. But she was also a mother, who despite her cold nature, protected all of the children in her brood with an unrelenting ferocity.
None of these individual things made her into the Sith he had come to respect and appreciate, but all of them did. Had he failed to recognize the same with Azar? The young Sith wasn't able to voice this realization, he had waited too long. Duty had called them away and he would have to wait to speak with Azar further. Passion would have to be tempered and focused for just a little while longer.
<Dinner with the Queen?> He asked. <With me dressed like this?> Karys called out teasingly as Azar turned and began to head away.
Karys would then briskly walk after the man who was becoming the center of his fascination.
“I’d prefer you wore nothing, of course,” Azar said with a breezy laugh before stepping away to speak with an attendant. Moments later, the Prime Minister had arranged for them to have quarters where they could freshen up and change. There were large, luxurious baths to enjoy, though they had little time for now. He split off to groom and prepare for the dinner. Azar neatly arranged his hair and emerged adorned in new robes that hugged his frame perfectly. He appeared both dignified and dangerous to behold, just as he intended, the trimmings contrasting sharply with his skin tone and copious piercings.
For Karys he had grabbed some armor and garbs with trimmings that were slightly similar. The clothing style spoke to their different bearings. Azar approached Karys in his quarters with the attire regardless of what state of dress the other man was in, “We are not hiding here,” He explained as he gazed at Karys, “Hold your head up high. The Queen is our guest,” He said with a faint smirk.
He had no shame watching Karys dress, though he kept his distance with that same icy gaze. Azar only closed the distance to help with the armor, strapping on the pauldrons and chest piece. The gesture could almost be considered affectionate, but it was always difficult to understand Azar’s intentions.
“Are you prepared?” Azar asked quietly in the middle of tugging a few strings. His yellow gaze met the crimson one of the younger Pureblood. If Karys had any questions or ideas, now was the time to share.
Karys' chuckle at Azar's openness came out as a throat-y purr. When he and Azar were ushered back into the palace, it wasn't with fear or disdain but as conquering heroes. They had become the Sith of saved the people of Zygerria and earned this moment in their honor. The pair of Purebloods were guided to their luxurious suite and given time to clean themselves up.
Karys cautiously explored the room, his eyes drinking in the opulence of the suite. After a week of living in ruins and taking showers into sanitizer, this was a complete change of pace. Karys stopped to look around him, physically turning in a circle in the middle of the room. He soaked in the magnificence that blew even his standards out of the water. Karys was speechless.
He leaned down and slowly tugged his boots off, then place them to the left of the entrance to his room.
Karys would enter his bathroom and strip from his clothing. He would fold each piece neatly neatly, and place them in a pile near the shower. He would turn on the cold water and step into it the chilly stream. The cold water was rejuvenating after a full week of being in the humidity. Karys rested his forehead against the cool wall of the shower's interior and began steadily plucking the three kolto patches from his abdomen. The feeling that rippled through him was indescribable at this simplest of pleasures.
After a few minutes of simply standing beneath the water, Karys would emerge from his shower feeling refreshed. His crimson eyes would flicker to Azar who had come silently into his quarters. Karys allowed his eyes to wander as he soaked in the tight fitting robe that Azar was wearing and the jewelry that he had adorned. The other Pureblood had come bearing his clothes for the dinner. Karys stood before him in the nude for a moment, his eyes locked with Azar's, he wanted to see the man drink in him in. Then he would grab a towel and begin to dry himself off.
Once dry, Karys would begin to dress himself in the armor provided to him. Listening to what Azar had to say, they weren't hiding here? How long had it been since their kind could do that? However, when Azar told him the Queen was their guest a grin appeared on Karys lips, this was not the development he expected.
Karys watched as Azar approached him and began to help him strapping in his chest piece and pauldrons. Their proximity ensured that Karys could take in Azar's scent. Karys gazed down and felt a momentary hesitation until Azar began to tug at a few strings. Then Karys hand would reach up and engulf Azar's own.
<I understand...> Karys whispered. <...I don't want the Champion. I don't want the Potionsmaster. I don't want the Kissai. I don't want any of your titles.> Karys continued, his baritone voice quiet and husky. <I crave to know the taste of Azar Kressh, Son of Korriban.>
Azar was in the middle tightening one of the chest pieces when Karys grasped his hand. His yellow gaze flicked up as the other man began to speak. At some point, he smiled, “Potionsmaster? Is that what the acolytes call me behind my back?” He asked with amusement. But he could tell Karys wasn’t joking. He wasn’t taking this lightly, and he had certainly grasped onto what Azar had laid out for him. Pureblood were seen as legendary and mythical beings, and for a moment Karys forgot that he was a part of that as well and he was guilty of the same. He was entirely assimilated as an outsider to where he forgot that the same blood, even a fraction of it, ran through his veins.
Azar smiled at Karys, his fingers lightly tracing along his jawline. When Karys leaned in to kiss him, Azar leaned in as he had earlier. He savored it, hungrily exploring his mouth and tasting him. It was different than before in the way he surrendered to the sensations. Azar had long embraced what he was and how the Force was a part of him. It manifested within him in every way, every scenario, every moment. And it was present even now.
The kiss was far beyond the physical sensations as their minds briefly melded together into an explosion of euphoria that seeped into every corner of their psyche. Karys would feel the Force surge through him like it never had before, and each touch was electric as if he surrendered himself to the most finely refined spice. But yet there was no drug, it was the Force in its raw form, in the place where it originated, all manifesting in the amalgamation of both purebloods and their energies.
Azar didn’t stop there, pushing the larger man almost aggressively to fall backwards on the bed behind him. The potionmaster, as they called him, didn’t hesitate to climb atop the other man, the hems of the robes spilling around them as his legs straddled Karys’ hips. His hands curled against his chest as he leaned in to continue the passionate kiss with fervor, grasping onto the front of the armor almost possessively.
“You had to do this after I just finished putting your armor on?” Azar laughed against his lips in between kisses. The pureblood began to trace his lips along Karys' jawline and down towards his neck right when there was a sharp knock on the door.
“The Queen has arrived and will be expecting you in the dining hall,” A voice echoed before the footsteps led away.
Azar paused where he was, chuckling to himself. He traced his index finger over Karys’ lip, “Don’t have a fit of anger, Loth-kitten, we need to be on our best behavior,” He said with a sultry tone before he grinned and rolled off the other man. He straightened up his hair and clothing, knowing Karys was likely on the verge of throwing something on account of being interrupted yet again.
Usually, Azar’s teasing would have elicited a smirk at least from Karys. But the tension the younger Pureblood had felt leading up to this confession kept any amusement from his face. Even with Azar’s smile, Karys was nervous. However, that nervousness faded when their lips brushed against one another. As their tongues intertwined in passion, Karys felt his world shift. No longer did he feel his desire or list alone but his mind and the mind of Azar touched. All the sensation, the desire, the passion that Azar felt flooded through him.
This is what Azar had meant.
Outsiders could never truly understand them. They could never fathom the inherent connection to the Dark Side that each member of their race felt. While some of their kin chose to ignore this relationship, like Karys had. While others embraced their natures and the breadth of what it meant to be true Sith, like Azar did. However, the moment Karys had let go of hesitation and stepped forward onto the path of understanding who he was, everything changed. The very blood in his veins called to the Dark Side and the Force itself responded. Such was the way of all their kind who began to embrace what they were.
This was always what the Dark Side had always intended for his kind.
A legacy of symbiosis that had been shattered over the course of generations until the vast majority of their kind had forgotten their truest potential. But in this moment, Karys had begun to understand as he felt the heat of Azar's presence as if it were his own. He felt Azar's blood pumping through his veins in an experience that outstripped any form of intimacy he had ever encountered before. It put every nerve in his body alight with pleasure and pain and every sensation between.
Karys barely felt when Azar pushed him back onto the bed. It was only when their kiss broke for the first time and their minds parted that his senses fully returned to him. A smile parted on his lips between their passionate kisses. Karys' hand slithered up Azar's thighs and to his partner's robes. Blindly Karys fumbled with them, trying to find a way to peel Azar from them.
<You'll find I have terrible timing.> Karys replied in a deep rumble of a laugh.
As Azar kissed down his jawline and towards his neck, Karys would groan, lost in passion. But the spell would be broken as someone knocked on his door. The groan of pleasure soured on Karys' lips and turned into a growl of irritation. When Azar stopped kissing him, Karys' predatory jaws snapped in a mixture of frustration and playfulness. Karys hissed as Azar rolled off of him, for him the anticipation had been mounting since the hospital and was bordering on unbearable.
But Karys managed to reign his wild emotions back in even if only for a while longer.
<Fine. But I can't promise that I won't be thinking of you in this bed the entire time.> Karys teased the wild hunger and desire still present in his crimson eyes.
While Azar straighten his robes from where Karys had kneaded onto them, Karys rolled his neck from side to side, trying his best to relieve some of the returning tension. With a sigh, Karys would follow Azar from the room. He would not bother to hide his lowered gaze to those who passed by, his desire had long over-rode any sense of decorum.
That was until they entered the dining hall.
There at the head of a long, banquet table filled with courtiers and aristocracy sat her Excellency, the Most High Queen of Zygerria, Zalaj Anet. The Zygerrian's snowy white leopard fur complimented her brilliant blue feline eyes. Her dress spoke to the elegancy and opulence her rule had been synonymous with, it roiled from each crevasse and opening in the chair and onto the floor around her and bore the green and black colors of her house. This lavishness had been the case since her family took the throne after an assassination that occurred to the previous High Queen. Those blue eyes fell to the red skinned Sith saviors that had ended this brutal civil war in a single fell swoop.
"Good evening." She purred in her thick Zygerrian accent. When she spoke, the room instantly fell silent."I am told you are the ones responsible for saving my people?" She asked, before gesturing for her hosts to join her at the head of the table.
Karys gaze would shift from her to Azar before moving to take his seat next to him.
The Queen was beautiful to behold and even Azar could appreciate that. He gave a deep, respectful bow as was customary from what he studied before arriving here. Azar took a seat at the great table after the Queen sat down. Though he could understand Basic more now, he still relied on EZPods to make quick translations.
“It is an honor to preserve the great and esteemed nation of Zygerria,” Azar said. He spoke slowly in Basic, but the phrases he chose would be clear and articular, “I am called Azar Kressh, and this is Karys Sadow,” Azar said, emphasizing the Sadow name, “We understand and…” He paused, recalling the word, “Empathize with pain of governing resistant people.”
“Our civilization has sustained itself for millenia and yet..” The Queen tapped her painted claw against her jeweled goblet, “The slaves grow bolder each day. Something is stirring them to action.”
“It is Jedi,” Azar said as he grasped the ornate jug of wine. He poured some for Karys, himself, his hand subtly brushed over the rim of it, and then he poured for the queen all while speaking, “Their existence threaten balance of life.”
The Queen nodded along as they began their meal, “The Prime Minister has informed me that you wish to formalize an alliance. I’m sure we can come to a mutual-” She coughed a bit, “A mutual..” She choked a bit, grasping at her throat, “Excuse me I-I-”
Azar kept calmly cutting with his knife and fork, “Very inconvenient these,” He said rather breezily to Karys next to him, “For me,” He said as he gestured to his own three fingers. Meanwhile, the Queen’s fur stood on end as she started hissing and clutching at her throat. Not a moment later, she began to cough up blood. It was the same poison he had applied back on Anoth, except now he could manipulate it himself after perfecting the art for years. Karys would learn that Azar's plan up until now had been to do the dog and pony show to get an audience with the Queen as her personal guests. The only way to have done that was to have the Prime Minister do it after a grand gesture.
He calmly finished his meal while the Queen choked, grabbing his napkin and gently dabbing his mouth. He finally turned to face the Queen, “We will find mutual understanding,” He said, “You do what I say and you live. Very agreeable terms, no?” Azar said, “You begin by ordering execution of your slaver council. You replace them with Sith,” He stated flatly. He knew he had leverage. No one in the galaxy would come to the Zygerrian Queen’s aid. Most of the galaxy had morals and the Outer Rim was entirely too caught up with trying to join the Senate to rush to Zygerria’s defense. With the Queen in his clutches, he could effectively get Zygerria to come under the Sith’s boot entirely and have a substantial workforce. With her direct council obliterated, she would have no real power. With the Sith replacing her council, she would remain a figurehead to run the planet, but as a puppet Queen.
“Do we have agreement?” Azar asked as he reached for the dessert while the Queen was now crawling on hands and knees on the ground.
Karys followed Azar's example bowing to the queen and her guest party before taking his seat next to the man. As the meal was served and discussions began, they were exactly what the Acolyte expected, dull. Karys felt the desire and passion beginning to smother itself out of existence as the typical discussions occurred between the parties. However, he held out hope that Azar had something up his sleeve to make things more interesting.
And then Azar poured their wine.
Karys saw Azar's hand deftly brush the rim of the wine jug before he poured for the Queen. He sensed a more subtle manipulation of the Force and his curiosity was piqued. He halted himself from glancing in Azar's direction, unwilling to potentially give away whatever the man was planning. Within a few moments the Queen was beginning to choke, unable to speak, her blue eyes wide with fear and panic. Several dignitaries from her entourage began to notice and a concerned murmur began to breed in the crowd.
Then Azar calmly commented on the difficulty he had using the tinsels provided to him. Karys was in the midst of wordlessly offering to cut his food for him, when the Queen coughed up blood. That was when he finally reacted, his head pulled back and his body instinctively leapt back slightly at the sudden and violent expulsion of blood and bile. Many of the officiants had much more animated reactions, some leapt to their feet, others cried out in panic as their monarch sputtered on the floor. Karys' crimson eyes flitted to Azar, back to the Queen, and then the goblet of wine he had considered drinking from just moments before. He decided against that now.
Karys' eyes returned to Azar who was calmly and quietly finishing his meal as the Queen dropped to her knees. She crawled on ground, gagged, and coughed up more blood. Karys turned his head to watch her for a moment, his crimson eyes burned into her blue ones, she vainly mouthed for his help. At one point Karys might tried to help her, he have felt something approaching pity for the woman, but that time had passed. The time he had spent with Azar and the understanding he brought into Karys life was already beginning to shift his viewpoints. Instead, he smiled at the panic-stricken woman before turning his head away to continue to eating his own meal.
Externally, Karys seemed calm and collected. Internally? This was kinda hot.
Karys listened to Azar's offer, it was a powerplay. The fellow Pureblood had effortlessly orchestrated events from the moment he stepped onto this world and to this very moment as well. It was at that realization, a thought occurred, where did he fit into all this?
When Azar reached for the dessert plate, Karys reached out and plucked it up for him. He would pass the plate to him with a slight tilt of his head. Whatever his role was in this game, Karys intended to play it to the best of his ability. While the attraction to Azar was still present, Karys was beginning to wonder if he misplayed his hand, what would happen to him? For the first time, a twinge of fear bled into Karys' presence. It was a streak that blended with the lust and passion, polluting it and enhancing it at the same time.
The Queen was beginning to slump to the ground, falling chest first in the mire of blood. Then Karys heard what he believed at first was the dying croak of the woman, but he was wrong. Instead, it was the whispered response to every single one of Azar's demands.
Karys could hardly believe what he had seen. A single Sith had collapsed a civil war and brought an entire world into the control of the Sith, without ever touching his blade. Karys' eyes focused solely on Azar. There was no question anymore, he had to learn this power, he needed to understand.
It wasn’t long before the Queen began to act on his conditions. One by one the slave council members were lined up to be executed. And the Purebloods were nowhere to be seen for it. The Zygerrians had gathered to witness the Queen mandate the execution, blaming the uprising on her failing council. She recited everything Azar had laid out, proclaiming that the new council would be built up of Sith. The Zygerrians were outraged, but the Queen’s ‘authority’ was absolute. No one had to know who had been pulling the strings. The Queen would be completely and utterly without allies after this display.
Where was Azar while the Queen prepared to give her address?
Draped across the Queen’s throne. He drank from her finest goblet. The Pureblood gazed at Karys, “Do you see, Loth-kitten, no need to wave any silly sabers around,” He said before he clapped his hands. Soon enough, a Zygerrian in a collar arrived to pour more wine.
Azar rested an elbow on the armrest, curling his fingers under his chin. His hawk-like yellow gaze fixed on Karys before him.
Karys found himself standing in the Zygerrian throne room. He leaned against one of the marble pillars to the left of the throne approach. His crimson eyes were locked onto Azar as he lounged in the Queen’s throne and drank from her goblet. An incredulous smile had briefly etched itself onto his face, Karys steadily shook his head in disbelief. He thought back to when he had arrived on the world. A hike through the wilderness, chaffing, and poison ivy. How things had developed since then.
His mind was drawn back when Azar spoke. Loth-kitten, the term of endearment Azar had given him sent chills through Karys. It thrilled him. He loved it. His icy expression, melted into a smirk as Azar clapped his hands and a Zygerrian rushed to refill his goblet.
That was power.
Then when Azar's golden gaze fixed on him, the lounging Pureblood rested his chin on his hand. The command issued sparked desire inside of Karys chest once more. But he didn't immediately move, he allowed a space of time to hang between them.
Azar wanted a show, he'd give him one.
Karys pushed himself off of the pillar he was leaning again, his expression slipped into a neutral imperious gaze. The only hint of his desires burned in both his presence and eyes; the rest was ice. With purpose, he reached up and unclasped the decorative cape, allowing it to fall to the ground behind him. As he did this, he took a single purposeful step towards the stairs that ascended to the throne.
With each step, a new piece of armor would clatter to the ground.
Karys would use the Force if he needed to in order to aid in the removal of more complex pieces. But the entire time he did this, Karys never broke his gaze onto Azar. It remained focused on the other man as he watched, Karys wanted to see the mounting desire in his eyes.
Once Karys reached the throne the only article of clothing left would be a tunic, he removed it and carelessly tossed it to the side. Azar would get to see the tapestry of flesh that was Karys, each scar, each wound that was still healing, all of it made bare before him. Karys kept his head tilted upwards, his eyes peering down at Azar for the briefest of moments, he held all the pride his forefather was infamous for. The Karys lowered his head and cocked it to the side, his gaze bore down on Azar directly.
Karys reached out and slowly traced the underside of Azar's chin with a pair of his fingers. The lust that burned in him finally melting that cold expression into one of faint hunger.
<Does this please you?> He whispered.
It was a rhetorical question. Karys wouldn't give the opportunity for Azar to answer. Instead the gentle touch on Azar's chin, would transform into a firm grasp. Karys would lean in and eagerly kiss Azar on the throne.