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His first scene is him turning into the Goyl. This means that the reader doesn't care for him, and I couldn't give a rats ass weather he is saved or not. Oh, and for the majority of the pages, everybody treats Will like his is a baby. Just because he is the younger sibling, doesn't mean he needs to be treated like a two year old, when he is, in fact, graduated from high school.

The characters are so annoying and less one-dimensional or more, I guess Rowling and Roald Dahl. The 'Inkheart trilogy' are some of my favorite books, and The Thief Lord is sensational.

Maybe I just had super high expectations for her new book. I had, after all, been following Funke's blog updates since she announced the idea for 'Reckless', eagerly counting down the days to its release. Reckless, he said, offering Jacob a card. His voice sounded hoarse, and it had a slight accent Jacob couldnt quite place. The auctioneer bowed his head reverently. As you wish, Mr. He looked at Jacob. Where shall we send the bottle? Ill take it now.

Of course.

Earlking smiled. Its been in the wrong place far too long, hasnt it? Please give my regards to your brother, he said.

I know him and your mother very well. With that he turned and disappeared into the well- dressed throng. Jacob looked at the card in his hand. Nothing else.

The auctioneer handed him the bottle. The security man at the airport scruti nized the bottle so intensely that, had this been the other world, Jacob would have put a pistol to his uniformed chest. His flight was late arriving into New York, and his taxi got so held up in Manhattans evening traffic that he longed for a carriage ride through the sleepy streets of Schwanstein.

The moon shone from the grimy puddles in front of the old apartment building. Staring down at him from the brick walls were the grotesque stone faces that used to frighten Will so much as a child that he ducked his head every time he stepped through the door. Since then the exhaust had eaten away at them, and they were now barely distinguishable from the stone vines that grew around them. Yet as he climbed the steps to the front door, Jacob felt their stony stares more intensely than ever before.

His brother probably felt the same way. The con torted faces contained a whole new kind of terror since Will himself had grown a skin of stone. The doorman in the entrance hall was the same man who had always dragged him and Will out of the elevator when they were children, riding it up and down too many times. Hed grown old and fat. On the counter where he kept the mail was the same jar of lolli pops hed used to bribe them to run his errands.

At some point, Jacob had managed to convince Will that Tomkins was a man- eating Ogre, and for days his brother had refused to go to preschool because he was afraid to walk past the doorman on the way. The past. It lurked in every corner of the old building: behind the pillars in the entrance hall, where he and Will used to play hide- and- seek; in the dark catacombs of the basement, where hed gone on his first and unsuccessful treasure hunts; and in the elevator, which would trans form into a spaceship or the cage of a Witch, whatever their adventures required.

Strange, how the prospect of death brought back the past. It was as though every moment hed lived was suddenly back, whispering Maybe this is all you get, Jacob. The elevator door still jammed a little when it was pushed open. Seventh floor. Will had left a note for him on the door.

He was paying with his life for this welcome, and he would have done it again, just for the feeling of having his brother back. They hadnt been this close since the time when Will used to crawl into his bed every night when he still believed that doormen sometimes liked to eat human flesh.

Love was lost so terrifyingly easily. The darkness that met Jacob behind the door was strange and yet familiar. Will had painted the hall, and the smell of fresh paint mingled with the scents of their childhood.

Jacobs fingers still found the light switch, but the lamp was new, as was the sideboard by the door. The old family photographs had disappeared, and the yellowed wallpaper which, even years later, had shown the spot where his fathers portrait had once hung had been cov ered by white paint. Jacob dropped his bag on the well- worn parquet floor.

Welcome home. Could it really be home again, after all those years dur ing which all hed wanted from this place was the mirror? A vase with yellow roses stood on the sideboard. Claras signature. Before coming through the mirror, hed felt slightly nervous at the prospect of seeing her again.

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He couldnt be sure whether the Larks Water was still affect ing him or whether it was just the memories that set his heart racing. But all was well. It had been good to see her, with Will, in the world Jacob hadnt belonged to for an e 13 f eternity. She had obviously not told Will about the Larks Water, but Jacob felt how the shared memory bonded them, as though theyd gotten lost in the woods and had found their way out together.

Jacob hesitated before he opened the door. A few boxes full of Wills books were piled up next to the bed, and the family photographs that had hung in the hallway leaned against the wall beneath the window.

The room still smelled of her. She had sewn the patch work quilt on the bed herself. The pieces of fabric used to be all over the apartment. Flowers, animals, houses, ships, moons, and stars. Whatever the quilt said about his mother, Jacob had never been able to decipher it. The three of them had lain on it together many times, when shed read to them. Their grandfather told them the fairy tales hed grown up with in Europe, full of the Witches and Fairies whose kin Jacob would meet later behind the mirror.

Their mothers stories, however, were American. Jacob hadnt come across any of them behind the mirror yet, but he was sure they existed there, just as his grandfathers fairy- tale folk did. The photograph on the nightstand showed his mother e 14 f with Will and him in the park across the street. She looked very happy. And so young. His father had taken the pic ture. He must have already known about the mirror back then.

Jacob wiped the dust off the glass. So young. And so beautiful. What had his father sought that he hadnt been able to find with her? How often Jacob had asked himself that question as a child. Hed been certain she must have done something wrong, and he would get so angry.

Angry at her weakness. Angry that she could never stop loving his father; that, against all better judgment, she had always waited for his return. Or maybe shed just waited for the day her older son would find him and return him to her? Wasnt that what Jacob had fantasized about all those years? That one day hed return with his father and wipe all that sadness off her face?

Behind the mirror were hourglasses that stopped time. Jacob had long searched for one for the Empress. In Lom bardia there was a carousel that could turn children into adults, and grown- ups back into children. And there was a Varangian count who owned a music box that, if you wound it up, would transport you back into your own past.

Jacob had often wondered whether such items changed the course of events or whether one ended up doing things the very same way one had already done them: His father would still go through the mirror, and hed still follow, and Will and his mother would be left behind again. The prospect of his own death was making him sentimental. He felt as though for months now, someone had kept throwing his heart into a crucible over and over again, like a lump of ore refusing to take the right shape. If that bot tle proved as useless as the apple and the well, then all of his efforts would have been in vain, and soon hed be nothing but a picture in a dusty frame, like his mother.

Jacob returned her photograph to the nightstand. Then he straightened the bed, as though at any moment she might step into her room. Someone was unlocking the apartment door. Jacobs home, Will! Claras voice sounded nearly as familiar as his brothers. Theres his bag. Wills voice had no trace of the stone that had tainted his skin. Where are you? Jacob heard his brother walk down the hallway, and for an instant he was transported to another hallway, with Wills rage- contorted face behind him.

Its over, Jacob! No, it would never be completely over, and that was a good thing. He didnt want to forget how easily he might lose Will. And there he was, standing in the doorway. No gold in his eyes, his skin as soft as Jacobs, just a lot paler. After all, Will hadnt spent most of the past weeks riding through a godforsaken desert.

Will hugged Jacob nearly as hard as he used to in the schoolyard as children, whenever his big brother had saved e 16 f him from yet another bullying fourth grader. Yes, this was well worth paying for.

As long as Will never learned the true price. Wills memories of his time behind the mirror were fragments from which he desperately tried to assemble the whole picture. Nobody likes living with the knowledge that he cant remember the most crucial weeks of his life. Whenever Will described places or faces to him and Clara, Jacob realized again how much his brother had lived through alone behind the mirror. It was as though Will had a second shadow, which followed him like a stranger and scared him every now and then.

So he sat down at the kitchen table, into which hed once carved his initials with his first penknife, and he tried to act as carefree as possible. But hed obvi ously lost his knack for peddling his stories to his brother as the truth. Jacob caught more than one pensive glance from Will as he tried to explain his trip to Chicago as merely some Schwanstein factory owners obsession for Djinns. He wouldnt have even tried that story on Fox.

During their endless searches for the wrong objects, hed often been close to telling her the truth, but he was stopped by e 17 f the prospect of seeing his fear on her face. He loved Will, but he would always and foremost be the older brother to him. With Fox, Jacob could simply be himself.

She saw so much of what he tried to hide from others, though he didnt always like it, and they rarely spoke of what they knew of each other. Will, do you know a Norebo Earlking? His brother frowned. Short guy?

With a strange accent? Thats him. Ma sold him some of Grandpas things when she needed money. I think he has a bunch of antiques shops here and in Europe. He asked me to send you his regards. Will shrugged. Ma didnt sell him everything he was interested in.

Maybe he wants to try his luck with us. Hes a strange bird. I could never figure out whether Ma liked him. Will rubbed his arm. He often touched his skin, as if to make sure the jade was really gone. Clara noticed it as well. Will got up and poured himself a glass of wine. What should I do if he makes an offer? The basement is full of old junk. It looks like our family hasnt thrown anything away since this house was built.

Theres barely enough space for the pictures we took off the walls. But Clara needs an office and Will left the sentence unfin ished, as though their parents ghosts were listening from their empty rooms. Jacob ran his fingers over the initials e 18 f hed once carved into the tabletop.

That knife had been his first secret possession. Sell whatever you want, he said. You can also use my room, if youd like. Im here so rarely, I can just sleep on the couch. Youll keep your room. Will pushed a glass of wine toward him. When are you going back? Ignoring his brothers disappointment was no longer as easy as it used to be. He was going to miss Will. Is everything all right? Will looked at him anxiously. Fooling him definitely wasnt as easy as it used to be.

Its just hard work, living in two worlds. Jacob tried to make it sound like a joke, but Wills face was still serious. He looked so much like their mother. Will even frowned the way she used to. You should stay here. Its too dangerous. Jacob looked down so his brother wouldnt see him smile. Oh, little brother, it only became dangerous because of you. Ill be back soon, he said. He still was a decent enough liar.

The odds were a thousand to one that the bottles inhabitant would kill him rather than save him.

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A thousand to one against you, Jacob. Hed beaten worse odds. The rain that whipped into Jacobs face as he stepped out of the tower seemed to be the same rain that had been running down his mothers window.

His eyes scanned the crumbled walls for the outline of a vixen, but all they spotted was a Heinzel, hungry and haggard, as they always were toward the end of winter. Where was she? It was rare for Fox not to be waiting for him.

She often sensed his return days in advance. Jacob, of course, imme diately thought of traps, or the shotgun of a farmer protect ing his chickens. Nonsense, Jacob. She was good at looking after herself, better than he was. And he wouldnt have wanted her around when he opened the bottle, anyway. After the noise of the other world, the silence surround ing him here seemed even more unreal than the Heinzel. It always took his eyes a few moments to adjust to the darkness.

The lights of the other world made him forget how dark nights here could be. Jacob looked around.

He needed a place where the bottles occupant wouldnt grow all the way into the clouds. And Jacob couldnt risk any damage to the tower, and the mirror inside. The old chapel. Like the tower, the chapel had been left untouched by the fire that had destroyed the castle. The building lay just beyond where the overgrown garden stretched down the slope of the hill. Jacob had to hack a path through it with his saber. Mossy steps, crumbling statues, marble fountains filled with rotting leaves.

The servants graves had been spared by the fire, while the mausoleum of the cas tles owners had been reduced to a circle of sooty stones. The wooden doors of the chapel were so warped that Jacob barely managed to open them.

The inside looked desolate. All the colorful glass windows were broken, and the wooden pews had long gone to heat a few drafty cot tages. But the roof was still intact, and the nave was barely more than twelve feet high. This would have to do. A Thumbling peered over the rim of the driedup font as Jacob pulled the leather sheath off the bottle.

The brown glass was so cold that it nearly burnt his fingers. Its occupant was not from the south, where Djinns could be found in the markets of every desert village. The medicine e 22 f Jacob needed could be provided only by a northern Djinn.

They were very rare and very vicious which explained why the men who hunted them were often even more scarred than Chanute.

The ghost Jacob was about to set free had given his captor such a fight that the man had died within hours of trapping it. Jacob had buried him himself.

Fearless (A MirrorWorld Novel) by Cornelia Funke

He chased the Thumbling outside before his curiosity cost him his life. Then Jacob closed the doors.

They are all murderers, Jacob, never forget that! Chanute had warned him more than once about the northern Djinns. They get locked up because they love to kill. And they know they have to spend the rest of their immortal existence serving every fool who gets hold of their bottle, so their only desire is to kill their master and take possession of the bottle themselves.

Jacob stepped into the center of the chapel. The etched pattern on the neck of the bottle was what bound the Djinn inside. Jacob copied it onto the palm of his hand before he drew his knife. The only thing more dangerous than catching one of these ghosts was letting him out again. But what did he have to lose? The seal on the bottle was that of the judge whod sen tenced the Djinn to an eternity behind brown glass.

Jacob used his knife to peel the wax off the top. Then he set the bottle on the flagstones and quickly stepped back. The smoke that rose from the mouth was silvery- gray, like the scales of a fish. The wisps formed fingers, an arm, e 23 f a shoulder.

Cornelia Funke

The fingers felt the cold air and clenched into a fist. From the shoulders grew a barbed neck like a lizards. Careful, Jacob! He ducked into the smoke still rising from the bottle.

Above him, a skull with a low forehead and stringy hair was taking shape. A mouth opened. Djinns had strong teeth. Youd better be quick, Jacob. Very quick. The ghost offered his hand. We have a deal. His little finger alone was longer than a human arm. Jacob closed his fingers more firmly around the bottle, though the glass was scorching his skin. Oh no. Your blood first. The ghost bared his teeth again and leaned over Jacob with a sneer.

Why dont you come and get it? Exactly what Jacob had been waiting for. He grabbed hold of one of the glass hairs and pulled himself up. The ghost snatched at him, but before the Djinn could reach him, Jacob had already rammed the bot tle up his nose.

The ghost howled and tried to pull it out with his massive fingers. Now, Jacob! He jumped onto the Djinns shoulder and sliced the tattered earlobe with his knife. Black blood spurted out. Jacob rubbed it on his skin while the ghost still tried in vain to pull the bottle from his nostril. His grunts and groans sent ice crystals dancing through the air. Jacob jumped off the Djinns shoulder.

He nearly broke his legs landing on the icy flagstones. On your feet, Jacob! The chapels roof burst under the pressure of the ghosts barbed back. Jacob slithered toward the door. Go, Jacob! He ran toward the tall pines behind the chapel, but before he could reach the protection of their branches, he was grabbed by icy fingers and lifted up into the air.

Jacob felt one of his ribs break. Dangerous medicine. Pull it out! Jacob screamed with pain as the ghost tightened his grip. The huge fingers lifted Jacob higher, until he was close enough to push his hand into the massive nostril.

If you drop it, the ghost whispered, Ill still have enough time to break all your bones. But the Djinn was going to kill him even if he handed over the bottle. Nothing to lose. Jacobs fingers found the neck of the bottle. They gripped the cold glass.

Pull - - - it - - - ooouuut! The ghosts bloodthirsty voice enveloped him. Jacob was in no rush. After all, these might be the final moments of his life.

Up on the hill he saw the tower rising into the dark sky, and beneath it a marten was nibbling on the fresh buds of a tree. Spring was coming. Life or death, Jacob.

Once again. He pulled out the bottle and threw it as hard as he could against the remnants of the chapels gabled roof. The Djinns enraged howl caused the marten to freeze. The gray fingers closed around Jacobs body so hard, he thought he could hear every one of his bones break. But his pain was penetrated by the sound of shattering glass. The huge fingers let go and Jacob fell. He fell far. The impact winded him completely, but above him he could see the ghosts body erupt as though someone had stuffed him with explosives.

The Djinns gray flesh tore into a thousand shreds, which rained down on Jacob like grimy snow. He lay on the ground, licking the black blood from his lips. It tasted sweet and burnt his tongue. He had gotten what he wanted.

And he was still alive. Schwansteins gaslit streets had not seen a practicing Witch for years. Witches were part of the past, and the people of Schwanstein believed in the future. Instead of relying on magic and bitter herbs, they preferred the doctors who had moved there from Vena. It was only when modern medicine failed them that they found their way to the vil lage on the eastern side of the castle hill.

Alma Spitzwegs house stood right next to the ceme tery, even though her craft usually kept her patients out of it before it was their time. Officially, she ran a normal medical practice. Alma could splint a broken limb like any doctor from the big city. At times she even prescribed the same pills, but Alma also tended to cows and Heinzel with the same diligence she applied to her human patients;.

Almas practice was still closed when Jacob knocked on the back door. It was a while before she opened it. Shed obviously had an exhausting night, yet her face bright ened immediately at the sight of him. On that early morn ing, she looked exactly as Jacob would have imagined a Witch would look like when he was a child, but hed seen Alma with many different faces and in many different bodies.

I could have done with your help last night, she said. Her cat was purring a welcome at Jacobs feet. The Stilt from up by the ruins tried to steal a child. Cant you get rid of it?

The Stilt. The first creature hed encountered behind the mirror. Jacobs hands still bore the scars from its yellow teeth. Hed tried to catch it more than a dozen times, but Stilts were cunning, and masters at playing hide- and- seek. Ill try again. I promise. Jacob picked up the purring cat and followed Alma into the plain room where she practiced both the old and the new kinds of medicine. As he took off his coat, she noticed the black blood on his shirt and shook her head wearily.

And what is this now? Couldnt you just once come here with a cold or an upset stomach? Will I regret to my dying day that I didnt stop you from appren ticing with that Albert Chanute? Alma had never liked the old treasure hunter. Too many. And like all Witches, she didnt like treasure hunting. Jacob had first met her by the ruins. Alma swore by the herbs that grew there.

Half the world is cursed, she had said when asked about the stories that surrounded the ruins. And curses wear off faster than a bad smell. All thats up there are burnt stones. Shed never asked what a t welve- year- old boy was doing all alone among the walls of a burnt- down castle.

Alma never asked such questions, maybe, because she already knew the answers. She had taken Jacob home with her, given him clothes that wouldnt attract curious stares, and warned him about Thumblings and Gold- R avens. During his first years behind the mirror, he could always count on her for a warm meal or a place to sleep. Alma had patched him up after hed first been bitten by a wolf; shed put a splint on his arm after hed tried to ride a hexed horse.

And shed instructed him on which of her worlds crea tures were best given a wide berth. She dabbed some of the black blood off his skin and sniffed it. Northern Djinn blood.

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She looked at him, worried. What do you need that for? She put her hand on his chest. Then she opened his shirt and ran her fingers over the imprint of the moth. She punched her bony fist into his chest. You went back to the Fairy. Didnt I tell you to stay away from her?

I needed her help. Why didnt you come to me?

She opened the cupboard where she kept the instruments for the less modern part of her practice. It was a Fairys curse! You couldnt have done any thing. Fairy magic was beyond the power of any Witch. It was for my brother, he added. And your brothers worth sacrificing your own life for? Alma looked at him silently. Then she took a knife from the cupboard and cut a strand of Jacobs hair. The hair caught fire as soon as she rubbed it between her fingers. Witches could set fire to almost anything with their touch.

Alma looked at the ash on her fi ngertips then she looked at Jacob. Her fingers were white as snow. She didnt have to explain what that meant. Hed cleansed himself of a curse before. Back then, the ash on Almas fingers had been black. The Djinns blood had done nothing.

He buttoned up his shirt again. Youre a dead man, Jacob. Had the Red Fairy been watching him all these months, as hed found hope after hope dashed? Was she watching him right now? The Fairies had many ways to see what they wanted to see. Shed probably been waiting for his death ever since she whispered her sisters name to him.

No, Jacob. Ever since you left her. How much longer? The pity in Almas eyes was worse than her anger. Two, three months, maybe less. How did she curse you? She got me to say her dark sisters name. Almas cat was brushing against his legs as though she were trying to console him.

One never would have guessed that she could become quite vicious to visitors she didnt like. I thought you knew more about Fairies than I. Did you forget how big a secret they make of their names? Alma went to her apothecary cabinet. Its drawers were filled with every remedy the Mirrorworld had to offer. I said the Red Ones name countless times. Many things are different with the Dark One. Alma picked a root from one of the drawers. It looked like a pale spider with its legs drawn under its body.

Shes more powerful than the others, but, unlike them, she doesnt live under the protective spell of their island. That makes her vulnerable. She cannot allow anyone to know her name. She probably hasnt even told it to her lover. She ground up the root in a pestle and poured the powder into a pouch. How long have you been carrying that moth on your chest? Jacob pushed his hand under his shirt. He could barely feel the imprint.

The Red first saved my life with it. Almas smile was full of bitterness. She saved you only so she could give you the death she had planned for you. Fairies love playing with life and death Alma offered Jacob the pouch with the powder. This is all I can do.

Take a pinch of this whenever the pain comes. And it will come. She filled a bowl with the cold water from the well behind her house so Jacob could wash off the Djinns blood before it burnt into his skin. The water soon turned as gray as the ghost. On Jacobs last birthday, hed filled a sheet of paper with a list of the treasures he still wanted to find.

Hed turned t wenty-five. Youll never get any older, Jacob. The towel Alma handed him smelled of mint. He didnt want to die.

He loved his life. He didnt want a different one, just more of this. Can you tell me how it will happen? Alma pushed open the window to pour out the water. It was getting light. The Dark One will use her sisters seal to reclaim her name. The moth on your heart will come alive. It wont be pleasant. Once it tears free from your skin and flies off, you will be dead. You may have a few more minutes, maybe an hour She quickly turned away.

Alma hated for oth ers to see her cry. Jacob, I wish there was something I could do, she added quietly, but the Fairies are more powerful than I. It comes with their immortality.

The cat looked at him. Jacob stroked her black fur. Nine lives. He always believed hed have at least that many. Many of the graves in the cemetery behind Almas house were from when large numbers of Trolls had migrated to Austry to escape the cold winters of their homeland. Their magical woodworking skills had earned most of them large fortunes, and a number of their grave markers were covered with gold. Jacob had no idea how long hed been standing there, staring at a masterfully carved frieze depict ing the deeds of a l ong- dead Troll.

Around him, men, women, and children were going to work. Carts rumbled over the rough cobblestones in front of the cemetery gate. A dog barked at a junk man who was doing his rounds among the simple cottages.

And Jacob just stood there and stared at the graves, unable to think.

Hed been so sure he would find a way to save himself. After all, there was nothing he couldnt find. Hed firmly. Since his thirteenth birthday, his only ambition had been to become the best treasure hunter of all t ime it was the only name hed wanted to make for himself. But now it seemed that the only things he could find were the ones other people desired.

What were they to him? The glass slipper that brought never- ending love; the cudgel that slayed every foe; the goose that laid golden eggs; or the conch that let you listen to your enemies.

Hed wanted to be the man who found them, nothing else. And he had found all of them.

Yet as soon as he sought something for himself, he searched in vain. Thats how it had been with his father, and thats how it was now with the magic that might save his life. Rotten luck, Jacob. He turned away from the grave markers and their gilded carvings. Most of them depicted tavern brawls or drinking g ames the deeds that Trolls were proudest of were not always the honorable ones yet some also showed the things the dead had crafted from wood: What will your gravestone say about you, Jacob?

Jacob Reckless, born of another world, killed by the curse of a Fairy. He leaned down and propped up the tiny grave stone of a Heinzel. Enough with the self-pity. His brother had his skin back. Suddenly, the wish that Will had never come through.

Find yourself an hourglass, Jacob. Turn back time; do not ride to the Fairy. Or just smash the mirror before Will can follow you. A woman opened the rusty gate in the cemetery wall. She placed a few flowering branches on a grave. Maybe it was the sight of her that made him think of Fox, for that was what she would do. Though it was more likely shed put a bunch of wildflowers on his grave. Violets or prim roses. Those were her favorites. He turned around and walked toward the gate. He would not search for an hourglass.

Even if he turned back time, everything would just happen again, exactly the same way. And things had turned out well, at least for his brother.

Jacob opened the gate and looked up at the hill where the tower stood out against the morning sky. Should he go back and tell Will how things were standing with him?

Not yet. First he had to find Fox. It was to her he owed the truth, more than to anyone else. The Dark Fairy flinched.

She didnt want to see his face anymore. All the fear on it, the pain This was not her revenge. Even though the pond that showed her his fear was the same one where he had turned her skin to bark. Her red sister was probably seeing the same images, on the lake that had spawned them both.I wont stay long.

He still was a decent enough liar. Ignoring his brothers disappointment was no longer as easy as it used to be.

She punched her bony fist into his chest. ISBN hardback [1. They would never bring back the love. It wont be pleasant. Take a pinch of this whenever the pain comes.

He was still like a boy who thought he could outrun his own shadow. The journey in the Mirrorworld turns into a search against time and against a Goyl treasure hunter for an enchanted crossbow, which is known to strike down any army it faces, and less well known for its healing power when shot by a loved oneProvided by publisher.

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Feel free to read my other posts. I am highly influenced by touring car racing. I do enjoy reading comics sheepishly .