The Ballad of The Viper And The Farmer

“ I take it this which kidnapped your daughter” crystal said.

Jhonen's features softened and a pained look came over his face at Crystal's question. Midnight was being surprisingly friendly however and this made Jhonen smile somewhat, clearly the dragon was showing thanks for saving Crystal.

“ I think he is trying to say thank you he might let you pet him” she said. There was clear confusion in her voice.

Jhonen stroked the dragon's fur as a sad smile formed on his face. "No... The Crimson Queen... Lilith... is the mother..." He sighed and looked to Noriko who was already dealing with her own issues, yet at the sight of Jhonen sympathy filled her eyes.

"When I was seventeen..." Jhonen started. "I lived on a farm several miles from the settlement of Typhon with my family... My parents and my sisters. One day, my father found a girl half-dead on the edge of our land. Her name was Lilith... She told us that she had been part of a caravan traveling to Typhon and that it got hit by raiders. We were far from Typhon, but my father had been a medic in the Central Systems Military so we let her stay with us so she could heal her wounds and regain her strength...

"She seemed like a normal girl... And being a young man I found myself rather taken with the strange, beautiful girl... However... it was all a lie... Lilith was a sadistic criminal, The Crimson Queen before she became The Crimson Queen. One day I returned home to find my home burning... Her gang had found her and they jumped me. They tortured me, beat me, and made me watch as they burned my sisters alive. And then she came... laughed at how foolish I was... and then she..." He had to pause as the painful memory flooded his mind.

"She raped me." He finally said, bluntly. "And they left me for dead... because I was as good as dead... But they didn't count on Owen Boston finding me and taking me back to the Eyrie..." He continued to stroke Midnight's fur, he was surprisingly soft and fun to pet, Jhonen had to admit. "Boston helped me through most of my issues after that day... and brought me into the dragoon. It wasn't until Operation Queenslayer that I found out Lilith had gotten pregnant that day... and had a baby girl... My baby girl... My Matilda...

"From that day on, Lilith told me I would never see her again unless I was able to beat her Game. Face down her lieutenants, defeat them, and find her. That is why I've been after her, and her lieutenants... Not for my duty as a dragoon, not for revenge... but to find my baby..."

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