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Shardai leaned his front paws on the table and looked into Ramses eyes, his expression intense, his long tail swishing. “I never beg or plead, though I would in this case if I thought it would get me home to her. Instead, I ask you to remember fifty years ago when you died. The boy was what, twelve, thirteen? Trembling on the threshold of young adulthood and he still cried into his pillow every night for weeks for his beloved Ramses. And even after all these years, he speaks fondly of you to his grandchildren. The bond was there, Ramses, you knew it, you felt it. You know what its like. There were cats and dogs that came after you over the years but no one took your place. That corner of his heart he locked away and you’ll always reside there.”
Shardai felt the gaze of the council on him, but focused on the Abyssinian, who held his fate in his paws.
A warm light breeze ruffled the cats’ fur but neither Shardai nor Ramses felt it, their gaze locked. The silence stretched out for several heartbeats.
Shardai’s gut tightened and the nerve endings under his skin quivered and jumped. Just as he opened his mouth to hiss out his rage and pain, Ramses shoulders slumped and he threw up his paws. “If this is what you wish, so be it. He stood up, tall and regal. The sun glistened on his fur as he began to chant:

“For troubled shores now thee leave
Man’s imperfections to receive
With mortals weakened, faulty shell
So shall ye among them dwell...”

Ramses paw shot out rigidly in front of him.
Shardai was gone, leaving a wisp of blue smoke floating in the spot he had inhabited only moments before.

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