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A Summons to Dixing

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Zhao Yunlan had only ever heard stories of Dixing's Dark Lord. Even after three years as Head of the SID, he'd never set foot in the land of constant night. So when he received the summons, he didn't hesitate. Not that the very impressive Envoy left him much of a choice, opening a portal with a hand gesture and inviting him through with a simple tilt of his mask-covered face.

"Of course, Your Excellency," Zhao Yunlan deadpanned and followed him, but not before calling over his shoulder, "You're in charge, Da Qing. There's fish in the fridge, if I don't come back."

Dixing turned out to be even gloomier than expected, and not just from a lack of light. The few inhabitants he saw appeared downtrodden, and he suddenly had a much better understanding why Dixingren might risk imprisonment by violating the treaty and sneaking into Haixing. Zhao Yunlan had a very bad feeling about this whole thing, and he set his shoulders as he followed the Envoy into the Palace.

If the Envoy was impressive, Dixing's actual ruler was terrifying, an ominous presence on an ornate throne. He exuded an air of ice-cold menace, not amended in the least by his startling beauty and made even more intimidating when the Envoy smoothly knelt in front of him. Zhao Yunlan remained standing for a startled second, before a strong hand gripped his wrist and yanked him off his feet and onto his knees.

"My Lord," the Envoy intoned, "As you ordered, I have brought you Kunlun."

The previously so imperious white-cloaked figure was completely subservient to his black-clad master, and even Zhao Yunlan's usually indomitable spirit needed a moment before he managed to protest, "I don't know who this Kunlun person is, but my name is Zhao Yunlan. I'm the Chief of the SID, and it's an honour to meet you, my Lord. I must admit I've always wanted to see Dixing."

"Oh, I know who you are, Lord Guardian," the Black Lord replied, his voice strangely similar to the Envoy's, albeit more menacing, insinuating, sending cold shivers down Zhao Yunlan's spine. A knife-like smile parted a mouth that he would have found extremely attractive under different circumstances. "And I'm glad you find Dixing to your liking, since you won't leave here for a long, long time."

Zhao Yunlan gasped when a tendril of dark energy wrapped around him and abruptly pulled him forward, until he came to a halt at the Dark Lord's feet. He opened his mouth to protest, but a cold hand gripped his chin painfully, forcing his face upwards.

"Oh, my Kunlun, you're mine now."

Staring into black eyes like bottomless pits, Zhao Yunlan's heart sank.