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When Brunhilde spoke up, Mallory looked at her like she had grown three heads. Or three feet.
"Yes, dwarf, that's generally what a lord is. I'm not seeing the problem here?" She tittered. "Honestly, what do they teach you underground? Proper rock placement?"
The smelly bandit made her nose wrinkle again; his breath, nay, his very words were rank with the stench of the underprivileged and unimportant. She wished to give him a bath, but that would require touching the vile creature.
"You'll get your freedom eventually," she unconsciously traced a hand along her rifle's stock, "One way or another."
The padre had wounded Mallory's pride; made her a socially cornered animal who glimpsed her own blood. She did the only natural thing to do, lash out.
"That's not very pious of you, padre; doesn't your hoarder god require you to be impartial in conflicts? Not that there's been one outside of your instigation, of course. I'd love to see how you explain violating the social and legal contracts binding us together in taming these lands fits your worship. I can see your fervent prayers now: 'Oh Abadar, oh Abadar, that half-elf girl was mean to somebody; that means it's legally right and moral to let her die.' That wouldn't even fly in a kangaroo court!"
She had not been condescending; that would imply that she felt superior instead of actually being superior. Not only that, he questioned her nobility; that which marked her as unique. Moreso than her magic, than her ears, than her prized rifles; the delusion of nobility was the core of her being.
A delusion she would defend to the death.
Arms crossed, head tilted regally, Mallory stared down the padre like an insect; her normal well-meaning smugness turned to something cold and hard. "I have shown and will show the utmost manners to people with class, padre. That currently includes mister Jaared and only mister Jaared. It included you, until your little outburst. You may think me a fool, but I didn't become a mage by being stupid. I apologize for nothing."
She softened slightly and gestured to Brunhilde, smiling. "Besides, the dwarf's a big girl. Well, big for her people anyway. I would hope she could handle a little ribbing. She certainly doesn't need you to step in for her like some schoolmarm, isn't that right?"
"What good would it do to kill you all, mister Jaared? Good help is hard to find." Mallory said, sulking, passively taking in Denayth and Brunhilde's words. She had to restrain herself from tittering at Brunhilde's claims of nobility; Dwarves being nobles was just absurd. The throne would, well, dwarf their tiny bodies.
She had to restrain herself from doing several less savory things to the padre; his dismissal of her birthright rubbed raw and ragged on her psyche and ate at the pillars holding up her self-image. Her fingers twitched, she went over old mnemonic devices to keep her cool, keep herself from demanding satisfaction. She turned away from the group; her eyes cast down, her soft face marred with a heavy scowl.
"I'd much rather have you as our leader, mister Jaared. Even in your anger you consider all of us." She stared daggers at the padre. "With the padre as our leader, I'd be considered lower than that bit of trash we picked up. Not like you all don't already think that of me."