There was a small wince, and the boy shut his eyes. He had been determined not to look at his wound. He’d always had a pension for the dramatic when it came to shit like this. Seeing the damage would only make it all the more present in his thoughts. And he certainly didn’t want to go through another night like he had. He inhaled slowly, if not with some pain.
He didn’t speak in response to the Don’s threat immediately. He knew he wasn’t being completely honest with his master, but he didn’t quite care to explain the situation with the two Millennium Rods. Truth be told, the thought of it terrified him. He had no desire to ever experience anything like the duel between their power over him again. He would gladly endure a thousand gunshot wounds in exchange. Unfortunately, he knew, that wasn’t a guarantee. Now that Zorc knew that Jou’s loyalty in Malik was faulty, completely dependent on the strength of will that the wielder of the Millennium Rod had. And the servant had certainly spotted the look in the god’s eye. He was marked for ownership. There was a damn good chance that he would return for him eventually. He suppressed a shiver at that thought.
Finally, knowing that suspicion would arise if he remained silent, he inclined his head in what was his best attempt at a nod, and rasped with effort, “I will always follow the Millennium Rod, Master.”
“You think I’m thick, Dog?” His smile was wry as the blonde spoke those words, and the Don’s eyes were like a hawk’s, burning down at the crippled body before him as he released the fabric and moved back from the wound and its owner. “I know exactly where your loyalties lie.” He hummed, getting to his feet. “But this is a threat from me. And the Rod. If you dare disobey me? That is to say I, the holder of the Rod, the Rod’s master…”
He held it out as if to emphasize his words, his eyes flicking to it momentarily. “It’ll be on your head.” He slowly and carefully got to his feet, feeling the intense pain in his left leg and wincing slightly, trying his best to mask the weakness by turning away from his puppet.
“I did not punish you nearly as much as I should. I could have killed you just as easily as I shot you. But I didn’t. Remember that. I spared your life. If you were to die, you would have no such Rod to follow.”