It was evening already. Anju spent the whole day trying to find Artrog, but he was unlucky. Well he expected that because Melisse was a huge town. Anju was walking towards the gate to the Black District. He wanted to see how the quarantine looked like. And he was really surprised when he finally saw it. There were very high stone walls with many archers standing on them. There was also a giant wooden gate but it was carefully locked and guarded by men with swords and spears. "The leader of this town must be pretty serious about it." Anju said for himself.
"He is just scared... everyone is." someone replied behind him. He turned around. It was a young girl. Although she looked exactly like a human, he could sense she wasn't. She was wearing hoodie like someone who wouldn't want to get recognized by others. "Even though not everyone agrees with this." she looked at the guards and closed gate.
"Is that so..." Anju answered. He could see why people wouldn't agree with it. But he wasn't one of them. Anju would rather make such a sacrifice instead of letting everyone die. "And do you agree with it?"
"No. But there is nothing someone like me could do." she said with a quiet voice.
"Someone like you? You aren't a normal townie lady, are you?" Giant black crow flew above their heads and sat on the roof of the closest house. It kept staring at them.
"What do you think? Do I look like a normal girl who mostly cares about boys and dresses?" she innocently smiled. He felt weird about this conversation.
"Do you normally speak like this with complete strangers?"
"Does it matter?" she asked him. "Would telling you my name make a difference?" The crow on the roof made a sound, getting Anju's attention.
"I don't really think so. I'm not planning on staying in this town for too long." he answered. He realized who that crow was. It was his servant, Derixus.
"Maybe it's good idea to leave. I think this disease will spread more in future." she said. He could see fear in her eyes.
"You should leave too then. Until you have time." She wanted to answer him, but they got interrupted by a guard standing on the wall.
"Stop! Don't come any closer!" the shout coming from his mouth was directed towards someone inside the Black District. Everyone stared at the shouting guard. The crow made a sound again, louder than before.
"I'm sorry but I have to go." he announced to the strange girl that had no time to answer him even though she definitely wanted to ask him something. He disappeared in dark street. The crow followed him and it landed in front of him when it was sure they were alone. "What are you doing here, Derixus?" he asked him.
"Master" he bowed in front of him. "I have terrible news." The expression on Anju's face changed in surprise.
"Your brother, Vail, he arrived into your castle. Your father has put him into charge of it while you're gone." Anju frowned.
"What about Kana? Is she alright?" He nodded in agreement.
"Dax used his magic and sent her away with a bodyguard. But your brother killed him for it. And now there is group of his men trying to find her."
"That's unpleasant." He said with serious face. "But we have to deal with that later, first we have to find Serpentra." Derixus was surprised.
"You have lost her or something?" Anju stared at him.
"She ran away. Go find her, quick."
"Yes, master." He bowed again and transformed into a flock of crows. Then they flew in all directions. Before Anju could walk away, a voice interrupted him.
"So it's you. You are the son of Kale." He turned around. It was the girl from earlier. He was surprised.
"I couldn't sense your presence." He announced with cold stare. "Who are you?" She walked towards him and whispered.
"Follow me. It's not safe to speak here." She turned around and started walking away. *What can I do...* Anju wondered as he followed her away.
Toby was browsing the streets of Melisse on his own. He ordered his two partners to go in the different parts of town so they would have bigger chance to find her. They were supposed to meet in the inn, which was situated in a dark corridor in the dangerous district.
While he was slowly walking through the darkness of the city, he heard shouting from the nearby street. The curiosity took over him and he headed to the source of the sound. As he was getting closer, he could see several people standing in the distance and he started to understand what the strangers were saying. "You haven't paid for your protection... you know what that means, don't you?" a bald man asked the second man who was kneeling in front of him.
"Please! I hardly make money to feed my family! It's because of the disease! Please, you hav-...." one strong punch silenced him before he could finish his sentence. That led to a loud laugh from the others. When Toby arrived to them, the thugs stared at him with hateful expressions.
"This is none of your business, get out of here before we take care of you too." warned him elf with hoodie. Toby chuckled.
"Oh please, I don't care what happens to this pathetic weakling." he said as he looked at the guy who was still kneeling in front of them. "I would love to give you and your kind men a job." Others grinned at him.
"Prove yourself so we can trust you, kill this worm. He will serve as a great example for merchants in this city." told him the bald man.
"As you wish." Said Toby while he grabbed his hair and pushed him on his legs. Then with only one quick move he pulled a dagger from his sleeve and stabbed the man in his heart. He leaned back on the wall and slowly started falling on the ground while leaving blood stains on the building. The thugs were surprised.
"He actually did it!" said a person whose skin was green. Toby wasn't sure about his race. "So, what job do you have for us?" said the bald man, who probably was their leader.
A pair of strangers was sitting at the table in the corner of the dark inn. They were drinking ale while discussing their next move. "Do you think its good idea?" the girl asked him.
"Of course, it will work, trust me." he answered with evil smile. She giggled.
"Well I can't wait to see Toby's reaction." as she said it, the door opened and he walked inside.
"Speak of the devil..." the second man said and smiled. Toby walked to their table and took his seat.
"So, have you found anything interesting?" he asked and removed his mask. He used an illusion to hide his real face behind some random human face to fit in. Then he ordered an ale for him and both of his partners.
"You probably know this city has problem with disease right now..." the girl started.
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"So I got an idea how to get Serpentra to come to you without even trying that hard." he smiled. "But it might kill everyone who lives here..." As he heard it, big sparks of excitement appeared in Toby's eyes.
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