• Gakuto stood there, staring at them. The silence was almost unbearable to Avon. Finally, Bernard spoke.
    “What seems to be the problem, Gakuto?” he asked.
    Gakuto blinked, then said, “Something wrong.”
    Bernard nodded. “I don’t think there would be a problem if you weren’t here. Would you mind going into further detail?”
    Gakuto looked up towards the sky. “The forest . . . and the sky . . . they speak of danger.” He looked back at Bernard and his children. “Danger your kind has not seen before.”
    Bernard raised an eyebrow. “Oh?” he said. “And you know of this danger?”
    “Our kind has dealt with this danger many generations ago. This was before we traveled to your land. This was during a time when we had our own land.”
    “So you’re saying it comes from where you come from?”
    “Maybe. Maybe not. It is difficult to say. But I am concerned about this danger, since it was so hard for our kind to defeat this danger.”
    Bernard sighed. “Would this be a thing to talk about in the open?” he asked.
    “Wouldn’t you want your people to know?”
    “Yes,” Bernard said. “But I would want to know exactly what we’re up against before I tell my people anything.”
    Gakuto nodded. “Wherever you feel more comfortable talking about this.”
    Bernard tilted his head towards the village. “Come with me.” He started walking towards the village. Gakuto followed Bernard, and Avon and Carlisle followed a few feet behind them.
    Avon walked beside her older brother, watching him. From the light of the lantern and the rising sun, all Avon could tell was that he was concentrating on not trying to worry her. His face was free from any emotions, mostly from what he learned from his watercrafting. Avon was still worried though, and she knew that Carlisle knew she was worried. She finally gave up on trying to read Carlisle’s face and focused on trying to hold the lantern without dropping it. When they reached the house, Avon put the lantern down and put more wood in the fireplace and rekindled the fire.
    Bernard lit other lanterns in the house. Once there was enough light in the house, the chairs were pulled around the table in the center of the kitchen. Bernard offered Gakuto to sit down, in which he did. Avon and Carlisle sat at one end of the the table.
    “What your kind is up against is much different that what you are used to,” Gakuto began. “Our kind have, as I said, dealt with this . . . creature before.”
    “What kind of creature is it?” Carlisle asked.
    “It takes over another creature’s body and mind,” Gakuto said. “I cannot describe it better than that.”
    “So it’s like a virus,” he said.
    “Not exactly. When you’re sick, you know how to deal with it. When this creature takes over you, you have absolutely no control over it. It controls you. After a while, you forget who you were, only who you serve. What makes it hard to defeat is that it takes over your own kind.”