• The three travelers sought shelter in a nearby hotel in Meisdal, just after an abrupt flash of lightning startled the group upon entering the city. Rain poured serenely amongst the violent roars of thunder from afar; Meisdal was drenched in very little time, obscuring Osmund, Vyktor, and Sabrielle’s tracks upon the earth.
    Vyktor stood, sternly facing the storm outside through a large window pane, a grim expression on his face. Sabrielle approached him, curious of his recent behavior upon settling down within the confines of a decrepit motel. She boldly interrupted his meditation.
    “Vyktor, are you alright?” The tone betrayed her attempt at concealing her worry.
    He nodded silently, still gazing at the dark, cloud infested sky. “I’m worried as well...”
    he said through his teeth.
    “I–“ she began, but could not choke out more of her unfinished thought. This caused him to smile, in spite of his mood.
    “It’s not my sake I’m worried for, mind you...” Vyktor mentioned.
    Osmund took his role as spectator as their interaction progressed. He nonchalantly pulled a book from the poorly stocked bookcase and began reading, still on his feet. Although he seemed preoccupied, he continued to listen intently.
    “I doubt I’m in much danger, Vyktor... You were nearly killed before I was even involved....” she argued. Vyktor closed his blazing eyes, fighting his anger and passion. “I was nearly killed because they thought I could lead them to you... Looks like I did...”
    “Looks that way...” Sabrielle confessed, sarcastically.
    Osmund looked up, barely concerned, but then quickly returned to Macbeth.
    “This is all my fault...” he chuckled, not in the least from merriment. He took a step away from her; fear and regret emerged throughout the room and it all emanated from poor Sabrielle.
    “It’s not your fault, but I need to know: why are the Terra after me? Neither of you have answered that one yet...” she demanded, turning to Osmund.
    Osmund replaced the tattered book and limped over. “I told you that our scents are upon you... The Terra are after Vyktor and I...” Vyktor shook his head in disapproval.
    “No more lies, Osmund,” she said with a menacing voice, “there’s more to me than I thought... Vyktor is horrid at weaving tall tales; he tried, but your story doesn’t coincide with his explanation... They’re after me and you two are here to protect me... I want to know what’s out there, why they’re out there, and how can I help to make this journey easier.”
    A painful smile enveloped Osmund’s already tortured expression. “Only if you’re prepared for more mythologies...”
    Her silence took the place of an ‘absolutely.’
    “The Terra has a leader, the man who started all of this madness... This man, Felix Pryde, was a well known commander in Zephyrose City’s small guard and... An incident occurred...”
    Osmund paused, examining Sabrielle’s reaction.
    “Alright, where’s the mythical creatures?” she joked, causing Vyktor to roll his eyes in a flirting manner.
    “Brace yourself...” Osmund warned. “Felix was... Well, he was fused with an enormous male lion inadvertently by the Regiment... It was a complete catastrophe, no pun intended.”
    A snigger escaped Vyktor’s lips. “It was during a massive takeover near Kadn when the Zephyrosians decided to test their newest addition to their artillery... Their weapon was identified as a ‘vaporizer’ but in reality, it did nothing of that sort, it actually reversed the dispersing of molecules; it merged targets together,” Vyktor informed her, “Felix had been involved in a misfire just outside of the Korrealus Forest, upon the Salda Plains, where a nearby lion stalked the small group.
    “The giant feline attacked, entangling himself with the unsuspecting Felix. In attempt to save his companion, another member of the guard fired the ‘vaporizer,’ thus Felicus the Maimed was born. He was actually morphed with the lion: his hair grew into an unruly mane, his teeth grew sharper, his nails transformed into retractable claws, and his body was enhanced accordingly to the lion’s strength.” He finished with a wink. “So that’s what’s out there, Sabrielle...”
    She nodded, slightly taken aback. “Okay, so this werelion type guy is coming for me? Why?”
    Osmund replied first, “Well, you see... Your father was responsible for the Regiment’s intervention... That led to the reconnaissance in the Salda Plains, which, as you know, turned Felix into a monster... He wants revenge and had already cut Colonels Travise Liengue and Weslee Dierk’s lives short; your father, Major Dimetri Thomas, was destroyed by Felicus shortly after the entire war... Felicus then learned of your mother’s death, and in turn, your existence...”
    Sabrielle flinched at the mention of her mother.
    “Forgive me,” Osmund pleaded, “but once Felicus knew that Dimetri’s wife was dead, the only family that remained was you...”
    Sabrielle mulled over the newly ascertained knowledge, grimacing sadly when the death of Celestine Thomas recurred once more.