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Best Tracker in the Country

“He could certainly try.” Lucien threatened, moving to put furniture between himself and the red-haired behemoth.

Mardichi began circling the chairs. “I could strangle yer wee neck.” He was already reaching out hands that looked more like hunks of meat.

“You’d have to get close enough.”

“Quiet!” Deragan silenced them as effectively as if they were children chastised by a parent.

More serious matters at hand.

Lucien straightened and nodded.

“Besides, if Bast wishes to meddle he’ll do so either way.” Deragan said dismissively.

There were a few acknowledging grunts at that.

Mardichi huffed. Ducking the doorframe to lurch from the room.

Deragan slumped into a seat to watch the dancing fire in his parlor. Something which usually had a calming effect on him. Though it certainly isn’t today.

All of them waited in suspense in Deragan’s parlor for the hours it took for Acharius to step in to announce, “He’s returned.”

Sebastian strolled in with a baffled expression and huge eyes. “There’s no doubt that is her.” He shook his head astounded. “Just to look at her, you can tell it’s she."

He was clearly baffled. "She spotted me, laughed, and said she knew you,” He nodded to Deragan. “Would send me."

"How can you be sure?" Mardichi boomed from the far side of the room.

"She remembered me offering for her life in Billar…" Sebastian was tight lipped as he shook his head. "She couldn’t know that!”

“What?” Lucien was stunned. “You’re not one easily deceived…”

"I'm not. I'm sure." Sebastian shook his head slowly.

“You’re sure?” Chavias asked.

“It’s her.” Sebastian said. “You can feel her power, and the magic in her touch. Just as back then. She’s surrounded by blinding light.”

“You’re the only one that can see the light.” Tev reminded.

“It’s all around her.” Sebastian shook his head, dumbfounded. “There’s no mistaking her.”

I was right. Deragan was relieved. I’m rarely wrong.

“You’re certain?” It was Raese.

“Have a look for yourself.” Sebastian gestured to the road. “She said she’s been born anew, twice already. And her energy to return comes from the moon. As long as it shines,” He looked above the rest to meet the Captain’s blue-eyed stare. “She’ll come back.”

Deragan’s grip on the armrests of his chair turned white knuckled.

“This is insane!” Mardichi shook his head.

“Anymore insane then an angel falling for a Captain of poor knights?” Sebastian retorted, effectively silencing Mardichi.

Not something easily done. Deragan knew.

“There’s nothing.” Rhyers said quietly from the back of the room.

No Cimmerii tracks.

Rhyers had entered the house without a single one of them noticing.

I hate that.

“I hate tha’ ye’re so bloody quiet.” Mardichi grumbled echoing Deragan’s thoughts. “Ye always’ scare the ‘ell out of me, creepin’ ’bout.”

“That’s fine,” Rhyers retorted. “Your unpredictability combined with your moodiness scares the hell out of me.”

“I could show ye ‘moody’.” Mardichi spat through gritted teeth.

“You usually do.” Lucien laughed.

Making Mardichi growl.

“I think you should see her again.” Sebastian cut in. For once silencing the teasing rather than instigating it.

Garnering Deragan’s attention. His head whipping in Sebastian’s direction.

“I agree.” Alazareth stepped next to his twin.

United in something, for once. Deragan nodded.

Deragan met with Lacey Marcelle time and time again. Doing his damnedest to seduce her mercilessly.

The knights were a constant presence around them.

Hovering a bit too closely in their fear she may still prove to be one of Radix's...

A Cimmerii.

Rhyers did daily checks for tracks.

Unfortunately, all thoughts Lacey was Cimmerii were banished the day Rhyers found Deragan and Chavias talking in the kitchens. Insistent on interrupting them.


Not now. I’m speaking.

“Just a moment.” Deragan lifted a staying hand.

“Captain.” Rhyers emphasized.

Deragan’s head rotated to him with a slight snarl. What did I tell you?

“They’re hunting here.” Rhyers explained instantly.

“Cimmerii?” Deragan’s brows shot up.

No wonder his urgency.

“They’re here.” Rhyers’ voice turned sorrowful.

“Where?” Chavias’ eyes lit yellow as he peered around Deragan. Anger emanating from the dark warrior.

He’s already prepared to fight.

“Lurking around Marcelle Manse. I found tracks and the smell…” Rhyers shook his head at the mere memory of the repugnant odor. “There’s no question it’s Cimmerii.”

“I’ll go with you.” Chavias stepped around Deragan. “We will hunt them down and kill as many as we can before they can return to tell Radix.”

Rhyers gave a quick nod.

They left the kitchens headed out across the meadow.

And Deragan now knew for sure what he’d believed all along…It is her.

Radix wanted her power for himself. A tool to twist the world into demons.

At full power, she’ll be a dangerous weapon for Radix to get his hands on. A creature that could lure countless humans to a dark fate and brutal deaths. He’ll want her at any cost.

She’s already mine.

He can’t have her. Deragan’s jaw hardened.

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