Chapter 50 - Changes
Rhett turned his head and Mr. Nelto stood beside him, grinning.
“What’s up?” Rhett’s body tensed up.
“Why did you decide to come to Lyros? Of all places? I might be able to write it off if you were from Nhaja already, but you received a visa just to come to Lyros? That sounds almost unbelievable, but, here you are.”
Had someone finally caught onto Rhett? Shelpo predicted that this might happen, but after being here so long he felt there was no way it would happen. And if someone was acting suspicious towards him moving here, could that mean they are involved in something? Or just curious?
“Ah well, I just wanted an escape. Try out a new culture, a new way of life.” Rhett smirked. “I think it’s good to be well rounded in life.”
“I see.” Nelto laughed. “Well, anyway I hope you enjoy your stay here. This land is precious to me. There are many interesting things around here too.” He released his hand from Rhett’s shoulder and took a step away from him. “I’m sure you know of that already though.”
Interesting things? Perhaps everyone had all caught wind about them learning about the vulthos due to Kale? Or the fact that lions lived out around here? What Nelto said was true, this area was full of surprises.
Rhett sifted through the ice in the cooler and pulled out a can of beer.
“Mind grabbing me one too?” Lars asked and stepped towards him. “You don’t need to feel intimidated about Mr. Nelto here. He is quite an odd character, he has a lot of fun scaring people hahaha.”
Rhett nodded and passed him a drink.
All the plates on the table were mostly empty, only scraps of food remained. The evening had turned to night, and Lars and the others had set up lights giving the illusion of a fancy lit restaurant.
“What are you doing, Saraiya?” Grant asked.
“Oh, I’m working on a list of questions in case I get the opportunity to talk with the members of Axis of Cygnus tomorrow.” Saraiya looked up and around at the group. “Do you think they’ll let me talk to them?”
“Maybe? This is going to be a smaller show,” Rhett said.
“I think I can get an interview for you, Saraiya,” Kale said.
“How do you think you can do that?” she asked.
“You’ll see.” Kale’s eyes smiled.
“Don’t annoy them too much Kale, you don’t want a repeat of last time we saw them,” Ambri said.
“Oh, what? You guys have seen them before?” Rhett looked surprised.
“Ah, yeah…” As Kale spoke, Ambri watched, as if trying to force specific words out of him. “We saw them in another city once…”
Ambri nodded. “Yeah, it was a great show. And it may have been the reason we got them to come all the way out here.”
“You got them to come all the way to the middle of nowhere because you guys went to one of their shows once?” Grant asked, not buying it.
Ambri seemed flustered as she realized no one believed that story. She proceeded to ignore it. “You might have to wait outside by their camper in hopes they will come out after they load up all their equipment if you want to talk to them. But who knows if they will even come out to greet anyone.”
“Ah, bummer,” Rhett said. “I wanted to get the chance to meet them too, but I don’t think I’m up for waiting outside all night if they might not even come out.”
“I’m fine with that. I’ll take the risk. I’ve noticed Axis of Cygnus is getting more popular. There is a music magazine that I could send the interview in to.” Saraiya smiled. “I’m not wasting any chances.”
Mr. Nelto had begun playing his guitar as the sun relaxed down below the horizon. Mumbles of conversations broke through the calming melodies. This night felt different than the usual nights in Lyros. Tonight, the whole village was together, and it felt like a large family gathering. Mostly like a family gathering of distant relatives though.
“Do you guys see that?” A voice from a table over said. Everyone fell silent and Mr. Nelto abruptly stopped his playing.
Everyone looked over and followed the person’s finger to the sky. The night was a dark orange and in the sky, three vulthos flew.
“Just ignore them!” Another voice hushed them.
“It’s fine! Everyone here has already been told about the dangers of the vulthos thanks to Kale,” Lars said. Grant wasn’t sure if Lars was mad at Kale or not.
“Those damn vulthos, why are they this close to Lyros?! Everyone tuck the cats in under the tables! Their eyesight is unmatched,” someone from another table said.
“No way!” Saraiya shouted as she stared wide eyed into the sky of mythical beings. “I… Can’t believe it!”
Benches rustled and table cloths flapped as everyone collected the felines around the area and held them on their laps, or hid them under the table. The vulthos were pretty far away, but they seemed to think even at that distance they would be able to spot the cats.
Grant gazed up at the vulthos as the three flew overhead. His heart began to race. What an exciting experience. He wished that they would come closer so he could get a better view. Were these the same three from the lake?
All of the cats wriggled around under the tables. The villagers didn’t dare place them at Grant’s table, well besides Zair, who Kale held. Occasionally the cats would peak their heads out from the tables only to be met with being prodded back under. Why were they hiding them from the vulthos? Did they eat cats?
“This is insane!” Saraiya said as her hand could not keep up with her thoughts. An aggressive scratch of pen on paper filled the silence.
The vulthos were stagnating a bit above them, but soon enough they kept on their way, turning into just a speck in the distance. Some of the cats were now getting impatient, but everyone held them at bay for a bit longer before letting them out from under their noses. As soon as the sky cleared, a few of the impatient cats darted out as quick as they could and one jumped on Grant’s lap, and stared into his eyes. It was a black cat with one green and one blue eye. They both stared at each other for a few seconds before the cat jumped off and ran away.
“I don’t think I have ever seen that cat before,” Grant said.
“It seemed to like you.” Rhett shook his head.
Grant smiled and scratched his head. A sharp pain jotted into his scalp as he scratched. He quickly reached at the pain and felt it, wet. He brought his hand down and it was red. That was the least of his concern, however. His index finger’s nail stuck out two inches and tapered to a point.
He jolted back and hid his hand as sweat already started collecting in his palm, mixing with the smeared blood.
“Hey, Grant you alright?” Ambri looked concerned.
“Uhh, yeah, I’m fine. I just accidentally scratched myself. Anyway, guys I’m going to head back for the rest of the night. Thanks for the food,” Grant scrambled his words as fast as he could and retreated back
Everyone exchanged faces with each other in confusion.