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20 Those Who Returned

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Maeve assessed the Royal Guardsmen, in her gaze taking note of every detail in their bearing, these men would be fighting alongside her very soon, and she needed to be certain their abilities were up to par, they were not directly under her command but were under the control of the Kuranes family, "Captain Titus, these are remains of an Abomination I just killed inside the Manor."

Except for the pale face of the priest who swallowed, the rest of the Guardsmen's eyes only went colder. Captain Titus walked to the dismembered corpse of the Abomination and crouched beside it.

He drew a short dagger, and in a while he neatly dissected the corpse into pieces, separating the torso from the limbs, during the grisly procedure, the limbs began to twitch, as the claws on the hands dragged furrows in the ground.

Captain Titus stood up, "So it's true, the only way to kill an Abomination is by beheading."

"Yes, it is." Maeve said, "But this is not the true extent of the blight these creatures are known for. What you see here, the captain is in the larvae stage of the Abomination. If it kills and consumes a set amount of prey, it would evolve into its battle form."

"That means we have a limited window of opportunity." Said the captain. "We should burn the corpse, do they not also eat the bodies of their fallen?"

"Yes, they do. That is why our chance is now, I believe most of the Abomination have begun to pair with their host and become larvae we should rid them of more host bodies." said Maeve, "Already it might be too late. If larvae of an Abomination are inside the manor of the prince, I shudder to think what would be happening in the towns, forests, and lakes around us. No, captain, this is a rescue mission. You have a limited amount of time to gather the people and organize the transportation for them."

Captain Titus frowned, "That is a monumental task that would most likely fail, Fighting Abominations in an urban location with complications arising from distraught family members is a recipe for disaster. I recommend we bring the prince and evacuate."

The priest blanched, he opened his mouth to speak, but a gesture from Maeve silenced him, "I understand your point captain, but the best fuel to evolve Abominations are humans, and although I don't know how many people have been taken, I figured it would be less than five percent. If we can deprive the Abominations of enough bodies to consume, we may be able to survive this event. Furthermore, how is lord Rowan going to keep his stance in his family and the Royal Courts if he abandons his land without fighting for it? We evacuate his people to the best of our abilities and hope there is a chance to destroy this plague."

"Hmmm…. I don't like it, nevertheless, I would follow your instructions, but if it gets too hot, I am pulling out and evacuating with the prince." The captain said in a gruff tone as he gave hand signals to his warriors, like a well-oiled machine, they drew up to their full height and readied themselves.

"Burn it," said the captain, as one of the Guardsmen set towards the corpse of the twitching Abomination. He brought out a little black bead and turned it, before dropping it in the body, in a second, it went up in flames. The body parts twist inside the flames as they slowly burn to ash and let out thick black smoke.

Maeve nodded at the sight and turned to the Dark Priest Purdue, "They would escort you to the town, spread the word, an immediate evacuation is now in effect, they are to be led here to the manor. Priest do not waste time trying to save everyone, the old, and the sick should be left behind."

The priest appeared lethargic, as he nodded his agreement and stood behind the armored men. In a short while, a cold light flashed in his eyes, and he muttered in his breath, "Save my people. I must save my people!"

Maeve waved Captain Titus closer, "I leave the small details and arrangement of your forces to your discretion. However, the lord's safety must be kept paramount. Do not go deep into the town else this fog might hinder your sight, priorities for evacuation are the children. The terms of war now apply and you are given free reins to dispense your duties as you see fit."

Captain Titus saluted her by hitting his fisted hand to his chest, the sound akin to a hammer on an anvil.

"The manor is protected by Sigils, so this is the time to evacuate as many citizens as you can into the manor. By nightfall, the gates would be permanently shut." Maeve gave Purdue a final warning before she turned back into the manor, the priest was a bleeding heart, she had warned him at least.

She called on the butler to start preparing the staff for a massive number of people that would be arriving soon, then she hurriedly went up to the laboratory.lightsnovel

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Glenn left the bar and returned to an empty home, his brow was locked in a frown as he muttered curses under his breath.

Glenn had suffered a lot in his life, and most days when he came around, he was amazed that he was alive, that he made a family, and that he even had a son. The last precious gift, his dear wife had given him, may her beautiful soul rest in peace.

He spoiled his boy rotten, he wasn't concerned about naysayers saying it was wrong, they have not walked in his shoes, or seen the suffering he endured growing up, his boy was his world. If the Heavens were to collapse, he would be there to hold it up.

He gazes at a spot beneath the floor, his drinking had not blurred his memories it made his focus singular and reminded him of what lay beneath the ground of his house.

"Damn Nobles. They are all worse than monsters. I know they are responsible. They are the reason my boy is not here with me, will make 'em pay, even if it's the last thing I do. They will pay."

Like a man possessed, he dragged his feet to a spot near his fireplace and slowly knelt, groaning softly as if he were being forced, his hands shivered, and he nearly threw up, but he dug deep for his hatred and strength came to his limbs.

Bracing himself, he performed the next series of actions without much thought put into it.

Glenn shifted the rug beside the fireplace, underneath was a metal box, opening it by unlatching a pair of locks, he took out an axe. The axe was made of a material similar to wood. It was the last heritage of his cursed past.

He had hoped to keep it buried, placed here to never see the light. This weapon had been a bane of his family, and he had no regret in sealing it away.

Every night since his boy was taken, his dread had been growing. But today, it was different. Usually, the feeling of eerie suffocation that the night brought was dispersed by the coming daylight, but today was unlike the rest, the darkness he felt, did not go away …. It lingered.

That feeling was growing, and Glenn knew deep inside his bones that whatever evil that was growing in secret was now ready to reveal itself.

He hefted the axe. He was ready for them.

The fog came into town. And it brought his son with it. It brought back all the missing people. His boy carried a child in his arms and he was grinning.

Glenn felt his heart tear to pieces, as tears fell down his face.

"My boy…"