Ahir, Guardian of Malor, Chapter 10: Tensions Rise Audio

Ahir walked down the sidewalk, one hand in front of the other, and Bar’bou stood, balancing on one leg on Ahir’s foot while juggling five colored balls. Bar’bou held his tongue out in concentration and leapt from Ahir’s right foot to his left while also switching which foot he was balancing on. The crowd cheered and threw coins and bills onto Ahir’s blanket.

Trixie was cheering in the crowd, and Sil’abo sat next to her, panting. He looked at Trixie and said, “I had no idea that Bar’bou was such a talented entertainer. Ahir is quite impressive as well, even outside of battle.”

Trixie smiled back at Sil’abo. “He wasn’t always this good. I’ve been watching their show since they started performing together, and Bar’bou has worked his way up to participating in the show. He used to just throw props to Ahir.”

Sil’abo nodded his head. “Yes, that does sound more like something Bar’bou would be doing. I would venture to say that there is quite a bit that you humans could teach us.”

A woman standing in the crowd turned and looked at Trixie and Sil’abo while Sil’abo was still speaking. A look of startlement filled the woman’s face. Trixie fought down the panic that was welling up in her, letting none of it reach her face, and she smiled at the woman. “This probably isn’t the best place to practice my ventriloquism act, but I wanted to get warmed up before I did my performance next. Go ahead, Sil’abo, shake the ladies hand and introduce yourself.”

Sil’abo looked at Trixie, and then back at the woman and offered her his paw. The woman accepted the paw and began to shake it, and Sil’abo said, “Greetings, I am Sil’abo, royal scribe to King Dar’dou. Whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?”

The woman took her hand back, smiling and applauded. “That was amazing. I couldn’t tell you were talking at all miss, but it is rather rude to try and distract others from that young man’s show.”

Trixie smiled back. “Forgive me for interrupting. I didn’t mean to be so distracting.”

The woman nodded in approval and turned back to watch Ahir’s tricks. Trixie motioned for Sil’abo to follow and made her way to a different spot in the crowd and watched as Ahir started climbing one of the trees that he had a tightrope tied to that stretched over the crowd. Bar’bou clung to Ahir’s shoulder, chittering and screeching, much to the crowd’s delight. Ahir stood up on the rope, one hand holding onto the tree as he worked on balancing himself. He finally picked Bar’bou off of his shoulder and set him onto a branch that grew over the rope. Ahir held a finger out at Bar’bou and said loudly enough so that everyone in the crowd would be able to hear, “Stay here, Bar’bou.”

Ahir turned his back on Bar’bou, and started juggling three colored balls and took his first step across the rope. When he took his first step, suddenly another ball was added to the ones he was juggling. He continued on like that, one step after another, adding another ball with each step until he was juggling fourteen colored balls in two interlocking circles making two rainbows. Ahir reached the center of the rope, and turned so that he was facing the way he had just come from, and saw that not only had Bar’bou not stayed on the branch, he was walking across the rope behind Ahir, juggling seven colored balls of his own.

Ahir feigned panic on his face and called out, “No, Bar’bou, I told you to stay on the branch! What are you up to, you mischievous monkey?” The crowd applauded and cheered and started throwing more money onto Ahir’s blanket. The panic on Ahir’s face turned real when he noticed the two police officers walking through the park. He lost his concentration and began to wobble a bit, causing the rope to rock back and forth. Bar’bou shrieked and dropped the balls he had been juggling and grabbed onto the rope to stabilize himself. Ahir lost his balance and started to tip and fall off of the rope, but he grabbed the rope and hung on with one arm and one leg he had managed to get bent over the rope.

The crowd gasped as Ahir and Bar’bou’s juggling balls rained down upon them. Ahir hung there for a second, watching the police officers keep on walking away from him. He swung his other leg over the tightrope and let go with his arm, so that he was was hanging upside down from his legs. He smiled at the crowd. “How about a little help folks, toss me my balls back and we can get the show started again?”

Some people started tossing balls back to Ahir, and he reached out to grab them one at a time and got them going in a circuit again. Someone from the crowd tossed a ball to him and he reached out to grab it, but the ball traveled just slightly past his reach. Ahir continued to juggle the balls he did have, but some people in the crowd started to move away. Sweat beaded on Ahir’s head and he bit his lip in concentration. Someone from the crowd tossed another ball to Ahir, and he reached out for it, and he missed it again, several balls he was juggling dropped in the process.

More people started to wander away, so Ahir pulled in the five balls he was still juggling and put them into his pockets before he jumped off the tightrope, flipped through the air, and landed on his feet, facing the audience with arms stretched out to either side. The rest of the crowd broke up and wandered off, each in their own direction. Trixie walked up to Ahir with a concerned look on his face. “What happened? I’ve never seen you lose it during a performance like that.” Sil’abo walked up to Trixie and sat down next to her.

Ahir started to gather up his fallen juggling balls. “I saw a couple of police officers and I freaked out a little. I thought maybe they were here for me, for what I did to Captain Ember.”

Trixie bit her lip and reached out toward Ahir and rested her hand on his shoulder. “Ahir, it’s not your fault. What we did ended up saving a lot of people. We’re lucky that a run down apartment building was the only thing destroyed in Captain Ember’s attack.”

Ahir stood up and brushed Trixie’s hand off of his shoulder. “I still killed a man, Trixie. Not we, me. You have a shield, something that is used to protect others, and Milton uses a bow that messes with gravity. I have a sword, a weapon whose only purpose is ending lives. I don’t think the police would be wrong to throw me in prison for what I’ve done.”

Bar’bou dropped off of the rope and landed on Ahir’s shoulder. “You wield the armament with the nomenclature Gladio Protegat, The Sword That Protects, and that is the use in which you employed it. You ensured the safety of all who dwelled in that domicile, who dwell in the city! I heard his utterances, the outcome of his victory would have been the entirety of this planet reduced to ash.”

Ahir looked at Bar’bou. “That’s easy for you to say; you weren’t the one holding the sword that killed him.”

Bar’bou threw up his hands and Sil’abo chimed in. “He was only a shell; the Captain Ember that your world knew was gone. His body only remained as a puppet being controlled by Lang’kahn.”

Ahir sighed. “Maybe you’re right. Let’s get out of here, I can’t do another show right now. Bar’bou, will you gather up the collection from today?” Ahir moved away and started untying the tight rope from one of the trees.

Bar’bou moved to where the blanket was spread out and shrieked. Ahir, Trixie, and Sil’abo turned to see Bar’bou jumping up and down in anger, a banana sitting in front of him on the blanket. “What imbecile theorized that donating rubbish was acceptable?”

Ahir started laughing. “Settle down Bar’bou, I’ll eat the banana, and I’ll use some of our money to get you an apple, how does that sound?”

Bar’bou crossed his arms and muttered under his breath for several seconds, but Ahir only could make out something about stereotyping monkeys and a way to get rid of all bananas. He finally turned to face Ahir. “That is an acceptable solution to this problem. At what point are we going to the marketplace to acquire it?”

Ahir started winding up the tight rope into a coil. “We’ll get it on the way to Trixie’s. We need to finish cleaning up here, first.” Bar’bou hastily began gathering up the remainder of the money, but he avoided the banana.

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Trixie turned the keys in the door that led into her apartment and swung the door open. Ahir followed her and Sil’abo through the door and set his pack down against the wooden counter island in the middle of Trixie’s kitchen. Ahir stared around in wonder at Trixie’s apartment for the fifteenth time since he’d moved in. She had a living room with a television, a couch, and a reclining chair. She had a desk set up in the corner with her laptop sitting on it. The kitchen had a double basin sink, a double door refrigerator with an ice maker and water dispenser in the door.

Ahir shook his head as he looked at all of Trixie’s nice things. “How did you afford all of this again?”

Trixie smiled at Ahir. “It’s a special grant that the government gives out for orphans that go to college. It’s enough to get some housing and pay for a majority of my school bills. I was able to afford most of this because of that and my job.”

Ahir looked down at his pack, which contained all of the belongings he still owned. It wasn’t much, the sword, the raggedy old blanket that he put out for shows, his juggling and other acrobatic supplies, and a picture of his parents. “Maybe I should have gone to school instead of trying to be a street performer. Maybe I’d still have a place to live if I had.”

Trixie frowned. “Don’t say that Ahir, you know that you are welcome to stay here for as long as you need to. Besides, if you had done all of that, you may not have met Bar’bou, Sil’abo, or me.”

Ahir nodded his head. “You’re right, I may have missed out on meeting some great friends.” Ahir paused and looked around at all the smiling faces looking back at him. “And a monkey that mainly talks in gibberish.” Bar’bou’s smile turned into a glare. “Just kidding buddy, I may not know what you’re saying most of the time, but you are still my friend.”

Bar’bou started muttering under of his breath and leapt up onto the counter next to the sink. He jumped up and grabbed onto Trixie’s three tiered hanging fruit basket, and climbed up to sit in the top one, which was empty.

Trixie sighed. “Bar’bou, how many times have I asked you not to sit up there? You get hair all over the fruit!”

Bar’bou jumped out of the basket and landed on the counter. “My most deep felt apologies, miss Trixie. I feel a great desire for my hammock and on occasion forget myself.”

A sad look crossed Trixie’s face. “I’m sorry, Bar’bou, all this must be very difficult on you and Ahir. What if I moved my fruit up to the top two baskets, and we put a towel in the bottom basket? We could make that into a nice little bed for you.”

Bar’bou bowed his head to Trixie. “You have my deepest gratitude, miss. The amount of kindness you have bestowed upon us in an effort to make our hardship more bearable is immeasurable, and you continue to bestow kindnesses upon us. I am eternally in your debt.”

Trixie blushed, “Oh come on. I haven’t done that much, nothing anyone wouldn’t do for their friends.”

Bar’bou’s head turned to the right. “A portal just opened.”

Ahir ran over to the counter and picked up his bag and slung the straps over his shoulder. Trixie ran further into the apartment and opened one of the doors that branched off of the hall. She momentarily disappeared into the room and then reemerged with a backpack slung over her shoulders, the shape of the shield bulged out of it. Bar’bou leapt up onto Ahir’s shoulder and Ahir opened the door and ran out into the hall. Trixie and Sil’abo followed him out, and closed the door behind them. They made their way out of the building and once they were on the sidewalk, Ahir asked, “Which way now, Bar’bou?”

Bar’bou pointed to the right. “The direction that we must traverse is East!”

Ahir turned and started running in the direction that Bar’bou had pointed, Trixie and Sil’abo running behind. “I’m not sure what you said, but I heard East!”

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Milton leaned against a dumpster in a parking lot with a handful of cars parked in it. “How much longer till it opens, Tor’jahd?”

Tor’jahd looked up from preening his wing. “It should be opening very soon. Might I suggest that you select your first target now?”

Milton nodded and stood up straight, still favoring his right leg, pulled back the string on his bow and fired a light arrow into the dumpster he had been leaning against and then prepared to draw the string back once again. “Let me know the second you see the portal open. I want this fight to be a short one. The longer it lasts, the more likely he is to show up.”

As soon as Milton finished saying this, the portal opened up on the other side of the parking lot. Milton pulled back his bow and launched his second arrow to land behind the large form that stepped out of the portal. The figure that came forth looked more comical than frightening. It was a gorilla, with a large turtle shell on it’s back, and smaller one covering its elbows, knees, and the top of its head. It shrieked in surprise when the dumpster rolled across the parking lot and slammed into it.

The shield that surrounded the monster flickered when the dumpster collided into it, and it started to push the gorilla back towards the portal. The gorilla reached out with both arms and pushed on the dumpster, forcing it backward. Milton saw a blur shoot out from behind the gorilla and across the parking lot. Milton reacted out of instinct and fired one of his arrows into his chest and then a second arrow halfway up the building behind him. He was lifted off of the ground and up toward the wall. Something crashed into the ground where he had been standing, sending blacktop shooting out in all directions and leaving a crater in the parking lot. Giant dragonfly wings buzzed and flapped restlessly amidst a forest of porcupine quills that grew out of tough, leathery skin like an alligator’s. Two beefy arms covered in white and black striped fur ended in sharp claws. It stood balanced on two legs that wouldn’t look out of place on a rabbit, glaring up at Milton with a face that resembled a tusked pig.

The nightmarish creature pointed up at Milton. “We thought we’d get you for sure with that combination, but you have better reflexes than we expected. Hiding up there won’t save you though.” The wings on its back started flapping rapidly and it flew up toward Milton. Milton released the bow’s pull on him and started to drop toward the pavement, and the Aureus’aevum that was flying at him crashed into the building he had been clinging to, bursting through the wall in a shower of brick dust. Milton shot himself again and then fired at the roof of the building across from the parking lot. His body was jerked up and over toward the other building mid fall, when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head and saw a tire flying at him.

He fired off two more arrows in rapid succession, one hitting the tire and the other next to the hole the Aureus’aevum had crashed through. The tire turned mid flight and crashed into the Aureus’aevum as it worked it’s way out through the hole that it had made, pushing it back inside. Milton crashed into the wall with a groan. He looked down at the parking lot at the strange gorilla creature, who was ripping another tire off of a car. Milton fired off two more arrows, one into the tire in the gorilla’s hand and one at the top of the building next to him.

The tire flew out of the gorilla’s hand and at the building. The gorilla Aureus’aevum looked up at Milton in surprise, and Milton released his pull on the tire and fired another arrow into it, and then a second one at the ground in between the gorilla’s legs. The tire sped back at the gorilla, but the gorilla punched the tire, sending it flying to the side. The tire flew five feet away changing direction once again and landing in between the gorilla’s feet. The gorilla bent over and grunted when he tried to pick the tire up again.

A crash sounded from the building next to Milton, and Milton focused his attention onto it. He saw that a second hole had been made in the wall and the little Aureus’aevum was flying at him. He released the pull holding him to the building once more and started dropping, but the Aureus’aevum expected that, and started dropping with him. The Aureus’aevum pulled back its arm and Milton, in a panic, fired an arrow at himself and then a second one at the ground to the right of him. He was jerked to the right and the Aureus’aevum’s fist passed through the air where his head had been. He quickly released the pull on himself, shot himself with an arrow and fired the second one into the top of the wall of a nearby building. He released the pull once his fall was greatly slowed, and he landed on his feet.

Once Milton landed, he gritted his teeth, groaned, and fell to the ground because of the pain that coursed up his left leg. He looked up and saw the gorilla charging at him across the parking lot. He looked desperately around for a way out, but the gorilla loomed over him, leading with one of his turtle shell-covered elbows. Something jumped in front of Milton and suddenly the gorilla was knocked away with the sound of glass shattering. He looked up and saw Trixie standing over him with Ahir standing by her side. Milton growled out, “I don’t need any of your help, Ahir.”

Ahir pulled the sheath off of his sword and tossed it over to the side and held the blade ahead of him. “Yeah, that’s pretty obvious. You’re just laying on the ground there about to get destroyed by that gorilla. Don’t worry, we’re not here to help, so you can just kick it back and we’ll take care of this. Or you could stop being so stubborn and help us!” Ahir charged at the gorilla that was laying on the ground, the turtle shell on it’s elbow smashed and gone.

Milton sighed and rose to his feet. “Fine, it’s obvious that you guys can’t do this on your own, so I’ll help you out, this time. This is me helping you, not the other way around. Watch out for the little one, it’s fast and he hits hard.”

Trixie turned and looked at him confused. “Little one? Where is it?”

Milton looked up and then pointed into the air, “There he is! Watch out!” He picked up his bow and fired off an arrow at the Aureus’aevum, but the arrow hit the creatures invisible shield, deflected off  it and hit a satellite dish sitting on top of one of the buildings. The Aureus’aevum laughed at them and started to dive down at them. Milton shot a second arrow into the ground under him, grabbed Trixie and dodged to the side. The satellite dish crashed into the Aureus’aevum a second later and pinned it to the ground.

The gorilla Aureus’aevum jumped to its feet and charged at Ahir. Once it was closer, it punched at him. Ahir leapt over the Aureus’aevum’s attack, did a flip in the air, and came down to land on the Aureus’aevum’s arm. It pulled its arms and legs into its shell, the shells on its head, elbow, and knees covering the holes, except for the one where the shell that Trixie had smashed would go. Ahir dropped to the ground and staggered back a few steps, before he charged at the shell lying on the ground and swung his sword at it. The shell deflected the sword blade, and one of the gorilla’s arms shot out and grabbed Ahir.

The Aureus’aevum pinned to the ground under the satellite dish swung and pushed at the object that pinned it to the ground. Milton turned and looked at Trixie. “That shield of yours seemed to have shattered the shield that that gorilla had around him, why don’t you try to see if you can do the same to that thing’s shield and I’ll send him through the portal?”

Trixie ran up to the Aureus’aevum and pushed her shield up to the Aureus’aevum, and it swung out at her when she got close. It cried out in pain when its blow hit Trixie’s shield and was deflected back at it. Trixie got her shield up against the shield of the Aureus’aevum and it shattered with a sound of breaking glass.

Trixie turned her head when she heard Ahir shriek out and saw that he was trapped in the hands of the gorilla. She turned and ran over to Ahir. Milton released his pull on the satellite dish and fired an arrow into the Aureus’aevum that had sprung up to his feet and was starting to charge at him. He pulled the string back once more and fired a second arrow into the portal. A smile crossed his face as the Aureus’aevum struggled to get to him but was pulled back into the portal instead.

Ahir struggled to get out of the gorilla Aureus’aevum’s double-handed grip on him, but he couldn’t even get an arm free. Trixie ran up to the gorilla with her shield held in front of her, hoping that the gorilla would let go of Ahir and try to grab her, or swing at her, or anything that would give Ahir a chance to escape. The gorilla ignored Trixie, but looked up in surprise when an arrow sunk into its shoulder. A second later the gorilla started to slide backwards towards the portal. It let go of Ahir with one of its hands and tried to get a grip on the ground to prevent it from being pulled into the portal.

Ahir managed to pull his arm free, and he tried to wiggle his way loose, but the gorilla’s grip on him was too tight. He looked around desperately as the gorilla and him were pulled ever nearer the portal. Trixie turned and glared at Milton. “Stop! Ahir’s going to get pulled through too!”

Milton shrugged and crossed his arms. “I told you two not to get involved, but you chose to anyway. If Ahir’s as great as everyone makes him out to be, he’ll be able to get out of that without my help.”

Bar’bor glared at Milton. “You are a fool, Milton. Even if you dislike Ahir, at least you must understand that we can’t allow the sword to fall into Lang’kahn’s hands!”

Milton glared right back at Bar’bou. “I’m no fool, monkey, and you had better keep that in mind the next time you even consider calling me one, because I’ll send you back to your dimension just as fast as any of these other Aureus’aevum. I’ll save your precious sword, but Ahir’s on his own.”

Milton turned, bow in hand, and saw Ahir swing his sword through the gorilla’s neck, severing its head from its shoulders. The gorilla began to disintegrate into a dust that was pulled through the portal, and Ahir dropped onto the ground from a giant hand that broke apart and blew away. He angrily started walking toward Milton, who was limping toward Ahir. Milton pointed a finger at Ahir’s chest. “You did it again, you murderer!”

Ahir growled back at Milton, “Me? What about you! You as much as sentenced me to death when you started to send that gorilla through the portal!”

Milton stalked up to Ahir and shouted, his face so close spittle flew from his mouth and landed on Ahir’s face. “I didn’t ask for your help! I was doing fine on my own!”
“You would be dead right now if we hadn’t show up when we did! I don’t know what kind of fantasy world you live in, but you can’t do this on your own! We need to work together!”

Milton opened his mouth, but never got to shout his retort, because Trixie stepped between them and pushed them apart. “Will the two of you grow up? We have more important things to do right now than yell at each other, like closing the portal so that the one we sent back can’t come through again?”

Milton turned and started to limp away. “Ahir can deal with that, but don’t come next time one of these portals opens up. You two only get in my way, and I can’t promise I won’t send the both of you through the portal next time!”

Tor’jahd landed on Milton’s shoulder. “We must go quickly Milton; another portal opened up while you were fighting.”

Milton stopped and looked at Tor’jahd. “Another portal? Why are you just now telling me about this?”

“I knew that if I told you about the second portal earlier, it would only distract you. Now that the first one is dealt with, we have no time to lose!”

Milton started limping faster across the parking lot. “Which way is it to the new portal?”

Ahir ran up to Milton with Bar’bou seated on his shoulder. “Bar’bou says another portal opened up while we were fighting. We need to get across town as fast as we can. Do you want to try working on this one together?” Trixie looked at Milton hopefully from next to Ahir.

Milton shook his head. “No, I already told you I’m not going to work with a murderer. Why don’t you run ahead and get the Aureus’aevum distracted, so that when I get there I can easily deal with them? Don’t kill them, or you will have me to deal with, do you understand?”

Ahir rolled his eyes. “Whatever you say, Milton, but at the rate you’re limping along, you’ll be lucky to make it there before the portal opens. Trixie, let’s go.”

Trixie and Ahir ran down the street, Bar’bou giving directions from Ahir’s shoulder and Sil’abo following along behind Trixie. Milton ground his teeth together as he watched Ahir’s retreating form. “How did I ever think that guy was a hero?”

Tor’jahd glared at Ahir. “That’s not what’s important. We need to focus on getting there before he is given a chance to kill more of my brethren.” Milton started limping faster down the sidewalk after Ahir.

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Ahir and Trixie were running down the sidewalk when Bar’bou’s eyes went wide. “There is no point to any further traversing, our objective is no longer active.”

Ahir stopped on the sidewalk, breathing deeply. He gasped out in between breaths, “What do… you mean… it’s no longer active?”

“I thought I phrased it clearly enough, the portal has closed. The meaning of such a happenstance alludes me but it is no longer open. Sil’abo, were their any plans for further artifacts to be sent here?”

Sil’abo shook his head. “No, and it seems too soon for him to have made any new plans. I fear what that closed portal means.”

Ahir turned and started running down the sidewalk again. “This could just be a new tactic to throw us off. It would sure make it more difficult for Milton if he didn’t have a portal to send them back through. Do you remember where it was opened, Bar’bou?”

Bar’bou stroked his chin. “I believe I could direct you to the location in question. Keep going straight for a couple of blocks, and then turn right.” Ahir started running again.

Trixie and Sil’abo followed after Ahir. Sil’abo ran up to Ahir’s side. “That was some good reasoning, Ahir. Fortunately for us, I don’t think that Lang’kahn would do something like that. He wants your sword and those portals are his only way to bring it to him.”

Ahir turned the corner and started running down the street. “I don’t get the feeling Lang’kahn is that intricate of a schemer either, but I would certainly hate to find out I was wrong if I didn’t even take the time to check it out.”

Bar’bou gritted his teeth, and shook his head. “I’m sorry Ahir, I can’t remember any more specific than this. It was around here somewhere though.”

Ahir and Trixie stopped running, but Sil’abo walked around with his nose to the ground, sniffing. Trixie pointed down the street. “I think we have a pretty good idea of where the portal opened.” Ahir and Bar’bou turned to look at what she was pointing at. A large crowd was gathered a little ways down the street. In the middle of the crowd were several police officers and four cars that had crashed into each other. A portion of a nearby building had collapsed.

Ahir stared at the devastation. “I hope that what I think happened here didn’t. I wish I could get closer and try to figure it out, but I don’t want to get any closer to the police than I have to.”

Trixie smiled at Ahir. “Sil’abo and I can go. A girl and dog won’t look too suspicious, Sil’abo might even be able to force his way up to the police officers.”

Ahir bit his bottom lip and breathed in. “Okay, go ahead, but be careful. Bar’bou and I will wait in the alley over there.” Ahir pointed at an alley and he started walking towards it. Trixie nodded and moved closer to the crowd. Sil’abo walked past Trixie and started to work his way through the crowd.

Trixie walked up to a man standing in the back of the crowd. “What happened here?”

The man looked at Trixie, and chuckled. “Official story is that some sort of animal ran into the street and caused the cars to crash into each other. I’ve heard that it was some sort of monster though.”

Trixie laughed along with the guy. “A monster? Like what, some kind of werewolf or something?”

“No, nothing like that, it was some kind of bear with tentacles growing out of its back or something. No one got a real good look at it, because let’s face if, you see something like that, you aren’t going to stay around to stare.”

“Did anybody see where it went?”

“Some people are saying that it just disappeared, but others are saying that it was an escaped government experiment, and they scooped it up.”

“Whatever happened to it, I hope it doesn’t come back again.” Trixie turned and walked away back to the place she was meeting with Ahir. She told him what she had learned, and before she finished Sil’abo walked into the alley as well.

“Before I was chased away I managed to overhear that the police believe there are four missing people.It doesn’t sound good if that is the case.”

Trixie looked at Sil’abo. “That was part of Lang’kahn’s plan, wasn’t it? To kidnap humans, so they’ll transform into monsters once they go through the portal to attack the king?”

Sil’abo sighed. “Yes, it is. They won’t be able to hurt anyone, but they certainly will be able to do a lot of damage. I fear that many of our people will try to protect themselves with magic, making more subordinates for Lang’kahn. It is well that you managed to delay that part of his plan as long as you have, Ahir. I fear that we won’t be able to keep up with the portals as well as we have been any longer. If only we had the ability to figure out where the portals will open up ahead of time, like Tor’jahd.”

Ahir started jogging down the alley. Trixie started to jog after him and called out, “Ahir, where are you going?”

“We need to go and find Milton and Tor’jahd. I have an idea that should help us and make Milton happier.”

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