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Blood King Klaeon sits in his private carriage in silence. He rubs his chin with one hand and reads from a sheet of paper in his other. The writing on the report is nearly illegible, having been written quickly.
An attack in the south has taken out another of his scouting groups. Opinions are circulating that Klaeon is wasting men sending groups that far south. He laughs to himself. They don’t understand why I need groups down there. That’s fine. It couldn’t matter less to me what they think.
He crumples the report, which immediately bursts into flames. He throws the residual ash out the window. He winces and curses as the wound the cloaked man gave him stings. When he finds out who that man is he will personally execute the bastard along with that traitorous beast that bit him.
Knocking on the door of the carriage, Teron calls, “My Lord.”
Once Teron climbs in, he kneels on the floor before standing. “My Lord, we are almost ready to depart.”
“Very good. Make sure everything is finished quickly and thoroughly. I don’t want to have to clean up another mess.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Teron holds out a black envelope. “This was on the carriage door.”
Klaeon raises his eyebrows. “Well, I haven’t seen one of these in a while. Did you see who delivered it?”
“No, it was stuck to the door when I approached. I checked with all our guards and no one saw anyone approach the carriage.”
Klaeon takes the letter. He turns it over, but there is no writing, only a small, symbol-shaped indent on the front. He opens the envelope and scans the letter inside.
A smile spreads across his face. “Get several of your best men together, Teron. It seems our favorite Shadow Watcher has some interesting information for us. He’s infiltrated the escaped group of slaves containing the Rare Kinds and knows where they are going. I want you to follow and kill them all.”
“All of them, my Lord?”
Klaeon raises his eyes to Teron. “Except for the Life Healer and the cloaked man who wounded me. I want you to bring them to me. I want the pleasure of killing them myself.”
“And the beast that attacked you?”
“I want its head.”
“Yes, My Lord.” Teron bows and leaves the carriage.
Klaeon rereads the letter and looks at the envelope closely. He tries to burn it, but the material doesn’t burn. It changes from black to red and writing appears on the envelope. He reads the writing and lifts his head.
Teron appears at the door of the carriage. “My Lord?”
“Before you leave, I’ve got something for you. Once you’ve gathered your men return to me.”
Teron bows his head and leaves, closing the door behind him. Klaeon places the envelope next to him. A sharp headache causes him to gasp, grab his head, and close his eyes.
“Not now,” he growls. The pain increases in response, but eventually fades. He opens his eyes and leans his head back. “We’ll have the Life Healer soon. You can feast on her magic all you want.”
His reddish brown eye glows a deep scarlet.
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