"In the streets shall lightning spread throughout. . ."

"Derrick, you can't just leave right now!" Jon called

"I have to before it's too late!" Derrick called over his shoulder. "If I don't find him soon, something bad could happen! We need to get that seal off of him and give him a stablizing one, fast! It could slow down the prophecy!"

"And do what? Give us time?" Jon asked as they rounded a corner towards the manor doors.

"Time is always welcome!" Derrick replied, skidding to a halt as the doors came open.

"What in the name of all that is good is happening?" Jon said breathlessly.

Derrick could see the lightning spreading through the Vastrom's streets from the west corner to the edge of the city center. Something was majorly wrong.

"It's happening. Gather up the best mages the council can find and set up a base at the city center! Tell the Underground leaders to use every source they have, and hurry! I'll go and find the slave." He ordered.

"You would tell your king how to fight his battles?" Jon teased, calling a servant to sent for his guard.

Derrick grinned at Jon and said a firm, "Absolutely!" before running down to his gates. He had called for his horse, but Jon's had been left by the gates instead of taken to the stables, Derrick took it instead, thinking that it would have to do for the moment.

Before the meeting with the Underground leaders, Derrick had been studying along with the others and remembered a passage he had read in one of the commentaries on Greaves's work:

As a sign that the first of the monsters shall come,

the sea kind will quake and shout.

As a sign that the he goes  forth, transformed,

In the streets shall lightning spread throughout.

If the first of the four monsters was on it's way, then they were in trouble. Derrick urged the king's horse to go faster as the lightning began to diminish, but it shied as they passed through the city center and into the western quarter.  When it wouldn't go further, Derrk sighed in frustration and tied the horse to a nearby house. Jon would find it on his way.

Running down the streets, Derrick followed the shouts of people to the west corner, where a crowd had gathered around a man lying in the streets. The people all seemed frightened, though the looks on their faces said they were also very tired.

Once he had pushed his way through the crowd, Derrick saw before him a man riddled with scars, but strong enough looking even through one of  his legs seemed to be damaged. Perhaps the lightning had emitted from this man, perhaps he was connected to the first monster in some way.

He had dark skin and some resemblance to Nox, as well as a damaged-looking knee, but this man was strong-looking. His air, even in unconsciousness, seemed different.

Derrick knelt down to examine the man, ordering the poeple to back away. He could hear horses coming, and knew that Jon would not be happy that his horse had been stolen, but all that was trivial as he whispered a spell, trying to find what he hoped wasn't there.

"Oh, Nox. . ."  he said as the man's wrists began to glow. It was a powerful bond, put on both wrists as if he had been chained. This was one pitiful slave.

"Your time, your mind, your skills are mine. " Was inscribed on the left wrist, and "Let no one else use you but I." was on the right.

"What is it? Have you found him?" Jon's voice boomed among whispers of "The king!" and "Majesty!"

Derrick shook his head, horrified. It was a level eight seal.

The End

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