The moon shone high in the night sky, it's silver rays falling on the cobblestone paths as Zerah guided Conn back home. Even a mare such as she could tell that her master was tired. He always was after a long day of work. Her master usually spoke to her when he was in a good mood on the way back home, but tonight he was unusually silent. But Conn had his reasons for being so.
Conn had been brought up in Eskhalar for as long as he'd remembered. From day one to the recent celebration of his twentieth birthday; he couldn't imagine leaving his home. It was a part of him. But he couldn't abandon his job as well.
Being a Director was no easy task. It demanded a lot of time and attention. Conn was the youngest of the Directors and so had more pressure placed on him to 'do well'. It was his job that forced the transfer upon him.
There was an unexpected predicament in the next town, Zonaha. A sudden shortage in the magic pills, too sudden almost that the Directors thought someone was behind it. They'd selected the best of the group to relocate in order to fix the solution.
That was how things worked in Conn's world. Every problem had a solution that could be fixed. It had to be. Otherwise, the people behind it would be penalized. Conn didn't see any wrong in this, he'd been brought up in a utopia that he couldn't question. But past experiences of having to deal with the criminals in uncivilized manners shook something deep inside of him. It wasn't guilt but fear.
But Conn knew how to suppress it. He didn't have a choice but to do just that.
Zerah grunted, breaking the still silence of their journey. Conn had barely realized that he'd been keeping quiet for so long, something he never did. And Zerah noticed.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, tenderly patting his mare. He smiled to himself. Zerah had been his only family for the past three years. Conn's parents had gifted him the beautiful mare for his fifteenth birthday, when she'd been so young. But over the past five years, his pet had grown well enough to know when her master was troubled.
"I'll be fine," he said comfortingly, lightly tickling a certain spot behind Zerah's ear that he knew would cheer her up. She whinnied into the night and Conn laughed alongside his mare.
But deep inside he knew, there was far more to the sudden change of his life than just a few magic pills being stolen. Something in Callingham was terribly wrong.