“What do you mean?”
He stood up, placing the book down, and went over to one of the bookshelves. He quickly came back, a thick volume in hand. He set it on the table in front of her and opened it near the middle. A couple of pages on, there was a hand drawn image of two of the Paraa – one with black wings and the other’s left white – a vampire, an overly hairy man, two seemingly normal humans and someone with water dripping from them.
“Black Paraa, white Paraa, vampire, lycan, elf, human, morag,” Lucius said, pointing to them in order. “The children of the six Elders to create more. Azra didn’t bother, so there are none. Fate created a few humans here as test subjects to see how they would react to the supernatural.”
“Okay. Why are you showing me this?”
“To make you understand the gravity of the situation. The Nairabs are stronger and faster than their own race, no matter what it is. They are faster at healing, quicker at learning new abilities. Moreover, they are impossible to kill permanently. When this first started, so long ago, the affected were slain and left at the end of whatever weapon killed them. After a day or so, they rose again. And they were not the same.
“Family’s put it down to a miracle of the gods and welcomed their kinsmen home. They shouldn’t have. The resurrection of dead flesh rotted their minds, decayed their memories and personalities.”
“They went insane,” Beth whispered.
“I suppose that’s one way of putting it.” Lucius turned the page of the book, revealing the seven previous figures, but in twisted positions, crude grins upon their faces, flesh stuck between their teeth and blood dripping from their chins.
Beth gasped, shocked.
“What’s going to happen to Robert?” Lucius finished for her. “Yes. Though we might be able to fix it. No one ever tried with the others.”
“You think that’s possible?” she asked, hopeful.
Lucius paused. “I’d think it’s highly improbable, but worth a try.”
“If we ever find him,” Beth whispered.
Lucius smiled comfortingly. “We will. At least we know it’s one of the aristocrats that has him. We can read through the past year of this but I very much Robert himself knows where he is; slaves are almost always blindfolded before being to their owner’s place of residence.”
“Will there not be any clues?” she asked.
“I don’t know. There might be. We’ll have to see. You’ve been in here for an awfully long time, you know. Several hours.”
“I didn’t realise.”
He smiled slightly. “Don’t worry.”