Chapter 23; Page 5

Darrian leaned forward, resting clasped hands between his knees. “In Vera you primary threats will come from any unaccounted Wardens. Veriel is the biggest of that lot we can guarantee. He’s an intelligent angel though my knowledge of him describes the guy as solitary, focused, and above all disciplined. His brother Ulerian is far more troubling but thankfully the last I heard of that bastard he’s stationed way down south.”

“Now Veriel’s magic is Barrier. He can produce shields in any size, shape, and quantity he chooses. As a Warden these barriers will be difficult to break through for someone of your current strength. If you are in the situation where you have to break one; hit it hard. I am not talking lightly, you need to give it your full strength.”

    “I will not underestimate him.” Emily vowed.

    “Good. Now moving down the ladder the city guard have always been sketchy at best. If we run into a situation of confrontation I want you to let me handle it, if you become involved I want no casualties.” Darrian waited for her to nod in agreement then carried on. “The true pain is what Division 6 calls Bloodhounds. Have you ever heard of them?”

    “A little. They are individuals or groups who trade information to authorities for coin. Most will wait by entrance points but many will go to locations they feel will yield results. They wait for something out of the ordinary and then pursue until information is found.”

    “Correct. We most likely will pick up some upon leaving the train. In the event of that I ask you follow my direction and above all do not do anything even subtly that might tip them off. These guys thrive for coincidences and odd mishaps like moths to a flame.”

    “Right. So keep calm and look normal. What about the lullaby?”

    Darrian froze. Even just for a fraction of a second the reaction was obvious. “Right, that.” Darrian tried to compose himself. “Your lullaby would fall under weird occurrences and I highly advise against it.”

    “I understand.”

    “Moving on. So there aren’t really any other groups to watch out for. The citizens however you might believe their motivations don’t present us with any hostilities. They will continue to just be a neutral presence so long as we keep out heads down but by the laws of Vera if we are chased they will hinder us or aid the guards.”

    “Vera sounds rather straight forward once you lay it out plainly.”

    “Absolutely. Any Divinity controlled area isn’t difficult save for a few places I can think of. The rules are pretty malleable with other settlements.”

    “So just let the big strong dragon defend me then?”

    Darrian closed his eyes and chuckled. “Now I’m not saying that. You’re more than capable to hold your own, and you’re trained to handle something like this.” The man sighed. “We’re just a bunch of paranoid old timers ok. We worry for people and out rules and procedures reflect that to an extreme. Will you make it through this? Yes I have all confidence. Would it be easier if you had field training? Without a doubt. I’m not trying to make you afraid or tell tall tales.”

    Darrian leaned back and looked to the compartment’s ceiling. He closed his eyes, remembering something. For a while Emily did not think the man would speak again and merely just rock with the movement of the train. “What we’re really trying to impart” he began. “What we all tried to make the message of Division 6 is that our agents should see the world. Sure we the Fifty-Three had varying ideals and views of Dylaera but those are ours. For the next generations they need to make their own paths. So we safeguard them and give them the tools to survive in this world. Then we strip away the myths and folklore that both factions are lousy for dreaming up. Divinity is not our enemy and never was. They were merely a new era that replaced the old. The world needs those kind of events to advance itself and evolve.”

    Darrian lowered his gaze to Emily. “Sometimes the old era, the outdated ways of thinking must burn so as to stop choking the ideas of the future. Don’t get me wrong, the Outcasts are neither the outdated idea nor the fire; just the other side of the coin that lays face down on the writing desk.”