Missing Link - 5 | iii

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Marx followed Roan away from the rest of the group. The noise of the festivities grew distant as they moved to the western edge of the village. The initial wariness of the people shifted to curiosity as they followed the example of their leader and decided to give the vampires and the werewolves the benefit of a doubt. Their past was one marred by war and death, but their future, though on the verge of war, would see them standing as allies come what may.

"Where are we going?"

"To our Shaman," Roan answered.

"For what purpose?"

Roan stopped to face him. "Do you know how werewolves and vampires came to be?"

Marx shook his head. Celeste had imparted much knowledge about her world, but mostly she chose to pretend that side of her life never existed. Marx surmised it was to make living in this alien world more bearable for her. Lansguard had never interested him. And neither did the history of his ancestry.

"The Natives discovered magic when what we call on Earth a meteorite crashed into our planet. Thankfully, it landed in a deserted area, so no one was hurt. Our scientists went about examining the wreckage, and that is when they found the crystals inside these rocks had magic. We—meddled with things we did not fully understand."

"The wolves on your backs."

Roan nodded. "Our technology was not very advanced, so we did not know that the meteoroid was releasing its magic into the air. Each generation when children were born we found that some could wield magic while others could not. Those of us who could learn to control it—harnessed it. The long and short of it is some of us could channel the aura of a wolf. It became a part of our spirits.

"As we used magic more and more the elders decided to take it to the next level. They took the spirit of the wolf from our dead and with magic, created men who could not only embody the spirit but also manifest it in the flesh.

"Werewolves."

Roan nodded. "Then we took the spirit of the man and fed it with the energy of immortality."

"To create the vampires."

"Yes. You are each half of a whole. However, with you, the wolf is there only for defense. It's not a complete part of you, and now that it has become more powerful you fear it."

"I do not fear my wolf," Marx said walking off.

"You fear to allow it full control."

"The last time it had total control I hurt a member of my pack."

"You mean Garrick."

"He murdered innocent people because of what I did to him."

"And before that?"

"Before what?"

"Before Garrick. How close were you to your wolf? Even now, where are your wolves?" Roan asked. "Release them."

Marx clenched his jaw.

"I am not trying to start a fight. I am attempting to help you."

Roan looked around them as one by one Marx's wolves emerged. There was now five in total. A move up from the four he had before all this started. "They are meant to be free and not only when you need them for a fight. Come now."

They started walking off, and the wolves followed. "No. Only you. Have the wolves mingle with the others."

The wolves dispersed.

Just outside the village was an oversized hut. On the inside, Marx saw a man sitting by floating flames. Suspended above the floor the ornate carpet beneath it was unmarked.

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