My eyes feasted on the splendour of a military officer sporting a stiff navy-blue peaked cap (with a band of gold laurel running along the short brim and a gold star for a centerpiece) and dandy double-breasted jacket of the same colour, which had shiny gold buttons and polished silver clasps running down the middle of his torso.

His long legs were neatly presented in crisp navy-blue slacks tucked firmly into polished calf-length black boots.

White-gloved hands rested close to the sheathed longsword dangling against his hip.

I found myself swooning from the sweet aroma of vanilla and citrus coming off his body. His tight, striking image of austerity was highly alluring.

His stern grey eyes were fixed on Small Cap perched to my shoulder.

"That is a spider." His deep voice kept a level tone.

"Quite, Master Leinard." Forneas chipped in.

"It's alive."

I thought I heard a slight tremor behind the man's voice.

Forneas adjusted the cog ring around his diamond eye, which activated a small stream of blue light. Small Cap stumbled backwards with fright when the light ran up and down his body. Forneas turned it off by readjusting the cog ring again.

"According to data retrieved from the scans. It's a rare Delena Cancerides of the Sparassidae species commonly referred to as the Great Huntsman. This one is of the male kind. The species was last seen in the Tempra desert regions, thought to be extinct due to climate changes, mass exterminations and bird preying over many years," Forneas explained, matter-of-factually.

"That extinct species is perched on this boy's shoulder," the man commented.

His tone of voice hadn't changed but the gulping movements of his Adam's apple gave me an impression that the sight of Small Cap made him uncomfortable. 

Detecting the man's discomfort, Small Cap scurried into my pocket as fast as a blink of an eye.

"As you can see, Master Leinard, it is a fast creature. Add to the fact that it is also a stealthy night predator. The Wu King Martial Arts are known to have incorporated this creature's attack strategies." Forneas continued, oblivious to his master's disinterest on the matter.

"Forneas. Why're they here?" Leinard was straight to the point.

"Oh, we have yet to establish this conversation. He was rescued from that juxtapositioner demon, Master Trix's men had been tracking in the South Wing."

Forneas's answer caused the man to pause for words.

"South Wing you say. " His face lapsed into a pensive expression as he mulled over the fact further. 

He eventually resumed the conversation.

"Boy, your name," Leinard calmly ordered.

"My name is Famine sir," I answered.

I decided to tell him the truth. I figured there was no point in holding back on information that may help me learn of my brothers' whereabouts. 

I explained how I was knocked unconscious by some tree-men in black suits and woke up in a shiny blue room with a court jester.

"Forneas tells me the court jester was a demon. I've still no idea where I am. I want to know where my brothers are."

"How many more of you?" Leinard frowned.

"Um, three. We were separated when my home was on fire. It's hard to explain. I can only say that for some reason I found myself running for my life, knocked out cold and waking up here."

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