Fabian cast a glance at Lorcan and was pleased to see he wasn’t shaken by Pexami’s intimidation. He liked this young human, but he disliked the aura around Pexami, the contractor his daughter had hired.
“My sharks are well-trained pets,” Pexami growled. “When I send them after prey, they don’t give up. As long as their prey is still within this dimension, they will find it.”
Lorcan backed away, and his back struck the cave wall.
Pexami approached slowly. “You are the only human prey I sent them after!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“You’re the human from the boat. The one with the key.”
“I don’t know anything about a key.”
“Faye is such a bitch. She paid me to get you. She knew you were with her family. She sent me to rescue her family and you, paying the same amount of money!”
“I don’t like the way you’re talking about my daughter,” Fabian said and let out a long whistle. The sound penetrated the air and the dark water ahead. Fabian inhaled the air in the cave again, enjoying the freshness of it.
He whistled again, calling for his daughter. Not only he would have his freedom back now, he had a feeling his reign would be returning. God had finally answered his prayers.
Before the mercenaries could react, Fabian’s eyes sparked a bright purple shade. All five of them dropped to the ground like sacks of potatoes. Fabian smiled to himself. That was one of his many talents—he could vacuum the energy out of any person or creature he wanted.
Generations of his family had descended here from Earth. They were living happily in Nepolymbus as royals before being overthrown. It pained him to think about Faye being out there by herself, struggling to survive in disguise, working nonstop to rescue the family so they could resume their government. His daughter was not a commoner. One day, she would be the rightful queen of this submarine dimension.
Pexami grabbed his chest and slumped to the ground. He spat out black blood. “Poison!” he muttered. He looked up at Fabian. “Trademark of your daughter. I curse your entire family…” he said and then fell to the ground, dead.
Fabian looked at Lorcan. “Something has to give for the greater good. He farms the killing sharks, and that is unforgivable under my reign.”
“The situation suggests that the reign you talk about isn’t current.”
“You’re a smart man. No wonder you’re the chosen one.”
“Look, I know nothing about a key. And if you mention it one more time, I’m going to be pissed. I’m a spy and a thief. Yes, I steal for clients, but I’m no key keeper. And if you paid me, I’d give you the key. I wouldn’t keep it.”
There was a sound like a train going past outside. Then it grew quiet again.
Faye and Kai rushed into the cave.
Faye darted toward Fabian and dropped to her knees as if she saw no one else there but him. He crouched, clutching her in his arms and letting her cry. The emotion came out of her like a storm.
Kai glanced around, pulled out a knife, and killed the sleeping mercenaries.
“Was that necessary?” Lorcan asked.
“No, but if they awakened, they would kill you without asking whether it was necessary,” Kai said.
Faye’s emotion subsided. She stood up, glanced around. Her eyes stopped on Lorcan.
“He was put in the same cell with us,” Fabian said. “You hired Pexami to grab him from the surface, so he must have something to do with the key,”
“No, Father.” She looked down to the ground.
Fabian lifted her chin up and looked into her eyes.
“Don’t lie to me, Faye.”
A tear rolled down her cheek. She nodded. “Yes, he might have information about the key. He was with it before it vanished. We’re working on finding it.”
Fabian nodded. “I understand it’s difficult for you to be out there on your own doing all this. But without the key, we can’t rebuild our reign.”
“I understand, Father. And I’m sorry about Mother. I’m too late for her.”
Fabian wiped away a tear on Faye’s face. “Your mother’s death wasn’t your fault. I am proud of you, my daughter. Now, all we have to do is to find the key, and our years of suffering will end.”
Lorcan cleared his throat. “I’ve got to go now. Good luck with everything.”
He turned, but Kai stepped forward, blocking his way.
“Unfortunately, I can’t let you go back to the human’s world,” Fabian said, “before we have all the information about the key.”
“I told you, I don’t know.” Lorcan pushed Kai, and Kai swung his arm at him. Lorcan blocked, and Kai stomped a kick to his abdomen, hurling him into the far wall.
An white ivory object dropped from Lorcan’s pocket to the ground.
Fabian stared at it. He knew he was not mistaken. On the ground was the white piece from the three-colored Key of Pisces.
“You said you didn’t know anything about the Key of Pisces,” Fabian said.
“I don’t. That’s just merchandise for a client.”
“But you have only one piece. Where are the other two?”
“I already told you I don’t know anything.” Lorcan couldn’t back away any further as he was up against a wall. He looked toward the cave entrance and saw that Kai stood there, blocking it.
“I’m sure you’re a good human. I can tell. The key means a lot to us. There are millions of citizens and families who are depending on our return for survival.”
“If I knew anything about the key, I’d tell you. But unfortunately, I don’t.”
“Faye, does he have the information in his mind?”
Faye shook her head. Fabian frowned. He tilted her chin up. He didn’t have his daughter’s talent, but he knew how she thought and when she lied to him. He glanced back at Lorcan, who had quickly figured the situation he was in could prove troublesome for him.
“You’ve got the whole key,” he said to Lorcan.
Lorcan darted at the entrance, but after a few rounds exchanging punches and kicks with Kai, he was thrown inside once again.
“Beating him up or even killing him won’t bring us anything positive, Father. Let me work this out,” Faye said to Fabian, inching her way inside the cave to stand in front of Lorcan.
“You have a gentle soul, Faye. But any war must have sacrifice,” Fabian said.
“But this isn’t my war!” Lorcan exclaimed.
“Call it collateral damage. And you are the casualty, human.” Fabian smiled, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes.