Inner Demons, Part OnePART ONE Evon stumbled back, his brown eyes widening with fear. He pulled an arrow from his quiver and aimed his bow at the shaggy, grey head a mere thirty feet away. A wolf! He had seen them before, or their bodies at least, but never had he seen a live one, especially not so close to the village—so close to himself. He'd heard stories, though: wolves were considered the messengers of the devil, demons incarnate, who killed brutally and mercilessly. His aim was unsteady. He was tall and lean, and his grip on the wooden bow was strong, but his hands shook and his heart raced. He took another step backwards. Fallen leaves crackled under his leather boots. The wolf's ears jerked and its head turned ever-so-slightly in Evon's direction. Reacting before he could stop himself, Evon sprang backwards and tripped over
Inner Demons, Part SevenPART SEVEN On the morning of the third day since they left Royal Road, the wagon crested a hill and the forest fell away beneath them. Sparkling along the horizon was Lake Cascade, a massive U-shaped body of water. Evon stared at it, awestruck, as they began to descend the other side of the hill. The trees had thinned out; the forest was finally ending. The canopy soon blocked out the lake from view, though. "I don't suppose you've ever seen a lake like this before," Frederick said. "It's the largest in Sylaxa, fed from the northern mountain streams." "So one of the streams near my village might
have made this?" "Once upon a time, perhaps. The Royal Road cut off most of the streams. It's mostly the ones that feed into Odin River that get this far anymore." "
Inner Demons, Part SixPART SIX "What's going on?" Evon asked again, holding on tight as the wagon nearly flew over a bump in the dirt road. Frederick had not elaborated on the situation the night before. In fact, he had told Evon not to talk at all. Discontent, Evon had watched the werewolf prowl around the wagon until sleep finally claimed him. When Frederick had shaken him awake at dawn, it was clear that the older man had not slept. "We have to reach Aburrot," Frederick finally replied, "and make sure that nothing's happened. There's another werewolf loose. The one I was tracking, the one that bit you, came through here first. This one was probably another of its victims." "You're going to train both him and me at the same time?" "We'll see. Whatever happens, stay back and don't ge