Christopher heads into the small opening in the thick bush on the forest border. He is in complete awe as he looks up to see the towering trees. Being completely stunned by the inspiring sight, he stands paralyzed for a moment. After gawking at the view, he remembers why he went through the bush in the first place; to find the twins. He starts calling for the twins with no response on the other end.

”well, thats rude, they can have gone far, there are no paths or tracks anywhere. Could they fly over. Hold on ” Christopher searches for a few minuets and finds a crawl space hidden by a fake bush. ”clever ”

Christopher climbs through the cramped space that seems to be no bigger than a carriage wheel. Reaching the end of the tunnel he stands to find. Well, nothing, just more woodlands. But this time it looks like a hidden den or base.

”this must be where the twins go every day. Heather? Haider? Where are you? Breakfast is almost ready! ”

Christopher hears mumbled yelling about 20 meters to his left. He turns a corner and sees a small, controlled campfire with a horse drawn carriage and a bedroll. He hears the mumbling again; it seems to be coming from the carriage. Christopher approaches the cart and opens the leather tarp covering the back. Its the twins! Tied up with a rope and a linin cloth tied at the mouth. Both twins are crying profusely.

”what happened here? How did you get tied up like this? Who did this to you? ” Christopher questioned.

The eyes of Heather widen, as if she saw something behind Christopher. he spins around only to see a womans hand to his face with a spell ready to cast. The mysterious woman says ”sorry about this ” then a purple mist comes shooting from her palm.

*cough* *spit* ugh what did you do to me? that tasted gross uttered Christopher

In a soft, gentle voice the woman says ”just wait a second. It will kick in soon enough. Again, I am sorry about this but its for the good of Stocaea, and the will of the church. ”

what is that supposed Christopher passes out from the spell the woman cast. It was sleep magic.

(narrator) such a rare and powerful attribute. Her power could become a problem if not handled with up most caution. Glad Im resistant to it. Makes me proud to be- uh the narrator. Yeah, thats all I am nothing more for you to investigate. That was close, almost revealed my secret. Damn it! I keep forgetting you can hear me. At least I can interact with this world while you
e stuck just watching, Losers.

With Christopher now conked out from the womans spell. This strange woman gets a hold of some more rope and a linin cloth to tie Christopher and shove him in the waggon with the twins.

Its a few hours later and we are back at the church where Sister, Father and a town guard, they seem to be talking. Lets get a little closer so we can hear them.

”I have no idea where they are, please find them. They went up the north road, I have no idea where they go but they are never late. Something has definitely happened to them. ” Sister rambles.

please, calm down Sister. How long have they been gone? The guard asks.

”a few hours, we sent Christopher out to go find them, but he hasn come back since ” Father answered swiftly.

”alright, we can clearly assume they were kidnapped, and the culprit is hiding nearby, they wouldn leave till the evening, so we have some time to search the woods ” the guard explains.

”wait, how did you come to that conclusion? ” Sister asks the guard inquisitively.

”well, you said you sent someone after them and haven come back yet, so that rules out almost all scenarios. Its either they fell down a hole in the woods or were kidnapped, and the whole scenario seems quite implausible. Those woods are sturdier than any other in the kingdom, and the land will follow too because of tree roots and bushes. A hole is possible yes, but implausible. ”

”wow ok you
e not the average guard then. I mean I should have known that, seeing as our corrupt kingdom let a Nekojin have such an honourable position. how long will it take to gather a search party? ” Father exclaimed.

”oh *giggle*, no Im not a guard. Im a retired adventurer. The name is Heddwyn Longstaff. Its great to hear that not everyone treats my kind like slaves or pets ” said the Nekojin.

Father tries to correct his mistake ”I am so sorry, I didn mean. ” Heddwyn cuts him off ”its fine, no harm done. now back on topic. We have until the sun goes down to find those kids. Those woods are my territory, I live there ”

”I heard someone was living in the woods, but I wasn expecting an adventurer ”

”yep. After I find your lost kids, I will be sure to pop by for dinner as a reward. ” said Mr Longstaff jokingly.

”if you find them, you welcome here whenever you want, there is six chairs at the table and only five people who live here so its no trouble ” Sister stated.

”great, I look forward to it. Now then, may I come in so I can formulate a plan? ” Heddwyn asked

”sure. no problem, make yourself at home ” Father replied

So, it would be. Heddwyn was let into the church to formulate a plan on how to find the kidnapped children. ”if the twins go up the north road to play everyday, then that would mean that they went through the only opening about 500 meters down the road. If they went through there that makes my job very easy. Seeing as they are kids that is the most likely place they would go. With that in mind that gives me a 200-to-300-meter circumference to search within the woods ” Heddwyn takes out a map of Stocaea and rolls it out, pointing to the area near the village he plans on searching.

”*cough* your certain that is where they are? ” Sister asked inquisitively.

”well, there is a possibility that they could be somewhere else but given that kids are a bit stupid. Its the most likely area they would go ” Heddwyn replied, taking quick notice of her cough.

”we can also assume that its the cathedral who sent the kidnapper ” Heddwyn continued.

”how come? ” Father said without thinking.

”** sake, did you forget that our religion is run by group of corrupt arseholes ” Sister Helga shouts at Father.

”you are exactly right Helga. Im surprised you don have faith with your country and church considering your position ” Heddwyn replied, surprised of Sisters alignment with the church.

”well, I have faith in our superiors ” Father stupidly stated.

”well, you
e an idiot for ignoring the obvious *cough* *cough* ” Sister said displaying her illness again.

Heddwyn glares at Helga and she notices. After a few seconds Heddwyn speaks. ”how long have you been coughing like that? ”

Stunned by his question, she waits for a moment before saying ”I don know the exact date but ” sister pauses for a few moments before she states ”its been 4 months ”

”I see, then the only illnesses this could be is one of the versions of tuberculosis or TB for short. Its clearly pulmonary as TB effects the lungs. List off all your ailments through these 4 months ” Heddwyn responded with a surprising knowledge of disease.

”ok, but how do you know all this ” sister questioned.

”my owner, or rather master. No, my comrade and best friend developed TB and died to it. The potion required to cure this disease is of holy quality, and since the church pope forbids the use of these potions to be traded in Stocaea for gold, its unavailable to ordinary people like us. The effects of this can be slowed, but it will only be prolonging your inevitable death if you have TB. Now your symptoms ” Heddwyn said with sorrow and authority.

A long silence filled the room as this adventurer just shared a sad story to complete strangers, like it didn bother him much.

”Im so sorry for your loss ” sister empathised.

Heddwyns tone softens showing his relationship with his comrades ”it was 18 years ago; Ive already come to terms with his death. I need your symptoms so I can estimate how long you have left. You should prepare your will to split your belongings with loved ones, death from TB is inevitable unless you get your hands on a holy grade cure potion ”

(narrator) wow, hes putting all his emotions on the table. It must have been so difficult to accept this.

”ok fine. Ill tell you my symptoms, but after you must tell me why to think I have TB ”

Heddwyn nods

”in the last four months the changes to my health are the cough and night sweats ” sister said.

”what about fever, weight loss, swelling and fatigue ” Heddwyn asked with haste.

”none of that. Wait, why is weight loss important ” sister followed.

”in the mid to late stage of TB its very likely that you develop moderate wight loss. My comrade was skin and bone before he died ” Heddwyn said going deeper into sorrow.

”ok this is all good, but we need to know what you
e going to do about the kids, you diverted to sisters illness for no reason ” Father shouts.

”shut your mouth, your so insensitive. I want to prepare the kids for my eventual death ” sister bites.

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