Razife held the bird close to his chest as Iniko stood between him and the menacing stranger before them.

Knife in hand, Iniko thrust up her chin. “Whatever my brother has done, he has broken none of your laws! Whatever excuse you’re trying to find to kill a child, the punishment should be yours for your coldness of heart! It’s people like you who are blind to the realities of the ridiculous rules you try to restrict others to. Mark my words, The Rathens is a reality; its people’s wrath will fall upon you in a burning rain.”

Desmon kept his wand to his side as he, Jalem and Allen approached Chekton.

“Your kind are worse than the undesirables,” Chekton said. He didn’t turn around. “You three will pay if you dare disobey-.”

“Dissent of the disciples means the master is flawed,” Desmon said, repeating his superior’s words back to him.

“Defense of the traitors means death rightly earned,” Chekton countered.

Jalem was the first to see the small boy’s face change color. “Let him go!” She cast a spell in Razife’s direction, wrapping the boy in an aura of medicinal air before Desmon threw a wall of fire between her and Chekton.

Before Allen could strike the older man, a popping sound echoed around them; Razife and Iniko were gone.

A group of bandits surrounded them, weapons drawn and nets at the ready. Desmon redirected the fire towards half of them while Allen aimed to drown the rest. Jalem lost sight of Chekton and everything, everyone else vanished about them.