Damien could see the dilemma in the man's eyes as if fighting for something but the expression on his face was docile and quiet to look at. The guardsman didn't reply in the beginning before he said,
\"I am sorry, Sir. I need to go back to my home. My wife waits for me,\" his eyes looked back at Damien unblinkingly. Staring back with a small polite smile which anyone could spot on how odd it was. Guardsmen were never kind, usually, men who were rough were the ones who were assigned for the job to be able to handle any kind of people.
\"Hmm?\" Damien hummed before saying, \"How about we go to your home and get your wife along. I wouldn't take too much of your time. We will be going to meet the magistrate later.\"
On hearing the word 'magistrate' it was as if the switch in the man's brain had suddenly been tripped and he said, \"Of course, Sir. Let me lead you there,\" said the man and they went to walk further to reach a small house which was the size of Damien's room in Quinn's mansion. The poor always lived minimally for what they earned and had.
The guardsman walked to the door and knocked until his wife opened who looked equally calm and starstruck with no evident change in her expression.
\"Welcome back home,\" greeted his wife. Though Damien was standing right behind him, the wife didn't bother to look at him, ignoring his presence, \"You must be tired. Let me go get you something to drink.\"
Damien noticed how the man continued to stand outside and waited for his wife to return back, who did with a glass of water.
Taking the glass of water, the guardsman handed it to Damien by turning around, \"You must be thirsty.\"
\"I am fine,\" Damien answered the guardsman.
He stared at the glass of water until his throat suddenly turned dry. A rising thirst bubbling in his throat which was far worse than the thirst of blood he had felt. Damien had been alright all this while. He had made sure to drink enough blood. Taking the red pill out of his pocket, he put it in his mouth and swallowed it in the hope that the thirst would calm down but it did nothing.
When he took a deep whiff of the air, he felt something that he had not noticed earlier. There was something in the air that stretched across the lands that were resulting in the thirst he felt for the water.
He gulped down looking back at the glass of water. He could feel his mind starting to hurt over the lack of water.
The guardsman said, \"You must be thirsty, Sir after your long journey. Take this glass of water,\" he pushed the glass of water forward, bringing it up towards Damien's face.
They had come here last night but nothing had happened so why now? Did the witches use their spell so that one would be compelled to drink the water which was offered? He could tell without having to test the water or drink it to know that something was wrong with it. Something had been mixed, something very similar to what the Artemis had tried making Penelope drink.
Of course. He now understood why it was so.
But this was not the time to think about it. The more seconds passed the more his control slipped out of his fingers which made it difficult for him to breathe. The guardsman stood there just as he had been, with the glass as Damien struggled to quench his thirst.
He knew drinking the water which was offered would turn him to one of these people. A set of dolls who had no control over their body.
\"What is there in the wind?\" Damien fell on the ground in a matter of a few seconds. He couldn't think about anything but gulping down the water which was in front of him. He was thirsty and he needed to drink water as much as he could. Like suddenly someone had put him in a sea of desert and the sun was sucking every single drop of water from his body.
\"I don't understand your question, sir. Here, please take some water so that it makes you feel better,\" it wasn't going to be better but fucking worse if that liquid touched his lips.
The wife of the guardsman then spoke to her husband, \"Dear, you should help mister drink the water. He seems to be in pain,\" Damien moved back, lifting himself up and glaring at the glass to throw it away on the ground, \"Oh dear, let me get another glass of water.\"
Damien wondered if the whole land was infected through the channel of irrigation. Now that he thought about it, it was possible. If he wasn't wrong, the river that was close by here moved to the next village, without connecting to the other towns or villages of Valeria. It wasn't the food which they were giving to these villagers, people who would be suspicious with the intentions of the Artemis could always test it out but they would never come to find anything.
The food was only to show but what they were doing is infecting the very water that the people used to drink, bathe or use it for other purposes. The villagers had been continuously drinking the water and were under the spell for a long time. It was only time when they would infect the other village and towns by turning all of it to a ghost town.
Trying to get a hold of himself, Damien said, \"You said you needed to meet your wife. Time to go.\"
\"But what about water?\"
Damien stared at the man, \"You can splash it on the magistrate's face later,\" he then paused and said, \"On second thought, give it to me,\" he took hold of the glass and looked into it which looked crystal clear, \"Alright, hold it for me. Time to travel,\" saying this, he placed both his hands on the woman as well as the guardsman that had them transported to Delcrov's mansion.
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