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Across the road from Kyhawn’s cottage, a mysterious figure with red hair and dark blue skin stood behind the trees, unseen in the misty darkness. He pulled the hood of his cloak over his head, turned to his gray horse behind him, and took something sharp from its saddlebag.

At that same moment, two barefooted Zacs with silverish-blue skin, dressed in tattered garments stood outside Kyhawn’s window. One of them crouched and cupped his hands to boost the other with dagger in hand up to the windowsill. This second Zac eased his dagger between the sill and the window frame, pried the window open, then climbed into Kyhawn’s bedroom and placed his hand over Kyhawn’s mouth. “Wake up! Your ship has docked,” he whispered, as he tucked his dagger back into its leg sheath.

“What’s going on?” Kyhawn sat up, brushed his sandy blond hair away from his face, and rubbed his eyes.

“Keep your voice down. You might wake your mother.”

Kyhawn combed his hair with his fingers. “What are you doing here anyway, Earron?” He yawned as he tucked his hair behind his ears.

“The Sealander docked only minutes ago,” his good friend responded. “You said you wanted to see Emaya again about your dream before you left, but you’ll have to forget that. They’re in a carriage on their way here for you now,” Earron said. “Are your bags ready?”

Kyhawn lit the oil lamp beside his bed. His face with its large dark brown eyes, silverish-blue skin, and handsome narrow features dominated the room. He jumped to his feet. “Yes, I have my bags ready. Almost anyway,” he said hesitantly as he glanced at the window. “I thought I closed that last night.” He covered his tall, slim, twenty-two-year old body with brown trousers and a baggy wheat-colored shirt. “Are you sure it’s the Sealander cruise ship?” Kyhawn slipped on his leather boots.

Earron crossed his arms and stood impatiently. “Of course I’m sure.”

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