“I thought you were only a myth.” the magistrate looked the young woman up and down after Crys had brought her and their common plea concerning the fungals before him. Again the magistrate turned away from the young woman to Crys. “How did you call the men who have allegedly killed your family?”

“Fungal guards, and they did it! There was not a single drop of blood at the site of their crashed sled!” Crys contained his urge to jump at the magistrate, although barely. “Relax son. There is a spare room in Galens house, you two can bunk there.” he waved off Crys’ anger turning to Galen. “See if you can verify his words.” Galen nodded and withdrew immediately, another man stayed with them in the room. Upon a wink of the magistrate he opened the door to another room. “You see Crys, I have to investigate this, instead of taking your word for it, since you are bringing up some serious allegations against highly esteemed guests of this house.” a man and a woman with an ashen complexion entered the room through the open door. Immediately Gela grabbed for Crys’ arm, holding him tightly. The two people walked a few steps towards the two. “Yes, she is one of our slaves.” the nasal tone the woman spoke with immediately made her unsympathetic to Crys, “It may not be our culture to keep slaves but we have to respect theirs!” the magistrate turned to the two. “For the time being, until Galen either confirms or refutes your allegations you two are free in this village, but have to stay.” both the fungal man and woman looked at the magistrate in a slightly agitated way but smiled sourly. Again the magistrate waved the guard who escorted Crys and Gela to Galens house.

Inside the large farmhouse the guard positioned himself in front of the door the two were confined to.

Grief, fear, anger and sorrow threw Crys’ emotions in chaos, causing him to repeatedly slam his fists and foot against the door. Meanwhile Gela watched him with an empty expression on her soft face. “I’m not a slave.” Crys stopped banging on the door, he looked at her. “Please believe me, I’m not a slave, we were free people in the fall, surely some of my brethren are now slaves, most are dead, but I’m not a slave!” again her tears started to flow down her cheeks. Her eyes spoke of desperation, terror and agony. “I believe you.” he mumbled, sitting down on the bed next to her, staring at the window as she did. “I need sustenance.” Crys looked at her, out of nowhere came amusement into the mix of his emotions. “You mean food?”