The brisk asphalt road wounded around Sandburg Castle and the surrounding former university buildings like a string around a finger. As tight as it looked however it took an interesting shape and flowed nicely as we walked.

“Umpf…” I moaned unhappily. I look behind us and see a small bellowing smoke start to form out over at the horizon of the city. “Uh… Mmmph…” I groan again.

“You doing alright over there, Lawrence…? I’m hearing a good portion of sounds coming from you like you’re an animal or something” asked Floyd.

I look back from the rising smoke at Floyd’s dirty sullen face with the best fake smile I could conjure up. “Yeah I’m fine Floyd, just wondering what’s going to happen once we get this book to the Lorekeepers. I mean, once we do what are we going to do with it really?”

“If it’s really as valuable as we think, they’ll want it,” sounded Saul. Looking at him, I could tell this trip was really getting to the young lad. When we first met, his skin was rather a clear white and his hair clean as a whistle. He had this aura about him that gave me a sense he had a rather high standards before traveling with us. What annoyed me the most however was his handsomeness that he wielded like a knife or any rifle. Though now with his face being as battered as it was it fills me with a little joy once in awhile.

“We’d at least be able to get a fair ride back out of Milwaukee! Unlike the rides we’ve been stuck with because of us being broke and all…” said Saul again but with a more depressed tone this time.

I look behind us again at the smoke as we walked, which has since grown, and now looked like a large demonic black hand reaching towards the sky. Poor bastard I thought.

We were stuck in a hard predicament at the time. Having little else left that we could do but shot him point blank and make a run to safety before we got ourselves killed. Jared, our half-track driver that we’ve met once before, had completed his side of the bargain by getting us to Milwaukee. However, his usefulness ran only so far and now he lay dead in a pool of his own blood grieving in pain. He deserved every bit of it as the pack of over a dozen or so wolf like hounds swarmed his body in a feeding frenzy. A useful distraction executed from then a now sheer hatefulness that formed had towards him.

An orangeish red flash is all I could see after that. My ears rang a sorrowful tune with similar results like that of when my musket had exploded in my face. The half-track that we were riding in had exploded, causing the pack of dogs and Jared to vaporize into a mist of red oozing blood and bodily organs. Adjacent to the vehicle, the building had collapse onto itself and what little was left had combusted into a large tinder like blaze. Lady Luck must given favor to Jarod for him to die a quick and painless death rather then what we had in store instead. What shitty luck.

What was also shitty luck was finding out whom Jared had been working for this whole time. He was working for the Trailvyne Trading Company, but what was worse was him taking orders from a head merchant under the alias of Tim.

Tim was harsh man that used his own merchitile silver tongue to gain trust and destroy bonds. He also happened to be a past associate of mine before I had gone to the Wittman Hub and met with Floyd, Eliza, and Saul. We were transporting silverware from Madison to the Hub when I was knocked out on the side of the road and left for dead. I heard that the load was worth a huge amount of over a thousand or so coins, so my guess was that Tim had succumb to greed. I still never forgave him for it. It’s ironic that Jarod was originally the one who told me that Tim was here in Milwaukee, but now that we know I wonder why...

Could he be a threat to our adventure? What was he after?

“I don’t know…” I said aloud as the words mistakenly spilled through my lips.

“You don’t know what?” asked Eliza.
“Huh? Oh! I mean I don’t know…um.. know what that smoke is about! It doesn’t look very good, see over there!” I point towards the bellowing smoke. The group stops and looks over.
“It was from the half-track explosion, don’t you remember? Seems to be spreading rather fast though…” Eliza said with a frown, “We’d better hurry just in case, you know?”

I nod but quickly return to my own thoughts as we walked.

I refuse to be the shepherd and lead my sheep to slaughter…