Previously: Twain was warned by Yi Fan’s servant, Ari, about the bald man. And now…
â€œWho is the bald man?â€ Twain asked.
â€œYou donâ€™t want to know,â€ Ari replied. â€œHeâ€™s evil. The scariest man Iâ€™ve ever seen.â€
â€œScarier than the Czar?â€
Ari shook his head. â€œBut the Czar is not a man. I wouldnâ€™t call him a god, but heâ€™s more than a man.â€
â€œYeah, I guess youâ€™re right,â€ Twain said, feeling the crystal burn cold against his chest.
â€œBut the bald man is crueler,â€ Ari said. â€œYou donâ€™t want to meet him, trust me.â€
Twain looked away toward the distant ridge, barely visible through the canopy of foliage. â€œOkay, fine. Letâ€™s go back.â€
They walked back to the village together. Ari knew the area pretty well, but was a hopeless outdoorsman, stumbling over roots and flaling his way past low-hanging branches. â€œI guess you spend most of your time indoors, huh?â€ Twain asked.
â€œWhat are you talking about?â€ Ari said. â€œIâ€™m a gardener.â€
â€œAre you kidding me?â€ Twain asked. â€œYou act like youâ€™ve never seen plants before.â€
â€œI keep the plants on the estate well-maintained. Not like this.â€ Ari looked around them with disgust. â€œThis is all so… unkempt.â€
â€œFair enough,â€ Twain said. â€œI mentioned it because I hoped you could tell me the best way to get to the City of the Moon.â€
â€œIâ€™d ask the bald man to take me,â€ Ari said.
â€œReally?â€ Twain sounded skeptical. â€œI thought you said the bald man was evil and scary.â€
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]â€œBut the Czar is not a man. I wouldnâ€™t call him a god, but heâ€™s more than a man.â€[/blockquote]â€œHe is,â€ Ari said. â€œWhich is exactly the point. I would sooner talk to him than go there. Because itâ€™s suicide!â€
â€œYou donâ€™t know that,â€ Twain said.
â€œWhy do you think itâ€™s called the City of the Moon?â€ Ari asked. â€œWhat would happen to you if you were standing on the Moon right now?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ Twain said. â€œThereâ€™s no air, so I guess I would suffocate.â€
â€œExactly,â€ Ari said. â€œItâ€™s a lifeless place, and so is the City of the Moon.â€
â€œOkay, fine,â€ Twain said as they emerged from the trees to walk into the village. â€œYou know, you really need to calm…â€
A black sedan rounded a nearby corner and roared toward them.
â€œItâ€™s him!â€ Ari said. â€œWeâ€™re dead!â€
â€œNot yet,â€ Twain said. He shoved Ari toward a nearby house. â€œFind a place to hide. Iâ€™ll lead him away.â€
Ari grabbed at him. â€œBut the mistress said…â€
Twain punched him hard in the jaw. Ari went down, and Twain ran. He didnâ€™t like hitting the kid, but it should keep suspicion off him. Twain ducked through alleys and hurdled cars, trying to lose his pursuer before heading to Yi Fanâ€™s estate.
But suddenly, the sedan was there in front of him. Twain tumbled over the hood.
The bald man got out, smiling. He said something in Russian that Twain didnâ€™t understand. Twain took up a defensive stance, feeling the crystal throb against his chest. He would let his fists do the talking.
He heard a savage growl a second before something hit him in the back of the head. Everything went black.
What hit him? And what’s going on with Metalord and Digger? Join us next week for theÂ answers in our next exciting episode!
To read from the beginning, click here…