Sam slowly shook his head. "No, it is worse than this. But you need to know it, or else it can bring you to fall."
Nathaniel's breath hissed through his teeth. "What can be worse than being a failed experimental subject?"
"See for yourself", Sam repeated seriously. Then, his eyes widened, and he added in a hurry: "Careful! Don't destroy it!"
"Damn!", Nathaniel cursed and concentrated to pull the black magic back in that had begun to leak again. It spoke bounds about his mental state that it managed to escape his control so many times today. Luckily, it had only eaten holes in the cover of the file. "This damn bracelet isn't working."
"Of course it isn't. It's cracked.", Sam explained and pointed at the surface. A hair-thin crack was visible in the silver, and, next to it, a little dent. "Looks like it hit something."
Nathaniel remembered the 'collision' he'd had with Emilian. He'd used this bracelet to block his sword back then. "Should the chain for a beast really be this fragile? What an idiot king. It didn't even sound an alarm. Well, most likely it was trash to begin with."
With a shrug, he pulled it off. Then he weighed it in his hand.
"Maybe you should let someone analyze it before throwing it away," Sam recommended.
With a nod of agreement, Nathaniel put the bracelet in his pocket.
"As soon as one trouble is taken care of, the next comes our way", he grumbled. "I think it's better to take all these files with us. We need to know more about the organization and their test subjects. Maybe this way, we can help them better if we find them. But now is not the time to relax and read. So..."
He flipped open the file. "Just a little overview."
At first, his expression was unreadable, but soon his brows locked together, and his eyes started to burn. "What the f.u.c.k is this?!"
He flipped through another few pages, getting faster and faster. Finally, he closed it and gazed at Sam, his red eyes burning with anger. "They are goddamn lies, all of this. It's not possible to back it up, so it can't even get dangerous. Sam, you know it is fake. So, why the hell are you showing me this?!"
Silence prevailed as Sam pressed his lips together. Something complicated seemed to go on in his mind. Then, he exhaled. "I had no doubt about this before. As you know, I was there at your birth. Not in the room of course, but close enough to hear your first screams. However, there was something that happened before that. Now that I read this file, I don't know if what we believed is true anymore."
"No. I know my parents. I wished it to be different when I was young, but it's irrevocable. We are family, no matter how much we hate each other." Nathaniel seemed to be very sure of this. He threw the file on the desk. "This is nothing but a lie. Burn it."
With that, he left the underground room. Sam behind him sighed softly. "If it was the name of anyone else, I would deny it just as strongly. However, I can't be sure about him. It's too coincidental."
While muttering softly, he took the file off the desk and put it into his jacket. Since he wasn't a fire mage, it would only be possible to burn it when they reached their destination.
Meanwhile, the warriors had found several experimental subjects. Aston had also arrived, and a group of guards was on his heels. When the group clashed with the one in the entrance hall, Nathaniel ordered for retreat.
"Hurry up! They will follow us in swarms soon!", Aston yelled at the experimental subjects that were slow to react, before casting an ice wall on the doorstep to the underground laboratory.
Soon after, the ice was broken through, and the underground chase began.
The night was cold in the carriage. Though it was the beginning of summer, the Iceland seemed to never warm up. Katherine rubbed her hands together. She was clothed for a wedding, not a night in the wild. However, she didn't want to bring more attention to herself by calling for a blanket.
Carefully, she peeked through the curtains. There were two guards on either side of the carriage, maybe more in the front and the back. Frey was no-where to be seen. The quiet of the night was only disturbed by her own breath, and the rustling of leaves in the wind.
Neither of the guards talked, but she didn't expect them to. It was a surprise that Frey's tongue remained in his mouth despite him working for Ethan.
An owl cried out in the night, making her kidnappers look around warily. There was nothing to see, but one guard now noticed her peeking through the curtains and came over to close the wooden shutters before it.
Disappointed, Katherine leaned back. For sure, the events tonight were keeping Nathaniel back. There had to be a big upheaval, but she thought that he would send someone after her still. Yet, hours had passed without her being found. Had they lost trace of her? Or was Nathaniel in such a difficult situation just now that he couldn't send anyone?
Stopping the rapping of her fingers on the windowsill, a determined look crossed her face. Well, if the helpers were late, she had to find a way out herself. There was another difference between the her now and back when she was brought to Nathaniel. She now knew where she could go when she was in a plight. She was not alone.
Straightening her shoulders, she stood up. Just then, a loud noise thundered in the quiet, the horses neighed fearfully, and the carriage shook so hard that she fell over on the floor. Suddenly, the carriage was moving again. And how it was moving! The horses seemed to be wild with fear as they galloped down the road ahead.
Katherine didn't know what caused the loud noise - if it was pure luck or the help she waited for - , but she knew one thing for sure: this was the chance she had waited for.
With one hand stopping herself from falling in the rattling carriage, she ripped the beautiful over skirt apart with the other. Her heart bled for the fine silk and embroidery of her wedding dress, but the situation called for a more practical gown. When only the lowest layer was left, looking nearly like a night gown, she was satisfied. This much wouldn't hold her back anymore.
The horses started to get slower, but she already had a lot of blue sports from the hard ride. Not caring about those, she gritted her teeth, and pulled out her dagger. Harshly, she punched the lock of the window shutter with the hilt of it. Though she was cold before, she now thought of it as good luck that the windows were the old ones with only wooden shutters instead of glass.
With the unexpected recoil from the first strike, she tumbled backwards against the door. She cursed out aloud and got back again. The second strike was more successful.
Cold night wind blew in her face as the shutters fell apart. With a smirk, Katherine brushed her fluttering hair back. Let's see how this bastard Ethan wants to hold me back now, she thought, and began to climb out of the window onto the carriage's top. If she was alone in the wild, she might be easy to catch, but with a horse back under her, this was an whole another matter.