5 A search in the dark
Two weeks passed as everyone in the little town in the middle of nowhere carried on with their lives. Jide would go to Musa's bookstore any chance he got to learn to control his ability. Unfortunately, Musa didn't know enough as most of his elemental control training was specialised to his dark sight and he still battled with controlling his emotions and impulses.
So Jide's visions happened at random. Sometimes he saw hazy visions of adults that looked like himself and Nnenna but he couldn't make out the images. Other times the visions were just black which gave him such an ominous feeling that he cried every time he saw it. The clearest images were of dead bodies with faces of the people from his town with the sound of wailing and screaming.
Musa had tried to think of ways of getting help or making the town more alert and cautious, like create false stories about bandits in the area or getting a message out for help but he knew, realistically, that no one would believe the town drunk and a bunch of kids. Moreover, unless other mages were dispatched, no help, no matter the number, will be able to handle four experienced mages. He knew that the town's only hope was for the visitors to do whatever it is they came for as quickly as possible with no hiccups. But no matter how much he thought about it he couldn't figure out what in blazes they would be looking for here.
Meanwhile, Nnenna had given up trying to convince her parents that the family needed a vacation. She wanted to take Jide's visions seriously but she couldn't image such violence or anyone being able to defeat all her father's guards for that matter. Rather, she was more fascinated with the sphere she found in the underground chamber as she had finally noticed it had increased in size. By now it was the size of a one year old baby, so Nnenna had a tough time hiding it from the maid. Luckily for her, it was only the weightless sphere that had increased in size as her father's gift could still fit comfortable in her palm.
However, one thing that all three of them agreed to do was to monitor the movements of Nze.
"Good afternoon Master. I have finished the preliminary investigation of the town. There are about 30 families living in this little town called Mushin. Obviously, there are no internal mages in such a small town except potentially the boy called Jide. However, the ruins at the outskirts of the town suggests that there was a much larger metropolis situated here in the past. So it may take Danjuma and Osaze another two weeks to cover especially since you want us to be low key." Nze reported.
"That is acceptable." the old man responded with a smile that didn't reach his eyes.
"Also....emm...I think I am being followed."
"How could that be possible if there are no mages." the old man frowned.
"No, no, not by a mage. There is a little girl I have seen around me a few times more often than normal." Nze responded quickly before a sinister look flashed through his eyes.
"Ha ha ha. Oh Nze I never understand your obsession with children. You can't collect them all. She is probably curious or attracted to the stranger in town. If you really want you can take her as well when we leave this town. Honestly, you and Danjuma have such bad control habits."
Nze almost choked in shock as he knew that even though his master could control his own habit, which were even more perverse, his master choose not.
"However, if she follows you too far, you know what to do. A few missing people won't cause any abrupt changes initially. Just be quick about it."
"Ahh, it has already been three weeks since we came to this sticking town. All I have seen is ruble and junk. I need me a woman with big..."
"SHUT UP, DANJUMA! THE REASON WE ARE SEARCHING AT NIGHT IS SO THAT NO ONE NOTICES! WHAT WILL YOU TELL MASTER IF WE GET CAUGHT BECAUSE YOU ARE MAKING SO MUCH NOISE!" Osaze screamed as he moved towards Danjuma in a threatening manner.
"Wow, wow...calm down Osaze. I am sorry" Danjuma apologised, then mumbled under his breath, "Goddamit, its so hard to deal with this mad man's temper...no control unlike me...I have only a little quirk...thats normal for guys...he he he...." Danjuma glanced around, looking for something to distract Osaze and then noticed something peculiar.
"Wait...is there blue light coming out of the ground over there."
Osaze looked in the direction Danjuma was pointing and said, "Let's go"
The two of them went closer to the source of the light and found the tunnel that Jide and Nnenna had entered before. Danjuma being the smaller one crawled into the hole. A few minutes later, he came out with a frown on his face.
"This looks like the place but someone beat us to it. I saw some faded tracks but water had washed most of it away. Looked like small feet."
"WE HAVE TO GO TELL MASTER! NOW!"
Both men rushed to the camp to first pack up, before heading towards the town. After all, they knew that their time in this little town and the use of the subtle approach was quickly coming to an end.