The shadow watcher, known as Strieme, peered down into the corridor, observing as the light creature approached Bracken, and he recalled the words of the one who had ordered him to his task: “One of their kind has penetrated into the upper levels. This is serious, and we must find a way to keep him ignorant. If not, he will uncover the truth. Not just why his friend died but what lies ahead for him if he continues to search.” “I think terror is in order. Shall I bring it?” “Of course that would be the most gratifying, but there are other methods. We want him to quit looking for answers and spend his time in pleasure seeking. But there are ways to keep him hoping, ways to create fresh ideals in his mind. That should satisfy him for the moment until we come up with another plan. I will try them first, but if he seems unconvinced then you can act. You’re not the only one I’ve assigned to this task. But follow him closely. Perhaps you will yet have your opportunity for torment. But wait for my signal.” Turning his attention back toward the corridor, he watched as the glowing orb approached Bracken. Hatred expanded in his heart like a poison vapor as he glared at the youth. He was looking forward to tormenting this fragile creature. It would be a delight to order his vassals to attack. He sent out his command to them through the mind link. Immediately he heard the snarls of his slaves and knew they’d be ready. Their growls were like a delightful song, unharmonious to most but a melody to him. He smiled and continued to stand watch. It would not be long now.