Stabbing pains lanced through Carse’s side as he ran through the city, his legs afire from fatigue and lungs rasping for air as he breathed. He pushed through the milling crowds, unconcerned about who saw him, or for any he knocked aside. At last he came to the entrance to the villa and once more his senses told him something was wrong. The gate sat part open, and yet the big black Kurushu man, Akamba, was nowhere to be seen, an unprecedented occurrence. Carse loosened the Red Blade in its scabbard and darted away from the gate itself, to a place further along the wall.