There was very little unrest in Bellona's absence. Everyone had a job to do and did it without hesitation or question. It was a relief to the humans, many of whom expected the opposite. Scarlett would run back to the radio every chance she got while the others worked their days away without a second thought. The camp fed them well with meat from the hunts and vegetables from a patch of crops planted along the outskirts of a nearby field, seasoned with herbs grown in a nearby worn-down greenhouse. Everything was going well, until one rainy day the Nymphs began to sense a dark presence among the trees.

Nearly all at once, the Nymphs flattened their long ears like angry cats and their eyes widened, searching for their enemy. The forest became increasingly bleak as the storm clouds shared their darkness with it. A metallic rattling noise drew closer in between strikes of thunder.

Lightning cracked when the first pair of milky white orbs locked with the piercing eyes of a Nymph. His midnight black body was built more like a bear than a person. No armor or clothing covered his top half that emerged from the shadows with unrestrained gratification. A broadsword hung from his back by a strap clinging to his muscular chest. In his hand was a clump of chains linked to a pair of immense hounds. A light snicker passed his lips at the sight of the poised Nymphs. In his wake, a dozen males like him began to appear from the darkness.

"I came to have a word with the leader of this camp," ordered the deep voice of the first Viho.

The Nymphs turned to the side to allow him to pass, but not without glaring at him for a long moment. He made his way into the camp with a scoff. All of a sudden, tension settled over the entire establishment as Cheveyo began to stop what they were doing and ready their weapons or push humans into hiding places. Hisses and growls came from all around the Viho as he walked. Sam appeared from the crowd wearing a horned mask to hide his face as he spoke.

"You aren't welcome here anymore, Cathal," Sam stated in a dull tone. The larger man rolled his eyes and dropped the chains on the ground as the dogs began to trail a certain scent. Cathal looked down, laughing lightly before speaking again.

"There's a strange smell on the wind these days, one I haven't smelled in over a hundred years. The last leader was female and vicious; I was looking forward to seeing her again. Tell me, where is she now?" Cathal inquired as the dogs wandered further into the camp.

"An important errand called her away for the moment," Sam replied. The dogs drew nearer to the tents, met by light kicks to force them away.

"She hasn't found another mate, I hope? I was thinking of taming that unrestrained beauty on this trip," Cathal rambled. One of the dog's eyes fell upon an unguarded tent that reeked of their hunt.

"She will take no new mate, especially without the trial of the blade," Sam answered without shifting his gaze.

"Pity. I suppose I'll have to change her mind by force then," Cathal chided.

"As if you're capable of that," Sam growled, finally phased by Cathal's vile implications.

The Viho man narrowed his eyes and grinned in Sam's face. Before another word could be uttered, a howl tore through the camp. One of the dogs appeared dragging a dismayed Alexander by the leg to present to its master. Cathal inhaled deeply and the white in his eyes began to darken rapidly.

Sam stepped between Cathal and Alexander, placing his hand on the hilt of his sword. The monster of a man's eyes were already locked onto his prey as he shoved his way past Sam. In the next instant, Alexander was several feet off the ground staring Cathal in the face. He bared a mouthful of sharpened teeth at Sam before he began to squeeze. A whimper escaped Alexander's lips. The Cheveyo stood by, afraid to awaken a formidable opponent.

A spear from halfway across camp plunged into Cathal's back. Alice passed her kill back to Jupiter, commending him on his aim as she readied her own spear. Cathal dropped Alexander, throwing a small knife with deadly precision at his face while he turned to face his assailant. A wail filled the air when the knife hit its mark and the human collapsed in pain.

Cathal pried the spear from his back with a growl of irritation. His massive sword was drawn when he began to run full speed at Jupiter. Sprinting forward with a battlecry, Alice intercepted him midway. Their weapons locked and the woman let out a feral growl as they came within inches of touching noses. She leaned forward, latching her teeth onto his neck. The cry he let out spurred his comrades into action. They ran to assist their leader only to be caught by the Cheveyo in their path. A battle broke out in the camp as both sides rushed to defend what was theirs. The Nymphs fought valiantly as their leader, a slender man with branches growing from his head like horns, reanimated corpses to help them fight off the Viho. Still, a young male slipped through their defenses and wandered into an unguarded tent.

A sharp gasp alerted him that he wasn't alone when a shadow darted to hide behind a table that had been overturned in the chaos. The Viho drew his knife as he inches closer and kicked the table out of his way. Scarlett attempted to steady her breathing as her chocolatey eyes met his white ones. His gaze fell to her hands, shaking as they held Lucy in her lap. She gurgled curiously, reaching for the Viho. He immediately sheathed his knife and raised his hands. Slowly, he knelt down near her, sniffing curiously as he cocked his head to the side. Scarlett stared back at him silently.

Jupiter appeared in the doorway carrying a sobbing Alexander over his shoulders. At the sight of the Viho boy, he snapped the leg off a nearby chair and raised it. The Viho boy didn't flinch. Instead, he blinked at Jupiter and turned back toward Scarlett.

"You need to take his eye out before the poison spreads to the rest of him," the Viho boy stated simply.

Scarlett eyed him curiously. His hair was white as snow, contrasting brilliantly with his dark skin. Alabaster markings lined his arms and sprawled across his lean abdomen. Both eyes were solid gray with irises.

There were a couple of beings like him already living in the camp , but Scarlett never had the chance to look at one so close. The Viho boy was thinking nearly the same thing about this human girl when Jupiter laid Alexander on the floor between the two while he cried and held the knife poking out of his eye. The white-haired boy's gaze darted from Scarlett to Alexander.

Without warning, he reached his clawed fingers into the blond boy's eye socket at just the right angle to pull out the organ. Scarlett gasped, covering Lucy's eyes before turning away herself. Alexander screamed his heart out until he fainted, but by then, the eye was already out of his head.

"My name is Dara," the Viho boy stated simply, extending the hand clutching the eyeball to Scarlett. She swatted it away in disgust; it landed several feet away on the floor. A pout appeared across Dara's face for a moment.

Suddenly, an entire side of the tent burst into flames and a brawling duo came rolling through the wreckage. The monster of a man was taking heavy blows from a woman half his size. At the sight of his leader, Dara tossed Alexander over one shoulder and Scarlett over the other before sprinting from the burning tent. Jupiter was too stunned to move as he watched the two beat each other. Every kick was capable of breaking bones and every punch was devastating.

A ball of fire manifested in Cathal's palm before he threw it at Alice, burning her shoulder as it passed. She stumbled backward and gave the Viho man the advantage he needed. He ripped a leg off the overturned table and thrashed the sharp end against her stomach. At that moment, Jupiter heaved a rock from a campfire just outside at Cathal's head. The small boulder hit its mark and caused the table leg to only graze Alice. He hesitated, lowering his weapon and holding his head for just a moment, but it was enough for Jupiter to help Alice to her feet. She hobbled out of the tent with Jupiter's help.

Sam, leading a group of hunters several feet away, motioned for them to get behind them. It didn't take Cathal long to recover before he came after them like a deranged animal. Jupiter and Alice weren't quick enough; the man was sure to catch them. Shadows began to rise from the ground around Sam, forming grotesque silhouettes of creatures that lumbered forward on malformed limbs with screeches spilling from their throats. They swarmed Cathal just before he was able to grab his prey, scratching and clawing their way into his head as they began to take the form of his worst fears.

Once Jupiter and Alice were safely behind the group, Sam lead the group of hunters to take Cathal down. Inside the tent where the wounded were gathered, Dara was perched aside Scarlett and Luna who were both attempting to keep their small children quiet. Hope was nearby, leading a small group of humans in nearly silent prayer. Several badly injured Nymphs and Cheveyo were sprawled on the ground here or there, being tended to by whoever was able.

Just outside, Cathal could be seen overcoming the hallucinations that Sam produced. He became increasingly enraged as he slung his arms wildly, knocking Cheveyo out of his path. Jupiter didn't need one of the Cheveyo to explain to him that the Viho's rage only empowered him further. It was easy to see his attacks were doing more damage and less opposition began to stand in his way. While Jupiter was watching, a baby was passed into his arms. He glanced at Luna in question, only to find her with a dagger to her throat.

"Luna, no!" he exclaimed just as it was too late. The blade had already passed in a crimson line that opened up her neck. Jupiter laid her baby across his lap so that his hands could apply pressure to the open wound. But there was no use; blood gushed in between his fingers. Her spine began to untense, leaving her laying on the floor. His hands were painted red when he gave up, glancing from Alice to the other Cheveyo, who all appeared unphased.

"Why did you let that happen?" Jupiter demanded.

"Powerful Cheveyo become like the Viho when they sustain fatal damage. She's taking on that form to make better use of her abilities," Alice explained.

All eyes turned back to Luna as she went through a metamorphosis. Her skin darkened into a midnight onyx, her eyes lost their irises and became milky white, while her hair became the lightest shade of blonde. Then she blinked several times and got to her feet. Outside, Cathal was letting a ball of fire build in his hands. When it was the size of a horse, he hurled it at the doorway of the tent. Luna held up an open palm, creating a bright white forcefield that blocked the fireball as if it was nothing.

Without warning, a snicker passed Luna's lips and she broke into a sprint toward Cathal. She drew her hands against a tattoo on her side, pulling them away with an axe materializing in her grasp. Cathal heaved his weapon down at her, but she nimbly dodged and sliced his arm open. He swung sideways, missing again as Luna jumped into the air. With a snap of her fingers, she began to float higher into the air as if gravity had been turned off. Another snap and she came crashing down upon Cathal, dragging her axe down his spine as she fell. A groan of agony erupted from the Viho's throat. He tried to escape, but she was on him again before he could get far enough away. Luna cut him to ribbons, but it was easy to see that her energy was deteriorating. Each attack was slower and each dodge came closer. Finally, Cathal made one last swing at her leg that caused everyone to look away. A scream of pain pierced the air of the fight and forced the white to return to Cathal's eyes.

The Viho man stared in horror at the girl he had just decapitated. Although he was wounded, he now had enough control over his body to run from the camp as fast as he could, leaving Luna laying on the ground a few feet from her leg. Her screams filled the camp as the Viho began to come to their senses and flee with their leader. Those who were too deeply intoxicated by the scent of humans were surrounded and promptly slaughtered.

Sam was kneeling at Luna's side in an instant. Cheveyo rushed to put out fires that had spread throughout the camp and children began to come out of hiding. Others carried the wounded to the tent designated for them while lesser healers hurried to take care of their peers. Amid the chaos, Sam scooped Luna into his arms and brought her to the nearest fire. He set his sword onto the rocks of the campfire, waiting as the blade became bright fiery orange. The scent of burning flesh filled the air, joining a sudden scream that came with the cauterization of Luna's thigh. After the job was finished, the blonde woman's skin began to return to a pale white.

Her body knew she was safe, triggering another metamorphosis. She was slipping into the same form that Bellona had been in when she first saved the three humans: her eyes were blinded while she became as pasty as a ghost and her hair stayed a vivid platinum blonde.

"Is it over?" Scarlett questioned as she wrung her hands," Are they gone?" The baby in Jupiter's arms began to whine quietly. Another child in the camp wailed somewhere amid the chaos.

"It never ends. But yes, for the moment, it's over," Alice replied with a sigh.