Bryan opened his eyes, and took his silver pocket watch from the table, he silently thought, A little before 6 am. He shoved away the thin tattered blanket and got up neatly. He was only wearing his pajamas and nothing else. Bryan was so skinny that one could see the outline of his ribs. This was all a result of an unhealthy lifestyle and a lack of proper meals every day.

After his lunch yesterday, he spent the entire evening and night thinking about his new life. He had the same leftover food from yesterday afternoon for dinner last night. Even after dinner, he couldn immediately fall asleep. He was too excited for today, which was going to be the start of a new chapter in his life. Bryan thought of a lot of plans last night and barely slept for 6 hours.

He got off the bed and went towards the window and opened it. He found that the spring rain had stopped. The mix of the fragrance of the wet earth and the slight industrial pollution greeted him. Bryan felt his head clear, the sleepiness washing away cleanly. The sun had yet to rise, and the sky was still a color of deep blue, not dark yet not bright.

Looking through the window, his eyes landed on rows of one and two-storied greyish brick houses. These were the slums where most low-class people of society lived.

He hurriedly picked up his towel and rushed to the shared bathroom on the second floor. He had to be the first one to use the bathroom or it would significantly delay him since Detective Watsons house was over an hour away. Although he was told to reach for work at 8 am, Bryan still wanted to reach at least 30 minutes prior. After all, this was his first proper job.

Although yesterday he was still thinking about how to rob the detective, after a night of thorough thinking, his attitude flipped around 360 degrees. Now he wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity. He wanted to educate himself and hopefully become someone like the detective himself. These were his shower thoughts.

After exiting the bathroom, he entered his apartment again and took out brand-new clothes. Although the clothes were of highly inferior quality, they were still new and Bryan cherished them. After getting ready, he cut a small piece of baguette that he had bought yesterday from the grocery store. He stuffed it in his mouth, walked out of his apartment, locked the door and set off for Augustus Street.

He happened to pass by the crowded farmers market. He manoeuvred through the crowd like a fish in water and habitually stole an apple from a fruit vendor before swiftly putting it into his pant pocket. Bryan left the crowded place and stuffed the apple in his mouth. He took a big bite and thought in a self-deprecating manner, Heh, old habits die hard.

22 Augustus Street.

Bryan reached sharp at 7:30 am. He decided to wait outside the villa and knock on the door when it was 8 am.

While standing outside the main gate of the villa, Bryan fell into deep thought. Yesterday while he was following the detective when he was carrying out the play with the old tramp, and later introducing him to the various places and customs of Damascus he felt Detective Watson was very…special. He couldn find a word to describe it, but he appeared to be very mysterious to Bryan. Yesterday, during the day he had overlooked this matter, but later in the night when he was thinking things through and planning for the future, it dawned on him.

It was an inexplicable feeling. Bryan felt like Detective Watson was human but also not human at the same time. This was what his intuition told him and Bryan always trusted his intuition. Growing up on the streets, he relied on his intuition many times in order to get out of trouble. Sometimes he would attempt to rob a few people, but at those times his intuition would flare up, warning him of the incoming dangers. He would later find out that the people his intuition had warned him against, were actually gang members.

Most gangs in Damascus City were complete outlaws. Although they wouldn commit murder in the downtown area, and the area surrounding the church or the police station. But when it came to the areas in and near the slums, they would kill in a heartbeat and the city officials and police wouldn even bat an eye unless someone important died. This formed a strange balance of sorts, with each organization marking their own territories.

Therefore, when his intuition told him that there was something special about Detective Watson, he chose to believe it. However, his intuition never warned him against the detective. Thats why he dared to come here today or he would just lay low in the slums and never appear.

”Mr Bryan, Master James has invited you inside. Please follow me. ”

Bryan snapped out of his reverie when he heard the voice. He turned around and saw Detective Watsons butler standing in a straight posture by the main gate. He was wearing a black butlers uniform with a bow tie. The man looked to be in his 30s with a head full of combed brown hair and a trimmed mustache on his upper lip. Damn, he sure is clean. Bryan thought silently in his heart.

”Okay. ” Bryan responded to the butler and followed him inside. He came across the garden in front of the villa with all sorts of colourful flowers growing vibrantly at the edges. They followed the red stone paved path and reach the door of the villa.

The butler opened the door and gestured for Bryan to come in. What greeted him was a wide living room and a fireplace with a chimney on the right side. To the left were three massive floor-to-ceiling windows that were facing the garden. The floor was made of wooden tiles. In the centre of the living room, there were two long sofas and two single-seater couches, arranged in a square formation. In the middle was a small table made of oak. Past the sofa were two sets of stairs on both sides of the living room, leading to the second floor.

As Bryan looked towards the second floor of the villa, his eyes landed on a middle-aged blond man, with neatly combed hair. He was wearing a white shirt, black pants and a black vest buttoned up. He was looking at Bryan with a gentle smile.

”Boss! ” Bryan subconsciously blurted out.

”Good Morning, Bryan. Come upstairs. ” Detective Watson greeted him.

Bryan nodded and made his way upstairs. Upon reaching the second floor, he followed Detective Watson. They walked the corridor to the left and entered a spacious room. The room was like a mini library, there were two bookshelves on both sides of the room, with about hundreds of books in total. Right across the entrance to the room was a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooked the garden. In front of the right-hand side bookshelf, was the study table with one chair on one side and two chairs on the other.

Detective Bryan approached the study stable and sat in his seat. He then gestured for Bryan to sit. Bryan nervously took his seat and looked at the things lying on the table. There were a few books neatly stacked on top of each other, and a couple of parchment pieces of paper, however, he couldn figure out what language they contained. And finally, there was a globe. Bryan was shocked to find out that there were actually more continents other than the one in which the Belize Kingdom was.

Detective Watson saw him stare at the globe with his mouth agape and chuckled, ”Apart from the Western Continent we are currently in, there are three more continents and a group of islands. They are the Southern Continent, which is slightly bigger than the Western Continent in terms of land mass, Central Continent, which is the largest. Then there are the Eastern Islands which consist of over a hundred small islands. If gathered together, they would be as big as the Central Continent. And finally, theres the Northern Continent which is the most mysterious of them all. ”

Detective Watson patiently waited for Bryan to finish digesting the information. After about a minute or so, Bryan recovered from his shock. ”Wow, boss! This world sure is big. I always thought that the Western Continent was all there was to it. But boss, whats so mysterious about the northern continent? ”

Detective Watson had already expected this question, hence, he replied in a serious manner, ”Very little, in fact, almost nothing is known about the Northern Continent. In the past, there had been many ships that sailed to the Northern Continent in an expedition to explore and colonize unknown lands, however, none of them returned. That is why that continent is also known as the Dark Continent. ”

Bryan sucked in a breath of cold air. He was completely taken aback when he heard this. None of them returned? Dark Continent… He found it both fascinating and frightening at the same time. It took him a while to gather himself. Then he noticed Detective Watson looking at him with a smile.

”This is the benefit of knowledge. It broadens your horizon and as a result, how you view the world changes. ” Detective Watson explained. ”Now before we discuss your work and study schedule, Id like to test something. ”

Detective Watson took out a milky white crystal ball the size of a babys head from the drawer and placed it between himself and Bryan.

”Whats this, boss? ” Bryan looked at the crystal ball curiously and inquired.

Detective Watson smiled at him and instructed, ”Place your palms on the crystal ball, close your eyes and hold out for as long as you can. ”

Hold out for as long as I can? Bryan mumbled inwardly but still did as he was told because he hadn received any sort of warning from his intuition. He then stretched out his hands and placed them on the crystal ball.

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