The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 13 (v.1) - Apocalyptic

Submitted: June 23, 2018

Reads: 130

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Submitted: June 23, 2018

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"Another bullseye."

Chiro, the blonde sylph lieutenant, was surprised to see Corelia, faced away and firing backward, throw a small dagger into the diagram of a crest of two entwined snakes, their bodies forming three diamonds along the bottom of the enclosed circle it was in. It was the crest of the Storm Twins, and the dagger was right at the center of one snake's head.

Corelia chuckled after glancing over her shoulder to inspect the shot herself. "I'm used to exterminating snakes." 

Chiro was standing before her, and next to him, there was a female sylph, her violet armor marking her status as a lieutenant. She was relatively tall, and older-looking, with short white hair and blue eyes. This second lieutenant was none other than Atara; greatly respected among her ranks, but infamous to the outside world. The two lieutenants and Corelia were the only ones in the old observatory.

Recollecting herself, Corelia went on to inquire, "Now, what was it you were saying? About the other lieutenants?"

"I fear your motive is failing, your majesty," Atara explained. "I know having many lieutenants is helpful, but a lot of these newer recruits simply don't have the strength. We just slapped the armor on them and told them to go out. Three have been killed, already."

Corelia looked more solemn after hearing this. "I see..."

"Why do this without the proper training?" Asked Chiro. "There are only eight of us left, and there should be fifteen. They were clearly not ready to take the position."

"It was Maia's idea to try this," Corelia explained. "She thought that having more lieutenants could be used as more of a threat than a weapon. If others saw that we had more warriors as strong as you or Atara, then they would be less willing to defy us." She sighed at the thought. "As you can see, it didn't work as well as we originally thought."

"Real lieutenants are steal being trained, thankfully," said Atara. "As tragic as this was, we'll be able to recover. It'll just take more time, and if we still can't manage without them, then we can call on the two undercover ones." She glared at the thought. "Well, preferably only one of them."

Corelia nodded in assent and took a deep breath. "That's good to know, and much better than I expected. Speaking of training, Chiro, I'll assume Itaro and Surei's is coming well?"

"Naturally," Chiro replied. "It's in their blood to fight."

That made Corelia chuckle. "Is that so?"

Chiro gained a prestigious tone as he preached, "Our blood-born duty will continue to be fulfilled. My father, his before that, and so on were all Aubade Lieutenants, loyal and serving to the crown. It comes with having the Hitai blood to take up this responsibility. Each of us lives in the way of the violet armor; we wear it with pride! And..."

He trailed off when he realized that Atara was trying to contain her laughter. Chiro shot her an unamused glare.

"You dare mock the legacy of the Hitai clan?!" He exclaimed, reaching for the hilt of his sword.

"All that fuss over colored metal," Atara spoke through her more obvious chuckling.

"'Colored metal'?!" Chiro snapped. "This 'colored metal' we wear isn't just for protection! This armor represents fearlessness, power, experience, gallantry, and dignity! It shows other Aubades that we are the ones to defend them from any threat, then shows the threat itself that they will be met with intense fury if they dare to attack us or our fellow subjects! 'Defend peace, defend honor, defend Sybilius,' the code of lieutenants because this is what it means to be one! Be proud that you wear this armor, imp!"

Corelia quickly intervened, "Alright, alright, calm down. Chiro, no one's underestimating lieutenants."

"She just did!" Chiro exclaimed, pointing at Atara.

"I am one, you idiot," Atara argued. "Why would I underestimate myself?"

"I don't know!" Chiro retorted. "God knows what goes on in that enigma you call a mind!"

"Why..." Corelia tried to think of a way to deter them from the subject. "Ah, why don't you two tell me how things have been with Kita? Considering how hectic things have been, I can't help but worry."

Atara sighed at the thought. "You worry too much for a traitor, your majesty. Anyways, we've sent a total of five patrols in there, this last month. Only one, a patrol led by Lieutenant Gara, has seen Kita. While she doesn't really fight, most likely due to her lack of training, no one seems to be able to get through to her."

 

 

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(Twelve days ago...)

 

A group of eight sylphs crossed the Blood Stream, bravely entering the demons' side of the forest. Only one sylph, the leader, had violet armor to mark his lieutenant status. This sylph was a male with slicked blue hair and hazel eyes, and a dagger and sword were sheathed to either of his sides. Gara had a reputation for being a conman and smartass, so when he spoke, it was with a voice that much contradicted the dangerous scenario.

"Remember our plan," Gara chimed. "Demons are to be attacked. If the rogue sylph is spotted, no one makes any move toward her. You just tell me."

That being said, Gara chanted 'onward!' as they started trekking through the Blood Forest. The sergeants in silver armor followed Gara's lead, most being sword-fighter, with a couple archers to break the pattern. As they went on, a feminine archer began speaking.

"Why not just end Kita? It may sound bad, especially considering she's one of our own kind, but she betrayed us for our worst enemy. That's something which won't be forgiven so easily. Others have been executed for treason as extreme as this."

"I'm afraid her majesty has given all lieutenants a clear command," Gara explained. "We can defend ourselves non-lethally, but under no circumstance can we kill Kita. Her majesty refuses to give up on that deceiver yet, and for reasons I'm unsure of."

"But her majesty told those other two sylphs that Kita was most likely dead," a different guard spoke, the voice masculine. "I'd assume that means she gave up."

"She had, at one point," Gara answered. "It must've just been a moment of fury, because it didn't last very long. Once she was given two or three days to calm down, she decided to change her motive from treating Kita like another demon to trying to get her back to us. Not that it's working, but oh well. Queen's rules."

Another guard muttered, "Even though it costs us several lives...And it's for nothing. Kita was obviously the one who killed Shira, meaning she survived that long, but what now? It's been nearly a month since then; she could've been killed by if not a demon, then whatever else is out there."

"I must agree with your confusion over Kita's current condition, but our death toll hasn't been as high as you think it would," Gara explained. "Knowing how 'lucky' we usually are in that area, I was expecting-"

'Tchk!'

"We can fix the problem with your death toll."

That sound and remark made Gara take a sharp breath, then quickly unsheathe his dagger and hurl it at the new speaker.

'BLAM!'

The dagger blew into hundreds of pieces as a thick bullet hit it first. On the other side of the barrel of the shotgun, there was a menacing ginger Zyrean. This surprised Gara, and he was tempted to continue attacking, but then stalled when seeing more Zyreans. Two more, a female with brown hair and a male with a golden sword.

Gara let out a sigh. "Well, at least it's just the three morons of their group."

"Y'know, if you ran as much as your mouth, you'd be the fastest sylph there is," the sword-fighter remarked, with a smirk that made Gara want to punch him.

"So funny, are you?" Gara responded. "Are you also one for rumors?"

"Depends," the same demon said. "I usually only like the rumors I start about you, and your kind."

"Then tell me; anything recent about a sylph named Kita?" Gara inquired.

"Hmm..." the demon looked like he was thinking. He glanced to the side for a minute, and back again. "Y'know, there is. She wanted someone to tell you, 'piss off and mind your own damn business.'"

Irate, Gara muttered, "That's more of a message than a rumor."

"I would've said it myself, but Zin says it better."

Gara was expecting to find Jem speaking, but was startled by the truth. He found Kita standing behind the ginger demon, lingering in the shadows away from the soon-to-be-battlefield. Though this sylph didn't look like much, just a scrawny thing with no training, Gara knew just how important she was, which put things in perspective.

"So you aren't dead..." Gara remarked, then smirked. "This makes things more interesting."

 

 

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Atara sighed as she finished her story, "Kita spoke with the demons and against us. She wouldn't listen to a word we had to say. Honestly, I think getting her to rejoin our ranks would be nearly impossible, at this point."

Corelia didn't say anything in response. Despite her smile, sorrow was in her eyes.

"Don't give up yet," said Corelia. "Neither of you; don't let the heat of battle get to you. Sylphs will get hurt, some may not survive...But losing someone like Kita, and in that way..."

"Why are you so hellbent on saving Kita, your majesty?" Asked Chiro. "At this point, the little brat doesn't deserve your kindness, and you surely don't deserve her insolence."

Corelia gave a dismissive gesture. "Believe me, you wouldn't understand. Please, just trust me. There's a lot you don't know about Kita, and she really was a special sylph. Her betrayal is beyond frustrating and irritating, I agree with you that much, but also devastating. Though it may not look like it, we took a bad hit by losing her."

"I don't see how, but I won't question you," Chiro obediently spoke. "If Kita is was you want, then we'll get her back dead or alive."

The word 'dead' made Corelia shudder upon the thought, but she looked calm and collected as ever. She was good at masking her true thoughts and emotions, as it was a necessary skill to prevent the others from worrying or getting suspicious.

Atara broke the unnerving silence which followed the remark. "We should get back to work."

"Right," Corelia spoke, shaking her head clear of thought. "Atara, I want you to send word to the undercover lieutenants in Lion's Bridge and Citadel; update them on everything major that's happened, mainly about Kita and the new trade sources. Make it clear that demons are to be killed, but not Kita. As for you, Chiro, prepare and approve the next shipment going to the Magma harpies."

Chiro obediently responded, "Of course, your majesty."

Atara furrowed her brows, unable to resist asking, "Speaking of which, why are we getting involved in all this trading? We've never relied on others. All trades come from other sylphs and rarely elves or dwarves, and that's just the small trinkets for the citizens. This is very powerful weaponry, made with all sorts of strange magic, and we're trading it with darker creatures? And the Kaens, had they not denied the offer, we would've been working with..." It took her a moment to spit the word, as if in denial "Demons. With demons, your majesty, isn't that a little too-" 

Atara was silenced by Chiro, who kicked her in a small unarmored area on her leg. The metal boot wasn't helping to stop the stinging, either.

"Don't question your queen, imp!" Chiro snapped. "She has her reasons!"

Corelia quickly interfered, again, "Chiro, please, it's alright. As a matter of fact, I expected the exact question to come up sooner or later."

"My apologies, your majesty," said Chiro, now looking calmer. "I simply work to defend your reasoning and enforce your requests."

Corelia laughed a bit. "And you do so well at it; your endeavorment is most appreciated. Just try to make sure our subjects are spared, will you?"

"Very well," Chiro answered.

Corelia continued, "Atara, as for your question, the trading is yet another new tactic we're trying. See, I've seen odd things happening in the Northern Territories. Originally, when it was only rumors, I thought nothing of it." Her tone turned dark, as she glanced at the wall behind her. "Then I saw for myself. Strange, very strange things are happening...Part of it did all this to Kita, and if you knew the truth behind that odd little sylph, you'd be just as shocked."

"What's her story?" Asked Atara.

Corelia negatively shook her head. "I promised that I wouldn't be the one to reveal the truth, and it's not just Kita. The other parts are just as bad. Small tribes going extinct out of nowhere, beasts acting out, things that should already be extinct coming back from the grave. I fear for Sybilius's safety, and I know the root of this apocalyptic behavior."

Chiro was clearly unamused by this. "I already have a feeling of what you'll say. Something demonic?"

"Yes, "Corelia answered. "In a far-off place, a small group and I managed to dig up ancient texts, about the original afterlife enstated by 'humans' before sylphs even roamed the world. There are several times where they link demonic beings to the apocalypse. Some darker creatures evolved from that original hell's other creations, as well. I have the feeling that's a good enough hint for us, am I wrong?"

"But then why work with demons?" Asked Atara. "Wouldn't working with the harbingers put us in more danger?"

Corelia sighed, losing her patience. "I'm afraid it's a bit complicated, Atara. When everything went to hell, I became much more worried. Things were bad enough already, but it got worse. I killed Thundur, leaving Leiytning to rot with her, so I thought things would return to normal...but they didn't. That's actually when it got worse. Originally, I did think starting a trade would be good for Sybilius. We could get rid of a few weapons we didn't need anymore, and get more money for our citizens. However, then I saw the worsening of those odd events, and knew we needed to improve our artillery, rather than get rid of it."

"So..." Atara was still at loss.

Corelia ignored her and continued, "But now what? What to use? Not just against demons, but anything else that became an enemy, darker or lighter. That's why I decided to target darker and demonic creatures to trade with. Not only would we get their magic and weapons to gain at least equal power, but our interactions might've revealed any secrets, and well as deepened our understanding of these beings."

Chiro was clearly as confused as Atara. "So we're trading with darker creatures for..."

"Their magic and any secrets we can use," Corelia answered. "The Kaens would've been most useful for either of those, and I thought their...'lesser' intelligence would've made them more submissive. That's why I went after them out of all the demon races, excluding Zyreans. However, you saw how that turned out. We may not have any demon magic or weapons, now, but we picked up very few things from them. I'm having the blacksmiths and mages see if they can work with it, but things aren't going well. It'll probably be another dead end." She chuckled. "Seems that repetitive result is the only thing that's remained normal."

The concept of this all finally brought something else to Chiro's mind. Along with that came an idea, and he immediately began explaining. "Your majesty. if you're looking for things to use in a trade, or perhaps to keep increasing our defenses, I think I have an idea. Also a way of getting closer to one of your targets."

"What is it?" Corelia inquired.

"See, when I interrupted the fight between you and ol' one-eye, I also saw an interesting reaction from his apprentice, the small one with green eyes."

Corelia took a moment before speaking, "Timbur, yes. He is the beta, though if Thundur died and the twin-rule took effect, then that would mean he's actually the new leader."

Chiro looked to the ground, in thought. "Is he really a leader, though?"

 

 

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(Twenty-eight days ago...)

 

Chiro ran through the still-open portal that Corelia used to get to the blazing Scorched Ruins, allowing it to shrink and dissipate behind him. He could barely see through the sandstorm, but was intent on sending the message.

Find her...Princess Maia has gotten worse...Something internal is bleeding...We need her majesty, fast! 

To Chiro, it felt like hours he had been forcing his way through knee-deep sand and harsh winds. However, it was truly closer to only fifteen minutes. Eventually, though, the work paid off. He found what he was looking for. 

He was seeing the fight between his own leader and the enemy's. While Leiytning's apprentice was next to Thundur's unconscious vessel, trying to stop the seemingly heavy bleeding from her wound, Leiytning had just retrieved his spear after losing it and what seemed to be his left hand entirely. Corelia stood across from him, ready to continue the fight.

"Good thing you're right-handed, eh?" Corelia taunted while laughing. Leiytning only looked irate. Chiro, impatient and panicked, dismissed it all and ran toward his queen, interrupting the fight.

"Your majesty!" He called.

Corelia looked confused and annoyed by his presence. "Chiro? What are you doing? I told you not to interrupt my battles!"

"I know, and my deepest apologies for it," said Chiro. "But there's trouble. Princess Maia's condition has gotten much worse. We need to use the white magic, the one from the elves, but Shira's been found dead. You're the only other one who knows how to work it."

"Maia..."

While Corelia continued to speak with Leiytning, more taunting him, Chiro inspected the place. Blood was everywhere, some red and some black. His eyes eventually landed on the source of most, which was Thundur's body. The sight made him chuckle to himself, knowing that it would only be a matter of time before she would bleed out. The Storm Twins would be gone; one step closer to ending the nightmare. 

However, Chiro then saw the beta say something under his breath. He looked closer, and saw that while his master was occupied, Timbur let his weak side show. 

Furthermore, Chiro was familiar with this form of angst. He had seen it in his own sons after giving them the violet armor and calling them lieutenants. For someone in Timbur's scenario, however, he couldn't help laughing.

How pathetic. This is who Leiytning, the legendary demon leader, has been training for two-hundred years?  What an utter waste of time and effort. Some leader you'll be, runt.

 

 

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"I beg your pardon?" Corelia inquired, clearly confused about Chiro's previous statement. "Why wouldn't he be a leader; their laws say that the beta will be the new leader once the current one has died. I'm sure that law would be enforced, no matter the situation."

Atara shook her head, reflecting disappointment. "He's talking about a stupid rumor, probably. Something Nagiri or Gara started." She crossed her arms and muttered, "Honestly, those stupid rumors spread so quickly, and they get far too much credit."

Chiro shot her a sharp glare. "I'm not listening to either of those fools. Gara's bad enough, but Nagiri, the stupid smartass, shouldn't even be called a warrior. As for what I meant, I saw something in that beta, Timbur, which revealed a certain...weakness, I suppose. Maybe a straightforward attack on the Zyreans is still unwise, but we can still use them to our advantage. Timbur showed something I've never seen in any demon, yet."

"How so?" Asked Corelia. "What was it?"

Chiro gained a sly smirk. "Fear."


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