The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 14 (v.1) - Chiro

Submitted: November 23, 2017

Reads: 158

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Submitted: November 23, 2017

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Kita watched the portal, waiting patiently for someone to return as she sat in the doorway of her one-room house. Jem and Zin were the only ones left at the fortress, and Kita had become concerned with what was going on. Both the leader and the beta had left, and now they were taking a long time to get back. It had been a few hours, seeing as how it was now eight-o'clock in the evening.

Thinking aloud, Kita sighed, "I wonder what's happening. I hope they're not in trouble."

The fortress entrance (marked by the boulder with the Zyrean Emblem on it) opened, and Zin ran out of the entrance tunnel. When seeing this, Kita was proud that she didn't feel nervous when he approached her. Usually, she was on edge around him and Timbur, as she knew these two were the most skeptic with trusting her. 

Things had been getting better, though. Zin seemed to be slowly lifting his grudge. Even so, Kita did not forgive herself yet. According to Leiytning, Corelia could've done a lot worse than what she had done to Zin and Seyber. Just knowing the risk had made her guilt increase tenfold.

By the time Zin stopped next to Kita, he spoke, "Mortal, do you know where Timbur is?"

"Yeah," Kita answered. "He, Seyber, Scorch, and Leiytning all went off on some mission."

He muttered, "Sounds important. Do you know where they went?"

Kita negatively shook her head. "No, I don't remember. I wish I did, though, they've been gone for a long time. I'm beginning to worry that they might've been faced with trouble. I can't say it would be surprising, but-"

"Are you sure that you have no clue where they are?" Zin interrupted. Worry lit his eyes, causing Kita to grow equally concerned.

"Sorry, but I don't know anything," Kita insisted. "As stated, I wish I did. But you don't think they're really in any danger, do you?"

"On any other occasion, I'd be confident that they'd be alright," Zin explained. "But with everything that's been happening, we really can't be too sure. Corelia has been doing all of this crazy stuff, so maybe she's come back for the rest of her targets."

The thought made Kita groan. "I hope not."

"She's probably waiting right now..."

Worry forced Kita's thoughts drifted as Zin spoke. However, little did she know that instead of being serious, Zin was wearing a mischievous smirk. What she thought was the same worry in his eyes was really amusement.

"Yeah...Leiytning and Timbur don't know that she's following them, right behind the group...just waiting..."

"For what?" Kita inquired.

"TO STRIKE!"

Kita squealed as she flinched and fell over, grunting when she landed on her side with a heavy 'thud.' Zin burst out laughing at her reaction. Once recovering from the fright, Kita had to restrain herself from hitting him.

She snapped, "Stop that!"

Zin finally managed to get words through his fit. "It's even better than scaring Seyber! I've never seen that reaction, but it's great! Four have mercy, you untrained sylphs are like those goats; you just play 'possum when scared."

"Very funny," Kita sarcastically muttered, standing as she brushed the sand from her dress.

"Yes, it is," Zin agreed, despite the sarcasm.

Idiot, Kita thought. I think I like him better when he ignores me.

Deciding to ignore the childlike demon, Kita rolled her eyes and retreated into the room. As soon as she closed the door behind her, Stud came running over to her. The small white dog was able to speak with Kita now that the demon was out of sight.

"I told you that one demon was no good," he spoke.

"Quiet," Kita replied. "He was just playing a joke; a very annoying joke. That's what Zin does, and that's what he is. Annoying."

"They're all trouble-makers," Stud muttered.

"If you actually knew the first thing about Zyreans, then you'd know that-"

Kita paused, slightly startled when she heard the voice yell from outside.

"What the hell is that doing here?!"

"I guess the others are back," Kita remarked. "With...what, exactly?"

Now curious, Kita made her way back outside. Sure enough, she could see that the four missing demons had just returned, but now there was a newcomer that surprised her and, evidently, Zin. The wounded creature seemed to belong to another race that Kita had not been familiarized with.

Zin hastily spoke to Leiytning, both in demon form by now, "Why would you bring back a gargoyle?" 

Leiytning's answer was all the more unnerving. "Corelia recently attacked the Aquarus Gargoyles. Their territory is reduced to ash, and all of them are dead. All except this one."

Zin looked like he was in denial, almost. "You're joking? You have to be- that's just..."

"Do I look like one for jokes?" Leiytning responded with a glare.

This didn't make Zin any less appeased. "Damn sylphs..."

Leiytning continued to explain, "In return for doing the work we give him, this lone survivor will be living in the river at the edge of the Silent Meadow. I want you to take him there and explain our border system."

"Why do I have to do it?" Zin groaned. "Can't you chip in on the work?"

Already limited with patience, Leiytning retorted, "If you don't, I'll throw you head-first into the basilisk's lair. Now get moving, moron."

This seemed to frighten Zin, the only one with a phobia of snakes, enough to make him obey. He quickly gestured for the gargoyle, Lurix, to follow him, and slipped back through the portal. Once they had gone, and things were settling, Kita approached the leader.

"I heard what happened," she remarked. "Those poor gargoyles. What a tragedy."

"No surprise," Leiytning replied. "Wallowing in paradise while they leave others to face hell."

"Someone needs to shove a knife through Corelia's neck," Kita muttered. "Honestly, it's hard to believe that one race was responsible for so much death."

"Are you going anywhere with this?" Asked Leiytning.

"Not really, no," said Kita. "At least, not if you're going to dismiss how this affects our schedule."

That being said, Leiytning merely grunted and started off to the fortress. Kita, knowing that was probably a 'yes' to her suggestion, followed closely. The other three who attended the patrol lingered behind, but slowly began their own approach.

In the Hex Den, all the demons (and Kita) except for Thundur and Zin had been gathered. It seemed Jem had been waiting for their return, here.

"About time you got back," she remarked. "What happened that took so long?"

"Long story," Timbur responded. "'More sylph trouble' is all you need to know for now."

Scorch nodded in agreeance, then asked, "What's your plan, Leiyt? I'm still confused about what's happened, much less what we're supposed to do after it."

"You all heard Lurix," Leiytning answered. "Corelia was trying to trade with the Aquarus tribe, and attacked when they refused. The same goes for the Kaenss, and it seems that she would've killed the Storm Gargoyles if Xarin refused her offer. While we can't be completely sure, it's clear that she's doing nothing good with the things she's collected. Her goal might be to attack us, as always, but it seems we're not her only targets."

Jem sneered, "'Might' be- of course she's plotting against us. Everything she does is to kill, torture, apprehend, or just do something to fuck with us. She's probably collecting things to improve her weapon so that she can finish what she started. She's probably hell-bent on killing you, now that Thundur's down."

"On the contrary," Leiytning argued, "I have a suspicion that Corelia doesn't know I'm still alive. Her new arsenal and strategy was successful in defeating Thundur, and combined with her slightly cocky attitude, she must've had the courage to slaughter us all. But still, she hasn't made an appearance since that battle. She just sends in minor patrols that want Kita above all."

Timbur agreed, "She also seems very confident that Thundur would just bleed out and die, and the other half of her spirit would go down with it. I guess that does make sense."

"Then how do we go about handling this?" Seyber inquired. "If we just keep doing the usual, nothing will improve."

To half the group's discontent, Leiytning seemed unsure. "Honestly, I don't know what we can do. With what Corelia's already collected, I'm positive that confronting her would be a stupid idea. All we can do for now is keep a closer eye on her, and hope we can riddle out what she has in mind."

"Should we be more careful with our missions in the Blood Forest?" Asked Jem.

"Be careful anywhere you go," Leiytning answered. "Corelia was able to access the Scorched Ruins, the Gargoyle Storm-Eye, and the West Draut River. Obviously, the Blood Forest would be the most dangerous place, but with her new transportation method, she could appear anywhere at any given time."

Kita shuddered, feeling her stomach churn as she realized something else. "What about the Dead Beach? She might be able to find the fortress, and ambush us right here!"

"I'd highly doubt that," Leiytning replied. "According to the map that Druitt stole, Corelia's only hint to where our fortress is has led her to believe it's somewhere north of Sybilius. She's nowhere close to finding us."

"Hardly anyone could," Scorch remarked. "This place is well-hidden, hence one reason we settled here at all. The closest inhabited place is the Jungle of Ghouls, and even that would be a thirteen-day trip across the Stone Plains. On top of that, said territory belongs to our best ally."

Kita continued, "And what's across that lake, or whatever it is, that's outside?"

"Actually, it's the ocean," Seyber explained. "See, we're at the corner where one way is the ocean at the center of the world, and the other side is the great West River, which separates us from the Western Territories. In other words, there's really nothing that can get to us."

Finally, Kita felt relieved. "That's good to know."

"The point is that Corelia won't find our fortress," Timbur dismissively remarked. "What she can find is our other territories. We could just be on usual business in the cavern or meadow, and then she'd jump out of nowhere and slaughter us."

"Be that as it may, the only thing we have to prevent that is our own caution," said Leiytning. "Enough of this, though. I'll continue to try thinking of ideas to help, but in the meantime, just attend to your usual work and be careful."

"Very well," Timbur responded, as Leiytning left them. Once he was gone, Timbur began talking to the others about upcoming patrols. Meanwhile, Kita decided that she would get away from the beach and join in on one of the missions.

"Who's helping with the Blood Forest inspection?" Asked Timbur.

"I'll go," said Jem.

"Might as well," Scorch agreed.

Kita was hesitant about them going to the Blood Forest. "Timbur, are you sure that you should go to the Blood Forest, with Corelia targeting you?"

"I'm not going to let Corelia terrorize me on my own territory," Timbur snapped. "And that's all the more reason to inspect the Blood Forest. If we want to keep it as our own, then we need to make sure she stays away from it."

Still nervous, Kita only sighed. "If you say so, beta. I guess I'll go with you. Maybe I can trick any invaders, like what I did to Shira and some others."

Timbur looked as if he were about to argue, but Seyber shot him a glare. Though Timbur clearly did not want to let Kita accompany him, he did not defy any more; just rolled his eyes and continued out of the Hex Den with Jem, Scorch, and Kita all following. On the beach, a thin sheet of snow began falling from the sky, blending white sands with cold powder. It was tinted orange, pink, and yellow from the setting sun.

I wonder if we'll find anything, Kita thought. I hope not, of course, but it's been awhile since we last checked the Blood Forest.

By the time that thought ceased, Kita was already through the portal, and Timbur was beginning to head deeper into the forest which surrounded them. Naturally, he was cautious and kept his hand on the hilt of his machete.

"Be careful, Timbur," Scorch warily spoke. "You too, Kita."

"You don't have to tell me for the umpteenth time," Timbur grumbled.

"Well, if Corelia's targeting you, then-"

"I know the risks!" Timbur snapped, cutting Jem's sentence short. "I'm not going to let that damn sylph prevent me from working on my own damn territory!"

Scorch looked like he was about to argue, but Timbur began walking away before anything else could be said. 

"Sheesh," Scorch remarked, once he left. "How can such a little guy have so much bark and bite? It's almost like- ow!"

Suddenly, a rock pelted Scorch in the shoulder.

"Don't call me 'little'!" Timbur snapped, from further ahead. 

"Alright, sorry," said Scorch, beginning to follow Timbur. Still slightly worried, Kita merely groaned and followed the others through the veil of trees. Eventually, Jem noticed her concerned look.

"Don't worry about it," said Jem. "Timbur may be an idiot, but he's also the Zyrean Beta. He's not to be underestimated. If Corelia or one of the lieutenants is plotting something, then he won't go down easy."

"It's just that he's so stubborn when it comes to submission," Kita explained. "I'm a little worried that it could get all of us into trouble."

Scorch chimed in, "Good point. Like we said, his training isn't complete, so he'll just do what's best for the sake of his master, or for some kind of vengeance."

"You know I can hear all of you," Timbur impatiently spoke. "I'd appreciate it if you'd stop acting like novice-warrior females, and save the gossiping for later."

"Sorry," Kita replied. On the other hand, Jem and Scorch only whispered something to each other, giggling under their breath as they did. Timbur was frustrated by their naive behavior, but ignored it and continued along the route.

Hearing the term made Timbur think to himself. 'Beta'...Still, I don't register that as myself. 

Before any of this could continue, Timbur cursed himself for letting distracting thoughts get to him, and forced that way of thinking to the back of his mind. Instead, he focused on the current objective.

after a few minutes, the sound of the Blood Stream faintly echoed in the air. The thought of getting closer to Sybilius made Timbur and the others sick. 

The false paradise that Sybil built on the lives, dignity, and hope of innocent Zyreans; slaughtered to be sold for a worthless material like gold. Now Corelia was doing it again, to other people and animals that had done her no harm. The Aubades put on a perfect disguise, but the truth still lingered. The truth that the real world was a dark place, full of strife and bloodshed, and the sylphs were only making it much worse by destroying not the true evil creatures, but the innocents and oblivious alongside them.

Corelia's been attacking, targeting, and trading with the most random creatures, Timbur thought. There's no connection between any of them. Well, maybe there is, but it's hidden well. I would say that she's targeting mainly gargoyles, but how would that explain the incident with the Kaens? Or the harpies? Maybe 'darker creatures,' but the Aquarus Gargoyles aren't labeled as dark, and Kaens are clearly demonic...The Aquarus' magic diverts from the 'fire element' theme, too, so maybe it really is all random.

Jem's voice broke the silence. "Look alive, everyone. I think there's someone else with us."

Sure enough, when Timbur inspected, Jem was glaring through the brush in a suspicious manner. Scorch already had his gun drawn, while Kita was ready to unsheathe her weapon and strike at whatever dared trespass on Zyrean territory. Timbur had no need to join in, as he'd been that way the whole time, one hand on the hilt of his weapon. 

There seemed to be nothing but silence, but then there was a rustle in the bushes. Now the tension in the air seemed suffocating, and Kita's stomach churned when she knew that they were not alone.

Suddenly, something shot out of the brush, ready to land straight between Timbur's eyes. He barely dodged, though, and the thing became lodged in a nearby tree. The weapon was a crossbow bolt. 

After the shot missed, several sylphs, each wearing enchanted silver armor, rushed out of the bushes. When one got too close to Timbur, he unsheathed his machete and cut straight through the intruder's neck, all in one quick swipe. The others kept their distance upon seeing this, but had their hands on the hilts of their sheathed weapons. Two snipers with crossbows had their weapons aimed at the demons, as did two sylphs with pistols.

"Ranged weapons," Timbur muttered in a disapproving manner.

"Easy with what you say about them," said Scorch, cocking his shotgun.

As the sergeants got into position, one other sylph stepped through the crowd. A blonde-haired male with dark eyes, who wore violet-tinted armor. He halted ten feet back, keeping distance between himself and Timbur.

"Not this one again," Scorch muttered. "Haven't you caused enough trouble, Chiro?"

"Quiet, ginger," Chiro snapped. "I didn't come here to speak with you, I came here to speak with this pitiful excuse of a demon beta."

Timbur raised his machete, aiming it at Chiro's neck. "Why don't you say that again when you're seven feet closer?"

Chiro responded with a dismissive gesture, "Stand down. I come in peace, I just want to talk, but don't tempt me to break that promise."

"Is that what you said when you slaughtered the Aquarus Gargoyles?" Asked Timbur. 

Chiro seemed surprised by the reference, glaring over his opponent.

"Yeah, that's right," Jem taunted. "We're onto the little game you're playing."

"Why are you doing this?" Timbur interrogated. "You're killing other beings that never caused you any harm, and were almost completely oblivious to your trade game and war. How can you bare to look at yourself after doing something like that?"

Chiro only spat on the ground in front of him.

As one of the snipers' eyes found Kita, she confusedly remarked, "Wait, what's this one sylph doing here?"

"Eye for an eye," Kita answered. "I'll tell you why, if you tell us what Corelia's conspiring."

Chiro sneered at that, "Forget it. I know who you are, Kita. You're a traitorous bitch that was blinded by the monster's sob-story."

"You have nowhere to talk about sob-stories!" Kita snapped, then took a deep breath that hardly calmed her. "Nevermind, this is getting us nowhere. What are you planning to do with the magic you're collecting?"

"None of your business," Chiro responded. "As for you, beta-"

"The name's Timbur, jackass."

"Right, Timbur," Chiro impatiently continued. "We've really come to help, despite the irony behind that. Things must be hard without your leader, am I wrong?"

"What are you talking about?" Timbur interrogated.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Chiro snapped. "I know you're having trouble without those damned twins." He laughed a bit, in a cocky way. "Think you were hiding your weakness during that battle in the ruin? Heh, I saw your fear. You just can't stand the thought of higher status, can you?"

Timbur impatiently flipped his sword in hand. "If you're trying to convince me not to kill you, this isn't helping."

"Might as well admit it," Chiro continued. "You're in trouble. You weren't ready to take the position. But fear no longer, runt. Salvation may be possible for you, yet."

"Oh, really?" Timbur mockingly replied.

Chiro was clearly unamused. "Corelia has a deal for you. In return for your lives, she wants you to-"

"Shut it," Timbur snapped. "Never happening. We're not just to end a war like this, especially in this way. Any of us would rather die than work with that sadistic psychopath."

"Who?" Chiro inquired. "Oh, sadistic psychopath! That reminds me, say hello to your brother when you see him in hell!"

This time, Chiro unsheathed his sword, stepping forward and aiming the blade at Timbur. The demon was clearly infuriated by Chiro's words.

"If you won't deal with my queen," said Chiro, "Then die by my blade!"

"Go ahead and try, bastard," Timbur growled.

Chiro barked at his troops, "Kill the others! Leave the runt to me!"

Even when the sound of battle started to fill the air behind him, Timbur was ignoring the other sylphs. His intent was to destroy Chiro. This sylph lieutenant had always caused trouble for the Zyreans, and now he was doing this.

"You have the audacity to come onto our land, disrespect my master, and then attack us," Timbur growled. "Try to fight us if you can, but the result will be your own demise."

Chiro shot forward, ready to attack. The sylph's sword came close to hitting, but Timbur dodged the attack and tried to hit Chiro's neck. The sylph raised his arm, allowing the machete to bounce off the gauntlet of his armor. The failed attack stunned Timbur for just a second, allowing Chiro to attack, and leave a long slit across Timbur's face. As a response, Timbur countered with a hit to the gut, then stabbed the sylph in the shoulder. Chiro backed away, blocking the last attack, then had to block three consecutive ones, but eventually hit Timbur again. 

"Like I thought," Chiro growled. "Pathetic runt!"

Timbur was dazed, but blocked Chiro's attack then kicked him, sending the sylph flying back into a tree. Timbur took a single second to let his training come back to him.

'Stay focused. Don't let the enemy's words distract you. Remember what your goal is, and don't let blind fury control you. Temper is as bad a vulnerability as panic.'

"I'm trying," Timbur spoke under his breath.

Chiro had recovered from the attack. He was ready to attempt another, but Timbur stayed where he was. Neither the sylph or demon made one move. What Chiro didn't know was that Timbur's one free hand was slowly getting closer to the throwing-knives on his belt.

"I didn't know you were a tough opponent," Chiro remarked. "In case you didn't know, this is actually the first time we've fought one-on-one. But around me, being tough just means you'll delay the inevitable for a few seconds."

In the very second that Chiro raised his blade, ready to charge, Timbur unsheathed three of the small knives and hurled them at the sylph. Surprised by the sudden shift to ranged attack, Chiro hardly dodged one, another bounced off his armor, but the last sank into the side of his neck, causing a stream of blood to shoot from the wound.

"Now who's the pitiful one?" Timbur muttered, stepping closer to the bleeding sylph. Timbur was prepared to hack the sylph's head off of his body, but Chiro blocked the machete with his sword, holding back the blade that threatened to kill him.

"Fuck you," Chiro spat. He pulled the blade back, dodging the attack from Timbur, then tried to slash at Timbur again. The demon dodged the attack.

"Retreat, Aubades!" Chiro shouted.

Five warriors returned from the battle, leaving two dead. They regrouped behind Chiro, who was clearly ready to defend against any unexpected attacks.

Still panting from the heat of battle, Chiro spoke again, "Interesting results from such a minor test. I admit that I underestimated you, Timbur. I thought fighting- er, well, rather killing you would take a matter of minutes. You may be Leiytning's apprentice, but I only see a pathetic runt."

"So help me, if you keep calling me that..." Timbur growled, reaching for another throwing-knife.

"My point is that you're a worthy opponent!" Chiro laughed. "But not for much longer. Things are changing, and without your best weapon around, you'll be the first thing to go extinct. For good, this time."

That last remark made Timbur want to punch the smug look off Chiro's face, but he restrained himself and bit his tongue.

Chiro chuckled. "Aubades, head back and prepare for the next mission; we head for target-five."

Hoping to kill the seemingly unsuspecting sylph, Timbur threw another of the throwing-knives at Chiro, but the sylph had already run back through the forest. His small group followed him away. 

Seeing things settle made Timbur looked back at his own posse. Jem had a gash in her gut, Scorch had received two hits to the right arm, and Kita was bleeding from a few hits to the gut, and one to the arm. Two sylph corpses laid on the ground, completely motionless while their blood pooled onto the forest floor.

"Nobody's hurt too bad?" Asked Timbur.

"No," Kita responded. "It doesn't look like there's anything too serious."

He continued, "In that case, who else heard what Chiro said?"

Scorch grunted. "We were kinda busy not getting killed, so we probably didn't hear much."

Timbur rolled his eyes. "When he gave the order to retreat, he mentioned something about a mission that involved 'target-five.' I think that could mean they're going to attack another tribe."

"Dammit," Jem muttered. "How do we know where they'll strike next?"

"Maybe the Ritin?" Scorch suggested. "From what little we could translate, that note told us Corelia was targeting them."

"I think the Ritin would be hidden too well," Timbur argued. "Besides, it's just a hassle; they'd need special equipment just to reach the top of that damn mountain."

"For where they'll strike, I think one of our agents would report an attack," said Jem "There are more than you think. I think there was a total of seven, last time I checked. Eight, including Lurix."

"And the twins refuse to let us know this?" Timbur muttered, sheathing his machete and beginning to head back toward the portal.

"They probably don't tell us for our own good," Scorch explained. "Mainly for you, because they know you overreact to trusting outsiders."

Kita scurried to catch up with the demons, who had almost left her while she was still thinking on possible targets for the sylphs. "So we just ignore this?"

"For now," Timbur replied. 

Scorch looked unconvinced, but still said, "Alright, then. If you think we should ignore this, we will."

"I don't have the authority to make the decision," Timbur explained. "I'll tell this to Leiytning and see what he thinks, but I'm pretty sure that he'll say the same thing. It doesn't look like there's much else we can do."

 


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