The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 21 (v.1) - The Runt

Submitted: July 11, 2018

Reads: 289

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Submitted: July 11, 2018

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Time seemed to pass slowly, and others started to take on patrols, leaving their beta and leader to recollect. Without a mission to complete, Timbur was doing the only thing he could think of; the only thing he did besides work.

That is, instead of doing work, he was training for it.

'SNAP!'

The thin wooden target shattered as Timbur's throwing-knife went through it, hitting the wood post behind. The other two he had fired missed the target, though, hitting the ground and bouncing away. Perhaps he would've made three hits, had he not been blindfolded, and one arm tucked behind him. Only familiarity allowed him to hit or get close at all.

This was something he had been working on for a long while. Training while handicapped was something important to have, according to his master. Timbur took the advice, of course, so practiced like this whenever he could fit in the time.

Right now, Timbur was in a room for private training. Not the Combat Room, but an area similar in size, only it was rounded. The ground was rough stone, the gritty surface irritating to his three-toed feet, while the edges of the floor had random ferns and flower-less plants. Ivy and moss covered the walls. The only exit was an ascending staircase, leading back to Timbur's chambers. Opposite to the exit, there was a small five-foot waterfall, the water coming from a random hole in the wall and leading into a small spring.

'SNAP!'

Another target shattered as Timbur hit it with two-of-three knives.

The thoughts of Chiro's battle ran through his mind; every attack and word from both the enemy and himself.

He muttered, "Worthless."

'SNAP!'

A different target, a hanging one, was hit with two-of-three knives.

"Pathetic."

More memories, different from the recent battles, started to run through his head. Timbur quickly turned and hit a target with all three knives. He growled to himself, becoming more irate for unknown reasons.

"Pitiful."

Unsheathing three more knives, Timbur threw them at the roof above. He hit a smaller target, but with only one knife.

"Fucking helpless..."

Timbur clenched his restrained fist, his poorly-controlled anger continuing to seethe. He unsheathed two knives, throwing them at a target hidden behind ivy. One hit the bullseye, while the other hit somewhere else on the target. He growled to himself again.

"Wretched."

As Timbur realized he was out of knives, he removed his blindfold. He continued to stare into nothingness, as if still blinded. Deep-seated hate reflected in his green eyes, his ears flattened angrily. His claws began to unsheathe, sinking into his clenched fist. They drew blood, causing a bit of a sting, but he didn't seem to care.

"Miserable...deadbeat..."

Unexpectedly, Timbur unsheathed his machete.

"Vile, useless coward!"

He threw the machete at not a target, but the stream of clear water coming from the wall. The blade sank deep into the wall, almost to the hilt. He had used clear unrestrained force. After all, he did hit his target. The blade was in the reflection of himself, right where it would've hit his spine.

Timbur just sneered, "Damn me."

He took a deep breath, running his fingers through his dark green hair. He refused to look back at his most recent target. The others were completely obliterated; the wood ones were shattered, and the ones painted onto stone were cracked. There were cracks like that everywhere, though, as were there several other gouges in the stone behind the waterfall.

"Still on about this?"

Alert, Timbur hesitantly turned to face the doorway, where he found none other than Leiytning. Naturally, the leader had a disapproving expression when he saw where the machete was.

Timbur's ear twitched. "I don't want to talk about it. And I thought you were on a mission."

"I can't find the threat, at the moment," Leiytning answered. "However, I noticed one of your pardixes got into the depths, so I want you to handle that while I keep searching."

"Right..." Timbur blinked hard. "I was wondering where the third one went. I'll take care of that momentarily."

Leiytning glanced at the machete again. "Are you sure you're in a condition to do so?"

"Of course I am," Timbur responded. "I just recently heard a few things that made me irritated." He growled, pacing angrily. "That stupid, cocky scumbag..."

"That doesn't narrow the list," Leiytning muttered.

"Chiro," Timbur spat. "Usually, I pass it off as nothing."

"That's also a lie," Leiytning remarked.

Timbur's ear twitched. "Alright, so maybe I like to take it as a challenge. But this time, he dug in his heels. Using desperate ramblings from when my sister was dying in front of me, trying to humiliate me in front of my own army. Thinking I was so desperate to save my own ass that I'd actually..."

Suddenly, Timbur lashed out in his fury, kicking one of the wooden targets. The board shattered, reduced to a bunch of chips on the ground. He didn't look any less calm or collected.

He spat, "And if I hear the word 'runt' one more time, I'm going to lose it! Nonstop, every fucking day, it's the same thing over and over again! Hear it on the battlefield, come back expecting it to stop, only for your stupid siblings to tease and taunt you like some child. Even when you're older than them!"

"So Jem?"

"Mentally!"

"Ah. That makes more sense."

Timbur punched another board. "Fuck my life!"

Leiytning grunted. "While anger clearly helps your combat, I don't think the rest of this is good for you."

Timbur raised either of his hands. "I'm fine, I have things under control."

"Really?" Asked Leiytning. "Then you must be aware that you were meant to be finishing a patrol about ten minutes ago, even though you didn't appear for the start."

Timbur's ears pricked. "Wait, what? How the hell did I..." He growled, "Idiot- stupid fucking idiot! Sorry about that."

"My point exactly," Leiytning muttered. "Rant as you will, just please make sure things are taken care of, first. I usually wouldn't care, but things are hectic right now. Not to mention, we have the others for ditching work, and I can't do everything."

"Of course," Timbur replied. "My apologies..."

Timbur looked down, clearly still thinking. The odd look -a cloud of rage- still hadn't left his eyes, and his body language made it more than clear that he was very uncomfortable. sure enough, as Leiytning waited just another moment, Timbur took the hint.

"Leiytning," he spoke. "I have to ask again."

Leiytning sighed, irritated. "How many times am I going to give you the same answer?"

"That's the problem," Timbur muttered. He looked down, distant. "...Something tells me that Chiro wasn't lying. I'm a pitiful excuse for a demon beta. He called me out on it, and I think half the reason it ticks me off is because it's true. As much as I hate to agree, he had a point worth more than ignoring."

"I find that hard to believe," said Leiytning.

"Sad but true," Timbur responded. 

"Is this what you meant by 'using desperate ramblings, trying to humiliate you'?" 

Timbur nodded. "During that battle in the Scorched Ruins, he noticed something I was trying to keep hidden, but I guess I failed at it. Seeing you struggle to fight off Corelia, then slipping in my own sister's blood..." He sighed, "I guess it broke me. I didn't know how bad Thundur's wound was. I didn't know if she would survive, especially long enough for us to reach the next blood moon." He crossed his arms. "I was scared we'd lose her, and the domino effect would be put in motion."

"You were afraid that you'd have to take the position as leader," Leiytning suggested.

"Even when it came that close," Timbur grumbled, "I couldn't even stomach the thought. So stop giving me that elusive response and be honest; I know there has to be something more to it! This is one of the few mistakes you've made yet, probably the worst. Why the hell would you choose me for this position? Even Thundur..."

Leiytning's eye narrowed. "What about her?"

Timbur shook his head. "Nothing. Nevermind it."

"Very well, but for the record, embellishment isn't necessary. 'A few mistakes' is an understatement, and this was far from the worst. Also, how many times have I answered that exact question? Have you been keeping count?" He muttered, "Gods know I haven't."

"It doesn't help that you never give me a direct answer," Timbur argued. "I know you're one for the 'all revealed in due time' logic, and whatnot, but it's very irritating to the rest of us."

"It's true," Leiytning said blankly. He walked past Timbur, toward the small spring. "You will find out eventually, whether I tell you or not."

Timbur shook his head. "It doesn't even make sense; it's been almost eight-hundred seasons, and I'm not any closer than back then!"

"Time just froze, little got done," said Leiytning. "There's a difference between time and experience, you need both to get any answers."

"That's not how I see it," Timbur spat. "Leiyt, I was a lazy jackass that didn't care about anyone or anything. And everyone's right, I'm not significant in strength, nor strategy or resilience, or even basic smarts." He glared down at his short, scrawny self. "Most of all, as much as I hate it, I am a runt and I'm terrified of being anything more than whatever the hell I am currently. You had Scorch, Seyber, even Jem right in front of you, you know!"

"That much is obvious," Leiytning replied. "Scorch lacks in any strategy and overall leadership skills; doesn't do well on his own. Seyber lacks in strength, resilience, and is terrible in a panic. Jem...Well, is Jem. Besides, it's not like you will find some perfect replacement."

Timbur furrowed his brows. "I'm lost. You just make it sound like gambling. I didn't even have my current skills when you chose me, and I had countless physical and mental disadvantages. They weren't minor flaws, and then there's-" Quickly, he bit his tongue. 

Leiytning sneered, "Let me guess? The Dragon Age?"

Timbur sighed, "I couldn't have been your choice after what happened. I used others, left my friend in the dust and my own siblings for dead." He clenched his fist. "You and Thundur were the ones keeping oblivion-knows how many of us from total annihilation, and when I entered the picture, things turned and I was what stood between you and that tyrant."

"More embellishment," Leiytning remarked.

"But I ran like a pitiful coward. Four dammit, isn't that a strong enough hint for you?! I'm not 'embellishing' anything; if I had spared just one lousy second or minor diversion, I might've been able to stop that psychotic motherfucker. Instead, you got what was meant to be my punishment, just twice as bad!" He groaned, "So there it is; I'm a fucking coward and runt, not significant in anything but screwing everything up. And you actually let me become a leader-to-be!"

"Our fate was not your responsibility," Leiytning retorted. "Regardless, you're not a coward. IN case you don't remember, you ran because you were ordered to."

Timbur watched as he pulled the machete from the wall, droplets of water flying about as it ran through the waterfall. Still, Timbur kept his eyes cast down.

"Truth is, we all played a role in creating that dark age, and there are very few to point fingers at. The rest of us acted sometimes immoral, confused or frightened by the shock of what just happened and how it wasn't ending yet. Out of everything I did in that time-"

"Oh, I can point fingers," Timbur interfered.

"Don't interrupt me," Leiytning responded. "Out of everything I did in that time, telling you to run was one of the few things I did and have no regret about. I never have." He pointed the blade at Timbur. "You, on the other hand, I won't lie; a more honorable outlook was to be desired. But that doesn't necessarily mean everything was your fault. To put it in a way you'll appreciate, you were following orders from your superior, simple as that. You do that on a regular basis, yes?"

"Not then," Timbur muttered.

"Perhaps not, but in times of hardship, people will turn to the higher-status for help. Even someone as unruly as yourself would've submitted under that kind of pressure. Actually, you weren't even unruly; it just took our entire race's domination to make you stop being lazy."

"That-" Timbur stopped. "Actually, that sounds right. Still, I don't even know where you're going with this. If I'm lazy and crack under pressure, why select me as beta?"

"Because of hidden potential even you didn't know about," Leiytning replied. "Let's leave it at that for now."

"Let me guess," Timbur replied. "'All will be answered in due time'?"

"Exactly," said Leiytning. "When you do take the position, and get it through your skull that it will happen someday, you'll understand. In the meantime, please try not to ask this again. I feel like I waste half the day discussing it."

"Guess that's better than nothing," Timbur muttered.  He smirked. "Very well, master."

Leiytning's ear twitched, his one eye narrowed to a glare. Just as Timbur didn't like his own official title, Leiytning didn't like being called that. 'I have a name for a reason,' he would say, but Timbur used it as a taunt to get some payback. Leiytning said nothing, though, only extended the machete's hilt to Timbur.

"If I find this where it was again, I'll confiscate it."

Timbur nodded, taking his weapon back as Leiytning proceeded out of the room. Once he had gone, Timbur stared back at the water, where he struck only seconds ago. He could just as easily hit the right place, again.

The words still ran through his mind. 'I was what stood between you and that, but still...'

"Always get the gist, but the rest never sinks in..." He gained a hateful glare. "This doesn't change anything between us."

 


© Copyright 2020 Raven Akuma. All rights reserved.

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