The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 22 (v.1) - Ryu

Submitted: November 27, 2017

Reads: 143

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Submitted: November 27, 2017

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The Leader's Hall in the Winter Caverns was a large room with silver crystallized walls, a black stone ground, and a mirrored roof. A raised platform of frosted ice stood on the back wall of the room, where three Winter Demons stood. Each had the same white skin, animalian ears, blue demonic eyes, and metal-scaled hands and claws. 

Farthest right was the spirit-walker, who was a short female with ratty blue-streaked white hair, and she wore dark robes. One eye was frosted, and she wore a circlet made from draped copper chains, supporting a blue gem on the forehead. The demon in the middle was another female with silver hair, and she wore a blue knee-length dress. This was Dramega, the ancient leader of this tribe. On her head was a silver crown, the shape having the Winter crest on the forehead.

Zinia stood to the left of the other two demons, and looked more like a shady village bum than a demon beta. Leiytning and Timbur both reflected signs of slight impatience.

Dramega was first to speak, "Greetings, Zyreans. I can't say I was expecting to see you, of all races, here in our territory. Still, I welcome you."

Leiytning only grunted in response, making Timbur translate by actually saying 'thank you.' This was typical; sometimes the leader seemed to have his own language or way of saying things.

"Might I ask what brings you by?" Dramega inquired.

Leiytning finally spoke, "Forgive me, as for obvious reasons, I'd usually handle this subject with a bit more care. Unfortunately, I find myself a bit rushed. So I'll get the point; your trouble with the Aubades is what brought us here."

Zinia immediately facepalmed, while Dramega seemed irritated by the reference. 

"You have a lot of nerve to speak of that," Dramega growled. "We are still grieving and trying to recover from the outcome of that wretched battle."

"I did not want to come at a time like this," Leiytning responded. "But it's better to get this resolved sooner rather than later. I'll assume that your isolation has prevented you from hearing what's happened in the rest of the Northern Territories?"

Dramega seemed to calm down, but was now looking confused. She muttered, "Isn't this looking to be a nice conversation? What do you mean by 'trouble'?"

"It is what it is," Leiytning explained. "The Aubades have been causing trouble for everyone, lately. They're not only acting out-of-ordinary in general, but they've begun to start a trade circle with very random races. Most likely to improve her weapons and armor, or find new ones. In the process, she attacks others, and has already caused the extinction of an entire small gargoyle tribe."

"She attacks when anyone denies her trade offer," Timbur continued. "I'll assume this is what happened to you?"

Zinia negatively shook her head. "The ringleader sylph, a blonde lieutenant, mentioned something about a trade after he fled, but they really attacked us for no reason. They came into our caverns, interrogating and killing others to get to Dramega. Eight of us are dead, not including Dinragen."

Timbur exchanged a glance with Leiytning, and could tell they were both thinking the same thing. This was the first time that the Aubades attacked for no reason.

"Do you know what this means?" Asked Dramega.

"Sorry, but no," Leiytning answered. "This is the first attack that's happened for no reason."

Dramega sighed, clearly troubled. "And how many others have they attacked?"

"The Kaens, the Aquarus gargoyles, and then you. It's obvious she has her eye on demons, not surprisingly. There's no other connection, though. No way to tell where she'll strike next, to be precise."

"So they could just kill off an innocent tribe for absolutely no reason..." Dramega murmured.

"Now you understand why we hate Aubades," Timbur remarked.

Zinia sneered at that. "Yeah, I think we do, too."

Dramega was going to speak, but before she could continue, a horrid cackle sounded, breaking their attention. It came from the old spirit-walker, who was fiddling with some voodoo trinket in her hand. A necklace chain, and at its end was a goat's eye. This helped to reinforce the fact that she might've been, as one would say, 'off.' When she spoke, it was in a raspy tone that matched her appearance.

"The black omens are coming true...I was warned that dark times are ahead of us all. Everyone from the Aubades to the Zyreans, or from orcs to elves. All of us are in danger."

"What does that mean?" Asked Timbur. "And how do you know?"

The hag laughed before saying, "I am a spirit-walker, after all, and a good one at that. I know how to read the omens. You would be able to, as well, if you had yourselves a proper spirit-walker."

Timbur's eyes narrowed to a glare. "Watch it."

The hag grunted. "Fine, fine, I'll stop myself there, but consider yourself lucky. You Zyreans seem to have a problem with hiring disgraceful spirit-walkers. Even the one beforehand was no better-"

Leiytning cut her sentence short. "Just stop and get to the point, now."

Again, the hag grunted and looked unamused. Still, she offered an answer. "I know what's happening to cause this. Several gods of different afterlife realms are upset, and it is throwing us all out of balance. A few gods actually destroyed themselves by making their own kind go extinct. It is why so many corrupted gods, little more than misshapen monsters, have been appearing in the realms."

Timbur was clearly confused and slightly stunned by this information, and Leiytning was also surprised to hear this. Simply because it was highly unusual; even their own gods had not given up yet, and the Zyreans probably held the least amount of hope for survival.

"That can't be right," Timbur insisted. "For anyone but pure mortals, a god and afterlife are needed to survive. One wouldn't just waste its own creation."

"Oh, but it's true," the hag chimed. "I, Zikara, have seen it for myself. It is like an artist at work, you see. When a god finds a bad enough flaw in their work, the people they evolve, they abandon it. There is one difference between the artist and a god, though. An artist can try again and again, but a god only has one chance. That is why so many monsters- not people, but random mutations roam free. They were the start of a work, but became ruined after being abandoned by their god. Some beasts were made because of that. But what happens to those gods? No one believes in them. No one has faith. They lose divine power and become corrupted. They turn into spiritual monsters that us spirit-walkers have to destroy."

"Do you know why so many gods are corrupting themselves?" Asked Leiytning.

"No, I do not," Zikara continued. "Unfortunately, their intentions are unclear, and the omens are blurry. To be expected, but it's worse than usual. They're trying to cover their tracks. All we need to worry about is the fact that their odd actions are giving an apocalyptic effect to the real world. If this continues, there will only be more panic, more death, more monsters; overall, more chaos."

Dramega intervened, "Perhaps the gods will fix themselves, but we need to focus on our own world for the time being." She looked to the opposite leader. "Leiytning, my kind cannot continue this way. Another hit could cause even worse damage, especially after being weakened. I know it must be hard for you to communicate with us, but I must ask that you keep us updated. In return, we'll do what we can to help you. I can offer not much, unfortunately, but...I can try."

"A generous offer," Leiytning replied. "But there's no need for payback. I can send my messengers to give you reports on sylph behavior and movement. Hopefully, things will begin to die down, but it doesn't look like it."

Dramega sighed. "To think this could happen to us...Either way, thank you for-"

Suddenly, the sound of a slow clap was heard. 

When the demons acknowledged the source, a familiar figure in the doorway, Timbur and Leiytning became irate. Dramega seemed both frightened and surprised, reaching for a dagger hidden in the sheath on her back.

The enemy, Chiro, used obvious sarcasm. "You're a genius, Dramega. You get attacked, so your first reaction is to turn to these morons? Maybe Leiytning, but this runt's hopeless."

The term 'runt' made it so that Timbur had to be restrained (by Leiytning) from attacking right there. Leiytning spoke over his apprentice, his eye narrowed to a glare.

"Chiro, haven't you caused enough trouble for one day?"

Meanwhile, Zinia seemed enraged, and snarled the words, "You...You're the bastard who killed my brother!"

"The stupid beta that thought he could win against me," Chiro taunted. "Nothing personal, just business. Oh, and speaking of stupid betas..." He pointed at Timbur. "Should I kill the runt while I'm at it?"

Timbur unsheathed his machete. "I'd like to see you try, you worthless scumbag!"

While others stood their ground, Zinia was already off the platform, charging at Chiro with an unsheathed sword. However, Chiro blocked her attack and threw Zinia to the floor.

Dramega quickly commanded, "Zinia, get away from him!" 

Though she was intent on destroying Chiro, Zinia gritted her teeth and forced herself to step back.

"Honestly, Chiro, are you really dumb enough to try an attack like this?" Leiytning impatiently asked. "You're outnumbered, when it would only take one of us to kill you without your little posse."

Chiro sneered at that. "One of you? All of you would die in a fight against me, even you."

"Say that to every Hitai before you," Leiytning responded. "That is, you can say it to their headstones."

Annoyed, Chiro continued with his ambush and whistled in an odd fashion. Six sylphs flooded in when hearing the signal, stopping behind him. Each wore silver armor and held swords or crossbows. All but one, who wore a lighter, more mobile version of a lieutenant's armor, and held two smaller swords.

"Be careful, warriors," Zikara warned. "He may not look like much, but that speed-fighter is just as much of a threat."

Ignoring the taunts, Dramega interrogated, "Why are you doing this? You've already killed Dinragen. What more could you do? What do you even want to achieve from this?"

"I thought it was obvious," Chiro replied. "Truth is, I don't give a damn about the beta. He was just getting in the way, just like what this new one is doing. I just want you. More specifically, I want your spine torn in half!"

"What did we ever do to you?!" Dramega snapped.

"You ask a lot of questions," Chiro muttered. he unsheathed his sword and pointed forward. "Aubades! Kill the betas and the spirit-walker! I'll take care of Dramega. Ryu, see if you can hold off ol' one-eye. He shouldn't be too hard of a target anymore."

"Strange choice of words," Leiytning muttered, unsheathing his spear.

The very second that Chiro gave the signal, his posse charged forward and attacked. To the demons' discontent, the Leader's Hall became lit with the heat of battle. Timbur and Zinia both met the attack and agreed to protect Zikara, who was clearly unable to fight. 

The new speed-fighter, Ryu, now stood across from Leiytning. Unlike most lieutenant armor, this one had a lightly-built helmet, but piercing blue eyes still glared at Leiytning with an intent to kill.

Still suspicious, Leiytning tried getting some answers through interrogation. "You're new aren't you?"

Ryu nodded, raising his swords.

Leiynting continued, "And since when does Corelia train speed-fighters?"

"Corelia didn't train me," Ryu coldly responded. "My father did, and his efforts won't be in vain."

"I'll believe that when I see it," Leiytning muttered.

Without warning, Ryu rushed forward at an alarming pace, both swords aimed at the demon. Such a lightweight opponent meant Leiytning blocked the attack as if he were repelling a fly. Still, the relentless lieutenant shot back and struck with blows that lasted only a blink, but Leiytning blocked or dodged with equal or greater speed, making Ryu more and more irritated.

This irritation made Ryu charge forth, lashing out like a cobra. Leiytning dodged by an inch, slammed a knee into his slightly-exposed gut, and shoved him to the ground with enough force to crack his skull even through the helmet. Ryu lay dazed until he saw the glint of a spear, and he rolled out of the way in time to avoid a fatality. He jumped to his feet, flipping his swords in hand.

With that, Ryu continued with a flurry of attacks. Left and right, he threw countless slashes at him. Still, the only successful hits did not daze Leiytning in the slightest, who would even block some with his bare arm like it did nothing. Ryu clearly felt like it was a taunt; a way of saying how weak he was. Between that taunting and his failure to strike, his anger began to rise.

However, this anger began to make his thought process slow, and it costed him. When Ryu's sword blocked a spear-attack, he did not account for the fact that Leiytning, an electric element, shot a wave of electric energy through the metal spear and sword, and to the sylph. 

Ryu's entire arm felt like he had no control, and it jerked violently. Leiytning took this chance and slashed him, leaving a long slit across his neck, and administered a punch to the face with his metal hand. Ryu, again, moved away before the fatal strike could be landed.

Still suspicious, Leiytning felt confused as to why his energy felt depleted, and why his electric attack had so little effect.

This is taking far more energy than it should...

Shadow Star spoke up, as well. 'If you feel depleted, it's because you're subconsciously using more strength to restrain your demon. Be wary of that.'

And what the hell does that translate to?

'How the hell should I know, moron? I was a leader, not a medic!'

Shut up.

Ryu attempted to strike Leiytning yet again, but Leiytning dodged and attempted to counter the attack. Still, Ryu was so fast that he dodged and disappeared. When Leiytning saw him again, he was attempting an aerial strike. He had bounded off the walls and was now ready to stab Leiytning through the skull. Leiytning dodged the attack, and as Ryu landed, one kick sent him stumbling back, but Ryu flipped out of the way before another attack could be landed.

"Damn demon," Ryu angrily growled. "Why don't you ever die?!"

Clutching his swords, Ryu rushed forward again, though Leiytning dodged and as he passed, slammed the blunt-end of his spear into the back of Ryu's knees, making him fall. Leiytning kicked the swords aside afterward. 

This did not stop Ryu, though. He dodged Leiytning's next attack, and the following, then tried to punch the demon. Leiytning was not at all tempted to counter or move, as he saw that the only thing protecting his fist was a glove. As such, Leiytning drew up one arm and blocked the attack. The second this happened, Ryu's hand bounced back and the sylph grasped his hand while releasing a cry of pain.

"Your hands aren't cursed, moron," Leiytning taunted. "Why do you think Aubade soldiers always wear gauntlets?" 

Ryu now screamed with fear, realizing that all five fingers on this hand were crooked, and the knuckles shattered. Distracted by his injury, Ryu had no time to react when Leiytning shoved the spear straight through his thin armor. The blade had pierced his heart, sapping the sylph of any life. 

Leiytning ripped his spear from this fresh corpse, blood splattering here and there as he did.

Meanwhile, two sylphs had fled the battle. Timbur and Zinia were finishing off what was left. Dramega was fighting Chiro with a crystal dagger, and a bloody gash in her gut. Chiro had received a hit to the side of the neck, but was still fighting. Dramega dodged another attack, but Chiro was relentless. Chiro swung his sword down, but Dramega fought against it with her own blade.

"Half your patrol is gone," Dramega snarled. "Get out of here while you still can."

"Not until I see your blood spilled," Chiro spat. He pulled back, then kicked Dramega away. The leader landed on the stone floor, dropping her dagger.

"Why?" Dramega growled. "Why us, why me?"

"None of your business, you miserable bitch," Chiro spat. "Just know that all your kind are disgusting and deserve to die."

"What did we do to you?!" Dramega retorted. "Us Winter Demons have kept to ourselves since our evolution; what have we ever done to deserve this? Especially to Aubades!"

Chiro sighed smugly. "Are all demon leaders this irritating to deal with?"

"Depends."

Suddenly, Leiytning grabbed Chiro by the neck, and threw him back onto the ground, forcing him to hit his head. 

Before he could recover, Chiro found himself glaring at the edge of Leiytning's spear, which was threatening to slit his throat open with one quick, tiny movement. When the Zyrean spoke, it was taunting.

"If you piss us off, then yes, we get irritating. Especially when it's undeserved and completely irrational. But enough of that. Now that you're down, we'll be the one asking questions that you will answer."

Chiro only glared as a response. However, now that he wasn't fighting, it did not take him long to spot what lay maybe only twenty feet from himself. 

That sight was Ryu's corpse. This replaced his angered expression with one of dread.

"Y-You...killed him," he whimpered.

"...and?" Leiytning confusedly spoke.

Chiro shot an intense glare at Leiytning. "You killed my son, you fucking monster!"

"Maybe he shouldn't have attacked, then," Leiytning replied. "What do you expect me to do; let him hit me?"

"Fuck you!" Chiro spat, but then broke down and said nothing more.

After recollecting herself, sheathing her dagger, Dramega had rejoined them. The rest of the sylphs had already fled, or had been killed. Zikara was still in her position, humming to herself as if nothing happened. Timbur and Zinia stood close to either of their leaders. Naturally, Dramega was the one to ask the first question.

"What was this all for? Why are you trying to hunt us? Refuse to answer, and we won't refrain from killing you."

"As if I'd tell you," Chiro spat. As a response, Leiytning dug the blade into the sylph's neck, just hardly breaking the skin. Chiro grimaced from the pain, feeling like hands of needles were trying to strangle him.

"I would think it's harder to speak with your throat open," Leiytning remarked. "Answer the-"

"Leiytning, wait," Zinia interfered, making him stop. She unsheathed her sword, aiming it at the sylph while she wore a childlike grin. "Please?"

"All yours," Leiytning answered, sheathing his spear. Zinia gladly put her own blade to Chiro's neck.

"I want to be the one to do it, if necessary," Zinia chimed. "So...Chiro, was it? Why are you attacking the Winters?"

Chiro bit his tongue, refusing to speak. As a response, Zinia shrugged her shoulders, then dug her blade into his neck, breaking the skin. Chiro grimaced, desperate to stay silent, and the sight of his pain made Zinia feel a sense of not happiness or glee, but simple satisfaction. Still, though, he refused to say anything.

"Try more pressure to the nape," said Leiytning. "If you're looking for more pain, that is."

Zinia smirked, then dug the tip of her weapon into Chiro's nape- just enough to break skin and tissue without killing him. The sylph whimpered, his teeth grinding and fist clenched.

"Fucking sadist," Chiro growled, glaring at Leiytning.

"Play nice, sylph," Zinia taunted, applying more pressure, drawing more blood. 

Chiro's face became twisted as he tried to handle the pain. However, after another moment, he couldn't. Not that he even cared, anymore. It was hard to stay hopeful with a blade to the neck, but even harder while staring at his son's corpse.

"Alright, alright!" Chiro cried. "Just stop!"

Once the slow death stopped, Chiro began talking. Zinia kept the sword close, though, making it clear that she would still kill if necessary.

"This is all part of business," Chiro explained. "As you know, there are changes affecting us all. Her majesty, Queen Corelia, thinks that it's the work of the darker and demonic creatures."

"Demons and gargoyles..." Dramega murmured. "But how does that explain the Aquarus gargoyles? They aren't considered a dark race."

"They just refused our offer," Chiro bleated. "Her majesty got mad and decided to lower the risks and make one less enemy. Her main goal is to send the Zyreans to the hell they crawled from, but she has a new objective in mind."

"And what would that be?" Timbur interrogated.

"Why stop at the Zyreans?" Chiro responded. "It's a known fact that the apocalypse is linked to the demonic forces. And in case you haven't noticed, 'apocalyptic' is exactly whats been going on. That's why Queen Corelia wants to get rid of all of you. Kaens, Winters, Animas, and Zyreans alike. All of you are a threat- harbingers of whatever chaos is about to start."

"Since when are we the threat?!" Dramega snapped. "You started this fight- it's your fault there's any kind of conflict going on between us!"

"It was only a matter of time," said Chiro. "By getting rid of you, then maybe this upcoming...whatever it is won't be as devastating."

"You're trying to defend yourself from something you know hardly anything about," said Leiytning. "This whole 'apocalypse' thing might not happen for ages, and yet you see the need to start it early."

"What are we doing to start an apocalypse?" Chiro snapped. "If anyone would, it's you!"

Leiytning retorted, "Because you're blind to it. You can just crawl back to Sybilius and pretend nothing's wrong. You don't see the pain you're causing to the rest of the world, or how much panic it's giving similar innocents. Then again, you never have cared about that, have you?"

"Not one bit," Chiro spat. However, he then gained a blood-stained smirk. "As a matter of fact, we're completing two missions, right now."

"What do you mean by that?" Leiytning interrogated.

"Surely, you realize your magic isn't working right," said Chiro. "And your general amount of energy is dropping. You know why?"

Timbur kicked him in the side. "You'd better start making sense, you little twit."

"I only have one meaning," Chiro responded. "One-eye, you should never have left your sister unattended."

 

 

\\\\\

 

 

Damn.

Zin very discreetly growled under his breath as he saw the group in front of him. All four, himself, Scorch, Seyber, and Jem had all come along this one patrol to investigate a disturbance in one certain clearing. The Wyvern's Clearing; an uninhabited and sacred land that was in constant need of protection from war camps or conquering. 

While the others were mindlessly continuing, Zin lingered behind the group, rearranging his inner-schedule so as to fit his plan.

He thought to himself, It'll be harder to do with these two in the group, too. Having Scorch was already making it hard, mentally and physically, but now there are two brainwashed idiots that could interfere with the plan. But, then again...Is it really brainwashing, or is it just that this is wrong?

While the thought of trusting Corelia seemed very off, Zin always did have that tiny grudge against Leiytning, Thundur, and Timbur. The revelation and emphasis on that one point continued to drive him, Corelia's words constantly running through his head.

Still, a long war like this would never be forgotten, and that's what kept him from completing this task in full.

As if I'd trust Corelia. That bitch is gonna die once this is all over. Sadly, though, she's right about one thing. I know who my supposed leaders really are. They think they're keeping it a secret, but I actually saw. I can't believe it took Corelia's lies to get me to realize that...The rumors were right. Even so, I still trusted them. I'm such an idiot.

"I do not!" Scorch shouted. Zin realized that Scorch and Jem were arguing about something. He watched blankly as more words spill out of their mouths, but they were silent to him. The real world was mute.

Just remember the mission. Your target is Leiytning. If Timbur gets in the way, then he'll have to go as well, but he is the main target. I could've just killed Thundur on the spot, but that wouldn't have proven anything to the others. I need to make a statement, and get them to know the truth. They need to know the hidden truth that these damned leaders try so hard to keep from us.

The trees around them grew thin and opened into a small field. All there was to see was the large plane of grass, and more woods on the other side. A large rock stood at the center of the field. 

This rock looked and was special, though. It was shaped like a three-sided pyramid with a flat top, and each of the three sides was engraved with the drawing of a different wyvern. Ancient texts were inscribed at the top and bottom of each side.

Seyber was first to report, "I don't see anything. We can confirm it's not a behemoth, which is what I was afraid of finding."

"Don't be too confident about that," Scorch warily replied. "Behemoths can be surprisingly stealthy. Ironic, but true."

Seyber nodded, the continued out into the clearing with both hesitance and caution on her mind. 

She had approached the large rock, finding its aura alluring. This because it really was a special stone. The etchings glowed with a white light once she got close, but then dimmed down again after a few seconds.

The glowing made Seyber grin and remark, "That's good."

"What?" Asked Jem. She had joined Seyber at the stone, and when she arrived, the etchings glowed for another second, then died down again.

"This shrine has a legend behind it," Seyber explained. "These woods once belonged to three gods, who took on the forms of what several tribes call 'Master Wyverns.' When they died, this stone sprouted from the earth. If the marks glow white, then it means they are welcoming you to their land."

Jem began to respect the white glow, now. "That's good to know. I don't think I want to anger a wyvern god."

The marks glowed white again when Scorch appeared. "What're you two rambling about? In case you haven't noticed, we have a beast to find and kill."

"Quiet, you," Seyber argued. "We were just saying that-"

Suddenly, Seyber was forced to take a sharp breath of fright. This time, the marks glowed with a red light, and the wyvern's picture seemed to alter, which made the large reptiles look angrier. While Scorch and Jem were confused, Seyber was left surprised. Worse so, she saw that this was the reaction to Zin.

Jem cocked her head, confused. "That's strange. It seemed alright with us. What's wrong with Zin?"

Zin irately thought to himself, Stupid rock. If they actually believe this crap, then it could ruin the plan. Think, think, what can I do?

Before Zin could even think of an excuse to use for the land's unwelcoming statement, Seyber had spotted the one thing that revealed everything. She became stunned, shaken almost, and took a few steps back.

"Z-Zin..." she stammered. "Where and how did you get that?"

Jem and Scorch were confused until they both saw what Seyber was so worried about. This immediately made them uneasy, as well, enough for Scorch to instinctively keep a hand close to his gun.

"Answer the question," Seyber spoke more sternly. "How did you get that?!"

Zin sighed, knowing that he had no choice. It had to begin now.


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