The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 31 (v.1) - Demon Vs Sylph

Submitted: June 27, 2018

Reads: 66

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Submitted: June 27, 2018

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"Wait!" Kiraga exclaimed, before anything could happen. 

Still in the light of that night's blue moon, Corelia made a suspicious glance toward the Anima leader, but was still aiming her blade at the twins. Her look was prompting an explanation for the outburst. The other demons didn't seem much more understanding of it, either.

Dramega was first to respond. "Kiraga, what's the matter with you?"

"That's not very fair," Kiraga urgently explained. "Thundur's obviously wounded, and why would Corelia want to make things harder for herself by fighting two demons at once? That can't be right; she must be planning something else! I don't trust it!"

"Harder on myself?" Corelia repeated, then chuckled. "Ah, the younger leaders have much to learn, don't they? Let it be known that these two are one, and fight like it. I go by soul count, not by vessel count. As for Thundur's injury, that's just too bad. No one ever said I couldn't choose a wounded demon."

Thundur glared and tried using one arm to hide the bindings on her gut. "Not that it matters. I'll still fight, no matter what condition I'm in. You'll find that I generally overlook such minor things."

"We'll see about that," said Corelia. "I know how you two work; I'll put you both to the test, this time."

"Go ahead," Leiytning spoke, unsheathing his spear. "You should also know how our fights end."

Corelia looked like she just thought of something, and added, "One more thing. Since you're the one I chose, I'll add an additional rule. Since there is two of you, I only have to pin and disarm one to win. Also, keep in mind I chose you alone. No one else can interfere, and that includes Hysteric Demons."

"We figured that, already," Din impatiently spoke. He then grunted and glared at the twins. "And I swear, if you lose, I'll kill you myself."

Thundur only gave a dismissive 'shut up' in response.

Corelia continued, "Basically, a duel to decide our fates. Isn't this interesting?"

"This is not the first time," Thundur spoke. "In other words, no, not so much."

The harsh glares were a clear enough hint of what was about to happen. Dramega ushered the other two leaders back, keeping some distance between the twins and the sylph queen.

Corelia sighed, "Always so contrary. Well, Thundur, I came close to killing you already. Let's see if I can come close to doing it again!"

Unexpectedly, Corelia rushed forward, leaping and bracing to sink her sword into Thundur. Immediately, Thundur unsheathed her whip and shot back with alarming speed. Corelia, knowing what would happen, spun around just in time to block an attack from Leiytning.

Thundur quickly attempted an attack, and as Corelia dodged, Leiytning blocked her path with an attack. But still, the sylph moved inhumanly fast and agile, dodging one attack while blocking the next, even when against legendary demon strength. 

As she failed a counter-attack, she fell back and glared at the twins, who stood together. As the blue moon shone down, Corelia could've sworn to see their eyes flash red; the reflection of a half-twisted soul, only one and yet split between two vessels.

As they fought, Kiraga, inexperienced with fighting sylphs, could only watch with utter uncertainty. In search of some answer, she began asking very obvious questions.

"Will they be able to defeat her?"

Dramega's answer was not very settling. "As stated, the playing field has been leveled to the point that none of us can tell. Corelia is extremely powerful, and yet from what I've seen, the twins are not to be underestimated." her eyes narrowed as she thought. "Although, Thundur is wise when it comes to games. She can find a way around the rules and put things in her favor. On the other hand, Corelia might've already done just that, and we didn't catch onto her. They-"

"Will you all shut up?!" Din snapped. "Just stop strategizing and cross your damn fingers that these stupid twins don't get us all killed."

Corelia charged again, aiming for Leiytning but then blocking an attack from Thundur. This continued; the sylph threw flurries of attacks, her blade repeatedly lashing and jabbing like a silver snake, hardly blocking any attacks and only threatening to tear open its enemies. She managed to do so when Leiytning failed to counter, and she was able to get Thundur close enough to strike. However, the tight space for dodging only allowed her to put a surface wound across the demon's chest, rather than anything more fatal. Thundur easily drew back, wiping blood away from the wound.

As Corelia stepped away to catch her breath, she took a sharp breath when feeling a dark presence behind her, and realizing that it took hardly a blink for Leiytning to disappear.

Corelia spun back, ready to strike, but the force behind the opposing attack made her step back. 

'CRACK!'

Though the whip only indented her armor, Corelia stumbled forward, where Leiytning continued by slamming the end of his spear into the small space between the armored plates on her gut. As the whip snapped again, she felt it coil around her neck tight, beginning to strangle her hard enough to feel like she was about to be decapitated. When seeing the glint of the spear's blade, though, she kicked out, shoving Leiytning back, and quickly escaped from her ensnarement.

Then, Corelia took a deep breath, one hand to her bruised neck as she wheezed, "Damn you."

Of course, the fight was not over so quick. Neither had been pinned or disarmed.

As she saw Leiytning vanish again, Corelia shot away just in time for a spear's blade to miss her side. She blocked Thundur's following attack, then rolled out of the way of Leiytning's attack. The second she avoided, she drew her blade up with quick and deadly force, managing to put a deep gash in Leiytning's arm. He hardly winced from the attack, and only blocked her next attack. 

However, Thundur struck her hand with the whip, followed by Leiytning's melee attack, and a claw-strike from Thundur; both twins striking and dodging to follow the other at perfect timing, almost robotically. Corelia angrily grunted, then lashed her blade out and stopped another attack, cutting open thundur's palm and fingers in the process. Afterward, she rushed aside to avoid any more hits.

Throughout this all, something strange could be seen. Their wounds were appearing on the other; Leiytning had a gash in his chest and hand, and Thundur had an indent in her arm, even though Corelia had not hit either them there. For this was the effect of the blue moon. It made the blood twins' bond, therefore spirit, overdrive and become stronger. It honed their skills on the battlefield, but also made it so that even the smallest wound would instantly appear on the other.

Though things started rough, Corelia was still confident in her own ability. She kept thinking to herself,

Your strategy is tricky at first, but then it becomes more predictable as the fight goes onAnyone would think that having two fighters would mean one attacks while the other only joins in when needed, or that both attack simultaneously to overwhelm the opponent. You do neither. You use each other as a way of protection while one is vulnerable, meaning it's all the harder to predict or penetrate defenses. It is clever, but has its faults.

Corelia charged again, aiming at Thundur. She spun back before finishing the attack, though, and lashed her blade into Leiytning's gut. As this went on, Corelia looked deeply and saw the same strategy she thought of; the second one struck, the other countered for the vulnerability. Thundur's attacks were fast and light, leaving Leiytning to deepen the wound with his own strength, while Thundur kept countering any attack that Corelia threw at him.

However, Corelia used this to her advantage. The second she dodged Leiytning stealthy attack, she waited patiently for Thundur to come running in to follow. Sure enough, she reached back, then grabbed the whip, even if it cut her hand, and used this very short timeframe to continue. Before Leiytning could intervene, she pulled Thundur by the wrist, pinning her arm and using her to block an attack. Naturally, Leiytning pulled back faster than one could blink, and Thundur's trust made it so that she didn't even blink from the failed attack.

Corelia used the opening; before the demon escaped, she threw Thundur aside and kicked Leiytning with all the strength she could muster. In the process, she grabbed his spear and threw it aside, punching him again. Afterward, she spun back, threw another powerful kick at Thundur, leaving her dazed, then threw her whip aside and braced to end the fight; she only needed to pin one, after all.

A sinister grin crossed her face, and Corelia raised her sword. "This time...I win!"

"Think again."

The sylph gasped as she felt a dull blade sink into her side, the wound spewing blood as a shockwave of pain ran throughout her core and legs. She felt sickeningly warm blood running from the wound, fire scorching her insides. Corelia yelped with pain, stepping away with a silver dagger still buried in her flesh.

Thundur taunted, "You never said anything about us having to use one weapon."

Corelia grimaced from the sting, but raised her sword again, ready to return the favor and sink it into Leiytning. 

However, a whip coiled about her hand, tearing the weapon from her grasp. Leiytning once again hit Corelia, landing an attack on her face, which dazed and cut her. Afterward, he kicked her to the ground, where one crack of the whip kept her hands bound behind her, the studs on the weapon digging into her flesh. Leiytning kept one foot on her gut, preventing her from moving, and held his spear to her throat.

Corelia glared at the blade before her. "Touché."

Meanwhile, Kiraga gaped at the sight. "Th-Th-They won..." Almost instantly, she gained a wide grin and looked childishly excited and giddy. "They won, they won! The demons win!"

Thundur smirked as she glared down at the sylph. "Yes, they do."

Corelia was clearly unfond of this taunting. "Shut it, whore."

Leiytning knelt beside her. "You first." He suddenly flicked the dagger burrowed in her side. Corelia yelped again, but did only that. She took a deep breath, glaring at him.

"You think I haven't endured worse?" She growled. "Please, I've been fighting you for two-hundred years, damn sadist."

"Convenient topic to bring up," Leiytning remarked. "Another word for doing that; stalling, procrastinating, putting off, and so on." He sneered, "How shocking, Corelia is already trying to think of a way to weasel out of her deal."

Corelia impatiently grunted and retorted, "Alright, you win. We can start debating on what the deal is. Now get your damn dagger out of me; this fucking hurts!"

Thundur kept a close eye on Corelia, watching for shifty movements, but still freed her hands all the same. Leiytning ripped the dagger from her flesh, flicking the blood off before sheathing it. Corelia stood, hiding her unease while keeping one hand clasped over the wound in her side. 

From there, she returned to where the mark on the ground was. That is, the strange mark that had been made from faint orange light and her own blood. All five demons were present, looking satisfied by their victory, though no one broke the outer ring of the symbol on the ground.

Corelia sighed irately. "I didn't think you'd actually win. I thought that at least the spell I gave Zin would be there, or maybe Thundur would still be weak...Although, I suppose it's no use fighting now. I'll keep my word, just this once. I have to relinquish at least one thing, and we can debate about anything else."

Dramega nodded, then started, "Please state the guidelines that first come to mind, and be specific. We can work from there."

Corelia responded blankly, "I'll stop the trades, but the war gets to continue. I'll fight who I like, but it's that clan's problem, and you get to mind your own business."

"Moron!" Din hissed.

"That's ridiculous!" Kiraga exclaimed. "We're not going to let you start a national war. That's exactly what we're trying to prevent by all this! Obviously, there's going to be a bit of a battle, but you shouldn't make a target out of the oblivious tribes who want nothing to do with this! It's not their fault they don't want to partake in a war!"

"Try it vice-versa," Dramega patiently replied. "Keep your trade circle, but enough with your attacks. Leave the others in peace."

"Of course not!" Corelia argued. "To fight dangerous beings is exactly why I started trading in the first place!"

Din groaned angrily. "Then what else is there?!"

Instead of responding, Corelia gazed at the ground with deep thought. Once more, she was thinking of a way to avoid the deal entirely, or trick them by creating one she could get around with a few tricks. 

Think...I can't fight several armies joined together, but I can pick them off one by one. If I could find a few defensive spells to cast on Sybilius, like wards or a shield, I could keep them out long enough. It'll put a dent in my army, but-

This is what made Corelia stop her thoughts, and feel like she had just been stabbed (again). A new spark of thought had been lit in her mind. She sighed as she glanced back at the faint silhouette of her palace, and the Town of Aubade. 

This wasn't just her home because it was a royal's quarters, it was home because there were countless warriors and laborers to make it that way; safe and grand for herself and the others within. Of course, what concerned her most was Maia. She had been placed in a vulnerable position, where she could easily fall prey to the claws of the enemy. Her own daughter was a target, and she was only making it worse by turning her into the secret warrior that she was. A war like what she wanted to wage would surely put her in even more danger.

I need...Stop thinking about the enemy. I may be able to fight these demons, but...what kind of cost would this be? As much as I hate to admit it, we really do get primitively impatient, evolving to violence. Just like the demons themselves, but they are the enemy. I need to refrain from becoming the enemy. Otherwise, what would I be trying so hard to defend? A land of hypocrites, and I get to live knowing we're no better than these damned things? I'd be the next Kita. Not clever or sweet, but a traitor, and to my very own laws.

Naturally, Din was the first to remark on the lingering silence. He growled, "Are you going to think all night, or say something?"

Corelia sighed, knowing that she would have to do something she hardly ever did with anyone that wasn't a sylph. She would have to keep her word and follow through with the original plan. No weaseling out of it, this time. 

"Alright, alright. I think that I have an idea in mind. Animas don't share borders with me, and you haven't done too much to upset me in the past. Happy? I admitted to that. Dramega, my Aubades killed the Winter beta and a few of your troops. Then you killed Chiro and a few sergeants, and I'll assume Ryu is also dead..." She sighed sadly. "And I have to tell that Surei, thank you for that...Anyways, we're pretty much even. So let's try this again; I have a deal that makes sense. It incorporates a few of your requirements, and quite a few of mine."

Like most of the others, Kiraga looked suspect and uneasy. "Go on..."

Corelia glared at Din, her tone turned dark and hateful. "Word of warning, Din, you don't come out as innocent as the Animas or Winters. Not only do Kaens look and act like they never evolved, but they're very hostile toward any innocent sylph who gets too close to the border. For one example, I know a very good sylph who had to watch her family be hunted down by Kaens, and on Sybilius land. It pained me to see her afterward, burned and in tears when she was only a girl. Furthermore, I know too well that she was just one of several tragic cases involving your primitive race. As such, you won't get away as easily as you think."

Din only snorted, impatiently stomping one hoof. 

"Here's the deal," Corelia continued. "I get to continue my trading. Keep in mind that once I give the merchandise to my clients, I can't control what they do with it. If another unexpected attack happens, then it won't be on my orders."

"As for attacking innocent tribes?" Kiraga interrogated. "Others ending up like the Aquarus Gargoyles? How about that?"

"I'm getting to it," Corelia dismissively replied. "As stated, I'll leave the Anima and Winter army alone. On top of that, the so-called 'gray area' can be spared. The Leo Ghouls and whoever else is out there will all be left in peace. However, there is one condition. If anyone attacks an Aubade, then I get to fight back."

Dramega spoke then, "You say that mine and Kiraga's tribes are safe, but that's it. What about the Kaens, and the Zyreans?"

"I already explained why, so don't ask," Corelia responded. "Sybilius will be better when the Kaens are gone, and that's exactly what I'll strive to bring."

Din roared, fire manifesting on his fingers. "I ought to slit your throat right now, you little-"

"Calm yourself, Din," Kiraga quickly interfered. "You're only proving her point." She cleared her throat. "Anyways, Corelia, you'll fight the Kaens, which I guess is understandable? Not exactly, but for someone with your...eccentric thinking. What about the Zyreans, though?"

"I thought it was obvious," Corelia remarked, turning to face Leiytning and Thundur. "Dramega, Kiraga, and Din are all fairly new to me. It's us three have been stuck in this war for countless ages. Why should we stop it when we have a promise to upkeep?" She chuckled. "Don't tell me you forgot that little agreement, after the Extinction Battle. We swore that it wouldn't end there. Even with Shadow Star and Sybil dead, and hundreds of sylphs and demons lost, it wouldn't stop. The Extinction War could only end when either Sybilius crumbled, sending me down with it, or until the remaining Zyreans were hunted and destroyed. We would keep going until one of us was extinct."

"Is that true?" Dramega inquired.

Thundur nodded, reciting the very words from then. "'We won't stop until it ends for good. This fight will keep going until either the last of us die, or your head becomes mounted at the end of a spear, and Sybilius turns into a hell like the one you gave us.' That gives your answer, I think."

Corelia tried to hide her laughing. "Really, if I gave you hell, then wouldn't you have felt more at home?"

The only response to that remark was a cold glare from either twin. Din's disapproving grunt could be hard, as well as Dramega's facepalm. Kiraga just irately pinched the bridge of her nose.

"Tough crowd," Corelia remarked. "Back to business, though. I've stated all the rules for the five of us. I get to continue trading, and everyone but the Kaens and Zyreans are safe until they attack me, a loyal Aubade, or Sybilius. Does that mean we can bind the cruoren pact for good, or is something subject to change?"

Not surprisingly, Thundur added her own rule. "There's just one more adjustment to make. You said that you get to keep trading, but not with who. That's why I'll make it so that you can only trade with the clients who have already agreed. You won't get any new ones."

Corelia sighed with irritation. "Do I get no freedom?"

"We have to be specific," Thundur mockingly said. "The smallest shred of 'freedom' is what you'll use to get out of this pact and play unfairly. It's what you always do."

"Fine," Corelia spat. "I'll keep my trade connection with, and only with, anyone I currently have as an ally. Everyone but the Kaens and Zyreans are safe unless they attack either me or any loyal resident of Sybilius for no reason."

Thundur looked to the other demon leaders. "Well?"

"It's probably the best we'll get out of her," said Dramega. "I say we take it."

"Agreed," Kiraga chimed.

Din grumbled in response, "Guess it's better for it to be just two of us, than all of the Northern Territories."

"Are you sure you're willing to be targeted, though?" Asked Dramega, looking from Din to the twins. "She could kill you, or the rest of your races."

"I'd like to see her try," Din spat.

Thundur glanced at Leiytning. "I don't have to ask for your input, do I?"

"I'm more surprised you actually asked," Leiytning responded.

"Right," Thundur remarked. "Motion carried."

"The pact has been stated," Corelia spoke. Carefully, she held up the same wrist she'd slit open earlier, and tried to control her shaking as it glowed with a faint orange light. Knowing that this was unstable magic, she was trying not to make the slightest flinch or stutter as she finished using it. Sure enough, she did not stutter once when saying the incantation.

"Let us leaders of different tribes be bound to this contract, in the name of Cruor."

That being said, Thundur muttered something inaudible and slit her own wrist open, the same mark instantaneously appearing on Leiytning. Dramega followed their lead, and then Kiraga. It took Din a moment, but the hard-headed Kaen soon enough grunted and slit his wrist in an identical fashion. With this, Corelia continued preaching carefully.

"Blood of each, an offering of binding, has been exposed. Shall any of us go against these spoken rules, then their blood shall boil until the life has been scorched from their vessels. Cruor, may your spirit punish any betrayer; as they lay dying, drag their spirit to drown in your river of blood."

The symbol on the ground glowed brightly for a moment, then dissipated into thin air. The open wounds on each of the leader's wrists had sealed into odd scars. In other words, the cruoren pact was created, and enforced by not just Corelia's own words, but by the evil magic of an ancient blood god.

"Then it's settled," Corelia remarked.

"Better not try to weasel out of it, either," Dramega spoke with a glare.

"I won't," Corelia responded, looking over the horizon. 

The west sky was now dun, while the east was tinted with hues of pink and orange to mark the beginning of the sun's rise. The full moon at the opposite side of the sky began to turn normal as it slowly set. The blue moon's effect was starting to fade, though Leiytning and Thundur still had perfectly identical wounds.

"You say that you won't," Thundur spoke, in reference to Corelia's previous remark. "Yet I have the feeling you're doing what all sylphs do to gain false trust."


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