The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 6 (v.1) - Three Morons

Submitted: November 19, 2017

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Submitted: November 19, 2017

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An hour had passed since the previous mission with Savux, and in that timeframe, Seyber tried to start teaching Kita self-defense combat strategies. However, she waited until Leiytning returned, because she wanted his help on account of greater experience. The only result of this all was a disappointment.

As it turned out, Kita was hopeless with her pitiful toothpick of a weapon. She was a natural at avoiding attacks, but fought worse than a one-legged bear when it came to counterattacks.

Seyber discretely sighed. "How pitiful."

Leiytning was growing more irritated, but did his best to hide it. This is what I get for trying to train a mortal.

Kita, who was out of breath from dodging Seyber's barrage of sparring attacks, was desperately trying to catch her breath once more. She still held her small dagger in her right hand.

She spoke with a look of embarrassment, "Sorry, but I don't think I'm a very good fighter."

"No, you're terrible at this," Leiytning replied. "But if you'll be doing our kind of work, then there's a place for bad fighters."

"Really?" Asked Kita.

"It's located six feet under," said Leiytning.

Kita laughed a bit. "I think you can consider me its newest resident. I can't fight, and I've made that obvious."

"If these other idiots can learn, then so can you," said Leiytning. "Now get a grip of yourself."

Seyber was the one who laughed at this remark. "Compared to us, she's as strong as Shadow Star."

"What?" Asked Kita. "All of you could easily-"

"No, we mean before the Extinction Battle," Seyber explained. "We were all hopeless back then. Well, everyone except Leiytning and Thundur. They were the teacher's pet."

"I don't know what the hell you're remembering," Leiytning muttered. "The rest of you were just lazy maggots. If you actually listened to a word you were being told, instead of gossiping like a bunch of novice-warrior females, then you wouldn't have been so utterly useless."

Seyber only shrugged her shoulders. "Fair enough. Anyways, Kita, the point is that anyone can be a fighter. You already have the ability to dodge, which we can expect from a sylph, but it's the attack you need to fix."

"I just don't know what to focus on," said Kita. "What do I need to fix, specifically?"

"Well..." Seyber was at a loss for words. "All of it?"

Leiytning rolled his eye, dismissing her remark. "We'll start with addressing the worst of it and work from there." 

"And what is the worst?" Kita inquired. She watched him drawn near, paying attention to his words and gestures.

"First off, you clearly panic when the attack gets close. Don't do that; it's the biggest vulnerability you can give yourself. Instead, at least for now, you'll focus on your opponent's movements alone, not the amount of danger you're in. Don't try to counter the incoming attack, and don't block. Dodge, then only if you see an opening can you attempt an attack from that indirect angle."

"You're also new to this," Seyber remarked. "It'll take some time to get used to it. Just remember, your strength is in speed and agility, not fortitude or raw power. It's easy to lose focus and just try to demolish whatever you're fighting. However, that's what you need to avoid."

Kita nodded, then grasped her dagger tighter. "Alright. Let's try that last one again."

 

 

\\\\\

 

 

Zin quickly swam upwards, avoiding the glowing death that charged at him. The water that surrounded him was dark. Neither the surface or the bottom of the River of Shadows was visible. All there was to see was the blue-gray wolf and the few beasts that swam here and there. The large, savage fish that pursued him charged again.

"Not me!" Zin growled. "Get the other one, you idiot!"

The large fish spun around and checked its surroundings. The glowing death saw more of its kind beneath and around it. 

Glowing deaths looked like carnivorous fishes that were brawny and twenty feet long, with large pointed fangs forming an underbite. The glowing lure protruding from their heads were covered in retractable keratin spikes- a good tool used in hunting prey.

"Go! Go! Kill it!" Zin shouted at it.

The glowing death rushed forward, clamping its huge jaws around another one of the large fish. Zin growled with irritance at this.

"Not that one, moron!" He shouted, looking at the speedy glowing death that lingered in the shadows of the water. Zin's eyes became glazed with a hypnotic blue magic. "Get the one attacking everything!"

The glowing death released the innocent fish, then charged at the one in the shadows. Zin swam further out of the way, being sure to keep as much distance as possible, but still able to see what was happening. The glowing deaths acted like savages. Huge teeth chomped on fishy flesh, and their weaponized lure hit the opponent around mercilessly.

"That's it!" Zin chanted. "Kill the bastard!"

The water element spotted another glowing death swimming beneath him. It snapped at him once, but he avoided the sudden attack.

"Hey, watch where you're aiming those things!" said Zin. "As a matter of fact..."

Zin glared with his magic-glazed eyes at the new glowing death. This one swam up and spun around, facing the demon, but not attacking.

"Oh, it's you, Fangs!" Zin remarked. "You get in on this fight, got it? This new territorial bastard thinks it's alright to attack everyone else, so he needs to be taught a lesson."

Fangs growled, then charged into the battle between savage fishes. Blood was clouding the water, but Zin saw through it. The abilities that came with being a water element helped in situations like these. He could see through any kind of water, whether it was clouded with blood or dark from the elusive depths. He was also able to swim at much deeper levels than other average Zyreans could, and speak or breathe in water.

Suddenly, there was a loud 'ripping' sound. Zin looked closer, and saw that the enemy fish had been brutally torn in half by Fangs and the other glowing death, who Zin did not have a name for.

"Hah!" Zin yelled. "He didn't stand a chance!"

The new fish swam up to him, while Fangs retreated.

"You've got potential," said Zin. "Hmm...from now on, I'll call you Sever, since you kill so brutally. Either that, or it's just until I think of a better name."

The glowing death snapped at him, but Zin darted back out of the way.

"No!" Zin scolded. "Bad monster-fish!"

"Zin!"

After hearing his name being called from the surface, Zin lurched up, swimming quickly to the surface. He leaped out of the water, landing on the riverbank of black sands. The eerily dark water stood still after just a few seconds. Jem and Scorch, both in wolf form, were at the water's edge. Zin was irritated to see the two demons that had interrupted him.

"What do you two want?" Zin groaned.

"Raven's Cavern," said Jem. "There are a few pests. We need you to replace Seyber."

"Can't you just get Leiytning or Timbur, or the mortal?" Asked Zin. "I'm busy."

"Because doing oblivion-knows-what at the bottom of the river is more important?" Scorch muttered.

"Yes!" Zin snapped. "Who else is going to take care of the rogue glowing deaths? If we let the savage ones roam free, then they'd all be dead!"

"Or you're just making them fight for your amusement again," said Jem. "Would not be the first time. Anyways, Seyber and Leiytning are trying to help train the mortal, and Timbur's busy with his own mission. That leaves you, so let's get moving."

Zin grunted. "Fine, but you owe me."

Jem ignored him, turning back and leading the way through the forest. Scorch and Zin both followed. That's when Zin's words clicked inside Jem's mind

"What the hell do I owe you for?!" Asked Jem, as they walked.

"I didn't have to be a part of this group, so you owe me," Zin explained. "You know our rules."

"There was nobody else!" Jem snapped. "When there's no one else, then the 'owe' rule doesn't apply!"

"Yeah, but I was in the middle of my work with the glowing deaths," Zin argued. "You could've picked either Leiytning or Seyber. The mortal doesn't need two trainers."

"Actually, yes she does," said Jem. "In other words; fuck you, I don't owe you anything."

"The rule was reinforced by the leaders," Scorch remarked.

"No, it was not!" Jem argued. "When we talked about it, Thundur told us to go away, and Leiytning just ignored us."

"And sicced Echo on us when we didn't leave him alone," Scorch muttered.

"Good enough for me," said Zin.

"You're just saying that because it helps your own case," Jem retorted. "Any other time, you would agree."

"Nuh-uh," Zin snapped. "And I'd like to know why the mortal needs two trainers, and why Timbur's task is so important."

"Timbur's taking down a forest behemoth, so that's pretty important," said Jem. "Kita needs Seyber since she's the only other lightweight, and Leiytning because he's better at explaining combat strategies."

Jem had lost track of where they were, and realized that they were already at the portal. After years of the same routine, it was almost as if her own paws knew where to take her. Jem hastily opened the portal and leaped through it, intent on finishing the mission so that her work would be done for the rest of the day. When she, Zin, and Scorch landed on the mountainous stone terrain, they continued along the path until they reached the entrance of the Raven's Cavern. Though the sun was shining, this place was always dark, no matter how much light was let in.

"Let's get this over with," said Jem, as she and the others hopped inside the pitch-black crevice.

"So what's in here?" Asked Zin. "Or were we sent on another mystery mission?"

"It's nothing big, I think," Jem replied. "Leiytning used the term 'vermin,' which makes me assume that it's just too many kuros, or something like that."

Scorch grew irritated by the thought of kuros; aggressive bat-like creatures. "I hate kuros. Let's hope that it's a mindoro."

"Mindoros are practically bigger versions of kuros," Jem remarked. "If a regular kuro bothers you so much, then why would you want a big one?"

"Because mindoros travel in packs of six at most," Scorch replied. "When we fight kuros, we fight a lot more of 'em."

"Huh," said Jem, thinking on the subject. "But mindoros are also stronger. So it's either fight a lot of lesser opponents, or one bigger enemy. Yeah, I think I'd want to fight a mindoro over a swarm of kuros. What about you, Zin?"

"I don't know," said Zin. "I'd probably take on the swarm of kuros."

"We just thought of a new trivia for the others," Jem remarked.

"We seem to be good at that," Scorch agreed.

Finally, the dark path led down. Between the stone walls of the slightly curved trail was the lit entrance of the crystal garden. The large room still had glittering gems sprouting from the roof, walls, and in random places across the floor. Topaz, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethysts, and several other precious stones were scattered about the room, standing out amongst the drab gray stone in which they grew from.

'Grrrrrrrrr...'

Suddenly, a hideous being crept from one of the six paths that led away from the main cave. It looked like the zombified corpse of an elf. Its skin was nearly see-through, and its sickly yellow eyes glowed amongst the shadows. It stumbled forward, eyeing the demons in a suspicious manner. Its mouth looked like a gaping, circular hole in its face with four large fangs.

"A Toxic ghoul," said Scorch. "At least it's an easy opponent."

"We usually get Toxic ghouls here, anyways," Zin remarked.

"Yeah," Jem agreed. "Every now and again, a few will find their way in from outside. Let's just exterminate these pests before they begin messing with our things."

Scorch drew his golden shotgun, cocked the firearm, then aimed it at the ghoul. He fired once, then cocked it, fired again and then one final bullet. The ghoul, taking three heavy bullets to the chest and head, fell dead on the floor.

"Maybe a bit of an overkill," said Scorch. "At least we know it's dead."

"One down," said Zin, "and oblivion knows how many to go."

"Yup," Jem sighed. "So let's get this over with."

The three siblings went down the same path that the ghoul came from. There were fewer crystals on this path, making it darker, but the demon's eyes could see about five feet through the dark. This made the dun environment easy to get through.

"Nothing so far," Jem remarked. "Maybe there was just one."

"No," said Zin. "If there's one thing I've learned about Toxic ghouls, it's that they never travel alone."

"He has a point," said Scorch. "Where there's one, you can be sure that there's another nearby."

All the demons saw was the twisting trail before them. Every ten or fifteen steps revealed one or two smaller crystals that sprouted from the walls. The trail soon opened up into a large, very dark room. Ebony shadows reduced the demon's eyesight, only allowing them to see about two feet in front of them.

"Isn't this the room that the gloom's in?" Scorch asked in a low voice. "If so, then I don't think that there would be any ghouls in here. Also, we probably shouldn't be in the same room as a monster."

"Agreed," said Zin. "Let's turn back."

Scorch was the first to turn back and leave, and Zin followed closely. While her brothers left, Jem stayed at the entrance, peering at the veil of black before her. Her animal-like ears were pricked. A small voice was whispering in her head. She knew that something was off. She glanced at the path that led back to the cave, but then back at the dark room. Though hesitant, Jem made her decision. The earth demon stepped into the dark room. Each step seemed to drag on forever, and only moved one foot with each slow, hesitant stride.

I've been in this situation before...

The next step acted as the key to a vision. Jem could see a place from the distant past; one that still haunted her. The small ditch where she had just woken. The smoke and orange hues of fire that tinted the sky. All Jem wanted to do was run. She knew what horror this scene would show. The simple fact that almost everyone she knew was dead.

The following step snapped her back to reality. She had barely moved a few feet into the room. Though Jem acted brave, her limbs were trembling.

Pull yourself together. The past is dead, but I am alive. The living shouldn't be indulging in dead memories.

Quickening her pace, Jem continued through the darkness. Suddenly, there was a small flash. Jem halted, not wanting to go forward anymore. Even so, she silently drew her mace and forced herself to keep going. The flash came from a patch of several small dark crystals that sprouted from the ground. Something was on the crystals, though. Another step forward revealed that the thing was none other than a gloom; a large two-legged beast. Razor-sharp claws stood at the end of its small arms, its entire body was covered in dark feather-like scales, and a long tail draped behind it. The beast was breathing in an unnaturally hard, labored way. Jem saw that white froth was coming out of its mouth, and its only movement was a small twitch in its digits.

"Hey!"

Jem flinched and took a sharp breath of fright after hearing Scorch hiss at her in a quiet voice. Both of her brothers had come back. They both kept their distance from the gloom.

"What the fuck are you doing?!" Zin hissed, also trying to keep his voice low. "Get out of here before that thing wakes up!"

"It's alright," Jem spoke in a quiet voice. "It was poisoned. This temporarily solves the gloom problem, and also acts as evidence."

Suddenly, there was a loud 'crack' that came from behind them. Jem grasped her mace tightly, looking at the surrounding environ. Zin and Scorch were both on edge. Scorch cocked his shotgun, while Zin unsheathed his sword.

"Evidence," Jem continued to speak, "that there's a ghoul or two in this room."

'Grrrrrrr...'

A low growl came from the left. This ghoul was not the only one, though. When Jem gazed to her right, there were two gleaming, glazed yellow eyes. Another set was hardly invisible in the more distant dark.

"Three?" Jem spoke, chuckling to herself. "Hardly even a challenge, but they sure as hell can't stay here."

One ghoul growled, and stepped closer. The other two ghouls copied. Jem raised her mace, pointing it at the set of amber eyes in the dark.

"So come at us, bitch!" She snapped.

The ghouls rushed forward. Their disgusting figures became more and more visible as they closed in on the demons. Scorch fired at one, but missed. He moved to the right, avoiding the ghoul's attack as it tried to leap and bite him. He fired again, sending a bullet through its gut. The ghoul stumbled backward and collapsed.

Jem watched another ghoul come at her, also trying to sink its sharp, poisonous fangs into her bones. As the speedy ghoul came close, it lunged at her, mouth agape and ready to bite down. Jem held her mace out, blocking the attack by letting the ghoul's teeth clamp on her mace. She kicked it back, then swung the mace into its head, finishing the enemy.

The final ghoul closed in on Zin. When the ghoul swiped its small, but sharp talons at Zin. The demon responded by swinging his sword up, successfully slicing the ghoul's hand clean off. The ghoul stumbled back, then Zin shoved the sword through its neck. Once the ghoul dropped dead, Zin pulled his sword out and flicked the dark crimson blood off of the blade. Nothing but ghoul corpses and the poisoned gloom surrounded the three demons.

"Is that all of them?" Asked Scorch.

"I think so," said Jem. "But we should still keep an eye out. Scorch, keep your gun ready. Just in case anything jumps out at us."

Zin and Jem both sheathed their weapons. Zin led the way back out of the room. He only glanced back once, but then continued.

"What about the gloom?" Zin inquired.

"Yeah," said Scorch, "is it going to die?"

"I don't know. If enough poison is injected, the bite of a ghoul could kill a sylph, elf, or other mortal beings," Jem explained. "But I think that the gloom's large size and other features will be able to override the poison."

"Other features?" Asked Scorch.

"Glooms are built to fight araneas, kumodins, muldarchs, and other poisonous cave pests," said Zin. "Its poison resistance is probably incredible."

The main room was now in sight, as was the very dark exit of the crystal garden. Nothing was here, now. Only the corpse of one ghoul. Zin stopped here, as did Jem and Scorch.

"What?" Asked Scorch. "Is something wrong?"

"I thought I heard something," Zin answered. "Maybe there's more ghouls?"

Jem placed her hand on the hilt of her mace. "You sure?"

"No," Zin replied.

"Vote," said Scorch. "In or out; I vote out."

"In," said Jem.

"Out," said Zin.

"Cowards," Jem muttered.

"It's probably nothing," Scorch argued.

"And if it isn't?" Jem inquired.

"Then we deal with it later," Zin explained.

"Or we let Leiytning handle it," Scorch agreed.

"We can't just give all the work to Leiyt and Timbur, y'know," said Jem. "We need to stop being lazy and do our missions. Otherwise, we're no better than the maggots in Sybilius."

"Fair enough," said Scorch. "C'mon, Zin, let's just get this over with."

"Ugg," Zin groaned. "But I-"

'Crack!'

Jem unsheathed her mace, and spun around to hit whatever was behind her. To her surprise, it was just another being that lived in the Raven's Cavern. Jem glared at the Forest goblin.

"Griffon?!" Jem exclaimed. "Don't sneak up on us!"

"He was not sneaking," Griffon replied, "Griffon was not sneaking up on anyone. He heard demons come back, and assumed that it was safe to leave his hiding place."

"So you knew that the ghouls were in here the entire time?" Asked Zin. "From now on, you can at least tell us what pests are on our territory. That's one of the main reasons we let you stay in the cavern!"

"Griffon will try to keep demons updated, yes," said Griffon. "He came out to ask demons a favor. Would demons mind sending message to leaders?"

"Uh, yeah, sure," Jem responded, clearly rushing Griffon. "What is it?"

"Tell them that Griffon saw more sylphs trading," said Griffon. "T'Kala helped Griffon get closer, yes. He heard sylphs say something about a 'weapon'. That is all we were able to find, yes, but it obviously means trouble is near."

"Sylphs?" Said Zin. "No good? Isn't that a surprise?"

A look of concern appeared in Jem's gray eyes. "Corelia's probably trying to give her army the same weapon she used to defeat Thundur. If that happens, Thundur won't be the only dead one."


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