The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 7 (v.1) - The Raven

Submitted: November 20, 2017

Reads: 225

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Submitted: November 20, 2017

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As a steady wind picked up, the environment outside became slightly chilly. Sands on the Dead Beach were mercilessly thrown about from the wind and pounding waves. 

In the beach's ramshackle one-room house, Kita sat on the chair in its corner, massaging her sore arm after training so hard. At the moment, she was reading another one of Kodin's journals.

This was how she would pass the time while stuck on the beach. The only other book she had brought was a field guide for Zyreans, which she had thrown into the ocean outside. She refused to read more Aubade lies.

Kita absent-mindedly remarked, "This is all interesting. Kodin recorded almost all of his missions in here. He seems to be more of a talker than a fighter, but I have nowhere to talk considering the fact that I have neither of those skills."

Dismissing the thought, she continued to read intently.

'Day 68 - 9:47 p.m: Things are beginning to pick up. Seyber, Thundur, Scorch, and I had to deal with a few Chamber Goblins that wanted to take the Raven's Cavern. In my recent research of these goblins, I thought that I found them quite pathetic. Nevermind everything I may or may not have written about that. 

There was one goblin, a leader, who was as scary as he was threatening. The bastard was huge! He also kept several explosives, which is why one of the rooms of the cavern is now collapsed. Thundur had her match, that's for sure. That girl never ceases to amaze, though. She took him down, and without the help of her twin, but she suffered a nasty hit to the leg. I guess she's better in the spiritual realm. I've seen her take down fifteen banshees like nothing, when I followed her into the Dimensional Realm; as I learned, only one of countless spirit realms. 

Anyways, I've never been so exhausted, so I'll have to keep the rest of this entry short. Timbur fought a crazed gloom on his own. For someone so small, I never would've suspected one strike to break a gloom's neck. Also, lesson learned; never say that to his face. Finally, five days ago, I wrote about how Zin played with an explosive and broke a portal in the depths. Today, he finally fixed it, which also attracted three scorpios. The twins made him fight them on his own, which the rest of us found very amusing. In other words, just another day among, as rumor in Sybilius had it, 'the forsaken race.''

Kita laughed to herself, "That sounds like them. This one isn't as exciting, but I guess it's good to keep reading, so I don't get lost anywhere. I just wish there was more advice on how to fit in, things I should know about the others, and especially advice for training, like weaknesses of different-"

Stud groaned from his curled-up position in the corner. "Quiet, please! I'm trying to sleep!"

"You've been sleeping all day," Kita muttered, but dismissed it. She decided to stop her reading, standing up and placing the journal on the chair behind her. Afterward, she made her way outside to stretch her legs. 

As soon as she stepped outside, a steady gust made her shiver and cross her arms, trying to see through the strands of her violet hair that were being blown in front of her eyes. She saw that across the way, near the portal, Jem, Scorch, and Zin were talking to Leiytning about something that seemed important. Now curious, Kita decided to inspect this.

When close enough, Kita spoke, "Is there something wrong?"

Scorch gave a dismissive gesture. "Nah. There was just a bit of vermin in the Raven's Cavern, that's all."

Leiytning ignored the two. "Did Griffon see anything else?"

Zin spoke in a jokingly ominous manner, "No, that's all...For now..."

"Idiot," Leiytning muttered, clearly unamused. "Then you three are dismissed."

The three were halfway to the fortress entrance, but then Zin said something to Jem, and then Scorch chimed in. Soon enough, it escalated into a fight that caused them to scurry and retreat to the fortress faster, each trying to outrun or tackle the other. Even Kita couldn't help rolling her eyes at the sight, wondering how those who were over two-hundred years old could act this way.

She asked, "Is that typical?"

"Sadly, yes," Leiytning replied. "Anyways, mortal, I might as well get one other thing cleared while we're both here. Seyber tells me you're in need of a better weapon, is that right?"

"Only if there's one available," Kita replied. "It's just that I don't think I'm a very good dagger-fighter. I mean, you saw how well I was fighting with it. I know half is just my lack of training, but maybe I'd be better with something else." She looked uneasy. "I can't describe it, but the dagger just doesn't feel...natural. It's something I could learn, but never be fluent in, if that makes sense."

"It makes a lot more sense than you think. And I believe we've found something that should suffice."

Kita became surprised when Leiytning held up what he had brought with him. It was a sword that shone with a gunmetal tint. Its hilt was black with an amethyst studded at the base. 

Kita took the blade, grasping the hilt tightly. She felt that the weapon fit naturally in her hand. She knew that the dark blade was strong enough to cause damage, unlike the dagger, and also light enough to allow her to move right.

"This is great!" Kita chimed. "How did you get this? It's perfect!"

"You're talking to ancient warriors about weapon choices, so it's really not that hard. This one was just something that's been lying around, and no one wanted to use it."

Kita chuckled deviously. "I'd like to see all the vermin try to fight us, now."

"The weapon is only half of it," Leiytning responded. "You will have to learn to use it correctly, and a lot of what you've learned with the dagger won't comply with the build of this particular weapon. Zin and Timbur are also sword-fighters, so I'd recommend asking them for advice."

Kita laughed at that. "Asking Timbur for combat advice? Something tells me that I'll be bleeding at the end of that discussion. And as for Zin..." She cringed. "Let's just say that he never lifted his grudge for that whole scuffle with Corelia and being a hostage."

"That's your own fault," Leiytning muttered.

"I know..." Kita forced herself to wear a smile. "But I'm doing what I can to make up for it, and repay you for all the good you've shown me!" She sheathed the sword to the belt of her dress. "Thank you for-"

'Caw! Caw!'

Already alerted by the sound, Kita was not anymore appeased to see a black flash immediately obscured her vision. The sylph squealed and stepped back, avoiding whatever was hurtling toward her. 

As the moment of fright cleared, she was surprised to see that this black flash was truly a raven that crash-landed onto the beach. A small note was coiled and strapped to its neck, and it let out another caw. 

Kita approached and, being careful to avoid being pecked, quickly snatched the note off of its neck. The small rolled-up piece of paper had a name scribbled on the outside. She strained to read the hastily-written words.

"It's addressed to 'Zyrean leaders or beta.' It doesn't say who it's from, though."

After receiving no response, Kita glanced at Leiytning to see if he was even listening. As it turned out, instead of showing interest in the note, he was more concerned for the raven itself. The strap that held the cartridge for the note seemed tight, and the ratty bird was quaking while its beady eyes nervously scanned the environment, its feathers ruffled with some bald patches. It was surely an ugly creature to behold.

Kita arched one brow. "Uh...Leiytning?"

"Criminal," he muttered, unsheathing one index claw.

instead of paying her any consent, he cut away the strap on the bird's neck. It took one glance at him, then leaped up, extending its wings as it shook out its fragile feathers. Some fell to the ground, carried away by the breeze. It then stood straight, hardly frightened despite its twitchy form.

Kita was unable to contain her laughter. "The grumpy demon leader is just a big softie?"

"Shut up," Leiytning blankly responded.

The raven flew up a bit, perching on his shoulder. Kita was confused, but also found this humorous.

This behavior really does not fit his appearance or reputation.

"What does that note say?" Asked Leiytning. "Or can you read it?"

That being said, Kita unraveled the note and scanned through its content. "Yeah, it's in Northern language." She began to recite the concerning note aloud,

'Leiytning, Thundur, or Timbur: I have finished my inspection of the Storm Base. After giving this some thought, I'm not too surprised to say that you were right. Xarin is trading magic items, some of which he harvested from members of a nearby clan, to the Aubades. I also uncovered an archive of letters, one of which is attached to the back of this note. These letters are to or from Corelia. Their main reason for this is to team up to annihilate the Zyreans. I do believe that the best action is to kill Xarin and end this, but I will await your instruction before making any moves toward this.' 

Kita finished, "It's signed by someone named 'Savux.'"

Leiytning muttered, "Damn gargoyles; always so fickle with their allys."

Kita furrowed her brows. "That's strange. The others say that gargoyles don't speak Northern language, and yet this note is all written in it."

"Most gargoyles are backward," Leiytning explained. "They make it a rule to learn how to write Northern language, but their tongues and vocal cords are not built for speaking anything outside of their native tongue. Anyways, it said that there was a letter attached to the note?"

"Yes," said Kita, flipping the note over. Sure enough, the second piece of folded paper was behind the first. Kita unfolded it, being careful not to tear the already-crinkled page. She immediately grunted angrily upon seeing the name 'Corelia.'

"Read it," said Leiytning. "I need you to translate."

Right, they don't read Northern, Kita thought. She then explained, "This one's addressed to Corelia, and signed by Xarin. It looks like he wants gold and some other minor things in return for magic crystals, records, and other enchanting materials. So, in other words, Corelia's not the only greedy leader."

Leiytning spoke under his breath, "But what would gargoyles want with gold? They don't even use it as their currency."

Kita looked as if he were speaking in tongues. "What? You mean these bastards are just collecting gold for the hell of it?!"

"Sounds like it," Leiytning replied. In a quick flash of dark aura, a note appeared in his hand. The rolled piece of paper was clasped shut with a black ribbon. It seemed he had been expecting, and prepared for some sort of update like this.

Kita angrily cried, "How awful!"

"Indeed it is," Leiytning blankly agreed.

"So we just-!"

"No offense, but we know what to do, and irrational screaming is not on the list."

"Sorry," Kita murmured, then took a deep breath. "Just the thought of that is so infuriating, though. Anyways, what are we going to do about this?"

"'We' are not going to do anything," Leiytning responded. "Entrusting this to any of my siblings would be disastrous, I can already tell that much. So I will make sure Xarin becomes less problematic from here on out."

Kita looked unsure. "Can we just leave it up to Savux to kill him?"

"Of course not," Leiytning responded. "Maybe if this was a lesser creature, but not Xarin."

"Then he'll be hard to kill," Kita concurred.

"Not really," Leiytning continued. "It's true that Xarin can be a pain on a normal day, but it's also the fact that this needs to be dealt with in a more discrete way. Causing a panic may alarm Corelia, and she could attack us not just with whatever the hell she's collected, but while we're still missing a spirit-walker."

Kita seemed baffled. "I don't get it. Wouldn't the sight of a demon spark a panic, as well as the death of their leader in general?"

"Naturally, the death will be concerning to them, but that's just it. I can't trust Savux to properly sneak by defenses, isolate Xarin, and kill him before he can alert others. He's a loyal informant, but physical prowess would hinder him too much to carry through with that mission."

"Meaning..."

"He's not stealthy in the slightest, Xarin doesn't trust him that much, and he hasn't been on a battlefield in ages."

"I guess I see your point," Kita remarked. "So what's your exact plan?"

"I don't really have one," Leiytning replied. He held up the scroll. "The only certain thing is that we need to clear things over with Savux."

Kita glanced at the raven. "Well, it's a good thing we have the messenger bird."

Leiytning grunted, the raven eyeing him suspiciously. "Actually, it seems gargoyles are more brutal with their training. I don't think the bird would want to return."

Kita strained to not laugh. 

Leiytning's eye narrowed. "What?"

"Nothing!" Kita quickly replied. "It's just funny that someone with your reputation would stand up for a small, ugly bird; you seem more like a softie. Even then, how are we supposed to deliver that message to Savux without a messenger?"

"See how much of a 'softie' I am if you keep calling me that," Leiytning retorted. "As for the way we communicate, we use our own messenger. One that wasn't tortured or traumatized."

"Uh..." Kita looked confused again. "Who? Are you talking about the manticore, or the basilisk?"

"Neither." Leiytning revealed something else; a small piece of amber-like material that clearly had some spell on it. "You may want to step back."

As Kita stepped away some, he suddenly threw the amber against the ground. As soon as it landed, a beam of static light burst out from it, strong enough to pierce the clouds above. Kita was startled, eyeing the area suspiciously.

Suddenly, though, some of the clouds separated, and something flew down at a fast pace. Kita flinched, taking one hesitant step away. However, she could see more clearly as it landed on the beach.

Unlike the beaten raven, this so-called 'messenger' was a brilliant sight. It was a creature that had the body shape of a lion, but the head of a phoenix. Shiny red-gold feathers coated its body, reflecting rays of amber and gold against the ground. Huge wings sprouted from its back, and a long whip-like tail swung to and fro behind it.

Kita gaped at the sight. "Your messenger is a phoenara? That is a phoenara, right?"

"Correct," said Leiytning. "Strikingly similar to the more popular 'griffon.'"

The raven eyed Fira, then chortled.

"Go free, if you'd like," Leiytning spoke to it.

The small black bird fluttered its wings, making several ratty black feathers drift to the ground. It then took flight, disappearing into the stormy horizon. Leiytning approached Fira, holding out the note to her. Kita heard some sort of command, but was still busy with the thought in her own head.

She watched Fira take the note in her beak, then leap up. In one mighty beat of her massive wings, she shot into the sky and disappeared into the atmosphere at an alarming pace.

Kita looked slightly confused, despite her smile. "How many of these creatures do you have? It seems like I find a new one every other day."

"Only five. Fira's the last one, at least for now."

"Where do you find them?" Kita inquired. "I didn't even realize there were so many of these creatures in the world."

"There are countless beasts in our world, yes. Some are better left alone, others have been known to befriend peoples. Most of the ones around the fortress are creatures that were either hurt, abandoned, or found and spared, and they serve us in return. Thundur's usually the one to utilize them on missions."

"I wouldn't expect Thundur to be that way," said Kita.

"Trust me, she's a hypocrite when she says that she doesn't care about the lives of beasts or animals. It's just how she is; unpredictable, and nothing she does makes much sense..." Leiytning seemed to grow a bit distant. "And yet whatever she plans or does, it always works."

Kita decided to give it one last try. "Like I said. Just an old softie."

"I may look the part, but I'm not a savage," Leiytning responded. "Neither is Thundur. Also, don't start this. I get enough nonsense from the others."

Kita shrugged her shoulders. "Fair enough. As for this mission, do we just wait for Savux to reply?"

"No," Leiytning answered. "That just told Savux where to go. I still need to clear things up and kill Xarin."

Kita began heading back. "I'll take your word for it, then. Good luck!"

As she did walk back, she began to see just how quickly time seemed to pass, as the sky seemed dimmer than before. She glanced at her pocket-watch to reveal the time; seven-forty-five.

Kita opened the door quietly, so as not to disturb Stud if he was still sleeping, then went over to the place where she kept the several journals stacked. She picked up the one stray in the chair beside them, and collapsed into them. Relaxing this way made her mind drift.

This made the image of the raven flashed in her mind. Still, the whole scenario made her laugh to herself.

She used sarcasm as she remarked in a low voice, "Yeah, Zyreans sure are monsters."


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