The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Simple Mission

Submitted: February 14, 2019

Reads: 83

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Submitted: February 14, 2019

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"'Things are only getting darker'..."

Still in distant thought, Savux glared over the field of dark clouds before him. They covered everything, blocking almost any sight of the sky. Every now and again, a clap of thunder would sound, and there would be a small, silent jolt of lightning. Though this place seemed baren, it was just because of how far it was from the center of this huge, neverending storm; the gargoyle's village, and one fortress.

Savux himself was on the tip of a tall mountain, the bottom of which was invisible with the cloud barrier below. The only other creature with him was his son, Eranox, who was visibly similar to him. It's just that Eranox was shorter, with different-shaped wings and horns. 

Savux stood at the edge of the overlook. He held both a scroll and a tooth-shaped dagger in one hand. Eranox was perched on a boulder, mindlessly fiddling with a twig and stone.

When Eranox spoke, it was still in their native tongue.

"'Did you say something, father'?"

Savux shook his head. "'No, I am only speaking to myself.'"

Eranox snorted, "'What are we even doing, up here'?"

"'Don't start,'" Savux warily spoke. "'You insisted on tagging along, and I warned you that it wouldn't be the most exciting mission. I'm only discussing something with Master Leiytning, and probably returning straight afterward.'"

Eranox kept his gaze downcast. "'Yes, but'...'Are you sure we can trust him as much as you do'?"

Savux spun back. "'Do not question him, Eranox.'" He grunted. "'Honestly, I'd expect you to be more respectful. He and Thundur saved your life when I was unable to do so myself.'"

"'It was a miracle for us, yes,'" Eranox agreed. "'But that whole incident was probably just some small mission they might as well spare a few minutes for. What if they're just using you'?"

"'Ridiculous!'" Savux snapped. "'They help us so much, so is it really wrong to expect something for themselves, in the process? Even now, they're trying to rid us of a corrupted leader that will only bring our people trouble.'" His eyes narrowed. "'Believe me, you naive thing, nothing good has ever come from Aubades or anything they work for.'"

Eranox jumped down, standing straight. "'I am only pointing out possibilities that could turn out concerning.'"

"'And'-"

"'Wise kid.'"

Eranox cringed when hearing the voice, knowing it could only be one person. None other than the very demon leader they just discussed, who was also courteous enough to use gargoyle tongue. Savux seemed undeterred, but couldn't help rolling his eyes.

Savux sighed, "'Please forgive the gossip, Master Leiytning, it seems my son is fond of rumors.'"

Leiytning just shrugged his shoulders. "'Doesn't matter. No one can blame him for inferring, and I'm aware that I may not come off as the most trustworthy of people.'"

Eranox panicked. "'N-No, sir, it's not that, it's'...er..."

Savux continued, "'Anyways, if you can dismiss Eranox's presence, perhaps we should proceed with the mission?'" He raised the scroll. "'You never clarified an exact plan, which made me a bit nervous about how you would proceed with executing this.'"

"'Execute' is the answer,'" Leiytning responded. "'Xarin is officially an Aubade pawn, which causes a domino effect, and every Storm Gargoyle besides you two is against us. Not only, with all due respect, can your kind be very difficult to deal with, but they have access to things that the Aubades could misuse. It would be better to eliminate the problem as soon and simply as possible.'"

Savux nodded. "'I agree. Xarin has been shifty since he took the throne, certainly not someone I would want working against me. How would you plan on going about this, though? I'm not a very good assassin, myself.'"

"'I will take care of that part,'" said Leiytning. "'What I need you to assist with is keeping the secret. Xarin's death will be suspicious for sure, and if they don't find an immediate answer, they could start pointing fingers and alarming Corelia. Not to mention, we should also be sure that nobody who thinks like Xarin takes his position. For starters, you did bring what I asked, yes'?"

Savux nodded, holding up the strange dagger. It looked like a large tooth, with a wooden hilt and a few engravings along the base.

Leiytning took the dagger. "'This is our scapegoat.'"

Savux facepalmed. "'I don't know how I didn't catch onto that'...'Very well, I will enforce this lie, which shouldn't be too hard. I wish you luck, Master Leiytning.'"

Leiytning grunted, which could be presumed as a 'thanks' or 'farewell' in his own way. 

As he started off, Eranox couldn't help feeling a sense of uncertainty. After all, this was serious. It could be accomplished in just a couple hours at most, maybe even a few minutes, and yet the death of a leader would spark a great panic for the rest of the race.

"'I know that look, Eranox,'" Savux spoke. "'And I ask you to trust us. This is for the best.'"

"'Killing our leader is best'?" Eranox argued. "'That's going to make countless others startled.'"

"'Most will celebrate it,'" Savux muttered. "'Xarin has been arrogant in his reign, which makes his union with Corelia all the more understandable. He's created a hierarchy so well-enforced that even the best warrior will have to fight tooth and claw to get out of the hovel he was born into. And it most cases, they die before getting recognition.'"

Savux's eyes narrowed, his fist now clenched. Eranox took one step back.

"'I've seen it firsthand,'" he continued. "'I was too wounded to save my own son from a pack of beasts, and my pleas for the nobles' help went without notice. It's about time things start to change. That is, things need to change for more than just our own kind.'"

 

 

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"Get this out of here!"

Things in the throne room of the Storm Gargoyles' fortress had been hectic for a while. Boxes of crystals and orbs, and other such magical items, were being stacked and thrown about, all while smaller gargoyle troops scurried to carry things out, barking commands back and forth.

The only one who watched, rather than helped, was a grander gargoyle. He was taller than most, with extravagant horns protruding from his head, and he wore a gold crown. Extravagant wings stuck through a torn, royal blue cape. The rest of his attire was noble-like, with gold and blue hues befitting royalty. Much different from the basic rags and loincloths the rest of his people wore. This was none other than Xarin, the leader of the Storm Gargoyles.

One of the troops broke from the bustle and ran up to the leader with a quickness.

He cried, "'Sir, we lost the crate of shadow crystals'!"

Xarin growled, making the smaller troop shrink under his dark glare.

"'How do you lose an entire shipment of crystals like that'?"

"'We think it was stolen,'" the troop insisted. "'By the damn Dark Harpies. They've been fluttering all about, lately, raising hell for us. The crystals came from a cave they consider their own, so-'"

"'I already know, you fool'!" Xarin barked. "'Those bunch of hens are a primal race, and that cave is ours. Now shut up and get more crystals; fight a gloom, if you have to, just get it one'!"

"'Yes, sir'!"

The troop hid his shuddering and scurried off with a quickness, leaving Xarin to sneer under his breath.

'Maggots,' he bitterly thought. 'Is it really so hard to accomplish one damn task?'

He continued to watch over the crates and sacks being shoved about, and the gargoyles that continued to carry out his orders. The reason behind it all came to mind, and though it concerned even Xarin himself, they believed it was for the best.

'If Corelia can keep her word...We will finally leave our mark as a race that means something more. Whether we're remembered our of fear or respect, I will not care- We will be wealthy, we will be powerful, we will not be vanquished and forgotten, like so many before us.'

He gained a taunting smirk.

'Gargoyles are one of those kinds of people you push around, like goblins or harpies. But not us...Not us! If mere mortals or filthy demons can leave a mark on this land, then who says we can not?!'

"'Sir'!"

Xarin growled when being broken from his thoughts. Another nervous, puny troop ran up to him.

"'What is it, now'?" Xarin interrogated.

"'B-Business, sir,'" the troop explained. "'You're needed in the storage area.'"

Xarin's eyes narrowed. "'For what, exactly'?"

"'It's complicated,'" the troop insisted. "'P-Please, just come and perhaps you can resolve this.'"

Xarin grunted irately, but didn't argue. He began following the troop through the familiar halls of this stormy fortress.

The entire way, however, the troop seemed to get more and more nervous or shaken. Meanwhile, Xarin only got more suspicious that something unorthodox was in the midst, and threatened to imbalance the mission they were currently carrying out.

'What is this, really'?

As they drew awfully close to the storage area, Xarin discretely reached for the dagger hidden under his cape.

Eventually, they came upon two large double-doors. Already, Xarin didn't like this, and became more defensive.

"'Where are the guards'?" He interrogated. "'This room is to be guarded at all times; there are valuable things being stored, in here!'"

"'The one guard had to leave, sir,'" the troop squeaked. "'There was a personal emergency.'"

"'I don't care if he loses all his limbs'!" Xarin argued. "'If someone gets their hands on this merchandise, we might as well all be dead'!"

"'Noted, s-sir,'" the troop replied, proceeding inside the room.

As Xarin cautiously followed, he vigorously scanned the place for anything that was out of place. However, he could only see the usual things. Several crates, old weapons, armor, and other such things piled up and scattered about. at the back of the room, there was a descending path and a large drawbridge-style entrance, where a wide tunnel was set for any large things being taken in or out of this room.

The suspicious leader muttered, "'What is this'?"

Xarin continued to step forward, slowly and carefully, keeping a sharp eye out. The troop didn't seem to be doing anything.

However, it was when Xarin felt something wet under his foot that he became unnerved. He looked down with a quickness. The sight made him cringe, and he felt his anger rising.

He had stepped in crimson blood.

"'Forgive me!'"

'SLAM!'

Xarin spun back with haste, revealing his dagger. Across the way, the one small troop slammed the doors shut, and was shaking as he fell to his knees.

"'Forgive me, sir! He made me!'"

Xarin grew angrier. "'What are you talking about, you-"

Suddenly, the troop convulsed as a blade shot through his neck, severing any artery or sinew that got in its way. Blood spewed from the wound, pooling around the ground that his body soon fell in.

Xarin stepped back, a stricken look about him. "'It can't be'..."

This new enemy was easily recognizable, though Xarin only knew so because of dark legends and cringe-worthy rumors. Though he spoke in Nothern tongue, a language Xarin could not speak himself, he understood every word of it.

Leiytning grunted. "That has to be the most annoying person I've dealt with in a while."

Xarin glowered at the demon. "'You'...'How did you get here'?" He began searching the place again. "'And where's your damn sister'? I will not be ambushed'!"

"Technically, you already have been," Leiytning responded. "Long story short; your security is very easy to slip by, your guards are easy to kill or incapacitate, and I'm afraid my sister was unable to accompany me, this time." He impatiently flipped his spear. "Of course, don't let that tempt you to make any stupid decisions. You've made enough of those, lately."

Xarin stomped forward. "'What are you talking about, you filthy demon'?" He sneered, "'I knew demons were annoying, but I didn't expect you to but in and slaughter random troops. That's more of an orc moral. Demons just stay in their hellhole, obsessing about sin and sacrifice.'"

Leiytning's eye narrowed. "I think I'll ignore that last part. But do you take us for a group of morons, too?" He pointed the spear at the crates around them. "Why else would a Zyrean take interest in your kind, considering recent actions?"

Xarin snorted. "'Yes, we're working with Aubades. So what'?"

"So that means you're supplying a psychotic bitch with even more power. You know exactly what she'll do with it, as well."

"'As if'-"

Suddenly, Xarin had to let out a painful wail as something sharp pierced his side. It seemed Leiytning hardly moved while throwing a silver ritual-like dagger so quickly. Xarin tore the blade from his side, hurling it back at the ground.

"Don't play dumb, Xarin," Leiytning warily spoke. "You're only humiliating yourself, and annoying me even further."

Xarin spat at the ground in front of him. "'Shut it. When it comes to who I work with, it's none of your concern. If I want to give to the Aubades, so be it. If they destroy you in the process, even better.'"

"And why the sudden grudge?" Leiytning interrogated. "I don't remember Zyreans having anything to do with gargoyle matters."

"'You think I care about what you've done'?" Xarin snapped. "'It's only a matter of time before your kind snaps and becomes even more monstrous. You've already killed an entire race of gargoyles; the Zxires!'"

"What are you talking about?" Leiytning retorted. "The Aubades killed the Zxires before moving onto the Zyreans, and what does that have to do with the current problem?"

Xarin hissed, "'Lies! Demonic rubbish! You silver-tongued snake, I will not believe a word of what you have to say! The point is that I want the Aubades to slaughter you. I want Corelia to tear out your spine and let your warriors watch, losing all hope as their leader bleeds out. And I want to see the expression of dread that your twin will have when she falls with you.'" He laughed wickedly. "'I can't really see or cause it myself, but I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to aid in the kill.'"

"I thought you were stupid, not corrupt," Leiytning muttered. "What kind of sick fuck have you become, and who the hell would let you be a leader of anything?"

Xarin clutched his dagger tighter. "'You think your race is some gang of victimized, honorable warriors? Try again. You'..." He raised the dagger. "'You're all just monsters!'"

Xarin charged forward, ready to kill. His wings flew up in a threatening manner, and as he came within striking distance, he lashed out with the blade.

However, his attack was anything but victorious. Leiytning slashed his spear up, and the blade sliced through Xarin's palm. The gargoyle cried out in agony, making him drop the dagger and step back. Now, half his palm was missing, meaning the only finger left was his thumb.

Xarin continued to groan and whimper, trying to contain the bleeding.

Leiytning sighed, "So dramatic."

Xarin flew back, using his wings to propel himself onto one of the stacks of boxes. He growled, glaring down at his opponent.

"'Not yet,'" he muttered. "'Gargoyles are always pushed around and forgotten! We come. We live. We die. We leave nothing behind, and some other mutation of ourselves replaces our position. Not me, though. Not us! We will break from this disgusting, repetitive cycle!'"

Leiytning only looked irritated. "That's what this about, then? Fame? What pathetic little attention-seeker worries about that, of all things?! There are wars being fought, creatures mutating or disappearing, and beasts acting like it's the apocalypse. And throughout the chaos, which your race was mostly safe from until now, you worry about your social status? This is full-scale warfare, not novice-warrior drama!"

"'Silence, demon!'" Xarin snapped. "'You can never understand. The message will never get through that thick skull, so you've nowhere to talk!'"

Leiytning's ear twitched. "Right...Well, either way, I don't care about what you want others to think of you. What matters is how your arrogant antics are affecting my own race. The last thing we need is another enemy to deal with."

Xarin flew down to the ground. "'You'll see, soon enough. That race you're worrying about will perish.'" From under his cape, he unsheathed a second dagger. "'But let's see how much I can drag you down. They say you're a tough opponent, but so am I!'"

Again, Xarin charged, and avoided any of the light-fast counters thrown at him. Despite his large size, he was fast, and sometimes used his wings as a distraction. However, Leiytning wasn't to be underestimated.

As Xarin thrust his blade forward, Leiytning countered with his own metal hand. The counterforce made Xarin stumble back, allowing Leiytning to slice open his neck.

Xarin growled angrily, making blood spew from his throat. This time, he extended his wings. He flew up, ready to strike down, while Leiytning only adjusted his aim. Just as Xarin braced to fly back down, Leiytning used a magic-charged hand, flipped his spear and threw it straight at him.

The spear impaled Xarin, piercing the lower ribcage and spine. The magic behind it began to electrocute him, turning the gargoyle into a display of pouring blood and sparking bolts.

Xarin couldn't keep himself airborne anymore. His wings caved in, and he plummeted back to the ground, landing in (and crushing) one of the several crates. Of course, of all the things to be in this one box, it was jagged crystals, and Xarin fell right on top of them. More blood began to spill over the ground surrounding them, and Xarin seemed to grow weaker.

Leiytning just retrieved his spear. "Bullseye."

Xarin choked before spitting the words, "'Damn you.'"

"Yes, I know," Leiytning dismissively replied. "Now, before you die, you can at least answer one question." He dug one finger into the incision in Xarin's side, making him groan and hiss in pain. "Why is Corelia wanting to trade with you at all?"

Despite wincing, being in obvious pain, Xarin managed to maintain a devilish grin and wicked laugh. "'You fool'...'Isn't it plain to see? You've been at it long enough, and you're right. Things are going to hell everywhere, making things look a bit more apocalyptic.'" He growled, "'All the more reason to pick sides while we still can. Because anyone on their own'..."

"Spit it out," Leiytning pressed. "Before you die."

"'Shut it!'" Xarin snapped. "'I won't'...'tell yet...'" He laughed, "'No, why give you any advantage'?" He glared up at the demon. "'Everything will be revealed, but only as it's being completed. You'll know when you're seconds from death. Corelia is a bitch, I'll credit you that'...'But you're even worse. All those legends and rumors can't be coincidence, after all."

"'Those legends are rumors,'" Leiytning retorted.

"'Lies, lies!'" Xarin spat. "'How is anyone to believe you when all you say is lies'?!"

Leiytning muttered, "Now you're trying to be annoying."

"'You will see!'" Xarin snapped. He choked more, his eyes beginning to glaze over. "'You will see'...'Your kind, in the end, will perish. You will not curse our world much longer'..." He looked up. "'Corelia'...'You better keep your promise'...'End them all'..."

Leiytning's eye narrowed. "We'll see about that. History says the sylphs have one advantage, but they're not invincible."

Xarin gained a blood-stained grin. "'And neither are you'..."

He made a repulsive choking sound before finally going limp, his eyes rolling to the back of his skull. His lungs went stagnant, no more breaths taken.

Leiytning just glared down at the corpse. "Leaders are typically supposed to be much stronger than their warriors. What does that say about this one?"

With that aside, it wouldn't be long before someone came along and found this chaos. 

Of course, evidence was crucial. Though Savux would handle most of that in due time, there were still things that even he couldn't explain. It also didn't help that Savux was distant with most of his people, and most of these noble folk wouldn't believe him.

As such, Leiytning revealed the tooth-shaped dagger, once sheathed to his belt, and stuck the blade in one of the wounds on Xarin's corpse. Afterward, he retrieved his own silver dagger, something he hated, and yet couldn't help carrying.

He glanced at the tooth-dagger. Good thing they started a war of their own.

Although, for now, there already came the sound of footsteps, voices, and other such things. Leiytning slipped into the shadows.

"'S-Sir'?"

The doors leading deeper in the fortress suddenly opened, and another timid troop stepped inside. However, upon seeing the blood and corpse of his own leader, he choked on his own hectic words and fled at a fast pace.

Sure, one had gone, but reinforcement would come soon. As such, Leiytning proceeded to the drawbridge-style door, and though it was closed tight, all it took was his pulling on one of the chains restraining it for it to begin cracking unsteadily.

The very second he let go, it began to slam shut, but he slipped past just before it could crush him. From this dark tunnel, he could hear more of a commotion coming from the room, but didn't stay to listen fully. He retreated before they decided to hunt out the killer.

Because the tunnel was designed for convenience, it wasn't hard to escape from. The ground was leveled out, and there were no obstructions. 

At its end, the path ascended, revealing the same collection of stormy clouds, making a field in the sky. The only problem was that there were still a lot of tents and houses to get by, meaning someone could see something, but the only necessary fix for that was caution.

"'Halt!'"

However, Leiytning didn't intend for there to be a guard right at the edge of this tunnel. Though it wasn't a pushover like most of these other basic servants, he was still a bit small compared to Xarin or Savux.

The guard approached Leiytning, who only looked unamused by the sight of a sword being held to his throat.

 The guard snorted angrily. "'What the hell are you supposed to be'?"

"'Never seen a demon'?" Leiytning remarked.

The guard growled, "'A demon'..."

While the guard was distracted by his own anger, Leiytning smacked the sword aside and punched the guard square between the eyes. Doing so made the guard shoot back, his nose now indented and bent to one side. 

Leiytning grunted, continuing off with only a couple minor obstacles in his path. In other words, despite the heavy outcome, a simple mission had been completed.


© Copyright 2019 Raven Akuma. All rights reserved.

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