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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 31

by felistia


‘What just happened?’ Zoltar thought, still completely bemused by the Wisp Talons actions. It didn’t make sense. Why hadn’t she tried to attack him? She’d threatened to multiple times throughout their bizarre conversation.

Could he even call it a conversation? He’d barely said anything and yet, she’d gone from wanting to bite him, to leaving him and his kill untouched. Why?

Zoltar shook his snout. He couldn’t get his head around it.

He scanned the shoreline. The stag was still lying on the bank. He didn’t want to leave it. It had been a lot of work to take it down and carry it this far.

“It should be safe enough. Emerald’s been gone a while,” Zoltar muttered, though he shuddered after saying her name out loud. Despite her not having harmed him, it felt wrong to use her name. She was a Wisp Talon. Her tribe had murdered his wife and mentor. They were monsters. How could he just casually use one of their names?

Zoltar wrinkled his snout and anxiously rubbed his horns. His head felt like it was buzzing.

He need to get out of here.

After one final look around, he swooped in towards the shore. Still airborne, he grabbed the deer, hooking his talons into the flesh. There was no need to take the risk of landing.

Straining against the weight, he banked back towards the lake and up into the sky. Nothing stirred in the forest below as he flew out over the clearing and headed west.

Before long he was soaring high over the forest and on route back towards the maze.

The sun drifting ever closer towards the distant mountains as evening approached. The shadows lengthened, growing in strength as the light slowly ebbed away. A scarlet hue fell over the land, the trees now a blazing orange in the dying rays.

Zoltar’s muscles were burning as he neared the maze, the burden of carrying the stag weighing heavily on him. Though it was the thoughts running through his mind that troubled him most.

Why had Emerald done what she’d done? Both times he’d run into her, she’d hadn’t laid a fang on him. She’d threatened to, but that was as far as it had gone. Why?

How could she be one of those monsters that had murdered his wife? She seemed so different from those Wisp Talons.

It didn’t make any sense, unless…not all Wisp Talons were like that.

Zoltar shook his snout. He felt guilty even thinking it, like he was betraying those that had died, but nothing else made sense.

He’d thought yesterday that maybe she’d wanted to trick him so she could find where he and the other outcasts on the island lived. But now after seeing the ceremony last night, it seemed unlikely. Why hadn’t she taken him hostage, to use like Scorpus had been? Had she felt guilty? Maybe.

Zoltar rubbed his horns again, the ache from early having only grown in intensity.

He was nearing the beach, the mist cloaking the columns gleaming like tendrils of flame as they twisted and curled in the evening light.He’d have to think about this later. Right now he needed to get this cursed deer down and out of his talons before they fell off with it.

As he flew in towards the beach, he spotted Felistia and Shiraku. The Sea Talon was darting through the waves, her webbed tail propelling her forward as she chased shoals of fish.

Felistia watched from the shore, her tail flicking nervously as she watched the darkening maze. She leapt to her paws and swung around when she heard Zoltar’s wing flaps, her back spikes bristling as she hissed a warning.

Her face lit up when she recognized him, “Zoltar, you’re back. We’ve been wondering where you went off to.”

Zoltar smiled as he circled into land. It was nice to know that she cared at least a little bit about him.

Swooping low over the pebbles, he dropped the deer, before coming to a stop a few paw steps away. He let out a sigh of relief as the weight disappeared. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could have carried the stag for.

“You went hunting,” Felistia walked over, brushing a wing against his as she eyed the kill in surprise, “and brought down a big one.”

“Yah,” Zoltar muttered, suddenly feeling a little shy as he rubbed the back of his neck, “I promised you that I’d bring one yesterday and well… here it is I guess.”

“Good for you,” Felistia said warmly, “Just as well too. Shiraku didn’t have much luck catching anything today. She barely caught enough to consider a snack.”

Zoltar glanced over at the Sea Talon again. She hadn’t noticed him and was still furiously tearing through the water after her quarry.

Felistia smiled as she watched Shiraku, “She won’t give in you know. Even when it’s just minnows she’s chasing.”

Zoltar nodded, taking in a deep breath as he enjoyed the moment. Waves lapped against the shore, their gently movement only occasionally broken by a splash thrown up by Shiraku. Birds called from the forest hanging over the shore, their melodic songs carried on the cool, evening breeze. It was so peaceful, one could almost forget what had happened the previous day.

“Aaagh,” Shiraku’s husky voice broke the calm as she skulked out of the water, a scowl clouding her turquoise snout, “I was so close. I swear they’re teasing me.”

Felistia chuckled, batting the Sea Talon with her wing, “Come on now. I think that’s enough for one day, don’t you think? You can always try again tomorrow. Besides, Zoltar was kind enough to bring us an antelope. We can eat that tonight.”

“Fine…they were too small for me to bother with anyway,” Shiraku huffed as she glowered at the ocean.

“Good, I’ll meet you guys in the cave,” Felistia grinned, before turning to grab the deer. She seemed to lift it effortlessly into the air as she headed further down the beach. In seconds, the mist enveloped her ghostly white figure, leaving Zoltar alone on the beach with Shiraku.

“Thanks for the deer…I guess,” Shiraku mumbled slowly, turning her back on Zoltar as she waded back into the sea. She began absentmindedly splashing the water up onto the shore.

Zoltar watched her for a moment, debating on whether he should follow Felistia or stay here with her.

‘She didn’t seem to want me around,’ Zoltar thought as he spread his wings. Just before taking off, he looked back. What was she doing though?

Zoltar folded his wings and stepped a little closer, curiosity having gotten the better of him.

Shiraku glanced up at him.

“What do you want?” she hissed, her golden eyes flashing.

Zoltar flinched back, “Nothing, nothing. Don’t worry.”

He hurried back up the beach away from her, but he’d seen enough. The blood from the night before was gone. Shiraku had washed it away.


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Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:17 am
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

You have given us a new interesting chapter. I'm glad to read that the story has taken on such a sad and sombre tone. I even think that on the one hand it seems even darker than in the previous chapters.

Zoltar's thoughts seem more frantic and change sides more often. I like this anxiety and worry that arises from this, which makes Zoltar seem very unstable at times. Especially the second half, where he is with Felistia and Shiraku, seems so cold and alienated. I don't know if this was done deliberately, but I like this effect I got while reading.

I also liked Felistia. I hadn't noticed it so much in the previous chapters, but here it seems like she starts to use a kind of "motherliness" to help Zoltar. Her language, in fact, has such an attempt to be kind and gentle, and think it would be helpful for Zoltar to open up a bit more there too.

I also found this end scene with Shiraku to be well constructed, as it somehow feels like a new conflict is coming for Zoltar. Let's wait and see. :D

What I didn't like so much in the chapter were the short sentences in between. Sometimes it worked well, but sometimes not so much and it seemed very choppy while reading. I've picked out two examples below where I noticed it most.

In summary, I liked the chapter. I really like the development and direction we are going in.

Other points I noticed while reading:

He scanned the shoreline. The stag was still lying on the bank. He didn’t want to leave it. It had been a lot of work to take it down and carry it this far.

The short sentences here are a bit imprecise and I also found it very distracting to read them in this mode. I think if you want to build up a bit more tension or emotion, it helps to be a bit longer in the sentences and use some adjectives.

Her tribe had murdered his wife and mentor. They were monsters. How could he just casually use one of their names?

Here too, the sentences are a bit too short and didn´t quite seem to get the emotions, I want to feel. It reads more like a short summary without any heart or like in a neutral documentary where the voice speaks about a lion getting attacked by giraffes or something like this. :D Here too, I would suggest developing more into the sea of adjectives to add a bit more emotions in it.

 The shadows lengthened, growing in strength as the light slowly ebbed away.

I really enjoyed this sentence. In between a lot of trouble and sadness, there is still the beauty of nature to read.

It didn’t make any sense, unless…not all Wisp Talons were like that.

I really do enjoy this tiny part, but I can also see that you could expand a bit on it and show more of an “evolution” in Zoltar´s head, to get the reader to understand it better.

Besides, Zoltar was kind enough to bring us an antelope. We can eat that tonight.”

Wasn´t it a deer before or are antelopes and deers in the same family of animal?


Have fun writing!

Mailice




felistia says...


Thank you for the review. I'm glad you like the emotions. This chapter was quite hard to write due to that. :D

P.S Just looked up deer and antelope. They aren't from the same family, but look very similar to one another.



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Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:16 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: OKayy....I think this was a nice little more relaxed chapter. We got to see Zoltar processing everything with the encounter with Emerald and also just some lovely signs of a healthy developing friendship that are really wonderful to see.

Anyway let's get right to it,

‘What just happened?’ Zoltar thought, still completely bemused by the Wisp Talons actions. It didn’t make sense. Why hadn’t she tried to attack him? She’d threatened to multiple times throughout their bizarre conversation.

Could he even call it a conversation? He’d barely said anything and yet, she’d gone from wanting to bite him, to leaving him and his kill untouched. Why?

Zoltar shook his snout. He couldn’t get his head around it.

He scanned the shoreline. The stag was still lying on the bank. He didn’t want to leave it. It had been a lot of work to take it down and carry it this far.

“It should be safe enough. Emerald’s been gone a while,” Zoltar muttered, though he shuddered after saying her name out loud. Despite her not having harmed him, it felt wrong to use her name. She was a Wisp Talon. Her tribe had murdered his wife and mentor. They were monsters. How could he just casually use one of their names?


Well, Zoltar puzzling his way through some very realistic emotions there as he tries to deal with meeting this rather unique dragoness. I think that's done really well here to show the kind of situation that he ends up having to go through because of this encounter. This time Emerald's first meeting also happens to be very different from that previous one.

Straining against the weight, he banked back towards the lake and up into the sky. Nothing stirred in the forest below as he flew out over the clearing and headed west.

Before long he was soaring high over the forest and on route back towards the maze.

The sun drifting ever closer towards the distant mountains as evening approached. The shadows lengthened, growing in strength as the light slowly ebbed away. A scarlet hue fell over the land, the trees now a blazing orange in the dying rays.

Zoltar’s muscles were burning as he neared the maze, the burden of carrying the stag weighing heavily on him. Though it was the thoughts running through his mind that troubled him most.


Oooh, nice little bit of description there to show the landscape passing by as Zoltar flies back to safety. I have a feeling we'll now have a couple of possibly interesting conversations coming up if Zoltar decides to talk about it to the others or if Sidious has seen or heard all of that.

Why had Emerald done what she’d done? Both times he’d run into her, she’d hadn’t laid a fang on him. She’d threatened to, but that was as far as it had gone. Why?

How could she be one of those monsters that had murdered his wife? She seemed so different from those Wisp Talons.

It didn’t make any sense, unless…not all Wisp Talons were like that.

Zoltar shook his snout. He felt guilty even thinking it, like he was betraying those that had died, but nothing else made sense.


Well, yeah, you do have to understand at some point that sometimes people can be exceptions, a nice little extra touch of morality there for the readers to think about...always love to see a little thing like that included in a story.

He’d thought yesterday that maybe she’d wanted to trick him so she could find where he and the other outcasts on the island lived. But now after seeing the ceremony last night, it seemed unlikely. Why hadn’t she taken him hostage, to use like Scorpus had been? Had she felt guilty? Maybe.

Zoltar rubbed his horns again, the ache from early having only grown in intensity.

He was nearing the beach, the mist cloaking the columns gleaming like tendrils of flame as they twisted and curled in the evening light.He’d have to think about this later. Right now he needed to get this cursed deer down and out of his talons before they fell off with it.


Hmm, well I nearly forgot about this deer, oh dear...it has been some time since Zoltar caught that, hopefully he's going to get to enjoy his hard work instead having this fall in some random place and him having to abandon it.

Her face lit up when she recognized him, “Zoltar, you’re back. We’ve been wondering where you went off to.”

Zoltar smiled as he circled into land. It was nice to know that she cared at least a little bit about him.

Swooping low over the pebbles, he dropped the deer, before coming to a stop a few paw steps away. He let out a sigh of relief as the weight disappeared. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could have carried the stag for.

“You went hunting,” Felistia walked over, brushing a wing against his as she eyed the kill in surprise, “and brought down a big one.”


Hmm, that does sound like genuine worry there...and well we know by this point that it certainly is that...well, let's see how this whole situation is going to end up being unpacked here. This should be interesting.

Felistia smiled as she watched Shiraku, “She won’t give in you know. Even when it’s just minnows she’s chasing.”

Zoltar nodded, taking in a deep breath as he enjoyed the moment. Waves lapped against the shore, their gently movement only occasionally broken by a splash thrown up by Shiraku. Birds called from the forest hanging over the shore, their melodic songs carried on the cool, evening breeze. It was so peaceful, one could almost forget what had happened the previous day.

“Aaagh,” Shiraku’s husky voice broke the calm as she skulked out of the water, a scowl clouding her turquoise snout, “I was so close. I swear they’re teasing me.”


Okayyy...well, there's some classic Shiraku there for us to enjoy here, it seems like these three are slowly going to settle into that friendship that we all know is coming very soon, or at least Felistia and Shiraku will, I don't know how much longer Zoltar will take with the addition Sidious threat hanging in the balance.

Felistia chuckled, batting the Sea Talon with her wing, “Come on now. I think that’s enough for one day, don’t you think? You can always try again tomorrow. Besides, Zoltar was kind enough to bring us an antelope. We can eat that tonight.”

“Fine…they were too small for me to bother with anyway,” Shiraku huffed as she glowered at the ocean.

“Good, I’ll meet you guys in the cave,” Felistia grinned, before turning to grab the deer. She seemed to lift it effortlessly into the air as she headed further down the beach. In seconds, the mist enveloped her ghostly white figure, leaving Zoltar alone on the beach with Shiraku.


Hmm, Felisita realizing Zoltar is probably very tired after carrying that deer and then stepping into carry it herself is a nice and subtle detail there, I love seeing those little moments.

“Thanks for the deer…I guess,” Shiraku mumbled slowly, turning her back on Zoltar as she waded back into the sea. She began absentmindedly splashing the water up onto the shore.

Zoltar watched her for a moment, debating on whether he should follow Felistia or stay here with her.

‘She didn’t seem to want me around,’ Zoltar thought as he spread his wings. Just before taking off, he looked back. What was she doing though?

Zoltar folded his wings and stepped a little closer, curiosity having gotten the better of him.

Shiraku glanced up at him.

“What do you want?” she hissed, her golden eyes flashing.

Zoltar flinched back, “Nothing, nothing. Don’t worry.”

He hurried back up the beach away from her, but he’d seen enough. The blood from the night before was gone. Shiraku had washed it away.


Well...and that's another startling little discovery, ahh, I love seeing tiny moments like this, just this friendship building up in a very realistic manner true to real life with those tiny moments of solidarity rather than anything immediately noticeable.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think it was a lovely little chapter, although not too much happened plotwise, character wise there were some properly powerful moments here and I love moments like this. Looking forward to seeing where this goes next. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review. It was a slow chapter, but I thought it was important to try to build the characters relations with one another. :D



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!

Oh it definitely is!! :D




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— Aristotle