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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 14

by RavenAkuma


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

A clarification for those interested: TFR is updated every Monday ~

           

Chapter 14 - Forced Admission

   

      

The time was around six in the evening. Things hardly changed in the lush forest. Leaves rustled in the wind, and the earth was moist and fragrant. 

Kita had her bag in hand, staring down the eerie red stream that split the forest like a fresh wound. She watched the edges of the water, staining whatever bits of the muddy bank it could. The currents rippled underneath its surface, splitting along each worn, stained stone in the makeshift bridge. The other side of the forest, with its crushing atmosphere and much denser growth, lay empty and silent. 

A combination of fear, and a long time of staring, made her see twisted faces in the wood and leaves. Laughing, taunting, judging, staring into her soul and hating her very existence. Just like the demons they would conceal, and too many sylphs before them.

Kita took a deep breath. At first, she had been anxious, but a series of reflections had driven the fear further into obscurity. Instead, it was her anger coming to the surface.

"I feel the urge to give up again. To go back home and hide for another month."

She clenched her fists, a wave of heat sweeping over her body.

"But all I ever do is give up," she grumbled. "When people try to push me, for better or worse, I crumble. I'm lucky I had someone like Mao; she may push me too much, but I don't push myself enough. At least, not in the right direction..."

Kita glanced down at Stud, who was waiting beside her.

"I don't need medicine, but I do need a spine."

The last straw had been drawn, and Kita suddenly felt a surge of determination, filling her chest with bravery. 

"I can do this myself. If I get killed by demons, that's fine. It's better than waiting for my own hands to do it for me. No more fear, no more cowering!"

Kita suddenly hurled her bag across the stream, then moved even faster than before.

With Stud behind her, Kita jumped from stone to stone with uninterrupted strides, and upon landing on the opposite bank, she swooped up her bag as she charged full speed ahead.

As she ran, she stumbled over twigs, stones, and other obstacles hidden in the thick foliage. Even when she fell, she forced herself to keep going. In the process, time and distance seemed to stop working.

"Slow down!" Stud cried after a while.

Kita finally stopped and looked around. She saw no sign of being followed, nor anyone ready to jump out at her. The forest lay still, with only a few spiders around her.

Kita cried into the distance, "Zyreans! Listen to me!"

There was no response, not even from the crows.

"Please! I'm not trying to cause harm! I'm not capable of causing any harm! Please, just listen to me!"

Still, there was no response, and no creatures came into view. Kita could feel herself tensing up.

Stud moved in front of her. "I don't think that's going to work. Let's just go back."

Kita replied sternly, "No."

Frustrated, she ran even deeper into the forest, then stopped again.

"Please! Anyone, show yourself!"

Kita braced herself to head even deeper. 

However, just as she took her first step, she felt her whole body freeze. The corners of her vision went dark, and she heard the faintest whispers, so close that they could've been mistaken as her very own warped breath.

"'Beware, beware...He's there...'"

Kita stayed still, watching strange glitches manifest in the environment around her. Blurry, twitchy spots that made her think anything could jump out at her, from any direction.

Then, plummeting back into reality, she heard a voice that made it all stop.

"It'd be easier if you stopped moving around."

Kita took a sharp breath, turning on her heels. She recognized that voice. 

Sure enough, she could see the infamous demon with dust-gray skin, dark clothes, and long raven hair that hid the right half of his face.

"Mister Leiytning?" Kita spoke, but then quickly covered her mouth. "Oh, sorry! How do I address Zyrean royalty?"

"If I wanted a ridiculous title, I'd say so," Leiytning retorted. "We're long past introductions. You know what we're missing."

Kita already felt the fear creeping back, as if she could feel the deadly aura of this creature. Even the slightest gesture made her want to duck for cover. His sunken, dark blue-purple iridescent eye were like the depths of an ocean; calm, but also cold, dark, with the feeling of a mysterious beast lurking within.

However, before Kita gave another strained and panicky explanation, she bit her tongue and forced a composed demeanor.

Kita straightened her posture. "I told you what I want. To get away from Sybilius. They haven't been helping me, but from what I've learned, you may be able to."

"Honestly, how thick is your skull?" Leiytning muttered. "I've been beating this idea into your head from the moment I found you camping obliviously by the stream, but since you clearly struggle with taking hints, I'll make it simple. Aubades are our enemy, and Zyreans are your enemy. After coming out of nowhere, you expect us to disregard the bloody history and ongoing hostility between our tribes, and just let you in without a problem?"

Kita opened her mouth to answer, but Leiytning cut her off.

"That's rhetorical. Right now, I don't think you're any kind of warrior, but you still carry risk. How are we supposed to believe you just happen to be different from every other moron in Sybilius? You've already proven that you can't tell the truth."

Kita felt a wave of irritation hit her. "The fact that I'm here is something, isn't it? I know things that most sylphs don't, and I'm not trying to kill you. I was surprised at first, but I'm not afraid of you either. I'm actually trying to make a deal."

Leiytning sneered, "I commend you for sounding somewhat coherent this time, but a lie is a lie. You've done nothing to prove you're any different from other Aubades. Never looking, never listening, and never thinking. You take what you're told by those above you and never ask a single question, locked in a system of willful ignorance and groveling that breeds entire legions of cowards, hiding from the truth of this wretched world. Even now, as you try so desperately to act bold, I can see your fear just as clearly as before. You're a stone's throw outside of Sybilius, and you're already doing everything you can just to avoid trembling in the face of it."

Afraid he may be right about the trembling, Kita clenched her fists and locked her knees.

She cleared her throat. "Aren't many Aubades fighting you? I think that takes some bravery. Not that I'm one of them, but that alone proves it's not all Aubades."

Leiytning sneered, "It's child's play to raise a blade. It takes bravery to use it right. Needless to say, Aubades very rarely do."

Kita groaned, "Regardless, I'm not one of them, and I'm not here to argue about the war! I'm not ignorant, I'm not trembling, and I won't be-"

Suddenly, with what seemed like just one flinch, Leiytning unsheathed his dagger and aimed the tip at her throat. He didn't show any hesitation either. Kita froze up, holding her breath. The mask of bravery shattered like glass.

"Say that again," Leiytning spat. "Tell me you're not afraid."

"I-I'm not..." As the blade dug deeper into her skin, Kita was unable to finish her claim.

"Exactly," Leiytning hissed. "I don't want to hear about your false bravery. I told you this wouldn't work, and I won't think otherwise just because you changed your tone. Now, unless you start telling me exactly why you're here, this blade will make a new sheath out of your vocal cords. It's not like they've been serving you well as they are. Do I make myself clear?"

Unable to speak, or even breathe, Kita only nodded in response. To her relief, Leiytning lowered the dagger. He sighed before speaking again.

"I'm letting this drag on for far too long," he muttered. "Fail to answer, this time, and you're not going to have another chance."

Kita shuddered and gulped nervously. "Y-Yes, sir. It's just hard to explain, I-"

"What the hell are you doing?"

Kita flinched as an unfamiliar voice interfered. When she realized the possible threat was just to her left, she quickly retreated a few paces. Sure enough, it was another demon who immediately gave her a bad feeling.

She had gray skin, the same shade as Leiytning's, with black hair that faded to white. She wore a revealing black top and skirt. Her left eye was covered by an eye patch, while her right was a vibrant amber color.

Leiytning's ear twitched. "Thundur, it fascinates me how you always know when to show up at the worst time."

The woman didn't respond, just shot him a sharp glare.

Kita blinked hard, thinking to herself, Thundur too? That was the spirit-walker, the only other one mentioned by name!

Thundur looked uneasy. "This is what we were talking about?"

"The plan is already in motion," Leiytning responded. "Don't try to reverse things now."

"I never said I was happy about it," Thundur muttered. "You're not sticking to it, either. She already failed to give a clear answer, which is pretty much a lie. We should be killing her, dammit, and getting this place back to normal! Now is not the time to be adding to our burdens."

While the two of them argued, Kita tried to register what they were saying, but she couldn't understand any of it.

Already, she recalled the threat and lingering fear she just experienced. This demon's demand, if not followed, could very well lead to a horrible fate. At the same time, every time the thought of explaining her condition came up, the usual string of self-deprecating warnings followed.

With every pro and con running through her head, she reluctantly made a choice.

Kita hesitantly spoke, "E-Excuse me."

"What's the story, now?" Leiytning interrogated, already reaching for his dagger.

"The real story," Kita replied. "I know I've said that a lot, but I mean it. Y-You said I can't lie, and I don't want to provoke you again, so I will come clean. However, just so you know, there's a reason I didn't want to tell the truth. It is going to sound very crazy."

Thundur sneered, "Don't talk to us about what's crazy, stupid girl."

"It is, though," Kita murmured. "And everyone in Sybilius was quick to let me know."

"Really?" Thundur spat, approaching her. "Is that why you came to us? Because your own kind was a little mean to you?"

To Kita's shock, Thundur kicked her back against a tree. With unsheathed claws, she grabbed Kita by the neck, pinning her there and letting her claws dig into the skin. With a strong memory of her doing this to herself, Kita felt a wave of paling sobriety sweep over her.

"Kita!" Stud yelped, before hiding behind a rock.

Thundur leaned a bit closer, her words as sharp as her fangs. "Don't think you're getting away with anything. You made a mistake, being deceptive with my brother."

"N-No, wait!" Kita cried. "I'll be honest! I'll confess!"

"You've been threatened already, yet here we are," Thundur taunted. "Is the third time a charm? Did it take the feeling of literally having your life in a demon's claws? What, exactly, makes this 'truth' separate from the first ones you gave?"

Kita's teeth gritted as she answered, "I have the proof. Please, just give me one more chance."

Despite Kita's desperate tone, and fear strong enough to make her eyes watery, Thundur looked even colder than before. For a moment, looking into her amber eye, Kita wondered if this would be the last thing she saw.

Until Leiytning spoke sternly, "Thundur."

To Kita's relief, Thundur's grip loosened a bit, and she shot her brother a suspicious side-eyed glare. Leiytning seemed by no means merciful, keeping a sharp watch over the two, but he didn't seem eager to attack either.

"Allow her to explain," the leader continued. "If it's a lie, then you can kill her. Don't forget what we discussed, either."

Thundur released Kita. "Fine. Just don't get your hopes up."

Still pinned between the tree and Thundur, Kita didn't have the bravery to look either of them in the eye. When she spoke, it was in a quiet and hesitant voice.

"The truth is..." Kita sighed, "I'm out here because of a problem that no one fully understands. Mainly, I can't sleep, and I've been seeing things that I shouldn't be seeing. For example, my own reflection has a new habit of turning into a shadow that viciously attacks me."

There, she finally saw the twins reflect some confusion. She felt the sting of embarrassment, but she found the will to bury it and kept talking.

"There it is; I hallucinate, and a lot of random things can set it off, but I recently found the worst. The minute I saw it, everything was amplified to an uncontrollable level. It completely changed the world around me and made me feel fear like I never had, before. That 'trigger' was your emblem. A black circle, with a star in the middle, and four flame-shaped designs around it. I found it on a flag, in a pawnshop."

"Shady detail," Thundur intervened. "That wouldn't be lying around."

"No, it wasn't for sale," Kita quickly explained. "The owner was formerly in the army, and I guess he kept it for himself. I just happened to see it while he had it out."

"Even then, it's not entirely unbelievable," Leiytning muttered. "With older things like that, scrappers collect them and put them through the merchant system. It could've just kept getting passed around as an antique, until it found its way into Sybilius without the army's knowledge."

"Why are you so eager to defend her?" Thundur grumbled, ear twitching.

"Why are you assuming I am?" Leiytning retorted.

Kita cleared her throat. "I figured that my next best guess was to go to the palace. I found some people who recognized the symbol and bribed them to tell me what it meant. I was genuinely shocked by your story. It only gave me more questions, and even though I now know what the emblem means, it doesn't explain why it's in my head. On top of finding out about Kodin, who seemed to have a similar problem, that's why I came here. I'm following the trail, and no one's going to know more about the Zyreans than you -obviously."

Thundur sneered, "Why not get help in your own godforsaken land?"

"Don't you understand?" Kita argued. "Whatever you're thinking, someone's already pushed me to it. They not only give bad solutions, but because of all this, I know exactly how much they hate me. They may be my associates by tribe rules, but they're not my friends. If you want to take that as trying to get sympathy from you, go ahead, but that's the truth you wanted. I'm sick of dealing with them."

Kita paused to search the non-identical twins for a reaction, but found no sense of empathy. Thundur looked like she wanted to kill Kita on the spot, while Leiytning looked like he was taking the time to plan the gory details.

"I don't even take that as a sympathy shot," Thundur spat. "I take that as another obvious, pandering lie."

"She's not lying."

Both Thundur and Kita looked at Leiytning, dumbfounded.

Leiytning simply continued, "This finally lines up with what I heard on the first night, when she thought she was talking to herself. Not to mention, while touching on the realm of utter madness, even that is more believable than a sylph deciding to start a mutiny out of nowhere."

Thundur shot him a blunt look. "What are we meant to take from this? Also, where's the proof we were promised?"

Kita looked away. "There is more. If I don't take my own life as a result of a mental breakdown, my subconscious may do it to me. That's the proof I have."

"Your subconscious appearing and attacking you?" Thundur asked snarkily.

"Appearing, no. Attacking, yes. I was dreaming the night after finding the symbol, and I thought a beast was running at me. I felt it bite my neck..." She pointed to the cuts and bruises on her neck. "When I woke up, however, I was strangling myself. I had to peel my fingertips out of my own skin, without even remembering how they got there."

In a fit, she practically ripped off the bandages along her arms, exposing all of her scabs. One of them was deep and not fully healed yet, so it began bleeding when exposed.

"It's usually my arms. I start to see something attack me, only to snap out of it and find this. You can imagine the kind of pressure it takes to make these marks..." She felt out the scabs on her neck, lining her grip up to them. "And this is how I had my neck, that night. The grip was so tight that I couldn't breathe, and I was about to pass out."

"If only you slept in, that night," Thundur taunted.

Kita sighed, "All I want is to understand why this is happening to me, and why it's connected to your tribe. There has to be an explanation."

Thundur still had a resentful glare. Despite having two notorious demons in front of her, Kita felt a bit of relief. It had been incredibly difficult to get the truth out, but now that it was, it was almost relieving. Particularly because she had been assured that Leiytning didn't think she was lying.

Thundur spoke first, "If we did accept your plea, what would you do? Play nice with us, gather crucial information, then run back to Sybilius? You must take us for idiots."

Kita shook her head. "No, no, don't think that! I don't care about the war! I'm not a part of it. You can keep any information on that; I just need to know about my condition, and hopefully fix it. I'm willing to work for it, too."

She said that with some confidence, but the anxiety was building up again. However, to her surprise, Thundur turned her attention back to her brother.

"I still disapprove."

Kita was curious, especially when Leiytning responded.

"She finally spoke some truth. The least we can do is reward her with her life. Besides, you should know that if this does involve our emblem, then something is off about her."

"Does that mean you'll help?" Asked Kita.

Thundur shot her a glare, then nudged her brother. "Noli eam in arcem nostram admittere, periculosum est."

When Leiytning responded in the same language, Kita was helplessly confused. The twins bickered for a moment before they addressed her again.

"Mortal," Leiytning spoke, "I will reluctantly admit that you may be useful to us, and you did pass an unspoken trial by finally telling the damn truth."

Kita grinned. "Then you'll accept?"

"Don't let it go to your head," Leiytning spat. "This does not mean you have our trust, and it doesn't mean you'll get anything for free. You wanted in? Fine, then work strictly for us. That means you'll be under strict watch, and if you refuse to follow any of our rules, there will be punishment."

That warning gave her chills, but Kita just nodded. "That's okay."

Thundur sneered and crossed her arms. "Well, at least I can start betting how long it'll take her to break."


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Mon Feb 26, 2024 8:48 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



First Impressions:
I like how the demons are demonic, but they value things, such as honesty and each other. It makes them more peopleish. This allows the story to progress with the idea that these demons aren't full demons, but are merely an immortal species.
I'm still buckling down on Kita being related to one of the twins. Given their shared mind, it would help why Leiytning was defensive of her while Thundur was aggressive. And why I still get a vaguely playful and familiar feeling from how Leiytning talks to Kita.

Characters:
Kita- Despite what Leiytning said, she showed immense bravery in, not only returning to the forest, but choosing to speak honestly. Her willingness to confront them allowed Leiytning to realize that she was no joke, despite not knowing how to fight, and that, in my mind, is what caused him to be partially hostile.

Leiytning- He seems to be more peaceful then his kin, allowing Kita to live. He also seems to have interest in what she was talking about. Her condition caused him pause and made him think about what use she could be, and how they could help her.

Thundur- She's a real piece of work. Her attitude is funloving... in the way that ripping someone's spine out is. Her violent nature and cautiousness is understandable though. She, above all, wants to defend her people, and she's under the main mentality that she should kill any threat.

Theories:
The Conscience is Kita's demons side fighting to take over. It is hostile to the sylph body and wants absolute control. It also urged her to leave and become independent, or hurt others several times. If it appears in the camp, it may be less hostile.

Overall:
Wonderful tale, I really enjoyed it.




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Wed Jan 31, 2024 1:27 am
dragonight9 wrote a review...



Hi Raven, another short review.

I love how Kita is completely unable to see the demons until they reveal themselves. It really adds to the feeling that this is their territory and they know it well.

I also liked the personalities of the twins as they dealt with Kita. You really handled it well.

It seems that even Thundur, who is likely the most knowledgeable of the demons, doesn't know what is going on. But it seems like some demons have value for life, even that of a Sylph. Leiytning felt like he was hesitant to kill for no reason and spared Kita at first opportunity. (He is still my favorite character btw)

I loved that you actually had the demon language written and used it to convey such an exciting detail. (of course ancient demons would use Latin) I wonder who "He" is. Can't wait to find out.

Lastly, I am so excited to see more of the demon culture now that Kita has been allowed to live. I wonder how they are going to use her while she's there.

I really enjoyed and couldn't find any grammar or spelling errors either. Great job!

Have a wonderful day/week.




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Sat Dec 23, 2023 11:06 pm
PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello friend!
I saw your work in the Green Room and figured I’d check it out.


Per my interpretation, there were a lot of really amazing things in this! It added to the novel perfectly and expanded on a really big plot point that I was really invested in. And we learned a lot about what might come in the future of this novel.

Kita finally builds up the courage to go into the forest in search of the Zyreans, hoping to find them and get what she's looking for. And luckily for her, she finds them, or rather, they find her. Either way, she's interrogated until she breaks and finally tells the actual truth about why she came to the forest. And to her surprise, she passed an unknown trial that would allow her to stay and gain the help she needs from them, despite Thundur's distrust.

This was great and went in an awesome direction! I loved this and the plot development that came with it! It was a wonderful plot for a wonderful chapter!


If I could offer any sort of advice, it would be one small thing that's not really advice, but a question I had while reading.

When Leiytning was questioning Kita, he said that what she said wasn't entirely unbelievable, so Thundur retorted, causing Leiytning to respond in an odd way.

"Why are you defending her?" Thundur grumbled, ear twitching.

"Why are you assuming I would?" Leiytning retorted.


I feel like since he did kind of defend her, what he said doesn't really make sense. He's upset that Thundur thinks he defended Kita, but he did. Which is why I think if he said, "Why are you assuming I wouldn't?" it would make more sense in this context. Especially considering he's probably the most rational character in this story.

But, obviously, this is just a suggestion, and it's always up to the writer, so please take this criticism lightly and know that I mean nothing negative by it—only trying to provide a somewhat useful critique.


If I had to pick my favorite part, like always, there would be multiple! I just can never narrow it down to one, and there were a lot of great things in this chapter!

The first is when you were describing Kita running through the forest and how it seemed like she was getting nowhere. You said,

No matter how much or how far she ran, time and distance seemed to stop working.


I feel like this truly shows the vastness of the forest and how eerie it would be just to walk through it. It also does a really good job showing how it probably felt to Kita—running forever but getting nowhere—which is an incredible thing to be able to do as a writer!

The next thing I really enjoyed was a line from Leiytning where he somewhat gave really good wisdom that could potentially be applied in many different places. He said,

It's child's play to raise a blade. It takes bravery to use it right.


This quote stuck out to me because it seems like something you could say in many different areas of life. Like, just because you put on a brave face and pretend you know what you're doing doesn't mean you actually do. It was just an incredibly wise quote from a seemingly incredibly wise character, and I thought it was worth mentioning.

Another thing I thought was really cool was the way Leiytning once again showed how intelligent he was by being able to connect the dots in a pretty confusing situation. The part I'm talking about is:

"She's not lying."

Both Thundur and Kita looked at Leiytning, dumbfounded.

Leiytning simply continued, "This finally lines up with what I heard on the first night, when she thought she was talking to herself. Not to mention, while touching on the realm of utter madness, this is more believable than a sylph deciding to start a mutiny out of nowhere."


I feel like this just adds to the idea that Leiytning is a pretty chill, understandable, and intelligent character in this story, and that he's not acting purely on instinct as you would expect a demon to do. It's one of those instances in a story where you kind of fall for the antagonist, and those are the plots I'm a sucker for, so I really like what's going on here!

The final thing I really liked and appreciated wasn't part of the story at all. It was when you said,

This is the point where I'll start posting chapters a little less. Once a week, most likely.


I really appreciate that because I am so bad at staying on top of things, as you could probably tell by how long it took me to get to this chapter. I've become quite invested in this story, and I'd love to be able to actually read the newest chapter when it comes out, so thank you for making that decision!


Overall, this was a wonderful chapter and a phenomenal addition to the overall novel! I had a lot of fun reading this, and there were so many things that I really enjoyed, so kudos to you for writing such a spectacular story!

Thank you for taking the time to write and post this, and I hope this review is of some use to you!


Goodbye for now! I hope you have a magnificent day (or night) wherever you are!




RavenAkuma says...


Thanks for your suggestion! Rereading that, I see what you mean. I should probably make it a little clearer that the question at hand was more like "why do you *want* to defend her," lol. I'm also glad you're enjoying the novel thus far, and that you like my decision to post less frequently (I have so many chapters cluttering up the Green Room, I felt bad, lol). Anyway, thank you for your time! :)



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Tue Dec 12, 2023 3:19 pm
DeadMenTe11N0Tales wrote a review...



Well, well, well, what an adventure we just went on.
I must confess, dear reader, that this tale had me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and wondering what sort of crazy shenanigans our protagonist Kita was going to get herself into next. And, oh boy, did she not disappoint.

From being run out of the forest, to her restless state of mind, to stumbling across a book with Zyrean-related information, to finally facing the demons herself, Kita kept us on our toes. And let's not forget about her loyal companion, Stud, who was always there by her side, gnawing on a stick.

Kita's internal monologues had me laughing out loud at times, especially when she was arguing with herself about whether she was sad or angry. Haven't we all been there, Kita? And her exasperated "All I ever do is give up," comment had me nodding my head in agreement.

And then there's Thundur, with her blunt remarks and sharp tongue. The way she kicked Kita and pinned her against the tree had me both cringing and laughing. And her comment about Kita coming to them because her own kind was "a little mean" to her was just perfect.

But let's not forget Leiytning, who had some of the best lines in the story. "Honestly, how thick is your skull?" and "Why are you assuming I would?" were both hilarious and perfectly delivered.

Overall, this story had me thoroughly entertained, with its mix of humor, sarcasm, and adventure. And Kita, with her determination and bravery, is a character I can definitely get behind. If you're looking for a good laugh and an exciting story, you won't be disappointed with this one.




RavenAkuma says...


I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself! Thanks for your lovely review! :)




i like that the title of dr jekyll and mr hyde makes a clear stance that the embodiment of one’s own evil doesn’t get a claim to the doctorate
— waywardxwallflower