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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 20

by RavenAkuma


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

                      

Chapter 20 - Behemoth Bait 

                      

                           

"Keep up, you stupid mortal!"

Kita flinched upon hearing Timbur's harsh command.

Although she was already tired from wading through the Sorrowful Moors, another mission had started almost immediately after her return. No one in this group was as open as Seyber, though. Timbur and Thundur acted very suspicious of her, only talking when she couldn't hear. Meanwhile, Leiytning lingered behind like a silent, sullen shadow.

The environment around them was a nice forest. The breeze carried crisp orange and green leaves to the brittle grass and rich brown earth below. An earthy autumn fragrance -and autumn chill- filled the air. The cloudy sky was partially obscured by the shedding branches, but the area was still well-lit.

Despite its enchanting factors, the others made it clear that danger was meant to be near. Kita kept a sharp eye out as she scurried to catch up to the first demon.

"Thundur, where are we going?" She inquired.

"You'll find out when we get there," Thundur said flatly.

Taken aback, Kita stepped towards Timbur. However, he immediately grabbed the hilt of his weapon, and his ears flattened.

"Don't talk to me," he spat.

Kita slowly stepped further away, groaning under her breath. She felt as if she were in the town square of Lion's Bridge again, surrounded by judgmental people who hated her. The only thing to make this better was the simple fact that she knew why these people hated her, and it was a much more valid reason than rumors, demeanors, or appearances.

Trying not to draw attention, Kita glanced over her shoulder, her eyes focused on the silent demon leader.

Though it was true that Leiytning had been more reasonable than the bulk of his siblings, something about him was off. The recent talk with Seyber had Kita even more confused about the matter. Even the kind demoness, more than willing to acknowledge the others' hostility at first, was very quick to defend him when under question. The non-hostile, cooperative, possibly even merciful demeanor she pointed to was a stark contrast to the bitter hatred and prejudice she had seen thus far. It didn't make sense.

After a moment of hesitation, Kita approached the strange demon. "Excuse me, Leiytning? Will you be willing to talk to me?"

"To an extent," Leiytning muttered.

"What is this place?" Asked Kita.

"This forest has no name," said Leiytning. "Nothing lives in it, and it belongs to no territory. The only reason it's worth inspecting is the clearing, up ahead."

"Why patrol an uninhabited territory?" Asked Kita.

"A matter of precaution," Leiytning responded. "This place has significance to the spirit world, so Thundur prefers to keep it clear of trespassers. Beasts try to bore into it, hostile tribes try to build war camps, and some just cause trouble for the hell of it."

"What's here, now?"

"Something big, or large in number, we don't get many specifics through seeing brews."

"Seeing brews?"

"A magic form of security. Simply put, they're just potions that reveal current maps of a chosen area."

Kita blinked hard, confused. She had heard of potions, and had a little experience with them, but those were just simple tonics. These more complex mixes, as well as the strange magic, left her dizzy trying to fathom.

Leiytning's next remark only left Kita even more confused, especially since she noticed that he kept his voice low, and allowed Thundur and Timbur to get even further ahead.

"I should also warn you that what we call 'typical work,' like this, will still be alarming to you. That means you'll stop thinking clearly, which can turn into a lethal situation fast."

"What do you mean?" Asked Kita.

"Just remember one thing that you already seem to have trouble with. Have faith in your leaders."

Kita furrowed her brows. "I'm sorry, but why-"

'SCREEE!'

A bloodcurdling screech caused a flurry of birds and small rodents to scatter. It was distant, but loud.

Timbur's ear ticced. "Northwest-bound, can't be more than eight or ten minutes off."

"That can't be the problem we're looking for," Thundur remarked. "It's too distant."

Leiytning was already heading off. "I'll make sure it's not going toward the clearing. You two handle whatever's already there."

Thundur looked a bit anxious. "Just be careful, Leiyt."

Leiytning just muttered something under his breath before he easily disappeared from the trail, hardly making a sound otherwise. Thundur proceeded calmly along the main path, while Timbur snapped for Kita to keep walking, which made her scurry ahead.

Eventually, as the trek went on, the foliage grew thinner. They finally stopped at the edge of a peaceful glade. Though still brittle and thin, the grass was taller in the ballroom-sized meadow, and the air felt a bit colder.

However, despite the prior warnings, the glade was empty. There was not any trace of a beast or posse.

"It's too quiet," Timbur muttered. "Maybe an ambush?"

"Doubtful," said Thundur. "We just got here early."

In her hand, a small cloud of dark mist appeared very suddenly, then dissipated just as fast. It left behind a small device that looked like many wires attached to a small flute. As Thundur blew into it, a loud screech sounded. Timbur's ears flattened, and Kita covered her own. Thankfully, the annoying sound stopped soon after.

In just a few moments, something else started charging.

'THUD...THUD...THUD'

The sounds kept coming until, moments later, a large thing barreled through the trees, on the opposite side of the clearing.

The monster was easily over twenty feet tall. Its body had fur patches and sickly pinkish skin, and resembled a giant troll in shape. Its head resembled a gross, rodent-like creature with a blunt snout. Its body was covered by armor made from raw tree bark and mishappen metal walls. It dragged along a large, spiked club.

The beast screeched, looking around the area.

"See?" Thundur remarked. "It just needed a bit of motivation."

"I guess so," Timbur agreed. "What's your plan?"

Thundur cracked a faint smirk, and realizing her sharp amber gaze landed on herself, Kita felt her heart pounding with anxiety.

"The mortal may not be able to fight," Thundur spoke. "However, she could still be of use."

Kita gulped nervously. "How so?"

"All you need to do is keep its attention on you," Thundur replied.

"What?" Kita cried. "Thundur, if you're trying to turn me into bait, like with the spider, I can't do that here. That thing is huge! It could destroy me with one step!"

"Watch your tone with her, sylph," Timbur spat. "Would you prefer to be used by force?"

Kita visibly shuddered.

Thundur sneered, "That's what I thought. You have one task, here, and it's beyond simple. Provoke something, then run away. Standard protocol for your kind."

"Don't take that too literally," Timbur muttered. "We need you to keep it in the glade."

Kita looked uneasy. "But are you sure I can outrun it?"

"They're one of the slowest we get," Thundur responded. "It couldn't outrun a dying ox."

Timbur sneered, "Don't think we'll be so hellbent on protecting you, either. For someone as weak as you are, one mistake could very easily cost you your life."

Kita gulped nervously. "M-M-My life?"

"Or you'll get maimed beyond recognition. Either way, seeing your sorry mortal guts fly everywhere would be pure entertainment, so this is a win-win situation. Now get out there, or get back to Sybilius."

Still anxious, Kita inspected the place again. After the behemoth emitted a strange chortling sound, it seemed to calm down a bit. She broke into a cold sweat, watching it stomp about, but as she just barely managed to work through the fear and look closer, she could see that Thundur was right. It was moving at an extremely slow pace.

"One more thing," said Thundur. "These behemoths usually have a problem with eyesight. Don't get too close, obviously, but don't get too far away..." She shoved Kita forward. "Now get going, we don't have all day."

Kita took a deep breath, trying to stay calm, and eyed the field. After a moment, she ran out from the trees. As she heard a low growl, however, her vision blurred and she became queasy.

'THUD!'

Kita didn't know what the beast did to cause that noise, but she couldn't take it. She darted back as fast as her scrawny legs could carry her. When deep enough, about twenty feet into the forest, she was finally able to slow to a stop. From ahead, the behemoth snorted, but wasn't getting closer.

Thundur chuckled under her breath, but kept it discreet. She tried to sound disappointed.

"Tsk tsk, sylph, you couldn't even get within fifty feet of it."

Kita gasped, "I was still that far away?"

Thundur continued, "What a pity. If you can't help, who are we to pressure you? You can stay here while we deal with this."

Though the concept sounded nice, Kita almost felt sick. Something about this wasn't right. It sounded like simple taunting, yet it was equally misleading. The only question remaining was if she was taking the right step. Was there something more to the situation, and her specific involvement? Why else would she be chosen for this mission, if there wasn't? Was she now escaping a trap by defying orders, or falling into one?

It then struck her. Five simple words, which she was still confused about, finally began to make sense.

"Have faith in my leaders," Kita mumbled.

She immediately rushed after the demons. Before either of them could proceed, she grabbed Thundur by the wrist. Through her terror, she wore a look of determination. Thundur, however, was clearly not happy.

"Do not touch me, filth," Thundur snarled, tearing her wrist free.

Surprised by the visceral tone, Kita stepped back. "Sorry. Hold on, though, I can do this. I was just startled."

"What, did you finally find your spine?" Timbur spat.

"Trust me," Kita insisted. "I don't like being a burden all the time, I want to help. Besides, I know you said I could stay here, but it really feels like I have to."

Thundur gritted her fangs, but spat, "Fine. Go ahead."

Kita nodded, then took a deep breath. She ran headstrong into the meadow beyond. Even though she was scared, she felt a spark of pride as she came within a thirty-foot range of the behemoth. When stopping there, she started calling out to it.

The behemoth's head snapped to face her, its blank stare fixed on her. At the same time, it emitted a loud screech. She wasn't too concerned until it began charging, and she ran away.

The trick, this time, was that she was doing exactly as she'd been told. Her pace slowed and sped up again as she maintained a distance that kept her out of reach, but not out of sight. As she did, the urge to run away was still buzzing at the front of her skull, urging her to stop risking her life. Deeper down, however, much more concerning thoughts lingered.

"I have to do this," Kita whispered. "I'm doing this for answers, to feel better, and hopefully even more than that. Also, the demons will probably kill me if I don't. I have to. I have to..."

Kita glanced over her shoulder. The behemoth was still at the same distance. She couldn't see the demons, and wondered what they were doing to stop it, or if they were trying to stop it at all.

Meanwhile, at the edge of the meadow, Timbur retreated from the behemoth's line of sight, regrouping with Thundur.

"She's not running," Timbur angrily growled. "She's not even getting hurt, dammit!"

"Enough," Thundur hissed. "I don't feel like dragging this plan out any further. I'll think of another way to get rid of her."

Timbur's ear twitched. "Very well. What do we do to stop this thing?"

"This one is a bit tricky," Thundur responded. "It seems more cautious about what gets near it. I think the bait was actually necessary, this time."

"That explains the armor," Timbur muttered.

"Between that and its hit range, most of its weak spots are covered. I think our best shot is to attempt an electric attack."

"Electric? Leiytning isn't here, right now."

"No, but we have a few things to help. I have a few explosives charged with electric crystals on hand."

"I don't know," Timbur said warily. "Those charges only have so much energy. Are you sure it'll be enough to bring it down?"

"If not, we can try again," Thundur replied. "We won't always be able to kill something with one shot."

Timbur sighed, "So how do we expose the heart?"

Thundur pointed to the sylph. "What do you think the bait is for?"

"Please tell me you're going to let her die," Timbur muttered.

"I wish, but I can't. You remember the deal I made. She has to stay alive and in one piece, until we sort out her situation and resulting fate. Do you want the punishment, if we fail? That oculus would have a field day with both of us."

"Right," Timbur muttered. He stepped closer to the chase, shouting, "Mortal! You need to let it attempt an attack!"

"What?" Kita cried. "What if it hits me?"

"Calm down, freak!" Timbur snapped. "Thundur will make sure it doesn't hit you."

Too tired to speak, Kita just nodded in response.

"Have faith," Kita wheezed. "Have faith in your leaders..."

Straining her remaining courage, Kita dug her heel into the ground and spun back to face the beast. As it got closer, it stalled and raised its spiked club high.

'CRACK!'

However, Kita saw a flash of static light, and the club came down to its side.

The behemoth, with twitchy and jittery movements, grabbed the armor and ripped it off. The beast gasped for breath and raised its club again, and Kita barely realized in time. She flew to the side, but one of the spikes grazed the back of her leg, leaving a long slit.

Kita yelped with pain, falling to her knees.

Thundur, approaching casually next to her, was not concerned. "No armor, no defense. Timbur, go on!"

He didn't need another word. Timbur charged in, with green mist manifesting around one foot. As he struck the ground with his magic-charged foot, a menacing thorny root burst out of the ground and boosted him onto the club. From there, he jumped up to the beast's shoulder, then sank his blade into its neck. Crimson blood spurted from the gaping wound, and Timbur jumped down before it could grab him, dragging his blade on the way.

The beast released another screech of agony, blood spewing from its neck. Using his magic, Timbur forced the root to coil around one of its feet, the monstrous thorns sinking into its flesh. The beast was dragged down, and just seconds later, it lay dead.

Thundur still seemed irritated, while Kita was trying to catch her breath. Adrenaline was pumping through her veins, and her muscles practically screamed with agony. The wound on her left leg burned, causing her to keep most of her weight on her other one.

She spoke through strained breaths, "Is that the end?"

"Yes, it's dead," Thundur muttered. She then sighed, "Timbur will take you back to the beach. Recuperate well, because you won't know when the next mission is, and as you can see, we don't like to slow down."

"What about you?" Asked Kita.

"I need to check on Leiytning," she replied. "Timbur, take her back, and try to keep your weapon sheathed on the way."

Timbur grunted angrily, but he didn't argue. As he headed back through the trees, trying to keep plenty of space between him and Kita, the sylph hesitantly followed.

Meanwhile, once they were gone, Thundur growled under her breath.

"She's not a warrior, she's not trained, she's not keen, and she's not our ally. She's an idiotic, cowardly meat-maggot that should despise our very being, no different from the other scum within Sybilius. Yet even here, she's not backing down..." She snarled, "What am I supposed to do to get rid of her, short of defying my stupid brother?!"

                           

                       

\\\\\

                     

                      

Deeper in the forest, far from the clearing, there was still something disturbing the usual tranquility.

Amid the trees, there were three creatures, barely recognizable as people. They all had ratty hair and small horns. Strangely, their legs were like that of a goat's, with dark fur and cloven feet. It contrasted strongly against the reddish skin of their upper bodies. Their fangs, slitted pupils, and retractable claws gave away what genus they came from.

Nearby, there was a large lump, covered by a white canvas-like cloth. One of the red demons kicked it, which caused a disgusting sound.

"Nasty bastard, ain't it?" He taunted.

Another one sneered, "I'm getting sick of these beasts."

"Maybe we could start driving them closer to that other area," the third remarked. "You know, the one we see those Zyreans in."

"Party loyalty," the first one spat. "A demon's a demon."

The third sneered, "Those things? Talk about disgrace. Haven't you heard the rumors about that leader?"

"Yeah, yeah," the second dismissively said. "Everybody knows the legend. It's just a fairytale that parents use on their brats. The only thing I believe is that the stupid old devil's mind is shot; he probably doesn't even know what a demon is, anymore."

The three of them laughed at that.

The second cackled, "Now that you mention it, I'd like to see that fight. I say we do it!"

"Yeah, forget about those fossils!" The first cheered. "They should be-!"

Suddenly, there was a black flash, and the first was knocked down with much force, cracking his head on the ground. Before they could react, the second one was struck hard and rendered unconscious, and the final one was kicked down very roughly.

The attacker casually stepped over their limp bodies. The only conscious goat-legged person was left shocked.

He smiled nervously. "M-M-Master Leiytning! What are the odds?"

Leiytning just looked unamused. "Indeed."

He tried to stand up. "I-I can see you're busy, so why don't I get out of here, huh? I'll forget you were here, just like that, and you can forget I was here."

"You're rather far from the Kaen Realms," Leiytning responded. "Almost as if you planned to follow through with that little stunt you mentioned."

He shook his head, wincing as he staggered back up. "N-No, not at all! I was just joking around with these fools!"

Leiytning kicked him back down. "Sure you were. 'Stupid old devil' is not nearly as gullible as you think, and I have enough battles to coordinate without your help. Also, apologies if I confused you. It's not that I don't know what a demon is, I just refuse to acknowledge your kind as one of them. The thought of our tribes being related, even minorly, makes my bile rise."

"Shut up!" The red demon spat. "You're the disgrace here, pal! We're the real vision of a demon tribe, not the bunch of fairies with puppy ears!"

As Leiytning stepped closer, he looked more anxious.

"Woah," he insisted. "Slow down, will you? Think about what you're doing. You kill me, and the whole Kaen tribe is going to strike back."

"Something tells me they wouldn't care, nor would they be concerned enough to tell who did it. Moving on, your friend was wrong the first time. Those legends..." As Leiytning raised his spear, his eye turned pitch black. "Are far more than just a fairytale. Let that be your only warning to not fuck with us."

The red demon gasped, trying to crawl away. He was struck by the blunt end of the spear, right in his temple, and blacked out on impact. Leiytning carelessly stepped around the limp body, and with a spark of electricity from his hand, the spear's shaft retracted to where it fit on his back.

"'Demonic pact' my ass," Leiytning grumbled.

Though he planned to leave, Leiytning spotted the covered lump again. The substance leaking from it was a vile concoction of tar-like ooze, puss, and greenish pestilence.

Leiytning approached and used his shortened spear to flick the cover off. The sight was one for sore eyes.

It was a large, disgusting mass of contorted flesh that had barely any form. Just distorted limbs, slimy skin, leaking pustules, and a broken jaw. Whatever it was, it looked as far from any creation of nature as possible.

Leiytning's eye narrowed with suspicion. "Another one."


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RavenAkuma says...



In case the end of this chapter leaves you wondering: yes, there are other demon tribes in the Nameless World! More information exists in future chapters, but for now, I can tell you that -as the characters were happy to point out- they are visually, culturally, and even magically different despite their shared genus.




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Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:29 pm
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dragonight9 wrote a review...



Hi Raven, I've got some more time to dive into your wonderful story, and I think I've figured out the coding this time. I guess we'll see.

That upon which the dragon's eyes fixed

I love how you transitioned from the last chapter. The description of the forest was also amazing though you could have added some smell(s) to tie it all together. Totally up to you. I just want to see this story the best it can be.

I am so glad Leiytning was able to encourage Kita before the fight. It was an amazing contrast to see how Timbur and Thundur wanted to abandon her and wished for her death while she was trusting in them because of their leader's words.
As part of that, it really showed Kita's character that Thundur was so frustrated with her. I wonder if Leiytning knew they wouldn't be able to get rid of her without breaking his promise because he guessed her personality.

Also, I wonder if Thundur or Timbur have any healing magic, and simply chose not to use it on Kita.

Oooh, I love seeing new races in a story. They seem like a mix between fawns and imps. Just as foolish and cowardly too. I look forward to learning more about the broader race known as demons in your story.

And that strange creature at the end... I wonder if it has anything to do with the beasts Queen Corelia was dealing with.


Some loose scales

As for corrections, I couldn't find any! I do have one potential improvement though.

Despite its enchanting factors, the others made it clear that danger was meant to be near. Kita kept a sharp eye out as she scurried to catch up to the first demon.

I would have loved to see a description of how they made it clear, but leaving it up to the reader's imagination is fine too. Totally up to you.


As mighty wings soared over all the story

First off, showing Kita's conflicting feelings about Leiytning and his subsequent support really showed his character well.

I love how we get to see more about the way the least friendly Zyreans (to Kita) think of her. And how Leiytning's deal is already paying off.

Meanwhile we get another small piece of world expansion along with something that seems to have worried Leiytning. The fact those red demons said they were getting more common just adds to the tension.


Final wisdom of the scaled one

I would love to see you use the sense of smell a bit more in your descriptions. The large beast could have definitely included a putrid smell or two and the creature under the cloth at the end too.
Still, totally up to you whether you want to incorporate that in the future.

I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Have a wonderful day/night!




dragonight9 says...


Guess I'll have to shorten a few of those.



RavenAkuma says...


Welcome back, dragonight! I have been trying to work on sensory descriptors more, so I appreciate that feedback. I too wish to see this story reach its best form, so don't hold back lol. Thanks for taking the time to read and review, always appreciated! :D

The review format is looking nice too! Maybe removing the size code (if you have one) would help the headers fit better. If you want to keep testing it out, you can post some practice ones on my wall or in a message.



dragonight9 says...


Thanks, I already have a test post for practice but I am very grateful for the offer.



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Mon Mar 04, 2024 5:11 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



First Impressions:
This chapter does very well in explaining how the Zyreans are unique from other demons. They value life and love helping and defending each other. The other demons seem more interested in defending themselves and benefiting themselves, as shown when the red demon, instead of defending his fallen men, shouted about his men getting revenge for HIS death.

Characters:
Kita- This is another show of her strength. Her realizing her flaws and wanting to improve make her so loveable. Though, it was also interesting, and I am shocked that Thundur didn't mention it, she got the intuition to dodge when, by her perspective, there would have been no reason to, narrowly saving her own life. Her confidence is echoed in Thundur's annoyance in finding no way to get rid of Kita. I also like how she is more curious about Seyber's direct protection of Leiytning.

Timber- He is getting more used to Kita, as evidenced by the teasing. I feel that he is a full tsundere, because he always threatens, but he also keeps giving that sense of kindness. I think he's like Scorch, but he doesn't want to be, so he acts menacing instead.

Thundur- I love how her concern for her family overwrites her curiousity of Kita, it shows how much she values them. Her want to remove Kita is cool as it shows that even the kill mentality was a strict wanting to protect her people. She is shown as threatening and impassive by Seyber and Kita, but in reality, she cares way more than most of the other demons do.

Leiytning- His patience for the red demons to finish mocking him before he flattened them was funny. Every other one there, even Seyber, maybe not Scorch, would have destroyed them for the insult, but Leiytning simply observed and then knocked them out. His value for life as well as his patience makes it clear how he became demon king.

Overall:
Good read.




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Mon Jan 22, 2024 11:42 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello friend!
It is I, here for chapter 20!


Per my interpretation, this was a really awesome chapter! It was incredibly action-packed and showed some wonderful character development!

Kita is going on another mission, this time with Timbur, Thundur, and Leiytning, but it's a little different than the ones prior. This time, Timber and Thundur elect to use Kita as bait for the monster, causing her to quickly back out. But after moments of thinking and remembering what Leiytning told her, she goes out there to prove herself. This chapter ends with the introduction of a new demon tribe.

This was a great chapter and very exciting to read!


If I could offer any sort of advice, it would be something related to a really small error. When you were describing the monster they came into contact with, you misspelled one of the words, saying,

Its body was covered by armor made from raw tree bark and mishappen metal walls.


This is a simple mistake and can easily be solved by correctly spelling the bolded word, so it looks more like:

Its body was covered by armor made from raw tree bark and misshapen metal walls.


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, it would surely have to be the way you showed Kita's determination! I mean, she just keeps developing and getting better as a character!

One thing that stood out to me in relation to Kita's strong will occurred when they were fighting the monsters. You did a great job showing how determined Kita was to get answers related to her sickness when you said,

"I have to do this," Kita whispered. "I'm doing this for answers, to feel better, and hopefully even more than that. Also, the demons will probably kill me if I don't. I have to. I have to..."


This does a great job of showing how many motivators Kita has to do the best she can. It also does an awesome job of not only showing that Kita's determined but also showing why she's determined as well, and it does it in a really straightforward yet creative way, so kudos to you for that!

Building off of this idea, another thing that caught my eye came a little later in the chapter after they deafeated the monster. You said,

Yet even here, she's not backing down..." She snarled, "What am I supposed to do to get rid of her, short of defying my stupid brother?!"


Kita's determination is upsetting Thundur, which really goes to show how strong her determination actually is. She's making the demons go against everything they believe, and it's really fun to watch how their anger with her unfolds throughout the novel! So, you did a great job there!

I also really enjoyed the little addition at the end! Not only did it show how much fear others have for Leiytning, but it also introduced the idea of other demon tribes, which I thought was really cool!


Overall, this was an outstanding chapter, and I legitimately enjoyed reading it! It was wonderfully fast-paced and exciting in all of the best ways! I look forward to the next chapters!

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...


Welcome back, PK! Thanks for pointing out that typo. Glad you enjoyed, and as always, thanks for reading and reviewing! :)




Forever is composed of nows.
— Emily Dickenson