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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 23

by RavenAkuma

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

Chapter 23 - A Foot In Both Worlds



On the night-shrouded Dead Beach, still standing by the portal, it seemed as though Kita and Leiytning's conversation had ended. However, hearing that last remark made Kita realize one problem; it had been nagging her for hours, and she was just now called to its attention.

"That's it!" Kita cried anxiously.

From the sudden outburst, Leiytning barely restrained himself from unsheathing a weapon.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" He interrogated.

As Kita spoke, it was fast and hardly understandable. "I just realized that Stud is missing!"

"You mean the rat?" Leiytning said flatly.

"He's a dog, not a rat!" Kita argued. "I-I don't know where he would've gone; at first, I thought he was just stretching his legs or catching a crab to eat, then I got lost in thought and didn't realize he hadn't returned, oh gods..." She anxiously bit her lip. "He wouldn't go into the fortress when he's terrified of you all..."

As her eyes landed on the portal, she remembered something she asked of him, a while ago. She bit her tongue before revealing any of it out loud, but now she knew exactly where she had to go.

Kita carefully explained, "These cliffs are too steep to climb, so the only other place to go is the portal. He must've sneaked through while it was open, trying to get into the Blood Forest."

"Case solved, now let me leave," Leiytning muttered.

"Wait," Kita replied. "Do you think you could take me to the Blood Stream? I don't think he could cross, so he must be there."

Leiytning seemed suspicious, but she wasn't surprised. It must have looked too convenient for Stud to have escaped after the conversation they just had.

"Hey, you know I'm a bad liar," Kita insisted. "I didn't know this was going to happen. I knew Stud would probably try to return to Sybilius, but I didn't think he'd do it without telling me. That's what seems off."

"Just answer this honestly," Leiytning responded. "Would you be tempted to cross the stream, at the risk of not being allowed back? Stay on our side, at the risk of never crossing again? Permanent ignorance, and possibly sickness, or permanent strife?"

Kita still felt scared by the proposal. It was true that her homesickness had grown stronger in the days she had been here, the current living conditions weren't enjoyable, and the potential of never returning at all was almost terrifying. However, at the depths of her ever-doubtful mind, she knew her version of home was in the past, not across the stream, and there was no guarantee that she would ever get it back. She struggled to form an answer.

"You're right to be wary. I was counting on returning to Sybilius when this was over, and part of me does want to cross the stream even now, but I can't. And if it's worth giving up permanently..." She hesitated. "I just don't know..."

Leiytning still didn't look convinced. "I'll take you to the stream, but continue to think about that. And don't try anything stupid."

Kita managed an awkward laugh. "I would consider it more stupid to think I could get away with it."

With that, Kita watched the portal open into the same dark pit from before. As she leaped through, trying to keep her balance, she quickly landed in the Blood Forest. The smell of damp earth and autumn leaves immediately hit her, almost overwhelming her as it was so different from the mild, salty aromas of the beach she just left. The night made it even darker than usual, with only specks of the night sky visible overhead. She was barely able to see and follow Leiytning through the woods.

Meanwhile, a familiar female voice began speaking to Leiytning, within his own mind space.

Thundur interrogated, What the hell am I sensing from you?

Just using an opportunity to test the mortal. I gave her the ultimatum question, seeing how she would act if the idea of ever returning to Sybilius was taken away. Thus far, no solid answer.

That's not a good sign.

Patience, no one would make that choice so quickly. It could even take a few days for us to get any semblance of an answer. In the meantime, it should be interesting to see her process this. And we both know her desperation is plenty strong enough to keep her here.

If not, time for the patch to come off?

Perhaps. We'll see how this goes.

Wait, you posed the question. What else is there?

I'll explain when I get back, now let me focus.

Meanwhile, after a fairly long trek, Kita could finally hear rushing water as they reached the stream. Seeing the moonlight tinted blood-red in its rippling reflection was more chilling than charming. The rattled sylph began investigating the bank, secretly hoping she wouldn't have to wade through the unnatural water at night.

Kita called out, "Stud! Stud, are you out there?"

A high-pitched voice yelled back, "Kita! Up here, in the tree!"

Following the noise, Kita spotted Stud's white pelt amid the darkness. His front paws were wrapped tight around a high branch, the rest of him dangling helplessly, and three parallel cuts on his side were staining a patch of his fur red.

"What happened to you?" Kita cried.

Stud yelped, "I tried to cross the stream, but some hawk thought I was a rabbit! Now I'm stuck up here! Please help!"

Instead, Kita could only groan, "How do I get up there? I don't think I can make the climb, and if that branch shakes too much it could-"

"Stop acting hysterical," Leiytning cut in, more annoyed than anything. "And this better not be an everyday thing, or I'm throwing your 'friend' in the ocean next."

As if the threat wasn't enough, Kita became even more anxious as the demon flexed his claws. Then, faster than she could blink, he disappeared. She found him just then in the same high branch.

Kita blinked hard, thinking, Was that a jump? I didn't even see him move!

Though Stud was already frightened, he became frozen with fear after being picked up by the scruff. Leiytning made no sound as he landed back on the ground. Right after, he dropped the dog. After recovering, Stud ran back to Kita, who picked him up.

"That damned beast almost ate me!" He cried. "And those claws hurt!"

"Stop that," Kita hissed, firmly squeezing him to make her point. "Thank you, Leiytning, and sorry for the trouble."

"It's not the creature I'm interested in," Leiytning responded. "Do you realize that Sybilius is just a few feet away?"

"Right..." Kita sighed, "I still don't know how to answer you. Being closer doesn't do much either, except make me more nervous that I'll make you angry somehow."

Stud nudged her. "Kita?"

"Is that your only metric in deciding?" Asked Leiytning. "The fear of provoking someone's wrath? Because you know, by trying to play to my 'good' side, you're inherently risking the emergence of Corelia's bad side. And vice-versa. As I said, there's no middle ground between us. That chance was lost a long time ago."

Kita gulped nervously. "Right. Well-"

As if on cue, Leiytning suddenly looked suspicious. His glare snapped to the other side of the stream, his animalian ears ticcing.

"What is it?" Asked Kita. "A creature?"

He didn't respond. Kita looked to the other side of the stream, but there was nothing. Just the same woods, with slightly less underbrush to crowd the ground. 

"Stay," Leiytning said firmly.

Hearing that, Kita felt her whole body freeze, like even her subconscious was too afraid to break his order. Kita looked back to him, but staggered back out of pure shock. 

Again, he had vanished without a trace.

"What the..." Kita gulped, crossing her arms. "What's going on? He must've heard something dangerous, to have that reaction. Something over..."

As Kita's eyes landed on the opposite bank, she couldn't help pausing. The longer she stared, the more she felt a silent but strong tug, as if something was trying to pull her across.

"You should go," Stud remarked.

Kita blinked hard. "What? Why? He told me to-"

"He's not looking now," Stud insisted, nudging her leg. "Go, quick!"

Kita felt confused; Stud was a coward, and the idea of him pressing for her to take risks when the most dangerous demon was in the area didn't make any sense. However, when she looked again, the tug turned into a powerful pulse, threatening to drag her if she didn't go on her own accord. 

"I-I..." Kita gulped. "W-Well, I should at least make sure he's okay. Right?"

Stud nodded vigorously. She knew her reasoning was quite stupid, but it was better than nothing.

"But you stay here," Kita insisted. "If he comes back, tell him I thought I saw something and ran."

Stud sat and pouted. "From hawk's food to demon's hostage..."

After taking a deep breath to steel her nerves, Kita raced across the stream, leaping from stone to stone. She could practically feel the change in land, like a wave of warm air sweeping across her body. 

On the opposite bank, Kita found herself unable to stop, barreling through the trees. All she knew was that if she wanted to make this work, she had to get in and out at a fast pace. Despite the sense of urgency, and the aggravating trek, the familiarity was bringing her a faint sense of comfort.

Kita then felt her heart skip a beat, and she froze in her tracks.

Before her, the forest cleared away. The miles of rolling green hills were right there. In the distance, she could see the faint lights of the Aubade Palace and Royal City, and the familiar old roads leading to and fro. Clear winds blew against the long grass, somehow still feathery-soft despite the fall season, and the uninterrupted gale swept over her like a welcoming caress from her homeland. It carried the scent of fresh dew, fallen leaves, and fading wildflowers.

Unable to help it, Kita breathed a sigh of relief. "It's almost tempting to stay, but I can't..."


Then, Kita felt like something punched the air out of her lungs.

She looked to the right, where the sound came from. At the edge of the forest, standing equally shocked, was Queen Corelia herself. She was in glorious armor that was mostly silver, with some violet pieces. A black undersuit showed through the cracks, and the Aubade Emblem -the white outline of a rabbit's head- was embedded in the chest piece. A striking greatsword with an ornate hilt and sheath was on her side.

Just as Kita stepped forward, the excitement vanished. A bullet of panic had struck her.

She felt something jerk her backward as her vision went blurry and glitched rapidly; she could see the burning Zyrean Emblem, and for a brief second, an eye of pure shadows. It was enough to remind her not just of her predicament, but that she was more than likely trapped in that haunting, critical glare of an ancient demon leader.

Kita drummed up an act; she gulped nervously, then stammered, "Q-Queen Corelia? How do you know my name?"

Corelia looked utterly baffled. Kita tried to send a discreet signal, darting her eyes toward the forest. For a moment, she noticed the queen looked annoyed, but she slowed down her approach.

"You are part of an ongoing investigation," Corelia said sternly. "Based on rumors of a civilian getting too close to this region."


Kita's suspicions were confirmed. She heard no footsteps, or even a breath, but she could tell from the foreboding presence alone who was now here. Right behind her, like a shadow ready to swallow her.

Unlike Kita, however, Corelia showed no fear. With surprising composure, she spoke, "I should've figured I'd meet you out here."

Behind the sylph, Leiytning sneered, "Getting a bit close to the border, aren't you?"

Kita felt as if countless eyes were boring into her. A black haze cornered her vision, and her heart was pounding in her chest. Now she was quite literally stuck between two worlds, and knowing she had obligations to both sides, she shuddered at the thought of a fight being provoked.

Corelia kept a defensive stance. "Be that as it may, I am not the issue. That would be the girl in front of you. Now what are you planning, keeping her like this? If you think you can repeat what happened with he who won't be named, you must take me for an idiot."

Leiytning moved Kita back a bit; a mere nudge, yet it forced her to stagger back at the risk of falling. Just another hint as to where she stood in the situation.

The demon spoke with an almost taunting tone, "The poor girl wanted answers. Sybilius failed her, so she came to us. Why must you attribute motive to this? Do you think I am so callous as to deny a desperate wanderer?"

Corelia chuckled, "You're a terrible actor, Leiytning. We both know better than to believe you're doing this out of the good of your nonexistent heart. You haven't shown any mortal mercy in a very long time."

"Really?" Leiytning responded. "Maybe I'm just returning the favor."

"Hmph..." Corelia shifted her eyes to Kita. "Ms. Rein, regardless of what troubles may have plagued you before, what would coax you to cross that border? The fact that you're alive right now is sheer luck, and even so, you're only going to be exploited by this company. Not helped."

Kita tried to look annoyed. "It doesn't change that everyone here has failed me, and made it clear that they hate me in the process. That's why I left."

"And you believe the demons accept you?" Corelia interrogated.

"No, but at least they're doing something."

"Not all progress is good progress, though..." Corelia focused on Leiytning again. "Enough is enough. Let her come back, now."

"It's not my choice, is it?" Leiytning replied.

Corelia sighed, "Should've figured. Kita, you need to understand that you're not in trouble, and you are not beholden to this beast just because he says so. You just need to come home. Why keep this up, when we have the resources here? Certainly more than they have."

Kita felt uneasy and glanced back at Leiytning. With hardly any care, the demon motioned for her to respond.

Kita cleared her throat. "Because we have a deal. They'll know more about this, and the state I've been in doesn't leave me much of a choice either."

"Please," Corelia replied as she stepped closer. "I know it must feel like you've hit a dead end, but we'll find a solution. This can't be the only way."

Kita nervously bit her lip. Though it sounded enticing, returning to a literal castle, the possibility was as distant as possible. Even if she chose to turn on the demons right now, she remembered that the legends claimed these two leaders were in a stalemate. If a fight broke out, there was no way to guarantee anyone's safety -including her own.

Repressing her urges, Kita argued, "That's the thing. It would be just as miserable to go through another failed treatment, and it wouldn't explain anything. By the way, I've only gotten better since I went to them. I couldn't tell you why if I tried, but I think that's a strong enough hint."

"I'll be honest..." Corelia shot Leiytning a glare. "I don't think they have an answer for you. These are the kind of people that will hold whatever you want over your head, leading you further down the hole until you realize you're at too low of a point to recover from."

"Your worst nightmare," Leiytning taunted. "A sylph regaining its common sense and knowledge of the very world we're living in, not being able to sip from a gold-lined glass of angel tears."

"We both know that's not the case," Corelia argued. "For gods' sake, your damn sister has built her entire legend on being a manipulator, and you're just as bad. Needless to mention how you dispose of your used-up pawns. I'll be damned if I let you do that to her."

Kita felt her stomach churning. She didn't know what those words were supposed to mean, nor how they coincided with what she had heard from Leiytning, before.

"Yes, I'm sure your paranoia is helping her just as well," Leiytning said sarcastically. "You know, I've hardly scratched the surface of this situation, and I can already tell what's happened. After all, wasn't it me who told you, not long after you took that heavily disgraced crown, that burying the story would bring consequences? You say it was for the citizens' safety and comfort, but we both know you just wanted to claim that you fixed a problem while satisfying your urge to control something. I understand, given you have literally nothing else to your title. Lo and behold, someone apart from a brainwashed soldier or servant has seen past it, and here we are."

Kita was inwardly cringing, whereas Corelia remained composed.

"I would stop while you're ahead," she responded. "Regardless of your skewed judgments, I think these people are better off not having to remember the war that nearly halved our population."

Leiytning's ear twitched with irritation. "Almost half, hm? How tragic."

"Yeah, bad point," Kita muttered.

"Kita, dear, now's not a good time," Corelia replied.

Leiytning gained a darker tone. "Your petty tyranny aside, I do have to commend your strength. It won't be nearly as interesting when someone like Maia takes over..." For once, he gained a malicious smirk. "Something tells me that reign will end much faster."

Kita only vaguely knew Maia, the only princess of Sybilius, but Corelia didn't take that well. For the first time in this confrontation, she saw the queen reflect anger. She clenched her fists, one even gripping the hilt of her greatsword, but she still made no move.

"We've veered from the subject, though."

Leiytning snapped his fingers, and that alone forced Kita's attention back to him. His cold look rendered her petrified.

"Return to the stream," he commanded.

"You do not rule her," Corelia growled.

"Apparently, you don't either," Leiytning remarked.

"You little..."

Kita kept her head down, facing the woods.

"Oh, for the love of gods," Corelia muttered. "Don't listen to him. It's too dangerous for you to go back!"

Kita forced out the words, "I have to."

As she started to leave, Corelia quickly stepped toward her. "No, wait. You don't know what you're doing! Trust me, you have not seen them for what they truly are. When they are pushed too far, they will hurt you, and when it comes to this beast behind you, any foe you've everfaced will pale in comparison."

Leiytning moved between them. "Or perhaps any kind of demon is a nightmare to you mortals."

"That's enough from you, demon king," Corelia retorted.

"'Demon king,'" Leiytning growled. "I am king of nothing, and guess who I have to thank for that?"

"You know what I can guess?" Corelia argued. "Exactly what you would do if you did have a kingdom to command."

Kita could feel bitter hatred infecting the air around her, like suffocating smoke. She shook her head and covered her ears, trying to hurry back toward the stream.


Kita gasped, lurching forward before she turned to look.

She couldn't tell who made the first strike. The blade of Corelia's unsheathed greatsword was practically illuminating in the faint moonlight, but Leiytning had already blocked her with the jagged, pale gold spear. The shaft was now longer, and she noticed some sparks had died off of it.

Corelia's eyes narrowed. "You should know to not fight an Erxina so recklessly."

"You should know better than to push a demon..." Leiytning's eye flashed black. "You may provoke something neither of us want."

Corelia seemed a little more uneasy, stepping back.

Kita gulped nervously, whispering, "How did this even happen? I only looked away for a few seconds!"

"I wouldn't start disobeying orders, mortal," Leiytning spat.

"If you have to go back, just remember this," Corelia spoke in a raised voice. "It's dangerous to trust a disguise."

Frightened and confused, Kita ran back into the woods. She certainly felt like she was running from someone, but she didn't know who.

At the stream, some minutes later, she crossed as fast as possible without falling into the red water. On the other side, she stopped to catch her breath and process her racing thoughts. Her heart was still pounding in her chest, and she felt seconds from vomiting.

That was, until she noticed a pale blur out of the corner of her eye, and turned to see Stud jumping his way across the stream. Once he landed on the shore, he charged over to her.

"Why would you come back?" He yipped.

Kita's eyes narrowed. "You wanted me to cross so Corelia would find me, didn't you?"

"Yes, it was the perfect opportunity!" Stud remarked. "I knew she would protect you. You should've seen her talking with her lieutenants, back at the palace, she was ready to stake out-"

Kita jerked him up by the scruff, scolding, "How could you stand to do something like that? Do you know how hard that was? Not to mention terrifying! I could've been swept up in a fight!"

Stud whimpered, "I just wanted to help."

Kita sighed, setting him down. "I know you're not happy about the situation, but we can't be stirring up trouble with either leader."

Stud shook his head. "I don't want trouble with them either, but I don't like where this is going."

Kita kneeled as she whispered, "Listen. I appreciate you trying to help. Just let me know when you're going out from now on, and be more careful. No more leading me to Corelia, or vice-versa, especially with Leiytning around. Got it?"

"Okay," Stud mumbled.

Kita stood back up and looked around. Since the moon moved, and some clouds rolled in, it was even harder to see than before. There was no sign of the sun rising any time soon.

Soon enough, she heard an odd sound, like the faintest 'thud' and rustle in the leaves.

Kita gasped, "Who's there?"

"I'm literally right in front of you," Leiytning's voice responded.

Kita breathed a sigh of relief. She had not seen him through the dark, just a few feet away, and could hardly see him now. Despite the delay, there was no sign that the fight had escalated.

Kita gulped nervously. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't know she'd be there."

"Do you not understand what 'stay' means?" Leiytning grumbled.

Kita found herself unable to respond; she didn't have the words.

"I can also tell you weren't entirely aligned with either of us, but your responses were appropriate enough, and I do find amusement in hearing that woman's absurdity. The mask she puts on around you 'civilians' is laughable. That aside, tread lightly from here on out, and continue thinking about that question I posed."

Kita took a deep breath. "Okay. I will, and thanks for understanding."

Without a response, Leiytning was already heading off, but Kita couldn't help hesitating.

"'Dangerous to trust a disguise,'" Kita mumbled. "'The mask she wears around people like me.'"

"Would you mind saving your contemplation for when we get back?" Leiytning said flatly.

Kita flinched. "Sorry, I'm coming."

This time, as Kita trekked deeper into demon territory, she was almost surprised to realize that she wasn't nearly as scared. Not about the company she kept, nor whatever lay ahead. However, she was unable to tell if that was good or bad.

Is this a review?



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267 Reviews

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Reviews: 267

Stickied -- Tue Feb 06, 2024 12:53 pm
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RavenAkuma says...

Sorry if you're someone who doesn't like longer chapters, or struggles reading them, but this was a hard one to shrink down (lol). Please let me know what you think!

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Sat Apr 27, 2024 7:00 pm
dragonight9 wrote a review...

Dragonight is back for another chapter of this amazing book!

That upon which my dragon's eye fixed

From the sudden outburst, Leiytning barely restrained himself from unsheathing a weapon.

I am surprised that Leiytning would feel threatened by Kita to the point of almost drawing his weapon. It really shows how cautious he is and how he still views Kita as a potential enemy.

Kita managed an awkward laugh. "I would consider it more stupid to think I could get away with it."

I really enjoyed this line. That's all.

"That damned beast almost ate me!" He cried. "And those claws hurt!"

I wonder if Stud is talking about the hawk or Leiytning. lol. Once again I am reminded how kind he is despite his aloofness.

As Kita crosses the stream I realised that this character is the most extreme case of me wanting to scream "You idiot!" at a character while also completely understanding why they did it.

It was enough to remind her not just of her predicament, but that she was more than likely trapped in that haunting, critical glare of an ancient demon leader.

Now this is interesting. Not only does it mean that whatever is causing her sickness doesn't want her leaving, but it is also likely an enemy of Corelia.

Leiytning's ear twitched with irritation. "Almost half, hm? How tragic."

"Yeah, bad point," Kita muttered.

Got to agree with Kita there. From where I stand as the reader it seems like the Zyreans are the victims here. For now...

I wonder what the disguise and "something neither of us want." refer to. Perhaps a more powerful form? Or maybe that alter ego referenced last chapter? Love the teasers and can't wait to learn the answer.

That whole scene was great. I'm glad Kita got to see the conflict for herself, in person. It really added a lot of weight to her decision.

I also like that Corelia has a different face for her citizens and enemies. To me that is how a ruler of the 'good' kingdom has to be. And of course she would then seem two-faced to the Zyreans. Really good worldbuilding there! :)

Some loose scales

Though Stud was already frightened, he became frozen with fear after being picked up by the scruff. Leiytning made no sound as he landed back on the ground without.

You could either remove the 'without' at the end or have it say "Leiytning landed back on the ground without making a sound."

Kita sighed, setting him down. "I know you're not happy about the situation, but we can't be stirring up trouble with either leader."

Stud shook his head. "Those are bad words, there."

I didn't understand Stud's line here. Is he saying that it is not possible to avoid antagonizing both leaders?

As mighty wing soar overall

This chapter was exactly what the title suggested. Her choice and the pros and cons of it all coming together. I'm glad she chose to stay with the Zyreans. (I don't know why I tend to root for the 'bad' guys but I guess I think they're cool)

I like how this chapter also informs the reader of the conflict as well.
To me it seemed like there was an original reason for the conflict that may have been lost. Or it was a difference of culture and likely the Aubade's fear of the unknown. This makes me even more interested in Kodin since he was looking into the origins of the conflict and ended up siding with the Zyreans.

Final wisdom of the scaled one

Sorry for putting so many of my own thoughts into this review. I wanted to give you an idea of what I was thinking as I was reading and I hope it was helpful.

I'm also glad Stud is looking out for Kita in his own way. Good Dog!

May blazing dragon-fire light your path and ignite the flames of your inspiration.

RavenAkuma says...

Welcome back! "Your own thoughts" or not, your reviews are both helpful and inspire me to write more ^^

(also forgot to mention last time, love the template, that little dragon pic at the end is adorable lol)

Thanks for catching those botched sentences, and for taking the time to read and review! :D

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Mon Mar 04, 2024 7:40 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...

NICE!!! I love that
First impressions:
Correlia and Leiytning have warped views of the other, that much is plain to see. Both think the other was a horrid villain. I also love how Kita feels more at home with the demons, showing her slow acceptence of the demonic nature.

It is also revealed that Corelia has somewhat of a mask. She is somewhat power hungry, but it is clear, after seeing her perspective, that she wants her people to reign supreme.

The main quote I loved:

"Leiytning's ear twitched with irritation. 'Almost half, hm? How tragic.'"
'Yeah, bad point,' Kita muttered.'
'Kita, dear, now's not a good time,' Corelia replied."

It adds in a comedic touch to the dark scene while simultaneously echoes the dark implications of the war, and the difference of perspective that everyone has of it. It also shows that Kita gained a lot of perspective in the conflict and understands the true meaning of what had occurred thusfar.

Kita- She is slowly falling into her demonic nature, with her beginning to understand that Corelia, even if she herself doesn't realize, is power hungry. She also is gaining familiarity with Leiytning, and he seems to be getting the same way.

Corelia- She really cares for Kita. Her willingness to feign unfamiliarity to assure her safety was certain of that. She also was willing to battle Leiytning just to protect her. I feel like her power hunger is less for herself and more for the people she swore to.

Leiytning- He is also gaining, not only familiarity, but some care for Kita. He was willing to go through Corelia to assure her safety.

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Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:53 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...

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

Per my interpretation, this was another stellar chapter, this time with the meeting of two powerful leaders.

Kita realizes Stud is missing before asking Leiytning if they can go to the Blood Forest to look for him. This is when Leiytning offers an ultimatum: him or Queen Corelia. Kita doesn't have a good answer, so they just continue on. Eventually, they get to the stream and find Stud in a tree, but Leiytning gets him down. This is when Stud mentions a jar on the other side of the stream, prompting Kita to go looking for it, but she runs into Corelia instead. Seconds later, Leiytning is behind Kita, and he and the queen begin talking. Kita is told to return to the stream, and then a fight breaks out between the two figureheads. Not soon after, however, Leiytning ends up on the other side of the stream with Kita, and they walk back, once again leaving Kita to ponder her choices.

This was a wonderful chapter with a lot of interesting and new conflict!

If I could offer any sort of advice, I don't think I really could... But I was confused at one part...

When Kita found Stud and Stud told her about the jar, why was Leiytning so chill about it? Like, I know Stud said it was a water jar, but if I were Leiytning, I'd be quite suspicious of a tiny dog carrying a jar of any size.

But, perhaps I'm looking too far into this. It just seemed that, given how on edge Leiytning usually is, he should of had a larger reaction. I don't know, though. What you did works; it just confused me a little.

If I had to pick my favorite part, there would be a few! Many great things happened here!!

The first thing that really stood out to me in this chapter was when Kita crossed the stream to look for the jar but ended up taking off, leaving Leiytning, but more importantly, Stud, behind. You said,

When Kita was far enough to not be seen, she began running at full speed through the trees. She was intent on getting in and out at a fast pace. The sylph was ducking under branches, almost tripping as she pushed herself, but the familiarity was bringing her a faint sense of comfort.

This did a great job of truly showing how much Kita craved going home and having that comfort. I mean, she was literally willing to leave Stud behind—the dog she just went looking for—just to get to Sybilius. This point genuinely showed her overall desperation, so kudos to you for writing it like that!

Another thing that I took note of and really enjoyed while reading this chapter occurred when Leiytning and Corelia were going back and forth about what to do with Kita and Corelia said,

Needless to mention how you dispose of your used-up pawns. I'll be damned if I let you do that to her.

This tiny bit of text implies that there were others before Kodin who went to Leiytning but never ended up coming back. I know this was banter, and they were both trying to one-up one another, but this part really puts into perspective what exactly Kita has gotten herself into and gives her more reason to not trust Leiytning. And I thought it was really well done, so good job there as well!

The final thing in this chapter that legitimately caught my eye was the ending! It revealed more of Kita's internal feelings and gave us a glimpse into what she's fighting to find some answers to her problems. You said,

This time, as Kita trekked deeper into demon territory, she was almost surprised to realize that she wasn't nearly as scared. Not about the company she kept, nor whatever lay ahead. However, she was unable to tell if that was good or bad.

She's at a point in her journey and her fight for answers where she's possibly a bit too trusting of the demons, and she's starting to realize that that might not be a good thing. She's losing her fear, and that could possibly lead her down a rabbit hole of getting too close for comfort, which makes me very excited to see what's to come!

Overall, I really loved this chapter! You did a great job with all of the dialogue and setting the scene for this one!

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 the recommendation about Leiytning's reaction. Reviewing it, I can see what you mean for sure. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read and review, it's always appreciated! :)

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71 Reviews

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Reviews: 71

Tue Feb 06, 2024 2:26 am
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Youbeaucupid wrote a review...

Greetings, lovely Raven! Cupid here, armed with my bow, arrow, and a sprinkle of stardust for an enchanting adventure. Today, I'm diving into the captivating world of reviews with my very own Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlight. It's like the incredible YWS S'more Method, but with a dash of cupid's magic! Let's get flying, shall we?

❤️ First Impression: Love at First Verse

So, right off the bat, Dead Beach sets the stage with its night-shrouded ambiance. The conversation between Kita and Leiytning immediately grabbed me, and the mention of Stud's disappearance added that extra layer of suspense. Seriously, kudos for setting the mood so well! :D

🩶 Room for Improvements: Cupid's Guidance

The atmosphere is on point, painting this eerie, mysterious world. But, hey, how about sprinkling in some more sensory details? I'm talking about the scent of the Blood Forest, the crunch of leaves underfoot, you know, those little things that make readers feel like they're right there in the scene. Immerse us even deeper into your fantastical world! ✨

💛 Highlights of Piece: Cupid's Shooting Stars

I've got to give you major props for how you've crafted the characters and their interactions!! Kita's internal struggles hit home, making her feel like a real, relatable person! The banter between her and Leiytning? It's not just dialogue; it's like a dance of emotions. I found myself chuckling at their exchanges and feeling that tug in my chest during the more intense moments. And Stud? What a little emotional powerhouse! The loyalty and fear he displays are heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. I've got to say, these characters aren't just ink on a page; they're friends I want to sit down and have a chat with.

The dynamic unfolding in the story is like a perfectly crafted puzzle. You've managed to keep me hooked with this tantalizing mystery. Every revelation about Stud's disappearance and Kita's internal struggles adds another layer to the overall narrative. It's like unwrapping a gift — each layer revealing something new and intriguing. And can we talk about that exchange between Kita and Leiytning about her returning to Sybilius? Goosebumps, my friend. The depth it adds to Kita's character and her internal conflict is nothing short of masterful. I felt like I was in the room, holding my breath as their conversation unfolded. :)

💖 Favorite Lines: Cupid's Love-struck Arrows

Your description of the Blood Forest and the moonlit scene was nothing short of enchanting.

"The miles of rolling green hills were right there. In the distance, faint lights of the Aubade Palace and Royal City. Clear winds blew against the feather-like grass, and a familiar, uninterrupted gale swept over her."

I felt like I was standing right beside Kita, taking in the ethereal beauty of this fantastical world. Your choice of words created an atmosphere so vivid, I could practically hear the rustle of the grass and feel the breeze on my skin.

The exchange between Kita and Leiytning regarding her potential return to Sybilius struck a chord.

"Because we have a deal now. They will help me, and they'll know more about how to handle it. The state I've been in doesn't leave me much of a choice either."

This moment was like a plot twist wrapped in emotion. It added layers to Kita's character, making me feel her desperation and the weight of her decisions. It's those kinds of lines that make a story memorable, making me mentally high-five you for weaving such impactful moments into your narrative.

🩷 Closing Thoughts: Cupid's Cosmic Applause

Your story navigates desire, disconnection, and the consequences of choices like a pro. The political tension between Kita and Corelia is a genius touch, and Leiytning's mysterious vibe? Intriguing as heck. The pacing is spot-on, and you've got me on the edge of my seat, eagerly waiting to see what happens next.

In a nutshell, your story is captivating blend of mystery, fantasy, and internal conflict. Your characters are like old pals, and I can't wait to see how their journey unfolds. Seriously, keep up the fantastic work, and let me know when the next chapter drops. I'm invested, my friend! 👏🏽📚

RavenAkuma says...

Wow, I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter! Good to know about the sensory details too. Since this is the first *real* chapter where the leaders meet, it's one of my personal favorites and I hope for it to be perfect, so I appreciate any criticism. Anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.
— Sylvia Plath