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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 25

by RavenAkuma


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

Chapter 25 - The Meadow

                     

                         

As the sun rose, and morning was already encroaching on noon, Kita still found herself stuck in the cabin on the beach. A cloudy sky showed through the rugged window, and cold air seeped in through some of the cracks. Kita's nose and pointed, long ears had already lost most of their feeling from the chill.

She just finished changing the wrapping on Stud's injury. The scratches weren't severe, but enough for him to be rendered sore and uncomfortable.

Kita set down the roll of bandages. "That should do it."

Stud just grumbled under his breath.

Kita smiled, picking him up and hugging him. "Thanks so much for sending my note to Corelia, Stud. I know I was rattled last night, and I may have sounded mad, but I appreciate it."

Stud wagged his tail. "I'm happy I could help. I guess I could try another message if I had to, but I don't want to be hawk food again."

Kita smirked. "You have a shrill bark, you know. That should scare off anything."

"I guess," Stud muttered.

As he wriggled a bit, Kita held onto him; she knew Stud wasn't fond of being restrained, but she wanted an excuse to use his fur to warm up her hands. Before he could pitch a fit, though, someone knocked on the door. As Seyber stepped inside, Kita had no reaction, whereas Stud froze up with fear. She seemed oblivious, if not somewhat glowing, in the cold weather.

"Hello..." Seyber smiled at Stud. "How are you doing?"

Stud remained petrified.

Kita spoke for him, "He's doing a lot better. Thanks for the bandages."

"No problem. I was going to see if you were interested in following along on a mission."

"A mission?" Kita murmured. "What kind?"

"Not sure yet," Seyber replied. "We're waiting on Thundur to fill us in. Apart from her, though, the only people are me and Scorch, so I thought that would make it easier on your part."

Kita felt a spark of interest, but also a a spark of anxiety. Seyber and Scorch were her first choice for teammates, and at least for now, she preferred Thundur's harsh judgment over Leiytning's unpredictability. However, considering the last mission involved using her as bait for a giant monster, on Thundur's watch no less, she was afraid of what the next could warrant.

After a moment to think, Kita set Stud down. "I guess I could go."

Catching her hesitation, Seyber remarked, "Don't be too nervous. We'll prevent you from getting injured."

Kita tried not to make her doubt too obvious. She kept her head down as she followed the demoness outside, where she was immediately greeted by a chilly breeze sweeping over her whole body. Even so, she crossed her arms and proceeded across the beach.

At the portal, the only other demon was Scorch. He was physically intimidating, from his towering height to his dangerous magic, but as he already proved to be a calmer type than any of his siblings, Kita didn't feel the need to cower.

She knew it was a bad sign that she was getting used to demons, and for a moment, it forced her to revisit the prior night in her mind. The moment with Leiytning and Corelia, the looming question to her alliance, and the strong pull she felt from either end. It was becoming as annoying as it was haunting.

Trying to distract herself, Kita cleared her throat. "Then, it's just us three? And Thundur?"

"Yup," Seyber replied. "Everyone else is busy. Jem and Zin are tracking down some cave vermin, and I think Timbur's leading them. You know, the usual."

Kita seemed unsure. "Where does Leiytning go during the day?"

Despite her smile, Seyber rolled her eyes. "Gods know. He always disappears, sometimes at night too. He and Thundur get a lot more than vermin to handle, though, so they don't usually go on standard missions -unless we're overwhelmed. Besides, however long they're gone, they always keep us informed."

"Exactly," Scorch agreed. "They vanish, leave a message, and fourteen days later, they come back with a dead army in their wake. Easy come, easy go."

Kita gaped. "An army?"

Scorch laughed, "You don't even want to know how many stories we could tell you."

Kita murmured curiously, "But they still haven't defeated Corelia..."

Seyber seemed slightly more annoyed. "That's right. You should never be deceived by appearances. Corelia may be a mortal, but as soon as she picks up a sword, it's like she has the power of ten beasts. And even that's not enough to describe it."

"It could be the magic," said Scorch.

"I thought sylphs weren't magical!" Kita exclaimed.

"No, not like that," Seyber replied. "Sylphs harvest magical materials, to supplement what they don't have. Usually just to put some lackluster enchantments on their weapons; basic runes for strength, sharpness, easier movement, and the like. Except for one old innovation, which allows mortals to extend their lifespan. Only high-ranking sylphs get that kind of access, though."

"So, Corelia doesn't age?" Asked Kita. "Like you?"

Scorch's ears perked. "Sheesh, are you all so hypnotized that you don't even question why your own queen is over four hundred seasons old and still fighting with legendary demon leaders?"

Kita translated that number to a hundred years, and couldn't help gaping at the thought.

"Easy, Scorch," said Seyber. "She practically lived in a different world than us, of course stuff like that will come as a shock."

"I know, but..." Scorch sighed, "Yeah, I guess you're right."

Kita murmured, "I was always taught that immortality was impossible."

"That's still true," Scorch remarked. "Everybody meets their match eventually. Through sickness, disaster, battle, or something else entirely. I mean, how else..."

While he kept rambling, Kita inevitably thought back to last night's confrontation again. It was like the more she gleaned from these conversations, the more warped it became.

She thought to herself, I need to stop thinking Corelia's just a friend, or even just a queen. If she wanted to, she could crush me like a bug. Yet she was so receptive and calm. She wasn't angry at me, just worried and desperate. Then again, Leiytning could also crush me, but he hasn't. And for all the times he's scared me, I'm starting to notice something about our interactions. Something that feels different...

Her hands clenched into fists as she thought to herself. A mixture of anxiety and confusion made it difficult.

In his own way, he finally showed me understanding, believed me, and was patient with my responses. Something about that was, in a way, comforting...

Hearing that word, her expression wrenched with confusion and doubt. Before Seyber or Scorch could notice, though, they were interrupted.

An irate voice spoke, "What did I say about talking to the sylph?"

The three of them stopped and faced the fortress entrance. From the open entrance tunnel, Thundur was approaching them.

"Army sylphs already know about this," Scorch insisted. "It doesn't hurt to talk about."

Thundur's eye narrowed, and she crossed her arms. Scorch and Seyber stayed quiet, as if Kita wasn't the only one anxious to obey her.

"Just be more cautious," Thundur grumbled. "That aside, there's a problem we have to take care of."

"What's the matter?" Asked Seyber.

"A band of orcs has crossed to our side of the Silent Meadow," Thundur explained. "The same unit we've been chipping away at. It's doubtful they'll retreat, so you know what that means. Hopefully, we'll end them for good, including that dumb captain."

"End them?" Kita murmured.

"Aw, orcs?" Scorch whined. "How about we let Leiyt and Timbur handle it? Especially if you're after the captain."

"They're both busy. It's just that one old idiot, and he gets worse with every fight we have. We can handle it."

"Damn," Scorch muttered. "Alright, let's do this."

Seyber nudged the sylph, whispering, "You'll like the meadow."

Kita wasn't about to argue, since a silent meadow sounded very appealing. Not only because it was reminiscent of Sybilius, but because it was bound to be less dangerous than the other areas she had seen or heard of. Apart from the mention of orcs, which she didn't know how to feel about.

Before Kita could ask any questions, Thundur shoved her into the already-open portal.

Once again, she found herself plummeting through the dark aura beyond. Though soon, the darkness faded, and Kita crash-landed into tall grass.

As she stood up, brushing out her clothes, she looked around.

They were in a land of open grassy hills, but with plenty of otherworldly additions. Strange insects and birds flew about with elaborate feathers and vibrant colors. Despite some damage from the autumn season, many flower patches were clinging to their blooms, which ranged in all sorts of shapes and colors. Some didn't even seem natural, like the dramatic dahlia flowers with silvery iridescent petals, casting streaks of rainbow onto the grass and earth around them. As a bonus, the air was warmer here, and it carried a light floral scent.

Meanwhile, the demons made it through the portal. Whereas Kita was captivated, Thundur and Scorch hardly blinked and were already moving out. Seyber at least slowed down to take in the view, so Kita kept pace with her.

She asked, "So this is another one of your territories?"

"Yes," Seyber replied. "The Silent Meadow. Contrary to its name, it gets a lot of vermin. However, when it's clear, it becomes the prettiest. Especially in spring, when all the flowers bloom..." She gestured across the hills. "There's color everywhere, like the entire place becomes a painting."

Kita looked again, and couldn't resist smiling. "That sounds amazing."

"Stay long enough, and you'll see it for sure," Seyber remarked.

Hearing that, Kita lost her smile, but tried not to make it obvious. Instead, she kept admiring the pretty scenery, glad that she was getting to experience a place so likable. The hominess of the rolling hills was nice enough, but the exotic flora and fauna were enough to bring her a bit of excitement.

They started up another hill, the valley of which formed a cave. The dirt and grass sank into a root-infested opening, the inside completely dark. Kita eyed it curiously as they passed, but she wasn't worried; there was no sign that it was inhabited.

However, as they reached the top of the hill, Kita's calm nature turned to one of sudden dread.

At the bottom of this hill, a crystal river flowed through the meadow. Extravagant fish leaped from the water, and some shiny stones were in the mix of the river bed. It was a beautiful sight, but it had already been tainted, the same night she unwillingly took her first step in leaving her humble home.

This was where she dreamed of a beast attacking her.

Watching the river, Kita could feel the suffocating grasp of invisible fingers, and the pinch of her own fingernails buried in her skin. As she ran her hand along her forearms, feeling her past scabs, she could see flashes of the beast and its wicked fangs.

Kita nervously looked to where the others were. In the dream, she was all alone, with only a horrible beast she didn't recognize. However, there was no sign of anything resembling such a beast now, and she wasn't alone. Seyber and Scorch were awaiting instruction, while Thundur inspected the area through a spyglass.

Even so, Kita broke into a cold sweat. Her heart felt like a weight in her chest, and her lungs strained to take in more air. Whether it was all a coincidence or something more sinister, she couldn't help feeling like something horrible was on the horizon.

"Uh, Th-Thundur?" Kita stammered. "I don't think-"

"Quiet, sylph," Thundur commanded, ignoring her.

Not much later, Thundur finally spotted what she was looking for. A group of ten tall, bulky creatures was on the same side of the river, though much further down. They were preparing a few canons.

"Target found," she remarked, lowering the spyglass. "It's just as I expected. They brought some artillery, but it's not set up yet."

While Thundur talked about strategy, Kita tuned out of the conversation again. She felt as if a shadow was looming over her; a cold shadow, like the presence of death, sending chills through her body. There was nothing she could predict about it. Just that something sinister was here with her. Stalking closer, ready to bite down.

"Sylph, get back!"

Suddenly, Scorch pulled Kita out of the way, launching a fireball behind her. Kita didn't know what was happening, and only had the instinct to stay behind him.

The feeling became ten times worse. Where she had just been standing, Kita saw a hideous creature. It was no beast, and it was certainly no person. It was about six feet of contorted, bulbous, mishappen meat. Its pale, grayish skin was slimy and rotting, with chunks falling off and killing the grass below. Its five black legs, like wicked branches, supported it like a spider. One meaty limb on the side barely resembled an arm, and could only be for clubbing. Its head looked almost like a rodent at first, despite the hideous skin, but its eyes were bulging far out of the sockets, and its mouth opened as part of its neck, with flared teeth.

The creature stumbled closer, making sickly gurgling sounds. Kita felt fear unlike any she had ever felt before; not the hallucinations, her father's beatings, or even the demons could compare. Too scared to fight or run, she was completely frozen in place.

The demons stepped up to the challenge, though; Seyber threw one of her crystalline daggers into the creature, right where its heart could have been. It screeched, but then the dagger flew back, almost sinking into one of Seyber's feet. From the creature's wound, five black tentacles burst out, squirming rapidly as they extended toward Seyber and Scorch, and Kita behind them.

Before they could reach, Kita was surprised to see Thundur unsheathe her weapon; a gray whip with a black handle, lined with painful-looking silver spines. A spiny, silver mace-like attachment was at the tip.

Thundur cracked the weapon at the tentacles. They all recoiled, and as the whip latched into its meaty neck, Thundur yanked herself on top of the creature; she pulled on the weapon while her talons pushed the creature down. The spines soon tore through the flesh, decapitating the creature. There was a bit of blood in the mix, but it was largely tar, puss, and greenish pestilence that leaked from the wound. It smelled strongly of death, even worse than a rotting carcass.

Kita was shuddering so much that her teeth were chattering. She thought to herself, There was a monster when I dreamed about this place too. It was gross and didn't look right, but I don't remember it being anywhere near this bad! Oh gods, that's the worst thing I've seen yet!

While Kita continued to cower, Scorch and Seyber only looked mildly surprised.

Thundur coiled her whip, clearly annoyed. "Gods, these things are gross. Remember, though, don't waste your time injuring them. You need to get them down in one shot."

"Noted," Seyber replied, picking her dagger back up. "Where did it even come from?"

"That damn cave, probably," Thundur replied, pointing toward the bottom of the hill. "That's the third time something's taken refuge in it. We need to have Jem or Timbur block it off, next time they're here."

Scorch nudged Kita. "Hey, kid, you look like you're about to pass out. Calm down."

Kita clenched her fists. Finally, she brought herself to speak.

"What was that thing?"

Seyber sighed, "A worsening problem for everybody. They're vermin, and some of the worst you can get. Thundur, the sylphs should already know, and they wouldn't be interested anyway."

Thundur crossed her arms. "Fine. Mortal, this is what we call a mutant. A monster that's not of nature, magic, or spirit. They're people who've been abandoned by their god. While that god loses its divinity and turns into something we spirit-walkers have to handle, the people it left behind turn into masses of contorted flesh, soiled lifeblood, and unhinged predatory instincts."

Seyber kneeled next to the corpse, using her dagger to prod it. "There have always been failed tribes. A couple of these things would pop up rarely, a hunter or beast would get rid of them, then we'd all move on knowing it was just some mistake."

"Yes, but for the last few moons, they've been swarming like flies," Scorch remarked.

Seyber nodded. "Even we, in our small and scattered lands, can barely go five days without finding one. They're mostly wanderers or small groups..." She shuddered. "Other times, though, you find the whole ex-tribe. Even Sybilius, a land so secure that it wouldn't have even known these existed, is starting to notice them."

Thundur sneered, shooting a glare at Kita. "We're just waiting for the moment your ignorant queen gets it wrong and makes a detrimental move that screws with us just as much. It's all your kind is good at."

Kita looked down, shivering. "I'm sorry."

Thundur arched one brow. "Really? You're sorry, for what?"

"I don't know, I just am," Kita murmured.

Though clearly put off by that, Thundur sneered, "Save the crying for when you're on your own."

Kita wanted to ask more, but the sound of bellowing orcs, on the other side of the hill, diverted the demons' attention.

"I'm amazed they didn't pick up on any of this..." Scorch chuckled sinisterly, "Round two. How about we play 'catch the bullet' with our buddies, there?"

"Right," Thundur muttered. "Mortal, stay out of the way. If you think mutants are unnerving, these brutes will make your skin crawl."

Kita just gulped nervously.


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54 Reviews

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Mon Mar 04, 2024 8:25 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



First Impressions:
Woah, a mutant. Those sound eerie. The fact that they've begun swarming makes me think that something will happen that cause a Zyrean-Aubade alliance. Also, Kita acknowledging that the queen was old as heck was an interesting scene.

Quote I love:

"'That sounds amazing.'
'Stay long enough, and you'll see it for sure,' Seyber remarked."

This presents the idea that the demons are getting used to her presence and are quite a bit more comfortable with her being there.

Characters:
Kita- She is becoming more and more demonic. She is gaining magic perception, as well as more care towards the demons. She also is gaining perspective to the war and what is actually happening in the world she lives in.

Thunder- Her cruelty is lessening, especially because of the deities statement, but she actually shows some concern and has some interest in leaving her alive. She also showed her strength by one shotting the mutant. That was an epic scene. But she is still rather stingy on intelligence, showing that she still doesn't trust her in the slightest.

Scorch- I love how he is so kind, just his wanting to be helpful and make sure that Kita is comfortable is nice. I also like that despite his kindness, he won't discuss everything, he can keep secrets, and he is brave, as he faced the mutant and defended Kita.

Seyber- She's such a cinnamon roll. Her wanting to make sure that Kita feels at home is so wholesome. I just adore the idea that she would be cool with letting Kita stay with the Zyreans, showing that she genuinely cares for Kita. I hope they become so much closer in the future.

Overall:
Awesome story, thanks for writing it.




RavenAkuma says...


I'm so glad you enjoyed! I really enjoyed your fascinating theories and opinions on the chapters today. Thanks for taking the time to read and review! :)



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151 Reviews

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Reviews: 151

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Tue Feb 20, 2024 9:09 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello there, friend!
I'm back yet again (this time with a new review template) to check out the next chapter of this awesome novel!

Image

“The proper order of things is often a mystery to me.” - My Interpretation

This was a really great chapter, with a lot of interesting things going on! We got to see more of the "good" demons (and Thundur), as well as learn more about what the sylphs don't know, which was very intriguing!

Brief Summary: Kita wakes up in her cabin and wraps Stud's wounds when Seyber comes in and proposes that she go on a mission with her and two other demons. Kita is reluctant but agrees, and she, Seyber, Thunder, and Scorch head to the Silent Meadows. Upon arriving, Kita takes in the beautiful scenery with Seyber before they stop, and Thundur spots the brutes. At around this point, Kita remembers a dream of the river they are by, where she gets attacked by a giant beast. Unbeknownst to her, it's going to happen in real life. A giant mutant tries to attack Kita, but Scorch saves her life, and the rest of the demons kill it. Thundur then explains what a mutant is and how they're created before attacking the brutes, leaving Kita utterly terrified.

This was an awesome chapter, and I loved the role of Seyber throughout it!


“Every adventure requires a first step.” - Some Advice

We may have a problem here... as I found absolutely nothing wrong! I didn't notice any grammatical errors or find anything that didn't make any sense!

This chapter was really well-rounded and an absolutely wonderful read! So my only advice is to keep up the hard work!


“A rose is still a rose, even hidden under different petals.” - My Favorites

As per usual, there were many great things that took place in this chapter! And, as per usual, I can only touch on a few of them... So here are a few of the things that really stood out to me throughout this chapter!

The first thing that really seemed to catch my eye in this chapter came when Scorch was first seen. He was by the portal and Kita was taking in what she saw, and you said,

At the portal, the only other demon was Scorch. He was physically intimidating, from his towering height to his dangerous magic, but as he already proved to be a calmer type than any of his siblings, Kita didn't feel the need to cower.


This was a classic moment of "looks can be deceiving," and I love how you added that notion to your novel! This not only portrayed that concept very well but also showed Scorch's character and overall appearance. He's big and daunting, but he's really a sweetheart, and I love that about him, so good job with writing his character!

The next thing that seemed to jump out at me while I was reading this chapter appeared when Kita and the demons first arrived at the meadows. You said,

Kita wasn't about to argue, since a silent meadow sounded very appealing. Not only because it was reminiscent of Sybilius...


This has been a reoccurring theme in the past several chapters: Kita misses home. The idea keeps popping up here and there, and every time it paints an amazing picture of how homesick Kita actually is. I love how you add this idea to every chapter! It truly shows a lot about Kita and how conflicted she is in regards to her own desires, so kudos to you for writing all of this the way you have!

The final thing that stood out to me was a description! It showed itself when the mutant tried to attack Kita, and Scorch pulled her out of the way. You said,

The creature stumbled closer, making sickly gurgling sounds. Kita felt fear unlike any she had ever felt before; not the hallucinations, her father's beatings, or even the demons could compare. Too scared to fight or run, she was completely frozen in place.


This was a stellar portrayal of fear! It always amazes me when a writer can capture such a complex emotion/feeling in a way that's really descriptive and quite marvelous, which is exactly what you did here. You did a phenomenal job with that!

This was a very fun chapter with many outstanding things!


“Collect what you can. Use it wisely.” - Overall Thoughts

You did an excellent job with this chapter! It was especially fun to read, and I really enjoyed learning all of the new information that this presented! You did a great job here, and I look forward to the next chapter!

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! Great to know how you interpreted this chapter. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

(Also, love the new review format!)




Every really new idea looks crazy at first.
— Alfred North Whitehead