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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 26

by RavenAkuma


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

Chapter 26 - Real World

                            

                     

In the Silent Meadow, while Kita watched Thundur approach the band of orcs, she stayed behind at the risk of being seen and targeted by the brutes. The spirit-walker seemed undaunted, and so did Seyber and Scorch, behind her. The orcs hardly cared to spare a glance, focused on trying to assemble some rough pieces of iron and wood into useable artillery.

Despite the charming atmosphere -the flowery aromas from the meadowland, the resonance of the river's current, and the warm air balanced by mild gales- it was clear that trouble was brewing, and someone would leave bleeding.

Kita tried to guess who that someone would be. On one hand, the orcs were bigger. Their arms resembled tree trunks in width, and the average height was at least seven feet tall. Their thick leathery skin, ranging from greenish to beige, was protected by menacing armor, formed out of battered dark iron and raw wood. Their constant angry looks, bleak dark eyes, and tusk-adorned snarls made them look a lot more aggressive. On the other hand, the Zyreans had to have survived this long for a reason.

Glancing over her shoulder, toward the base of the hill, the slowly-dissolving body of the mutant monster was a good indicator of that.

"Let's hope this is over just as fast," Kita murmured.

She refocused on the building fight. Not surprisingly, when the orcs finally noticed the demons, half their group charged over to them. Scorch already drew his shotgun for security.

"Move it, grunts!"

A more burly orc barrelled past his troops. He towered over everyone at eight, maybe even nine feet. The hulking creature's wiry gray hair and wrinkled skin reflected old age. Long yellow tusks curved outward from his bottom jaw, and his skin was a sickly grayish-beige color. His higher status was marked by a cape of bear pelt and a battered gold pin.

Rather than physical like them, Thundur's intimidation emanated from a deeper source; an aura that naturally commanded respect, even if she was unlikely to get it from this crowd. Not a trace of fear came from her confident posture and blunt expression.

"Still alive?" She taunted. "Or are you a different sad old captain desperate to prove your relevance? I lose track easily."

"Puny rat," the large orc spat. "You vermin cannot defeat me."

Thundur crossed her arms. "You mean like the last several times we defeated groups larger than this, in just the past moon? Or like the time we stood between a whole army of you and an innocent tribe of ghouls? Or maybe every other failed plan you've thrown at us, ever since you moved your pathetic base nearby?"

"Vile wench!" A troop exclaimed, before another shut him up with a smack.

"I'm just saying, you've vastly overpaid for a simple patch of meadow, and you're bound to join those fallen if you keep it up."

The captain chuckled darkly. "Losing a handful of small warriors is not enough to frighten the rest of us. We need more space for our king's great goals. This useless sanctuary for a dead species is not only in the way, but it is a nuisance. Someone needs to return you filth to hell you crawled from..."

As he rambled, Thundur rolled her eye and motioned for him to hurry up, as if she had heard this a thousand times before.

The orc continued, "Nobody wants you walking around, not even the 'innocents' you like to pose for. Demons are nothing but a burden, and the rest are vermin! Sylphs, elves, ghouls, nymphs; all of them, meat-scrap for the harvesting! Only orcs may live! Everyone else will die, starting with you demon-scum!"

The orc troops banged on their armor in an obnoxious applause.

"Go ahead and try," Scorch muttered.

"By all means," Thundur agreed. "I could use some entertainment."

"Worthless woman, fight me if you dare!" The orc snapped. "To mark our new territory, I will stain it with your blood!"

The other orcs kept cheering, unsheathing a range of heavy clubs, spears, battle axes, and hammers. None of them were shy to display their primal sides. As a response, Seyber unsheathed her two crystalline daggers, Scorch pumped his shotgun, and Thundur drew her spiny gray whip.

"Last chance," Thundur said warily. "Retreat now, or die for a land that isn't even yours."

The captain suddenly let out a monstrous, gutteral battle cry, raising his hammer skyward. The others charged around him, hacking, slashing, and bludgeoning whatever was in their way -including some of their own kind by accident.

Meanwhile, Kita gasped and got to her knees. At first, all she saw was a savage clash. However, as she looked harder, she realized that there was no competition. Nobody could hit Thundur if they tried as she slipped past the troops. As she closed in on her target, she vaulted off one orc before landing behind the captain.

'CRACK!'

Her whip lashed down, tearing through the captain's cape and back. As he spun to face her, she jerked the whip back, and the spiky silver tip tore a long gash across his chest. Now the beast looked furious, but his desperate swings in retaliation all missed by a long shot.

While Thundur kept fighting, the other two were driving the beastly pawns back rather well. Three smaller troops surrounded Scorch.

A small orc cackled, "This has to be a fire elemental. Is he going to fight us with some pretty fireworks?"

Scorch looked insulted, mouth agape. The orcs laughed, but then Scorch suddenly smirked malevolently. In just a second, he drew up his gun and fired a blazing round. The moment it pierced the orc's chest, it exploded his entire torso.

"That a big enough firework?" Scorch taunted. When he spat on the corpse, a small burst of flames manifested from it.

The other two orcs roared pathetically and moved in. Scorch used his shotgun to hit one back, then used a flame-charged fist to strike the other in the face before its weapon got close. He quickly cocked his gun, firing to kill one.

Just as he turned to strike the other, another orc charged. However, despite Kita anticipating a hit, Seyber shot past the enemy -too fast for it to react to. Staying low, all she did was tap the ground before a chunk of ice formed and ensnared the orc's foot.

"Twelve o'clock, Scorch!" Seyber called, before running off again.

Just as Scorch dealt the finishing blow to the first orc with a neck-snapping punch, he spun back and fired his gun. The trapped orc died immediately, exploded over the river and surrounding grass.

"Fish food now," Scorch remarked. "Who says ice and fire don't work together?"

From the fray, Seyber giggled, "That's what I'd like to know."

While Scorch just sent orcs flying with his power, Seyber was moving through the crowd like a wolf chasing prey. Hardly anyone was able to register her presence before she sliced them with her daggers. Though it didn't do much to stop them, it slowed them down enough for Scorch to deal a final blow.

As the posse was slowly diminished, Thundur was still fighting the captain. No one dared to interfere, either. Despite her appearance being hardly reminiscent of a fighter, she was a foe to be reckoned with; she moved gracefully, with her perfectly-controlled whip lashing like a snake at its victim. The orc was relentless, but without any self-awareness in his frenzied state, each clumsy attack earned him a new gash. Thundur just kept splitting his flesh open, letting him bleed. A very grizzly comparison to make, when Thundur had only a slight cut on her arm.

"Give up, vermin," the captain growled. "You were meant to die, countless ages ago! You have nothing!"

Thundur responded in a naturally strong voice. "We have honor, and we have a goal. That's all we need, and it's still more than your tribe has."

"Are you too blind to realize that honor gets you nothing in this world?" The captain snarled. "You will never understand what it takes to survive!"

He roared and charged, sure to obliterate whatever he rammed into. Thundur easily slid out of the way, lashing her deadly whip across his spine. The orc yelped, spinning back to smash her. However, Thundur easily caught the hammer with her whip, pulling it to the ground.

In that second-long window, Thundur used the grounded hammer as leverage; she shot up, kicking his face to daze him, then landed and spun back with her whip ready. The weapon caught him by the neck, and one tug made the painful studs tear open his throat.

The captain dropped to his knees, blood spewing from the grizzly gash in his neck.

He wheezed, "D-Damn you..."

"Don't waste your breath," Thundur spat. "Whether you want to taunt us or insist you'll change, none of it matters, and none of it is genuine. Just like everyone else your 'king' sent to die."

The orc growled, but the sound faded as he slumped to the ground. He didn't move again.

That sight, however, was the one that overwhelmed Kita. From her spot far away, she quickly turned away, feeling bile burning the back of her throat.

Even with the warnings, and trying to convince herself this was necessary -even normal by the demons' standard, she couldn't help feeling horrified. Blood spilling, weapons clashing, people dying, and the only reaction was taunting or screams for more violence. It was all a haze of hellish chaos, and now the gruesome images were burnt into her vision, manifesting with each blink she took.

The sylph mumbled under her breath, "K-Killing beasts is one thing, but I was not prepared to see people dying. How is this normal? Am I the odd one, just for-"

Suddenly, something grabbed Kita's leg. She barely held in a scream.

"P-P-Please..."

She was staring down at a wounded orc, who had crawled across the meadow with one leg completely blown off.

He pleaded in a weak tone, "H-Help me!"

Kita gulped and remained frozen. Surely, the demons wouldn't take kindly to her aiding an enemy, but the idea of this being a genuine plea -and her not responding- was sickening.

The orc snarled, "Are you just going to stand there? Listen to me, you stupid, disobedient girl! Help me, and maybe I'll tell my captain not to be so brutal when he defiles and tears you in half like a-"

Before that awful threat could progress, Thundur's whip coiled around the orc's neck. He made a repulsive choking sound before the pressure completely tore his throat open, his neck spewing crimson blood.

While Kita remained stunned, Thundur was glaring down at the corpse.

"Pitiful little brat," the demon grumbled. "Storming our meadow, pleading like a coward, then having to nerve to speak so repulsively..." She faintly smirked. "Orc tribes spend so long torturing the weak and defenseless that they believe they're a godly class. All it takes is a few minutes against real warriors, and their pride shatters. It's an oddly satisfying sight. Don't you think, mortal?"

Thundur casually kicked the body aside, then coiled and sheathed her weapon. Kita knew better than to let her true thoughts erupt, so she hesitated and thought about her response.

The sylph took a deep breath. "Thundur, if that's another way of trying to convince me to leave, it's not going to work."

Thundur sneered, crossing her arms. "I'm coming to realize that you'll be a parasite for longer than anticipated. Now I just want it to be clear that you're not one of us, and you're not welcome."

As Seyber approached, she mumbled, "That's a little too harsh, Thundur."

"A little much," Scorch agreed.

Thundur shot them a glare, making them go quiet.

"I know," Kita replied. "Believe me, I took the hint long before now..." She pointed to the orc. "As far as this goes, considering what he was saying, I appreciate the help."

Thundur looked even more annoyed, but then muttered, "I hate that kind of speech from anyone, even if it's aimed at the likes of you."

Kita managed a faint smile. "You wanted to protect me?"

"That is way too strong of a word!" Thundur snapped.

Even so, Kita could see Thundur's ears faintly buzzing -something she learned was a response to embarrassment. Though that added to her surprise, Kita decided not to make it worse for the flustered spirit-walker. There was a more pressing topic, anyway.

Kita shifted uncomfortably. "I just have to ask one thing, if you don't mind answering. Do you feel bad about killing people?"

Thundur regained her stern demeanor. "Why should I? They came in looking for a fight, so I gave them one. You can't say I didn't warn them either. It's just protocol by now."

"Orcs are a bad example, I can see that now," Kita carefully explained. "But what about other tribes? They're probably just doing what they're ordered to do, like your siblings. Don't you think it's a little selfish to slaughter them all, or do you have any uneasiness about it?"

Thundur sneered, "Really? Why should we risk our lives cherry-picking, when they know what they signed up for? They knew the risk, they knew what brought them here -to our territory, and they felt strongly enough to shed blood for it. That's all we see; we don't have the time to pick out candidates for redemption, much less to verify their honesty. If they survive, good on them, but if they lose their lives acting like barbarians, that's on them. Not us."

Kita didn't know how to argue, nor did she want to.

Thundur continued, "You said it was selfish of me. Maybe it could be, in a vague way, but keep in mind that we're facing countless enemies with only seven warriors. We're a family, not an army. We try to be fair when we can, because honestly, nobody likes being this morbid. However, it doesn't change the point. We have nothing to spare. I don't care about riding the moral high horse, especially when nobody has the decency to believe a demon has morals to begin with. I care about keeping this clan alive. For that, you have to think rationally, not emotionally."

Kita sighed, "I guess I understand."

With a more sympathetic look, Scorch stepped toward her. "Hey, mortal? Don't feel too bad. We understand; you're a young citizen from a land that's kept you oblivious, hidden away from things like this. We've all had similar feelings when we first stepped into a real battle. Of course it's going to look grizzly at first, but you'll come to understand. This world just isn't as pretty as Sybilius would make you believe."

"It can be," Seyber replied. "It's just that, sometimes, extraordinary wonder comes with extraordinary danger."

Scorch grinned, manifesting a flame at his fingertip. "So it requires some extraordinary warriors to defend those wonders."

Watching the flame, its flickering orange shape and faint glow, Kita felt herself become calmer. So much that even Thundur's bored and impatient expressions didn't faze her.

"Thanks for saying that, you two," she said quietly. "You're right. In Sybilius, I was barely used to talking with people, much less seeing them die horrible deaths. Honestly, I think that was the main reason I was scared of you, when I came out here. Demons, sylphs, it didn't matter; I'd have been afraid to face anyone. It's hard..."

While Scorch extinguished the flame, and Kita blinked like she snapped from a trance, Seyber stepped toward her.

"And now?" The kind demoness asked, not a trace of judgment in her pale blue eyes.

Kita hesitated. "I guess it's better than it was, but I still feel some kind of block. Maybe it's the rift between our tribes, or even another effect of the sickness. Gods only know what all is wrong with me, at this point."

Thundur looked away for a moment. To Kita's shock, when she interjected, it was in a very calm tone.

"Fear isn't what drags you down," she explained. "Especially when it's a fear of people. It's only the leverage you give it. Judgmental remarks, aggressive demeanors, enabling behaviors; none of it would mean anything if you would only block them out. Even threats are just words, otherwise Timbur would have killed you by now."

Knowing how true that was, Kita laughed a bit. A genuine laugh, to her own surprise.

Thundur sneered, kicking the orc corpse. "And definitely don't feel bad about the people like this. If I called them animals, it'd be a disgrace to animals. Orcs have no tolerance, no pity, no love, no equality in their own classes, no education beyond basic speech, just the instinct to kill and conquer. Outliers are killed or enslaved before they can prove otherwise. We're just lucky that a fear of change or innovation keeps them from being a real threat."

Kita nodded. "That's how it seems to be. How does Sybilius manage, though? How can this exist, and I never even heard about it?"

Thundur looked irate again. "If you did hear about it, it'd be about as meaningful as a fairytale. Meanwhile, as I said, this is a standard day for us. What does the tell you?"

"Sybilius is wrong for protecting..." Kita arched one brow. "Citizens? I don't understand."

"Still learning," Thundur grumbled. "That's not the point; a tribe should shelter its citizens, but the maggots within -that wretched queen, and her pawns- have done too much harm. Not just to our tribe, but to us personally, and they dig in their heels to sick lengths. Burying the story, wiping her own record, and influencing other tribes to do the same. Too many people know us as nothing but a nursery tale, the forsaken race that may or may not have even existed. Those who don't forget will take her word and make us enemies too -even if Sybilius's metrics for what makes us monstrous completely contradict theirs. And the war has been bad enough, but..." She shook her head. "No, I'm not getting into this. If I were you, I'd adapt now. We have enough to deal with."

Hiding her anxiety, Kita nodded. "I'll try."


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54 Reviews

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Mon Mar 11, 2024 1:46 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



This is such a good chapter, it perfectly reflects the nature of war, and now I'mma introduce a new template.

When I smiled (Innovative or just outright well done moments)

Kita being forced to learn a new perspective outlines the harm that Corelia has done in keeping them from learning. If they learnt more, then it would help them understand, instead, with shame to her own actions, she blocked it out and reduced the Zyrean's pain to a mere tale.
This shows a deep human nature to sylphs. Even if they realize an abomination that they have committed, they will block it out and spin themselves to be in the right.
Corelia is clearly a caring being, but she is a lot like the orcs. She believes that the Sylphs should be supreme, and that twists her perception greatly, but she deeply cares for her people, as opposed to the orcs, who care for the tribe more than individual lives.

A Line to Remember

"Fear isn't what drags you down," she explained. "Especially when it's a fear of people. It's only the leverage you give it. Judgmental remarks, aggressive demeanors, enabling behaviors; none of it would mean anything if you would only block them out. Even threats are just words, otherwise Timbur would have killed you by now."

This perfectly remarks on Thundur's true character. She is kindhearted, but, like the rest of her siblings, forced into a position where she must be cruel to survive. Her cruelty is due to the harshness of her situation, and her want to protect.

It is shown more in Leiytning's behavior, as they are technically the same person. His kind and caring demeanor is harsh, but with kindness.


The Catalyst's evolution (MC Growth)

Kita is learning more and more. Her realization at how cruel the world is gives a cool feeling. She is steadily realizing that Corelia is someone with flaws, just like everyone else, but she still realizes that she is alright.

I also feel like her nature is becoming more prevalent, with the demons gaining care for her, and her understanding the reasons for brutality.




RavenAkuma says...


Hi, welcome back! I like the new template! Thanks for reviewing!! :)



keeperofgaming says...


Happy to be back, feel like I just didn't want to catch up



keeperofgaming says...


Always like havign more to read



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Tue Feb 27, 2024 8:59 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello to you on this fine Tuesday!
I'm switching it back again! Gotta keep you on your toes!! :smt023
also, ngl, i kind of like this template better... its more convenient in a sense...

picture...
Image

Per my interpretation, this was an incredibly action-packed chapter that came with wonderful new wisdom! It showed off what Thundur, Scorch, and Seyber are capable of and offered their perspective on the issues at hand. Beautifully done, by the way!

Brief Summary: The Zyreans have to fight the orcs even after pleading with them to leave. The demons make it look easy, slashing and burning orc after orc when one injured orc gets to Kita and asks her for help. She contemplates helping for a moment, but it's too late because Thundur comes out of nowhere and finishes it off. This leads Kita to engage Thundur in a conversation about morality, which leads Kita to understand a point of view she hasn't ever considered.

This was a great plot, and I loved climbing more inside the head of a seemingly ruthless demon!


If I could offer any sort of advice, there would be two really itty-bitty things... One's a very simple typo, and the other's more of a suggestion and less of "something that I found wrong," if that makes sense.

The typo appeared when the Zyreans and the orcs were arguing. You said,

This useless sanctuary for a dead speciesis not only in the way, but it is a nuisance.


At first, I thought this was the plural of species and that I was having some sort of stroke, but I eventually figured it out. You simply mashed two words together—a very simple fix! It would look like this:

This useless sanctuary for a dead species is not only in the way, but it is a nuisance.


And the other thing—the suggestion, not the mistake—came when they all started fighting, you said,

The captain suddenly let out a monstrous battle cry, raising his hammer skyward.


I would have loved to see a more in-depth description here to be able to better imagine what exactly it sounded like... Was it like a shrill scream or more of a gutteral yell? I feel like you could have added a few more descriptive words there to portray those ideas!

But, obviously, these are just suggestions, and it's always up to the writer, so please take these criticisms lightly and know that I mean nothing negative by them—only trying to provide some somewhat useful critiques.


If I had to pick my favorite part, that would be quite difficult, as there would be a couple! This was a very well-rounded chapter! The dialogue was great, most of the descriptions were great, and the insight that came at the end was amazing!

With that being said, I have two things that relate back to the *new* perspective you mentioned. The first is more of Kita's perspective and how she generally looks at things, while the second is Thundur's perspective... so I guess we should begin!

The first thing that jumped out at me and caught my eye is related to the way Kita's humanity took over when she was faced with an injured orc begging for help in the midst of the fight. You said,

Kita gulped and remained frozen. Surely, the demons wouldn't take kindly to her aiding an enemy, but the idea of this being a genuine plea -and her not responding- was sickening.


She's been conflicted over which side to take, even leaning towards the demons and their ways, but nonetheless, in this moment, she feels in touch with her human benevolence. It shows how naturally it comes to her and why it can be quite difficult for her to conform to the demons' rather blood-lusty ways. This depicted her fear of what was going on very vividly and portrayed her point of view on the matter in a very poignant way, so kudos to you for that!

The next thing that stood out to me was related to Thundur's perspective on all that's taking place. It comes a little while later, when Kita questions if Thundur ever feels bad murdering people. We get to see a little bit of what motivates the demons to do what they do, especially when you say,

We're a family, not an army. We try to be fair when we can, because honestly, nobody likes being this morbid. However, it doesn't change the point. We have nothing to spare. I don't care about riding the moral high horse, especially when nobody has the decency to believe a demon has morals to begin with. I care about keeping this clan alive.


Just like Kita, the demons have a touch of humanity too, but self-preservation leads them to disregard that in order to keep the bloodline alive. They have to fight for everything they have and to keep themselves safe, which is no easy task, and it makes sense why they don't look at it lightly. This is wonderfully written, and I love how it continues on to the very end of the chapter! We got a fantastically in-depth standpoint from that of the demons, so good job writing all of that!


Overall, this was an outstanding chapter! I really enjoyed my time reading it and taking in our newfound knowledge! You did great work here, and I'll definitely be checking out the next chapter soon!

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! Thanks for pointing out that typo, and I like that suggestion about the orc's battle cry. Glad you enjoyed! :)




Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
— Mark Twain