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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 37

by RavenAkuma


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

Chapter 37 - Reunion

          

             

In the early evening, the Blood Forest was as eerily calm as it usually was, save for the rippling of the Blood Stream. Even though the lighting was fine, especially with so many leaves falling victim to the autumn weather, a certain darkness loomed within. A crushing atmosphere that would easily keep curious wanderers out.

Soon, a shifting shadow caused the slightest tremor in the leaves, and the slightest possible whisper of a passing breeze. It easily jumped across the stream, landing as silently as his movement. Only a soldier would recognize him as the Zyrean leader.

"Kita..."

Without warning, Leiytning lashed out with nightmarish black claws on his hands. The ends of his hair flared like black fire, his eye was pitch black with a glowing white ring, and his vessel emitted a dark aura. His fangs revealed a venomous, furious snarl.

On the tree he struck, it seemed like there were only some claw marks left, until it began to creak and fall over.

He remained hunched over, his breathing rigid as his monstrous traits persisted. In his head, a sinister voice was practically screaming at him.

"'Hunt them down. Tear them apart. Turn them to DUST!'"

Just as he started to show amusement at the thought, someone rested a hand on his forehead.

He immediately froze. In front of him, Thundur had a focused and somewhat annoyed look in her amber eye. Very slowly, her brother's monstrous traits receded.

"Control yourself," Thundur said firmly.

From the command, Leiytning completely reverted to normal. He then smacked her hand away.

"Had it under control," he muttered dismissively.

Thundur crossed her arms. "That's a lie, and you should know they don't work on me. That thing was moments from reaching full power."

Behind her, Timbur had just caught up. He had Seyber's two daggers in one hand, and Zin's sword was sheathed to his hip, next to his own machete. The longsword fit awkwardly with his short height, almost dragging along the ground.

Having overheard some of that, Timbur seemed uneasy. "Leiytning? Are you alright?"

Before Thundur could interject, Leiytning immediately cut her off and assumed a more dignified position. "Fine. What are you doing here?"

Though suspicious, Timbur sighed, "Did you find Zin and Seyber? Or, gods forbid, that stupid mortal?"

"Mortal, yes. I didn't get deep enough to find Zin or Seyber, but that was to be expected while trying a stealth-based mission in the middle of the day, with amped security..." Leiytning shot Thundur a glare. "At least, it was expected by everyone who isn't my sister."

"The sooner we get them out, the better," Thundur argued.

Leiytning rolled his eye. "The one brat that got away sounded an alarm, drew in a larger group, then kept running until he drew the attention of the queen of maggots herself. Things got bloody, and now they're going to be even more cautious. Timbur, keep a sharp eye on this area for the rest of the day. Report any suspicious activity to me -and for gods' sake, be careful. We don't need any repeats of last night."

"I know," Timbur muttered, his hand resting on Zin's sword.

Thundur's eye narrowed. "And what are we supposed to do about the mortal? The four masters themselves told us that we need to keep her, but how is that even a possibility after this mess?"

"Shows what they know," Leiytning spat. "Forget about that. I'll retrieve Seyber and Zin after nightfall. The noble wench isn't keeping them, that much is guaranteed."

        

         

\\\\\

          

             

As Corelia led Kita down the fourth-floor corridor, where the double doors of her study waited at the end, there was a tense silence between them.

It had been a hectic sequence that led them here. After the encounter in the tower, Corelia took her to be looked over by a medic. Kita insisted that she was okay, but apparently, her wrist had been damaged, and she had some minor cuts. While she getting patched up, Corelia tried to cheer her up by offering tea and treats, but her appetite was even more absent than usual. After Kita retrieved Stud in hopes of having something to keep her grounded, the queen finally led her here.

With the small white dog trotting next to them, Kita kept pace with Corelia. However, she felt trapped in her own thoughts. She struggled to rationalize and understand what she had seen, all while her heart felt like a jagged rock in her chest, painful and heavy.

How could it be possible? How could he have said those things? How could he have treated me so horribly?

She gulped, but it did nothing to satiate the rising emotions. She pressed one hand against her mouth to hide her quivering lip.

Corelia tried to warn me, and I ignored her. Was Leiytning just lying about everything? My struggles, my sickness, even the team's acceptance of me. How could I have been so stupid? Maybe he really is a monster. Not just a bloodthirsty predator, but a manipulative, much more cruel type.

She noticed Corelia stop, which broke her focus. They were right in front of the study doors.

"I can tell you're not feeling well, but do you think you could look a little bit happier?"

Kita sighed discreetly. Despite the raging irritation it caused her face and brain, like being pricked with several tiny needles, she managed an awkward half-smirk.

"Oh, now that's pathetic," Corelia teased. She cracked the door open. "Lucky for you, though, I have a remedy."

As the door swung open, exposing the cluttered study with its domed glass roof, her eyes immediately focused on what -or rather, who was waiting inside. Kita felt a surge of shock and gasped.

"KITAAAAAA!"

By sheer habit, Kita braced for impact as soon as she heard that, even though her mind was still trying to comprehend the sight.

A giddy and suffocating hug almost knocked her down. Stud started running in circles and yipping with excitement. As Kita felt the comforting embrace, saw the shiny turquoise hair out of the corner of her eye, and picked up the familiar smell of sweet strawberry and rose, she couldn't stay in denial.

She squeaked, "Mao?"

The all-too-familiar girl stepped back, which showed off her green eyes, clear skin, and countless other pretty features. Finally, Kita cracked a real smile, and her violent eyes grew wide and watery.

"It is you! How -I mean, why are you-"

"Oh, hush," Mao intervened, hugging her less aggressively. "We missed you so much! We were so worried when we heard you actually left, you can't scare us like that!"

"I was trying not to," Kita murmured. "You weren't supposed to know where I was."

"Hey, we technically stuck to the rules..." Mao pulled back and winked. "You never said we couldn't wait for you in the city."

Hearing the term 'we,' Kita couldn't help looking around. Sure enough, waiting patiently for Mao to be done with her overzealous greeting, Yuna stood behind her. Though she seemed content and composed on the surface, her grayish-blue eyes betrayed it with a glimmer of excitement and hope.

Upon being spotted, Yuna grinned and waved. "It's great to see you again."

As their eyes locked, it didn't last for more than two seconds before Kita ran over and hugged her too. Yuna gladly reciprocated.

Corelia explained for them, "These two have been waiting for a long time. Not long after you left, they arrived in hopes of hearing about your well-being..." Despite her smirk, she gained a look of disapproval. "Of course, you left me with a lot to clarify."

Kita laughed nervously, "Right. Sorry about that."

"As long as you don't leave and lie about it again," Mao teased.

"I know, I know," Kita replied. "I'm a little surprised that you two would do that."

"It was worth it," Yuna remarked. "The only nerve-wracking part was the lack of clear information. There was no way of knowing your condition, and we couldn't help fearing the worst a lot of the time."

"Well, it means a lot that you're here now. Although..."

"What's the matter?" Asked Mao.

Reminded of this rare feeling of friendship, Kita's mind drifted a bit, leaking into the convoluted subject she had been facing just moments ago.

She turned to the queen. "Your majesty? Before we separate again, can I ask you something?"

"Yes, of course," Corelia replied.

"What will you do with Seyber and Zin? I asked Shira, but I need to hear it from you."

"The two demons, you mean? Simple; we'll do some questioning, and hopefully we'll be able to send a message to Leiytning when he's in a more stable state of mind."

Kita winced at the reminder.

"In the meantime, the two warriors will stay secured in a newer, secret dungeon..." She muttered, "Actually, it's not that secret, but still."

"Why?" Asked Kita.

"Well, we had to convert an old cellar and apply new restraints, but it was-"

"No, I mean..." Kita hesitated. "Why was..."

With a sympathetic look in her light green eyes, Corelia sighed, "Why was Leiytning like that?"

Kita could only nod. The glum look summoned Mao to attention, drawing her closer, whereas Yuna tried to give them some space.

"It's complicated, dear. What you saw was the creation of a terrible entity, terrible suffering, and an unquenched hatred of mortals. Especially Aubades. It's not your fault it came about, and whatever it said to you, don't take it to heart. Purge it from your memory and be done."

Kita looked down with a troubling thought, Exactly how much should I purge? Just what I saw in the tower, or everything? Because even I don't know.

Corelia continued, "I'm sorry for everything you've gone through. I should've done more to prevent it and help you, myself. For what it's worth, I'm proud of you for staying so strong, and for coming back despite not wanting to. And on the brighter side of things, it's basically over and done with."

Mao nudged Kita. "What's so upsetting about this? They're just a bunch of beasts, aren't they? There's no reason to get so hyped up and anxious."

Kita felt a swell at the base of her throat. Like the words had become a gag, lodging in her throat and threatening to spew out. However, she refused to do that to her friend. Like Surei, and even Corelia, she wouldn't know better.

And now, neither did she.

Yuna quickly stepped in with an uneasy expression. "Maybe we should just move on. As her majesty said, it's over. We can put this all behind us, and Kita, you can finally come home!"

"Well, almost over," Corelia said warily. "I fear you could still be a target because of the obvious tension, which also makes traveling less safe. I think you should stay in the palace for at least one more night."

"Oh no," Mao said sarcastically. "We have to stay in a beautiful castle? The horror!"

Yuna laughed a bit, "I am eager to get home, but you make a good point."

Kita didn't know which sounded better. She just nodded without thinking.

"You still have a little while before dark," Corelia remarked. "Why don't you three have some fun and recollect? I have some work to tend to, anyway."

"Easy!" Mao exclaimed. "Come on!"

Like a shot, she took off across the study and burst through the doors. Stud ran after her, a white blur in her shadow.

Right before chasing after her with Kita, Yuna called out, "Goodbye, your majesty!"

Corelia waved as they left. "Take care, girls."

Yuna and Kita were narrowly able to keep track of Mao, following her down the stairwell, all the way to the foyer of the palace. It turned into a race about halfway through, but Mao easily won with her cache of energy.

The last hours of the day were spent in the streets of the higher Royal City, close to the palace. Some gold lent by the queen allowed them to afford the noble prices, but even so, they only used it for a light meal. The rest of their time was spent browsing the local artisan goods, then strolling through one of the beautiful parklands. Kita tried to enjoy as much as she could -and there were many moments where she found herself lost in a pleasant haze, just as she hoped.

However, even though they were easier to ignore, she also started to notice the judgmental staring. Except for Mao, they stood out as commoners in a sea of the higher-class. On top of that, with no appetite, the 'light meal' was like trying to swallow rocks, and her mind kept drifting to the many troublesome subjects she had left behind.

Thankfully, Yuna soon made the call to return to the palace. The time was late anyway, with the last traces of blush sunset lighting subsiding to the incoming night.

As they made it to the second floor of the palace, in a hallway along the north side, Mao was once again at the head of the group, trotting up to one of the closed doors. Yuna fell in line right behind her, while Stud wound up being carried by Kita.

"We got one of the big rooms, this time," she remarked. "You'll like this, Kita, it's so cozy."

Yuna smirked, teasing, "And in case you were wondering, Mao still has a child mentality and can't sleep by herself."

"Hey, I just don't like it," Mao whined.

Kita shrugged her shoulders. "Either way, let's go."

Mao opened the door and hurried inside. However, before Kita could follow, Yuna pulled the door mostly closed and turned to her. The look of contentment had turned to one of concern, with a stern brow and uneasy frown.

"Kita..." She lowered her voice. "Are you okay?"

Caught off guard, Kita blinked hard. "Huh? Uh, yes. I'm fine. My only injuries are really minor, and-"

Yuna placed a hand on Kita's shoulder, cutting her off.

"That's not what I meant."

Not wanting another complicated conversation, Kita shook her head. "I'm fine. A little bit disappointed if anything, but that's nothing. Compared to how I was before all of this, I may as well be skipping and chasing rainbows."

Yuna laughed a bit, "Fair enough. Just, before we go any further, don't feel like you have to answer anything you don't want to."

Though Kita was a bit annoyed, she couldn't let it get to her. It was exactly like Yuna to check in when things seemed gloomy, and it was something to appreciate rather than push away. She especially knew that now.

Kita managed a convincing smile and nod. "Sure thing."

With that, Yuna pushed the door open and let her in.

The room was truly lavish. Its floors were dark chevron hardwood, its walls had gold-tinted floral patterns, and Its dramatic dark wood furniture included two grand beds along the left wall. The deep violet and ivory-toned sheets were made from such fine silk and cotton, it was like Kita could feel their softness just by looking at them. A large wardrobe stood toward the back, between the two windows that overlooked the extensive palace gardens and city looming beyond. A round table in the righthand corner had a vase with fresh fall-blooming flowers in red, fuchsia, and soft orange hues. A fireplace formed from smooth, cream-hued stone was also on the right wall, and Mao already had a fire building within. Between it and the fresh flowers, it created a somewhat earthy atmosphere.

Mao sat in front of the fireplace, patting the ground next to her. Kita didn't hesitate, her eyes locked on the flickering orange flames. She set Stud down in her lap, while Yuna sat on her other side. There, in the radiant glow and comforting warmth, she felt totally at peace.

Of course, Mao inevitably broke the silence.

"Kita, it's okay if you don't want to talk about it, but at the same time..." She giddily bounced in her seat. "You have to tell us at least some of what you saw out there!"

Yuna loudly cleared her throat, cutting her off. "Don't pressure her, Mao."

"I don't mind talking about it, but the main thing is, well..." Kita looked at Yuna. "Will you be okay if I talk about this subject?"

"Huh? Oh..." Yuna's constrained lip and wandering eyes were a clear enough answer, but she answered, "I'll be fine. Don't hesitate on my behalf."

Though Kita wanted to stay silent anyway, Mao's excitement -and her own hope of sharing the better parts of her adventure- were too strong to ignore. She reluctantly gave in, watching the flames to help steady her thoughts.

"There were bad moments for sure. Giant bugs, hostile orcs, and monsters beyond explanation..." She faintly smiled. "However, there were a lot of great things too. A meadow unlike anything I had ever seen, a whole garden of crystals, incredible feats of magic, and even moments of wisdom that helped me. Not just for survival out there, but the way I live here..."

She discreetly glanced at each of her friends. Mao was eagerly waiting for more, while Yuna was calmer than expected, watching with a blank expression and thoughtful eyes. Stud was already passing out like the lazy creature he was.

Kita looked back down. "For the record, I felt bad about lying to you from the moment I left. A lot of it was impulsive. After her majesty failed to explain what was happening to me, I decided that I was so sick of sylphs that I wouldn't rely on them anymore. I also didn't want to just pop a pill and get rid of everything, I wanted to know why this happened in the first place. It didn't happen anyway. I feel better, but I don't know why."

"Not even a hint?" Asked Mao.

"No. I have no idea what did it."

Yuna bit her lip, uneasy. "And they never hurt you?"

Kita shrugged her shoulders. "Apart from a couple of incidents toward the end, not really..."

She hesitated even more, but before she knew it, the words slipped out.

"Some were actually really nice to me. Especially one. From the beginning, it was like she had genuine faith in me. After seeing what their leader was hiding, I don't know what I believe; what was real, and what was a trick to manipulate me. However, I don't think she was being deceptive..." She sighed, "And now she's locked up in this place's dungeon."

"You did what you had to do, Kita," Yuna insisted. "Don't start questioning yourself. As you said, there was trickery afoot, and she could have very well been in on it. Even if she wasn't, it's too risky to stay involved."

Mao patted her shoulder. "Besides, her majesty will treat her well enough. You know that."

Kita met her eyes with a smile.

However, everything came crashing down with just one sighting.

Looking over Mao's shoulder, she noticed a very twitchy, person-shaped blur in the corner of the room. It was on its knees, gripping its head in pain, and there were no defining features whatsoever.

Then, darkness overtook her vision, flashing that four-flamed symbol.

Kita narrowly managed to break the gaze, snapping her eyes back toward the fire. She felt her quickened heartbeat, pounding against her chest as her airways constricted.

She rigidly stood up, dropping Stud. "I'll be right back."

"Everything okay?" Asked Mao.

"Y-Yeah, I just need a moment."

She struggled to look natural as she left the room, Stud slipping out with her. Once the door was shut, she started breathing heavier and slumped against the wall. She ran her fingers through her dark violet hair, trying to rationalize what just happened and what she should do.

As Stud looked up with questioning eyes, the answer she gave scared even herself.

"It's coming back."


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Sat May 18, 2024 11:24 pm
dragonight9 wrote a review...



Can't wait to see what happens next in this amazing story!

That upon which my dragon's eye fixed

I am enjoying learning more about the dark side of Leiytning. It nearly convinced him to cause more destruction. So... amusing.

It is also interesting that Leiytning seems so confident he can rescue the other two. He is a great warrior, yes, but Corelia is surely aware of his power and if she is keeping them alive it seems to imply something else is going on.

Corelia tried to warn me, and I ignored her. Was Leiytning just lying about everything? My struggles, my sickness, even the team's acceptance of me. How could I have been so stupid? Maybe he really is a monster. Not just a bloodthirsty predator, but a manipulative, much more cruel type.

I was hoping she might see this as a sign of how deeply her betrayal affected him or that his monstrous form might have been more terrible than he normally is.
It makes me wonder if/how this will effect her plan to help Seyber and Zim escape.

As their eyes locked, it didn't last for more than two seconds before Kita ran over and hugged her too. Yuna gladly reciprocated.

Awww. So great seeing them reunited again. I will admit I was wondering where they were until now.

What you saw was the creation of a terrible entity, terrible suffering, and an unquenched hatred of mortals. Especially Aubades.

Oooh, more lore about this dark side of Leiytning. I wonder how this is connected the Thundur's other eye...

Kita felt a swell at the base of her throat. Like the words had become a gag, lodging in her throat and threatening to spew out. However, she refused to do that to her friend. Like Surei, and even Corelia, she wouldn't know better.

And now, neither did she.

I really liked that you put this in. It really showed Kita's 'new' struggle. Her gut or heart are telling her that they are wrong about the Zyreans but now she's not so sure. A great way of showing (what I consider) her backwards progress.

Though Kita was a bit annoyed, she couldn't let it get to her. It was exactly like Yuna to check in when things seemed gloomy, and it was something to appreciate rather than push away. She especially knew that now.

Yay! I was hoping for this. She seemed to have grown enough (because of Seyber) to see how others were trying to help her. So glad she didn't immediately fall back into her old way of thinking.

I like hearing Kita explain her journey to her friends though at the end it still felt like they were just trying to say "wow, great adventure you HAD. Now let's get back to normal/reality."

Unfortunately, just as the last scene showed, her normal is anything but pleasant. I wonder if it was those 'gods' that did it. But either way it seems like this will once again become the driving force behind Kita's actions.

Some loose scales

While she getting patched up, Corelia tried to cheer her up by offering tea and treats,

"While she WAS getting" just a quick fix here. Nothing else. Great job!


As mighty wing soar overall

This was a great reunion and a nice transition into the driving force of the next part of the story.

It seems like Kita is still struggling with her conceptions of the Zyreans while most of the other Sylphs seem to want her to just forget it happened and move on.
Understandable though it may be, it is just another reminder to me of the stifling atmosphere of Syllabus. (sorry if I misspelled it)

Then of course at the end, is the reminder of why Kita left in the first place.

Final wisdom of the scaled one

Kita seems like a neutral party in this conflict with ties to both sides. It makes me wonder if she will bring peace between them or merely safety from a greater threat. Or both.

I just wanted to say that your story continues to impress me and I'm so glad to read and review it here.

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




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Wed Apr 24, 2024 1:17 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



Please note this was written with voice to text. If I have any errors please tell me.

When I smiled:

I knew that was coming. She loves the demons and the demons loved her. She is the eighth sibling. She is a demon. I knew it. I love her realization of how she needs to be near the demons for it to be gone. So interesting. I still think it is her demon state, like Leiytning's demon state.

I also loved how Leiytning grappled with his demon state until Thundur calmed him down, showing just how much he disliked it. I also found it interesting that Corelia actually slightly stood up for Leiytning, saying, simply purge the black eye form out of her mind. This shows just how much Corelia actually just wants to co-exist. Given the prologue, it makes this seem quite likely.

And I loved how Mao was just happy to see Kita again. Her enthusiasm that never gets boring or old and I love how she was able to calm her down even though as she was kind of stressing.

Though, gosh dang it Yuna. She was gas lighting Kita without even realizing she was gaslighting her. That was so irritating to read. I understand she dislikes demons but goodness gracious.

A Line to Remember:

"Some were actually really nice to me. Especially one. From the beginning, it was like she had genuine faith in me. After seeing what their leader was hiding, I don't know what I believe; what was real, and what was a trick to manipulate me. However, I don't think she was being deceptive..." She sighed, "And now she's locked up in this place's dungeon."


This line just cemented that Kita genuinely cared for the demons. Her recognition that Seyber genuinely liked her and that she really regretted putting her in the dungeon was just so touching. Followed by Yuna's dang gas lighting.

A New Lesson:

No issues I could find.

The Catalyst's Growth:

Kita grew a lot in this chapter. Her recognition that something was wrong with her friend and that she truly regretted what happened to the demons.

Followed immediately by her worry that the problem was returning. Her demon state was reawakening. Because as we learned from Leiytning, it only shows up around sylphs and disappears around demons. So Kita returning reawakened the demon state.

I really hope this is your intention with this. I put so much thought in it.

Overall:

Really well done I love reading your story.




RavenAkuma says...


Ah, I love reading your theories! I think you'll like what's to come, but at the same time, you may find it quite shocking, heh heh heh...

(*I'm just excited to release the next few chapters XD*)

Thanks for another great review, much appreciated! :D




Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else's path unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.
— Ellen DeGeneres