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16+ Language Violence

The Forsaken Race - The Hidden Truth: Chapter 42

by RavenAkuma


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

Chapter 42 - Reason

                

                   

It was the middle of the night, and Thundur had just finished her task of trying to reach out to their four gods. Thankfully, she was successful with a simpler tool, and hadn't spent too much energy. All she needed was a short answer anyway.

At the brewing table in her room, she ran her hand over the glass ball in front of her. Its surface, like a finely-cut diamond with countless facets, was unnaturally cold; it was somehow prickly and stinging, a strong energy radiating from its core, yet it was oddly soothing at the same time. Its translucent crystalline hue refracted colors like lavender, pale blue, and seafoam, painting colorful patterns on the near-black surface of the table and the dark gray walls of the room.

Thundur's eyes remained fixed as she thought. She was worried about the operation to retrieve their siblings, especially now that Kita was involved. She had never been more tempted to banish the sylph at best, yet there were too many obstacles in the way, with another one appearing from her latest reading.

She swiped her hand across the crystal again. As she briefly saw a flash of a violet eye, she sighed heavily and stepped away.

Soon, the door opened, drawing her attention.

It was just Leiytning, silent as usual. The minor wound to his arm immediately told her that things didn't go perfectly, but far better than they could have been.

"Someone put up a fight, huh?" Thundur murmured. "Where is the sylph?"

"In the Hex Den."

Thundur flinched. "What?! She just got back from double-crossing us, and you just let her right into our fortress-"

"With Timbur," Leiytning said flatly.

"Ah..." Thundur sighed, "Good. I swear, if we didn't have orders to keep her alive, I'd be ready to gut her like a pig."

"Speaking of which, what was the response?" Asked Leiytning.

Thundur tapped the ball. "I don't get many details through this form of contact, but I know we should be keeping her, and she shouldn't be dead. They even implied that they would continue to guide her as needed. Do you know the kind of effort it takes to speak with me, the designated spirit-walker? Now they're exerting themselves over someone who isn't even a part of this tribe. None of it makes sense!"

Leiytning replied, "The Communicator told you that he and the other skyward morons were interested because the sylph was appearing in almost every future possibility, and they couldn't tell what her role was. Good or bad, and if it could be shifted from one to the other. Either way, she has a use here. So..." He sneered, "The gods just repeating what I've been saying, but I'm the crazy one."

Thundur crossed her arms. "Maybe when you gain the ability to read multiple threads of the future instead of estimating, I'll be more open. Also, you're not responsible for the creation of our tribe and the roots of its culture, or the primary force that guided our people to its former greatness."

"If creation is such a foolproof method of measurement, why are we specifically not worshipping at the altar of our previous leader?"

With a frustrated sigh, Thundur rubbed her temples. "I am not in the mood for this. But you know, it seems unusual that you're so willing to act like a heretic around me, but when it comes to the extremely annoying task of keeping a double-crossing Aubade around, you say nothing."

"The gods are annoying and the sylph is worth keeping. Neither of those cancels out the other."

Thundur rolled her eye. "Alright, then what do you say we do about her? And how long do we have to keep this up?"

"We'll know the goal when we reach it, I'm sure. Once there, she may leave on her own accord, or she may adapt and become a more permanent asset, as Kodin likely would've been."

Thundur shook her head. "Bad idea."

"I am by no means excusing what she did. But with apparently so many future possibilities, that could be one of them. Her story was believable, she showed no signs of conscious or unconscious deception, she seemed guilty, the palace was clearly against her, and she didn't try to stir up any trouble. That being said, she had enough sense to commit her first crime without us present, so I wouldn't be as confident once our backs are turned."

"Not helping," Thundur muttered. "Leiyt..."

She stopped directly in front of the leader, her sharp amber eye boring into his ever-calm iridescent blue one. They contrasted like sweltering hellfire and frigid ocean depths.

"Be honest," Thundur said sternly. "Do you really think this sylph could become an ally, or at the very least, a servant?"

"Will there still be a strong divide between her and us? Absolutely, and I want to maintain that. Can she fully betray Sybilius to work for us? Compiling everything I know, there are obstacles, but it's possible."

"Hm..." Thundur stepped back. "I wish I had your confidence, brother."

Leiytning rested a hand on her shoulder. "Look, I don't care if you get your faith from me or from gods, but get it from somewhere. She's linked to us for a reason. If it's a bad reason, keeping her under control will at least reduce the damage in the future. If it's a good reason, then there's not much reason to worry in the first place. As I said, she seems to have disconnected from Corelia this time, and the incident in question -as stupid as her choices were- had little if any malice behind it. Again, not an excuse, but if we have to keep her, we should at least be rational."

"I guess," Thundur mumbled. "Now seriously, what's the plan for keeping her?"

"First, consequences. Even though the damage is treatable, the risk was too great to brush off and I guarantee there will be increased tensions with Sybilius. That alone warrants punishment."

"Clearly, and as for the future?"

"If we confirm she is on the path to forward progress, we may as well go back to our original plan. Study her, try to figure out what's making her significant, and we should probably start teaching her the basics of self-defense. We can't be bending over backward to save her every time she gets caught up in our conflicts."

Thundur groaned, "Making her more dangerous, sounds great. Can we still use her to bait Corelia, at least?"

"My original plan, admittedly, now has major complications. That doesn't mean she can't be useful in another way."

Thundur smirked and taunted, "Wow, you must really believe in her."

Leiytning looked unamused. "You're the one who took a muldarch pincer to help her."

"You're the one that spared her in the first place, and somehow refrained from killing her after that betrayal..."

They both went silent. Not because of a stalemate or running out of 'insults' to throw, but because they both knew the implications of these accusations, and neither of them wanted to explore it much further.

Thundur quickly broke away and cleared her throat. "Very well. We keep her, study her, and make sure she doesn't get into trouble. Easy, end of story. Let's go relieve Timbur and interrogate her."

Despite the air of awkwardness, Leiytning couldn't help taunting, "And who says demons don't have hearts?"

"I said end of story!" Thundur snapped, dragging him out of the room behind her.

          

           

\\\\\

                 

                

In the Hex Den, Kita was even more exhausted than she usually was. Her mind was shot, her muscles were aching, and the rough, rust-colored stone walls of the Hex Den barely guarded against the uncomfortable cold, humid, earth-scented air wafting in from the forest.

Unfortunately, she wasn't getting out of this easily. She could barely move an inch without immediately receiving a deathly glare from Timbur. He was right across from her, leaning against the table. Seyber was on the opposite side, her back to the sylph as she quietly dressed her wounds. They hadn't spoken a word since their escape, but Kita kept her head down and stayed quiet, afraid of provoking someone. Timbur reacted to every flinch she made.

It felt odd for Kita to be back in the fortress. Not just awkward, but surreal and tense. She could feel how much the demons wanted her gone, if not worse, yet she still felt driven to remake the progress she had abandoned. Especially since returning to Sybilius may not be an option anyway.

After a while, Kita couldn't help sneezing from the dust drifting in from the entrance tunnel. Almost as soon as that happened, Timbur had his machete drawn and aimed at her.

Kita flinched, putting both hands up. "No, no, I'm not trying anything."

"Even if it's not this second, I doubt that," Timbur growled. "Give me one good reason why I should believe you. For the record, I couldn't find one before you went off and caused this mess."

Kita stopped to think. "I guess I don't have one."

Timbur sheathed his weapon, muttering, "Exactly."

"That's why I'd have to ask for another chance. And Timbur, I'm so sorry things turned out the way they did. You may refuse to see it, but as you would've witnessed this with your own eyes, the main reason I did all of this was to help you. True, you were never my favorite member of the team, but it was my way of showing appreciation to Leiytning..." Kita paused to think. "Can you be honest for just a moment, though? Then or now, what would it take to get you to trust me?"

"Hah!" Timbur exclaimed. "You're assuming that's even possible? I refuse to trust an Aubade; no soldier, no civilian, and nothing in between. I was the only sane mind that recognized Kodin as the scum he was, and you're not any different."

Discouraged, Kita looked away and crossed her arms.

"You know what? I take it back..." Timbur smirked. "There's one way for you to earn my respect."

Kita perked up. "What?"

"You still have that pitiful knife of yours?"

"Um..." Kita shrugged her shoulders. "Leiytning took it, but yes, it's still here."

"Alright, then when you get it back..." Timbur's tone turned blunt. "Plunge that thing into your own neck, so there's less work for me."

"Timbur, I was being serious," Kita argued.

"So was I, vermin," Timbur growled.

Kita sighed and remained silent. Though it felt like a hard blow, she was quick to remind herself that Timbur was just one demon, and he never showed her mercy to begin with. There was still a glimmer of hope for her to reconnect with the other six. Besides, there was every chance that his words were exaggerated.

She thought to herself, Is he more angry that I put Zin and Seyber in danger, than grateful that I got him out of it? But he was pinned by Corelia herself; surely, he has enough awareness and sense of self-preservation to realize it was the better option...

"Well, then..."

Kita nearly jumped at that voice. Before she knew it, Timbur had her arms pinned behind her back, with a machete to her throat. His curved claws were sinking into the skin on her wrists, making her shift uncomfortably.

Thundur stepped into the Hex Den and continued speaking, "After all that reassurance that you had no interest in the war, now you're suddenly interested in serving both sides of it in the span of just two nights. Interesting how that works, isn't it?"

Kita kept her head down. "I'm sorry."

Thundur stopped in front of her, her amber eye narrowed to a sharp glare. Using unsheathed claws, she forced Kita to look her in the eye.

"And you think that will fix it?" She spat. "Is your 'sorry' enough recompense for hitting me with my own tonic, generously given to you by my apprentice, who only wanted to help? How about the near-execution of our beta, the capture of two warriors, the priceless energy and stability spent by our leader to fix it all, and the increased tensions with Sybilius? Most others would be dead by now, but you're still here with the gall to face us."

The words stung like daggers running straight into her heart. Kita could feel them on a physical level, making her sick and shaky. However, as had already been told to her, neither groveling nor submitting would help.

Kita gulped and explained, "I know just saying sorry isn't enough. Believe me, I know how fragile words are now. 'True valiance must be proven,' as Leiytning put it."

Timbur sneered, "Wisdom this world could use a lot more of, but instead, you get labeled crazy."

Kita was confused about who he was talking to, until she realized that Leiytning was lingering just at the entrance of the cave. She hadn't even seen him approach. At the same time, Thundur paused to check on Seyber.

"The sylphs have upgraded their gear again," Seyber mumbled.

"Leiytning was telling me on the way," Thundur replied, helping her tie off a bandage. "Vanishing locks, and Maia was wielding an attempt at improved weapon enchantments. Thankfully, it looks like the sylphs are as lackluster as ever in the realm of magic."

"They had wards too," Seyber insisted.

Thundur sneered, "Aubades haven't been able to create wards since the Extinction Battle."

"There was a ward," Leiytning confirmed. "Albeit non-functional, again due to their ignorance."

"That's what scared me most to see," Seyber insisted. "Thundur, the fact that their magic resources were so strained was a huge advantage. If they start finding loopholes, especially if it means access to white magic like those wards, we could be in big trouble."

"Calm down," Thundur replied. "It's a concern, but it's not worth panicking over. Honestly, I doubt they'll make it work, and I doubt they'll keep it up for long. Sylphs need an entire spread of hard-to-get tools just to apply what they have already."

"They could just steal what they need," Timbur muttered. "They've harmed plenty of smaller tribes to take resources by force."

Kita looked down, murmuring, "How have I never heard about this?"

"You don't have any say in this," Timbur growled, digging the blade -and his claws- into her skin.

Kita winced. "That hurts!"

"Good!" Timbur snapped. "Now shut up! A bit of pain is the very least you deserve, you vile creature..." His eyes shifted back to the leaders. "And what are we supposed to do with it, anyway?"

Thundur's ear twitched with irritation. "Right. If it were up to me, she'd be back in Sybilius, if not worse. Unfortunately, others would disagree. The only bright side is that, if she's stuck here, then she shouldn't be able to collude and stir up any more trouble with Corelia."

"What about that stupid dog-creature?" Timbur spat. "I saw it near the portal on the way back, and it ran before I could kill it."

Kita flinched. "Wait. Stud was only doing what I asked him to. It won't happen again, just please don't hurt him if he turns up again."

"Dog or no dog, no more portal," Thundur explained. "If she stays, she stays on the beach. She won't be going into the Blood Forest, and she won't have access to anywhere else unless she has direct permission -as a matter of fact, direct supervision from me, Leiytning, or Timbur."

Timbur's grip tightened with anger. "Regardless of whatever the hell you meant by 'others opinions,' the point is still there. She doesn't belong here! This time, it was Seyber and Zin getting away with minimal damage. Next time, it could kill someone! We should be getting her out of here before that happens!"

"I understand your concern," Leiytning responded. "We still need her, though."

"Why?" Timbur argued.

Kita couldn't help thinking, The twins haven't even told Timbur? I thought he would at least be let in on the information. Furthermore, it sounds like both twins want me gone, but can't. Who's telling them to keep me? Unless...

She discreetly glanced at Leiytning. She wondered if it could be him making these decisions after all. Even that was questionable, though. Leiytning's behavior, like his cold expression, was impossible to read. There was no way to be certain that he was willing to work with her, but also no way to be certain that he wasn't.

There was no time to think it through, though. She didn't know how to add to such a vague conversation, but she knew one thing she wanted to say, while her looming fate was in question.

Kita cleared her throat. "Seyber? If it makes any difference, I am really sorry about what I did. It was wrong either way, but I hope you can at least understand that it wasn't out of malice. I really did consider you..." She hesitated, sounding it out in her own head. "I did consider you a friend."

Seyber didn't respond, looking away from her.

Kita turned to Thundur -as much as Timbur would allow. "Likewise, I won't betray you again, and I have my reasons why."

She searched the spirit-walker for any kind of mercy, but her sharp glare only made her quiver. Kita tried to swallow any negative feelings and speak.

"I was never completely loyal to Corelia in the first place. Just as I told you, I didn't want to get involved in the conflict, I just wanted answers. That's why I was willing to break her laws to get here in the first place. The thing that changed my mind was you. Witnessing the stark contrast between Sybilius's awful stories and what I saw with my own eyes, that was when I became more eager to learn the truth. I had questions, and I did briefly believe that I could even change Corelia's mind if I just-"

Timbur burst out laughing, while even Thundur had to hide a smirk. Even Seyber shook her head in disapproval.

Kita blushed, heated with embarrassment. "I know, I know. Things didn't go as planned, obviously, but I still found the truth."

"Clarify," Leiytning responded.

"When I returned to the palace, I started hallucinating again, so I went into Corelia's study to find her. It was all I could think to do. She wasn't there, but I found her journal. It proved that she lied about pretty much everything. Her attempts to be peaceful, the motives behind the conflict, the fact that she was the one who sent Kodin despite knowing he was completely unprepared, and even being willing to 'manipulate' me in retaliation to you. If all that was exaggerated, gods know what else was."

Kita looked down. "I swear, the minute I saw what she was really doing, I tried to change course. I wanted to free Zin and Seyber myself, but I wasn't a match for a normal guard, much less a lieutenant and Corelia. I wound up having to run, which is how I found Leiytning."

Thundur glanced at Seyber. "Is that true?"

For a long moment, Seyber hesitated to say anything. Kita could see the conflict in her icy eyes; the desire to be honest, as well as the irate feelings after being betrayed. Eventually, though, an annoyed sigh passed her lips.

She answered in an uncomfortable tone, "I think she's being honest. She did try to help us, and willingly listened to Leiytning throughout the rest of the night."

Kita managed a faint smile. "Thanks, Seyber."

"Regret doesn't change what happened," Timbur spat. "Leiytning, it'd be stupid to let her walk free after that."

"I specifically said would be punished," Leiytning agreed.

Timbur's ears perked. "Oh. Good."

"We're just not going to banish, maim, or kill her, as both of you are intent on doing."

"Can you blame us?" Thundur muttered.

"Ten days in the Oculus Cavern ought to do it," said Leiytning.

Timbur groaned, "Really? That's the best you can come up with?"

"I think you're forgetting how miserable of a sentence that is, and that it's twice as bad for a mortal. She can be Echo's entertainment for a while, and depending on his mood, that could provide you with some of the bloodshed you're so fond of."

With a wary glance, Kita turned to Thundur. "The pet?"

Thundur sneered, "Yeah. 'The pet.'"

"Not 'pet,'" Leiytning spat. "Friend."

Thundur rolled her eye. "Timbur, care to escort her?"

With that, Timbur kicked Kita to force her to start walking. As she staggered toward the main section of the fortress, with a machete aimed at her spine, Kita reluctantly glanced back one more time.

Leiytning was indifferent, but Thundur smirked and taunted, "Have fun down there, traitor."

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Wed May 22, 2024 1:29 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



When I smiled:

OK, to start out. I like how Thundur was just so tcked off that Kita was still needed. Her stubborn refusal to accept Kita's apology and other stuff speaks to her character throughout the series. I feel like she's more ticked off that Kita managed to trick her, instead of that she was betrayed. And her little taunt at the end was funny.

Leiytning is also rather cool. And in this scene he is deciding to punish Kita for her actions while simultaneously making it not permanently painful, yet still a little scarring was very indicative of his character and a good way to put his annoyance, but acceptance of Kita's actions. I feel like out of all seven of the siblings, he is the least angry at her.

And I love that Seyber still stood up for her. That was so nice of her and so full of her character. I feel like in this rehabilitation time. She is going to be a very good example of how to act to Kita, and she's gonna keep being friends with her. I just hope that their friendship can fully recover from this.

Timbur is Timbur.

I also still feel like Corelia can change her mind.

A Line to Remember:

She can be Echo's entertainment for a while, and depending on his mood, that could provide you with some of the bloodshed you're so fond of."

With a wary glance, Kita turned to Thundur. "The pet?"

Thundur sneered, "Yeah. 'The pet.'"

"Not 'pet,'" Leiytning spat. "Friend."


I love how Leiytning is talking about potential bloodshed and then simultaneously calls Echo friend. It hints to his violence and simultaneously shows his want to be friends. I feel like there is an inner child in him, similar to how I think timber is a tsundere.

A New Lesson:

Nothing wrong I could see.

The Catalyst's Growth:

Kita's apology showed her growth quite a bit and her want to be friends again was quite touching plus her embarrassment for how she wanted to handle Corelia was funny. I really hope she doesn't lose her kindness.

The idea of her getting combat training is also rather interesting though. I hope she does well and impresses even then.

I'm still waiting on her to gain the black eyes.

Overall:

Well done once again. I will read the next thing tomorrow.




RavenAkuma says...


Welcome back! I enjoyed reading your analysis of these characters as of now. And though his appearance is kept brief for now, I am also excited to introduce "friend" there, it's my favorite creature I've created lol ~ Anyway, thank you very much for the review, it's always appreciated! :D




It's easier to come up with new stories than it is to finish the ones you already have. I think every author would feel that way.
— Stephanie Meyer