Warning: This work has been rated 18+.
General Content Rating: 18+
Story Content Warnings: Heavy Swearing, Blood and Gore, Death, Racism, Sexism, Ableism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Exorsexism, Child Abuse, Underage Shenanigans (Drinking, Smoking, etc.), Suicide
Current Chapter Content Warnings: None
Viewer Discretion is Advised
Notes: A sentence written in English that is italicized in dialogue means that a language other than English is being spoken, and has been 'translated' by the omnipotent narrator for your convenience.
“Just where do you think you’re going young lady?” Dr. Elfrida spat out authoritatively; focusing her attention on the poor, confused Diantha.
“Me?” Diantha awkwardly giggled out, pointing at herself with a nervous smile. She knew that look; she remembered her own mom would glare at her like that whenever she was in trouble. “Uh…just heading out with my friends!”
“You will be doing no such thing!” Dr. Elfrida corrected; pushing Brian, Noriko, and Aden out of her way to grip Diantha’s shoulders. “You don’t leave until I’ve performed another check up on you! Go on!” She commanded, flipping Diantha back towards the entrance of her tent. “Back in you go! I’ll attend to you in a moment!”
Diantha glanced at her three friends; and shrugged in defeat. She thinned her lips; apologizing without words; and pushed through the tent-flaps. Now it was just Noriko, Brian, and Aden who had to deal with Elfrida’s wrath.
“Now…Noriko? Did I give you permission to let anybody else inside the tent?” Dr. Elfrida raised an eyebrow; her stern glare ready to detect any odd body language that signaled a lie. “Because I’m about a 100% sure that I didn’t.”
“N-no Dr. Elfrida.” Noriko composed herself and answered. She wouldn’t admit it, but the doctor scared her. “But I didn’t bring Brian and Aden with me; they came in themselves.”
Brian gasped at Noriko’s betrayal. “Thanks for throwing us under the bus Noriko!” He almost whined.
Aden was eerily silent; his head lowered and his eye hidden under the shadow of his bangs.
“…Alright then. Step to the side for a moment.” Noriko did as Dr. Elfrida commanded. As much as she felt bad for outing Brian and Aden, her pride also didn’t want to get in trouble for any sort of mistake, especially one that wasn’t on her part.
Dr. Elfrida turned to Brian and Aden, who stood side by side. “Alright boys, let’s make one thing clear for future reference.” The doctor began, placing her hands on her hips. “The tent you just trespassed isn’t for public usage. It’s my personal tent. It holds all my medical supplies. Normally I treat people in their own tents, or if there’s a wide demand, I put up a tent next to this one where all my patients rest and wait.”
She glanced between Brian and Aden; making sure they understood her words before continuing. “Diantha is one of the exceptions because I need all my supplies at hand for her treatment. I was never trained to attend to you…humans. At least that’s what Alva says you all are.” Dr. Elfrida shook her head. The word ‘human’ was straight out of a story book to her. She could hardly believe she had met four of them in her lifetime.
Aden almost shrunk in size; he was as stiff as a board, eyeing the grass below with an unfocused gaze. “I’m sorry. I’m the lowest of low. Please forgive me.” He muttered a sincere apology.
Brian just shrugged his shoulders. “…Yeah, sorry.” He mumbled out lazily.
Dr. Elfrida glanced between Brian and Aden, unsure of what to say. Eventually she sighed and shook her head in defeat. “It’s fine. Just remember not to enter unless you have permission from me from now on.” These two gentlemen were both good kids at heart; she could tell…yes, even the taller one.
With that out of the way, Dr. Elfrida cleared her throat; she had more to say. “So, you remember how you all agreed to help around the camp if you stayed here?”
Noriko, Aden, and Brian nodded in affirmation.
“Good, today you fulfill your promise.” She pointed at Brian first. “You. Captain Gonzalo and Prince Elric need your strength. They’re with the woodcutters. They want you to carry the trees to the camp.”
“…Like, an entire tree?” Brian squinted at Dr. Elfrida; he didn’t know whether he heard the elf lady correctly or not.
Dr. Elfrida nodded. “You have immense strength, correct?” She eyed Brian suspiciously at his question. “That’s what Alva told me anyways. If your strength is up to par with Nilam’s strength, then you should have no problem carrying more than four trees at once!”
A pale Brian wished he didn’t have his super strength in that particular moment.
“As for you,” Dr. Elfrida pointed at Aden next. “The farmers want your help. Some of them have seen your…’talent’ with nature.” That was an understatement. “If you can increase the growing speed of our crops, we won’t be starving within a few months.”
“Ok!” Aden was just glad he could be of use to someone! He doesn’t like not having anything to do; he gets anxious.
“I like your attitude.” Dr. Elfrida briskly complimented Aden, and then pointed at Noriko. “Finally, Noriko. Mr. Sapienti wants to see you. Ever since Alva told him about the powers the four of you have unlocked and the powers you potentially have, he’s been rocking in his chair in excitement. He’s as passionate about science as Alva is about history.”
“Am I supposed to be a…test subject for him?” Noriko tilted her head and raised an eyebrow.
Dr. Elfrida confirmed her speculation with a nod. “Essentially. He wants to test your powers first. You caught his attention the most.”
“Sapienti?” Aden could have sworn he heard that name before…wait! “Oh! Napoleon!”
“You’ve met the guy?” Brian inquired, glancing at Aden.
“Yes! He helped me watch duel! Lifted me up on shoulders!” Aden smiled widely at the memory. “He very nice! You will like him Noriko!”
“…I’m sure I will.” Noriko smiled softly at the cheerful Aden; the boy’s grins we contagious at times.
Elfrida led Noriko to a large tent; it was a ways off from the camp to the North, close by the fields and livestock. The astrological symbol for Mercury was printed on the tent flap. She had seen the same symbol printed on Alva’s tent.
“Mr. Sapienti prefers complete silence when he is attending to his studies, so he asked for his tent to he placed farther away from the camp.” Dr. Elfrida explained. “He’s quite the conversationist however, so don’t worry. Unless you’re not much for speech, in which case, good luck.”
“What’s the symbol for?” Noriko couldn’t help but ask. These symbols were obviously supposed to represent something to the elves, and it was piquing Noriko’s interest.
“Oh? Those symbols are part of an old Northern-Elvish tradition Alva told me about. They’re supposed to represent the kind of occupation one has uptaken.” Dr. Elfrida answered. “The symbol on Mr. Sapienti and Alvas’ tents are for the ‘knowledge-seekers.’’
“Northern-Elvish?” Noriko noted the distinction. Come to think of it, there seemed to be three distinct ethnicities of elves. The yellow-skinned, the orange-skinned, and the red-skinned. Were the yellow-skinned ‘Northern Elves?’
Dr. Elfrida read Noriko’s mind. “Yes. The yellow-skinned are Northern Elves, or Nords, and live primarily in the Froid region of Fiorati; the orange-skinned are Central Elves, or Canols, and live in the Vida region; and red-skinned Elves like me are Southern Elves, or Syds, and live in the Varm region.” Dr. Elfrida almost gloated when she named the Southern Elves she belonged with. “Mr. Sapienti and Alva are both Nords. They were raised in a small village in southern Froid. I think it’s called…Racine? I’ll have to ask her again later. I’ve never been to northern Fiorati. I was born and raised in the capital, Talamh Breithe.”
“How big is Talamh Breithe?”
“I’d say it holds about…15,000,000 civilians?”
Finally arriving at the front of the tent, Dr. Elfrida excused herself and wandered back to the camp. Noriko grabbed the tent-flap, and hesitated for just a moment before stepping inside Mr. Sapienti’s tent.
Unlike Alva’s tent, Mr. Sapienti’s tent was abnormally tidy. Everything was oddly organized in a nearly perfect manner; the table in the middle of the tent, the shelves, the items on the shelves, and even Mr. Sapienti’s desk.
Mr. Sapienti himself was sitting in front of his desk; very busy writing away at his journal. He glanced up at the butterfly in a jar displayed to the side of him; which flapped its white and black speckled wings.
Noriko stood awkwardly by the tent entrance; unsure if she should just wait for Mr. Sapienti to notice her, or catch his attention.
Luckily for Noriko, Mr. Sapienti had the ears of a bat. “Is someone there?” His chair swiveled to face Noriko — it was an old-fashioned desk chair made mostly out of wood. — and he stared at her for a solid five seconds; perplexed at her appearance.
Eventually, he snapped back into reality. “…Your appearance is very different from Aden’s.” He commented; his pupils expanded in hidden excitement. “What sub-type of human are you?”
Sub-type…? “…I’m Asian.” Noriko slowly answered.
“Huh, Asian!” Mr. Sapienti tapped his quill pen against the arm of his chair. “What areas of your planet do Asians primarily live in?”
“…In Eastern Asia.”
“Interesting…you know me and Alva would love it if you mapped your world out some time! We’d die for the chance to understand it better!”
“For simple curiosity or something more?” Noriko noticed an empty stool by Mr. Sapienti, and took a seat.
“I mean, I doubt our research could ever be ‘something more.’ You’re here because of some divine intervention supposedly, and I doubt that opportunity would be given to two Nords, let alone to the entirety of Kirakam.” Mr. Sapienti chuckled at the question. “It would be nice to develop a treaty with the countries in your world however. Trade resources and knowledge and all that. Imagine the scientific breakthroughs!”
“I suppose it would be, Mr. Sapienti.” Noriko smirked. She felt comfortable among this elf man. They were on the same wavelength. “I’m very interested in learning about this world as well.”
“Please, call me Napoleon!” The scientist urged. He leaned towards his desk and grabbed a teacup; sipping the contents in delight. “We’ll be seeing each other often. I’m very interested in the supposed ‘powers’ you possess. I’m curious about your friends’ powers too, and I’ll want to see them with time, but your powers break the laws of physics; that grabbed my attention the most.”
“But the only thing I’ve done so far is read my friend’s minds?”
“Yes, so far! But based on what Alva’s told me there’s a lot more you can do, and I want to see if that’s true. of course, curiosity isn’t the only reason I want to help you improve your powers.”
Napoleon set his tea cup on his lap, and folded his hands together. “I’m not much of a religious man, you know? Gennisa of birth, Zoi of life, Thanata of death, Neris of water, Eda of earth, and Fosis of light; I don’t believe in any of the six natures.” He chuckled, and shook his head. “I don’t believe in whatever god The Lengese Empire believe in either, and I certainly don’t believe in the Ti Nanku Natcattirankal, but science is all about patterns; patterns can be applied to any subject. I know the patterns in mythologies. All mythologies have an end-time story.”
“Yes, like the Bible’s Revelations, or Ragnarök.”
“…Ah…yes? Anyways, The six natures detail an impending apocalypse — the decay and corruption of Kirakam as we know it — that can only be halted by six great heroes. The Lengese believe they’re already in the end times; and believe they’re the salvation for this ‘wicked and corrupt’ world. That’s why they’re so adamant in joining forces with The Kingdom of Fiorati…and when they couldn’t do it the easy way? They decided to do it the hard way.” Napoleon grimaced at his sad, but true words. “But the Ti Nanku Natcattirankal? Kirakam has very, very little information on both those four gods and how the society that worshipped them— The Natmakkal — functioned as a society. We don’t know the Ti Nanku Natcattrinkal’s end-time story.”
“…I think I understand what you’re implying here.” Noriko barely whispered.
“You have a sharp mind. I like that.” Napoleon smirked at the tiny human before her. “The shadowy beast last night that turned into a tiger, if that’s not a sign that something big is coming then I don’t know what is. It also coincides with your arrival on Kirakam? Let’s not even start with how similar your ‘powers’ are to the Ti Nanku Natcattirankal.” Napoleon reached inside one of the drawers of his desk, and pulled out a small, metal figurine. “I’m surprised Alva herself didn’t come to this conclusion before I did…although she is kind of an airhead. She’s brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but I swear that girl’s mind is floating in the sky half of the time.”
The figurine was placed in Noriko’s hands; it was very similar to the statue of Uta she saw in the Temple of Mourning. The pose, the gem on the forehead, the long, hime-cut hairstyle? Exactly the same. The only difference was that the figurine was obviously small enough to fit in her hand, and was made entirely of silver.
“You’re here to stop the end-times. I don’t know if you’re the Ti Nanku Natcattirankal’s chosen ones, or if you’re they’re vessels, but you’re here to save Kirakam. I know that for a fact.”
Noriko could feel the burden of her supposed destiny on her back. Save the world? She was no heroine. Her friends were no main characters.
They were just kids.
Out of all the people on earth, why was this put on her, Diantha, Aden, and Brian?
“You’re probably wondering why I gave you that statue.” Napoleon disrupted Noriko from her brooding. “Basically, I want to see if you have the same telekinetic powers as Uta. Let’s see if you can lift that figurine up in the air.”
Telekinesis?! “B-but how? I’ve never…!”
Napoleon shrugged. “I don’t know! That’s the fun part about science!” He grabbed his journal, and his trusty quill pen. “Often times you never really know what’s going to happen-”
In the span of a few seconds, without warning, the air flushed into a red hue. Noriko and Napoleon collapsed onto the ground; gasping for air as tears poured out of their eyes.
The only thing they felt in their hearts was terror. Pure, intense, terror.