Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.
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: Heavy Swearing
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.
A young woman laid in the middle of the clearing, her foot stuck in a tight hole on the ground. That in itself wouldn’t be shocking, but it was her appearance that made Brian raise an eyebrow.
Her ears were unnaturally large and pointy, her nose was cartoonishly witch-like, her skin was a strange yellow hue, and finally her hair was a light cream color.
Her physical appearance, as well as the renaissance-styled outfit she wore made her look like a DnD cosplayer.
…What the hell was a DnD cosplayer doing in the middle of a forest?
Brian struggled between two courses of action. Getting away from what looked like a lunatic as fast as he could before she noticed, or catching the woman’s attention so Diantha could have some chance of living.
Deep in thought, it took Brian a while to realize that the wrist he was clinging onto had mysteriously disappeared.
He focused his attention back on the strange woman, only to see Aden taking slow, cautious steps toward the stranger.
Fuck! That fucking moron! This is why he wanted to go alone!
The strange woman heard the footsteps and raised her head to Aden, who stopped stiffly in his tracks. The two stared at each other, Aden with discomfort, and the woman with shock.
“…You ok?” Aden eventually asked, his voice comically higher pitched than normal.
The strange woman slowly relaxed, and smiled awkwardly. “…Well, I suppose as ok as I can be right now.” Her accent sounded almost British. “If you do not mind, could you help a fellow out and pull her foot out of this hole?”
Aden — greatly comforted by the woman’s friendliness — nodded a yes. Before Brian knew it the red-head was assisting the strange woman in freeing her foot. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing right now.
He took a deep breath, and removed himself from the bushes. If the stranger was friendly then…he supposed him and Aden would be fine as long as they’re alert and keep their distance. Regardless, he can’t just stand by and let that idiot possibly endanger himself.
Aden and the woman both looked up to see the approaching Brian. The wide-eyed stare the woman gave him discomforted him.
The strange woman turned to Aden; a heavenly smile on her face. “So you have a friend with you, huh?” She focused her gaze back on Brian. “Would you be so kind as to help me as well sir?”
Brian shrugged a yes, crouched down, and ripped the woman’s leg out of the hole in one swift motion, startling her and Aden.
The woman clapped her hands together, her mouth agape in amazement. “My my, you are quite strong, aren’t you?”
Brian shrugged once more, offering his hand out of courtesy. The woman took it gratefully.
He flinched in surprise when — after lifting her up from the ground — the woman stood tall and poised. She was taller than himself, that’s for sure. She towered Aden.
“Goodness! You’re rather short! I’ve never seen someone quite like you!” She commented, studying Brian’s facial features in fascination. She then turned to Aden, bending down and giving him a warm smile. “Or you! Why, you’re a small as an angel! Yet you look nothing like them!”
Aden blushed at the comment. “I-I am not of the angels!” He hurriedly countered. “I am the other! I am of the devils!”
Brian furrowed his eyebrows at Aden’s words; ignoring the small giggles the strange woman made. He was confused as to why Aden called himself a demon. Did the guy mistake the two? So weird…
“You’re quite a funny one!” The woman mustered out between giggles. She stood straight once more, and did a small curtsy. “My name is Alva; Alva Waiter. A pleasure to meet you young gentlemen! May I ask for your names, and what brings you out into these woods?”
Brian was starting to get tired of the weirdo’s roleplaying, but was too concerned at the moment as to what would happen if he criticized it. Better to just answer ‘Alva’s’ questions. “I’m Brian, and this is Aden. We have no idea how we got here.” He began. “We woke up in this strange temple with two others last night and have been wandering the forest since. We almost got eaten by a tiger.”
Alva’s expression sobered. “Oh dear…you said there were two more with you, yes? Where are they?”
“We left them behind. One of them ate some nightshade berries, and when I heard you falling down I followed your voice as fast as I could…we…we need help.”
Alva covered her mouth at the revelation, before quickly nodding. “I’m a historian, not a doctor, but lead the way. I can take all four of you back to my camp.”
Brian sighed in relief, and looked around the clearing for the direction he emerged from.
…Only to find he had no idea where he came from…
Shit! He was too focused on following the noise to pay attention to where he went. He’s lost Noriko and Diantha-
Aden pranced towards a certain direction, and glanced back at Alva and Brian. “…We must be hurrying this way!” Aden shouted out, pointing to the woods.
…Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to bring Aden with him after all.
Noriko wiped her wet cheeks with her armless sleeve, exhausted beyond belief.
Diantha laid on the ground, her eyes unfocused and her breathing harsh. She had thrown up multiple times already, and she was getting worse by the minutes.
Noriko didn’t know what to do so she, rather pathetically, cried her eyes out for a good while.
Glancing at Diantha’s pale face, more tears threatened to escape from the corner of her eyes. She buried her head between her legs once more.
A small part of her ordered Brian to take Aden with him instead of herself because she knew she’d break down like this. She didn’t want anyone to see her like this. No, she’d rather die than be seen like this.
She twitched when she felt a shaking hand place itself gently on her shoulder. She quickly grabbed the wrist, raising her head up to see Diantha staring deliriously at her.
“It’s…okay…” Diantha muttered slowly. Noriko barely discerned what she had said.
She lowered the wrist back to the ground; avoiding Diantha’s gaze. “…I know that. I’m sure you will be fine.” She strained out the possible lie; trying to keep her voice calm.
“No…it…it’s okay…to cry…”
Noriko felt her heart race in shame, and turned to the woods, specifically where she saw Brian and Aden wander off. “I’m not crying. You’re delirious Diantha.”
She didn’t get a response, and she was too afraid to look back at Diantha in fear that she would meet the eyes of death.
Luckily, she saw a small, faint figure of yellow in the distance. Aden and Brian are back. Thank goodness.
Aden sprinted as fast as he could to Noriko, enveloping her in another unwanted hug. Brian and some…odd-looking stranger followed closely behind, luckily deciding against a surprise embrace. “Who is this?” Noriko cautiously asked Brian about the stranger.
The stranger herself was quick to answer Noriko’s question. “Alva. How do you do miss? I’ve heard from your companions that someone ate nightshade berries?”
Alva was straight to the point, which Noriko was thankful for. “Yes.” Noriko motioned to the delirious Diantha. “She’s eaten around 15.”
Alva winced at the number, and stepped to the blonde. She crouched down and observed Diantha’s unconscious body, and then turned to the three teens. “She has time, but we must act fast. My camp isn’t too far from here, and I have a good friend there that can help her. Can someone pick her up?”
Noriko gazed expectantly at Brian, who let out a small sigh and picked Diantha up bridal style. “Lead the way.” The hot-head muttered.
Alva wasted no time, and surfed through the satchel she wore around her shoulder. Pulling out a compass, she studied it for a few moments, surveyed her surroundings, and began to walk south of where they were. It was the same direction the four of them had been following themselves, which was weird, because they all thought that south was actually north. Regardless, Aden, Noriko, and a burdened Brian followed her.
They traveled for what seemed like hours. Aden stood right by Brian, glancing at Diantha with worry every five seconds. Brian tried his best to zone out, but considering what he was carrying, it was difficult to do so.
Noriko was a bit ahead from the others, a thousand thoughts swelling in her head, mostly about Alva. Who was she? What was she? Where exactly was she taking them all too? What was the purpose of this “camp?” What’s going on?
Noriko knew the answer to all of these, think about it later, and yet there was nothing she could do but think about it.
“…While we are traveling.” Alva suddenly spoke up, startling Noriko from her thoughts. “I don’t believe I caught your name miss.” Alva looked behind herself, staring at Noriko curiously.
“Noriko.” She answered, partially glad that someone was talking. The silence made her want to clap her hands again, and because others were nearby she’d been restraining herself for so long. “And the girl that ate nightshade berries is Diantha.”
“Noriko…what a lovely name. It sounds almost Lengese. Are you part giant?”
“…Excuse me?” Noriko questioned; completely baffled. How does one even respond to something like that? “I’m…sorry to offend you but you sound almost a bit…eccentric. I’m human obviously.”
Alva stopped right in her tracks, gawking at Noriko in shock.
“…My goddesses…” Alva muttered. “Your appearances were of course strange but this…this brings to mind many questions.” She almost seemed to be talking to herself.
She shook her head and resumed walking. “But we have no time for questions, we need to get to camp soon.” They all continued on their way.
Brian picked up his pace, lowering himself to whisper into Noriko’s ear. “I don’t know about this. She seemed kooky straight from the get go.” He muttered with slight caution.
Noriko glanced at the tall boy, raising an eyebrow. “If you weren’t so sure about her, why did you bring her with you?”
“What choice did I have?”
…Noriko couldn’t argue with that logic.