Clink. Clank. Clunk. Clink. Clank. Clunk.

The work bell continued to toll.

From underneath their cloaks, Adelle put her hand onto the handlebar of a large wooden pushcart as Talia grabbed Luce roughly by the wrist. Inside, Adelle felt an annoying anger rise.

"Hey!" Luce protested at first.

"Just push this cart," Talia forced Luce beside Adelle. "Pretend you're working and keep yourself low."

Talia walked towards Josh who waited in front of them at another cart. Together, the two Guides began pushing their cart, the wheels creaking under as they moved across the rugged terrain. Adelle and Luce followed their lead.

The carts themselves were mostly empty and light enough that they gave little trouble. Save for some shale rocks and their bags hidden underneath a cloth tarp, nothing else weighed them down. They were just props picked up along the way to sell the act of them being workers at the mine.

Slowly, they began descending the high perched ground they started from, circling down the ramp carved into the quarry. As they did, they neared their first crystal cluster with four bodies embedded within the vertical walls. A miner was working on the cluster, chiselling away at the crystals that grew out of them. Each of the minerals were translucent, reflecting light and glittering blue and yellow sheens like blood diamonds.

As they pushed past, Adelle got her first close-up look at the cluster victims. Two male and two female. One of the female was a hume. But even for a half elf, she was obviously a child. Small knifed ears twitched at a passing fly as drool rolled down the side of her lips. Blue eyes infected with seither that must have once been green, glazed over looking forward into nothing. Two scars at the temples of her head showed where she was lobotomised.

The handle of her cart shook slightly and Adelle looked to Luce's hands which gripped them knuckles white and shaking. It was a different Luce than the one that had lived across the helm. Far gone was the shadow of the leader of the Titan Ranger, commanding and confident. The Luce of the Titan War was scared, shaken by atrocities not seen anywhere else on the planet.

Adelle? She was angry. Nothing ever raged in her as much as right then. How could anyone do this? Even to humans? Even when she killed, it had always been clean and quick. Causing suffering was for lesser creatures, though at that moment, she wondered if she had the chance to kill Lachesis, would she do it slowly and painfully. It was a question she was sure she would ask for the rest of her life.

She moved her hand slightly towards Luce, just enough so that their skins touched. Her cheeks flushed. Showing compassion was not exactly part of Adelle's repertoire. But as Luce's shaking slowed to a stop, so did Adelle's reservations. At least someone was calmer now, even if it was not herself.

They shifted onto a smoother, weathered path once they reached the bottommost level. There, the miners wore full-faced gas mask as the stench of decay seeped through almost everything. A miasma of death that hung as thick as atmosphere. Adelle let out an uncontrolled choking cough that seemingly echoed, and she looked around on high alert to see if anyone saw or suspected her.

But no one looked. Not even the guards who wore the standard cloaks and masks of the army turned their heads. Everyone simply looked down at their feet as they walked or at their work as they mined, either ashamed or afraid of what they were doing and where they were.

It was then that Adelle even noticed that the tolling bells that signalled the start of the work had stopped. She just lost track of it over the silence and the sound of her own beating heart.


Adelle instinctively reached behind her back for her weapons but found her belt emptied and remembered that everything had been thrown into the cart.

Luce reassured, "It's not us."

She turned her head towards the noise to see a guard walking towards a middle-aged male human miner.

"What are you doing? What's that in your hands?" the guard questioned.

"W-what?" the miner trembled. He held out his hand, carrying a metal cutter in dirt crusted fingers. "It's just cutters, sir."

"Cutters are banned from the mines. Are you trying to free the lobs?"

"I-I...!" The man stumbled onto his back and retreated to a wall. "I didn't know! I s-swear! I just thought I could work faster with it!"

"Rules are rules. You're coming with me to see the inquisitor."

"No! Not that! Please! I have a family! I'm loyal to the Pyrerai! I'm loyal!"

But the guard showed no mercy, grabbing the man by the collar and dragging him by the floor, kicking and screaming loyalty at the top of his lungs.

Luce jerked to act but Adelle quickly grabbed the former's hands. Luce looked pleadingly to Adelle to do something, but the latter could only look away dejectedly. She was not like The Watcher - who had the power to control time itself. She was just someone who could teleport, a trick any average trickster can do on a stage. Yes, her powers were rare and useful, but nothing like those of her former companion who bended space and time at his whim. There was nothing in her arsenal to take down a large operation like this. At best, she could fight a dozen men. But then what? She'd be overwhelmed and dead within minutes.

As the work around got on from the commotion, the four of them continued their way through the quarry. Making their way up another set of ramps opposite where they came down from, the slow uphill trudge had their body straining against gravity but away from the stench of death. When they were far enough up the path that they were out of earshots of guards and miners, Luce whispered to Adelle.

"We have to do something."

"No," the latter replied somewhat unwillingly. "We're not here to play heroes. We get caught here and we can forget about getting a doctor for Misti."


"Control yourself, alright? If you really want to help them, come back alive and bring the full brunt of the Titan Rangers with you."

As she said that, Adelle knew the words came from a place of spite. She knew Luce would never call the Titan Rangers to a war of blood. The group was as passive as an armed militia could be, only ever using their weapons to disable, but not kill.

"Just one," Luce's voice muttered dejectedly. "There must be a way to save just one."

"They're brain dead, Luce. The only way to save them is to put them out of their misery."

When they were halfway up the quarry, Talia - who lead them - turned up another ramp off road from the main mines. Through a dug out gully they moved until they came to a group of boulders that twisted and wound much like the ones they entered from. The smell of death lessened, likely due to the lack of a breeze within the small path to carry the corpses' waft.

Talia slightly raised her voice from the front. "We'll leave the carts further up to avoid drawing attention to the entrance."

Following the instructions, they pushed the wooden carts passed another cluster of two bodies into a dead end. They spent a quick minute retrieving their equipments, patting off the dust and dirt accumulated from the shale and gravel, creating an eye twitching smokescreen thank somehow and thankfully, stifled the smell for a moment.

Talia stepped out first, checking for a clear to the coast. When she was sure no one else was within the gully, they stepped out of the dead end and headed back towards the boulder cropping. As they neared the cluster of bodies, Adelle hung back, slowing her walking speed until she ended as the rearguard of the group.

The male human in the cluster moved.

She stopped walking.

Slowly, the supposedly lobotomised head creaked up. It was then she noticed that his dirt crusted eyes were not glazed over the same way as the girl from before. He was likely blind, either from what the lobotomy did, or from birth.

"Is..." his dried throat was but a rustle. "Some... there?"

Adelle did not respond, standing there silently, feeling her eyes widen in confusion, anger, shock, and disgust. There was another emotion mixed in somewhere, one she was not able to immediately identify.

"Kill... me..."

"Adelle?" Luce called out. The Titan Ranger walked over and clasped a hand over her mouth to stifle a gasp. "He's..."

Talia had caught on to the commotion and jogged back with Josh. "What's going on?" she hissed. "We need to go!"

"Ki... me..."

There was a collective heave of breath. Talia fumbled out, "The... lobotomy failed. I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do. We can't get caught here." She grabbed Luce by the arm. "We have to go."


Adelle drew her bow, and in one fell motion, fired an arrow into the man's head. Her companions jumped at her actions and she could hear Talia cursing under her breath as the Guide paced away and back. The dead man's head knocked to the ground, finally in peace.

"Great!" Talia sarcastically exclaimed. "Now we have to collapse the tunnel behind us. You're making this a real dangerous trip, Demon Eyes. Once we're in the tunnels, there's no way out but forward."

"The tunnel entrance is behind the boulders from earlier, right?"

"Yeah? Why?"

"I'll meet you there. Be right back."

Adelle looked up and before anyone else could say anything, she teleported into the sky. Quickly finding a high perch in the quarry, she reappeared on the ground there.

Her mind ran back to the little girl that was stuck in the wall. Looking across the quarry, she found the cluster the girl was at and aimed an arrow in the direction. She fired, and the moment the arrow left her fingers, it teleported across the quarry and immediately pierced the girl's skull. A second of silence followed. Then, a shriek.

Adelle's eyes drew towards the distance where the guard had the captured miner pinned on the ground, ready to cuff the poor man. She drew another arrow, notched, and fired. Far away, the tiny figure no larger than the size of her nail toppled over. The miner got up, looked around confused and panicked a fleeting second before running away towards the gates to escape.

She reached back and felt the feathers of her arrows. 2 dozen - now 22 - arrows were in her quiver. In her sights, she quickly identified targets. From cluster victims to guards, she drew four arrows and in succession, fired them off into the air at angles she instinctual calculated would hit after teleportation. One by one, the heads in clusters dipped as arrows snuffed out their sufferings. Guards raced around, looking for an attack or attempting to sound the alarm, only to drop as the projectiles penetrated their bodies with the force of a point-blank shots.

  1. 17. 16.

Did she want to leave any arrows over for her travels? If Nadier or The Watcher was with her, they would tell her to conserve her supplies.

  1. 12. 11.

But they weren't there, and she wasn't them. She was going to keep shooting until a situation stopped her or she felt better. Her rage was going to guide her as it had her whole life.

  1. 7. 6.

The alarm bells finally began to ring. Miners ran in disorder for the exits. Her breath was hard as the rapid firing drained her.

  1. 2. 1.

She had half a mind to throw her axes as well, but held back. The quarry was in an uproar, and no one seemed to have seen her yet as guards rushed around attempting to find the assailant. Though panting and still tired from her exerting her abilities, she teleported back to the skies. A quick look down the gully later and she saw her group beyond the boulder cropping.

She reappeared beside them to find a visibly frustrated Talia.

"Happy now? Everything out of your system?" their Guide asked.

Adelle looked to Luce who gave a soft smile and replied, "Not really."

A note from aden_ng

Author's Note: Hi everyone. Thank you for reading Tearha: Titan War, which will continue to release a new chapter every week on Friday until its completion. If you like what you've read so far, and would like to support my writing, you can buy one of my books at my website. Or you could check out my Patreon to help out for the long run. Of course, just sharing, commenting, and reviewing helps a bunch as well!



Support "Tearha: Titan War"

About the author


Bio: Author of 'The Chronicles of Tearha' web serial novels. Weird guy.

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