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A note from Cloudless Night

I feel like my writing and grammar seems a bit... lacking for most of the chapters, but I'm trying my best to improve the quality, so I hope you people feel the difference in the chapters that are to come eventually. I'm also intoducing a new lead character in the next one. Hope you like it!

Oh, and I would really appreciate it if you give me some accurate feedback in the comments. Shoot away at all the typos and stupid mistakes I made while writing, ( Grammar or otherwise ), I would appreciate it. My ears are always open to suggestions.

.:: The blighted Lands ::.

-::- Rayola -::-

 

A ghoulish scream rent the air.

I ducked as a writhing mass of rotting flesh dashed forward with deceptive ease. It brought its weight down on the spot I held barely a few moments ago.

I saw mud explode as Nirlam launched into the air and kick the monstrosity's head. An entire chuck of the thing's bulbous top was removed as if it was made of jelly. Foul black goop splashed onto my once glorious coat.

My coat, I was glad I bough a spare. It was utterly ruined now, there was no possible way that I would ever get rid of this accursed smell.

The ground below me bulged and I fell back as five spindly arms thrust upwards. I gripped my longsword tightly with both hands and spun as I used my momentum to bring the blade around at impossible speed and force. A body not limited my mortal strain meant that I could put extreme force and effort into each blow without having to worry about the consequences. I was  compensating for lack of skill through crude force. Not that efficient, but useful for now. The blade cleaved through all five arms as if flesh and bone were but grass.

We were rewarded by a shrill screech as the mound rose. Namiel brought down both of his swords, stopping whatever lay beneath in its tracks before we could even see what grotesquely creative form it had decided to employ.

Francis whistled as he pumped magic into the flasks strapped to his waist and I watched as a metallic liquid spiralled its way around his fingers. He laughed as he flung it around.

The ground around us exploded in a wide circle as the monsters beyond were blown to bits. I was assaulted by smoke and dust and the stench of burning flesh. A maniacal laughter pierced through the white noise. The guy was nuts.

A grin spread across my face. Excitement welled up from within me as more stumbling figures crawled its way forward. I loved this! I loved this excitement, this tension, this glorious feeling in my heart that grew from each small victory. The monsters didn't make me feel as disgusted as I thought they would. I felt a bit queasy when I saw the first few but I managed to push those emotions back deep within as the battle progressed. I was still horrified and felt repulsion at the creativeness of these stomach-churning horrors, but it was overwhelmed by my burning passion for battle that dominated my mind at the moment. Was I a battle junkie? Perhaps, though I never imagined I had this side to me.

I shut out the booming sounds that resounded across the battlefield once again as my feet found purchase in the unstable earth. I glanced back. The two sisters were nowhere to be seen. Lian seemed a bit exhausted and heaved while she slowly recovered. She probably consumed magic far too quickly than her body could naturally handle. Despite the staggering amount of ambient magic that weighed in the air, a large portion of it was corrupted, and what remained was too viscous to be effectively converted for use. The strain she had to through was obvious on her face although it was a bit excessive considering the efficiency and control she displayed while using it. The silent guy seemed to be guarding her while she recovered.

I really need to ask his name again because I seemed to keep forgettting it.

All of us, excluding me were exhausted.

But still, we fought, we fought for hours on end, but there was no sign of the abomination.

Even Nirlam started to slow down, but I continued to slash like there was nothing in the world that could possibly slow me down.

I was arrogant and overconfident.

I understood that as I saw it.

It rose above the sea of dust and Ash that blanketed the battlefield like fog.

A centipede.

No... I stared in horror at the towering mass of fused corpses. It had a circular mouth the size of a horse, from which an eerie red glow emanating from deep within. It dragged its serpentine form around at disturbing speeds using two hulking arms of jagged bone. The corpses that composed its body writhed as it moved and countless hands tried to grasp whatever they could find purchase on, rocks, fellow corpses,

Men.

It's maw opened wide as the thing roared in a booming screech that reverberated in my lungs.

"What the fuck is that thing?" I asked, shaken.

Nirlam shook his head.

"A Corpse Demon. The Abomination was busy."

I stared at him in shock, mouth agape.

" It CREATED that?"

His helmet dipped in a nod.

" Why do you think we hunt all abominations such hate and prejudice? If they just stayed with their emperor and kept still, we wouldn't have to go to such lengths to kill them. But still, we severely underestimated our opponent this time. It’s probably one of the higher ranked ones."

Suddenly, it froze.

A reaction among the undead which I knew all too well. After all, I've seen this reaction countless times today from it's lesser kin.

I felt dread rising in my heart.

"Oh, by the gods, no... please, no..."

But my prayer went unheard.

It suddenly shifted its attention towards me.

For some reason, Nael's words that I was efficient bait seemed to hold true in this place. Every monstrosity that laid eyes on me seemed to find me extremely appealing and rushed towards me like a moth to a flame. Being popular among the undead wasn't something I really wanted, it hurt my pride and made me self-conscious and depressed. But it still had its uses, as it was the main reason behind our group's staggering kill count, as well as why we were so damn exhausted. But even then, the attention of this freaky serpent was the last thing in the world I wished for.

But it was all useless.

It shrugged off the searing onslaught of fire and lightning that whittled away at its hide and started its way towards me. It raised its two bony hands, drove them into the ground, leaned back and launched itself forward, literally flinging its entire body off the ground. It flew towards our direction at astounding speed. I was rooted to my spot as I saw the rings of large teeth and bone in its gaping maw closing in on me.

At that very moment, all my repressed emotions and doubt that I had somehow pushed down to the bottom of my gut returned with a vengeance.

Th voice in my head echoed a question that I was asking myself at this very moment.

*What the hell are you even doing here?*

I didn't know the answer.

I just cursed my luck.

" Fuck."

 

- :: - Lian - :: -

 

I was a long way from home.

Home, was... a small house right outside the walls of West-meadow town.

It was my father's house. He came from a long line of renowned human woodworkers and it showed, for the entire front was decorated with varios items on display. But he wasn't always a boring man, for he went adventuring during his teens and met my mother, a half elf from the Northern passes. Despite all odds, what ensued was a cheesy love story that eventually resulted in me.

I was glad that I came out normal though. After all, most crosses between the two races were... Strange to say the least. Humans, dwarves, elves, and all of their variants were actually of the same kind, biologically speaking of course. The variation lay in how each of their magic circuits developed. Magic tended to make even the simplest of things unneccesarilty complex and it manifested in a wide variety of ways. Humans had a circular mana conversion network that ran across their blood, and it basically had something to do with how vampires came to be. They say that the original vampires had the most purest ‘human’ bloodlines of them all. Dwarves had evolved a special organ for mana conversion near their heart, it was responsible for their short bulky figure and their physical reinforcement but I wasn't sure of how it worked.

Elves on the other hand... Theirs’s were in sync with their neural system and was particularly concentrated on their spine. It resulted in a heightened ability to sense magic and they had such ease in learning how to control their powers that a new-born could learn to cast a master level spell by the time They turn twelve. If they weren't so freaking lazy, or infertile at that, they could have taken over the empire ages ago. They also had the ability to store magic in every fibre of their being. Both features were observed only in the most mystical of all magical creatures, and this coupled with their stupendous lifespan resulted in a vast sense of superiority over all the other races that was quite...troublesome.

Then came the problem, any cross between any of these 'races' would rarely be born healthy. In normal cases of major crossing, you would get a child which has all physical features inherited from one side along with a really fucked up magical circuit, or one with mixed features and an even more superiorly fucked up magical circuit. Sometimes you may even get a new species in itself or maybe, a monstrosity. Goblins were a prime example of the last two combined... and the thought of being even remotely related to those green fuckers sent my stomach churning. Although no-one could claim that they were of pure blood these days, It was the main reason why such marriages across the more extreme ends were were frowned upon.

But against all odds, I was born healthy. Well... Relatively healthy. I had a really strange magical circuit that made me sensitive to magic like the elves but the conversion running around my blood threw me out of whack. Eventually, I figured out that the only thing I could effectively control was water magic. But hell, saying that I was good at water magic would be a severe understatement. Even if the effort it took to effectively cast spells burnt through my stamina faster than any workout a knight captain could dream to dish out, it was better than blowing myself up. That happened a lot with half breeds.

My life was a hard and long journey. I was lucky enough to somehow have more elf traits than human ones, but it was fairly common because elven traits were usually dominant. But rarely any of the halves actually live as long as an elf does. I for one have never heard of such a thing and I wouldn’t have believed it either if not for the fact that I’ve lived far too long for it to be anything else.

But it was a curse. I’ve already reached the height of my abilities, a cap so as to speak. And I couldn’t even be considered that strong by any measure whatsoever.

But still, I found ways around it.

I learnt different techniques over time. Small tricks, enchantments and items that allowed me to use new abilities that helped me improve, even if it was merely an artificial and fragile change.

It was what drove me to adventure.

Even though I wasted most of my time idly in a tavern or an Inn with hardly anything to go by, every time I discovered some random treasure hidden away by some long dead mage, or even when I rigged an explorer's drink with highly effective alcohol right before an important meeting, I felt an exhilaration that was hard to put into words. I understood why mother was an adventurer till the very end.

I was an adventurer and the freedom it gave my soul was addictive and irreplaceable.

But today, I thought.

Was this really what I wished for?

I knew the risks it all entailed, especially after what happened to mom…

I wondered. Could I have not settled down somewhere? Marry someone or run an Inn perhaps?

I don't know. Perhaps not. I've lived far too long. Longer than any human or dwarf. Far longer than anyone of mixed blood were supposed to. It was almost like I was a true elf myself, but I knew better for I was weak. Too weak, and without scope for improvement.

Accepting my weakness was only the beginning. I was forced to watch lovers leave me, see friends and age and die as I remained unchanged. It felt like my entire life has been but a paralytic dream. I stood helplessly by as the same thing happened over and over.

I could only watch, as a bystander in the story of my own life.

But still, my life was okay, for my adventuring never got me into serious trouble.

That was, it didn’t right until this very moment.

I've never been to war, I realised.

I still didn't know what came over me when I took that request in my moment of carelessness. I saw new faces, faces of people I was going to depend upon.

There was a fool, an eccentric girl who claimed to be unkillable, a stiff famous guy in a super heavy suit which practically covered every inch of skin despite the summer heat, a pyromaniac, another guy who looked incredibly shady, and two identical sisters who's eyes made them look like they murdered people for fun.

It was a Queer bunch but we got along, we journeyed together, stayed at the famous Fort of the Lion's Gate, the last line of defence against the darkness. Then finally, here we are.

Here I am, in the middle of the most corrupted place in the world, where I felt the very air corrupting my body, my mind, my soul... Like a rain of acid slowly withering away at stone.

The sisters, Miya and Maya, were eaten alive. At least I think they were. I could see absolutely nothing with my own eyes because of all the dust that blew up into the air during the skirmish. There were quite a few water mages among the expedition including me and we nearly drained the earth dry of moisture while using our it. A dire mistake, for I lost sight of them. Their magic signals just blinked out of existence without any warning whatsoever, but I couldn’t confirm, for we were walking blind. No-one even noticed. But I saw. I kept track of my allies, for even if it was weak, I still had the ability to see magic. My vision cut through the obscene darkness of this nightmarish land. I could not see our opponents for they were masked by the very corruption that spared not even the ambient mana that hung in the air. What magic that was left in the ground after everything our mages drew out was utterly poisonous.

And again, we were walking blind.

A dire mistake indeed.

Despite everything, the others were doing pretty well. The shady guy, who went by J.B, wasn’t really good at effectively dealing with the undead with his current skillset which seemed to be specialised against humanoids but he was good enough to keep my sorry ass safe whenever I expended myself. The others didn’t have much going for teamwork. Namiel was too busy trying to impress me to actually be that useful, although I do admit he seemed a bit skilled with his swordplay. Rayola seemed to be good at slashing things blindly without any technique whatsoever but brute strength. It was almost like it was the first time she wielded a sword, an elven longsword at that which seemed even more authentic than the one my grandmother used. But it was surprisingly effective with her strength and the fact that she had no problem using every ounce of it in quick succession without tiring in the slightest. The damn girl was scary like that, and she seemed a bit… emotionally confused. One moment she was scared stiff like a little girl and the next, she was a detached psycho. She also attracted every single monstrosity in view without fail, which were dealt with by the Knight in black like a god.

The guy was the main reason we weren’t overrun in the first place, and it was a given fact, for he was a Titled adventurer. I've heard of him from adventurers all over the place. He was a mysterious adventurer who rose to fame about three years ago after he eradicated an entire troll infestation all by himself, without even using fire magic or hiring a pyromancer. That was no feat to scoff at given their abominable strength and regeneration. He was made even more famous for sassing the Holy order in public. Everyone knows that the Holy order doesn't take insults well, but he still had the guts to even call them a dying breed.

The guy was insane, he liked to meddle in the political battleground without a single concern for his own life. He was known for a strange sense of justice despite his bloody methods of settling them. The nobles both adored him and considered him a gigantic pain in the ass. They couldn't just get rid of him without heavy casualties, for he was powerful and had the necessary achievements to receive flak even if they succeeded.

Never did I imagined I'd even meet him much less end up in the same group as him, although I did find him as quirky as with the case of the rest of my group.

Leaving that aside, things were going fine. Well, relatively fine apparently from the screams I heard over the noise of all the artillery spells going off.

That was untill I saw it, the serpent of nightmares.

I was already feeling nauseated from the foul stench of rotting flesh, the miasma that tainted the air, and even the tireless onslaught of the owners of said stench and miasma. I've seen some monsters during my travels. Living monsters. Fearsome? Yes, very much so. But the things here not only made my skin crawl from fear, but actually identifying distinct humanoid parts and seeing what happened to what was once normal people and their bodies made just want to leave...

Just leave this place forever. I wanted to just spend every last coin I had to travel to the other end of the empire and lock myself in a house. Maybe I could even immigrate to The Dawn. The Harpies and those Valaks really don't really like humans and for good reason too but they don't discriminate against most races since they were a fair bunch with principles.

But that didn't matter. Anything's better than being anywhere close to those... THINGS

I shuddered as I wondered what would happen to my corpse if I died here. I imagined my own form, twisted beyond recognition, crawling through these desolate lands as a mindless husk. It was undoubtedly the worst, unholy fate that any mortal being could ever suffer.

But it was necessary to brave the risk. I needed the reward to become stronger. To master what limited abilities I had to perfection. I had sat idly by for far too long. I needed this. I HAD to see this ordeal through to the very end. Despite every bit of sanity within me screaming otherwise, I embraced the insanity that was fate and held my ground, for I had long since steeled my resolve.

I nodded to J.B and rose as Namiel helped me up.

Then I noticed that Rayola was acting strange. Well… strange-er so as to speak. She seemed to have been slapped out of her ‘battle trance’ and now was rooted to her spot like a terrified child.

Then she cursed in a low voice.

“Fuck.”

I followed her gaze and saw the humongous monstrosity that was rocketing towards us.

I barely had time to act as I spun around and dashed away like my life depended on it. Which in fact, it did.

The rest of us saw what was heading towards us and followed suit.

“RAYOLA!” I screamed at her.

“GET YOUR STUPID ASS OUT OF THERE RIGHT NOW!”

But it was for naught.

She was as still as a statue.

Nirlam the black Knight, Retreated as well, albeit much more reluctantly.

The thing landed and the world erupted in a massive cloud of dust, and I heard a booming screech that made all my hair stand on their ends.

As the undead monstrosity rose up once again, I saw it’s form in full detail, Which was one memory I would rather never have had in the first place. Then to my horror, I saw what I thought to be Rayola disappearing behind rows of Jagged teeth.

I was frozen in disbelief, shock and despair. The girl may have been strange, but she was a lovely young woman. Arrogant maybe, but she never deserved this gruesome fate. A good person died today, and I wished I knew her better.

But I couldn’t stay and mourn, for I felt the incoming influx of what was probably an artillery spell.

Then I was suddenly assaulted by a multitude of such fluctuations in the Magic surrounding us.

“Oh No.”

Realisation dawned on me.

The monster was pretty hard to ignore in it’s rampage. It was already being bombarded before it launched itself at us, and now the battlemages had caught sight of their target once again. In came the onslaught of explosions that shook the very ground I stood on while I stumbled my way away from this nightmare. Tears welled up in my eyes as I sought refuge from the stray bolts of destruction that rained down around me.

Just as I thought that I was relatively safe, I heard a deafening boom which effectively destroyed my ears. I gasped as my eyes darted around to make sense in this white silence but it was in vain for my surroundings were lit by an white light that painted the landscape in a monotone scenery of burning death and dust. Suddenly a blast of pure force and heat sent me flying forwards.

It burnt.

I could feel my skin being singed by the heat as I fell on top of a loose boulder. I tumbled down and rolled till I eventually came to a stop. My entire body ached. I bled from bruises and wounds over the entirety of my skin. I coughed out some blood as I tried to rise up but ended up failing miserably. I kept trying but I knew I wouldn’t make it. I was too tired, and anyone who collapses here now is never going to live to tell the tale.

It was an absolute truth.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I couldn’t open my eyes, but I felt a familiar vibration reaching my ear but I couldn’t hear it, if not only a bit vaguely. Maybe someone was trying to speak to me, but I couldn’t tell. The pain was blotting out all my senses.

I felt a cold wet sensation passing through my lips, into my mouth and down my throat.

Suddenly, the searing pain be replaced by a much lesser but irritating one. But it was one which I recognised, for I had experienced it countless times. The effects of a healing tonic. And judging by the scale of the irritation I felt over my entire body, it was undoubtedly a high grade one. I slowly opened my eyes to see J.B crouching over me.

He said something but I couldn’t hear it.

“DID YOU GIVE ME YOUR POTION?”

He said something again, but I couldn’t even read his face properly under his dark hood.

“I’M SORRY, THAT WAS A STUPID QUESTION, THANK YOU!”

His shoulders slumped with a sigh and before I could speak up again, he forced the rest of the contents of the yellow bottle in his hands down my throat. I nearly choked, but this time, I could hear more clearly.

Before I could say anything, he put a finger on my lips and told me in a low, gravelly voice

“Don’t shout, it’s annoying.”

I nodded.

“Okay.” I whispered.

He gave me his hand and helped me up.

I looked down at my body. It was a complete mess. My clothes were in tatters, my armour bent in several locations, but still in one piece. I took one hell of a beating if I got elven steel to this condition.

My wounds were closing at an astonishing pace, almost all the minor wounds closed up like nothing ever happened but there were large scars left behind by the deeper and larger ones. I probably have to spend a whole lot to get a healer to fix them, and with the amount of savings I had, I’d rather live with the proof of my shame.

I stared at J.B. He wore a long black coat, a bit similar to the one Rayola wore, but it looked more… professional. He covered his head with a large hood which was attached to the worn cloak he wore and maintained like a family heirloom. I saw a wide variety of one handed weaponry strapped to his lean form using some sort of wierd body wraps with specialised straps. But like I said, he seemed incredibly shady, almost and he was wearing a costume to flaunt the fact. He was a nice guy despite all that, even a bit shy. It was conflicting.

But I turned my mind towards other matters.

I gazed around. There were not a single undead to be seen. I saw Namiel holding up Francis, who seemed to be the worst off among all of us. He was missing a leg.

The bleeding was stopped by a potion, but it will never regenerate entire limbs. That’s really going to cost a lot to get fixed and I’m pretty sure that none of us except for maybe Nirlam would be in possession of such a huge amount and I’m pretty sure that it’s not nice to ask for such huge loans from acquaintances. So thus was my friend’s fate. He shall never be able to fight again.

Wait, Nirlam…

My eyes scanned the warzone in search of him and eventually stopped at a lone figure standing in front of the charred remains of the monster.

It was Nirlam. He stood in silence, alone.

Mourning for his friend perhaps.

He and Rayola did, get along well after all.

Even I felt a sense of loss growing within me as I watched.

I slowly made my way towards him, but he abruptly turned and made way towards us.

“She was a nice girl.” I sobbed.

Nirlam nodded.

“You don’t have to worry.”

I shook my head.

“It is, Nirlam, you don’t have to keep it in, we all miss her too.”

He seemed perplexed. It was like we weren’t on the same page.

“She’ll be fine”

The poor guy…

Then I heard Rayola’s voice.

“HEY, NIRLAM, WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING?”

She was shouting.

I was frozen in place, my brain not processing what I just heard.

Both J.B and Namiel seemed as equally stunned as I was.

We were speechless, our minds blank.

Then Nirlam went back lumbered back to the large carcass and shot back.
“You Look like a grilled fish, milady, and you’re buck naked. Have some shame and put on some clothes before you crawl back up will you?”

“GAH! WHERE’S MY POUCH? WHERE’S MY SWORD? AND EWWWWWW! WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH ALL THIS BLACK GOOP? WAIT… WAS I NOT EATEN ALIVE? HOW COME I’M BURNT?”

Nirlam seemed pensive for a moment.

“Artillery spell.” He replied.

“FUCK!” she cursed out in frustration again.

Then I saw movement within the charred remains of the monster as Rayola, or what was left of her, rose up slowly.

She seemed like a skeleton wrapped in charred flesh, with a few patches of her white skin still covering parts of her face and neck. It was grotesque, pitiful and a horrifying fate for anyone to endure. But something was strange. As I took in more details, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how anyone could be even the slightest bit alive if they even had a fraction of the damage the girl had received. Then to my astonishment, in her body, even as it was still smoking, the burnt flesh was starting to get… unburnt. Her body slowly reversed the damage as she sat still,

unmoving.

Then I heard her speak again.

“ I can’t believe how I managed to avoid fatal damage to the head through all that. Being unconscious while healing is what I would have preffered. Right now, my body just feels numb, but as soon as it recovers enough, the pain is going to return again."

Her shoulders dipped

"I’m useless at the moment. Can you help me out a bit Nirlam? I can’t find my bag of holding. It's missing! So is my sword, I really need them back.”

He nodded before wading over to her and then started to rummage through the charred mass of undead filth.

The rest of us just watched, dumbstruck and mouths hanging as Rayola started to assume a more human form till she reached the point where she almost looked back to normal, not including the fact that she was still charred black with burns.

Suddenly her face contorted and she doubled over in pain and started to scream like what one normally would, if they were set on fire. She screamed and sobbed as she thrashed wildly,  gasping. It was so heart-breaking that it knocked us out of our trance. Despite everything, she was still human… well sort of, but the fact is that she still felt pain, and it hurt like how it does for everybody else. She was not a tireless monster… I hoped at least.

I dashed over to her shuddering form and tried to set her straight and calm her as she healed. It was a little bit effective for the screaming stopped.

Nirlam returned with a sword and a large fancy purse and placed it next to Rayola, before dashing out into the dust once again, undoubtedly fighting more undead along with J.B and Namiel who seemed hard pressed to keep them at bay.

It took nearly an entire hour before the girl completely recovered. Mostly because of the lingering pain and trauma.

Rayola slowly got to her feet. She was still shaking. After glanced around, still a bit disoriented and flustered, she eventually saw her Purse and bent over and grabbed it. She then started to rummage through what I was shocked to know, was a high quality bag of holding. I was even more shocked to see her pulling out another coat, identical to the one she just wore before it was destroyed. She kept spares of the same coat? Who even does that?

I shook my head.

I stared at her. Her white hair billowed around her as she held her Longsword while wearing nothing but a black coat. It was not that revealing, but it was enough to figure out her situation below. It almost seemed lewd.

She gave out a long sigh.

“I look really inappropriate right now don’t I?”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to that, so I just shrugged.

She shook her head before sighing again.

She seemed to do that a lot lately.

“Can you fight?” I asked her.

I saw her blade trembling as she spoke slowly.

“ I don’t know. The whole experience is just a bit too much to take in right now. I’m probably useless at the moment.”

I nodded with understanding.

Not many live to tell the tale after they get to be chewed out and then blown up in quick succession.

Francis whistled as he stared at Rayola.

“I wish I had regeneration like that, must be nice not having to rely on a healer. Anyway, it’s okay if you can’t fight right now, so can’t I. Stay here with me for the time being while you recover.”

Both rayola and I nodded at the idea.

Just as I was about to help the others out, I heard the sound of people talking as they made their way towards us. I was overjoyed. Help was on it’s way! I saw three explorers wade towards us. They were the three in charge of communications if I remember correctly.

I saw a fellow half-elf call out to us.

“Hey, you there, yea you, girl! What're your casualties? You people safe?”

“One of us got was seriously wounded. He’s not in trouble at the moment, but he’s an easy target out here in the battlefield!”

He spoke to an orb and made his way towards us.

“ The damn dust is messing up all visuals on the field, we had to split up and get the platform to deliver the wounded directly until reinforcements arrive.” He explained before he glanced at me.

Then he froze mid-sentence. He stared in disbelief at me.

“Alliana? You’re Alliana right? What the hell are you doing here of all places? And what happened to your magic reserves? ”

I shook my head and wondered how this guy knew that name.

“No, she’s my grandmother, but how do you know her? She died a long time ago.”

The guy let out a sad sigh.

“So that’s… When I saw that armour, and your face, I thought maybe…”

“It still doesn’t explain how you knew her.”

He paused.

“She was my childhood teacher back in the village.”

I was confused.

“What do you even mean by that? She died nearly half a century ago-“

Rayola cut me off mid-sentence .

“Oh, he probably does, know her. The guy’s a pureblood elf, even if he’s a bit defective. So there’s a high chance he knows her if you grandma was one too.”

The man grimaced before turning.

“And who the hell are you calling defective you retarded excuse of a vamp-“

He froze in his spot for the second time in a row.

“Rayola.”

She grinned.

“Hey Nael, I knew it was you I saw back then!”

So the guy’s name was Nael.

He just sighed.

“I knew you would be involved in all this mess one way or the other.”

“Aww, you meanie! you didn’t even contact me when you KNEW I was here! I could have introduced you to my adventurer buddies !”

He shuddered.

“I’ll pass on that.”

His eyes swept over Rayola before he frowned.

“Is this your desperate attempt at feminine charm? I can’t say it’s not effective but you look like a slut by the way. I’m guessing that’s not how you set an intimidating presence.”

Rayola palmed her face.

“Can’t you be, like nice to people at least once, Nael?”

He smiled before his eyes ended upon the sword that Rayola was wielding.

“Wait… isn’t that MY sword? Why do YOU have it?”

He asked in disbelief.

“I stole it from Fluffy, mind you! I don’t care if it belonged to you before then. You should've thought about that when you decided to give it to a BEAR! It’s MINE now.”

 

Nael opened his mouth in objection but closed it on second thought.

“I’ll lend it to you temporarily. But you better return it when I ask for it.”

Raloya stuck out her tongue at him.

“So, are there any sightings of the abomination yet?” I enquired.

He glanced at me.

“To be honest we do, actually. The Hero made contact once again. It was a bit too good at sculpting the Ground around it for us to actually deal some damage, but It’s good to say that the thing isn’t winning.

I heard the rumble of lighning and bright flashes of golden light  in the distance.

“So, it’s begun then?” I asked.

“Yes” he replied.

Rayola laughed.

“Oh, is that so? What're we doing here idling then? Let’s get going! I’ll the others.”

With that, the girl took off into the dust.

I closed my eyes for a few moments before steeling my resolve once again.

“Okay then, Let’s kill ourselves an Abomination!”

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About the author

Cloudless Night

Bio: Concept Artist, Camouflaged Cloud.

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