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A note from MrScabbyCreature

For those who don’t remember, Meste is from the wolfkin village. He is the healer’s son and had abandoned his family in hopes for a better life in the kingdom <- Mentioned in chapter 30.

 

Meste (wolf man), Rovango (rat man), Poochi (rabbit woman) and Ronaldu (cat man) had met Satoshi in the forest and Satoshi had tricked them into letting him accompany them.

 

A day after Satoshi had left Domania after his fight with the beast king and fire elemental. The news had been announced….

 

“It was him! You knew it was him! How could you!? Because of you Poochi is gone!”, Ravango shouted at Meste.

 

Meste didn’t look at the rat man. He couldn’t believe what he had heard. He just sat there with his head in his hands.

 

“I only knew he was human. I never imagined he could be an elemental...”

 

Their party had met and traveled with an elemental. His body shivered at the thought. He had been grateful towards the elemental. An elemental.

 

His mind went back to his timely entrance at their time of need in the forest. He recalled the wind that had miraculously blown away the laakadbags. He remembered the shockwave from his punch. And worst of all, Poochi’s words reverberated in his mind, Don’t tell me you don’t realize! That timing! We suddenly get attacked by so many beasts, even a baluboor! And ‘fortunately’ get saved by this mysterious man!?”

 

He had briefly considered the possibility that he was an elemental but had dismissed it as impossible. Five elementals after three hundred years in the whole wide world and one of them finds them in the middle of a forest? Obviously he deemed it impossible… No, in fact, it should have been obvious. He knew the man was a human and to find a human in beastkin territory was unheard of. On top of that, his strength and Poochi acting weird, he should have understood. No… deep down he did know but he refused to believe it because he had no idea what he would do if it were true.

 

But what could he do now? It was too late. He had to save them somehow. It was like it had always been, in the forest, surrounded by the unknown. As the leader, he had to make a choice. He had to make the right choice.

 

“Rovango, we can’t tell anyone…”

 

He looked up at his party member with a face devoid of color.

 

Rovango looked at him in disbelief briefly, then turned red in anger.

 

“You! You’re not satisfied with just Poochi!? How many more people would it take before you come to your senses!?”

 

“You don’t understand.. He’ll know it was us.. And he’ll come for us..”

 

Meste’s breathing grew ragged with fear. He looked at his hands, they were shaking. His whole body was shaking. In his entire party, the elemental had shown only him his face fully, with the human ears. It had been a warning, that he would be the one to take responsibility if anything happened. The elemental would come for him. He knew it was only a matter of time. He racked his head, trying to think of how to get away from the monster.

 

In all their years together, Rovango had never seen his leader like that. Meste had always made the decisions and not just him but the whole party would follow him. After years of adventuring, it had become instinct for him to trust his party leader’s words. He grit his teeth as the fear started to seep into his heart as well.

 

“But…”, Rovango tried to force himself to say something, “he’ll get us eventually.. He’ll kill everyone.. We have to..”

 

Rovango squeezed his eyes shut in his guilt at giving in but then the rabbit woman’s face flashed across his mind. He had to remember what was important. He couldn’t give in now! He had to remember the woman he had loved but had never managed to tell his feelings to. And now he would never.

 

“But we can’t just stand back and watch!”, he shouted again with renewed vigor, “We have to avenge Poochi!”

 

Meste stayed quiet, his head hung low. Rovango knew he was coming to a conclusion. He’d figure out a way. He always did.

 

“...Then you do it. I’m leaving.”, Meste suddenly stood up and with shaking hands, started putting his stuff in a bag.

 

“What! What do you.. Where would you go!?”, Rovango couldn’t wrap his head around his party leader’s insane reaction.

 

“I never told you guys but I’m not from Domania.”, his hands never stopped packing even while speaking, the shaking not helping him go any faster, “I’ll go back to my tribe. It’s small and far and no elemental will ever visit there.”

 

“What! You cow.. coward!”, Rovango couldn’t believe his smart and stoic leader whom he’d always looked up to, was acting in this way.

 

“Say whatever you want but no amount of courage will help you in the face of an elemental. Take my advice and you too leave while you have the chance.”, having gathered the bare minimum, he hung the bag on his shoulder.

 

“You’re going crazy, Meste! Calm down for a moment and think!”

 

Rovango moved in front of the exit to block him.

 

“Rovango, move.”, he body was still shaking but the years of authority he had had over his party reflected in his tone.

 

“N-no...”

 

Even with the hesitation in his voice, Rovango stood his ground.

 

Meste stared at the ratman. Rovango, Ronaldu, Poochi and him, they had been a team for years but he didn’t care for them. He only cared about himself. In his moment of fear and weakness, that’s what he told himself. That pretending to care for them had been a way to help himself and now that Poochi was gone, there was no more party anyway. No, since the moment they had met the elemental, their time together was limited. Now that that time had come, it didn’t matter anymore. Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing but his life.

 

Meste took his sword out, “Rovango, move.”

 

“You wouldn’t…”, Rovango stared wide-eyed at the man he had called ‘leader’ for so many years. His feet shook and his eyes teared but he stood his ground. He knew this man. Meste might be acting crazy now but there was no way he would hurt him, right?

 

Meste stopped thinking. And in that moment, his body stopped shaking. Decades of practice had drilled into his body a focus where he couldn’t see anything but his target. And then he moved.

 

Rovango was a mage and could never stand a chance against a swordsman like Meste in a close fight. In the next moment, Meste’s sword went through Rovango’s throat and came out the other end, severing his spine.

 

Meste retracted his sword slowly, unable to look at the bleeding corpse.

 

As he put his sword back into its sheath, the shaking returned and so did the fear.

 

“It’s not my fault.”, he uttered under his breath, “I told Poochi to stay away from him but she didn’t listen to me. Now you did the same. If only you would have listened to me. You brought it on yourselves. It’s not my fault.”

 

He walked out without even once looking at the body of the party member who had been his friend.

 

“It’s not my fault.”

 

He told himself.

 

“It’s not my fault.”

 

He told himself.

 

“It’s not my fault.”

 

“It’s not my fault.”

 

Meste repeated it endlessly as he left Domania.



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MrScabbyCreature

  • A humble enthusiast of everything in the world

Bio: There's something about improvement that beats perfection.

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