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2 days had gone by since that adventurer found the location of our nest. Nothing had happened so far. I got my magic lessons, as usual, with no progress, as usual. We hadn’t gone to the village either, out of fear they’d be more attentive.

 

Everyone has been restless since hearing the news. Vyth and me especially. We were the ones who brought him here. We also chased him, but failed to catch him. Our failure has put the tribe in danger.

 

The others, at least the few I talk to, don’t seem to blame us, but still. Whether they blame us or not, we caused this. So, instead of letting the others clean up this mess, we’re going to fix this ourselves. We gathered our previous group we used to go to the village with in our room.

 

“Now that we’re all here, I’ll explain what our plan is”, I began.

 

“You guys aren’t serious about going after those humans. Didn’t you say they killed a bunch of kothar vriskeh without problem? What are we supposed to do against that?!”, Turalisjtilsin asked.

 

“I understand that it’s a dangerous task. If you want to leave, there is no shame in that”, Vyth replied.

 

Turalisjtilsin grumbled a bit, but didn’t say anything else or leave. I began explaining the plan.

 

“First, we sneak into the village like we’ve done before. We’ll first check out that place we saw the humans rest at. They slept at the highest point inside. If they’re not present, we’ll try to enter and take a look at their stuff. Maybe we’ll even take some and put a small trap inside”.

 

“Sklarsklaricin, you and I will keep watch. Keep your senses sharp. One of them managed to follow us last time we were careless”, Vyth added.

 

I continued: “If those humans are inside, we’ll watch them for as long as we can. I won’t write down what they’re saying this time. Translating is still impossible, so there is no point. We’ll mainly watch for behaviours we can exploit and maybe fighting techniques if they spar. The best possible outcome is if one of them separates themself from the group. If any of them do that, we’ll ambush them and kill them”.

 

The plan seemed like it could work and do a lot of good, at least no one had any objections, but everyone was still tense. I’m guessing the stories that have been passed around from the few remaining elders about fighting those terror birds, has put into perspective how much stronger they truly are.

 

We went out to the village. Everyone was as tense as I was the first time we came here. They checked the area thoroughly before we entered. The village was quiet, as usual for this late hour. We walked around for a bit before being scared near to death by a loud bang.

 

We ran behind the nearest corner and peeked from behind it. We could see some light shining from behind the window. It wasn’t much, but enough to show 2 human shadows, a man and a woman, who were clearly arguing. The woman was shouting so hard, we could kinda hear her from our spot on the other side of the small road.

 

Another loud bang, which we now saw came from the woman hitting the man with a frying pan. The man seemed to be cowering, though the light wasn’t big enough to show it clearly. I could see the others with me nearly having a mental breakdown as they tried to understand why something like this would even occur.

 

Disputes would happen in the tribe, but they were usually solved by the tribe separating the two from each other until they cooled down or by having them duel it out when it got bad enough.

 

Seeing household abuse made no sense to them. They already found it weird that the males stuck with the family after conception. So seeing this confused them and horrified them even more. It was kind of like humans seeing orcs doing some of their perceived barbaric stuff.

 

“We don’t have time for this!”, I yelled in a whisper, “Let’s move!”.

 

They focused back on the mission. We got to the bar. The bottom floor looked empty. Vyth began sniffing the area. The rest followed suit, though I didn’t participate. It just feels a bit weird to me.

 

“Did you find anything?”, I asked.

 

“I can smell humans upstairs”.

 

“That must mean they’re probably asleep”.

 

“What do we do now?”, Turalisjtilsin asked.

“Well, there isn’t much we can do. I was expecting them to be drinking or to be away”.

 

“Why would you expect them to drink? Do humans have a problem with getting thirsty for long periods of time?”.

 

“Forget it. I suppose we’ll just have to return and come back another time”.

 

“Why don’t we just sneak in?”, Vyth asked.

 

“Have you lost your mind? We’re dead if they wake up!”.

 

“If”.

 

“Maybe Vyth has a point”, Sklarsklaricin said, “We should be able to sneak in. It’s like ambushing prey”.

 

“Except this prey can kill us with ease if they spot us”.

 

“There’s no shame in fear. If you don’t want to come with us, Othokentir, you can stay here”, Vyth calmly said.

 

He and the almost everyone else left to enter the bar. Only Turalisjtilsin stayed behind with me.

 

“They’re going to get themselves killed”, I said softly.

 

“Yeah, but what can we do about it”.

 

I looked to the ground in defeat. On the ground I saw a rock. It looked like flint. An idea dawned on me. I grabbed it and started slowly making my way to the door.

 

“Where are you going?”, Turalisjtilsin said while trying to hide his fear.

 

“To make sure they don’t die”.

 

I was scared. I moved slowly and the closer I got, the slower I seemed to move. If this fails, all of us could end up dead. However, I can’t just standby and hope for the best. I don’t want to lose more friends. I don’t want to lose Vyth, the only one I’ve truly been close with.

 

I stopped before the door. I steeled my heart and quietly entered. I could see them at the base of the stairs, seemingly waiting. I went up to them.

 

“What’s going on?”, I whispered as quietly as I could.

 

“These stairs make a lot of sound when you step on them. We can’t go up”, Vyth answered.

 

We thought about how to get up there without making any sound for a solid minute, before hearing one of the adventurers get up. The moment we heard footsteps we scattered, hiding in any place we could find. It was the woman who wore white robes that came down. From this close by, I could now see her rather pointy ears. That probably means she’s an elf.

 

We waited in our hiding spot, unsure of what to do. We did say we’d kill whoever separated themself from the group, but the others are upstairs. If she screams or even falls down, they’ll hear it and rush downstairs.

 

She went behind the bar, grabbed a small wooden barrel and a mug and filled the mug with water. After drinking it all, she put the barrel back in its place beneath the counter and accidentally touched Rekiwr. She nearly jumped back and then lowered herself to see what she touched. Rekiwr hid behind the barrel, but she grabbed the barrel and looked behind it, seeing him.

 

She screamed and yelled something out, waking the rest up. Panic ensued, as the rest of us tried to escape. She collected herself and started aiming at the scurrying kobolds with her palm. She said something in a language different from her own. A light, icy blue light came from her hand and a beam of ice erupted from her palm, nearly hitting Rekiwr.

 

She got ticked off by it and pulled her arm back this time, as if she was about the throw something. The other adventurers were all down at this point, just watching in shock as they still hadn’t fully woken up. This time, I studied what she did. She said: “Oh nsi siilen huru n'anya nae mai. Faen Al afu nae igbari salen ndi iro!”

 

A green, slimy bubble formed on her palm and was hurled towards Vyth. He managed to dodge it and leave the building, but the spot that was hit by it, seemed to have partially dissolved.

 

I came back to my senses after seeing that, realising that I’m just as much of a target. One of the others wasn’t so keen on letting another one go and sprinted at me, swinging a sword. I just about dodged the first strike. I rushed towards the sword and hit it with my flint. Sparks flew and hit the wooden floor, though there was no fire like I hoped there’d be. It did distract the man, however. So, I threw the flint in his face and booked it. Everyone managed to make it out and run back to the nest. We made sure we weren’t being followed when we entered the forest this time.

 

We nearly died, but now we do know a bit more about that group. Namely, that they have an elven magic wielder. We’re even more screwed than we realised before.

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About the author

CraigUzumaki

Bio: I'm just a fantasy and horror writer. Currently working on Era of the Kobold and the world it takes place in.

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