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We ran frantically into the nest. A few kobolds ran to get the chief upon seeing us. When he arrived we explained everything that had happened. We were surrounded by kobolds from our tribe, listening to our story intently. When we finished, the silence was quickly replaced by the loud buzzing caused by their whispering.

 

“Quiet down!”, the chief ordered, “Othokentir, what do you think is our best move?”.

“Leaving. If we stay here, then we’ll be annihilated!”.

 

The kobolds surrounding us started shouting: “Where would we go, you idiot!”. “You’re a coward!”. “Why would you listen to him? You’re the chief! Not that cowardly bird!”.

 

“Quiet down!”, he once more yelled, “I asked for his advice, because he has demonstrated more intelligence than any of you combined! As for you, Othokentir. We simply can’t move to another location. A tribe as big as ours needs a large nest. We won’t find one nearby and building one from scratch would attract attention. We’ll have to stay here”.

 

“But we’ll be easy targets if we don’t move”.

 

“You described those humans as very tall, didn’t you Vyth?”.

 

“Yes”, Vyth answered, “They would probably have a hard time moving around in here, so we’ll be at an advantage. Though, Othokentirs plan could serve as back-up”.

 

It dawned on me that this place would indeed be small for a human. I guess I never noticed, since I can move easily in here. Still, I’m sure they’ll figure something out to deal with that. Banking on their stupidity isn’t going to workout. These adventurers seemed pretty skilled. They probably have tons of experience from previous quests. Why did I have to be born as a kobold? Why couldn’t I have been born as just another human?

 

“Yes, exactly what I was thinking”, the chief said, “Now then, I’ll speak with Lorit about setting up traps in our nest. As for you 5! Although I do appreciate the info that you have given us, you could’ve gotten yourselves killed! Don’t go needlessly outside anymore!”.

 

With that, he left. The crowd dispersed without the chief to hold their attention anymore, though I caught a few giving me glares. Vyth caught them too. Though he tried to hide it, I could see it upset him. That made me feel a little better. Still, why are they like this? They’ve kinda been like this for as long as I’ve been out in public.

 

Our group dispersed as well. I went back to our room. I went to the back, as usual and just laid there, thinking. How are we supposed to fight against them? If the elf is capable of that much damage, how strong are the others? How strong is the armoured guy? He seemed like their leader.

 

I remembered the way she cast her spell. I focused on it at the time, trying to memorise it. The language she said it in was different from what the humans spoke. Is it Elvish? Can I cast spells in Draconic then? I closed my eyes and focused on remembering every single detail of her casting. The way the chief has been teaching me hasn’t been working. I respect him and I’m grateful for all the help he has given me, but maybe I’m just not talented enough to do things his way.

 

Once I remembered how to do it, I wanted to try it out. I stood up and looked at the wall.

 

I said the incantation out loud: “Oh nsi... siilen huru... n'anya nae mai. Faen Al afu nae... igbari salen ndi iro!”

 

I focused magic in my palm as I was saying this, just like the chief taught me. Whenever I usually did this, not much would happen. But I could actually feel something flowing into my palm! It felt like cold water inside my hand, calmly ebbing and flowing.

 

“What are you doing, Othokentir?”, a voice said behind me.

 

“I turned around to see one of my sisters standing behind me. She had a weirded out look on her face.

 

“Why are you staring at the wall? Have you finally lost it?”, she continued.

 

“No, I… I was just… practising my magic”.

 

“Huh? By staring at a wall. The chief really does put way too much faith in you”.

 

“Just leave him be, Iwiekrhyvos. Just cause our big brother is more talented than you doesn’t mean you have to be such a cunt”, Vyth teasingly said as he came into the room.

“Yeah, whatever”, she said as she left.

 

“How did she turn out to be such a brat?”, Vyth asked.

 

“Thanks for helping me out with her”.

 

Vyth lightly punched me on the shoulder while he said: “Maybe if you weren’t so awkward, you’d be able to deal with her yourself. Anyway, what were you doing?”.

 

“I was practising my magic. I was trying to do that acid spell the elf did and didn’t want to hurt anyone, so I aimed at the wall”.

 

“Makes sense, though I’m sure the chief will let you go out if you explained what you were trying to do. Don’t think mom will be too happy with acid on her wall”.

 

“Yeah, you’re right. Sorry, I just got too absorbed”.

 

“At least you didn’t cause any damage. Did it work?”.

 

“Well, I could feel something in my hand. I think I’m getting closer”.

 

I began to feel drowsy and started to doze off. As I was falling asleep, I could hear Vyth laughing loudly.

 

I woke up. Vyth was asleep on the spot he laid down when we were talking. I didn’t know for how long I had been asleep. I still felt a bit drowsy, but I got up and headed towards the chiefs room. I knocked on the wall inside by the entrance and entered.

 

“Just come in, Othokentir. What is it that brought you here?”, the chief said.

 

“I know you told us to not go outside, but can I leave to practice my magic? I memorised one of the spells the elf threw at us and I think I might be able to perform it”.

 

“Oh, really? What makes you think that?”.

 

“Well, I can feel something flowing in my hand when I try to cast it. It kind of feels like water”.

 

“Like water? That’s peculiar”.

 

“So, I’m still doing it wrong, huh”.

“Perhaps not. It feels like fire when I focus my magic and the same goes for the others I’ve taught, but perhaps it’s a bit different for you. Let’s head outside to test out this spell of yours”.

 

We went outside. It was still dark, though the sun was starting to rise.

 

“Go ahead”, the chief said.

 

I did the same thing. I focused my magic and chanted the spell. The feeling of cold water returned to my hand. I finished chanting, but nothing happened aside from the feeling.

 

“Try to visualise your spell”.

 

I tried again. Now I visualised the bubble being formed from the magic flowing into my hand. If magic feels different for me than it does for the chief and the others, then maybe I need to do things differently as well. I imagined every detail and made every single hand motion I remembered her making.

 

I pulled back my arm, as if I were to hurl something, visualised the bubble and caused pressure on my palm with my magic to force it to cast the spell. I felt something forming on my palm. I threw whatever was on it towards a random rock. I saw it! I saw a green, slimy bubble flying towards the rock and splashing on it. It dissolved a bit of it, though only a little bit.

 

I looked back at the chief. He looked satisfied and fascinated at the same time. He turned to me and put his hand on my shoulder.

 

“Well done, Othokentir. You’re magic might work differently, but it still works nonetheless. I would like to note your way of doing it. Would you tell me all about it back in my room?”.

 

We headed back to his room, where I explained my process. Hopefully, it’ll help others like me in the future.

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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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