Ruith woke with a start, sunlight peeking through the many cracks of his little room.

The memories of the day before came flooding back to Ruith. He had finally gotten his Ability.

‘Nature Manipulation…sounds a bit lame…”

It definitely wasn’t the kind of Ability he had been hoping for. He had dreams of being on the frontlines, slaying the Voidborne and leading a path for humanity. Perhaps with a sword, countless enemies falling with every slash of his blade. Nature Manipulation didn’t sound like that type of Ability to him.

‘Well it’s a Unique Ability, so I’m sure it won’t be useless!’ Ruith’s mood quickly improved after thinking for a second, at least he had an Ability now.

Coming out of his thoughts, Ruith finally remembered the girl from yesterday. He looked up, and there she was, awake and sitting in the same spot. However, she had pulled the hood down and he could now see her face.

Ruith first noticed her eyes, pale green, seeming to make him stare longer than he should’ve. Her skin was light brown, and curly brown hair fell down to her neck. She had a well-defined jawline, not too sharp and not too soft.

Ruith stopped himself from observing her face anymore and realized it had grown awkward as they stared at each other.

‘She didn’t stay up the whole night, right?’

“Oh, you’re still here. Is there something else you need?” Ruith said.

The girl looked up at him. “Well actually, I need your help with something. It’s the reason I’m in the slums in the first place.”

“Before you say anything else, what do I get for helping you?”

She rolled her eyes and pulled something out from under her cloak. It was another coin. However, this time it was made of gold.

Ruith gasped, staring at the beautiful coin. This would be enough to let him live comfortably for at least a year…

Though it did make him question who this girl was, to just casually pull a gold coin out as though it was nothing. Obviously, she was not from the slums.

Ruith came to his senses and decided to not let his greed blind him. He had more important things to do, even if it was a gold coin being offered. He had awoken his Ability, and it would be a much better use of his time to learn how to use it than helping this girl.

“I’ll help you, but not now,” Ruith said firmly.

The girl sighed. She really didn’t feel like finding someone else to help her, so she might as well wait for this boy.

“Fine. One week or I’ll find someone else.”

Ruith nodded, standing up. And then he realized, he didn’t even know the girl's name.

“By the way, what’s your name?”


“Well nice to meet you Vaeri, I’m Ruith.” He offered her the best smile and acted the nicest he possibly could, after all, he didn’t want that gold coin going to anyone else.

Vaeri also stood, and moved to the door.

“I’ll be back here in one week. Bye.”

Before Ruith knew it, she was gone.

“Now…testing my Ability.”

Ruith pulled on a shirt covered in tears and holes, slipped his sandals on, and stepped outside.

The sky was overcast, adding to the gloomy atmosphere of the slums. He began walking down the street, which was cracked and had weeds growing out of it.

Abandoned buildings lined the street, their roofs caved in from attacks of the Voidborne. The slums were a remnant of the time before humans gained Abilities. A time when Voidborne breaching the Bastions walls was a common occurrence.

Now, even a hundred years after, nobody wanted to rebuild or live in this place. It was taken over by people with useless Abilities, and though uncommon, the monsters would still slip in occasionally and wreak havoc here.

Ruith drew nearer to one of the smaller gates, intending to practice his Ability outside. Passing through, the two guards glanced at him before resuming their talk.

He walked for half an hour until he found a grassy area with nobody around. Sitting cross-legged on the ground, he closed his eyes and focused on his body.

In his mind, he could now see his spine and skull. Inside his head, there was a tiny orb, pitch black and glowing. His spine was the same.

The mana flowing through the world, appearing as a light green mist, was slowly absorbed by his spine, and then traveled up to the tiny orb.

Ruith’s father had explained this to him many times, so he had no trouble seeing this within his mind.

There were six known colors that the Mana Core, the tiny orb within the brain, could be. Everyone started with a black Core, and then it progressed through red, brown, grey, white, and gold.

The King of the Bastion was a man over a hundred years old yet still looking like he was in his 30s. The only known person to have a Gold Core.

Ruith had seen this man just once when he was six years old when his father took him to a speech by the King.

The boy opened his eyes and held a hand over the brown grass. He let the mana flow down to his fingertips, and then go out of his body and make contact with the grass. He didn’t try to do anything with the mana, simply letting it out.

The grass absorbed it, and amazingly, started to become green once again. Now in the dead grass all around, there was a small circle of the healthiest grass Ruith had ever seen.

However, Ruith frowned. Just for this tiny effect, he felt almost a quarter of his entire mana was used.

But he moved on, this time consciously trying to use his mana to do something. His Ability provided some guidance, a feeling of what he should try to do.

Once again the mana flowed from his fingertips, this time going underground. Ruith felt it make contact with a small root, half the size of his pinkie. And then he forced the root to move according to his will using mana. He noticed he wasn’t actually making it move, but making it grow instead.

It grew barely an inch…before Ruith gasped, and fell to the ground. He now had a dull headache and could tell there was no mana left in his Core.

‘What the hell…this Ability is so weak.’

Ruith said that but he knew that it wasn’t the Abilities fault, he simply wasn’t able to hold enough mana in his Core.

He sat up and closed his eyes. Ruith felt the mana in the air and began to ‘pull’ it. A stream of mana flowed to his spinal cord, where it went up to his Core.

After a few minutes of this, his Mana Core was once again filled. When that happened, he used his mana to manipulate the root again. Ruith could tell that if he became proficient enough at this, he could use roots as a powerful attack.

Ruith lost himself in the cycle of exhausting his mana and absorbing more. Before he knew it, the sun began to set.

He stood up and started the walk back to the Bastion, reflecting on his day.

Thanks to his effort, he felt his mana capacity nearly triple. However the progress was much slower than he would have liked, and his attempts to attack with the root were pitiful. He had not even managed to make it break out from the ground yet.

Ruith didn’t feel it much while he was training, but he was genuinely exhausted. Using mana for that many hours straight was very taxing on his mind.

It wasn’t long before he was inside the protective walls of the Bastion, however, he wasn’t done with his day yet.

Living near the North wall of the Bastion, the one most frequently assaulted by the Voidborne, he often snuck on top of the wall at night. He loved watching the Sanctum Knights battle the monsters although it was bloody and gruesome.

Ruith made his way toward a ruined building built right next to the wall. It was covered in vines and had likely not been touched for decades.

The boy went around to the side of the building that was right next to the wall. There, a large rusted door was built into the wall. Ruith pushed against it with all of his strength, and it slowly started moving inwards. Soon it had opened enough to where he could slip inside.

Inside was a staircase that wrapped around the room until it reached the top of the wall. Dust covered everything. This place was long forgotten.

Closing the door, Ruith was plunged into darkness. However, he had memorized everything so it didn’t matter.

Reaching the top of the stairs, there was a short ladder that seemed to go nowhere. Ruith pressed his ear against the ceiling and heard nothing. Then he pushed, and the small wooden board lifted up.

The cold night air hit Ruith’s face, and he climbed up onto the wall. There was not a person in sight.

He stood, and walked to the edge facing the wilderness. The wall was very thick, at least 50 feet.

Ruith looked over the edge, spotting a group of 15 Sanctum Knights and two others who were not Knights, likely the healers. He laid down on his stomach, it would be bad for him if he was spotted.

The Knight's grey armor shone in the fading light, and they all turned to face the forest a few hundred meters away.

The Voidborne also appeared in the day, but in the evening and night, more powerful ones appeared.

A tremor shook the ground. A few trees swayed in the forest.

The Sanctum Knights tensed.

Ruith watched with interest and a bit of fear, it seemed something more powerful would attack tonight.


A Voidborne shot out from the trees, so fast that Ruith could not hope to follow it.

The men below yelled, barely able to react before the creature was upon them.

Once it slowed, Ruith could make out its features.

It had a humanoid build and was extremely muscular. Instead of two arms, it had six. One pair was in the place that a normal human's arms would be, but the others sprouted from its back. The fingers of its hands were more like claws.

Straight pitch-black hair came from its head, flowing down to the small of the creature’s back. It had two human-like eyes with no mouth.

The monster towered over the Sanctum Knights, standing at least eight feet tall.

It had paused just for a moment but then moved with blinding speed.

Its claws tore deep into a Knight, instantly killing him. They could not even defend themselves, the creature was simply too fast and strong.

One of the men rose his shield and swung his sword, which was now covered in blue flames.

These men were the best warriors the Bastion had to offer, even in the face of this thing they would fight.

But it was for nothing. All six of the creature's arms curled their hands into fists and slammed into the shield, crumpling it like paper. Before the burning blade could reach the monster, the man was thrown back, his bones shattered.

The two healers made a move, but the Voidborne would not allow them.

It passed around the Knights like they weren’t there, reaching the backline in less than a second.

The healers found themselves turned into several pieces.

Without pause, the monster twisted around and slammed its foot into the chest of another Knight, blasting him back and leaving a massive dent in the armor.

The battle, more like a slaughter, did not get any better from that point.

In less than a minute since it started, it was over. The Sanctum Knight's dead bodies lay on the grass. Some turned into meat paste, some crushed, and others simply bisected. Their eyes were filled with fear even in death.

Ruith had watched this all with horror, unable to take his eyes off the scene before him. And the way the creature moved was strangely…beautiful in Ruith’s eyes. The movements flowed into each other perfectly.

‘What am I thinking…”

Ruith looked at the Voidborne and saw something horrifying.

It stared back at him.


About the author


Bio: womp

Log in to comment
Log In

Masonbong ago

I like this chapter, a bit of action, a promise of setting up more plot, and some abilities. I think the dialogue flows a little off, but all in all a good chapter.