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Chapter Thirteen - The Eighth Match
The eighth match was at the beach stadium. The sun was setting as if the fiery orange ball of light was crashing into the distant water at the horizon, creating a beautiful rippled reflection of the sinking sun. The clouds were a dangerous pink, as if tainted with stains of blood from the historic battlefield the champions were fighting on.
In the stands, Nyrine and the queen were disguised as townspeople.
“So this is what a match would’ve been like,” Nyrine mused, “Too bad Jesper isn’t here to see it…”
The queen offered a weak smile to the seer before looking towards Aki. He was sitting in the judge’s booth with Rehela and Byrre. As he stood up to start talking about the history of the beach stadium, the queen smiled.
He’s finally remembering who he once was. I’m proud of you, Aki.
Aki uncharacteristically faltered as he made eye contact with his mother in the stands. “I- yeah…so as I was saying, let the eighth match between Claire and Hareel begin!”
Both Claire and Hareel readied themselves. This was going to be a brutal fight for both of them.
@feralitator and @TheDukeOfPork Good luck to both of you! The conclusion of your match will be posted soon!
The Eighth Match (End)
Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Hareel was at a disadvantage knowing that he dabbled in pyromancy. A hydromancer like Claire obviously had a large advantage, especially at a beach, so Hareel made sure to block her path to the water. That just made him angrier. While channeling his anger, Hareel let rings of flame pour off his body like water. It was a spectacle for Claire to behold. She remained fixated on the liquid like flames as they flowed towards her.
Claire shook her head. She drew water from the sea, easily extinguishing the flames. This made Hareel mad. He kicked the sand, not realizing the torrent of water rushing towards him. It knocked Hareel off his feet easily.
“Burden! Come out!”
Burden came out in the form of a raven yet again. The aerial advantage was perfect against Claire. The raven circled around Claire from above, glowing with odd dark magic as Claire slowly made her way to the soothing water.
Suddenly, Claire’s calm demeanor disappeared. She collapsed onto all fours, yelling. Streams of water shot into the air from the sea, trapping both her and Hareel in a water arena. One blast of water hit the raven in the air, causing it to disappear with a faint pop.
Deep breath in. Deep breath ou-
Hareel couldn’t take it anymore. He recklessly charged at Claire, dodging blasts of water from the enraged Claire. Once he got close, he punched her in the face. Hard. Claire was knocked back into the bars of her own water cage. He approached the cornered hydromancer again and punched her in the stomach.
Claire screamed in pain. Still under Burden's spell, Claire tried to punch back at Hareel. Hareel easily intercepted her punch, then kicked her in the chest. There was a loud snap as a few of her ribs broke. Hareel’s fist started to glow with fire. Claire’s eyes widened as it collided with her face.
The pale skin on Claire’s cheek was now burnt badly as she leaned on one of the pillars of water she had conjured. For a moment, Claire’s vision blurred. The pillar of water she was on gave way, causing her to collapse on the sand.
“Is it over?” Aki asked.
Byrre shook his head and pointed at Claire.
She was struggling to raise herself off the sand, even though Burden’s spell had worn off. Hareel was approaching her, laughing.
Suddenly, a large wave crashed over Claire. The sea’s water instantly made her feel better. She finally stood up as the wave receded and hobbled over to the water
“NO! NO! NO!”
Claire held her hands out, creating a floodgate of sorts. Water slowly started to pile up behind her. The shallow water Claire was standing floated up to join the stockpile of water. Then, Claire focused it at the enraged Hareel.
Hareel charged at Claire again. Instead of meeting Claire, a stream of water blasted him off his feet. Then, more water crashed down upon him. It lifted him up in a bubble of water. Hareel tried to fight it, but the bubble kept him there firmly.
Is this…what drowning feels like?
Hareel’s vision started to turn fuzzy, then black. Then Claire let him go. She would not kill Hareel. Even after what he did to her.
Kumo accompanied Claire on her walk back to the champion’s housing after her match. They had decided to enjoy some scenery on their way back, and took an alternate path instead of walking through the city. The wind was blowing and the only other noises that could be heard were leaves rustling and insects chirping.
Suddenly, Kumo’s ears shot up, and turned towards some bushes off of the trail. He barked, catching Claire’s attention. Trying to figure out what Kumo was barking at, she noticed the bushes shaking, and cautiously approached them.
“Come out. I know you’re in there.”
After a couple of seconds, a man appeared, holding a small knife.
“You know what we want. Hand over your money.”
“We?” Claire asked. Looking around her, she realized that there was now a large group of thieves surrounding her and Kumo. “Crap.”
As the thieves started getting closer to the two of them, a heavy wave of black fog formed around the thieves in a matter of seconds, preventing the pair from seeing any of the aggressors that were surrounding them. However, despite being unable to see any of them, the voices of some of the thieves could still be heard from within the fog.
“Why can’t I see anything?!?!”
“Make sure they don’t get away!”
One sounded like they were about to charge at the pair, but their warcry was cut short. There was a deep growling sound, and moments later there were sounds of a metal object bashing into flesh, bones cracking, and the screams of the thief that was about to charge.
Audible confusion and fear could be heard among the thieves as similar violent noises were made all around Claire and Kumo until everything went silent. That is, until the two heard the sounds of a boot stomping on the ground. They turned in the direction of the sound, prepared for whoever was going to appear.
As the sound grew closer and closer, the first thing that could be seen from within the fog was a pair of glowing bright orange eyes. Then, the rest of the head emerged, which was the shape of a shark's head. Next appeared a peg leg, followed by the figure’s arms. The right hand was holding a large anchor attached to a chain, and the other arm had its hand cut off. In its place was a hook with a lantern attached to it. Then, the rest of the body appeared, which was covered in a large coat and gold jewelry. As the figure stepped out into the light, the fog disappeared, revealing mangled bodies of the thieves surrounding them. Kumo started growling at the sharkman.
“Who are you?” Claire demanded.
The figure grinned, “The name’s Captain Tibarro.”
Claire’s eyes widened in shock, then narrowed in anger. “You…”
The sharkman chuckled, “I assume you have heard of me before?”
“You killed my father… You are going to pay!!!”
“I’m sorry… I have killed many people who happened to be fathers. Would you like to let me know who you're talking about?”
The anger in Claire continued to grow, “Samuel Greathook.”
“Oh yes! I remember him. He failed to pay one month, and paid the price. I assume you are his daughter?”
“Yes, I am his daughter Claire...” she responded, creating a spear out of water. Shooting it at Tibarro, she continued “... and I will make sure you remember that name as I skewer you alive!”
With startling agility for someone so big, Tibarro dodged the spear, and counterattacked by throwing his anchor at Claire, which also flew through the air at a startling speed. She dodged and the anchor smashed into a boulder behind her, seemingly stuck from how heavy of an impact it made.
Taking the opportunity, Claire readied another attack, but before she could fire anything off at Tibarro, he pulled back on the chain, and the anchor flew out from the boulder back towards him, catching Claire off guard and pulling her in as well. As Claire got closer, the sharkman opened his mouth, revealing rows of sharp teeth.
Before Claire was in Tibarro’s reach, Kumo jumped in, slashing the chain to pieces, resulting in Claire and the anchor falling to the ground with a loud thud. Quickly getting up, Claire stepped backwards to make sure the sharkman couldn’t reach her.
Tibarro chuckled. “Well, ain’t that something?” He picked up his anchor off of the ground and continued “You are participating in the tournament of champions, right?”
Expecting Tibarro to continue fighting, Claire responded, “Yeah. So what?”
The sharkman laughed, “Let’s turn this into a little game shall we? If you win the tournament, you live. If you don’t, you die.” As black fog started surrounding him again, he mocked the water mage, “And maybe if you win this little tournament, you can finally pay off your fathers debt!”
Upon hearing this remark, Claire was driven into a frenzy. Giant waves started forming from nearby puddles, and were shot at the fog. However, it was already too late. Upon making contact with the waves, the clouds dispersed. Tibarro was nowhere to be seen as his deep laugh echoed into the night.
Chapter Fourteen - The Prophecy
It had been many days since the matches had continued. The wrinkles of stress on Byrre’s face made it seem like he had aged at least twenty years in the past week or so. Abyssal tensions were getting higher; there was no doubt about it.
Nyrine sat between Aki and the Queen, across from Byrre and Rehela in a secluded meeting room of sorts. There were no windows where they were sitting. Only a dim lamp swinging eerily over Byrre’s head provided light to the tiny room. “So,” she started, “Tell me about this prophecy…”
Aki sat straight up. “Of course,” he responded in an unusually gentleman like manner, “Moktaractus…
When the light of day withers away like in the depths of the sea. When the sun is covered by a mist that cannot be seen by the very eye. When the only celestial light that can guide our hand will be the pure silver light of the moon, Moktaractus has begun. Take up arms. Give weapons to the strong and skilled. Take up arms. Give weapons to every man and woman. Take up arms. Give weapons to the old and young. Take up arms. Give weapons to the sick and the poor. Take up arms. Moktaractus has begun. The armies of the abyss are rising, killing, destroying and corrupting. The beasts of the abyss are set loose to destroy our homes, our villages, our cities and our castles. The corruption of the abyss is turning friend to foe, brother to enemy, child to monster, horse and dogs to beasts. Moktaractus has begun. Fight for the survival of your child, your friends, your people, your land. The children of lady Avelaide shall join us to repel this ending doom so that another day will come. Fight together for all we have ever been and ever will be. Fight for Avelaide. Moktaractus has begun. Septhis has come.
…and that’s most of it,” Aki concluded.
“Most of it?”
“This prophecy has been passed down through generations by only spoken word. There is no remaining record of it.”
“Why?” Nyrine asked.
“Well…a girl sacrificed herself, essentially stopping the prophecy from coming true,” Aki said, “Or so it’s been told.”
“What? She stopped the prophecy? How?”
“Do you know of Vosanova?”
“Yes,” all of them responded quickly, “Though it lies in ruins for the most part.”
“A long time ago, there was a tournament much like ours. The best fighters across the plane gathered, only this time during a period of abyssal conflict and warfare. One side of the war actually harnessed abyssal powers, creating further rifts in the plane. As rifts, both natural and artificial were created, the abyss started to spill through the cracks. People were scared. They would run from the war only to find the abyss right in front of them. Then they’d run from the abyss only to find themselves back in war.”
“So…?” Byrre sipped the expensive wine in front of him loudly.
“Well, eventually the war and abyss overtook the tournament, causing it to crumble before the semifinal stage. Four contestants remained: Akuma, Nilani, Niran, and Aeryn. Each of them presents a different tale about the war and were involved in different ways. Aeryn was the only one to take a true stance on the actual conflict between the tournament’s nation and other kingdoms. She managed to rescue nobles and peasants alike from the claws of war and the abyss, and managed to be the only surviving champion of the four after the tournament ended. Akuma was perhaps the tragedy of the war. From a foreign world with a foreign blade, her only source of true happiness came from her friend, Nilani. Nilani later left Akuma gravely injured after fighting with Akuma under the influence of the abyss. With no one to look to but the horrors of war and abyssal madness, she took her own life before turning into a mangled abyssal abomination by Niran. Niran was the youngest champion and perhaps the most capable fighter with her violin. However, being plagued by the abyss she was viewed as a monster by society, driving her mad with only an imaginary friend to comfort her, which was finally shattered by the abyss too. Nilani was a testament to what the abyss can do, even to the purest people of the plane. She was the most inexperienced champion, yet had the strongest will and purest heart. In her quarterfinal match, the abyss took control of her and she succumbed to it. She eventually ended up traveling into the abyss and killing Niran as the abyss raged on during their fight. Septhis, a monster of the abyss, intrigued Nilani in her journey into the abyss, some say. Most of this, however, is in theory. All we actually know is that by the time Nilani rentered the real world, the abyss and war were starting to get out of hand. The real monster of Septhis finally started to move, so Nilani sacrificed herself to seal the abyssal rifts across the plane, using her own soul as a prolonged guardian for the balance of this plane. She has a shrine in the ruins of Vosanova where her invocation lies.”
“I know some of these rumors. But why does that have any importance now?” Rehela prodded.
“Because the abyssal outbreaks are happening in the same patterns they did before. By sacrificing herself and sealing the rifts, Nilani delayed the prophecy. That's why so many people don’t believe it.”
Byrre added, “In that case, we must reinforce the city. We must not let the abyss make its way into our perimeters.”
Claire had never been so angry and upset in her entire life. The person she vowed to kill got away, and there was nothing she could do to stop him. Tears fell from her face as she dropped to her knees, raising her fist to punch the ground.
Kumo rushed over, and lightly headbutted her on the cheek. Noticing her fellow contestant comforting her, she paused her punch mid-air, and gave a very weak smile. “You are right,” she sobbed. She gave Kumo a weak hug, wiped the tears off of her face, and stood up. “This is not over…” she whispered to herself, “When he returns, I WILL kill him.”
Claire and Kumo finished the rest of their walk back to the champion's housing undisturbed. As Claire opened the door to her room, she turned and kneeled down towards Kumo, giving him a pet on the head.
“Thank you for everything you have done for me so far. It means a lot to me.”
Kumo responded by jumping up and licking her face. Claire giggled a little, giving him one last pet before standing back up.
“Ok. I’ll see you later. Goodnight!”
As she closed her door, she immediately went to lie down in her bed. Between her first match in the tournament and her fight against Tibarro, she was exhausted. Within a few seconds, she was fast asleep.
“Claiiiiire! Wake Uuuuuuuuup!”
“Five more minutes?”
“C’mon Claire, you know how this works. We NEED to make sure we maximize our profits by waking up early. Now get up!”
Claire got out of her bed. However, it was not the bed she fell asleep in. She noticed that everything around her was familiar, but also unfamiliar at the same time. She was home, and yet she couldn't sense the strong ocean smell. She knew that she should feel hungry, but felt full instead. Despite feeling tall, she was still seeing everything from her height as a little kid. After standing around confused, she got dressed into her work clothes, and went downstairs.
Upon getting downstairs, she ran to Samuel, and gave him a big hug. Taken by surprise, he returned the hug after a few seconds. “C’mon. We have work to do. Money doesn’t make itself!”
The two of them walked through the village, avoiding shady figures. Even though most people naturally act untrustworthy on Nerotomea, Claire noticed that people were acting unusually creepy. Luckily, they all seemed too busy to notice Claire and Samuel, and the two of them arrived at the docks without any unwanted conflict.
Looking out to the open ocean, Claire heard the nostalgic sounds of the waves and smiled, running out onto the empty dock. She giggled, creating a small watershow as she ran. Upon reaching the end of the dock, she turned to look back at Samuel, and saw…
Claire stood in an empty black void.
“Sam?” She called out.
No response. She could sense something behind her, but she couldn’t turn to see it. She tried turning her head, but instead of it turning, it froze up. She tried to move her feet so she could turn her whole body towards the being behind her, but her legs froze up as well.
The presence was getting closer.
She tried moving her arms to see if she could feel any of her surroundings. Frozen. She then tried moving her fingers to see if at least they would move. Frozen.
The only thing that she could move was her eyes.
Soon enough, the presence was breathing down her neck. She tried to move once more, but she was still frozen. Then, she felt a hook tap her shoulder, and turn her. Looking up, she saw the face of Tibarro, looking down at her. His eyes were glowing so bright, as if they were on fire.
Claire tried to scream, but nothing came out of her mouth. As the sharkman’s jaws were surrounding her head, she blinked, and suddenly she was back home. She took a sigh of relief, before looking around at the bloody walls. Her heart sank.
She turned her head towards Samuel’s corpse, lying on the broken table. His chest was torn open, revealing broken ribs and a missing heart.
Claire blinked, and suddenly where Samuel was lying, Kumo was in his place, dead. She blinked again and instead of Kumo, it was Oritiria. Blinking again and again, she saw every participant of the tournament lying on the broken table as a mangled corpse. Including herself.
“No… Nooo… Noooooo!!!!”
Suddenly, Claire jumped awake. She was back in the champion’s housing. Sweating heavily.
Chapter Fifteen - Shadow Siege
Aki was in the town plaza. Blotches of fluffy white clouds spread throughout the sky, masking the almighty sun’s bright rays. It was a little chilly outside, though that didn’t hinder a single person from entering the plaza. Everyone nearby stopped to watch as Aki entered confidently with a large scroll. After talking about the abyss yesterday, he was mentally drained.
“Finally,” he muttered, “Maybe the tournament will help me get my mind of such things.”
He straightened himself up and looked out towards the crowd at the billboard. He could see a few contestants in the mass of citizens crowding the town’s grand plaza. Aki remembered walking past Kumo and Navor trying a variety of exotic juices from the juice bar on the west edge of the plaza. The squire had just entered close to Aki, arms full of groceries Syr Cedric had ordered him to get.
Aki posted the large scroll of paper and nailed it to the board, revealing the second round matches. Right as Aki left, the crowd swarmed the announcement board, fighting to see who would be spilling whose blood next. Navor watched from the juice bar distance, holding four different juices, two with his physical hands and two with his manifestation.
I suppose its time. Let’s see who I’m up against now…
There was a dark rumbling that echoed across the city. Everyone looked up as black clouds overwhelmed the sky like an angry swarm of bees, dropping rain and hail upon them like stingers. The roars of thunder engulfed the city’s usual noises. Then, a rumble from the ground knocked people off their feet. A crack appeared through the cobblestone plaza like a long scar. It started to widen as dark, odd magic seeped out into the city.
Nyrine clutched her head from her vantage point in the faraway castle.
“No no no…” she screamed. “NO!”
The sudden change of atmosphere caused Navor to drop all four of his juices. He dissolved his manifestation and drew his blade as he approached the crack against the tide of people running away.
So..this is the abyss…
R̵̤̒i̷̬̔g̴͔͗h̸̦̚ẗ̷̪́ ̶̧͒ẏ̷̬ȍ̴͜ủ̷̘ ̴͙̀ȃ̴̭r̷̲̓ḙ̶̚.̸̯͂ ̵̲̽C̶̮̍a̷̱͌r̴͇̿ȩ̴̎ ̶̲̐ṭ̶̏ó̴͜ ̶̞̆c̴̤̕ơ̴̬ṃ̵́ě̵̫ ̷̫͝c̴̏͜l̸̨̈o̴͉͛s̶̯͠ȅ̸͓r̴͉͒?̶̤͠
Navor, curious, took a step forward.
W̸̱̎h̴̐͜a̶͇͆ẗ̴͓́ ̵̥̌i̵̪̓f̶̻̓ ̷̦̀I̶̥͐ ̵̫͑t̸̜̋o̸̡̎ļ̵̛d̶̲́ ̶̦̃ỳ̵͚o̵̪͌u̶̲̅ ̵̢͆ẗ̵̬́h̴͍̿à̴̩t̷͉͐ ̸͍̈́J̷̭̾a̷̹̒c̴̼͑k̵͈͗s̴̠̾ ̴̅͜ẃ̴ͅă̸̰s̴̺̕n̷͉̅'̸̬͗t̸͙͗ ̵̯̅c̶͙̋ơ̸̖m̸̛͕ṕ̸͍l̸̹͛ẹ̵̓t̷̘̓ë̶͈́l̸̢̑y̶̬̔ ̴̦̊d̴̰̎ḙ̸̑ä̸̝́d̷̟͘?̷͕̈́
“Tell me where the Jacks is!” Navor shouted. There was no response. Only curtains of abyssal magic rose up like a tidal wave threatening to steal Navor within its deceitful current.
Navor dug his heels into the ground. Saving the people like a true knight was for now. Finding Jacks could come later.
Kumo watched as magic poured out of the abyssal crack in the ground. It was a mesmerizing, evil spectacle. Luckily, Kumo had brought his sword with him today. The old, yet still somehow gleaming blade was propped up against the table.
In one swift motion, Kumo grabbed the sword and jumped into the plaza.
“Save the dog!” someone cried.
Kumo gave a fierce bark, reminding them of his fighting skills before heading closer to the abyss. Kumo could see a monster crawling out of the widening fissure. Kumo growled a little before trotting forward a little more.
A part of Kumo was scared. He had heard stories from the lower ranks of Friyena’s knights. This is what they sought to destroy, right? This is the battle they had been having for so many years. And now it was coming to Kumo. Now their greatest enemy was a mere few feet away from him.
The abyssal rumblings caused Syr Cedric to pop out, scared. The squire dropped his groceries and watches as an apple rolled slowly across the ground and disappeared into the jaws of the abyssal fissure.
“Are you okay?” Cedric asked.
“Y-yeah,” the squire said, “Sorry about that. I just want to get out of here.”
“No.” Cedric said promptly, “We must stay and protect these people. Until they’re safe. And you’re safe. I will protect you.”
The squire drew his sword hesitantly.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”
Ahead of them, more cracks slithered through the barren ground. One shadowy claw appeared. Then another. Then an enormous beast at least twenty feet tall emerged from the cracks. It had glistening black claws and an enormous, jagged maw. Its whip-like tail was lined with spikes. The beast roared.
“Protect the others,” Syr Cedric commanded, “I’ll do whatever I can to protect you.”
Cedric drew his sword as well, readying himself for the horrors to come. Only now, he realized that there was a similar dark aura in the background at the place he had died. Now it was time to greet it again.
Navor, Kumo, and Syr Cedric all looked at each other. Aki returned to the plaza on his horse, drawing his sword too. Perhaps, with each other, they could take the beast down.
@Aggroman15 @Lujikul @Arceus8523 Your characters have encountered this beast in the city plaza! Feel free to write a part to respond to these events. You may also use Aki too since he is in the plaza as well. Aki is great with and is equipped with multiple weapons, but especially a sword.
Ushri and Meka
Ushri and Meka had spent days relaxing in their hidden grove. The grove itself was located just outside the tournament city in a forest leading up to it in the north. In the midst of the tangles of twisted branches and vines, laid a beautiful, enchanted clearing. There was an inviting hot spring in the middle and plentiful fruits scattered around it. The water sparkled as the sun’s rays trickled through the branches onto the water. After an early breakfast in the dining hall, Ushri and Meka always came here to pass the time. They could relax. Or train. Or do whatever they wanted. It was a carefree life. Not far ahead, there was a cliff that overlooked the city. As Meka played around with the monkeys in the clearing, Ushri spent most of her time sitting on the ledge of the cliff, pondering things far beyond Meka.
There was a distant rumble that startled both of them, causing Meka to drop a plate of fruit into the glimmering water with a small splash.
There was a prolonged cry as some of the monkeys ran into the clearing. They were carrying a dead monkey in their arms. It was holding a bottlecap. The realization then struck Meka. She jumped up, realizing this was the same monkey she had met earlier.
“No!” Meka shouted, “H-how did this happen? Was it because…of the beer?” Meka spun around to run towards Ushri. “Ushri! I guess you were-”
“MEKA! You need to come see this! Now!”
Meka picked up the pace and jogged to Ushri’s vantage point over the city. There were visible cracks that spread in a spiderweb like pattern across the city. Dark fumes and purple light illuminated the siege of shadows upon the world.
“We need to help them,” Ushri said astutely.
“You’ll get hurt. We’re safe here,” Meka retorted.
“We need to help them.”
“Ushri! Are you out of your mind??”
Ushri turned around to run back to the city, a sense of duty in her heart.
Meka shakily set off after her best friend.
Oritira was on the hillside staring off into nature when she heard the ground start to crack. She watched in horror as a beam of light swallowed up a monkey in front of her, leaving it dead.
People started to run in her direction.
They’re running…from the city? How…odd…Are they running from that thing?
“The abyss” one of them shouted, “It’s here!”
“Here!?” The abyss, ever since her match, was a trigger word for Oritira. She had seen what it did to Audhild.
“You fought the abyss, right?” a person asked.
“I watched your match!” another chimed in.
“All right, all right. Where is this monster?”
A person started, “In the tow-”
There was a rumbling in the hills behind them. In a burst of mud and light, another large beast appeared. This one was slightly smaller than the one in the town plaza, though this one seemed to be glowing with shadowy magic.
“There!” Ushri yelled.
Oritira backed up towards Ushri. Her expression turned from fear to determination.
I must do this. For nature. For the people.
@East2West @DrakeGladis Your characters have encountered a smaller, but still terrifying abyssal monster as well at the "intersection" of the forest and the hills. Feel free to write a response to this event!
Claire was sitting in the center of a large pond in the training grounds. The water rose up to form a protective shell around her as she cleared her mind. Something about water was mystically calming to her like nothing else. And she needed that calm. Especially now. Especially after Tibarro. After her dreams. After her match.
Suddenly, waves started to form in the pond.
How odd…ponds like these don’t really have such waves.
They grew larger and larger until Claire’s sphere collapsed and she fell into the water. Beneath the surface, she could see something coming through the twisted rays of light. Something dark. Something large.
Claire swam to the shore and got out apprehensively. Right as she stood up on the grass, there was a huge splash. A large horror of shadows broke through the water’s surface.
“Wh-what’s this?” Claire stuttered, “Somebody! Help!”
There was a piercing cry that disturbed Mia and Michio from their training in the practice grounds. A frigid wind swept through the area, pulling the paper cranes out of Mia’s control.
“I can’t control them!” Mia shouted.
“Then run!” Michio shouted over the sudden screeching winds, “Make sure they stay in sight!”
So this is the abyss’s doing, isn’t it…
Ÿ̸̻́ö̴̳́ų̷͑ ̵̡̎c̶͍̅ò̵͉ú̵̳l̷͔̕d̴̞̎n̵͓̾'̸̞̈́t̶͚̃ ̴͜͝b̶̺̌ẽ̵̦ ̷̟́m̶̪͋o̵̯̍r̷̪̓e̸͙̽ ̷̙̇r̵̻͌ī̸̲g̶̨͛ḧ̴̢́ť̷̻.̴̖̊
I guess my nightmare is finally coming true.
I̷̖͛t̶͙̕ ̷̩͝d̵̺̐o̷͉͠e̴̻̾s̴͖͘n̵̳̕'̶̰̈́t̸̻͑ ̸̤̍h̵̻͛a̷̡͝v̶̝̀e̶̗̽ ̸͆͜ț̸̐ő̶̼ ̶̘͛b̷̰̓e̸͕͐ ̵̢̅a̷̱̅ ̵̺͊n̴̲̎í̸̫ģ̴̒h̶̘͑t̴̛͔m̴̜̈́à̴̮r̸͎̍ḛ̷͝ ̷̀͜í̶̯f̷͙̒ ̴͇͘y̷͉̓ô̸͎u̴̝͆ ̸̺̾d̸̮̔ȯ̴̯n̵̹̽'̵͇̕t̸͈̒ ̸͔̈́w̸̼̽a̵̭͂n̶̘̋t̷̬͐ ̷͙̾ḯ̸͜ṭ̷̌ ̷̀͜t̵͔̋ó̶͜ ̶̭̀b̶͉̉ę̶͒
I̸̩͛'̴̯͘l̵̤͊l̵̠̎ ̷͈͗l̵̜̒ê̶̹a̶̫͑v̵̕ͅe̶̗͂ ̴̻͌y̶̤͠ô̴ͅu̴̪͊ ̵̪͝ḁ̶̇l̶̞̑o̸͕̊ñ̷͇ë̴̜ ̶̢̊n̷͉͒o̶̹̿ẉ̵̛.̸͕͆ ̵͚́I̴͙̐ ̸̠̋b̶̎͜e̶͍͐l̷̛͈i̶͓͠e̵̲͠v̵̹̕e̴̢̎ ̷͉̅y̴͔̒ọ̸̾u̶̟̿ ̵͖̋h̵͓̋å̶̢v̵̢̓e̵͜͠ ̴̭͑o̵̟͊t̶̛͇ḧ̵͇́e̴̱̓r̸̙̉ ̷̲͝m̵̨͠à̶̩t̸̛̩ẗ̶̻e̷͙̋ř̵͖s̷͖̋ ̷͕̐t̵̢̎o̴̠̊ ̴̘̒a̸̪͊ṯ̶̛t̸̠͗ė̸͎n̸̓͜d̴̰͋ ̴̣̽t̵͋͜o̸͇̊.̷̛̼
The cold wind died out. “Michio!” Mia said shakily, “I got the flock back, but I think we have other problems.” She was running back towards him with another contestant, Claire.
“Run!” Claire yelled.
Then, Michio saw it. A large, mangled beast of shadows with great wings and sharp talons.
“Where do we run? We can’t lead this thing back to the town…” Michio said.
“Then towards the library,” Claire shouted, “There’s a clearing there with a well where we might be able to take it down…”
The young monk was wandering the halls of the town library. It was dimly lit with a wide assortment of books from across the entire plane: The perfect place for a boy like Miyan to spend his time.
He was sitting at a table, engrossed in the multitude of history books scattered across the table.
“Akuma,” he whispered. The foreign name sounded like a curse as he uttered it, “She wasn’t from here. And neither was this blade. What curse did she bring along with her?”
Could this have to do with the curse Melodie was talking about?
A loud noise interrupted Miyan from his deep thought. Mélodie ran inside. “Miyan!” She shouted, “There’s something out there. I think you need to come. Now.”
Miyan sighed and closed the book. He stuffed it in a messenger bag before leaving the library. Outside, as he stood near the training grounds, he could see a large beast of shadows with terrifying wings and talons towering over Michio, Mia, and Claire.
“Should we help them?” Melodie asked.
Miyan’s hand fell to the hilt of Naku Tsuki.
@feralitator @Tommia @Usaername Your characters have encountered a small Dread Akarnai, a beast introduced by jonteman in ToC3. It has large claws and wings and is made of abyssal magic and shadows. Feel free to write a response to this event too!