A Journey Through Summoning Chapter 2 Sea Of Memories

“Terra Lizar,Ignis Amelton,Curt Mundon,Joseph Snish and finally Estesia Magdol”

The village chief read out,his voice very coerce and deep,his statue small and humped over with a long gray beard going down his old wrinkled face as he stood in front of all 5 of them reading out their names in succession while holding onto a long piece of parchment with all the children’s names on it,his hands shaking slightly as his eyes swept with hopefulness and anticipation.

A thick heavy air surrounded the area around the children as their names were called out one by one their eyes instinctively raising up as they first looked at the old man in front of them then shifting right towards the person that stood next to him.

Terra did the same thing albeit a bit slower then the rest while also looking at the old man a bit more longer with a few thoughts left to spare.

The old man that stood in front of them was their village chief,a person who served their village for many years keeping things straight and fair around here.

Incidentally he was also the person who let Ignis’s family stay in the village even though the other villagers were against it,Terra didn’t hear the exact details,but he knew that the village chief and Ignis’s father were somehow connected with each other since both of them would be often spotted talking with each other on friendly terms be it outside or inside.

Currently they were all gathered here inside the town hall conducting the evaluation.

Their long awaited day that would seal their fate.

Or so people thought.

The atmosphere was very quiet and formal around here,looking around Terra remembered that this was only the third time that he entered the town hall of the village the first two times was when he needed to register something inside the town hall with his parents and the second time was when the whole village was rounded together for a meeting by the village chief.

Compared to the other houses Terra had seen that were build from stones,mud and straws,this building alone was almost entirely build out of wood and clean cut stone,even the inside was very elaborate and what he considered pretty compared to his own home.

Unfortunately as pretty as the town hall was it was only one room as the whole building only served as a place to hold meetings or conduct important matters that needed to be set in private.

Just like today.

With that thought Terra quickly stopped observing the town hall and instead stared straight again,he was the only child that was currently even holding the leisure to look around and become distracted,compared to the other children next to him who looked serious and tense,he was more like relaxed and loose as he stared at the imposing tall man standing next to the village chief evaluating them with his stern eyes.

The first time Terra saw this imposing tall man,his eyes couldn’t help,but quickly attract to his attire instead of his face,compared to the other villagers Terra had never seen such odd clothing as his,but he still immediately recognized it as those kinds of clothing were depicted in those children stories he once read and sometimes the villagers would even talk about them.

The summoner robes.

Going all the way down to the knees it was a robe that was oddly colored white and blue,looking rough but refined with a few belts and pockets while also giving off a mystical feeling as if it was once alive made out of a material that seemed like hard leather,but looked like fine silk woven neatly together,what made this robe stand out though was the fact that it had weird star shaped buttons on the cuffs and a hood in the shape of some kind of animal head that was always different with every summoner even now.

While he did not know much about them in specific other then this,Terra knew that those robes meant that the person who was wearing them was a summoner.

In the eyes of the ordinary villagers summoners were like godly existences that could tap onto unimaginable amounts of power and strength,through the use of stories their tales had been spread far and wide over the world making ordinary people feel awed by their presence alone which just shows how high of a standing summoners possessed in society.

Terra in particular was a bit ignorant about these matters,but he still understood that summoners were really a huge deal since he always heard about them on a daily basis,he himself had his opinion about summoners,but because his father Donavan Lizzar always lectured Terra to think for himself instead of listening to others his opinion always changed with every new piece of information he learned about these mystical humans just as it did today.

 

Terra wasn’t very enthusiastic about being a summoner in general,but he still didn’t completely dislike the idea since he also was a bit curious about them in his heart as a child,today was the day he could finally meet a summoner face to face and not only him this also counted for the other 4 children next to him that were staring at the man intensely their ambition,hopes and dreams clearly evident inside their burnings eyes as they continued to stand firmly in their place.

All traces of youthful childishness gone and replaced with sheer anticipation that permeated the room around them as they stood.

(Cough)

After an indefinite amount of time the village chief lightly coughed bringing the atmosphere down a notch and making everyone concentrate back to him,it didn’t look like he was about to say anything and instead turned his head towards the tall man standing next to him his demeanor very respectful towards this man that looked to be in his mid thirties,his face wasn’t anything extraordinary if you disregarded the fancy robe he would look like any normal person on the street with his black hair and brown eyes,but even so Terra had to admit that there was really something special about this man that had a small glint in his eyes that he couldn’t explain.

Seniority didn’t matter in this world as long as you had the ability and strength you would earn respect from anyone including people much older then you.

The world just was made that way,strength meant all while weak was not acceptable.

With that gesture completed the man finally spoke up giving one sweeping look over all 5 of them as he spoke shortly and softly.His eyes never once betraying the amount of sternness he held regardless of who it was.

“I will say this only once,today you will be evaluated by the empires law my name or your names at the moment will not matter as only the people with the ability and strength are allowed to ask further questions of me,right now you will be tested and if you fail to “Awaken” it just means that your ability came only this far which is why you can only blame yourself to be without strength”

His words were cold and detached,immediately giving the 4 a small shiver down their spines as the heard a cold hard truth of the world,Terra held a bit more better then the rest only frowning when the man spoke because as a sword trainee he had already heard these sorts of words from his father numerous times that he was starting to get sick of them repeating themselves everywhere and anywhere.

Soon after the warning the children calmed down again to a reasonable level,Terra wasn’t sure what would happen next or how this evaluation actually proceeded as the adults would never go into the specifics of this test fearing that their child could mess up if they did something unnecessary in the process,but even though he was clueless he still did not care to the least,failure didn’t mean anything to him in this matter instead he worried about someone else entirely as he glanced to his side staring at the red haired little girl next to him that was lightly shivering in fear hiding her face behind her long red hair in anxiety,her fist clenched to the max as she seemed to be murmuring some kind of chant to herself.

Terra felt distressed,he wanted to say something to make her feel good,but the words of encouragement until now were only temporary relieves at this point and speaking while going through this important event wasn’t very appropriate so he kept his mouth shut and could only silently pray for Ignis’s happiness in his heart.

Just as Terra stopped looking at Ignis the summoner arched his brows for a second glancing at Terra for a moment as he seemed a bit interested in the young boy that didn’t even have a hint of nervousness in him.

“Ho…quite a bit of composure he got there..or is it just that he doesn’t understand the scale of this endeavor that he doesn’t feel pressured ? Will he be able to make it,I wonder ?”

With that single thought the summoner didn’t bother to think about it anymore as he quickly threw away his fleeting thought out of his mind,returning back to the evaluation at hand as he swiftly spoke up again.

The atmosphere was just about to get tense again.

The children were ready.

“Now everyone I want you to close your eyes”

The summoner spoke.

Everyone followed,not even questioning for what purpose this served as nobody wanted to talk back to such a huge figure as him and simply obeyed.

Terra also closed his eyes without a second word,darkness descending down his eyelids as he felt small amount of curiosity and anticipation starting to rise from somewhere unknown.

The summoners voice quickly followed after the children close their eyes this time ordering something a bit more weirder then anticipated.

“Now,I want you to think about your most painful memory or your most happiest memory,it doesn’t matter which kind you choose,but what I want you to do is choose one and focus on it intently”

Just as his words stopped,Terra felt a bit weirder inside,to be asked something like that,it didn’t make sense to him,either way he wasn’t going to question it and instead just obeyed trying to think of something through his jumble of memories that he could be consider bad or good which stayed in his mind.

And as he sorted them out Terra soon realized that he couldn’t find too many bad memories inside his mind,this could be tributed to the fact that he was still only 10 years old without a lot of experience in life,but having no bad memories or that sort of scary experiences when young was still a very rare occurrence that not many had.

If Terra right now could open his eyes and look around he would realize that the other children seemed to be showing a variety of faces 3 of them seemed to be focusing on happy memories with the look evident by the smiles they had plastered on their faces while 1 of them was instead frowning very deeply,shaking at that almost tearing up even as she thought deeply about the memory in her head.

Of course that person was Ignis who was making that face.

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“hmm…seems like todays results are going to be pretty good now aren’t they ?”

The summoner pondered to himself already disregarding the 3 other children that were smiling to themselves and instead staring at the other two one of which was showing a face of intense sadness while the other one being completely blank on his part with no shred of emotion which was Terra who was still engrossed in his sea of memories.

The summoner couldn’t quite put his finger on it considering Terra as he didn’t look like he was thinking about any good nor bad memories in his mind,he even considered that he wasn’t trying at all and just waiting it out completely abandoning this test so he could go home faster,but even so the summoner didn’t mind either way.

“If he really chooses to abandon,thats his problem he’ll regret soon enough for not putting enough effort into this”

He thought a small amount of disdain showing in his eyes as he then proceeded to ignore Terra with it completely focusing on Ignis instead of who was now starting to sweat unnaturally and soon enough the sweat that was pouring down her neck immediately dissipated into the air turning into steam instead.

Quickly a strange aura started to surrounding Ignis,small particles that the summoner was emitting started to get sucked into Ignises body like a hungry beast ravaging its meal,the steam never stopping,but only growing more intense at every second with the aura becoming stronger and stronger.

The summoner smiled his eyes showing a bright glint as he stared at Ignis as if looking a treasure of some sort.

“Its here…finally…the birth of a new summoner a strong one at that”

He thought,fully concentrated on Ignis and her alone as everyone else was already out of his sight and pushed away,all he cold concentrated now was the girl and the steam that enveloped her like a storm.

The village chief was already deeply surprised by the steam that surrounded Ignis just like the summoner he couldn’t help,but anticipate what was going to happen next deeply rejoicing in his heart as finally a summoner was born in their humble little village,the village chief compared to the summoner was only able to see the steam coming off of Ignis he couldn’t see the particles that were flying into Ignis like the summoner could as they were special.

These particles were called spiritual essence they were something only summoners could utilize and could only be seen by them as well,it was their source of strength and the power that gave them the ability to use summoning.

The summoner was elated in his heart.

But if he had even bothered to look around and focus he would have already noticed that the particles weren’t only flying towards Ignis,but some of them were also separating themselves towards another direction next to Ignis.

Those particles were extremely few and small in number almost unnoticeable,but they were still floating and separating themselves towards another direction compared to the other children who didn’t even lure a single particle towards them.

And the person who was attracting those particles was none other then Terra,his face was still blank like before,but that still wasn’t the same,looking at it this time instead of some kind of change it had a different feel to it instead,it felt more natural or serene in a sense…the most accurate word to describe it was…

Peaceful.

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“Uhm…wh..where am I ?”

Terra muttered to himself very confused as he looked around trying to understand where he was and what just happened.

At first Terra tried to find any good memories that he could focus on,but sooner or later he started to think about what he liked to do the most instead of thinking about a happy event that happened in his life,this sort of thought expanded quickly flooding his thoughts in a instant as his vision turned white which the dark quckily covered up again making him only able to think about his beloved hobby that he enjoyed.

The forest.

To describe it shortly,Terra loved to go outside,to be more specific he loved to go into the forest and wander around aimlessly until he needed to go home.

Now you might ask what he would do while inside the forest,most kids his age would naturally just walk around and play,but that wasn’t what Terra would usually do,while he did play with Ignis like any other normal child does,when he was alone Terra just wandered around the forest everyday observing nature,he didn’t do anything else he just watched nature as if it was something interesting to watch,listening to water flow,wind brush against the leaves or just listen to the grass grow from the ground.

It was strange and unknown why Terra was so attached to nature itself,but what he liked the most about it was the feel of the earth making its way through his fingers he felt a sense of security and calmness from touching the dirt that was everywhere feeling all sorts of sensations depending on the place the earth was found be it soft,moist,rough or dry he liked them all like as if they were all his close friends in some sense.

His mother once explained to him the meaning of his name “Terra” which meant earth,it could be because of his name that he felt so close towards the real “earth” itself,but regardless of what it was he liked it and thats what counted to him.

Of course any normal person who would hear about his interests would immediately label him as a weirdo and the village children did just that,but because no one could find fault in his actions nobody really tried to humiliate him for his likes as everyone immediately just assumed he was curious and liked to explore creating a misunderstanding which Terra didn’t bother to explain anymore.

And now,the place he was standing in was the place he was the most familiar with his entire life,the surroundings covered with growth that was nearby stroke his mind while greenery and tall trees next to him refreshed his thought and with a deep breath he took in a large mouthful of fresh air as he calmed himself some more before muttering again with a gentle smile crossing his lips.

“This is…the forest ?”

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The first chapter for this is here don’t worry I am not entirely starting a new series this is just something to keep my mind off of something right now,sorry for being away for so long I have been really busy of late since graduation even now I am still doing work to get into a college and so forth,thank you for still sticking around if you are there I appreciate that very much !

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A Journey Through Summoning Chapter 1 The Arrival

“Terra ! Terra ! come on you slow poke ! The summoner is coming to our village today to evaluate us if you don’t hurry up we gonna miss him !”

A little girl shouted out her voice full of energy,youth and excitement as she turned her little red head behind her pointing her also red eyes towards the youth that came behind her showing a bright smile and sparkling eyes that could even rival the stars in the night as she faced the youth on top of the small empty hill she stood on.

Looking at the two children that were on top of the small hill you could immediately guess that they weren’t older then 8 or 10 years old their childish and young features were just like that of any ordinary children in this world,the boy who was walking up could be considered ordinary with his short brown hair,brown eyes,white skin and skinny build while the girl looked slightly more unique with her strikingly long red hair and dark red eyes even her skin was something else a lot more darker then simply being tanned most likely taking after her mother coupled with having a more rounded build and thighs that were developing rather nicely for a child her age.

The youth hearing the girls sudden outburst of excitement and urgency didn’t immediately answer and simply moved up,slowly,or rather what he considered “casually” as it was the only speed he even considered walking with even on top of this small hill that can be barely considered a hill rather then a bulge or a slope.

The youth was quite adamant about this speed in particular he wasn’t tired in anyway he just didn’t like rushing like the little girl up ahead of him,he thought that running wasn’t necessary if it wasn’t needed he thought that losing energy meaninglessly like so would only tire you quicker as the day went by,a day in which you could accomplish much more things instead of rushing like this meaninglessly.

His motto after all was “God made time and man made haste” its not something he always told himself or anyone else in this world,but it was something he followed in his mind that made him the person he was today be it for good or bad.

Though in the end it was weird for a 10 year old to have such out look in life any person who would have heard his thoughts would have immediately attributed those facts to be simply an excuse to be lazy and in a way it was true any person could be lazy him included.

But today was not just any “day” to be “Lazy” or follow his life’s motto even the youth knew that as today was a very important day for every person that was born in the Ethereal Mist empire it was a day that would forever decide the “fate” of that person and what they would do from now on.

It could be regarded as they day of becoming an adult.

Or whether you will live rich or poor for the rest of your life,there were a lot of ways to interpret this day.

But generally it was known as one thing.

It was the day of evaluation.

To see whether or not a person had the talent to become a summoner or not.

A massive step in life that would decide what plans god had for your existence.

At least thats what Terra always thought in his mind.

He sighed finally reaching the top of the small hill as he stood next to the little girl who still had a face that excitement written all over it,any person by now would have been put off by Terra’s slow pace,but the girl didn’t mind one bit she knew terra since she was 6 years old,he was after all her only playmate and friend in the village,not that the village had only 2 children,but rather it was because Terra was the only child in the village that would even play with her which is how she already got used to his weird mannerisms.

(Whoosh)

The wind blew on top of the hill,even though it was a very small hill it was still enough to see the village up ahead of them their home to be exact,Terra standing on top of this hill very much liked this sort of breeze neither cold or too fierce,but just right to relax and sit down and maybe take a nap,the shuffling grass underneath his shoes also didn’t help this comfortable feeling he got as he stood on this small hill,huge milky white clouds hovering above his head making him get lost in thought as he looked up absent minded.

Finally,the little girl couldn’t wait any longer seeing her friend spacing out again she pouted her cheeks seeing him like this and swiftly grabbed his shoulder shaking him out of his daze,this sort of routine was already normal for these two friends and Terra didn’t feel one bit annoyed by it as he turned his brown eyes towards the little girl that stood next to him both of their hair respectively shaking in the wind as they looked at each other.

“Ignis..don’t worry I don’t think the summoner would come just yet looking at the village it doesn’t seem like anything is happening we’re most probably not going to be late”

Terra said his relaxed tone and carefree words were like the wind brushing through the leaves,but even so the girl called ignis wasn’t relieved both of them were very young at the moment and both of them had an idea of what their life was going to be and what they wanted to do Ignis especially thought of this countless times after all it was something she dreamed of ever since hearing of it back when she was really small.

The determination that was in her eyes could be said to be something abnormal for a child her age to have,but that was beside the point,the way she looked at the village above the hill was like looking at a matter of life or death.

And in a way this was indeed the case for her.

(Tock !)

“Ouch ! Why did you hit me all of a sudden !”

Ignis immediately cried out in pain,holding the side of her head as she glared at Terra that stood next to her in annoyance and confusion,Terra in turn didn’t even bother to look back at her as he made his way down the hill towards the village looking up the sky while holding the back of his head with his hands in a relaxed manner as he walked.

“Ignis stop thinking and start walking even if something happens don’t worry about it”

He said,his voice this time not holding his usual relaxed or carefree voice,but rather a voice of assurance and trust,it was surprising to see something like this from children their who would usually only care about what was in front of them rather then what would happen.

Ignis of course still held her head in pain,but after hearing Terra’s words of reassurance she couldn’t help,but smile and believe in those words innocently.

She soon quickly started to follow behind Terra with a big smile and eyes sparkling like the stars in the night.

This was indeed the start of their life and the day of departure.

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(Whamp!)

The door to the town hall suddenly crashed open the sound of the door opening attracted the attention of many people most notably the children that stood in front of the town hall and the adults surrounding them forming a circle around the children.

Soon after the door opened 5 children came out of the door all 5 of which had a look of utter disappointment written on their faces,their crooked backs and lowered heads made them look as if they were dead row prisoners and as they walked out of the town hall the voice of a man could be heard coming out of the town hall.

-Next !

The voice was coarse,strict and deep it had no unique characteristic other then sounding a bit frustrated to some and as soon as those words were heard another 5 children inside the group were pulled out and lead into the town hall to be evaluated for once again the door closing onto the children and the adults alike as they could only wait for the results to come.

“Ahh…it seems like this year there won’t be any summoners from our village once again..”

“No need to be so disappointed its not like we didn’t know something like this would happen its no wonder since our village doesn’t even have a speck of summoners blood or heritage in our mids we can only pray for some kind of miracle to happen…”

Already a few adults were discussing the current matter of the situation the children that just came out each respectively went back to their families each treated different with some showing regretful faces and trying to comfort the child while others fuming in frustration and scolding the child unreasonably for not being born with the talent to become a summoner.

At this very moment a youth with short brown hair and brown eyes stood amongst those children he as well came to be evaluated as today was the day he would be officially tested whether or not he had the aptitude to become a summoner himself,his calm and relaxed attitude made him look slightly unique amongst the crowd of children who were either anxious or excited while talking with each other,the way he looked at those numerous adults around him that gave the children hopeful or yearning looks made him think about a lot of things that he didn’t really want to think about right now,he wondered would he also end up like those children ?

Would he be disappointed ? Ashamed ?

Would his parents scold him or comfort him ?

Was he fine with the way he lived right now ?

Those were questions that only now assaulted the mind of this 10 year old and even those questions were fear inducing he didn’t look to the slightest bit fearful or anxious as this was not the way he acted…calm and steady wins the race…he never liked rushing things compared to other children in the village he preferred to be a bear or a turtle instead of a bird or fox even if he didn’t have a talent for summoning he knew that it wasn’t the end of the world.

For a second the boy turned his head back to the crowd of adults searching with his eyes he looked for his parents finally discovering them standing not too far off smiling at him and waving at him gently,the boy also didn’t feel like thinking about these complicated things anymore and instead put a smile on his face waving back at his loving parents temporarily forgetting about the problems of this world,instead indulging in the clouds up above.

The village they lived in was called Turtle Village,it was one of the numerous villages located inside the Lionheart duchy and was just like any other village that existed anywhere in the Ethereal Mist empire they belonged to.

The youth was called Terra Lizar,he was one of the villagers in this humble village and lived together here with his family that consisted of only 3 people which were him and his two parents.

Terra had only just turned 10 this year and even though he was still a child he already worked on the fields in his village since he was 6 years old,his over all build was ordinary for a child his age,he had short brown hair,brown eyes and white skin his body was naturally very skinny making him look a bit thinner then he actually was,his face could also be only said with one word as it was just as ordinary as any person on the street.

The village was of a very humble background of farmers that lived through generations inside this village growing grain,it didn’t have anything special other than that neither could the village be considered wealthy or poor as the villagers never really starved in here or ate anything luxurious that could make your mouth water.

And in terms of clothing it was the most basic cotton and leather,and when it came to entertainment the people had to think for themselves to keep them occupied when they weren’t working that is,but even so Terra never considered himself unfortunate or dreamed about greater things in life,he was a simpleton,not ambitious nor greedy and in any way,he was like a lone frog inside a deep well,his world only encompassed the village and forests nearby other than that he had no clue of anything beyond of what was outside the village borders neither did he long to see what was there.

In short he was very satisfied with how he lived his life everyday up until now,he didn’t have any complains neither did he wish for anything else other then to stay in his village and live an ordinary life of a villager with his family that he dearly loved.

In a sense that was his ultimate happiness,to live peacefully.

But even so his wishes weren’t considered as he was just a child who didn’t know better and just like any parent they would only wish the best for their child to grow up and become a great person who can shoulder them one day,and Terra was a obedient child even though he had some amounts of dislike towards the idea of becoming a summoner he still never dared to go against his parents words he was but a simple boy who yearned affection just like anyone else,saddening his parents was out of question and even if he didn’t have the talent to become a summoner,he would at least try to not make his parents disappointed.

And today was the day as the law of the empire stated every year a summoner would visit every village in every duchy of the empire to evaluate the children between the age of 10 to 15 to see whether or not they had talent in what was called “Summoning”.

Now what is summoning ? In a broad term it is the act of “calling” or “Summoning” a creature to become your servant and do your bidding,these people who summon those creatures are referred to as “Summoners”.

Today,Terra was going to be evaluated and tested whether or not he had the talent to become a summoner,there was not many things a village out in the boonies knew what a summoner really was other then knowing they could call out fierce beasts and creatures,but stories and legends talked about these summoners as almost godly beings or deities,warlords of slaughter and great saints that swept the heavens and shook the earth even Terra liked those stories and sometimes even pretended to be one of those great heroes in those stories.

But even then pretending was pretending and having the ability were two and complete different matters altogether,dreams could shatter in a matter of seconds and if you asked Terra right now whether or not he was confident in himself then you would most probably just hear a few words of disinterest coming out of his mouth as if he didn’t care whether or not the sky would fall or rise.

And just like this.

Time passed in a blink of an eye.

Once again the door to the town hall crashed open and just like last time 5 children exited the door showing the exact same disappointment on their faces as they walked back to their parents being either comforted or scolded for being talentless.

“Next !”

And just like before the voice rang out a cycle repeating itself as the door got shut tightly waiting to be evaluated,the crowd of children were getting smaller and smaller with every batch moving forward it wasn’t very long until the boy was close to get called out himself.

“Te…Terra…I..I am scared what…what if I don’t have the Talent ?”

As Terra continued to get lost into the clouds up above he could feel someone gently pulling the hem of shirt and speaking up to him,the voice was sweet and smooth,but right now the could be heard from that voice was fear and anxiety.

“Ignis,didn’t I already tell you ? Stop thinking about it and don’t worry you can’t change what had already been destined,instead of fearing your failure you should think about your success…”

Terra replied in a more softer tone then usually moving his childish face towards the little girl next to him as he stared towards the long red hair of that girl and her dark red eyes that were looking up at him in a upturned manner making her look like a small animal which was cute.

Her skin was also a lot more darker compared to the other children her features even more so distinguished and unique inside the group making her stand out as most of the children had either only black or brown hair coupled with black or brown eyes and fair or white skin which was the norm for the people of this empire.

And as it stood Ignis wasn’t someone from this empire,she was actually someone who had heritage in the neighboring empire of the Ethereal Mist empire which was called the Black Flame empire where people like her were the norm.

The reason why Ignis was in this country though and not in her native country was also simple,you see her mother was a woman from the Black Flame empire and the father was a man from this empire,60 years ago a great war was waged between the Ethereal Mist Empire and the Black Flame Empire the reason for the war wasn’t quite specified,but that didn’t matter as after the war both sides suffered from heavy casualties and loss,both sides also ended up halting the war and making a ceasefire agreement between each other as the damage they suffered was too great to really continue the war without mutually causing the destruction of one another that both empires wanted to avoid.

Finally after the ceasefire agreement both empires immediately took up their stand and simultaneously ordered to lock down their respective empire borders to make sure nothing would happen that would breach the agreement as they still didn’t trust each other.

At the time a large amounts of troops from both sides were still in the neighboring countries of each other send to wage war,but because of the ceasefire agreement between the two empires neither of these soldiers could do anything anymore nor received any orders on what to do and because the borders were locked none of these stranded soldiers could possibly cross the border without getting killed as it didn’t matter whether they were citizens or not since the decree was already set by the emperor which was absolute no matter who it was.

In the end the soldiers realized that they had no way of going home anymore as long as the borders were still locked down this in turn made them realize that they had no other choice,but to live in the country of their enemies which resulted in many small scale events happening all over the respective empires be it conflict or discrimination both sides went at each other as long as they had the means to do so.

But after more then a half century later people started to accept one another again,the flames of war never really extinguished,but low enough to not cause anymore conflict and even sprout affection for another underneath the pile of insults and discrimination that happened on a regular basis nowadays.

Ignis and her family were very much slighted in the village for being people of the Black Flame empire,their distinguished looks amongst the people of the Ethereal Mist empire made them the perfect target to pick on and while no one really dared to cause violence in the open they were still looked down upon.

Even now Terra could hear lot of the children around them whispering with each other and giving Ignis a dirty look one or two,Ignis’s family especially her mother were the same too the village actively avoided them and gossiped about them making them much more so a target to bash on.

And what was even worse,Ignis’s family was also the poorest family in the village they barely would meet their status quo in terms of food every year,and it wasn’t because they were lazy or anything just like Terra’s family Ignis’s family were also farmers,but because they were treated differently their income was much different from one another with people constantly taking advantage of them in these hard times paying them less for their work or even not paying them at all.

It was already hard to get some sort of work to gain money or food,Ignis’s family especially so as they needed it very much and didn’t dare to make a ruckus because they were paid less then normally since they needed every penny they got and didn’t want to make those employers unhappy.

Fortunately the father of the family was a experienced hunter,his wares were very much sought after inside the village which were the different furs and meats from that he hunter from the forest it was also because of him that the family didn’t completely starve to death.

But even then their father was still just only one person making one person work on the farm and go hunting everyday would really take huge tolls on him usually villagers have a set schedule in which they do their work keeping 1 day each week to properly rest,but in Terra’s knowledge he never saw the man resting ever not even once.

And mostly Terra knew where this huge amount of fear came from in terms of Ignis,looking at her,Terra was once again reminded of the day they met,it wasn’t really anything special,but it wasn’t anything ordinary either if you asked the simple truth then Terra would say that he simply asked Ignis to play with him.

But in Ignis’s mind things weren’t as simple as that,the day she met Terra was also the day she acquired an eternal playmate for herself because she was a person from the Black Flame Empire every parent in the village made sure that their kids would avoid her telling their children that they weren’t allowed to play with her no matter what.

Unfortunate for them Terra was told no such things from his parents,his parents were one of the more accepting people of the Black Flame Empire there wasn’t a clear reason as to why,but as it seemed Terra’s father had friends who were from the Black Flame Empire so did his mother which is how they met each other too.

So when the day came for the children to finally be able to go outside and play for themselves Terra came out to see his village,even then Terra had a laid back attitude as a little child even before he turned 6 he already sneaked out of his house multiple times to see the forest next to his village he went missing a lot of the times,but always came back home unscathed.

That day when Terra was getting to ready to leave the village and into the forest he coincidentally met Ignis who was sitting on a tree trunk all alone in sadness,the children were all avoided her and playing with each other leaving her out.

He didn’t like running all too much and he wasn’t as energetic as other kinds his age and preferred to sit rather then stand,at the time the kids did want to play with him,but because Terra thought that they were a hassle he actively tried to ignore them so he could get to the forest in peace.

Ignis on the other hand was a bit of an exception,he misunderstand back then thinking that she was a fellow soul just like him and even then he was a bit curious about her skin color that it made him approach her for the first time asking her.

“Hey do you wanna play with me”

Of course Terra’s form of “playing” was actually something complete different than that of a normal child,but Ignis didn’t know rather she was very happy that someone approached her she didn’t know what to say or what to do other then quickly stutter and say.

“C..can I ?”

And just like that a friendship was build,soon enough it became clear to Terra that he was mistaken about his new found friend,but after only playing with her once and seeing her happy he couldn’t bring himself to not play with her again which is how their relationship continued with each other.

Terra’s and Ignis Respective parents didn’t mind them two playing with each other even though the villagers did at first scorn Terra’s family at first it quickly wore down as Terra’s father was one of the combat instructors in the village with big influence.

“Terra ! One day…One day I want to be rich ! I want to leave this village one day and see the world become strong and protect my parents !”

She would say,there weren’t anymore words with such conviction said by a 6 year old it was even more frightening to know that she understood a truth of the world at such young age that she could proclaim something so ambitious as her goal,but Terra didn’t mind even though both of their goals in life were completely different Terra still liked being with Ignis as a friend.

Which is why he knew so clearly why becoming a Summoner was so important to her right now.

Back in his mind there was even a dark thought in his head hoping that Ignis could stay,but Terra knew better then that he cheered for his friend to leave the village and fulfill her dreams.

“Ignis don’t worry I believe in you whatever might happen I am still here”

Terra spoke trying his best to cheer for his friend,his thoughts were ultimately innocent like a white sheet of paper he meant what he said from the bottom of his heart while looking at Ignis with his brown eyes.

Hearing Terra’s encouragement Ignis temporarily didn’t know what to say,she once again ended up looking down hiding her face,from the side you could even catch her blushing slightly,but because her skin was dark and her hair was long it wasn’t easy to detect.

Ignis was very young she was only 10 years old,but because she was a girl she matured faster then guys and quickly understood the matter between males and females subconsciously hearing Terra’s honest opinion made her heart beat for a moment as she mumbled to herself.

“But…but what if I won’t see you again ?”

The mumbling was very low not even she could hear what she said as she clunk onto terra for support until.

(Whamp!)

The Door crashed open and as 5 heads disappointingly left the door a loud voice came out.

“Next !”

Now it was their turn.

 

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Explanation For The Lack Of Activity This Past Month

Hello everyone,it had been over 1 year and a half since I continuously wrote my chapters daily,for the past month I have been really inactive and I am not going to lie and say that there something in my life that I needed to do or because I was just simply busy.

(Even though I am actually busy with the upcoming TOEFL test that would decide whether or not I acquire my scholarship to america,but lets ignore that for now.)

First,I want to apologize for suddenly going AWOL all of a sudden without a single word or post like this.

And don’t worry,I am not dropping anything nor am I stopping writing altogether the thing is since I started writing I have never stopped writing at least a single chapter everyday,but after a while I started to notice my sluggishness whenever I am behind the keyboard writing something or when I started to get a lack of imagination to properly progress the story.

(Which ain’t actually a problem since I already planned the majority of the story onto a sheet)

To put it simply.

I am tired,I needed at least a single month’s amount of time for a break to catch up with other books and my own favorite series to refresh my mind and get back into my original mind set.

And I think I am ready now.

(Huraayyy)

You can expect a chapter the next week and I am most likely am going to return to my usual schedule with one chapter daily,but don’t keep your hopes up please.

(You never know what might happen to me,I may just start procrastinating again xD)

Until then my friends !

(Or rather until a few hours or so since tomorrow is going to be monday in my clock)

P.S.

I am mongolian if you haven’t already known.

 

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Chapter 175 A Beast In The Bushes

=======================Sarah’s P.O.V=======================

A few days back when sophia recovered from most of her injuries she heard janet talking about going into the forest and hunt a few beasts.

And while we had enough food to last us for a long time and much more that comes daily through the slimes help,janet had another reason to go outside and explore,it was to gain experience and become stronger so they could survive better and start relying on themselves rather then slimes provided by sorron.

For sophia such words as “aquiring strength” and “getting stronger” were like thunder in hear ears,Ever since experiencing those horrible events that happened to her and the other girls and after recovering from her wounds,she started to seek such strength herself,she wanted to live,she wanted to go back home see her friends and family and live again.

No matter what,being weak wasn’t acceptable,she understood that if she continued to be weak the tragedy that occurred with her and the others would only continue at some point or another,she never wanted to be within the grasps of another person ever again and instead of feeling trampled on she wanted to trample others beneath her feet.

This goal alone kept her going up until now solidifying in her mind like a huge spot that couldn’t get erased no matter what,constantly reminding her and making her feel on edge which is why she joined janet and her little group of like minded people to go into the forest and get stronger slowly.

At least thats what she believed at first…

Sophia didn’t know that as soon as they would step off their camp that she would encounter a second life changing event inside this forest.

We would get to that shortly,but for now talking about the general group was more fitting.

In total there were 5 people who went into the forest,including janet,sophia,and another two girls,terry the sole guy in the group also came along,not because he wanted to,but because janet coerced him to come along.

His decision to go into the forest may also have been largely influenced because of the eerie atmosphere in the camp regarding the girls,it had been hard for everyone since we started taking care of each other,but it seemed like the boys suffered the most out of this as their mere presence alone would freak out half of the traumatized girls triggering their horrible memories and make the other half show a very cold and chilly attitude towards them which was both menacing and scary at the same time.

 

As of now,I haven’t heard of the boys really complaining about anything regarding this atmosphere,lately they haven’t even been speaking that often anymore to anyone other then each other or janet and myself,they also got pretty well engrossed into their tasks then socialize like gary who frequently goes into the forest to explore and such,I of course pretended that it wasn’t there to lighten up the mood,but even though I was trying it didn’t seem to work at all,but only made the issue turn into something as if it was the most natural thing in the world…

Well back to the topic.

It only made sense that terry would be in that group since terry’s class was that of a <Soldier> his potential was already there he only needed experience to become more useful and in time janet also believed that terry would become more capable enough to lead his own small group into the forest so he could hunt with others to increase their strength,drastically increasing their survival rate.

And it wasn’t only him that came for that reason,the two other girls that I was slightly unfamiliar with had similarly been included into that group because they were judged as the most effective to cultivate in terms of strength and class.

I remember that janet even asked me whether or not I want to come along since I already could fight with a sword and had a suitable class that would get much stronger if leveled up at the time,I really didn’t want to go,not because I was scared,which I was,but because I hated violence in general and while I knew I couldn’t avoid it in this world forever just like in earth,I still held onto my stupid beliefs and tactfully declined janets offer.

Janet at the time didn’t say much to refusal,she seemed to have partially understood my reason as to why I didn’t want to come and while she did respect my answer she still left me a few words before leaving telling me that staying the way I was now wasn’t going to work forever in which I couldn’t say much other then look down at myself and give her a bitter smile.

-Wait a second…I understand that you heard from janet that she was going to go with a few people into the forest and start hunting for experience,but from what I know didn’t janet personally chose the people who would go ? I remember that when someone else asked to come along janet refused them and said that only a few qualified people would go,but looking at you-no offense-you aren’t very strong and from what I know neither are you vocal about anything so I am confused as to how you were able to join if you weren’t even qualified…

Gary interrupted,and to be honest he had a fair point,from what I knew janet took only the people who had a fair advantage against smaller critters people who could use skills from a distance or make sure that they wouldn’t be hurt as much even if they get hit or something,mental strength and physical strength was also a factor to consider,but because combat skills gave you a land sliding advantage in this world it was the first thing to be considered by her.

Hearing gary’s sudden question stubbed sophia for a second,it wasn’t as if the question itself was important or anything,it was just that gary was curious,sophia could have chosen to ignore the question,but she answered it anyway for a moment glancing behind her as she looked at terry in a small reminiscent way,terry also returned that gaze not as much as sophia,but slightly acknowledging as if he was regretting it now.

(Sha Sha ! Sha Sha !)

The wind started to pick up,the leafs that grew out of the thousands of branches on the trees rustled with a soothing tune of the forest,the 4 of us stood motionless inside this dark forest and even though it was dangerous staying here for too long because of the monsters out here,We still didn’t go away and listened patiently.

I also slightly believed in gary’s ability to sense danger if anything would happen he was the first to say it without a doubt making me a bit more calmer as I felt a small chill coming up my spine through this cold wind.

Sophia also looked cold holding her hands a bit more tighter against each other while finally speaking again.

-Yes,initial I wasn’t chosen to come with them since I didn’t have any useful skills to attack or defend myself,but because I was stubborn and really wanted to go I still tried and went to ask janet if I could accompany them,and just like that time with the other girl janet declined me,telling me that I was too weak for now and told me to stay put instead.In the end if it would have happened ,I would accepted her refusal…if it wasn’t for terry of course who at the last second was able to convince janet to let me join their group…

Hearing what sophia had just said,gary and I both got little surprised for a second and both of us also simultaneously moved our heads to the right staring at terry as he crossed his arms with a uncomfortable look on his face.

At the time there was a hint of red in his cheeks when we faced him,but because it was too dark to really see anything both me and gary didn’t notice and if we had we would have probably gotten a very different impression then we had now.

-Don’t look at me like that,even I don’t fully understand why I started arguing at the time,I only thought that having more people would be safer then having less and this wasn’t the same with the other girl either since lara is only 15 years old and still little while sophia is at least old enough to take care of herself at best

Terry explained,making it very clear that he didn’t argue for the sake of favor,but just because of circumstances and thinking about it he was sort of right,lara was indeed too young to be allowed to fight these monsters she also didn’t have a good class when it came to fighting and generally her body build was just too small for her to keep up with the others who were more grown then her.

My thoughts ended at this point,turning back to sophia as I didn’t see anything wrong with this discussion,gary on the other hand kept staring at terry for a few more seconds as if trying to measure him or something before giving a light sigh and looking away back to sophia.

Sophia didn’t notice this at the time and simply continued how everything went coughing a few times to clear her throat as she spoke from where she left off.

Janet in the end agreed to let sophia join them for the hunt under conditions that terry had to closely look after her and make sure she was safe and unhurt,terry agreed to it reluctantly since it was him who pleaded in the first place while the other two girls didn’t seem to care at all who went and not.

And as such their preparations went fast and smoothly,valera and I at the time were doing guard duty so i still remember walking them out of the camp with a worried look on my face fearing their safety totally different from the way valera looked as she was as always confident and boisterous with her speech.

What happened afterwards wasn’t much of a surprise since I already heard everything from janet from how their first day of hunting went,and in short they weren’t able to catch or kill anything,most of the small animals would instantly run away after encountering them janet and the others also avoided most of the medium sized beasts as to not take risks and relatively stayed close near their base so they wouldn’t get lost somehow.

Not the most productive day they had since they didn’t even fight a single creature,but they acquired a bit of experience from walking around the forest and such,and its not like they came back empty handed since on their way they encountered sorron who provided us with decent armors and swords one of which I was currently holding in my hands.

(She is referring to chapter 90 You Dropped Something)

Everything in sophia’s story was identical to how janet told me hers,but with small details from her own point of view,which included terry who always followed sophia everywhere like a little guard protecting his master,I was tempted to ask sophia if she could speed up her talking and come to the point explaining why she was here together with terry,but as soon as I considering asking sophia already started talking about it luckily.

-After walking for half a day already without success,we considered taking a break and then return back at base since it was soon getting dark,the day was stressful to be honest,I was tired and because terry was following me no matter where I went I felt a bit irritated and asked whether or not I could go to the bushes alone and relief myself while in reality I just wanted to be alone…

Sophia said,being extremely blunt with her words without mercy as she complained about a person who was right here next to her in ears reach,but looking at terry who was being called a nuisance I noticed that he didn’t react much other then looking the other way a few times and making a mocking fsmile directed at himself,he seemed as if he was already used to this giving me the impression that they were most probably pretty close already…as friends that is.

I thought pleased from the amount of progress they had unaware of gary who stood by my side suddenly making a twitch with his head for a second as he looked to the left side his eyes wandering around the bushes as sophia continued talking.

It was also at this moment when I felt some of the wind dying down lowering the cold,but also making me feel something strange instead.

-…And after separating from terry,I went to a small secluded place a few steps away and sat down onto a big rock relaxing.And just as I was doing so I could hear a rustling coming from the bushes next to me…

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Chapter 92 How About Coffee?

I sighed…

Currently I was sitting inside the Los Angeles Police Department lobby, actually waiting for policemen to finish questioning Hestia. I had been actually sitting here for about an hour maybe… Of course I could always leave and let Hestia find her own way back by sensing me, but I felt like that would be wrong to do so I just waited until they were done. Don’t misunderstand, Hestia wasn’t accused of anything. It was already sorted out that she was the one who had stopped the robbery and rescued the hostages by herself. There were multiple testimonies that proved it which were the people who she saved. But the thing was, Hestia was very suspicious on her own because she wore the white mask the moment we walked into the bank. Some of the policemen thought that she worked with the robbers which was complete nonsense to me, but they needed to follow their so called “protocol” bullshit, they had to be sure that she wasn’t working with the robbers. And that’s why she was being questioned… As for me, they just told me to go home. But they also said that I could wait which I was doing of course. Actually, I’m not gonna lie but I was a bit worried since Hestia didn’t have any ID’s herself. I was fully expecting them to come up empty when they queried her information which would make her even more suspicious. But at the same time, I wasn’t really pressured since Steward told me once that having no ID wasn’t really a problem, it was only ever important when you left a country. It’s still convenient to have one in some cases… I wonder if this case was one of them.

-Hey kid, you want some coffee? I think the questioning will take a bit and I can see that you aren’t about to run away…

I was suddenly asked, making me slightly surprised. I turned my head towards the voice and as I did so, I met with a woman who had short black hair and stood 6.1 feet tall. She was bent over in order to look at me with her friendly smile while her brown eyes looked at me analyzing something… I knew this woman and actually, I was expecting to meet her in this place. What was her name again…? Now that I’m thinking about it, she didn’t introduce herself to me last time did she?

Looking at her, I also smiled mildly trying to be a bit friendlier.

-Sorry, I don’t think I caught your name last time ma’am.

Hearing my reply, her eyebrows furrowed for a bit as she thought about herself before replying to me soon after.

-Oh, that’s right. I actually never introduced myself kid. Last time we met, it was quite a rushed start and my partner wasn’t quite the most friendliest guy to talk with. I still feel sorry about the situation by the way… On that topic, I didn’t hear your name either did I? Well, let me introduce myself first – my name is Mishel Aunburn. I am a detective working for the L.A.P.D., nice to meet you kid.

She gave me her hand when she said that, trying to give me a handshake which I took gladly as I also introduced myself properly with a smile.

-Nice to meet you Miss Mishel, my name is Dawn Timer. As you know, I moved in only over a week ago. I am also sorry for last time rushing off like that.

She laughed pleasantly and just sat on the seat next to me continuing the conversation.

-Oh, it’s alright… but you’re pretty young you know? The first time we met, I even called you a mister because of the way you acted like an adult. I was also pretty confused myself that… oh wait, I almost forgot. My coffee offer? How about it? Staying here doesn’t seem to be very comfortable. You also seemed to be very bored and having a break right now seems more fitting don’t you think?

She asked, making me think for a moment on what to do. I also glanced towards the door for a few seconds… Hestia would tell me when she finishes and I also really needed a break. I was tired, a bit spent, and never got any proper rest for the past days. Coffee also sounded very good since I don’t get to taste it very often, but I already loved the sour sweet taste of it.

With that out of the way, I turned towards Mishel while nodding my head to accept her offer. She smiled and told me to follow her into the break room which I did of course. On the way, I actually wondered what this woman wanted from me. She obviously didn’t come here to talk with me on friendly terms or out of pity, she wanted something. I could tell from the reflection of her eyes that there was some kind of need from me… information maybe?

I tried guessing but couldn’t gauge which answer was right and which was wrong. Honestly I didn’t care since either way; I got free coffee which was all good.

With those thoughts, I followed Mishel and we soon went into the break room which had a lot of coffee machines set up. She quickly prepared a few machines and pressed a couple buttons to initiate the brewing. In the meantime that was happening, I looked around curiously. On the way here, we had passed by many different people who were restlessly working on their desks. Some were talking with each other and some smoking to vent out a bit of stress. They all looked different but I could see that they all had one thing in common – they all had that sharp piercing glint in their eyes as if nothing could escape them. It was a glint of wisdom so to say but not everyone had it. But most of them had it for sure, one of them being Mishel of course.

-So, if you don’t mind me asking, why did you move over to this rowdy city?

Mishel asked out of the blue while sitting down next to the table across from me. The sound of the coffee machine could be heard as she talked, letting me think about my answer or so to say, my official story that was prepared beforehand by Steward.

-I previously used to live in the countryside and because nothing really exciting was happening there, I decided to leave and live with my uncle in the city.

Mishel listened to me wholeheartedly as I continued to relay to her my fake story of where I came from and what I did before. This story was actually officially true if you look into the documents, but in reality it was forged. It was something Steward made for me so I wouldn’t be questioned too hard or tries to make things up on the fly. The story was written in a document he had given to me along with the ID. It was pretty well done I had to admit.

-So what about your parents? Actually…

She asked when I finished my story. Obviously I didn’t mention that I had parents and just told her a short version.

-I don’t have parents actually… they died in a car accident 10 years ago… when I was 5…

I lied through my teeth without changing my expression and just stared into the coffee machine. Mishel took the answer with slight wide eyes with some sympathy, but at the same time not really believing it fully.

-Oh really… Sorry to make you remember that. Let’s change topics; do you go to school and why are you actually here in the first place?

The last question had me laughing a bit since the story was a bit long and weird. But the first question was easy.

-I’ve already finished school, jumping grades actually. And as for why I am here, that’s a pretty long story actually…

Mishel smiled hearing that. She got up when she noticed that the coffee was already done brewing, fill the cups.

-I am all ears.

She said, finishing up and placing 2 cups of coffee on the table, one for me and one for her. Her attitude from this point was pretty laid back as I told her how Hestia kicked the robbers’ asses and why I was here since I was just waiting for her. I even explained who Hestia was, telling her that she was one of the security guards my uncle had hired who also happened to be a friend of the family which I made up. Mishel was pretty much already hooked on the story. She was pretty wide eyed because of the things that I had gone through in one day and still be able to talk like this as if it wasn’t a big deal. She also showed a big interest in Hestia herself, dropping hints on wanting to meet her personally.

-Wow, that’s really an amazing story you got there. I wasn’t really there for the robbery but I was working on another case actually… You may remember when we first met, I asked you if you saw anything strange in these parts the last few days right?

I nodded now; really interested in what she wanted from me since this topic in particular was something she didn’t mention out of the blue. She intended to lead the conversation to this and was for some reason, interested in my opinion which was weird seeing that I only came a few days ago. Why would she have any interest in a person like me?

I wondered. I just sat there and listened to her talking and acting as if I knew nothing. From what I understand, it goes something like this:

Over the past month, there have been multiple cases of homicide in the city. All of them ended up with 2 to 3 people dead each time. The amount of these cases was at least once per week now, which was worrisome since the homicides happen randomly in different parts of the city. Each time it would be from a different person who committed the crime. And most of the time, the perpetrator would be shot dead because strangely, they couldn’t be reasoned with. They would turn into wild animals and try to kill everything that moves. Catching them was also very hard and not advised after the first 2 incidents. Trying to use tranquilizers also didn’t seem to work on these guys, having no effect on them. Disabling them was also useless since the moment they finally calm down, their heart stops beating leading to instant death. These incidents were strange and had made its way through the news all over the town, warning people. Currently it is believed that it’s some kind of drug that caused people to suddenly go berserk or something, but the autopsy report states that there weren’t any drugs involved. The incidents were shrouded in even more mystery since they can’t even predict when such incidents were going to happen again or who was making them happen. Mishel in particular seems to be really upset by this when she told me about it. And listening to her, I also remembered some words about this that wasn’t from the news, but it came from Illeana the Vampiress, also known as the president of the “Victoria” night club. She had once mentioned to me that there had been a werewolf in the city going rogue all of a sudden, killing 3 people too. Illeana herself had given me a small explanation to this topic. It gave me a basic understanding of things such as the Fenrirs and the wolf packs and members; and how the transformation usually goes with a supervisor who makes sure that the newly made werewolf doesn’t go rogue.

She also told me that it was unsettling since no one really knew where that werewolf came from. This seemed basically impossible since werewolves could sense each other pretty easily. It seems other than that, there appears to be multiple theories on how that could have happened. One of them being that it may have been smuggled in without anyone knowing, a possibility that Illeana seemed to be the most scared of… with a good reason too I guess.

-You seem to be unfocused, do you know something? Anything is fine. I know that you didn’t live here long enough but small clues could always lead to something…

She said trying to look like she didn’t really care, but I knew that’s what she was really after. For some reason, this woman slash detective believed that I knew something about these incidents which I clearly did not. So why was she thinking like this then?

It was confusing so to say but I shook my head with a sigh, telling her the truth.

-I don’t know anything. I was actually on an errand for the past few days so I didn’t get to hear the news actually.

I could see small disappointment in her eyes. She probably thought I at least knew something and felt betrayed of her expectations, which couldn’t be helped. She looked at her own cup for moment before taking a sip from it. Then suddenly, a man stormed into the break room filled with urgency.

-Hey Mishel, we have to go. There was another incident…

He said a bit grimly. He glanced at me for a few seconds filled with confusion, but then looked back towards Mishel again who finished her coffee entirely. Mishel looked towards the man nodding her head in a determined manner.

Soon after, the guy left leaving only Mishel and I inside the break room. I looked at my warm cup of coffee for a moment and took a single sip from it before looking back at Mishel who was getting ready to leave.

-Well, it was nice talking with you kid. If you need anything or have something to say, then come to me. I am police officer after all and I promise to uphold justice. Bye for now, you can take your time in finishing your coffee so don’t worry about it.

I nodded my head to acknowledge her before looking back at the mug of coffee and taking another sip. Mishel took out her phone and started talking to someone. I sharpened my senses for a moment trying to listen in on the conversation.

-Martin, what’s going on? Give me a run down…

-Man… Mishel, you gotta see this. We have another 3 victims here this time and they are shredded… this is messed up and it doesn’t make sense either…

-Shut up Martin and just tell me what is going on. I don’t need your opinion just yet.

-If you say…

They continued like this back and forth until Mishel finally reached beyond a certain distance making me unable to hear anything further. But I was still able to get the gist of what was going on.

This was a bit unnerving and I wasn’t sure if this was another one of those werewolves gone rogue incidents. Maybe it could be a drug, who knows…

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Chapter 174 No One Wants To Die

=============================Sarah P.O.V==============================

-What the hell are you two doing ?!

Gary shouted out irritated upon seeing those two,his voice a bit too loud and excessive quickly forgetting what kind of place we were in as he couldn’t control himself and stepped out of the bushes he was hiding in swiftly walking up towards sophia and terry who were completely fine by the looks of it surrounding a single white bear cub underneath a hollow tree that was hugging sophia as if she was her mother herself.

The forest was pretty dark especially here since the trees were aligned in a way that didn’t even let the majority of the moonlight shine through and if you weren’t careful enough with your steps you could most likely trip onto a overgrown tree root or rock and injure yourself.

Hearing gary’s sudden shout terry’s first instinct was to draw the dagger on his waist and step in front of sophia to protect her.

The way he moved was intense,full of rigid steps and shakes,if I remember right terry’s class was that of a <Soldier> his class was fully combat oriented and he also had the fourth highest overall strength in our group,right behind me,and while he didn’t have any prior combat training he still could make things up with his over natural strength and speed,added to that he also had his own class skills that allowed him to use his sword even without prior knowledge and just through this “World System”.

Now thinking about it,lately terry had become very motivated in his training then at the beginning when he didn’t even want to leave the cave out of fear,I thought it was strange for him to change so quickly,but didn’t think about it too much since I just figured that he didn’t want to lose his life and went to train out of fear.

But surprisingly fear in itself didn’t seem to be a factor since he also participated in a few gather and hunting missions with janet and a few other girls…if I think about it sophia was also among the people who went to these hunts and gather missions together with janet,terry and another 2 girls…did they become friends through that ?

I wonder…

I thought for a second keeping my eyes on terry and sophia as I watching him stand guard.

Terry looked without a doubt scared,he had a grim look on his face upon seeing gary’s silhouette appear out of nowhere,it even looked as if he was just about to attack at any moment watching gary come close with every step.

The tension was high in the air.

But it only lasted for a few more seconds and instead of attacking,terry surprisingly loosened the grip on his blade and raised his head for a moment to look closer.

Only after identifying the person who was coming close did he lower his blade showing huge surprise on his end momentarily making the edge of his blade tremble in his hand.

-Wha…Gary !? what..what are you doing here ?!

Terry and sophia were shocked for a moment seeing gary appear out of nowhere,it seems as if they didn’t expect anyone to find them at all and what was left of the previous look of fear was quickly replaced with shock that made their eyes go wide.

-You know I would also like to know that too terry…

I said,revealing myself at that too as I faced terry.

-Uhh…sarah…you too ?!

 

 

Terry exclaimed meekly,now even seeing me appear out of the bushes,he was speechless and for a moment it seemed as if terry was lost in thought for a second before his face turned rigid and he glanced at sophia bellow him looking into her eyes and then turning back to us.

-Look this is my fault I was the one who…

Terry tried to explain,but before he was able to sophia who was being very quiet the entire time suddenly grabbed onto terry’s hand,stopping him momentarily before speaking herself while looking up to him with a void look in her eyes.

-shut up terry…I don’t need you to explain yourself for me,I already told you this from the get go this has nothing to do with you,you only followed me because you wanted to…you aren’t involved neither are you at fault so can you please let me speak for myself instead ?

-…

It took a few seconds,but after hesitating for another few more terry awkward nodded back at sophia,his expression looked a bit hurt when he heard sophia’s cold words even I was slightly surprised that sophia could make such expression and voice,but if you really think about it that wasn’t really that big of a surprise…

And in a way this was a good thing,I learned more from these people and their characters in the last hour than I did in the last few days by living with them…

I thought,staring at sophia as I watched her get up from the ground patting the little white bear cub for a last time before putting it back into the hollow tree and facing us,her face didn’t show one bit of shame or guilt when facing us.

And instead she smiled with a complicated look on her face slowly walking up to us while holding her hands together,terry didn’t move from his spot and simply stood where he was looking the other way slightly ashamed and a bit regretful gripping his fist hard as if he was frustrated about something while also gritting his teeth.

(Whoosh)

The wind blew once again making leafs flutter as the branches started to shake in unison creating a soothing sound with it,the light of the moon also started to come more brightly through the leafs,giving us a better look as sophia stopped in her tracks facing us.

-Now let me explain…

Sophia said and with it she quickly started to explain the situation and how it got to this point up until now.

============================================

Sophia wasn’t in our original group,just like the majority of the other girls she was a part of stevens group who subjugated the girls in his group under tyranny with his friends.

After being saved sophia just like the other girls needed extensive amount of rest and peace to recover properly from injuries and mental trauma,but because of my healing skill and some help through sorron we were quickly able to stop their pain without a lot of issues.

But that was only a very small part of our problems as the real issue had only just started to come forth which was the mental damage the girls suffered from that was becoming a real problem to our group.

More then a few times we had to stay put at night and watch some of the girls so they wouldn’t commit suicide,some even refused to eat anymore or do anything at all while others just fled to their corners shaking with fear while hugging themselves mumbling something like a chant.

It was very problematic…

At first because it seemed as if we were only guarding a already lost cause that would never return to its former self it was as if these people couldn’t even think anymore and just wanted to go far away be it back at home or at some place so far that no one would even find them.

And while a small amount of them still wanted to live and move on just like valera most of them didn’t have those thoughts…no rather then moving on,they simply couldn’t move,they were all stuck behind a huge wall that would haunt their dreams every night.

 

A lot of arguing went on because of this,janet and christie especially had a lot of shouting going on between them because of the food we had that sometimes would go to waste or when one of the girls would scream in her sleep in the middle of the night and interrupting christies sleep.

In short everyone was stressed out.

Me personally,I couldn’t sleep a lot not because of the girls,but because of the situation that was simply still too surreal too me.

I preferred to sit night guard most of the days and just stare at the stars and feel the wind outside and relax rather then think about our problems,I didn’t want anyone to die and even now I still think like that,janet was also of my opinion she was our leader and gave her all to keep us safe no matter what which I am thankful for.

But at other times,I also couldn’t help,but indulge in my thoughts and become worried…what if christie was right ? What if we were just wasting a lot time and labor on something that couldn’t be brought back anymore ? Was it better to just simply leave and move one ? We didn’t have any sort of facilities or specialists to help these girls was it even possible ?

These questions would scare me and because I am not smart like sorron or janet,I wouldn’t know what to do or where to go who to listen to or what to do…

lately I had been keeping a lot of my worries to myself making me twitchy all the time and in the end the only one who I could really ask these questions janet after al,it was noon at the time janet and I were also standing night guard and because it was silent,I just couldn’t help,but ask.

-Can we really help them ? If they don’t even want to live…how can we help them ?

My question at the time was really negative,even janet couldn’t help,but look at me wide eyed for a moment the thoughts that were conveyed in her eyes weren’t unfamiliar to me either as most the people who would know me in real life would also think about these things.

Air-head,merry go like girl,naive,idiot…

You think I don’t know what you think about me…but it isn’t true,I know exactly what you think when you look at me the only reason why I don’t distrust everyone is because mom told me no one in this world is truly evil from the get go,if you are nice you will be treated nicely,helping others is a ordinary matter you shouldn’t necessarily thank someone just because they picked up your handkerchief or told them the right way to some place they wanted to know.

At least…thats what I always thought.

But time showed me that it wasn’t always like that…I may not be a complete air-head or merry go like girl,but what I definitely am is naive and idiotic.

Why is it wrong keep everyone happy ?

Why do some people need to pick at others ?

Do they need to keep themselves happy through that ?

Those kinds of thoughts constantly swarmed inside my head even back at home I thought of this and while no one ever picked on me or tried to make me a target for something,I still saw those kinds of people who were picked for one reason or another and thought to myself how stupid that is.

Calling me self-righteous is fine,because at least I had the gut to do something about the things the victims never did themselves…to resist.

But even then how come when someone helps you,instead of being polite or say nothing at all,you turn and become angry instead ? Where is the logic in it ? Is it pride ? Fear ? Embarrassment towards someone who could solve your problem better then you could ever solve it yourself ?

Would those people we were helping truly be happy with us helping them ?

I wanted to know…and finally I had my answer that came out of janet herself when she answered me.

-Nobody who lived truly wants to die…everyone wants to live even when we say we want to die we never really mean it,those are only our feelings talking and not ourselves that thinks like that even people who get old and are on their last but of time don’t want to truly die and while they have accepted death they only have accepted it because it was inevitable or because they feel at peace knowing that there is someone who would remember them as how they lived…It is the same with the girls…they don’t want to die they are afraid of dying like anyone else,but what they are even more afraid of is living and moving on from those horrible memories that will be scarred in their minds until they die.Dying now knowing that no one would ever remember how they had ended up is more ease putting then moving on having people know,it takes bravery to live only cowards decide to die on their own and if we can’t help them then they simply weren’t meant to live in the first place.Helping them may not make them happy now,but it will when they have truly lived again.

Those words had been since stuck in my head,I never started to doubt it anymore and while I did have troubling thoughts they were only fleeting thoughts and never recurring.

Afterwards,I also gave it my all just like janet helping everyone to stand up again,lily was one of the first who I really helped showing her a lot of things that I had found outside and talked about the things that happened outside she was once a very lifeless looking doll that wouldn’t do anything she changed drastically over the course of a single day when I took care of her and was now a bit more thicker then the skeleton she was a bit cheerier and happier.

And while we still couldn’t completely help everyone we were making a lot of steps in the right direction.

Sorron especially in this part of the problem was the guy who made the most progress even though he only visited us once he made the most impact turning it around.

His food was without a doubt something incredibly delicious the smell of the sweet soup itself was mouth watering making the girls run to the front to see where it came from even the people who refused to eat came to get a bowl only stopping right in front of the cave after they saw sorron who was next to the pot reading a book.

(She is referring to Chapter 76 All you can eat buffet)

Sorron’s methods were unbelievable towards someone like me…he used food alone to lure everyone out and while our cooking wasn’t bad,we still didn’t seem to be anywhere near to the level of cooking sorron was the highest level <Cooking> we had was level.3 and that was valera who is the daughter of a professional chef back in her home,it really takes ages for skills to level up properly cooking much more so since we can’t train it constantly.

It was only for this one moment when everyone could somewhat keep their heads high and eat without a problem and while there wasn’t a single piece of conversation between anyone,it was still better then anything to keep everyone together added to that he even helped with our most stressful girls problem which was hygiene by giving us a hot bath that only further let everyone forget the bad goods and think about the good things.

It was at this time that everything got turned around in a instant,people no longer started to scream in the middle of the night,refuse to eat or commit suicide.

And while that had stopped everyone still was not on the level of being able truly overcome this and continue living,but it was still an improvement to our group,you could say.

Still…just because you forgot a few things doesn’t mean you won’t remember them anymore…No,one truly was over everything that had happened so far not even valera who wanted to live and just like sophia some people while seeming to give life another go didn’t truly care if they continued to live or not.

It was something I only understood after listening to sophia.

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Chapter 173 Isn’t He Cute ?

========================Sarah’s P.O.V===============================

The wind blew strong this night,making me more then anything cold and uncomfortable for what was about to come,but all of it quickly went out of the window as I stared at gary in front of me slightly shocked and stunned at the same time not expecting him to say those words he had just said to me.

-Now,before you say anything I want you to first listen to me and then decide

He started,and in fact I wanted to rebut him and tell him to stay here and keep guard,but at the same time for some reason I felt that listening to him was better then cutting him off.

Generally I can’t say that I liked gary that much not because of his character or because he is a guy,but because he has that sneaky and avoiding attitude to him that makes him invisible at times,he also never talks much either when participating in group activities and his class is a <Lux Thief> after all so him being invisible and hard to notice was a given with the way his class worked.

Gary looked a bit serious this time it didn’t look like he had any second motives nor did he strike me as a guy who would intentionally try to harm anyone,he was more of a runaway type of guy who lets his fears get the better of him which is why I was mostly surprised by his proposal to come along.

In either case,I didn’t say anything after hearing his sentence and simply gave him a nod to continue,I was itching to go into the forest and search for those two,but just as gary started talking I realized something in my head.

How do I find them inside this dark forest ?

And just as that thought occurred to me gary answered my question.

-I can track those two with my <Tracking> skill,I am also very familiar with the forest and with my other skills I can also help us avoid any other creatures to get to them if we go together we are more likely to get to them faster if isn’t already too late…

He said,and while I found his skills to be useful and his intentions to be good,I also had another thought in my mind that slightly bothered me.

-If you really could do this from the beginning why didn’t you do it yourself ?

My question was on point making gary’s eyes go wide for a moment as he stared at me lost for words as if he didn’t think I would be smart enough to figure it out so fast and while I admit that I am a bit slow to figuring out someones thoughts,I am still not completely retarded.

After speaking my part gary had a hard time finding an answered as he stuttered in front of me not sure what to say or how to say it,seeing him struggle like this my opinion of him just got more and more suspicious until he finally sighed heavily and faced me with a embarrassed look on his face,he momentarily stopped for a second glancing behind looking at lily for a moment before speaking.

-I…I was scared alright ?! I didn’t have the guts to go alone,I also figured that the others wouldn’t go either and while I did want to go and find those two myself because of guilt.I just didn’t have the strength to leave on my own…I hate the dark and I hate these monsters,but what I hate even more than that is being alone…

Gary said,the hurt in his voice almost crystal clear to my ears as I picked up some amount of emotion to it especially the last part about being alone and even though I couldn’t completely see the expression on his face,I still realized that he had his own share of issues than I assumed he had.

He may be a coward,but at least he was a thoughtful coward.

The initial suspicion also quickly vanished as I made my way towards the exit holding my sword tight in my right hand.

-Lets go,we already wasted too much time

Upon hearing my words gary was surprised,but nonetheless he didn’t loiter anymore and also followed me behind with a grim look on his face,before leaving he told lily to tell the others that we left to get sophia and terry,seeing him say his goodbyes with lily so thoroughly with care and passion made me more the anything stunned giving me also a better understand of gary this time and another reason as to why he may be doing this other then fear or guilt.

Either way,I kept my thoughts to myself keeping myself from grinning and together with gary we marched through the forest steadily while using gary’s <Tracking> skill to pick up on sophia’s and terries footsteps that would inevitably lead us to them as we walked through this horrifying and dark forest full of monsters.

=====================================================

-I think we are getting close…man why did they bother to go that far aren’t they scared or something ? What do you think why did they go this far ?

Gary asked,his voice a bit ragged and his face more then a bit fatigued as we walked through this harsh terrain of a forest,avoiding monsters and other vile animals.

Hearing his question I myself got momentarily lost considering it,but as much as I thought about it,I had no idea as why they would leave in the middle of the night like this risking their lives together.

-I don’t know,but if we catch up I guess we find out.

We had been walking for about 15 minutes now,Gary’s <Tracking> skill proofed to be more then anything,but useful his unique skill <Intuition> was also very helpful as it helped us avoiding the danger that laid on our paths and let those monsters walk by so we wouldn’t get killed.

Everyone in our camp already knew about their skills and classes,but because majority of the people in our camp were girls,me included,we didn’t know about video games or these “game mechanics” that much since we don’t dwell on them.

On the other hand the boys,janet and a few other girls were familiar with this system and knew how to use it more naturally and as far as I can tell everyone here had at least a few skills in their disposition depending on their class some useful while some not so much some even had similar skills to one another,but what seemed to be unique about this system or the menu was the row above the row that indicated the normals skills called “Unique skills”.

And while I myself do posses one of those “Unique skills” called <Seal Of Command> I still don’t really know what it does because of its vague explanation when I tap on it and because its not a skill that I can evoke,but rather a skill that is constantly active…a passive skill I have no clue how to control it or use it to my advantage.

Janet who is the leader of our group firmly believes that these “unique skills” will be the core factor for our survival and our way to live in this world.

But compared to the other skills like gary’s <Intuition> that allows him to sense danger and janet’s <Phantasma> that allows her to make copies of herself to fight with,my skill seemed just too useless.

“Authority will be given to your stature, voice and appearance”

The explanation while explaining the point of the skill,didn’t really tell me how to use it like my other skills do.

But since these kinds of skills don’t seem to be something that anyone can learn and are unique in what they do,it is still better to have them then not having them,and to top it off I am not the only one who has a bizarre skill with a vague explanation.

Many in our group still didn’t understand how to use their skills properly nor how their unique skills worked,majority were still at level.1 learning to properly utilize their strength and understand how to learn and use other skills such as <Appraisal>,training our skills and raising our levels was important,but to raise skills you had to use them on something to gain practice and to raise your levels you had to kill creatures for experience.

All of these things,I avoided very much and while I am not against killing animals in general I am still not very keen on slaughtering them myself other then maybe injure them so they wouldn’t move anymore,it is the same just as it was that day when I fought that green human sized monster that swung that rusted sword.

I couldn’t kill it.

And because I couldn’t kill it,I was almost killed myself was it not for sorron who interrupted and killed it instead.

Going out into this forest was only making me more anxious and while I knew that going out on my own will would do something like this forcing me to react,I still rather preferred to stay out of way and not bother anyone…

I thought,glancing at gary for a moment as I watched him inspect our surroundings left and right with his skills while also following the tracks of our companions.

Watching him i felt slightly envious of his class that allowed him to do these things and thought about my own class which was basically described to me as a meat shield by janet and valera who had a look at it.

Valera and I once talked about these classes and how we could have possibly gotten here,when we talked I had gotten loads of information from her theories most notably about the topic of being assigned a class that you are the most suitable with after all…

On the topic I thought of speaking with sorron about this in more depth and ask him if he knew something about all of this,but because he usually blocked me from speaking to him and only spoke to me when it was important,I never got around to ask him anything useful.

I shared my thoughts with janet about this once,but she also said that asking him wouldn’t help us at all because she somehow assumed that he was also most likely in the same situation as us and most probably arrived at the same time as us,she also said that the only reason why he was better off then us was because he worked alone and had minions to do his work for him while we only had ourselves and if you think about it,thats true I never saw him without those slimes or those dark skinned beautiful woman and while on the topic of his woman…

No,I better stop here,its not my deal what he does to those woman and having seen them I also don’t think that they dislike him rather they seem to be like him more then anything,but simple companionship…

I thought for a second,my cheeks lightly flushed with red without me noticing in result of getting too deep into other people’s business as I got back on track remember what valera said and about her theories.

Valera said something about us being assigned the most suitable class to your character and if that was really so…

Then why am I a meat shield ?

I grumbled,getting more then a bit irritated by this then I probably should be while also following gary’s back and as we continued walking gary suddenly stopped dead in his tracks,he had done this kind of action numerous times when detecting some kind of danger from an animal,but this time it seemed different.

I gripped my sword.

-There is something in front of us,but it doesn’t seem to dangerous…

He whispered a bit confused and while it wasn’t visible to me what it was,I was still very careful and followed gary’s instructions as he gestured towards one of the trees so we could hide and see what was going on a head of us.

Leaning closely towards the tree,I heard the cries of numerous monsters that echoed throughout this forest like always,the cold sweat that came off my forehead never stopped dripping going all the way down my sword arm my fencing skills weren’t at a expert level,but I was still the strongest in my entire school earning me more then a few medals in tournaments.

And while I did have confidence in my fencing skills,that confidence only held up towards humans or at least humanoid creatures whose moves I was familiar with,against monsters on the other hand my confidence was lackluster,but that still didn’t hold me from using me sword.

It was I who made this decision after all,I was already prepared for this to happen running away now was not an option to me not when we are this close.

I thought to myself,keeping my morals high and hopes up as I awaited gary’s judgment on the situation,gary took longer then anticipated to check this time he usual would give a solid 2 to 3 minutes time staring at one spot and then tell me if its safe or not,but this time it took him double the time 6 minutes in fact to finally say.

-Their not moving away…but they don’t seem to be a threat either since my <Intuition> skill isn’t going off thats for sure…how strange…

He said,making me also a bit lost for what to do as we both stared at the darkness up ahead of us,the moonlight was bright,but even that light couldn’t completely shine us the way ahead and while my eyes were getting familiar with the darkness I still could see two small shadows far away wiggle around not making any sound,but rather standing in place crouched doing something.

The idea of confronting those shadows wasn’t very keen on my mind,I even considered just taking a detour around those two to continue our path,but because gary said that the track was leading directly towards those two shadows I felt another more dark idea pop inside my head and I could tell by the look on gary’s face that the idea also came through his skull.

What if…those shadows were consuming something…what if they were eating sophia and terry ?

A cold shiver ran down my heart making me feel more then anything scared at the moment,gore wasn’t my area of expertise neither did gary look like he could stand blood as I,but because those shadows weren’t moving away and because we needed to confirm before moving on we had no other choice,but to get closer and get a better look.

Gary and I only exchanged looks at the moment,swallowing we nodded to each other and went closer brushing through the wild grass and passing by trees masking our presence,my heart beat like a drum my hands holding the sword so tight that the veins on my hand swelled up as I stared towards those two shadows expecting the worst possible image in mind…

Ironically…

That wasn’t what actually happened.

-Ahh your so cute look terry isn’t he cute  ?!

-Sophia ! Put him down we have to go back we have been here way too long they are probably already wondering where we went !

And just like this we found Sophia and Terry next to a little white bear cub underneath a hollow tree.

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