Book One: Myrrha - Chapter One: "Blue Sky."
“Sun is shinin’ in the sky,
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’
Everybody’s in a play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day.′
-Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) “Mr. Blue Sky”.
Year 1987 A.W. (After War), Almost Two Millennia Ago After The Great War
I am Myrrha, one of the twin daughters of Lorrha and Yssa. Both of my parents are elite acolytes under the power of Mikhael’s Sword. My father Lorrha, who is the fifth generation of the great alpha Luxion of the Seven, will inherit one of the powerful and prestige seats of the order of Mikhael’s swords from my grandfather Sarson, who bears the current title as one of the Seven Mikhael’s Sword and is the highest ranking member of all Luxians race. And together with the rest of his generation of Seven’s children, they will become the world’s guardians just like the brave descendants before them.
My sister Nyssa and I walk different paths. Although we both share the same outside appearance and blood, we were born differently. The moment we were pulled away from our mother, fate itself has branded us two different yet prominent roles for our people and though we have different parts to play on this world, we are deemed to play the roles that fate was given to us, together.
Just like my father and his father and his father before him, I am groomed to be the heir to one of the seats of the order. Both of my parents and the Luxian elders have given me the title of the Light Seeker, or for the simpler term, a “leader to our people”. They keep on telling me that I am to be the light, the guidance for our people in dark times; just like what the previous Light Seekers have done throughout the time. And when my time comes, I as well, will inherit the power from my father and such paramount title and the great responsibilities that come with it will be bestowed upon my shoulders.
An inevitable event in my life that I don’t wish to come any sooner.
On the other hand, my sister Nyssa was born with a very rare gift among the Luxians. She is a clairvoyant. Her mind can sense the other minds of any living entity. She was given the role of the Mind Seeker, and someday, she will stand with the elite leaders of the order as their high counsellor with the rest of the very few numbers of Mind Seekers of Horologio Caelo.
And though I don’t look forward for the day that the power of Mikhael’s Sword will be bestowed upon me, I don’t envy my twin’s unique ability to read minds. A sentiment that Nyssa and I both share. She has difficulty controlling her gift, and a lot of times she had inadvertently felt the minds of the people near her. And it causes her great pain that tens and hundreds of different thoughts surge in to her mind at the same time. It causes me great pain as well to see her suffer.
The elders have decided to isolate her from the rest, from her family …from me, until she finally learns how to control her mind seeking ability.
My ascension to one of the seats of the order, my duties and responsibilities to my fellow Luxian people, my love for my twin sister; none of these matter, if I don’t survive this night.
A few nights ago, several members of our covert order, the Silent Dagger; have gone missing during the nightly patrols. All of these missing scouts have been stationed to patrol a vast, dark woodlands that lie southwest of our floating city’s outskirts. The woodlands are also known to the natives of Horologio Caelo, the Shade Forest.
It is also rumored that the Shade Forest holds as a playground for the Lycantors.
This could explain the disappearance of our fellow scouts.
The Lycantors are Venatorian savages that rally under the power of a spirit wolf. These savages refused to be part of our nation. Centuries ago, the third generation of the Mikhael’s order proposed a treaty that would unify all the Luxians, Gigas and all the Venatorian clans of the world. The treaty would reach out through the rest of the Seven’s children; the Alisians, the Elementals, the Draconians and the Lunas (also known as the children of the moon.) but the leaders of the four children of the Seven and their own people had already sailed across the deadly dark mist.
For unknown reasons…
The unfortunate division of the Seven’s children made the Mikhael’s Sword unwhole and communication between the divided children of the Seven has never been regained since then.
Tonight is the third night of the blue full moon, a very rare occurrence that no one knows how it happened and how often it occurs; but this event is the first and the moon has never been this big and brighter. It is almost a perfectly circle shaped sapphire overlooks and brightens this planet with its blue moon light.
The fourth team which includes my fellow female Luxian, Kiv’ran; our group’s archer, the Venatorian Ox brothers, Barson and Harron; our tracker who hailed from the clan of Venatorian hound, Varius and myself traverse in to the middle of the Shade Forest tonight.
As an entity of the light, we Luxians were born with unique ability that only a true blood of Luxion can wield.
The power of the sunlight.
We can illuminate the darkest place of the world with our gift and even in the final moments of the Great War where it almost destroyed the world two millennia ago, Luxion and his people (the Luxians) were the ones who led the charge against the void; and in the end we prevailed.
I just hope that the same outcome would occur tonight. That all of us will see the light of the day after this mission, and so will our lost brothers and sisters. But Kiv’ran and I are forbidden to use our racial unique gift, due to a very strict order from the leader of our battalion, the second in command of the order of the Silent Dagger and mother to our fellow fourth team Venatorian Ox brothers; and one of the battalion leaders of our order, Verrhan. She assumes that any source of light will alert our enemies, the Lycantor, of our passing and it will be very difficult for us to engage in an unwanted fight with these savages as we are just nothing yet, but novices of the order.
And tonight’s mission is our first field mission; to find clues and tracks of our lost fellow scouts and uncover any evidence of the savage Lycantor connection to the disappearances of our brothers and sisters.
Our group treads lightly in to the dark, cold Shade Forest, with nothing but the elegance beauty of the full moon and her lights to guide our path.
Our tracker Varius leads the path; and Kiv’ran and I are behind him and the brothers a few feet from us, as they cover the tracks that we made.
I whisper my words to our tracker.
“How far more Varius?”
He replies to me in whispers as well, as he maintains his sight in his dark surroundings.
Varius: Every time I uncover their tracks, I find it more difficult to find a new one.
Our archer, Kiv’ran joins our conversation.
Kiv’ran: Does it mean that we are nearing to see our brothers and sisters again?
Varius: It’s uncertain, Kiv’ran. The tracks that I discovered do not shred any sense to me.
“What do you mean?”
Varius: These tracks that we’ve been following, they don’t pair with the previous tracks…
“Did they all scatter around in this dark forest?”
Varius: I am afraid so, Myrrha. But it is also uncertain we are following not of our scouts’ but of the Lycan-
The older Venatorian Ox brother, Barson abruptly raises his voice.
Barson: You don’t tell me that we’ve been following the savages paw prints all this time? Are you leading us to our early graves, hound?
Varius: And you don’t see the reason why I take my moments to observe each track I found and take each of our steps lightly? We are not sure what we are dealing here right now!
“Both of you! Lower your bloody voices or we will be heard by our deaths that stalk these trees and shadows. “
The younger Venatorian Ox brother, Harron joins our conversation. He speaks in a haughty manner as he grips tightly and raises his double sided battle axe in front of him.
Harron: Hah! Let these savages come and they will meet the sharper side of my axe!
“And tell me Harron, younger son of our battalion leader Verrhan, how many poor souls has your axe claimed?”
Harron: More than your little pretty fingers could count!
“That sounds like a good numbers for a novice as yourself, and tell me how did your axe perform?”
Harron: I charged at those poor saps with the mighty strength of the spirit Ox and I swung the weight of my axe, slashing through the very fleshes who were fool enough to get closed to me!
Kiv’ran: Is that true my light? The younger brother speaks such valour and tenacity.
“Only in his mind and how he liked to see it.”
Barson: Enough with the false heroism brother. We all know your axe only slaughtered but overgrown farm rodents.
Kiv’ran looks at me with a perplexed expression on her light toned face.
“Harron here was just trying to win your impression Kiv’ran.”
Harron: It’s the truth! Though they may be rodents of a size of a calf, my axe and I did bathe in blood.
Barson: Of bloody rats!
His older brother Barson then releases a hearty dose of laughs and the rest of us share our smiles.
Kiv’ran: (Sniggering) when was this?
“One of the chores our superiors tasked us to do, to get rid of some child size rodents that were infesting the farm of an old male Luxian.”
Harron: And one of the many missions that we have accomplished …and I mainly did all the work.
Kiv’ran: I feel envy. I haven’t had such experience with this team yet. Surely your bonds are now stronger and sharper as your blades.
“You are still a new member of this team Kiv’ran, but I assure you, if we survive this night, I will tell you all the adventures we’ve shared and surely, you will also be part of our more tales to tell. And Kiv’ran…
Kiv’ran: yes my light.
“Stop addressing me with such formality.”
Kiv’ran: But you are one of the daughters of the Luxians acolytes of the order of Mikhael’s Sword and in due time, you will be our Light Seek-
“We are in the same team Kiv’ran, and though our experiences in the field show differently, we are still equal and titles as such have no meaning in the order of the Silent Dagger. We are sisters as I am to this axe wielding fool as he is to me. What matters is we all protect each other so that we may all survive each mission together. Remember that Kiv’ran.”
Kiv’ran: Yes my li- …I mean; yes, Myrrha.
Varius: Are you all done with all your petty squabbles? We are nearing the location where the last night’s squad made their last attempt to camp before they got lost in this dark forest.
“What do you see, tracker?”
Varius: My sight can only see but Darkness ahead, but the soft ground shows footmarks of our brothers and sisters.
The younger Venatorian Ox brother falls down on his left knee as he examines the dirt around us.
Harron: Are you certain these marks are of our fellow scouts?
Varius: Most of them; the sizes of the footmarks vary, but I am well certain of this.
I look down as well, observing the grounds that we stand. An odd mound of soft dirt strikes my attention, perhaps an anthill?
…no, I am mistaken. This is not a mound or a nest for any ground insects. This is a footprint; the size …the size of it is unusual for any Luxian or Venatorian, perhaps a print from one of the giants of Giga? This doesn’t make any sense to me; no Gigas have joined the ranks of the order of the Silent Dagger, not that I know of. The order is strictly composed of Luxians and Venatorians and no one could possess a foot size as big as this footprint. What kind of creature could produce such an astounding width and length of this mark? I call the attention of our tracker and point the spoor that I have discovered.
Our tracker gasps on what he sees.
The look on Varius’s face has an overwhelming mix reaction of fear and curiosity.
Varius: By the heavens!
“I take it that you have no idea what caused this?”
Barson: Your voice carries the sound of uneasiness, hound! What gives?
The rest of our party gathers closer as they show their perplexed expression towards Varius.
Varius: Everyone! We need to leave this place now!
Harron: What madness are you spewing? We haven’t achieved our goal-
Our archer, my fellow female Luxian, Kiv’ran slowly walks further away from our group to observe her surroundings; she hopes that she may find more tracks for Varius to observe. I lose my attention on Kiv’ran to a more pressing matter. I ask what made Varius’s skin turned pale.
“What do you mean we have to leave this-“
Without any warning, Kiv’ran screams in horror. The sound resonates so far that it is enough for a potential predator of the forest to discover us.
I hastily move towards where I last saw Kiv’ran.
“Kiv’ran! Where are you?”
The rest of my novice scouts follows…
And though my sight is limitless for this dark night, I can still feel the movement of the wind, the sudden change in the atmosphere. Whatever Kiv’ran discovered that made her sing the sound of fear ….we all feel it as well. I finally see our archer, she lost her posture and both of her knees appear to be weaken as they touch the ground.
With the very little amount of light that is present around us, I can clearly see how Kiv’ran trembles in fear.
Harron: What happened here-
Even the largest member and one of the fiercest fighters of our team, the older Venatorian Ox brother appears to be frightened on what he just saw. He loses the grip on his bladed weapon and drops it.
Varius has finally caught up with us. He looks at Kiv’ran and Barson.
Varius: Have you two lost weight? What manner of –
I have finally seen it as well, the scene that made Kiv’ran and Barson fueled with sudden fear.
“Varius …I have …we have found our missing brothers and sisters.”
Before us is a grotesque unholy looking shrine, decorated with the mutilated bodies of our fallen scouts. What kind of beast could have done such horror?
Whoever or whatever did this …they are provoking us; they already knew that we are in their domain; and we have willingly stepped in on this dark forest created by death itself.
Varius and the others are still filled with such great disbelief and terror, and in the midst of disarray on what we have discovered …I dare to speak, with trembling voice.
“ …Varius, y-you couldn’t have foreseen …this?”
Varius: Myrrha, I …I didn’t even smell the stench of foul death this… this thing carries …even from afar.
Harron: Then perhaps, whoever did this …they just erected this?
“Perhaps, not a mere minutes ago.”
Barson: Those damned mongrels! Savages! They …they taunt us by defiling our fallen brothers and sisters! They will …they will all pay for this!
“Could these be all our lost scouts?”
Varius: I find it difficult to answer that, Myrrha.
Kiv’ran: Then, maybe some are still alive? They can be nearby? We can still save them! Isn’t that right, Myrrha?
Harron: Can’t you see? The savages declared death upon us! What kind of fool would we be if we decide to engage with these bloody curs! We are nothing but novices of the order! We need to retreat and bring the numbers of the Silent Dagger to them!
Barson: I find it to believe such words that are coming out from your mouth brother! We need to avenge our fellow scouts and if there’s still a chance, even the slightest of evidence that some of our brothers and sisters are still alive in this forsaken dark forest, we should go for them!
Varius: Myrrha, what do you propose?
I look at Harron and nod at him.
“You are right Harron, we are just novices and our experiences in the field don’t match well with the blood lust of the Lycantor, and yet …our legs won’t be able to take us far away from this deathly place. They are probably watching us right now, they are witnessing another group of scouts that is about to fall in their savage hands.”
Varius: Then what would you have us-
And all of sudden, a dark, vast creature appears behind our tracker. He is unaware of the creature that is about to strike his life away. And despite the near pitch black vision around us, I see the creature’s swift movement and I manage to shove Varius away from Death’s grasp.
Varius quickly loses his balance and his body meets the soft ground. He looks at me in a puzzled expression.
Varius: What in the hell-
“Hold your tongue and look!”
Harron: What is that?
“Barson! Pick up your damn weapon! Kiv’ran, get your arrow ready …now!”
Everything happened so fast, and though Varius’s life is still his; we are not prepared for what is about to happen to us…
A woolly, dark, enormous creature stands before us. We can see clearly how sharp his claws, the claws that almost robbed of Varius’s life.
Varius: Is- is that a Lycantor?
Kiv’ran: That savage is massive! It’s like a child of Giga appeared before us!
The Lycantor in front of us then speaks his words and his voice sounds gravelly
Lycantor: Savage? I like the sound of that! But to be mistakenly associated with a good for nothing giant of Giga? Those giants are just huge chunks of warm meat for me as you are all to me! I haven’t tasted the sweet succulent flesh of a Luxian for a long time.
The Lycantor creature tries to strike me with his right hand. I managed to evade the attack but the force was too strong that it torn my upper layer clothing.
Lycantor: But do you know what kind of sound I favor the most? The sound of your warm blood dripping out as I squeeze your still beating heart in my hand!
Our archer doesn’t waste any moment at all as she fires her arrow at the savage. The arrow manages to hit the back of the creature but he doesn’t budge at all nor gives attention to the pain of his wound. He continues to attack us with his sharp claws.
Harron: Brother! Weapon!
He throws the bladed weapon to Barson and catches it. The older Venatorian Ox brother charges towards the creature. He mightily swings his weapon but the reflexes of the savage show more advance than all five of us combined. His brother Harron draws his sword and joins the foray.
Barson: The legs brother! Chop down those damn legs!
Lycantor: A wise strategy! Unfortunately it shows no hope of you accomplishing it if my agility shows no match for such lousy attacks!
The Lycantor quickly evades the blows from the Venatorian Ox brothers. He manages to kick Barson in the front; the older brother falls to his knee as he gasps for air to breathe. He picks up the beaten Barson by his head. The grip on his enormous hand tightens; he plans to crush his head with his bare hand!
His younger brother lunges forward with his sword ready to slash the savage while Kiv’ran continues to fire her arrow. The creature blocks his face from the incoming arrow using his right forearm and he quickly dodges Harron’s sword slash.
This single Lycantor proves to be resilient and agile at the same time, we are truly no hope of defeating such adversary in front of us. For this is only but one savage, what if the whole or even half an army of his kind, driven with the same ferocity and blood lust as he is, was to be encountered by us? …death would surely fall on our heads as it is now. I fear not only for my fellow scouts but for the people of the Horologio Caelo as well, if such uncontrollable desire for blood was to unleash.
“Varius, how do you feel?”
Varius: This is nothing, Myrrha. We should help them!
“I need you to run back as fast as you can to our camp. Warn our scouts to leave this place-“
Varius: What? No! We can’t leave them here! This creature is killing half of our team!
“No! YOU are leaving us here! Get everyone from the camp out of this forest and head back to the floating city. I need you to convey this to my father; he knows what to do, he knows what must be done here!”
Varius: Your father will have my head if you don’t come back with me!
“He approved this mission; he knew what could happen here. Besides, you will not to leave us here in vain, you will come back here, with an army …the whole army of Mikhael’s Sword and with that army; they will extinguish the entire Lycantors!”
Varius: I… I can’t. I just- I just can’t do that to you.
“Damn it Varius! You dare to defy my orders? Someone needs to tell what has happened here and you are the fastest in our squad, you are my only hope of us surviving this night.”
Varius: What will you do?
“I will engage with the savage and buy you and the army that you will bring more time.”
Varius: I promise you Myrrha, I will come back here and bring the might of the order upon these savages! Promise me that the four of you will keep your lives so that you may join the order’s army on waging war with these mongrels!
“That’s the plan …now go! You can’t waste any more seconds here. Tread as fast as you can but with great care! …don’t stop and don’t look back.”
Varius: (He nods) …my light.
No matter how many times I tell them not to call me that, they never learn. I can only return a smile of my valour to him. I know that he knows that I acknowledge his promise to return with an army of Mikhael’s Sword. Until then, we need to hold for our lives.
As a practitioner of the spirit of the Hound, Varius does run the fastest in all of the novice scouts of the Silent Dagger. I just hope the speed of the Lycantors nearby won’t be able to catch him.
I see that Barson is able to escape the clutch of the savage, thanks to the untiring attacks of his younger brother and Kiv’ran. Not only has the creature showed outstanding level of agility but of great strength as well. He manages to push back Barson’s weapon away, considering the older brother is the strongest of all the novices, and his younger brother Harron’s vigor ranks as second just as Varius is the fastest. And Kiv’ran, despite of being a new member of the order, her accuracy can par well with the elite sharpshooters of the Silent Dagger. Truly and it is safe to claim that our team composed of the most promising future warriors of our time. I just hope, there is a future for us after this night.
The creature doesn’t show any weariness as he continues to evade and to block our team’s offense; but it is not too late for me to join the fray.
I draw my twin daggers and I ask Barson to ready himself.
As he looks at me after I called his name, I clash my twin blades with each other, giving him the signal of the attack formation I’ve been practicing with him.
Barson: Kiv’ran! Keep strafing your bow with your arrows!
He then speaks to his younger brother.
Barson: Keep pushing the savage with your blade brother! I need you to hold your ground for a little bit more!
Barson nods at me, indicating that he is ready to coordinate and execute the attack towards the savage.
I run as fast as I can, and I feel the cold breeze of the night passes on to my skin and each step that I make gives a strong push forward. I take a big lunge step towards Barson’s back while he is on his low defensive stance, and as my forward foot lands on to his back, he quickly stands up.
With my light weight body, I am able to spring forward towards the Lycantor, and with the distractions that Kiv’ran and Harron are providing, I manage to plunge my blades on the savage’s shaggy back.
I attempt to pull down the blades deeper, hoping to end the savage’s bloodlust but his bristly back provides a thicker skin than I thought. I let go of the blades immediately as I fear his sharp claws may be able to reach me and shred my flesh.
The Lycantor falls on his right knee and he struggles to maintain his balance.
My collaborator of my attack cheers.
Barson: Well done Myrrha!
“End his life now, quick! This is our chance!”
The Venatorian Ox brothers attempt to execute the last strike together at the savage, but once again, his quick reflexes is able to rob of our only chance of winning this fight. The Lycantor manage to reach the pommels of my daggers that are still stuck in his back and he quickly pulls the blades out.
He swings the dagger at Harron who is close to him and fortunately he only nicks his stomach. He then throws the other dagger at Barson who is charging straight at him with his blade forward, and the blade manage to hit his right shoulder.
The older Venatorian Ox screams in pain.
Harron: Brother! Are you alright!
Barson: I will live brother. Tis nothing but a flesh wound.
Kiv’ran: Myrrha! The savage has plenty of fight left in him! And I am running out of arrows!
“Don’t hesitate to use all of your projectiles Kiv’ran! He is weakened from the wounds.”
Lycantor: Do you really think these petty wounds can slow me down?
“No, but I’m hoping this will!”
The savage gave us no choice, he gave me no choice. I have to use my Luxian unique ability if we all hope to see the sun rises again.
I stretch both of my arms in front of me and I open my palms, forming a triangle with my hands.
Kiv’ran: Myrrha! You can’t-
“Step aside Kiv’ran!”
Harron: What does she plan to do?
Barson: Damn it Myrrha! We can’t risk our-
“It’s too late for that now! When I give you the word, shield your eyes!”
The Lycantor attempts to break my form by swinging his sharp claws at me once again. Fortunately, I manage to read his movements before he executed his strike, his movements show to be slowed down for a short moment due to the wounds that he sustained, but not enough to completely subdue him.
“Keep the pressure on him! Don’t let him gain any momentum!”
The Venatorian Ox brothers once again take their arms and they mightily swing their bladed weapons at the savage; and despite Barson’s stab wound on his shoulders, he can still coordinate his attacks well with his younger brother’s. Kiv’ran, fires her last two arrows simultaneously.
The heaven must have felt our struggles; the brothers’ attacks have finally connected! Harron’s blade manages to gash the savage forearm; the wound almost cuts off his limb. And though the savage manages to catch the swing of Barson’s blade, his right hand is crushed by the force of the blow. And the last two projectiles from Kiv’ran’s bow have finally pierced his thick bristly back.
And of course, no matter what we throw at this savage and how much damage we inflict to him, he will still stand and he can still slash his claws in to our flesh.
I am not sure how, but my perception becomes expeditious and the severely wounded Lycantor’s and my team members’ movements seem to be pacing very slowly. I have finally gain my form, my hands are already pointing at the savage Lycantor. I just hope my fellow scouts are ready for what is about to come next.
I scream on top of my lungs the command.
“Shield your eyes!”
The Venatorian Ox brothers swiftly sprint back from the enemy and they both place their heads on the ground.
And in that exact moment that Lycantor’s eyes and mine finally meet for the last time, I deeply exhale my breath and after a quick two seconds, a blinding, blast of hot golden light comes out from the center of the triangle that my hands have formed and the sound of flaming wind follows.
In a very quick moment, his bristly skin burns almost immediately and the golden light has finally overwhelmed the savage. Almost the entire shade forest is lightened up by my light. The Lycantor didn’t even get the chance to produce any scream from his swift death.
The light has subdued after a few seconds, the almost pitch Darkness once again cover the woodlands, but I can no longer feel the presence of the bringer of our death in the form of the Lycantor savage.
It’s finally done. We…
“We… we have finally done… it.”
The very first sound I hear after my light extinguished is the voice of my fellow Luxian.
“It’s over now. You can all open your eyes.”
They slowly open their eyes.
Barson: You… you did it…
Harron: I don’t see him anymore.
“It is done. I-“
Both of my legs and feet feel weaken and shaken. It must be the side effect of using my entire light energy. I couldn’t control the flow of my unique Luxian power after all.
Kiv’ran: Are you alright Myrrha? What’s the matter?
“I- I’m fine. I was reckless. I couldn’t control my light power-“
Kiv’ran: You shouldn’t worry about that Myrrha. You managed to destroy the Lycantor savage. You saved us all!
Our short victory has been interrupted by the sudden sounds of howls coming from long distance and low growls from short distance. I knew using my Luxian power would have given us such dire consequences.
Barson: It seems our victory has been cut short.
Harron: It was never a victory to count, brother. The female Luxian has sealed our fates the moment she used her racial unique skill!
Kiv’ran: Cut your tongue you ungrateful animal! Myrrha has saved us from that savage!
Harron: Only to delay the inevitable and to be feast upon by the tens or hundreds of his kind! The moment we stepped in to this forbidden dark forest, our lives were meant to meet their deaths!
Barson: Calm yourselves, both of you! We are just hastening our demise if you all stay here with our tongues hanging from our mouths! We need to move on, now! …Myrrha, can you run?
“I am spent but not paralyzed. I can still match your pace even with these heavy feet.”
Barson: Very well. Harron! I need you to lend your hand to Myrrha-
“I am fine Barson! I don’t need any help. I managed to best the savage Lycantor before us, and I am well certain that I can take a couple more with my blades!”
Barson: You have spent all your power Myrrha and it clearly left you mad! Weren’t you the one who claimed that we would all live to see the sun rises again? That we would all survive this night? Don’t be a fool! Now take my brother’s hand and we leave this place immediately. I am to assume the command of this team while you regain your energy.
“Heh, you’ve been wanted to take the command of this team since the first night of the full moon.”
Barson: (He snickers.) I just took the opportunity. Besides, your father will have my head if you don’t survive our first field mission.
“…Fine. Let’s leave this place.”
Barson: Kiv’ran, be sure to remove all our tracks that we make from this point. It will give us more chance for the Lycantors not to find us.
Harron: What would we do if we encounter a wayward Lycantor on our escape?
Barson: We don’t engage head-on, I will try my best to cause distraction and to slow any hostiles on our way out.
Harron: The old “hit for the eye and the leg”, I assume?
Barson: What our mother has been teaching us since when we were both young.
“We have to move now!”
Harron: I can hear some of them are coming fast in front of us.
Kiv’ran: We can’t go back to where we came from!
Harron: Then we are surely doomed! None of us know these dark woodlands and our ‘saviour’ here sent our only tracker away.
“I have done so only to call for our reinforcements!”
Harron: And yet we still stand here alone, weaken and wounded!
Barson: Enough brother! I will not have any more time wasted just by jousting at each other with worthless words! Myrrha, if you have any plans, anything that we can use to make our escape, now is the time.
“We run to the southwest of these lands.”
Kiv’ran: You would have us fled farther away from our encampment?
“Would you flee to a different path and face the bloodlust of the rest of those savage Lycantors instead?”
Kiv’ran: But… how can you be sure that the southwest is safe for us to trend?
“Because the light has shown me…”
Harron: What madness-
“Enough! We need to fall back now or be fallen like what our brothers and sisters have by the hands of the Lycantors…”
Barson: Very well. We trust you then… I will lead the way. Kiv’ran, cover our tracks. The rest of us… keep your eyes open and prepare for the worst!
We all quickly make our way to the safest route and every step that we take; we take it lightly but with haste. We don’t want to attract anymore unnecessary attention from the inhabitants of the forest. I pray to the heaven that Varius has safely made his way to our encampment and delivered our message to send help. I pray that whatever amount of squads the Silent Dagger decides to send, it will be enough, at least to neutralize the Lycantors that are after us.
I can’t tell how long we have been trekking these woods, but I am well certain that the morning is still far to show itself to us. We all have grown weary and our wounds are not healing.
I see Barson’s shoulder wound is still bleeding from his skirmish with that savage.
“Barson, your wound… we need to do something about that before we continue forward.”
Barson: Gratitude for your concern Myrrha, but we can’t waste any more time. It can wait. This is nothing but a scratch.
“A scratch that won’t stop bleeding. It’s not only my concern of the possibility of you passing out due to the loss of blood but I’m afraid, the Lycantors can sniff the blood you have spilled from miles away. The reason none of these savages have caught up with us is because Kiv’ran is doing a fare job cleaning our tracks. But it won’t be too long until they figure out the path that we are taking.”
Barson: …I’m sorry Myrrha. I… I didn’t even realize…
“It’s alright. Besides, we need to take a few minutes of rest. Catch our breath.”
Harron: How far have we fled?
Kiv’ran: I don’t feel any sudden change in the wind Myrrha. We are safe… for now.
Barson: It doesn’t mean we should linger in this spot any longer. I am almost done patching up.
Barson rips his worn out cloak and he uses it to cover his bleeding wound.
Barson: It is done. Let’s continue.
While we continue our trek away from the incoming horde of savages, Harron couldn’t help but to ask me the same question I failed to answer a while back.
Harron: Myrrha, perhaps you can tell us why we are taking our fight away from our allies. Surely by now, Varius must have already reached our encampment, providing that he survived and the cavalry should be behind us and the savages.
Barson: While the savages are not upon us, not yet at least… we would like to be enlightened by your decision to take this path. You mentioned of the light that had shown you the way… what do you mean by that?
“It will be difficult to explain through words-“
Harron: Then make your words simpler! We are beaten and weakened. And this path that we are trending doesn’t ease nor give hope of escaping this cursed forest. You are appointed as a soon to be Light Seeker, a future ruler of your people. We may not be of the same race but we fight and we have fought as one back there, I ask you to give us your trust.
”…fine. When I released my pure energy light at the savage, I heard a voice.”
Kiv’ran: A voice? You don’t mean…
“Yes Kiv’ran. Just like the legend my grandfather and my father had told me when I was young and as you had been told by your parents when you were young.”
Barson: You speak of the legend of the Whispering Light?
“That is correct.”
Harron: What? How do you know this brother?
Barson: Maybe, if you had spent more time at the lecture halls listening to the old tales of our elders and reading the books of knowledge, then you may have a slight understanding about the legends of the past.
Harron: Perhaps. But it is never too late to hear such tales…
“I will make it short as our time here grows shorter. According to the legend, each children of Luxion, the alpha of our race and the first of his kind will hear the voice of Luxion himself upon unleashing the entire power of our gift; harnessing the power of the light. Each different words for each light user. Legend has it that the words would be whispered by Luxion himself and no one could hear it but the harnesser of the light himself. The words were served either a counsel on how you will stand as a Luxian to this world or a warning about a decision that you would soon be called upon.”
Barson: I’m assuming the words that were whispered to you-
“That is right Barson. To flee further away from our fortress, to run southwest.”
Harron: You claimed that such event was just nothing but a legend. An old story told by the past! How can you be so certain? That fight happened so quickly and we almost hugged our deaths back there! The effect of you using your gift of light must have given you such hallucinations.
Barson: There is truth to my brother’s words. That must be your imagination Myrrha. A trick that was played by your own weary mind. Our elders even warned us about such thing if we were to step our feet on to this forbidden forest.
Harron: The air that surrounds these woodlands does carry the same deathly element as the fog of Zephyr.
Kiv’ran: And how you would know that Harron? Have you tread past the deathly mist or could it be this one of your over exaggerated tale of your fake valour? Don’t you even dare to make such comparison. The fog that divides our land and the lands of the forsaken world would kill us immediately, and I don’t think the Lycantors would make this forest as their grounds for killing if what you claimed was true. Even the savages wouldn’t last that long if such deathly element covered this land.
“Regardless, the whisper gave me the direction and we need to keep on moving.”
Barson: And when does your whisper tell us to stop fleeing?
Harron: When our feet bleed and are broken; and then to be caught by the savages that are chasing us and to fully accept the inevitable death.
Kiv’ran: I grew tired of your words that don’t give any strength at all Harron!
Harron: Why should I feel strengthen at all? Our fearless leader already mentioned our certain deaths! The words would be whispered if you’ve used all your power and I don’t have to be a believer of the old tale to know, but clearly, you have spent all your energy from that fight. You may have vanquished the sole bringer of our deaths only to be followed by a hundred more. So forgive me, I don’t find any enlightenment in your so called “light”.
Barson: Harron! You-
“That’s alright Barson. Harron, I gave my words not only to you but to all of you, we will survive this night no matter how it takes. I just need you all to trust me. Please…”
Harron: …Apologies if I acted less prudent of our situation; but what of Varius? You sent him away, hoping to come back to us with help.
“Just like what I asked you to give me. I also gave my trust to him. To bring words of our struggle and I know he will deliver and he will come back to us with a battalion of the Silent Dagger. Besides, he is the fastest off all the novices as you and your brother are the most resilient and Kiv’ran has the most precise aim when it comes to using the bow and arrow.”
Barson: That is enough for me to believe in Myrrha’s words. Harron?
Harron: Of course. Let’s keep on going. We have lingered here for too long.
As we are about to pick up our footings to continue our trek, we suddenly hear snarls of wild beast around us. And though we are all exhausted, the Venatorian Ox brothers once again draw their weapons, they firmly grasp the handles of their blades, and Kiv’ran who used up all of her arrows prepares her bow and uses it as a curve staff. While I barely maintain my posture, I draw my twin blades. I look at my weapon blades and they appear to be dull from the previous encounter.
The savages of the Lycantor emerge from the trees one by one. For every one second of time that is passed, two Lycantors show up and their sizes increase than the previous savage we have encountered. And before we can even turn around, we find ourselves completely surrounded by the Lycantors.
Barson: I suppose…
Harron: We can’t make a run for it. Outrunning them is impossible. Myrrha… that magical voice of yours, what else did it whisper to you?
One of the Lycantors walks slowly towards us with his both palms open, revealing his sharp claws. The slowly incoming savage then suddenly halts his movement as the dark clouds of the night sky suddenly gives sparks of sapphire-like colour lights and is quickly followed by a sound of rolling thunders.
Kiv’ran: Great… our deaths also bring rain to these dark forsaken lands
Harron: I don’t think rain produces such odd colour…
As we all lift our heads and look up, the night sky that is now cleared of dark clouds is slowly opening. I am not certain if all of us can see what I am seeing right now but the hole that is created up in the sky produces a very strong azure colour.
“No… Couldn’t it be?”
Barson: The sky turned blue…
The full moon is quickly swallowed by the blue light and the tall trees of the Shade Forest follow and the next thing that I see is a big ball of blue flame that is rapidly falling. As the big flaming sapphire swiftly descends, I utter the words of disbelief...
“…the heaven sends its own light”
END OF CHAPTER 01.