The Darwin Chronicles, Book One: The Mountain Ranges

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Chapter 14

The conch horn blew again, and the people again shuffled into the damaged square, the feeling even more ominous. Joseph stood on the small stage where performances were held during festivals.

"People of Briarlight and Blackfire!" Joseph commanded attention from the silent crowd. "Today we are here to honor all those who were killed two days ago. The names of our twenty-four fallen comrades are Pete Longjack, Sarah Longjack, William Longjack, Cynthia Howell, Aidan Howell, Aaron Lee, Jack Lee, Raven Lee, Darren Walker, Hannah Lite, Caspar Nix, Kevin Young, Cindy Quil, Dallas Sel, Hannah Vivaldo, Pearl Chen, Serena Chen, Michael Tryrant, George Header, Dixey Syning, Brian Ye, Rose Lin, Esther Reed, and Willow Reed. May we have a minute of silence and prayer for the twenty-four lost to us." Everyone bowed their heads, and it was silent for awhile, until Joseph said, "Moving on. You must all be wondering about the fate of Amelia Roberts. She has been interrogated, and it has been determined that the cause for her actions-"He lifted the shadow serpent fang necklace-"Is this fang." Murmurs rippled through the crowd, which wee quickly shushed. "She was not found guilty for her actions. The Ciis, which we have researched, is a group of humans who believe that monsters should entirely dominate the earth, and all human life should be obliterated, except for embers of the Ciis. They wear shadow serpent fangs around their necks. The fangs do not affect them, for an unknown reason. Many times they slip ignorant Legends these fangs, disguised as dragon fangs, or fangs of another common animal. These Legends are then possessed to attack their own people, until they are killed by the people they unknowingly betrayed. Some Legends, though, have a higher will to fight against this evil power than others. The only thing that an destroy a shadow serpent fang is phoenix flame. The fangs suck in the wearer's life source, and the only way to kill them is to destroy the fang. Luckily, we found a way to remove the sorcery letting them control Amelia from this fang, but her life line is still tied to it until the Ciis is destroyed." He turned off to the side. "Here you go, Amelia." A figure by the stage reached up, her skin pale and gaunt, and gingerly took the object from him, tucking it under her cloak. Emmett caught a glimpse of her face. It was pale, with shadows under her sad grey eyes. Those grey eyes caught his green ones for a second, but he held her gaze, and they flitted away. People glared at her, and he couldn't help feeling a pang of sympathy for her. He knew the fang story was true-he himself had been told the story by his father when he was younger. "Training will commence again tomorrow at dawn. You are all dismissed."

The crowd departed, talking about this new news.

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