Savage Kingdom

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Thirty Six

Vaz never has known Shade to take things into his own hands before.

Shade needs a vessel. It was one of his weaknesses. He watched Agana drag her head across the mud to get him out like the parasite he could be. He knew the worst he could do was cause her pain and alter her mind, but not kill her. He could never kill her alone. He needed someone to give his power to for him to be able to get rid of her. For good.

And he hates to admit it... But he was too weak as a vessel to do so now after being so long trapped, and Shade was starving.

His eyes automatically went to Caji. He was beside Kito along with the others of his kind and Clara. Kito was hurt by the harsh impact he took earlier. A human was also crying over the Chayeene’s body next to a tree. His eyes continue to rest on the black-spotted Kikera.

Shade fed on rage. All things needed nourishment one way or another, and other's anger was his. He was never sure why the Goddess created him that way, perhaps because of the anger that was plentiful the last time he walked above the surface. One would know a good meal when it was close by. He had known the shadow to attach to others for days to feed on the emotion, the same way Agana fed of flesh.

Or perhaps Shade didn’t need him as a vessel anymore, could the Goddess change that? Ever since Caji, there was something about him that the shadow knew that could draw in enough power. Enough to kill another demigod.

He knew he couldn’t be the one that could get rid of Dannica’s creation. The purebred Kikera could.

Shade would keep Agana occupied while he rushes over to Caji and grabs him by the front of his soaked vest forcefully. His clutch was strong enough to make each Dark Kikera Warriors turn their head and growl when he made Caji look at him in his black eyes that were glittering with red streaks.

He remained passive with lowered ears. He did not fight back.

“It is you that Shade likes. And needs,” his fist tightens on his vest that water came out from in between his fingers. “Someone here will die if you don’t do what I tell you. Can you pick someone amongst you that you do not want to lose?” He glimpsed at everyone behind him. Kito, Clara, Kai, he even gazed at the Kikera’s and Shinto. “Because Shade is the only one that can get rid of her and with her wings wounded this is a better chance than any. She cannot run. And he cannot do it alone. He needs a brief vessel. I am too weak.”

Caji’s ears flatten and look halfway behind him. Vaz seems to refuse to let him go to look back fully at everyone. So his eyes land on the distracted creature that was tearing herself up already to get the shadow out of her. Her scratches were healing faster than they were being created, her tail was even repaired as a nub at the end where it had been cut off. Vaz knew that nub can be a new tail in a few passing nights if she fled, the ritual continuing.

He made a small reluctant noise. He didn’t know how to allow something like that in his thoughts. It was too painful.

He also didn’t want anyone to get killed. Especially by another beast.

“If you care about any of the ones around you then let Shade use your body as his vessel. He was designed by a Goddess herself. He has walked among them before,” he finally released him which also eased the warning growl of the Kikera Warriors. Mostly Shinto. He never had any intention to hurt this one anyway. He wanted to know why the shadow was interested in him. He was a very picky thing. “He feeds on rage. I will promise to keep others out of the way. I cannot promise to keep them safe, that is something that you must do.”

Lightning strikes somewhere else near the creature.

A loud cracking noise from Agana was added after the ending of his words. Caji finally could look back at others, even looking higher to see low and looking over the balcony from the front of her hut. He definitely wouldn’t want the creature to hurt Mia. Shi. Clara. Not Kai, not Kito, not Shinto or anyone. He cared about everyone too much.

He didn’t like death. He couldn’t even imagine anyone here before him now dead.

He gave Vaz a sad gaze with his chin bows slightly. He nods once.

It was all that Vaz needed. He steps around him and looked at everyone, “I don’t think Shade will be able to distract her much longer.”

He gave Kai a serious look. “Get all of the Warriors away from it unless you want them to die. She has venom. If she bites them there is no saving them.”

He was blunt. Too serious. Kai knew that he was right and he left to tell every Warrior to stand down. Even if the Warrior wasn’t from his tribe. He knew they would listen.

Everyone was moving away. Vaz didn’t know how this would work out. He has had his shadow for a while and had a lot of his power in him, after all, they were still merged themselves. He wanted to know what this Kikera could do, or what kind of potential the shadow knew he had.

If anyone could catch the interest of a silent being that has walked among the other Gods by the head Goddess’s side was something that even amazed him. Shade once allowed Vaz to see intimate brief memories of his past, even of the ones who lived in their realms those long endless years underground. He revealed to him how beautiful it was. He never allowed a glance more than a second, telling him it was forbidden. Be happy with what it did divulge. His own shadow grew to be his friend. The secrets and powers it held. His power can grow within him when he fed regularly.

“Shade will know what to do. You will too,” Vaz steps away to leave Caji alone. He went to stand away. He didn’t know what would happen.

He was doing this plan on a simple idea. A haunch. Hopefully, he was right to trust the shadow’s instincts. He had never failed in trusting him before.

Caji stood in the middle of the rain and thunder rolling over the sky. It always rains like this some days in the Jungle. It wasn’t a new sudden change that fell over the village. He could see the water dripping off the creature who had been wrestling with herself everywhere, running into trees and huts, flying up just to fall to the ground again. Shade was hurting her from the inside, which was all he could do by himself.

Unable to keep hold any longer he left her. A shadow streak that left her so fast that it closed the distance between her and Caji in a second. The force hit him hard enough that it threw him on his back and he rolled over his head and the front of his body on the ground. His lungs lost their air.

He was still. No fighting and no movement. He lays in the mud like it was a powerful bullet that strikes him down instead.

It worried everyone. They were expecting something more. Kai even took a step forward to see if he was still breathing but was ceased when Vaz grabbed his arm. He didn’t want him to step into something that could into a disaster moments later.

The beast rose onto her crooked legs and glanced at Caji from where she stood. She passed over him easily and smirked at Vaz, assuming Shade returned to him. She arrogantly thought that she scared him away.

Lightning flashes across the sky before the next rumble decorated the clouds. Even at night the clouds darkened, thickened, and another flash scratched the sky.

Na’Kito was laying against a tree and holding his side from the injury. He looked up and noticed how the lightning became worse with each passing second. Even Agana perks up and note it. She sniffs the air and scans around concerningly. She could see how everyone was standing a distance away watching her. She steps around in her confusion and growled in her language only a Vaz understood, “Where did that shadow go?

He finally moves.

Caji’s arm lifts, moving the soggy mud while his other arm shift to match the first one to pick himself up slowly. Her eyes narrow on him intently, watching him as he stood up on one leg to lift him off the ground completely.

He stood straight. His posture was different than the relaxed one he had before, his hands were wiping off the mud covering him. His movements seemed different just from that small motion alone.

Agana saw his eyes when they opened. They were red. His pupils were thin slices and the bright color in his gaze could pierce through the rain and at her. It was a look she knew all too well.

Shade.

Caji growls a deep, low rumbling inside the core of his throat that none would think could never come from him. Especially Shinto who knew all types of growls he could make, the one who knew him best. His hand covers his face and slowly slides down to expose the curls back lips and his fangs, his face so intense he seems like a different person. His vest was soaked, muddy, and heavy. It irritated Shade enough that he just took it off and threw it to the side to allow for fewer distractions. Plop.

Spots that were a darker black color than the others of his kind coats his skin behind his arms and back, but a faint thick black line runs down his spine fading down from the hairline of his neck and lower. If they weren’t faded one would confuse them for tattoos, but they were surely markings one could only be born with.

None didn’t think he even took off his vest before, his skin was dark and tanned already from his pure heritage. He looks at Agana with a gaze that couldn’t be Caji’s. It was Shade. The anger he feeds on with a content sigh, the hunger sated, and more. It consumes his mind so that Caji was only a passenger in his own body.

He let the shadow take control willingly to get rid of the creature that threatened their way of life simply because she returned from within the ground. Shade reveals to him visions of how the world was with that creature roaming free in it. There was nothing but death and fear of the night, to wonder who will even be lucky enough to wake up the next morning, who wouldn’t be tempted by its whispers.

He didn’t want a life like that. He didn’t want anybody to have the fear that their cubs wouldn’t make it through the night and have to accept it when they disappear. He wanted happiness that he desperately wanted to keep. Even if it meant giving up his body for it.

The two were working together, and he stood for a time as they did so. That silent empathic communication.

He lowers his body on the ground with his right leg arched and his fingers touching the mud. To a human eye, it was similar to the stance a runner made before they begin the race. His eyes never freeing Agana’s black ones even from his distance. His growl deepens. He was ready to sprint.

The lightning grew heavier.

It made the sky light up each second, the lightning masking the thunder and moving wildly. He shut his eyes and looked down and his breathing became deeper and stretched longer. Caji tried everything to keep himself calm when he digs through every corner of his mind. It was so vulnerable... He was opening every door, reading every book in the library as if all at once, skimming through his memory to go back to the emotion he had felt there before. He reached deep into his most sensitive memories.

For a moment Caji almost pulled back, but the shadow wouldn’t let him now.

He saw those memories move through the close lids of his eyes. The Jamati. The Dark Times. His mother, sister, and the freshest one was his father. The stuffed toy found in the ashes of his home and the bloody dagger he pulled out of his own father’s body. Shade was exposing every pound of his rage that had built up during those times and was buried. Buried because there was no way to change the unfair past.

To shade it was pent up buried treasure. He was angry at such a selfish world. He fed off of that. He always used that as his source. Caji was slowly starting to learn how it helped give that source enough power to start a spark that licked across his skin and even impress the wild streaks of electricity watching above. Why was anger power?

One bolt came down and landed around him and dispersed, a quick testing touch to the world near him from the clouds that made everyone stand back further. He had almost been struck by lightning and he didn’t seem affected when everyone’s hair stood up from the sparks.

Shade used lightning's power to fill his own, inviting more bolts of different sizes to come to him. Caji was the conductor, protected by the shadow, and soaked the heat that grew inside so much it shook him. He could feel that dark entity's smirk now. Caji never felt so strong and so energized before. It was filling everything inside of him. His muscle, his veins, his nerves, and bones. When his eyes open it was much brighter than before. How can Vaz handle this?

Shadow was speaking to him. Not with words but with his emotions, something that matched with Caji well. He was showing him things. How to point all that rage and anger at the beast in front of him, teaching him. If he couldn’t change the past then he could do something to help the future. He would keep everyone else safe. He had that power now. That choice.

Agana’s eyes widen and she shook her head. She steps back and screamed frantically, “Too much! This is too much! I will go and never come back! This place is not what I am used to. Each one here is insane!

Shade snarls after another bolt touch him. She cries, “No!

Caji sprints. He was so fast that he became a bright bolt that filled the distance so quickly that anyone who blinked would have missed it, and all looked away from the blinding light. The impact was so hard that the strike seems to shake Syriya one final time.

As fast as the light comes it can also leave just as quickly. It was dark moments later and the light was gone, and darkness swallowed everything again.

The rain even slows into a drizzle. The electricity that everyone felt before dimmed. All was silent.

Vaz allows Kai and everyone else to go to investigate this time. While everyone else’s face was filled with worry he only felt a smile.

“Caji!” The first one to go looking for his body was Kai’Riba. In the spot where they had collided was a small hole that mud was thrown. He looks in the center to see the lifeless body of the winged creature.

Not Caji.

He called out his name a second time, looking everywhere frantically. His ears perks when he heard a slight moan coming from another spot he didn’t think he would be half-buried in the mud.

He was further away from the hole where the impact threw him. He was laying on the ground on his back, his face dizzy as he faces the sky. His yellow-green eyes blurry and his hand was on his chest while his other one laid stretched on the ground. Kai kneels beside him, reaching out to touch his arm only for a small spark to shock him. He quickly jerks his hand away, “Ouch. Caji? Can you hear me?”

Shinto was quick to move beside him, lightly tapping his face. “Caji.”

He rolls over with a louder groan with his body laying on the ground like a limp doll. His body now seemed empty with the amount that filled him earlier. He was drained. All of his energy was gone, he could feel Shade’s approval inside him and he left him. Caji was glad he left. He wished he didn’t have to do that ever again.

“You did good, Caji,” Kai pats his back. “Don’t move. The Warriors will move you to the medicine hut to rest.”

He gave Kai a grateful look. His ears and tail droop. He didn’t think he could move.

No more tonight anyway.

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