Lux Mori

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Chapter 43

The battle had been raging on for what must have been an hour. The Stormriders where throwing all their might into fighting the unknown beings, but the creatures were unimaginably indomitable in their goals to capture them. The winds howled and the thunder raged. I’m certain I witnessed some vines grow at an unprecedented rate to ensnare some of the beings’ feet, but each time they got knocked down, they stood only to try again.

“Ye shoulder not killed Beneberak,” one of the Stormriders shout. “Lightnin’, we need lightnin’.”

I almost sprang into action, knowing that I possessed the tool that they needed. Something Beneberak had said, though, caused me to take pause. He’d told me to stay away from his kind. I knew that they’d been created by the Great Mother, but I also knew that it’d be my luck that I would save their asses and then they’d turn on me just as quickly. Instead, I opted to watch the battle play out.

It appeared that the creatures were content just to let the Stormriders tire themselves out. The fatigue was setting in. I could tell that Caddock especially had lost some of his vigor and the others weren’t far behind.

Caddock fired off one last powerful wind strike before falling to the ground out of breath. The beings were on top of him faster than a lightning strike, wrapping some kind of device around his leg. Caddock tried to fight, tried to fire off another wind strike, but when he raised his hands to the air, nothing happened.

“What’re ye done to me?” he wailed into the open air. It caused the other Stormriders to pause momentarily and stare. “Where’s me wind?!” Caddock was confused. He’d never been without his wind.

Unfortunately, his screams had caused the others to pause long enough for the creatures to wrap the bracelets around their limbs as well. They all struggled to remove them, aghast at the loss of their powers.

“Load them onto the livestock ships,” the one in charge spoke loudly. “These will not be domesticated. These will be food.”

Livestock ships, I thought for a moment. Food? Did they intend to eat the Stormriders? I recalled my own experience with eating Stormrider. I wasn’t sure if the ritual was absolutely required in order to achieve what I had, but I figured it probably wasn’t best to find out. These creatures appeared strong enough without the addition of Stormrider powers.

After that encounter, I knew two things. One, I had to free the Stormriders somehow, even if it meant they killed me after. Two, these beings had ships and if they had ships, they had a way off this rock.

Giving thought to the way they’d spoken, I decided that the beings were unlikely to eat the Stormriders anytime soon, so I snuck back to Star who had kneeled to conceal herself while awaiting my return. I climbed atop her back and said, “You know where to go, girl. Let’s go find Ellie.”

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