2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 42: Numb Skulls
Freshly fallen snow layered the ground like powder, glittering in the sun. The refugees had been on Fidus Portus for a month and a half. The Aeithalis Region seldom got snow and the cold made the shelmeks feel more sluggish than normal. But this didn’t stop the hatchlings from dancing and rolling in the snow. The cold didn’t seem to bother the vinranalians either due to their thickening fur coats.
Human protestors frequently came with signs, shouting along the camp’s border. They became such a nuisance that the shelmek and vinranalian camps erected a fence to keep them out.
The refugees continued laboring on the crops until the harvest season ended then they were moved to the mills, where the work was no less exhausting.
But one day, Kataak and Famena were approached by the Apprentices Jack, Nikhil and Jacob; saying that they had something that needed to be discussed for th
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 41: Friendly Kidnapping
True to their word, on the refugees’ third day on Fidus Portus several wagons pulled up to the camp along with an armed escort. While leaving a few behind to look after the hatchlings, the Enraans were taken to the nearest farm where they learned to work the foreign crops.
The hours were long and the work was especially taxing on the vinranalians, who had just recently recovered from starvation.
Their rest day finally came, but despite being grateful for the reprieve, Lawk found himself bored. Being forbidden to hunt the small animals in the woods around them, the hunter had little to do. While sitting to the side of the vinranalian camp, he picked up a piece of wood, leaned back and began digging into it with his claw.
His ears perked up when two figures entered the camp.
Geomancer Jennifer strolled eagerly through the camp, a paper bag in each arm. Chronomance
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 40: New Sky
“What in Spirits’ name were you thinking!?” Alpha Rasler fumed, his long tail thrashing.
The villagers of Aurorawood were in a frantic rush. Taking whatever they could carry from their homes. Food, clothing, tools, family trinkets; all being packed up into carts to be transferred to their new temporary home. Having little to begin with, the Vivre tribe quickly finished their packing and began (begrudgingly) helping the shelmeks, at the behest of Elder Riles.
“You went and struck a deal with the humans! Without telling any of us first!” Rasler had to stand on the tips of his toes to get in Kataak’s face.
“What other option did we have?” Kataak protested, spreading out his arms. “And what does it matter, anyway? We have safe harbor on Fidus Portus. The humans will hide us from the Invaders provided we earn our keep.”
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 39: A Desperate Plea
Kataak’s foot tapped anxiously on the stone tile of Elder Eurydike’s small courtyard as Famena carefully applied a fresh coat of crimson paint on Kataak’s right arm, whispering a prayer to the Spirits under her breath. Despite the simple design of intercrossing crescent shapes, she still tried to be precise with her strokes, and to give Kataak en excuse to remain calm. Lawk sat on the roof of the Elder’s house, his eyes locked on the western sky.
It had been a full anxiety-ridden day since Lawk brought the grave news. In those twenty-four hours, Alpha Rasler called back all of the hunters and Elder Eurydike sent out an urgent plea for help to the Legions via carrier bird.
The hours ticked by agonizingly slowly as they waited for a response
“Where’s that damn bird?” Kataak growled, his jaw clenched.
“Kataak, please stay s
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 38: Phantom Pain
“No, you may certainly not!” Famena adamantly told the human researcher in the outskirts of the Aurorawood village. He carried a backpack of books and a leather bag of medical tools.
Word had spread like wildfire among the residents of Fidus Portus, days after the greatest discovery since the First Ancestors arrived to the island’s shores. The entire nature preserve outside of Nidus Village was sealed off by the local guards and even a squad of Sentinels. But that didn’t stop people who traveled just to catch a glimpse of the sapient wolves and reptiles. Most didn’t get far.
Fidus Portan scholars flocked from the capital of Syvertsen to study the Luminaris and the people who lived on the other side. However, they had a difficult time getting anyone to volunteer for a dissection (a joke from one medical researcher). While many people flocked in awe and curiosity, many other humans loudl
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 37: The New Neighbors (Pt 2)
The leader drew the machete from his belt and pointed it at the crowd of villagers. “Now let this be a lesson to all of ye! That these tyrants can be beaten! And that your chains can too be broken! This land…” He raised his machete high above Famena for the kill, “is ours!”
But that was when the puddle he stood in suddenly shot up beneath the bandit leader, flash-freezing into solid ice. Frozen on his face was a look of pure, utter shock. His eyes darted in all directions as all of the dishone’s jaws dropped to the ground all at once.
Jacob walked casually from behind the house he hid, his blue-glowing hand raised, his glittering bo staff in hand. “That’s quite enough.”
The dishone cried out, stumbling backward at the sight of the strange creature.
“What in Spite -- !!” one bandit cried.
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 37: The New Neighbors (Pt 1)
“So how do you guys walk with those tails?” Spike asked as he, Jacob and Nikhil followed the shelmek soldiers Kataak and Famena. “It looks like they get in the way a lot. Ever knock stuff over?”
Kataak looked at his thick tail, pondering as if it were a question he had never heard before. “Aye, I suppose it does get in the way. But it’s something that just doesn’t bother us. As for knocking things over, well, just don’t allow Dinn inside an armory."
Famena chuckled, reminiscing. “Spirits, it took all day to pick up that mess.”
They continued their waltz through the Aurorawood forest. The forest was still damp and muddy from the previous night rainfall. To the human apprentice Elementalists, the forest felt like a fairy tale. The trees were as wide as houses and seemed to stretch up to the sky. Their roots were big enough to be bridg
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 36: Hit 'n Run
“So how do you humans walk without a tail?” Dinn asked, excitedly, as he sat in the bed of wildflowers. The smell of smoke hung in the air as Jack used his Pyromancy to burn the Invader bodies strewn about the clearing in the nature preserve. Jack was trying carefully to burn the bodies without creating too much smoke. Lawk stood close by in the background.
Jennifer giggled. “Oh, with lots of practice.”
“What about your hands? Why do you have five fingers?”
Jennifer humored the emerald-eyed shelmek and attempted to think about it. “Hmm. I don’t know. We just do.”
“Huh,” Dinn said, looking at his own clawed hand. “I don’t know what I’d do with five fingers.”
“I’m sure it wouldn’t be much different,” Emika said, fiddling with a flower
TR C5: OfficeThe Return
Chapter 5: Office
I spent most of the day in the office, mostly making idle talk with my department. The boss wasn’t in that day, so I didn’t get a chance to meet him. I ended up chatting with more or less everyone, since they ended up crowding round me as I talked to one person, the resultant situation was a question and answer session.
Nothing much. I told them what I was doing, and a bit about who I was, while quietly mulling over what Arktak had told me earlier.
Before he went off to continue with his work, he had left me an earpiece, which was supposed to pair nicely with my phone. However, once I finished the Bluetooth pairing, the thing had also installed a new app on my phone. What it was, I didn’t know. The icon was just a black square, and it lacked a name of any sort.
Curious, I launched the app…which crashed my phone, though it still managed to have it heat up quite a bit within the few seconds it froze up for. Then, the whole screen went
2WB1: Vol. 1 Chapter 34: Collision Course
A booming clap echoed in the corner of the library as Jennifer slammed a thick algebra book on the table, giving everyone a miniature heart attack. Spike, whom seconds prior was fast asleep in his math book, jerked his head up, his brown eyes wide.
“’Cestor’s balls!” he groaned, rubbing his face.
“Those geometry problems aren’t gonna do themselves,” Jennifer scolded, leaning on the book she slammed.
The apprentice Elementalists sat around a table in a quiet corner of the local library. Notebooks, textbooks and coffee in disposable cups were scattered across the table. A newspaper with the headline “CHAINED STILL UNLEASHED. PANIC IN STREETS.” lay on the center of the table. It had been little over a week since the Elementalists’ trek through the Forbidden Wood and their battle with the mysterious Umbramancer, dubbed Cha
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