Guardian Demon: Part 2

The saga continues I guess

 

Chapter 2 The Hunt

Two years later Vera sat in a dark cave half listening as Artemis explained what they’d be hunting next.  “This has been sanctioned by the council, since they’re terrorizing human villages, however since they still count as humans we do need disguises.” Artemis explained while transforming into an old lady.  “Umm, I don’t think I brought a disguise.” Vera replied looking around for anything to hide her form with. “Relax one of the council member had the perfect disguise for you.” Artemis replied in the voice of an old lady causing Vera to snicker like a small child until she saw the small fox appear before her.  “I’m working with him again?” She said annoyed instantly. “My favourite Demi,” The Kitsune said changing into a young woman and grabbing Vera’s hand. “IF anyone asks we’re sisters and this is our mother.” The kitsune explained. “Fine Kitty.” Vera said giving the fox a nickname. “That hybrid asked you have the same human form as last time so he can watch over you.” Kitty said as Vera changed.  “Great, I can’t be me and I can’t be hidden either.” Vera grumbled in annoyance. “Why is wolf hunting so annoying…” “I figured you’d enjoy hunting something made by her.” Artemis replied. “Her?” Vera asked as the three exited the cave. “Eris of course, she stole some of my blood and mixed it with some hairs of Amaterasu long ago. She claimed it would end the world.” Artemis explained. “So this is probably very personal for you.” Vera asked.  “It should be for you too with what she did to your mother and sister, and brother in law.” Artemis explained as the town became visible in the distance. “We don’t have to be here too long do we?” Vera groaned. “Of course we do, it’s a mystery who is or isn’t cursed with moon madness.” Kitty said. “Why are you disguised as a girl? You’re a guy fox right?” Vera asked. “Foxes don’t care if we look male or female when dressed as people you all look silly to us.  Besides, this explains why I’m here, it’s this or I’m your husband for the disguise.” Kitty replied with a grin. “I know you’re up to something, I don’t like having a trickster with me on a hunt, this is why I never bring Bren.” Vera retorted. “Relax, I’m under oath to the radiant wolf. I couldn’t mess with you if I wanted to, though I do want to.” The fox admitted with a devilish grin.
Vera drank her cider slowly, savouring the taste as Kitty and Artemis discussed what to do next.   “We could rent a home to avoid suspicion, I have quite a bit of human gold.” Kitty said with a wicked grin.   “Why do you have that?” Artemiss questioned. “The rules of Kitsune are different than the gods, I assure you I haven’t done anything even close to breaking my rules.”  It said with a more human grin. “I see, yes that might be useful, I’ll make the arrangements.” Artemiss said getting up and holding out a hand for Kitty to hand over some money.  “Leaving me here with my favourite Demi? I must be doing good.” Kitty replied while tossing the disguised goddess a pouch of coins.

Once he was sure the goddess was beyond hearing he turned to Vera with a smirk.  “Can you feel it?” He asked. “No, I’m quite certain whatever it is, I cannot.” Vera said dismissively as she drank even slower trying to let the taste bring forth childhood memories to wash over her mind and block out the string of annoyances she was to put up with.  “He’s watching you even as we speak.” Kitty explained quitely. Vera’s eyes turned red, though the disguise hid it well it’s creator knew what laid beneath and scooted his seat slightly. “Not my fault he’s here, I asked him to wait a day or two, give you at least a little bit of a break.”  Kitty explained. “Did he then offer you that bag of coins in exchange for me looking like this?” Vera questioned. “Not at all, this was after that offer.” Kitty retorted as if hurt by the accusation. “You’re lucky I haven’t figured out how to hurt you, because as it stands I’d gladly accept any punishment the wolf will give me.”  Vera said coldly while chugging the rest of her cup and pouring another. “Fine I’ll make you a deal,” The fox spirit said with eyes glowing blue though Vera couldn’t see past the disguise. “I’ll humour you, try to convince me of some terrible deal.” Vera responded wondering where Artemis was with their new living arrangement already.  “You go six days without complaining and I will make your deepest and most hidden of desires come to life.” Kitty reasoned smugly. “And what exactly do I so dearly desire as to require your assistance.” Vera inquired. “I don’t need to know, my fox magic will act out your desire.” Kitty explained. “That’s a an obvious trick, but I guess it’s unbecoming of me not to behave like a proper princess.” Vera said with a grin.  

Moments later an old lady sat by them it took Vera a moment to realize it was the huntress. “We are staying in a small house in town follow me” Artemis ordered in her disguised voice.  The two obeyed her and followed to what was most certainly a long abandoned home towards the edge of town.

Abellio stood over the grave frowning.  “Do you think she’ll ever be okay again?”  Lilith asked sadly. “Hard to say, keep looking for them.  The angel of death must have put them somewhere.” Abellio reasoned as he kneeled down to remove a withered apple blossom from the final resting point of his only grandchild.  The Lady in White vanished and the apple god turned to walk back to his home. Battleground was drenched, a downpour the likes of which Abellio hadn’t seen in a long time yet the winds were calm, he knew the cause of this and it wasn’t normal weather, but he ignored it.  “She needs space.” He reminded himself in an attempt to control himself. Bren, the youngest of Abello’s sons appeared from the shadow of a tree. “Shall I tell Vera?” He offered. “Not yet, she wouldn’t let Crissy go through the pain, which is the only way to survive. In a few days the rain will stop as she falls into a short time of being delusional.  Once that’s over you can collect Vera.” Abellio explained as the two made their way to the lake of a town.
“You’ll sleep on the floor.”  Vera said sternly. “Even if as a fox I found that acceptable, I in disguise do not, so I will rest in the bed.”  Kitty retorted. “I don’t trust you that near to me as I rest.” Vera admitted sounding almost scared. “You don’t even need sleep most nights, just let me take it while you’re awake.”  Kitty reasoned. “What exactly am I supposed to do for six hours every night while he sleeps anyway?” Vera asked Artemis who was just now returning from getting food from the town marketplace.  “I will be setting traps, you will wait in the house bored, since you can’t seem to go invisible.” Artemis said sounding sad about mistreating her friend. “Understood, I’ll learn to be patient.”  Vera said remembering her promise to behave for once. She didn’t really believe the fox, but she knew he only offered her the deal as he expected her to fail, it was a formal challenge to her honour.  “I don’t even know what that is.” Vera whispered after fifteen minutes of silence. “What was that?” Artemis questioned. “Nothing Ma’am.” Vera said with a humble bow. Artemis eyed the demigoddess carefully, her suspicion piqued.  “Are you ill? You’ve yet to protest a single order or suggestion, you hardly even voice your opinions. You sound more like your sister.” Artemis stated as if she’d been pondering these actions since they arrived at their new home. “Yes well, perhaps disguising myself as human just reminds me of her, this is closer to how mortal girls act right?”  Vera said while pretending to hide a smile behind her hand as she’d seen a few of the daughters of noblemen do at her grandfather’s house, though she had no idea what it meant. Artemis laughed before heading out to begin setting traps leaving the two alone, or so she thought. “Alone at last,” Kitty said with an inhuman grin. “Are you by any chance plotting things.”  Vera asked imitating the voice her mother used when being respectful. “No need, all my plots and plans for the next two years have been made.” Kitty replied smugly. “I think I’ll draw pictures to pass the time.” Vera said trying to change the subject. “As you wish, I’ve got a visitor coming over soon, but we won’t be too loud.” Kitty replied.

Vera ignored this comment until she saw him, her sworn protector.  “I’ve come with news, I think they’re waiting for her to return to inform her.”  He whispered to the Kitsune. Vera eyed them suspiciously unable to tell what they discussed but very aware it concerned her.  “Why are you here?” Vera questioned. “I wanted to see you up close” the half demon replied. “What?” She stammered caught off guard.  “Yes,the last time I saw you in this form was the only time you spent your time with me willingly. I thought it would be a pleasant time, this isn’t pleasant at all, I think I’ll return to watching from afar.” the half angel explained.   “I enjoyed tricking you. I can’t do that now since you already know it,did you really ask for this form so I would smile?” She inquired. “more or less.” Sparks said quietly in what might even pass for shyness if he weren’t supposedly without emotion.  “Have you considered not watching me?” Vera asked. “But of course, I consider it daily. You tire me.” He replied before vanishing. “If I were you,I’d go home.” Kitty said stretching and heading towards his bed. “Why should I?” She questioned, “I’m sworn to secrecy in the matter, but trust me”  kitty said with a yawn. “I don’t like having someone I can’t trust around all the time.” Vera said dryly while returning to her art.

Vera was a skilled artist, though she was never sure why, she didn’t practice the craft at all, it bored her usually but at that moment it was superior to doing nothing at all.  She drew the only thing that came to mind, she drew herself in her human disguise with the dog form Kitty took when last she meant sitting by Sparks who seemed annoyed with her.  “I suppose it is a fond memory for me too, and if Kitty was just going to invite him over any form given to me would have been known by him. Maybe he really did just try to make me happy.”  She thought aloud. Staring down at her finished product after two hours of drawing without much thought. Artemis returned moments later. “This place reeks of wolves, there are too many to tell how many there are, for all I know the whole town is moon cursed.”  Artemis complained in the voice of an old lady despite returning to her real form which caused Vera to snicker like a small child. “This place is terrible, I swear the council is just punishing us.” Artemis complained in her own voice ignoring Vera’s outburst. “I can’t imagine they’d have any reason to go against either of us.”  Vera said in a more serious tone than she expected to take. “You’re right, I’m just frustrated. I’ve always blamed myself for these creatures, they may get their form from Amaterasu, but they’re violent outburst all stem from my own desire to hunt endlessly, they’re a twisted dark image of me.” The huntress admitted sadly. “Is that why they change when the moon is full?” Vera asked looking up from her artwork again.  “I wouldn’t know, that’s a question for your father or Athena.” Artemis said honestly. “What’s this?” THe goddess questioned looking at the picture for the first time a hint of disgust in her tone. “Father said to stick too what I know when doing art, tricking that creep was a good day” Vera explained. Artemis merely rolled her eyes. “We’ll spend tomorrow in the town being inconspicuous no one should know we’re here.” Artemis explained sternly as if worried about Vera suddenly changing entirely.   “Of course my huntress. I will be an excellent spy.” Vera replied with a bow. “Was someone here while I was away?” Artemis asked. The Kitsune thought it would be amusing to invite over my tormentor.” Vera admitted. “I didn’t understand this fox either but Amaterasu insisted we bring him. No clue why.” Artemis explained. “He’s fond of me and Sparks, he may have requested this” Vera reasoned. “He’s the same beast that tricked you that one time?” Artemis inquired. “The very vermin.” The demi confirmed.  “If he has any ulterior motives you’d do best to find out sooner than later I’m sure the wolf cares just as much about culling this plague as I do.” Artemis stated coldly. If Vera hadn’t known the goddess her entire life it would have seemed a plain threat rather than the words of friendly advice the young lady knew them to be instantly.

Vera needed to blend in with the village so she ventured to explore the place with the rising of the sun and imitate a normal life to the best of her skills based mostly on what her sister mentioned from the missing year.  So the loud and rambunctious young lady acted like her shy little sister she was naturally clumsy in this role. In an attempt to stay close to walls and corners are knocked into the cart of a very loud trader bringing imported pots made from the ore of the red mountain.  “Who do you think you are sneaking around like a streetrat!” The man shouted in an accent which Vera thought was familiar but she was too busy panicking about making a scene to place. “I’m sorry good sir…” she stammered. Trying to think what her sister would say. “Enough talk can you pay for what you’ve ruined or am I calling the authorities?” He replied dismissively.   It was obvious to Vera the man’s goods were unharmed though she still rolled her eyes and tossed a few gold coins to him. “Don’t expect help cleaning this up” she said dryly as she drifted into the crowd.

“Every time you go anywhere you make a fuss.” A hooded figure complained seemingly appearing behind Vera from nowhere.   “Like you’re any help,guardian” she said with a grimace. “Even with a new voice you recognize me” he replied. “I’m aware of who follows me good sir” she said scanning the area for a quiet spot to sit and watch the people interact. She chose a spot on a nearby roof and had only to get away from prying eyes to get up there.  “If you’d like I could easily separate the infected from the pure.” Sparks offered. “You know you’re not to interfere with the hunt.” Vera hissed as she made her way to what she hoped would be an empty dark corner. “In any event I’m not just here to annoy you this time,I’ve news from your family. Your twin brother is currently facing ten years of imprisonment for various crimes.”  Sparks whispered as he followed her. Before she could question the actions of her twin she was caught off guard by a fresh carcass in the middle of the village, a human female probably around the age of 12 judging by the size blond hair soaked with crimson of her own blood the girl’s face was disfigured by claw marks and had chunks of flesh missing as if partially eaten by her attacker. “Gruesome creatures, I’ll take much satisfaction in removing them all from this village.” Vera cursed under her breath before vanishing.   Sparks stared at the lifeless corpse before him then his eyes glows silver and a spirit appeared before him. “Why are you no longer among the living?” He questioned.

Vera appeared on top of a nearby building and stared down at the crowd in the market section. “Let’s see who is acting oddly today.” Vera whispered to herself.  Her usual impatience quickly dissipated as she was no longer just waiting around, Vera D. Crescent was stalking her prey like a true huntress. She watched for hours observing the way everyone acted looking for the way they grouped together and anyways in which the humans acted differently from one another in hopes of separating the wolves from the innocents.  Focused as she was the demi failed to notice the absence of her unwanted protector she did however notice her aunt appearing behind her. “You’re oddly suspicious. No expiration date either.” The Lady in White said with her eyes glowing a dull silver and her whole form appearing lighter. “What do you mean? I’m not suspicious.” Vera said not remembering her disguise. The lady in White summoned her scythe,  “You stand before Lady Death, why are you not frightened mortal?” The goddess questioned what she figured was probably the cause of the gruesome death she dealt with in the nearby dark alley. “I don’t have time for this, I’ve wolves to hunt.” Vera replied before leaping off the building towards the dead girl. “Has someone tampered with this body since I last saw it?” She asked aloud as Lilith appeared by her side with eyes glowing red.  “You dare defy a god?” Death spoke to what she now thought was some kind of witch. “Aunty what’s your problem?” Vera questioned. “What?” Lilith blinked as she dropped her scythe and stared at the strange girl dimly. “Oh I forgot I’m disguised, I’m sorry for messing with you, it’s me Vera.” She explained hugging her aunt. “I knew you were on the hunt again, but in some random town looking human?” The Lady in White questioned. “Well yes, Artemis and I are hunting werewolves in their natural habitat, pretending to be human.”  Vera said dryly. “So then you did kill that dead girl there?” Lilith asked. “What, no this is a victim of wolves.” Vera protested. “This had a wolf soul and a human one. Or at least it did before, now there’s just a wolf soul. Poor thing is torn to shreds about being separated from her other half too.” Lilith said sadly as she glowed slightly and the spirit of the wolf rose from the corpse. “Can you ask her what happened?” Vera inquired. “Don’t be silly, I don’t speak wolf.” The Lady in White said sounding almost offended as she vanished with the ghost.  “Who would just steal her soul, who could steal a soul…” Vera thought aloud, before turning to head back to her base of operations only to see Kitty. “What an interesting clue, maybe there’s a witch or a demon about stealing souls and forcing the wolves to gather in this village?” He said with a wicked and inhuman smile teeth spreading far wider than his disguise should have allowed. The two walked together in silence.

Sparks stood in the midst of a vast ocean on a small raft looking at the half starved man clinging for dear life.   “Fret not, someone with resources cares for your safety forgetful prince, for I am here to rescue you.” He spoke his voice sounding oddly distant, a normal person would have found it disconcerting but the broken man he was sent to rescue cared not for what made sense. Sparks dropped the prince off at one of the many fortresses under the name of his father.  “Just stay here someone will be along to collect you shortly I’m sure.” Sparks said before vanishing. He appeared next in his home grown from a tree through the almost completely lost art of the elves. “Why is someone in my home?” Sparks said sitting on his wooden throne. “Yes I’m just admiring all the work you’ve done in the past 24 hours, a total of three hundred contracts fulfilled to both mortals and divines.”  Said a crow as it landed on his shoulder. “Why are you here Lord Hades?” Sparks asked. “I want to know why you work so hard.” The Crow questioned. “I’ve always worked hard, it suppresses my demonic tendencies.” Sparks replied honestly. “This is more than usual, something is different about you.” Hades said before releasing his control on the bird allowing it to become a mere beast again. “Perhaps something is different, maybe I’m nervous?”  Sparks thought aloud as he looked at the papers on his table with requests to be considered. “I want a real challenge this time.” He whispered his eyes beginning to glow with demonic energies.

Vera stared up at the ceiling blankly.  “She was a wolf, I couldn’t even tell.” Vera complained to Kitty.  “Yes well, you do see the world through only a few senses, even if they’re extra accurate it wouldn’t hurt to add some kind of magic sight to your skill set.”  The disguised fox replied smugly. “So you can just see them?” Vera asked. “Not exactly, kitsune are empathic creatures, we can see more and more about a person the more emotional they are, probably why we like to annoy others, if I get someone here annoyed I can tell exactly what they are.”  He explained. “I don’t buy that excuse at all, you’re just a bad person.” Vera replied dryly. “I’m not a person, I’m proud to be an animal. I thought a huntress would understand the glory of beasts.” He mocked. “If I can’t stick an arrow between its eyes what glory is there?” Vera hissed.  “That’s probably why you’re so fond of Sparks, you can make a sewing cushion out of him with no issue.” Kitty replied causing Vera’s eye to flash red. “Don’t you dare accuse me of being fond of that scum.” Vera said sternly. “You’ll make a fine scarf someday Kitty.” Vera added after taking a breath to calm herself from her rage.    “I know you better than you know yourself right now.” Kitty replied simply. “Make yourself useful and cook me something gamey. Unless Fox is on the menu.” Kitty grinned and a plate of cooked food appeared. “I stole this from a deathgod.” He said with a wicked grin. “What when?” Vera questioned he rage vanishing in shock. “Just now when you asked for food. Seems to be made by your father, some kind of packed lunch.”  Kitty said handing Vera a fork. “You’re lucky I like his cooking.” Vera grumbled before eating the food quickly her aunt appearing a moment later with a look of mild annoyance. “Where’s my food?” She demanded. “Some of us need food to survive.” Vera retorted sticking her tongue out. “I don’t much like your new face, your real one is so pretty.” LIlith said simply. “A compliment and an insult, I could learn a lot from you.”  Kitty said with a wicked grin. “You’re that creepy fox She complained about?” Lilith said curiosity evident in her still annoyed tone. “My reputation does tend to proceed me. Yes I’m a Kitsune.” Kitty said with a polite bow. “You don’t seem so bad, I mean I’d rather you than Brenn… Did Sparks tell you Vera?” Lilith said floating around the room. The door opened and Artemis entered. “Leave Death, if we’re seen cohorting with ghosts we’ll be tried for witchcraft and I’m not about to lose the trail of these beasts.”  She said sternly. “Even with your disguise I’d know that tone anywhere.” Lilith said dryly before vanishing leaving Vera to wonder what happened to her brother. “I changed the baits on my traps something still alive will hopefully catch their interest and at least one or two can be brought in for questioning. “I found a dead one in the village today,was that you?” Vera inquired. “Hardly, killing them here just makes our job harder.” Artemis explained. “Yes, well it didn’t really look like your doing either.” Vera admitted with annoyance.  “So we have some kind of rival?” Artemis asked. “Possibly, but it seems like it may have been another wolf. There were many claw marks, but it could have been faked or a rival wolf pack, hard to tell.” Vera explained her theories thus far. “If your family is going to keep showing up we may need to change our disguises. Have the fox send them a message about staying away or something.” Artemis said taking a seat at the table and pulling out maps of the woods surrounding the town. “Where are these maps from?” Vera questioned. “I’ve been trying to draw these up while setting new traps and rebaiting old ones.  This is our territory I’ve yet to find the enemy on it.” Artemis explained. There was a knock on the door. Vera rolled her eyes. “Don’t answer it, I know exactly who it is.” Vera said sounding aggravated. “What do you mean you know who it is?” Artemis asked opening the door which allowed Sparks to enter. “Greetings Artemis, does your disguised form have an alternate name?” The half angel asked. “My Roman name is just the one I often use for disguises.” She replied simply. “Yes, I forgot about this.” He said taking the seat Artemis was previously sitting in. “Why are you here demon?” Vera questioned. “I felt like it, I’ve had a long day and a nice quiet evening of you telling me to go die sounds pleasant.”  Sparks said honestly though to the demi it sounded sarcastic. “If I weren’t hiding who or what I am right now, I’d be more than happy to set you on fire.” Vera said with a sigh. “You came here for her to yell at you?” Artemis questioned. “I’ve come to enjoy the stability. Today I killed sixteen resurrected demons spent six hours fighting wrath after sealing away Pride yesterday. Also there was a few rescue missions and I think a pirate swore to one day have me destroyed.” Sparks explained. “Life is crazy and honestly exhausting it’s nice to have something familiar.” He added after noticing no one understood what he meant at all. “Wait, why are there so many resurrected demons?” Vera questioned. “Yes well it seems to be some kind of mortal Necromancer attempting to bring back every single demon, they keep looking for dead demons whenever they find one they return it to life.”  Sparks explained with a groan. “Well why is this your problem? Doesn’t seem like the council would higher an outside for this when Mars would be more than happy to do it.” Vera questioned. “Yes, I’m sure they would but demons are a personal issue for me, so I am doing this of my own will.” The half angel explained. “Is that so?” Vera said sounding almost concerned. “Try not to die out there, I want to be the one to end you.” The demi added after a moment of thought. “Okay she threatened you, now get out of my seat.” Artemis practically growled. Sparks vanished again. “I don’t know what to do, he’s unkillable and my threats only seem to encourage him.” Vera said sadly. “Then try being nice it should convince him to ignore you.” Kitty suggested while crawling into bed and curling up as if he were still in his real form.

Vera laid on the roof of her new home watching clouds pass and listening to the nearest villages discuss things of no interest to her, hoping for one of them to slip and mention being wolves.  “What do you think of the new neighbors?” one lady seemingly in her early twenties said to a neighboring lady of around the same age. “I haven’t seen them yet.” Said the second. “They seem to be three women living together isn’t that what that Mavrick guy said witches do?”  The first asked. Vera groaned to herself.  “Why didn’t I think of that…”  Vera complained to herself. She rushed inside to speak to the others about these new rumours.  “Wake up Kitty, I have a problem.” Vera said kicking the sleeping fox out of the bed which caught the attention of the huntress too.  “What’s wrong, are you complaining?” Kitty asked. “I don’t have time for your little games, rumours are being spread as we talk about us being a witches coven.”  Vera explained. “I see, we need a man, have the fox take that form instead.” Artemis said dismissively. “They already know these forms, they’ll question why one of us went missing.” Vera retorted.  “I see, I have a solution.” Kitty said with a wicked grin which made Vera uncomfortable. “This better not be what I think it is.” Vera said sternly. “It very much is, and you know it is an excellent solution.”  Kitty said with a confidence Vera found sickening. “But he’s too busy with the whole demon hunting thing.” Vera protested which clued Artemis in on what they were discussing. “You know very well he’ll put that on pause to spend his time with you.” Kitty said with a sickly sweetness making it hard for anyone to know if that were meant as an insult or compliment, probably both.  “Well let’s get one of my brother’s instead.” Vera suggested. “The full gods are busy the half gods are, occupied. With one of your brother’s charged with murder and the other trying to prove his innocence you can’t possibly expect help.” Kitty said with a grin. “Wait what?” Vera questioned. “So I’ll just get Sparks to come over.” Kitty said ignoring the obvious concern. Before the demi could protest further the kitsune was gone.  “Artemis please stop him” Vera begged. “I’d love to but he’s unfortunately correct.” The huntress replied sadly. “Fine I’ll attempt to put up with him. For the hunt.” Vera said her uncertainty overflowing as the fox and angel returned.

“My presence has been requested?” Sparks said as he appeared.  Vera simply groaned. “So huntress are you pleased?” The Kitsune asked with a smirk.  “No fowl creature I can tell this is a trick” Artemis complained. “Trick or not, who cares the hunt is still on” Kitty said with a grin.   “Shall I wear a disguise too?” Sparks questioned. “Not at all, it is possible someone caught a glimpse of you through a window. So let’s just be on the safe side and keep you in the classic yin yang look.” Kitty replied.  “What’s a yin yang?” Vera questioned. “Fine leave him Like this but keep him silent” Artemis said sternly. “Fine I’ll ask father when we’re done here.” Vera said annoyed at how easily everyone ignored her. “It’s an eastern concept of balancing opposite forces.” Sparks said simply.  “Oh, so he’s making fun of you, I like it.” Vera said with a smile. Sparks merely shook his head and sat in the corner to await the next day leaving the others to ignore him. “See this is why you’re creepy, can you at least pretend to be normal.” Vera complained. “When I interact with you, you’re annoyed when I do not, you find me creepy, what pleases you Vera Crescent?”  Sparks questioned. “I really and truly love when you go away.” Vera said with a mock swoon.

 

 

Truly some of my worst work but like it’s pretty good I guess

ECHO ECHO

Overthinking: A Nuanced Discussion — Pointless Overthinking

I see some people posting blogs (and comments about them) on thinking and the role it plays in human life. As someone who has expertise in thinking—especially in what some call “critical thinking”—I’ve been feeling more and more like chiming in. (By the way, I actually prefer the term “creative thinking” to critical thinking because […]

via Overthinking: A Nuanced Discussion — Pointless Overthinking

You’re Not Original

ECHO ECHO

Memoir Of A Writer

We’re in the 21st century. There’s no new idea or perspective.

“No new thing under the sun…”

But what about all those “original” works or art?

Even books that are considered fresh and new and o-r-i-g-i-n-a-l have ideas that already existed.

The way I see it is a book either works, is halfway there, or just plain doesn’t. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with the plot or characters directly, but rather how a book is written.

If a book is written well, it’ll be compelling enough that the author can use only cliché plot lines and the reader will say, “The author took a cliché and made it captivating and new.”

The halfway books are the ones that the reader finishes and says, “It was okay, but the same story I’ve read a hundred times.”

The books that don’t make it are what I personally call trash fiction…

View original post 141 more words

MoonWell: Chapter 6

Behold the best chapter in the entire book

 

First Arm The Knight of Sun and Moon

Chapter 6

Bronze spent the next week doing the same thing, he’d be awoken by a whisper in his shadows, he’d charge up on the roof then train there.  He learned many forms of weaponry and for some reason the strange being he was instructed to call teacher decided to teach him how smith, just the basics.  But Bronze made himself a sword, Echoshadow was quick to point out it was far from anything professional but did tell Bronze he’d keep it safe for as long as Bronze lived, so he could always see his first weapon.  Which Bronze took as a compliment. Bronze enjoyed learning even if he hoped to never be in a fight, it was pretty clear the power Corona gave him was something to be used for destruction. Though when he explained where he got it Echoshadow refused to look into the claims further.   Bronze didn’t understand that, but there was a lot he didn’t understand. His teacher was eager to show him much, but it was clear he wasn’t to be shown all at least not yet. By the end of the week Bronze found himself sparing with Echoshadow for about two hours, brandishing a longsword a short blade and several explosions.   Bronze learned by day four how to make the lights explode without touching them which he thought would make him at least a strong opponent but no matter how hard he tried Echoshadow seemed to be able to deflect, avoid or evade everything. Bronze stood there panting in exhaustion unable to form words. “Well isn’t that interesting, you’ve got some fight in you for a pacifist.”  Echoshadow said with a grin. “You said I could skip tomorrow if I won, I had to win.” Bronze replied after five more minutes of panting. “People who are strong but hate to fight, they’re the kind of people we need in charge of fighting.” Echoshadow said simply. “What do you mean?” Bronze said sitting down and wiping of beads of sweat. “My brother, he was strong, stronger than me, but he loved to fight.”  Echoshadow explained. “What’s wrong with that?” Bronze asked. “I thought nothing of it at first, there were wars often enough he could usually find another fight, until he couldn’t until there was peace, then he turned on the nation. That’s what happens when someone has blood lust, so I want to find someone strong, but without blood lust, the strong are usually strong because they needed to be or they wanted to be.”  Echoshadow explained. “Usually they either have blood lust from the start or they pick it up on the road to power. That’s why I want you to lead the order we’re forming. You are strong, very strong.” Echoshadow explained. “I’m strong but I’m a coward. Any real danger and I’d shrivel up or flee.” Bronze reasoned. “If that’s your only problem I can fix that, just promise me you’ll never learn to love this. Promise me regardless of if you take the job or not, you’ll always hate fighting.”  Echoshadow said sounding serious for a change. “Sir yes sir.” Bronze replied with a bow before being sent back to his dungeon for the night.

Bronze was alone for hours at a time with nothing to do but think, he didn’t want to think about his old life, and he didn’t want to think about his future as a state killer.  Bronze let his mind resonate on the words of the imprisoned god. “Child of the Elvin.  I sense in your the aura of one of my brethren, perhaps they tried to help, if you ever awaken that power you could save many, if you had it now you could save me, but right now I no longer care, I concede all.  My actions were unjust I deserved punishment I may think this was a bit too far but still something had to be done about me. In the end I don’t deserve power, so I give it to you, if one of my kind deemed you worthy maybe they were right.” The words of the sun echoed through his head each night and Bronze would study them the way many studied words from gods over the centuries.   “What did he sense in me, I know this power is his, but I have something else in me.” Bronze mused aloud. The fallen god hadn’t seen potential in Bronze, it merely noticed someone else saw potential, but Bronze was unable to determine who or when. “Okay, I just need to try to do what I do for the Sun power but for like something different.” Bronze mused wondering if his dungeon were a good place to test such a skill.  He was alone but if it were another form of explosion he’d probably be attacked by guards, and he wouldn’t want to hurt them. “I just won’t touch any lights I make.” Bronze reasoned before focusing on the empty space in front of him and chanting the same words over and over in his mind a strange new mantra to learn a new skill “New Light” He began to whisper hoping it would help soon a silver line appeared in front of him glowing dimly like the crescent moon.  Bronze smiled but knew better than to continue, whatever this power was could be more deadly than the powers he received from Corona. So he left the strange glow and used it as a dim nightlight while he went to sleep tired from a long day of training to do something he didn’t want to do. Life was good.

The next day as Bronze charged up in the morning sun the princess joined him and his unusual teacher.  “So you say he’s improved?” The princess questioned. “More so than anyone could have expected. I mean he’d stand no chance against the Blade, but she’s been doing it for years and this is day eight.”  Echoshadow explained. “I have something new to show today.” Bronze spoke up timidly his eyes still closed as he focused on absorbing light. “Grand, I’ve been quite excited to see when you noticed the otherside.” Echoshadow said sounding excited.  Bronze focused on creating another line of the silvery new light. “I haven’t tried to see what this does yet.” Bronze explained before reaching out and touching the line. As his eyes were still closed Bronze was convinced nothing happened. “I’m sorry, I thought it’d do something anything…” Bronze said sadly.  “Okay he’s good, you win Echo. However even if he leads we need other members.” Scarlet said simply. Bronze opened his eyes wondering what happened. Everything looked the same. “What did I do?” Bronze questioned as he blinked and looked around for any change. “I don’t really know either.” His teacher replied sounding just as confused.  “It’s clearly a mass healing spell. I sprained my ankle earlier.” Scarlet explained before leaping up and down to demonstrate. “Great I’ll go get hospital patients to test this skill.” Echoshadow said melting into his own shadow. “So you hate fighting?” Scarlet questioned since they were now alone. “I’m sorry ma’am. I was raised to be kind and gentle with all and to always help people not hurt them.”  Bronze said sounding a little worried about upsetting his future ruler. “Do you know the story of the reapers?” Scarlet questioned. “No ma’am.” Bronze admitted readily. “Long story short the old kings could summon nearly all powerful creatures whenever they needed. Because of this wars were much more infrequent.” Scarlet explained. “What does that have to do with my distaste for violence?” Bronze asked.  “The boys at your orphanage picked on you did they not?” Scarlet asked. Bronze simply nodded eager to see where this lesson was going. “Can you imagine them doing so now? After they’ve all seen a small glimpse of what you’re capable of?” Scarlet asked. “No ma’am but that’s because they’re afraid, I still wouldn’t have any friends.” Bronze replied. “Fear is never ideal but it is similar to respect and there are ways to transition to respect from fear, if everyone knows what you can do but knows you won’t unless there’s no alternative they’re very likely to respect you for your commitment to peace and how you respect the freedom of others.” Scarlet reasoned.   Bronze was silent he may have been smart for his age but he still needed to think things over. “I’m not sure about that, but maybe.” Bronze said remembering what his parents told him to say when he felt an idea needed more time before being accepted or rejected. His teacher returned with a little girl around the same age as Bronze who was missing a leg. “I think this might be a bit much, even professional healers wouldn’t be able to do this. He just realised he can heal why start with such an extreme case?” Scarlet asked. “The sun Warrior is amazing he can handle this.’ Echoshadow said dismissively. “Sun warrior that’s what you’re calling him?” Scarlet asked.  “Yeah I told you he got his power from some kind of sun maker. He told me all about it.” Echoshadow explained. “The chained being said star crafter, besides this is different than that, he said he gave me the power because someone else gave me a power which meant I was someone he could trust. I’m pretty sure this was that first power.” Bronze explained while using his new light to heal the girl causing her to scream in pain as her skin ripped open to allow a new leg to grow which shocked Bronze. “I’m sorry I didn’t know that would hurt.” He said sounding terrified. “It’s okay kind sir. I do not mind the pain as my leg is returned and the pain was for but a moment.”  The girl explained while panting and standing up to test her new leg. “T’is a little weak but I think I’ll be used to it within the week.” The girl said bowing shakily. “Don’t strain yourself, this was my first healing and I don’t want to have to fix it again already.” Bronze joked as the girl sat back down. “My name is Plumb Sky,” The girl said with a bow of just her head. “And I’m Bronze Lily of the sun.” Bronze replied bowing himself. “So I understand you don’t like hurting people, but how about joining us anyway, think of those soldiers fighting for their homeland who will die without your moonstrike.” Scarlet whispered. “You keep naming all his moves for him, it’s odd.”  Echoshadow spoke up. “I’m the future queen, I’m allowed to name moves.” Scarlet protested. “That might be true.” Echoshadow replied as if he hadn’t considered it. “Maybe, you have made valid points, but for now let me just consider.” Bronze replied. “I’d like you to be a soldier.” Plumb said catching the other three off guard. “I mean, I don’t know you very well, but you seem kind enough. I want our soldiers to be kind people.” She explained shyly. Bronze smiled. “Okay, fine. But only if I can spend my days off just healing the sick and injured like this. I want to feel like I’m doing good and I don’t think this is doing good.” Bronze explained giving into the peer pressure more than actually being convinced.   

 

On an unrelated note I’m considering renaming this project.  If you’ve got alternate titles for this tale let me know

ECHO ECHO

Scarlet Blaze: Chapter 4

Who wants to read more of this?  I don’t, I already know the story…

 

Chapter 4

The wilderness

 

Scarlet followed the strange guardian as he marched forward.  The instant they were beyond the darkness of the cave Echoshadow stopped and stared up at the sky.  “The sun is pretty.” He whispered staring up at it happily. “Don’t be weird, we don’t look at the sun.” Scarlet protested marching towards what she expected was the centre of the kingdom.  “ This way to your chosen destination actually.”. Echoshadow corrected pointing the opposite direction. “If you say so.” Scarlet replied following her new guardian instead add they began their march through the wilderness.  

The kingdom of Harmony was filed with very fertile ground thus most of it was densely wooded. The pair easily mixed for days without being detected.  Echoshadow being a deadly abomination easily hunted down deer for his new princess but a problem quickly arose. Neither of them knew how to cook. Echoshadow did his best to keep Scarlet away from danger but she was uncontrollable rushing into caves just to see what was within and playing with cute baby animals despite his warnings of how dangerous their family would be.  It was constant work to keep her safe. Despite no longer being alone the young noble girl felt the sting of her loneliness almost constantly. Any time she discussed the king with Echoshadow his eyes would glow blue and he’d forget what was going on it was aggravating to be unable to discuss her plans with him. Her family was gone and the creature protecting her couldn’t talk about the cause she just had to pretend he was going to the king for protection pretend everything was okay, pretend this wasn’t tearing her to pieces.   

 

They stood there in the shallow cave looking out upon the world as everything was battered fiercely by small drops of rain.  “This is a storm, all right,” Echoshadow said, in a worried tone. Scarlet giggled, “So you can take on an army single handedly but a  little water and you hide for shelter?” She chided playfully. With a grumpy look on his face he turned to her and said in a cold dark voice which echoed from all directions. “You go out there first if you’re not also worried about it.”  She gave him a look that erased his playful smile, but made no forward motions, staying put with a grim determination that shook the genetic experiment down to his very core. She said nothing, but it was enough for him to melt, figuratively and literally as he seeped into the soil to attain nutrients, it was something he taught himself to do in order to use less food on his long journey accompanying the young Lady to the Castle.  “Gross, I told you not to do that around me ever.” Scarlet demanded, making echo instantly reform above the surface. “Also what did you hunt down for me to eat?” She questioned, in a sour mood from the rain. At this point Project Echoshadow had been faithfully following orders for two weeks and not once did she seem satisfied, the fact that he had been unable to find any deer before the storm came was obvious to her before asking the question.  Her asking it annoyed him, it was the first time he truly felt frustration and his reaction was to push her and himself out into the rain.

Scarlet Blaze hated the world that had taken her family, she hated everything about it, including her new guardian echo, but when he pushed her out into the rain, instead of anger she was so shocked that she laughed.  Her laughter was a beautiful melody mixing with the percussion of raindrops beating against the drums of the earth. creating a song that intoxicated Echoshadow like nothing else, and he was happy, it was a moment he wished would never end.  Just as soon as it started it stopped. The rain died first, then the laughter, though the happiness remained. “What in the world is wrong with you echo?” Scarlet said with a large smile. “I don’t know, some kind of fish” Echoshadow responded refusing to give an intelligible response.  “I don’t know when the last time I laughed so hard was, thank you, you lunatic.” Scarlet said as she started marching towards the Rainbow Valley again. Nothing was going to stop her, not even joy could bring relief. Project Echoshadow followed utilizing echolocation to quickly find his prey, a large buck to kill for his friend’s dinner.  “when this mission is done, I don’t wish to be forgotten by you Lady Blaze.” Echoshadow said attempting to sound professional. “I may not be the nicest girl, but I do consider you a friend echo, I won’t just forget you.” Scarlet responded in a serious tone while using her flame magic to start a campfire for her friend to use in his latest attempt at cooking, though she knew already it wouldn’t be good.   “Why can’t you make food?” Scarlet questioned. “I don’t know much about flavour, I typically just absorb the nutrients through my hands it’s quicker.” Echoshadow explained while demonstrating with a spare bit of the fallen creature he expected Scarlet not to want. “That’s gross and you’re missing out on so much, food is supposed to be yummy, it’s like how you enjoy looking at the moon, if you just did that weird, finding your way through hearing thing, you’d never get to enjoy the moon.” Scarlet reasoned causing the creature to pause and think about it.  “That sounds about right, after we get back to civilization, I’ll be sure to learn how to cook.” Echoshadow responded with a smile. “Won’t do me much good unless I get to keep you around.” Scarlet said dryly. “I can’t predict where I’ll be deployed in the future, but I do hope to spend time with you again.” Echoshadow responded causing the depressed girl to smile for a moment. She never expected the strange creature defending her from the wilderness to actually become her friend. Life was frustrating her plans were incomplete at best, but she wasn’t alone, and in that moment that was enough for her.  Even fueled by revenge as she was Scarlet Blaze felt content.

 

As you can see they’re hopelessly lost because Scarlet thinks he has a map in his head when he merely has a compass, he knows the general direction but not the best route. 

ECHO ECHO