So our Owner finally cracked... drumroll
Our new website will launch Friday, May 25th!
Our authors/TLers are getting ready to make it a huge launch, so keep your eye out this week for more details of mass releases and new novels!
The first sneak peek will be posted today on our Twitter: Link: https://twitter.com/JFantasyBooks.
Want more information or want to reach out to us directly to tell us how cool this is? Join us on Discord! We’re aiming for 1500 members to grow as a community! Link: https://discord.gg/mfFJW7g
The Abandoned Chapter 49: A Move to War
Where we are at at the moment: It’s been a while, so I’m writing the summary to refresh your minds, and my own. Only vital info for this chapter is included.
Delias was born human. He was drafted in the army when he was 15, and since then became a well known commander within a year. Then, he was crippled in a battle with horrible odds, and left to rot by a man ‘that is currently not mentioned’.
Because of his crippled self, he was abandoned by the woman he loved, his brother (for reasons unspecified) and he has not heard a word from his ‘best friend’ since before his last battle. He was given a way to regain a new body via a strange experiment by a mysterious man that smelled of mint. He took it, and reformed his body made of Koplas, a insect like creature. It was until later that he realized that in exchange, he lost something very important that we don’t know of as of yet.
The experiment did not go so well, and so that mysterious man gave Delias a special fire to ignite his life force. His student, who has been vying for that fire all along, was not too happy; gladly, due to the laws of the world, he cannot kill Delias for at least a year.
Delias woke up in a forest on a side that didn’t belong to humans. Hiding, and masquerading himself as Averati, he was chosen to be a prospect student at Crawfields Academy. He is currently fighting in the trials, only there seems to be many individuals with stakes in these trials, and unexpected circumstances pop up.
- A man that is forging creatures and trying to raise a wraith army of Lowborns that may have grown to powerful for him. They are against Highborn wraiths.
- A Highborn wraith named Crasus that thinks the actions of the council of elder wraiths are ignorant and weak, and choses to form plans of his own.
- A white creature born from the man’s experiment needs to consume a host to become a Wraith Imperator and overrule other wraiths.. And so forth.
- A Recruitment Head of the Crawfields Academy that wants to kill him and all those that came with him for being an Easterner. Easterners are judged against.
- A mysterious power that fights against the Recruitment Head and seems to have plans of their own in the Trial that may turn even more deadly than anything for all.
Daniel is an Averati who has a brother in love with the female Averati he was in a relationship with. He never got along with his brother, and has always thought him weak. Now, he strives to save that same brother from the clutches of a group of prospective students that plan to use him as hostage. One of those Averati in hold of his brother is Yara, the female he was in a relationship with.
Skylar is a half-demon, which in the Averati society, half-demons are judged against. He is currently MIA as far as Delias and the rest know.
Cotter: Daniel’s brother.
Daniel was silent as he moved.
Why am I thinking of her? Why now, at this moment?
He shook his head and focused his mind. Or at least tried to. This was not the time for him to be thinking of Yara in the past hour. For some reason he had been recalling her face often, remembering the feel of her touch… He also remembered that looming figure from the last time they were in each other’s embrace. He shook his head again. “It has been over a year since his Father caught them that day together.”
Daniel had been locked up for months in the face of his Father’s wrath. He was not supposed to fraternize with pure born women with status from the Great Clans, especially not her. He would prefer her to be Cotter’s… No, even if Cotter wasn’t around, he would not even let me near her. Not with inter-clan politics the way they are, besides…
Daniel did not want to think it. He owed Cotter for what was done for him over the years. When he found about Cotter’s unrequited love for Yara, he had distanced himself from her – an Averati he had loved, and would even risk his Father’s wrath to be with. And yet, he distanced himself from that Averati for Cotter. He, of course, did not tell Cotter of his relationship with Yara. The way he talked of her… It was best to spare him that pain.
But although his brother was spared, he was not. The pain of honor, of obligation. It made him hate his brother. “Cotter is too weak for her”, he would say. “He is a clumsy, bumbling fool. Why should he even look upon her? I should be…” But no matter what he told himself, he stayed from her. He let himself drown in the pain of his loss, of something he held dearly but could not be near.
It didn’t help how he would see her around before he could fully forget her. And a year had gone just like that.
Why am I thinking of her? It’s my brother that’s been kidnapped!
And just as he thought that, he had ran across the battlefield and up the slope.
The ‘job’ that Delias had given him lied on near the barrier. Only thing was, between him and that barrier was that one person he tried so hard to forget, so hard to distance himself from… Why can’t I be rid of you, Yara?
Delias’s plan had been simple. It had been years since he was on a battlefield, and a lot of what he had learned in school and on the field of battle when he was young, he had forgotten, but still, with glance, he had been able to take in the situation of the field.
First, he knew that Nargul’s group was not really heading towards the barrier, risking everything, just to draw him out with Cotter as a hostage, foregoing their own search for the keys which could let them out of this place.
The leader definitely had an alternative method other than trying to see if he he had a method they could use. It was possible that the capturing Cotter and the plan to draw him out was just a smoke screen. They saw he had potential to know the ins and outs of the trial based on his previous results, and could possibly have a way of leading them out, but they did not have confirmation. Although there were a few, once in awhile, that did know about the inner workings of the trial, it did not mean that that information was always helpful in all cases.
So, there was no point in the risk. It was more likely that capturing Cotter to lure him and Daniel was only a smoke screen so that other groups did not realize that they, themselves, had an alternative method of leaving on their own. It was a smart move if you think about it. No one had found a key after all this time, so wouldn’t it be suspicious if Nargul’s group charged towards a gateway they could not go through? By publicly capturing Cotter and trying to draw him out, the other groups would think that Delias had the method for escape, and would look for him instead.
Of course he was not the only one that probably thought in this direction. Of how suspicious the actions of Nargul’s group was, but those who did were probably patient enough to wait for a better opportunity to arrive. Who knows if this possible alternative even exists or has the probability of carrying more than just one person across the barrier? So why fight the group now when they can observe and plan from the shadows?
The problem was, Delias knew that it would be too late if he waited too long. Nargul’s group had already reached the barrier. He had to act now when the time was ripe! He knew it, and others knew it.
And the time had been ripe.
Nargul was at the barrier, his group-mates making a semicircle around him. The groups all around were driven closer to Nargul’s group by Highborn wraiths that surrounded them in a semi-circle. For some reason, they were on the attack en mass, and that left all those groups with only one option, to attack Nargul’s group guarding the passageway, and see if they can escape!
Now these groups of Averati are fighting on two fronts, un-unified, some attacking Nargul’s group while others, who were at the rear, are attacking the wraiths to fend for their lives.
So far, the Highborn wraiths were seemingly in favor in the outcome of this battle. The Averati were too disorganized to be a big threat. That, and they were fighting on two fronts and among each other.
This situation carried on like this until a fourth force decided to disrupt the flow of battle. That fourth force was also made of wraiths, only, these wraiths were Lowborn. They came from the side and hit the semi-circle straight on, piercing through at an angle, dragging across the battle’s center, killing on both sides, Highborn and Averati. That caused the Highborn Wraiths to become just as disorganized as the Averati groups, separating into smaller parties themselves.
That was the ripest moment. Delias had charged through from the back of the Highborn army, piercing through using the light crystals and charged right at the wraith leading the fourth force through the center.
By doing this, he had halted their charge momentarily enough to cause the entire center of the battle to blow, erupting the center in even more chaos.
There were now five forces. Five! Him, the Lowborns, the Highborns, the separate Averati groups, and Nargul’s larger group.
This was his plan.
Chaos! With chaos, he could give Daniel time to complete the job he had given him.
Only,… He was in predicament. He was surrounded.
The only way out is to kill the leader quickly. Too long, and the others will opt to get rid of me instead of letting it be one on one. But for that, he needed to be a lot stronger than his opponent. Unfortunately, Delias was not strong. He was weaker than your average Averati even after his new body was reforged from Koplas. And though he had gotten stronger after he had entered that pool within the caverns under the stalagmites towers, killing off a powerful wraith leader in moments was not something he could do.
Not unless… Not unless I use that power.
“I sense life force in him.”
Ever since he was that Highborn wraith that chased him in the forest whispered in his ear, Delias realized he was nothing but a creature of the Spirit Realm. Well, given his body, he was more a creature between the Spirit Realm and the Life Realm, neither alive nor dead. But… That lifeforce… Delias had not forgotten about that blue flame that consumed him back in Olato City.
It was the only thing he could think of, and since his interaction with that wraith, he felt something call out to him. It was like whisper, a torturing whisper, urging him to use that power. But the last time he used it, he fainted. If he fainted this time, he would surely die though, even if he killed a lot of wraiths in the process, and so for days he had ignored the voice
But if I do nothing, I’ll die!
And so, as the wraith moved to clash against him, his black, sharp claws against his makeshift weapon, Delias closed his eyes.
The Recruitment Head tried to calm his mind, but he could not. He, along with the other Elders watched as a student pierced into fray using a light crystal. Light Crystals were natural substances that repelled beings from the Spirit Realm. Oddly enough, they were rare in the Life Realm, mostly found deep in the earth of the Spirit Realm.
The action was eye catching. Given the timing of it all, it seemed as if this student had good potential. He could easily grasp the scope of battle and then use it to his advantage to generate chaos. That was, of course, if that was a deliberate action.
If it was deliberate, a lot of Elders wondered why then. Why do this?
Unless he had enough power, he would end up swallowed in the fray and could easily lose his life. It took not just courage and smarts, but strength to pull of what he was doing.
As everyone was watching the students fight, almost all the Elder’s gazes were focused on the very center. The battle between the wraith and an Averati with short, black hair and tattoos barely seen poking from his makeshift clothing.
“Who is that student?” the Recruitment Head asked his aid.
The aid fumbled through the book, “He’s Delias, also a student brought in by Elder Lu…”
“He’s an Easterner?”
The Recruitment Head rubbed his chin in thought. All the Easterners survived, and one of them has tattoos.
“Oh? He closed his eyes?” An Elder nearby mumbled.
The Recruitment Head frowned. Closing your eyes in a fight? He wanted all the Easterners to die, and making yourself vulnerable mid fight was obviously not a good thing for that Delias student. He should have been happy. But… why do I feel even more restless.
“What’s his background?” The Recruitment Head questioned his aid once again.
“It is unsaid, Elder. But his description has been noted here. Previously, he had red hair, and was noted that he may be from ‘that clan’.”
The Recruitment Head’s pupils constricted.
It was not because of what his aid had said, but more so of what had come after. In less than a second that the prospective student had closed his eyes, a small blue light sprouted in front of him. They began to dot around the him, but his hands were practically engulfed in it.
The Recruitment head saw that as the wraith saw the light, it had jumped back. The wraith had not been able to strike a critical blow to the student in that second he had closed his eyes. But seeing the blue light, there was a trace of hesitation in it’s movements.
Suddenly light wisps around the student converged around his hands, and it crackled and blew into a blue flame. The flame was slightly transparent, but it burned with ease as the student moved.
“That’s.. That’s Spirit Fire!” An Elder called out.
And at that all the Elders tensed.
“Spirit Fire! One of the lost arts of that clan… Could he be one of them? But why is his hair black? A mixed blood? How can a mixed blood hold that power?”
The Recruitment Head paled.
Now, no one was voicing a complaint against his actions in the trial. Before, they had seen this trial as a means to wipe out nearly all the students. There were a lot of Easterners, and good students at that. But if all the Easterners were to die, of course that would raise public suspicions and the Easterners would slander Crawfield and the North, South, and West parts of the Empire. At this moment, it was not a good thing.
At first they thought the Recruitment Head was trying to wipe out a majority of this years prospective students in order to mask his true aim: getting rid of the Easterners. If a lot were to die, then the East, which has lately been historically weak, could not say a thing if all of those from their part of the Empire were to among that death count.
If even the very strong have failed and died, then why not the infamously weak Easterners?
Only, to the Elders, these actions would cause a lot of ‘good seeds’ to be plucked from this world too early. Good seeds from the other parts of the Empire.
One of the six great clans, known for the characteristic of their red hair, black tattoos, and gifts in Spirit Power had been based in the east during their prime. They were powerful, but had died out years ago, leaving just remnants over the years.
Spirit Fire was one of the top skills of that clan. Only the purest of that bloodline would be born with such power. A power that was said to be long gone.
“For this young Averati to appear here, in this trial, at this time… with this power…” An Elder began, speaking aloud. “Those with Spirit Fire are like a symbol of strength for the east. For them to send him here with this political climate… It could be misconstrued as a-”
“There is no ‘misinterpretation’,” the Recruitment Head sneered.
He knew what the others were thinking now. It could be thought that his actions were correct now. That he did what he did in the Stalagmite Realm wit the lack of keys because he knew the situation much more deeply… That a figure like that young Averati would not bode well for everyone apart from the East. Of course the Recruitment Head had not known about Delias though. He did it because of Elder Sun, one of his biggest backers, had asked. And if Elder Sun had known about Delias all this time, he had not shared it with him.
But now with Delias’s appearance, the thoughts of these Elders were now churning. Churning in his favor. For so many powerful Easterners to pop up here and now in this trial, at this Academy…”
The Recruitment Head’s lips stretched into a smile. Saying it now would cement the thought in them, and turn this around for him.
“It’s a clear message… A Move to War!”