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Corrupt Forest
Writer Jadafun
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Corrupt Forest
A - A - A
5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17
Chapter Ten: Coping With Changes
Jun 26, 2017
10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!SZtgArdNxMhs7xpSDM83posted on PENANA

Leliana's vision slowly came into focus as she woke up on the bed in her tent. She looked around the space, as if it was unfamiliar to her. She supported herself with her elbows, lifting and eventually sitting body up on the edge of the bed. She managed to stand, and started to stretch, her bones giving off a satisfying crack as they loosened up. She heard the flaps to her tent open up, revealing Ryn, holding an object made of brown leather in her hands.168Please respect copyright.PENANA7NUU6xtAgz
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"Hi, Ryn." Leliana greeted. "When did we get back to the base?"168Please respect copyright.PENANAX2ys04hJrh
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Ryn jumped at the sound of her voice, she hadn't realized she was awake. She looked over at Leliana with wide eyes, and shaking hands as she clutched the leather.copyright protection164PENANAFjTNRjFu6O

"L-Lily... You shouldn't be standing yet, you should lay down until you regain your strength. The...events of last night weren't good for any of us." Ryn said, trying to keep a calm tone as she gestured for Leliana to lay back on the bed.copyright protection164PENANAySKiaZUZ1q

Leliana wouldn't budge. The events Ryn spoke of all came rushing back. She fought the impulse to touch her eye socket. She turned away from Ryn.copyright protection164PENANAE0Phtvvnox

"Get me a mirror, please." Leliana said.copyright protection164PENANAO4QISH1xb7

"I assure you, it's not as bad as y-" Ryn started.copyright protection164PENANAmJ062b6Wb8

"Please, Ryn."copyright protection164PENANAmP9c7DHC16

She could feel Ryn's stare on her, until she finally heard a reluctant reply.copyright protection164PENANA9QaZy2HAAT

"Yes, Lily."copyright protection164PENANAHXDI4FUaB5

She returned with a hand mirror, slightly dirty and dusty, as it had been sitting at the back of the camp's storage tent unused. It was clean enough for her to see what she had wanted to. This time she gave in to the need to touch it. The now forever closed eyelid that had held her left eye. It had small scars around it, ugly, pink scars where claws had scraped at it to get to the eyeball under. Now, tears started to drop, washing some of the dust off the old mirror. Ryn tapped her on the shoulder, making her jump from forgetting that the girl was there. Ryn held out the brown leather object she was holding, and Leliana took it with a dismissive nod. Ryn left without a word. Only once she was sure the other girl was gone, did she put on the eyepatch.copyright protection164PENANAjYUta26RE8

Ryn's next stop was to Anubis. His fresh bandages were already starting to look too bloody to keep on, but the camp only had so many. His eyes hadn't been completely taken out, but they were sliced open to the point that they might as well have been. He seemed to be adjusting to being without sight well enough, but Ryn still had trouble telling whether this was bravado, or if he really was already numb to the fact that he'd never see again.copyright protection164PENANAXNY8Nwbv6M

"You haven't touched your berries or jerky." Ryn pointed out.copyright protection164PENANAoOJ1xNGrYh

"I'm not hungry."copyright protection164PENANAxhfsLquRh8

Ryn looked down in deep thought. "...I could feed y-"copyright protection164PENANAZfWYoKuzfB

"I don't need to be fed." It came out more harshly than he meant it to. But he didn't care. Admittedly, it felt good to snap at someone after yesterday. If only he wasn't given a shot of guilt as his reward. "Sorry." he added, with a sigh.copyright protection164PENANAlDp5EXSloQ

"I under-... Well, I can't say I understand what you're going through." Ryn said, shrugging. "Only you know how you feel, and yesterday was a lot for anyone to take in. You gonna be okay?"copyright protection164PENANACV8SoTiSLA

"I'll be fine." he said.copyright protection164PENANA0LPXJdHeNX

"It'd be much more of a nuisance to go searching for a new heir, when she's got a perfectly broken one right here!"copyright protection164PENANAP9Afefc7AB

"Be who you really are! A monster."copyright protection164PENANAYdx75V0oNM

"You desperately try to run away from your fate, try to be merciful to humans. Try to be human."copyright protection164PENANAYOyOLi2twQ

The pixie's words echoed through his head. He didn't have a nightmare while he was passed out, but he almost wished he did. As if the guilt that made his head hurt wasn't enough. As soon as he got out of bed that morning, he headed straight to the stream. It used to calm him when he found he couldn't sleep, or when he found his thoughts heading towards...dark places.copyright protection164PENANAqmZ1BegNlQ

He watched as the small waves splashed against the smooth gray rocks. The mini waterfall that led into the stream made a peaceful babbling noise. For a second, he really did feel relaxed. He felt so unlike the merciless war machine he was raised to be. He sighed out loud.copyright protection164PENANApj3Wq9RrxF

He didn't want to admit that the pixies were right. Didn't want to admit that he wasn't the least bit human. He really didn't want to admit that his mother might have broken him a long time ago. Her teaching went bone-deep, every lesson on combat, flight, and war strategy, it all sunk in to make him her perfect, little, obedient minion.copyright protection164PENANAewtNkf5nJB

"Jin!"copyright protection164PENANAd9XdbzrrnM

Jin turned his head, being shocked out of his meditation. Ryn ran up to him, sitting down beside him and catching her breath.copyright protection164PENANAiM6lIxvAZ3

"When I realized...you weren't in your tent...I searched everywhere for you!" Ryn panted.copyright protection164PENANAfezJ1UZ6hI

"I wanted to be alone." Jin muttered.copyright protection164PENANAIvSGI3f9vC

"That's no way to live." she teased. "Not for you, anyway. You're not the tough, brooding, loner type."copyright protection164PENANAWNp398AFIz

"How do you know that?"copyright protection164PENANAIYNhIPcHVu

"If you were, you would've dropped us a long time ago. Now, what are you doing out here alone?"copyright protection164PENANAqDZjkInzSS

"I-I just...couldn't face them. Not after doing what I did. Anubis is blind, Ryn, and Lily had her eye ripped out. Both caused by me. I don't even know where I'd start, if I talked to them."168Please respect copyright.PENANA3EZSvqdp5p
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"How about you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and come back to camp?" Ryn asked.copyright protection164PENANA1dqPu8EHQA

"I'm being serious, Ry-"copyright protection164PENANAbgeazyTW7L

"So am I! The best thing for you to do is to get back to camp, and get back to work on finding us a way out of here. I'm not saying that you should act like nothing's wrong. Just that you shouldn't let it get in your way." Ryn placed a supportive hand on Jin's shoulder. "You're strong in the real way. What happened last night wasn't your fault, I refuse to believe you did that of your own free will. Just know that, none of us think any less of you because of it. Continue being the leader we know you are, and before long everything will be going much more smoothly."copyright protection164PENANAPkzvVrlETQ

Jin just stared into the stream, watching the water as it flowed past.copyright protection164PENANA7V3xLyFqfw

"Nothing will ever be like normal." he said, still not looking at her.copyright protection164PENANA0qMeBmMuiU

"No, but we'll make this our new normal. Keep moving forward, and all that." Ryn swallowed a lump in her throat. "I'll admit though, this is a tall hill we've got to climb over. But, we're not doing anything by just sitting here talking about what we should do. What do you say w-"copyright protection164PENANAf8ePDahZPa

Her words were cut off by lips being pressed against hers. Her eyes widened, and she instinctively shoved Jin away.copyright protection164PENANAPW6TtRs9hI

"What are you doing?" Ryn yelled, standing up.copyright protection164PENANAFh9swKOjf7

"Sorry, I guess I'm just not used to anyone treating me so...equally. Before I was the high and mighty Corrupted Prince to my mother, a waste of corrupted DNA to corrupts who thought they deserved the title more, and now neither Anubis or Lily, the closest things to friends are gonna want anything to do with me." Jin forced a lighthearted grin. "Then again, maybe it's just the effects of going eighteen years without seeing another human being finally getting to me."copyright protection164PENANAevftlTDCSs

She playfully slapped him upside his head. But, before she could say a word in reply, Leliana dashed into the small clearing.copyright protection164PENANAMIpTCTK422

"Ryn! Anubis left the base!" she announced.copyright protection164PENANANIkWbQGZaW

"What? Why didn't you follow him?" Ryn asked.copyright protection164PENANA6ormSMfvo7

"I tried, but he knows the areas better than I do! I lost him. I don't know how he managed to get so far without being able to see! I didn't know what else to do but to find you." Leliana said, her breathing making it sound like she was having a panic attack.copyright protection164PENANAYbQo4shPxj

Jin was already on his feet. "Come on! He couldn't have gotten that far. Can you tell us which way he went?"copyright protection164PENANARk2bgd2Xdd

Leliana gave a nod, and started to lead the way. Jin grabbed her arm. "It was dangerous enough for you to travel this far alone. Especially in your...condition. Let me lead, just point me in the right direction." he said, softly.copyright protection164PENANATjClFu7V0w

She looked away, and this time, she hesitated before finally nodding.copyright protection164PENANA3YITmNmECU

Anubis may have been blind, but he still knew the layout of the forest. In mere minutes, he had already managed to leave camp all on his own. His hearing warned him to stray away from certain areas where he heard the distinct growl of a primitive corrupted beast. It wasn't Ragnarok, or else the ground would be rumbling under his feet. He didn't waste time thinking about who it could be, instead feeling his way forward into a clearing.copyright protection164PENANAYue0FveItr

Then, right into the side of a big boulder. He scolded himself for his lack of attention to his surroundings, just because he couldn't see didn't mean he could keep making these mistakes. He tried to feel his way around it, and soon realized it wasn't a boulder. It was the side of a stone cave. He could feel the rocky interior, and hear the distant drops of water that fell from the top. He started to wonder if he was further away from camp then he thought. That was when Anubis felt a claw touch his shoulder, and he sharply spun around, fangs bared.copyright protection164PENANAVnLxIr1Qm1

"Easy, easy!" a voice said. It was a corrupt. Going by it's deep voice, Anubis could only assume it belonged to a male.copyright protection164PENANAmp05jnSG1u

"Stay away!" Anubis demanded. "I'm not looking for a fight." he added. He lowered his defensive stance, but didn't completely let his guard down.copyright protection164PENANAAZYP0EkfnN

"I'm not gonna hurt you. I have no reason to!" the voice said, it had a strangely kind tone for a corrupt. "If anything I should be the hostile one. I mean, you are inside my home after all."copyright protection164PENANAGjbrQTTSJf

"...Sorry." Anubis finally said. "I'm used to facing much more violent corrupts."copyright protection164PENANAU6FVbZj3Fk

"Well, I've never been one for fighting, in fact, it's the reason I'm down here. As a pup, I refused to be involved in battle training." he explained. "The only reason I've lived here so long is by being nomadic, moving from a cave one day to an underground hideout the next. I'm never in one place long enough to attract attention from the beast-"copyright protection164PENANAyfkx4lcpAz

The corrupt was interrupted by a crack of lightning, and Anubis could feel cold wind blow past him. "I think the second worst part about this place is the weird weather patterns. It was perfectly fine just a second ago." he muttered. "Anyway, you better get deeper into the cave, sounds like a big storm's coming."copyright protection164PENANAdgSoIJiCC1

"I should be getting back to my own camp, the others might be worri-"copyright protection164PENANARw8xrkxLoc

"I insist! It's warmer than it seems in this place."copyright protection164PENANA5WsquwLGWm

Anubis hesitated, as the storm clouds seemed to get closer. "...Fine." he said. "What's your name, anyway?"copyright protection164PENANAg9C9ylTQXv

"The name's Tak!"copyright protection164PENANASP21nulUfK

As Anubis and Tak took refuge in the cave, and the others looked for him with no idea where he was, the queen chuckled darkly on her throne in the corrupt mansion. Her assistant sat at her side, looking up at her in delight.copyright protection164PENANA6kHzLb6xS2

"For every failure comes a great success, Acantha!" The queen said. "The assassin has yet to return with my son's head, yet the pixies did one better. Nothing like psychological damage to lower morale, isn't that right dear?"copyright protection164PENANAT9cwiKRcBP

"Yes, your highness. Before long, his allies will fall, and he'll have no choice but to come crawling back to his destiny!" Acantha replied, with a cheerful hiss.copyright protection164PENANAHuFJv2dRWs

"Why wait? I already have one of my more primitive beasts down there with an animalistic desire for blood." Acantha tilted her head in confusion. The queen chuckled at her oblivious reaction. "You'll see soon enough, my loyal pet."168Please respect copyright.PENANAgddb7jIBUY
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Acantha stared down at her panther claws, and ran her forked tongue over her python fangs. She wasn't an ordinary house cat, and thus, didn't like to be referred to as a 'pet'. But, for her beloved queen, she bit her tongue.copyright protection164PENANALZvYvOJn0k

TO BE CONTINUEDcopyright protection164PENANAcHPRrkTEcQ

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