When I felt that I had cried enough, I sluggishly made my way to an open space.

I found a place on the ground with lesser pointed rocks to set myself down. My wounds ached with every movement I made, but it was bearable. At least, more than the rips and tears in my heart as of this moment.

Just like this, with the stars and the moons of the night sky, I closed my eyes.

I was mentally exhausted. That battle earlier was short and yet it drained me to no end. The subsequent cleanup of corpses was disgusting and mind-numbing.

As such, sleep instantly consumed me.

A hazy landscape with hazy faces and spoken gibberish spread out before my eyes. Everything was tinged in a dull grey. I instantly realised that I was dreaming.

It was a strange feeling, for I had never actually experienced something this vivid before.

But I was certain of my current state as I looked around, intrigued by what was appearing before me.

It was the familiar scene of the earlier battlefield. I watched myself wield my battleaxe in third person, wildly swinging such a huge blade around without hesitation. I observed the incredulous expressions of those that I had cut down. I saw every moment, hazily and eerily being reconstructed by my subconscious mind.


A silent explosion shook the foggy grey battlefield. Everything warped at this moment, like a painting on water being mixed and distorted.

I felt my heart ache as I saw bodies being flung into the sky and heads slamming into the ground.

Why was I being forced to relive this memory? I couldn help but wonder.

A stillness came after the explosion. It was the calm after the storm.

Yet, as everyone struggled to their feet, I spotted movement in the distance.

A human figure stood up from their excellent camouflage and caught something out of the air. I couldn see their face, nor could I see any part of their body for that matter. The figure was completely cloaked in grey, mimicking my dreamscape. I wouldn have even noticed them if they hadn moved.

But, I instinctively knew.

This person had witnessed everything transpire.

And just as this thought lingered in my mind,


There came a howl of defiance.


Followed by a roar of tyranny.

I was jolted awake by the sounds of battle and beasts. Everyone else was too. We got up, with Gunther and Sylfie grimacing in pain due to their injuries. They struggled just to stand up and had to be supported.

”Wheres Seth? ” I asked, looking around. My gaze rested on our bus mechanic, someone who was just like Seth and Hailey—miraculously unscathed. ”Avantra. Were you on night watch? ”

”Er— yes… Knight Seth supposedly went out to gather information and scout ahead. I don know where— ”

The sudden rustling of leaves caught our attention. A figure pounced forth from the bushes, and we almost drew our weapons.

”Run! ” As it turned out, it was Seth, running at full speed. The light of the torch clearly wasn enough illumination for a head-on sprint in the darkness, but the knight didn seem bothered by it at all. ”Head south to the river! Go! Go! Go! ”

Hearing Seths hurried tone and recalling the earlier beast cries, we swiftly grabbed what items we could bring with us and did as instructed.

We ran as fast as our wounds allowed us to. Which meant that our pace was not that great. I wrapped my arm around Sylfies back and helped her forward. Seth went to help Gunther, while Hailey and Avantra awkwardly took out their weapons.

The healer and the mechanic were in charge of the smaller beasts that we would encounter.

We ran between the trees and vaulted over boulders. The occasional branch would scratch a wound upon our skin and the rare vine would entangle us in its grasp.

I prayed to the god of haste and escape to free us from this predicament. I had a nagging feeling that we would need it.

And perhaps it worked. Nothing vicious caught up to us and we successfully left the area where a literal storm was brewing.

I was gasping desperately for air. My wounds had reopened, bleeding through the bandages wrapped around them.

We were all winded, and I could see how pale Sylfie and Gunthers faces were. They were likely in a lot of pain. Their lips were purple and their expressions were warped in an eternal grimace.

Barely catching my breath, I spoke, ”What kind of beasts did we run from? ”

”Im not sure, ” Seth, who was less winded than everyone else replied. ”From the information I gathered, one might be a mountain lion. ”

I nodded without saying anything as I glanced at the dark river. Under the illumination of thirteen moons, I could see its sparkling waters. A gentle current was moving the moonlit waters forward.

”Don go too close to the river, ” Seth shot me a timely warning, ”There are more beasts lying in wait beneath its surface. Follow me, young master. Ill lead the way. ”

”Alright, ”

And so we trekked through the dark. We still couldn risk the battle moving to our area, after all.

Every tree I passed by seemed to be leaning over me. The crunch of wooden twigs and gravel beneath my feet was rhythmic. Our pace was incredibly slow, with Sylfie and Gunther weighing us down.

Every now and then, a light blue light would shimmer from Haileys body. A small spell for first aid was being applied to our bodies so we wouldn bleed out while walking.

The minutes passed as I simply walked forward. My mind was blank. I was only focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

We kept walking and walking and walking. The river continued to flow several feet away from us. Little twigs accompanied us in our journey, floating forward with our footsteps. The smell of fresh water and moss never stopped making Haileys nose wrinkle.

Until finally, we arrived at our destination. The sun was just about to come up.

”We didn encounter any beasts, ” I marvelled at the miracle, and Seth nodded, clearly deep in thought.

We stood at the edge of town before us, thankful for the fact that we were still alive. Behind us, covering the mountaintop were black storm clouds, churning and crackling with lightning.

Not a single droplet of water had reached us, clearly a good omen.

My prayers were granted.

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