Crystal Down

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Our First Hunt: Small Animals

published on 2020-01-18, last updated on 2020-08-02 written by Thai “0xReki” Chung

It’s Tuesday. That means we have weapons training today. For me, that means archery training. Ethan has sword training instead. At least, that’s what we usually do.

Today, Ethan and I are supposed to go hunting. Together. It’s our first hunt. We should hunt one small animal each. Of course, we’re allowed to help each other.

We enter the nearby forest. It’s quiet. The leaves are rustling in the wind. We find some rabbits nearby. We’re downwind. That’s good. I knock an arrow and carefully aim. I shoot. I manage to hit one. It’s dead. The other rabbits flee.

“As always, you’re good in anything you do, big brother.” Ethan says.

“You exaggerate. You’re getting the hang of Dark Magic quite fast. Much faster than I ever was with Light Magic.”

“I am?”

“You are. Come on let’s hunt you something as well.”

Ethan picks up the dead rabbit for me. When he touches it, it suddenly vanishes in a black hole in the air.

“What on…” he exclaims.

“What happened?” I ask.

“I… I don’t know. It just vanished.” Ethan answers, “I all did was thinking how it would be great if I don’t have to carry it around.”

I didn’t pay attention so I don’t know what kind of magic happened…

“Hmm… Could it be you have an Item Box Trait? I’ve read about that. People that have that trait can store items away and retrieve them at will.”

“How do I know it’s that?”

“Try imagining the rabbit reappearing in your hand.”

The dead rabbit is back.

“It worked. I have as Item Box Trait!”

“Congratulations, little bro.”

I see another rabbit. I quickly shoot and kill it.

“That’s a second one. To celebrate, we’ll just do with these two. We should ask Aunty Martha to identify the exact trait. Let’s go.”

After Ethan retrieves the dead rabbit, we return to the village. As we enter the village, we see multiple people leaving grandpa’s house. They’re not from the village. They’re leaving the village through the gate in the opposite direction of us. The villagers are restless.

“Oh, you’re already back,” uncle Robin says as he notices us, “what did you hunt?”

Ethan pulls out the two rabbits.

“An Item Box Trait?” Uncle Robin asks.

“Aiden wanted to ask Aunty Martha about it.” Ethan says.

“How about you go to Martha and ask about it, while I show Aiden how to disassemble these.”

“Sure, see you later big brother!” Ethan leaves for Aunty Martha’s house.

“Is something the matter?” I ask, “everyone seems restless.”

“I can’t tell you about it. Your grandpa will tell you both tonight.”

Uncle Robin gives me a sharp knife. He shows me how to disassemble the rabbit. Unlike usually, he only points to what I should do instead of demonstrating it beforehand. After disassembling the two rabbits, he has me disassemble a boar, too!

By now, it’s getting dark, and uncle Robin insists on accompanying me home. When I arrive at the door Ethan is there as well, Aunty Martha is with him. We enter the house. Grandpa is sitting in his chair.

“Martha, Robin, how are they?” grandpa greets the two.

“They can hunt.” Uncle Robin answers.

“It must be a gift from the heavens they discovered Ethan’s trait.” Aunty Martha answers, “It’s Greater Item Storage. I had him store about two weeks’ worth of supplies.”

“I see.” grandpa answers, “Thank you for your hard work.”

“Don’t mention it. They are our joy and pride,” Aunty Martha answers. She and Uncle Robin leave.

Grandpa turns towards Ethan and I. “Please sit down. It’s going to be a long talk.”

“Your father brought you here so you are protected by the village. It’s very remote and we are a special village under the protection of both Clayah and Suscellu.”

“So these people today…” I begin, but I can’t finish my sentence. Ethan and I probably have to leave…

“So you saw them? No, those people, they belong to the village. They came here to report on the recent events in Krale Kingdom. It’s these events I’m worried about.

But you have a good head, Aiden, you’ve guessed right. The two of you need to leave. But not because we don’t want you here, it’s because we can’t protect you anymore. I’m sorry, but we need to send you away so you can survive.

I was hoping you could stay here until you’ve come of age. But sadly the recent events in Krale Kingdom suggest otherwise. It’s sudden, but with Robin’s recommendation, I’m sure you can manage. Work together. Even if the whole world were to stand against you you still have each other.”

“If the events in Krale Kingdom are the reason we need to leave, where are we supposed to go?”

“Cross the mountains to the south and enter the Sitnalta Kingdom.”

“Isn’t that impossible?”

“It’s hard but not impossible. Gabriella received an oracle. You will be fine. It won’t be easy but you can make it. Go to bed early, you can say your goodbyes tomorrow morning.”

I look into his eyes. I can see his sorrow in them. He doesn’t want us to leave.

“Will we meet again, grandpa?” I ask.

“I don’t know. I wished I could watch you grow up,” grandpa stands up, “we aren’t family by blood, but the two of you are still my adorable grandsons.”

He leaves the room.

“Don’t you want to ask him about our parents?” Ethan asks.

“He won’t tell us. Until we’re strong enough to face the dangers he won’t tell us,” I answer. Instead of telling us more he’s still vary vague. But I trust in grandpa’s jugdement. The time will evenutally come.

We go to bed.

“I guess this tranquil life is over…” I mutter.

“Grandpa is right, we still have each other,” Ethan answers. He starts crying. I, too, can’t hold my tears anymore.

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