Name: PlanetSide Player

Title: Seeking the Hide

A story written by a friend for a secondary school creative assignment centering around 'Tension'. R & R. Now that I look back at it, there are some fantastic lines here. I edited a few portions to improve readability, though I got complacent nearing the end. You can read the original on my fictionpress profile, under copyrights, chapter seven. Without further ado, enjoy.


The sky was stygian black with an ominous gloom clouding the dim pale moon. Armed with a blazing torch, Lucius walked into the Albdio forest. He looked up, only to see shreds of light attempting to push through the dense and unforgiving tree line.

A sniff at the moisture-laden air confirmed his suspicion of an impending storm. Lucius wrinkled his nose as he quickened his pace. The glow of the flame glinted at a sliver pendant at his chest. The torch was, if any, barely sufficient for one to take in a clear view of the forest, which added to the menacing factor of this sinister forest.

Predators roamed the woods around day and night, but rumor has it that an even greater threat lurked in the middle of it all…

Lucius was ten before it all began. His mana affinity test showed that he had a high aptitude for both dark and light magic. It stirred a great controversy amongst many; for light and dark affinities in a body should have, by theory, cancelled out one another. Yet, the ability to possess a dark affinity meant only one thing: a child of a monster.

It was due to this reason that Lucius's friends and neighbors started to distance themselves away from him. Lucius, however, did not mind it at all. For as long as he had his father, he felt sufficient.

As Lucius went deeper into the unknown, he smelt the mild scent of blood. He took a few steps forward, pausing to take in the sight in front of him. His torch casted its glow on the dead body of a hare against a tree; Blood spattered all around the tree, tainting the surrounding soil with a reddish brown hue. The foul stench of gore and death taunted Lucius, screaming at him to leave at once. Confronted with such a dismal sight, won't any fourteen year old boy turn tail and flee?

Only the fiery warmth of his torch comforted Lucius, giving him strength to push on. That warmth remind Lucius of his father, the man who Lucius owed so much to. It was only recently that his father revealed the truth to Lucius: That he was not his biological son. Truth be told, Lucius had his suspicions quite a while ago, though he didn't dare to voice it out. He just wished that his father could have told him earlier; Any time would have been better than on his deathbed.

While he was still lucid, his father recounted the tale of his fateful encounter. Fourteen years ago, he was a young gatherer then, searching for firewood near the outskirts of the forest. A sharp cry from the nearby vicinity alerted him of the presence of a baby. A small little thing, the sobbing baby looked especially vulnerable in the moonlight, so pitiful was its existence. Too virtuous for his own good, Lucius's father decided to take him as one of his own.

And one of his own, Lucius became, the pride of his life. Through happiness and pain, Lucius was there, a beacon of light. Such were the honest thoughts of Lucius's father, even towards his dying moments.

Before he rested for the final time, he pulled out a sliver pendant from his pocket and passed it to his son.

"Thi… this… t-take it Lu, it was with… you when I found… you. Promise me, you'll… become a…good man"

Tears began to well up as Lucius remembered his father's dying breath. Sad as he felt, the memory filled Lucius with resolve. Wiping away his tears, Lucius continued to advance, undeterred by the malice of the forest. As if to challenge his will, the wind began to pick up speed. It was a rising tyrant trying to rival the burning reign of the flame, howling as it attempted to snuff out its foe.

Suddenly, a snapping sound echoed through the forest. Lucius froze. He darted his eyes around, trying to sense the slightest trace of movement. His own shallow breathing grew louder with each passing second. The cold gale pounded against his back relentlessly, sending him a constant stream of adrenaline. Pivoting on his spot barely helped, making him more susceptible to unexpected attacks.

The flame of the torch was bending under the mighty, pressuring wind, its last stand in vain. Darkness consumed all, reducing Lucius's vision to nothing more than his fingers.

Like an malevolent entity, the darkness seemed to reach out its hands in an attempt to swallow him whole. Lucius gripped his pendant with his other hand, his right hand trembling uncontrollably. To have a fair chance, he had to find a clearing untouched by darkness. Speed was of the essence. That clearing would only be in the middle of the forest, where light penetrated the most.

Lucius bolted off deeper into the forest, uncaring of the crushed flora beneath his feet. Thud, thud, thud, thud. The sound of his footsteps increased in intensity as he ran, reflecting the panic in his heart. Before long, Lucius realized that the footsteps behind him were not his. He could hear his own rag-tag breathing as he struggled to put more distance between him and the unknown follower. Still, the sound never got any further. The wind also grew in ferocity, seeming to blow against the direction he was running towards.

His follower was only playing with him, tugging at his strings of paranoia.

Just a few metres ahead, Lucius could see a clearing, illuminated by the pale blue moonlight cast onto the ground. Hastily, Lucius flung his torch behind him and darted forward, a last ditch effort to reach the clearing just that bit quicker.

As soon as he set foot into the clearing, he felt an overwhelming force shove him to the ground. He tried to pick himself up, but his arms were pinned to the earthen ground. In an instant, Lucius was flipped over. Two orange eyes greeted him, lucent even in the darkness.

"YOU FOOL," a deep voice boomed.

Lucius shuddered.

The stormy wind should've drowned the voice of his foe; clearly, this entity was not one of this world. He had to formulate a plan quickly, or else this clearing would be his final resting place.

Damn, I might die here. I can't outrun him. My only option left is to fight. But, I only know one spell that could defeat him, and it is a risky one. Soul Seeker.

"Soul Seeker" is a spell that burns away at the very living core of a being, turning the poor victim of the spell into dust. Moreover, it is a spell that cannot be easily spotted. However, executing this spell is not only hard, but it takes up all the energy one has, leaving the caster vulnerable.

That is why many do not practice using Soul Seeker. Users of this volatile spell abide by a golden rule: If your foe doesn't die, you will.

However, with this figure directly above him, Lucius had a 100% chance of hitting his target.

Now, he just needed to stall for time to cast it.

"A DEATH WISH IS…" the voice continued.

"WHO ARE YOU?" Lucius hollered.

A pause followed by an answer.

"WHO ARE YOU TO ASK ME, MEER PLEBIAN?" the voice retorted. The figure's pressure and aura had increased tenfold, nearly stunning Lucius.

Lucius knew that he needed five more seconds to finish the spell. Now, he could only hope that luck would be on his side.

"I….. AM"

5

"THE ANCIENT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME,"

4

"THE WISE ONE,"

3

"THE MOST REVERED SINCE THE DARK AGES"

1

"I AM….. WAIT THAT PENDANT IS-"

"Soul Seeker !"

The mysterious entity halted his speech. He faltered. His grip on Lucius weakened. Suddenly, a glow emitted from his chest.

BOOM

From the chest of the entity, a beam of light emanated, followed by subsequent beams that pierced his body. "Urgh…." The entity whimpered, before crumbling to dust.

Lucius breathed a sigh of relief. The wind was gone along with the death of the entity. Just before Lucius was about to leave, he noticed a glint lying where the entity once laid. He bent down to pick up the object, raising it in front of his eyes.

A pause.

Lucius knelt, a wave of regret crashing into him.

In his hands, was a sliver pendant, the very same pendant that his father had passed to him…