Taiye felt a huge lump form in his throat. That was to be expected as he was standing mere metres away from the scene of the incident that he himself had helped cause.
Himself and most of the youths in the town had been called to the edge of the forbidden forest by one of the elders. After the incident with the unconscious animals they had been brought together to clear the bush and see how severe the issue was.
Seeing the mass of burnt foliage and fallen trees as a result of the previous nights battle was a stark reminder of the danger of his situation.
As his cousin grumbled to his friends about having to clear up the burnt leaves and branches, Taiye was watching out for any unusual activity. The blue etern had escaped via this fire so it could be anywhere, seeking a chance to attack.
Several hours passed with the morning long gone and well into the midday when sounds of shouting roused taiye out of his leaf picking monotony.
Moving to the source of the noise, Taiye pushed aside shrubbery to see the other boys standing around a sobering sight.
Stacked one on top of the other in a pile were different animals such as lizards, bushrats, birds and a lost goat all lying silently still. Their strained breathing was the only thing that showed that they were still alive.
As the old man examined the animals, Edirin’s soft mental voice told Taiye that this was the work of the etern they fought.
Confused, Taiye mentally asked what was going on. Edirin in a sad tone replied that the etern must have been hurt really badly to be doing this. She further says that some eterns to sustain themselves or to heal can forcefully drain the life force out of others. But it usually takes a lot of fleshlings to completely restore an etern that way, as its an inefficient and needlessly cruel method. Edirin further noted that unless the Etern responsible was dealt with worse things could happen. Taiye noted that the blue must have taken its earlier loss quite seriously.
Taiye’s brought out of his daze by a tap to the shoulder. Ade notes that he should stop going into a trance or he could get injured one of these days. Taiye apologizes and follows his cousin as the youths animals in tow make their way out of the bush.
Meanwhile the odd plaited girl is running through a bush path when she bumps into one of the returning youths. He asks the girl what’s wrong but she’s only able to ramble incoherently. The youth shakes her a bit and asks again what’s going on. Now a little calmer, the odd plaited girl tells of her coming home to find her mother unconscious with a strange blue light hovering around her. The youth confused at first, figures that this must be related to the animals of earlier in the day.
As he’s telling her to follow him, a low gravelly voice tells them it won’t be any use. By sheer instinct the girl falls to her knees while blue spikes hit the trees which wither slightly and the youth who drops to the ground.
As she hears the voice grunt in annoyance, she makes a dash for the trees, she doesn’t stop running, especially as bolts of energy pass by her setting fire to the bushes and shrubs they hit.
Finally she reaches a nearby stream and dives into it, keeping her body below water…. for what seemed like ages until her pursuer, a blue ball of light floated into view.
As if in a fit of rage, the blue orb of light fires off several bolts of energy before slowly wandering off.
Slowly and carefully, the odd plaited girl emerges from the stream hiding herself amongst the bushes as she made her way slowly back to the path. Making her way to the fallen youth, she realises that the youth is in a deep slumber that despite several shakes and slaps, doesn’t wake up from.
Very distressed, the odd plaited girl decides to find the boy with the “golden aura”.
Meanwhile Taiye and Ade were walking on the road discussing the days odd events when Edirin suddenly screams out a warning.
Projecting a shield around Taiye, She sighed in relief as a blue spike bounced off it fading into the air, only to turn to see him staring in horror.
Right beside him lay Ade sprawled on the ground a blue spike embedded in his chest. Quickly falling to his knees and confirming that Ade was still breathing, Taiye glared at the blue etern who was making its appearance.
Three times larger than before and crackling menacingly emerging from the bushes to the setting sun, the blue etern hissed loudly upon seeing it’s prey.
In a split second, the bushes along the path were set ablaze, with Taiye narrowly escaping the flames with his cousin Ade in his arms. Having merged with him, Edirin was strengthening and accelerating his body as they sped away from the threat.
Narrowly dodging a blast aimed at his head, Taiye leapt onto some tree branches. Moving from tree to tree Taiye desperately tried to avoid the blue etern’s electrical blasts but fell when one of the branches he leapt on broke.
Pulling himself off the ground, golden aura all over his body, Taiye quickly checks on Ade’s unconscious body. Hearing a gasp from behind, Edirin quickly manifests, her hands becoming blades stretched towards the darkness.
Lighted by Edirin’s aura, was a young frightened girl with odd plaits, shivering from her still wet clothes.