カラスの外伝: Raven Gaiden – A ‘Huntress’ Story

カラスの外伝: Raven Gaiden – A ‘Huntress’ Story

シーン二

The monster snarled as mud and blood flung from it claws. Raven sat there on the ground, wiping the blood from her lip. Sweat running down to her chin like raindrops on a small leaf. Her garments covered in dirt and cement residue. Slowly, she picked herself back up and dusted herself off. The road outside of the building raven was thrown through was empty. The surrounding town slowly fading from existence, thanks to the monster snarling in front of her. She softly exhaled, clouds of her breath could be seen as if it we winter again.

“It’s probably a bad idea to use this…” the air around began to pick up, her silver hair releasing from its bindings. “But I’d rather finish this quickly, before I get myself killed for being so lazy”

Her stance changed. Her legs bent, palms facing the beast. Suddenly she took off, a trail of ice and snow following behind. She made contact with the beast, casting off a flurry of punches and kicks. Each hit leaving a shadow of frost on its body. The monster let out a loud roar as it swung its claws towards raven. Effortlessly she avoided the assault, every move she made had a purpose. Finally, she appeared in front of the beast, a quiet smirk wiped across her face.

It was a sight to behold. The once raging beast was now nothing but a block of ice. In a blinding flurry, she had meticulously attacked it. Each and every hit arrived at their mark precisely.

“Nice and quiet now” she spoke.

With the snap of her fingers the block of ice shattered into thousands of pieces. Light snow and glitter began falling from the sky in their wake. Without touching the blade on her back, she easily succeeded where an entire village failed. She slowly exhaled again as she threw the hood back over her head.

“Time to collect” she whispered as she made her way back to the bar.

©Jawan Herron

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カラスの外伝: Raven Gaiden – A ‘Huntress’ Story

カラスの外伝: Raven Gaiden – A ‘Huntress’ Story

シーン一

The sign read ‘Hunter for hire’. The faded paint was plastered on an old wooden announcement board, just outside of the local bar. This town was not much to look at from first sight. The roads were stripped down to the dirt, the buildings barely hanging on to the wind pressuring them. While lacking in size and beauty, this town was the only one Raven had encountered for weeks. Tired and hungry she stared at sign in front of her. Strands of silvers blew from underneath the hood covering her head. Her jet-black boots covered in mud began to quiver underneath her.

“Hunter wanted… Monster in need of slaying, thief needing capturing… Same old rookie acts” she whispered to herself. You could hear the exhaustion in her soft voice.

Sighing she made her way into the bar, ready to take a contract. As expected the inside was not all the lively. Only a few seats were taken by some of the locals, but the room was as silent as a wake. A burley man stood behind the counter, waxing glasses peacefully. Raven took a seat in front of man, pushing her hood back. Her face was perfect, even with all the scars tracing it. Her grey eyes were tired and her silver hair was in dire need of a good wash.

“Not from around here, are ya kid” the barter asked.

She shook her head slowly. “From some ways away, actually”

“Well, you look like hell. Smell like it too. Here I thought young girls smelled like roses all the time”

“Hmph” she raised an eyebrow. “You talk to all your customers like that? I can definitely see why this bar is empty now”

He chuckled as he sat the glass down in front of Raven. “Here, you look like you could use a drink sunshine.”

“Couldn’t afford it if I wanted to”

“No worries, on the house. Now drink up.” He said as he poured her a glass of water.

Raven swiftly grabbed the glass, chugging down every drop. The bartender began to laugh a little and poured her another glass.

“So, what brings you to this neck of the continent” he inquired.

She put the glass down, wiping her mouth of access water. “I’m here for work, saw you had ‘monster’ problem. I can take care of it for you”

“You?” he said with astonishment. “You sure you wanna take on that job, it’s a doozy. That… thing, took out most of the hunters here. Town is empty because of it”

Raven would have scoffed if she wasn’t so spent.

“You see this sword” she asked as she pointed to the blade housed on her back. “I’m a huntress, from the royal coven. I’ll be just fine man. How much does it pay?”

“I see… Job pays 900. 1000 if you bring me the head”

Raven nodded in agreement as she got up from her chair. She slightly drew the sword from its home, the silver began to shine a blue color in the bar light. She stopped at the door and turned back a bit.

“Thanks for the drinks… I’ll be back” she said as she tossed the hood over her head, her black cloak blowing in the dusk wind.

***

            The sky had long began its slumber. The light of the moon illuminated the path for Raven to navigate. Her breath was calm and her heart steady. The long cloak she wore keeping the cold night at bay. The man was right, this town was completely deprived of people. Not even a single owl or cricket sung here.

“It is entirely too quiet here” raven whispered to herself. “Now where are you hiding?”

She decided to take her search into a nearby building. Strangely it seemed to be the only one with its soul still intact. No peeling paint or broken windows. It seemed ordinary. Raven soundlessly crept inside. Unlike the outside the inside of this building was trashed.

“God, it smells like someone died in here”

Raven pulled the hood from her head and began to scan the room for any clue she could find. Nearby was a table, smashed into two. Black fluid covered the splintered edges and the floor around it. Carefully raven ran her fingers through the mess, her eyes narrowing.

“Fresh” she said. “You’re close drool boy”

Raven carefully stood back up. Carefully dripping onto her silver hair was something slimy. She turned back, lacing her fingers through her hair, her fingers revealing the same black ooze from the table. She sighed, placing her hand on her hip impatiently.

“You got your drool in my hair asshole” her voice full of annoyance.

The culprit was large as it hung from the ceiling with its large hands. The tips of its sharp fingers were laced in red, dripping onto the floor. It had no face, just scorched black skin was shown. The way it was swinging from each beam in the ceiling was almost angelic, it made no sound as Raven watched it closely. It housed its feet onto the ground in front of her, its chest falling and rising rapidly. Suddenly it swung, quickly and full of force.

“Cheater” she yelled.

Raven was quick. Avoiding the barrage of swings coming at her with little effort. The demon swung again, unaware that Raven had been reading its movement from the start. She quickly dodged left and twisted around the faceless killer. In the same motion, she pulled a small dragger from her waist and shoved it into the monsters’ head. Following up with a strong counter punch to generate space for her next move.

Unbothered, it came for her again, faster this time. It held out its hands as its claws rapidly expanded towards Raven. Quickly she began to dodge the claws coming at her. Each one missing nearly missing her, the reaction time she possessed was unnatural. But she miscalculated as she pummeled by a swift kick and sent flying outside of the building. Glass and wood tracing her through the wind and onto the dirt.

“I really need a nap” she groaned as she wiped the blood from her mouth.

©Jawan Herron

The Huntress

The Huntress

*It’s been awhile since my last entry, almost an entire month, as i’ve been lacking inspiration and motive. But i’m trying my best to find it. Also a name changed has been added. The main character Bella is now named “Noka or Ginokami (her full name)” the name mean white wolf in japanese. Well, please enjoy Chapter 5!

Chapter 5: The Cauldron

The two siblings made their way back to the city under the cover of the night. Not a cloud could be seen in the sky. Although the bright lights of the surrounding buildings snuffed out any awakening stars. As they came close to their home a large crowd could be seen gathered inside through the windows.

“What’s going on in there” Jace asked with raised eyebrows.

Noka wore a confused look on her face as well as she pushed through the front door. The room was filled with people in long black cloaks, hoods covering their faces. Suddenly Harley was at Noka’s side, gripping her arm tightly.

“Harley, hey” Noka spoke softly as she hugged her best friend. “What’s going on, who are these hooded creeps?”

“They’re with the order. Apparently, they came to speak to your mom about something.” Harley whispered as she gripped Noka’s arm harder. “It’s about your sister”

Jace quickly turned towards Harley, his hands in the shape of fists. “The Order” he raised. “Why would they send more envoys, I’m supposed to be the only one. Something isn’t right.”

Suddenly the atmosphere of the room shifted. Lady Reyna gracefully glided into the room, though her aura was completely changed.

“Envoy of The Order, why have come here” she asked, her voice heavy with pressure. “My son was already sent to us, your presence her is not needed.”

Noka and Jace silently observed their mother, wondering why these people were here. It was very rare for this many soldier of The Order to be sent to one place at once. Quickly an envoy stepped forward and without removing her hood she spoke.

“Lady Reyna, we apologize for this sudden intrusion. We come with a decree from The Elders of The Order.” The woman spoke. Her voice soft but sharp like a freshly sharpened blade.

“What decree” Reyna inquired, her arms crossed at her chest.

The room was so silent and stiff, the air suddenly becoming much heavier than it was before. Jace, Noka and Harley stood still, waiting to hear what the woman had to say.

“There is a Cauldron to be held. In order to determine whether or not your children are prepared to take on this dangerous task, they must be put to the test. Along with more of The Order’s most skilled warriors. This is a trail, to the death” She spoke.

****

The feeling in the compound had become heavier in the days after the announcement. Only once has an event like this been held and Reyna’s children weren’t even an afterthought at that time. Something was off. But despite the events to come, Jace, Noka and Harley were hard at work, training their bodies and minds together.

Winter was coming in close. Frost covering the city like a white blanket, rocking the streets to sleep. Outside of the city, the trio was practicing, under the watch of Lady Reyna. The snow and ice crackled and crunched underneath Noka’s agile steps. Silver fur covered the tops of her black boots and she was dressed in her usual black attire, only more fitting for the weather. The long silver braid hanging from her head swayed back and forth has she dodged and predicted her brother’s attacks. Jumping quickly, she created space between her brothers’ leg and herself.

In that same moment, Harley came flying from air above her, unleashing a series of swift punches and kicks. Noka blocked each attempt with perfection and focus and she landed back on the ground with so much force it made the snow around them rise like an avalanche. Jace and Harley both swiftly launched themselves at Noka from both sides. Each moving with quickness so blinding a normal eye wouldn’t be able to keep up. Her eyes were filled with more anger and focus than they could hold. Noka swerved backwards, dodging a punch from Harley and in the same motion she gripped her wrist tightly. The force of the caught punch let out a strong burst of air. Suddenly Harley was flying towards Jace, unable to stop. But this wasn’t a problem for him.

“Crap, Jace look out” Harley shouted in a manic voice.

Head first she was rocketing towards him, screaming like a child who just lost her favorite candy. It was as if time slowed down, he swiftly placed his hands on Harley’s head and launched himself over her. Noka’s eyes widened.

Harley quickly crashed into the snow, freezing ice slipping down the collar of her dark green turtle neck.

“OOOOOOOOOOOOH COLD” she shrieked.

“Leap frog” Jace yelled as he flew towards his sister.

Lady Reyna stood on the sidelines, silently watching her younglings. She was like a statue, frozen in the cold. Noka planted her feet and prepared herself for the incoming attack. Jace came at her with a blinding force, his fist coming directly to her.

“A direct attack? You’re getting sloppy pretty boy” Noka yelled proudly as she quickly flung Jace’s arm away.

Suddenly Jace disappeared into the cold winter mist, his entire body evaporating.

“What the—” her eyebrows burrowed.

Lady Reyna smiled and shook her head, “Below you darling”.

As Noka looked down her face became stiff, almost like wood. “Hell no” she moaned.

There he was, emerging from the snow like a fox awaiting its prey. He wore the biggest smirk on his perfectly crafted face. His palm connecting with her stomach sent Noka flying into the air and into a mountain of snow. Harley still on ground on her face, you could hear her laughter coming from inside the snow. Reyna began to chuckle, like most royals it was controlled for what it was. Jace paced over to the pile he housed his little sister in and knelt beside her.

“How did I forget you had that ability” she muttered through the snow, only her legs sticking out.

He let out a soft laugh as he slicked his silver hair back “Well, you got cocky, you’re moves were readable and I’m older so I win by default”. He slowly dug her out of the snow, brushing her silver off “Better luck next time little wolf”.

Noka sighed with her hand on her hip, watching the people she loved most laugh around her. She let a soft smirk pass her lips. She wished it could always be like this, but the looming thought of the deadly cauldron enveloped that wish whole instantly.

©Jawan Herron

The Huntress

The Huntress

Chapter 4 (Part 2)

The rain outside had let up. Tiny cracks of twilight were peeking between the cotton clouds in the sky. Mixing with pink and touches of midnight, the stars were beginning to awaken. The outskirts of the city were peaceful and quiet; it was the only place left untouched by battle or interference from manmade settlements. The perfect place to sit and watch the world around you, time seemed to stand still in the greenlands. No commotion, no city sounds, no hustle and bustle. Just the wind and the fresh nature around you. Bella would come here, to meditate and even train sometimes. But she wouldn’t train her body, but her mind. Little to anyone’s knowledge, her recent success as a huntress could be traced back to acute synchronization with nature and the spirits surrounding it.

It was ancient knowledge passed down from the earliest line of Hunters. It is important to be skilled in battle, yes, but without a connection to the unmoving world around you, you are sure to lack as a Hunter. Seek wisdom from the spirits around you, breathe in every aspect that nature has to offer you. Although this is said to be something all Hunters must master, it has faded away into the dark past. That is not to say that some still do not practice the old ways, Bella learned from her mother and father. As did her brother, which is why their growth has been far greater than any other hunter in decades.

Bella and Jace walked side by side through the grassy surface. Footsteps so light that you could barely here the grass crush beneath their feet. Bella was dressed more casually now. A long black sweater covered her upper body, only leaving one shoulder bare to the wind. Her legs covered in black tights ending just above her ankles, her feet bare on the ground. Showing off her perfectly painted nails. Her lush silver hair tied in a tail on her heads, bust as always strands found their way over her eyes.

Jace stopped to look up at the sky. Stars were shooting back and forth in the twilight. A normal occurrence for this part of the world, but beautiful nonetheless. Bella turned to look at her brother.

“I’m glad you’re home” she said softly.

Jace still looking up spoke to his sister “Yeah… I’m surprised The Order chose me as their envoy, I’m still fairly new”

“I’m not all that surprised. You’re the best and most reliable fighter that they have. Even with all those “experienced” warriors they always brag about.” She said as her words dripped with sarcasm. “Although I was surprised that more didn’t come back with you, mother did send for a small army. I guess finding our sister isn’t top priority with them…”

Jace’s expression changed. Her slowly ran his hand through messy silver hair.

“We’ll just have to go and find her ourselves… I won’t leave her out there with them.” He spoke.

His words could cut through a steel table.

Bella simply gazed at her older brother. Her expression was hard or even sad. Her eyes were soft and simple. She had always admired Jace’s strength, even in times of suffering. Even when their father had passed away, he was always as strong as a stone wall, never faltering. The two siblings just sat in silence until the moon woke from its sleep. They never needed to speak much to understand each other and right now one thing was clear, they were indeed going to find their missing sister. With or without the assistance of The Order. As the wind blew through the night, Bella rested her head on Jace’s shoulder as they stood and watched the world fall asleep.

©Jawan Herron

The Huntress

The Huntress

Chapter 4: Little Warrior

The room was bleeding with sweat, the air was thick almost impossible to breath in. But in the thick of it she stood. Swinging her body through the air like an acrobat. Each movement more precise than the last.

“GO” she screamed as five small daggers flung from her hand.

Each one colliding with the wood plate etched into the wall with a loud smack. She landed on the ground as if the gravity of the room was gently pulling her down. Sweat falling heavily from her perfectly figured face. You could see it on her face, sleep had not found her in days. The bags cradling her eyes, the deep tone of her breath.

“Damn it” she whispered under her breath.

Slowly she withered down to the ground, still breathing heavily but more steady than before. Her fist collided with the ground with a force strong enough to crack the marble setting. Strands of wet silver pasted to her cheeks and forehead, while a perfectly crafted ponytail hung over her shoulder. Suddenly her body began to shake. A small noise crept from her mouth like a child learning to speak for the first time.

“Are you seriously crying during training” a deep voice asked curiously

Bella quickly averted her gaze upward.

“Who’s there” she asked. “Stop hiding in the dark and come out”.

“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about me” the voice sounded hurt. “I haven’t been gone that long”.

The voice quickly took shape. He was fairly tall, silver wrapped his head in short curls. Curls that hung down the nape of his neck, just above his shoulders. He wasn’t muscular, but it was obvious that he had strength. Slim arms masked in a grey long sleeve shirt. Long legs covered in black pants and boots. He was beautiful, much like everyone else in this place. His cool purple eyes made you feel like you were looking into the bottle of a potion and they fixed directly on an exhausted Bella. He smiled as he held out his hand.

“Well, are you gonna just stare at me, or aren’t you gonna welcome me home” he asked jokingly.

Bella’s eyes were lit like stars. Everything she had been feeling before then had vanished. The fear, the sadness, the exhaustion, everything. None of it mattered, her brother was home at last. She jumped into his slender arms and latched onto him tightly. Tears streaming down her face like rain on window, slowly and beautifully.

“Whoa” he playfully yelled.

“I can’t believe you’re home Jace” she muffled out through a wave a tears. She hugged him tighter.

Jace smiled softly as he rubbed his little sisters’ head. Nimble hands running through a ocean of soft silver.

“Yeah” he said softy, resting his chin on her head. “I’m home little warrior”

©Jawan Herron