Remember this is an original novel written by Addis of ExR. This is not a translation.
The three Beastkin looked at each other warily as the young man before them collapsed to the ground. He had appeared out of nowhere and now he had fainted in front of them.
One of the Beastkin had the ears of a lynx, pitch black with tuffs at the end, his eyes were a deep green like forest leaves. This was the leader of the three, Aslin. The other two also had characteristics of cats, but it was less pronounced.
Aslin’s brows furrowed as he stared at the boy. Upon further examination, he noticed that this boy had no shoes on and his feet were covered in blisters. How long had he walked for such big blisters to form? On top of that, his clothes were nothing but rags, barely covering most of his skin.
Was this boy a runaway slave? Aslin thought.
“What do we do?” The smallest man said. His ears resembled a Bobcat, his iris were such a dark brown that they almost looked black. His name was Ivin.
Aslin looked at Ivin with a concentrated look on his face. If the child was a runaway slave and they helped him, they could be killed for aiding in his escape. However, what if the child wasn’t and they just left him to die? Where would their morals go if they were to do that?
Unsure of what to do, the three stared at the boy still out on the grass. His breathing seemed even, and besides his feet, he did not seem to be injured. They began to discuss amongst themselves trying to decide what they should do.
In the middle of their deliberation, the sound of footsteps snapped their heads up in the direction opposite of where the boy had come from. This newcomer was an older gentleman, his hair was long, and almost pure white. He had no beast characteristics, but the three snapped to attention, ending their discussion immediately.
Once he got closer, the old man glanced at the three before looking at the body on the ground. His eyebrows rose before stepping forward and kneeling on the ground near the boy. The old man reached out a hand and his eyes narrowed even further. The one thing that caught his eye almost immediately was the boy’s hair, it was turning an ashen grey from a dark black at a very noticeable speed.
“Old man Jaelen, what’s wrong with the boy? What should we do?” Aslin asked the old man.
Old man Jaelen sighed and tapped the boy once on his chest. Immediately a green glow engulfed the boy, covering him from head to toe. This old man was the town healer and knew almost every disease imaginable. However, when he looked at this boy to determine what was wrong, he found his perception had been blocked and he could not see anything besides what he saw with his eyes. He was now interested in this boy and wanted to ask him questions once he awoke.
“Let’s take him back to the village. I’ll talk to the clan lord.”
“As you wish, Old man Jaelen.” The three bowed and Aslin made Ivin help him get the boy on his back. As the three abandoned their mission to catch fish, they all silently sighed with relief. Old man Jaelen was one of the top people within the clan and had been alive for almost two hundred years. Due to his healing abilities, he was almost as important and the clan lord, and even then, the clan lord looked up to Old man Jaelen.
Although Old man Jaelen should have immediately short distance transported the two, he did not for two reasons. One was because he had just been on his way back from a very long hunt within the Sareen forest searching for a certain kind of fruit and he was lacking enough power to do so. The second reason was the boy himself. When Old Man Jaelen had spread his aura over the boy, he found that not only was his perception blocked due to the boy, so were the rest of his powers as well. He was surprised when the boys unconscious body had allowed him to heal him. It seemed as though the boys body had a subconscious way to help with self preservation.
This intrigued Old man Jaelen even more and he actually wanted the Clan Lord to see it for himself to see if maybe it was just his aura. In this world, everyone had an aura which would be categorized by its element. The elements were Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Light and Darkness. Although there were only six major elements, each one had it’s it’s own subcategories. Take Wind for example, it had plenty of subcategories which ranged from sound or sky to thunder and lightning.
Old man Jaelen had a main focus within the Earth element. His subcategory was plants which allowed him to use most of the planets resources to heal or even destroy people. Plants could bring someone back to life, or the toxicity in it could kill them. Even so, life and death were within all main Elements. They could even be considered the Parent Elements.
With this in mind, Old man Jaelen thought that his perception may have been blocked due to his Earth element. There have been cases where two elements between different people collide making them like oil and water, always separated.
The Clan Lord, on the other hand, was a Water element user. With his element, he could feel the blood of every living being he was near. This ability caused him to earn the title of Blood Lord. He could freeze the blood of anyone he wished, for him it only took a simple thought. Since the Clan Lord was a water element user, and different from Old Man Jaelen, there was a high possibility that he could use his perception to find out about this unknown boy.
It took around two hours before the group of five reached the edges of the village. The boy was still unconscious on Aslin’s back, the only thing that had changed was that his once dark hair had turned almost completely white with only a few strands of grey blended in. The group was not worried because they could hear his even breathing and Aslin could feel the youth’s heartbeat thumping against his back. It was weak, but it was still there.
The village of Vahna was on the outskirts of Sareen forest but still close enough to Zeon river that they often sent squads there for training or resources. Sareen forest was known for its wide range of medical plants within its depths. The only thing that made it dangerous was that the woods themselves were alive. An ancient race lived within, these druids controlled the forest and not many dared to venture inside. Only those, like Old man Jaelen, could safely pass through and that was because his Earth element did not make the druids wary.
Zeon river was just as dangerous, this was because Mer-people called the cold depths their home. The river connected to a large lake over a thousand miles away, in the opposite direction was the ocean over five thousand miles away. The Mer-people liked to taunt those that came near them just to tease them long enough before eating them. They were a dangerous omnivore that no one dared to fight due to their shark like teeth.
Due to these two dangerous landmarks on either side of Vahna, the small village rarely had visitors. The villagers would be lucky to see a new face once a year. This suited the villagers though, as most of them grew up within Vahna and were not very good with people they did not know.
So when the party of five walked through the first dirt road of Vahna, the villagers watched them warily, unsure what to do with the snow capped boy across Aslin’s back. Once they realized the boy was unconscious, they returned to their normal tasks, only a few small children daring to get close to the five.
Ivin shooed them away with his hands, telling them to go play elsewhere. Pouting, the few children left with pitiful faces as if they had been scolded.
The streets of Vahna were all dirt roads but were surprisingly well maintained. No child or person for that matter had cheap looking clothes. Everyone was dressed well even if they were working in a low earning position like a woodcutter.
If Kai had been conscious, he would have fainted right away. Almost every single villager had characteristics of beasts. This, of course, was normal since Vahna was a village for the Beast Race, the Beastkin. There were only a few who did not show their inner beasts.
This was due to the fact that here was a stipulation within the beast communities that had lasted for centuries. It was an issue of their blood and inner beasts. It didn’t matter where one was born, or what their parents could transform into, before a Beastkin child turned eighteen, they were unable to change into any beast form.
At the time of their eighteenth birthday, the child would be able to take on their second form, their so called inner beast. Beast forms were not hereditary, they were developed as the child grew. If a child slept all day, and did nothing, their second form would most likely be a sloth even if their parents were both hyenas. On very rare occasions would children be able to take on their second forms without turning eighteen. These children were said to be blessed by the gods and that they would have everything they wanted throughout their entire lives.
It was common to not see a teenager know what beast they would turn in to, this was why no one in the camp thought anything of Kai not having any beast like features, it made even more sense if he was not eighteen. And with his small stature, not many believed he was more than thirteen away the highest.
Vahna was not a very large village and the five quickly made their way to the largest building. Although it seemed to have poor construction, this was only because the materials used were not the best. It was a two story building with large windows and a door that was wide enough to fit a lion. The outside of the building was a rustic style of wood that almost seemed as though it would sprout new branches.
Even before the five reached the door, it swung open and the Clan Lord stood on the other side with a curious look on his face. He had been reading in his office when he felt four of his people return. However, there was a new aura that he did not recognise mixed in. Knowing that Old man Jaelen was with the group, his curiosity had gone even higher which prompted him to meet the party at his door.
Old man Jaelen smiled at the burly, golden haired clan lord. Due to his Blood Lord title, Clan Lord Hidel had been through hundreds of battles. His face was now riddled with scars and his muscles expanded with every breath he took. Lord Hidel was more suited for the frontline, not being stuck behind an office desk.
Glancing at the three who were supposed to be catching fish, Clan Lord Hidel gave a lazy smile, “Bring the boy in.” His voice rumbled through the air, vibrating the blood of anyone who heard it.
Not even waiting for anything else to happen, the three fishermen nodded, replying, “Yes, milord!” Almost running through the door, the three dared not look back at their terrifying Clan Lord.
In the back of their minds, the three began to feel sorry for this unknown boy. They hoped that Clan Lord Hidel was still not experimenting with how to control the blood even more within one’s body.