(Originally posted at Aug 26, 2020, at deviantART.)
After spending some days and nights on the road, the expedition group finally makes it to the desired destination; they are, however, welcomed with a blocked entrance. It seems it was supposed to have a passage through the gate, but the floor made of stone ended right before the bamboo grove.
Looking again into the maps to check on the charted route, there’s no mistaking we didn’t deviate from the right track. But now, having no means of going through, what were we supposed to do?
While Amalthea waited for a little behind with the rest of the group, Capella, axe in hand, tried – to no avail – cutting down the bamboo preventing the passage, as Alecsander inspected the plants closely.
Huff… No matter how much I go at it, there’s not even a scratch… Have you found something out, Ale?
Yes, actually. I can sense a strong flux of magic coming from the stems of these bamboos… It’s way more powerful than the barrier spells I can cast, mine doesn’t even compare, but there are certain similarities between them.
So you’re telling me the famous bamboo grove that surrounds the Moon Capital… is actually a magic barrier?
I believe it’s safe to assume so. That being said, I don’t think we’ll be able to cut them down at all; and even if we could do it, we have no idea how many more there are ahead.
By the looks of it, there are a lot. 💧
Well, it IS a bamboo grove still… *smiles*
*approaching with the group in tow* Any progress, my children?
It’s no good, Amalthea. They deflect my axe’s blade, so it’s impossible to cut through them. They don’t even budge if I try to move them by hand either.
Oh… What shall we do now?
If we’re not able of finding a way through, it’ll be no use staying here. So the best we could do is backtrack, I guess… And make another route, the expedition must go on.
However, I’m certain this is meant to be a blockage on purpose, so there must have been something we missed… Let me think for a second…
Suddenly, the rustling sound of leaves is heard, startling the group. Capella immediately jumps front, taking a defensive stance.
Something is coming!
From behind them, it comes forth. As soon as the figure approaches, its shapes become recognizable.
Capella’s expression instantly changes.
A… wolf…! *tightening the grip on her axe’s handle* Stay back, everyone! I’ll handle this!
N-no, please! Please, don’t hurt me! I mean no harm, I’m just tired and famished…!
As if I’d believe the lies of the likes of you! You’re just like him… But I’ll spare you of seeing your leader go down when his time comes!
Please, listen to me, my child. I know this looks like one of Red’s giant wolves… But look at how hurt and feeble it is, as well…
You don’t mean…
Yes… It could be a survivor from Red’s raid on our village… It could be one of our kind, turned into a wolf, just like happened to the others. We should listen to what it has to say first.
(Amalthea… Believing the wolf right on the spot like this… That’s risking a lot…)
I am not… from the Village of the Seven Goats. But-
May I ask how you know which village we’re referring to if you weren’t involved…?
Your chances to be heard are rapidly decreasing, you fleabag… Spill out the beans already!
Please, listen to me… I’ve traveled for days, with no rest or food. I’ll tell you everything I know… if you just give me something to eat…
As if! I have no reason to trust your trickery, why should we spend valuable resources on you?!
I… I think we should do it, my children. I won’t force you to do it, but please consider its request…
Amalthea… (No way…)
Okay, I’ll ask the two of you to please calm down… and propose we listen to what the group has to say since we’re unable to get to an agreement.
Everyone, what do you want to do?
This is a reaction-based interaction! Please choose one of the options below, and answer in character to it, filling out the form in the comment accordingly.
You can answer as multiple characters if you so desire for development purposes, but that doesn’t increase the number of votes given; your choice will be registered only once. Your answer will help decide the route the story takes.
Your choice is…?
► Give the wolf something from your bank
► Refuse to give anything to the wolf
Optionally, you can submit a drawing or literature to go along with your answer.
- Stories must have at least 400 words, on which you describe how all of your involved characters will deal with the situation. Stories may be written in any language and mentioning any of the NPCs but the wolf is optional.
- Drawings must have at least base colors and either a background or props, on which all of your involved characters appear as at least half-body. Including the wolf and the NPCs is optional.
- Your entry must contain all the characters you’re linking in your reply. You’ll get 5x Memory Fragments per MEMORY KEEPER featured and 1x Shiny Nugget per AVATAR. Rewards’ boosts given because of bonds between Avatars and Keepers won’t count for this activity.
- You/your characters don’t need to have taken part in any prior chapter to participate in this current chapter.
- Participations in this chapter will be accepted until September 26th, 11:59 PM BRT.
Original text by ShiroganeRyo
Music: Ōkami – Silence of Stones