Chapter 7 - Capture


“Free ourselves?” Cylor asked.


“There are a couple others caught up in these humans’ schemes that want out. Much like I do—” The Shuraek swiped at his own face, looking in pain. “Guess my ‘ruler’ doesn’t want me wasting any more time. Thought once we were underwater, he wouldn’t be able to tell if I was stalling after that first attack.”


The fish charged Cylor again, but this time Cylor spread the fingers on his handtail and caught the fish between his horns. Cylor propelled backwards from the impact and caught himself on the edge of the pond, flippers pushing against the dirt.


“I really hope you and your friends can beat us,” he said as he opened his mouth wide, exposing his sharp teeth and biting Cylor’s handtail. Cylor winced and flopped near the shallow water of the pond then dove to the bottom.


Cylor stared up at his opponent, who casually swam around like a hunter looking for his next meal. Was he being serious about everything he said? The Shuraek’s action became less colored with personality and more stained with instinct as the friendliness in the fish’s eyes grew darker. Yet, he still continued to apologize.


“Well, looks like I’m getting to that point. I’m not sure what comes next, but whatever it is, I’m sorry. I hope you can escape, young Dhasum.”


Life seemed to drain from his eyes and Cylor felt an immediate fear for his life. The fish now swam in strategic patterns, trapping Cylor with a false sense of direction. He swam many times faster than Cylor could, and each time the enemy passed by, the fish took a bite out of him. Cylor continued to attempt intercepting the attacks with his handtail and managed to get a strike with his horn, piercing into the fish’s flesh and causing the Shuraek’s blood to mix with his in the pond. It wasn’t enough to slow him down, however.


The Shuraek spoke not another word. It was as if he was a whole different being from the one before. Cylor and the fish grew slower and slower, and more beaten up as time went on. They traded blows with horns until Cylor rose to the surface of the water, sliding his bloodied body up to the human in defeat. The fish regained his emotion-filled eyes and immediately spilled tears as he looked at Cylor.


Tynun and Neyr were nowhere to be seen, and that brought a bit of relief to Cylor. That only meant that he would see his friends again, though under unfortunate circumstances. 

Sarby and Guile were panting as they fended off the enormous beast who seemed to have not an ounce of fatigue. The two had watched Tynun be captured by the enemy, and now saw a human approaching Cylor.


Guile rushed toward Cylor as the beast stamped his feet in quick beating repetitions at Sarby. With his crescent glowing horns, the Elnoa braced himself, allowing Guile complete escape to rush toward their aquatic friend. As the Gurden came within distance to reach out to Cylor’s handtail, the Dhasum disappeared into a beam of light. Guile rushed through it, tripping on his own feet and splaying out across the ground before a fishlike species.


“You too, huh?” he sighed. “I advise you to just give up, I don’t think your Elnoa friend can take too much more.”


Guile lifted himself from the ground, his legs splotched in red patches. “Yeah, I’ve had enough fighting, was just trying my hand at these battles. I hear we get bonuses for energy exerted in certain ways with the capture devices. Tell your human to capture me.” He looked around at the situation, three humans stood idly by, watching the battle with a look of boredom. Just then, he heard a terrifying scream from inside one of the human’s tents, and another human rushed away, who was doing nothing but relaxing against a tree. Guile smirked. It must have been the toxic bird that Sarby flung, that acid flew everywhere at the time. Though it had been awhile since that human made any noise.


The purple fish laughed. “You’re insane. Well then, just fall over. My human will capture you, there’s no doubt about that. Pathetic for you to give up so easily, though. You have no real idea of what you are getting yourself into.”


“Eh, I have a few.” Guile lowered himself to the ground, and a few seconds later felt light surrounding him.


Sarby continued his fight, not paying attention to a single thing happening around him. He had never felt so alive, and couldn’t help but smile at how well he was holding up against this large species. With every rush toward him, his newfound horns turned limbs helped him bound and leap in angles he never thought possible.


“Very good, small one.” The bull-looking species stopped and muttered. “I’ve never seen an Awakened Elnoa before. You know, we other species have tried to gain aptitude for the minerals that you Elnoa are now born with, never worked though. You guys are rare ones. My master would love to add you to the collection, and I’m going to make sure it happens. I’m promised a great reward if I fulfill my duty.”


Sarby wiped the sweat that ran down his forehead. He felt the power still surging through him and the red hue that surrounded the dark night, as if he himself were made of fire. Nothing could hide from him in this state.


The bull charged once again, and this time Sarby stood head on and blocked the impact with the burst of his own horn. The beast groaned, then laughed and continued to push forward, knocking Sarby backwards. Sarby caught himself with his tail to keep himself stable. Sarby hadn’t noticed it before, but his skin even took on the toughness of his horns now. Despite being knocked around by the beast, there wasn’t a single wound anywhere on his own body. On the other hand, he started to feel extremely fatigued and knew this couldn’t go on for too much longer.


Sarby charged forward, and whipped his cluster that beamed energy toward the bull, shooting some kind of projectile that even surprised himself. The beam sent a wave of light radiating out in all directions from the source, making it appear as if it were daytime for a mere second. Then a thunderous roar came, and all was still. The bull tipped over, and the humans began shouting at one another.


None of Sarby’s friends were in sight. He panicked and ran out into the wilderness. His tail springing him along at an insane speed. As he ran off, he shot smaller beams from his cluster backward toward the camp while shouting for his friends. Had they escaped? Sarby used his beam attacks to survey the surrounding areas, but found no sign of his companions anywhere. But it was too late to go back, the bull would have been back up by now, and Sarby’s glow diminished. Within a minute of leaving, all energy left him and darkness surrounded.


His pace slowed as he waddled through the tall grass with not a single thought on his mind besides exhaustion. He took another step, then fell onto soft ground.