The Day Of Truth (Chapter II of The Kuos I)

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Today was the 16th birthday for Jenny Da' Gare. She was lying tranquil in the afternoon just as usual, and after having rolled over her bedroll enough times did she decide to get up.

Today's gotta be the coldest, she thought as the sound of crackles filled in her ears. A smile drew itself on her face as she saw the fireplace. A man was sitting on a chair by it, and he appeared lost in the book he held between his rough hands.

Jenny got up and made certain her long, black hair was as tidy as it could be. She's always been attentive for her looks, a trait that she'd learned from her mother.

She walked toward the man while stifling a yawn, "Hey, dad," she said.

His brows arched down as he focused on something between the lines of the page he was reading.

"Oh, sorry, Jen. I was a bit too focused in this," he said as he placed a thin piece of cardboard into the gutter of the book, leaving a small portion outside.

"How was this read? You seemed to enjoy it." She sat next to the fire, trying to bring in the heat to her cold cheek.

She collected her knees to her chest and rubbed her hands together.

"It's interesting if not a tad unnerving. It's your birthday today if I'm not mistaken, isn't it?"

"Yeah. By the way, where's mom? Did she go outside again?"

He nodded with a concerned look and stood to glare through the window, "Eh ... The fog's too thick to look through. And the glass is covered in frost from the outside."

"She's been doing this for a while. I guess it's pointless in thinking she could get hurt," Jenny said.

The sound of faint knocking was at the door, and Jenny bolted to answer, "Who is it?"
"Open up, sweetie," said the voice of a woman.

Jenny knew whose voice that was, and slid off the small and rustic metal bar holding the door in place. When the woman walked in, she did best to keep the windy exterior from barging in as she pushed the door only as far as necessary.

Her gleaming, right eye appeared first, then, once she was in, she turned around to lock the door back in place.

"Good morning, sunshine!" She said, giving a light pat on Jenny's shoulder.

"Von. Took you long enough. I see you brought nothing this time," The man said, turning to look over the chair's top rail.

"I never gave mind to anything but Jenny today. And that's why I got her something special," Von said. "As for you, Towen. I got you something else, but I'll give it to you later."

Towen huffed and delved back into his book, blocking out the cabin's noise with an impenetrable feeling of enclosure that he tried to make vivid.

"What did you get me?!" Jenny said, impatience growing in her tone.

"It's in the dimensional bag. Give me a second and I'll summon it. I know you'll like this."

Von gave a swift gesture and an aglitter trail of green light began to swivel around her wrists. A small creature's half became visible through a bright glow that'd formed itself mid-air. The odd creature had the form of a minute human, the wings of a butterfly and the emerald outfit of a queen.

It fell on Jenny's soft palms, still emitting the outer bright glow that made Jenny shut her eyes. After the glow caught Towen's attention, he waited until it faded and showed the creature clearly.

"A wispy?!" Towen said, closing the book in an instant as he forgot to mark his flung book, "Oh no!"

"Oh my gosh! Does it speak or anything?" Jenny asked, a feeble itch under her skin to throw the wispy off.

Please don't bite my skin off, Jenny thought.

"Where are your manners, Jenny?! In your hands is a wispy. The rarest race of humanoid butterflies! Have I not taught you this already?" Von said in embarrassment.

The wispy stood and Jenny felt tickled by her small shoes. She gave a giggle and began to examine the place. She had this mix of green colors, a dark shade of green on her hair strands and a mix of all the shades in her eyes.

"What the hell are you thinking, Von?!" Towen said, his posture a defensive one.

"I'm sorry, mister! I didn't intend on ill coming here," the wispy said in her adorable voice.

She flew with her transparent, white wings toward Towen and stilled herself in the air. He held up two palms and grunted, dismay in his voice. The wispy then opened her small hand and nudged the back of one of his fingers.

He looked up, awe taking hold in his expression, and the wispy smiled brightly.

"Well, everyone ... I'll make breakfast," Von said then turned an eye to Jenny. "In the meantime, I want you to introduce this wispy to our home."

Jenny smiled once and her face broke into that of a worry, how am I supposed to deal with this wispy?

Later that morning

Von made Jenny a bowl of happy berry soup, her favorite dish, and she served herself and Towen warm, piquant cups of coffee.

They talked together for minutes, and Towen started to sway in fatigue.

"Looks like sleep got to me at last. Well, I'm going to bed," Towen said, referring to the old blanket set upon a creaky, uncomfortable couch.

The table had one flickering candle which conveyed more light than those put around the rest of the cabin, their murky light making it a challenge to tell a mold from an abrasion on the wooden walls.
Jenny sat back after having cleaned the bowl of every bitty drop of soup, and stayed watching the wispy who was looking at the table with a famished expression in her eyes.

“Um, hey. Do you want something to eat?” Jenny asked.

The wispy shook her head, “I want you to name me, Jenny.”

Jenny looked over to Von who leaned on a palm, her face translating to a brief smile as she closed her eyes in weariness.

“Wait, mom!”

“It’s alright, Jenny. Take it easy with your friend here. She is your gift from me. Grow a backbone and befriend her,” Von said in a soothing voice with her eyes shut.
Befriend her? I’ve had little to none chats with people!

“Name me. It’s okay. I won’t bite,” the wispy said in a sarcastic tone that Jenny couldn’t decipher.

She flew nearer and Jenny backed away in an instant, “Stay back!”

The wispy looked down with glum face.

Jenny wanted to amend the situation but felt uneasy and so she put out a finger to the wispy’s face, “Hey-hey … Don’t be sad. I’m just a bit—“

“Won’t you name me?”

“I will. Just give me some time.”

She waited, her hands hidden behind and shivering. It was as if the wispy had to linger on a hot plate unless named. She stood in one spot, looking down at the spotty surface of the table.
Jenny had a thumb to her lip as she tried to think of a name for the wispy to indulge in.

"How about ... Flower?" Jenny said.

The wispy lifted her face up with a fake smile, "Too bland."

"Oh! Well, what do you think of Happy Berry?"

She emphasized on her fake smile, "I'd rather not be named as an edible being."

Jenny let out a laugh, "Sorry."

The wispy groaned and started kicking with her heels, "Come on. I can't further introduce myself to you without a name to present beforehand!"

"I thought you already had one?"

"No, unfortunately not."

That's when Jenny began to examine the wispy's apparel and colors, thinking of naming her with something correlating.

"Emerald?" She said.

The wispy snapped and looked surprised, "What a nice calling that is." She then put out a hand, "Nice to meet you, Jenny! I'm Emerald!"

Jenny saw the wispy beam as she fixed her back straight. That smile was the first honest looking one and the first that Jenny ever smiled back to.

"Hmm ... I guess it isn't bad. So, Jenny, let's start. Introduce me to your home," Emerald said.

Jenny had an urge to lean closer as she wanted to properly examine Emerald. Her face, eyes and hair were surreal and bright. A symbol of joy to look up to.

"Okay. I guess we could get started with my dad. You should know enough about my mom right?"

"Von Da' Gare is the kindest, most gracious person I've ever met indeed," Emerald said. "Why does her right eye glow green by the way? I can see that yours glow the same."

Jenny rubbed the back of her neck as her face wore a frown. She let a side of her hair hang over her right eye, concealing the strong, inner light emitting in between the fibers of its iris.

"Why are you hiding it?" Emerald asked.

Jenny huffed, "Heh. Never in my life have I asked that."

"What does that mean?"

"My mom is the one who has that answer. But everytime I ask her, she just shoves the question off and forces me to hide it like she does to her own sometimes."

Von awoke with a scowl, but it wasn't for the talk Jenny and Emerald had over her, it was something that made her stand and sneak toward the window.

"Mom?" Jenny said, pushing away from the table with her chair.

"Quiet down. Something's not right," Von said.

She observed the outside, trying to make out something from the dense fog that had enveloped the white environment.

Damned storm! Von thought.

She felt a hand poke her back and reeled around in agitation.

"Oh, Jen."

"What is going on?" Jenny asked.

Von took a deep breath and her lips mumbled in silence.
Why does it have to be now! She thought.

"Jenny, I want you to listen to me carefully," she said.

Jenny felt stumped and watched her mother's eyes dilate in terror. She nodded afterward in hesitation, her impending questions stuck to her throat.

"I want you to hide in the large cabinet with your wispy, stay silently put, and never come out until I come back."

Of course, Jenny couldn't ease up, "Why? What is happening?!"

Von tugged Jenny with a hand and led her to a tall wardrobe. She pulled open one side and was about to hurl Jenny in. Emerald hovered at her face and stopped her.

"Von! Please explain," Emerald said with her palms up.

"I can't! Be quiet and hide in the wardrobe."

Emerald had to go along. She prayed in hope that whatever or whoever that's startled Von had no murderous intent.

"Mom! Explain—"

"What is going on?!" Towen rose with his hand already deep between the cushions of the couch.
Von was forced to push Jenny in along with Emerald, and hurried to slide the bolt on the lock.
Emerald thought Von mad for doing so, as the act was too exorbitant. She searched for Jenny's face in the darkness of the wardrobe which went deeper than she had anticipated, and felt the tip of the nose that was breathing heavily.

"Jenny ... stay calm. Don't freak out okay?" Emerald said.

Jenny's face became clear as Emerald's vision adjusted to the darkness. Her mouth was open and her brows formed a crease in between.


Yet she still remained as still as a sculpture. Her eyes were fixated toward the small opening, and she leaned closer to try and see the outside, her mother and father once more.
Mom …
Von slid in silent to Towen’s side and he asked, “Are you alright?” He waited for a response, but soon the memories came back. “Oh. It’s them isn’t it?”

The two traded in whispers that Jenny tried to understand but couldn’t. Emerald went over Jenny’s head to check, and given how small she was was able to see everything.

“What’s going on?” Jenny asked.

After watching for a bit, a heavy banging at the door made her gasp. She threw a hand to her mouth while the other tapped at the wardrobe’s doors.

“Jen!” Emerald hissed. “Keep still.”

Von sprang to the door and tried to take a peek through the thin cracks on the door. An imprudent act that was, for she lacked the competence to realize the mistake she had made.

Her eyes examined, but she only saw the splinters that stood in the tiny crack. And after a brief moment, a large and hefty sword thrust through the door's crack, where Von's eye was searching, and came out from the back of her skull. Bits of bone scattered on the wooden flooring, and Towen watched with a hung jaw.

He didn't even have a chance to cry out her name, for mere moments after the sword was drawn back and she fell at the ground, the door was smashed open, revealing a group of red and black armored knights.

Their frontmost knight, who had the heaviest looking attire, rose an open hand. A dark ball of an igneous aspect formed in the center of his palm.
Oh, no! Emerald thought.

In just a blink, the ball shot away at Towen's chest. He grasped at the spot where it vanished, the pain of burning developing all over his skin with no visible appearance. He screamed in agony as he began to lurch around the room, trying to end the dreadful feeling.

He eventually fell to the floor next to Von and lost soul. As Jenny couldn't help but watch in fear through the small gap she made by pushing between the doors of the wardrobe, a tearful scream found its way out of her throat. The knights’ eyes turned to the closet.

Emerald froze and her thoughts came to a halt. She had just met this family, and to see them all get annihilated a few hours later, felt off. At this point, she knew that Jenny was going to get killed along with her parents, and that she herself was going to be next. So she settled on fighting back. She waited until the sound of the knight’s clunky armor was loud enough, and then she flew out fast toward his head.

The knight acted at the same second as his fingers found the small limb of her wispy leg. She groaned from the pain that came from his pinch, and then he tossed her at the wall next to him. His helmet showed nothing but blackness inside. It was almost as if there was no one behind the thick layers of armor, and the same could be said about the rest of the knights behind them.

Emerald was on the ground, not dead but put down in a state of haziness. She tried to yell at the knight but her voice stopped at the top end of her throat, pressuring and giving her the pain that her vocal cords might burst if she tried to say one more word.

As he opened the wardrobe doors fully, he saw a weak and dead-looking Jenny grasping onto her knees with a dead stare looking downward. Her eyes stayed fixed when he reached out with a darkened hand stained with blood and reeking of death.

As his fingers clasped around her arm, she whimpered and started to shake. He pulled her out and she fell at his snowy sabatons. She was motionless as he continued to drag her out while Emerald watched in terror, her wings painful to flutter and her body pulled down by the horrors of the knights.

Once all of them were outside in the dark and stormy land of Cold’s Wood, Jenny being lugged at the leg of her captor, one of them proceeded to make gestures. A wide, black hole formed ahead of them, lighting the area around it, and they started to walk toward it.
Just when a few of them had got inside, the remaining halted and turned their gazes toward their left. Jenny was with them still, and just when they were about to keep walking, a man in black attire stepped in and threw a small knife at the portal. It got torn and vanished in an instant, and then, when the storm started to clear out slightly, and when the morning sunlight shined its way through the thick clouds, he was visible.
For sixteen years, Jenny Da’ Gare was behind the doors of her cabin with her parents. One day, those doors broke open and Jenny was introduced to Soulaven, a world of monsters and lies. Emerald, her only friend and ally, promises to keep her safe. But both of them are too fragile for the trouble ahead, and change will be imminent. Together, they will stand and fight what comes up, and they will find the truth about everything.
© 2017 - 2021 AHAKuo
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SonicRegularShowFan1's avatar
I don't know what I've missed on the first chapter but I'll check it out.
AHAKuo's avatar
You didn't miss anything. The previous chapter was just a prelude, nothing of relevance in there.