Arc 2 – Swing
Ch. 3 – Impatience
I skipped around the streets, happily humming along the beautiful tune sang by birds across the purple-orange dawn sky.
I tightened my fingers around the black-cased book I received from Rack. My thoughts shifted to that book as a grin kept widening on my face.
Finally reaching my house, I barely said hello to my family and Ash as I ran into my room, shutting the door with an audible bang. Silence is a must when reading.
Throwing my bag on the corner of the room and plopping down in bed, I quickly grabbed the thick book and opened it with hunger.
As my eyes danced across the pages, the obvious presence of a titanic quantity of knowledge made itself clear in my mind—but that didn’t matter.
Time became nothing to me as the pages kept flipping endlessly. Countless words and phrases kept coursing through my mind continuously.
The dawn outside dimmed down, and the room’s light began to die. Before I knew it, the moon was high up in the sky. I held a small gemstone to light up the book’s pages.
After a couple of hours, I had reached the middle of the book, however, on one of the pages, something caught my eye.
Familiar symbols were drawn on that page, each followed by an explanation. The author had probably spent years of his life in order to gather enough knowledge to write this alphabet-ish structure.
“Those symbols, where have I seen them before…”
As a sudden rush of realization hit me, I picked up that small, velvet-colored book and opened it side-to-side with the black book.
Its small, yet recognizable symbols were clearly similar to the ones in the book I bought, however, the velvet book had a lot of symbols that the other one didn’t have.
Of course, the author couldn’t gather every piece of knowledge. It was unrealistic thinking.
Also, what was that underground library? I know that it possibly had a tie with the burnt library because of the connection between these two books. This doubt will probably sit on the back of my mind since there’s no way to answer it.
As I was recollecting my thoughts, the tiredness finally reached me.
I put the books away and plopped down on the bed. Ash nuzzled against me as my mind drifted away.
“Silence!” The teacher sighed in annoyance. “I need to go over some important things, so listen carefully.”
Her words echoed throughout the school’s yard. We were preparing ourselves in order to leave for our trip.
As she explained to us how we should behave, I couldn’t help but jitter in excitement over the prospect of meeting new beasts.
Apart from that underground cave and Ash, I haven’t had many opportunities to see new beasts.
Of course, Beast Studies will eventually cover some of the most common and important-to-know beasts, and that’s really exciting for me.
Although I’m sure once I translate more pages of that book I will find more unknown and interesting things. It’s been really slow though, with only a few number of words translated in two weeks.
“We will meet some weird, odd, and dangerous beasts at the Bestiary, so don’t overreact. An official beast knight will assist us while visiting,” the teacher interrupted my thoughts.
The Bestiary is a place filled to the brim with eccentric and unique beasts from all over the kingdom.
Since our village was somewhat close to the Capital, the price for the trip wasn’t that high, though the teacher mentioned that we wouldn’t be using horses for it… I fiddled restlessly with my hands.
Suddenly, heavy trotting reached our ears. From behind us, two wagons emerged, but—
“W-wha!!” The students collectively awed.
Leading each wagon, Apteryffins trotted in our direction. We couldn’t muster even a single word in face of such graceful creatures.
They had bodies of strong, heavy lions, and heads of birds. Their angular, yellow beaks glistened against the strong sun above. Stern and prideful eyes gazed over us as they stomped on the ground in grandiose.
From what I studied alone, Apteryffins are a subspecies of Griffins with the major difference of not having wings. They were generally friendly, but you had to be careful with them since they were so prideful.
They were somewhat common in this region, but not close to the village since they were also very territorial.
But this caught me off-guard… I couldn’t contain a creeping smile as I trembled with excitement.
“Yes, we will have the opportunity of traveling with Apteryffins thanks to the kingdom’s decision.”
Thank you, Brynfelt!
“Now, without further delay, let’s depart!”
After filling both wagons, we headed to the Bestiary.
Walking through the white corridors, a guide stopped and gazed at the excited children.
“And these are the Frost Hounds!”
Each student eagerly turned their heads, landing their gaze onto a peculiar cage.
Mounds over mounds of white filled the big space of the cage. Snow overflowed, a gelid feeling struck the dumbstruck students, just as if we had found that cage in the wilderness.
“They are most common in the Icelands located at the outskirts of the kingdom,” she ignored the stupefied students. “These ones have been found in one of the villages at the divide between Brynfelt and our neighbors at the north, running away from some specialized illegal hunters.”
They were barely visible in the pure-white snow with their untainted fur. All kinds of blue-shaded shards protruded from their bodies in irregular, yet beautiful compound of body-stalagmites.
“We took them in, healed their wounds, and gave them food. They ended up attaching themselves to us due to their oh-so-different nature from the Lava Hounds,” she led us closer to them. “They are a bit similar to Hill Foxes in nature, having more sense for survival than pride.”
As I got closer to the cage, one of them eyed me. I couldn’t look away from those gleaming, arctic-blue eyes. They reeled me in with their intricate allure.
“Since deep studies on beasts are being conducted as we speak, their behavior isn’t fully understood yet. There is still a whole lot of complex details yet to be discovered.”
I wanted—had to touch them. My hand extended, nearing the cage slowly and warily.
“What are you doing?”
I quickly retracted my restless hand. I was almost certain that whisper came from the Beast Knight assigned to guard us.
“I was, uh…”
“Patience. There will be a section where you’ll be able to directly interact with beasts, but now is not the time.”
I lowered my head in shame.
“Don’t worry too much. This is only for your safety.”
“I know…” I turned around.
His armor was a lot simpler than Gavyn’s, with only the breastplate adorned, and instead of a sword, he had an ax latched onto his back.
“Now let’s go, your classmates are already leaving for the next one.”
The scorching sun above shrouded the world in light. Warmth spread across the countless buildings in the Research District of the Capital.
Following along the streets of the district, through crisses and crosses, passing through many alleyways, the bright colors of livelihood began to subside.
A darker shade began to take form. Shadows enveloped a small entrance inside a dark alleyway somewhere further from the center of the city.
Hidden to the usual citizen, a small entrance led to a pitch-black room, only illuminated by a soft, swaying gem-lamp. The pastel-blue light of the gem was overtaken by the dark of the shadows.
“‘Tis time yet?” Impatiently, a ruggish voice was heard through the gloom.
“Patience, you dumbaaaaa—” A smug feminine voice was cut-off abruptly.
“Shut yer mouth!”
As the two bickered, the lamp swayed. The light barely touched both of them, but the third one knew exactly what was happening.
“Will you shut up, you imbecilic creatures? I can’t wait until I get rid of you both…”
“Aww, he’s embarass—”
The third sat down on the table and intertwined his hands on top.
“So… Are we done Cap’n?”
“Are we, are we?”
“Yes. The package will soon arrive, and we can put the plan in action,” he gazed straight at the lamp. “Though I wonder if the doctor is actually trustworthy.”
Thanks for reading, and thank you Planes for editing this chapter!
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