14 -Bait-


We left The Garrigue, intending to set out the next day. All of us went our separate ways to prepare for what would be our first task as Awakeneds.

I arrived at the outer ring to find Quinn. I knocked on the door, entering upon not getting any response, to find him sitting cross legged on the floor. I could see him grow noticeably, which was a pleasant surprise as this meant his talent was not meagre.

After three minutes of watching him inhale and exhale, he finally opened his eyes, "Hello, nice to see you again."

I replied, "Likewise, how do you feel?"

He checked out his body, "Better than ever; no more pangs of hunger even if I eat less than before. My body feels strong and compact."

I nodded, "That's good. I'm leaving for some time, maybe for a day or two. I want you to keep practising this technique, and to eat this once a day."

I passed him three spheres filled with a red liquid, "These are called the Demacia, a plant found in the northern side of Atrua. It will hasten your development by at least a few times."

He received them, showing no hints of doubt on his face, "Thank you, I will be sure to live up to your expectation."

I asked while studying his expression, "So, now that you have calmed down a bit. Do you still want to turn this place upside down? The law-makers, the red-light district, all of them?"

He nodded, "Yes. The thing you said, about conviction and creed. I thought about them and found out I had always lived without a true conviction. Sure, my mother was the only person who ever mattered, but I guess a conviction can't be a person, right?"

Seeing him smile self-deprecatingly, I replied, "Who can define the boundary of your conviction? The moment you define your conviction to the boundary of others, it would cease to be yours. If you told me right here, right now, that your goal is to punish all wrongdoers and bring your mother back to life, I would believe you if your eyes told me you would sacrifice anything to achieve it."

I continued, "I will not laugh at you, or your dreams, as long as your eyes show me you are serious. You arrived before me wrapped in chains, a canvas with stains; Now, I have cleansed you of your past, purged you of your defects. Choose a path, and believe in it. I will be there for you, as you will be there for me."

I could see a slight hint of reverence in his eyes, he asked while thanking me, "I never asked your name. Could you please tell me?"

I smiled and replied, "Amadeus, my name is Amadeus Devereux."


The next morning, I woke up early because of Gary. Mainly because he and his 'new girl' were too loud. I sighed in exasperation, thinking about how he could be so carefree when we had such a daunting task ahead of us.

'Or, maybe it's a way of coping.'

We met in the lobby at around nine, all dressed up and prepared as much as we could.

We left Latvi on horseback, heading towards the Forest of Marsh. As the name suggested, it was a forest full of swamps, marshes and even quagmires. The hazy mist that permanently covered the forest meant visibility was at a minimum.

Although it was dangerous for a normal person, and was often avoided, this was not the case for an Awakened. Arriving two hours after leaving Latvi, we took a break, going through our plans along with the geography of the forest.

The Forest of Marsh spanned an area of around ten kilometres. The sighting which was reported told of how a group of hunters came into contact with a Krahang in the south-eastern part, where they lost two men before they could escape.

Taking a rough estimate, we would have to trudge through the marshes for around an hour.

Then, the hunt would start.

Walking towards the area where the incident took place, I took the initiative to explain, "Krahangs are a mutated species of a bat called Kraha. They are originally a very harmless bunch, but have a peculiar gene which makes them prone to mutations."

Seeing them nod, I continued, "Krahangs can have a wingspan of up to 6 metres. They use sonar and heat vision to spot their prey, mainly choosing to swoop down from above and carry them off. Mutations can vary from one to another, recordings of Krahangs able to spit venom, breathe lava, or having claws able to paralyse have been found, among others. So, we'll need to be extra careful."

Gary confessed, "Whew! I did not read up on any information yesterday. Glad to have you around, Jason."

"Of course, we both knew that already! Jeez, you made so much noise last night. Had I not used my aura to dampen the noise, I doubt I could've slept at all!" Charlotte replied while slapping his head, which seemed to be a common occurrence nowadays.

Our journey to the south-east was not harsh, relatively, at least. We could easily scale and climb over what would have been a rough environment for normal people.

Gary's attribute of wind and water came into good use as he could feel where the water was deep, which spots to avoid, and by also sucking moisture out of the air to make the mist disappear.


Our one hour trip came to an end, the sight still the same as before. Charlotte acted according to the plan, hunting an animal to be used as bait.

We planned to cast out a bait, while Gary would hide nearby. Gary fitted this role as he could bring down his body temperature through his attribute of water, though with the side effects that came with decreased temperature.

We tied the animal caught by Charlotte, a big rat species called a Chipacab which had a long thin snout, to a tree.

Gary laid down near the animal, activated his skills and covered himself with his aura to not make any sound. Charlotte and I hid a bit further away, also covering ourselves with aura.

All that was left to do was wait.


We waited for two hours to no avail, making us stop our current course of action since Gary's well-being would come into question. He was quite pale, with light blue lips and a wet body.

We covered him up while starting a fire. The hunt would have to continue the next day as we decided to camp for the night.

Gary shivered, "S-so cold, no one's going to hug me? No body warmth for poor old Gary who sacrificed so much today?" The last part was asked while looking at Charlotte.

Another head slapping took place, as we slowly fell asleep.


I woke up in the middle of the night, strolling towards a bush a few metres away after confirming that both Gary and Charlotte were asleep.

I took out a small purple sphere and turned it gaseous. This was a sphere made from a flower with a very strong and enticing smell that attracted animals.

I only used it now because of two reasons. Firstly, I did not want to display all my cards and show my preparedness for most situations, especially if prior notice was given.

Secondly, it would have been better if the hunt went as planned without my interference, as that would make it more natural for us.

Alas, because it had not gone as planned, and since I did not want to waste my time hunting some mutated bat in a forest, I wanted to end this as soon as possible.

On top of that, this would be a test to see how Charlotte and Gary performed in a stressful situation.

I walked back to my tent and laid down.


I smiled as I heard the first arrival.


Edited By: WorthyAdversary

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