Chapter 35:

Night of the Moonlight Festival


Since elves get their own treatments, Sophia and Rudy were both separated into their own cells. The four humans, on the other hand, were brought into a completely different area. They were split up by genders, placed into their own cells. Afraid of the corruption from Abyss creatures, the prison guards put Claudius in his own cell deeper underground, far away from everyone else. They remained there, watched by the guards constantly, completely different from the time they were “guests'' at The Garden. Soon night passes, the day of the festival is finally here. Everyone was put in special cuffs that sealed away mana. What’s worse is all of their staffs were taken away, preventing them from using any spells.

“Man, I wish I could at least see the festival in Absol. I’m sure they’re really having fun right now.”- Leo sighs, looking longingly outside his cell window.

“They don’t celebrate until night time, so you’re in luck. If we bust out tonight, you can go enjoy the festival.”- Velh responded casually.

“And how will I do that?”- Leo asks a blank question.

“I don’t know, didn’t you guys break out of Vera’s prison? I’m sure you can do it again here.”- Velh laughs.

“That’s true… but I don’t think we are in the clear this time around. They made sure to take everything away.”- Leo said while thinking.

“Why did Sorenna talk about you apparently returning to the village? You’ve been here before?”- Leo asks.

“Why do you want to know? Don’t your parents teach you to not get into other people’s business?”- Velh gives an annoyed reply.

“It’s just in my nature to be curious. My parents also teach me to not hide anything from my friends.”- Leo replies.

“Hmm.. Alright, you got me. I guess I’m technically a group member after all.”- Velh sits up from his spot.

“Let’s just say… I know a person from here when I was a young, adventurous lad. This was their hometown so I visited this place hundreds of years ago.”- Velh told his story.

“You also met Sorenna?”- Leo asks.

“I didn’t, I met her mom though. The elders I met here were different ones. That’s why it’s ridiculous for me to be ordered around by a child like Sorenna.”- Velh said.

“Wow! So you are even older than her! That’s incredible! You must’ve seen a lot throughout your lifetime! Your adventure stories must be amazing, tell me some!”- Leo eagerly requested.

“That’s enough for today, I’m not telling anymore. Go rest, something big will probably happen tonight.”- Velh said, laying down.

“Bummer! Fine, you better tell me more stories once we get out of here.”- Leo said, also laying down.

As Velh drifts off into his sleep, memories of the past start flowing through his head again. He sees an image of his young self playing on the streets of the village of Absol. It transitioned into an 18 years old Velh, setting off for his first adventure. Many things occurred throughout his time traveling around, seeing dragons, walking through The Great Plains, an area that existed before it was turned into the Darkened Abyss. He sees his young self meeting an elf girl, the two traveled together. He sees the image of the guy proposing to the elf girl, the two went to visit her homeland.

“Humans and elves aren’t meant to be together, leave and never come back.”- He remembered an elder said.

Next thing he sees are the two leaving the forest, the girls in tears but smiling. He sees himself in his 30s, clutching the dying elf girl in his hands, tears rolling down both of their eyes. The sky darkened, an explosion from a battle heard in the background. The Demon Lord in the distance fighting against a hero.

“Live on! Don’t die here, I won’t allow you to die here.”- The elf girl said, putting her hands up against his tear filled cheeks.

A flash of light, a beautiful miracle and wonderful love. Velh wakes up from his nap, he sees some residue of tears still on his face. Leo’s loud snoring can be heard in the background, as it is night time.

“I guess I still can't completely move on still, huh?”- Velh chuckles.

The night of the festival is finally here, with the ritual about to be conducted in a few hours.

Rudy is sitting up, looking outside the bar at the night sky. She wonders how Sophia is doing right now. Sophia can be seen laying across from her, facing the wall.

“I hope she’s alright. It seems like this whole thing really affected her, she looks so sad.”- Rudy said.

Suddenly, Sophia jolts up out of nowhere, looking around the room in confusion.

“Hey, you’re awake now! How are you feeling right now?”- Rudy asks.

“Huh?”- Dark Elf Sophia asks.

The two look at each other in surprise. Rudy panics as she never saw a real Dark Elf before. Dark Elf Sophia, on the other hand, gave a real perverted grin and started rubbing Rudy’s head and calling her cute.

“This is weird, there was no struggle for me to take over the body this time. Maybe that’s why there weren’t any shockwaves that formed from it. She has to be in so much distress for this to happen.”- Dark Elf Sophia thought to herself, still casually holding Rudy in her arms.

“Can you let me go now?”- Rudy asks.

Dark Elf Sophia sighs and lets her go. Surprisingly, Rudy didn’t run, but came up even closer to get a good look at Dark Elf Sophia.

“I have never seen a Dark Elf in real life before, this is my best chance to study one!”- Rudy jumps up in excitement, walking all around Dark Elf Sophia.

Since Dark Elf Sophia does share knowledge with Sophia, she seems to somewhat understand the current situation that everyone is in. With Rudy still running around and looking at her, Dark Elf Sophia starts thinking.

It is now 1 hour before the ritual begins, the many different elders from the four elf villages are all gathered up. Hundreds of elves can be seen standing all around a giant circle. The preparation for the ritual is almost complete.

Back in the prison cells, Leo and Velh are now both awake, discussing the plan to break out on the day of their trials.

“We’ll dress up as bananas and …”- Leo said before being interrupted by Velh.

“Shhh. Do you hear the rumbling sounds?”- Velh points his finger up.

The two listen in carefully, trying to figure out what’s going on until suddenly, a high pitch noise can be heard, shaking the ground. The two guardians outside their cells look at each other in confusion, choosing to deal with the new threat coming from outside. The two rush away in a panic, fearing some kind of attack on the elves.

“Ah, looks like a golden chance just presented itself.”- Velh said.

“It’s a good chance, but how are we going to get out?!?”- Leo looks at Velh.

Velh stood up from his spot, he pulled on his cuffs, breaking them into pieces. Leo’s mouth is wide open, shocked at what he just saw.


“Quiet down, you idiot. Yes, I can do that. That’s just what I had planned to do in the upcoming trial to get out.”- Velh explains.

He walks up to Leo, breaking his cuffs open with ease. Velh walks over to the prison door and starts picking the lock open.

“Couldn’t you break the lock open like you did the cuffs?”- Leo asks.

“Who do you take me for? Some kind of barbarian brute?”- Velh replies.

Leo didn’t know what to say to that super ridiculous response, just agreeing with Velh. They cautiously peer out from their room, looking into the hall. Strangely, there are no guardians standing around. Whatever threat is outside, it’s dangerous enough to have drawn all of the guardians to them. The two walk down the long corridor, searching for the other members. Soon enough, they found Amber and Natalie together in their cells. Amber can be seen holding some kind of brick and is trying to break open Natalie’s cuffs. They look at Leo and Velh in shock, wondering how they both got here. With some time, Velh picks open the door’s lock and the two enter the cell.

“Pick Natalie’s lock first, I’m fine being second.”- Amber said.

“Lock picking? What am I, some kind of thief?”- Velh said, walking up and breaking open both of their cuffs.

Amber is super confused by the mixed signal that Velh is sending. Leo put one of his hands on her shoulder and shook his head.

“I know how you feel, just ignore him.”- Leo said.

“From what I overheard from the guards, I think Sophia and Rudy are somewhere nearby. Not in this area though.”- Natalie said.

“What about Claudius? Did they mention where he is?”- Leo asks.

“They didn’t say. He should be somewhere near here by the same logic.”- Natalie deducts.

The four made their way out of the cells, following the stairway back up to the surface. That greeted them was a surprise, many defeated guardians scattered all over the ground. Clear signs of a battle occurred over here, what’s even worse is that the enemy seems very formidable.

“What’s that sound?”- Dark Elf Sophia asks, looking outside the window.

“I don’t know, can you show me what a dark spell looks like?”- Rudy asks, completely ignoring Dark Elf Sophia’s question.

“She’s no use, the guards outside left for somewhere too. Something definitely went down near here.”- Dark Elf Sophia thought to herself.

Her worries are magnified from the sudden noises she heard very close by. She braces herself for what’s to come. A silhouette comes into view, getting closer and closer. The tension increases Dark Elf Sophia searches around for something to use as a weapon since her cuffs prevented her from using magic. The silhouette finally comes into view, revealing itself as Sophia’s mom. She somehow snuck into the facility, even stranger is that she has somehow obtained what looks to be the key. After some struggling to unlock the cells, she managed to open it up and hurried in.

“Sophia? Is”- Her mom is confused by her different look.

“Yes, in a way. I’m also the owner of this body. If you are looking for your daughter, she isn’t here at the moment.”- Dark Elf Sophia honestly responded.

Without any more exchanging of words, Sophia’s mom comes in for a surprising hug. Dark Elf Sophia is stunned by what’s going on, closing her eyes and embraces the hug.

“It doesn’t matter if you look or act differently, you’re still my daughter.”- Sophia’s mom said.

Those words struck quite heavily into Dark Elf Sophia’s heart, even though she really isn’t Sophia, her mom still accepts her. This woman who is clearly terrified of a dark elf, is embracing one and accepting her.

“So it wasn’t just that guy that was insane enough to accept me. Looks like most people you know accept us for who we are.”- Dark Elf Sophia said to Sophia in her mind.

“Maybe it’s really late for me to say this, but I accept you too.”- Sophia said, closing her eyes and her spirit drifted away.

“You two need to get out of here. This is the only time I can sneak you out. I was going to distract the guardians, but it looks like they have gone somewhere.”- Sophia’s mom explained.

“Thanks for helping me out.”- Dark Elf Sophia said.

“No problem. You guys should leave the forest before the end of the ritual. I know that they’ll execute you after the trial, and I can’t let that happen.”- Sophia’s mom said.

“Listen to me, we’ll take our leave soon, but you need to get to a safe place yourself. There are bigger threats in this area than you’d think, so it would be wise to head back to the village.”- Dark Elf Sophia said.

After getting their cuffs removed, Dark Elf Sophia and Rudy both head outside of their cells. Saying farewell to her mom, Dark Elf Sophia and Rudy head towards the direction of the sound. They both cautiously watch the surroundings, only to hear Leo’s voice in the distance. Rudy rushes over, leaving Dark Elf Sophia to facepalm. As they watch Dark Elf Sophia approaching, everyone cautions themselves, preparing for a fight.

“Not again, I don’t want to fight you.”- Leo said.

“Me neither. I’m not going to fight anyone here.”- Dark Elf Sophia gives an unexpected response.

“Huh?!?”- Leo said in confusion.

Without time to waste, they took Dark Elf Sophia’s words for it and searched for their stuff. After searching for a few minutes, Natalie came up with an idea. Closing her eyes, she concentrates her mana and casts a spell. From the distance, wind gusts fly to a location nearby. Strangely, her staff can be seen flying towards her direction, with Natalie jumping up to catch it. Leo’s group look at her in pure surprise, with Rudy being the most impressed.

“It works! That’s my first real attempt at using ancient wind magic!”- Natalie gets excited.

The group head over to the direction of where the staff flew from, eventually discovering all their items sitting on a table. Even better, they found a very confused looking Claudius standing outside the door once they left.

“How did you manage to break out?”- Leo asks in confusion.

“Wait, did you guys not see? Part of The Demon Lord’s army went by this area. They thought I was some evil creature that was locked away so they freed me to wreak havoc.”- Claudius said.

“THE DEMON LORD’S ARMY?!?”- Leo shouts.

“Then that’s even more of a reason to get out of here as soon as possible.”- He suggests.

“Wait, that would mean they are here to disrupt the Moonlight Festival!”- Natalie realizes.

“That doesn’t matter, those people want to kill us. We should just let them deal with it.”- Leo said.

“Her family is here, same with Rudy’s family! They’ll all be killed at this rate!”- Dark Elf Sophia points out.

“Oh crap! You’re right, why am I so stupid?!”- Leo comes to a sudden realization.

“Then we need to get to the ritual ground right now!”- He said.