Chapter 18:

Chapter 15: "Bull Rabbits Everywhere"

Age of Ember beta

Some time had passed since everyone branched out to catch bull rabbits. All of them had also opted to go alone to maximize their opportunities to catch the slippery subjects. Ziggy had given a 1-hour time limit to catch one. Bookmark here

Arachnia was the first to run into one on her brisk walk. Upon encountering one, her solemn presence altered with an uncharacteristic, killing intent. She snuck towards it like an expert assassin. No one in the group would have ever assumed she had spent her entire life killing and hunting. After coming within reaching distance of her target, she swiftly moved her hand towards its neck. But before she even made physical contact with it, it was scared into unconsciousness.Bookmark here

“Congrats,” Ziggy was surprised and impressed by her emergence from the forest. Arachnia was done within 15 minutes. This only confirmed his suspicion that there was a lot more to her. Perhaps her modest and shy demeanor had thrown him off at first. He knew to keep this in mind from now on and to not trust her too much.Bookmark here

Landon had a different idea for catching his prey, he knew they were quick to escape. So during his walk he picked up pebbles as part of his plan. It had only taken him a few minutes to locate one. Sticking to his idea, he threw a pebble in every direction to create the sound of a threat as he stood perfectly still. Within moments, 2 bull rabbits came running towards his feet. With a smirk, he quickly grabbed them by the horns mid-hop and made his way back.Bookmark here

Verona had little to no experience of hunting and fighting yet it had come naturally to her. As she walked around, animals gravitated towards her beauty. It wasn’t long before she had 3 bull rabbits following her along with other animals. She didn’t know what to do with all the other animals but she acquired what she needed. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of wildlife, she headed back for advice. As she arrived, Ziggy couldn’t help but laugh. It was obvious the ring provided by his friend worked but her natural beauty still was captivating even for wildlife. He proceeded to take two of her bull rabbits. And the rest he gave a death glare to which indeed, scared off all of them. Bookmark here

“Wow, even the animals?” Ziggy looked at her. “I didn’t think your powers had some special loophole.”Bookmark here

“I’m really not sure,” Verona responded honestly and seemed embarrassed by the circumstance.Bookmark here

She should consider being a vet, Ziggy thought as he walked along with the bull rabbits in hand.Bookmark here

Ziggy soon wondered how much attention she would receive in the Elfin City, even going as far as to give her some kind of head cover. The Elves were known to hold beauty to a high standard. Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Sarah was not trying to catch the bull rabbits in a conventional manner. She had time on her hands, so she climbed a tree awaiting an unsuspecting bull rabbit to come by. Once one came into view, she jumped down in an attempt to catch it. When she jumped off the branch, the cracking sound of the branch made her target run off. At that time she wasn’t mindful of this as she should have been.Bookmark here

“Damn,” Sarah kicked up some grass as she was determined to catch that one specifically. She chased after it.Bookmark here

But Victor had no idea how to catch something at walking speed, so he relegated much of his time sitting on the ground Indian-style. He was pondering how to catch a bull rabbit. It wasn’t too long before a bull rabbit hopped into his lap. Suppressing his excitement, he didn’t move.Bookmark here

Yes, Victor thought to himself. Bookmark here

He began to pet it gently and fed it some berries that were to his right. Then another one hopped on top of his head. “2 for one? Yeah, I'm done here.”Bookmark here

Not before long, he felt a presence behind him and the rabbit on top of his head was gone and he felt a slight embrace. As the hands left from around his torso, a face came close to his ear. He then suggested:Bookmark here

“You better not.” Bookmark here

“Thanks Vic!” a loud, familiar yell followed. Bookmark here

The rabbit in his lap dashed off quicker than his hand could move to catch it. He thought about how bad he wanted to kill her. Not feeling her presence any longer, he muttered: Bookmark here

“Sarah, it’s going to be me and you one of these days” Bookmark here

Odrian, on the other hand, caught his rabbit rather quickly. He had learned how to walk undetected when he was younger. He often snuck food out the fridge, avoiding everyone being aware of what he was doing. Thus, it became incredibly easy to move in complete silence. After he acquired his bull Rabbit, he commented:Bookmark here

“Looks like being big wasn’t all that bad.” Bookmark here

Afterword Landon, Sarah, and Odrian arrived at the camp around the same time. Victor arrived down to the last second, thanks to Sarah. He spent his time holding snap berries, hoping another bull rabbit would come by like earlier. What he didn’t know was that bull rabbits usually marked unsafe areas and usually don’t return. By some miracle, the bull rabbit that escaped him returned.Bookmark here

“Victor, last?” Ziggy raised an eyebrow as Victor emerged. “That’s a surprise.”Bookmark here

“Man, this was pretty darn hard.”Bookmark here

“I’m sure you found your style though. I bet not one of you caught yours the same way. You’ve gotta get into your element.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, well, this was for catching food.”Bookmark here

“Geez, there’s a lesson to all of this. I’m trying to make this interesting.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know if we can call this interesting,” Odrian was honest with his opinion. Bookmark here

Ziggy frowned upon this statement as he felt he was showing them what was necessary. Training wouldn’t always be fun, even Ziggy had to admit that every so often.Bookmark here

“Well,” Ziggy nodded as he signaled Odrian open a portal to stash the bull rabbits. “We’ve secured our food for later.”Bookmark here

Victor felt a little guilty throwing his rabbit into the portal but knew what had to be done. They all went back inside of the tree trunk and hopped from side to side to get back to the top. Sarah wanted to go back to sleep as soon as possible so she quickly went to sleep as soon as they reached the top. Verona joined her also. Landon and Victor knew tomorrow would be long and passed out soon after. Ziggy called Sabrina into their tent to talk.Bookmark here

Odrian had stayed out a little longer as he saw Arachnia stare off into the distance of the majestic setting.The double moon light lent to the beauty of the night. He wondered if she was doing alright trying to fit in with everyone else.Bookmark here

“Wow, it’s pretty out here, right?” Odrian broke the ice as he walked next to her. She twiddled her thumbs as she turned towards him. She seemed anxious about something.Bookmark here

“It is, isn’t it?” Arachnia spoke lowly. They looked off for a little longer, intaking the atmosphere. There was a particular glow in the air that Odrian had never seen before.Bookmark here

“To think the monsters below us and people who never leave the city miss out on this beautiful nights sky”Bookmark here

“yeah, i didn’t think of it like that. We don’t see a view like this back at home either.”Bookmark here

“There’s a beauty to everything and always a monster beneath.”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“N-nevermind. Just thinking out loud.”Bookmark here

“Hmm… So, how are you holding up?”Bookmark here

“So so, but I feel like they don’t like me.” Bookmark here

“Let's go over here,” He grabbed her hand and took her to a more private area, off to the ledge of a big tree nearby to have a seat. They looked off as before, seated side-by-side.Bookmark here

“It's okay,” Odrian assured her. “They treat everyone like that at first.”Bookmark here

He had to lie to her.Bookmark here

“Thanks,” She thanked him as her words became a yawn.Bookmark here

“You’re tired?”Bookmark here

“Just a little,” Arachnia leaned on his shoulders. “Can I lean here for just a minute?”Bookmark here

“S-sure” Odrian responded. Bookmark here

Before he could finish that word, she was fast asleep with her hand on his thigh. He thought about waking her but after a few minutes he picked her up and carried her to the ladies' tent to lay her down in bed. Once he placed her down he saw that Verona was still awake.Bookmark here

“Hey,” Verona whispered to him. “Can you stay here with me for tonight?”Bookmark here

Odrian knew it wouldn’t be an ideal thing to do as it would stir up a lot of problems if he were caught. Right as he was going to decline Verona’s request, Sarah, while half sleep, picked up her head slightly and mumbled: Bookmark here

“I won.... ay….. thing abou ta-night.”Bookmark here

“See,” Verona smiled. “It’ll be ok… Just this once” she knew as they traveled she wouldn’t be able to spend all the time she wanted with himBookmark here

“Uh, right,” Odrian responded with a half-smile. He still wasn’t too sure if it was the best idea.Bookmark here

Odrian laid down next to Verona and Arachnia to sleep. He had to leave before morning, even though he knew it would cause a little sadness.Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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