Chapter 25:

Forest Fairies

Mad God


Below the thick canopy of trees laid the ruins of an old town, now only some rock formations, grown over by the vegetation. Yet still, as the shrubs were cleared away, the ruined homes were illuminated by the sun's light, peeking through the trees again. A group of 40 people was camping around here. Some maintained their weaponry, and others gathered around a big pot, waiting for the stew to be ready.


“Captain,” came up one of the soldiers, dressed in a leather outfit, wearing tools for excavation on his belt, holding in his hand an old-looking box, still locked, stained with dirt. “We found something under one of the ruined homes!”


“Oh? Let me see!”


Feynor, the firstborn of Dermitos, stood up. He looked the same as Leinor, at least by 80%, but his hair was kept short while he wore a primly kept, short beard. He looked like someone in his thirties, but he was more than double that, being the first son of Dermitos, born even before his father ascended to the throne. He was dressed in workers’ clothes, waist deep in a giant hole, ten by 10 meters wide, digging out old daily life tools and pottery..


“Ah, it seems like a typical box from the era where they kept the store’s earnings,” Feynor said after taking it away, and sifting through it. “Probably that ruin was some general goods store for the town! Put it next to the others, and we'll take it back and examine it back home more carefully. Try not to break it. The old coins are collectibles and worth a lot, not to mention if it has paper money! It was such fine craftsmanship of the time. Sadly, most of that rotted away by the centuries.”


“Yes, Sir!”


“Any news about the requested reinforcement or the fairies?” he asked from one of the others standing around him.


“The letter we received from a hawk mentioned we have reinforcements on the way, they should arrive by night. Nothing about the fairies yet.”


“I see. Keep an eye out. We have been here for weeks now. Our presence may have already been picked up. We should stop the work and start preparing to move as soon as the reinforcement arrives! We will be heading to the next location in a few days but do not lax your attention! I already informed the fairies where to go if they don’t find us here.”


“Understood. I’ll tell the others!” the soldiers saluted around him.


After Feynor climbed out of the big hole and looked around, he had a satisfied expression, seeing their hand-pulled carts filled with treasures. Most of it, if presented to anyone, would only label it as junk, but to someone fascinated by history, every little piece he collected was worth more than any gold statues or gem-filled cutlery. Or at least what he considered treasures.


Just as he was about to clean up himself, the same soldier rushed back, who he sent away with the box.


“Captain! We have a problem!”


“Explain.” he walked up with a severe expression, and soon he saw a soldier holding a small, only 40-45 cm tall female fairy in his hands, bruised and battered.


The small, a bit plump, miniature but mature woman wore clothes from leaves that were now torn, and her usually bright, slightly transparent, colorful butterfly wings that were as big as her body folded unnaturally, dim and powerless. Her long, bright blond hair was stained with blood, and twigs stuck out as her breathing was haptic and disorderly.


“Let me!” Fenyor rushed up to him, placing his hand below her nose. “Not good…” she murmured, checking her belly while gently pushing it. “She has internal bleeding for sure and maybe some ruptured organs!'' he said while shaking his head with furrowed brows, and soon he bit his finger, letting some of his blood drop into her mouth.


The royal family’s power slowly showed itself, yet it was not as powerful as what Leinor was capable of.


“I should’ve trained in my little brother’s way….” Feynor murmured.


The emperor long ago sent out copies of the new cultivation method to his sons, yet those who were advanced in their refinements found it hard to convert as it posed much-much greater difficulty than starting with it. Even though Feynor did dabble in it, the strengthening and awakening of his energy points in an already refined body proved more difficult than expected. Still, his blood slowly made the fairy regain consciousness.


“Help… us… they… c-came… to…” she muttered with a soft, weak voice, her golden eyes filled with dread and tears, peering into Feynor’s eyes, transmitting her memories of her village, built in a small meadow, between tall grass and flowers, being attacked by beasts looking like giant wasps, none donning a humanoid form. “I… don’t wa....t… die.” she cried silently, choking on her last words as life left the small body, which moved no more.


“Tell the others to leave the carts behind. Get ready for battle!” Feynor ordered with a stern voice.


“Sir!” The soldiers saluted, surrounding him, and soon the whole camp was ready to move out.


“I won’t let this fail. There should be others with a similar fate. If we can show them they can trust us, it could change a lot…” he sighed, looking at the fairy in his hands before going back to camp, placing her in a safe spot to bury her later, and getting ready by putting on his battle attire.


….

….


“Master, I found the camp. It’s empty!” Poli rushed back through the forest.


“Empty?” Leinor asked, a bit worried.


“Yeah, I found tools, dug up things, carts, everything left there, and I also found traces where they moved out! It seemed they were going to fight a battle as every piece of armor or weapon was missing. I also found a dead fairy. Poor thing!” he sighed with a sad voice.


“Something happened! Can you track them?” Ren trembled at the thought.


“Sure thing Master!”


“Everyone move out as fast as you can!” She ordered as she and Poli flashed out like lightning, whizzing by the trees at an inhuman speed.


Poli only stopped once in a while, checking the surroundings. Following the traces of forty soldiers wasn't hard; it didn’t take them more than half an hour to sense a battle nearby.


Standing on a tall tree’s thick branch, seeing how Feynor’s people surrounded, in a circle formation, a dozen or so fairies, fending off attacks from 2-3 meter big, yellow-black wasps, showed the training and experience of his soldiers. There lay in the tall grass, multiple dismembered corpses of tiny fairies and humans, tangled with dead bugs, yet the living monstrosities were still buzzing around them in great numbers.


“Captain?” Leinor asked, watching his elder brother wielding a short sword and shield, fending off a wasp from scooping in and grabbing away one of the fairies.


“I hate bugs. I really… really hate bugs, especially ones that buzz like those abominations….” Ren murmured, shuddering a little “Kill them. Kill them all! Burn them up until none remain!” she ordered with a cold voice, surprising the others before she shot out like lightning striking one of the giant wasps with a spear, formed out of pure lightning energy.


Soon after, two small fireballs struck the wasp next to it, lighting it up in flames as it released an inhuman screech.


“They do feel pain!” Poli laughed as he also arrived, slashing through another one.


“Eldest Brother!” Leinor shouted as he arrived before him and grabbed onto the wasp’s wings that tried to stab his brother, tearing off them while Feynor attacked and hacked it into two.


“Finally, you are here!” Feynor laughed while Zern arrived at the fairies, towering over them. His skin shone in a metallic luster all over his body, easily fending off the wasps’ stingers without moving a finger.


“I also hate flying bugs.” Zern slapped with two hands, squashing the attacking demon like a wasp, splashing nasty, greenish-yellow puss everywhere.


“Geez… you guys are powerful!” Feynor smacked his lips as they finally gained the advantage in the stalemate, and by Ren’s lead, they began massacring the wasp demons.


Their numbers and capability of flying, which gave the advantage over Feynor’s squad, were gone as Poli, Ren, and Isha struck them much faster than they were capable of moving. It didn’t take much time to exterminate all of the buzzing wasps, especially as Ren’s lightning spear struck out, sending out electricity, numbing and slowing them down. After the battle, Isha went around, burning them to a crisp as Ren’s order, while the others grouped around the remaining fairies.


“Prince.” Ren saluted. “How’s the situation?”


“Good to finally meet you, Little Ren!” Feynor smiled, giving a surprising hug to her. “Drop the names. Call me Elder Brother! You are my little sister, ahaha!”


“Ah…. um, sure?” Ren blinked her eyes, surprised at his reaction.


“Told you, Eldest Brother is pretty easy to get along with.” Leinor smiled, clearly happy to see Feynor again.


“Back to business!” Feynor sighed, letting go of his “new” sister and turning towards the small, trembling frames of the fairies.


Few survived: the village of over 40 adults, evolved fairies, and hundreds of small, still-young butterflies. Only 11 grown-ups were here, all of them females. Watching them, they had various colored hairs, skins, and wings, coming in the shade of the many flowers in this part of the forest. Their bodies were mature, plump, and curvy, evoking the feeling in men that they could bear fine, healthy children. Only… the tallest of them was only 60 cm in height.


“T-thank you…” one of them murmured, who wore a tiny dress made of pink flowers as her skin was deep purple, while her bluish hair was messy and sticky. Her golden eyes filled up with tears, soon started to cry loudly, just like the others, huddling up together.


“Fuck…” Ren cursed with a grimace. “What happened here?” she looked around while the soldiers were checking on the injured and the dead with the help of Zern and Poli.


“A wasp nest has been harassing them in the past year, but it seems they moved in for the kill. I only know as much as they told me. The bugs have fed on their young for a time now, but the nest may have grown too big, and they started to take the adults for food too. When we arrived, they were chased by the wasps, and those who fell behind got taken away or eaten on the spot. We could only save them!”


“Tsk. They are fragile… what about the males?”


“There is none. Never was. They have binary organs down there. Fascinating!” Feynor said with a smile, “When they find a mate, one of them decides to play the part of the mother the other plays the role of the father. Truly interesting!”


“I bet.” Isha cut in, rolling her eyes. “We should move! If this was just a squad of wasps, we better be off quickly before they send out more soldiers.”


“True, true, I was carried away.” Feynor nodded, and soon the frightened fairies were held up by soldiers, carried away as they left the battlefield.


“Are we going back to the camp?” Ren walked next to Feynor, with Leinor in tow, while Poli held one of the trembling, younger fairies, trying to soothe her. Isha was also doing that, now embraced by two of them, keeping them close to her bosom.


“We should. I can’t leave weeks of work behind! When we are back, we will move out as soon as possible. I already have a place I planned on visiting on the road back to base. It will be easier now that you are here. You were fast. We expected you by night!” The First Prince answered.


“Hehe, what can I say? We are called 1st Recon for a reason!” Ren proudly grinned. “How are the injuries?”


“I checked with the soldiers and fairies. We have minimal casualties. The fairies suffered far worse than us. They are all hurt and exhausted. They will need medical attention and rest. A lot of rest! The physical injuries won’t be hard to heal, but the mental… I can’t say.” Feynor shook his head.


“The law of the jungle… huh?” Ren sighed, looking around the terrified and trembling fairies in others’ embraces. The fear in their eyes, the twitching of their tiny bodies for every noise from the woods, resembled a small, young, beaten, then thrown-out stray animal. “As it seems, being a demon folk is not as easy as many thinks.”


“I agree… seeing this and interacting with them for months now… I believe more strongly than ever, I am right.” Feynor nodded.


“Well, we were sent to help you out, Eldest Brother, so don’t worry, we will. With everything.” Leinor patted his brother’s back.


“That's right. Leave it to us!” Ren laughed.


“I’m relieved to hear that! Everyone!” Feynor shouted, “Speed up. We need to move before more come this way! Don’t let the bugs catch us!”


“Poli, Zern, you two take up the rear and try to clear our tracks!” Ren ordered with a firm voice, “Leinor, try to heal some of the poor ones. I’ll move forward with Isha and scout out the road.”


“Understood, Captain!” Leinor nodded, and soon they were back in the deep woods, marching on with a handful of small survivors.