Chapter 2:

Between a Meteor and a Hard Sword

I am but a Cloud, Floating from Place to Place

I am but a cloud, floating from place to place.

Currently, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard sword.

“[Meteor Shower]!”

More meteors, smaller than the ones that destroyed the sandcastle, fell from the sky. Each of them forcefully slammed into the ground, creating large swathes of dust clouds, littering holes of varying sizes in every direction. Some of the meteors passed through me, but my form always reconstituted itself. Still, it was rather annoying to experience, even if I couldn’t feel them hitting me. I traced the flow of mana back to its source, using the mana in the air to enhance my vision.

I saw a small person flying using mana: manipulating the wind around her body. Her hand was raised upwards, likely to direct the falling meteors. She was more casually dressed than a person should be in a fight, but based on the amount of mana she wielded, that wasn’t much of a concern. Any living creature that could withstand the massive amount of mana in this place was more than capable of protecting themselves without armor.

However, there was something that stood out about her. Two beautiful, long horns adorned her head, as if she was wearing a crown. The horns looked like those of a buffalo or goat…no, they had to be the horns of a dragon. Dragons were rather boring creatures to watch since they slept for the better part of ten millennia before dying. I hadn’t seen a dragon in a long while. Still, what is a person doing with dragon horns on their head? Maybe they’re a different type of person? Who knows.

“[Wind Barrier]!”


The meteors falling toward one particular place shattered into pieces before bouncing off a barrier of green…wind? Why is the wind green? Wind doesn’t have a color!

Three people, no four – one did a decent job at concealing their mana – stood behind an unreasonably green wind barrier. Compared to the dragon person, they were a lot less interesting. Their armors and weapons, on the other hand, were a different story. Each gave off a blinding blue-silver glow, somehow protecting their users from the abundance of mana in the air. The weapons also conducted mana well, allowing them to reach a level of strength slightly below the dragon person.

The person whose mana was hard to detect wielded daggers, while the person creating the barrier held a spear-tipped staff. The person doing nothing had a bow, likely conserving their arrows for something more important. The strongest, and the one at the front, fought with a sword dexterously, slicing any meteors too big for the barrier to handle.

The dragon person seemed to have no other attack to keep the blue-silver group in check, so she couldn’t land a decisive blow. Likewise, if the blue-silver group stepped outside the wind barrier, they would die instantly. The bow person didn’t have a clear shot with all the dust flying around. The swordsman wasn’t using that ‘ray of light’ attack that split the sandcastle. So, there was no way for the blue-silver group to counterattack. That meant this stalemate would never end…

Agh! This is really getting on my nerves! First, they destroy my sandcastle. Then, they litter the ground with holes! And now, they’re just going to keep fighting it out?! What am I supposed to do?!? I want them out of here!

I know! I’ll–Huh? Why did the meteors stop?

The dragon person swooped down from above, coming within earshot of the blue-silver group.

“Why do you Executioners always try to kill us? What have we ever done to you!?” the dragon person screamed, as if pleading with the blue-silver group.

“Are you serious?! You attack and kill innocent people, razing our villages to the ground. You are beasts, and as such, you must be stopped!” the swordsman responded empathically, pointing her sword towards the hovering dragon person.

“You’re the ones who attacked first, slaughtering our kind just because we have horns or tails or ears atop our heads. Just because we don’t look completely human. You declared war on us, but you’re saying we should just take it and die? We’re not even the beasts you’re so desperately trying to fight. We’re still people!”

“And yet, unrest still grows between your people and ours in the forest capital. More and more people continue to disappear, and the beast people are beginning to revolt. These events are too well organized to be anything but an attack from you, Beast Queen. As the hero, I, no we, must end you to save our own.”

The dragon person clenched her fists, muttering something under her breath before looking up towards the sky, coincidentally at me. She seemed to be in disbelief at first, but her eyes soon burned with a fierce determination. She looked at the blue-silver group once more.

“There’s no way I can get you to retreat?” she said with a somber tone, tempering her own resolve.

“I cannot. Your death will end this cycle of bloodshed.”

“...then prepare yourselves,” the dragon person solemnly spoke, raising her hand to the sky once again.

“[Meteor Shower].”

The neverending stalemate started anew. Mana shot out from the dragon person’s hand, transforming into giant meteors. Then, they once again rained down onto the blue-silver group. The barrier of wind was still active, and the swordsman kept piercing any too big to stop.

Another meteor passed through me. Wait a second…I’m supposed to be doing something to stop this!! Their conversation had me entranced, even if I didn’t understand anything they were saying. Executioners? Beast Queen? Hero? That meant absolutely nothing to me. In my eyes, this was just a squabble between two people. Sure, they might have their own reasons to battle, but that didn’t change that this was just a fight.

So, how do you stop a fight? Well, that’s easy.


Fights rarely broke out when it rained. Soldiers on a battlefield delayed their fights if there was bad weather. Even if a fight had already started, once rain fell, they usually ended just as fast. Of course, in areas where rain was common and in exceptional cases, people did fight in the rain. However, it was unlikely that these five would be prepared for that. If anything, the armor of the blue-silver group and lack of armor of the dragon person should make the rain more effective.

However, I also didn’t plan on raining today. There was only enough water in my form to rain once, meaning I somehow needed to get them to group up. If not all of them, then at least the swordsman and dragon person. As the respective leaders, that should stop them, or at least give them some pause.

Luckily, my opportunity came quickly.

“I’m heading out, will you be okay?” the swordsman yelled, still breaking apart the incoming meteors.

“Go for it, we can last a few minutes by ourselves!” the bowman responded, drawing his bow and nocking an arrow.

The swordsman nodded before jumping out of the wind barrier. She jumped off the ground, using the incoming meteors as stepping stones to reach the dragon person. The dragon person immediately ceased her attack, but it was much too late. The swordsman was able to boost off the last meteor to end up right next to the dragon person. If nobody interrupted, it would be an epic clash between two fighters.

However, I was here.

Now! I rained down my stores of water, soaking the dragon person and swordsman beneath me. My form once again turned cirrus, even more than before, but that was a trivial price to pay to regain my peace.

Both people were drenched from head to toe. The dragon person’s clothes stuck to her skin, becoming slightly see-through. The swordsman’s armor filled up with water, creating a sort of sloshing sound as she moved through the air. The weight of the water caused the swordsman to miss her strike. She fell to the ground, landing quite poorly but unhurt. Her expression, on the other hand, was completely livid.

“Damnit! What just happened? Why did it start raining all of a sudden?” she muttered as the rest of her team regrouped.

The dragon person, on the other hand, stared in a daze towards the sky. She didn’t seem to notice the water dripping off her body. She once again looked towards me, but I doubt she sensed my presence. It was more like her eyes were focused beyond me, somewhere I couldn’t see. The dragon person then started muttering something under her breath. I couldn’t tell what she said; the wind vibrating from her mouth didn’t produce any understandable sounds.

All of a sudden, the dragon person took off, flying…west, if I remembered my directions correctly. She seemed to be in a hurry. The blue-silver group remained still for a moment before running off after her, though they likely wouldn’t catch up at their current speed.


After everyone had left, quiet returned to the area…along with a completely destroyed landscape. Hundreds of holes dotted the ground. Meteorite chunks of varying sizes lied all around. Even if I wanted to build another sandcastle here, it would take a while to return the ground to a usable state, and there would still be holes everywhere.

Oh well. I already built a sandcastle, so I can just move on to something else. This was just a whim, after all.

Leaving the tarnished landscape behind, I picked a random direction and floated away, off to see something new. The sun slowly set as the gray patch of land disappeared beyond the horizon.

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