Chapter 12:

Ballad of the Behemoth

The Symphonia of Erde (DISCONTINUED) (ARCHIVED)

"So, the rumours said he's here right?" a man asked as he and his friend walked across the muddy roads of the village.Bookmark here

"That's what ol' Johnny told us yes," his friend replied, "our friend knows best when it comes to stuff beyond our village, being a merchant and all y'know."Bookmark here

"And because he is a merchant I'm placing my doubts on him. They'd lie to sell their goods and stuff!"Bookmark here

"Nah, Johnny isn't that type of person Buck. I am sure of it." his friend tried convincing him. Even so, Buck was still skeptical about the information his friend told him. Bookmark here

The trouble they were currently facing was anything but a small one. It had been plaguing their village for quite some time now and despite the countless of pleading, the nearby capital refused to send in help to this day. As for now, "he" was their only hope to resolve their problem.Bookmark here

"There! That's where he's seen working!" Buck's friend suddenly shouted. Bookmark here

He excitedly pointed towards a peculiar stagecoach smacked right in the middle of an open field near the rest of the village's buildings. No horses were seen near the stagecoach nor at the nearby stable, but instead, dozens of people were lining up in front of the stagecoach's entrance. They all made themselves comfortable by sitting on the grassy floor and dry logs as they waited patiently for their turn to enter the horseless stagecoach.Bookmark here

Buck and his friend went straight for the door when they were quickly stopped by an elder.Bookmark here

"You want to get yourself healed then you gotta wait in line like the rest of us! " the elder shouted, "you ain't the only ones that are sick y'know!"Bookmark here

"Sick? Why I'm as healthy as a fiddle!" Buck proudly replied. Bookmark here

"Then all the more reasons for you two to f*ck off!" the elder shoved him. Buck almost fell to the had it not been for his friend who caught him just in time. Bookmark here

"Stupid old man!" Buck retaliated and charged towards the elder but his friend pulled him back. The same goes for the elder whos attempt was resisted by the other folks waiting in line. Bookmark here

Their quarrel caused quite a commotion in the field but it was abruptly stopped when the stagecoach's door suddenly flung open. Everyone turned their attentions towards the stagecoach as an eight-feet Behemoth appeared at the doorway.Bookmark here

"What in Erde is going on around here!" Claude spoke loudly. Despite the lack of anger in his speech, everyone could feel the sternness behind his voice. They all looked down in guilt save for Buck and his friend who looked at him excitingly.Bookmark here

"See! I told you ol' Johnny could be trusted!"Bookmark here

"M-Mister Behemoth, we've been looking for you this whole day," Buck stuttered.Bookmark here

"I am grateful to hear that," Claude replied, "but if you wish to have an appointment with me then I request of you to wait in the line just like the rest."Bookmark here

"B-but you don't understand Mister Behemoth. W-we are in urgent need of your help back at our village!" Buck pleaded.Bookmark here

Claude thought for a while before asking the man more about his situation, "Does this have something to do with a plague? Or perhaps one of your women are in labour?"Bookmark here

"N-no Mister Behemoth. It is something different from those two."Bookmark here

"Then it is not urgent enough for me to abandon the rest of my patients," Claude concluded before entering back his workstation, "go wait in the line just like everyone else."Bookmark here

The stagecoach door slammed shut and the Behemoth Doctor was no longer in sight. Buck and his friend scurried back at the end of the line without a word. It's best they not stir any more trouble if they wanted the Behemoth doctor's help. Bookmark here

"Maaan, you should've mentioned the f**king wyvern to him just now," his friend groaned. Bookmark here

"Yeah yeah, complain all you want without helping me just now eh? Besides, I didn't expect them Behemoth's to be that intimidating."Bookmark here

"Well whad'ya expect? They are wyvern slayers after all," his friend answered.Bookmark here

In the end, they both waited for nearly three hours to meet the Behemoth Doctor. As the last patient left the horseless stagecoach both men are called in for an appointment with Claude.Bookmark here

"So you two came all the way here to represent your entire village correct?" Claude asked as he poured both his guest a nice blend cup of tea. The two of them accepted it gladly.Bookmark here

"Why yes Mister Behemoth-"Bookmark here

"Please, just call me Claude."Bookmark here

"Ah yes, mister Claude, sir-" Buck stuttered again and tried to maintain his composure- "we came here all this way b-because we think only you could help us."Bookmark here

Before Claude could respond his plea, Buck's friend immediately intervened, "its a wyvern problem Mister- I mean, doctor Claude." Bookmark here

Claude immediately went silent. His helm-like face stared blankly into his cup of tea. His stoic expression did not help the two who tried reading into his thoughts.Bookmark here

"I see-" Claude responded after a moment of silence.Bookmark here

He got up from the his chair and gestured his two guests to do so as well. He pushed away his work table revealing a huge locked trapdoor tucked neatly under a mat. Without further ado, Claude whipped out a key and unlocked said trapdoor.Bookmark here

*CLACK*Bookmark here

"By the Brothers! Those legends are true!" Buck exclaimed as Claude pulled out a weapon that was considered mythical amongst many in Erde. Mythical because it was only wielded by the Behemoth's whom were rarely seen in the countries of man.Bookmark here

This weapon was non other than the Wyvern Slayer Greatbow.Bookmark here

The Wyvern Slayer Greatbow is a huge bow around eight to nine feet long, dark brownish colour as it was heat-treated and carved from wyvern's bones. Its strings were made from the fibers of an Iron Tree's vines which were abundant in the woods of the northern Elvish country; homeland of the Behemoth's. Bookmark here

The arrows it wield were carved from the Iron Tree's branches. Its head was twisted into a drill shape, perfect for penetrating the harder-than-steel skin of wyverns. Its sheer size alone is massive for an arrow. If anything, it is more akin to a lance.Bookmark here

Combining the iron-like hardness and the specially designed arrows, the durability of its bow and the sheer might of a Behemoth, even the terrible wyverns whose skins are like iron and their bones as hard as fortress walls would fall from a single shot of this legendary weapon. But due to the Greatbow's huge size, heavy arrows and high taut strings, only a Behemoth may wield it to its full potential.Bookmark here

"Show me where the wyvern is," Claude ordered them as he equipped himself with the Greatbow and quiver. Buck and his friend looked at each other happily as the Behemoth Doctor accepted their request.Bookmark here

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Wyverns are infamously known throughout Erde as omens of destruction. They are sometimes mixed up with dragons but the latter rarely made an appearance in human countries, to the point they are considered fantastical and sometimes worshipped as deities. Dragons possessed scholarly intellect, naturally skilled in magic and as equal if not more cultured then the race of man. Bookmark here

To compare a dragon and a wyvern is like comparing a human of high society and a wild savage ape. The wyverns are wild beasts, living solely on instinct and because they are not natives to human lands they could be considered pests, albeit one that could destroy entire kingdoms should their fiery savagery left unchecked.Bookmark here

Wyverns, though did not possess the magic and strength as mighty as their mythical counterpart, made up for it with their sheer savagery and lack of emotion towards others. Their body is a fortress, their claws razor sharp and their fiery breath that could melt even steel are more than enough to turn them into beings of pure destruction.Bookmark here

Despite that, instances of wyverns in human lands rarely occur because of their original habitat located at the far northwest isles. Their flight route to human lands intercepted with the northern Elvish countries whose woods belonged to the Behemoths. Unlike humans who feared the wyverns, Behemoths saw them as big game.Bookmark here

One dead wyvern is enough to feed a tribe for a week. Their skin and bones make great materials for their weapons and ornaments. Sometimes, it is used to trade with the elves whom could benefit more with the products as they have better knowledge of what to do with it.Bookmark here

Because of that, if one wishes to resolve a wyvern problem, he/she should seek the Behemoths who hunted these beings of destruction for sport.Bookmark here

Such was the case of Buck and his friend. Their village had yet to be annihilated by a wyvern but news of its arrival approached ever closer. Two three times they caught sight of the wyvern from a distance, scorching the forest below before disappearing into a hill.Bookmark here

"That is where we last see it," Buck's finger pointed at the hills far into the woods, "it disappeared behind that hill. Not sure if it had establish a nest there."Bookmark here

"If that's the case then it's only a matter of time before it establishes its territory," Claude replied, "that would certainly not be good for your village."Bookmark here

"Care to elaborate that?" Bookmark here

"A wyverns territory is huge. Without a doubt, your village is within that territorial range. It's only a matter of time before the wyvern establishes it by incinerating everything to the ground," Claude explained in detail.Bookmark here

"I apologize for making you two wait in the line. Had I known this would be a wyvern-related issue I would immediately attend to it." Bookmark here

Buck's friend nudged Buck's shoulder while giving him the 'I told you so' expression. Bookmark here

"We should prioritize in keeping the people safe. If anything, we should take the fight far away from the village."Bookmark here

"Inform your head to gather some strong reliable men tonight," Claude ordered them both, "I have a plan and I am going to need as much help as I could."Bookmark here

Later that night, Claude arrived inside the village hall where Buck, his friend and a dozen more so men including the elderly village head awaited. They all looked at the eight feet Behemoth in awe and eagerness, waiting for his order. Bookmark here

Without further ado, the Behemoth laid down his plan for the rest of them to hear. Using both his wisdom of the winged-beasts and the villagers' knowledge towards the ins and outs of the woods surrounding them, they managed to pinpoint the approximate area of the wyvern's current whereabouts. Judging from that, Claude was correct about the village falling under the wyvern's territorial circle should it decide to declare its stay.Bookmark here

They move out right after dawn. Though wyverns are not nocturnal creatures, they have better vision during the night thus fighting them at that time would be considered suicidal.Bookmark here

And assassinating them while they were asleep would straight up be utter foolishness.Bookmark here

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"You know, I imagined the Behemoth would hunt down the monster on his own and shoot it from afar, get what I mean?" Buck's friend muttered as he and a few other village men trailed through the woods right behind Claude.Bookmark here

The morning sun has yet to give light to the land below. Navigating through the woods during that time was no different than doing it during dusk. Even so, they carried on with their trail as they made their way to the desired destination; a cliff right across the wyvern's possible nesting site. Bookmark here

After a while, they finally arrived at the agreed spot. Claude gestured the men to their next step of the plan.Bookmark here

"We're seriously gonna burn this patch of forest down huh?" Buck's friend muttered.Bookmark here

"Either that or the beast burns us all. You pick," Buck replied simply.Bookmark here

Wyverns, being territorial creatures, would compete on establishing their dominance towards their desired area. The winged beasts does this by incinerating everything on the territory they had claimed with their terrible flaming breathe. However, if they saw someone else burning their targeted territory, the wyvern will take it as a challenge and their first response would be extinguishing said fire before slaughtering their opponent. Claude wished to exploit this behaviour to take down the monster.Bookmark here

"The fire isn't big enough. Give it more wood," Claude ordered.Bookmark here

"I don't question your wisdom Mister Behemoth, but are you sure the wyvern will be fooled by this bait?" the village head asked, "even worse, what if the fire spreads and reaches our homes instead?"Bookmark here

"I guarantee you that won't happen," the Behemoth assured, readying his bow to shoot down any wyvern at moment's notice, "all of you should get out of here now. I feel the monster is approaching already."Bookmark here

And so, they all retreated to high ground. Claude, now standing just a few dozen meters away from the patch of land they burned, waited patiently for the wyvern to arrive. Bookmark here

He felt pretty anxious about his current situation, his heart beating fast for the past few minutes. It was an experience he had not felt for such a long time, and the last was back during his student years when he was given the opportunity to conduct a surgery to a living patient. Both scenarios of the past and present had innocent lives on stake, and said 'lives' entrusted themselves completely to the Behemoth. Bookmark here

The similarity definitely did not help him calm down though because the surgery ended with a failure. The patient died due to incision errors, and Claude was directly responsible for it.Bookmark here

"Dang it! Stay focus Claude! This is not the time for tragic flashbacks!" Claude snapped himself back to present reality. Bookmark here

Right at that moment, a strong gust of wind blew across the whole area. The trees shook, dried leaves flew everywhere and some of the men even lost their footing, but Claude remained strong on his ground. Bookmark here

The fire they created immediately became dimmer. The Behemoth knew the wyvern would appear anytime soon, and like clockwork, it did. Bookmark here

The villagers were astonished to see the winged monster. Catching a glimpse of it from afar was enough to cause one's heart to skip a beat, but seeing the 40 feet-long monster this close (albeit on a relatively safe distance) was like staring into the face of death itself.Bookmark here

"HHRRRHHH!!"Bookmark here

The wyvern snorted loudly, insulted by the fire inside his territory. It was so occupied at thrashing its tail and claws trying to snuff out every last of the burning flame that its heightened senses grew oblivious towards the Behemoth, now aiming his Greatbow towards the winged beast. Bookmark here

Claude held his breath, waiting for the right moment to let go of the bowstring as the wyvern's thrashing made itself a difficult target. The wyvern suddenly stopped, and perhaps by sheer coincidence, turned its face towards him.Bookmark here

"NOW!!" Claude shouted to himself, releasing his bow.Bookmark here

The drill-tip arrow flew straight towards its target at mach-speed. The wyvern had little to no time to react as the arrow penetrated straight into its right eye.Bookmark here

"HHHRAAAAAAAHHH!!!" Bookmark here

In great pain, the wyvern thrashed here and there annihilating all those in its vicinity. The village men cheered at Claude's successful shot, but the Behemoth himself was not quite satisfied.Bookmark here

"That is not a vital point! I've made things worse!" he shouted angrily to himself, loud enough for the others to hear much to their concern. Bookmark here

Enraged from the pain it suffered, the wyvern started releasing streams of fire from its breathe to the ground, quite literally scorching the earth below. It flew up high above the sky to calm itself before finding the culprit who dare to challenge its might in such insulting manner. Much to both sides' convenience, the wyvern and the 'culprit' caught each other's eye.Bookmark here

"Oh dear lord! It's flying straight towards him!" Buck exclaimed, true to his words as the wyvern divebombed towards Claude, its jaws opened and burning with raging fire.Bookmark here

Claude jumped away just in time as the wyvern crashed into the ground. It wasted no time at spewing streams of flame towards the puny Behemoth who could do nothing but flee. Claude managed to signal the others to 'get the f**k away from here' before running towards the opposite direction from the rest of the villagers. They wasted no time scrambling away from the place while Claude tried to reposition himself to fight the wyvern.Bookmark here

"This is stupid this is stupid this is stupid-" Claude muttered to himself non-stop as he jumped and climbed a seemingly tall tree. The wyvern, hot on his tail, charged straight towards said tree.Bookmark here

"Here we go!!" Bookmark here

Executing his unorthodox plan, the Behemoth jumped from the tree, pulled out an arrow from his quiver, and landed on top of the wyvern's head stabbing it straight with said arrow. The wyvern winced in pain, thrashing here and there while Claude held strongly to the stabbed arrow with his dear life. Bookmark here

The wyvern calmed down abruptly much to Claude's relief. His sigh of relief was cut short however, when the beast started to stretch open its wings and immediately soared towards the sky. Poor Claude held on to his dear life once more. Bookmark here

High in the air, the wyvern started to do an aileron roll to shake off the pesky Behemoth riding on its back. The spin was too much for Claude and he ended up letting go of the arrow. It was at this moment however, as Claude fell hundreds of feet above the air, adrenaline rush started to kick in. Bookmark here

His perception of time slowed down significantly. The world became nothing to Claude as the only thing there was him and the enraged wyvern in front, whose jaws now open and burning, heading straight towards the falling Behemoth. Without a single sense of hesitation, Claude drew out an arrow, aimed his bow towards the wyvern-Bookmark here

-and shot it straight into its open mouth!Bookmark here

This was perhaps the first time in Behemoth history that someone pulled off such a stunt. The arrow Claude fired went straight into the wyvern's throat and by works of fortune, pierced its fire bladder. The insides of the monster combusted and the wyvern's upper body burst into flames. It was a gruesome but victorious sight for the Behemoth to behold. Bookmark here

Claude wanted to celebrate his victory when he realized he was still in the air, falling down at high velocity. He was about to crash really really hard but luckily for him, there was a small lake right below-Bookmark here

*CRASHHHHH*Bookmark here

It was a shallow lake, only enough to submerge a man's foot. Bookmark here

Claude laid there for awhile, still in shock from the crash. Moment's later, the wyvern's body crashed down as well, just several feet away. Bookmark here

A sense of relief flew through Claude's head. It was finally over, the winged beast had been slain. He got up from the glorified puddle of water and went to the wyvern's corpse to inspect it, confirming the monster's death. Bookmark here

There was a huge open wound on it's neck, perhaps exploded after its fire bladder combusted. Chunks of flesh teared off, wounds here and there, to say the wyvern is still alive is like saying the dead soldier on the battlefield with hundreds of arrows and blades struck on its body is fine and well. In other words, the wyvern is VERY dead.Bookmark here

"He- he did it!" a voice called out of nowhere.Bookmark here

Claude turned around to see Buck and the rest of the men emerging from the woods.Bookmark here

"The Behemoth has slain the wyvern!" Buck announced happily. "Three cheers for Mr Behemoth! For saving our village and our children!!"Bookmark here

"HURRAAAAHHH!!!"Bookmark here

The villagers cheered in celebration as Claude looked at them blankly. His stoic helm-face made it look like he was not satisfied with the current situation, but let truth tell that he was the happiest person in Erde that day.
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You can resume reading from this paragraph.