Arc 6 Chapter 97: What’s your name?

[…and so that is our situation in the ocean right now,] explained number 4 with his glowing words on the special paper that he used.

Clack! The loud noise of something falling to the ground interrupted the meeting of the seven elders.

“Bonestringer, why are you interrupt us with your clumsy actions?” asked number 3 unhappy at the interruption.

Bonestringer had been respectfully standing in a dark corner out of the way of the heads waiting to be called upon.

“Elder, the magic seal that I put on one of my labs… the one in the south to be exact, seems to have just been broken. If I have to guess it is probably the nosy lizards again.”

“Didn’t you tell me that you made sure that something like the last incident wouldn’t happen again?” asked number 6.

“I did but it has been a while since I last checked on the lab so the protection I left could have thinned out,” said Bonestringer.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and go check the lab and make sure everything is still there! This time make sure you properly secure it,” said number 2.

“Yes, right away!” said Bonestringer bowing to the seven elders.

When Bonestringer left the room they continued their discussion.

“Do we have the worst sort of luck or what?” asked number 5, “It seems every plan we have worked on has either had a setback or has been a complete failure.”

“It is indeed frustrating but our organization has already waited several hundred years. What are a few more years of waiting if we can complete our mission? We just need to be patient and not make any major mistakes and everything will go our way. Our true mission will be achieved in our lifetime!” said number 1 calmly with great conviction.

“Did we ever find out where that bargaining chip disappeared to? The one that imbecile Brutus was supposed to be watching over for us?” asked number 2.

“He was last seen in the deserts of Caidia, but all traces of him have disappeared.”

“Hmph…Useless.”

***

“Chack, did we complete the trial since we killed everything in here?” asked Akira.

“Of course!… I lie! How should I know? This is my first time entering the sacred hall of trials. But it is strange… I heard that it was supposed to be a lot harder. Did we miss something or are we not good enough to take the real test?” asked Chack.

“Your guess is as good as mine. Since we searched everywhere in here and there seems to be nothing else to do we should head back out,” said Akira.

“I hope father is not still angry with us when we return,” said Chack as they waded through the waist-deep water.

“Relax he’s your father no need to worry too much. How bad could it be?” asked Akira.

“Very bad…Meat-eating bad,” replied Chack.

“I see…I’ll be sure to put in a good word for you to try and help you out. But first, we have to get out of here.”

It took them several minutes to get out of the waist-deep water and reach the muddy entrance where the water was only around their feet.

As they exited the dungeon they saw the elders who were still waiting near the entrance with their bodyguards had their backs to the entrance. They were all whispering back and forth in a heated conversation.

When they heard the movement near the entrance they looked over their shoulders to see what it was.

“Father we’re back!” said Chack.

“You’re back so soon…Are you sure you properly challenged the hall of trials?” his father asked.

“Father, are you doubting your son’s honor?”

“How could you have completed the challenge? You don’t even look like you were in a fight!” said Hich-nolik.

The elders inspected all five of them. They were all soaked and caked with mud from the dungeon, but there was no sign of wounds big or small anywhere on their bodies.

“That’s because I was the main fighter killing everything!” said Chack.

“Bullcrap! You can’t even beat me so how could you complete the trial without taking heavy damage!”

“I lie! It’s true! I was just support for the others, but we did finish the trial!”

“Stop lying. Elders, you know his strength and you know the strength of the warriors that went in before him. The Hall of trials is not something you can complete within half a day! They did not complete it and are trying to fool you so that they can get a lighter punishment!”

“If you don’t believe us why don’t you join me and we can go back into the hall of trials to check and see if we did finish it?” asked Akira interrupting the argument.

“What do you take me for? An idiot?” asked Hich-nolik.

“I don’t know you well enough to make a judgment on whether or not you’re an idiot, but I can tell by your hesitation that you’re afraid of going inside. There is nothing to worry about it was just a dungeon.”

Snap! Hich-nolik’s mouth snapped shut in anger. To be called a coward was far worse than being called an idiot, and this nobody even did it in front of the elders!

Hich-nolik snapped his mouth shut a few times trying to lessen his anger as he tried to think clearly so that he did not shame himself in front of the elders.

“Ha! You and your sly words will not trick me! You just want to take me inside and them eat me for a snack like all you nasty humans always do!”

“I already told you I’m not a human, I’m a werewolf. Trust me eating hard and unappetizing creatures like you is the last thing they would want to eat!”

“It’s the truth father I learned this earlier today! Humans don’t eat Griiq!” said Chack proudly.

His father gave him the stink eye which made Chack look down at the ground and quietly mumble.

“I lie! Don’t worry father, I still believe mother!”

“Enough of your pointless bickering! Since you claim that you have completed the trial and I hope that you would not dare to ruin your father’s honor by lying. We elders will now decide on what to do with you!” said the oldest elder in the group.

The elders shooed their bodyguards away and huddled closely together to talk privately for several minutes.

When they turned back around and walked back over Chack’s father had a sad look on his scaly face.

“Father…I’m not going to be…”

“Quite! The elder’s decision has been made! Chack Nai-lie, you are hereby banished from the Griiq tribe! Unless you would rather stay in a fresh dug grave!” said the oldest elder loudly.

“You have one day to leave our territory! If you are still here by this time tomorrow we will hunt you down as if you are an invader!” said another elder before turning and getting back into his war sled to be taken back to the village.

All but Chack’s father followed suit and returned to their war sleds.

“Father? How…” Chack wanted to ask his father how he could agree to this but his father ignored him and walked up to Akira.

“Please sir, I can tell by the aura you give off and the way you carry yourself that you are a strong and honorable warrior. Please let my troublesome son join you and your other companions. He is my only son and I do not wish for him to die in the dangerous world outside this village.”

Chack’s father was now bowing deeply to Akira waiting for an answer.

This shocked Chack since he had never seen his father who was one of the tribe’s elders, bow to someone in the Griiq tribe. So bowing to someone of a different demon race was highly unlikely.

“No need to bow to me. I consider your son a friend already so that makes you his father my friend as well. Chack, do you want to come travel with us? I can’t guarantee that you will be completely safe but it should be safer than being alone,” said Akira.

“Yes, Yes. I agree it is a good idea to be friends with you so I don’t get eaten.”

“Honorable warrior if the situation was slightly different I would invite you to a party at my house but sadly that can never happen, at least for now. Thank you for taking pity on this old me and accepting my selfish request. I hope that you can keep my son out of trouble. I must go now or I will only cause more problems for you,” said Chack’s father walking to his war sled where his bodyguards were waiting.

Ding!

Honor +5

“Goodbye, father! Goodbye uncles!” said Chack waving towards his father and the guards disappearing in the distance.

“So where to next?” asked Chack turning to Akira.

“Remember when I asked you if you knew where to find the Werewolf clans?” asked Akira.

“Ah! That’s right you want me to take you to the trading post! That’s easy! Just follow me somewhere south and we’ll get there in a week or…two?” said Chack as he started to walk ahead of the others.

“Uh… Chack, that’s not south, that’s east,” said Maya.

“Of course! I was just testing you!… I lie! I forgot which way south was my bad! So which way is south?”

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“Oh boy we have someone worse than Mileena leading us this time,” grumbled Varbu.

***

Just as Varbu had predicted a trip that was supposed to take them a week had lasted over two weeks due to the constant errors in Chack’s memory.

They found out that he had slept for most of his only trip to the trading post so he only knew parts of the path that led to where they wanted to go.

They were exhausted when they finally the trading post reached that was located in a large dry clearing in the swampy jungle.

There were three mud houses built on dry ground. One house for each tribe while the third was used for trading.

“Hey, old werewolf geezers I have come to trade!”

“Oh really?” asked a voice coming from one of the mud houses.

“I lie! I brought people to see you!”

Five burly men with long hair and bushy beards that could almost even rival a dwarfs beard stepped out of the house at the rear of the trading post. The sixth person to exit the house was a skinny guy who looked to be in his late teens and had no beard.

“Who are you guys?” asked Chack confused.

“That’s what we want to know. Why are you here early? There are still several months until the elders arrive for the yearly trade. So you should not be here,” said a man as tall as Varbu.

The hair on his head, as well as his beard, was a fire red color with a few streaks of gray showing his age.

“I brought some people that wanted to meet you!” said Chack.

“HA! More likely you thought that the elders were going to be here and wanted to rob them!” said the teenager.

“No, no! I would never lie! I lie! I lied about not lying but not about coming here to rob you!”

“What should we do with them Redbeard?” asked a muscular man next to him.

“Capture them and we’ll beat the truth out of them if we have to!” ordered Redbeard.

The warriors without hesitation transformed into werewolves in less than a second after hearing the order form the pack leader and leaped forward to capture the suspicious people. Almost all of them had fur that was a different color from one another the only two with the same color fur was Redbeard and the young teen werewolf. 

“Wait! I’m a werewolf looking for my clan. We did not come to fight,” said Akira stepping in front of Chack with his shield ready to stop werewolves from harming him.

“Frang, capture that suspicious guy,” ordered Redbeard

Frang, the young werewolf, jumped forward putting all his attack power into his fist.

Bam! The attack from Frang slammed into Akira’s shield, his attack and push forward was stopped by Akira’s sturdy defense.

“Nice try! But you human bandits need to come up with a better trick than this to fool me!” said Frang as he swung his claw at Akira’s head trying to land a heavy blow to knock him out.

Akira stepped to the side and used [Shield bash] to push Frang away. He didn’t dare use his sword or any other skills because of the risk of hurting or killing someone. He needed to convince them they were on the same side and get them to help him.

The others were all caught in the same situation Akira was in not being able to use their full strength either.

“Look this ring proves I am who I say I am!” said Akira holding out the dwarven ring of friendship.

Upon seeing the ring the older werewolves stopped fighting.

Frang, on the other hand, ignored the ring in Akira’s hand and continued to charge forward to trade blows with Akira again.

“Frang, Stop!” Redbeard’s gravelly voice boomed out.

Frang’s movement stopped immediately following orders on instinct.

“You say you’re a werewolf? Then prove it by transforming,” said Redbeard.

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“Well you see…there is a slight problem with that…”

“Either you can or you can’t. If you’re a werewolf of the Earth tribe than at your age you should have already awakened. You’re older than me so…” said Frang.

“He’s a crippled, he told me he can only transform at night,” said Chack.

“I’m not crippled!” said Akira.

“Ha! So either your a liar or a crippled!” said Frang with a laugh.

“Shut your mouth Frang,” said Redbeard.

He walked up to Akira still in his werewolf form and began sniffing Akira.

“Frang, I can tell without needing much investigation that he is indeed a member of the Earth tribe. With your nose, you should have been able to tell before you even attack the first time. Why did you not inform me of this? Has your nose rot off your face or was it that you like my special hell training so much that you wanted another day of it?”

“It’s just for a little fun! No harm was meant, uncle!”

Growl! Redbeard let a loud growl escape from his throat.

“When we’re on missions you are not to be so familiar with me. I am the missions pack leader, not your uncle! Stop acting like a child or you’ll never be able to receive a chance to lead a pack on a mission. You know that will bar you from taking over the position of clan leader when your father retires.”

“Sorry leader I will take your words to heart,” said Frang.

“You, what clan are you from?” Redbeard asked Akira.

“I don’t know…”

“Really? Fine show me your bare arms.”

“This again?”

Growl! “Show me your arms!” ordered Redbeard with a loud snarl.

“Sigh…why do I get stuck babysitting all the young pups!” complained Redbeard, as Akira started to take off his armor that was covering his arms. He felt this was just like the time he had been at the orc city.

When Akira arms were bare for all to see, Redbeard grabbed the right arm with his large paws and scanned it looking for something. When he didn’t find it he grabbed the other arm but didn’t find it there either.

“How come you don’t have a clan tattoo?” asked Redbeard.

“Well you see, a year or so ago I kinda found out I was a werewolf. I was going to come back with other people who knew what clan I belonged to, but I was separated from them,” said Akira.

“What’s your name?”

“My name is Akira.”

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