Chapter 8 | Scout Survives

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The damaged and weak man walked through the thick forest with three children trailing behind, desperate to make it back to the Zena. A crunch sounded, a crunch not made by any of them. All froze stiffly, and dashed behind a tree quickly off the path.

Four heavily armored people atop horses walked by. Two were elven, the other two were human. Each set of armor was black with a special unique design on it, a design nothing like Calvin had ever seen before.

Around a month ago, Calvin had been assigned to head to Urania with some other soldiers to scout the area and keep order until everything about the Zena's ruling had been situated. What lied there, was far worse than what he had ever imagined.

Calvin and his fellow soldiers entered the city to see a giant storm cloud hovering above it. It swirled with intensity, lightning occasionally striking out of it and rumbling everything below. No citizens roamed the streets, making it look more abandoned than ever. The soldiers paced through the city slowly and cautiously, being careful and aware of their surroundings.

All of the buildings were heavily boarded up with people inside it, or they were completely raided and abandoned. They only saw two peasants when patrolling, who quickly jumped into a nearby building and locked it before they could get in.

"Alright men," The squad's commander stated, turning around to face them. He had been leading them through the city. "We will start searching the buildings for survivors and finding out why everyone is hiding. Move out,"

The soldiers broke apart, drawing weapons as they went. Calvin pulled out his bow, and he reached behind his back for an arrow. Once one was perfectly wrapped in his fingers, he yanked it out and put it onto the string and tugged it back slightly, ready to shoot at anything coming at him. Calvin also pulled out a small dagger as well, in case something happened to his bow.

Calvin looked at a house, which it's windows had been shattered completely and the door had been broken off its hinges. He shrugged and walked inside the open doorway, the floorboards creaking loudly.

The house looked like a graveyard of mystery. The cabinets all hung open, a couch had been turned upside down and a dresser had its contents of small amounts of clothing spewed across the living room floor. Holes in the wall and cracks in the roof and ceiling appeared almost everywhere, and the building looked like it was going to collapse any minute now.

Calvin searched throughout the three bedrooms in the house, which also had been looted and destroyed. Once he finished, he went back to the living room and spotted a ladder near the entryway which led to the attic. It wasn't there when he entered the house. He hesitated but climbed up it slowly, bow raised and ready.

His head popped over the top of the ladder, bow quickly following. A man with torn clothing was hurrily running towards Calvin in fear. The soldier prepared to shoot the survivor because he thought that he might harm him, but the man tackled him off the ladder before any blood was shed.

Calvin and the man tumbled off the ladder in a mesh of limbs. They hit the floorboards hard, the man atop Calvin. The soldier fumbled for his bow, which he must've dropped when he was tackled.

The man didn't hurt Calvin, despite his worries. He hopped up and ran to the door,  shutting it and locking it as he walked deeper into the house. He began to rip off the floorboards and nail them to the doors and shattered windows, as if to prepare for something.

"Help me! Before we are turned!" The man hurriedly said, nailing the boards onto the doors and windows with a hammer Calvin hadn't known he had.

"What's going on, sir?" Calvin asked quickly, picking himself up off the wooden floor. He looked around and spotted his bow lying on the ground near the ladder to the attic. He slowly began to walk over to it, trying not to alert the man in case he was dangerous, which Calvin feared.

"The storm! It's almost time for the rain again!" The man shouted, distress in his voice. "Help me if you don't want to let them in!"

"Let who in?" Calvin asked, slowly making his way for his bow. He pulled an arrow out of his quiver and prepared to load the weapon once he regained it.

"Them!" The man turned around and shouted at Calvin with insanity. "The evils! The cursed! The ones who got turned!"

"Turned into what?" Calvin asked. He was now standing in front of his bow.

"Watch out!" The main shouted, running at Calvin and tackling him to the ground. They tumbled across the wooden floor, landing with a huff.

"What's going on?" Calvin asked, looking around as rain began to pour in from the attic. The rain was black, not blue like normal rain.

"Oh no," The main said. "Do not touch that water! It'll turn your soul evil and you'll become like them!"

"Wait–" Calvin said, pushing the man off him and picking himself up. "What do you mean?"

"That storm," The man said, brushing himself off. "is a storm of evil. Rumors says it was created and unleashed by Braunick himself before he died in one last effort to take over Renya. It's the Storm of Dark Energy, which slowly grows and rains evil energy every hour."

"The evils," The survivor said, walking over to a boarded up window and glancing outside through the cracks. "are what we call the ones who got turned. They turned crazy from all the evil energy. It's an apocalypse here in Urania, and I suggest you and your soldier friends leave as soon as possible."

"That thing is constantly growing? Like, it can eventually grow over all of Renya?" Calvin asked.

"Yes," he stated, pulling out a water bottle and taking a sip. "Renya is completely doomed."

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