ฬєɭς๏๓є Շ๏ Շђє คק๏ςคɭץקรє PΛЯƬ 3
ᴠᴀʟᴇꜱᴋᴀ'ꜱ ᴘᴏᴠ Two people are running towards us. Well, one seems like she's floating along and the other is limping. The sight is so comical I almost laugh. Finally they reach us, breathless. "More people!" Clytie squeals and rushes over to greet them. I notice that Romaeo seems to be keeping his distance.
The strangers are complete opposites of each other. The boy, who looks around my age, has messy hair and a wild glint in his green eyes. He looks bedraggled and tired, and his arm and leg both look injured. The girl, however, has almost completely clean porcelain skin, clear, expressionless blue eyes and long, shiny hair. She looks unnaturally a lot like a princess.
"Who are you?" Romaeo speaks up suddenly. I'm surprised by his harshness, but, then again, I barely know him. Maybe he's just extremely paranoid? "I'm Kaz," the boy says. "This is my friend, Cys." We exchange names and gather around the campfire. It's late afternoon. Dusk will be approaching in a few hours.
"So," I say awkwardly. "What on Earth are we going to do?" "What do you mean?" Kaz frowns, puzzled. "Well, we can't just sit here and wait for the Darkmen to finally kill us," I explain. "We have to do something." "There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Darkmen, and only five of us," Romaeo points out.
"But if we can find the Darkmen's lair then we can maybe destroy it," Cys suggests. "And how are we supposed to find that?" Romaeo arches an eyebrow. "Go hunting," Kaz answers simply. "Oh, of course!" Clytie realizes. "We follow the Darkmen to their lair and blow it up." She makes it sound so simple.
"This is stupid," Romaeo groans and puts his head in his hands. "Well, if you've got a better plan then please, I'm all ears," I retort. "We're better off staying here and defending our camp," says Romaeo. "Guys, guys," Cys interrupts. "The fate of the world is in our hands. We are the last humans on this earth and it's up to us to save it."
I can't help notice Kaz look at her strangely when she says that. It's probably nothing. "You're right," says Clytie. "We need to rebuild the empire and to do that, we must eliminate the Darkmen." Kaz rubs his hands together, green eyes glinting mischievously. "Then let's outsmart these Darkmen, shall we?"
ᴄʟʏᴛɪᴇ'ꜱ ᴘᴏᴠ Right now, I'm positioned at the edge of the camp as a lookout. I glance at Kaz, who's a few metres away from me. He didn't exactly want to be a lookout but Cys said that, because of his injuries, he shouldn't participate in the actual fight.
The plan seems simple enough; wait for the Darkmen to attack our camp, capture a Darkman, then see what we can do with it. I'm hoping it'll be able to communicate with us and I can study it. I've always wondered how Darkmen communicate with each other. Are they telepathic? Do they have some sort of code? Despite the fact that I'm terrified of them, I actually find the Darkmen quite fascinating.
There's so much stuff we don't know about them and that thrills me.
"They're here!" I hear Kaz yell. I blink, confused. Then it all comes rushing back to me. Oh, shoot. Darkman attack. I scramble from my hiding place and grasp the dagger in my hand. I spot Kaz loading his rifle, despite Cys' orders.
"Remember, we need one alive!" Valeska calls out but I barely hear her. The rustling the Darkmen make as they move is deafening me. Maybe that's how they communicate? I think dimly, barely registering the Darkman I've just killed. There are a lot more than I was expecting. Maybe this isn't such a simple plan after all.
ʀᴏᴍᴀᴇᴏ'ꜱ ᴘᴏᴠ Mine and Cys' job is to capture a Darkman. I have no idea how, but hopefully Cys has a plan because right now, my mind is focused on the Darkmen trying to rip our insides out.
"This one!" Cys calls to me and I see a Darkman lunge for her. Immediately I run towards them and grab a net. I throw it over the creature and wrestle it to the ground. The Darkman tries to engulf me in shadows but Cys grabs its shoulders. The Darkman writhes in pain. Cys' knuckles turn white as she tightens her grip. I frown, confused. Cys' touch seemed to be burning the Darkman.
Just then, silence falls, aside from the angry hissing from the Darkman. It takes me a moment to realize that the fighting has stopped. All that remains is ashes and three other humans looking utterly exhausted.
Clytie rushes over to the captured Darkman (Cys has tied its wrists together) and bends down. "Careful," I warn her. She ignores me and takes out a notebook and pen. "We actually caught a Darkman," she says, wide eyed, as if she can't quite believe it. She starts sketching it and taking notes.
"Oh, calm down, geek," I roll my eyes. Clytie glares at me. Valeska tentatively approaches the grotesque thing. "Hello?" I can't help rolling my eyes again. "It's a Darkman. It probably doesn't know how to talk or even understand you." "They were humans once," Cys says quietly.
But to my surprise the Darkman stirs and glances up at Valeska. She slowly, nervously pulls back its hood, revealing empty, dark pits where the eyes should've been, pale, sallow skin and a white slit of a mouth. I look away at the sight of this ugly, vulnerable creature. Behind me, Kaz gags.
Valeska takes a step back and Cys leans towards it. "Hello," she says softly. The Darkman bares its fanged, yellow teeth. I see Valeska scrunch up her nose, disgusted, and Clytie eagerly scribbling in her notebook.
"Hey, it's okay," Cys says gently. "It's not really," Kaz points out. "We're about to ask it some questions that could potentially lead to destroying its own kind." Cys silences him with a look. The Darkman hisses and tries to break free but when Cys raises her hands, it backs down. There's something off about her...
"Can you understand me?" Cys asks slowly. The Darkman dips its head in reply. Cys continues. "Can you speak our language?" The Darkman stays silent. Then, haltingly, it says, "Your language is foul." The Darkman's voice is heavy and rasping. It sends shivers down my spine. Clytie, however, seems delighted.
"This is incredible," she breathes and looks into the Darkman's empty pits, as if searching for its secrets. "I'm Cys," Cys says. "Do you have a name?" "Darkmen don't have names, little girl child," the Darkman says coldly. It hesitates. "But I think I was called Felix."
"May I call you that?" Cys asks. "Never," the Darkman snaps. "I am not human. I am hungry for human flesh." I shiver. "We shouldn't be doing this," I tell Cys nervously. "This is stupid." "Everything is stupid to you," Valeska tells me bluntly.
The Darkman laughs. I freeze at the sound of it. Its laugh is hollow and humourless, like all hope is lost. It's dry and evil. "How you humans bicker so," it rasps. "Come join me. With the Darkmen, there will be peace." "Never!" Kaz roars and lunges for the Darkman, dagger raised. "Stop!" Cys cries. Kaz halts, breathing deeply, his eyes blazing with anger.
This is the first time I've seen him properly furious. The Darkman snickers and it takes all of my might to not wince at the horrifying sound. "Little human boy, so weak and full of hate," it taunts Kaz. "One day you will betray your human friends." Kaz quivers with fury and says nothing. What did the Darkman mean? I don't think I'll be able to trust Kaz now.
"Where is the Darkmen lair?" Valeska asks suddenly. I almost slap her. This is not how you approach things, Valeska! The Darkman smirks. "Follow the star and you'll end up where the sky meets the land. That is where we hide." I'm surprised at how calm it seems and how easily it betrays its own kind.
"It must be lying," I say. "There's no way it'll give up it's own kind that easily." "I tell truth, little pessimist," it says smoothly. "Darkmen have no sense of loyalty or betrayal." "So we could've just asked one of you guys from the start and this would've all been over in a second," Valeska throws her hands up in exasperation. I still think this is a trap.
"Well, thanks for your time, Mr Darkman, but it's time for your life to end," Kaz says hurriedly and raises his gun. "But I really want to study it," Clytie murmurs more to herself than anyone. "I am already dead," the Darkman says quietly. Kaz shoots it and it disintegrates into a pile of grey ashes.