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Aether Beasts

Chapter 3 - 3

Chapter 3 - 3

I awoke to pain, and a rock poking me in the face. My entire body ached and as I went to move, wounds that I had ignored woke, and the wave of agony that washed over me, was almost enough to make me want to puke, but even through all that, I smiled.

I was alive. I had survived being chased by a gale wolf. Although now I had to figure out where I was and how I was going to get back to town.

I slowly got into a sitting position, careful of my wounds. I looked over my body and tested each limb. Luckily I didn"t have any broken bones or any sprains. It was mostly just torn flesh and bruises, not that those wounds were good. I didn"t have any healing elixirs on me or healing salves.

My surroundings were pitch-black, and I could only just make out stone walls. I was in what seemed to be some sort of small cave.

Before I did anything else, I took off my jacket and tore off a few strips from it, using the sharp rock that had been poking me, I tied the strips around my wounds. It was the best I could do, and I would have preferred to wash the wounds first, but there was no water around, so dry bandages would have to do for now.

Once I was done with the last bandage, I shakily got to my feet, feeling like a newborn lamb. I wanted to find the hole I"d come in from. From my memory, I remembered falling before I landed so I moved to the closet wall and put my hand at about head height, and started feeling for the hole. It took only a minute to find it and I winced at the idea of traveling back through. I would if had to, but it was best if I checked for another exit. I definitely wasn"t going to be going back out anytime soon. I didn"t know how long I"d been unconscious, but from the freshness of my wounds and the lack of dry blood, it couldn"t have been too long.

So, I got to searching, moving across the walls of the cave, seeing if I could find another gap, or hole or something. To my surprise, my hand ended up touching something that felt like wood, and another minute of feeling revealed it was a door.

I frowned. Could I be in some old world ruins? It was possible and meant that perhaps I could find some supplies or another exit, hopefully. The door had a simple handle, but it took my full weight pressing against the door while I twisted the handle to push it open.

Some of the wood snapped as it did, but luckily I came away with no splinters. The hallway behind the door was far cleaner than I expected, and to my surprise, there was a flickering light coming from above. It lit up the hallway enough that I could see another door at the end, although it also gave everything a very creepy vibe.

I slowly moved through the hallways until I got to the door, which didn"t take as much effort to open as the last. What awaited me on the other side, sent my head spinning for a second. The room was well lit, with a large light at the center, and there were racks upon racks of metals, and other materials I couldn"t identify along with boxes with labels written in common, or English as it had once been called.

There didn"t seem to be anything else in the large room so I moved over to the closet box. Opening it, I found more metal, but this time in odd shapes. Just like that, I moved through the room, checking all the boxes and I was beginning to lose hope of finding anything useful when I came across an open door near the left side of the room.

There was a white light spilling out from it and I moved to enter but froze at what I saw.

With a hand in what looked like some sort of white metal box, was a green humanoid creature that I"d never seen the like of before. Her eyes were closed and her lips were pale and bloodless with small tusks jutting up from her lower lip, but even so, she was beautiful. Her toned and muscular yet curvy body was a vibrant green with red and blue patterns running across it. She wore little in the way of clothing, with straps of red clothes covering her breasts and private area. A large necklace of gold adorned her neck along with a crown atop her head, but most odd of all was the five sets of arms she had, each ending with hands tipped in nails painted with different colors.

It took me a moment to realize this was an aether beast, a humanoid aether beast. I"d heard that they existed, but nowhere near West Vale or even above the great scar. I should have probably been scared, but she didn"t look like she was getting up anytime soon. In fact if not for the barely twitching eyelids, I would have assumed she was dead.

I don"t know why I did it, but the urge to touch her was strong, almost compulsive in a way. Not in a sexual way, but just to make contact. I inched closer and placed a hand gently upon the center of her chest. Nothing happened at first, but then I felt a burning pain within my eyes and a surge of energy ran through my entire body.

A moment later, her eyes snapped open and as we stared into each other"s eyes, I felt the aether within my body begin to vibrate, and my eyes widened as I realized what was happening. My body froze and I waited for this beast to take my head from my shoulders, but instead, I felt something grasp onto my aether, and a moment later, it was forming into the shape of a core. I stared at her, uncomprehending what she was doing.

I felt the core snap into place within my chest, and her eyes softened as she smiled.

Her voice was rough and dry, but she managed to croak out two words.

"I accept."

Her body slowly began to fade into green smoke which slowly moved up to my mouth where it entered into my body before moving down into my new core. I didn"t dare move, not just because I was shocked, but because my aunt had told me never to disrupt the process of absorbing your first essence as it could lead to problems.

Her essence filled my core, a vibrant green smoke, the affinity of nature. When it was settled, I dropped onto my ass, my eyes wide and my mouth open.

"What the fuck."

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