Otherworlds Origin: Zera (The Exile) Part 1
Today we bring you story of a princess finding her purpose! This story is the only one in our collection that was originally released years ago. But, I bet you wouldn't be able to find it anywhere else. Seriously, go ahead and try, it'd be night impossible.
Chapter 1: Ralik Navar
Zera always enjoyed watching the morning glow of the metallic trees of Zepitan, as they glistened from the sun’s rays. She watched from her father’s – the king’s keep. She knew finally, it was her time to take part in Ralik Navar also known as, “The Exile.”
A loud knock boomed at her door.
“Daughter. May I have a word with you?” her father said from the other side of the metal door.
“Sure thing, I’ll be there in just a second.” Zera peeled away from the window and motioned towards her bedroom door, sliding it open. She was suddenly greeted with a tightening grip from her father, she could barely breathe but she could hear the tears rain down from his face. She was puzzled.
“Dad? Are you okay?” she muttered in concern. The king lifting himself up and bracing her tight with both hands on her shoulders looked down directly into her eyes.
“I did my best Zera, I really did. But despite my best efforts however, I couldn’t get them to call off your Ralik Navar trail.” His face shown concern, more concern than Zera had ever seen from her father before. She lifted her face up with a slight smile.
“It’s no big deal, all raktii go through some trail or another. It can’t be too bad,” she said confidently.
“Well that’s the thing, we have been making great strides in our world at banishing these trails but even I, the king, can’t shy away from the people of this nation. They believe in this trial and my hands are tied in the matter.
Zera knew deep down she was scared. Unlike most raktii which trained in public combat courses, Zera had always taken private lessons, never knowing which of the two were more beneficial.
“I’ll be okay dad, but thanks for caring,” she hugged her dad tightly then gently pushed herself away. “Well I better get some rest! I’ll have to be up early tomorrow for the trail!” she exclaimed seemingly not fazed by the hardships to come. She then spread her arms out wide and dove backwards onto her bed.
The king walked out and looked down beneath his attire, in the palm of his hand was a crystal. “Perhaps, you leaving is for the best. You shouldn’t have to see what is about to come,” he spoke faintly to himself.
Chapter 2: Into Exile
“Ya know the rules, don’t come back here until it’s been thirty days and you have something to show for it,” a raktii said in a grimy slur. Zera couldn’t see anything, her eyes were blindfolded and beside her were the other sixteen year olds partaking in the trail. She could sense the presence of others in the vehicle with her, but its loud engines made communication
difficult. Some odd moments later the vehicle came to a stop and she was gripped around the arms.
“You first princess,” the raktii said as he pushed her out of the vehicle.
The blindfold was lifted from her eyes; standing in front of her was a raktii with a purple mohawk, piercings and tribal tattoos. He wore a loose white shirt cut deeply around the neck. He also had holstered a rather large pistol to his side that adorned bright blue lights emitting from the sides.
“Well here ya go missy,” he gestured forward offering her a stick mockingly. “Be sure to not break a nail!” He began chuckling and walked back to the vehicle. In the car, she could see six others blindfolded. One of them was a male by the name of Rhelis, whom she was very fond of, but never had the courage to speak to.
“Maybe I’ll come across him out here?” She thought to herself as she mildly blushed. “Enough of that! I’ve got to get it together!” she thought to herself.
In front of her were the silver metallic trees, much like the ones she had always watched from her window. She made her way into the woods, knowing they would be dangerous but also her only hope of finding food and water.
As she dove into the depths of the forest, she heard the sounds of something stalking her every few minutes or so.
“I have to have a weapon,” she said to herself.
She gestured over to a nearby fallen tree and tried breaking off one of the branches. She figured that if she could break it off, she could use the metallic branch as a spear of some sort, but it wasn’t breaking off like she had hoped.
Looking around in a panic, Zera spotted a Spearhead Stone right beneath her feet. These stones were crafted by ancient raktii tribes and are as sharp as steel and made for cutting the metallic coating found across many of the wildlife on Zepitan. She began hammering the stone down on top of one of the thinnest areas of the branch beside her. It took her several minutes, but the branch finally gave way, allowing her to now have a one foot pole arm.
“Perfect,” she thought.
Then from the bushes she heard rustling and what seemed to be a four legged creature running in the opposite direction of her. Zera thought it was odd and readied herself up against the tree, hoping to gain a preemptive strike to any foe that tries pouncing on her.
After several minutes had past, Zera let down her guard, lowering the metallic makeshift spear to her side. A scream echoed through the woods that sounded like a plea for help.
Between her compassion and thinking to herself that there’s strength in numbers she rushed ahead at full speed, barreling past the thick wire brushes and trees ahead. In a matter of several seconds she stood at a small clearing where a metallic tiger-like creature known as an Iron Fang was attacking Rhelis.
“Please someone, anyone help!” Rhelis cried as the raktii begun climbing towards the top of a large jagged rock. His clothes were torn, he appeared to have no weapons made, and ultimately seemed defenseless. Zera scared, clutched her spear in her hands tightly and lunged from the side, flanking the Iron Fang. Her attack was swift, but ultimately missed the creature as it swayed out of the way. It raised its claw, slashing Zera across her collar bone and causing her to stumble backwards towards the rock.
“I’ll protect you!” Zera cried to Rhelis. These were the first words she’s ever had the courage to say to him, but not phased Rhelis paid no attention. Instead, Rhelis positioned himself with his feet planted on the rock and leaped forward, tumbling to the ground. With the Iron Fangs attention diverted to Zera, Rhelis made his escape into the woods.
Zera was stunned by what had just happened, she couldn’t believe it, but she had no time to delve into the matter. The Iron Fang pounced forward, landing on top of Zera. Its mouth opened wide, its fangs appeared razor sharp and was only held at bay because of Zera’s quick defending with her spear.
Mustering all of her strength she could, she kicked the beast with her right foot, causing it to flail off of her. She knew this was her only chance, she quickly used her acrobatics training she had learned to kick herself up and jab the spear under the Iron Fang’s jaw – the weak spot. The beast cried as its paws tried to reach for Zera, but its fate was ultimately sealed and the creature died, mounted up by the spear.
Releasing the spear out from underneath, the beast toppled to the ground, causing a flock of silvertail to soar to the sky. Zera, knew she would need to eat soon, so she quickly aimed her spear up towards the wavering flock. Having a hard time, adjusting, she took the shot and flung her spear forward, missing the dozen or so silvertail.
“Well that sucks,” she thought.
She made her way to the spear she had thrown not too far off in the distance. Wondering where to go next, she decided to make her way back the way she had come.
“I can’t say Rhelis is much help, but perhaps he’ll lead me to the others,” she thought. As she began making her way forward, she noticed a blood red pattern spread across the silver ground. As she moved closer she could tell – it was him, Rhelis. His body was torn in two, with a lot of flesh appearing to be eaten.
She didn’t know what to think, on one hand he left her for dead and on the other, she had always had a crush on him. It was then she knew what mattered most to her, survival. She approached the corpse.
“Despite your cowardice, I shall honor you,” Zera leaned down and used her two primary fingers to rub his blood as paint on her spear. From nearby, ruffling in the woods was heard. She jetted up, “Whose there?!” she exclaimed.
Three Iron Fangs began making their way towards her. She slowly started backing away from the corpse and posted to a tree behind her.
“Of course. I can’t believe I had forgotten that Iron Fangs travel in packs,” she thought. As the three beasts encircled her, she knew she couldn’t fight them all off. Instead she looked to the tree behind her, realizing its potential to be climbed.
“It’s now or never.” She jolted up the tree as fast as she could. Her foot planted on the slick metallic as her arms stretched upward, grasping at the towering branches above. Barely managing to reach it, she grabbed it and held it tight, hardly able to pull herself up. It was evident that her enjoyment of climbing trees as a kid was a handy skill.
Growls from beneath echoed through the woods. The creatures wanted to feast tonight and they didn’t seem eager to leave her, without devouring her first. Zera’s stomach growled in contention of the noises the Iron Fangs were making.
“I know,” as she rubbed her stomach. She knew she had no choice at this point but to wait it out. She propped her head up against the tree and starred up at the stars that began peeking through the sky above. “Such a beautiful site,” she believed. She kept starring, trying to divert her attention from her potential death below.