Return (Not What She Expected VII)

03 Jan 2022  C. chou  5 mins read.

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“MY GOD, YOU’RE ACTUALLY BACK!” The head commander shouted.

Xev put a hand to his forehead. All those letters that he sent apparently did nothing to quell his superior’s excitement and surprise. But he couldn’t let the man continue with his absurdity. An accidental leak of military secrets would already be bad enough, he couldn’t let the man delay any of his rescue efforts any further. Xiyana was still waiting for him.

“And we’ve already discussed this over our written correspondence.” He answered in irritation.

“Yes, of course!” The commander exclaimed passionately. “But I couldn’t be sure. After all, You are the first petrification survivor in over a decade.”

“But we’ve already gone over this Several times in our letters.” Xev responded. He wasn’t sure where his superior got all that energy from. Regardless, the man had a terrible sense of prioritization. Xiyana could be in danger at this very moment, and he still had time to talk about things that have already happened? Things that he already explained in detail over writing? His eyebrows twitched in his efforts to hold in his annoyance.

“You do remember my terms for returning in such haste, don’t you?” He asked through clenched teeth.

“Of course!” The older man responded, patting his shoulder, as if trying to quell his anger. “You’re free to use whatever resources military resources you need to find her. I’ve assigned you a small unit to function as your rescue expedition team, whenever you’re ready.”

“Thank you.” Xev answered, forcing himself to calm down. “Then, I’ll be excusing myself for now and I’ll report to duty as soon as I bring her back to safety.”

“WISH YOU LUCK!” His supervisor shouted behind him, as he left the tent.

He pulled out the sheet of paper from his pocket. Xiyana’s last cellphone location. He was grateful for the insider friend that granted him access to the information given the extraordinary circumstances. From the coordinates, he could tell that she was headed toward the center of the forest. A place that not even he could claim having ever visited, despite his efforts to defend the country’s borders from the increasingly encroaching wildlife. What was the warlock thinking? Taking her to such a dangerous place?

He cursed internally. From the points, she was still weeks of walking away. Even if he managed to get access to a military vehicle, fuel tanks were far too limited in size, and he’d quickly run out before reaching her. Moreover, getting access to something like that was far more than his commander had power to offer him. Furthermore, she could continue make simultaneous progress, and therefore consistently reduce the value of his efforts to close the distance between them. The last cellphone location was hardly enough.

She’d been out of range for over a week. Even if she continued in that general direction, he couldn’t pinpoint her exact trajectory. The forest was so big, he couldn’t be sure they’d encounter one another, even if he searched the broad area. Furthermore, his commander expected him to be back in less than a month’s time. Still, he needed to get her out of there as soon as possible. It was all that warlock’s fault! But the man wasn’t entirely a warlock either, was he?

If anything, he was more than the average warlock. Not only was that man able to detect his tier, but according to what his men, it sounded like the warlock cured him of petrification as well. Too bad there wasn’t sufficient petrol available, otherwise driving a car or flying a chopper were all far better options. He clenched a fist around the locket, which he still kept wrapped around his hand, underneath his leather gloves. He was going to bring Xiyana home.

Kestyn smiled, as passed a cloth over his blade, polishing it. Though saving Xev’s sister wasn’t exactly the introduction into the battlefield that he had in mind, he was still glad. Finally, he could make himself useful outside of the daily boredom at camp. He couldn’t believe it. Even though he’d asked Xev about being transferred to his unit, he didn’t expect the man to immediately ask the commander about it. He definitely did not expect the head commander to approve. From the looks of it, it seems that the rumors that the commander favored Xev weren’t entirely false.

They would be setting out tomorrow, and he could hardly contain his excitement. If he could do well on this assignment, Xev would probably recommend him to actual combat. And, who knows? Maybe he’ll be lucky enough to personally see petrification worms from the stories this time. The anticipation was enough to make him want to jump up and down.

But rumors also said that General Xev wasn’t an easy man to please. If he wanted the man to recommend him for something, he had to display sufficient talent to get himself recommended for the position. He stood, tucking his blade into its sheathe. Either he made significant contributions toward the effort to save Xev’s sister, or he didn’t. There would be no in between. Drawing his sword against the training dummy, he gritted his teeth. Regardless of how others saw him in the past, he was going to change his life. This mission, he was going to give Xev a lasting impression.

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C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: