It had barely been even a day since the volcanic eruption. Most of the streets were still deep with soot. At least, those streets that weren’t completely buried or burned by active lava flows. I had survived, somehow, thanks to this curse. I didn’t dare take shelter with any others, and that turned out to be a good thing. I can usually handle stress, as a medical doctor, but in a life-or-death situation, I can’t always prevent the change that comes with being a werewolf.
The room had a domed ceiling of twelve arches. The thick transparent glass floor was the face of a giant six-handed clock, ticking ever so quietly. In the center of the magically lit chamber was a being of metal and feminine shape. It rose from a cross-legged sitting position, and drew sword and shield.
The space whale must have fought valiantly against whatever star kraken strangled the life out of it, and now its desiccating corpse was flourishing with scavengers. Whole shoals of void fish continued to fly around, picking off bits of flesh with their sets of three jaws. Vadaria would occasionally pause for a moment to enjoy the pirouettes and seemingly playful spins these wild space-faring creatures displayed.
(This story contains some dark imagery and themes, and may not be suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion advised.)
Within moments they reached the interior of the palace complex, using the rooftops to bypass all the closed gates that tried to stop the spread of fire and movements of the enemy troops. “At this rate the whole palace will burn,” Yang remarked to the qirin, the divine creature’s hooves barely touching down on ancient roof tiles. “If the barbarians of the northwest can’t seize the capital, they will be more than happy to destroy it.”
It turned its head towards them, and they met a gaze like the colorless face of a barn owl, sharp beak and terrible eyes black as night staring back at them.
Xeric scratched his short beard. The young man thought for a long time on how to word his wish. You had to be careful with djinn, he thought, and efreet were even more dangerous than them. In the dark basement storeroom, a pair of fiery red eyes gazed impatiently through the smoke. What appeared to be a horned man had a grin on his face, trying to look trustworthy. It worked surprisingly well.