“Any luck?” he asked. She hesitated. She was trying not to find what she knew would be there. And as she passed the light over the stone carvings, she saw it: a bare spot where the inscriptions, lost secrets of ancient Menurabi, were now truly lost, and a circular marking carved over it instead. She pulled out a mid-sized book from her traveler’s bag, holding it in both hands, and recited magic words; her eyes glowed, and in her field of vision, the magical forces of the world were laid bare and visible. The arcane mark shone a dark blue and was indeed a glyph of a solar eclipse with a stylized zigzag, either lightning coming down or a toothy maw of darkness swallowing the sun.
“You have indeed, again, demonstrated quite the feat of agility,” the teacher began, before Asoka cut him off. He had risen from sitting with a tumbling roll while the master was speaking, unfolding to a standing position, drinking his tea from his tail and holding up a furred hand to pause his speech.
“I do not expect a warm welcome,” the Human Spirit said, as another figure moved into view; it was a familiar face stepping out of the shadows, a man with a large green-glowing wolf walking beside him.
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.
(This story contains some dark imagery and themes, and may not be suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion advised.)
I thought that she’d be just another tournament contestant: that I could knock her down with just three punches or so, let the ref announce that Choi Park was the winner yet again, and move on to my next guy. I am very glad I was wrong.
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.”