'The Covens Underneath'
I don't own CCS, but I do own the story in this fic and things that are non-CCS related. All the name of places, historical events and other things mentioned, which you don't seem to know IRL, are products of my imagination. Any similarities with the actual thing is purely coincidental.
I would be using beings from folklores and myths, but please if it somehow different from the facts in real life...do not be surprised. This is still fiction and I would like to introduce my own version of these species.
The people of Mercallis, a country with four islands separated by the sea, lived a peaceful life. Or rather, for the mortals of Mercallis, that is. Blinded by the facade created to shield their eyes from the truth, no one ever suspected nor questioned the unexplained events that had been happening every now and then. For hidden beneath their cities, the horror of reality can be found. Unknown to the majority, the minority species ruled over them. Beings that were supposed to be mere products of folklore walked in the same earth. They were society's high-classed families, but when night falls...
They feed among the living...
They fight over territories...
Territorial boundaries for human blood...
With theirrespective vampirecovensenriched with culture and evolution.
So when the human orphan named Sakura stumbled upon these secrets underneath her school, the existing caste was greatly disturbed. It would have been easier to either erase her memories or to kill her. But the unbelievable happened when the Li clan's beastshifter vampire, Syaoran, started obeying the mortal damsel in his animal form.
In his animal form wherein he is in his strongest self…
In his animal form wherein he has no memory of whatever he does…
In his animal form wherein his power cannot be controlled by anyone...even himself…
Supposedly...until she came...a human.
An unthinkable exception was made as Sakura journeyed to the reality with the facade taken off her eyes. She found herself thrown in illusions, incantations, curses, tournaments, and deaths that included the path towards her roots and the key to unlock an ancient power in the world of the damned.
--Somewhere in the countryside--
The fourth season of the year that time was. Wherein the country was covered with white blankets of snow and the clouds were heavy with more promises of cold weather. That night, the sky was unexpectedly clear. The moon shone in its full beauty as it brightened the land with its enchanting light. Stars beckoned the dark sky like jewels laid out for ones picking. The trees lost their leaves and looked like bony hands stretching out in the shadows with their trunks deeply buried in the deep white lumps of snow. Broken shards of icicles from a nearby cave floated on the small river that connected the country side to the urban area which somehow indicated a certain boundary to travelers who dared cross the land.
"Iii-yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" a shrill sliced through the silence.
A brown-haired plump woman, probably a farmer's wife, sat down on the ground. The basket full of vegetables she carried was tossed to the side with the rest of her belongings. Her eyes were wide with horror. The sound of bones being cracked could be heard.
Before her, her husband laid sprawled on the cold earth. A black dog, larger than her own size, bit every flesh away from the man's body. Its claws pinned the lifeless carcass. Its powerful jaws tore one limb after another. Blood splatted around in deep red contrast to the white snow as the big animal growled in satisfaction.
The woman breathed heavily and bit her closed fist. The pain told her that the scene before her was indeed real. "A-na-ta..." She was barely able to get the words out of her mouth as her whole body trembled with fear.
--Somewhere in the city--
The light casted by the moon was the only thing that invaded the dark room. Ebony carved chairs and tables were barely visible in the shadows. Red pillars designed with oriental engravings stood majestically beside each corner. At the center of the room, a large oval shaped window laid open. The gentle breeze of the night air made the translucent silk-like white curtain flutter gently.
A woman stood with her back against someone before the window. Her long black hair tied in an elaborate knot which exposed a smooth pale neck. Her frame suggested strictness and power complimented by the long oriental dress she wore. She tapped her black fan on the window sill every now in an attitude which reflected prominence as she waited for her henchman's report.
"Yelan-sama," the man behind her spoke. He was down in one knee, head bent in respect to the person in front of him. His face lay hidden in the shadows.
"He's gone again, isn't he?" the woman asked.
"I'm afraid...he is in his usual rampage," the man replied sourly.
--Back at the countryside--
Tears were falling down the woman's face by the time the large dog grew bored with its prey. It suddenly turned its head and glared at the live meat before him. The farmer's wife gave a sharp intake of breath as she realized that the beast had turned its attention to her and started growling at her.
I must...get up..., she thought.
The black animal started walking slowly towards her direction. His paws gave out some strange aura which made the snow beneath him turned to ice at each step.
The woman shut her eyes. No...I mustn't close my eyes.
Despite her fear she desperately tried to open them once again.
I must run...run...
The woman tried to get up. Her knees were shaking as she did so. The beast was looking at her straight in the eyes. Finally, she couldn't take it any longer and sprung on her feet to run for her dear life. The large dog gave a deafening roar which shook the snow on the trees around them before sprinting in all fours after the woman.
--Back in the city--
"Then, what are you still doing here!" Yelan said in sharp voice. "Find him! Before he causes too much damage. I just used the adjinaya stone yesterday. If we waste any more valuable usage of the stone, there won't be anything left to utilize when it's time for another feed. Our clan will go hungry!"
"I understand, Yelan-sama," the man replied.
Then, she faced the man. "There are limits as to how many times we can use its memory distortion capabilities on humans in a week. And I wouldn't have myself go to another clan to ask another favor on using their adjinaya. I simply wouldn't!"
"We will try to track him down. But Madam, we must remember that the young master's abilities are getting hard to contain as he grows up. No one can ever go near him every time he changes," he remarked. "Too bad he has no memory of it every time he returns back to his original form."
Yelan clutched her fan hard and gritted her teeth. Pearly-white fangs started getting exposed as she spoke. "If I must train him again in another craft, I will do so! Now go and bring my son back to me!" she commanded, pointing her fan towards the door.
"Yes, Madam." The man bowed his head and suddenly disappeared in a thin lace of black smoke.
--Back at the countryside--
The woman was breathing hard. She was at her limits. Her foot dug hard unto the cold water of the river as she tried to get across to the suburban area. Surely, she would be safe once she reached the small village of Saradik. She tried to run with all her might and called for help. Unfortunately for her, only a few people lived in their valley and most of them transferred residence. She couldn't explain it. They seemed to be happy today but the next day they would leave for the city. One by one they started disappearing.
A thud suddenly broke her trail of thoughts. "Noooo..."
Standing on top of a hill was the very same beast that was chasing after her. Its puff of breath was visible due to the cold weather. Its large fangs exposed as it snarled towards her.
"Nooo...please don't...," she pleaded, crying."Whatever you are..." Her hand instinctively grasped a fallen branch nearby and held it in front of her like a weapon.
The black dog growled even more as if it was laughing down at her. Intolerable fear overcame the woman when she realized that there was no escaping the beast as it lurched forward with all its might towards her. The woman swung the branch against the animal and succeeded in wounding a leg. Even so, the beast pinned her down at the river bank, splashing cold water onto her face. Warm red liquid poured out of the animal's leg yet it doesn't seem to affect it at all. The woman could only stare up at the horrible creature.
The wind rustled the top of the stripped branches of the tall trees. It produced a hallow song throughout the valley, yet below the sound of squirting blood and flesh being ripped open became the only thing evident.
--Somewhere at the outer rims of the small village of Saradik--
"Hop!" a little girl with auburn hair exclaimed while jumping to a stone by the small river. "Eh...to...hop!" She jumped to another stone then laughed cheerfully. Her emerald green eyes shone against the moonlight.
"Sakura-chan!" another girl, whose brunette hair was tied in pigtails, called out to her exasperatingly.
"Lin-lin!" Sakura chuckled softly in reply. "Wu---wo-oh," she said as one of her feet dangled threateningly on top of the icy cold river.
"Aaah!" Lin-lin shrieked as she placed her hands on her face.
"Whops!" The auburn-haired girl suddenly stood in balance. "Just joking! Tee-hee!"
The other girl gave a sigh of relief. "Sakura-chan...don't do that!" she scolded the younger girl.
Sakura stuck her tongue out playfully. "Sorry..."
"We should be getting back. Mistress Sai will be worried," Lin-lin told the playful girl.
The two girls were standing at the narrow end of the river whose water flowed from the countryside. Up here, it was no more than five feet wide compared to its vast extent of the farm area.
The four-year old Sakura only shook her head cutely. "Me don't want to," she replied with a pout.
"What!" Ten-year old Lin-lin exclaimed. "It's getting late, little Sakura. Please be an angel and follow me," she pleaded.
"Uh-uh," the other girl shook her again.
Lin-lin was starting to get desperate. "Umm...you can at least go back in solid ground. You might get your new scarf all wet," she pointed at the loosely tied textile around Sakura's neck.
The emerald-eyed girl only hugged the green-jade fabric closer to her and with a stubborn face she said, "It is very safe around my neck."
The ten-year old's shoulders drooped down. "Sakura-chan...you're impossible...if..."
Just then, a long solid howl interrupted her.
"Huh?" Lin-lin blinked. "Wha-what...was that?"
She turned around to see where the howl came from. The little girl started to get scared and tried once again to coax the younger one.
"Sakura-chan...please...we have to go back...whatever that was...it doesn't sound friendly."
"Sakura-chan?" she repeated.
---still no answer---
Lin-lin looked back at the river. "Eeeeh!" she exclaimed. Sakura was no longer on the rock she once stood. "She...she..." Her hands motioned around her irritably. "...that little girl! She sneaked out again!"
Another howl broke through the night. It was eerie and sounded near.
The brunette girl became scared. She looked around for any sign of the stubborn child but to no avail.
Was it possible that she crossed the river already? Her eyes wondered towards the dark forest beyond the body of water and gulped. Goosebumps started to rise on the back of her neck as the howl became evident once again.
"Ah! I'm sorry Sakura-chan...I'm still too little to handle this kind of pressure. I'll go ask for help back in the orphanage," she shouted, waving her hand frantically. "I don't care if Mistress Sai scolds you again. It's your entire fault!" she declared as if the other girl could hear her.
And with that she bolted back towards the heart of the village.
--Somewhere inside the forest at the outer rims of Saradik--
A little laugh could be heard; same with light footsteps as the four-year old girl ventured deeper and deeper into the forest. The woods were getting thicker yet the path remained clear and visible due to the rays of light from the moon above which illuminated the snowy earth. The surroundings were dark but to little Sakura's eyes she could only see the little crystals of ice in her path which glistened beautifully. The wind was not blowing in a friendly manner yet the girl still cheerfully giggled on how it damped her face.
She continued on and on, dancing round and round until she became dizzy and slumped on the ground. She giggled even more and brushed her face using her scarf. She laid there with eyes closed as she listened to the sound of the night.
"So...relaxing...," she whispered.
Just then, another howl broke the stillness which made the child's eyes blinked open. "Eh?" she sat on the cold earth and looked around her. She was rewarded when she saw the origin of the sound. Not too far away, a large dog stood majestically at the edge of a cliff. Its head was held up high towards the sky and its claws were as black as ebony. Silky fur glistened under the moon's light from the head up to its long fury tail. As it stood, the earth beneath its paws turned to solid ice.
Sakura's curiosity was peeked, so she opted to approach the interesting thing.
At the edge of the cliff, the black dog twitched its ears and glanced down at the trail below. Its fangs started to show as it saw something draw near. In one swift motion, he sprung from where he was in time to cut the little girl on her tracks and growled menacingly.
Sakura was thrown back in sitting position by the swift gust of wind that beckoned her when the animal landed. She winced a little. "Ouch!" she pouted at the beast before her. "That's not very nice!" She pointed one tiny finger at the animal. It seemed to be taken aback at the child's sudden motion.
The little girl stood up once again and looked up at the beast. She was greeted by an icy cold glare of its sapphire-like eyes. Its growls intensified; its breath was emitted like a cloud of white smoke.
Sakura only stared up. Innocent mesmerized eyes searched the face of the beast with her mouth slightly opened. Time seemed to pass with everything gone still. Until finally...
"Doggy!" her emerald eyes lit up. She raised her arms in front of her as if trying to hold the beast. "You're a doggy! Kawaiii--!" She laughed cheerfully.
The large animal was surprised at the little girl's reaction that it ceased to growl. It threw its head back a little to avoid her hand which caused itself to step backwards, exposing the wounded front leg.
"Huh?" Little Sakura blinked. "You're wounded." Her emerald-eyes went from being cheerful to being tearful. "Someone hurt little doggy!" She took off her green scarf and cutely stepped forward to reach the animal's wounded leg.
For a moment there, it looked like as if the big dog would lurch back, but its movements were halted when the girl's hand touched its leg. Its sapphire eyes looked down at the crouching little human at his feet who seemed to be oblivious of the danger she was in. Sakura strapped the scarf around the bloody leg and tied it with all her might.
"There!" She smiled at the beast cheerfully. "Good as new! Tee-hee!" She giggled while holding its left front leg.
The large dog was caught off-guard. Its eyes blinked. And every time it did so, it was met by the smiling little human. Then, the unthinkable happened when the large dog slowly laid down on the child's eye level and ceased to growl. Its fangs were no longer exposed as it stayed there just like that, unmoving.
The little girl was thrilled. Her face lit up more now that she could easily reach 'doggy'. Not a second sooner, she threw her little arms around the black beast's neck and snuggled close against its silky fur with her eyes closed. "You're so warm," she said to the dog with a gleeful smile.
"SAKURA-CHAN! WHERE ARE YOU!" a familiar voice interrupted her moment with her newly found friend. It was followed by other people calling as well.
"Huh?" Sakura let go of the animal and walked a couple of steps towards the trail she emerged earlier. "Mistress Sai?" Her cute little head titled on one side.
From afar, lights from torches were evident. Shadowy figures started to emerge. The auburn-haired girl's face lit up once more. Maybe she could ask Mistress Sai to adopt 'doggy'.
"I'M HERE, MISTRESS SAI!" she shouted on top of her lungs.
"Ah look, Mistress...she is there," one of her male companions said.
The elderly woman rushed to where Sakura was standing. "Oh thank goodness, child! You're alright," she hugged the girl tightly. "We were so worried. Why do you have to sneak out like that?" She let go of Sakura and looked at her straight in the eyes. "How many times do I have to tell you that the forest is a dangerous place? Do you understand me, little one?" She was full of worry.
"I feel restless...," Sakura started to say in her small voice. "...I don't feel comfortable being coop inside a room when the night is beautiful. Sleeping will suggest passing it by."
"But when would you like to sleep? During daytime?" Mistress Sai shook her head. "We will talk about this in the morning. For now, let us head back." She motioned to her other companions and took the little girl's hand.
"Wait!" Sakura exclaimed. The others looked at her questioningly. "Can we adopt a dog, too, Mistress Sai?"
"Dog?" The elderly asked, "What dog?"
"Little doggy! This..." But when Sakura turned around to point to the black dog, it wasn't there anymore. "Huh?" a puzzled expression filled her face. "Where did doggy go?"
"There wasn't a dog here when we came," Mistress Sai said. "Maybe you fell asleep and dreamt about it."
"But...but...," she pouted cutely.
"No buts! You've been to a lot of trouble young lady. We will go home...now," she replied in full authority.
She scooped down the child and carried her back to the path out of the forest. From Mistress Sai's shoulder, Sakura could only catch a glimpse of melted ice from where her 'doggy' once stood and nothing more.
--Back in the city--
"HE CAME BACK?" Yelan could not believe what she just heard from her subordinate.
"Yes, Madam." The man she instructed earlier to find her son was kneeling in front of her once again. "The men were about to give up the search since the sun was about to rise and we are out of our protective perimeter when Syaoran-sama suddenly appeared in front of the gate."
The Li Mistress' mouth dropped open.
"And was he in his beast form or vampire form?" one of the elders inside the room spoke up.
"He was still in his black dog form, Elder-sama." The man nodded. "He walked towards the entrance of the mansion then suddenly changed back to his vampire form. He passed out after that."
Yelan looked puzzled same as the rest of the elders inside the room. The whole Li council was silent and merely returned her gaze with same confusion.
"This had never happened before. Even from past male Li's," an elder remarked.
"Indeed," another nodded. "For all this time, male members of the clan have a more powerful alternative to utilize their inner strength. For a price, that is."
Yelan started walking towards where her six-year old son who now lay peacefully, sleeping as if nothing had happened. She sat on the side of the bed and ran her hand on his chestnut hair.
"For beings like us...," a female elder spoke. "...there are two paths we can become. An encanter or a beastshifter. This family had produced powerful encanters, but it was said that once in a while, a very strong beastshifter will be born to the clan whose power was said to be able to surpass even the encanters' craft."
"But," the other elder butted in. "No one has been known to be able to control this power. In our history, only three people were gifted with this ability. The other two resulted in destroying themselves decades ago when their bodies can no longer handle the excessive strength."
"And now," the female elder once again said. "Poor little Syaoran inherited the same ability. It would have been a blessing, if only anyone could harness it."
"We tried for a long time to revert Syaoran-sama from being a beastshifter into an encanter," a female vampire wearing a red-cloak interrupted them. "But unfortunately, his psyche resisted it. Now as he grows older...every time he changes against his will...even us can't come close to him. We need ten encanters to put him in a cage. After which, he wouldn't have any recollection at all."
The elders nodded in unison.
"One thing is for sure, though," Yelan's voice boomed throughout the room. "This time, someone had gotten close to him successfully."
Her eyes narrowed as she tugged a jade-green scarf off her sons left arm.
(Up NEXT ACT One: "The Beginning of an End" - Chapter One: "An Orphan")
Another fic here :) I don't know if "The Covens Underneath" will be able to measure up with "Incorporated"'s success (it is a success, right?) but it is worth a try, ne? This is the first time I will be writing a story with this kind of genre and large scaled setting (even for my non-fanfic ones before) In "Incorporated", I was kinda hesistant since I've changed some of the CCS characters' personality; not all...just a few. I don't know if the readers will accept it. I was glad that inspite it...the intrigue of the story prevailed. Now, with "Covens Underneath", I don't think I have to stray away from any character's original traits. The only thing that scares me is that I've included vampires in this tale and created my version on how these being exists. If there are any gore enthusiast there...more specifically in the field of beings of the night. My apologies if I am going to break some common folklore about them.
I know that the prologue is not much of a basis at the extent that I am planning for this fic, but the idea is there. It would be helpful to get reactions from readers at this early stage. (or would you guys rather wait for the next chapter? )
So go ahead. Tell me what you think. :) Shall I continue or not? R&R please!