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Unexpected development


Everybody turned towards Mady as they heard the ping sound.

Kora pulled out her detector tool and activated it, and it made the same sound as Mady's.

They quickly stood up and were ready to run in the direction the source was, but it was too late.

A small ball of fire appeared in the middle of the camp, and soon it caused a massive explosion that included everyone in it, or almost everyone. Mady had older siblings who would play pranks on her, so over the years had developed a danger sense, and at this moment, it warned her to move away. She got hit a bit by some of the flames, but nothing to cause any serious damage.

The fire and the explosion soon cleared, and Mady saw that it crisped all her comrades, making it impossible to recognize them. This wasn't a normal fire, as it should be possible to burn them that much in such a short time.

She heard some movement from the nearby shrubs, and as she turned, she saw a figure getting out of them.

It was a male humanoid, but he wasn't a human, as his skin was red. Mady knew that this was a sign that he was a Demon, one of the magical creatures.

She had met none in the past, as they were dangerous and very manipulative from the stories she heard. The stories said they ate people's souls, and the purest once was, the more they wanted to consume it—especially the ones who hadn't any of the grown-up activities with the other grownups.

She was frozen in place as the Demon starred at her. He had a small ball of fire on his hands, and he seemed to think of his next move. After a minute or so, a grin appeared on his face, and he started walking towards Mady as he left the ball of fire to disappear.

Mady kept thinking about what she could do, but she knew she couldn't escape this situation. But, there had to be a way out, so she kept thinking.

Soon the Demon was just in front of her, and he kneeled to be at her height as she had fallen to the ground and hadn't stood up. He then brought a finger under her chin to raise her face to take a better look at it.

The moment his finger touched her, though, a yellow light appeared from within her clothes, at her chest area.

The Demon pulled back his hand, but the chain appeared out of nowhere and surrounded him. He tried to fight, but the chains restrained him completely soon enough. The chains seemed harmful to him in touch as he was screaming in pain and soon passed out.

Mady was unsure of what happened, as she brought out of her clothes the amulet that was the source of that strange light. It was a gift from her grandmother a little before she died. She said that it would protect her when in danger, but she never thought it would do something like that. Some cracks appeared on it, making her sad as she had treasured it all those years, as it reminded her grandmother.

She snapped out quick enough as she knew she had to act as soon as possible. Those chains didn't seem real but made of unknown energy, so they probably would vanish soon.

She couldn't communicate with the base, as only the leader could. Moreover, she didn't know the password for her walkie-talkie, and she didn't know if it was even functional after the explosion.

So she got the Demon back to base by carrying him. She couldn't leave him here, as it could be gone by the time she was back with help. This was her chance to prove herself.

Since the chains wrapped him up, she had to "princess carry" him, which was strange. She was strong enough to carry him, but not with ease. Fortunately, even if he was adult size, he wasn't too heavy for her. She had trained herself to be physically stronger than the average girl since she decided to join the army. Still, she needed a break after every few minutes.

The chains completely disappeared after half an hour, but the Demon didn't wake up during this entire time it took her to reach the base. She had some rope with her, which used to time him up after the chains disappeared, just in case.

It took her almost two hours to reach the base.

When she was within sight distance of the guards at the base, she waved at them to come and help.

"What happened? Where are Chief Kora and the rest?" one guard asked her.

"We got ambushed by him. An explosion of his burned everyone else alive. I think he used too much power and passed out, so I brought him as soon as I could."

She didn't plan to let others about her amulet as they would want to take it from her. Even if it was a bit broken, it was too precious for her to give. Not because of the protection, but because her grandmother gave it to her.

"We should get him to Mister Dyan, before he wakes up," she said before they got the chance to ask her any further questions.

The guards helped her get the body into the base and into one cell they had cleared just today. Lead researcher Dyan wanted to have more space if the higher up gave him more magical creatures to work with.

The cells were specially made to handle a lot of damage and could be filled with a gas that would make them unconscious within seconds. Unfortunately, they didn't have a collar like the other two magical creatures brought, but they could order one, or maybe Dyan would make one.

Dyan soon joined them as he got informed about the situation.

His eyes got wide from excitement the moment he saw the unconscious body of the Demon, who clearly was still breathing.

"Where is Kora? She had finally proved her worth."

Silence filled the room, as only the two guards and Mady were in it, and they seemed to get depressed on hearing that name. Kora was a good person, and everyone respected and liked her on the base.

"You there. You were the replacement, weren't you? Where is Kora?" Darien asked with no change in his voice, as he didn't seem to have read the room.

"She… she is dead."

Dyan brought his hand over to his chin as he thought for a few seconds before speaking again.

"I see. So are you the only one that made it alive?"

Mady just nodded.

"Congratulations then. Since Kora can't use her title anymore, you are our new Chief. So, start looking for new members for the next expedition. Will give you a month to do so, but I hope you continue bringing results like that."

His tone didn't change at all during his brief speech. Mady had heard that Dyan was a man sticking his mind at the task at hand but wasn't expecting him not to show any signs of sorrow for a person he worked with for that long.

"Sir, should we go gather the bodies? Soldier… I mean, Chief Mady told us it burned them alive, but something should be left."

"Good idea, soldier. It will provide much feedback on how much damage their Element had done to the flesh without wasting any more people. So, assemble a team and bring them back as intact as possible."

"But sir… shouldn't we bury them?"

Dyan looked towards the guard with eyes of a simple message 'Do you dare to talk back to me?'.

Dyan wasn't the Base Leader but had much power since the actual Base Leader let him do what he wanted. There were instances when people didn't help Dyan and got punished for it, but the punishment was unknown, even though the people never acted the same after it. It was almost like he changed their personality completely somehow.

Some considered that he may have done the same to the Base Leader, but nobody could be certain about it.

So a team was quickly assembled, and this time they used one of their big vehicles as they didn't need to be quiet this time.

It was one of the strangest days of her life, but Mady was glad about what happened as she finally got a promotion. This was the first step to succeeding and earning true freedom from her family's plan for her.

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6 Νοε 2021

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