So, this is a bit late. Long story short, I've been in a bit of a rut because when I looked at my chapters I published for this project last week, I felt... unusually embarrassed of my writing. I had wanted to "rush" my writing to get more chapters out for the event, but in reality, I just posted a couple of super-short chapters that felt far below my usual standard of quality, at least in my eyes. Because of that and some unrelated (and physically painful) circumstances, I've not focused on getting around to this.
But that's enough explanation -- the whole reason I started this project is to make fewer excuses and to start writing more. I’ve decided to drastically overhaul my strategy for working on my NaNoWriMo project. I want to take more time to write chapters I’m proud of, which means updates will be less frequent than I tried to make them at first -- but hopefully, they’ll also be longer and more interesting to read.
I also decided I wanted to add some additional content in between the end of chapter 1 and the start of chapter 2 to bette bridge some events and elements I want to introduce soon. Similarly, I’m leaving “published” chapters open to small and larger edits (including the ones I've already published in blogs here), which means I have no point in posting my word count after each chapter. You can expect me to share every finalized chapter in a cohesive structure at the end of NaNoWriMo, because I'd rather not have this project be as confusing and fractured as the KH timeline!
So without further adeiu, enjoy this extension to the end of chapter 1~
Reverting to the same inches-tall height as my friends, I took to the skies on my wings. The battlefield grew quieter underneath me as I hastily darted towards the campsite sitting on the outskirts of Armergida-
-and I felt a sharp arrow nick my wing, cutting off a few strands. I cried out a miniature yelp, and directed my gaze towards the maomaoian with his bow pointed at me. A maomaoian garbed with intricate cloth patterns and decorated with elaborate tribal bracelets. A shaman, maybe? Perhaps that would explain his incredible aura perception. I wasn’t sure how to explain his incredible accuracy.
But I had a job to do. Unfortunately, that day my job meant making his day very bad.
I fell down to the extremely cramped skirmish that my assailant stood within, growing to a roughly six-foot tall form as to not risk collateral damage against our Armergidan allies. My throat undulated in a coarse roar at the top of my lungs. I shrugged off the few stabs and claw strikes the panthers landed against me as I weaved past the majority of their strikes, snatching the darned bow within seconds. The shaman growled furiously at me, but he was quickly silenced by a smack to the face by the curve of his bow. As a notion of respect for the shaman’s skill, I casually returned his weapon to his unconscious body, only plucking a few arrows from his quiver.
“Behind you, sir!”
I impulsively turned behind me towards the unfamiliar voice, only to find two maomaoians facing me as they leapt to the side… no, being knocked aside by the shield-bash of an armored Armergidan. A wolf, judging by the make of his armor. A foot soldier of no rank, on closer examination.
“Hey, thanks for the save!”
“You’re the mercenary Sir Deusarg hired?”
“Felsac Kesei of the Azure Talons, at your service!”
We were speaking in between the blows we traded against our feline attackers, if I didn’t indicate that clearly enough. I’m still new to this whole “autobiography” thing. And we were trading a LOT of blows. It was a battlefield, I can’t realistically recount every single thing that happened there.
“Hey,” I advised my new smallfolk buddy, “Your armor’s looking quite battered. Go retreat, I’ll provide cover.”
“You’re wearing nothing! And you’re bleeding!”
“That’s because my body IS my armor! You’re smallfolk, you don’t get that kinda luck!”
“Now is not the time to gloat!”
“I meant you have to be more-”
Before I could finish, I felt an arrow clip the back of my wings again. And before I could furl my wings and turn around, the wolf warrior was already on it, leaping over my head with a snarl. A pair of archers took aim and loosened their arrows at him, but he cleaved their shots straight out of the air with a single slash. He thrust his sword into one of them with relentless ferocity, and slammed the other’s face into the ground with the palm of his claw a second later.
I never remembered any combat maneuver so easily while writing this autobiography.
And the wolf was struck down by an arrow to the chest one second later.
“Hey!” I angrily called out, adding a snarl to my voice to conjure a shard of obsidian that I flung at the distant assailant. Before they could retaliate, an undulating roar boomed on the edge of the battle -- a wyvern’s roar. A wyvern decorated with stylish (some might say slightly garish) armor and two massive pillars atop his back.
“Attaboy, Mut!” I cheered on my old friend, grabbing the wolf knight’s body as I transformed into my full size and dashed towards the wyvern. The wyvern bellowed cheerfully at the sight of me, meeting me halfway. I rewarded his swift answer to my undulating call with a few pets from my lower arms as I retrieved my battering rams. “Take this knight back to the camp, pronto.”
One affirmative purr later, Mut hurried off towards the knights’ base.
As for me, with the wounds my wings had taken, I wouldn’t be able to take flight after him. Not without a quick rest at the camp, as I had originally planned to do… but my reliable armaments could take a few dozen times as many blows no problem. Pounding my battering-ram tonfas together, I braced them against the onslaught of maomaoian archers (which had never really stopped during my meeting with Mut, it was just a lot easier to deal with at my full size).
With a spring of my legs, I closed the distance between my attackers. With a swing of my arms, I struck down a dozen of them at the end of my tonfas. With a bellow of my voice, I summoned crystals underneath the earth to jostle them and smash them into next week. With a flap of my wings, I spread scales that pinned them down to the ground like knives.
When my body had finally started to feel the wear and tear against their neverending onslaught, I struck my battering-tonfas together, calculating my growls like some kind of angry bookwyrm. The obsidian embedded into my tonfas heeded my call, and formed a hemispherical shield around myself, securing my retreat. I occasionally moved them just far enough to peek at my rivals, the weight of their swarming blows gradually nicking pieces of the crystals, but they dispersed with a simple shield bash. Their attacks grew less frequent and more long-ranged as I ducked behind the lines of smallfolk, then their kaiju commanders. I think I made my message clear at that point -- I had done enough damage to them, and I had no interest in kicking them while they were down.
It was the most vanilla recon job I had since inheriting the mercs. But hey, the pay was good.