Two divine totems of extraordinary power. They were shaped like small tiny towers, with crosses at the very top. One was made entirely out of a silvery metal, while the other was a reddish-brown wood.
Once they brought them back to their kings, the greatest minds in each nation were gathered. Their first instinct was to find a way to use the power stored within, to help them combat against the magical beasts and plagues that suddenly appeared within their lands.
Unfortunately, all of the brilliant men and women who came into contact with the artifacts, either died or went mad. Some people were able to obtain powers of their own, merely from living within the vicinity of where the dangerous items were being stored.
However, most animals and plants simply perished. Both kings eventually decided to have the totems destroyed, in order to save their people and the world. Of course, it was totally impossible to even damage those divine chess pieces.
Everything they tried had failed and ultimately, all life on that world was forever altered. Humans evolved into many other races, which were able to stand on equal ground with the vicious magical beasts.
“And so, that’s why we have to hide here underground… Because the air outside is toxic to us humans and there are all sorts of terrible monsters running around that would love to eat us up!”
An old man dressed in a worn-out linen sackcloth was sitting cross-legged in front of a small, flickering wax candle. He had deathly pale skin and there was no hair anywhere on his body. It was difficult to tell whether he was a man or woman simply by his facial features or frame. Although he wore a kind smile, his deep and raspy voice made him seem frightening. His irises were bright blue and actually glowed in that extremely dark environment.
Across from him were a young girl and boy, who were only around ten years old. Their facial features were extremely similar, but not identical. Both of them had short black hair, brown eyes and pale white skin. The children were wearing simple sackcloths, yet they were also wrapped up in a single warm wool blanket.
“Grandpa, you don’t need to come up with these elaborate and totally nonsensical stories to convince us not to go outside.” The little girl she had no expression on her face and the intonation of her voice was almost robotic.
“Yeah, we might be kids, but we aren’t idiots. Magic isn’t real. I read your diary already. Yuri and I already know the truth… So it’s pointless to hide it anymore.” That boy was totally different. It was as if he always smiled, or at the very least smirked as he spoke.
The girl warmed her tiny hands over the flickering candle fire, as she said “Indeed, we already understand our circumstances. It is illogical for you to continue lying to Azra and me any longer.”
“Shortly after we were born, our village was raided by bandits. It’s a common occurrence according to your jaded remarks on the subject. In fact, you were merely passing by and happened to find us by chance.” After speaking, the boy pulled out a small worn out, leather bound journal from underneath the blanket and opened up to the red ribbon bookmark.
Yuri murmured “It is rather strange… That such a coincidence could occur, the odds of which would be truly absurd.”
“We figured that you were probably part of the bandit group, but after killing our parents, you felt guilty… So you took us and fled, hiding away in this huge cave system.” Azra smiled and asked the old man, “Did we guess correctly?”