It was the peak of autumn on the 2nd of the islands of Codda, when the Night Lord received his millionth minion.
It was the evening of October the 14th, the time when most people were hastily rushing home from a hard day of hunting, selling, and buying. Leaves lay tasseled and scattered on the cold earth, their once-brilliant colors faded by the crisp, frigid winds. The sky put on a radiant display of colors, pink and orange and yellow and red, as the sun fell from its usual perch, glaring over the village of Tam, behind a tightly knit forest of Pine and Cedar.
The short, blunt sound of a shovel repeatedly colliding with the dirt echoed from the woodland, its source tracing to a large clearing, in which a pine tree had toppled over. A man, his pale face glistening with sweat, swore as he continued to dig a trench under the tree. Silver ink on the blade of the Claymore strapped to his back identified him as 'Pabu'.
"Damn Mages," He fumed, "Think that just because they can 'harness the arcane forces', they're better than us…don't even bother pick up the trees that they blow over…No damn respect…"
He stopped abruptly, pausing to look up at the sky, and wiped some sweat off of his brow. With a sigh, Pabu returned, satisfied, to his job, seeing there was plenty time left before nightfall. Subconsciously poking the shovel lightly against the dirt, he calculated how long it would take him to finish his job.
Pabu was a worker. By the time he was twenty, he had tried his hand in so many different fields of work even he had forgotten most of what he had did. Now, well over fifteen years later, with his signature grunt, he finally gave up and became one of the king's grunt workers. Of course, he got paid less than a beggar, but it was satisfying to him, watching his muscles grow with every job.
Pabu frowned as he heard the shovel hit rock. Curious, he rapped the shovel against the place where he had heard the sound once again;
"Well, ain't that strange…"
His heart racing, Pabu reached down, and sifted through the loose dirt and pebbles until his fingers came into contact with a solid object. His face took on an expression of glee as he felt a smooth, cold surface. Of course, the first thing that popped into his mind was gold. Shiny, shiny gold.
Pabu wasn't a very educated individual.
He was one of the people that resorted to using profanity when he couldn't find any better words.
Unfortunately, he didn't have a very large vocabulary.
He was one of the people that thought that as long as you at least finish elementary school, your life is laid out on a silver platter for you.
Of course, not having gone past elementary school, He didn't know that gold wasn't the only thing that was buried under the ground.
As he soon found.
When he pulled out of the dirt, instead of gold, a smooth, perfectly circular stone, his initial reaction was confusion, which soon turned to wonder. The stone was black as darkest night, and…humming?
Yes, the stone definitely was humming an unwavering low tune.
Pabu frowned, robbed of his precious gold and instead given a stone. A peculiar humming one, at that.
As said before, Pabu wasn't a very educated individual. But you don't have to be educated in order to know that shiny, smooth, perfectly circular black hummingstones were rare. And that although they were definitely not as worthy as gold, they had to have a significant value on the market.
Pocketing the strange stone, Pabu retrieved his shovel and started humming happily along with stone. If his calculations were correct (Which of course, they were not), he would be rich before the end of the week. It was foolish of Pabu to think he could make his fortune off of one stone. But of course, he didn't exactly care.
He failed to notice that a red sphere had risen up into the black sky.
What he did do, however, was frown; the sweet song of the doves had ended as abruptly as it had started, and the faded chirp of the crickets faded even more. Pabu's frown deepened, as the stone in his pocket started humming louder. A deep sense of foreboding filled the air, almost as thick as the mist that was forming in the rapidly freezing air. Slowly, Pabu fearfully looked up at the sky, and gave the least manly scream known to the world.
"No…no…" He whispered to himself, all color having been drained from his cheeks. His hand drifted up to the hilt of his Claymore, but before he had a chance to draw it, a smooth, dark voice echoed through the air.
"You think you stand a chance against me, in my own territory?"
The voice chuckled. It was everywhere, yet nowhere at the same time. Pabu's eyes went wide. The stone in his pocket started humming louder, as the first one stepped into the clearing.
It had obviously been a Stag before. Its fur, a glowing purple and red, was sleek, yet it seemed healthy and strong in body. Its antlers were sharper than the finest sword, and its hooves were the blackest black.
"Why are you fighting? I have an army, and you have nothing. Pitiful mortals. Pitiful, stupid mortals."
The stone hummed louder, vibrating in Pabu's pocket. Pabu paid it no mind, his fearful gaze locked with the Night Creature. It stared back at him with a cold, steady gaze. It was a killer, useful to its master for only one reason. To make more killers.
It took a step forward, and Pabu took a step back. Stumbling, his back hit a tree.
"Please," Pabu said hoarsely, "Have mercy on a man..."
"There is no mercy."
At that particular sentence, Pabu's heart leaped to his throat. Tears streamed from his eyes as he started to blubber apologies, curses, anything that sprung to his mouth.
The Night Creature charged.
Pabu, caught by surprise, raised his hand to his sword, but it was too late. A sickening sound filled the air; as he slowly gazed down to see the night creature's antlers sticking into his stomach.
His vision becoming blurred, Pabu gasped as the burning pain spread throughout his body. He couldn't breathe. Grasping at the air, he tried to force it into his mouth, but his lungs were punctured. The night creature drew back, and he felt a sharp pain in his abdomen, blood sprayed from the large hole in his stomach, splattering the grass and the trees a deathly red. The night creature walked away with a casual snort, without a second glance at his prey, back through the undergrowth. Grasping desperately at the air, Pabu collapsed into the pool of blood below him, his breath coming in short gasps. At last, he gave up. His body emitted a final twitch, before stilling for the last time.
The last thing he heard was Night Lord's laugh, as everything went white.
The shiny, smooth, perfectly circular black stone in Pabu's pocket stopped humming.