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Beruta, the Curious: Chapter Three

“Tests and Tests some more”

“Don’t do anything! We are going to wait till my supervisor comes.” The invader said to Beruta.

“Sure, we can do that.” Beruta responded to them.

“Help me, I don’t want to die.” Yume cried.

“Don’t worry Yume. You will be okay.” Beruta said, trying to reassure her.

“I said don’t move!” The invader yelled at Beruta.

“Obviously I am in no danger currently, but Yume definitely is. If I wait till their supervisor arrives then even my Rock Skin might not protect me.” Beruta tried to think of a way to resolve the situation.

“I could probably use Scatter Rocks to blind them, but who knows if that accidental movement will cause Yume and Bruni to be stabbed.” Beruta continued to think. “Though I typically wouldn’t care what happened to Bruni, their Principal had already been killed, so no more of her can be created. I should act quickly though since any moment now she would-” Beruta was thinking to herself when suddenly Bruni elbowed the invader’s arm upward.

“Run, Yume!” Bruni yelled out.

Yume then ran towards Beruta. The invader then stabbed Bruni in the shoulder and grabbed her neck.

“Fine then, I guess I will just get rid of you then!” The Invader said.

Beruta chanted her Technique, Scatter Rocks, and blinded the Invader. The small stones caused an involuntary reaction for them to try and clear it.

Beruta pulled out her weapon and shot them 3 times in the head. Ending the situation. Bruni was bleeding heavily. Beruta took out a patch and gave it to Bruni. 

“Press this on it, your body should heal up.” Beruta told Bruni. 

“Oh no, we can’t waste that on me. What if Yume gets hurt.” Bruni asked.

“Just use it, I can have you leaving a trail of blood behind us as we get out of this place.”  Beruta told Bruni.

Bruni took the patch and covered her wound. It then began the healing of the wound.

The three of them exited the house. Iota was waiting outside the door.

“That was a pretty good use of your techniques there.” Iota complimented Beruta.

“Would you have done it a different way?” Beruta asked.

“I probably would have removed the critical points holding up the walls causing the building to collapse on them with the first technique active to minimize the damage to myself. Or if I was to go with a more silent approach, cause a dust storm in the building slowly filling their mouths with dirt until they all choked. There were plenty of ways for someone like me to resolve that.” Iota said to Beruta.

 “Whose this?” Yume asked.

“She is my teacher.” Beruta introduced Iota.

Iota then summoned the ground and completely swallowed Yume and Bruni into it. They then were pulled underground and vanished.

Beruta was shocked. “Why’d you do that!? After all it took for me to save them.”

“I removed them from this dangerous situation. Traveling with you would have just ended with them being killed.” Iota told Beruta.

“Oh… really? So they are still alive?” Beruta asked.

“Yes, I am transporting them to a city that hasn;t been taken over.” Iota said.

“Hmm, so she does have somewhat of a heart…” Beruta thought to herself smiling. “Thank you, General Iota.” Beruta said to Iota.

“There’s no time for that. I deem that this little test results in a failure for you.” Iota remarked to Beruta.

Beruta was shocked. “Why?!” Beruta asked.

“Their supervisor has arrived and they are far beyond your capability. And all remaining people in this town will be eliminated soon. So overall you saved 2 of the 140 people who were hiding. Which I think would classify as failing.” Iota explained to Beruta.

“138… that is a lot of people who will be losing their life.” Beruta commented to Iota.

“140 would have lost their life if it weren’t for you. So you can take comfort in that.” Iota said to Beruta before lifting the ground beneath them to have them start moving back up North.

“Dammit, again, because of my weakness I let another mass of people down.” Beruta thought to herself looking back at the town. She then looked up at Iota. “Even though Iota doesn’t show it, I know she probably feels remorse too. There is probably a reason why she can’t freely do as she pleases.” 

“You should practice as we travel rather than trying to figure out what I am thinking. Once we arrive at your base I expect you to immediately begin my organization.” Iota told Beruta.

“Oh… that’s right! Iota wants me to form an Organization for her. That is probably her way of ensuring that this event doesn’t happen again. This is her way of getting around the rules placed on her.” Beruta thought. She then nodded her head. “Of course!” Beruta smiled.

The two made their way towards the Southern Capital.

“Are you hungry?” Iota asked Beruta.

Beruta was surprised. “Hungry?” Beruta asked.

“Yes, you must not have eaten since I last saw you, correct? Therefore it has been a day. Don’t you eat once a day?” Iota asked.

“Well we eat a bit more than once a day. But I suppose that’s right. I am getting a bit hungry.” Beruta said to Iota. “However, there is plenty of star light today, so I think I can manage.” 

Iota then created the foods that she saw in the shop from the day before.

“These are things that you eat. Go on and enjoy them. You need your energy.” Iota told Beruta.

Beruta looked down at the snacks they were created before her.

“As expected. There really isn’t anything she can’t do.” Beruta thought to herself as she grabbed a snack and began to eat it.

Iota looked down at Iota eating. There was a tiny indication of a smile, but Beruta did not see it.

They soon reached the Southern Capital.

They both got up from Earth transportation and continued on foot.

“We are about to enter base, so they will check our identification.” Beruta said to Iota.

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll manage.” Iota told Beruta.

They both walked to the gates.

The Gate Guard grabbed Beruta’s ID. They saluted her. “Good afternoon, Lt. Beruta.” 

“At ease.” Beruta said before entering the base. She looked back and didn’t see anyone behind her.

Iota then reappeared in front of Beruta.

“That’s not reassuring for the security of the Suminiatini Federation.” Beruta said to Iota.

“Even if I didn’t hide my presence, there would have been nothing your entire base could have done about it.” Iota remarked to Beruta.

“That may be accurate.” Beruta responded.

Beruta made her way to the Commanding Officer’s building.

“Okay, I am just going to go in and inform them of my resignation under the Sole Survivor Article.” Beruta told Iota.

“Do what you need to do.” Iota responded.

The personnel on the base were moving in all directions. They were responding to invasion cases throughout the country.

Beruta entered the CO building.

“Good Day, Sir. Lt. Beruta reporting.” She said to the Commanding Officer.

“Lt. Beruta, weren’t you still supposed to be on Leave. I didn’t expect you to return so soon.” The Commanding Officer said to Beruta.

“I am putting in my resignation, Sir.” Beruta said to the Commanding Officer.

They were taken aback. “Well this is news to me. A Resignation? Why is this so sudden? Did the trauma of the last battle get to your head Lt.?” The Commanding Officer asked.

“No Sir. I have the right to request resignation as the sole survivor of a unit with more than 12 Participants.” Beruta said to her Commanding Officer.

“This is true. You do have that right. However, with what is happening right now, I can’t really process your resignation if that is your only reason. You seem more than capable to continue fighting. You even returned early from your Leave.” The Commanding Officer said.

“That is true, Sir.” Beruta responded.

“Along with that. In your last Operation we lost 16 Officers.That is no minor loss.” The Commanding Officer informed Beruta.

“I am well aware of the losses we had. I was present when it happened.” Beruta responded.

“Of course. My apologies if that brought up anything sensitive. Despite all of that, you are still choosing to continue with your resignation?” The Commanding Officer asked.

“Yes Sir.” Beruta responded.

“You were always a good Warrior Lt. Beruta. There has to be more of a reason for you to be pursuing this course.” The Commanding Officer asked. He was trying to get information from the hero of the previous battle.

“I have recently come into possession of a unique set of skills that I think would run counter to our current standard operating procedures.” Beruta informed the Commanding Officer.

The Commanding Officer then sent away the Enlisted Personnel in the Room. Then they placed up a Secret Border.

“Go on.” The Commanding Officer said to Beruta.

“If you don’t mind, I would rather demonstrate it than explain it, Sir. Could you shoot me with your weapon?” Beruta asked the Commanding Officer.

“You must have gone mad Lt. Beruta.” The Commanding Officer responded.

“Believe me, Sir.” Beruta assured them.

“Just because you survived that attack does not make you immortal now. The age of immortality ended some time ago.” The Commanding Officer explained to Beruta.

Beruta then moved the Bookcase in the Officer with a small movement of her hand. The case confidently could be said to weigh a ton. The Commanding Officer stopped talking and was confused.

“How did you just do that? Is this the Ability you used to win that battle against that creature?” The Commanding Officer asked.

“If you shoot me, then I will tell you.” Beruta said.

“You know, I can’t just discharge my weapon in the building.” The Commanding Officer said.

“It should be okay. No one will be able to hear it because there is a Demigod outside.” Beruta told the Commanding Officer.

“A demigod?” The Commanding Officer became more confused. They then proceeded to shoot Beruta. The shot did nothing to her. They stood in awe.

“See what I mean now, Sir? Unless I want to be used as a tool for the rest of my life, I am going to need to resign.” Beruta said to the Commanding Officer.

“Hmm, I understand.” The Commanding Officer then walked over to their desk and sat down to come up with a solution. “Are you able to teach this to other people?” The Commanding Officer asked Beruta.

“The Demigod that I was taught by would not appreciate that. Especially if their teachings were being taught to a unit outside of my complete control.” Beruta noted to the Commanding Officer.

“Could I meet this Demigod?” The Commanding Officer asked.

Iota then appeared in the room.

The Commanding Officer was stunned but kept their composure. They didn’t want to show weakness in front of such a powerful being.

The Commanding Officer after the initial shock was surprised that the Demigod looked like nothing more than a young girl, barely in their teenage years.

“What is it that you want?” Iota asked the Commanding Officer.

“Are you the same person that defends Marian South?” The Commanding Officer asked Iota.

“I am not. And such a person, even if they did exist, could not be on the same level as I am. I know this because the people that I come from are prohibited from taking part in such tasks.” Iota informed the Commanding Officer.

“Could my Superiors have an audience with you? Doing so we may be able to work out things for the creation of a new unit-” The Commanding Officer began to say before Iota interrupted them.

“I have zero interest in working under the Military umbrella. I am here to oversee that Beruta’s Resignation is accepted. By any means… Do you understand me?” Iota asked the Commanding Officer.

“Certainly, I completely understand. Is that all you want? Are you not planning to attack the Federation?” The Commanding Officer asked.

“That is not part of the plan. Although, if we could acquire some personnel, chosen directly by Beruta, then that is a guarantee.” Iota responded to the Commanding Officer.

“That shouldn’t be any issue. As long as the individuals are from the Military, then there is no issue.” The Commanding Officer laughed. “Could me and Lt. Beruta talk  privately for a bit?” The Commanding Officer asked Iota.

Iota then vanished from the room.

“What is the purpose of this private conversation, Sir?” Beruta asked.

“How about this? You form a Shadow Unit, all under your command. That way we can still send missions to you, and of course you would be free to accept or decline them. You would receive intel, and a flow of talented personnel. It would be such a shame to not have you within the service of the Suminiatini Federation Military.” The Commanding Officer offered it to Beruta.

“Sounds like the pay should be worth this elite status, yes?” Beruta suggested.

“Of course, the pay will be good. It will be given to you in a Shadow Account.” The Commanding Officer confirmed for Beruta.

Beruta nodded her head. “Okay, now we are getting to more of a favourable agreement.” Beruta added.

“Does that mean that you won’t be resigning?” The Commanding Officer asked.

“If I get that benefit as well as a two tier promotion, then sure.” Beruta added to the agreement.

“Promotions?  That wouldn’t matter once the unit is formed. You may as well be a General.” The Commanding Officer said. “However, because you will be getting such a jump in rank, of course it will be beyond my duties, so I will have to talk to my Superiors to get this started.” The Commanding Officer said to Beruta.

Beruta nodded her head. She saluted, then left the room.

The Enlisted personnel re-entered the office.

Iota was proud of herself for going above and beyond what Iota requested of her. She was eager to see the expression on her face.

Iota waited outside the building.

“Did you accomplish the task that I gave you?” Iota asked Beruta.

“Certainly did. I even got permission to select my own personnel.” Beruta responded.

“There are no strings attached to it. You are your own entity?” Iota asked Beruta once more.

“More or less, that is correct.” Beruta snickered.

Iota then gained a suspicious look on her face. She flicked Beruta’s back and sent her rolling forward across the ground.

“Ouch! Ah Damn! That hurt!” Beruta said as she got back up. “Wait…” Beruta then began to realize what that meant. “How did I get hurt?” Beruta was now confused because her technique should still be active, but the speed at which she impacted the ground should not have caused this much damage.

“I figured as much. Your brain structure has changed in the regions involved in your trust for me. Now invoking my name will now longer activate the parts of your brain needed for the techniques to work.” Iota informed Beruta of the reason why her technique did not work as intended.

“Wait, no. I still completely trust you! I didn’t change anything…” Beruta said, her voice had the sound of worry as she felt powerless against losing her abilities.

“There must have been a power in there that you deemed more Powerful than myself.” Iota suggested to Beruta.

“No, not in the slightest!” Beruta tried to assure Iota.

“By my guess, you likely tried to get money involved in my request. Having money involved causes your brain to become overjoyed with the prospect of receiving money outweighing your desire of becoming more powerful without it.” Iota clarified to Beruta.

“Wait… so if I can’t even earn money using my abilities, how am I supposed to survive? How am I supposed to keep those people working for me?” Beruta asked Iota.

“You should just be utilizing your techniques for the purpose of seeing a brighter future. But I don’t know what I expected. It was obvious by how your Country was run that the people within it would be swayed easily. Or perhaps, if I am more charitable to your Country, maybe I just selected the wrong person.” Iota said to Beruta as she gestured for Beruta to return the Gaia Shard to her hand.

“Wait, no. I will be fully trusting you. I’ll create your unit, no money, no promotions, nothing. I am the correct person!” Beruta cried out.

Iota stood silently with her hand still extended.

Beruta then calmed herself down. She stood up strong as any warrior should.

“Fine.” Beruta handed Iota the Shard. “I will show you that I am worthy enough for it. Just watch me.” Beruat said to Iota. Beruta showed determination in her eyes.

“One would hope.” Iota said before she flew into the air, vanishing into the dimming sky.

Beruta watched as Iota left. She then returned into the building feeling completely defeated.

She walked through the halls. The story of her bringing down the Creature that attacked Sang Ru City circulated through the unit She was being greeted by the other Warriors as they were leaving the building to return home.

Beruta gave them a quick smile, but inside she knew she did not deserve such praise. 

Beruta entered the gym that was in the back of the building. She walked around it quickly. She looked at the machines. “All that working out, and there are beings out there who could surpass all the weight lifting in the World with a single Crystal.” Beruta sat down on one of them.

Beruta let out a silent breath.

“I used to be one of those beings.” She thought to herself. She began to hit her head with her fist. “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Beruta said to herself.

“Ah, Lt.” A Coworker walked up to Beruta.

“Oh hey, ah… Staff Sergeant…” Beruta was trying to recall her name.

“Staff Sergeant Shata.” The Shata responded.

“Right, Staff Sergeant Shata of the Survey Corps.” Beruta said to her. “What’s all good?”

“Is something wrong? I saw you just hitting your head for like a full minute.” Shata said to Beruta.

“Yeah… but anyways. Person to person, okay Shata. Don’t think of me as your superior, or as a Principal to a Render, just for a second.” Beruta suggested to Shata.

“Sure…” Shata responded.

“Why’d you join the Military?” Beruta asked her.

“I don’t have much of an answer to that as a Render. It is simply my responsibility to join for the sake of my Principal. Though I work as hard as I do because I want to preserve our Nation and its rich history from enemies outside our borders.” Shata responded.

“Really? That’s not just what you feel like you need to say just because I am a higher rank?” Beruta asked dissatisfied.

“I don’t know, maybe another reason is that I am not that food unless someone gives me an objective. Direction I guess.” Shata answered. “Why’d you enter?”

“I wanted to be a part of something great, like when someone says ‘The Military’ they think of me.” Beruta looked down. “Who would have thought that now, even though I am practically in that position, I don’t feel that great.”

“Did something happen?” Shata asked.

“I messed up badly.” Beruta responded.

“Ah, there you are Lt. Beruta. The Commanding Officer would like to see you.” Another Officer walked in who was of Lower rank.

“Well, I’ll see you later, Shata.” Beruta got up and walked with the Officer.

Shata looked on as they left.

Beruta walked into a room that had the two acting Generals of the base and the Commanding Officer.

“Greetings to General Yuupiu, General Shaai, and Captain Lanc. Lt. Beruta present and accounted for.” Beruta yelled out and saluted.

“At ease.” General Yuupiu said to Beruta.

“So, Lt. Beruta, we hear that you are in possession of rather unique skills. Mind demonstrating?” General Shaai asked Beruta.

“I am not able to, Sir.” Beruta responded.

“Lt. Beruta, this is not the time to be bashful. Show them what you showed me earlier.” The Captain said to Beruta.

“I really can’t.” Beruta responded.

“And why not?” General Yuupiu asked.

“Because the individual, the Demigod, deemed me unworthy for their use.” Beruta responded.

“Unworthy? What is this? Was this some sort of religion? If you were taught it, you should be able to do it at any time.” General Shaai said to Beruta.

“I don’t know how exactly it worked, I just know that when I said the phrase that they gave me, it allowed the technique to work. But now even when I say it, it does nothing.” Beruta responded.

“Why were you deemed unworthy?” The Captain asked Beruta.

“Because I tried to form this unit behind her back. She was not pleased with that in the slightest.” Beruta told those who were present.

“Tell us about this Demigod. What did she look like, what were her abilities?” General Shaai asked.

“She is tall and has dark hair. She looked young, maybe even younger than I. I also met 2 other individuals just like her. They seemed to be higher in the ranking than her. They were able to destroy parts of Mountains and fly freely in the air.” Beruta informed the General.

“Were they all Ren Shaole?” General Yuupiu asked.

“Yes, all of them were Ren Shaole, Sir.” Beruta responded.

“So you lost all of your abilities because this individual deemed you unworthy of its use. Therefore the Power really lies with them and not you. Am I understanding that correctly?” General Shaai asked.

“Well that’s not technically correct… but I don’t want to get into it.” Beruta thought to herself. “Yes, that is correct, Sir.” Beruta responded to the Question.

“Was the individual’s name Vaneluresa perhaps?” General Yuupiu asked.

“No it wasn;t. The name of the individual that I had correspondence with was Iota.” Beruta responded.

“And the name of the other individuals?” General Yuupiu inquired.

“I never got the chance to receive their names.” Beruta added,

“So Marian South is still in possession of this Vanaeluresa Demigod. Do you have any way to contact this Iota Demigod, or any of the others?” General Shaai asked.

“I’m not sure. Maybe if I become worthy of her lessons, then she will come back.” Beruta suggested.

“How do you do that?” General Shaai asked.

“I’ll have to live without money or something, I don’t really know.” Beruta responded.

“Well, we are only trusting what you are telling us is not a bunch of smoke because the Captain vouched for your validity.” General Shaai said to Beruta.

General Shaai tossed a stack of papers onto the ground in front of Beruta.

“Those are your release papers. If you can get in contact with this Iota Demigod please do. We would rather have her on our side than another Nation’s. With a Demigod, the balance between us and Marian South would be more equal.” General Yuupiu said to Beruta.

“One request before I am dismissed.” Beruta said. The Generals allowed her to continue. “May I have one of those crystals we use to Power the Emergency Generators?” Beruta asked.

“Go on ahead.” Captain Lanc said to Beruta.

Beruta waited for Captain Lanc to join her at the bottom of the floor. They both saluted the Generals and were dismissed.

They both walked down the hall of the building.

“So how did Demigod Iota know about our plan? Weren’t they outside of the room?” Captain Lanc asked.

“I don’t know, maybe she was able to see something we don’t, like how parents can tell when their kids ate something even when they testify that they hadn’t.” Beruta said to the Captain.

“Darn, we were so close. Okay. Let me take you to the Generator.” The Captain said as they walked to it. “Looks like you are out of the Military, do you need any money so you could survive before finding another job?” Captain Lanc asked Beruta.

“No, I’m good. I’m going to take some time out in the wild to clear my mind, I guess.” Beruta responded.

“Wow, you are like a completely different person now.” The Captain said snickering. They then handed Beruta a Shard from one of the Generators. “So what are you going to use this for?” The Captain asked her.

“I don’t even know. I guess it’s just something to remember this place.” Beruta responded.

“Do you have fond memories of the Generator room?” Captain Lanc asked.

“Ha, as if.” Beruta said.

The Captain then snapped to attention and saluted.

Beruta went into attention and also saluted.

“Fair wind and following seas Lt. Beruta. May your future be as bright as the Glory of the Federation.” The Captain said to Beruta.

They both then ended their salute, and Beruta left towards the exit.

In the room with General Yuupiu and General Shaai there were two Majors.

“I am assigning you to watch over Lt. Beruta. If she does come in contact with that Demigod, inform us. This is covert. If you are discovered then the Mission is over, understood?” General Shaai commanded.

“Aye Sir.” They responded.

They all saluted and left the room.

Major Rion and Major Tulet immediately began their tailing of Beruta.

Beruta had cleared her Dorm room and began her journey towards the North.

“How do I get this thing to work?” Beruta thought to herself trying to use her Rock Skin technique. She held the Shard firmly in her hand. “Only thing I can think of doing is receiving help from this Vanaeluresa Demigod.” Beruta thought as she headed towards Marian South.

At about 90 meters behind Beruta followed the two Majors.

“She still hasn’t done anything.” Major Rion communicated to Major Tulet. They were separated by about 90 meters, forming an equilateral triangle with Beruta as one of the points.

“Count us as lucky so far, since it seems like this Demigod the Generals were talking about would definitely discover us if it were around.” Tulet responded.

“So how about we just report that she definitely has no communication with such a being.” Rion suggested to Tulet.

“Sshh, look she is starting to do something.” Tulet said, watching Beruta.

Beruta lifted the Shard into the air, and tried to clear her mind.

“Earth guides my core to make my body into a mountain, this core is my power and this power is greater than the force of a roaring river. Infuse my body with the energy of this Shard. By the Power of Iota I demand these things.” Beruta said aloud.

She then took a pocket knife she had on her and cut her thigh. The blade went through and drew blood.

She bent down in pain. “Dammit! That hurt!” Beruta yelled out.

“Ah, why did she do that?” Rion asked Tulet.

“Maybe it was some sort of summoning ritual?” Tulet responded.

“Wow, that is intense. Let’s take note of that.” Rion responded by making a note of the event they just witnessed.

Beruta dressed her wound and sat down in the middle of the dusty area.

“Come on clear my mind. I got this.” Beruta thought to herself as she held the Shard up.

“Oh, another step to the ritual.” Rion said.

“Just watch.” Tulet responded.

Beruta then stood back up figuring that she had a clear mind. “Earth listen to the voice of your child, may you give me the guidance to lead your crust to the places I desire. By this I ask with this Shard, under the Power of Iota I demand these things.” Beruta said as she sent out her hand attempting to send sand forward. But nothing happened.

Beruta then started walking. Every so often she would stop and try again. Either she hurt herself or felt dumb afterwards.

“How long is she going to keep this up? How long did the general say that we had to keep following her?” Rion asked.

“You know. They never said anything about that…” Tulet realized.

“It feels like I am being watched.” Beruta thought to herself as she turned around quickly. The two Major nearly instantly hid behind two sand dunes.

Beruta grew suspicious. “Is that you Iota?” Beruta asked aloud.

“Good, she didn’t get a good look at us.” Rion said to Tulet.

“Well shut-up, so she doesn’t figure it out.” Tulet responded.

Beruta continued to look in their direction, she was attempting to give Iota plenty of time to show up.

“I think I have a clear mind now, and I am not motivated by money or anything.” Beruta yelled out into the sky. “So I am ready for you to come out here, we can immediately begin that organization.” Beruta continued.

The sky was silent. Beruta then felt some wind pass her. She thought it was a sign.

“Does that mean I’m on the right track?” She said to the air. She then waited for another sign.

The night was slowly becoming colder. As Beruta continued to look in that direction.

“Maybe I’m going crazy… there’s no one there…” Beruta thought to herself as she continued to move.

“Okay she started moving again. Let’s go.” Tulet said to Rion.

“How far do you think she is going to go?” Rion responded.

“Maybe all the way to Marian South.” Tulet said, teasing Rion.

“Ahh what!? That’s way too far, I wanted to get back before morning.” Rion responded completely unnerved.

“And do what? Watch movies and eat garbage?” Tulet responded.

“I do other stuff. Sometimes I create worlds on the knowledge network. But you wouldn’t know anything about that since you have zero interesting hobbies.” Rion remarked.

“As if you actually had any intelligence to build worlds. I’d have to see it to believe it.” Tulet jested.

“You!-” Rion said before they saw Beruta try to turn around again to catch them.

Beruta looked and looked. “I know I heard something.” She thought to herself. She then hit her head. “Maybe I’m just hearing things. Probably from a lack of blood. I will wait here for tonight then.” Beruta thought as she began to set up camp.

“Ah, I hope you brought camping equipment.” Tulet asked Rion.

“What?! So you figured we were going to be out here all night and didn’t bother to warn me?” Rion said upset at Tulet.

“Aren’t you a Major, you are supposed to have these things ready.” Tulet responded. “Well it looks like you will have to take the first watch then.” Tulet added.

“What? But it’s getting colder, can’t I watch like partway through past darkness? That way it would be while it would be getting warmer. At least you would be able to  use your equipment to stay warm.” Rion said, but they didn’t get an answer.

“Ah… are you asleep already?” Rion asked, but again, there was no answer. “Wow, that’s a dick move.” Rion said on the Communication. Rion then kept watch of Beruta.

A few hours passed and Rion communicated with Tulet to get them up.

“Hey, nothing happened yet. So now it’s my turn to warm up in the camping equipment.” RIon said, nearly passing out from being cold and tired.

“Sure, just walk over here and pick it up.” Tulet said as they woke up to keep watch over Beruta.

Rion walked the 90 meters to get to Tulet. “Thanks, I appreciate this.” Rion said as they walked back to where they kept watch. “Finally, I get some warmth.” Rion thought to themselves. 

Rion settled into a good position in the covering. They made the ground comfortable and prepared for a good warm rest.

“Hey Rion, she’s on the move, get up!” Tulet said to Rion.

“What?! But I just got settled!” Rion responded.

“Sucks to suck. We have to keep moving.” Tulet said, as Beruta packed up her things and began her journey once more.

Rion threw a small temper tantrum, then finally packed up their things to continue following Beruta.

They had followed Beruta for a bit over an hour.

“Where is this Lt. going…” Rion said, nearly passing out.

“I don’t know, but you can forget about going to sleep because she looks like she’s on a mission.” Tulet said to Rion.

“She’s killing me! Who sleeps for such a short amount of time!” Rion complained to Tulet.

“The Vaneluresa Demigod is in Marian South, so let me check.” Beruta confirmed that she was heading North. “Okay. If I can just talk to them, they may be able to help me.” Beruta thought to herself as she tried to increase her pace.

“I am guessing her destination really is Marian South. There is really nothing else in this direction. And if that’s the case then pretty soon she should be acquiring a vehicle from one of these frontier cities.” Tulet said to Rion.

“I don’t care…” Rion responded as they were freezing and tired.

“Well imagine how warm you’ll be once we get a vehicle of our own to follow her.” Tulet said to Rion.

“Really? So as soon as she gets one we will too?” Rion said with excitement.

“Well, don’t get your hopes up.” Tulet responded.

“It’s your fault for getting my hopes up.” Rion returned to a sour mood.

Beruta continued her pace. “If I could show Vaneluresa my dedication to see her then she would definitely help me. So I can’t take the easy way.” Beruta said as she continued to walk.

Beruta continued past the Frontier Town and forwent getting a vehicle.

“Ah… Tulet… She didn’t get a vehicle.” Rion communicated to Tulet.

“I can see that.” Tulet responded.

They both were silent for a bit of time.

“That’s it, I think I am quitting.” Rion said as he turned around.

“It’s only been a day, you have to have more fortitude than that!” Tulet scolded Rion.

“Nope, you can’t motivate me. I’m tired.” Rion said, making a small ditch in the ground.

“Get up or I am reporting you.” Tulet said to Rion.

“You wouldn’t dare.” Rion got up out of their ditch and looked in Tulet’s direction.

Then they both spotted something tailing them.

“You saw that right?” Tulet asked Rion.

“For a second I thought I was hallucinating.” Rion responded.

“Scan that area.” Tulet said to Rion.

“Why should I, you are obviously more aware than I am.” Rion responded quickly, still feeling a bit sour.

“Sure. Crybaby.” Tulet responded as they walked over to where they spotted the individual.

Tulet scanned the dunes and reversed the current positions of the particle readings.

“There is a shape here indicating that we were indeed being followed. By something small. So most likely a Gato Erect.” Tulet informed Rion.

“A Gato Erect… well I guess this is the more uninhabited regions of the Suminiatini Federation, so it’s not completely out of the question that other non Human races would make their homes here.” Rion responded.

“Still we should report this. If they become hostile then that would be dangerous for Suminiatini Citizens to travel through here.” Tulet said, making a note of the location.

They both then continued on their way to follow Beruta.

The Great star overhead grew bright over the desert lands. Beruta had nearly drunk all the water that she had on her. And the water within her skin had begun to evaporate.

“This is taking a lot longer than I imagined it would. Having driven everywhere made me underestimate how long traveling by foot actually took.” Beruta thought to herself.

Behind her Tulet and Rion were also going through a bit of a struggle.

“I’m hungry and tired, and tired of being hungry, and hungry of being tired!” RIon said to Tulet.

“We can eat when she finally stops. She looks like she is heading to the Marian South Border. If she crosses it, then we can return.” Tulet said to RIon.

“That’s easy for you to say, you got a good night’s sleep. I’m running on fumes.” Rion said as they barely could keep their eyes open.

“Stare up at the Great Star then, maybe you’ll go blind and it’ll be like you’re sleeping.” Tulet suggested to Rion.

“Your jokes are getting worse, Tulet. Are you sure you are 100%?” Rion asked Tulet.

“I’m almost there… I just need to get to Marian South and ask about Vaneluresa. Then they can teach me…” Beruta said zx xhd was growing exhausted from the heat beaming down on her. The further North they got the thicker the sand was. It became incredibly troublesome for Beruta to keep up her pace through the terrain.

“I can’t give up… this is nothing.” Beruta said to herself as she lifted her legs higher and kept pushing through.

“This is worse than PT.” Rion said quietly.

“What was that?” Tulet responded by showing signs of struggle in their voice.

Some more time has passed.

“You know… you really got my hopes up with that vehicle suggestion.” Rion complained to Tulet.

“I don’t know why she didn’t go and grab one. It would have made sense. Especially if her intentions were to go through this desert.” Tulet responded.

“Now I’m hungry, tired and thirsty… I’m completely out of water.” Rion said to Tulet.

Maybe we should head back. There’s no point if all 3 of us end up dead here.” Tulet suggested also feeling a bit ill from the heat.

“I must keep going.” Beruta thought to herself as she continued to push forward. She looked at the Shard in her hand, and used it to keep herself motivated to move.

Beruta spotted a Disa Pima plant along the journey. She walked slowly towards it.

“Water…” She thought as she went over to the plant. She then broke off a branch. “Wait… something is telling me not to drink this.” Beruta thought to herself. She dropped the branch on the ground, and water slowly leaked out of it. Beruta continued to push forward.

Rion eventually got to the branch that Beruta tossed down.

“Oh! That’s water. I’m so thirsty, I could even drink mud.” Rion said as they picked up the branch from the Disa Pima plant and squeezed the bitter liquid into their  mouth.

Rion then started wanting to throw up from the extremely bitter taste.

“Why are you spitting? You need to conserve the liquid already in your body, Rion.” Tulet said over communication.

“Gross! It tasted like Juraisin (like Pure Vinegar).” Rion said, still spitting.

“What did you eat?” Tulet asked.

“No idea, it was some sort of plant. I don’t think it’s poisonous though. Just really gross.” Rion responded.

They all continued to move forward. A little time passed and Rion started sweating profusely.

“It feels like it’s getting hotter.” Rion said to Tulet.

“It’s not, that’s just your imagination.” Tulet said after checking the temperature of the area.

“It’s definitely getting hotter, I can’t stop sweating. My clothes are soaked.” Rion said feeling drowsy.

“Are you sure what you drank wasn’t poisonous?” Tulet asked Rion.

“I’m just going to lay down for a quick second.” Rion said as they fell and lied down.

Rion then passed out in the sand as the breeze slowly started to bury them.

“Hey, Rion. She’s moving again.” Tulet said to Rion, but Rion did not reply.

Tulet waited a bit longer for a response.

“Rion, come in?” Tulet said again into the Communications.

Tulet then turned away from Beruta to look where Rion was located in the sand.

“Dang it man, you’re making this a lot harder than it already was.” Tulet thought.

Beruta continued walking North. Then there was an enormous eruption sound coming from far away. The shockwave blew past Beruta, Rion and Tulet. It sounded as though a Mountain had crashed into the Earth.

“On Earth was that!?” Beruta thought to herself. She slowly turned towards the direction of the sound. “No, I have a goal I need to accomplish. By the time I get there whatever is happening will already have ended.” Beruta thought to herself as she continued forward.

“Where are you?!” Tulet called out trying to locate Rion.

Tulet looked around the sand dunes and didn’t see anyone around.

“Well great, now I’m lost too.” Tulet thought.

Tulet walked around the area then almost tripped. They looked down and saw a hand sticking up out of the sand.

Tulet grabbed the hand and pulled the body up.

“Get your ass up!” Tulet said as they began pulling Rion out of the dune.

“So tired, so thirsty…” Rion said with an extremely shallow voice.

Tulet looked at their own hands and it was covered in sweat.

“How are you so sweaty?” Tulet asked Rion.

“Tell my bed that I’m sorry. I wish I could have laid on you one more time…” Rion said as if it were their last words.

“Stop being so dramatic.” Tulet then took off their own shirt and tied Rion’s arms with the sleeves. Then used Rion’s shirt as a rope to drag them.

“Is that you, Mother?” Rion reached up to the sky.

“Guess this is a failed mission.” Tulet said as they dragged Rion back.

Beruta continued her way to Marian South.

She struggled to continue moving. She checked her knowledge network and it indicated that she was slightly over half way there.

“Yes! That’s great. I’m already halfway there.” Beruta said before she collapsed.

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