Pluma opened his eyes. He tried to straighten up, only to be stopped by intense pain in his arms and his waist. An adolescent walked to him. ‘Don’t move yet! Your wounds would break!’ He quickly changed Pluma’s dressing. Pluma saw his worried face and lay down. ‘...Where am I?’ My home. Relax. You and your friends are safe.’ The adolescent placed the gauze pads on his wounds. ‘You’ve heard of Odous, right? He saved my life. It was him who asked me to take care of you. When I found you guys, you all were badly injured...Okay, here you go.’ The adolescent clapped his hands and looked at Pluma proudly. Pluma scanned the dressing on his body and smiled. ‘Thank you.’
Pluma recovered fast under the adolescent’s care. His limbs slowly regained strength, but the pain in his wings was still strong. Sometimes he would offer help to the villagers, but they either ran away in fear or treated him as a monster. Pluma felt upset, but he understood. Spiritual beasts were commonly known as monsters. Not to mention Iquitos's dementation that day had made it hard for the villages to trust them.
One day, Pluma was training when a villager nervously ran into the village, followed by a dozen bandits coming from the forest! The villagers spread out in fear. Pluma quickly jumped onto a tree to observe the situation. The bandits split into three groups to seal of all of the exits and herded the villagers in the middle. They clearly had ample experience. Soon the bandits had looted the village clean.
’Boss! Look how much we’ve got this time!’ ‘Screw you! Get my stuff on the horse and leave!’ As they were busy moving their loot, Pluma began attacking them. He dove into the bandits and grabbed one after another into the forest to defeat them in turns. The bandit boss’s followers were gone before he realized. ‘What the-’ A heavy impact blasted his head, knocking him out. Pluma tied all of the bandits up and put them in a wooden cart. Then he untied the captured villagers. ‘Everything’s okay now. I’ll leave these bandits to you.’ Pluma smiled.
Pluma’s kindness had cast away the pain in his wings. Ever since then his relationship with the villagers gradually improved. They shared food with him and he would teach them the battle techniques. Days later, Pluma almost forgot about spiritual beasts until he received a letter from Basti. She said she had found the Ancestral Elements and she was heading back to the tribe with Felix. It reminded him what he should be doing.
He knew he should leave, but he could not let go of the villagers. Between his friends in the past and the villagers who saved him, he could not make a choice. ‘Go,’ The adolescent’s voice interrupted Pluma’s pondering. The adolescent and the villagers were standing behind him smiling. The adolescent continued, ‘We’ll be fine on our own. Get back to your old friends. Just remember to visit us from time to time.’ Pluma nodded and spread his wings. He glided through the blue sky…
Flying in the sky, Pluma witnessed a terrifying scene. The ground was covered with demon soldiers with two gigantic creatures walking along. They were surrounding Basti, Felix and Iquitos, and trying to snatch the Ancestral Elements!
Basti, Felix and Iquitos struggled to fighting with the demons. Several soldiers rushed behind Iquitos’s back for a surprise attack. As the spears were about to pierce into him, a lightning bird dove through the demon soldiers, tearing them up.
’That was close! Imagine how many pieces you would’ve become if I wasn’t here!’ ‘I knew you would come. That’s why I left my back open.’ They looked at each other smiling, but they did not have enough time to chat. The demon soldiers were ready the launch their next wave of attack...