A Tale in Tandem Vol. 1

“Alright,” A gruff whisper came from an overly large teen that breathed down Yutari’s neck. “You get up there and get us in like we planned.”
Yutari shrugged off the muscular hand on his shoulder and hardly even glanced at who addressed him. He looked through a gap in the branching leaves to see the only illumination on this night. The dark clouds above teased of snow or rain with no hope of actually fulfilling such a request.

The three moons were not out nor were the stars. The only light was due to two small crystals set up like torches on the lone house beyond them. Yutari’s eyes glimpsed an anxious looking girl in the window. She let out a whimper as a young man moved from one bush causing a rustling of leaves. He was hidden like the nine others including Yutari. Hidden…but still sensed.

“Hey,” the strong hand turned Yutari’s small, slender body like a breeze tosses a piece of cardboard. Still Yutari looked away, trying to ignore who addressed him. “You remember the plan right?” The gruff voice of the other teen was thick with an accent of his Iyetri race. A voice that always seemed sure of authority even if authority was not his to have. “Don’t tell me you forgot!” He barked in a whisper, anger readily available to find. “We are gonna go up there and provide you the opportunity to get in!”

Again… Yutari thought, he says it again.

“Then,” The larger boy’s voice thrummed like a low bass. “we’ll have some fun with these Halvsie girls an teach em the lesson their kind deserves!” Even in a whisper the voiced boomed in Yutari’s mind of the dark deed before them. Yutari kept his gaze on the girl in the window.

“You listening, human?” Finally, turning his head, Yutari met eyes with the naturally helmed boy. Iyetri are naturally garbed in a thick exoskeletal armor clothing them much like that of a beetle or a permanently armored knight. Yutari had heard such armor was removable but he’d never seen one do so even in all his years among them. Not once through all of middle schooling and now here in his world’s form of high school. The two males’ eyes met and Yutari saw the burning, lustful passion in the other boy’s eyes. A smirk broke on Yutari’s face, “Of course!” He said with striking confidence. “The plan is perfect!” He pushed off the Iyetri’s hand of pure pink muscle from his shoulder. Underneath all that armor, Iyetri are pure muscle like that of a mollusk or one’s tongue except not usually so slimy. “You just play your part right,” Yutari spoke, staring hard into the Iyetri boy’s yellow eyes. “they obviously already know we’re coming!”

The Iyetri grunted in a sort of guffaw then signaled to two humans. The two burly men nodded and approached the house. A gasp came from the girl in the window. Kumi. Yutari thought of her name, they’d known each other for just a few days and now soon…

“Hey, Halvies!” One burly boy called out, holding up a bottle of some sort of intoxicating drink. “Come out and play!”

“Yeah!” The other boy roared in, “No one else is around! You can’t keep avoiding us forever!”

The Iyetri beside Yutari stretched his fingers out as if to pop knuckles or bones that weren’t there. He gave Yutari a smack on the back, “You’re up, Human!”

Yutari tried to shrug off the sting he was given and walked forward. He brandished a dagger and broke out into a sprint.

“Get out of here!” He yelled at the two burly boys.

“Woah! Watch it! Runt!” One replied, Yutari wincing at his bad acting.

“What?” The other said loudly, “Coming at us with a measly knife? Whatcha gonna do?”

Yutari pulled a crystal from his pocket it glowed with a faint red like that of the two mounted to the side of the house. Energy swirled within the clear, sparkling exterior. Its shape perfectly smooth, Yutari remembered it was called Orthorhombic like two pyramids with five sides attached to one another.

“If you don’t run,” Yutari glared at them with a red glow accross his face, “I’ll unleash flames on you!”

The two burly boys put up their hands and genuinely looked a little nervous.

“Hey, man!” Said one.

“Woah! No need to be using elemental crystals on us, choe!”

Choe? He wants me to be like an Iyetri’s best friend to him? Yutari pondered the boy’s word choice. As if a human would want to be that close to one of them!

A red swirling energy moved more rapidly within the crystal held in Yutari’s palm as he focused his mind and body on it. His fingers clenched, his thoughts forming and shaping what kind of flame he desired. Yet, all he had to do was make the crystal look close to bursting with its wild elemental fire. The two boys stepped back. They let out an “uh” and “um” then turned and ran.

Yutari let his arms drop and let out a believable sigh. A creaking sounded off to his left and his eyes darted. The door of the house had opened and a girl stood in the entrance. Kumi… The girl’s green and hazel eyes met his. Two long fluffy ears like that of a fox’s poked out of her hair as she turned her very human face to him.

…A halvsie race…an obomination. 

The girl smiled in relief at the seemingly harmless little boy on her doorstep. Yutari was shorter than she was being only just over five feet himself.

“Yutari,” Her voice let out a breath of relief. “I’m so glad!” Her anxious eyes held so much beauty in their gaze as they almost teared up and her defenses lowered toward the boy she called friend.

“I don’t know how you did it, kid!” The Iyetri had said the day before.

“What’s that, Gurra?” Yutari had asked him earlier. Gurra grunted with that scoffing guffaw, “You’ve known these girls only a few days and they already trust you enough to come into their homes…without any adults.” He had given a devilish smile.

Well, he had not been wrong.

Kumi opened the door and Yutari stepped in. The crystal in his hand casting a darkening shadow over his face. The girls…they were all there: Catia the little one with cat-like ears, Maiye the shy one who loved watermelons, Filaya the one who’d lost a ear to one of the very boys outside days earlier, Tanite the girl that’d given him soup his last visit, Sueli the only full human like him (the one who had introduced them all in the first place), and Kumi with her anxious eyes on him…longing, hopeful eyes…innocent and kind.

“Yutari?” Sueli spoke, her voice hesitant and nervous after a long moment of anxious silence. The boy’s left hand hadn’t left the knob of the door and the other still clenched at his dagger. Yutari’s gaze was low, his entire upper face shadowed by the low, flaming light. He raised his eyes that shifted slowly between the feminine faces in the room. Then, with a click of his tongue,

“Here goes!”

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