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Chapter 3: Specks

The group of students didn't take long forming a schedule for a watch shift and a small meal from the grass. With no mishaps, they were able to pass through the night peacefully. Once morning came, everyone headed out with more energy than the first day.

Through their journey, they only heard noises that caused some fright and was decided to avoid at all cost. By the time it was mid-day, the group finally stubbled on the goal they had hoped for in the beginning.

The sight was a band of people wearing grass garments for clothing, and unkempt hair that seemed dirty or unwashed in years, if at all. The total amount was only 25 to 35 people. When paying attention in detail, their band of people consisted of two-thirds being male and the rest female.

The homes looked to be made from dirt and grass. Each home, dug into the earth acting like basements with no windows. And the roofs were from grass, giving the small hill of dirt a cone-shaped top.

If the view were taking from a higher point, the homes would appear very familiar to the group of students. It was the shape of ant holes with grass laying on top to absorb moisture and anything else that might fall inside.

When seeing the homes, most of the students had stun expressions on their faces. To put simply, none of them had seen housings in this miserable state of conditions except for images on television.

The question that came to Key Stroke's mind instead was how did they live underground in the dark. It was true that building their homes in the ground was safer when the alternative was being squashed or smashed by a huge creature roaming around the grass field.

But the harshness on the human life would restrict the activity of life from 24 hours to around 16 or 18 hours a day. Furthermore, being exposed to large amounts of dirt underground and small places that limited oxygen, would raise the chances of diseases.

This circumstance was no different than continually breathing in large amounts of dirt while being slowly killed. Unless the body could adapt to the conditions, the average human immune system wouldn't be able to handle that constant abuse.

Not being able to hold the joy inside about making contact with other humans, a student suddenly rushed forward. "Thank goodness! I was beginning to think we were the only humans! Please help us! We're completely lost and wish to find our way home! Where are we?"

Instead of getting words or answers, the males started pointing weapons at the student while speaking in an unknown language. The weapons were green in color.

Key Stroke frowned looking at the weapons and the people's reactions. They were nothing more than grass but still the weapons had a gloss shine.

The way some of the men's knuckles turned pale from the tightness of their grip, he could tell it was extremely tough. How had the grass changed its properties?

Walking forward, he quickly pulled the student back before pushing him toward the student group. With the tense atmosphere now pointed at him instead, he tried communicating with them by body movement. He pointed toward them before pointing back at his head while trying to look tough, big and wise.

With the anger, shouting and confused looks, Key Stroke tried a few more awkward poses and imitations to get the message across he wanted to talk to their leader. After more tension and awkwardness, one of them finally understood his intentions.

In just a few moments, four people carried out an old man on a tattered chair of grass and looking very sick. "****** ** * ***** **** **" The old man said.

Key Stroke couldn't help sighing in disappointment at the language barrier. Nonetheless, he steeled himself for a troublesome duty.

Wanting to get to the point, he began with hand movements but was stopped a second later before he could get anywhere. Instead, the old man made a hand motion of talking, before pointing at his own ears.

Feeling doubtful that the man could understand his words, he still decided to humor him. In the end, his expectations were proven correct. The old man didn't understand his words but still insisted he speak more. Left with no other options, he continued talking.

After three hours of pleasing the old man, they heard him speak. "Okay, thank you, young man. I should be able to communicate with you now." He stated.

This development filled the students and Key Stroke, with surprise. Until just now, the old man had only been listening. Key Stroke wondered if the person before him, had really learned their language in such a short span of time.

If this was so, the old man's learning abilities were frightening. "Did you deceive us about not understanding?" Key Stroke questioned to be sure.

The old man shook his head as negative. "This is normal when you become an Adapter. Have your tribe no Adapters?" He asked in return. Great confusion could be heard in his voice. Key Stroke guessed Adapters where the norm in this world.

"No. Our tribe was destroyed before we could understand what it meant. We only know that they could do amazing things, compared to others." He finished.

Prompting the old man with words, to see his reactions. Of course, he never met one. He was only using the information gained, to search for more details without being treated as strange.

The old man didn't find anything wrong with his response as he nodded in agreement. "I see... Adapters are great warriors blessed by heaven. There are only two ways to become an Adapter. Gaining approval from the Divine Door, or having an ancestor do the same."

Key Stroke was once again surprised by the old man's hospitality. They were clearly strangers, but he still shared information with him, without questioning the strangeness of their situation. They even had clothes so strange from the others here that, it should be noticeable.

This issue was just one of the strange things surrounding their group. The old man didn't even question how they could survive without an Adapter. After all, these Adapters should be able to go beyond the normal human limits, if the old man's hints, were to be taken into account.

"Are all of the tribesmen here Adapters?" Key Stroke asked, wanted to see if he could tell the difference between normal people and Adapters.

"No. I'm the last in the tribe as an Adapter. As you may see, I'm reaching my end soon. The tribe, most likely, will be destroyed after my passing." The old man replied.

When Key Stroke heard this, he finally started understanding why the old man was 'kind.' Everyone in their tribe must have already tried becoming an Adapter.

With no hope left in the tribe, the old man being a leader would naturally seek any means for his people to live.

Although the group of students was strange, since they were all humans, he decided to place his last hope on them by making them Adapters.

From the beginning, the old man was searching for information on whether they had a chance of becoming Adapters or were there some Adapters, already in their group.

Key Stroke sighed once more. It seemed that the saying, the older one got, the wiser one would be, was right indeed. He had been strung along by the old man all along.

Smiling at the old man sheepishly, Key Stroke asked another question. "I was wondering if you could tell me how many humans you know of? During our travel, we have never met a single one, except for this small tribe settlement."

Here the old man gained a confused expression. "Humans?" Confused, Key Stroke explained. "Yes. You and I. Are there anymore still living?"

"Maybe it's the language barrier, and I have not yet completely understood your native tongue, but human is a word I have never heard. The word closes to my own tongue, would be Specks I suppose." He answered.

Specks? It was true; everything seemed bigger compared to how he was used to things being. But to call the human race specks was insulting. Had humans really fallen to the point where everything was a predator?

WriterCVL WriterCVL

Hmm... is the story really that bad? I usually have at least 4k views and 50+ collections by chapter 3

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