Disclaimer: This story is still a work in progress, there won't be any major changes to any Patreon published chapters, however, over time I may improve wording, or add details, or make similar changes.
She stood there looking at herself in the mirror after a shower. Her naked body was a sight to behold; six feet tall, slender, beautiful face, and even cute ears. The only problem, her skin tone. She had a blue tinge to her skin which was unusual for an elf, this kept her from ever really connecting with anyone. The occasional chitchat here and there, but the entire time she was thinking how strange she was, and the other person tended to be thinking that as well.
“Aulea, what is wrong with you,” she said to herself in the mirror. “I know we’re younger than most other elves, but we shouldn’t have this many problems relating to our own kind!” As she continued standing there, a scene flashed to her mind.
It was the scene of seeing the maturation tables. Ancient elven devices that no modern person has been able to replicate. The moment elves are born, they’re placed on these tables. Intricate slabs of stone with wooden structures that look like tree roots encircling them. These tables ensure that an elf does not awaken before their body is fully matured. Thinking back to her lessons on the other races, this seemed such a strange idea to her; not having any childhood as it were, simply thrust into adulthood.
Aulea was a mere two years past her awakening. Elves do not age like most other mortal things, they age far slower. She could quite easily live to be a thousand years old. “Would even a thousand years be enough to make me able to fit in?” She asked the mirror.
“No.” An unexpected reply from the woman in the mirror. “Not unless you do something about it.”
“What could I possibly do to not be looked at strangely anymore?” said Aulea to the mirror, longing to finally have an answer. But no answer came. She left the mirror, sat naked on her bed thinking about an answer to her own question. What could she do? Suddenly it hit her. Something she was good at, and honestly longed to do, but was frowned upon for the average elf, especially if they were a woman.
Aulea began frantically packing. Clothes, food, medical supplies, water, anything she thought she might need for a long journey. If she were to go through with this, she would likely not return to a town for quite a while. There would also be things she needed to buy before she goes. That would be daunting however, so she wanted to be sure she was as ready as she could be beforehand so that there were no excuses not to buy the final items.
“Oh, one last thing.” She took her necklace off that bore her family’s insignia. Her family was well known in the city, and if she were to do this, she’d have to do it on her own. She’d never been away from her family, but in order to accomplish her goal of finally becoming someone that fits in she’d have to do this without their help. Aulea set the necklace on the table next to a note to her family that read:
‘I need to leave this city. I need to blossom as a person, and I can’t do that with your help. Please don’t come looking for me, when I am ready I will find my way back here.”
Simple, but effective.
Before she knew it, Aulea was already at the market, bags packed and on her back. She was getting strange looks because of the bags, but she was already so used to strange looks from her skin tone that she didn’t even notice. She approached a stall that had always caught her eye when she was shopping, because it contained something she desired. Something that was not for the average person to own, lest they be thought of as crazy.
A weapons stall. Containing swords, bows, axes, daggers, throwing knives, and all sorts of similar things. Aulea had always had a fascination with fighting, she practiced in secret at home with wooden weapons, but she’ll need proper armaments to complete the task she had set herself. Aulea decided that since she still had access to her parents money, and no idea what she would prefer to use, she’d buy a special set of weapons. Elven smiths learned long ago that you could make retractable weaponry that would condense all of itself into just the handle. It loses a lot of it’s effectiveness, but it is still effective, and it compacts quite well. Aulea bought a bow, a shortsword, a two-handed blade, and two combat daggers. All of which were able to be compacted, and all of which were light since they were forged out of light. Lightforging was a skill that was useful for making equipment that didn’t weigh much, however, it wasn’t very powerful.
After adding them all to her backpack it was definitely over-filled, and quite weighty. Aulea knew if she didn’t head out of town immediately she was likely to chicken out and go back to living that terrible life. She didn’t want that at all so she set out the east gate that instant.
Once outside town by a good half a mile, she decided to give her weapons a go. They were nothing like her wooden ones. They were lighter, due to the lightforging, however they were dangerous. She accidentally cut herself a few times practicing her swings, but they were minor wounds which she didn’t even bother dressing. After about three hours of practicing Aulea decided that she preferred the bow and the two handed sword. A strange combination to be sure, they would be guaranteed to weigh her down if she ever decided to go with the non lightforged versions, but she couldn’t let thoughts of the future slow her down in the present.
It had been two days. Aulea hadn’t yet become accustomed to eating little, and had already run out of supplies. She didn’t see it as a bad thing however, because it meant she would have to hunt for food, which would serve for good practice before she finally encountered her target prey. Aulea saw a boar, exclaimed, “Hah, a rat! Perfect!” For some reason boars were called rats in her circle of friends. Aulea took a shot with her bow, which didn’t need arrows, but each shot would drain the light energy from the forging process. She not only missed the boar, but it became furious at her attempt to kill it. It charged at her. Aulea fiddled around in her backpack trying to find the large sword’s handle, but was having a hard time finding the right handle. She barely managed to dodge the boar’s charge while still digging through her backpack. Finally she found the handle and whipped it out with great speed. The blade began extending, the boar started charging. The blade was nearly done extending but it wasn’t guaranteed it would finish before the boar got to her. She didn’t think she could keep dodging around, so she took the chance that it wouldn't’ finish extending in time and stepped to the side while swinging the large sword. The boar was sliced about two inches deep all along it’s side. It was no longer able to move around much, and lay down in defeat. Aulea spared it further suffering and thanked it for the meat it provided her.
She had done a rough job of both the fight, and the butchering, but finally managed to skin the boar, and store the meat inside of the hide for the time being, until she could have a place to store raw meat. Now she just had to make a fire and she’d have a healthy meal that she provided for herself. For an hour or so she had forgotten all about the hard times that she was running away from.
Aulea managed to build a small camp and rest for the night. Having had her fill of boar meat and moss, she had decided to go to bed early so she could get an early start in the morning. She awoke at the crack of dawn as the light illuminated her eyelids in her sleep. Groggy and unsatisfied with the amount of sleep she got, she arose from her bedroll. She packed the camp up and headed out. Today was going to be the day, she could feel it.
The sun had already begun setting and Aulea was making camp for the night, disappointed that today was not in fact the day that she achieved her first milestone. Just as she was letting out an exasperated sigh, she saw it. A demon. She’d been looking for a demon to slay for the last three days, and this one seemed to fit the bill perfectly. It was a class one demon, a canine-esque creature with spikes on it’s back, and a snake-like tongue. Having had a tiny bit of practice with the boar, she tried the same technique. She fired a shot from the bow.
“YEAAAH! It hit!” She exclaimed. “Oh crap!”
The demon was extremely pissed off. She was faster drawing her two handed blade this time, however her accuracy left something to be desired this time. The hound-demon seemed to just be too fast. She was getting nicked pretty well by the spikes on the demon’s back, a few proper slices, and even got bit once. It was a grueling battle for her, but finally she got lucky and landed an overhead blow, leaving the creature with a gash that reached half way through it’s body.
“I...did it. I did it? I did it!” Aulea said the last part with the last bit of her energy. She passed out for about an hour, it was now quite dark. She managed to make it back to the camp that she set up and patch her wounds. Aulea could hardly believe any part of that battle. She couldn’t believe how fierce the demon looked, she couldn’t believe how hard it fought, and after seeing those two, she couldn’t believe that she won. Aulea did indeed feel part of her burden lifted, but it wasn’t nearly enough. She would have to get good at this and make a name for herself slaying demons.