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Knockout and Vibrance scramble to help capture several wisps for Maja. Great Harvest 2021 Main Event
The night was rapidly overtaking the waning sunlight on the horizon, the bright red sunset dimming into a dull purple… and soon, it was black. The stars twinkled above as two birds traveled together on foot towards a gloomy woods. A massive tree trunk twisted around, creating a strange almost portal-like entrance to the gnarled forest ahead. It was here that Knockout stopped. His companion, an aurora corva, paused as well. The much larger harpia looked about, hesitating to step into the gate. These woods were anything but friendly, but the pair had a mission to accomplish.
“Come on, let’s go,” Vibrance stated, stepping forwards and crossing under the massive tree’s branches. He felt a tug on his secondary tail, surprised to see that the other Stryx had his talons around it. “What?” he asked, unable to go any further into the woods.
“You’re not the one in charge here, Vibes,” Knockout warned. The look on his face was somewhat hostile, glaring at the corva with a deep annoyance. “And I would suggest you don’t just go off on your own into this woods.” The harpia made sure Vibrance remained stationary as he pushed past the other bird. He made it a point to fluff up his feathers in a halfhearted display.
Vibrance was unimpressed.
They had only just met and already this know-it-all cardinal harpia was driving him mad. He’d been warned by his stablemates that Knockout was arrogant and easily jealous of others for their fancy feathers but he hadn’t been anticipating such an insufferable attitude. He’d been told that Knockout wouldn’t cause him problems on this assignment. Apparently those statements were wrong, because now the other Stryx was haughtily strutting about with his chest pumped out and vibrant eyes gleaming even in the dark.
It didn’t last long, however, as an eerie sound vibrated through the air. Knockout immediately appeared to deflate, allowing Vibrance to step past him and take the lead. “It’s just the cicadas or the frogs,” he told the harpia, shaking his feathers a bit in irritation. “Besides, there probably won’t be anything dangerous out here. The worst we can run into are those corrupted wisps. They pose no threat to us aside from being obnoxious and annoying.” He shrugged his wings, picking his way through the trees as they grew tighter together.
Knockout swallowed his fear to the best of his ability, staying close to the corva. Although the aurora bird was much smaller than he was, Vibrance exuded confidence in comparison to the harpia. The big red bird wasn’t willing to be shown up, however, and puffed his chest out in an attempt to show his bravery. Almost as soon as he did, Vibrance startled. Up ahead were two large glowing orbs who were approaching quickly. “KO, is the net ready?” he whispered. The corva moved quickly and very nearly silently into the underbrush. The bright colours of his feathers stuck out between the branches and leaves, but overall the shadows managed to hide him quite well.
The harpia, on the other hand, had no such ability to hide. His bright red, white, and black feathers would be noticed in even some of the best hiding places. Instead, he did his best to duck behind a tree and ready a net. With his beak and talons, he primed the tool. Although the net was smaller than the two lumbering forms ahead, large wisps could be caught by even tiny traps. Their mass was far smaller than they appeared, as the bulk of their bodies were made of a fine glowing mist of sorts.
As they approached, both birds could see the shapes of the wisps more clearly. Their forms were somewhat amorphous, but thin lines of concentrated smoke formed a rough outline of the beasts. These were two bear wisps, evidently unafraid of the woods around them and acting as if they weren’t dead in the first place. From his position in the brush, Vibrance gave Knockout a firm nod. The harpia took a deep breath to steady his nerves, then pounced!
In one fell sweep, the net rocketed through the air and tangled around one of the two wisps. There was the sound of a distant bear’s roar, like a ghost of the past was disturbed. The wisp fought hard to free itself, but Vibrance flung himself out of the underbrush and grasped the wisp with his talons. They were difficult to keep hold of, but years of experience had allowed Vibrance the ability to capture them.
He tossed the wisp into a glass jar which was tied around his body, then whipped the cover closed. The wisp was effectively trapped, but there was still another. Knockout was chasing the second bear as it almost floated over the forest floor. While the wisp hardly left so much as a footprint behind, the big stryx was crashing through the plants and soil in a very undignified fashion. Still, it was what he had to do to keep up with the ghostly beast. Vibrance ran behind, ready to snatch up the second wisp the moment Knockout had captured it.
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