Today is the day.
The day my home will be saved.
People are streaming into the town hall at this very moment. All of them were invited to this dinner party that Eva, a dear friend that I’ve known for a very long time.
I went to the West to study magic in a prestigious school. That is where she and I met. We were partners until we graduated.

Magic can be cast by using precious stones as a catalyst. The rarer the stone, the more powerful spells can be used. Different stones have variating durability as well, the number of spells can be cast before the stone is rendered useless.
I use emerald, as they have a great balance between rarity and durability. I also specialise in the manipulation of the shape of objects. The spells don’t typically burn through stones like how fire burns through paper. But occasionally, I have to completely deplete one to fend for myself, like my encounter with the Pontianak.

Anyways, we reconnected after she found out that she was posted to the Southern Region to eliminate the Gashadokuro. After arriving at Temp Pines, we caught up a little, but not much since she’s busy preparing for everything. We haven’t told Karen and Sakaki about ourselves yet.

It is late into the night, with the moon overhead. The town hall is rather huge, tables and chairs, leather in texture, placed orderly near the entrance and a huge marble dance floor with an exquisite pentagonal pattern further into the building. The town hall itself is a work of art. Every seat has someone in it, and the table has alcohol bottles arranged in an orderly fashion. The food is placed at both sides of the hall buffet-style.
The attendees dressed appropriate to the occasion, western suits and a jacket on top. Western because Eva, a person from the Western Region, is the host of this dinner party.

I strolled to the centre of the dance floor, standing straight with a confident body language indicating that I have something that I need say. However, my voice will never reach everyone in the hall, however hard I try. I held an emerald the size of a pea in my clenched fist and casted a spell that could project my voice.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen.” I started. My voice reverberated throughout the hall.
Everyone’s eyes turned towards me. I could see their scorned looks gazing upon me, some of them even clicked their tongue.
“Thank you for being here tod-“
“What is a peasant doing here?” I was interrupted by someone from the audience.
“Get out! This is not the party for you!” a different voice echoed.
More voices joined them in condemning me.
These scum of society!
“SILENCE!” I shouted. The hall hushed from the shock of my voice.
“This peasant is here today to make every single one of you aware of what you have done!” continuing what I wanted to say.
“That’s it, we’re leaving.” Most of the audience stood up and walked towards the door.
Of course, I wouldn’t simply let them leave. I another piece of emerald from my pocket and cast a spell. “No one is going to leave!” the locks on the door turned.
“You can’t keep us here!” a voice shouted.
“Make me.” I replied. “Like I said, every one of you will learn what you have done to the region, my home, our home!”
“The famine – Do you know what caused it?” Of course, they do.
“Do you know how many people have died from the famine?” Of course, they do.
“You love it when the common man suffers, do you? Stealing what little food they produced for yourselves, partying in this little town, keeping yourselves safe with the guards and wall.”
“I love my home, but seeing bastards implementing a policy that isn’t proven. And when it fails, hide in your little world and pretend nothing has happened. My home, tearing itself apart, dying slowly…” tears start flowing down my eyes. “Decaying bodies on the streets, children with nothing but skin and bones. Some even resorted to cannibalism! Look at what our society devolved into!”

Collectivised farming – specifically the state-run type, is what was implemented by the Southern Region government. State-run collectivised farming is a policy where farmlands were forcefully taken by the government. The idea is that food would be given out equally to all parties and in turn, prevent a famine from happening. But, due to human nature, corruption is rampant in unstable parts of civilisation.
Over the course of history, before the 200 year war where Raven Heart (originating from the north) conquered the entire continent, collectivised farming was attempted by many southern kingdoms. From state-ran to cooperative-run, all of them ended in failure.

Because of that, the Southern Region has been naturally unstable. Rebellions were aplenty, one would start every other decade. The people would settle down and restart, only to repeat and not learn.
It’s almost a curse. A curse that our people are bound to repeat till the end of time. This time, however, things will change. Eva is here to change everything. I believe in her.

“Do you even know, that a Gashadokuro is roaming around?!” With that sentence out of my mouth, I hear gasps and questions being thrown around. “You scums don’t even know that a demon was spawned from YOUR doing!”
With that sentence, the hall became silent again. No one knows what to say. There is nothing to say. A demon spawned, no one can deny the consequences of what that entails.
“Are you people so desperate? Desperate to prove yourselves to the North that you are willing to initiate a drastic change with no regards to your people? That is never how it works.” My last words. The doors will stay locked while they contemplate.

As I walk away from the dance floor, the walls behind me exploded open and Karen flying in, landing with a thud after bouncing a few times.
“Karen?” I rushed towards her. Her head was bleeding with many visible injuries visible anywhere not covered by her clothes.
Sakaki soon ran through the hole in the wall to rendezvous with us.
“The Gashadokuro is here.” Karen said, grabbing my shoulder as a guide to stand up.
“Are you okay? You’re bleeding from the head!” I told her.
“Don’t worry about me.”
The front door of the hall flung open, the lock useless against the invidual that broke it.
“Everyone! Start evacuating!” Eva shouted as she strolled in through the front. “Start running if you don’t want to die!”
Everyone panicked and tried to rush out of the hall. However, the door is too small for that volume of people, so they resorted to forcefully pushing the others out.
Eva walks towards me. “My agents from the west are here. I want you to assist them.” A request from her.
“Y-yes.” I replied.