Born 100 centimeters tall, Listel had been positively tiny for an oni. So tiny, in fact, that her parents had feared for her safety, thinking the other children may accidentally injure her or worse.
Fortunately, there was a group of humans her people had an amicable relationship with. The humans offered them a yearly tribute and not only would the oni not raid their towns, raise their forts, or eat their people, but they would also protect them from dangers incoming from the north and west. It was an all together beneficial arrangement. So, her parents had entrusted their smallest child to the humans.
During this time, she befriended one of the servants in the castle: a boy named Elliot. Elliot was the only human to really interact with her and didn’t seem afraid. By the time she realized, years later, that he didn’t have a choice in the matter, they were already close friends. Thus, it was with more than a little hesitation that she finally left to return to her people once she’d grown strong enough.
For the first few years, Elliot continued to serve. He considered traveling to the oni lands in search of his friend, but the extreme danger involved prevented him from doing so.
It was two years later after his oni friend had departed that Elliot began to hear strange stories. Stories of Listel the Dragon Eater, Listel the Living Mountain, and Listel Thunder Foot. He never imagined these tales to be about his old friend though. While Listel was massive by human standards, she was barely average for an oni.
One day, he was instructed to go to top of the Castle's highest tower and to wait there. He didn’t know what reason there could be for this command, but he obeyed all the same.
He became worried as he felt the tower shake ever so slightly during his he trip up the stairs, but the lack of windows had prevented him from seeing what the cause could be until he reached his destination.
The voice had shaken him to his very being and nearly drove him to his knees. Looking upwards, Elliot found himself looking into the face of something that looked like oni, but could not be. They only grew to be between six to eight meters tall, but what he found himself looking up into was the face of something that should only exist in legend.
Even so, the voice clearly reminded him of someone he hadn’t seen for several years...
|Story by happiest-in-shadows|
|Artwork by SednaStudio-LRC|
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