22 – The Tribe
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He looked at him with a questioning gaze, before asking the man whom he believed either to be the tribe's leader or at the very least some respected individual.

Using the wide, over-expressive gestures he now learned from the procession of all the memories of the deceased men, Aziel began to howl, roar, sniff, and overall mimic the various beast's sounds, conveying a very simple question.

'I… bring prey… you all… accept… me?"

He sighed after feeling he conveyed what he wanted, growing exhausted from all the awkward-looking forms of communication.

Whilst the leader rudely turned around to 'discuss' the offer from the fearsome monster that came to them, Aziel instead took a closer, scrutinizing look at him.

Initially, Aziel wasn't sure about where to put his age, though this particular caveman did seem slightly rougher, more covered with bruises compared to the rest of its kin.

'Perhaps he is more experienced, surviving more encounters than the others? Does that make him the leader in the eyes of the others perhaps?' He pondered inwardly, showing nothing but an apologetic smile on the outside.

For the third time since his approach, Aziel found himself with his hands raised in the air, showing the same surrendering motion as before.

Once again, he found himself questioning himself, growing less and less certain that all this effort, would truly be worth it.

Eventually, what felt like an eternity, the leader figure turned around and took a step towards Aziel. He raised his right hand, clenched his hand into a fist, and began to violently beat his own chest whilst hollering akin to a monkey.

Though this reaction seemed rather aggressive, Aziel understood what it meant. It was a way of them agreeing to his offer, effectively saying that if he really can bring back food for the entire tribe, they would allow him to stay in their 'territory'.

Nodding his head in agreement, Aziel walked outside of the tribe's borders and vanished into the forest. He was moving at dozens of miles an hour through the shrubbery, nimbly avoiding any obstacle he came across.

Quickly scanning the terrain, Aziel was looking for a decently sized animal, preferably some herbivore mammal that he could bring back to the tribe, so they would accept him.

Only a few minutes after his departure, he spotted a suitable offering; he saw a large deer-like creature twice the size of that of its modern-day counterpart, eating grass in a field.

Running up behind the creature, Aziel immediately broke the deer's neck without any resistance from the animal whatsoever. Picking it up, he swiftly began making his way back to the tribe carrying the dear over his shoulder.

The sun started to recede by the time he made it back to the tribe's grounds. When he entered, he walked to its center and dropped the dead carcass of the dear onto the soil in front of the tribe's people.

Noticed by a new pair of hunters standing guard, they quickly bolted to the back of the tribe's caverns, alerting everyone in the process. Meanwhile, Aziel's wide large strides pranced into the main, central section of their grounds, to the front of the caves, and threw the large carcass on the ground.

"Hunt… done… Food here…" He exclaimed, slowly growing out of the awkwardness of this manner of 'speech'.

The people of the tribe gathered around the corpse of the deer and were amazed by its sheer size.

Some pointed with a wondrous gaze at the humongous body, full of delicious meat and usable skin, unable to believe their own eyes. They cried in shock, trying to make sense of what offer was placed in front of them.

Aziel did not respond to them but searched the depth of the caves for the figure he had talked with before.

Seeing no visible response or a sign of his acceptance into their folk, he frowned, before hollering with a slightly annoyed tone into the darkness.

His intent, whilst it wasn't verbal, was easy to decipher: "Is this enough? Or do you want more?"

Eventually, the man who gave the request to him previously woke from his daze and emerged from the cave. Looking shocked by the sight of the felled beast he hurriedly nodded his head.

Finally! He was accepted into their folk! He could linger amongst them, join in their excursions, learn more about their behavior…

Hopefully, he could find some answers to the questions about the nature of this world that has been tormenting him.

Aziel contently nodded back in response began walking away. The individual seeing this, ran after him in a hurry.

"Wait! What about your share of the hunt?"

Grabbing his shoulder, he looked at him with confusion. He pointed at the carcass behind him, hollering like a wailing beast, asking why wouldn't he go take his share of the meat.

Aziel shook his head, not wishing to partake in the meal. Instead, he raised a question of his own.

"Home… Me…" He howled, asking which cave of the few these people had made their own could he use as his own.

With the arrival of the next morning, Aziel could be seen sitting in a lotus position on a makeshift bed made out of animal skin out in the open, just before the caves. His question was unfortunately met with denial, they didn't want him to join any of caves where the rest of the tribe stayed, only allowing him to sleep outside.

Though this left a bad aftertaste, Aziel wasn't too bothered by it. For him, this was already quite luxurious, he had spent most of his nights either hunting or resting just like this, out in the open.

He was up all night, meditating since he did not require constant rest to be able to function. A session of mediation was just as, if not more effective.

Aziel was trying to find a way to finally found a way to actively fuse the [Aether] he had accumulated so far, and merge it with his body. He was hoping that by doing so, he would truly step into the supernatural, and get a step closer to his goal of reclaiming everything he had lost.

Unfortunately, he didn't make much progress, the large mess of countless smaller essences orbiting the central section were turning out to be a blockage of themselves. To break through from his current stagnation, and evolve further, Aziel needed to first clean up the mess he had made before.

Sensing something approaching his tent, Aziel opened his eyes to see who was approaching him, entering his tent was the same man from yesterday.

Sensing someone approaching from the caves behind him, Aziel's eyes snapped open, he heaved a long sigh. Turning to look at the figure approaching, he nodded to greet him.

He gave the man a questioning gaze, silently asking the nature of coming directly to him. From the troubled look in his eyes, it was clear he wanted something.

"We… hunt… you join!" The leader hollered, pointing at the trees.


Aziel sighed in response, standing up from his meditative position. Silently nodding, he followed the man to the border of the tribe. After a few moments of walking, they came to meet a group of tribesmen holding the same wooden sharpened spears that they tried using against him just yesterday.

Reaching the group, Aziel noticed that they were glaring at him with a mixture of malice and fear in their eyes. This confused him greatly, though he decided to speak against it.

"This… hunting team!" The man proclaimed, pointing to himself with a slight smirk as he continued. "Me… best… Me lead… You listen!"

The man, effectively announcing himself as the leader, then began telling Aziel about their plan for the day.

As he gazed across the hateful gazes of the crowd, he eventually spotted the only female in the group. Finding it peculiar how or on what purpose did such a creature with an ill-fit body joined, he couldn't help but ask.

"Who… she?"

Pointing at the female, Aziel asked the leader. Seeing who he was pointing at, the man shook his head, showing slight anger in his tone for the first time today.

"She… join… Mate die… you kill… you eat…"

As the leader announced her, the woman gave Aziel a look of pure hatred. Deciding to ignore this and not be too bothered by it, he looked back at the leader figure.

Understanding what he wanted, the leader hurriedly exclaimed.

"We go… Hunt! We brave… we strong! Ugh'va…" He exclaimed pointing at Aziel."…with us!"