0071 – Ruins of a long lost World – I

Leaving the darkness of the rift, the five girls were greeted by tall skyscrapers and modern streets. However, while the presence of those structures was quite familiar to the twins, the rest of the scene wasn’t.
Instead of everything being well maintained and lived in, glass had been broken and cracks in the partially debris covered streets and buildings were clearly visible. Some of the artificially created constructs had crumbled completely while others had walls missing. But regardless they seemed abandoned. Furrows and craters told stories of past fights. Some comparably recent, others likely eons ago.

Though the deserted cityscape wasn’t the strangest in the realm. Where previously the realms they visited were still rather normal, maybe with some more or less magical phenomenons and creatures in them, this one started to show the strangeness of the Realms.

And not just “floating black tear in space” strange.

Instead of a normal sky or maybe an eternally gray and cloudy one, as many post-apocalyptic novels liked to use, an exact replica of the city was floating up there, as if the whole world had been mirrored. Even the damage to the buildings seemed to be the same. Though not everything was included. The rift as well as the party were absent. And while a city replica in the sky was already quite weird, the truly logic-defying parts were smaller floating squares with more city on them in between.

Unfortunately Sarah didn’t quite have the time to take in the view or question the mechanics behind the new realm and the fractal-esque city. Its name, Ruins of a long lost World, was already a hint, but she would dig into that mystery later.

Quickly unfolding her orrery, the girl directed her mana into the spell circles required for the creation of the virus sources. While she had one of those circles already as part of her skill previously, just in case, the others were only last minute additions, made once her using the virus in combat became an option they might have to rely on. She disliked working with limited time, and untested spells, but there wasn’t much she could do about it. The new circles were just copies, but hastily created ones of a rather complicated original which itself was still in development.

She could only hope her perfection skill and resistance would be enough to prevent the worst.

Numerous quickly growing ice shards were appearing one after another. Then, while they were still growing to at least remain in the realm for a bit, small cracks formed in their center. At first they seemed random, but soon a pattern emerged. At least if someone knew what they were looking for.

She also spotted a few defects in some of the shards, but pressed on regardless. It might have saved her mana to discard the defective ones, but she would still miss more than enough other damaged ones while adjusting and mana was for once not as relevant as time. Time she would waste on managing her mana. So she simply continued as long as the shards themselves didn’t seem unstable.

Within a few seconds nearly her entire mana pool was emptied into the formations. Maybe she should have gone a bit further and also used a part of her health, but she would have been even more defenseless and weaker than she was currently.
Therefore she could only smother the greedy voice in her head. A few points of health for a couple more shards weren’t worth the trade, when it wasn’t guaranteed the trap would work.

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Having scattered the ice shards among the normal debris and glass shards, Sarah went back over to her team, who had distanced themselves to not get caught up in the trap.

[Your Bio-Magical Resistance Prototype skill has reached Lv 4.]
[Your Bio-Magical Resistance Prototype IV skill has reached Lv 3.]
[Your Bio-Magical Resistance Prototype VII skill has reached Lv 3.]
[Your Perfection skill has reached Lv 2.]
[Your Searcher of ##### class has reached Lv 41.]

It was good to see that there was progress and her resistance did still work, but as the skills readjusted the flow of her internal mana to fight the virus, she still felt like vomiting blood. Something she had to suppress at least for a bit longer to not give their followers a very obvious trail.

“And climbing up this skyscraper is really a good idea? Aren’t we just trapped once they enter it from below?” Sera, now again carrying her sister, could only question the decision of her guide. Sure, if their followers had half a brain, they would assume there was a trap waiting for them and they hopefully slowed down, but that plan relied too much on her sister’s trap. She didn’t mind gambling, but with a whole city around them, there had to be other, better options.

“Don’t worry, this realm is a bit special. Its main affinities are space and illusion, so not everything here is what it seems.” Having seemingly reached a good floor, Nia walked away from the stairs and suddenly appeared next to a broken window some distance away and only visible through three empty door frames. Her body completely ignored the distance between her previous location and destination.

“Hm… i think they still haven’t arrived or don’t seem to have found us. What do you think Sera?”

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Reluctantly following the guide, Sera also suddenly appeared next to the window. Her instincts screamed that it shouldn’t work, that this realm was wrong, however the world didn’t care. Once she was carefully looking out of the opening and down, it just got worse.
She didn’t count on which floor they were and any signs would have withered or been destroyed long ago. But if she had to guess, they were probably somewhere between the tenth to twentieth floor, thirty to sixty meters above ground. Yet the realm was adamant that they were at least ten times as high up.
However, sorting through her rebelling instincts, she also couldn’t find anything which would alert her that those trailing them had arrived here. So Sera shrugged. “I don’t think they are here, or on our trail.”

“Well, if they don’t find our trail it’s also good. This realm didn’t get the nickname “Grave of the Lost” for nothing. It is probably the only one where more deaths are attributed to people simply getting lost and dying of old age than to beasts or the environment. One of the reasons why basically no one ever visits this realm.” Nia replied, still looking out of the window and observing the rift.

“Aren’t we then also in danger?” Sarah interjected.

But Nia only waved her hand. “Technically yes, but as long as SOMEONE doesn’t explore the realm on her own, i should be able to get us back out. My tracking skills aren’t affected by- They are here!”

Suddenly three people appeared from the rift. While the number matched neither Nia’s nor Sarah’s prediction and with the distance it was hard to make out details, the fact alone that they were in this realm made them suspicious.
Even more so, as they looked around for a bit, before they headed directly to the girls’ skyscraper.

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