Chapter 29: Hunger

I was lost in my thoughts, thinking about my skills, when someone’s cough pulled me out of my thoughts. I looked up in front of me at the guardsman the Captain had left behind. Despite the darkness that prevailed and the helmet on his head, I saw that he hesitated, unaware of what to say.

It reminded me of situations I had already experienced a few times and that was when nervous men tried to invite me on a date. Like this guardsman, they didn’t know how to start a conversation, they hesitated with their hands behind their backs, holding the flowers they wanted to give me.

To be fair, every time when I asked a guy on a date, I was no less nervous, afraid of the answer to my question, afraid of refusal.

Anyway, I wondered why this man, whose name I couldn’t remember right now, behaved as he did, but the idea that he would like to invite me on a date made me question his sanity. Who would want to date someone who looked like a Frankenstein’s monster?

Unaware of how I would react to a possible proposal for a date, I swallowed dry and asked him cautiously, “Yes?”

“I … um, when I was on patrol …” he said nervously, pausing for a moment, “I found your wing on the ground.”

As he said that, he showed me the thing he was hiding behind his back, my wing. It was crushed in a place where Zander Denholm grabbed it, but otherwise in one piece. Even the muscles, tendons, and skin that were torn out along with the wing from my back were still attached to it.

Grabbing my mouth, I leaned to the left side and threw up.

“What happened?” Janina asked, appearing beside me.

I looked at her and pointed to the wing in the guard’s hands.

“Erik!!” she shook her head when she noticed the wing.

The man wondered, “What? I thought you could … reattach it!”

As he said that, I stopped vomiting and looked at Janina, “Is it possible?”

“No,” the healer shook her head, “…and before any of you say anything, yes, I am able to reattach severed limbs, but only freshly separated and to someone with normal regeneration!”

Massaging her nasal bridge, she looked at me, “Korra, you have excellent regeneration, your wound has already begun to heal, if I wanted to reattach this wing to you, I would have to remove the already healed tissue.”

Well, that didn’t sound pleasant.

“What if I don’t grow a new one?” I asked her, not even thinking about the fact that I wanted a new one because I already missed both wings.

Janina smiled, “Based on what I saw, I’m sure it will grow back.”

I wished I had her confidence because I wasn’t so sure. Nothing like that was written in the description of the skill. The only sentence that suggested something like that was: As long as the brain is not damaged, you can find a new way to die later. The idea that I could continue to exist as a brain without the rest of my body and find a new way to die didn’t seem very likely to me. Based on that, I assumed that I should be able to regrow the missing parts of my body, but it was just a guess. I didn’t dare try to cut something off, not even a little finger, to confirm this idea.

“Really, because I’m not sure about that!” I said, doubtfully closing my eyes for a moment, thinking. “but I guess I’ll find out.”

This was the best time to find out the range of [Never-Dying]’s abilities, its limits. Moreover, if my wings don’t regrow, and I was sure there were other ways to get them back. This was Eleaden, not Earth.

“So what should I do with this wing?” guardsman Erik asked, looking at me.

His question forced me to look at the wing in his hands again, after which I tried to move the wing, I did not have. It was a reflex, something I was used to doing, but the wing in his hands remained motionless, the movement of torn muscles in my loins causing me only pain. With clenched teeth and unaware of what to do with the wing, I shrugged.

Janina sighed and looked at the guardsman, “Burn it!”

“Yes, ma’am,” Erik nodded and disappeared into the darkness of the night with the wing in his hands. 

“How do you feel?” Janina asked me.

I spat on the ground to get rid of the taste in my mouth, “I’ll be fine, just …”

“People react differently when they see their torn limbs,” Janina said when I hesitated with my answer. “Most of them are screaming, a lot of them are crying, you got sick, you don’t have to be ashamed of that.”

I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and smiled at her, “Thanks.”

Janina just nodded but didn’t comment further.

“Do you still want me to heal you?” she asked me instead.

Her question startled me a little, but I shook my head, “No, I was just wondering what skill to replace with a pain-reducing skill when that guardsman with my wing in his hands appeared.”

“Oh, tough decision, eh?” she laughed and stood up.

“Very tough,” I sighed with a nod.

She looked down at me, “Whatever you decide, I can tell you from my own experience that you will not regret to have such a skill,”

I didn’t answer her, and Janina didn’t even expect it, instead I thought again about my skills. The smell of my vomit didn’t make the decision any easier, but one thing was clear to me now. After seeing my wing, I realized that in the current situation [Inner Perception] was a skill I wanted to keep. Once I’m able to control [Never-Dying], I’ll need to know the extent and exact location of the damage to my body, and [Space Domain] didn’t allow it, at least not now.

In addition, there was a real possibility that other skills would cause some change in my body, and this skill could be handy in those moments.

One such skill was [Master’s Lover], which I was considering replacing. After the experience with [Beast], I was afraid that the skill would take my concerns for my preferences. Anyway, I decided to risk it and keep the skill, hoping it wouldn’t happen.

In my heart, I still hoped that with this skill I could return to normal, look human again even though reason told me something else. It was clear to me now that I had accepted my altered body, to some extent, and that must have influenced my preferences.

So even though [Lover of Work] was at level 9, I decided to replace it with [Painless Agony].

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

I did it with a heavy heart, gasping for breath immediately after exchange due to the loss of five points in constitution. The loss of three points of strength was less noticeable. On the contrary, the difference in pain, which was now supposedly reduced by one percent thanks to [Painless Agony] I didn’t feel.

A weight was lifted from my heart, though.

I wouldn’t say I liked the loss of stats, but when I looked at my skills, I was glad that [Painless Agony] was among them. 

Name: Korra Grey

Race: Human

Gender: Female

Age: 29

Class: Slave (Master – none)

Level: 92

Constitution: 69 ↓64 (39)

Strength: 35 ↓32 (21)

Endurance: 29 (25)

Dexterity: 23 (23)

Intelligence: 19 (11)

Wisdom: 17 (10)

Class skills (6/6):

Indomitable Will (Passive V): lvl 115

Lover of Work (Passive I): lvl 9 -> Painless Agony (Passive I): lvl 1

Tireless Machine (Passive I): lvl 8

Swift as a Whip (Active I): lvl 5

Master’s Lover (Passive I): lvl 6

Master’s Shield (Active I): lvl 6

General skills (8/8):

Eleaden Standart Language (Passive I): lvl 9

Perfect Equilibrium (Passive I): lvl 3

Space Domain (Passive I): lvl 4

Beast (Passive I): lvl 5

Never-Dying (Passive II): lvl 23

Tail of Poison Empress (Active I): lvl 4

Heart of Magic (Passive I): lvl 3

Inner Perception (Active I): lvl 3

When I suffered in the basement, I wished I could choose this skill to ease my pain, but I couldn’t. After gaining freedom, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities I had that I did not choose any pain-reducing skill, sure that after those experiences, I would endure the pain, but I was wrong.

I learned my lesson!

I took a deep breath and tried to relax despite the pain. It was surprising how quickly the fatigue came, forcing me to close my eyes. When I thought about it, it wasn’t so unusual. After the mind attack, I was forced to stay awake, and when I finally got permission to sleep, it lasted only a few hours. I was awakened in the middle of the night and have been fighting for my life ever since. I deserved some sleep.

So despite that, this was an excellent opportunity to train my skills, especially [Never-Dying], I chose not to. As Janina said, a calm heart and imagination are masters of skills, and right now, I could imagine nothing but an undisturbed sleep, a warm bed, and a soft blanket into which I could burrow.

After a while, a voice entered my ears, “Korra!”

Before I opened my eyes, I c*** up my ears, listening to my surroundings, just to be surprised when Janina spoke right next to me.

“Korra, wake up!” she said, a satisfied smile appearing on her face as I jerked in shock and opened my eyes, looking at her confused.

“What happened?” I asked her, worrying for a moment that more enemies had appeared, that Roe had come for me. But when I looked around, I saw many more Guards than there had been a moment ago.

“You fell asleep for a moment!” said Janina.

I shook my head, “I just closed my eyes for a second!”

“You snored,” she said, adding. “Pretty loud!”

“Oh,” unaware of what to say, I asked, “Is that why you woke me up?”

If Janina hadn’t told me, I would have sworn I hadn’t fallen asleep, but she had no reason to lie to me about it. However, I didn’t want to believe her claim that I was snoring. I didn’t snore.

She laughed, “No, I woke you up because we’ll move you to the infirmary.”

“Didn’t it explode?” I asked her incredulously, I saw it quite closely.

“It wasn’t the only room the infirmary had,” Janina said, checking my body, “Do you think you can get there on your own, or …”

I looked in the direction she was looking, seeing the stretcher on which the [Worker] lay. I didn’t want to look like a princess in trouble, so I stood up, clenching my teeth in pain.

I looked at Janina, “I think I can handle it!”

“You’re sure?! There’s nothing embarrassing about being carried away on a stretcher,” she tried to reassure me.

“I’m sure,” I lied.

After the first two steps, I regretted my decision. The only consolation was the notification, which I received a few painful steps later.

(ding) Painless Agony reaches lvl 3

Yeah, as expected, the first levels weren’t hard to get. However, it made me think about how long I slept under the wall, that I missed the second-level notification. Looking at the system time, it surprised me to find that it was almost an hour.

But the hour was not enough, and I had to fight fatigue not to fall asleep while walking. Therefore, when I arrived at the infirmary, I fell face-first on a vacant bed with relief, relief followed by pain.

I expected to get to the next level in [Painless Agony] before I got to the infirmary, but to my disappointment, it didn’t happen, even though my every step was accompanied by great pain. The pain, the source of which was mostly injuries in my lower back and chest, where rot-affected tissue was still healing and made my breathing difficult. The rest of my body was bruised, stiff, but otherwise fine.

Almost immediately, sleep began to overwhelm me, but when I heard someone mention food, I immediately perked up. As soon as they brought plates of hot food and the smell of roast pork reached my nose, a loud growl came from my stomach, reminding me that I had left its contents on the ground under the wall.

To my indignation, the food was not for me, but for the patients who came before me.

So I immediately asked for my portion, marveling for a moment that the kitchen was still working even though it was two in the morning. When they brought me my share a few minutes later, all the worries I had disappeared.

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

I ate like a beast cleaning the plate in a few minutes, after which the fatigue hit me even harder than before. I set the plate down on the table beside the bed, lay on my side because it was the least painful position for me at the moment, tucked my tail between my legs, and pressed it to my chest. The smell of apples helped me fall asleep almost immediately, despite the pain.

***

In my mind, the perfect morning looked different from the sun shining in my eyes, the cries of the patients on the other beds hurting my ears, and to all that, the incredible hunger I had. From the stench I felt, I was sure someone had to have s*** their pants, or at least use a potty.

“Tss …” I hissed in pain as I stretched thoughtlessly.

Immediately checking my body’s condition with [Inner Perception], I found out that my body was fine except for my loins. I still had a nasty injury in my lower back, but it was no longer a deep open wound, which I had before I fell asleep.

[Never-Dying] did its job during my sleep, which was the most likely cause of my hunger when I thought about it. 

When I looked at the notifications, I wasn’t disappointed.

(ding) Never-Dying reaches lvl 24

(ding) Never-Dying reaches lvl 25

(ding) Painless Agony reaches lvl 4

(ding) Painless Agony reaches lvl 5

My expectations regarding [Painless Agony] were a little higher, though. But after thinking about it, I realized that as my body healed, the pain lessened, and without pain, I couldn’t gain more resistance. 

While I wondered if I could feel the 5% difference in pain or not, a healer came to me, checked my wounds, cleaned the wound on my lower back with magic, and promised me breakfast, which I refused.

More precisely, I refused to have breakfast in the infirmary. Despite my hunger, I couldn’t eat anything in a place where I could smell feces, vomit, and who knows what else and where patients with collars on their necks whimpered incessantly. It reminded me too much of the cellar and the conditions in which I was forced to live there.

So I ended up in the barracks canteen, where dozens of guards were eating even though it was late in the morning. It was not a complaint, just an observation. I was happy about that because at least I could see how it went in the canteen, which was not very different from those on Earth. All you had to do was grab a tray, stand in line at the serving table, and wait for my turn.

The cook was taken aback when he saw me. This was a canteen for the City Guards I wasn’t part of, but when I explained the reason to him, he laughed, and then I got my breakfast. 

Since I didn’t know anyone here and I didn’t even look for a company, I found an empty table, sat down, and started eating the breakfast I got. I couldn’t help but compare breakfast to food from the Broken Mug, where despite what the inn looked like, the innkeeper Byron cooked better. Despite that, I didn’t complain, I liked it, I was hungry, and it was free, I cleaned the plate in a few minutes and went for another, wondering if I will get a second serving at all. I did.

As soon as I sat back at the table, I noticed two familiar guardswomen with trays walking in my direction.

[Guardswoman: lvl 127]

[Guardswoman: lvl 129]

If I remembered correctly, their levels did not change.

“If it’s not Travis’s girlfriend?” Vara, level 127 guardswoman, smiled broadly and sat across from me without asking.

The other woman sat down next to her, saying nothing. I tried to remember her name, but in vain, unsure if she had mentioned it at all when she and Vara were taking me to the barracks.

“Hi!” I greeted them, ignoring Vara’s remark.

“Did you join the city guards?” the woman, whose name I didn’t remember, asked, looking at me. “I’m Elira, by the way, this is Vara.”

“Haven’t we introduced ourselves before?” Vara asked.

As Elira shook her head, she looked at me, not believing her friend, but I shook my head too.

“Whatever,” she shrugged. “As she said, I’m Vara.”

“Korra. Eh …” I hesitated for a moment, unsure if I should ask, “Don’t get me wrong, but why did you sit next to me? There are plenty of free tables!”

Vara smiled, “We saw you there sitting alone, so we thought that you would welcome some company.”

Before I could ask her if she meant it, Elira told me the truth, “I meant my question, I wonder if you joined the City Guards. Vara, why the Imperial Agent and the Captain interrogated you.”

“…and what happened between you and Travis,” Vara added.

I couldn’t help but be surprised when I realized that these two women had no idea what exactly happened yesterday, that not all guards were informed.

You may also like: