Chapter: 6

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Once the battle ended, all the tiredness and pain hit me at once, and I fell to my knees, barely able to breathe.

“Are you ok- BLUAARGH!”, Ike came running from the darkness, and threw up right over me, falling on all fours. “So- So much bloo… Uh?”, when I thought he would end up covering me with his stomach content again, the awkward swordsman showed only confusion to the bloody scene.

And following his eyes, I comprehended why: the wolf’s corpse was vanishing in yellowish dust, down to the last drop of blood. Even weirder, the last remaining eye in the disfigured head of the creature followed my moves as I got back on my feet, before vanishing completely.

“…What was that?”, I asked.

“The man who gave us the shinny feather said this cave could come up with all kinds of magical phenomenon… Maybe this wolf was just some kind of dream or non-physical being?”

“Oh, I see!”, I hit the palm of my left hand with the bottom of my right fist.

Concerned, Ike opened and closed his mouth, seemingly wanting to say something, but after a deep sigh, the awkward swordsman just asked:

“And your leg? It must be hurt. Let me check it”, he crouched before my wound, and took a good look. “Wow, you must be really tough. I thought that that hit would have fractured your chin, at least, but you seem almost totally fine! I think just four more days, and you’ll be walking normally again. Until there, though… here, let me help you. If we don’t hurry, we’ll lose the Wind Blessing.”

“J- Just allow me to clean all this vomit… please.”

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I quickly bathed in the lake.

Just like Arapaima promised, the path ahead took us back to the “main group”, and we met in a large room before a gaping black chasm, from which a constant and intense gush of wind was blown. Weirdly enough, however, the tall man and his underlings all stared at us with gaping mouths and wide eyes.

“I’m very sorry for my lateness, but there was a monster back there! We almost died, but managed to deal with it”, I explained. “Is there time to take the wind blessing yet?”

No one answered.

Did I say something wrong?

I turned to Ike; maybe he could explain things better than I did? But it was useless, for the awkward swordsman was hiding behind me, avoiding eye contact with the other group.

“…The Wind Blessing”, the mage with bags under his eyes called. “Just step into the chasm. You won’t fall while that wind is blowing.”

“Wow, that’s actually really cool”, I commented to myself only, stepping ahead.

“Coyote!”, Ike called, looking terrified. Was he scared of heights? He relented and retreated, however, when Arapaima gave him a look.

Shrugging, I stepped to the edge of the chasm. And jumped.

Only allowed on

The wind rushed around me, chilling, whistling in my ears as I stared at the endless darkness below. But I didn’t fall. In fact, I kept floating in the strong winds until I saw shiny white lines start to spin all around my body, after which, I “swam” back to the solid ground.

Ike sighed in relief, and Ursus from the “main group” finally started to regain some life, and did the same as I, getting the wind blessing himself too. Meanwhile, Arapaima approached me with that scary smile of his again, but this time, sweating.

“Coyote, was it?”


“Here. Take this”, he took my hand, and gave me back the golden ring Spruce used to pay for my participation in that expedition, alongside a couple more shiny trinkets. “Let’s keep this… all of it… a secret, yes?”, Arapaima winked at me.

The mage with dark bags under his eyes said that that cave was a sacred place, so I guessed that they didn’t want many people entering, and replied:


The path back to the surface was uneventful and silent, as well as the long walk back to the city, even if, for some reason, everyone seemed a bit on edge.

When we got back to the thunder-stricken tree, Arapaima gave each of us, the ones who were looking for a proper offering, a tinny sculpture of a fish in green stone, and Ike and I parted ways, once again, from the “main group”, which stayed behind.


As I stared at the mysterious boys walking away, I felt as if I’d finally understood them: they were probably prodigious, but sheltered magicians. If I had to guess, homeschooled and treated by only the best of the best, honing their fighting abilities to the highest high… but only their magical abilities. They were naive.

“You said there would be no witnesses” Ursus boy complained, half angry, half despaired. “It’s just a matter of time until they end up opening their mouths to those Preas, and then we all are damned! That measly bribery you gave them won’t do it!”

“Those two proved themselves to be surprisingly strong, we couldn’t risk fighting them right now, while they were so watchful”, well, one of them was.

It pained me to admit that, but even I failed in defeating the thing that they should have faced in that section of the cave. If they really defeated him, we couldn’t deal with them face to face…

Turning to my men, I ordered:

“For some time, they will be too attentive, full of adrenaline. Wait until they fill their stomachs, relax, and lower their guards. Then, without being noticed, in a single strike, end them.”

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