(Please note, not edited/checked/PR-ed. You may run into a questionable grammar or two. If you spot them, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!!)
When Kain woke up, his entire body hurt like hell. It was worse than the worst hangover ever. If it hurt any more than this, than it would be better to just die, so he didn’t have to suffer through this pain.
Knowing he was thinking of nonsense, he tried to get up. His head ached, a disorientating pulse of irritation coursing in his veins.
Dude, it really feels like a hangover.
Kain groaned. Of course, he didn’t drink any alcohol. Physically, he was still a five-year-old kid. There was no way in hell Damien and Lizbeth let him anywhere near a cup of that fermented stuff.
Yet, as soon as he stood up gingerly, the first reaction his body gave was to empty his gut on the muddy ground.
Once the retching ended, then it was the turn of the bone-chilling cold, taking a bite out of him. When he confirmed his status, he was wet from head to toe, water dripping from his now-ruined clothes. If a passerby saw him now, he’d look like a washed-out hangdog begging for a penny.
Totally dazed, his eyes wandered to and fro, trying to find out just where the hell he had ended up in.
There was a raging torrent of a river to his right, the water gray and angry. He assumed that was either River Styx or Anderlicht. It all depended on how lucky he was.
To his left, a dense forest, dark and foreboding. It was so thick that he couldn’t see past a few feet beyond the mouth. It was almost like nighttime in there, even though an occasional ray of sunlight peeked out between the heavy clouds above.
Beneath his feet, a mixture of mud and round stones. He was standing on a shallow riverbank, a small opening in an otherwise inhospitable riverside.
Kain slowly looked up, and around. He hoped to see a sign of civilization, but instead, what greeted him was the sight of sheer slab-sided cliffs surrounding the forest and the river. Like a wire fencing of a maximum security prison, it was tall and jagged and utterly imposing.
He could think of two reasons why he was seeing this wall, that to his mind without a doubt cliffs of the Tetamus Range.
One, he got carried down by the river and got transported near it.
Or, he got carried by the river, into the opening Derrick mentioned before, and now he was inside the Range, pleasantly nicknamed as Hell.
That first theory got busted almost immediately. He couldn’t see the cliff with the road on it, the one he fell from. Instead, in a not too far distance, he spotted a slender rift in the wall, and the roaring river storming through the said rift. It was a definite proof of theory number two, whether he liked it or not.
Kain muttered inwardly.
Shivering from the ever-present cold, he shifted his gaze toward the forest. He weighed his options at hand – should he enter or not? He knew that he couldn’t stay here, like this, forever.
He had never been stranded in his entire life before, including in his previous one. He didn’t know what should be done, in order to raise his chances of survival, until the rescue team shows up.
A long time ago, he watched a program on the b***-tube, showing what to do when stuck in a wilderness, but for the life of him, he could only remember small bits and pieces, not the whole thing. He felt like cursing out loud. Not that anyone would hear him anyway. Or maybe something might…. So he didn’t say anything, in the end.
At least, he figured he needed to keep himself warm. That meant making a fire. Then, finding a shelter. And it was quite likely he’d stuck here for a while, drinkable water and food.
He had no idea how long it would take for Derrick to mount a rescue mission – if one was coming at all. He had to be prepared for a long haul here.
Worse still, Derrick wasn’t in too hot a shape, last time Kain checked. There was no guarantee that he survived the ordeal.
Even he could tell those hooded men weren’t some common bandits.
Did they come for Derrick’s neck? Or…. was me the target?
He shuddered even more at the possibilities, remembering the ominous words about male heirs not appearing in the Lomax households due to some mysterious outside influences.
Thinking about it a bit more, he concluded that he could not have been the target those men were after. After all, they were surrounding Derrick, not him. The rest of the travelers were nothing more than collateral damage, or maybe killed in order to leave not a single witness behind.
If so, then who could have sent those assassins? Kain recalled briefly a piece of information he overheard from gossiping Delilah and the local village womenfolk regarding Derrick and his circumstances. It all seemed like a bunch of unfounded idiotic yapping back then, a story of a wide-ranging conspiracy involving high-ranking government individuals and a jealous brother, plus lots of wealth and political influence at stake.
Derrick’s father, one Augustus Septima Lomax, a duke, fell sick with an unknown illness two years ago. So naturally his two sons who were, up until that point competing in secrecy, held nothing back and publicly clashed for the right to inherit the title. Allegedly.
The result was that Derrick lost, and had to find a refuge at Riverfield, where his brother would not be able to reach out that easily.
The now-reigning Septima Lomax, Duncan, was a complete mystery to Kain. No one in the house mentioned him, not even once. And outside of groundless gossips, there were precious few avenues of collecting information.
It’s true that most of Riverfield’s residents didn’t really have much interest in the political matters of some distant city, and didn’t actively go out of their way to inquire about it. That fact alone made getting hold of useful facts quite hard.
If those hooded men were sent by Duncan or his supporters, then it was probably safe to assume that he’s no saint. He fought and then kicked his own flesh and blood to the curb, so obviously, he couldn’t be a saint even from that, but still, to send a bunch of assassins after his brother…
Kain wondered dejectedly whether that was how nobles behaved in this world. Was it a cutthroat, dog-eat-dog world full of conceited, paranoid miscreants waiting to backstab each other at every waking moment?
Will Kaleena and Katrina end up being just like that? Well, I dunno about Kal, but surely, if it’s that Katrina….
Kain shook his head. Kaleena was a good girl. Katrina, on the other hand… she would just try too hard at times.
Anyways, he held no desire to compete for the title of Baron Lucius Lomax. Kaleena was a better candidate for that. Smarter, kinder, and harder working. Surely, those were the qualities one needed to become a good lord of a village. And those were things Kain lacked severely in.
There was a chance that he was over-thinking this whole thing. He had no proof that those men were after Derrick. For all he knew, they could have been just a regular bunch of bandits, simply wearing hooded raincoats because of the crappy weather.
“Whatever. Hope you made it, uncle Derrick. Just don’t forget to come and save my sorry ass,” Kain mused weakly, his voice barely audible even to himself.
Then he recalled Sandra. They fell in the water together, but she was not with him anymore. She wasn’t on the riverbank too. She was gone.
“I hope you made it too, little Sandra. Sorry if you didn’t…”
He imagined her laughing and crying, safe from the flooding river, in her mother’s arms. That was a mistake.
Because when he did, he remembered the scenes of Laurel dying. He imagined the little girl’s bloated, decaying body being fished up by dispassionate men in uniforms.
He felt bile rise up again.
More and more, images of corpses entered his mind. The horrible smell of blood came rushing in too, hitting him like a freight train. It was like as if he was right back in the middle of the bandit raid all over again.
He recalled screams. He recalled blood. Severed limbs. Lifeless eyes. Cries of help. The sickening sound of flesh getting cut.
He vomited again. And again.
He knew this was becoming dangerous, his body shivering a lot harder than before. He needed a fire to warm his weakened body, and he needed it super fast.
He could start one just fine, even in this condition, but sustaining it for a period of time without supplying it with Aeterna was something else entirely.
He needed to find dry wood, or whatever he could use as fuel. But it stopped raining not too long ago, and there was heavy moisture hanging around in the air, meaning nearby trees and fallen branches would be too wet to be useful.
After thinking for a bit, he had a lightbulb moment. He could modify a Wind type Invocation to dry out the wet wood. He had the target, the amount of Aeterna in the Pool, and he also had a good idea how it should be done. Better still, he didn’t need to chant any Requisite Words since he was going to combine spells he’d been practicing until now.
But he also needed to either find a shelter or build it. Without that, when the heavens decide to open up and bless him with another painful deluge, it would definitely wash away the fire.
That brought him another dilemma. Where should he try to build his shelter, then? Near the river? There was just too much risk of flooding if he got close to the water’s edge and it rained a little more than usual.
But he couldn’t afford to get too close to the forest either since he could sense some sinister Aeterna floating around in deeper parts of the forest. Who knows what that meant, and he didn’t feel like finding out so soon.
So, he stood there like a lone tree, unable to decide on where to build his precious shelter. He was getting colder still, and his limbs were growing numb. Even that couldn’t force him to choose quickly.
As if it got tired of waiting, the mother nature decided to chose for him, playing the role of a cruel mistress. Rain started pouring down again, and it became heavy pretty quickly.
The river swelled up further, and so, that was the clincher. He wasn’t going to stay anywhere near that dangerous-looking body of water.
Sighing, Kain rushed towards the edge of the forest and summoned just enough Aeterna out of his Pool to cast an Earthen Wall. His plan was to build an improvised igloo with it.
He quickly cast three Earthen Walls in succession, erecting three sides to a structure, and another to place a roof on top. He regulated the height and made them around five feet tall. He thought that there was no need to make it too tall, seeing that he was still a shorty anyway. All that’s left to do was to make a door to block out the wind and rain. That had to wait until he started a fire, of course.
For that purpose, he tried to break off branches of nearby trees, but as expected, his physical strength was too pathetic to even bend one. He made a promise to himself that if he makes it out of here alive, then he’d dedicate all of his being into practicing the Body Enhancement spells in the future.
He gathered fallen leaves and branches, but he felt that was not enough.
After another brain-storming session, he decided to cast Breeze, but instead of a simple breeze, he would try to condense the wind as thinly as possible and turn it into a blade. Kinda like in video games. He modified Earthen Wall and Firelight, so it wouldn’t be too hard, or so he figured.
He imagined a sliver of fast moving wind, sharp enough to slice a metal panel, and cast it repeatedly. First few attempts ended in failure, but the tenth one worked, and he was able to cut a wrist-thick branch.
Elated at his success, he tried a few more. His limits were around the thickness of a human arm. Thicker than that, it was just an exercise in wasting Aeterna reserve.
He cast this new spell of his, which he imaginatively christened as a Wind Blade, about a dozen times. He even surprised himself by having a reserve of Aeterna more than half of his Pool still left. There were enough to fool around if he wanted to.
He shouldn’t have – he forgot that the branches cut with his Wind Blade had very fine edges. And he got cut by that. It wasn’t a deep one, and the blood stopped flowing after a short while, but he did bleat out a four letter swear word that began with an F, ending with a K, the one he hadn’t used in the past five years.
He learned his lesson. So, he took his hard earned loot – branches – to his shelter, and after digging a small depression on the ground with another Earthen Wall in order to create a door, he chucked them all in.
Making sure there was ventilation, he set upon creating his second new spell of the day. Which he decided to call Drying Wind. Sounded about right, so he was more or less happy with his naming sense.
He imagined a drying desert wind and cast Breeze. The resulting air was lukewarm at best, but it wasn’t dry enough. So, he gave it some more thought, wondering how he could improve it.
He cast it with a different image in mind, this time of a wet washing drying under an intense, hot midday sun. That did the trick. The branches dried out real fast, withering right in front of his eyes. Hell, even the muddy walls were drying out as well. It seemed like he had stumbled onto a pretty useful Invocation through necessity.
Unfortunately, it proved to be something of Aeterna hog. It tired him out as fast as the first time he tried to cast a spell.
While he was feeling sluggish, coldness renewed its attack with vengeance, getting worse by the minute. And to make matters more complicated, he felt thirsty too, which he found to be rather ironic, seeing that he was literally surrounded by water.
After a few more minutes of casting Drying Wind, the branches became brittle enough to use as the fuel source. Kain quickly cast a Firelight and just like how he shot it at the bandit’s face, he carefully transferred it to the pile of dried wood.
It was a success. He made a fire.
He cried out “Hell Yeah!!”
In no time at all, the warming fire grew and became pretty vigorous, spreading heat all over the shelter’s interior.
Once some warmth soaked into his body, he felt a whole lot better. Still felt like crap, but at least a warmer crap, which was obviously better. Wet clothes on him were still a problem, but he wasn’t sure whether he should take them off or not. The rain was coming down pretty hard outside, and the cascade of the noise pounding on his eardrums gave him an unbearable migraine. Or it could be cold, he couldn’t really tell.
As for the thirst, he knew better than to drink from the river. The bitter, repugnant taste was forever etched in his psyche now, and there was just no way in hell he’d gulp that down without purifying it first.
There was this Water Elemental Invocation that he had never try out before, as it required a large amount of Aeterna to pull off. The spell was called Water Vein Summoning. He heard about it being discussed when one of the farmers came to speak to Damien about his land not receiving enough water. Of course, he couldn’t try it now, regardless of whether he was exhausted or not. Such a spell needed someone with a good Affinity with Water Element. Which he didn’t.
The one other alternative he could think of was to purify the rain or the river water, but he haven’t got the foggiest idea how to. And he had no confidence about succeeding either.
He was really thirsty, thinking of all the water. And he couldn’t think properly, nor form a single, continuous line of thoughts with this pounding migraine playing a Thrash Metal number in his head. He felt drowsy as well. He mused those were one funny mixed bag of symptoms he got.
He did a quick mental check on how much Aeterna he had left. It was enough to sustain him for a bit, but the real danger wasn’t him running out of the precious energy. It was actually encountering a Fiend or two before he fully replenished his supply by resting.
He had no battle experience other than what happened with the bandits. Even worse, he was not sure if any of the spells he knew could be used as a means of attack. Maybe the Wind Blade, but then, it could only cut up to a thickness of human wrist. It wasn’t powerful enough. Not yet, anyway.
He did blind one bandit with Firelight, and also, most certainly killed another by accident, but he had this gut feeling that when fighting a Fiend, an unpredictable monster, he’d need lots more than simple luck.
He heard a distant roar, that snatched his attention right back away from the drowsiness. It sounded like it came from a far away, but the level of its fierceness didn’t diminish not one bit. The vibration from the roar shook his innards, and he almost threw up again. Good thing, he had nothing to throw up in his gut, otherwise he’d have to work extra to clean out the sick.
He wondered about just what kind of monster could make such a loud racket. It could be the dragon Derrick mentioned before.
Grimacing, Kain sighed weakly. “Oh, man. Just how the hell am I gonna survive?”
As to mock his despair, another roar issued out from the depths of the forest. It was a different Fiend, judging from the sound. Another powerful, awful monster he was not looking forward to having a meeting with.
He felt scared and frustrated. And helpless too, all at the same time. He felt so small and weak. Depressed, he could think of nothing at all anymore.
It wasn’t easy to make out anything in the rain. All the sights and sounds were masked by the insistent falling water drops,and he began to develop an irrational hatred for it.
All he wanted now, more than anything, was to go home.
He hugged his knees close, and slowly buried his face in the crook of his arms.
He drifted off to a fitful sleep, small but warm fire flickering away on an equally small pile of dried up wood.
Kain was surrounded by the faces of people he knew. Only, they were no longer people. Their flesh bloated, rotting, bloodied, bits falling off. Gray, fading bones exposed to the elements, decomposing internal organs on show.
These bodies slowly approached, gripping him, not letting go. Their hollow, distant eyes accused him of living while they all died. They accused him of their death, pointing bony, decaying fingers at him, disfigured jaws opening and closing in perfect sync.
Kain denied it all. He shook his head fervently, denying it. None of their death was his fault. Those hooded men didn’t come for him. It was just a coincidence, nothing more. He too was a victim of the circumstances and was not guilty.
“Stop!! Stop accusing me, damn you!!”
Kain woke up from his nightmare with a shout.
Before him, the fire he took so much pain to create was dying. Outside, the accursed rain had eased its angry pounding, but the calm had not been restored yet.
He heard winds howling sorrowfully, shaking the makeshift shelter like a washing machine on “rinse”.
All his muscles were numb. The dull and rhythmic drumbeat of a headache pulsed like a muffled bass of a really bad disco song.
Besides being thirsty, now he was beset with hunger too. Things were not looking up. He threw up everything in his stomach, and his body needed energy. Regardless of how he felt about stuff, he was still a growing child. Balanced nutrition was a must. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen here, however.
He tended to the fire and noticed that there weren’t enough wood. At this rate, he would have to go out of the shelter and find more. Looking outside, he confirmed the rain had become a weak drizzle. Sighing, he decided to brave it, and head to the nearest tree.
He has been sitting in a huddled position with knees pressed to his chest, and his thigh muscles complained loudly when he tried to stand up. It felt like someone hit him on the back of the knees. It was painful.
He crawled for a bit until he got the blood circulation going on his legs. Even then, it was difficult to move, his body telling him its limits were reached already. Kain felt bitter about this – if he had been training his body, then at least he would be able to better endure the ordeal. As things stood, he was far too pampered for his own good.
“Whew. Should’ve gone on camping trips with dad or something.”
Kain sighed bitterly, mocking himself for looking back at a life that could have been but never was.
Briefly, he pondered why his previous family never spent much time together. They didn’t even have a Sunday barbecue, just like how it was with most middle-income families.
“Yeah, there was something wrong with us. Definitely.”
He couldn’t help but chuckle. Then he chuckled some more upon realizing that he’s been speaking in English, not the native tongue of Argos Empire. He got used to talking in Noa’s standard dialect, so it was actually strange to hear himself yapping in a language nearly forgotten. Not that anybody would understand anyway.
Ignoring the drizzle, Kain gingerly left the shelter and headed for the tree. It showed signs of abuse, most of them coming from him practicing the Wind Blade on it.
Once he reached it, however, he felt hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
He came to a halt right there and then, and began to search up ahead with his eyes. He saw nothing other than the still darkness. Nothing moved, or breathed. But the creepy sensation didn’t go away.
So, he instead tried to look at Aeterna fluctuations. All things attracted Aeterna to some degree, so as long as he could sense it, then he could also tell what might be lurking in the depths. He hoped that he was wrong, that there was nothing out there.
There was something there. Something large.
Something definitely not friendly.
A cold chill ran down his back.
Oh, crap. I got careless!! What do I do now?!
His feet got stuck, unmoving. Gritting his teeth, he willed them to move and succeeded in retreating very slowly. He didn’t want to make any sudden movements. He still had no clear idea what was hiding in the shadows, but at that moment it didn’t matter. He couldn’t fight it whatever it was, and running away was the only option on the table for him.
The space between the raging river behind and the dark, foreboding forest up ahead weren’t all that big. By steadily retreating, Kain’s back pressed against the temporary shelter’s mud wall, and he couldn’t move anymore.
More cold sweat broke out, but he had to move to his side. There was no choice here. Slowly, inch by agonizing inch, he shifted to his left.
Right then, it pounced.
A big, dark figure shot out like a flash of gunfire.
It was a minor miracle that he somehow managed to dodge its unfurled claws by slipping and falling on the wet and muddy surface.
Once out of the dark confines, Kain could finally see what it was.
It was a black panther. But it was bigger than a 4 by 4. Much bigger.
He recalled seeing its images in the bestiary back at Riverfield. So it wasn’t a Fiend nor an Awakened, just a regular, hungry apex predator out for a meal.
Of course, he had no plans on sating its appetite whatsoever.
Since it wasn’t a Fiend, he thought that he could chase it away by somehow scaring it.
Knowing that it was just an animal and not a bloodthirsty Fiend, he felt oddly calm, surprising himself somewhat. Even though it was too large to be normal, he still felt not as threatened as before. Normally, he should have freaked out by now.
He had a bit of confidence that he could handle a normal animal just fine, as long as he used the right Invocation at the right time. But he knew better than to become cocky. Nothing killed faster than being conceited, after all.
The panther looked at the boy and snarled menacingly. Its bright, beady eyes firmly locked on him and nothing else. Its jaws slacked slightly, thick drool mixing with the drizzle. Its pink tongue slathering about its fangs, as if it’s already savoring the flavor of human flesh.
Because of the adrenaline, Kain’s headache lessened a lot. He felt alert and ready. All that heaviness clouding his thoughts were blown away, allowing him to formulate a plan of escape quickly.
He could scare it away using either Fire or Earth Elemental Invocations. If he could use it, Lightning Type would have been ideal, but he didn’t know how. Besides, it was raining, so there was a chance he might get sucked into the spell’s effect as well.
It continued to snort, slowly circling the boy, its tail wagging this way and that. After maintaining the distance between them for a minute or two, it lowered its posture, and leaped forward, charging at Kain’s direction. It was fast.
He was about to cast an Earthen Wall right in its face when, in the corner of his eye he picked up yet another movement.
Before he could even lift a finger, this new player engulfed the panther and gobbled it up in one gulp.
His brain froze. But he could still come up with some words as a natural reaction to the scene playing right in front of him.
Holy. Mother. Of. A. Freaking God!! Is that, is that a goddamn T-rex?!
Once he came up with the appropriate words, he woke up from the daze, and he started running in the opposite direction, as fast as his short legs could carry him. No way on god’s green earth he was going to stay around to observe that huge, brown scaled lizard-type Fiend having a nice little cat-flavored snack.
He ran like a madman through the whipping branches, losing the track of time, moving ever deeper into the dark forest. Not even the shortness of breath bothered him.
One little sentence continued to echo in his head, whispering like a small devil sitting on his shoulder.
“……This place is cursed…….”
It seemed like there was some evidence to back up that claim.
Every one of the trees and shrubs blocking his ingress looked identical. No matter how far he ran, it might as well that he was standing still. If it weren’t for the rude slaps on his face from the sharp branches and leaves, he’d have thought that he was indeed not moving forward at all.
That illusion got painfully shattered when an exposed root tripped his ankle, and he tumbled down a small but steep incline, ending up in a ditch at the bottom.
The rain had washed off the mud off of him. The tumble down the slope coated him head to toe with the brown stuff once more.
He was too spent to get up. He couldn’t even lift a finger. Let alone move a leg. It was clear that he was done with the running. Not because he was no longer scared, no, but because his five-year-old physique just couldn’t take the abuse anymore.
All around him, sinister, crooked and ugly trees leered at him. After five years of getting used to nice, friendly, shade-providing trees of Riverfield, he couldn’t help but shudder at these haunting vegetation that seemingly leaped straight out of a very bad nightmare. It certainly did his nerves no good whatsoever.
It felt like there were eyes staring at him, leering at him. Watching, waiting, until he was lying dead on the ground so they could feed on his corpse.
Bastards. As if I’d let you.
Mustering what little strength he had left, Kain dragged and propped up his tired body against a wall of exposed earth. The drizzle doggedly found its way down, even with the dense canopy made up of intertwining branches and leaves above blanketing the overhead. As if it’s only mission was to soak him to the bones.
He was too tired. He was too fatigued to cast any more Invocations, meaning that building another shelter was not possible currently. The ditch he crawled into had a small overhead cover and the falling raindrops didn’t bother him as vigorously as before. That helped a little.
The goddess of a sweet slumber beckoned him ever so gently, and he was inclined to accept the tempting invitation.
But he resolutely refused.
Sleep was not a luxury he could afford at the moment. Not when he sensed many, many weird, unsettling Aeterna all around him. Like a toxic miasma, a fog of uncertainty pulled a wool over his eyes, obfuscating all before him.
Damn it, I need to focus. Wake up, me!!
Kain slapped his own cheeks hard, trying to stay awake.
Right, I need to find a new shelter, make new fire, and for real, find something to eat.
He thought about catching a rabbit or something, a prey small and non-threatening so he could hunt in relative safety. He hesitated slightly on catching rabbits though, after recalling something about their meat. It was no good as a wilderness survival food because it lacked fat. It was too lean, and so was not a good idea to rely on that exclusively.
He thought about catching birds instead. He could improvise another Wind type Invocation and knock one off the air. It sounded quite simple to execute. Reflexively he looked above him, but maybe because of the weather, he saw not a single bird, not even one perched on the numerous, crooked branches.
He decided to wait until the end of the rain. Then go on a hunting spree. A small pool of drool formed on the corner of his mouth as he thought of all the possibilities.
Right, don’t forget. I’ve gotta do this quietly.
He didn’t want to rouse the attention of that lizard monster, that huge Fiend, from before. At first glance, it resembled a T-Rex, but now that he was somewhat calmer, it looked more like a super-sized Komodo Dragon. Or maybe a Gila lizard.
Whatever the case may be, that Fiend was no cuddly, kid-friendly neighborhood mascot. It could even be poisonous. It went without saying, that he needed to stay as far away as humanly possible from that creature.
But he could still faintly sense that Fiend’s Aeterna in the distant. He was fairly sure of it approaching where he was hiding. As long as he kept on sensing its presence via his Aeterna…. vision, he would be alright, but still, he was worried about the fact that he couldn’t even see something that huge until it suddenly appeared to swallow whole the panther.
And judging by all the reaction he got through his Aeterna vision, that Fiend wasn’t the only danger in this forest.
There was no way he would be able to hurt that kind of Fiend with his puny powers, so should another creature with just as much ferocity and size appear before him, then he’d be royally shafted for good.
It was truly a miracle that he escaped from the predicament unscathed. He thought that the lizard Fiend didn’t even see him as an appetizer, due to his tininess. Which was a blessing in disguise, really.
One thing for sure, with those thick-as-a-tank, impermeable-to-all-things scales covering the whole body of the Fiend, he wasn’t going to leave a single scratch mark on it no matter how sharp the edges of his Wind Blade were going to be.
All he could do was sigh and lament his weakness. Also his rotten luck too.
With more of those monster roaming about, the thing about this forest being cursed sounded right to him.
No, wait. Snap out of it, me!!
He shook his head, admonishing himself for only thinking of negative things. He needed to keep a level, cool head, so he could survive in this place.
Stay focused. Focused!! Yes. Yes, I can do it. I’ll live through this. And I’ll make my way back to Riverfield. You just watch. I’ll go home. I’ll be damned if I lose a home twice in a row.
……..I am going home. No matter what.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.