Chapter 68

Chapter 68

Snake Report

Something from nothing.

There is the single greatest trick with any magic. A condition, maybe better classified as a law.

Earth can be reshaped and molded. Things can be moved around, and the force to do it can come from my own body- somehow. Fire is much the same, devouring my mana with a hunger, bursting and fading as it passes on.

But the fact stands: I can't make something, from nothing.

Earth needs to exist to use earth-magic. There can be no stone tower from the sky, without stone to build it. Earth requires Earth. A cup of stone can't be molded without stone. Neither, can it be filled- for water magic is no different than Earth. Without a source, it can not be done.

This is where I think many might find their end.

In this cavern, trapped above certain death, there is nothing but air and stone.

Air, stone, snake, and human.

I can do nothing with Air. I have no Air Magic, though I strongly suspect such a thing exists.

With the human, I can heal, but only damage. Bruises, cuts, burns and injuries: After several attempts, I feel at this point I might only be making things worse. You can not heal someone who is dying of thirst.

By that same logic, I can do things with stone, but what good is stone right now? An empty cup? A device to mock the poor person slowly succumbing to their body's most necessary and essential molecule?

To any eyes, snake or human: There is nothing but air and stone in this room.

But I can see something else. Not with eyes, but with my mind. A mind created and grown to consciousness in another world. Knowledge is held in this head and mental sphere of foreign thoughts- however barely.

In air, there is oxygen. There is what we need to breathe, but that's not the only thing.

Nitrogen...

Oxygen...

Carbon dioxide...

Some others, probably even mana in this world. I know there are elements I don't remember well-enough to repeat the names, and many I simply can't ever interact with. If I reach out, I can feel them there- somewhat. I can even touch them with magic, respond to how they seem to react. Slowly, they react...

But, there is only one of those that actually matters. In this air, there is a single very important portion. An "element" in which I do have power over, however weak.

Drop by drop, it collects:

Water.

There is water in the air. I am creating something, from nothing.

Hisss...

That's basically magic, while using magic.

[Water Manipulation III]

 

Science rules.

Bill! Bill! Bill- no.

Stop that.

This is serious.

My magic is still weakened I think. Physically I'm almost useless.

I'm learning to multi-task on some serious levels here. Pulling water out of the air, aiming it, pouring a cup by method [Earth Molding] alone because my body won't move. Carving out stone and shifting things to make more space. Making a new altar for the Tiny-Snake-God.

Lots of things here.

Serious things.

Even a normal human would have some serious trouble with this stuff.

The stair-archway has been started, I plan to wind it in a spiral similar to the way I originally intended at camp Big-Foot. A table has been made, and two chairs- as well as a bunk. The ceiling pushed out a bit. I'm just trying to come up with more things to do because [Earth Molding]'s effective range isn't so efficient if I can't move.

I lifted my head a bit earlier though.

That's progress.

But... it's slow progress.

There is nothing left to do but wait. Let her drink a tiny sip, then wait...

[Water Manipulation IV]

 

Water magic is different from working with Earth. It's fluid... I suppose that's obvious, but with Earth, things mostly stay where I put them. With water, it seems that nothing ever stays put longer than I'm holding onto it. The second- no, the instant I let go the magic releases- the structure is gone, the work is left to run its course. One drop at a time... Collect the water like condensation, as if it were dripping from the ceiling.

Cool it down, slow it down... catch it, then pour... Carefully.

Fill... then pour...

Tiny sip...

It's all I can do.

Hiss...

Miss Paladin, I'm very sorry all this happened to you.

I wasn't certain I would get along with a person that captured me, but I think I've gotten past the trauma of being kidnapped. To be fair: I was a suspicious monster creeping about beside your hard-won sanctuary, and I honestly think I might have tried to do the same thing in your circumstances.

Still.

This is no place for a human to be.

Trust me when I say that. No one else would know better.

This terrible Dungeon is for monsters, not people. Emotions, hopes, dreams: They aren't meant for things this far down in the depths. Things like that, they rise up. Like heat. It's why people build cities, and artwork, and sculptures and crazy inventions.

To go higher.

To keep themselves out of the pits, away from places like this.

I'm rambling.

It's a bad habit, that comes out when I'm under a lot of stress.

I talk.

Well, hiss, nowadays anyhow. It makes me feel a bit better when I can't do anything about the world around me.

Things die down here.

Lots of things, ever since I was born in this world: All around me, all the time. Even if I'm not the one to cause it. Even if I try to stop it, to avoid it all entirely.

Things die. It's what happens in a place like this, all too frequently.

It gets... tiresome. Heavy, I guess. Like weights. Bit by bit, those add up.

I don't know. Sometimes, I can make up as much as I want to hide away from it.

Sculptures.

Tunnels.

Pillars.

Camps.

I can make crazy and wonderful things. The stuff of dreams in my last life, more than dreams even. I can do more than I ever would have thought possible.

But sometimes I can't.

Even now, I can't do everything.

I'm sorry.

I guess after all the horrible and bad-stuff, I just really don't want you to die.