Book II - Chapter 8

 

Chapter 8

Snake Report:

 

Man, look at me go.

Sliding over sand, and rocks, and things.

Normally, I’d be burning my mana away, building out a shelter. Expanding things, solidify the walls into some denser stone, get some furniture in place…

Instead, I’m slithering out into the great unknown.

It’s almost… fun.

Not to say I’m not still completely paranoid that some monster is going to come out of the blue and try to devour me, but this way less stressful than I expected it to be.

Almost therapeutic, really.

I’ve only panicked and set two boulders on fire so far.

Old habits die hard.

Feels good to move.

Ssss… I did not expect sitting around and being lazy to bug me so much.

Maybe it wasn’t the sitting around, so much as the inability to make progress. Even when I was in a bad spot before, I was never completely out of options. There was always something I could be doing.

Practicing magic, or building something…

I’m going to need to come up with some work arounds.

Without [Voice of Gaia] or my [Spirit Attendants] in working order… If we run into humans, it’s going to be tricky.

I won’t be able to talk to them.

Imra being an Elf, I’m not sure they’re going to want to talk anyways.

Could be difficult situation.

Plus, I’ve been thinking back to what happened, before we woke up here.

Obviously, something went wrong.

Memory is still jumbled, but I remember the Elven Chief. The blood ritual was clearly enacted with some sort of plan. Imra seemed to know something about it. She mentioned “binding” me, somehow.

So, I think whatever he was trying to do, was working.

He definitely had us trapped, towards the end. I know I tried to get at him with Earth magic, but then that stupid orb cut me right off, and nothing I tried to do was working to break us out.

But he didn’t just kill me.

I have to assume that if he’d wanted me dead, he could have just done that. So, he probably wanted something else…

I guess it was a good thing the swordsman showed up.

Same time, maybe it wasn’t?

I mean, that guy killed pretty much everyone who didn’t have the common sense to run away. Buckets of extra blood poured on top of magic apparently fueled by blood.

Might explain why I keep remembering “boom.”

Boom.

What the heck.

Like that’s supposed to help.

It’s weird, I just can’t remember what happened at the end.

Knocked me out?

Good thing I’ve been testing [Heal] so much, because I hear that’s super bad for a person.

Ssss…

What’s worse though, is that the harder I think back to what happened, the more creeped out I get. That awful nightmare feeling keeps slipping back into my head.

Screams… fire… laughter.

Laughter.

Terrible laughter.

I can’t remember what happened, exactly. Not the sounds or the sights, but instead: I remember the fear.

The same fear I had when I woke up: a shiver that runs down my spine. Ties my stomach in a knot and makes me want to try and escape.

Irrational terror.

I’m practiced in that sort of thing. People, creatures, mushrooms, rocks: every possible example I can come up with, have been trying to murder me non-stop since I reincarnated. Paranoia is my day to day, minute to minute.

But this is… intense.

After dying once and coming back, I’ve thought myself a little less intimidated by existential dread.

Apparently not.

I’m getting freaked out just thinking about it.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I know exactly what happened, and I just don’t want-

No.

No, gotta change the subject.

Focus on something else.

Something else…

Ordinarily, I would just play with Earth Magic. That was my go-to method of distraction, but that’s out.

Water Magic?

No, soil is too dry.

Healing magic?

I mean… I guess?

The spell goes off, regardless of whether I actually need to [Heal] or not…

[Heal]

Yeah, my belly feels a bit better.

Maybe I had a little sand burn?

[Heal]

No difference, that time.

[Heal]

Actually, now my head sort of hurts.

[Heal]

Sssss!

Ow.

What the heck? It was doing this yesterday, too.

Like a migraine, but not…

Must be some residual mess leftover from that stupid ritual-mishap.

Hey, I wonder if I get a headache, does Imra get one too?

There’s a thought.

Ah, well, timing is good. I’m almost there.

The mysterious shape on the horizon is revealed at last.

It’s what I thought.

Looks like someone left a wagon out here.