Book III - Chapter 12

Chapter 12

[Snake Report]

For whatever reason, I decided not to leave right away.

I won’t lie, I considered it.

There are oceans, to the West. There are mountains, to the East.

Either direction, and I’m sure now that my Magic is working again, I could make a life for myself. It wouldn’t be hard to leave all this mess behind, and move on. In fact, it might be good for me.

A new start, in a new place.

Right then and there, I know I could have picked one of those, and went with it.

But, I stayed.

Closing up the dungeon… plugging that horrible place as effectively as possible. I felt like I had to do it.

I had to.

It took some time.

A surprising amount of time.

Each time I went back over, it seemed I had missed something, somehow. Another fissure, or another hollow pocket I’d overlooked. In the stone, closing up that entrance, took hours, and every stopping point in which I thought I was done, I wasn’t.

By the time I stopped throwing Earth Magic around and really set my eyes back up to the horizon, there was…

This…

This “thing.”

Green.

It’s not a color I expect to see here, but here it is. Surrounded by sand and ash, centered in the middle of my tiny coil, is one, fragile speck of green.

A sprout.

I’ve been watching as it pokes little leaves out of the dirt. Bit by bit, lifting itself up from the ground below.

I don’t really understand how it’s alive.

Was it the fire?

Some buried seed, just waiting for an environmental trigger? Some plant that needs intense heat, to prompt it into growing? Looking around, there’s not another living thing for miles in any direction. No rain has fallen, there’s no rivers or streams…

But, here it is.

A sprout.

Right on the spot, where Imra used to be.

Which hurts.

Just one more reminder of how badly I’ve gone and messed things up. As if the empty void she left behind in her wake, wasn’t painful enough, when mixed with the regret of all the things I could have done differently.

It really hurts.

Of course, I watered it.

As best I could, I pulled some of the moisture out of the surrounding dirt, ten feet… twenty feet down.

I’ve improved with Water Magic, but this wasn’t easy.

There’s not much in the way of water out here. I suspect, the more I draw, the less there will be. Still, already, in just the time I’ve spent looking at it, this sprout has grown another inch or so.

Which, bothers me.

Bothers me a lot more than it should.

I mean: this is a grave.

This is death.

Beneath us, is a plugged up terror of pure fucking evil. All around us, are the scattered elemental bits of people I really, really did not like. And, growing right in the middle of it, is this tiny, stupid, plant.

Little thing like this has no right to be growing here.

The sun, the ashes- this terrain should be inhospitable to pretty much anything or anyone.

If I, what the menu-system is defining as a literal “God” feel a bit toasty, I can only imagine what’s going to happen to this sprout if I up and leave.

Without shade and water, how long is it gonna last?

Sss…

Imra told me she would turn this place into a forest, once.

Somehow, if she were a God: she told me that she would take the powers she received, and change this desert into something better. Back into what it was, before the rain stopped. Before the humans did what humans seem to do.

I have no idea how, logistically speaking, but Imra never cared much about those sort of thoughts.

She wouldn’t fret about the details, I just know she would try.

One way, or another.

Much as I want to leave, I really don’t know if I can spit on her memory like that.

Yeah.

So, here I am.

For a little while longer.

Just until I’ve come up with a way for this tree to survive.

I already plugged the dungeon entrance, so I guess there’s no huge risk, staying here for awhile. In fact, maybe it’ll be good for me, in a way. I’ll work on my Water Magic a bit more. I practice some of new spells in “inherited.”

Make something that can moves with the sun, to help shade this little guy…

Yeah.

I’ll stay for a bit longer.

Just a bit.