6 A Familiar Scene
I once found a book floating around in a library. It was a small book, only a couple of pages thick when compared to the others. It was heavily weathered and worn. No one really seemed to care for it, but I was intrigued and couldn't help but catch it as it floated on by. I dusted it off and read the title in pure curiosity, "The birth of magic and the world of Coelum".
The book made some very large statements that I had never heard before. In summary, it said that this world, Coelum, is the burial grounds for a god who died billions of years ago. It also said that the magic we use is the remnants of that gods power. I think that most likely it is all just some delusion of some random lunatic in the Great Jungle. But I can't help but think, what if whoever wrote that book was right? After all, all myths derive from some form of truth.
-Anonymous Scholar of the Yomar Kingdom.
Have you ever seen a dead person? I don't mean someone who closed their eyes and never woke up. No, I mean someone who is truly dead. I saw it a lot during the war. Some people were ripped apart from shrapnel. Some people died while being burned alive. Some people died from having their skin and bones melted in chemical attacks…just like my family. The people who got shot in the head were the lucky ones. It was quick…painless. Yet, the ones who have it worst are the ones who lived through it all. Those people who lived get to replay those horrible days in their head over and over and over, again and again. Today I get the 'pleasure' of being reminded of that fact. The world of the living is truly hell.
Everything is red. The ground. The buildings. Even the sky seems to bleed in pain. The villagers…or what's left of them...are everywhere. Skin and guts can be found hanging on fences, magic lamps, or some other form of debris. Organs and ripe bones are scattered on the ground. No body is fully intact. They are either missing at least a head, leg, or arm, or some combination of the three. Over 100 people have been ripped into bits of nothingness.
*Huck…* Ann can't hold it in any longer and starts vomiting. Mom and Dad are just standing there with blank eyes. But me? It's all the same. I have seen it before, in much larger quantities. Without any emotion for the dead, I continue to walk through the now destroyed village. I did not know them well to begin with, otherwise I may have been a bit more caring for the deceased. The buildings and surrounding land suffered the same treatment as the villagers. I doubt we will find anything of use here.
"Mom, Dad. We need to keep moving, it may still be in the area." My words bring Mom and Dad back to their sense. Though, they seem somewhat shocked of my ability to keep moving like this is all just a regular sight. Can't blame them. They don't know that I've seen this sight before. After getting her senses back, Mom walks over to help Ann calm down. Dad walks over to me.
"Let's check and see if there are any survivors or if there is anything worth taking with us. Sadly, I don't think anyone here will need anything anytime soon." Always on the harsh side, aren't you dad?
I nod in agreement and Dad walks back to Mom and Ann to make sure we all understand to stay in shouting distance. It takes time, but we eventually make our way around the whole village. Not a single living person. Even the lord's manor was destroyed, with him along with it. However, while I was checking the lord's manor, I did find some nice things. The best thing I acquired was a spatial ring. They are not cheap, but they are not expensive for a small-time lord either. They are easy for intermediate level magicians to make, bringing the cost to only around ten gold for smaller carry weight rings. This one could probably hold about 100 pounds of items. They can even hold living beings, if that being consents to the idea of being trapped in a void that is.
Among the ring I find various beginner level magic books as well as seven monster cores. I gather all my things inside the ring and head on back to the family. After showing them the ring, they have me carry the food and other goods they brought in their bags.
"So, what now?" I ask
"We still need to go to the city and inform the Adventurers Guild. That much hasn't changed at least. Hun, did you see any horses?" Mom looks over to Dad as he stands there scratching his head.
"Sadly no, I didn't. Looks like we walk from here. We don't have enough food for the walk there, but I am sure we can manage to hunt or fish for food. As for water, there is a stream that goes from here towards Stelenger. We should be fine, it will just take much longer to get there. If I remember right, it's around 100 miles south west from here."
While Mom and Dad talk about the best way to travel towards Stelenger, I take a glance at Ann. She seems to be doing much better, though she is avoiding looking at the direction of the village. I am sure she will be alright, but it will take some time to cope with what she saw today. I walk over and put a hand on her shoulder while giving her a smile.
"Doin' alright?" I ask.
"I'm okay. A bit queasy still, but otherwise alright. Though it seems like you are doing fine again. What are you made of? Stone?"
I chuckle a bit at her remark. "Nope, like I said, it's just a guy thing."
"Surrreeee. And you got the ability to walk over dead bodies like it's nothing from Dad too I guess?"
"Well...something like that." Trying to play it off, I pray she doesn't notice.
"Uh huh. Alright."
Thank the gods she dropped it there. At that point Mom waves us over. "Come on you two, let's get out of here. Just because that monster hasn't shown up yet doesn't mean it isn't around. I think we would all like to leave before it shows itself."
And just at that moment, as if by some divine intervention, a colossus roar sounds through the distance, shaking the ground and sky with it. Fuck…thanks Mom…