Les do this.
Chapter 10: Not even a goodbye?
"So what you're telling me, is that he got punched in the face, without Aura, looked at him, and then told him to do it harder?" Nora asks. We're in an open field, with the town in sight quite a while away. We've set up camp, as its getting a bit dark. Besides, it'll probably take us all day in order to actually reach the town. I shake my head and eat some spare venison.
I decided to share a couple stories from back home, on Earth. In particular, the time me and a few friends got into a massive fight out on the street. Good times, apart from a broken nose.
"Yeah. He was always ready to throw hands. I'm not sure about the masochistic part, though." Ren smiles lightly and says:
"He sounds like a formidable brawler." I lean back and think.
'Come to think of it, most of my friends got news that I was obliterated by a truck. I wonder if they went to my funeral. God, I'll miss them all.'
"Well, he probably would have been had he actually decided to follow through with boxing or… I think it was Muay Thai. Well, anyways he decided to start writing shit instead of possible traumatic brain injuries. Or… Uh fighting grimm… Yeah."
'Come to think of it, I asked him to write a story about me. Never got around to it until I died. Damn shame.'
"Pshh, That's boring." Nora says, tearing off a piece of meat.
"I think its perfectly respectable to do something like that. If people are entertained within books, then he can deliver." Nora rolls her eyes while I smile a little.
"Eh, I think we should all have a skill that doesn't exactly relate to what we want to do in life. Like for us, Fighting Grimm. Its a career on its own, but it'll probably drive you nuts if you don't have a hobby for the downtime. Something to keep your hands and mind busy." I say.
"I do believe that's true, Nora." Ren tells her, sending a slight, non-harmful glare. Nora blows a raspberry and says:
"It's not true! I don't wanna believe it. It'll be boring." I raise an eyebrow and smirk.
"Gimme a second." I say, getting up back towards the treeline.
'Okay, let's see, a nicely sized piece of wood. Not too big, not tiny either.' I Look around on the ground for pieces of wood you could hold in one hand. As I'm looking, I start to get a little lost in thought.
'Oddly enough, I haven't seen any birds lately. Not any at all. Its a little odd, if you ask me.' I get on one knee, and look on the ground.
'Can't let it get to me, though. I have a plan. Its a questionable plan, but a plan nonetheless. God… Don't let anxiety kick in now, goddamnit.' I lick my lips and pick out a piece of wood.
'Am I intimidating? I dunno. I guess I'll have to try and intimidate people more, to see where I stand. Though I think Leo can be easily intimidated.' I take out a knife and look around, finding a similarly sized piece of wood.
Common Knife: x2, Common, Common
A simple knife, used for various purposes.
I take one of them, and started carving the corners a little. They get smooth, and I blow them off a little.
'This'll take a while.' I start walking back to the camp sight, taking slight glances. I pause, and shrug.
'Let's take a look at loadouts.'
I'm glad you asked! Loadouts are various sets of equipment you can have pre-made, so you don't have to switch out weapons, outfits, and titles manually.
Loadouts allow you to switch on the fly, as well, taking no time to switch both weapons, outfits, titles, and even Preferred Skills. As of now, you have 3 loadout slots, which you may fill out.
You can simply open up the loadouts menu by thinking "loadouts."
Available Loadouts: 0
Loadout 1: Null
Loadout 2: Null
Loadout 3: Null
'Yeah, Just make Loadout 1 what I'm wearing now. Along with Underdog. And Loadout 2 can be with the secondary sword on my… Not my hip, on my back as well.
Loadouts created! Would you like to name them?
'Oh.. I wonder what I should… I'll be a little uncreative I guess. Loadout 1 can be 'Swordsman' and Loadout 2 can be 'Dualies.' I look down at my block in my hands, and notice its been whittled to a small, blunt point.
'That got whittled down far faster than it should have.'
You have leveled up the skill: [Whittling]: Lv: 8
"Oh. Its kinda weird to think that the Gamer ability helps with anything. Not just combat-oriented things. Something as useless as this can be leveled up." I say aloud, absentmindedly walking off towards the fire Ren started.
'Come to think of it, Leveling up a skill like this, that gives me XP based on the quality of an Item I produce, rather than the amount of times I do it, is useful, Right? So something like Blacksmithing. That could get me somewhere relatively quickly.' I zone out a little while walking back to the camp.
I whip around quickly, dropping the knife and wood, while taking out Underdog, swinging it at the source of the noise. I only manage to sink the blade into the tree, while a pair of seemingly floating red eyes retreat a little.
"Nāc ar mums." Again, I look around, finding another, slightly bigger pair of eyes float back. I try and pull out Underdog, only for me to realize its stuck in the tree too deep for me to pull out.
"Yeah, you can piss right off with that." I say, putting my leg right up on the tree, pulling as hard as I can. For some reason, Its unnaturally stuck, with me pulling with every ounce of strength I have.
"Mēs varam jūs mācīt."
'That sounds like some alien shit.'* I pull more as the eyes close in.
"Back off!" I almost shout, kicking at one of them. It backs off, and seemingly shakes its "Head".
"Mēs tiksimies vēlreiz." The smaller one says, as the two back off, disappearing into the trees.
"What the fuck just happned?"I give one more tug, before I dismount, staring at the sword in the wood before me. I get an Idea, and grab on to the sword, putting it in my inventory. It works, as It disappears from the tree.
'I think I'm going a little crazy.' I think, scratching at my head. I flip Underdog in my hand and back out of the wooded area.
'Hey, System, could you tell me what exactly that was?'
"Worth a shot."
Mostly because I have no Fucking Idea either!
'... What?' I stare at the window for a second, before I say under my breath:
"So, you don't know everything?"
Why would you assume that?
'... Fair enough point.' I scratch my head a little and look back to where the creatures or… Whatever those were.
'It wasn't a Grimm, since they spoke to me. I couldn't tell what language, but they spoke to me. That and they were just dark little blobs. But god, their presence made me really uncomfortable.' I walk back, a little more alert, and sit back where I was before, with Ren, asking:
"What'd you get?" I steel myself and fake a smirk, holding up the blocks of wood and two knives.
"Nora, This is called whittling. You can do a lot with whittling, both for survival, and just making something because you're bored." I hand her the already pointed wood and one of my knives. She looks at me blankly before saying:
"What am I supposed to do with these?" I roll my eyes and start to carve out my piece.
"Whatever you want to do with it. Make something pretty." I carve off the corners, and make the wood rather smooth. Blowing off a little part, I zone out, focusing on the wood carving.
For Not cutting yourself, your DEX has increased!
I snap back to reality, and notice the thing in my hands. Its a small wood goblet, with a few splinters pointed out. My eyes widen, as a window opens up just above it.
You have whittled: Shitty Goblet. Common, Common
With each gulp, you find more splinters in your throat!
'That's just mean.' I stare at the goblet for a moment, before looking over to Nora, who is wildly slicing at the piece of wood.
"Ahh, I zoned out, how long has she been doing that?" Ren shrugs and says:
"I'd say twenty minutes."
'Twenty minutes!? I zoned out for Twenty fucking minutes!?'
"Quite honestly, Nora with a knife scares me." He states, watching as the piece of wood becomes smaller and smaller.
"Yeah… Probably should have thought that aspect through." I look up at the moon and smile lightly.
'Jesus, a half hour ago I was being harassed by weird black things… Not racist, I swear. But they freaked me the fuck out, and then just this. Being with friendly people is just… Nice.'
"I think I'll take first watch again." I mutter, still looking at the shattered moon. Ren just nods, and pokes Nora's shoulder. The girl snaps out of her trance, and notices that the piece of wood, about the size of a box of chocolates, is now just a sliver.
"Nora, you should get some sleep." Ren tells her, trying gingerly to take the knife.
"I need more!"
"Nora, Please-" I shake my head and look out in the dark of the night. I let a small, content sigh, and notice that I can see my breath.
'Come to think of it, Its about christmas time. Or was, at least when I got round here. But its too warm for it to be the winter months. If I remember correctly, Monty probably based Beacon off of Japanese schools, starting in the spring or something, so I think I missed christmas.'
Looking back, Ren got Nora to settle down, and the two were laid down in sleeping bags. I stoke the fire a little and draw Underdog, sticking it in the dirt. I put my leg up on the crossguard and lean back a little.
'Another long night, I guess.'
"Hey, Bryzan?" I hear Nora whisper behind me. I look back, and lean myself closer.
"Yeah?" I whisper back, glancing at her. She's facing away, but I can still hear her clearly say:
"Could you play a song?" I raise an eyebrow, and nod. I take out my Ocarina and blow softly into it.
Now Playing: Zelda's Lullaby
I smile a little at the textbox and continue playing.
"Thank you." I hear Nora softly state.
Two hours later.
I suppose now is as good a time as ever to explain night watches. In groups, at least. For us three, its three hours each, for a total of nine hours of sleep, and fifteen of travel, which is more often than not used for fucking about during the day, and getting in skirmishes. The night, however, is a bit different. You can be a bit more Lax, to say. Nobody would really notice if you lull off for a while, since not much would happen. The Grimm Don't sleep exactly, but they tend to leave small groups like us alone, trying for bigger prey like towns.
Bandits are a bit of a different story. Ren told me that Bandits typically go after small groups like us, and quite often at that. Oddly enough, we haven't encountered any. Knowing my Luck stat is so low, I would have figured that we would have been ambushed every day, yet I haven't seen as much as hair of someone else around.
To put short, Night is kind of boring, and has been for the past couple weeks, week and a half. And I liked it that way, the less fighting I have to do, the better.
But tonight, was a bit different. Not only could you see the town, it was only about a four hour walk. But we stopped since it was a bit dangerous to walk around if you couldn't see shit.
To put bluntly, shit got a little interesting.
Leaned back a little, and turned away from the fire, scanning the darkness. In an instant, the fire vanished entirely, and the temperature dropped. I got up quickly, pulling Underdog out of the dirt, and entering a combat stance. I look around, and at the fire, where there aren't even embers to light up. That was it, the fire just vanished. I spin my sword in my hand and turn back around, to see if I can find anything. Its nothing of note yet, as the fire just went out.
I purse my lips, and sigh. I kneel at the fire pit when I hear behind me:
"!-" I'm about to shout something when I also hear
"Hush." I find myself unable to say anything. I can breathe, but its silent, and my throat won't come up with anything intelligible to say.
"A little slow now, Huh?" Their voice is high, and gravelly, as if they've been smoking. I can't see their face, both because of the darkness and the blank mask they were wearing. It was red and white, with the top portion being red, and a diagonal streak separating the two colors.
"Can't answer that, of course, but uhh.. Fuck, what was I going to say?" I find myself becoming less and less scared by the second, as I raise Underdog a little bit.
"Don't even think about it… Oh yeah, I remember now." The Stranger stretches a little bit, and reveals his weapon, which is a sheathed Katana he holds in his hand, rather than on his hip or something.
"Watch out. That's all. Shit is going to happen, so you'll have to let it."
I look at the box in bewilderment. 'What the fuck is that last one?' I take a step back and the Stranger says:
"Hey, look at me, not that. Anyways, No plan survives first contact with the enemy. So don't go crying like a bitch when your plan goes to shit and you end up failing. That's all." The Stranger then briskly walks away.
"Oh yeah, almost forgot-" The stranger holds up one of their arms, as a fireball appears, about the size of a grapefruit. He flings it towards the fire pit, which lights up immediately, as if nothing happened.
"Hey, keep this quiet, by the way. They need their sleep." The Stranger says, walking back.
"Release." I take a deep breath, finding that I actually make noise this time around.
"What the fuck?" I mutter under my breath, looking back at the fire.
'That was… Suspect.'
"You Okay, Bryzan?" Ren asks, noticing my blank stare.
"Yeah, Good. Just a little lost, is all." I state, shaking my head a little.
"Whaddya mean? We're here!" Nora nearly shouts, looking at the massive gates in front of us.
"Well yeah, Just mentally." Ren gives me an eyebrow as we walk into the small city.
'Why is so much weird shit happening in such a small frame of time?' I think to myself as I wander off alongside Ren and Nora. I take a look at the buildings, and find its a bit more… Industrial… to put simply. For one, there aren't exactly markets that have a product out and about. To be fair, there probably is one around here, but its more reminiscent of actual shops I'm used to. I look to my left and find a general store, with a few eye-opening items inside. I purse my lips and get an idea.
"Hey, I need to get a couple things, I'll be right back." I say quickly, walking over to the store. Ren and Nora look at each other, before shrugging and following me inside. I give a slight wave to the cashier, and look through a selection of camping equipment.
Bunsen burner: Common, Common
A mid-grade Bunsen burner meant for cooking things in the outdoors. Uses solid fuel.
I raise an eyebrow and hold on to it. Walking into a different Isle, I come across flashlights. Tons and tons of Flashlights. Normally looking for a flashlight isn't really a big deal, as you look at a flashlight, look at the tag, and see if its bright enough for you.
Oddly enough, You look at the tag, and it just says: BRIGHT. Lumens aren't a fucking thing apparently. I pick up a flashlight the size of a crayon and shrug. 'Observe'
TIny Flashlight: Uncommon, common
This little flashlight can blind a person in the dark!
'Typically tiny flashlights are the brighter ones.' I move on a little, when I come across a backpack stand.
'I know I have inventory, but can I have a backpack on top of that?' I pick up a bag and put it on, finding another window to open.
Backpack equipped! Inventory has expanded by 35 slots permanently!
'Oh… I like this.' I take off the bag, and realize that my inventory hasn't gone down at all. I take a look at a slightly different bag, and a duffel bag. Being in the middle of all these backpacks, I get an idea.
Ten minutes later
"Heya Renny, you think Bryzan's done yet?" Nora asks her partner at the front of the store.
"Nora, he hasn't come out yet, so I'd assume-"
"Sup?" I say, walking out of the store.
"Hi! Whatdya get?" Nora asks. Ren just looks me up and down and shakes his head for a brief moment, I saw confusion on his face.
"Heh, Storage semblance, remember? Ahh, anyways, got some camping stuff, tried a few backpacks, the works."
Inventory slots available: 1,670
'Heh, a few.' I think to myself. Nora nods her head and looks over to Ren.
"What're we going to do for the rest of the day?" Ren shrugs and looks over to me. I space out for a second, and say:
"I'd say to get a place to stay first. If we're leaving tomorrow, that is." Ren just nods and says:
"I'll pay for it. Least I can do for forcing you guys to drag me along."
"Eh, whatever. I got the cash."
'Not as high a number as I would have liked, but its still 2,000 dollars.'
One purchase later
Nora flops onto one of the beds in the two bed hotel room, and bounces off a few times. I hold in a giggle at the display, and turn around, finding Ren looking at her as well.
"Thank you." He said softly. I shrug and say:
"Ehh, don't mention it. I'm going to run around town a little, try and see if I can find something of importance." Ren raises an eyebrow and asks:
"May I ask what exactly you mean by that?" I shrug again and wave him off.
"We'll see." I tell him, looking into my inventory.
'Time to see if theres a cemetery around here.' I walk out of the door and close it gently.
Twenty minutes after sunset.
I find myself standing in the middle of a cemetery, while it is plenty dark out, and with a heavily wooded area around. I'm still in the city, but I'm surrounded by trees and headstones. I shudder a little and look around, finding a place to put a key.
'The water dungeon key had me put it in water, so should I put this one in a grave?' I think to myself, approaching a weathered headstone. I'm about to place it in the dirt, when I see a light come on to my right. Looking there, I see that a light came on to the groundskeeper's shed, where they keep shovels, rakes and such. I look at the key, and the shed, and shake my head.
'That makes a bit more sense.' Swiftly walking over, I jiggle the knob on the door, and see the key hole in the doorknob. I nod and take the Undead key out, placing it in the hole.
In an instant, the door begins to crack, and almost decay. Black tendrils creeped along the wood and embedded themselves deep in the wood. Tappin on it, I find that the door isn't wood, but stone now. I take a deep breath and pull…
Nothing. I sigh and push a little.
Its now that I realize that this is a bit of a mistake. Just opening the door a little bit, I feel massive bloodlust overtake me, as I see the descending stone steps.
[Fear] Has been nullified by Mind of the Gamer!
I grit my teeth and shut the door.
'Yup! Just looking! Whatever the hell is down there, is going to eat me the fuck alive! I'm going to go and sleep! Just a scouting mission! I'm not completely stupid!' I don't take my hand off the knob when I turn around a little, and hear a frustrated grunt. Next thing I know, There's a boot to my chest, and I'm sent flying through the dungeon doors.
The door swings quickly, and shuts, reverting back to its form before. I hit the stairs, tumbling all the way down.
'Well this fucking sucks.'
The Next morning
"Are you sure?"
"Yes Nora, We have to go today or we'll miss the flight to beacon."
"But… I wanted to see him more."
"Nora, he told us he would be splitting off. This is probably where he meant."
"But… He didn't even say goodbye." Ren sighs softly and reassures her:
"Nora, not all people can say goodbye. Its a hard thing to do."
"..." Nora stays quiet, and starts to walk out of the city with Ren.
"I think We'll see him again."
BOOM! Got this chapter out. This one is a bit jumpy, as you could tell.
Being honest, motivation kinda depleted, but got back up at random times, so it kinda fucked with my head, so I started another story that was dissimilar to this one, to keep myself interested in writing this.
So Into another dungeon, huh? Well, this one is going to be a bit more interesting...
Nobody guessed the pairing yet, which I think I might be thankful for, lmao.
All that aside, I hope you have a fantastic day!