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Chapter 13 – Encounter

Ashen’s Age: 10 Years Old

Whatever it is, I need to pick up my pace.

To where?

Nowhere. I don’t know. Just keep going forward. Nothing to fear right? It’s just dark, in an unknown forest surrounded by magical beasts who have all ran away frightened, right? Perfectly fine. Perfectly normal. I mean, birds just stop chirping all at once all the time, right?

I fail to reassure myself as I continue to skip over roots at an anxious pace. I glide past the conifers all around me, and keep going in. Deeper, and deeper, and deeper.

When I look back, I see my footprints… are gone. The little magic poofs are… eating it? They’ve been eating the magic I’ve laid down. No wonder they keep following me. I’m like a fucking meal to them! And where is the way back! Crap! How do I get home?

Should I shoot up out of the forest and get my barrings?

Stupid. I’d just smack into tree branches, break my arms, get a face full of leafs and then fall down and hurt myself more. I at least know this of myself.

Onward, I continue forward.

Bash!

I trip over a root and fall face first into a bush. Great, so much for not getting a face full of leafs. I look up and… shit.

There is a large bear like thing hovering over me. The tree which I tripped over is now crashing down to it’s side. Shit.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

I know I said I could handle myself, but shit, can I?

I’ve never been attacked before!

I’m gonna get eaten!
To die as food, how ironic! Wait, is that irony?

This all goes through my mind in a flash. Instinctively, I shoot a blast of wind magic at it’s feet. The monster bear stumbles back a little, but the blast pushes me clear from it’s swipe just in time.

I run.

Shit, shit shit.

I can hear it charging towards me.

It is surprisingly agile, able to glide around trees effortlessly.

This must be it’s territory.

It roars as I send Ice Bullets back at it. I can’t concentrate enough to fire something bigger, and I think all I am doing is antagonizing it.

As I hear it right behind me, I spin around and produce an emerald shield in front of me. It is just a block of emerald that is pointed at the corners, in a kind of diamond shape. I don’t know what I came up with. I just wanted to block with something.

The bear swipes at me and hits the block.

Jang! Crack!

The emerald block cracks, but absorbed the blow fully.

Can this protect me? Ah! If I hold it with magic, can I use the brick to block attacks?

Emerald doesn’t seem to be strong enough, though.

Can I use it for attacks though?

I hop backwards again as another attack comes and I throw the emerald brick at the bear.

Ouch! Right in the face! Or not! The bear swiped it away as it came, and the brick shattered. But there is blood mixed in with the shards.

Maybe I can do this?

No, I don’t have time to refine this. What do I do. Whats better than emeralds?

Sapphire? Diamond?

I create two blocks, a sapphire block like an arrowhead over my right arm, and a large diamond block like a shield over my left.

The bear lunges again, and I take the blow on the diamond shield.

Thankfully, it holds, and I remain upright.

Yes.

Holding the diamond with magic keeps it strong.

I can do this.! I can do this!

Concentrate.

I keep blocking attacks with the diamond shield on my left, and with my right, I fire sapphire bricks shaped like pointed arrows. It feels like the ammo you would use in an artillery piece or a rail gun, but it is all I can think to do.

The bear keeps swatting away at the sapphires projectiles, but its taking damage. It is off balance as I keep them coming, rapid fire.

Good.

I am pushing it back.

The bear jumps back, and then fades back into the forest.

But I can tell by it’s link-core. It is still there. Further, there are two more approaching!

Shit, I can barely take one right now, how do I take two?

I turn tail and run.

Run. Run. Run.

Bam!

I ran right into a gate.

A gate?

Shit, whatever. I shake the gate with my hands, but they don’t budge.

Handle? Key? Lock? Where? Gotta get through, gotta get through!

I channel magic into my hands and push the gate and it opens.

I got through!

Immediately after getting through, the gate slams shut behind me.

Three magic bears appear and slam into the gate.

They keep hitting it over and over.

I stand there like a deer in headlights, just watching and catching my breath.

Will the gate hold?

But I could get through even with my strength, surely they can get through it too. What? Don’t cal you Shirley? Shut it.

The gate holds. With a clang and a bang, they hit it but they cannot get through.

It is only now that I see it. A thin film of magic is covering the gate and the surrounding walls.

Whoa, it also extends into the sky. It’s like a dome.

It was only then that I realized that I was in a courtyard.

It was overgrown, and full of weeds. And in front of me was a mansion almost identical to the one that I grew up in just a few miles away.

A forest mansion.

At least I’ll have shelter for the night.

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