Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 33: 33.Simon of the Lake

Seth woke up the next morning. His raft stood on solid ground. The water level had sunk to much, that Seth´s raft was now standing on the rooftop he had been anchored to.

He drowsily crawled to the roof edge and saw that he was several stories above the water surface. Just how much water was this? And it was drained away in just a night.

Seth was shocked, but his mood was lifted soon. If this much water had been drained, then his search for dry land might have shortened tremendously!

But how would he get his raft down to the water…?

It was the first time he could not store something in his inventory. Even so the raft was not terribly big, the system denied to recognize it as a single object!

”Oh well, why overthink things? ”, he mumbled and chucked the raft off the building, into the water.

The splash was big and loud, but the raft held together! Now he had to get down fast! If he was too slow, the raft would just drift off in the current!

”Should I just jump…? ”, he pondered. Seth looked into the depth and his heart palpitated.

”nah, I´m good… ”, with this Seth plunged toward the door to the staircase. Everything was slimy and slippery. The doors, the handle, the guard rails and the stairs soaked and covered in a film of algae.

His shoes barely found grip on his way down. Seth had to slow down his descend, if he didn ’t want to tumble down the stairs and reach the raft with a few broken bones. He felt that his body had become a lot sturdier with his increase in attributes, but the fall damage never cared about your character level, in games!

The rooms he could see into were filled rubbish and debris, with the one or other fish in between…

”What kind of fish is THIS supposed to be!? ”, Seth called out. He had almost reached the raft when he saw a beast as big as himself stranded in one of the rooms he passed.

It was reminiscent of armored cat fish he used to catch with his dad, just a LOT bigger. The fish was easily longer than twice his height. It´s body covered in thick articulated bone scales. Different from the small ones he knew, this one had a face like a deep-sea fish with big bulging eyes and long protruding teeth. It made Seth seriously consider returning back to the giant snakes.

Should he really get back on the water, if creatures like this were out there? The better question was: Could he stay here until the water was gone?

But Seth was not sure, whether the water would even completely drain! Anyways, he had to get to his raft, fast! So, he left the writhing and gasping monster fish behind and hurried to his little vessel.

He barely reached it before it was too far away and resumed his journey. He had to use his paddle to fight the weak pull from the maelstrom in the far distance.

His sea travel became boring soon. Seth left behind Deltan and could soon stop paddling. Relying on his sail he moves as a tiny little spot, over a vast expanse of open water. Only his map indicated that he was moving at all!

The sun was unpleasantly burning from the sky onto Seth ’s pale skin. Three weeks indoors made him look like a vampire. But three weeks of hard work had also made him look fit and well-trained. So, he did not look like a shut-in, despite his title.

Now the sun was hard at work to tan his skin, or burn him. Should he have built a shelter on his little nutshell? Seth tried to cover himself with the black cloth, but it became terribly stifling below it.

He welcomed the cool breeze once the sun finally set. The night was even more magical than the first time he had traveled on the plains.

The moon and stars shone bright in the night sky. Their reflection on the calm water, like in a mirror, shone back up to them from below. The image only disrupted by the little vessel and Seth drifting along in a doubled firmament.

It was still warm below his black blanket and the warmth slowly lulled him into sleep.

”Cough! Cough! ”, a tiny coughing drove the weariness away. A little humanoid was desperately clinging to the edge of his raft. Seth knelled down to take a better look.

< Name: ***-. Level: ~~ ’* Race: Fairy Affiliation: Fair Folk >

It was a fairy! It´s little wings were limp and soaked an it used its last energy to grasp the lower edge of a pallet

”…help… please… ”, a quiet and rough voice can from the poor thing. ”. hu-huma~n..please help Fin… ”

Teary dark eyes looked up at him as its small hand started to lose strength and slip. Carefully Seth scooped the little being out of the water. Seth finally had the chance to see a fairy from close up. The smooth white body felt cold on his hand as he brought the shivering fairy in front of his face. It´s eyes were big and round and completely black, sclera and iris, both.

”please help …others… ”, it mumbled before all tension left it´s body and it fell asleep.

”Others? ”, Seth looked into the darkness. He could see nothing but the stars mirrored on the surface. And then a pale light illuminated his surroundings for tens of meters. Seth used to turn his hand into a torch.

The Soul Fire easily overpowered the star light and became a new sun between the firmaments. He could see all kinds of broken rubbish floating. Some had a fairy or two clinging to them…some were fairies themselves.

”Hey you little ones! Swim to the flame! If you still have the power to… ”, the last part he whispered.

Some of those he saw started moving towards him. Others seemed to barely react. Instead of waiting, Seth started paddling around with his raft, holding one of his hands in the air.

Meandering around on his raft, collecting all the fairies he could find. Many were barely awake, others barely alive. Seth spread the black cloth on a corner of the raft, so the fairies could lie down and dry themselves.

He also collected those who did not move anymore and put them into his inventory. Maybe they would want to bury them or something.

When he could not see anymore, Seth extinguished the fire. He had probably looked for almost 2 hours now and he had no idea how long they had been adrift here. He did not want to think about it, but those he did not find might have already ended up in a fish.

The fairies sat or laid on the black cloth, some used the corners for cover and warmth. They did not talk, most of the were asleep now. Those away stared int the distance. It really reminded Seth of the scene in a movie after a ship accident. Seth ’s heart sank and he felt sorry, watching their small broken and shivering figures.

”H-human~ Thank you for saving Fin and her friends! ”, a quite squeaking voice came from his side. It was the first fairy, that had clung to his raft. It had recovered and watched Seth collecting her brethren and decided to speak now. Her eyes sparkled with gratefulness.

Seth got the raft back on course and had a conversation with Fin. A very one-sided conversation, as a flood of word bubbled out of her.

The Fairies had found this exit of the Pathworks that led to the plains a few weeks ago and decided to settle here, as the grassland was great to grow their preferred flowers! Originally, they kept in contact, but soon contact was lost! So, they put together a search party.

Fairies were bad with water. Really bad, as you can see. The exit of the Pathworks was now submerged! When they exited, they were thrown into rapid water, as the water rushed into the portal! Someone had managed to close it early and the water calmed down. they could swim to the surface that this point.

”Oh no! What about home!? ”, she said in panic as if this was Fin´s first time thinking of it. It was probably her first chance to think of other things than survival.

Seth looked at his map.

”We will soon reach Starta, if it´s still there. I bet the church there can help you. ”

Fin nodded her small head with new hope.

When the night sky started to become brighter, they closed in on Starta.

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