Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 40: Blood and Sand

-Starta-

”Simon. ”, the aged fairy spoke to the priest, ”You did that thing, where you let luck decide on where exactly the people land, right? ”, he asked. Simon looked as if he was caught doing something. ”How you treat ori huma that joined you, is the church´s business. I don´t care whether you call it a price or divine intervention. If something happens to Fin, or Seth, and we don´t hear from them in the next few weeks… ”, he made a dramatic pause, ”We, the fair folk, will ask the church for an explanation. Got it? So you better make sure to tell your people over there to look out for them! ”

And this was what Fin had counted on. With her accompanying Seth she could help him, run away from her duties and the fair folk would have a much better leverage when talking to the church in this matter.

-Namian Desert-

It took Seth a while to really calm down. he watched the sun touch the desert horizon and turn the landscape into an ocean of crimson red light. Seth sighed and let go of his grieving.

”Oh, well. Let´s eat. ”, he said and took out a canned soup he could heat up by wrapping his hand in a thin layer of flames.

”Uhh, you used this that night, too! Is Seth a fire mage!? ”, Fin gasped and ogled the pale blue flame.

Seth looked up from his soup and smiled. ” Not really, but maybe a little? ”, he said without stopping to eat.

After his belly was filled, he felt a lot more relaxed. The sun had vanished and the desert was filled with twilight. The cool breeze of the desert´s dawn felt good on his skin.

”Alright, you said we are probably not far off from Ora, right? But how would we get there? ”

Fin scratched her head clueless of what to do.

” True… it´s not like any of us has a map or the map skill. ”, she monologues thinking of a solution.

, Seth had used the break in Starta to try and forget its existence. it seemed he would have to keep relying on it. So, he told Fin about it begrudgingly.

”You have the map skill?! That´s great! What level do you have it on? ”, she asked enthusiastically. but her face fell when he told her lv.2.

”Do you, maybe, have some SP to level it up? It should be really helpful to us on lv. 4! ”

It was Seth´s turn to scratch his head. Getting to lv.4 cost 5 SP, was it really worth it? Fin nodded like a bobblehead.

”On lv. 3 you get height map and biomes, even of regions you have not been to. And on lv. 4 you get close towns and water sources! Most people I know who have , get it at least to lv.4. It´s really helpful at this point! ”, she kept blabbering on. Her ability to monologue was impeccable.

Seth shrugged his shoulders; he still had 7 skill points and had no plans for other skills right now. At least Fin assured him that it was worth it.

It was exactly as the little fairy had described. He opened the map window could see the rough makeup of a small continent with a big mountain range extending from the northeastern tip, to a desert on the southeastern coast. The landmass resembled the map Seth had seen back in Starta, so they were at least in the right world.

His position was shown at the northern border of the desert, west of the mountains with grassland in between them. Several towns were shown at the foot of the mountain range. In their vicinity was only one town situated close to a river that started in the desert and flowed all the way down to the ocean. He found Ora on the eastern side of the mountains …

”We would have to cross the mountains to get to Ora. I don´t think I have enough supplies for that…The closest town is through the desert ”

They decided to travel toward the city located at the river and restock on food. Maybe they could find a place in a caravan or something to travel to Ora. Money was not a problem. He regretted selling his snakes a little. Well, in the worst case he would have to loot the juvenile. Then he would have a ton of meat, but he rather traveled a few days more, than to do that.

”Then we should go now. It´s better to use the cool night and rest during the day! ” Fin called out.

The night was the darkest right after the sun left, but soon a moon rose to the sky, and then another. Two moons floated across the sky, one excessively big and pale violet, the other much smaller with a green tint. The desert was illuminated in a mix of greenish-blue light, creating a truly otherworldly scene.

Beside Seth fluttered the tiny figure of Fin, who had cast a light spell and lit up their surroundings.

Seth had donned his armor and sword just in case something crawled through the desert. He imagined all kinds of creatures that could be hidden in the sands of a foreign world. Giant sandworms, gigantic scorpions…snakes. Nothing of that. The desert was covered in a dim twilight and absolute silence. A drowning silence.

”Say, Fin…. ”, Seth attempted to strike up a conversation, but the little Fairy did not react. When he looked at her, he saw that her mouth was incessantly moving, but no word was to be heard. Then he noticed it. There was no sound at all no wind, no crunching of sand below his feet.

Why did he not notice earlier?!

He saw the sand moving beyond the shine off the fairy´s light. No! No!

”…. no no no no ”, he kept chanting with his eyes ripped wide open as an old foe rose from the sand.

” Not tentacles! ”, he screamed and pulled out his sword that was suddenly covered in soul fire. Bathed in the light of the burning blade were black smooth tentacles, shining like polished metal.

Fin stopped mid-sentence and looked baffled at the emerged nightmare!

Kraken?! Wait! Seth looked around, at the black limbs that had surrounded them as they emerged from the sand until they were as thick as Seth´s waist! He forgot about attacking and hurriedly tried to get out! As big as they were, they were not very agile! As the tentacles closed in to catch them, Seth slashed off ones ’ tip and jumped through the gap.

Looking back, he could only watch on with a horrified expression as a giant beak emerged from the ground and the appendages closed around Fin. Everything in complete silence.

He did not know what happened to the fairy, but he decided to use this chance. Burning had been added to the kraken`s status and it´s HP were falling slowly. Soon the bleeding status was added, though he not no idea where it came from.

Seth did not care, he was hellbent on making sure this creepy crawly would regret it´s very existence! The burning sword kept slashing at the tentacles as tried to untangle and go for Seth. Each slash grew the pale flames that shed their light into the dark desert.

All it´s appendages were burning and grasping for Seth who kept barely evading the more agile tips. Suddenly everything stopped moving and an ear-shattering, brain-piercing screech broke the silent night. Already suffering a major headache from , Seth could only kneel down and cover his ears. Following the scream was a mushing and crunching sound that made him want to puke!

The kraken´s black bulbous head emerged from the sand and with the ripping sound of gushing entrails a ball of light emerged from its body! Blood covered and with a mighty roar, it asserted its dominance over the desert! Fin, the fairy brute had ripped and teared her way through the kraken´s inner workings and into freedom!

”holy shit! ”, Seth elaborately and adequately commented this sight. A bloodthirsty roaring fairy floating over the burning corpse of a giant octopus. it would have been the perfect cover for a metal album.

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