The sun had finally returned to its rightful place, and so did Seth´s clothes.
”Seth! Are you okay? Fin was re~ally worried! ”, the little fairy asserted.
”Don´t give me that! I heard you laugh up there! ”, he said while fixing his travelling clothes.
”Buh! It´s not Fin´s fault Seth jumped around naked like a deviant! ”, she pouted sulky and turned away, so the young man couldn´t see her blush.
”I did this for survival! ”, Seth defended his actions.
”oh, shut up… ”, Seth said annoyed. And then spent some time to explain to Fin, that he had not meant her.
Seth, with Fin on his shoulder, stepped out on the street covered in burned wreckage. All enemies were gone, even the one corpse had vanished. Not everyone vanished. They heard the scrapping and scratching of hundreds of legs in the alley way.
The holy beast was still stuck under the anvil, or was it? This was not the same beast as last night. The black tar-like color had vanished together with the disgusting cancerous growths hat had covered it´s outer shell. The beast stuck in the alley had a pure white chitinous exoskeleton reminiscent of porcelain with golden rims. it´s underbelly was a dark silver and the scarab-like head sparkled in bright gold.
Had the sun restored its original appearance? This looked a lot more like a holy beast. Still weird to worship this, but reasonable.
”Human. You are back? ”, the harmonious voice said. It sounded a lot more friendly and seemed to hide a hint of amusement. Wisdom and peace vibrated in its voice as it continued.
”Do not worry. I will follow my destined fate soon, not that the curse is gone. If not for it moving this body, I would have died a long time ago. I still hoped you would come before it happened. I waited for you. ”
”Me? ”, Seth asked warily. It was still stuck under his anvil. What would it do, cast a curse before finally dying?
”Yes. You. ”, it affirmed as it´s body started crumbling like ashes and a pure white spirit was left to stand before Seth. ” I wanted to thank you before I leave. Take this. ”
The phantom touched Seth´s forehead and then vanished without a trace. Be blinked puzzled.
? Was it a skill? When he looked in his status it was just there. It was literally just there, without any explanation or function to it. He could just hope it was not like a bee sting, where you get marked by pheromones and all the other bees who smell it start stinging you, too. He could really refrain from meeting such a foe again.
Fin just looked at Seth weirdly. She acted like she had neither seen nor heard any of it, when Seth tried to explain what had happened. ”Fin only saw the big worm crumble to dust! Fin will trust Seth. ”, she said, acting cute again. And that was all of this.
Done with their bickering they hurried along and soon managed to reach the outskirt of the ruins, where the sand once again ruled the lands.
”Hey, is that vegetation over there? Is that an oasis in the distance? ”, Fin suddenly asked.
Seth checked the map. It was not an oasis. At some point they had come very close to the river that crossed this desert.
”No, it´s actually a river. It is not the direct way, but we could follow the river all the way to Zhiqe. ”, Seth answered the fairies question.
”Stupid human! Dumb Seth! ”, she suddenly exclaimed and hit his shoulder with her tiny fists, ”Why did you not say that there was a river!? Fin has a boat! We could have traveled on the river all this time! ”
”Wait! You have a boat? Is this suddenly shaft craft? Why do you have a boat just like that? How would I have known you have a boat?! Why did you not tell me that you have a boat? ”
”Fin almost drowned once! Fin feels safer with a boat! Fin´s emotional support boat! Why would Fin tell you of her boaty!? Boaty needs water! There was no water for boaty! Why didn ’t Seth aim for the river to begin with!? ”
”B-Boaty?! I- … that ’s! The river was a detour and I have more than enough water in my inventory. Why would I aim for the longer way when what I lack is food?! Food is my emotional support – No! Whatever! We have a boat and there is a river. Let´s stop arguing and get out of here. ”
The few sparsely growing palms and bushes surround the river blocked the noon sun as they reached the river. Here the fairly pulled out a very sturdy looking rowboat. Seth and Fin were very tired, but Seth demanded to cook a proper lunch before they left.
With tired minds, but filled bellies, they entered the boat and left the hard work to the steady current of the river. Lying in the boat, both rested on the edge between falling asleep and barely staying awake as they did not know what danger would lurk in the water.
Nothing happened for a long time and when night came again, they anchored in the middle of the river and slept on the boat.
Despite the existence of ”desert kraken ”, the river actually seemed save. They peacefully drove down the idly flowing river for several days. The scenery slowly changed during their journey. The sand dunes past the green banks of the river made way for a vast expanse of dry grassland and steppe.
Seth used the break to finally appraise the equipment he had found in the guild. Most of them had only slight variations of common schematics made from iron or steel and did not suffice to give him new blueprints. Some of them had special properties because they were made of monster materials and Seth got some common and uncommon blueprints from them and new entries in the material catalog.
Only one or two had true enchantments on them. Seth tried to scan them with
They were no groundbreaking enchantments by any means, but they would probably suffice to grind his skills a little, once he finally got the chance again.
The biggest discovery was probably from a battered and unassuming red-gold-colored bracer that looked like it was made of bronze. The item itself was too damaged to count as more than scrap. but the material that appeared in his catalog was interesting.
A special metal created by an ancient civilization sounded very mystifying. And it´s properties were quite intriguing.
When he talked to fin about it, she explained it. It actually just meant that there was no sentient being left that knew how to do it, during the time the system gained influence on this world. That was why it was ”lost ”.
Seth soon got bored of fiddling with their spoils. he could not test anything on the boat.
On the third day they had finally left the desert completely behind and came closer to their destination. The air became more humid and the river had noticeably broadened.
Finally! Seth had kept using
Lately animals had started appearing in the river. There were all kinds of hoofed animals with strong or dangerous looking horns appeared at the banks of the river. They really demotivated the idea to leave the boat.
In the water were creatures resembling crocodiles, but they were rather small and their levels were very low. They were no better than regular animals and posed no threat to the boat. Bored as he was, he used his leisure time to observe the animals in the water and on the shore.
The river had widened so much it turned similar to a vast marshland as the neared Zhiqe.
And finally, their enjoyably monotonous journey was interrupted when his eyes wandered over the water surface and-
This was the highest level he had seen in the last days! He definitely saw more with the new level of
Seth was wide awake and looked closer at the water surface. There were two bis fleshy nostrils peeking from the water. ”Fin! Fin! Wake up! Our boat might be in trouble! ”
”mnya mnya, just … ”, the fairy started to fall asleep again. What surfaced from the water in front of them was…a hippo? No, more like the disgruntled over-sized bloodthirsty ancestor with a mean craving for human meat.
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