“Now, how do I go about this..”
I was currently staring at a bright blue flame near the side of the large crater I can’t seem to get out of. I was lucky this flame was still burning even though its already been a few hours since the ‘Solar Flare’ skill hit.
“Spirits of water, bring me your blessing <<Create Water>>”
A small ball made out of cold liquid materialized in front of my eyes, above my outstretched palm. Since I just remembered that I didn’t drink anything for the past few days, my throat instantly reacted by making me feel as dry as a desert. It was a good thing I had learned this skill, or I would have died of dehydration right here.
I saw some documentaries about surviving in the wild some time back, but I don’t think I want to be that desperate to drink…never mind. Since this was the case, I tried activating it inwardly by thinking ‘Water Magic’ repeatedly but all I got was the cold wind almost laughing at me.
But after a few moments, a string of words suddenly came to mind just before I had given up. When I recited these words, that sounded like a chant from an anime transformation sequence, I had created water that was safe to drink.
Though I only found out it was safe to drink soon after gulping it all down with no thought, it doesn’t matter. The strange thing about it was, that when I checked my mana pool after using the skill, it was still full. I found this strange since I could have sworn I used all my mana for that one spell.
To be sure, I chanted it again and again, kept drinking up all the cold, refreshing water to sate my thirst. But even still, my mana points didn’t have a dent in it after I checked. Did this mean that I could use this water spell for an unlimited number of times? I got slightly excited at the cheat-like skill and it brought my spirits up.
A part of the reason why I was sitting still, gazing at the sunset, and drinking so much water was because I was trying to get my mind off the idea of food. But it seems that I cannot trick what the body needs, no matter what I do..
It was to be expected, since that self-proclaimed god of darkness mentioned something about me waking up after two days. If that was true, this meant that my body had not consumed anything for a couple of days. Which leads me to my current situation.
I looked back, towards the tall, smooth, dark wall, that I had to get over. It was a fool’s dream to even think of jumping once, and landing at the top. I didn’t say I did not do it though..
In any case, this wouldn’t do. I needed a meal soon or else I will starve to death. Why are there so many death flags for a person like me? Did I do anything bad in my past life to deserve this?
Alright, I’ve decided! If I get out of here, I would strive to find many different delicious dishes so I could fill my stomach every single day! I had no problem with money right now, though this might only last a year, so I had to find a job first!
Okay, I’m all fired up!
If you looked at this scene in a third-person’s perspective, you would see a man driven by his hunger, grinning widely and pumping his fist to the sky, which could lead you to the conclusion that ‘he must be insane’ and make you stay as far away from me as possible. But I had no fear of that, since I was the only one here after all!
Right as I decided my future plans, while thinking that I might have just tripped another death flag, the flapping of large wings could be heard behind me. Followed by a scary roar..
“Ah! My campfire! No!!”
My precious source of heat had been extinguished by the large flying bird overhead. Wait a minute, large flying bird?
I looked up, and saw a majestic aviary creature. It had bright, red-orange wings that were the size of a truck on each side of its bright, flaming body. With every flap, bright embers of white flames would disperse into the atmosphere.
Whilst I was struck with awe, completely forgetting about my extinguished source of heat for the coming chill of night, a large black beast, as big as the flying bird, shot out from behind, and used its sharp fangs to tear off one of the large bird’s wings. The next thing it did surprised me.
Since after it ripped the right wing off from the torso, making the large bird lose balance and spiral into the scorched ground, it instantly devoured the whole decapitated wing, flames and all. It was surreal to look at since it just slurped up all of the truck-sized wing in a heartbeat.
Once the large bird fell down, it crashed into the smooth wall, just a few meters from my location, and imprinted a large hole behind its back. Since the wall was even harder than concrete, it just proves how heavy the large bird was.
Following soon after, the large, dark beast that walked on four legs, landed on the ground right between me and the large bird. It looked as if it was a large cat, no, panther, with tall, ominous horns protruding from its head. With crackling sounds, the beast released a large amount of electricity through its horns, and now visible large teeth.
It looked at the wounded large bird, who was bleeding all over, that wasn’t moving for now, and sounded a large growl towards it. After confirming that there was no reaction, it finally sensed my presence. Yes, yes, it’s me..
The one guy who was still squatting down, and absentmindedly staring at the Tokyo-movie like spectacle before me. I couldn’t help it. Large monster fights were popular in my childhood. But with this giant scary beast staring right at you, with its beady, yellow, slit eyes, you can faintly see the way you’re going to die.
Yes, this is all spoken from real experience. I think I can see my life flashing before my eyes. Ah, this was no time to be running away from reality. Since the large panther just licked its tongue all over its mouth, this was a bad sign.
For the record, I’m not tasty. But I don’t think I could reason with this guy using just this. I also couldn’t bluff my way out of this situation since the other party wasn’t a human being, nor could it speak. I could fight it? No, no, that’s akin to suicide. Did you see what it did to that large bird that looked very strong? There’s no way an average person such as me could possibly hope to beat this giant. Impossible.
My mind rotated at rapid speeds, due to the endangerment of my own life, I hurriedly tried to find a way so that I could still keep it. Alright, I’ve decided..
Some might think this was cowardly, but a great person once said, that one must live to fight another day. Though I don’t plan on fighting anyhow. This was a win-win. I quickly convince myself and slowly move backwards..
As I did this, so did the enemy before me, but he took large steps towards me instead. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I broke into a sprint. I somehow thought that the beast anticipated this, but I tried not to think about it.
Though that thought was short-lived. Because right after I broke into a run, I could hear large thunderous roars, with the crackling of electricity right behind me. In the next moment, I found myself running into the mouth of the large panther, who was just waiting for me to enter.
I quickly put on the brakes, and turned around. Or so I tried to. But alas, I was not one who had quick reflexes, so I tripped. It was embarrassing, yes, but more than that, it was a fatal mistake. Ah, so this is where I die. I thought, running away from reality once again. Reality was a cruel mistress after all. Un, let’s go with that as my final words.
Just as I started to speak towards the injustice of this other world, a bright flame that felt excruciatingly hot passed through the center of my vision, directly colliding with the large panther’s mouth, entering his throat.
With surprise in both of our eyes, we looked towards the source. Which was in fact, a speeding jet of flame, who was really in fact, the large bird. Since the black panther beast was still recovering from having flames shot into its throat, it didn’t have any time to react to the quick headbutt from the large bird.
Did that bird just save my life?
I thought while hurriedly backing away from the place I tripped.
Once I got a certain distance away, I looked back, only to see the panther counter-attacking, by regaining his lightning-clad armor on both of its claws and teeth. The large bird could not defend properly since its wing was torn off, and it couldn’t fly away for the same reason.
Slowly but surely, it backed away little by little. Until finally, it got cornered into the far side of the wall. With a big grin on the beast’s face, it moved closer to the large bird, blocking all means of escape.
The me who saw this, was preparing to run away. Since I knew that after it was done, it would go straight after me. But somewhere inside of me, I felt that I wanted to help. It hurt seeing the large bird getting killed, but I couldn’t do anything. My mind was attacked by a large sense of guilt.
Making excuses like, I couldn’t do anything anyway, or I had no skill to take this guy down, so I would only die in vain. Conflicting emotions struggled within me, seeing the bird who just saved my life in exchange for itself. I really wanted to get away from here as fast as possible, but this was one of those times that logic wouldn’t help. Because I knew that even if I managed to get away, I would only be carrying this heavy feeling of running away, all throughout my entire life.
I might forget it in the future, but the regret will always be there. I didn’t want to regret. In a situation where I didn’t even try, what else is there to feel relieved about, even if I did escape. I knew I could not do anything, but at the very least, I did not want to abandon someone in front of me.
Right as I found my resolution, the sun finally set. Darkness dominated the night sky. I had no time to lose, the large bird was about to get killed. I had no time to think too hard about it. I just had to do it.
And so, I ran.
Not in the direction away from here, but straight to the large beasts.
Somehow I could feel my legs getting lighter, my strides getting longer, and my mind getting sharper. My heart was slowly cooling down, like being frozen in ice. As I sprinted faster and faster, I could notice that my hair was shining, and my eyes were narrowing. I had no way of noticing that right now, I had a confident grin on my lips.
As I slowly drew closer, my soul grew calmer. It felt as if I could crush steel with my bare hands without breaking a sweat. This new feeling was exhilarating. Is this what it felt like, to finally have confidence? I did not know why I was feeling like this, nor did I care. The important thing was, stopping this insolent fool.
When I reached the beast’s predicted range, it finally noticed me. With a shocked expression in its eyes, it quickly turned and tried to attack me..
I said arrogantly, while watching the movements of the beast in front of me, which was like a slow-motion playback. Far from its earlier movements, this time, it seemed as if it was a turtle stretching its neck.
I slowly reached out my hand, waiting for the beasts head to come in contact with me. As it did, I held its large nose, keeping it in place. So this was how weak you really were? It was struggling to get out of my hold, while bleeding from its ears and nostrils. I could sense it was trying to activate that lightning armor once more.
Insolent small fry. I’ll show you who’s boss around here..
“From the void, you were born, and to the void, you shall return <<Nullification>>”
As I spoke those words like a death sentence, I could sense no resistance from the weakling in front of me.
Soon after, its eyes showed struggle, anger, but most of all, despair. Serves you right. Well, it’s about time I finish this..
“Know your place. Die.”
With those words as my parting gift, I raised my right leg and targeted the side of his body. With a kick, its whole body was split into pieces and blown away. It was like kicking a pillow back on Earth, no resistance at all.
Though, I might have overdid it a bit, since the sonic boom from my kick traveled in a diagonal line, cutting off the whole top part of the opposite wall, making it look like a slope.
But this was no time for that, I had to find out whether the large bird was still alright. After calming down, I felt myself losing all my strength from before, but it was no big deal, since the danger was already gone.
I felt as if my limbs were jelly, and my hunger was reaching its limits but right now, I had something to do..
With slow but steady steps, I made my way towards the one that saved my life.