Cold Steel Dig



Chapter 32: Enough For Armor - Rougher Than Usual


After all that reading it felt like I’d been gone from the mine for a week.

I quickly exchanged my 3 cave items for 3 weapon recharge cubes and my 4 jadinfray kills for one crystal.

Phenic smirked. “For your next crystal, I want you to kill 8 jadinfray.”

“That’s twice as much!”

He crossed his arms over his chest. “Well, you now have an upgraded. It’ll be easier to kill them.”

I grimaced and without resorting to rude gestures, I walked back to my mine for another run.

During this run, I collected 1 diamond key, killed 2 jadinfray, and captured 4 more nests in the same way I had the previous run before dying by a vine trap again.

I returned immediately, ignored the trio and went straight back into my mine. I just needed one more nest and I had three chances to get it. Hopefully, all three didn’t blow up in my face.

I flew down, collecting ore as I went until I reached the third floor. Since it was in my way, I killed another jadinfray using the same technique I’d come up with earlier and collected another item.

As I continued down, collecting another 500 coins worth of ore I thought I wouldn’t find another nest. That somehow the gods of this mine were playing a joke on me and denying me the one thing I wanted. At least, until I saw one next to a crate of TNT and with a vine trap on the other side.

There. That was the last one I needed. Since I didn’t want to risk blowing myself up I traveled to the opposite side of the nest. I pulled out my cage and stared at it. This could be it. The last one I would ever use.

I cast Minor Telekinesis on it and waited thirty seconds. When my mana had refilled I hit it with my bow.

Light flashed, blinding me, my ears rang and I flew back several feet until I crashed into some vines. My nose filled with sulfur and burning. Underneath that strong scent, I could just make out the stench of rotten meat.

Still blind, I could only feel the slithery vines wrap around my ankles and waist. My head swam but I struggled.

A moist warmth touched my skin from what I assumed was the mouth of the trap. It jerked me forward. I screamed.

Then I was safe in some other square. Even though I could not see, I could still visualize where I was on my mind map. There were many boulders and a Jadinfray cave nearby.

I sat atop a boulder, feeling a slight warmth coming off it, which I figured was its light.

After several minutes, my vision still hadn’t returned. It wasn’t even blurry, just gone. Fear shot down my spine. Had I destroyed my vision?

My hand crept up to my face. I winced when I touched my raw skin.

How long would this take to heal? It had to heal when I died right? Should I continue to mine and only rely on my mind map?

My stomach twisted at the thought. Could I even use minor telekinesis if I couldn’t see the object I wanted to move?

Maybe if I started off holding it?

I brought up my memorized spell diagram from the back of my mind and drew it over and over again just to make sure I still had a good grasp on the spell that had become such a vital part of my gaming strategy. I held my bow in both hands and cast Minor Telekinesis on it then released my bow.

I could see it in mind, though my mind map had never been very detailed. I focused on pushing it away from me and up one block. I heard the slight crunch that told me I’d mined through a block. My bow, in my map, appeared inside of the now empty block above me.

My surprise broke my concentration and I felt a hard whack on the top of my head. Pain and dizziness briefly overwhelmed me. I crouched down and rubbed my injury.

“Geez! Thanks a lot, gravity.”

When I was not about to fall on my butt I knelt awkwardly on the boulder and ran my hand around it to try and pick up my bow.

After flailing around for ten minutes I finally found it and picked it up. I floated up to the center of the block.

Curious, I threw my bow at the wall. I heard it hit something solid and slide down. My cheeks burned. For some reason, my bow worked for mining and firing when I used magic to move it but not when I didn’t.

I once again knelt and awkwardly picked up my bow. It was a good thing I was alone down there or I was sure I’d be embarrassed enough to die.

Once I had my bow in hand I realized that I only needed a few more casts before I earned my next mana point, and since I was blind anyway I cast minor Telekinesis on my bow and just focused for a good fifteen minutes before I saw my Satellite add another mana point to my Core. Next time I died I’d have to learn the next spell, minor cleanliness. How that would be useful, I had no idea.

By this time I was able to see blurry images. It wasn't enough to actually see anything specific but I figured I could at least take another shot at the last giant bird cage. Especially considering that the worst case scenario was that it blew up in my face again.

When I reached the appropriate block I grabbed my second to last cage and cast telekinesis on it. I rotated it in the air so its nebulous button appeared to face me.

After taking in a nervous breath, and waiting for a little under 30 seconds for my mana to refill 3 points I slammed my bow onto the button.

In my mind map, I watch the ball soar. When I saw it pass the cage and fly toward the TNT I cast Telekinesis on it again. With a mental yank, I forced it back to the right square, just before it exploded. The cage enveloped the nest and zoomed into my third inventory with the other nine.

“Whoop!” I did a little dance then lost my balance and crashed into a wall. That didn’t matter because I was going to get my next armor upgrade!

And after that, I’d upgrade my weapon two more times so I could finally challenge Korren.

A note from DragonOfRochester

Thank you so much for reading my story! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. It is a little rougher than usual in that I only did one editing pass and one pass with my online grammar checker. I usually try to do at least 3-4 passes and actually fix rough spots where the narrative doesn't flow like there is at the very beginning of this chapter. Sorry about that. I promise I'll fix it once I stop doing these quick release chapters.

This chapter's procrastination was brought to you by working and Please Don't Tell My Parents I have a Nemesis, by Richard Roberts 

About the author


Bio: I'm an artist and a retired game industry professional. I also enjoy drinking tea while I write/edit and sometimes coffee. If you enjoy my stories in any way and feel like treating me to some Matcha, Earl Grey (hot), Almond Milk Tea, or Royal Milk Tea then please support me on ko-fi. Your donation will go towards fueling me creatively, and if there are enough donations then I will use it for things like an actual illustrator to make a better cover. *This dragon author does not expect any donations, so any that are given are especially appreciated!*

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