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 weapon. 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: Artist and a retired game industry professional.

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