Cold Steel Dig



Chapter 39: Taking the Sand Out of the Bag - Rougher Than Usual


I appeared in the main cave and walked up to Korren. “I’ve been wondering something for a while now.”

Her eyes studied mine. “Oh?”

“How do you all get back here so fast?”

Her tense shoulders visibly relaxed. “How do you know we even left in the first place?”

I opened my mouth to ask about that confusing question when she moved on. “So, have you decided to buy other weapons? I’m sure I can offer you a good deal.”

I was actually still happy with my bow but her words piqued my interest. Perhaps knowing what each of the other weapons did and how they worked would give me a leg up. “What can I buy?”

“A war hammer for 40 diamond Keys, and a sword for 60 diamond keys.”

“What about an upgrade for my bow.”

“A single emerald key.”

“I haven’t seen those.”

“Nor will you. At least not until you defeat me.”

“You have 3 other weapons though right?”

“I do. But you can’t afford them, even with 100 diamond keys.”

“Seriously? What about Emerald Keys?”

She shook her head.

“Also, aren’t diamonds more expensive than emeralds?”

“No in fact, good quality emeralds are far rarer than diamonds.”

Apparently, I couldn't afford any new weapon without taking several months just grinding diamonds. “Fine. I guess I’ll stick with what I have.” I walked over to a number 6 floor tile. “I’ll see you down there.”

I dropped down and burrowed through several blocks before taking out a yellow Weapon Recharge Cube. It glowed like a lantern.

Looks like your weapon isn’t charged! Want me to charge it?

The yellow cube twisted like a lemon jello cube. My book did mention that items that charged other magic items could often be semi-sentient.

“If I do, what happens to you?”

It spun in a circle then made a loop in mid-air

I fulfill my purpose and experience the bliss of non-existence.

I jerked away from the cube, surprised that it actually responded to me. After clearing my throat delicately I continued. “What if I don’t want to use you now but I do later, but I don’t know when later?”


“I mean. I’m going to fight against someone and I’ll want a power-up at just the right moment but I don’t want to waste you if I don’t need to.”

I see. So you want me to follow you and you’ll use me when it’s time?


And when is the time?

Okay, not the easiest thing to talk to but I was making progress. “When I say.”


Unsure of what would happen to the floating cube I moved down a block. It followed as if connected to me by a seat belt.

When do you say? When do you say? Is it now? How about now?

“Can you wait in my inventory and, I don’t know, come out when I ask you to?”

Nope! I can’t leave your inventory. No, ma’am!

My head started to pound.

“Then what about you being quiet until I call on you?”

Oh! I can do that. I can, I can, I can!

I continued down in silence for several blocks and nearly collided with a mushroom trap when it said, Well, I can but the other’s might not.

I held my breath. I stared at a bulbous mushroom inches from my face. Slowly, I glided away from the edge and grabbed the yellow cube. “Don’t talk when while I’m mining. I need literally all of my concentration.”

Oooo. You’re a miner. That’s super yellow!

“Promise me you’ll stop talking until I tell you I need to use you.”

Okay! But how do I know you want me and not someone else? Oh! I have an idea. How about we do code phrases! Just say ‘Yellow cubed alpha charge!’

“I’m not saying that. Why would I say that?” But it did bring up a good point. If I had multiple cubes out I needed something I could say that would allow me to charge my bow without Korren knowing that was what I was doing.

I took out a second cube that was just as yellow and jello-like as the other.

Looks like your weapon isn’t charged! Want me to charge it?

A cube with a higher pitch said.

I sighed. “No.”

Oooo. She said no!

She said no! The higher one agreed.

I almost wanted to not use them at all. Almost. But then I thought about losing to Phenic and seeing his smug grin in my head had me clenching my fist.

“Okay, enough you two.”

Enough, she says!

“Stop! You!” I pointed at Lower Pitch. “When I say Al, you charge my bow.”


Oooo. You have a command! I want a command!

“Fine. You will be Doh.”


I sighed.

“I mean, can’t I just use one code word and then give you each a position?


No way! We get too excited in the heat of the moment.

Oooo! Yeah, we do!

We forget numbers.

“Then why would you remember names? Names are way harder!”

They spun in front of me for a moment.

Hey Al, would you remember a number.

I don’t know, Doh, would you?

Ogee. No, Al. I forget numbers all the time.

Ooooo, yeah. Me too.

“Okay, just stop. I’ll stick with names.”

Or I could just use shortened Spanish numbers and Al.

I grabbed my bow and stared down. Time to test them out.

A note from DragonOfRochester

Thank you for taking the time to read my story! You rock!

This was by far my favorite chapter to write. I hope you have just as much fun reading it.

I'm beginning to think I should change my story's title. I've been thinking about changing it to "Project Cold Steel" instead of Cold Steel Dig. If any of you have a better suggestion please post it along with your permission for me to use it (in America you cannot copyright titles but I'd still prefer permission).

You may also see that I've updated the cover. It's not the final cover, but I did think this matches a little closer to the story than the previous one.

I've also added a Gore warning because after thinking about it, Kelly dies a lot in really painful and horrible ways. I figure that probably counts and people may want a warning for it.

About the author


Bio: Artist and a retired game industry professional.

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