Cold Steel Dig

by

DragonOfRochester

Chapter 50: A Death Saving Crystal

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On the fourth floor, I knocked out a block from under a box and darted to the side as it fell. From the rubble, a giant scaled ruby scorpion crawled out.

It scuttled after me, and since it appeared to be affected by gravity, I flew up several squares until my bow charged. Its tail attempted to strike my feet.

“Ha! You can’t get me!”

Just when I was about to leave, it vibrated. Soon its scales burst out into a million tiny scorpions. The strong scent of saffron filled the immediate area.

A chill ran down my spine as they swarmed up the walls toward me.

“Eep!”

After flying several more squares, I fired. About half of the scorpions fell from the wall dead. I backed up until I was directly under an obsidian boulder. I sidestepped. The rock plummeted, crushing them like the bugs they were.

A ruby flew into my inventory from its corpse.

Okay, that was unexpected, but at least I escaped it. Of course, knowing this mine, if it attacked me in either form I’d die in excruciating pain.

Another shudder ran through me just thinking about all those horrible bugs crawling all over me.

On my mind map, I noticed another box, but this one was too close to one of those weird slinfi. Since it wasn’t worth the risk, I started back down and came close to the middle of the mine.

A ghost appeared at the corner of my map but so did a box. I figured that as long as I avoided the ghost I’d be fine so I carefully floated to where the box was. When I shattered the magma under it, the container broke into pieces. An energy orb appeared. With a sigh, I collected it.

I must have triggered something because once my durability was 256/256, the wraith charged toward me.

I flew back, mining through several blocks until I hit a boulder. I flew under it and waited. The wraith neared me, passing through solid magma as if it wasn’t there. Even with Personal Weather up sweat ran down my forehead and into my eyes.

I blinked. It flew forward, ethereal claw-like hands aiming for my neck. I backed up letting the boulder fall. The boulder did nothing to the ghost. When it’s grotesque screaming face neared mine I expected to teleport.

Everything stilled.

You are about to die. Want me to save you?

But I had an armor charge left! And there were plenty of places for me to teleport to! How did it kill me?

Maybe she was able to ignore my armor?

That did make some sense since the monster wasn’t physical.

“If I said, ‘no,’ would I go back to the space between life and death?”

No.

“What?”

No, you would not go into the space between life and death. This creature is attempting to possess you. And if it does, you will die, and your soul will take its place here. There will be no saving you.

I swallowed. “Then yeah. Please save me.”

Very well.

For a moment, time rewound, until the monster was further away. All of the squares around me in a 3 block radius became encased in sandalwood scented glass.

I placed my hand on the new material. It felt cool, but not frozen. It also thrummed with a hint of used magic. The glass hadn’t replaced what was in the blocks so I could see the wraith, another boulder to my bottom right, and many still burning cubes of magma, but they were trapped within the substance.

I’d seen this before. Phenic used this at the end of our battle. I’d always wondered what had happened there.

My hand tightened on my bow, and I traveled into one of the glass blocks.

It shattered. Curious I tried to go into the glass area that had an obsidian boulder inside of it. It too shattered like it was nothing. Awesome! No wonder Phenic had such disdain for armor if this was what he used all the time.

It occurred to me that I’d need to learn to use this in battle. I’d have to try and get close to Nenvari every time I died so I could take his life.

I broke out of my glass surroundings and continued to mine downward, searching for more boxes. One appeared at the corner of my map, but it also had a fishman-snake near it. My first urge was to continue past, but then my bow charged.

After I stepped close enough to be within range, I fired upon it. Instead of destroying or just not doing anything to it, the monster fell off the chest and wobbled around for about a minute. If it was susceptible to my bow, even a little bit then I might be able to distract it enough to get the box. Maybe I could even risk taking a look at that chest!

After using a recharge cube, I traveled down until the box was between us. I fired at the creature. Energy burst from my weapon. I bolted forward without hesitation. When I passed through where the box had been I collected my first emerald key!

As the creature struggled to slither up and attack me, I opened the chest’s lid.

A giant golem the height of a whole block stepped out.

His Red-light eyes locked on me. He moved a massive stone foot and turned to face the fishman-snake. The golem then picked the slinfi up by its scaly neck. It struggled, so the rock man grabbed its bell and threw it to the magma floor. The hand that held the creature’s throat squeezed. Stifled screeches reverberated out. Chills ran down my back. I almost wanted to save it, but then I remembered how it threw my soul out of my body.

The slinfi went limp and disappeared.

The golem had no mouth but I still heard his monotone speech as he said, “Traveler from the realm beyond, you released me.”

I cleared my throat.

Sure, the golem stated the obvious, but he could kill me with his bare hands so who was I to tell him to stop? “No problem.”

“I have no way to repay you right now, and more of my kind may be held prisoner within these chests. Please release them and if you ever find your way out of this accursed mine, the Golems of Atrebesh will repay you.”

No treasure; no, “we’ll fight for you;” and no, “hey, let me help you;” just a promise to repay me at a future date. But I also felt sympathy for them. If I didn’t succeed then, my fate wouldn't be much different from their own.

I sighed. “I’ll do what I can.” I held out my hand. “Kelly Knight.”

“Barerock Golem.”

Amazingly, his huge stone hand gently encircled mine, and we shook. He bowed, causing bits of rubble to run off his large frame and then he disappeared.

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A note from DragonOfRochester

Thank you for taking the time to read my story! I hope you are all enjoying it!

I'm a little sick today so, it's harder for me to concentrate on making every sentence awesome. I hope it is still readable. Let me know if you see anything that needs fixing and I'll get on that tomorrow when I'm hopefully not NyQuil headed.

This chapter's procrastination is brought to you by these two: 

Henry and Knuckles


About the author

DragonOfRochester

Bio: Rochester has a degree in Videogame Art and Design and 8 years of industry experience. She challenged herself to write a LitRPG with a nonstandard game type and post the result here.

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