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Chapter 13

Back To Basics

I still need to find shelter, water, and a food source, but none of those things will do me any good if I die before I can acquire them. For now, I can move slowly and stealthily in the canopy and practice some basic skills and magic while moving closer to my goal of the mountains in the distance. First though I need to heal up. Wait HEAL up, I wonder if it would be that easy. I mean I do have all types of magic, can I just create a healing spell?

I was so caught up in getting a body and then taking care of its needs that I neglected to keep exploring my magic potential. In fact, I forgot that could actually use magic to attack and retreat. I mean if I had just blinked out of the way of that pig than I would not be in this situation right now, hurt and trying my best to recover on a random branch in the jungle. Well no time like the present to continue on, basically I have other distractions, other than pain, that will get in the way. I focus on an image of a broken and bloody body of indeterminate origin returning back into its uninjured flawless self. I locked this set of images in my head and then brought out some Light and Creation mana from my rainbow. Why light and creation? It was what was used in stories, so I figured that maybe the stories had a grain of truth in them. As soon as the mana got near my image I received a message.

You have created the spell Minor Heal.

Observe Minor Heal.

Minor Heal: A spell that heals the target a set number of health. Health restored is 10 points + the level of the caster.

Useful but not the ultimate healing skill I was looking for. But from the title and description I will probably get those later as I level up. Logic dictates that if there is a Minor Heal than there must be other levels of the spell also. I should try this out immediately and see if I can get rid of that debuff and heal up so I can relocate to a safer area. Minor Heal Self.

An extremely warm feeling soaks throughout my body. When the warm feeling goes away I feel better, but I do not feel completely healed. I better check on the status sheet to see anything is wrong. Status.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Mantis form)

Level: 17

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 0

Strength: 25 Agility: 25 Intelligence: 15 (27)

Wisdom: 20 (22) Constitution: 15 (33) Perception: 15

MP: 2,650 out of 2700 HP: 40 out of 330

MP/Regen: 220% per hour HP/Regen: 33% per hour (-50% due to extreme damage)

Skills:

1. Observe Level 5 – 37%

Bonuses:

Greater Resist All +5 Con Many Bodies One Mind +10 Int

Basic Tactics + 2 Wis Photosynthesis + 3 Con

Mana Manipulation + 2 Int Adamantium Defense +10 Con

Strengthen + 0 Str Flexibility + 0 Agi

Devour + 0 Per Miasma Poison Immunity

That does provide some new information. It seems a Minor Heal costs me 50 from my Mana Pool. While I did the math, and yep the description was accurate, it healed 27 points. 10 points plus my level 17 as a sorcerer. I still have that debuff, I probably have to cross some sort of threshold before that happens. I also notice that Observe went up. I guess being curious is what is helping raise that one. Well the only thing left to do is spam heal until I feel better or run out of mana. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self.

Five minor heals later I have reached 170 HP and have used up 250 MP, but the good news is that I have lost the debuff to my regeneration. It seems that the debuff kicks in when you are below half your HP. This means that I will naturally heal to full health in another 2 hours. First thing to note is there is no finishing a fight and miraculously healing from your damage. I have been treating this as more of a game and reality is finally sinking in. I might as well use another five minor heals to bring me almost to my max and then start on plan become strong enough that I don’t die. You know I need a better naming sense. Anyway, Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self. Minor Heal Self.

There we go. I am now above 300 HP and the last few points can regenerate normally along with my used MP. I need to get moving and find that shelter so I can set up a base and then hopefully learn how to use my abilities and grow without the painful smashing that I got from the Jungle Hog. I decide to combine my movement with practice. I probably should have done this before.

As I move through the canopy, I mentally target different leaves, branches and other non-violent objects as targets and practice my movements, dodging, blinking, shadow steps, and any other technique I can think of to move to the sides, underneath, behind, above, and all other directions. I am trying to make myself used to attacking from a variety of directions and making it more of an instinct than a thought through process. Is it working? Who knows, I will have to battle something else to find out and I am not quite confident enough to do that yet.

Throughout my movement and practice I keep a sharp eye on my MP. I do not want to be surprised and not have any of my magic pool available to use because I was practicing. I also pause every few hundred meters just to stay quiet and observe everything that I can. First it helps keep me safe, second this helps build my observe skill levels, and finally it adds to my growing knowledge of this world. It is during one of these observation pauses that I see what could be a temporary shelter for myself.

It is not what I was originally looking for, but it might be better for my actual lifestyle and species at the moment. Up ahead of me I see a clearing in the forest that I am travelling through. This seems to be a fairly large opening, the first that I have seen. As I approach it I see several things that seem to indicate that I should make a temporary home in the area. These feelings are kind of strange. Could this be instinct? Is my new species trying to tell me that what I need is here?

Well let’s try and use reasoning to back up the old instinct. Large clearing with a small pond in it and a creek going into and out of the pond, the total surface area of the pond is probably 2-3,000 square meters. It is about 100 meters long and between 15 and 45 meters wide in different areas. This is a secured source of water which every living thing needs. The entire clearing is probably about 5-10 times the size of the pond. It is quite large for a forest of this size. The animals that feed around the pond and use it as a source of water must keep it clear.

Next I can see small animals, fish, and insects surrounding the pond and field like area around it. This means that there is a thriving ecosystem here which should provide me with easy to catch meals that are not too dangerous. Finally on the far left side of the clearing is a grove of huge trees and several of them seem to have hollows or holes in their trunks. This means there might be a ready source of shelter off the ground.

Ok, brain agrees with instincts. I will go and explore the large grove of trees and see if any of those hollow spaces will serve as a shelter. If I find one I like, then I can see myself settling here for the near future and training. I probably will not leave the area until I feel like I can handle new situations, and fight better than I did against the Jungle Hog. Speaking of Jungle Hog I am getting quite hungry and I have wild BACON. Yes.

Alright so first issue with eating is that I do not know if I need cooked food or not. I mean I want a good roasted pork chop and some bacon, but I do not know if that want is a desire from my past life or if it is something I want now. For all I know raw meat might be the best thing for this new body. I guess that I can try raw and see how that tastes first. Wait, can bugs even taste things? There is only one way to find out.

I remove the carcass of the Jungle Hog from my inventory and looked at it. It still is dripping blood. That must mean my inventory preserves it perfectly or that it freezes time or something. Oh well, I guess it does not really matter, but I do need to deal with the carcass of the soon to be bacon and chops. I decided to do something about it here before exploring to deal with my looking for a home on a full stomach, and also in hopes that I would soon be finding a new home and I did not want to mess it up with the guts of my first meal.

Let’s see I have been deer hunting and have watched several television shows in my last life, so I should be able to dress this Jungle Hog without too much trouble. Luckily my scythes will act as built in knives so there is no problem there. I start to gut and dress the Jungle Hog according to what I remember from my former life. I have to adjust as I go because the body does not 100% match what I remember. I also try to be very careful about piercing organs and other membranous sacs inside the body. I do remember that certain things can rupture and spoil meat with their juices, and since I only have the one body to work with, I do not want to experiment on my only meal.

Soon enough I have one dismantled Jungle Hog in front of me. I have several cuts of meat that I store back in my inventory and find out to my delight that it just says Hog Meat. That means in the future if my supplies are from similar animals it might just stack up in a single slot in my inventory and not take as much space. I set the offal off to the side and look at the two large pieces of meat I kept out. I am going to try one raw, and then one cooked. I am 99% sure that even if the raw meat is disgusting it will not kill me as I am already a virus and it would seem silly that a disease from eating raw meat would affect me or my new body.

I close my eyes and lift the raw pork chop to my mouth and take a small bite. Huh, not bad. Not good, but definitely not bad either. There is definitely a flavor of pork, but it is very little. Maybe bugs do not have taste buds like I remember having. Since the worst part, getting over the initial fear of eating a raw piece of meat is done, I quickly finish off the rest of the raw pork chop. Next up will be a roasted pork chop. Ok, time to start a fire to roast a pork chop. Wait, how am I going to start a fire? Duh, Mark use some magic. I have not created any flame magic yet, so this is a good opportunity.

I need to start small and utilitarian. I focus on an image of bright and strong candle flame, something that can sit in the palm of my hand and produce a lot of heat without burning me. I lock this image in my head and then brought out some fire mana from my rainbow and just a bit of air. Fire is obvious for the choice and since I want a hot long burning flame I need to provide oxygen for it to burn. As soon as the mana got near my image I received a message.

You have created the spell Majestic Flame.

Observe Majestic Flame.

Majestic Flame: A spell that takes fire creation to the next level. Merging two elements allows for a much more controlled flame with twice the temperature of a regular magic flame.

Well isn’t that special. This should be perfect for my purposes. I need to remember the trick that combining mana types can result in a more advanced version of regular stuff. Now I just need to make a fire pit and then start roasting. Wait, why do I need to make a fire pit? I can just keep the flame in one hand and roast the meat on a stick with the other hand and not have to go through the trouble of making a fire pit and then cleaning it up afterwards. Sounds like a perfect plan.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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