Chapter 14

Dying Is NOT Fun

Roasting the meat only had one tiny hitch and that was the hot juices flowing down and burning the hand that held the flame. Wow, that sounds so weird. I created the spell specifically so the flame would not hurt me, but neglected the fact that anything it set on fire or heated up would still burn. Luckily it was just the juice from the roasting meat that gave me this lesson. I would have hated to figure that little nugget of information out the hard way, say like in the middle of a battle.

Alright, now that lunch has been taken care of it is time to explore the grove of trees to find a temporary home. I continue to observe my surroundings as much as I can while walking towards the giant trees. When I reach them I gaze up in awe. These things must be redwood in size but are still leafy like an oak tree. I start to climb up the first tree and soon reach the canopy and the spreading branches. As I glance around I see signs of small animals all around me. Some scratch marks, and is that, yep someone has been marking their territory.

I see several “holes” in the surrounding trunks of several trees. My best guess is that there are squirrels of Planet Braxis equivalents living up here. Please whoever is listening, let them be semi-normal and not some acid spewing, death dealing, crazy killer squirrels. Now that the thought of killer squirrels is in my head I cannot seem to get it out. Man up Mark, or in this case Mantis up. Oh my goodness, reincarnation has not improved my ability to create jokes. That was horrible. I visually estimate the size of the openings and realize that most of them are not large enough for my current body. That is reassuring in the non-death dealing squirrel category.

I choose one that seems to be larger than the others and start making my way towards it. More than likely I am going to have evict something and claim its home and territory. Time to put up or shut up. I have learned and thought about my almost defeat a lot since my last fight with the Jungle Hog. My new strategy is to lead with a spell, check response, either blink away and continue with magic or close and use scythes if appropriate. Wait a second, retreat.

I scurry down the tree as quick as I can. I almost forgot again. I still have not created any offensive spells. What the heck is wrong with me? I almost die, decide what to do, and still forget until the last second. That was close. Now that I am back down on the ground I decide to just create a simple spell of each offensive element to begin with. I do not want to overwhelm myself or my abilities. If these work out I can always create more powerful and complex spells in the future.

I need to start simple. I know, how about just a spike of each element shooting out and impaling the target and then exploding and doing damage of its element type. That should work fine. I decide to focus lightning, fire, ice, earth, and destruction elements for this. I will start with fire. First I concentrate on an image of a super-hot blue flame spike. I want it to shoot out of my fist, track the target, and explode 1 second after penetration. I hope this is not too much for one spell. I lock this series of images in my head and then brought out some fire mana from my rainbow. Just straight fire this time to see what happens. As soon as the mana gets near my images I receive a message.

You have created the spell Exploding Flame Spike.

Observe Exploding Flame Spike.

Exploding Flame Spike: This spell creates a single flaming spike and launches it towards the target. The flame spike will explode after penetrating any target causing additional damage. Limited tracking ability. Number of spikes and tracking ability will go up with spell level.

Ooh that is nice. It is just what I wanted. The more I use it the better it will become. Let’s see if I can repeat it with the other elements. Concentrate on a spike made of lightning, that releases a huge amount of electricity after penetrating its target. Add on the tracking ability, and then bring yellow lightning mana towards the series of images and presto.

You have created the spell Exploding Lightning Spike.

Observe Exploding Lightning Spike.

Exploding Lightning Spike: This spell creates a single lightning spike and launches it towards the target. The lightning spike will explode and electrocute the target after penetration. Small possibility of stunning target. Limited tracking ability. Number of spikes, stun percentage, and tracking ability will go up with spell level.

Wow that is even better than the flame spike. Lightning is cool. I quickly repeat the process with earth and end up with Exploding Stone Spike and Exploding Ice Spike which both act like grenades with shrapnel of each type being spewed out when they explode. When I used destruction mana to create the last spell I ended up with something a little different, Annihilation Spike.

Observe Annihilation Spike.

Annihilation Spike: This spell creates a single pulsing black spike of destruction mana and launches it towards the target. The Annihilation Spike will eat away and dissolve anything it touches until it runs out of mana. Limited tracking ability. Amount of magic used and tracking ability will increase with spell level.

So basically I created an anti-everything spell. This thing is going to be super useful but also scary as heck. I noticed that there was no distinction of friend or foe in the description. So if I touch it after I launch it I could dissolve myself. Since I can put a variable amount of mana in it I hopefully can learn with practice what is needed to affect different size targets. This spell is useless for hunting or anything where I want to keep an intact corpse for looting, but I bet it would scare the heck out of anybody that saw it. I think it will also provide some utilitarian uses, dependent on how creative I get. I mean why get rid of trash if you can just dissolve it into nothing. I could also become the ultimate thief. Why pick a lock when I can just dissolve it away? I am going to have to think long and hard about the variety of uses this spell has.

Enough thinking, time for doing. Now that I have some offensive spells it is time to kick out some small furry animals and claim a home. I scramble back up the tree that has the hole I want and stare at it thinking. I don’t actually know if anything is inside, and I think it would be a bad idea to just stick my head in and look. Wait that’s it, sticks. I can just toss sticks in to provoke whatever might be inside to come out and then hit it with a spell. It’s a foolproof plan.

I quickly collect some branches from the tree and break them into throw able sizes. Time to initiate operation Get Myself a Tree House. I have got to work on my naming sense. I start throwing sticks into the hole and soon I hear movement and a hiss. Wait squirrels don’t hiss. What poked its head out of the hole was definitely not small, furry, or a squirrel. Instead I saw large, scaly and snake like. Don’t stare Mark, attack. I quickly call up Lightning Spike and launch it at the head of the reptile that I had obviously woken up and ticked off.

For once, everything seemed to go my way. The lightning spike pierced the head of the snake creature and I saw it start to twitch as the current sparked on the outside of his body. It then slumped over. It must be stunned, quick melee attack. I ran forward while it was stunned and furiously sliced at its neck. It took three slices, but off came its head. Did I just win? Why was this so much easier than the Jungle Hog? Observe.

Carcass of Tree Snake Level: 8 Magic: Unknown

Okay, it was a tree snake. It was also a lower level than the Jungle Hog I fought earlier. It still seems like it was too easy of a fight though. Was it the magic that made it easier, or maybe the lower level? I mean it was stunned and could not fight back, but I somehow doubt that a single lightning spike would have stopped that Jungle Hog from earlier. On the other hand, if I had stunned the Jungle Hog I could have easily slit its throat similar to removing the head from this snake. I guess the spell did make a huge difference. I wonder how much magic it actually used. Maybe I can just check that instead of my hole status. I concentrate hard and think, Magic Pool.

Mark Stefanopolis MP: 2,600 out of 2700 MP/Regen: 220% per hour

Oh it took more than I thought. Maybe that is why it did so much damage. I could shoot 27 of those spikes before I ran out of magic. That is a significant amount of damage. I am starting to feel a little better about my survival chances now. With that mystery cleared up it is time to remove my foe from the battlefield and claim my prize. I store the carcass of the tree snake in my inventory and then just to be safe toss a few more branches into the hole. There is no response this time. I poke my head in and see a fairly large depression in the tree. The opening is about 1 meter square and the hole is probably 2 meters deep and 1 to 1 and ½ meters wide and tall. Not really big enough for me but close. I can probably chip out more space with my scythes.

As I am about to start work on my new residence I had an a hah moment. You know one of those times when suddenly a brilliant idea or plan just surfaces in your mind. This a hah moment was magic. I had once again fallen into the trap of thinking like someone from Earth. However, here on Planet Braxis I had magic and could probably do the work I wanted easier and quicker with magic rather than chipping and carving the space by hand. All I need to do is create a new spell. For this I imagine myself making a plant grow unnaturally fast and then I bring some nature mana over from the rainbow.

You have created the spell Grow.

Observe Grow.

Grow: This spell allows the caster to have any plants within the affected area grow at an amazing rate. Size of area and speed of growth will go up with spell level.

Ok, potentially useful, but definitely not what I wanted. Let’s try again. How about a different image, maybe myself sculpting something out of wood without actually touching the wood, that should work. I decide to bring over both green nature mana and pink creation mana, because this time I want to be able to create something new.

You have created the spell Plant Shaping.

Observe Plant Shaping.

Plant Shaping: This spell allows the caster to manipulate plant material in a 1 meter cubed area however they like. The size of the affected area will go up with spell level.

Oh this is it. With this I should be able to create rooms and furniture and even doors, traps, and defenses all out of wood. I set out to use and level up this spell. I first expand the initial room to 2 meters in height and 3 meters deep and wide. The opening becomes a nice 1.5 meter oval with a door hung on wooden hinges. Since the tree I am in is so big I decide to create even more space. Off of the entry room I create a 3 meter long corridor in the back as a hallway and then a l make three more rooms of the same size as the first. The one to the left will be storage, the one in the back will be my sleeping room, and the one to the right will be for experiments and miscellaneous. I make another wooden door with wood hinges in front of each room and then use plant shaping to make three 20 cm in diameter holes to the outside in each room. This should allow for a minimum of light and air refreshment. To prevent unwanted intruders, I fill these holes to the outside with security grills, sort of like a mesh made of wood. It should be enough to prevent anything that can fit into the hole from actually making it down the hole.

From the debris of shaping the wood I create several wooden jugs and jars to hold water and other necessities. When I am done creating I grab one of the largest jars I can carry and feel safe climbing with to go and collect some water from the pond. Moving day is almost done. I climb down the tree and make my way over to the pond. As I am filling up my jug I spot what looks to be a giant mouth filled with teeth out of the corner of my eye and then blackness.


About the author


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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