Chapter 9 Graves to dig
Ignoring the messages she had received from the fight, she started to heal the girl before her. “Fuck, don’t die you idiot!” The wound on her stomach slowly began to close but the life was already leaving her. ‘I can feel the life draining out of her...I won’t make it...fuck...isn’t there...’
In a last ditch effort, Ilea blinked to her backpack that she lost somewhere in the fight and removed some of the Bluemoon Grass...’10 vitality if she makes it...’ Blinking back, she chewed the grass in her own mouth and then put it into the girls mouth. Making her swallow by holding her mouth closed she kept her Reconstruction spell up.
After that the girl stopped moving. Keeping up her Reconstruction, ten minutes later the healer twitched. Her face distorted by agony, she started to scream. “Guess you’re not one of the 35% who die...”
Still not letting off on the healing, she watched the girl under her thrash around with tears in her eyes. The screaming stopped after a while but Ilea knew the pain was still there. Half an hour passed of Ilea stroking the woman’s hair and healing her. Stopping the spell, she meditated for five minutes to restore some of her Mana and then continued.
The girl’s breathing became weaker in the five minutes but started to pick up again with the resumed Reconstruction spell. ‘Fuck I’m glad I didn’t kill you there girl...’ repeating the same process two more times, the girl finally relaxed. Opening her eyes they were red from the crying. “I...I...” putting a finger on her mouth Ilea stopped her “Ssssh, don’t talk yet. You’re safe now. Sleep.” a shudder ran through the healer as she closed her eyes and immediately fell asleep.
Setting the girl down slowly and resting her head on the blanket she brought, Ilea sat back and checked her health. “At half still...man I’m glad that guy didn’t have a more potent poison...” looking towards the corpse of the Rogue she started to meditate. Her natural Mana recovery was 1%. Adding the 1% she had received from eating the Bluemoon Grass initially it was at 2%. The wisdom stat added an additional 0.1% recovery rate for every 10 points. At 80 that made 0.8%. So her recovery was 2.8% of her Maximum mana per minute. While meditating it was around 10%. So she was back at full mana after ten minutes.
Healing herself with the recovered mana, she again used her healing spell on the girl. ‘Better safe than sorry...’ five minutes later she got up again. ‘Man...I really killed them...’ looking around her it smelled faintly of blood. ‘...all of them.’ having an uneasy feeling in her stomach, Ilea made herself look at each of the corpses. Turning them to look at their faces. ‘They were awful people and they even attacked me first…I know my actions are justified but man...’ looking to the sky she could feel tears coming to her eyes. She looked down again and walked towards the girl. Laying down next her, she started to cry as she used Reconstruction on the healer whose life she had saved.
Two hours later Ilea got back up again, her throat was dry and her eyes were red. Walking up to the Ranger she looked at the face distorted by death. Crouching down she closed the woman’s eyes, fingers lingering for a long moment. Breathing in deeply she walked to a tree nearby and punched it. Only using her raw strength without any skills, she exhausted her stamina. The process took another hour, the tree barely surviving the assault. Slumping down next to it, Ilea slowly breathed in and out.
“This is difficult as fuck...” looking at her hands tears started forming at the corners of her eyes “No, not again...” getting up she walked to the ranger and undressed her, piling all the clothes and gear next to the sleeping girl. ‘She looks like she’s seventeen or so...’ Going through the same process with the three men, she didn’t remove their clothes. Only their weapons and other valuables were dropped on the pile. Identifying their clothing revealed no special gear.
Walking to the clearing, Ilea activated her Aura and started to dig. Half an hour later, four single meter deep holes were produced. Getting out of one, she moved the corpses inside. They weren’t close to as heavy as a Drake would have been and with her new strength she could easily lift their combined weight. Still she carefully moved one after the other. Each she buried with their face looking up, their eyes closed. She stayed silent through the whole process, looking at each of them for another minute before covering them with earth.
Sitting down on the ground, Ilea waited for a while. ‘Maybe I should get some sticks for crosses...’ forgetting the idea as quickly as it came she got up ‘...well I don’t want a necromancer to find them...wait, maybe I should have burnt them...oh well. I hope zombies take a couple days to wake up.’ Going back to the girl and the pile of gear, she started to undress. Her cloak was seemingly unaffected by all the fire and bites from the past three months was removed first. ‘Damage still gets through...I guess the High Quality thing has something to do with it not breaking...’
Washing the ranger’s clothes a little with some water in one of their bottles, she put them on. They were a very similar style as her old traveling clothes, but seemingly more sturdy. Keeping with her own boots, she moved through the group’s stuff. ‘84 Silver and fifteen bronze...’ adding the money to her pouch she used Identify on all the weapons. They seemed in pretty good condition.
[Iron Sword – Medium quality]
[Eldwood Bow – High quality]
[Poisoned Dagger – Low quality] x2
The mage didn’t have a weapon. ‘They must’ve had a camp somewhere...impossible for them to travel with only this much...’ looking at the bits of food and three canteens they had with them.
“I mean I’ve traveled with less but they even had spare clothes...” looking at the bow, Ilea started smiling. ‘I’ve always wanted to try one of those...’ reaching for it and the quiver next to it, she walked to the clearing. Setting the things down she went back and moved all the other things, including the healer girl.
A day passed as Ilea realized that her bow and arrow skills were severely lacking. Her strength allowing her to shoot arrows at a high speed and her dexterity allowing her to shoot them fast, she still missed nearly all her shots. Towards a tree...from ten meters away. Occasionally she walked over to the girl and used her healing spell on her. Some wolves would wander near occasionally, sniffing around. Some arrows fired in their general direction would send them running though.
Remembering the messages from the fight, she checked them.
‘Azarinth Fighting has reached 2nd lvl 16.’
‘Body of Azarinth has reached 2nd lvl 4.’
“Two level ups...they were only my level though...maybe fighting all of them at once changes something?” Looking over at the girl she wondered.
‘I hope she wakes up soon, I’ll have to sleep in a while...’ using the meditation skill, Ilea could postpone sleeping for a couple days but it would weigh on her mind. Another day passed like this, the girl waking up in the afternoon.
Opening her eyes slowly, Alice started coughing immediately ‘Wh.. what’s wrong with me… I… I need water…,’ looking up, there was a woman standing there with beautiful black hair, wearing brown traveling clothes. Panicking for a second, she realized that it was not the same woman who wore those clothes before. Using identify on her out of habit, the woman was using a bow and arrow in an awkward way.
[Healer – lvl ??]
The arrow flew into the forest, not hitting anything in the process. Coughing again, the woman looked towards her with a frown.
Tensing up, Alice scrambled backwards. The frown turning quickly into a worried expression as the woman came closer.
‘She finally woke up...did I sleep that long too after eating that glowing moss?’ walking next to the trembling girl, she grabbed one of the canteens. Opening it, she held it to the girls face, who after a doubtful pause started to drink. She didn’t stop until the bottle was empty. Handing her another one, the girl continued. Looking up she made eye contact but immediately turned away again. Patting her head, Ilea smiled at the girl. “You’re safe now...they...they’re gone now.” seemingly panicking for a second, the girl looked around frantically until Ilea grabbed her hand. “I will not hurt you.”
“What’s your name?” the girl’s eyes widened a little as tears slowly formed.
“I’m A… Alice… th.. thank.. thank you!” holding Alice’s hand while she cried, Ilea felt a little awkward.
‘I’m not good at this stuff...this girl has probably gone through some traumatic shit and I’m supposed to help her? I’m a college student working in a fast-food joint for fuck’s sake...’ sitting down next to the girl, Ilea just let her cry for a while.
“Alright, it’ll get dark again in a while. Let’s get moving. Oh and I’m Ilea.” Helping the girl stand up her stomach rumbled. “Here.” giving her some of the remaining food from the group she’d killed, Ilea put the sword and daggers into her backpack. Joining the charred scales already resting in there.
Getting on her cloak, she also put the blanket, food and canteens into the backpack. There wasn’t space enough for the bow and quiver, so she handed it to Alice. “Can you hold on to this?” Alice’s eyes widened again as she looked at the bow but then nodded a moment later.
“Now I know you’ve probably been through some horrific shit and frankly I’m the wrong person to talk to about that stuff so I won’t even ask.” Alice simply looked at her “So fact is, we’re out here and I’m tired. I know a safe place but it’s hours away and I don’t think you can run as fast as me… no offense.” looking around Ilea locked eyes with her. “I think I heard you speak before so I assume you do have that capability?” a second later Alice nodded again.
“I.. I mean… yes. I can speak, yes!” looking at the descending sun, Ilea put on the backpack.
“Congratulations… those fuckers.. .did they have a camp? I mean… only if its close and you… you can handle going back there…,” Alice was seemingly becoming a little uncertain at that proposition “… we can burn it down when we leave again if you want to.”
Thinking it over, Alice nodded “That would be nice, yes.” standing there awkwardly for ten seconds Ilea inclined her head while looking at Alice.
“You’re aware that I don’t know where the camp is?” twitching a little, Alice pointed in a direction
“I’m sorry… it’s somewhere there… only about twenty minutes away…,” starting to move, Alice followed her.
“Tell me when we have to change directions.”
They continued for ten minutes without talking. “We have to go this way…,” changing directions a little, they soon reached the campsite. Three tents and a fireplace.
‘Seems rather basic to me… let’s check their backpacks…,’ looking behind her Ilea saw Alice with an unreadable expression on her face staring at something. Following her gaze, Ilea’s eyes fell upon a tree. She watched the healer rub her hands.
Her stare stayed focused. Activating her Aura, Ilea walked to the tree. Kicking the tree sideways, her shin moved right through the dense wood, her leg coming out on the other side. Splinters and a groan of the tree answered her as it slowly fell down to the side. Directing it with her hand, the tree smashed into another one and then to the ground. Looking behind her, she caught a flash of a smile on Alice’s face. Vanishing as fast as it came, the girl looked down. “Change of plan. Let’s get what we need and burn it down now.” moving to the tents she searched through them. A couple backpacks with food and other things one might need for traveling was everything that could be found.
Emptying all the backpacks, she filled her own and one more with food and a copy of her own needed utensils. Handing the backpack to Alice, she got on her own and then moved everything else together in a pile. Getting some small sticks and wood near and half below the pile, she silently started a fire with her knife and flint. Alice watched on, not uttering a single word.
As the flames grew, Ilea seemed to see a spark in Alice’s eyes. Not finding any words to say, the two women simply stood there as the fire consumed the rest of the campsite. The sun went down as they stood there, the crackling of the fire the only noise in the vicinity. An hour went by, only the light glow of embers illuminating Alice and Ilea. “We should move.” Ilea stated, got on her backpack and started to walk. Alice followed.
Finding a clearing with a fallen down tree, Ilea stopped. “We’ll stay here for the night. You have watch for four hours or so, then you wake me. If there are any beasts coming, wake me immediately.” Alice stared at her frightened “Don’t worry, just wake me. I really need sleep.” Laying down with her head on her blanket, Ilea slept in a matter of minutes.
She woke up as something tugged at her shoulder. “M… Miss I… Ilea… please wake up…,” looking up at a frightened face with big brown eyes, Ilea looked around.
“It’s been four hours?” the girl shook her head.
“N… no… it’s, I couldn’t sleep anyway. It’s a… already nearly morning but…,” a growl stopped Alice. Blue light illuminated the still dark clearing as Ilea got up.
“Alright, come on out whatever you are.” as if answering her call, four wolves emerged from the tree line. She lifted her foot and stomped down, the ground rumbling a little, the wolves fleeing immediately.
Looking at Alice, the girl’s eyes were huge “Already morning you say?” sitting down again with her back to the fallen tree, Ilea opened her backpack. “Might as well have breakfast.” offering some meat and dried fruits to Alice, the girl accepted. “So what’s your story?” gulping down the bite she was eating, Alice cleared her throat.
“I’m studying magic in Dawntree… me and my peers were on our way to Riverwatch for the festival next week when…,” gulping once, she continued “My carriage had to stop because of a broken wheel… they k… killed the driver and t… took me. T… they said if I resist they w… would kill me too.” waving her off Ilea tried to smile at her.
“It’s fine, the rest is history… and they’re dead now. Just to be sure, there were only four of them right?”
Alice nodded “Again… thank you. I owe you my life miss… Ilea.” shoving a piece of fruit in her mouth Ilea nodded.
“No worries, they were huge asshats. I’m on my way to Riverwatch myself. Maybe we can find your friends there and maybe watch the tournament together.” Alice brightened a little at that
“Well it’s going to be very full… my school has pretty good places though, even a whole house to stay in!” getting excited at the prospect and forgetting the past week with her tormentors a little.
“Well then let’s do this… as repayment, you’ll get me one of those spaces.”
Alice nodded vigorously, seemingly happy to be able to repay her at least a little. “You can even stay with us!” shaking her head at that, Ilea smiled.
“I’ll be fine somewhere in the woods outside the city, don’t worry. Not the biggest fan of roommates.” thinking on it she continued absentmindedly “Maybe Dale has a spot free...” Alice perked up at that but didn’t ask anything.
“What kind of magic can you do? All I know is that you’re a healer...csorry if the question is rude, I’m not from around here…,” Ilea said but Alice only shook her head.
“Nono, it’s not rude to ask that...I’m a Corinth Healer...” seemingly not getting a reaction she added “...that’s an order of healers in Dawntree. I go there half the week and the other half I spend in the College of Magic. I’m studying to become an enchantress as my second class...”
“That’s quite impressive actually...I’m an Azarinth Healer.” the girl’s expression didn’t change “It’s an order of healers quite a far way from here...we heal and fight at the same time.” Alice nodded
“I’ve never heard of that order...any healers fighting for that matter. Well old man George was an adventurer once and his second class is something related to fighting...you’re very strong though! You won against all four of them alone!” patting her head for some reason, Ilea smiled at the girl
“Yes yes, I’d rather like you to keep all of that to yourself though. Let’s say I sneaked you out of their camp or something alright?”
Nodding, Alice affirmed “Of course, I won’t say a word about your abilities.” moving her hand in front of her face in a gesture that indicated silence.
Ilea smiled “Thanks, appreciate that. It’s apparently a great trump card to have if everyone thinks you’re just a healer….by the way, did you get a message regarding some Bluemoon Grass?”
Alice nodded “YES! The bonuses are amazing but that was very painful...very...”
Ilea nodded “Yes, trust me I know. That is another thing I’d like to keep a secret though. You could now actually become an Azarinth healer yourself if you like. There are only a couple books you’d have to study...” shaking her head Alice declined
“Thank you, I know it’s very special for an order to share something like that with me but I’m sworn to the Corinth order. And I really don’t want to fight things like you do...no offense...”
Ilea chuckled “None taken...I myself don’t know why I enjoy it so much...just tell me if you change your mind.”
Standing up, she dusted off her clothes “You sure you don’t want to get some sleep?” shaking her head Alice stood up too.
“No, I want to get as far away from this forest as soon as I can...” getting on her backpack, Ilea nodded.
“Sure, let’s get moving then Alice. To Riverwatch.” The sun starting to shine through the dense trees, two women could be seen walking southwards. Birds greeting a new day with their songs.