A note from Amsdoff

Last one for today.

The last chapter was my first attempt at an alternate point of view, so I hope it was able to convey some interesting characterization instead of just rehashing old material.

Man, when you’re hungry, everything looks like food. I’m almost tempted to go and try to take down one of the roving packs of Carnine monsters. The monsters seem to be impressively organized, given that they’ve set up mobile patrols of their fastest species while seemingly leaving the slimes to protect the camp. Unnerving.

But, as big a fan of my stick as I am, I don’t think I can take on three enemies at once... and that’s as small as the packs seem to get. Plus, I don’t know how I feel about eating monster… especially dog shaped monster. That’s too much.

I remember having a dog… and I don’t like the thought of her being eaten…

With the cathid’s (which I should probably name at some point, considering it seems to be sticking around) help, I manage to navigate to flat ground rather quickly. I try to pick out landmarks so I can find my way back, but… the mountains are rather plain and uniform. At least for me. Maybe some geology enthusiast would be mad that I can’t tell rocks apart, but the mountains are mostly big gray things that stick up into the clouds. Of course, the outcropping with all the caves along it isn’t visible from the ground, so I can’t even use that as a way back… not that I think the cave in the mountains is the best place to make a permanent camp either. Too little food, and I’m not eating rats or cathids.

Fuck that.

In fact, the difficulty associated with making a fire is a major contributor towards me not hunting for food. Most plants, however, I should be able to eat raw, so time to hit up the plants.

It’s just… I don’t know what’s edible. There are tons of flowers littering the grassy hills, all different colors, but the game-provided information on them is limited to [Unknown alchemical ingredient], which at least indicates it isn’t food, but not much else. I’d test out what they do the old fashioned way (eating them), but if one of them happens to be ‘sudden paralysis!’ then I’ll probably get mauled to death by roaming dogs. Not worth the risk.

That being said, later I’ll hopefully be in a safe enough place where I can inadvertently poison myself and just wait for it to wear off. Alchemy means potions and potions mean safety nets. I won’t have time to heal myself in the middle of combat using Energy, but I could definitely drink a potion quickly.

Maybe college *was* worth something after all.

I passively pick flowers while I walk towards the river, collecting about five of each kind. Good thing these shorts have pockets.

The sun (or maybe not the sun as I know it anymore) has remained in the middle of the sky. It might honestly be stuck in place up there… or whatever planet this is might be rotating at exactly the right speed, while orbiting around it. Whichever. The reason doesn’t matter so much as the result, that there is always the full bore heat of noon throughout the day. During my trip toward the river, the cathid had been strategically keeping to the shade I created. Unfortunately for it, I don’t have much on me to cast shade, especially with the heat source being from directly above. With almost no shade to be found on my body, it’s wrapped around my waist like a belt, likely in the hope that my arms will block some of the light. I mean, it lived in a cave, this is definitely not the environment it signed up for. I hope its eye is ok. That much light with an eye that sensitive… hopefully it has some adaptation.

It may be creepy looking, but it’s kinda funny with its antics. I’d rather it be happy.

The river is around 15 feet wide and not more than a few feet deep, but it’s flowing fast enough that I would want to weigh my options before crossing it, if I needed to. The water is enticing, but the fruits and nuts lying on the ground and hanging off small bushes along the river are even more so. I immediately set to picking them, praying they’re edible.

The first berry is violet.

[Ju Berry. It is highly poisonous to living creatures (effect unknown). It grows in the river lands and grasslands near ready sources of water.]

Oof, 0/1.

The second berry is blue and had similar information about growth patterns.

[Ku Berry. It is a mildly flavorful food that can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooked food provides more regenerative effects than raw food, in general.]

But also some new stuff… If only I *could* cook. One for two, at least. And finally the nut, which is high reminiscent of a walnut with much more pronounced grooves.

[Bon Nut. It has a hard exterior that can be cracked with sufficient force. The nut is sour in taste, but highly nutritious. Can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooked food…]

Ok great, two forms of growable food that the game *promises* won’t kill me, and one that it promises will! I should probably keep them separate, I could totally see myself reaching for a snack after dark and mixing up those colors.

I miss flashlights.

I tentatively try a bite of one of the Ku berries. The fruit is firm, and not very juicy, but the flavor is refreshing. It certainly is mild, but maybe that will help the flavor not become boring as fast? No clue how long I’m going to have to exist on a fruit and nut diet… or how long I can.

If it were just me, I could probably survive a long time off all this food, but… Looking down the river, I can see a few camps of people. Some as few as 3 or 4, but one has almost 20. People grouping together is probably good. Probably safe.

But… I’d rather keep my distance for now.

I don’t exactly have *anxiety* about talking to people, but I… don’t… want to. It’s not… comfortable- that’s the word. Especially approaching a group. Especially especially a big group. I continue to eat the Ku berry, relishing the taste of food in my mouth. The cathid seems uninterested in any of it. “Hey cathid, what do you eat?”

*Clack!* (dead!).

Dead? Like dead stuff? Oh. Duh. ‘Necessary waste recycler’ or whatever. So it feeds on rotting stuff. I probably could have given it the rats I left in the corner of the cave. Oh well. Another cathid will be thrilled I’m sure.

I guess it’ll bug me when it wants food.

Heh, bug. Cause it’s a- God damnit.

Shitty jokes are my coping mechanism.

After eating my fill and feeling pleasantly full for the first time in what feels like forever, I consider the water. I *am* really thirsty, even after the juice from the berries, but I don’t know if the water is safe to drink. I mean, I can see it cascading down a mountain that I know has little life on it (if it’s anything like the one I was on), but I know there’s life in the caves, and that this river is probably glacial, but it might be a spring welling up instead. Dying of dysentery because some rat was bad at swimming and died upriver is not on my to-do list.

The game also provides a relatively unhelpful description:

[River Water, useful for keeping hydrated]

Sigh. Maybe I’m being paranoid. Back home, it would be very unwise to trust this water, and technically I could squeeze berry juice for water… but I’d probably not get enough to sate myself. Damnit I need a fire.

If I could just boil it, everything would be fine.

It definitely looked like people had fires around here last night, so maybe… grr.

I think I have to talk to them.

But I can and will put that off as long as I can.

After taking some time to collect a few berries and a bunch of the nuts I didn’t get to try, I decide I’ve stalled enough and have sufficient provisions, but before I take my first step, I notice a growing violet stain on my pants.

Shit. I put the Ju berries in my left pocket and all the food and flowers in my right, but I never checked how soft the Ju berries were.

Stupid Stupid Stupid.

Well great, now I’ve stained my new clothes with berry juice…

Poison berry juice.

That’s… touching my skin.


A note from Amsdoff

Thanks to everyone who has stuck it out this far! I can't say my writing will improve quickly, but I won't stop trying to get better. 

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