Coasting on my hoverboard at about ten miles per hour gave me a chance to think as I headed towards what I hoped was the entryway of the goblins. I had picked a rose from the neighbor’s rosebush before leaving, and was now playing with the seeds with my nature sorcery. My goal was to see if I could make disposable thorny rose vines that ensnared whatever I target. Crowd control is king. I put enchantments of fast growth and structural reinforcement in the seed core along with a vampiric thirst on the parts that would grow into thorns. I channeled a bunch of mana into the seeds and set a conditional trigger so that when I throw them they’ll go off. A feral grin crossed my face as I looked forward to testing these babies out.

  My trip east took me eventually took me down to where the river widened as it made its eventual path to the ocean. It was a beautiful day and I didn’t see anyone at the river. Wonder what happened to that old guy and the necromancer kid? Can’t even guess if they’re still alive. I bet if I hadn’t scared the crap outta that kid he definitely would be. I took a break at a bend in the river and just sat on my hoverboard for a bit, feet dangling over the water as I strengthened the earth-repelling enchantment so I could float about ten feet above the river. I hadn’t been this far away from my house since everything changed and anxiety was rearing its ugly little head. Some outlines for future plans popped into my head as I watched the river toss and play under me, glints of fish darting in and out of the sunlight.

  I really should have known, or at least anticipated something close to it. In a rare moment of peace, I let my guard down and relaxed. The day was clear without a cloud in the sky and nothing in sight, at least around or below me. A shadow shielded me from the sun for just a second as I rested over the river. There was no sound or cry or scream, just a missile of flesh and feathers that hit me from above, knocking me off the hoverboard into the river. “Fuck youuuuuu”, I screamed in the two seconds it took me to fall. The impact from my stealthy attacker tore my spear from my grasp even as my hoverboard stayed floating up in the sky. Cold water tore at my senses, breaking my shock but my water sorcery came at my beckon, cushioning my fall, then pushing me towards the surface. I stood on the surface of the water and pulled the water from my skin, instantly drying me, then commanded the river to bring me my spear. An arm of water spit it to me. I searched the skies, the water pivoting to aid me. Can’t believe I hadn’t played on the river with water sorcery, I felt like a creature made for this. It jumped and played around me in whatever shape I desired and fed energy to, all the while my will threaded and diffused through it.

  The shadow covered me again and I instantly pointed my spear up bracing myself with the obedient river all the while being blinded by the sun. My attacker swerved around my spear and took off away from me. I caught a glimpse of it before it flapped almost straight up towards the sun, trying to hide in the bright source of daylight. It was ugly, like most things I had met after the Ripple, the feminine body was marred by wings for arms and a cruel eagle’s beak for a mouth, a harpy. A harpy, according to the general mythology, is a cross between a woman and a bird, usually of a cruel and nasty nature. This bitch’s attacks seemed to be proof of that. I really wanted to hit her, and the spear didn’t seem to be the best way to do it, probably due to my lack of skill with it. As if it heard my thoughts, the spear’s wooden core and the crystal spearhead condensed until I was holding a mace in my hand. Holy fuck it read my mind. Choosing not to question the weapon’s reaction to my offhand desire, I held it like a baseball bat, sinking into the water, a coiled cobra anticipating my prey. As the harpy made another dive bomb, I had the water catapult me directly at her as I swung for the heavens. It wasn’t even fair, the magically enhanced spear/mace coming into contact with her head was gross. Her head split open like a smashed melon while the energy I had stored in the staff erupted out to vaporize the rest of her. Landing back in the water was a relief as it caught and cleaned me in one enveloping embrace.


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