No fucking wonder. I had missed out, literally. Most of Earth was picked over by fucking aliens while my soul was swimming in Chaos. That’s why cats were eating my body, and that’s why it hurt so goddamn much coming back, because my body was fucking dead at the time when my soul was slammed back into it!


  My mind bounced back and forth from speaker to speaker as they argued with each other about sorcery. “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I screamed, an insane pulse of light from Gungnir punctuating my words. Their faces went white, the arms of the stone chair crumbled slightly under Jorgan’s hands. “How long has it been since the first Ripple, and how many more Ripples are there going to be, and what exactly are they?” My voice frantic as I tightened my grip on Gungnir.


  Reeanth put her hands up, placating, and calmly said, “The first Ripple as you call it, arrived on this plane twenty-three days ago. Four have come and gone, and there are three left, though each successive one is weaker than the last. They will each riase the ambient level of mana and continue to break the remnants of the dimensional seal on this realm. Ripples killed the sorcerers last time as they suffered a severe mana burn on their souls from the occurrence, and the wizards and mages mainly went insane from the raw Chaos. Warlocks grew incredibly powerful and witches became unstoppable as their practices are strengthened from Chaos.”


  “We need to go,” Gerome said, “Time grows short.” Gerone finished.


  “They’re right,” Jorgan said, standing up abruptly. He turned to me and growled, “Undo your seal for a moment and let us leave. Our mana grows thin. We will not trouble this area again.”


  “Please, let us leave, and I will give you something that will help.” Reeanth said.


  “Fine, but I am keeping one of each kind of weapon from y’all for myself.” I answered.


  “That is acceptable.” She said as her complexion began to lose its healthy glow, the same happening to the other three. I banished the stone seal in front of the gate, and brought their weapons to the surface, keeping one of each kind in the earth. They gathered them up and stumbled to the gate, the three men vanishing instantly. Reeanth turned around whispered, “Good luck sorcerer, the corrupted races require less mana than us to sustain themselves, and they are far less kind than we.” With that, she turned and vanished through the gate. I conjured the stone seal again, this time, twice as thick and covered in iron, and then I put the sealing enchantment and rune on it and keyed it to my blood.

  “Smart move,” Rath said, making me jump. I completely forgot about him. “That’ll stop most mana heavy beings.”


  [Breathe in, breathe out]. Don’t annihilate the lizard that is actually a tiny but ancient dragon. Damn it’s hard to take Mushu seriously. I brought the spoils of war to the surface, a magitech gun, advanced spear, sword, axe, and spiky ball thing. Hopefully I could reverse engineer these to get a serious boost to my combat, not that I needed it. My run-in with the snooty Elder humans showed that. But maybe I could fix my genetic deficiencies with my flesh magic, I wondered, already picturing myself as a better looking He-man. Just another thing to add to my ever-growing list of shit to do. I gathered the weapons up and carried them to the hoverboard. Rath followed me without offering to help. Without a word, he hopped on one end of it and fell asleep. My world had been shaken enough, I was done with today. I coasted home up the river, put the lizard on the porch, the weapons in the basement, checked on Sarah and ate dinner.


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