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  Passing out after a full day of getting my ass handed to me and enchanting is not hard. Flesh sorcery makes going to sleep and waking up too easy, as if I had perfectly planned out a schedule and stuck to it. I took some vitamins and silenced my hunger again, preparing to face the day. A nearby 7-11 store would have plenty of canned food, and there were several of those around. I got out of the underground hidey hole and crafted another barge and hoverboard and flew to the first one. Gathering all the canned contents was easy as I was on high alert and using Norn as a sentry and food pickup/dropoff. I repeated this for all of the gas stations and quikmarts and 7-11s nearby, filling up my living spaces with preserved food. That took most of my day as I also began knocking down the abandoned buildings. Pointing Gungnir at various buildings and saying, “Knock that shit down” worked better than expected. Sometimes the spear blasted out concussive waves of force or summoned a tiny but fierce tornado. My own weapon gaining a kind of sentience is a little frightening, but fucking cool. I’ve even noticed it shifting forms to suit my mood. I really need to ask Rath about that later.

  Getting back to my new underground home was a relief. A day without insane conflict or crazy deities was a good day. I scarfed down two cans of beef soup, guzzled some water and lay on the floor. I put my head next to the main root of the World Tree and put Gungnir on my chest. This tree is a gate, a waypoint to other places, the rest of the universe, or maybe a place nearby. One of my daily goals I had laid out in my head was to see if I can commune with this tree and figure out how to use it to get to places I want to go. My cheat is the nature sorcery, which should in theory allow me to make this process way faster than a normal dude asking a tree to take him somewhere. Meh, no luck today.

  I need blood. I want to make tattoos on my body with runes for a whole bunch of things, but I need blood. Blood is the only substance I can figure out that can hold magical power of a specific kind for a long time and grant it to other things. And it can’t be my own. If it is, my regeneration will recognize it and reabsorb it into my body. I know, I tried. I spent hours with a pain block, bleeding and healing and then forcing inordinate amounts of mana into the bowl with the blood with some dark plant juice and carbon that I made into ink and then sticking myself with it over and over to get it to work. No dice. I need something like dragon’s blood as a catalyst, but Rath just ran from me when I approached him with a giant needle. I did think about using the sap from the World Tree, cause sap is just plant blood, but I wasn’t going to jeopardize the development of this tree in any way. This issue is also complicated by the fact that the mana levels of this world just weren’t dense enough for powerful magical creatures to live here yet. Basically, I’m either going to have to figure out how to travel to other worlds quickly to get what I need, or wait till Earth gets its big boy pants on and my ingredients for tattoos and bloodlines come here. And I really wanted to avoid other sorcerers right now, I’m just too damn young to play in their yard. Fuck, I had more questions.

  I started by conjuring a flat stone to cover a big section of a wall to be my makeshift chalkboard. Then I conjured a shard of pure graphite and began to write out plans for power. Runic Tattoos that need powerful magical blood for my skin and bones, find epic beast and somehow steal or assimilate a bloodline, make epic weapons of war, find an elemental or creature to make into powerful familiar, travel far away and learn to cultivate, merge muscles of my body with crystal/metal to upgrade durability and magical storage, learn how to use gates including the World Tree, find out how to use Chaos shards for more sorceries or expand applications of what I already have, and last, how to kill a fucking goddess. Staring at my myriad options, I began marking ‘P’ for possible next to some of them and ‘TMW’ for too much work. Really need to start with the easier things, most of that shit was in the ‘TMW’ category for now.

  Since my two first hidey-holes were roughly done, I needed to make the third one, the under-the-river one. First, I went outside of my hole and went to my backyard. I know which way the river is, but I’m doing this the safe way. I put a rock down and made a magical mark on it, investing just enough energy so that it would serve as a signal for me. Then I went back down to the underground room and closed it up, then turned and faced the signal. If you stand in my house and head for the back, and then just keep going for about three-quarters of a mile, you’ll hit the river. So that’s what I did with my little pocket generator handy, I started walking in the direction of the river, banishing dirt and lining the new tunnel with very thick stone about two feet thick, every ten feet or so adding a T-bar of solid iron coated with granite for stability. My tunnels were about seven feet tall and five feet wide, and I put small crystals with light enchantments on the T-bar reinforcements. It took an hour to finally get within fifty feet of the river as I really took my time making sure that this was safe and not gonna come down around me. I wanted this new residence to be my main one, with a tunnel entrance and a water entrance.

  As I could feel that I was within fifty feet of the river, I began making the tunnel head down as the room to be directly under the river, my water sorcery keeping me mindful of exactly how far away the current was. I kept going until I was directly under the center of the Rappahannock river. I made a little room here and then made another large generator for me as this next part was going to require stupid amounts of power. I linked myself and Gungnir to it and then turned the power to max flow and got to work. I simultaneously turned the surrounding dirt and mud to stone, then slowly banished it to expand the room until I could fit a warehouse down here. When I finished making room, I used earth sorcery to put runes of strength, stability and concealment on the walls so that the new cave would not implode under the weight and force of the river. Now to make this efficient; I grasped the ceiling of the cavern with my sorcery and slowly made a pillar of stone grow up from the roof of the stone cavern until it was in the bottom of the river itself and then grow up some more, but not so that it was sticking out of the water. On this pillar, I used earth sorcery to put runes of kinetic conversion, so that the current of the river washing and pushing on the stone cylinder would constantly generate mana, and then I created a transference enchantment so that the mana generated from the kinetic action would drain into the runes keeping the entire cavern perfectly structurally sound. Placing small crystals with light enchantments after all of this was actually the hardest part as my mind was exhausted from all the channeling.

  I used flesh sorcery to temporarily refresh myself as I wanted to get this whole project done today. I conjured a thick stone cylinder that extended out of the roof of the cavern into the river, then I banished some of the stone inside it so that it was hollow, but with a stone seal every ten feet. This would serve as a river entrance with my water sorcery. I could get to the hollow cylinder by diving in the river, banish the stone seal and get in, then seal it back up and banish some of the water, and repeat until I traveled through it to my cavern. This was the emergency entrance/exit if I needed it as it had so many steps to get in and out. The main way to get in would be using nature sorcery to walk into the hollow tree that I was going to grow on the river bank, and using the stairs to get to the tunnel, which is what I went outside to finish.

  Night had fully fallen by the time I finished making the secondary entrance tunnel with stairs and growing the oak tree and convincing it that being hollow was in fact not a bad thing. Three entrances to my main home, and it had a generator to start my next round of projects. My hands were coming off the hollow oak tree when I heard a whine behind me. I whirled around with Gungnir pointing at the source of the sound, the glow of the blade illuminating a small dog, cowering in the sudden bright light. My back was to the tree, so I didn’t have to fear a threat from that specific direction, but that didn’t stop me from using my magical senses to assault the area to try to find the dog’s friends. I didn’t sense anything other than this beat mutt, weird, dogs usually run in packs. I turned Gungnir into a knife and pivoted my hold so that the blade was running along my forearm, not pointed at the dog. With my left hand, I pulled a can of beef soup out and placed it on the ground. Conjuring a small bowl, I popped the can and poured it in, not taking my eyes off the dog.

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