A note from InadvisablyCompelled


She felt better than she had in a long time. Maybe ever. Never before had [Endurance] buoyed her so much or [Longstrider] been so quick. Even Luck was back, that sense of twisting probabilities just outside of control.

[Seeker], which had fallen to an intuitive murmur she could barely grasp, and had been on the verge of going out completely, now shone like a beacon, telling her distance and direction. Her personal compass had two great blazing pyres of her Queen and that dungeon.

If dungeon it was.

She knew a little, very little about them. There were the Twelve Great Dungeons, of course, the wild ones whose roots burrowed down into the heart of the world and which nobody had found the bottom of. Or even gotten close. Not even the mage-kings. Then there were the pet cores the mage-kings did have.

The Great Dungeons were wild, full of things hideous and fantastic, larger on the inside than seemed possible, but entirely self-contained and secluded from the outside world. The mage-kings cores gave them half their power, with an insatiable appetite for living flesh and tendrils that reached out into the world. Neither of them were exactly hospitable, although she’d personally rate the latter as far worse than the former.

But none of them had black flesh. Great Dungeons, in the few areas the dungeon walls had been found and damaged - not as easy as one might think - bled grey. The mage-kings cores were all brown and red, an unpleasant color to her eyes. So this one was an oddity.

Seeing the house, she might have thought it was some rogue mage’s lair but for the fact there was nothing that was not dungeon-stuff but the items on the shelves. And all those were accounted for, given the flame knight badge.

And quite aside from being empty, it had never offered her harm.

Clearly it was capable of it. She wasn’t going to mourn the death of one of her tormentors or pursuers, but the question had to be asked how something with no monsters and a few traps could kill a flame knight in such a way that their very expensive armor remained intact. There was also the feeling of being watched that was far more intense than any other place she’d been.

It persisted even now, wasn’t exactly being watched. It was being watched over. Even stranger.

She felt [Luck] rising and humming, a sensation she’d nearly forgotten about, and gave it a push to go off and do whatever it intended. Probabilities twisted and changed and something out in the world went one way instead of another. It was a big one, exhausting like running a mile, but not as bad as it once had been.

Shayma stepped out of the trees onto the riverbank to find an empty fishing boat. The fisherman was nowhere in sight, so she could guess what exactly [Luck] had been doing. She felt a little guilty about taking the boat, but only a little. The sooner she got back to the city, the sooner she could convince them to leave.

If it wasn’t already too late.


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lomie0 ago

geh gone almost an hour and only 1 of the promised 4 more chapters is out D: the cruelty!!!

13lack12ose ago

how interesting, nice to finally see some of the world!

Thanks InadvisablyCompelled, much appreciated!

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