The watery remnants of the cultist escaped through the cracks in the tiling.
A shimmering outline of the hand prepared to chase, but was ultimately pulled back to some place it should've never left.

All the remained was Hannah herself, sitting on the temple floor.
If it wasn't for the icy fingerprints etched into her arm, she could've almost convinced herself that nothing had happened.

As much as she hated to admit it, the woman had been right. There was a wash of power the moment you became a quest-giver. A sense of familiarity upon facing danger, like it was an everyday occurrence. And for an "Explorer" it might very well be, which it what Hannah was — or at least that's she had been told.

Thinking back she had been unnaturally level-headed during it all. Barely twelve hours ago she would've been amazed if she had been able to keep herself from crying during her captivity in the goblin stronghold, let alone plan some kind of escape. Something in her mind had been telling her that she was far beyond capable. An asset. A down-right god-send for those poor heroes that happened to have been locked in the cage beside hers. The harsh reality was that Hannah was weak.

She swallowed and clutched her right arm. They would've all died fighting the goblins if it wasn't for [Madam].
Hannah let go of the sword-whip. The weapon rattled contently beside her, looking up.
For a moment, Hannah felt they had their gazed locked on one another — even though the weapon had none.

The sword rattled playfully, it nudged itself between Hannah's fingers, desiring to be wielded.

Even though she was absentmindedly watching a sword crawl between her fingers, it didn't hurt.
"Ah," she said, "Your guard has come loose, so that's where the rattle comes from."

The sword seemed to consider this, the tip of the blade staring at Hannah then back at it's own hilt.
It shook the hilt. The guard tinked this way and that, the sound turning to a rattle as it the weapon shook it rapidly.

Hannah felt the tip of the weapon nudge her fingers again, longing to be held.
She pulled her hand away.

A grand betrayal. The tip of the weapon zipped in her direction.
It was only by means of a timely dodge that she avoided being skewered. Hannah quickly got to her feet.

They stood there for a moment, starting. Gently, the weapon slid itself around Hannah's foot.
It coiled across her leg, towards her torso. An unwelcome memory of a certain hobgoblin caused Hannah's breath to catch in her throat as the weapon worked itself towards her arm.

It slapped her cheek with the hilt as it passed the shoulders.
Finally, it settled itself neatly in her hand. It rattled the loose guard smugly.

The crazy woman had been right.
And maybe not that crazy.


Reader choice (Build):
Risk it all. Madam doesn't seem to be killing you so far. Specialise in weaponry.
Figure out this 'essence' thing.
Extra: You have a new god and religion. Maybe that should have a bit more focus?
Leave [Madam] with the monks for now, focus on getting your own abilities and the path of the quest-giver.



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