I’m... I’m awake?
With Francis resting on my shoulder and my head resting atop his, I find myself back on the Amtrak train headed towards the fabled mystical city of Los Angeles.
But just seconds ago, I was on Mystix still. I was with Rare, my long-lost sibling who had not yet to even begin explaining what had happened to them and how they gained such immense magical powers. I was with Miss M and Malia, the last surviving members of Team Fanghook after nearly one hundred years had passed since I died.
We were about to enter the Tomb of Eryk Solbourne, and...
Now I’m awake all of a sudden.
Back on Earth.
This is some pretty disconcerting stuff. I don’t recall any specific moment waking up. Nothing dramatic happening to propel me away from Mystix and making my ghostly figure dissipate.
I was just in the catacombs, and now I am here again.
For a normal dream, this would be completely understandable, even typical. But when I have such dramatic stakes such as the fate of my own existence, it throws me off completely and makes me extremely upset.
I genuinely hate this.
Why must I be catapulted between worlds in such a haphazard and annoying fashion? It is a constant and distressing situation that I am growing to despise.
I need a drink.
For the fact that it is currently the middle of the morning, by my understanding of the way the Earth’s sun rises and sets, I probably should not be drinking any alcohol at this time of day. What a sorrowful life I must live until then.
What Rare said...
They told me that Earth was fake. That it was my imagination. Some sort of illusion created by The Goddess to fool me into staying trapped without my full power. I don’t understand what they were trying to say, but it makes no sense. Why in The Goddess’s name would I—Oh, perhaps it is not appropriate to use The Goddess’s name in vain in a situation like this. Let me try again.
Why in the world would I conjure up with my own thoughts a world where I fight almost nothing, where such things as video games and snack foods exist, where I am joined by a woman-loving woman who has no interest in me, and by an energetic man who lives his life as a stramer? I simply cannot fathom how any of this could be fake or fiction.
My mind is unsettled, and I decide not to think on these things anymore, especially since there is nothing I can do about it until the next time I dream.
Instead... perhaps I should think about my status as a hero. Specifically, my Destiny Deck System and all of those things I have been neglecting for some time.
First, let’s look at my Life Points:
Oh, wow, that’s getting pretty low. I could coast for approximately a day and a half before that gets dangerously low, but I do know that I have quite a lot of Destiny Points at the moment—57 DP, to be quite exact. Now may be the right time to level up.
But do I really need a full heal just yet? It almost feels like a waste when a level up would only award me something around nine thousand Life Points.
I know what this calls for... Destiny Card drawing! Yeah! I love drawing Destiny Cards so much!
Let’s look at my hand right now:
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Satchel (Size: Extra Large).
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: (Empty)
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow.
Transmigrated Spirit: Rank 3. Summon an otherworldly spirit to assist for five minutes. Cost: 444 LP.
Three empty slots. That’s not a lot to work with if I get in a dicey situation, such as being ambushed during this very train trip. Just a few days ago, those South African Secret Service people did that exact thing, so I mustn’t be too careful. [Transmigrated Spirit] is a powerful card worth saving, but it is also far too unpredictable to be the only card I can actively use.
And furthermore, my second inventory slot is empty! I lost my gun in the fight with Pablo Rosas, whose olive oil diet turned him into a speedy fighting machine. Such a powerful weapon, and it fell out of my grasp almost immediately. What a horrible situation...
Well, anyway, I guess I very much should be summoning some new Destiny Cards. And while I have plenty of Destiny Points to do that with, I still want to save those so I can level up anytime I need. I’m so close to Rank C at this point that I am honestly a fool for not blowing all my Destiny Points in a mad rush to reach that point.
Continuing to be a mad fool, I decide to draw three cards with my Life Points—
Well, there goes my life spirit.
Drop: Rank 1. Make someone fall over. Cost: 80 LP.
Parch: Rank 2. Drain someone/thing of fluid and absorb it to become less thirsty. (It would take a few minutes of sustained parching to suck all fluid from a human and kill them, in case you were wondering.) Cost: 350 LP.
Geochange: Rank 2. Change the matter type of one 10-foot cube of land.
Oh, these are... Some pretty odd cards.
[Drop] is one of those nearly useless basic cards that do little but suck up your inventory space and prove amusing in some hilarious situation down the line. It is only nominally more useful than [Fireball,] and that’s the most important and common card that a low-rank [Adventurer] can receive.
[Parch] is... Well, it’s pretty obvious what [Parch] is. And it’s not very useful in any situation outside of deserts and covert assassinations, neither of which I have any plans to be in in the near future.
So actually, I’m scrapping that one right now. Goodbye,[Parch.] Now to say hello to half of your DP cost, rounded down to the nearest whole number. Wait, that’s still 1.
Time to sacrifice my Life Points for yet another card, then....
Major Heal: Rank 4. Gain 3,000 LP. Cost: 0 LP.
You know what...
I really dislike that is is the card I received.
Sure, getting three thousand more Life Points would allow me to spend even more on new cards and that would be fun, but it would basically compel me to scrap more of these cards I have received in order to make good use of the extra points I received.
Therefore, my path is actually...
Just scrapping this card as well.
Goodbye, [Major Heal.]
Now time to draw yet one more card with my Life Points!
Here it... is......?
Empathetic Link: Rank 7. Create a Mental Link with a target sentient being. Cost: 5500 LP.
What in blue blazes is this?