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Dwarfs are real, I mean Stone Kin. I don’t care, my Tolkien fantasies are alive again. I can’t believe I’ve been reborn in a fantasy world and I forgot to ask about other races. Doesn’t matter, as soon as we’re out of this forest I can meet a Stone Kin.

Why can’t we get there sooner? Looking back, I see dad walking at a brisk pace. I’m just about to call out for him to walk faster when I see the humongous backpack of wood he is carrying. I almost forgot about our haul.

Shifting on my feet, my own backpack almost causes me to fall over. More aware of our circumstances, I calm myself down with a quick use of Meditation. Rushing won’t help anyone.

I have to be carrying at least 100 pounds on my back right now and only feel it when I move too quickly. Dad has a whopping 800 pounds on his and the only evidence the weight is affecting him is his slower movement.

“Hey dad, what are you going to do with the pile we left behind?” I asked him, curious about the neat pile we stacked next to the tree stump.

“I’ll go back tomorrow and grab what’s left, even if I have to make two trips, I can finish by dinner time.” He looks confident but that’s still a lot of wood left.

Looking up at the canopy, I can’t see the sun. Do we even have enough time to make it home? “Dad, how far from home are we? What do we do if we can’t make it home in time?”

“Don’t worry, if we keep this pace, we’ll make it to Del’s in a few hours. It always takes me most of the day to find and process the trees I need.”

“So… how do you know where we’re going? Do you have a direction skill or something?” Looking around, the forest seems to stretch forever in a sea of green. Dad told us he invested almost no points in the Senses stat, so how is he finding his way?

“No, I never had any talent with skills like that. I learned from my father how to recognize the different ways trees grow. It took me years to get a sense of it.”

“Just to make you feel better, the village is directly that way, and north is there, south, west and finally east.” Watching him point out the directions so precisely settled my mind immensely.

“So, when are you going to let your mother teach you house work? They’re good skills to have.”

It’s going to be a long walk back.

 


 

Is jinxing a real thing with magic? We had the most leisurely stroll through the forest I thought possible and when dad says we’re almost home, something happens. Is luck a hidden stat somewhere?

We just crested a small hill and 20 feet in front of us is a humongous monster digging a hole. This thing looks like two bears fused together, if you looked at a bear walking on the ground and stuck a whole other bear where its head was, you’d get this monstrosity.

The bear-taur has a ridge of spikes down its back and must be at least 12 feet tall. The monster has four paws on its upper body with claws digging through the rocky forest floor like butter.

I never saw a wild bear back on earth but this thing makes bears on Discovery channel look like Winnie-the-poo.

I can’t look away from the beast, my whole body is paralyzed from fear. What do I do, am I going to die again?

“Karhu”, I hear whispered in my ear.

Shuddering, I feel my father’s hands slowly pulling me back. My legs won’t stop shaking and if father wasn’t bracing me, I would have fallen over.

Feeling the breeze push against my back, it feels like my spine is frozen.

The karhu starts sniffing deeply into the air and looks directly up at us.

“Take off your pack and run for the village sweety.” Dad tells me in a steady voice.

What is he talking about? I turn around to ask him why, only to see him standing with his axe ready, and his wood thrown behind him.

Suddenly, onehanded, he grabs me and tosses me to the side. As I hit the ground and roll, "Rrraaaaaaaaaaa" I hear a roar that almost makes me pee myself. I cover my ears trying to get the sound out of my head.

When the ringing of my ears stops, I look down at my hands with shaky vision. Blood, touching my ears again there’re wet. That things roar was so powerful it made my ears bleed.

Looking down at the bottom of the hill the Karhu vanished!

“HHHAAAAAA!” a much more human roar to my left draws my attention.

“AALIYAH RUN!” dad yells at me. He’s facing the monster with his axe.

The creature is forcing dad back, little by little. Each swing from either of them draws blood and sounds like a gunshot.

Dad looks at me for a moment and loses his concentration. One of the massive paws flash in front of him. His vest is torn and blood starts spilling onto the ground.

Why did he look away?

“Run Away”, I hear him say softer again.

Oh no, did he lose his focus because of me? He’s going to die because I distracted him?

I turn around and run into the forest.

I can’t tell which direction I’m going; my tears are making everything blurry, and my head is still ringing. The bushes scratch against my skin, while I taste blood in my mouth. I can barely run straight.

The village has to be in this direction!

I’ll find one of the hunters!

They can save dad!

Maybe the villagers could hear me from here!

“HELP!”

“HELP!”

“HELP!”

Why is no one coming to save him?

Running too fast I trip over something.

Lying face down in some leaves and dirt, I start sobbing… because of me… because of me, dad got hurt!

If I wasn’t with him, this wouldn’t have happened.

Crackkk

Sitting up, I hear footsteps form the bushes across from me. Someone came to help us! We still have time to save dad!

All my hope vanishes as the two creatures walk out of the bushes.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a goblin. As they step outside the bushes, I can see their gray skin that looks like wrinkled leather. Their red eyes, pointed ears, and sharp teeth give me a savage look like they just found something delicious.

Looking around for my axe, I realized that I left it on the hill. I must have dropped it as father threw me to safety.

AAAggggg

The little child sized monsters run at me naked, screaming.

They’re so much faster than I thought possible. Both of them jump on me and start trying to bite and scratch me. It feels like two cats are using me like scratching post, each pass more and more blood covers my body.

Trying to kick them off, they shift and each grab one of my arms. I try use my strength to keep them away from be but they keep getting closer to my head. Looking to the one on my left, I notice he’s aroused.

I quickly remember what goblins were known for back on earth. I never heard of anything like that around our village, but parents usually don’t talk about the details about what goblins do to humans in general.

A strong force I never knew I had bubbles up in my chest. Righteous fury overtakes me and I do the first thing that pops into my head.

I grab ahold of their arms as they try to restrain me. Using everything I have; I start to pump my mana out of my palms and force it into them. My mana is passing through some sort of barrier that’s fighting back.

It takes a few seconds, but now there’re trying to escape my grasp! Slowly, blue lines crawl up their arms. I can feel my mana drop below 200, doesn’t matter, I keep forcing it into them.

The goblins are flailing around now clawing at their skin.

My mana is almost out.

It’s hard to pay attention to the goblins anymore.

It looks like their skin is flaking off into blue woodchips. The flakes dance in the air and disintegrate in the air.

The last thing I see before I pass out, is the two smoldering goblin corpses lying either side of me.

 


 

I feel so empty. Like I’m floating in and out of clouds in an endless sky. No need for up or down, completely free.

Did I die again?

The memories slowly come back to me, I got father killed! I ruined my chance at another life.

I deserve to float here for an eternity.

 


 

I don’t know how long I’ve been floating in the sky but I can see a yellow sun now. The sun’s rays slowly fall on me and with its warmth, I can feel my body again. A small jolt and I’m awake.

“Dear gods I hate it when they open their eyes like that!” Anastasias' is staring down at me.

Looking up, that’s not my ceiling, “Where am I?” I can’t move, my body feels like a mix of numbness and pain.

“Stop trying to move! Silvia control her or I’ll stop healing!”

I feel someone grab my hand, looking over slowly its “mother”. “Shuu Aaliyah, don’t move I’m right here.”

Seeing mother smiling down on me I try to cry but nothing comes out. “I’m sorry”, I hiccup.

“Dad died because of me!”

“Aaliyah?”

“I didn’t run away fast enough!”

“Aaliyah!”

“If I wasn’t there the karhu wouldn’t have eaten him!”

“Aaliyah!” … “Your father isn’t dead, he’s home resting. Once Anastasia finishes healing you, we can go home and you can see him for yourself. He’s fine.”

“But how?” I stare at mother. He looked so injured when I left the hill.

“Did you hear your father's roar?” Seeing my head nod slightly she continued. “He knew he was close enough to the village someone would hear him. The hunters could tell it wasn’t a beast’s roar so they came to help.”

“After the three closest hunters came, they killed the karhu and split up. One of them took your father back to the village while the other two went looking for you.”

“They were quite surprised following your trail, you ran three miles into the deeper part of the forest before collapsing.”

“I thought I was running towards the village.” I tried to defend my actions but mom only smiled down towards me.

“How bad is it?” I ask looking back up at Anastasia

“You’ve been unconscious for two days.” She says in a neutral voice. I what!

“Don’t give me that look. When I first examined you, you only had some scratches and bruises. I decided to focus on your father who was much more injured than you. You were given minor treatment to keep you stable and when Darrius was able to walk, I started treating you full time.”

“You were lucky you didn’t run into anything in the forest. If you were caught by goblins, they would have…”

“Anastasia, I don’t think she needs to hear about that right now!” Mom interrupts Anastasia with a glare.

What do they mean I “didn’t run into any goblins”, didn’t they see the bodyies next to me?

The image of the goblins peeling apart comes to mind. Did the goblins completely disintegrate before they found me? I wonder if that happens to anything you pump mana into. Maybe I can trap some rats around the stable to test my theory.

“Child you need to lay off the vitality. I know your parents probably told you how important it is but you shouldn’t put all your points into it. It helps you take more damage but also a lot longer to heal.”

I disagree, if my vitality was lower, I might have passed out from the goblin attack. I can’t imagine the horrible things that could have happened to me if they knocked me unconscious.

They are the first monsters I’ve killed though; I wonder what my stats are now, Status Page:

LV: 37 Experience: 34,176/ 43,318
Health: 829/1000 Stamina: 54/666 Mana: 117/500
Vitality: 100
Endurance: 50
Strength: 50
Dexterity: 50
Senses: 50
Mind: 50
Magic: 50
Clarity: 50
Status Points: 96
Skills: Sense Mana (LV43), Acting (LV25), Meditation (LV40), Expel mana (LV27), Charm (LV32), Running (LV31), Cleaning (LV12), Mathematics (LV26), Writing (LV12), Mana Manipulation (LV5), Wood Carving (LV6), Drawing (LV3), Axe Skills (LV2), Inject mana (LV1)

Two new skills and all my mana skills leveled up like crazy. Too bad I wasn’t paying attention when I got Inject Mana, I can’t tell what grade the skill is.

My health isn’t that low, but its been three days and I’ve only regained 117 mana! How long is it going to take to refill me completely again?

I go into a quick meditative state and use Sense Mana to see what’s going on. Wow, my mana network looks separated into tiny parts. My mana always looked like one continuous stream but now there’s gaps everywhere. Trying to touch my mana with Mana Manipulation sends a shock throughout my body.

“I told you not to MOVE!” Anastasia glares at me and then at mom. “Take her home if she’s able to move this much she should be fine. Same thing as Darrius bed rest for the next few days, and for payment I want the karhu pelt.”

“Fine you can have it.” Mom slowly helps me up to my feet. It feels like I’m using my legs again after a long time. Mother and Anastasia are still glaring at each other and even though she’s really rude, she did save dad's life.

After making eye contact, I bow my head, “Thank you so much for saving father.”

She looks like she is about to yell at me for sassing her, stopping though when she sees the very sincere look on my face. I think I’m about to cry again.

“I’ll never forget this; if you ever need help with something, just ask.”

Mother and Anastasia look shocked at my words.

“No need to thank me I’ve already been paid… I better not see you back here again anytime soon.” I see her trademark scowl slips for a second as we leave her house. So, she does have a heart after all.

Walking home slowly, I think about the next few days: it’s going to be hard if I can’t practice my mana to kill time.

I hope my next adventure won’t be as perilous as that again.

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A note from kosnik4

I want to thank Dan Chekanov for being the first to review my work. I hope to live up to your flattering words.

 

I also want to thank all my followers; I finally broke 100. Please continue to rate my work.

 

As always if you see something wrong please point it out. I live for criticism.

 

Have a great night and stay safe.


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kosnik4

Bio: Just love a good story.

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