Beneath the Dragoneye Moons



Chapter 93– A Dozen Different Methods of Death


A note from Selkie

Longer chapter

Spring was here, spring was here! Life was skittles, and life was beer. The most wonderful thing about the late spring, though, was birthday time! Woohoo!

We were just about done with our round of Remus, and the Argo, along with the rest of us, was on a merchant boat, heading towards the capital. We’d hit all the towns we needed to, and going overland back to the capital would take too long. A nice, leisurely trip on the boat was just what the healer ordered, and was some solid winding-down time for everyone.

Heck, even the monsters didn’t bother us, but then again, there were virtually no monsters within shore-view of the Nostrum Sea. Most sailors swore up and down that there was something deeper in, and there were no ships that tried to directly cross the sea. Not anymore.

Not my problem! Being on the ship was boring, that was my problem. People we assumed were pirates sailed close to us at one point, saw the Ranger banner we had displayed, saw an eager Kallisto, Maximus, Julius, and Artemis, itching to blow off some steam, and kept right on sailing. We had fun throwing taunts after them.

I was straight-up banned from using any sort of Fire magic, short of the sails catching fire or something equally catastrophic. Which kinda sucked, because I was a level 59 [Pyromancer], and I was eager to see what my next mage skill would be.

I spent some time running up and down the length of the ship, until someone important-ish – I never got his name – yelled at me, and I went back to the Argo, for some more lessons. Work on the medicine manuscript I’d been writing, taking Markus’s suggestion to heart. I was down to polishing and editing it. Bah, editing. The bane of all writing. It made it better, but it was so boring, so tedious. So painful. I believed it would do the world some good, if only I could get some good PR on it. After some time I might leave and spar with someone – usually Artemis, usually without skills – have a meal, rinse, repeat.

I was in the Argo, lying on my back, feeling everything tilt one way… then the next. One way… then the next, gently rocked by waves. I threw a ball up and enjoyed watching it curve in interesting directions before coming back down. Caught it, repeated. Caught it, and –

We came to a jarring halt, causing me to roll over, ball hitting me on the head. I didn’t care – LAND!

I was off like a shot, out the rear of the Argo, around the front, there was the dock, pump the legs, go, go, go, get ready to jump, kiss the ground and-

Julius grabbed me.

“Elaine, perfect! Can you harness the horses to the wagon please?”


I nodded, Julius dropped me, and I trudged off to harness the horses, not quite being able to trade my sea legs for land legs yet.

A few hours later, I wished it was that easy to trade sea legs for land legs, as I bow-leggedly tried to run. Something about “struggling through adversity” or some nonsense.

“It’s funny to watch Elaine stumble around and make bets on it” was more what I thought was going on, with the sound of laughter and coins changing hands behind me.

“Why isn’t anyone else being made to run?” I asked, holding onto a tree for dear life.

“Because the rest of us know how to handle ourselves on dry land, and aren’t nearly so entertaining.” Maximus cheerfully retorted.

A few days later, a week away from the capital, I woke up in the Argo as usual, and bounced out of bed.

Birthday! Woohoo!

It was still dark, and Arthur and Maximus were still on night shift as I practically exploded out of the Argo. I had too much energy, and I burned it off running, jumping, cartwheeling, and generally making an early-morning nuisance out of myself.

Wasn’t every day a girl turned 16 after all.

I ducked, dodged, and generally blocked debris thrown at me from an annoyed Julius and Artemis, who were still trying to sleep. I only calmed down somewhat when Arthur pulled out a vial of something, and just held it up ominously.

Ok, ok, hint taken. I didn’t want to find out what that was. I wanted to enjoy my birthday, not spend it in the woods losing my lunch.

After way too long, everyone was up, the horses were fed, and breakfast was had.

“Happy birthday Elaine!” Artemis said. “You remembered this year!”

I stuck my tongue out at her.

“Ha! Anyways, here’s our gift to you.” She said, pulling out a package.

I carefully peeled into it, a luxurious black tunic showing up.

“It’s a bit big right now.” Julius said, as I turned it over, looking at it. “I took a brief run to the capital to get it made and had one of the highest level [Seamstress]es I knew work on it. One of her skills is a solid estimate of what size it needs to be in the future. The other? You can imbue it with your skills, and it’ll reflect them.”

I tilted my head, puzzled.

“It’ll throw off harmless flames.” Artemis said. “I have a similar tunic, throws off little lightning bolts. Great fun at parties!”

Ooooh nice.

We spent about another hour celebrating, then we were back on the road, tunic carefully tucked away in my chest.

I looked at my twoish years worth of loot. There wasn’t much. A full set of armor. Arcanite earrings, which had gotten more tiny stones embedded in them as I asked more [Jeweler]’s to improve them over time, a massive reservoir of mana for me in an emergency. My medicine manuscript, the original. I planned on getting it copied a dozen times over by some [Scribe]s once we reached the capital, then giving some copies to Markus, other healers, and honestly, anyone and anywhere I thought would be useful. The new woman’s tunic I’d just gotten, which on Earth would probably be described as a dress. A few trinkets, little mementos from some of the places I’d been.

I’d be in Ariminum for some time. I hope I could add some letters from my parents to the pile. How were they? I hope they were doing ok. It was easy to send letters to them. It was hard to get letters back, as I was constantly moving.

What I thought was an absurd amount of money. Julius had pulled me aside one day and mentioned I wasn’t even making a tenth of what I could be making in the capital, or most other towns, if I settled down and charged appropriately.

“I still choose to be a Ranger.” Was my response, which got a brilliant, beaming smile out of him. I did appreciate the candor; how honest and upfront he was about my situation. It’d sour our relationship if he’d tried to hide it, if he was anything less than totally honest with me.

I tried to repay his honesty with honesty of my own, and working my ass off, to make them all proud of me.

Notice I didn’t mention other tunics. That was because I’d ceased to think of them as “mine”, and they were more “what’s getting destroyed this week in training.” It wasn’t like I didn’t try to wash the blood out and stitch them back together. There was a point where it no longer mattered, where it was easier to chuck them and buy another set. For some reason, [Ranger’s Lore] didn’t help with stitching up tunics or washing blood out of them, which I thought was patently unfair.

After the party, Artemis had an announcement to make.

“Today’s a happy day. I don’t want to overshadow Elaine’s birthday, but I don’t want to have this come as a last second surprise.”

We all looked at her, with bated breath.

“I’m announcing that this is my last round as a Ranger. Teaching Elaine has been a great joy, and she’s been whispering about founding a school to teach magic to people of all ages. I’ve got years of pay socked away; I’m going to give it a shot. Gives me time to see old friends, make new friends.”

“Even better,” Julius said, riding the momentum. “We beat the odds! More than half of us survived!”

That got a grand cheer from us. Hurray to surviving! Hurray to beating the odds!

Well, that had the party extended, and we made it an even bigger party. A Ranger, retiring alive? Practically unheard of. A creature out of myth and legend.

Late afternoon, as we were happily moving along the home stretch, Arthur and Julius had a furious whisper session.

I was as curious as a cat, so I poked my head over.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Well…” Julius said, uncharacteristic hesitation on his face. “Do you want to find out now, or tomorrow?”

Well, when he put it like that, there was no way I’d say “tomorrow”.

“Now please!” I said eagerly.

Julius licked his lips nervously.

“As you know, how you became a Ranger was, shall we say, unconventional.

I nodded, none of this being new.

“Once we get to the capital, you’re going to be recommended for Ranger Academy, and go through their training. Complete the training, and you’ll be properly ratified as a Ranger.” He said.

I slowly nodded, not sure where this was going. Arthur interrupted.

“What Julius isn’t saying, is it’s his skin on the line if you fail out. Not because of a failed recommendation to Ranger Academy – because of the field promotion, followed by failure. They could strip him of his leadership role at best, kick him out entirely at worst.”

I blinked, taken aback. Julius looked pissed.

“I was hoping she’d go into it low-pressure.” He said.

Arthur shrugged. “Better that she know. Might help her hang on when it gets tough.”

“Anyways, the long and the short of it is, you’ll be expected to handle monsters of all types on your own, even as a healer. Part of, I suspect, why we just don’t have healers. Most can’t hold their own against even the weakest monster.” Julius said. “Arthur’s found a small enclave of goblins, and I was thinking to send you in there alone to take them out. Think of it as a sort of capstone to the round, proof of how far you’ve come, and a pre-entrance exam to the academy, all rolled into one.”

I slowly nodded. Made sense, with Julius putting his livelihood on the line for me. It wasn’t ideal, but goblins so close to a major population? Unlikely they could cause problems for the city, but there’d be some travelers they could waylay, and the heart of Remus, where we were in, where the capital was, had more lax restrictions on buildings. Nothing big and scary, apart from the monsters in the sky, made it this far in, and even then, there were enough powerful humans, [Ranger]s, [Mage]s, and more, that could shoot them down, let them know that “this area was off-limits.”

“How many?” I asked, getting my game-face on.

Julius and Arthur glanced at each other.

“10.” Arthur finally said. Julius raised an eyebrow at that.

“Fine, fine.” Julius said, raising his arms in surrender. “We should get settled in for the night, puts us closer to the goblins for you tomorrow.”

We did just that. Artemis and I were treated like the richest Senators, practically paraded around as we celebrated again. No need to worry about our food stores at this stage! We were on a fairly busy road, one of the main arteries of the Republic, and got a number of looks at the party we were throwing.

We politely declined some people who asked to join us. This was by Rangers, for Rangers.

I had the sense that tomorrow, it was back to chores for me, and Artemis would practically be carted back to the capital.

We got up the next morning, butterflies in my stomach. I slowly, carefully prepared myself in the morning. Hearty meal. Lots of water. Fresh, new tunic.

Maximus had adjusted my armor again. Laminar vest. Vambraces. Leather-and-metal skirt. Greaves-that-were-more-like-shin guards. Helmet.

Knife. Sword. Those were standard I could wear them, so why not. Spear. Shield. I was going to fight, to kill, not just as support. Swords were side-arms, flexible weapons for a dozen situations. Spears were the main weapons of war, of the cold calculus of death. They were no good in a cramped space, but if I could get some goblins out in the open? There was no better tool.

Goblins were weak enough that even with my low strength, my low physical stats, I could reasonably fight them. They probably had more physical stats than I did, but I was also sitting on a mountain of magical stats, which were my main weapons. The spear, the shield, and the rest were just a bonus, equipment making up any gaps in physical stats.

Killing with a spear took no mana.

Arthur and Artemis took me to where he’d spotted the goblins, Arthur in his usual scouting outfit – light armor – and Artemis in a red tunic, with just a short sword with her. I raised an eyebrow at her over that. She snorted at me.

“What? No monster in this part of Remus can hurt me. Classers can, and there’s more than enough of them in Ariminum, but not monsters.”

We snuck through the forest, birds singing, crows cawing, bushes rustling as various animals were startled by our passing. Lucky rabbit, we’re not hunting you today.

We arrived at the top of a hill, and Arthur pointed down. In a little clearing, in a depression in the forest, were a few goblins lazing about, one poking at a cooking pot of some sort. Arthur vanished, Artemis looked at me and nodded.

Here goes.

Goblins were fucking sentient, and it was a miserable day I discovered that. It meant I couldn’t just ambush and pick them off one at a time, they needed to attack me first. [Oath] wouldn’t let me initiate an attack. However, it didn’t mean I needed to be dumb about it. There was no way I’d just walk into their camp, and have a 10 vs 1 start. Good way to end up with Elaine in the cooking pot! Or worse.

I snuck around, trying to find some isolated goblins on sentry duty. Like they had the discipline to post sentries. Nah, more likely to find one returning from a hunt or something.

I carefully moved through the brush, not wanting to be visible to the main goblin “camp.”

I spotted a goblin, crouched over some plant or another. A mushroom? Whatever. I crouched down, and gently extending my spear, tapped him on the shoulder, immediately bracing myself.

I’d only gotten a little less than two years practice fighting, from the very first day Artemis taught me how to stand properly, how to fall properly, all the way how to carry and use a spear. With my build, with the time spent drilling versus other Ranger activities, by all reason, I shouldn’t be that good with a spear, with weapons, with fighting.

That’s where I got my most mileage out of [Ranger’s Lore]. It, quite frankly, helped me fight. Gave me instincts. Helped me move, guided my hand. The massive passive mana consumption it had, along with the level I’d gotten it to, finally made it good enough to use in a fight. Not as good as a dedicated skill to it, like [Fighting], but it was still strong.

But man, skills were weird. It basically translated to “learning about the judicial system in Remus and Ranger’s place in it also improved my ability to fight”. Which, by my old-Earth logic, made no sense.

By Pallos-logic, nothing was more natural.

The goblin jumped, turned, had a choice. Walk away, and I’d be helpless to stop him. Run to his camp, get his goblin buddies, attack as a group – nothing I could do there. Maybe be smart about it and retreat.

Be an utter moron, and charge the warrior who was braced with a spear at the ready.

Nobody gave goblins high marks for intelligence.

First method of death. Ran through the chest with a spear. Simple. Elegant. Bloody. Distant.

Not fast. The goblin clawed at me, trying to get to me, screaming at me, until his dying breath. My shield stopped that from being anything close to a problem, but hearing the slowly weakening fists on the shield made me shudder.

[*ding!* You have slain a [Goblin Forager] (Wood, lv 87)]

I reminded myself that I didn’t make him attack me. That if he was willing to attack a kitted “warrior” at the drop of a hat, he’d do the same to travelers.

To kids.

I had time. I carefully wiped the blood off the spear, wandered around to try and pick off any more goblins.

I was circling around, when I heard a guttural yell from my left. I started to whirl, keeping my spear close, my shield up, before realizing there was a bloody tree in the way of my spear.

Without a moment of hesitation, I dropped my spear, drawing the knife at my hip, as two goblins burst out, charging at me, practically on top of me.

I planted my shield down, as they were too close to do much else, one of them hitting the shield hard.

It was completely unneeded, but I took a deep breath in, then explosively breathed out, summoning flames as I did so, pumping their heat up as high as I could go with [Fire Manipulation] and [Burn Brightly]. Hey, I could pretend to be a dragon, right? The flames bathed the second goblin, causing him to yell in pain, rolling on the forest floor. I hopped back, unable to finish the goblin right now, unwilling to be any closer to a creature trying to kill me than I needed to be.

The first goblin got around the shield, the shield having done its job to buy me critical seconds to deal with the second goblin, and was on me a moment later, tiny dagger in his hands, stabbing at me, trying to reach my face, my eyes. I stabbed back, just as hard, us falling to the ground in a vicious, stabbing, bloody, rolling mess.

He ended up on top of me, knife in my face, as I got a notification.

[*ding!* You have slain a [Goblin skulker] (Water, lv 83)]

Second method of death. A brutal knife fight. I couldn’t tell exactly which wound had done him in, or the combination. With a squelch, I extracted my hand – and knife – from his guts, and stood up.

I peeled the dagger out of my face, using [Phases of the Moon] as I did so, imagining the flesh, tendons, blood and muscle being fixed and restored as I did so. It came out, and I threw it off to the side with a disgusted clatter. The blow hadn’t been worth using [Veil] to shield, as it was cheaper to heal the injury, than to block it.

I didn’t want to think where, exactly, that knife had been. A surgeon would physically throw anyone out of the hospital who’d offered it to her for surgery.

I walked over to the second goblin, lying down, still. I hadn’t gotten a notification yet, but he looked out of it. Did I need to heal him? He was no longer a threat. He…

[*ding!* You have slain a [Goblin rogue] (Dark, lv 84)]

The System blessedly fixed my musings.

Third method of death. Technically, heart failure. The burns all over his body caused blood and other vital fluids to leak away, causing a fatal drop in blood pressure. The cardiovascular system couldn’t keep up, desperately trying to pump nothing, coming to a stop. Was it a lack of air to the brain? When is a creature truly dead?

Right now, it didn’t matter.

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Pyromancer] has leveled up to level 60! +5 Free Stats, +14 Mana, +8 Mana Regen, +14 Magic power, +8 Magic Control from your Class! +1 Free Stat for being Human! +1 Strength from your Element!]

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Fire Affinity] has reached level 60!]

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Fire Conjuration] has reached level 60!]

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Fire Manipulation] has reached level 60!]

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Fire Resistance] has reached level 60!]

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Fuel for the Fire] has reached level 60!]

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Burn Brightly] has reached level 60!]

[*ding!* For reaching level 60, you’ve unlocked the Class Skill [Rapidash]!]

[Upgrade [Running] to [Rapidash]? Y/N]

Rapidash: Move as fast as wildfire, run as quickly as a blaze. Increased speed per level.

I hesitated a moment, then took the skill, watching my [Running] vanish, to be replaced by a level 60 [Rapidash]. Perfect. Free general skill slot to boot. I’d need to work with Artemis to see what I could take for that new, open slot.

I wiped my knife clean and sheathed it. I spent a moment practicing with [Rapidash], running back and forth, enjoying my explosive speed at times.

I’d need a lot more work with the skill, a lot more practice. Right now, I didn’t have the time or the mana for it, and I was leaving little burning trails behind me. In a forest.

I’d be so doomed if I started a forest fire here. Execution was exceedingly rare as a punishment. In the entire round, with all the criminals we’d dealt with, with all the murders we’d handled, there was a single case where Julius had determined execution was the right punishment, ignoring Classers that couldn’t be captured, only put down. The corrupt officer from the 3rd who’d let a bunch of potential plague-carriers out of the town. The army had different rules to boot. But if, somehow, I managed to start a forest fire big enough to burn down the capital, I’m sure I’d face the executioner’s axe.

Which generally took the form of being thrown into the arena, and monsters and gladiators being sent at you until you died. Might as well get some coin and entertainment out of criminals. Better than sticking them on a cross outside of town, and potentially luring monsters closer, teaching them that humans were on the menu.

All the noise from the fight, and from my testing my new skill, had the goblins charge up to me. [Vigilant] gave me a moment of heads up. Instead of immediately charging at me, they used some skills, some tactics, to start slowly circling me. The two dead goblins at my feet made them wary.

I drew my short sword. I had no time to try and find my spear; nor pick it up even if I knew where it was. They’d pounce at that weakness.

They slowly circled me as I twisted and turned, not quite sure the best way to handle this. I knew I didn’t want to give them more time to get into position, otherwise I’d just start eating attacks from behind, eventually getting overwhelmed and killed – or worse.

If they weren’t going to come to me, I’d go to them. With a roar, I burst forward at a goblin with [Rapidash], keeping my shield solidly in front of me, activating the inscriptions Origen had left in my armor. The decaying inscriptions, which probably only had one or two uses, or months, left in them. I’d wanted to keep them as a memento, but there was no point if I was dead.

Ramming the goblin with my shield worked far too well, and I didn’t even need to stab with my knife as the goblin’s head stayed put while the rest of him moved, and I got a notification.

[*ding!* You have slain a [Goblin Chef] (Fire, lv 91)]

Fourth method of death: Skill-empowered shield rush, resulting in a broken neck.

However, that was not a sustainable method. I felt my arm, my shoulder, my clavicle, go snap, crackle, pop in the most disconcerting way, my arm and shield slumping, no longer responding to my commands properly. I wasn’t a physical fighter, I didn’t have the vitality to be running around the field, smashing into goblins. I was being turned into paste, just like they were.

My money on a paste-contest was the goblins winning.

There were two goblins near the [Goblin Chef] that I’d just battered, and they swiped out at me, one stabbing with a rusty blade, the other slashing with a knife. The stab would be nasty to heal. The slash would end up light.

I threw up a small [Veil], hopefully too small for the goblins to see what had stopped it, large enough to cover the blow, over the rusty blade heading towards me. I threw my arm in the way of the knife, working on deflecting it like I’d trained with Julius, letting it clatter over my vambrace, pushing me slightly off-balance.

I was out of the circle though, and I fled even further with [Rapidash], getting more distance on them. I quickly focused on my broken bones, healing myself with [Phases of the Moon]. I checked my mana.


Plenty of mana left.

I was a mage, not a fighter. Magic stats, not physical. My blades were my last resort, my desperation in-close, not my first move. It had been right to kill the first goblin with the spear – it was easy enough. The second time I was in single combat, it had been wrong to tussle with blades. I wasn’t a close-in fighter, I shouldn’t be letting monsters fight their way. It was a miracle I’d survived that.

I wasn’t making that mistake again.

[Vigilant] was basically useless, since it was constantly alerting me to monsters, but I paid attention to a slightly higher spike of alarm, forcing my screaming muscles to lift up my shield as a crude arrow came in, clattering harmlessly on the shield.

Fine. Extra complications.

The goblins weren’t for tactics anymore, as they rushed over to me, screaming warcries. I really, really hoped Arthur had properly scouted the area, and I wasn’t going to get flooded by more surprise goblins.

It’d be just like him to do something like that, add a few extra goblins to the mix to make it hard, keep me on my toes.

Charging like they were made it a bit easier on me. I threw out a thin, condensed jet of flames, as hot as I could, at the lead goblin’s head and chest. I then threw myself backwards without looking, [Rapidash] working in both directions, and repeating myself twice more, putting so much force, so much heat and mana, behind each jet of flames, spending a few seconds channeling each time, that they just burned and charred their way through the goblins entirely.

No stopping power my ass. Just needed more firepower, that’s all.

Fifth method of death: Torso and head removed by a massive gout of flames.

Sixth method of death: No heart or lungs, removed by a jet of fire.

Seventh method of death: Throat and carotid artery sliced finely, cauterized, burned out, by a thin whip of condensed fire, so close to plasma.

Each kill faster. Each kill more efficient. A small, distant part of me was screaming that I was becoming an efficient killer, that I was a healer, and what was I doing!? I ruthlessly squashed that part of me. Right now, it was me or them. They could walk away. They weren’t.

On the third jump backwards, I rammed into a tree, dazing myself, causing me to fall forward, slump to the ground.

I came to a few moments later, feeling grimy goblin hands feeling me, a goblin standing on me, tearing at my armor. Goblin teeth in my thigh.

I screamed, and unleashed chaotic flames in every direction, wildly stabbing around me with the sword still in my hand. Three notifications later, stopped, only to realize my clothes, the tunic under my armor, the little leather straps keeping my armor together, were on fire, that I’d melted some of the little metal rivets, and they were melting into my skin, burning into my flesh.

[Fire Resistance] didn’t extend to my own clothes. Nor did it work on heated metal pressed into me, branding me.

I would’ve stopped, dropped, and rolled, if I hadn’t already completed the first two steps. I rolled, putting some physical effort into extinguishing the flames, before seizing them and extinguishing them with [Fire Manipulation].

The metal was harder, but was cooling off. I only kept my head thanks to [Center of the Galaxy], but I hit myself with [Vastness of the Stars] to shore it up. I then took my knife, and carefully sliced into myself, gouging out the cooling metal, healing myself with [Phases].

That didn’t quite get everything, and I drew in mana from my earrings, and did a poorly-imaged, full-body [Phases of the Moon] on myself, bringing me back to fully healed. Thankfully, the goblin archer had decided to approach me when I brained myself, preventing a game of cat-and-mouse.

Eighth method of death: Multiple stab wounds from a short sword.

Ninth method of death: Tried to substitute air with fire.

Tenth method of death: Burning.

My outfit was basically completely destroyed, to the point where I’m not sure Maximus could even fix it. There was basically nothing leather left, all the tiny straps burnt away. I was no blacksmith, but I suspected there was some fancy metal-ness going on with the armor, stuff that had been completely destroyed by heating and cooling it down. It’s why I’d been told not to bother with making flaming swords and spears, it just did something to ruin the metal. One point for a mage not wearing armor – they didn’t need to deal with it melting into them when they cast their own spell too closely.

Mages wearing armor had gotten thirty something points this fight. At least.

I waited a few minutes for things to cool off enough for me to carry them back, gathered them up, and looked around, spotting Artemis with her bright splash of red standing on a hill.

Oh. Right. She’d never left; I’d been watched over the entire time. Nerves of steel from her to let the goblins literally climb on me without interfering.

Then I saw him. An 11th goblin. A clever, sneaky, quiet goblin.

One that had been taking a nap, high up in a tree. One with a long, mean butcher’s knife. One right above Artemis, who silently, stealthily let go of his branch, falling to Artemis’s head.

I was nowhere close; I couldn’t do anything. It didn’t stop me from screaming out, from trying to throw a [Veil of the Aurora] as far as I could, hoping against hope that it’d reach, that it’d block the silent, lethal blow from above.

Eleventh method of death: Decapitation.

I was nowhere near powerful enough to heal an injury like that; heck, calling it an injury would be a massive understatement. Decapitation was more than a lethal wound, and I wasn’t in range for [Moonlight], even if there was a moon out. The [Veil of the Aurora] didn’t reach; didn’t come close.

A massive crack split the air, a pillar of lightning erupted, blinding me, deafening me.

Twelfth method of death: A massive lightning bolt, striking three times.

Alternatively: Getting too close to a twitchy Artemis.

I practically cried as I ran up the hill, stumbling, falling at times as I tried to blink the flash out of my eyes, as my ears bled. I dropped my armor when I got close, giving her a huge hug, crying into her tunic.

“There, there healy-bug.” Artemis said, consoling me. “I’m ok. I’m fine. I’m a cut above the rest.”


[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 16]

[Mana: 30/16760]

[Mana Regen: 20363]


[Free Stats: 138]

[Strength: 116]

[Dexterity: 218]

[Vitality: 135]

[Speed: 220]

[Mana: 1676]

[Mana Regeneration: 2343]

[Magic Power: 1466]

[Magic Control: 2009]

[Class 1: [Constellation of the Healer - Celestial: Lv 186]]

[Celestial Affinity: 186]

[Warmth of the Sun: 158]

[Medicine: 184]

[Center of the Galaxy: 158]

[Phases of the Moon: 186]

[Moonlight: 104]

[Veil of the Aurora: 145]

[Vastness of the Stars: 135]

[Class 2: [Pyromancer - Fire: Lv 60]]

[Fire Affinity: 60]

[Fire Resistance: 60]

[Fire Conjuration: 60]

[Fire Manipulation: 60]

[Fuel for the Fire: 60]

[Burn Brightly: 60]

[Rapidash: 60]

[: ]

[Class 3: Locked]

General Skills

[Identify: 96]

[Recollection of a Distant Life: 111]

[Pretty: 120]

[Vigilant: 130]

[Oath of Elaine to Lyra: 167]

[Ranger's Lore: 129]

[: ]

[Learning: 148]

A note from Selkie

Since there was some confusion on Patreon - Artemis is alive. Elaine spent a moment wondering though, and therefore, so do you.

"The mentor dies" trope subverted!

How many death flags did you spot in the chapter?

If you could give me an advanced review, that'd be great. They're weighted more heavily than anything else, and I've been looking carefully at trending - it's clear that the rating the novel has is super important. Hence, advanced reviews help me go up in the trending list. They help more people see it, which gets more people rating and following it, which has a synergistic effect that hopefully turns into a runaway effect, which gets enough people interested that I get to do this full-time. Seriously, it matters, and it helps.

BTDEM is bog standard in many ways. However, I'm willing to do things that turn some readers off - and so far, more of my reviews have been from people that I make mad more than people who are happy. Just how the internet works. I'm hoping some of you that are enjoying things are willing to leave reviews or advanced reviews. They matter. You matter.

Help keep BTDEM going - it's as simple as rating, as easy as reviewing.

Or you can help pay my rent, which is a MUCH more direct way of keeping things going! It's the start of the month after all, max Patreon benefits!

Discord for chatting:

Now, if you'd like to help me pay my rent, you can! With 10 advanced chapters, bonus chapters, bonus worldbuilding content, discord roles, and more!





Book 1 of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is for sale on Amazon! Click Here to be taken to it!

Book 2 of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is for sale on Amazon! Click Here to be taken to it!


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