Today’s training was postponed when Ogrou gave us all strange blue bands with deep crimson stones set into them. He took his time explaining to us that these are special cuffs that allow communication over long distances. This will allow him to give orders regardless of whether he’s there or not.
The efficiency of his army has just increased tenfold. Seriously!!?
Another thing about the bracers is that they are also enchanted, by him, to have certain properties. They contain magic for [Regeneration], [Lesser Strength] and [Lesser Dexterity].
These however are only set to trigger in specific circumstances.
As evident when the torn skin around the bracer, from when it bite into the flesh of my forearm as it was being fitted, began to heal its self. I also felt a surge of power flow through me quickly followed by a wave of exhaustion.
The regeneration ability only enhances our natural healing ability by supercharging it but this comes at the cost of burning through our energy.
Thankfully the other two enchants are also triggered at the same time so that while we heal we are given a boost in combat ability. It’s the so called O’shi button. Although minor wounds like cuts and scrapes close in a short time I doubt it has enough power to regrow limbs.
For something like that we have the medical corp. These bracers just allow us to survive long enough to get better treatment.
It took all morning for him to customise the bracers to each individual person’s tastes.
He was persevering when I last saw him.
With my own simple design completed I headed out, morning training was cancelled due to the time we had lost and many wanted to test out their new gifts in actual combat. After tracking down and slaying a couple of Horned Rabbits I decided to try to cook the meat. After having so much cooked eat lately it is hard to settle for the taste of it raw.
I don’t have any way to instantly cook it like with fire magic but I do have my fire spirit stone shard.
I’ve been curious as to how to use them since I got them but as they’re all just inferior quality stones I have to use them sparingly or they’ll be exhausted before I know it, so I’ve been reticent to start experimenting with them.
Taking the small blue water spirit stone from the pouch on my waist, once I got decent armour I somehow got the Sisters to sew the neck pouch onto my clothes using the neck cord as a crude belt of sorts, and gripping it tightly in my hand. After a few moments of squeezing a small trickling of water drips steadily from the crevices in my fist, Blacksmith showed us this so we could assist her.
Satisfied I replaced it and drew from the pouch a green and a brown stone. I held them in either hand and slowly tightened my grip. A little gust of wind escaped by squeaking through the gaps while the balled fist of the other hand grew heavier and felt more solid.
The small green wind spirit stone and the small brown earth spirit stone were also relatively straight forward and easy to handle. The last two untested stones in the pouch, the yellow and the red one, would require a more cautious approach. Fire and Thunder spirit stones could potentially do damage to me that’s why I left the dangerous ones till last.
I took the red shard and gripped it in my hand, as I slowly increased my grip on it the heat I felt it give off increased. Until fully clenched I felt like I was holding a smouldering lump of coal.
After a few moments I released it from my grasp.
Looking at the black burn covered hand I could already see the edges beginning to heal.
When it had finished I had wanted to test out the thunder spirit stone but due to using up so much energy to heal my charred flesh, I was more than ready to eat. Setting up a quick pile of twigs and sticks I took a ball of dry grass and pressed the red shard into it.
After a moment of gentle squeezing thin tendrils of smoke slipped through my grip.
I placed the newly lit bundle into my awaiting structure and, using as much control as I could, coaxed the glowing embers into life using the wind spirit stone to fan the flames. Thankfully the fire spirit stone had fallen out of the bundle when id set it down and was easily retrieved.
With a roaring fire going I could cook what I had killed. The taste of cooked meat is far superior even to the rich flavour of blood oozing from raw meat.
After I was full and ensuring the fire was contained, I took out the last shard. The yellow thunder spirit stone. Not knowing how powerful it was likely to be meant nothing where electricity was concerned especially magical electricity did it even have a volt/amperage scale???
I started to squeeze it in my left hand.
My left hand has taken some abuse today but it’s not my dominant hand so I figured it could be easier to sacrifice should things go wrong. There was a tingly sensation in the half closed fist before the muscles twitched and clamped shut on the stone. Pain shot up my arm and the convulsions in the muscles of my hand and forearm continued.
I tried to pry my grip free with the other hand but a small jolt of electricity arched at it as I drew it closer.
It crackled between my fingers and I had to resort to using a stick to smack at my hand trying to knock the stone free and end its control of my arms basic motor functions.
I only stopped hitting myself when something small hit the ground with a tinkle.
The arm was still twitching but I managed to uncurl most of my fingers, most of the skin was blistered red raw and peeling in some areas. Another wave of exhaustion swept over me as it began healing.
Out of the five these two are definitely the most dangerous.
Thankfully the effects from stones this size are weak or else I could have shocked and burned myself seriously.
Water and wind didn’t really have the strength to do any real damage. I took out the earth shard again wanting to test is true capabilities. A bush next to me rustled and I hastily drew my sword. Unfortunately as I’m standing there sword lowered in my right hand and gem clutched in left the Night Viper slithered out, rises up and glares at me.
I meet its evil eyed glare dead on and felt my body stiffen with fear.
Sensing my moment of hesitation it shot forward with its mouth open, poisonous fangs bared and clamped down on the closest body part. My left hand.
Or it would have if not for the earth spirit stone held tight within the trembling fist, the deadly fangs couldn’t puncture the skin and beads of poison dribbled off harmlessly. I still felt the pain and the pressure from the bite, enough to jar me from the effects of its gaze, but nothing else.
While it was still fastened onto my left hand I somehow managed to raise the sword in my right. It was still too heavy to for me to use one handed but I could at the very least lift it up and swing it down, thanks to gravity. The blade fell like a guillotine severing the dangling length behind the restrained head.
The jaw of the snake had locked up with its last death spasm and I couldn’t pry to off which meant that I couldn’t unclench my fist. Taking advantage of this, and wanting to see the result, I slammed my fist into the ground as hard as I could.
I heard the breaking of a couple of things; the snakes jaw and a few bones in my hand.
Gratifyingly enough I did leave a nice fist sized crater, a few inches deep, in the dirty.
Dousing the remains of the fire with the water stone I decided to call it a day. Hungry once again from the use of regeneration I took the remains of the Night Viper and headed home, catching a few Horned Rabbits along the way.
My night shift was uneventful but a few of the stubborn hold out elves are starting to gently moan frequently.
Seems everyone tested their new bracers to the fullest yesterday as there were a lot more higher level beasts brought back to eat.
We got a quick reprimand about being reckless before the hypocrisy of an even more intensely brutal than usual training started. Which I actually didn’t mind too much, lately I’ve realised that being at the bottom actually means I have the most to grow… if I can stay motivated enough to do so.
Thanks to the strenuous exercise regeneration kicked in. I can almost feel my torn muscles recovering.
The rest of the day passed fairly uneventfully.
I pull my shift at the cells, the moaning has gotten louder no doubt the 3 males and 2 females will be looked after properly this evening. Spent some time helping in the Workshop and even working on the first of our expansion projects within the mine.
My lazy day was destroyed when the alarm was raised and all able bodied residents (basically 90% of the caves inhabitants) grabbed their arms and raced to the entrance of the mine. What I saw was beyond belief.
A procession of animals were making their way towards our cave.
Several Triple Horned Horses and Hind Bears marching in file but the strangest sight of all was the pair of massive Ogres riding the giant bears. Hobusei was also riding on a Hind Bear while the rest of the horses and bears came trotting into the cave as if it was natural but these are some of the forests strongest creatures.
We could only watch in awe as they paraded their new pets and mounts.
After yesterday’s upset I didn’t think I could be so surprised anymore but that changed when I was in the Workshop. Blacksmith and Redhead were lovingly scratching the belly of a Hind Bear, which seems to have become the pet of Ogarou, like it was an oversize dog. When into the area prowled a large Black Wolf.
It padded across and put its head on Alchemists lap.
Before she knew it she was absentmindedly stroking its ears and petting it with a content smile.
This new addition is Ogarou’s pet dog; the big pack leader of the Black Wolves he brought back today. If you want to know where the rest of the pack is, that’s simple. They’re outside on the external training field being riden around by their partners.
No longer will Hatred be involved in Light armoured hit and run guerrilla tactics, no now they have actually become something akin to a cavalry section.
Each member got a Black Wolf companion/mount and Hobusato is trying her best to ride a Triple Horned Horse. Just like the Hobgoblin second in command of Anger. Ogakichi is steadyily getting the hang of riding his bear as are the others with mounts.
Of course the reins and saddles that Ogarou custom made for each rider has made staying on at least marginally easier.
After he brought back the new wolf mounts Ogarou spent a little time walking them around the field, he looked like a horse trainer breaking in a new foal but once they got the hang of it he left them to it.
My shift in the cells was also full of surprises as the last two Elves final succumbed to their desires.
They were gently comforted by the Colonel.
Tomorrow we move all the elves out of the prison cells and into the new area we’ve been working on. Simply put; the red light district.
Since we no longer have to guard the elves that have totally given in to their desires, all the residents have also accepted the rules, I had more time to myself. Or so I thought but instead I was already assigned another couple of shifts in the Workshop and the other expansion projects.
It did however give me time to myself in the evening to train.
I took the opportunity to consult Blacksmith about the use of Spirit Stones.
She uses them so much so her knowledge on the subject is superior to anything I could have read about in Hobusei's libarary.
It was a little tough going as I still haven’t mastered the language yet but what I got was that like the things she makes Spirit Stones are used by magic users as aids to help cast spells but the way she incorporates them into weapons means that anyone can use them.
This intriguing conversation continued for several hours.
Although the shards I have aren’t very powerful or will last very long I had thought of trying to get them in a more reasonable form. I don’t want to give myself third degree burns just to boil water.
In games and things like that I’d need some sort of magic conducting material like mithril to squeeze 100% out of them but here and with Blacksmiths skill it seems any old ordinary metal will do as a base. There are a few scraps lying around but I can’t take these as they’re destined to be re-forged.
Mulling over the problem of materials and performance I head to bed.