"Xelean, take out the food scraps and take them to the trash can please"
"And remember not to go near that thing"
My name is Xelean, I am of medium complexion, my hair is bluish-black, my eyes are pale blue. I am the son of innkeepers and today I am 13 years old.
When the tavern is full of customers, the whole family has to work regardless of the situation, especially considering that our tavern is rarely in this situation since it is on the edge of town.
This week we were working almost non-stop every day and for that reason, even on my birthday, I have to go out to take out the garbage. This is mainly due to the special event that has the town turned upside down.
6 days ago, near the town a black rectangular object about 16 meters high and 6 meters wide fell from the sky, piercing the ground and emitting a pillar of light that was projected towards the sky for several hours. According to those who travel to the big cities, this object is a labyrinth.
Labyrinths, the travelers said, are a limitless source of resources, though they can pose a danger if left unchecked. That is why everyone thinks that it is very good news for the town and the atmosphere is so lively in the taverns.
However, my parents don't want me to go near the labyrinth, they don't seem to be very amused with it so close to our tavern, but they don't want to tell me why.
I leave the tavern through the back door and put the several trash kilos that have accumulated over the days in a wheelbarrow. This amount would be impossible for any child my age to carry, however, luckily, I was always stronger than the rest of the children. This is due to certain special circumstances, which I was only able to discover in part when I learned to read.
Since I can remember, I have always seen strange shapes floating in my field of vision. When I asked my parents about the subject, they looked at me worried, perhaps thinking that I had vision problems. Seeing their reaction, I rushed to say that everything was a joke.
However, when I learned to read, I was able to understand a little better what those pictures with letters meant. In the square that is in the lower-left part of my vision, [menu] can be read. When I thought about that word it disappeared and the image lengthened upwards, appearing new words:
When I thought on the words that had [locked] in them nothing happened, but when I thought on the word 'notifications', an image was displayed in the center of my vision field with a message that said:
<Congratulations soul of the multiversal soul flow!!! You are the soul number 1 Billion that will be born in the world to which you were destined, in consideration and because of the current situation of the world, certain benefits will be granted:
[Accelerated balanced growth]
Due to the risk to development and interaction with the individual's environment that these benefits can generate without adequate intelligence and emotional development, they will be semi-blocked until the user reaches their adult intelligence potential. Only [Accelerated Balanced Growth] will remain active, allowing you to gain 1 stat point on all stats per year until you turn 13 years old, unlocking your adult potential at a young age (note: stats will no longer be earned after age 13, thus, the ability will change after this age)>
Sincerely, The Hive>
With this message I was able to understand, even though the meaning of some words was unknown to me, the reason why I saw images floating in my field of vision, as well as the difference in strength and intelligence concerning those of my friends my age.
Today, according to the message I read, the rest of the 'benefits' should be unlocked. Therefore, despite being tired of working a lot for several days in a row, I am happy on my way to the garbage dump that is on the outskirts of town.
I am wondering about the things I will be able to do with the other 2 'benefits' that will be unlocked since the only one I had access to so far has been very useful to me. However, they have not been unlocked yet despite being my birthday, but according to my parents, I was born at dusk. So, I will have to wait some hours since it is late afternoon.
Upon reaching the garbage dump, I begin to empty the wheelbarrow of debris when I see a small drake approaching. With the body of a structure similar to that of a feline, a dark green reptilian body with a lizard tail almost as long as its body, limbs ending in claws, and an elongated head with amber eyes with slit pupils, surmounted by two small horns that point backward, on each side of its head. The creature is of a size similar to that of a large dog.
Drakes are often used as beasts of burden, draft, and as mounts by demons. It is not uncommon to see them in the village, but I have never seen one of this size and without any sign of domestication.
We stared at each other without moving for a few minutes until the drake seemed to decide that I was not a threat and looked away at the wheelbarrow. Seeing that it is interested in the remains, I took some of the debris from the wheelbarrow and threw them at the drake, who jumps away when it sees that I am throwing something at it.
However, it immediately notices that I do not want to damage it, and approaching the remains it begins to devour them, showing a mouth full of fangs, but still looking at me cautiously.
After a few minutes, its caution vanishes and it comes over to eat next to me, while I look at it in wonder, contemplating how it easily destroys the bones among the remains of cow, pig, and chicken. Suddenly, I see that it has stopped eating and raises its head to look aside.
Following its gaze, I see three silhouettes approaching in the distance. At first glance, they looked like three dogs, but as they approached us I saw with horror that they were three gigantic wolves. Living on the edge of town I saw many times corpses of wolves since from time to time they try to attack people who stray too far, but never that big. Also, these wolves have a strange reddish glow to their eyes.
As the wolves approach us, they begin to growl, clearly trying to scare away the animal that is next to me, which is smaller than them. This surprises me and I do not understand why they do not attack us, although I am grateful that they don't. The creature next to me, however, lets out a roar and stares at the wolves like nothing's wrong.
Seeing that their threat does not work, they begin to separate, trying to surround me and the drake. I think that surely the drake must be waiting for the opportunity to escape, leaving me alone with the wolves. However, to my surprise, I see how the drake begins to glow slightly and grow in size. Its neck and tail become longer in proportion, the shape of its head lengthen slightly and two strong membranous wings emerge from its back.
After finishing changing shape and size, the creature that was a drake just moments ago lets out another roar, this time louder, and begins to turn to face the wolves. While turning its tail, it hits me with a blow that throws me several meters through the air. I fall hard on the ground, hitting my head and beginning to lose consciousness.
In the last moments of consciousness, I see how the creature, now slightly larger than a horse, launches a torrent of flames that incinerates two of the wolves and it kills the third with one leap, landing near its body with a bite that cuts it in half. Contemplating this scene and with the tension relieved by the absence of the wolves, nothingness begins to envelop me and I lose consciousness.