I sat up in the river and looked around. There were little floating names above all manner of plant life. I found that if I focused on it, I would get more information.
Blue daisies smell delicious, which makes them popular blooms for decoration. They can be found in moderate to warm climates. There are no found uses for it in alchemy or medicine.
That….was nice! I mean, I would’ve been happy with just basic information or even just a name, but it told me about its uses in alchemy? Hell yeah! My mistress had lived next to an apothecary, and I had made friends with another Lightelf slave that lived there. He had taught me basic alchemy for which I am eternally grateful. His master was a nice man as well, he never took more of our blood than he absolutely needed. I would love nothing more than to meet the two of them again. Instead, I folded my hands and closed my eyes and sent a prayer to their spirits. They had both died after all. My friend was, like so many of my kin, murdered by some kind of gang that wanted to sell his body parts and blood as alchemical ingredients and his master died a few years after of old age. I prayed that they are comfortable in whatever afterlife the gods have chosen for them.
Quickly, before I started crying, I went back to investigating random wildlife. First, I turned to the berries on the clearing’s edge. I wanted to know what exactly I had eaten and if I needed to prepare for eventual vomiting.
These berries taste remarkably like cherries but grow on low shrubs instead of trees. These bushes appear in conditions of moderate shadow and sunlight. They are often used in potions too mask the bitter taste of medicine. They do not have any other uses in alchemy.
Seemed like I would be fine. I decided to pick some more to take with me, just in case. But I had to get a move on, or I would never arrive.
She stared at the beast before her, and it stared back. Large brown eyes met smaller, golden ones. A low growl reverberated through the cave, echoing off the walls, and amplifying the sound. The woman shook where she stood. But not out of fear. She shook because of the excitement and the energy crawling under her skin. Both broke their stalemate at the same time. The beast lunged forward with its massive paws and its victim ducked, evading skillfully. Now beside the beast she gripped her hands into its fur, curling her fingers into the skin beneath. Heat surged and an enormous roar rang through the forest as flames erupted from the beasts back. It tried to flee, having realized that it could not win this fight, but the girl would not let go. With inhuman strength, she held the beast back and stared at it with an almost fearful fascination and a hint of proud joy as it smoldered and finally collapsed.
For a solid ten minutes I did nothing but stare at my hands, then stare at the bear, stare at my hands, stare at the bear, stare at my hands- you get it. I did not know what had come over me but some primal instinct in me screamed at me that I did not have to be afraid and that this was no challenge for one such as myself. My stomach growled, I hadn’t eaten anything but a handful of berries since morning and the smell of burned meat made my mouth water. Could I even eat bear meat? A voice piped up in my head.
A bear's meat is edible but may contain parasites, long and thorough cooking is recommended.
I was really not yet used to the Archive skill.
I started a fire and began to butcher the bear with the dagger I carried with me. It was a long and arduous journey and by far not as clean as it could’ve been. But in the end, I had a couple strips of meat that I could roast over the fire. The fur was absolutely ruined though. I was not a skilled tanner.
The hairs in the back of my neck stood up as I approached the wooden gates. Though I could not see them, I could feel the crossbows aimed at me. Two watchtowers stood to either side of the gate. Each housed an archer that was crouching behind the low walls of the structure, their weapons trained on me. I stopped a couple meters from the barricade. I looked up to where I thought one of the marksmen was. "My name is Iona. I was sent by Mistress Re'eri. I wish to join you." My voice carried and immediately I heard someone laughing behind the walls of the camp. "Hah! Cana, that sly old woman. Let 'er in, boys! This one's one o' mine." Some kind of mechanism rattled as the gates opened.
On the other side stood a human man with salt and pepper hair that reached down to his shoulder and a beard, neatly trimmed and kept. He had a big smile on his face and walked towards me with open arms as if looking to hug me. I took an instinctive step back and put a hand on my dagger. He either didn't notice or didn't see me as a threat and took my into a tight embrace as if he'd known me my whole life. Which, to be clear, he did not! I'd never seen this man before and my Master had never mentioned him. Eventually he stepped back and extended a hand. "My name's Romar. Romar Re'eri. I am the brother of your master's late husband. She has often talked about you." I looked up at him with a confused expression. "She told you about me? When, how? I've never seen you and the mistress rarely left the house, much less the city!" Romar looked at me with a puzzle expression. "Did you not know she was a mage?" My mouth fell open. "What!?"