Chapter 16: Finally It’s Here
Hmmm? I felt something rock me in my sleep.
Gave up on using the scalding laser? I do prefer this way of waking up honestly.
I felt another shake as I began to open my eyes.
[It is not me, Lucid. Something is going on outside. Posts from other residents are saying they felt it too.]
What could be going on?
It was completely dark outside without a single sound of a fight and there was no trace of the silver mana from the giant twin death rays above me. Unless.
I closed my eyes and sensed for the latent mana around me. My perception was much better now.
I felt the dam of mana bursting in the distance over the Tole Forest.
[Everyone is saying the dungeon is appearing soon.]
I clicked my tongue. I was just about to say that…
Dejected I walked to the window to watch over the forest in the distance.
A flash of light flooded my dark apartment. A giant explosion soon followed shaking up the entire city.
“What the fuck!” I let out. It was incredibly loud and shook the windows.
Luckily a translucent barrier showed itself absorbing most of the energy from the shock wave.
Soon after a beam of green light pierced the sky from where the explosion came from before slowly fading.
I gave a small chuckle as the light show finished. Are dungeon appearances always this flashy? Its basically calling out to get conquered.
Suddenly, a pillar of emerald shot up from the same spot this time 2 no maybe 10 times larger.
I expected a giant explosion to follow, but nothing came. No sound came from this beam of light making me feel all the more freighted by it.
My mouth went wide seeing the world before me become dyed in green. Brighter and brighter the light became as it continued to grow.
The glass-like barrier that had protected the city earlier appeared again, but only served to increase my worry as it began to crack under the immense pressure coming from the light.
Just how strong is the beam?
A vein of splintered glass appeared running up the dome of the magical barrier before shattering open. Destroyed, the barrier turned into a thin fog then dissipated.
The beam passed through the fortress walls surrounding the city swallowing the buildings that came after.
Street by street I watched the city be eaten by the beam of expanding light.
“I’m sorry I laughed!” I yelled knowing my words would do nothing.
I felt only a sense of helplessness as I awaited my fate. I watched overlooking the city as the light got closer.
I felt my nails dig into my palms. It’s always scary to know your about to die, but it was comforting to know Eurval was with me this time.
The green light neared the window covering my entire view with a shining emerald brightness washing out all other colors. I had thought the wall and window would break apart, but here I realized there was no force connected to this light.
It passed over me filling my ears with a horrible screech as my consciousness dimmed.
[I know its not the designated time, but WAKE UP!]
“Ow! ow! Okay, I’m up I’m up!“
I rubbed my eyes to soothe the burning they just received.
I had such a horrible dream Eurval. I think it was a premonition that the dungeon will appear soon.
With my eyes open I looked around.
“Wait… what hell did I finally get kicked out of the academy?” I wouldn’t put it past mages to drug me and dump in the forest somewhere left for dead.
[I can’t connect to anything I do not know where we are currently Lucid.]
Can’t connect to anything? Even from the forest, you could…
I looked around. Then slowly focused my mind on the mana in the air. It was a familiar ‘scent’ this mana carried.
We’re in the Tole Forest Dungeon.
I cursed out. I wanted to keep yelling my frustrations at the top of my lungs but instead chose to shake in place filled with pure rage after the initial scream.
This is unfair…
I’ve done everything, EVERYTHING, in the safest way possible. To the best of my ability, I tried to not bite more than I could chew, of course there were hiccups, I’m in a damn different world, but I survived by following the route with the highest probability of survival with the fastest growth possible.
All that prep work for nothing getting randomly thrown into my death.
I just needed time. I just needed a year, maybe less, and I could feel confident to begin really looking for my friends.
My friends… its all I had left from Earth, who was I kidding going back? No way that’s going to be possible, so of course I was going to deeply care for anything and anyone that came from my home world. It’s the hope I have to firmly stabilize the fact that I am Henry. I am me…
I let out a breath and collected my thoughts.
I pushed back the hair that had gotten in my face from my silent shaking and began to try and regain my composure.
Think. I thought back to the snippets I knew about dungeons and quick reference guides Eurval had in storage. I wasn’t planning on entering so I didn’t have much.
Dungeons always have at least one exit. I know that.
I could be on the first floor and the exit might be nearby for all I know. I need more information. Going off my senses Eurval was already beginning to construct a crude map of the area I was in.
I should help. Eurval’s been silent this whole time since my little vent.
I could feel it working at 100%. Since Eurval could not access the vast ocean of information out there and only had what we had stored or could currently see it needed to much more power to arrive at a conclusion.
I began to slowly take in my surroundings. I was in the middle a vineyard. As far as I could see there were perfect rows of grape vines in all directions.
At least I had a good view if anything tried to come at me. Unless its something like a spectral lion…
My pace was slow as I began to walk down the row choosing to go left from the position I woke up on. God, I wish you where a physical being Eurval so could hold me right now.
I continued to walk down the lane of grape vines. Finally hearing Eurval’s voice again seemed to have calmed me reminding me I’m not alone.
What do you have Eurval any suggestions?
[Sorry, none at the moment.]
Don’t apologize we’re in this together I can’t figure out anything either.
Hours passed by there was nothing coming into view, just endless rolling hills of grape vines. Holy shit, why am I not picking these grapes? Dungeons usually contain rare materials.
Who knows these grapes could be some amazing lustrating material.
I reached my hand towards a thick vine of perfectly round blueish-white crapes.
My hand hovered above the grapes in place.
[I think it would be best to not touch anything we aren’t sure of.]
You’re absolutely right. I pulled my hand back and continued my march down my lane. Every day I seem to thank setting Eurval’s freedom to the maximum otherwise it wouldn’t be able to freely suggest like this.
Two more hours passed. Shouldn’t the sun have moved by now? It had stayed in the same position. It wasn’t particularly hot I was curious though.
I made my way up a large hill following the bend the elevation change caused in my lane. The grapes seemed to be getting more and more succulent as I went on. They appeared to be about to burst with juices.
I craved them in curiosity, there have to be millions. How could the owner of this know it wasn’t the wind that plucked one off? Still, I kept to my word with Eurval and left them alone.
I took the final step of the steepening hill and reach the top. The moment my eyes were about to peak over the hill I felt Eurval’s utilization spike.
“What the heck…”
There in the distance, I could see a simple farmhouse and a barn both made of cedar greyed from the seemingly eternal daylight.
[Be careful Lucid.]
I nodded my head as I began to walk towards the house. I was curious now about what there was on the opposite end of this grapevine lane had I gone right.
Careful with my steps on the descent I slowly neared the house. However, once I got back to the flat ground the farmhouse seemed perpetually far away. No matter how many steps or time I logged with Eurval it seemed I wasn’t getting any closer.
I pressed forward at the oddity. The only thing changing was the grapes. They continually became shinier, prettier, juicer. Even began to glow when seen from a shadow.
I knew that soft glow and sweet scent that came from mana. These grapes were becoming more rarer and rarer lustrating material.
Imagine the change to my manabody if I gave it this. The grapes were starting to look like tangerines.
I kept this only in my thoughts as I continued to walk on the endless road.
This was too obvious no way anyone would fall for this right?
I continued suppressing my desire for the grapes no matter how radioactive they began to look.
Has there been any change in the distance between me and the house? I take it back it was getting hard to keep my mind off the grapes.
[I’ve been comparing previous recordings and while it is within the margin for error there is slight evidence that we are in fact getting closer.]
That’s all I need to know. I continued to walk. Luckily I had Eurval projecting the book on magic in my vision allowing me to study. I felt any bit of strength was going to be necessary I couldn’t skimp no matter how small of a chance it gave me.
Oh no. My mind and my body is getting amazingly restless screaming for me to eat the grapes.
What if I eat it and get the strength to escape? Look at them they must have insane amounts of mana. If I lustrate with it I’m sure I’ll gain something incredible. Right?
Okay…okay. I put my hands in my pocket. I felt like a junkie. My body began to tremble even cold sweats began to appear.
My march continued.
W-what if I tripped and my mouth accident skims a little bit of the grape off. A-an accident! Accidents happen all the time r-right!
Okay… Okay. Be cool be cool. I-I’m not going to do it.
The sound of grinding filled the space around me. As my teeth filed each other to keep my mind busy. It was getting worse. I NEEDED a grape.
W-what i-if I’m supposed to eat the grape.
[Lucid it’s getting harder for me to discern too since the warnings I put in place for magic based mind alterations. Even if I agree with you in the future I’ll tell you now. DO.NOT.EAT.THE.GRAPES.]
Okay-okay. Be cool-be cool. I-I’m wasn’t going to.
I’m not sure how many hours passed now. The sun was still in the same place and it seemed the house was still as far as it has always been. Eurval how many hours has it been?
Eurval? I could hear nothing.
Oh yeah, I’ve always needed to eat a grape before I could to Eurval. How could I have forgotten?
I reached out for the orange sized grape. Its blue glow shimmering on my hand as my hand hovered above it.
W-wait Eurval?I eat the grape right to talk to you, if I eat the grape you’ll come back?
Eurval are you feeling okay? Something isn’t right. Why only text where is your voice?
A smell of burning filled my nose. No, not my nose my head, not my head either. The burning smell was coming from within me?
I saw my hand above the grape.
I jumped back seeing my hand about to grab one.
What the fuck was that. Like a fog had been lifted in my head my thoughts became clear.
Eurval can you hear me?
[Lucid I was so worried when you stopped hearing my voice! The mental magic I think it’s gone now.]
I breathed a sigh of relief hearing Eurval once more. Like hearing a friendly voice after a long time I was happy to have Eurval back.
When did I get so attached? Not that I minded.
The burning smell dissipated from my nose? My body? I wasn’t sure where it came from.
“Look the house it seemed to have gotten closer!” I turned away from the damned cursed grapevines and saw every step I took get closer to the house that once felt so far away.
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