Chapter 27: No Longer Strangers
I continued to scroll through many stories related to fire based hyres. The responses were a mixed bag some worried as to why, some happy, and some extremely angry after suffering some sort of loss.
[It was a good choice to go for one of the weakest hyres Lucid.]
It really was. I would have had a bad time if I had chosen something that I thought was equal to my strength and fire based. Eugene would have had to step in.
I think having him babysit me was probably the best choice above all.
“It seems your finding might not be so secretive any longer,” Eugene spoke up. It seemed he too was browsing the various message boards.
“Ehh, maybe it will still be pretty empty when we go back? The lack of materials and the difficulty hunting of flame foxes for non-ranged adventurers might deter people? Maybe? I hope?”
I prayed more like it, it was too late to go back and see now. Getting there would take us at least an hour or two even with the mapped out route.
[It’s gone Lucid. I crawled a little through the websites and people have posted pictures in the exact location we just where.]
Tch. I clicked my tongue. Greedy bastards, that was mine it was supposed to satiate my greed…
I sulked silently as we made our way back to Eugene’s house. Walking, we passed by his family’s practice. While his stepfather’s clinic looked idle in the morning, I could now see many medics following floating hospital beds inside.
I glanced over to the busy hospital. In typical Eugene fashion, he didn’t have a care in the world as he didn’t bother to take a slightly longer route to avoid this place. Instead decided for us to walk directly in front of it.
The shortest way back to his house.
Making my way through I saw a spatial mage appear with a floating gurney in front of a medic. I think the medic was accepting a new patient, he cast various spells over the patient as they transferred them from the gurney to a bed.
Each circle glowed a familiar blue. It looked like he had assistants too. There were two people pushing the bed while simultaneously connecting the patient to various flying machines that followed.
“Hey, can you hear me? Raise a thumb if you can hear me. Open your eyes follow my finger?” In a loud voice the medic spoke to the patient.
Curious I slowed my steps to see more of this world’s medical practices. It felt extremely familiar to what I had seen on Earth save for some of the tools.
A red and black mist was being sucked out of the patient’s pores by the magic circles above him.
I wonder what happened to the patient.
“I’ve marked no response.”
“He is being transferred from Scale’s Clinic?” The medic questioned the spatial mage.
“Yes, his party has already put down the initial deposit for complete curse removal and expedited limb regrowth.”
“Okay, then let’s get him to a room.” They all nodded and pushed the bed closer to me to get into the hospital. With that, I could now see the two bandaged nubs where the shoulders are. There were also patches of a bright red all over their face.
Without a single glance, they passed Eugene and me hurrying into the medical clinic.
Soon after they entered, another team of medics came running outside with a floating hospital bed prepared to accept another patient.
Eugene didn’t say anything so must have expected this.
The plaza close to the clinic was bustling the sounds and smells of activity felt much higher than it was this morning. I wasn’t sure if it was just the late night rush or due to the recent news.
In just the 14 or so hours we where inside E43 people must have hunted fire based hyres in a frenzy. It was probably why we saw so many parties on our way out.
It was probably going to be packed now inside E43P. The exit left us on the northern end of the Cave floor so I never saw the entry line coming out. I was sure though, the line that forms outside the passageway was going to be way longer now.
Even if we can no longer hunt flame foxes at least he will come with me to hunt other stuff for my daily stimulation.
[Be happy Lucid, your weakness was an advantage this time. You got the first handful of fire essence orbs and fire essence mana orbs. That mountain range will be picked clean of flame foxes by the end of the week.]
I guess. I was so excited to have it all for myself so I felt a little deflated.
Eugene’s house came up into view. Getting here took longer than usual as we had to slow down inside the snaking main road that went through the plaza.
There are so many people out.
Contrasting my sadness I could feel joy radiating from Eugene. I wonder if it was the yearning to process the data he got or the coming night session.
[His face looks as it always does Lucid?]
I’ve been trying to tell you I’m good at reading people. I really am!
[But you’ve barely started socializing this year… You should be more realistic with your social skills Lucid if you make things up like this it will only lead to pain.]
I ignored Eurval’s words even if they had some truth, wait, no they didn’t I’m actually alright.
Dealing with Alice and all her followers for most of my life was like a never-ending boot camp from hell on learning to read people and groups.
Alice was also the reason I could deal with Abigail pretty well.
Once inside Eugene went directly into his room muttering while waving his finger in the air writing something. I, however, flew up the stairs to throw myself onto the ridiculously fluffy bed. I wanted to take a quick nap, but the soft afternoon light coming from the flowing magma outside was misleading. Going by Eurval’s clock it was a couple hours after midnight.
A nap now would just turn into full-blown sleep.
[You still need to lustrate, lustrate with the mana orb, essence train, and I heard you say something about using essence orbs too? Also, magic studies and bow art studies too. So no sleep until then Lucid~ ]
Taking the pill containing a full night’s rest before I do any of that would mean I would miss an entire day’s worth of gains.
Huh, you heard my thoughts on essence orbs?
[I hear and remember anything you let me Lucid.]
I’ve have been thinking about it, but I’m still on edge on using essence orbs this way.
Since you know, what do you think Eurval? Take the leap and increase my physical strength doing this? Do you think if I ever get out I’ll be exiled from Laurent?
Do you feel Eugene is devout enough to abandon me if he found out? Do you think 26 essence orbs will be enough to turn me into a hyridean?
The questions shot out from off the top of my head.
[I’m sorry…I can’t firmly answer any of those, Lucid.]
No, I’m not demanding an answer. They’re just my thoughts so we can discuss it. Neither of us knows the right answer.
The academy made sure to remove any content regarding turning into a hyridean and we have no money to buy it ourselves. So we could only go by the general information we did store.
I clicked my tongue.
It is so hypocritical the academy president herself is one and no one seems to care. What’s up with that? No offense to Hospice.
[I have a little snippet about her stored from when we first saw her, it says she was born one not turned herself into one Lucid.]
I guess from the logic of a Scale follower I can understand the differentiation. She didn’t bring ‘’sin’’, otherwise known as hyres, into herself willingly and is “forgiven” because of that.
Seems a bit iffy to me. Wasn’t the Goddess of Scale a hyridean?
I had glossed over a lot of the tiny details on the religion. I felt my time was better spent learning magic and essence training. I still do.
However, do I even want the traits of a flame fox? Can I mix and match other traits?
I wonder what hyre Pesca chose or did she even choose? I also wonder benefit it gives her.
Maybe something spiritual?
So many questions, but none could be answered. Even the Rook database had nothing. I should just ask Eugene.
I can just chalk it up as fearing for my life as the reason to why I’m resorting to something so taboo.
I hopped downstairs. Eugene had his door open writing in the air. It looked odd, but I’m sure with his MAGI the room was full of careful notes.
Much like with the book, he finished writing his thought before turning to me.
“Yes? Are you preparing for bed? Is it time for the night session?”
Even with the pill, it required me to fall asleep for a brief moment.
“Hmm, not yet. I have some other things to do before that. It’s something else. This whole dungeon mess has been crazy and you remember how you said I’m pretty weak? Well, before I say this I want to say I would never ever do this unless I had too, you know? I think this should totally be the only exception.”
I took a breath after my preface.
“I think, because of how dire the situation is, that I need to use an essence orbs on myself. Do you have any books on how to do it?”
Eugene tilted his head and stared at me. My stomach felt light as he looked at me with his sleepy expressionless face.
[I thought you said you were good at reading faces Lucid.]
Oh no, he’s going to do some kind of citizen’s arrest on me and throw me to the guards, isn’t he?
“I have some books, but not many. It’s only what I use.”
I let a sigh in relief at his tamed reaction. Wait, I use?
[See Lucid, trusting people is good.]
What he uses?
I spoke in a low voice “Eugene isn’t this taboo aren’t you scared your family might find out?”
I could see his stepfather using this against him.
“I appreciate your concern, but everyone does it. Some refuse to adopt hyre traits and step into hyridean territory, but that doesn’t change the fact they too use essence orbs.”
Eugene tossed me a two books one titled “Demonic Hunter’s Bleeding Heart” and “Torprez – Essence Filtering Technique.”
“Just do not read them in public.”
The two books were rather thin. I flipped through one. They looked similar to lustrating techniques, all I need was to have the spell and follow the instructions.
So, the Demonic Hunter’s Heart I have isn’t complete…it would have done nothing to my strength if I had used it.
I compared the two magic circles. There was a small inscription missing from the one I had within the third quadrant.
Does this mean Ronald, Jordan, Elizabeth, and even Berts use essence orbs also?
I would consider us friends, but I guess we needed more than the time we had to get them to admit something like this.
If I had accepted Ronald’s offer maybe all of us could have become much closer. Their lifestyle and personalities seemed much more relaxed and happy. Everything they did seemed to happen at a fun pace. They didn’t go for the best, they didn’t push themselves to the absolute limit.
They did what they felt they could. And that was good enough to have them at the top, just not the absolute peak like everyone at Laurent seems to be clawing for. I might be assuming, but this is what it felt like when I thought about what could have been my life had I chosen to stick with them.
Remembering waving bye to them at the train station felt all the more saddening now..
Actually, I shouldn’t say this I would have never met…
“Eugene…” I had a single tear in my eye as I looked at him.
[I don’t sense any tears, Lucid.]
Maybe no tears, but I felt happy.
“Yes? Those are the only two books I have.”
No, it’s not that my beautiful friend. My first best friend from another world. Maybe it could have been like this with Ronald and the gang, but it was never allowed to happen. The weeks I’ve spent with Eugene here has bonded us.
Realizing it now, something changed in me. Like a little weight was lifted off my shoulders. Someone had my back to this extent. It felt good knowing I didn’t have to do everything completely on my own.
Okay, Eurval you were absolutely right to steer me to trust people more. It has helped me. I admit it.
[Hehe, everything I do is because I believe it is good for you Lucid~]
I nodded my head.
“No, nothing. I’ll go read these now. Thanks. Oh, can I use your essence training equipment to?” I had seen a similar, much nicer, piece of equipment within the half garage half stable looking room on the ground floor.
Eugene nodded his head as he went back to writing in the air.
I left him to his own studies and went to the room that had the equipment.
I’ll essence train first then I’ll finally use the essence orbs on myself. I noted to myself.