Ash, Digbie, Mourningstar, Oberon, Reoth, Torrent
Skill Rank Up: Meditate I > Meditate II! (2.025)
Increase the amount of Mana recovered. Low background noises, movements, etc (comparable to the common room of an Inn, a busy street at the market, etc) will no longer decrease the effectiveness of this skill so long as the user maintains stillness and a calm state of mind. This skill still cannot be used while moving or in the midst of battle. This skill cannot be used in conjunction with other Active skills.
Your MP is Full.
You used Analysis!
This frog's magical evolution certainly took an odd turn somewhere. The elasticity of its form, from its skin to its bones, is ridiculous. With a tongue that will stretch it has no trouble snagging flies, and it can expand its mouth wide enough to swallow many things whole. To intimidate predators it sometimes puffs itself up to enormous size. It has no magical abilities that you can tell. The Rubber Frog's hide retains its elasticity even after its death and after the hide dries. It might be suitable for crafting. Its flesh and bones, aside from being rubbery, don't seem that different from other amphibians and thus might be useful as materials.
Skill Gain: Minor Regeneration I!
A spell that increases the target's natural healing ability, but over a period of time. Unlike Minor Heal, this spell can affect bones and deeper wounds, and may even increase the chance to resist certain diseases or other physical status effects for a target fighting off infection/injury. However, Minor Regeneration will not recover as much total HP as Minor Heal at equivalent ranks. At this rank, Minor Regeneration's effect will last for 30 seconds.
You used Magic Analysis I!
---Fire Breath I---
Inhale to gather oxygen, then use magic to ignite it as you breathe outward. At this rank this spell can only take one form, a cone that widens as it extends from the user. Your range is roughly 10 feet. This skill has roughly the same MP Cost as Fireball, but its damage depends on the target's range. A target at the edges of the cone will take less damage than they would from Fireball, whereas one that is in the center and close to you will take a fair amount more.
---Poison Breath II---
Whether by magic or biology, produce fumes projected from the mouth. This skill deals very low acidic damage and has a lower chance to poison an enemy than most other poison-type skills due to its lower density, but is ranged and covers a small area of effect. The fumes have a small chance to linger in the effected area for a short time. At Rank II, instead of only covering an area immediately around you, the fumes can now be focused into a cone in front of you. Your range is roughly 10 feet. This skill has roughly the same Stamina Cost as Poison Glob, but its damage depends on the target's range. A target at the edges of the cone will take the same damage they would from Poison Spit I, whereas one that is in the center and close to you will take a fair amount more. The fumes now linger for a full minute.
Skill Development: The Stamina cost for Poison breath can now be somewhat offset by expending MP.
Ash's tail exercises seemed somewhat fruitful--she could feel herself working muscles that she had been unfamiliar with, and although a former scientist might not have gotten much exercise she no doubt knew that developing physical strength would take more than just a few reps. Especially when what she could do was already limited by her depleted stamina. Meditating helped with that, however, as the skill would restore both Mana and Stamina--though it seemed to restore MP at the faster rate. As she tried to focus her mana to her eyes, anyone else watching might notice the Pygmy Drake's eyes "glitter" like a raccoon caught in a flashlight's glare for a few seconds. Ash thought, perhaps, that she could see several slight, colored glows--but the next time she blinked that would be brought into question as to whether it was just the spots from eye strain or looking into something bright for a moment.
Digbie wandered a bit from the camp, out into the creek. He soon saw what looked to be a pile of mud near the base of the hill they had camped on, but as he approached the earthen clump shook itself off to reveal a Rubber Frog that had gone into hiding--most likely because of Zawisza. Upon seeing Digbie, the Frog croaked loudly and blinked, one huge eyeball at a time.
As the Demiblin prayed, however, bowing his head and calling out for some earth spirit or another to hear him...he might notice, upon the ground, a trail of sorts. Little bits of upraised earth, all going the same way--a mole's run, entirely identical to the little burrowers back in his Old World. It went off to the west, towards the mountains.
Once again Oberon's experimentation paid off--as he cast his spell upon himself, chanting all the while, his body was suddenly enveloped in a healthy green aura of sparkles. The System Notification triggered, telling him that the Minor Regeneration skill had finally come to fruition! He felt his MP decrease all at once--just like when he cast Minor Heal--but the effect of the spell lingered even after the initial amount of magic power was spent, without drawing anything further. Given his newly learned skill to gather mana from sunlight, and his increased meditation recovery ability, this presented some interesting possibilities...
As Torrent tried to mix her Poison and Fire Breaths, her first experiment proved rather dangerous. Before attempting the chant, she had simply tried to use them both at once. She felt her MP surging like it usually had when she used her few known spells--but it took more out of her this time, and felt like she was trying to do one of those coordination exercises. Like patting the top of your head while rubbing your belly and trying to keep each hand doing its own specific motion. The moment she "slipped" the two skills ceased. However, the dangerous part was that, as the Poison Breath's cloud of venomous fumes spread out, the Fire Breath caught it. There had been nothing to indicate thus far that any of the forms of Poison the reptile monsters utilized was flammable, but a natural property of fire was to consume any fuel as quickly as possible. With the vapors of venom being in a gaseous form--lighter than air and expanding rapidly--that meant the fire simply spread equally rapidly. Like a dust explosion caused by dropping a bag of flour near a gas-flame stove, Torrent's combined skills gave a great WHOOSH for a fraction of a second.
When she recovered from the momentary flash blindness and the slight pain of searing the inside of her mouth--despite her Fire Resistance?--Torrent would see that she had blackened a section of the cavern's wall, and after coughing a few times she'd notice she had also smoked up the air in the shelter somewhat. But ultimately, it didn't look like anything too bad had happened--certainly not like the last
explosion she had experienced.
When she used the chant, again she felt her mana flowing...but this time, it seemed slightly more "focused." Once again, however, she could only multi-task for a sparse few seconds. But her breath now took up a more focused shape, Not-quite-like A Flamethrower.
Slightly moving her head, she would be able to draw a charcoal-black line across the wall of the cave before her concentration dropped. At least she didn't almost blow herself up again. For now, it seemed like no new skill had developed as a result of this practice...although the System did mention something about her Poison Breath changing?
As Torrent prayed, the last of her flames lingering along the dirt wall petered out. The shadows they cast over the shelter danced before dwindling away...though Torrent's danced longer than the others as her shape was cast over the wall for just a moment.
But as the different members of the group each did their own thing...they heard that horn again, but this time it was much closer.
From his place in the creek, Digbie would see a sudden shadow fall over the campground from the top of the hill. Just over the edge of the slope, above their shelter's entrance, several shapes emerged.
There were five of them, just as green and gangly as they had been back at the cave. But their bearing and manner of dress were entirely different--unlike back at the cave, more than a handful of them actually had vines and leaves draped over their hips to hide their nudity. But several had also wrapped plantlife around their arms and legs, making crude sandals or foot bindings. Some had even taken broken off layers of rounded bark and lashed it to their limbs like shoddy armor. One of them held what looked like a broken off horn from a large cow or some similar creature, and this was what he had been blowing. He also had a pelt of some small creature, perhaps a rabbit or fox, around his shoulders. Another goblin, holding a handmade stone axe or celt much like what Rattleskull had used, had what looked like a skillet with a rope through the end of its handle hanging over his chest as a form of armor, and was using some filthy scrap of cloth as a bandanna. A third had a stone-tipped spear and seemed to have torn holes in a burlap potato sack, which she now wore like a ragged onesie.
The fourth had a long rope made of two thick vines braided together, one end of which was looped around his hands several times. He was the skinniest and most naked of the lot, with only his loins, hands, and feet covered by leaves and vine wraps. But with this rope, he was leading a large, mean looking creature...
It looked like a goat, but there was a predatory gleam to its eyes. Its fur was mostly white, but cow-spotted with large purple blotches that almost made it look diseased. Its horns were more jagged and vicious--and they split into two at the base, forking somewhat like a deer's. It only had four points, but each horn was a dark purple color that would bring to mind the liquid venom that Fanged Lizards spat. The four tips had been blunted by four chunks of cork-like wood stuck onto them, making it look somewhat like its head had been used to roast marshmellows.
And sitting atop this goat, trying to draw himself up as high as he could get, was the fifth goblin. Every goblin the group had seen thus far was between three and three and a half feet tall. Rattleskull had been about four and a half feet, and Digbie was taller too now that he had evolved. This goblin, however, seemed about in the middle of that--not quite four feet, but clearly taller than most goblins should be. His muscles, as well, seemed much larger--normally Goblins had the build of malnourished children if they were weaker, and normal children if they were strong enough to feed themselves regularly. This one, however, actually looked...somewhat formidable. Certainly not as strong as Rattleskull, but more physically developed than Digbie, even considering his recent transformation. The goblin had one leather boot on one foot that was clearly too big for him, so much so that the entire toe section had been cut off, probably to keep it from flopping about and hitting him in the knees when he ran. It had been more firmly fastened to his leg by vines. He also wore a pair of what seemed to be boxers, made from plain white cloth originally but now so filthy they could pass for brown or black in some places. Though on an average human they likely would have only covered the groin area, on the goblin they came down past his knees. And the most impressive piece of his ensemble was an actual maille shirt--made of interlocking chain pieces, it had originally been a smaller, less expensive piece probably only intended to cover the upper arms and down to the wearer's waist. Many of the links near the bottom looked like they had been broken at some point, but even after this damage it came past the goblin's hips and the sleeves reached to his elbows. The entire thing dangled loosely off his form and jingled whenever he moved, or rather when the goat underneath him shifted its weight irritably. And in another first, this goblin had an actual, proper weapon--a long knife, the kind that looked to be made for fighting instead of hunting or cutting food. It was even held in a proper belt and scabbard draped across his shoulder and around his waist in mailbag fashion. With this, and a wooden pot-lid hanging over his back that he probably used as a shield, this Goblin clearly established himself as the leader of this small band.
He pointed at Digbie.
"Demi-Goblin! I bes Rags Nar, da chief Gob of Broked Tower Tribe! My scouts founded youse an' yer magic pets, on our territory! We seens wut you been doin', and I brings my best warryers t' show youse dat we means bizzyness!" He looked authoritively at the two goblins with weapons. "Do it!"
Both goblins nodded, then began to slowly walk down the hill. They stared at Digbie intently, their fingers clenching and unclenching on the haft of their respective club and spear. Almost at the same time, they took deep breaths, then suddenly lunged forward--
And threw themselves face down on the ground.
"PLEEEEEEEASE come bes part of our tribe Great Demi-Gob! Please please please please!"
"We need--I means, we could use a mighty Demi-Gob of yore, uh, talons!" Rags Nar continued while his underlings held up their hands like begging puppies. "We gots food! And uh, lots of purty wimmin gobbos! Say, you likes mah goat!? We can getcha a goat just like dis--no, betta! Whaddya say!?"
"Please please please please please please please please please please!?"
Asura, Momma Slime
Trying to transfer an education gained in increments over a lifetime wasn't as simple as it sounded; as Asura flooded the bigger slime with knowledge of numbers, she lurched away from him with a grumble.
"Hurt, Ahsoowah!" she whined, her membrane trembling. In the brief moment before she broke contact with him, Asura saw the memory of when Jason's Mind Wave hit her--and realized just what kind of damage that spell had done. The closest thing he could think of to describe it was like inflicting a light stroke on someone--a sensation the mentally undeveloped slime had never experienced before. Just like she had never experienced all the different things Asura had been showing her. When he emphasized that Magic Resistance would allow her to not be hurt, the blue slime burbled rapidly. She extended a pseudopod in the air again, just like holding down a single button.
"Not liek Mageek!" she said resolutely. But after several seconds, she wobbled in confusion. "Ahsoowah! Not git skeelz! Want Mageek Weesistese!" She compressed herself in a way that gave the distinct impression she was pouting. If her Magic Resistance had been at 0.2, and Leveling only gave her 5 points to spend, then even spending all of them wouldn't have been enough for her to activate the skill. "Not liek skeelz no moar."
You are Fine.
COMMANDS NOT RECOGNIZED. YOU MAY LACK SYSTEM PERMISSIONS, STATISTIC PARAMETERS, OR NECESSARY SKILLS.
When Asura stopped focusing on the sizzling sensation, it seemed to immediately go away. He was able to move a little bit again...until--
You have run out of Stamina again. HP Drain triggers at a faster rate, but HP Drain itself remains at the same rate currently.
But as Asura and Momma Slime waited for Ardur to finish his evolution--which, as they heard a cracking sound, might be soon--they soon began to notice something unusual.
The Mana Crystals up above them, and a few clusters they could see on walls or rocky outcrops in the distance, began to break. Starting from their roots, the crystals cracked along their facets as if struck with invisible hammer blows. But just before they would have fallen apart, dropping to the ground like shattered glass, they instead began to dissolve. Asura had never used them himself, but he had probably seen other creatures do so. Just like when someone crushed and absorbed them to recover MP, the crystals disintegrated into a fine powder that drifted on an unseen, unfelt breeze.
They were inside a cave, aside from the occasional draft there should not be any "wind." Yet all the crystals, as they were reduced to glimmering dust, were being blown in the same direction--towards that same, urgent call Asura could still feel, even though he had forcibly ignored it.
As Ardur spoke, his own words brought forth images all around him, as if he had been dropped into the most immersive virtual reality environment ever created. Were they his own memories, his own imagination brought forth by his own knowledge of history, of mankind's tendencies, no matter how obscure or subconscious such knowledge had become to him? Or were they images of this world, brought forth by his out of body experience into a vast sea of...something?
"The sun is a constant in this unknowing world."
A hand lifted to shield the eyes from this bright, ever-present thing as a being emerged from a cave. Primitives crowded around a slain beast, pulling and sawing at its flesh with fragments of rock. As light fell over the lands, plants opened up their buds and put forth fruit. As long as the sun was there, they could see. As long as the sun was there, the plants would grow. From grass to animal to predator to death and back to the earth, the cycle started with the sun. And the sun was always there--except when it wasn't.
The moon rose. The night fell. The darkness, the ocean, the earth, the wind, the mountains...they were constant, always there, but if the stars and sun faded beyond the horizon they always returned. All of these things and many more existed long before the primitive came out of its cave. What were they? What dangers did they bring? What wonders?
"Something to depend on when it is needed, something to be praised when it is not."
The primitives, now wearing clothes they made from plants, sat around a fire. They cooked a slain beast, and carved its flesh with knives made from stone and bone. Their children sat around them as the elders told them what they needed to know to survive--the tales of sun, and moon, and night, and darkness, and ocean, and mountain. How they brought danger and wonder. How to understand them. But the children did not understand them. How could Sun bring plants to life when it was so high in the sky? How did Sun give them sight when they could see by Fire's light? So the elders changed the tales, made Them "like" other things that the children understood--fathers, mothers, warriors, healers, chieftains. And Sun and Moon and all the Others were not praised--they Were. They always Were. And they were needed to survive. It was necessary that the children understand them.
"A symbol of hope and promise of a better tomorrow."
Ardur could see, above everything else he saw, the sun shining as it always had. But now its light considered him, while centuries continued to play out between them."Hope? Promise? Beings hope. Beings promise. Why hope in the Sun? Why does the Sun owe you promise? The Sun Was and Is, and one day Will Not Be."
The children of the children of the children's children appeared. They were many and they were different.
"I seek its light, so that I may become stronger with the sun's help. So that I may be able to protect those that I surround myself with as friends and family."
Some of these children were now Men, and they stood upon great towers of stone. They lashed a still-living beast to an alter, and pierced its heart with a blade of crudely shaped metal raw from the earth. They brought forth coals, and burned flesh and bone. They waved great fans, made from the leaves of plants that would also bear grain, grain from the fields that stretched out far beyond their many huts and walls. They fanned the smoke higher, and higher, to the Sun. The Sun was "like" a king, and kings protected their lands and peoples. In return the people gave the king money, or labor, or men for his army. But they understood now that the Sun gave warmth, and harvest, and seasons, and day, so they had to find and give something else. The others, like Moon and Mountain and Wind and Ocean, gave other things, and Men gave them different things in return...
"To be their light on the darkest of days. Because she..." As Ardur looked away the stone towers disappeared, and he saw that some of these children were Not Men. One of them, their great king, made fire and water appear from his hands and moved earth with his words. They wanted him to hold the sun and make day longer, but knowing the limits of his power he instead told them he would grant them each a small piece of the sun. He taught them to make fire without smoke and place it in their homes. Not Men and Men alike began to think and do and be different than they were before as the world turned. The Sun and Moon and Others stayed as they Always Were.
"Because when I see the love of my past life and this life again, I don't want her to see me as a monster. I want her to see me as I was. A good man that cared about others and their well being. A man that defended others from the monsters." Ardur looked back up at the sun, but around them new images continued to play. The children of the children of Men and Not Men and Other Men gave new names to new things, and sought to understand them and why they were necessary. They tried to teach their children how they brought danger and wonder. And these tales were "like" the old tales that a rare few remembered."Beings have given the Sun many names and many meanings. For many Beings, understanding agency, creating reason, forever seeking, and always asking were the methods of their survival. Did the Wind rustle the brush, or the Lion? The Being who assumed Wind did not always survive. If No Man threw the stone, did the Unseen Unknown Being cause the stone to fall? Why is it Unseen and Unknown? The Man who did not seek to understand did not always survive."
Ardur could sense by the tone of this Unseen and Unknown Being that it wasn't asking him a true question anymore. Like an elder speaking to a child, it wanted him to understand. Or...did It want to understand him?"Ardur. You seek hope. You seek fortune--that things will be better soon than they are now, that better times are coming. You seek strength. You seek to protect. You seek love. The Sun Is and Has Been only light, and heat, and energy--The Sun is only a reaction of That which initiates, which activates. This Sun is a Mover but was not Unmoved. The Sun cannot give you Hope, Fortune, Strength, Protection, or Love. But Beings have imposed their Wills upon the Sun for these and many others. What was given to the Sun, the Sun could give back, with some spark of light, and heat, and energy. Thus Wills took on Power. To give and receive Power from another Will--is that your Will, Ardur?"
"Whatever the cost, whatever it takes." Ardur's determination burned. The images around him began to dissolve into glowing light--the sun seemed to be expanding, as it were going to swallow him. He was being pulled back towards his body--but he struggled to stay aloft. As the sparkles of light, like those dust motes he saw back in the cave, fluttered past him they whispered in hundreds of voices, reverent and wondrous...
"The light of the sun makes everything grow..." "The sun moves across such a vast sky...it must ride upon something like a chariot or great beast..." "If the sun travels across the sky it must be watching over us all..." "The sun makes the world warm again after Winter..." "Scary things come at night, but when the Sun comes up they run away in fear..." "If the Sun makes our crops prosperous, chases away enemies and danger, watches over us, and rides a splendid mount, then the Sun must be a Guardian!"
These voices overlapped until their sound took on shape. Ardur could see a figure standing near him, and wearing a knight's armor. He held a mighty bridle in his gauntleted fist.
"The plants feed off the light of the sun like a baby drinking milk to grow large..." "The bright light of the sun is so beautiful, isn't it? It reflects off water like gemstones..." "At the end of the day the sun moves but also becomes smaller and smaller, and in the morning becomes larger and larger. It is like an eye that shuts and opens..." "If the sun is a giant eye, then whose eye is it?" "If the sun is the great eye of one who loves to look at beautiful things and nurtures plants like children, then the Sun must be a Mother!"
Another figure stood next to the first, and gazed at Ardur with a great, blindingly bright Eye. She wore many gems and rings.
"At night, the Moon and the Stars come out, but in the day they creep away and only clouds and birds dare to fly in the sky with the Sun. Why does it allow this?" "Birds have fierce claws and their screech inspires terror. I have seen them hunt--they are like skilled warriors. Perhaps they serve the Sun?" "On the rare days the clouds bring rain over the sands, great sounds of rumbling and crashing come from the sky! Perhaps the clouds are enemies, and the Sun and his bird-warriors are waging a great war!" "If the Sun has warrior servants, and makes all other stars flee from him, and wages battle over his lands...then the Sun must be a mighty King!"
A third figure appeared, larger and brighter than the others, wielding a sword. A falcon perched upon his shoulder, and he fed it while stroking its feathers.
There were many other voices, and other Figures, but Ardur could not hold himself up any longer. He plummeted back towards the earth. The Sun became a small dot in the sky once more, but the three figures were still peering down at him. They seemed to be waiting and watching--or perhaps they were listening. Waiting for him to call out...
He slammed through the roof of the cave and back into his body.
The gray shell formed by Ardur's wings cracked open, little flakes peeling away like crumbling autumn leaves. On instinct he emerged, crawling like a newborn as he stretched his new body. With every breath he heard cracking and popping as if his muscles hadn't been flexed in hours. But when Ardur finally stood, and looked down at himself...
He looked pretty much the same, all things considered. If anything, his skin tone had grown healthier and deeper. His hair was more voluminous and longer. His wings were stronger and larger--and it felt that he could move them more precisely, as well. If he relaxed them, instead of folding behind him like a dragonfly they now hung somewhat like a stiff cape down his back. His chest still bore those three scars and his hands were still stained...
But now, he stood a full foot and a half taller than before, not quite as tall as any Goblin but much larger and broader than a Pixie. His body had become more muscular--or rather, the muscles he had actually looked like they fit this body, whereas before he had stacked muscle on a frame that clearly wasn't meant for it. Still, it seemed obvious given the degree of tone and size now present that a normal Hipixie still wouldn't be this...buff.
YOU HAVE TRANSFORMED!
Pixie > (Immature) Mighty Hipixie!
Your base stats have increased!
Your Max HP has increased! (This will not recover your current HP)
You have not reached your full Potential. Use Light Equipment is reduced.
You gained the Variance, Mighty!
The Stronger skill has increased, the new total is (2.1)!
You possess the skills Stronger II and Physical Conditioning I.
Use Light Equipment is boosted, the new total is (1.0)!
Skill Gain: Inspire I (1.0)!
Expend MP to imbue your words with magic, and cheer yourself or an ally. The target's next action will be boosted, whether it be an attack skill, a healing spell, or anything else. This Skill will not work if the target cannot receive your inspiration, but they may not necessarily have to hear you. If the Target is under a Curse or other debilitating effect, your Inspiration may cancel it out temporarily or undo it if the same action is being affected (attack power that has been lowered by a rank I Curse might be returned to normal by a rank I Inspiration, for example).
Skill Gain: Guidance I (1.0)!
Your pleas have been heard. Offer up a portion of your MP in prayer, and gain a chance to receive supernatural guidance. The effectiveness of the teachings depends on your faith--and your ability to read the signs. Does rustling grass along the path show your way, or reveal danger? Was that a whispered voice, or just the wind? Your faith will shape your journey. The better your relation with a particular deity, the more likely you are to receive their guidance.
Skill Gain: Spell Chant I (1.0)!
Magic is the unison of Nature, Spirit, and Will. Language is the expression of Will. Using personalized language as an aid in manipulating one's energy is the first step to conceptualization and understanding of what Magic truly is. Using a previously existing Spell Skill as the Base, you may enact one (1) alteration of the spell's typical qualities. Spell Chants will delay casting time by a default of 10 seconds, as any chant shorter than this will be ineffective. The more complex the chant, the greater the alteration, but also the greater the increase to MP cost; by default the spell's cost is increased by a further 50% of its initial value.
Skill Rank Up: Stronger I > Stronger II (2.1)!
Your base physical strength has increased even further! --You possess the Use Light Equipment skill, but with this increase to your stats there may be some other forms of equipment you can wear without the proper skills. For instance, you may meet the requirement for a larger weapon if you are holding it in both hands or using your body more efficiently to lift and swing it. However, sub-enhancements for this equipment will be greatly diminished.--
Skill Gain: Use Light Equipment (--)!
The use of small tools, and lighter forms of armor, weaponry, and other items. --Due to your size as a Hipixie, even some Small items may be too large or heavy for you to use effectively.--
Again, Ardur felt that call from before--much stronger now, more urgent. As if someone needed him, as if they were calling out for help. And as he soon observed Asura and Momma Slime nearby, he also saw the Mana Crystals beginning to dissolve and flow towards that strange beacon...
Asteria, Ed, Mother Rat
As Ed looked around, he soon saw a Gnarled Stick
lying on the ground where it had fallen from some tree at some time. It wasn't sharp and had no edges, but it was a decently hefty piece of wood with a thick knot in it, and would make a workable cudgel. Just as he darted behind another tree to hide, he saw several sticks drop out of the tree Asteria and Mother Rat had climbed. As they clattered to the forest floor, whatever was in the bushes suddenly stopped cold. Asteria, sneaking down the other side of her tree, soon stealthed her way through the grass to Ed's side--just as a green figure emerged from the bushes.
A small female goblin, carrying some frayed cordage made of fiber and a thick stick that might have been a burned-out torch, moved into the open and glanced around. She seemed timid, and was somewhat smaller and less mature than any of the other goblins the rats had seen in the cave.
"Coulda I swored I saw a blue gobby-lookin' ting..." the Goblin whispered to herself. She soon noticed the pile of sticks, and hesitantly approached them. "All dese just fall out...maybe birdy nest?" She leaned over to get a closer look at them.
At this point, Ed and Asteria might notice Mother Rat creeping out on a thinner branch up above the Goblin, hackles raised and fur bristling...
Danny wasn't able to turn in time before the Slime had pressed him upon the ground, but although it was heavy the Slime's body didn't have the kind of muscle or leverage to put up a lot of resistance to being moved. The Wisp's Lesser Force shoved it off of him, freeing Danny and allowing him to either get into the air or back out of his little nook in the cave wall--either way, he would be out of reach of the Slimes, one of which stretched out a pseudopod in a failed swipe. The two blobs gurgled incoherently, apparently frustrated with their lack of reach--now that their initial ambush had failed, it seemed they didn't have many options to continue their attack. One of them, however, seemed to think of something--it slurped up a nearby rock, and began rolling it around inside itself as if trying to get a good grip on it...
??? Jason ???
As Jason reached out again, his green pseudopod changed to a dark-skinned hand, with five fingers, a few scars, and rough, calloused palms from a life of hardship. When he touched the image of the green slime, a ringing chime rang throughout this empty void...
Suddenly the image enlarged and zoomed towards him, and like being thrown through a window he suddenly began falling past more images, falling so fast that still forms blurred into animated film. His entire life--the second life, that of Jason the Slime Mage--played out before him, and though he couldn't see anything beyond a bright light at the bottom of this drop, he felt that the solid ground was rushing up faster and faster--although for some reason, his vision seemed to be out of focus, as if that exit at the end of this path were splitting into two..."Yes, power is just a tool to you. It's just a necessary tool, so you wanted more of it. It'd be best if you could have all of it. Only you should have it, right? Your requests were always reasonable, weren't they? The others are simply foolish and arrogant. They don't understand anything. They don't know anything. You know best. Your reasoning is the best. You're the only one who knows everything--you didn't know if Asteria or Ed had any magic at all, but you did have magic, so therefore that was all that mattered, right? There was no other use for the Magic Crystals but to be your fuel. Everything in this world exists for you...right?"
The fork in the path was getting closer...but what choice was this? There was no indication of what was what, or where either would take him--did he have only the strange, emotionless yet judgmental voice to go on?