IS, V6, Chapter 1: Ethir’s Journals Parts 1-3

*Ethir’s Perspective*

From the moment we met, our fates were forever intertwined. I was just a lonely thief, while she was a Goddess… A Goddess of Blood and Death, but also Life and Redemption.

“Yeah, don’t start from the beginning. Everyone else started from the beginning, and well, Raelin already told the story of you guys for the most part. At least the early shit. Just start from uh… I guess it’d be best to continue where your wife left off.”

It’s good to see you again, Michael. Hmmm, it was a long time ago, but I used to keep a journal back then. Would you rather I just show that to you?

“Oh, sweet! I mean, only if you ain’t gonna sue my ass after I copy-paste this shit into my book…”

I won’t sue you… But you’ll owe me a favor.

“I ain’t sucking your dick.”

Michael, when did I ever mention anything like that? Anyway, I need you to take me… Somewhere far away.

“Like, how far are we talking here?”

The Eternal Graveyard.

“Okay, that’s super easy!”

When Iris was in Chaotica’s Coliseum.

“Oh for fuck’s sake! Do you have any idea how ‘far away’ that is?! Ugh, but fine, whatever. I need to make a trip back there anyway. Wanna see a couple of old friends, and relatives.”

***

Cataclysm: Day 1

I think we made a mistake. Even though we temporarily defeated Belial, he or she is still out there somewhere, waiting to come back for revenge. The victory was far too shallow to be worth such a heavy cost.

Although we didn’t quite destroy the world, we definitely were tricked by Luna into creating a terrible disaster. The mana level is rising rapidly, to the point where normal creatures and animals will die pretty swiftly. However, it does have the positive effect of allowing Iris and I to… Well, become intimate more easily?

After we escaped from the volcanic mana-catastrophe, we discovered some Green Goblins trying to murder a Green Elf. After we saved the huge and muscular man, he led us back to his home… A simple hut in the middle of a small field of very tall grass.

Once we went inside, the two of us were able to relax a bit and release some tension… It was weird having sex in front of other people, but it helped that they didn’t speak our language.

We weren’t able to sleep for long, before we sensed some more Goblin assassins sneaking up on us… But after we finished eliminating the enemies, we found two very strange creatures. They are unlike anything I’ve seen before… Seemingly mechanical life-forms.

One of them seems to be a mummified grey horse, while the other looks like a tarnished and worn-down metal skeleton in broken armor. The horse is closer to a normal animal, but its hide and bones are absurdly durable. Even the skeleton monster, though it only has its top half, is still in pretty good condition.

They appear to be extremely ancient, yet their technology is so advanced… It’s just like the tunnels beneath the earth and that maglev train that Michael found. No, I supposed Black Mithril and all the other underground cities are also just as incredible. It’s just that when you’re born there, you don’t realize how amazing things are… Not until you leave and find out how poorly everyone else is living.

For example, these Orcs. Raelin doesn’t want to leave. She’s certain that the reincarnations of her children are out here somewhere, but what about our own kids? Even if they’re eggs, they’re still ours. And now they’re up in the sky, in the custody of Luna.

I wanted to return home, especially now that we have these two strange mechanical creatures, but we’re a long way from Lorthon Forest. Even if we were alone, we wouldn’t be able to directly walk or fly there. The underground tunnel is probably blocked by molten lava. It would be incredibly difficult to traverse the mountains directly, since there are just too many dangerous creatures lurking there. I believe that the peaks may actually be Level-4 Mana-Radiation zones.

From what I can tell, there are no direct routes through the chaotic valles between the seemingly unending mountain chain. Supposedly, according to what I saw from Luna when we were observing the world below, there were definitely oceans on both sides of the mountain. There are no continuous beaches though. Mostly sheer cliffs.

If we can find a ship and sail along the coast… We should be able to make it back. The alternative is that we find some way to teleport back to Luna and then travel straight home. Either way, we can’t stay here. It’s far too dangerous.

Even if we ignore the impending ‘apocalypse’, there are massive armies of all sorts of strange creatures roaming around. Some of them seem to be trying to fix the wounded earth. While others are trying to capitalize on it. Although pretty much all of them have failed, they didn’t necessarily die. Some of them just mutated and transformed into Demons, like the kind from the Forest of Corruption, but much worse.

We can’t stay here any longer.

***

Cataclysm: Day 2

I’ve discovered through trial and error, that both the mummified horse and the skeleton can somewhat understand what we say. They can also carve letters into the dirt for us to read, but it’s not a language that either of us understand.

Raelin and I haven’t seen Iris in a while… And the ghost that’s been possessing me, seems to have vanished as well. Hmmm, wait, maybe I don’t need them to translate after all!

“Silvia… Michael?” The horse is starting to write out some runes that I recognize, but I think she’s saying that her name is Silvia and Michael is the skeleton?

“Show… Words?” Oh! I get it now! Although they seem to understand our verbal language, it’s unreasonable for them to also know how to write and read the same way that we do… I’ll show them my diary and try to help them understand it.

***

It’s only been ten minutes, yet the grey horse already seems to understand how to write in Simple Lorthon… Amazing. The first thing she said was: “I require sustenance beyond simple grass. Please help me sate my thirst and hunger, so that I can repair this body more swiftly.”

Raelin has already gone out to find some food and water for us. Not just Silvia, the Green Elves and I are also very hungry. Especially since I ‘donated’ so much blood for my ummm… I guess, are we married now? Or are we still considered just boyfriend and girlfriend? I don’t really understand how these things work very well. I’ve never been with anyone before Rae.

Hmmm, the skeleton is writing something now… Uh, I don’t think I want to record that. Ummm, I’ll try to translate it into a much less vulgar form. It asked me if Rae and I… If we’ve ever had intercourse, but well… Not the ‘normal’ way.

“Calm down Kid, I was just fuckin with ya! Now that I have a pen and some paper, I can finally say some important shit… I’m Mike, Michael Cinagra, from a different Earth. One that’s really far away from here. Not just in distance but also time. I honestly don’t know where or when in comparison to now, but that doesn’t really matter! If you really wanna go ‘home’, even if you wanna make a pitstop at Luna’s house, the pyramids are the key! Those fuckin things are everywhere on this planet and as long as they’re still functional, all of them have teleportation features… If you know how to use em. I don’t, but Silvia definitely does! By the way, if you try to censor this, I’ll punch you in the face.”

Wow, for a decrepit-looking skeleton with rusty armor, this thing is really strong. He took the journal out of my hands and then wrote… Oh, hmmm… This is interesting. Although Sylvia seems to be the more intelligent one, this Mike, seems to be much more talkative. I guess it’s kind of weird for ‘me’ to complain about someone being quiet, but I like to think that at least when it comes to writing, I’ve become a bit more bold?

Ah, he just took one of my revolvers out of its holster and started examining it. Wait, can this mechanical golem be considered a male? Oh, he’s… He’s actually talking to me? But in my head, like telepathy. I’ll try to record what he says, though there might end up being a lot of profanity.

“Alright Kid, listen up. Although I ain’t exactly in the best condition, with Silvia’s help, I can at least talk to you to some extent. Right now, you might think you’re safe, but you most definitely are not.”

I told him “I don’t think I’m safe though. Who said I thought I was safe?” Except with a lot more awkward pauses and stuttering.

My revolver looked tiny in his giant grey skeletal hands, but he was still able to open the cylinder and take one of the bullets out. Then he examined it a bit, put it back in the cylinder, closed and spun it before handing the gun back to me.

“Black-mithril bullets with white-mithril powder and mana-crystals instead of generic gunpowder… Nice. Wouldn’t do shit against me and those flimsy guns will probably explode once they misfire, but aside from that, it’s pretty decent. You’re gonna wanna get back to Alfirin and get some updated gear. Yeah, I know a bit about Alfirin. Their tech should be at a decent level now, knowing Azrael. By decent, I mean beyond this wild-west era garbage. And you probably have no clue what I’m talking about… Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually overkill if you’re just dealin with normal humans, but in this world… Your enemies are monsters. And besides that, ain’t you a stealthy type? Why the fuck would ya go around using a big-ass hand-cannon for?!”

It feels weird writing curses like this, but I guess it’s fine as long as I’m not the one that actually said them?

I asked him “How do you know about Alfirin? Our country was only founded a few years ago and you look like you’ve been buried for ages.”

He ‘laughed’ and complained “Bitch please! I may have been unconscious in a robot-body and probably dead but… Well honestly, I might not even be the real version of me? I could just be a fucking avatar that got lost… I have no idea for the moment, but that doesn’t matter! I don’t give a shit if I’m the original me or not, because I’m definitely Michael Cinagra! And I completely forgot what I was going to say… Oh! Yeah, I do know a bit about Alfirin, but not really what happens now? Like, I wrote a book a long time ago about Michael, Ethir, Raenil er I mean ‘Raelin’ hahaha~! Yeah, I totally fucked up her name back in the day. Originally started with Raenil, but eventually changed it to Raelin by accident and since Raelin was used way more than the original name, I kept Raelin. Hmmm, what were we talking about again?”

I think there might be something wrong with his brain or whatever a ‘robot’ has in their head. Actually, I’m not sure if he even thinks with his ‘head’. It could be something somewhere else inside of him. Oh wow, he really doesn’t stop talking…

I guess it’s not really ‘talking’ if it’s telepathy, but it’s still slightly concerning. I definitely can’t write fast enough to record everything down! No, I don’t even have enough pages in this journal to handle a single day of this. When is Rae going to get back?

***

Cataclysm: Day 3

After Raelin came back with some random animals, herbs and vegetables that she found, I was finally free from that forgetful mechanical chatterbox. I did learn a decent amount of things from him though.

These Green Elves are actually called ‘Orcs’ and supposedly, they were brought to this world by him… In a gigantic black serpentine dragon? It seems too far fetched to believe, but Raelin and I did just blow up a giant immortal woman with a mana-bomb powerful enough to rip open a mana-well so… I don’t know anymore.

He also mentioned that this place is called the Jingoku Badlands. The Jingoku Empire rules this land with an iron fist and well, if General Beatrix found out about this place, she would definitely want to destroy it. Just like the Human Kingdoms to the west of Lorthon Forest, the Orcs and Ogre Warlords who rule here, really like slavery for some reason.

Most of the Goblins and Orcs are actually just slaves or at least, something very similar called Commoners. There’s a nobility structure and a lot of warring states, but he doesn’t really know much more than that. Curiously enough, he can actually understand what the Orcs we’re staying with are saying. He says it’s a language called Japanese.

It’s just a shame that his telepathic powers don’t seem to work on them. He claims that the reason it’s possible for Rae and I to talk with him, is the same reason why Rae and I can telepathically communicate with each other… Our Marks from Michael.

I actually know quite a bit about Runes and Blood Magic from… Well, she said her name was Raijin, the Goddess of Thunder. But apparently she was just another one of Michael’s ‘incarnations’? The stuff with souls and past lives is a bit over my head to be honest.

I’m good at drawing. And patterns. My eyes help with the magical side of things, but runes are just… Like they were made for me. That might sound a little narcissistic though.

Michael told me… The old Michael… Wait, hmm, which one is the old one? This is really confusing. I’ll just call this mechanical creature, Mike. That way there’s a clear distinction.

“Talent is an illusion. Over our many lives, we learn various things. When we remember them in a subsequent life, we consider that shit to be ‘talent’. But we still had to earn that power. It’s not something that happens because of fate or providence. It’s a phenomena of our own creation.”

So maybe in another life, I was an artist too? But are we all really that old? Doesn’t that make even newborn infants ancient monsters who’ve been around forever?

I don’t believe that. Maybe I’ll understand when I get older, but for now, I don’t really care about the afterlife, reincarnation or any of that stuff. We have too much to worry about right now, for me to ponder about any of that.

“We should go kill some shit!” Was the first thing that Mike said when I woke up. He seemed pretty distraught and further complained “I haven’t killed or fucked anyone or anything in ages, I really need to destress, ya know? Let’s just go over to those stupid assholes over there and blow em the fuck up! No wait, that wouldn’t really release my tension properly… I need to ‘feel’ their bones breaking underneath my fists. So just like, help me get to them and I’ll do the rest. No big deal, right? Right?!”

Obviously I didn’t help the giant metal skeleton go on a murderous rampage… Until the stupid ‘victims’ came to us of their own volition!

There was an army of sorts, or maybe more like a battalion. About 200 Orcs, 500 Green Goblins and 50 Ogres were camped not far from us. There were many mages among their ranks that were performing some weird ritual around midday, though it was dark because of the black clouds in the sky.

Anyway, some Green Goblin scouts that we missed had reported back to their leaders. I don’t know what they said, but I did see them talking from a mile away. It wasn’t long before a huge portion of their army came over and tried to kill us.

I never really understood just how terrifying Mike and Sylvia were until that moment. The bony horse had somewhat recovered, at least enough to stand. While Mike still seemed really broken… But when he climbed up onto her back, the two of them seemed to fuse together.

Then they rushed out of the tall grass at a terrifying speed. Mike didn’t need a weapon and Sylvia didn’t need a horn. The two of them could simply punch, kick or ram into even the burly ten-foot tall Ogres and tear them apart. Their ‘bones’ are made of metals that seem to be stronger than regular mithril, while they’re also seemingly immune to any kind of magical attacks or spells.

Sylvia can actually use magic of her own, though she didn’t since she told me “It would have been inefficient and wasteful.” Instead, she just used brute force to slaughter anything in her path. Even her tail-hairs seemed like sharp blades that could cut through the orcish armor and goblin weaponry.

As Rae and I watched the gruesome battle unfold, I noticed that she was smiling. So much blood was flying around, soaking the ground. It seemed to make her ‘happy’. I’m starting to worry… What are we really down here for? We defeated Belial once, but she’s still out there somewhere, probably plotting against us in the dark.

The most dangerous things are usually those that you can’t see until it’s too late.

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