IS V6, Chapter 1: Ethir’s Journals Parts 4-10

Cataclysm: Day 10

Things are getting really complicated now. Michael and Silvia killed a battalion of random people yesterday, but today there’s a whole army after us. And no matter how many of them we slaughter, it just makes those freaks angrier!

Rae and I could easily fly away on our own, but we’d have to leave the Orcs we saved behind. No, not just that first family. As we started fleeing and killing our way south, we met more and more slaves. Whether they’re Green Goblins or Orcs, they were all so pitiful. Rae and I couldn’t just turn a blind eye when we see that kind of stuff. 

And Mike, he just likes going on massacres. He claims “Since I can’t fuck, I might as well fight!” Fortunately, a lot of the people we try to save, can actually defend themselves to a certain extent. Sooner or later, it feels like this migration might turn into a full-blown revolution.

I can’t write these journals very often now, since we’re constantly busy with all the fighting, foraging, forging, runework and well, I need to make time to be intimate with Rae when I can. There’s just so much that needs to be done and not nearly enough time.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that both Mike and Silvia are ‘changing’. I guess the better way to put it is healing. Since they were almost dead or destroyed when we found them ten days ago, it’s pretty easy for me to notice the changes. Silvia’s fur and hair has become silvery, rather than that dull grey. There are so many intricate runes printed onto her body underneath all that hair and she lets me study them occasionally.

Mike is the same way. His bones and armor have become silver, shiny and are starting to actually regenerate. It will probably take a few months at his current rate of recovery, but that could change too. For example, there was one Ogre who was wearing a necklace that was essentially, pieces of the robot’s spine and pelvis. 

There was also an Orc who supposedly, was a ‘King’ or Chieftain of some sort before we passed by his tent-city. He was wearing a helmet that was originally attached to Mike’s head, however many eons ago that might have been. I was the one who ended that… Monster’s life though. I used up one of my bullets to punch a hole through his heart.

I didn’t want Rae to even see what was happening in that giant tent. If it upset me that much, I can’t imagine how she would’ve reacted. Watching those poor girls… No, it’s better not to even think about it anymore.

The most disturbing part was that after we saved the two small Orcish children, they told us that they were actually his daughters. How can a father mutilate and rape his own children? The more I travel through this terrible land, the more I realize how lucky we had it in Black Mithril.

Even White Mithril couldn’t have been as bad as this place. Aside from all the slavers and warlords, even the normal tribe members or commoners are treated as badly as the slaves in White Mithril were…

***

Cataclysm: Day 15

“Every day is a new disaster.” According to Silvia.

Mike counters “Disasters ain’t always a bad thing. They just take some getting used to…”

We finally found a pyramid about 400 miles to the southeast of the Mana-Cataclysm. It’s surrounded by mountains. We have a few thousand Goblins, a thousand Orcs and about fifty Ogres following us around. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, but although the land seems barren on the surface, this is still a Level-1 Mana-Zone. Similar to the outermost ring of Lorthon Forest.

Whether it’s the animals, plants or people, they all evolved and adapted to surviving in the harsh climate. It gets really cold and night, while the days are sweltering. Magic and clothing can solve both problems easily though.

Hmmm, the problem we encountered when reaching this pyramid is… A city. Unlike the tents and warlords that wander around outside, this was an actual walled city. There are a few mountains that surround the pyramid and while the outsides seem bare, the valleys are lush and actually filled with forests. Not quite jungles, but this place is definitely an oasis.

Not exactly the heart of the Jingoku Empire, but certainly one of their stronger outposts. If it was just that, then Mike and Silvia would’ve charged in, starting a massacre. According to some of the slaves who we found locked in cages in these woods, a ‘fortnight’ ago, the beasts in the woods started going crazy. Then this massive bubble appeared around the whole oasis.

It’s silvery and mostly transparent, but really hard to break through. In fact, rather than being hard, like steel, it’s more bouncy. The harder you try to push into it, the more it pushes back. And if you try to slowly move through it, nothing happens. It won’t let any of us through, no matter how many weird phrases Mike tells me or Rae to yell, the barrier is still there.

The bubble itself, from what we can tell, is about 7 miles in diameter. Although it appears to be a dome, it’s actually a sphere from what I can tell. Silvia says “This technology is based off of the Arcane Orb. A Divine Artifact that I once possessed. However, this one is not made for travel through the Chaotic Void. I can see small apertures everywhere, allowing various gases and even liquids to flow through, albeit constrained to an extent. I can widen one of these gaps, but it will take time and an enormous amount of energy.”

So that’s what we’re doing now. Basically just setting up camp in this forest, by a stream. It’s funny though. The area where the river passes through the barrier is huge, but it’s clear to see that the amount that goes through is pretty small… Wait, doesn’t that mean the people inside will eventually run out of water. Before that, the plants and animals will start dying. How many hundreds of thousands of people live in that city?

***

Cataclysm: Day 21

“We did this… How many people died, because of us? The scariest thing is that… I don’t even feel anything. I used to get upset about killing someone in self-defense, but now… There’s nothing. I can take lives without even thinking about it. Once you cause devastation like this Ethir, can we even go back home? Should we even go back home? What if all the people we care about are dead because of what we did?!”

I think after three weeks, the realization finally hit Rae. It’s possible that ‘millions’ of people could die because of what we did… Then again, if we didn’t stop Belial, they would have definitely died anyway. No, it would have been worse, because they would have become monsters and likely traveled south to attack Lorthon Forest and other places in an endless horde.

We both know that if we did nothing, something like this still could’ve happened. It just feels so heavy when you’re the one who pulled the trigger, or well, blew up a mana-well.

The inside of the barrier was a lot worse than we expected. The atmospheric mana-density on the outskirts, beyond the huge stone walls, wasn’t much different from outside. There were actually a lot of people still alive. The poor common-folk didn’t have slaves and were more-often the ones who were enslaves if they broke some rule, or looked at the wrong person.

It’s a very cruel society. But there were still a lot of innocent people within the walls of the city… Yet they all died from acute mana-poisoning. Fortunately we only brought ‘our people’ into the barrier and didn’t let them come with us anywhere near the walls, otherwise they might have died without even knowing why.

It was a Level-4 Mana-Zone, equivalent to the Fourth Ring of Lorthon or the Forest of Corruption. At least, that’s what it was like right inside the wall. The closer we got to the giant shiny silver pyramid at the center, the harsher the environment was…

Now we’re here, at the heart of this ‘hell’. Silvia and Mike are unaffected by the harsh mana-level, while Rae and I have experienced this before, back on Luna. At least this time though, we aren’t naked and defenseless. Our black-mithril infused clothing and armor is on the brink of exploding though.

A lot of the buildings and statues, really even the stone ground around the pyramid has liquified into a strange grey sludge. It isn’t hot. Just… Very weird. There’s also a big silver swirling river that keeps moving around the pyramid rapidly. I’ve never seen liquid metal that wasn’t hot before, but Silvia says it’s called ‘Mercury’ and that it’s poisonous. Yet, under such high mana-concentration, I think it actually became Enchanted with the power to ‘float’ or something similar. Definitely Earth Manipulation. There might even be natural runes engraved into it on a very small scale.

Strangely enough, the moment we entered inside of the huge archway that led to the core of the Silver Pyramid, the Mana-Level dropped down to nothing. Our clothing actually exploded because of the sudden drop in Mana-Density, but we were ‘fine’. I feel like I’m going to throw up all of the blood in my body and Rae already has vomited a few times, but we aren’t dying. Just adjusting, adapting… Acclimating.

Ironically, because our bodies were tempered by excessive amounts of mana in Luna’s training chambers, were are strong enough to survive having it stripped away from us in an instant.

“Okay, so here’s the deal Kid. Oh, and write this shit down.” Mike’s talking to me in my head again. Oh wow, Silvia neighed and then a huge holographic image of Earth appeared. It’s not really that shocking, since I’ve seen something similar in Luna’s refuge.

“Oh no… Did we cause all of that?!” Rae screamed in shock, when she saw that aside from the huge volcano erupting to the northwest of us, there were a ton of other disasters happening all over the world. It wasn’t just the continent of Alfirin either. Although it’s a huge place, there are six other continents as well, from what I can tell at least.

Mike pointed at the cataclysm we caused and said “This wasn’t even the first event, so don’t feel too guilty. There are a lot of sneaky forces at work in the background. Mainly ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’, but you don’t gotta worry about that right now. It’s a good think that I, er, well, not ‘me’… But Silvia and whoever else designed this system, also put some backups in place. Look at this shit hahah~!”

He zoomed out and we could see the space beyond the sky. It was dark and a lot of the things floating around the world were difficult to see, until Mike or Silvia did something and they began lighting up.

Silvia whispered into our heads, “Unfortunately, we are unable to activate the Restoration Protocol from this minor hub. We must travel ‘here’.” Now she’s zooming in on what looks like a silver discus but…

***

That was unpleasant, but we’re here now. I’ve already experienced that kind of teleportation a few times already, so it didn’t bother me too much. It was still uncomfortable though, and Rae is throwing up again.

Wait… It’s really hard to write right now!

Woah, okay, it seems like Earth Manipulation works. Still feels like my insides are moving around strangely, but it doesn’t hurt. Mike calls this “Zero-G”, but technically, there’s still gravity. It’s just that we’re in a state of constant free-fall and well, the point is that if we don’t use Earth Manipulation to control our bodies in proportion to the walls, it’s hard to keep from floating around aimlessly.

According to Silvia, we’re currently located in “The Alfirin Maintenance Command Center”.

***

Cataclysm: Day 22

We aren’t alone in this place. The Alfirin Maintenance Command Center is about the size of Black Mithril… With a much lower ceiling or well, ceilings. It’s really big though. At least, considering that it’s technically just a small outpost in space.

There are thousands of golems wandering around, doing various things. When we first arrived, they treated us as hostile intruders… Until they saw Silvia and Mike. Then they all began bowing down, assuming they had legs or bodies that could bow. Some of them were more like floating spheres or cubes. All of them are really intelligent and incredibly advanced however.

With the assistance of the various magical golems, our two mechanical golems, managed to access the ‘Descent’ feature. Yes, we fell from the sky. Fortunately, there was a massive wire connecting us to a specific point in the ground and it seems that we had some kind of really powerful Earth Manipulation technology built into the giant disk. 

It wasn’t a quick fall. After nearly 12 hours, we eventually landed softly on top of a small pyramid, at the center of a shallow lake. And during all that time, we weren’t idle.

“Alright, seems like some fucking idiot tried to open a portal to ‘Heaven’ in Western Alfirin. Someone else redirected the portal to Hell, so let’s go ahead and close that shit remotely now… Silvia?”

After Mike telepathically said that, the horse neighed and stomped its front-right hoof onto the metallic floor. Then we, including the horde of curious golems, watched as the portal instantly closed. Slicing the head off of a giant brown turtle-monster that had been trying to climb through.

The massive head was devoured by a featherless and wingless bird, which Mike called a ‘Demonic T-Rex’. Anyway, after that was done, they moved onto ‘our’ problem. The one we caused. That’s when we realized that we had to land first, before we could activate the ‘Planetary Anchor’ and call down a giant pyramid to plug up the hole…

As the Alfirin Maintenance Command Center was going downwards, we actually traveled to several other similar astral structures. Giant disks floating in the heavens or well, outer space as Mike calls it. There are apparently 7 continents, one of these things per continent. They aren’t all at the center or even on the continent though.

According to Silvia, “Extraplanetary Elevators need a significant amount of power to remain in orbit for millions of years. The most efficient method is to utilize centrifugal force. The Continental Anchors are placed as close as possible to the equator. Of course, tectonic plates move over time and the equator eventually shifts due to various factors. Thus, we cannot rely entirely upon these magically enhanced carbon-nanofiber tethers to hold the satellites in place… Various magical arrays have been created on each of these structures, allowing them to lower or amplify their own gravity if necessary.”

She usually doesn’t talk much, but when it comes to technical stuff… Well, unfortunately, I couldn’t remember and write down everything she said. I don’t think I even have enough pages for that anyway.

I do remember the names of the seven continents though. Alfirin at first glance, seemed like it could actually be three continents… At least until I understood what a continent really was. It kind of looks like a giant eyeball, with Lorthon Forest at the center, or maybe a target for shooting practice.

To the west is the human lands, which have a lot of forests and prairies, but they’re mostly grassland. In the east is a massive desert. I already know that, but only when you see it from space will you truly understand how huge it is, even compared to Lorthon Forest. It actually reaches out so far that it nearly touches another continent, but I’ll talk about that later.

The barrier-like mountains to the north of Lorthon are so huge that they seem as if they’re cutting the continent in half. To the north of them, are the Jingoku Badlands ‘and’ another place that I don’t know the name of… However, I could clearly see that it was very similar to the human lands to the south. It’s separated from the Jingoku Badlands by a wall of misty hills. This was the strange place that produced waves every now and then, which were probably some kind of magical phenomena.

Michael told me that… Umm, well, I don’t really believe it. But he said “See those mountains down there? Look at the huge hills in the sand over there, the hills in the badlands and then the big ass mountain ranges in that icy hellscape. All of that… I’m pretty sure it used to be our ‘ship’. I don’t know why I know that, but I just have this gut feeling, ya know? Well, except that I don’t actually have any guts anymore, hahaa~!”

Whether there’s really some kind of artificial structure creating those ‘lumps’ in the Earth, it doesn’t really matter at the moment. Like he mentioned though, there’s a small sea separating Alfirin from what looks like an entirely different continent to the south. A continent that’s strangely cold, even though it’s only a few thousand miles south of the equator. But it isn’t actually a separate continent according to Sylvia, because of ‘tectonic plates’, which are like huge chunks of land that go deep beneath the surface of the world. They’re what moves everything around and usually what causes earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

Alfirin is about seven thousand miles from the northernmost tip of the Jingoku Badlands, to the southernmost tip of that icy wasteland across the sea. To the south of that cut off part of Alfirin, also known as Southern Alfirin, was our second destination. It’s beyond a few thousand miles of ocean, but there’s actually a massive continent at the southernmost pole of the planet.

Instead of a continental anchor, that place has a Planetary Anchor. That was the biggest pyramid I’ve ever seen. Maybe the biggest one on Earth. It reaches dozens of miles into the sky and the ‘disk’ is just always sitting on the tip of it. It’s the biggest landmass and mostly covered by enormous mountains of ice. It’s almost always night and it gets so cold that very few creatures can survive there.

***

Cataclysm: Day 22

Supposedly there were once a bunch of beautiful Snow Elf cities spread across that land called Helheim, but now… Only the people in the underground cities are probably left. Someone or something, destroyed all 20 Mana-Wells and left gaping wounds in the Earth… Just like what we did in northern Alfirin, but on a much larger scale.

And it was all fixed in under ten minutes. Ten horrifying minutes.

“Listen Kid, everybody always talks about the world ending but… How often does it really end? Even if this whole Solar System was being devoured by a Deity of some sort, we’d still be fine for another few million or billion years! That’s the thing. Time is relative. For us, it seems like this shit is a little rushed and it’s amazing that a problem can be fixed so quickly… But think about it from the perspective of an ant or cockroach. They’d probably think the past ten minutes was a month or so!”

Mike said that, after we witnessed dozens of giant pyramids falling from the heavens. With the holographic display, we could see them up close and witness the insane devastation that they created when they impacted those molten holes in the ice. Glaciers melted and the Earth was sundered… But somehow it all worked out in the end.

This weird black goo appeared. Molding the deformed pyramids back into their former appearances and placing them standing upright. They weren’t all triangular, some had rectangular bases and there were a few that looked more like cones. I’m not sure what determines their shapes and sizes yet, but it probably has something to do with the Mana-Wells that they feed off of and prevent from erupting.

I didn’t have time to enjoy the view for long, before Silvia teleported us to the next location: Atlantis or the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a ‘continent’ in the sense that there’s a large mass of elevated land, not far beneath the surface of the ocean at the center. It starts about a thousand miles to the east of Alfirin, where there’s a huge fissure a few miles underwater, that constantly pours out lava that immediately melts. 

According to Mike, “That’s technically the birthplace of this ocean. Oceans are basically just ‘young’ land afterall. Of course, islands are even fucking younger most of the time.”

Atlantis starts from there and steadily gets higher up from the ‘ground’, until about 500 miles from the crevice. There’s a sheer cliff that goes straight upwards for a mile. The continent itself is only about a hundred feet underwater. And there are actually buildings and stuff all over the place!

Silvia zoomed in on them and we could see an entire civilization of mermaids. Not like the eyeless ones who live near Black Mithril, but genuine mermaids that don’t look much different from humans, goblins or elves.

It’s even more advanced than the Human Lands ‘were’, before they got destroyed. But they’re still held back by the inherent problems with living underwater. For the most part, they can’t start fires. They have to worry about sharks and even regular giant fish trying to eat them all the time. The buildings aren’t that fancy, merely stone blocks piled on top of each other. And a lot of ruins from a time when perhaps, the continent was above the water.

They also didn’t have many problems compared to Helheim and Alfirin. Silvia only took a few minutes to reactivate and restart some of the pyramids that had shut down. She did order the Atlantis Maintenance Command Center to land on its Continental Anchor though. After eons of being relatively inactive and due to the tectonic changes, all of the ‘anchors’ need to be repaired.

There’s probably another reason too… Silvia and Mike, these golems follow them around like little kids looking up to their parents. And each of these golems have considerable power of their own. If they get released upon the Earth… Well, I just hope that we don’t end up as enemies.

They could do the world a lot of good, or become cruel overlords. Maybe it’s best if they just remained neutral. Even if they join our side, our enemies would probably send more powerful forces to deal with them. Leaving the majority of our population at the mercy of the constant catastrophes that would occur during the conflicts. The collateral damage would outweigh the benefit we’d receive from their aid.

A funny thing I learned was that as the Earth spins at a thousand miles per hour and is about 25,000 miles, every thousand miles or so, there’s an hour difference in ‘time’. At least in the sense of the time of day that we all use. So as we went around the world towards the East, it felt like we actually went backwards in time a bit.

After Atlantis was actually two continents that were positioned with the majority of their land-mass on the sides of the equator, unlike Alfirin. The northern one is called Xian Dao. It’s a pretty big continent overall, but then again, I keep saying that about all of them… Because every continent is really big if you compare it to where I grew up.

Xian Dao is a wilderness for the most part. It has forests, deserts, some jungles, but overall, it seems… Primitive? Even though there wasn’t much information present, Mike still seemed to know a bit about the place.

He told me, “So yeah… This place definitely ‘looks’ like Xian Dao geographically. I don’t see any cultivators or immortals though, so it’s probably not the one I’m thinking about? This planet probably isn’t Genesis either, but well, I’ve always been lazy as fuck when it comes to naming shit. Maybe my descendants were the same way?”

There’s a big sea below the continent, or maybe it’d be considered an ocean? Below that is Africa, which is longer than it is wide, unlike Xian Dao. There were actually two continental anchors, even though they were almost right next to each other.

The African Continental Anchor was placed in the northern part of the landmass, called ‘Sahara’. While the South Xian Dao Sea a hundred miles to the north, also had an anchor. Similar to before, Silvia swiftly ordered repairs to be performed and for the Continental Maintenance Command Centers to land.

***

Cataclysm: Day 22

The last two continents were broken and battered, but not completely hopeless. Greyland was a huge patch of well, grey land. There was always a thick black smog floating around it, with the ruins of ancient cities scattered about. Not a spec of vegetation or animal life remained. It was a wasteland. Even the waters that surrounded it were tainted and blackened… But not dead.

Even though it was too difficult for normal animals and plants to live there, strange creatures were still present. Golems, made of stone or crystal, wandered aimlessly. There were also elemental monstrosities that seemed to be made out of fire or lightning, but their true form was usually a mineral core.

It seemed like a land of death, but it was actually full of life. A treasure trove of untapped resources that no one had ‘claimed’ yet…

Silvia did the same thing she did for Atlantis, Africa and Xian Dao. There weren’t any severe gaping holes or hellstorms brewing, it was relatively calm. Just old and in disrepair.

The last continent. The continent only a thousand miles to the west of Alfirin. It’s name is Armageddon. And it isn’t all that large to be honest. At least not compared to the other continents. But its significance was probably greater than all the others combined, at least it was to Mike and Silvia.

“No fuckin way! Holy shit! How the hell? Ain’t that a little different than before? I only remember…” Mike was rambling from the moment we arrived, until even after we left. Since there really wasn’t much that Silvia could do, aside from commence the landing sequence.

He eventually explained “That ‘continent’ was actually the head of a goddamn dragon! It’s body is coiled all around Alfirin… If you think your little pimple-popping was bad, just imagine how fucked up it’d be if that bitch wakes up and starts slithering around?! See those mountains over there, and there, those hills… Hell, most of her body is under the ground or underwater, so you can’t see it. But she’s definitely alive. And if she moves, even a tiny bit, there’s gonna be a catastrophe… If she wakes up, well, bye-bye Alfirin!”

I asked him “Even if it is a giant dragon, are you sure it’s still alive?”

Mike sighed telepathically, before complaining “Of course it’s fucking alive! Can’t you see her breathing?! Can’t you hear those whispers?! I mean, look! Those foggy mountains over there are probably the end of her tail and see how they spew out water like that? That’s her piss dude. She’s still alive, breathing, pissing and shitting!”

While he was freaking out about something that might not even happen, Rae and I were just happy to be ‘home’. No, not just home. But we’re actually really close to Michael right now. We can’t really see him from here though.

Silvia already called down the huge pyramid to ‘repair’ the one we destroyed in the north. We’re faced with a choice now… Should we go and try to find Michael, or teleport to Luna to pick up our ‘children’?

“Those kids you’re thinking about.” Mike’s reading my mind again, “You know what the deal is with that shit, right?”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, though I already had a feeling what he was going to say.

“Iris and Lilith-er, I mean, Raijin. The two bitches are Michael’s incarnations. The ones he sealed within you and Rae. Take a wild guess at where their souls suddenly disappeared off to…”

I know. I already figured as much, but… They’re still my children, regardless of whose soul is inhabiting their bodies. Besides, reincarnation isn’t always so simple, right? At least, Michael used to tell me that most of the time, people rarely remember more than bits and pieces from their past lives.

“Hey Silvia, don’t forget to activate the Lunar Resonance Field thingy…” Mike suddenly said something weird, oh, he’s still talking but trying to keep it secret from me? Nope, Silvia was the one who cut him off.

Woah! Something just happened! It’s night time and aside from the stars, the sky was pretty dark… Then the moon lit up. It was so crescent that it looked like a silvery sliver, but then it just ‘appeared’. A blue radiance shot out of it and thousands of little dots also started glowing in the sky for a short time, then everything went back to normal again.

“Okay, that’s better.” Mike’s snickering… What?! He just said “Now those assholes can’t fuck with us anymore! Hahaha~! With the Lunar Resonance Field in place, it’ll be impossible for anyone to teleport in or out of the Terra-Luna Mana-uh… Mana… Mana-Bubble? Mana-Shield? I don’t fucking know! It’s like a thing that um, when-”

After he rambled a bit, Silvia interjected “The planet Earth and Luna have a synergistic influence on each other. This Arcane Mana-Vault utilizes the exchange of mana between the planet and moon, to create a barrier of sorts. It is not designed to stop matter, mana or energy from entering or exiting its sphere of influence. However, teleportation would be very difficult. Now, it will be impossible for Mars or Venus to interfere with our affairs. It should allow us to at least obtain a few decades of relative tranquility.”

Mars is ‘Heaven’, while Venus is ‘Hell’ according to Mike. Belial is on Hell, so what that means is… She can’t hurt us anymore. At least not for a while.

***

Cataclysm: Day 23

Our problems haven’t ended. It’s just that we can somewhat manage them now. It’s probably going to take a few days for the north to calm down. The shields are still active, so the people we left over there should be fine.

We have so many things that we need to do, that it feels like I’m being crushed under some invisible force. I sometimes miss my childhood… When I was struggling to survive on the streets, but at least I didn’t have any real responsibilities. I only needed to survive. Take care of myself and that was all that mattered.

Now, it feels like thousands or maybe millions of lives can be destroyed with one stupid action that I might take. I’ve barely gotten any sleep since this cataclysm began. I’m starting to see and hear things. Whispers from… Somewhere. People constantly talking, singing, screaming in my mind.

Did I go mad, or am I just awakening to the madness of reality?

I’m just… I’ll take a nap. We can’t really do anything anyway. So I should try to find a bed or something around here. We can’t leave this giant disk yet. Safety protocols according to Silvia.

Goodnight, random person I’ll probably never meet.

***

Cataclysm: Day 24

I didn’t get much sleep, but it was enough. And it was meaningful. We’re so close to Michael, that he was able to reach out to us in our conjoined dream. Apparently, he and ‘Amber’ are each controlling a World Tree in order to stabilize this giant disk of rock and dirt that’s being held up by the ‘three’ trees… Though they’re more like enormous stumps that grew outwards instead of upwards.

Michael told us “It’s good to see that you two kids are doing fine. Kind of unnerving that you let Lilith and Anael ‘out’, but that could be a good thing too… Less chance for them to corrupt you guys. Instead, if you ‘raise’ them right, it might turn out pretty well. Where are they though? Actually, where the hell are you two? In that giant space station that just came down from the sky the other day?”

Rae immediately nodded and explained “We went all around the world with Silvia and umm… ‘Mike’. They somehow used these giant flying saucer things and huge ‘continental anchors’ to pull down pyramids from outer space! It was amazing and terrifying…”

“How the fuck?” He sighed dramatically, then grumbled “Luna summoned them here. No, maybe Luna was the one who got summoned by them? Anyway, if they have access to the Continental Anchors and shit like that, then can they please fix Southern Lorthon Forest? You know, the giant molten wasteland that’s only getting worse? This is really an emergency situation… I’m doing all I can to keep things from going over the edge, but ugh, Amber still has no idea what she’s doing. At this rate, she’ll cause more harm than help so… Tell them to hurry the fuck up, please.”

And then he was gone. Well, not gone, but I woke up and started writing all of this down before I forgot. It’s really important after all. I’m still tired though, so I’m afraid I might fall asleep again.

***

Cataclysm: Day 25

Have you ever been so tired you slept for over a day? I didn’t dream though… It was surprisingly… Peaceful.

My mentor, ‘Raijin’ once taught me that when we sleep, only a small portion of that time is spent dreaming. We can experience an entire lifetime, but the truth is that it’s merely a minute or two in our reality. Sometimes the dreams are memories, things that we experienced already, but often they’re twisted by our imagination.

Occasionally, we aren’t simply dreaming. But glimpsing upon events that are happening, either in our world or others. Maybe in the present, past or future of that reality. And then when she got into past and future lives, I would usually try to change the subject or she would never… Ever stop talking.

She had a deep and raspy voice. Feminine to an extent, but she definitely wasn’t a Red Goblin. Not that I wanted her to be… It’s just that, I don’t think I can even hear sounds that low. My ears just wouldn’t pick it up. I have no idea what she really looked like, because she always had the appearance of a person completely covered in bloody bandages and rusty iron chains. The smell… Like a rotten or burnt corpse, depending on the time of day.

It feels bad talking ill of Raijin, considering all she taught me and the times she actually saved my life. But I’m kind of glad she isn’t lurking around in my mind anymore…

I might not have mentioned this before, but we don’t have any food. We brought some meat, cheese, vegetables and water with us… But now we have nothing but mana. It is possible to survive on mana alone in an environment like this, where the density is so heavy that it feels like you’re fifty feet under water.

It’s not comfortable or pleasant though. I’ve discussed it with Rae, Mike and Silvia. We’re going back to Luna.

Let me clarify that: Rae and I are going back to Luna. Mike and Silvia are staying here to deal with the catastrophe in Southern Lorthon. It’s not like Rae and I are helping them by staying here anyway.

We said our goodbyes and I’m moving onto another journal now. Since the Cataclysm is basically over or at least ending, I’ll need to name the next one something different… I’ll take a few days to think of it. Hopefully by then, there will be some good news to write about.

***

Luna: Day 9

I couldn’t come up with a better name. And it really has been nine days since we came back here. Luna even let us stay in the same room as before, with our two eggs. Unsurprisingly the eggs themselves didn’t grow much, but our ‘babies’ did… I should have expected this, and maybe I kind of did, but they aren’t like us.

It’s only been a little over a month, so they aren’t quite finished growing. Still, it’s not hard to tell what they look like, since their soft and squishy egg-shells are almost completely translucent. Luna said that they were ‘Cherubim’. The same thing as me, except different, because they look like little lizards or maybe snakes. I guess they could be eels or some other type of aquatic animal too.

A Cherubim is kind of like a mutant, sometimes. Seraphim are these tiny little people, only half a foot to a foot tall from what I’ve seen. They live in the Garden of Eden, within ‘this’ base. Luna has a lot of bases all over her ‘body’, so this is just one of many.

Seraphim mostly reproduce asexually. Although it is possible for them to sexually reproduce, their only sex is female. They normally lay eggs, but sometimes, they give birth. When they give birth, that’s the first sign of a mutation. The child is always a Cherubim, though the appearance tends to vary dramatically.

The reason that a tiny little girl can give birth to a giant wolf baby, is because of Creation Magic. This is a really inefficient form of magic that’s only useful in environments of extreme mana-density. Actually, it can be used on the extremely micro scale to great effect if you’re like Yuri and can create viruses, bacteria and the embryos of various creatures based on your own imagination. Yes, that’s the key to Creation Magic, imagination.

Seraphim mostly use Illusion Magic to fight each other and the various monsters in the Garden of Eden. So they have really strong imaginations, some more than others. When it reaches a certain level and they become powerful enough, they can actually choose what their children will look like, based on their own appearance or someone else.

In theory, this should be awesome. The problem is that it isn’t easy, and requires a lot of concentration. They take about five days to form and lay their egg, but if their mind wanders… For example, if they thought about how cute cat tails are, then something like Michael would happen. The egg would dissolve and the mother would become pregnant. It’s a swift process though. There usually isn’t much time to figure out what’s happening.

By the time they think they’re going to lay an egg, a baby or puppy or dragon might pop out. It’s all pretty random. It might be small inside of their uterus, but once the creature is ‘banished’ down to Earth, the teleportation process can cause even more mutations to occur. A baby that was an inch long, might grow up to two feet during the process. Then there’s the influence of going from a high mana-density environment, to a low one so quickly. The result is usually death.

Yeah, they’re savage little beasts from my perspective. How could you abandon your child to die, just because they look different or have golden eyes?!

I guess I can relate, but that’s why I hate their culture. I’ll never let my children experience that kind of cruelty. I will always be there for them, no matter what I need to do in order for that to be possible.

***

Luna: Day 12

Nothing is ever free. As a thief, I know this more than anyone. Freedom always comes with a heavy price. And if you ever stop fighting for it, you’ll lose it forever.

I’m still a thief. Maybe not a petty pickpocket or burglar, but I still steal in order to survive. Luna is calculative, manipulative, abusive and deeply disturbed… However, she’s currently my boss.

It’s not like I was expecting to stay in her sanctum for free though. I knew that sooner or later, we’d have to pay for our room and board. 

Why not just leave? I would, if I was alone. But according to Luna, if I try to use teleportation on the eggs, there could be severe defects in the embryos. Aside from that, just taking them from this high-density mana-zone would be dangerous even for a full-grown adult…

Aside from that, Rae has gotten addicted to the food here. To the point where my blood can’t even sate her thirst anymore. Luna… She knew that this would happen. She planned it all.

Thou shalt not enslave? Is this slavery? We get paid with priceless artifacts, nearly impossible to acquire food and drink, the best training grounds on Earth or well… The Moon. Our wages are incredibly high, yet why does it still feel like we’re shackled in chains?

It’s heavy. Carrying this weight around. But I’ll do it for my children. For my wife.

This game is really hard though. It would literally be easier to go around and steal things in reality instead of being forced to play this stupid board game! How can rolling some dice possibly influence my ability to pick locks?! Why is every dungeon that Luna creates, so ridiculously complex?!

I much prefer the card games, which allow for a lot more skill than luck. The problem is that no matter what, Luna is impossible to beat at any game. At least if she’s the Dungeon Lord, she isn’t directly playing against us.

Aside from me and Rae, there are also two other players: A really weird red dog named Sparkles and a purple snake called Rose.

1 thought on “IS V6, Chapter 1: Ethir’s Journals Parts 4-10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s