IS V6, Chapter 1: Ethir’s Journals Part 11-13

Luna: Day 15

Rose and Sparkle died. I didn’t really know them that well, but it just shows how dangerous The Garden of Eden is… Even sentient and powerful beasts like those two could get killed.

They were killed and eaten by a snake-woman… A Lamia, of sorts. Not the kind from the Fourth Ring of Lorthon. Something closer to the Snake Tribe.

It’s a little unnerving to think that the food that we’ve been eating… The meat at least, was sentient when it was alive. Like people.

We haven’t just been eating them either. We also fought and killed a few ‘beasts’ so far, in order to make clothing, weapons and other equipment. Mostly, I focused on my runework. The more I understand about runes, the more I realize how incredibly powerful they can become.

For example, I’ve been studying gravity lately. What creates gravity? How can you manipulate it using magic? When going from the hallway, to the Garden of Eden, there’s a massive increase in gravity. And the farther you go into the depths, the stronger the gravitational force becomes.

Yet, there are plants and animals that can totally ignore the difference. Some of them are simply absurdly powerful, but the Gigaton Squirrels? They have runes engraved on their bones. According to Luna, the very basis of life involves runes. Whether it be DNA, RNA, or the programming of a complex Golem. All of it involves some form of runic entanglement.

Strands of DNA tell cells how to function. But that’s in the very micro scale. When you move onto macro-runes, you’re simply carving symbols or painting them onto the surface of something. It’s way too archaic and simplistic.

What I need to do is use my mana, to engrave and warp the substance from the inside out. It’s really hard and Michael would probably laugh at me for even trying. I know Luna does. It’s because there’s a much simpler and easier method… Just using better materials in the first place.

Because you don’t always have access to fancy materials. What if all you have is some regular steel? Even mithril is considered low-level compared to Lunar gold, silver, ivory, obsidian, et cetera…

I need to talk to Silvia.

***

Luna: Day 16

As I expected, the moment I started talking to Silvia about Enchanting and Runecrafting, she immediately teleported to Luna. We spent hours just delving into the possibilities and theories, without ever actually getting anything done. It was fun though.

After we spent the rest of the day experimenting on 3D Runic Infrastructure, she had to leave in order to deal with some stuff. I think she was just afraid that if she wasn’t there to keep Mike in line, he would end up wandering off.

I did notice that she was looking much, much healthier than before. Her fur is silvery and lush, there’s a huge horn sticking out of her forehead that looks kind of like a curved blade, while even her eyes were healed. Before, there was only one of them and it was well, improvised?

***

Something really weird just happened… Luna acted like she didn’t even know me earlier. Blue skin, purple fur on her legs, pink hair that’s tied up in a long braid… I don’t remember seeing any jewelry on her nipples or belly button! And she had gems encrusted on her hooves! Maybe she’s an imposter?!

Never mind, I just saw the two of them standing next to each other in the hall. Maybe they’re twins?

***

Not twins, more like clones. The Luna we know is called Luna-Prime. The other one is Luna-Alpha… Which is pretty confusing, but apparently there are a bunch of them who are pretty much at the same ‘rank’ and power level. While there are thousands of ‘Avatars’ that are simply numbered based on their strength or achievements.

The two of them… Have a strange relationship. No, maybe it isn’t that strange. Everyone plays with themselves after all.

No, I guess it’s still really weird. Especially since they’re ‘really’ affectionate with each other. In front of us. It’s extremely uncomfortable. But it’s ‘her’ house, we’re just living in it. I don’t know how long that will last though.

I don’t know if it was supposed to be a secret or not, but… I heard something unsettling earlier. The two of them were talking in a language they probably thought I didn’t understand. It was actually something Raijin taught me.

“The plan worked… Now that the ancient array is operational again, we can proceed to the next phase. With the barrier up, even if we killed Terra, Sol wouldn’t find out until afterwards. And then, we can take things a step farther.” That’s what Alpha Luna said.

Luna Prime shook her head and replied, “If we kill Terra, Michael will be upset. We should just focus our efforts on Armageddon. We have Rapture within our grasp already, so all that remains is the ‘Spark’. With that, we should be able to finally free ourselves from this system. We can escape to the Chaotic Void, before this universe is destroyed.”

So there’s that… I really don’t think it was much of a secret. Otherwise, they wouldn’t just openly talk about it in front of us, while we were all eating dinner… Right? It’s still freaking me out a bit though. Hopefully the eggs hatch soon. I don’t like feeling this way… As if everything I do is being watched and recorded.

I’m alive! I can’t believe I’m actually alive… Wait, no, that was just a dream…

***

Luna: Day 19

That was weird. One of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had in my entire life. I was a Human, on some version of Earth where there was no magic, and humans were the only known intelligent life forms there. They had pretty advanced technology, to make up for their lack of magic.

I don’t remember my name, but I know I had a big and loving family. We were all together for some holiday when the disaster started. It was probably an alien invasion, yet it was beyond what anyone was capable of fighting… So it was just a disaster.

All I remember were these giant black worms coming out of the ground. They uprooted entire buildings and dug through rocks or steel like it was loose-soil. I saw a lot of my friends killed by those monsters, but I survived.

They were building another planet, between the Earth, the Moon and Venus… We could see it in the sky at night. They were tearing apart those planets and creating a new one, but they failed. I guess they underestimated gravity, or maybe they just didn’t have enough time.

Their new world was ripped apart and fell to the Earth, Moon and Venus. But that wasn’t the end of the cataclysm. I still had a lot of friends and family left before that… It was horrible. So many hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes…We were lucky that it hit the other side of the world from us, but no one was really ‘lucky’ in that week of despair.

Yet at the end… When I finally was able to look up at that clear-blue sky, when I was still alive, even after so much death… I was happy. I at least got to tell my parents, cousins and sister that I loved them. Some of my friends were still alive and in a bunker somewhere nearby. But I was just happy to survive.

At the very end, all the trees around be were being ripped out of the ground, much less the buildings. So I had to hold on tightly to two of the only trees in my vicinity, grabbing them by the trunks with my arms and legs. It felt like that night went on forever… But it eventually ended.

It was strange. A lot of people would’ve been so sad that they might have wished for death instead of being left alone in the world. But I was just smiling and staring up at the sky, breathing out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Then I woke up. 

But I didn’t wake up in my bed, next to my wife and my two eggs… I’m back here again. Orcadia, where we left our followers, almost a month ago.

Raelin stayed with our eggs, while I came back here to tie up some loose ends. Wait, that sounded like I’m here to kill people. No, it’s the exact opposite. I’m here to make sure that everyone makes it back to Lorthon Forest.

Mike and Silvia are teleporting them to the next city, which is also a ghost-town… With a pyramid. We can’t transport so many people at once, all the way to Lorthon Forest. Our end goal is Beast Haven, since their pyramid is usually inactive. The problem is that we need to make about twenty trips before then. It’s going to take a while.

I guess it isn’t too bad though, since this allows us more time to gather more survivors. Orcs, Ogres and Goblins alike. We’ll spend a few days at every city we come across and send out search parties to find people.

Fortunately we have eyes in the sky, so we’re able to avoid coming into contact with the Jingoku Empire’s forces. We just don’t have the time, manpower, firepower or food to deal with a war right now. Besides, I’m sure that Beatrix will love to conquer the north eventually. Right now though, we need to keep moving.

Mike is almost fully recovered, and I’m kind of worried what he might do once he can move around on his own…

***

Luna: Day 28

Finally finished “The Great Migration”. We managed to avoid having an all-out war with the Jingoku Empire, even though Mike killed a lot of them. The giant silver monster was more of a deterrent than anything else.

He’s over ten feet tall, has a huge black spear and there’s a machine-gun built into his left arm. Even if that’s not so big compared to the enemy ogres, those ogres aren’t made out of nearly indestructible metal. They also can’t spew out fire that sticks to people and keeps burning even underwater.

Anyway, it took us ten days to gather and move everyone. Though if you start from the very beginning, it was almost two months. We didn’t bother scanning minds or vetting people, because we didn’t have time or the energy to do that. Raelin came and helped me from time to time, but it was mostly just me and Mike.

We’d give people two days between every move. A day to get settled and search for other survivors, mostly ex-slaves or simple villagers. Every pyramid was the center of a large, walled city, but not all of them were covered with a barrier like that first one. No, most were still fully functional… A lot of Orcs died, but not the ones under our care.

It may seem cruel… No, it was cruel. What we did… So many people, I can still hear their screams when I try to sleep at night. As Michael burned or beat them to death. Of course, I also got my blades dirty as well. My kills were cleaner and swifter though. Almost painless, without letting them even realize how they died. When I shot a bullet through their head with my ‘silenced’ rail-pistol, they didn’t hear or feel anything.

Did I mention that Silvia helped me build my weapons and armor? The rail-pistol was her idea. A railgun is basically just a tube with magnetized rings, which launch the tiny metal projectile out the end. So it’s very similar to Earth Manipulation.

If the projectile travels faster than the speed of sound, it would be really loud. However, if it’s aerodynamic enough and/or has a built in anti-wind-resistance array, then you can get a silent gun. Condensing it down to the size of a pistol is hard, especially one that’s small enough for someone of my stature to wield. It’s definitely doable though, since we already did it.

Back to the main point of this journal entry: We finished the migration. We managed to get close to 50,000 refugees to Beast Haven. We lost a lot of the original number along the way, but 50,000… That’s a huge amount of people. Especially considering that many of them were Orcs and Ogres, two very large races. 5,000 Ogres, 15,000 Orcs, and 30,000 Goblins… Give or take a few hundred of each.

Fortunately, Beast Haven doesn’t have very strict requirements for citizenship compared to the other cities. Most of the population is made up of really gigantic Beast Tribes, physically large, not necessarily big numbers. However, if you consider ‘all’ the different races, it adds up to a lot of people.

If I had taken them to White or Black Mithril, I know that Beatrix would’ve wanted to kill a tenth of them for things they’ve done. Not even rape, but just the fact that they were complicit in slavery in some way. She’s way too strict when it comes to that kind of stuff.

I’m just happy to be back home, with my wife and children. They haven’t hatched yet, but it’s going to be soon… Really soon. I can feel it in my gut.

Luna: Day 21

I’m a father. It feels so real now. The first to hatch was Iris, then Raijin. We didn’t name them, they chose those names themselves. Yeah… They’re already talking, even though they were just born this morning. Fortunately, they’re at least similar to normal babies in the sense that they sleep a lot.

Iris is um, well, she looks kind of normal. Somewhere between a Wood Elf and a Red Goblin. Her skin is beige, but really pale, like Rae’. Bright green irises, orange hair that’s really short because she’s an infant, and… She doesn’t even have her baby teeth yet, but there are two tiny fangs that are starting to grow out. Rae’s nipple was bleeding earlier after Iris tried to breastfeed. Actually, Rae can’t even produce milk, but Luna said that her blood is a good nutrient for her babies to consume.

Raijin is uh, she’s a dragon. A serpentine dragon or well, a really snake-like lizard. She has black scales and runic patterns all over her body, which glow with a silvery light and emit sparks occasionally. She has blond hair, in the form of a horse-like mane. There are two silver antlers on the sides of her head too… It’s really weird, but according to her, it’s normal.

Wood Elves and Red Goblins have different cultures for the most part, but we do have something in common: A Matriarchal Society. Instead of the way humans and orcs tend to take on the last name of the male spouse, we take on the last name of the female spouse. My name is Ethir Nerorneth, while my daughters are Iris Anael Nerorneth and Raijin Lilith Nerorneth.

They can talk, and they remember their own names, but that’s almost all they seem to recall. Maybe they’re lying, it really doesn’t matter to me. My children are mine, no matter whether they’re reincarnated monsters or tiny electric dragon-snakes. I’ll take care of them regardless.

I love them. That will never change.

***

Luna: Day 28

She actually kicked us out… Saying “It’s too dangerous to have so many of Michael’s incarnations under the same roof. From now onward, you’ll need to work harder to provide for your children… On Terra.”

Just woke us up in the middle of the ‘night’ and forced us all to teleport down to Earth. At least she sent us to Angren, so there wasn’t too much of a mana-shock. I honestly didn’t know what to expect though. Neither of us had ever been to Angren before. We only heard some stories about it.

Raijin said “When you expect nothing, then everything will exceed your expectations.”

Iris retorted “Fuckin A, cut it out with that bullshit, will ya? You’re like five days old, so don’t act like you’re a damn sage!”

They fight a lot. It’s funny how Raelin gets angry when Iris curses, telling her “Kids shouldn’t swear!”

Which obviously just makes Iris curse some more, while Raijin and I laugh at them. Hmmm, anyway, we were teleported into a strange restaurant which Luna technically owns. They sell dishes made from plants and animals from the Garden of Eden. We didn’t have any money and they were ordered not to sell us anything anyway. So we left, wandering the chaotic streets of Angren for a while.

It’s so… lively. There weren’t any people stronger than us there, but everywhere we went, people carried weapons and wore armor. Well, there were a lot of really furry Beast Tribe nudists too. Most of them still had weapons of some kind though.

Markings, so many magical tattoos and jewelry. Michael’s marks were everywhere we went, on almost every single person there. They ignored us for the most part, but there were a few who recognized us. We weren’t wearing our masks or any fancy equipment, just wearing some casual clothes, with all our stuff in backpacks. Raelin carried Iris in her arms and Raijin just floated in between us, seemingly unfettered by gravity.

Although my daughter might have attracted a little attention, ultimately, there were lots of other strange creatures wandering around. People were riding Earth Dragons, giant cranes, some people were even using Wind Manipulation to fly around. In the midst of all that, Ethir and Raelin apparently weren’t famous enough to warrant a second glance.

It was a good thing though. I didn’t want to be noticed. We looked around at the shops and stores, noticing a lot of firearms being sold to people who weren’t even part of the military. They all carried Michael’s mark though… It was one of the only requirements and almost impossible to forge.

When we walked past a few buildings, I noticed strange machines that releases music or voices. Some were magical, while others were just mechanical. Technology has advanced so much since we left, it’s almost overwhelming. But I guess if you compare it to Luna’s base and all those space stations, it wasn’t ‘too’ advanced. Still, there are so many things I just don’t know about or understand.

Eventually, we took a trip to the surface and noticed that Angren Tower was finally finished. No, not just that, there were even five other towers that were half-way constructed already. Along with a huge wall around the whole clearing, an arena, a bunch of anti-air guns that are really, crazy big. We actually saw them fire off a few salvos and kill a massive, three-headed vulture.

Now we’re staying in a suite near the top of Angren Tower. It has a similar mana-density to the Forest of Corruption, so even my daughters feel comfortable. Lorelei’s still the ‘leader’ of Alfirin, though I’m not sure whether she’s some kind of Matriarch or a Queen… I never really understood politics either way.

She lives upstairs and is letting us stay here for free, which is really bothering me. Still, it’s nice to see my sister again. Conor lives next door. He has a huge indoor-pool or well, fish tank, for his kids.

A few doors down, there’s a family of harpies. Just a mother and a daughter, but the interesting thing is that the daughter is at least biologically, related to Michael. Her name’s Lucy and she seems like a good kid. Looks like a giant version of those Seraphim though, which unnerves me a bit for some reason.

Considering that we aren’t staying on the Moon anymore, I think I’ll finish this Luna Diary now.

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