This is a bonus chapter, not from donations, but from goodwill and to say happy birthday to Life! So if you enjoy the extra chapter make sure to wish him a happy birthday here in the comments section, as that’s the only way I know how to reach him.
I swiftly progress through the forest, casually striking down what few animals dared to approach me still. For enemies of this calibre I only use my spear, there isn’t a need for me to infuse it with elemental energy, or to even use any special movements. It’s not long before I reach the cliff, and I jump off again. This time I use [Earth] [Wall] [Horizontal] to create platforms to land on, each platform is 10 feet lower than the last, lining up to form a giant <. I feel great, and Castellum is enjoying the exercise as well. Where sometimes I’m a little off and have to use teleport to adjust my landing, Castellum always manages to hit dead center. He’s grown greatly in size since his evolution, his head reaches my shoulder now and lean muscle ripples along his midnight black coat.
We arrive at the designated meeting spot but Asla isn’t there yet. Castellum and I grow restless waiting, we’re ready to start this adventure already.
After an hour of waiting I finally can’t take it any longer and head off to find something to fight. The first thing that pops into my head is the bug scorpion, but it seems like we would have bad affinity while fighting it. There’s also the ambush gorilla, but he’s quite elusive due to his stealth.
I make up my mind and scratch a giant arrow onto the ground, pointing in the direction of the scorpion. What’s life without a few risks after all. Taking out my spear I infuse it with lightning magic and a pulse effect, my hope is to use the pulse as a means of controlling the flow of the fight.
Hurling my spear into the center of the scorpion I watch as it begins to scream.
“Go Castellum!” He charges the bug scorpion as it trys to crawl away. He whimpers a bit at the sting of the electricity, but his black fur seems to be absorbing it rather well. While Castellum keeps the scorpion pinned I throw multiple small fireballs, trying to avoid my companion.
Swinging it’s burning tail it knocks Castellum down and out of the range of my spear’s lightning effect. It then pounces toward me expecting an easy kill.
I erect a wall of stone between us then teleport closer to Castellum. He’s lying down, it looks like he’s down for now, I’ll be finishing this fight on my own. I attempt to surround the monster with fire as it charges toward me, but the monster ignores it, intent on killing me.
With few options that didn’t involve my grisly death remaining I race toward it as well.
I count the heartbeats as we close in on one another. I’m praying that I have fast enough reflexes. Just as the bugs begin to swarm me I teleport past them, throwing a series of fireballs behind me.
It begins to break up as whole masses of insects leave the host.
Foolishly I relax, thinking the fight was over. Far from it as I soon find out. A millipede manages to bite me on the leg, and I realize that while it lost its shape, it’s still an intelligent swarm.
I suffer the poison debuff and I start to panic. I don’t have anything to treat poison, which will continuously drain my hp until I either die or find a cure.
My only hope is to find Asla’s village, and as I ready to flee I stop dead in my tracks. I can’t leave Castellum. If this is my reality for now then he isn’t a program or an npc. He’s my friend. I turn and glare at the swarm. “I guess I have to kill you first.”