Survive in the parallel world, please! -
Chapter 14: Don’t peek, please! part
Before dawn, Anne woke up shivering, covered in sweat. Although I slept peacefully, I was expecting that at some point she would wake up to go out, just as it happened to me when I was sick. For this reason my sleep today was lighter than usual.
“Are you okay?” I tell her in a concerned tone of voice
“No, I feel bad and I don’t want to go to the bathroom alone. Could you please come with me?”
It’s a strange occasion, this is the first time that Anne asks me for something while being so nice. This rare occasion makes me feel warm inside, she really must be in a lot of pain. Although at first i wanted to take revenge and make fun of her a little, this time I will be the bigger man and I’ll support her unconditionally.
“Okay, come on” I brushed aside the little cat that was curled up on top of me and I groped my way to my feet in the dark.
We left the cabin trying to make as little noise as possible, we went into the forest to the latrine area. They are basically holes in the ground at a safe distance where we can relieve ourselves.
Since the road is dark and I can’t see very well, I walk slower than Anne would like in her current state.
“Can’t you go a little faster please? I’m in a hurry”
“Even if you say that, unlike you, I can’t see in the dark”
“Well, if this helps you go any faster, you can hold my hand”
“I still can’t see, how do you expect me to hold your hand?”
After an exasperated sigh, Anne walks over to me and takes my hand. Her hand is small, soft, and her fingers shyly cling to me. From time to time she squeezes harder, giving me a slight tug to avoid some unseen obstacle.
We get to the right place, I know because Anne stops suddenly, then lets go of my hand.
“Do you want me to walk away?”
“No need, actually, you can keep holding on my hand. I can see in the dark, but I don’t want to fall into this filthy place. But if you say a word of this to anyone I’ll...”
“yeah, yeah, you’ll kill me, i know”
Without further ado I hear the sound of her clothes, surely she is taking them off to avoid getting dirty, then she grabs my hand again, this time holding on tight. The awkward situation takes an unexpected turn.
Night vision 1%
I wasn’t prepared for this, now I’m lost, I can see clearly at close range, I’m not able distinguish colors but other than that it’s as clear as day, except I can only see what’s nearby. With her free hand she begins to remove her underwear while standing on one feet. If she finds out I can see her I’m a dead man so I can’t look away, that would be suspicious. She’s now completely naked from the waist down and I can clearly see her slender legs flexing to push her clothing aside.
“That’s enough, now you can walk away now”
“Fine” I take a step back and lean against a tree while feeling relieved.
“A little further, there, there it’s fine” she says as she squats down.
After fulfilling her needs, she approaches me with her clothes on. Obviously I didn’t stare at her while she was at it.
“Now we’ll go to the lake”
“But it’s night and we can get lost”
“It’s no problem, I know the way, or do you think a soft leaf is enough to clean me? Men are really unpleasant sometimes” although she says offensive things, she actually has a cheerful expression on her face, she also looks calm.
Anne takes my hand again as she guides me toward the lake. I know she’s on the right track because now I can see too, it’s hard to pretend I can’t see now.
After returning from the lake, the first rays of the sun begin to appear slowly driving away the shadows of the forest. The others are still sleeping, Anne, who still feels sick, decides to go back to sleep for a while longer. I, on the other hand, begin to prepare myself for the exploration trip that we will carry out after breakfast.
Since Ayumi hasn’t gotten up yet, I got no choice but to light the fire with my flint. It’s a difficult task, but nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction that comes from making a fire with my own hands. Also, this allows me to practice fire making some more, there might come a day when I desperately need fire and I won’t be able to count on Ayumi for that. This is what bothers me about the so called ‘heroes’, they don’t prepare, they don’t adapt nor make plans for future circumstances. maybe it’s a privilege they can afford since they’re actually pretty strong, but it still bothers me.
I take the pot to the lake to fetch water, on the way I pick up some leaves that are edible according to analysis. Although they are supposedly edible, we haven’t yet found a proper use for them, they have too strong a citrus flavor.
Then an idea occurs to me, I put the leaves in the pot with a handful of berries, there are very few left since they cannot be easily found nearby.
The taste, although a little watery, is not bad. The sweetness of berries softens the sour taste of the leaves, best of all is the aroma. I drink a cup while it’s hot, it’s really good!
The lazy ‘heroes’ begin to rise and I offer them each a cup of my new invention. Since there’s only four clay cups Hiraku and Ayumi share hers, Luke and Bob each have theirs. Anne is still in bed, tired from her nightly activity and weakened by illness.
“I’d also like some too” says Helena, who’s the last of them to get up, as she approaches me.
“Give me a moment, I’ll go wash the cup”
“It’s not necessary, we can use the same one”
A light blush paints Helena’s face as she drinks. The heat of the infusion fills us all with energy in the cold morning.
“ah! this is a nice tea!”
“It’s not exactly tea, but it’s delicious anyway! you made a good discovery young Ryu!”
“yes! in my homeland we used to drink tea everyday, and i’ve been missing it badly all this time”
“It’s ok i guess”
Bob says and then offers to go wash the cups while Hiraku and I get things ready for our adventurous exploration trip.
We rearranged the spears, emptied the baskets, and prepared a few packets of grilled fish to eat on the way. Finally, I feed the moon cat and leave a wooden bowl of fresh water for it. Even though it’s in perfect condition now it refuses to let me take off his bandage, this is a problem because he’s growing rapidly and I dont think it fits anymore.
“I’m ready!” Says Anne leaving the cabin.
“Are you sure you want to go? You could stay with Ayumi and Luke”
“There’s no point in staying, as soon as I eat the red berries I’ll feel better right? So it’s best to do it as soon as possible, I don’t think I can resist much longer”
“I knew you were sick, but I didn’t know how bad it was, Anne. I really wish there was something i could do to help you” says Helena.
Once assembled Anne, Bob, Helena, Hiraku, and I headed for the lake and started walking as close to the shore as possible.
Now I can use my analysis skill more quickly, so I use it on all the rocks that catch my attention. Since I’m following Helena’s footsteps who’s ahead of me, it’s not necessary to be so aware of the road and im able to focus my attention elsewhere.
The lake’s shore is irregular, sometimes there are stones of various sizes scattered and sometimes the terrain rises making it impossible to walk near the water, forcing you to take a detour every now and then. Although I have traveled quite a bit around my settlement, I realize now that I have never been here before.
The first clue is the abundant presence of black berries that have become so rare near the settlement. As there is no clear path to follow, Bob takes the lead, whipping the vegetation that cuts us off with a stick he picked up on the way.
“Bob, is it true that you have an ability that allows you to increase your strength for a while?”
“Yes! It’s very useful for felling trees!”
“Why didn’t you use it when we fought the jackal?”
“Mana is something very valuable for a good magician, it is best to save it for the right moment, when the enemy is at a disadvantage or vulnerable”
What he says makes sense, but... isn’t Bob supposed to be a warrior? A giggle from Helena clears up my doubts. He’s definitively a warrior.
“I don’t want to poke into what doesn’t concern me, but I heard you’re actually a warrior”
“Well, yes, my class is warrior... it’s such a waste if you ask me, going to a fantasy world where magic is real and not being able to use it is... well, the fact is that in my old world I always dreamed of magic, being a warrior is something very painful for me” his tone of voice shows the disappointment it produces.
“That may be so, but don’t get discouraged Bob, the ‘god’ that brought us gave you the class with the best chance of survival... I think” says Helena trying to encourage him.
As far as I know, it’s possible to learn the skills regardless of your class, the fact that What I can see at night is proof of that. Although there is also the possibility that my case is special since I don’t have a class. Still, if Bob has mana and wants to cast spells, for whatever reason, I’d like to find a way to help him.
“Okay, let’s do the following. For now, make better use of the class characteristics you have at your disposal. Learn to be a good warrior, no, the best warrior! And I will help you find a way to perform magic. It shouldn’t be impossible, maybe you can change classes or use magic tools, I don’t know how magic works but surely Ayumi can help us find a solution”
“That would be amazing! I’m in!” Bob exclaims with the most genuine smile I’ve seen on him yet and that’s saying a lot as he’s by far the nicest guy in the group.
Anne remains strangely silent and begins to fall behind progressively, perhaps we should make a stop, she must be exhausted from the trip, after all her illness has rapidly worsened.
“Hey, don’t you think we should’ve found the berries we’re looking for by now?” Anne asks impatiently.
So far we haven’t found any red berries. A month ago they were relatively common, but I was forced to eat them occasionally. because they take longer to ripen than black berries I’m not surprised they ran out quickly.
“What if we split up to search?” Hiraku says.
“It’s true that we’d cover more ground, but still nothing ensures that we can find them even if we separate. What’s certain is that the danger we will face increases. We should also look for a place to rest”
Anne is so tired that she doesn’t even have energy to argue with me. We continue advancing for a few minutes until we find an appropriate place to rest.
It’s a small hill in a clearing, the sunlight hits us directly. It’s a nice change considering we’re surrounded by greenery. Now that I think about it, we have been slowly but surely walking uphill since we set off. This might be the reason why we all tired more than the usual. I can’t confirm this because our field of view is short due to being surrounded by so many trees and vegetation anyway, so there’s nothing else to do but rest.
I take the opportunity to analyze some trees and plants. I find nothing out of the ordinary until I notice a curious vine that I hadn’t seen before.
It’s a plant that surrounds the tree in which it is located, it begins with a thin forked stem and rises until it becomes a kind of green mantle over the tree, without further ado I analyze the unknown plant.
Elvish wheat plant: its fruit is edible.
“Hey! The vine that covers this tree has an edible fruit!”
Everyone’s gaze falls on the tree I’m staring at.
“Fine, but now we’re looking for something else,” says Anne.
“Actually, we came to look for some stone that we can use to make tools and you joined us. Although we’ve also been looking for your medicine, we can’t miss this chance” as soon as Hiraku finished saying these words Anne shoots lightning at me with her gaze, luckily she’s not a magician.
“No need to argue, we can pick the fruit while Anne rests” says Bob who was interrupted by a loud stomach growl from Anne.
“Helena come with me, I need to go somewhere more private” Anne takes Helena’s arm and they quickly disappear into the foliage.
The three of us remained looking at the tree with an expression of doubt. Not even certain if there’s fruit since I cannot see it and it is very high. Perhaps it’s not even ripe yet.
Throwing something to harvest the fruit is impossible as we don’t know where it is, I don’t even know what the fruit looks like so I couldn’t guide someone up either. What do I do if they asks me what the fruit looks like?
I don’t want to tell everyone about my analysis skill, it’s not about selfishness, it’s more about survival. I still don’t quite understand this thing about skills and I’m at a clear numerical and strength disadvantage. Well, in the worst case I can say that I just recovered part of my memory.
I finally decide to ask Hiraku to go up, he has way more health points than me and the risk is lower.
“Hiraku, do you think you can climb up if Bob picks you up?”
“Leave it to me” Hiraku nods. Bob bends over a bit and uses his hands to lift Hiraku, who takes advantage of the momentum to jump to the nearest branch. From there he only needed to take a couple more jumps and finally reach the vine. Then he throws us some oval yellow fruits the size of a fist. At the base of the fruit you can see the stem from which it came. The most curious thing is that it is bright, to the point that it seems to emit its own light.
“There’s a lot! Should I throw some more?”
“No, instead of that, Bob, could you clean up the vegetation a bit and mark some trees? Our priority now is different, although it doesn’t hurt to get additional resources, we can’t fill the basket with fruits that we may have to throw away later in order to make space for materials. Since we’re not that far away from our settlement, as long as we mark this place we shouldn’t have any troubles finding it later”
Hiraku begins to climb to the top of the tree and an expression of astonishment is heard. When Anne and Helena return, Hiraku rushes down to the lowest branch, then falls to the ground placing both hands and a knee on the ground.
“wow! that was cool Hiraku!”
He looks as competent and heroic as always, if it was just by appearance he’d be a true hero.
“There’s a river that comes from a distant mountain, surely it connects with the lake, it might be a good idea to reach that place today and then go back to the settlement”
We all agree, Anne looks more composed now. I would really like to help her but there is not much I can do for her right now. Still, I must admit that I like to see her suffer a bit. It’s kind of what she deserves for being so annoying all this time.
It has been a difficult journey so far, made worse by the lack of water. Our only source of hydration is the black berries we find along the way. By the time we got to the river it was past noon, if we don’t get what we’re looking for soon we won’t be able to go back home before dark.
Bob, who has an enviable energy, runs to find the stones that most attract his attention. With the practice he’s had before looking for stones to make spears, I’d say he knows what he’s doing.
Helena, Hiraku and Anne walk around the area using the river as a reference to find the medicine that Anne so desperately needs.
As Bob piles up the rocks he’s found, there’s a thought that bothers me. The camp where I found them was near a river and my guess was that the river would somehow reach the lake. So, how is it possible that we found the river if we went in the opposite direction?
This means that there are two different rivers, one that enters the lake and another that leaves it. The idea seems strange to me, but I cannot dispute the facts. The only alternative would be that during the day we have completely surrounded the lake, but for the time it took us I would say that it’s impossible. If only we could find a map, but that would be too much to ask.
In the pile that Bob collected, there’s an angular rock that catches my eye:
Imperial Rock: resistant to impact, weak to abrasion.
“This is just what I was looking for! even if it’s hard, it looks like it will be easy to shape. Let’s find some more to take in case...”
A sharp scream draws my attention and immediately quit what I was doing.
could it be? are they in danger?
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