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Paragon of Destruction - Chapter 105

Published at 12th of August 2019 08:28:15 PM

Chapter 105

"This is insane . "

Arran had already said it at least a dozen times, but he still hoped he could somehow change Snowcloud's mind .

"I'll only be gone for a month or two," Snowcloud said . "You'll be able to handle it . "

"What if I run into another novice? Or bandits? Or a rogue mage?" He only barely kept himself from screaming in frustration .

"You're over a hundred miles from the nearest village," she replied calmly . "There's almost no chance of meeting other people here . "

"Then what if I'm attacked by wild beasts, or monsters?"

"You will just have to kill them," she answered . "You're a mage . You can defend yourself . "

"But you blinded me!"

That, of course, was the real problem .

When Arran awoke that morning, Snowcloud had handed him a mug of herbal tea, telling him that drinking it would aid his Sense training . After the potion she had used to keep him awake when they fled the Valley, he was hesitant to ingest her concoctions, but at her insistence, he had done it anyway .

He had realized his mistake only moments later, because almost immediately after he drained the mug, his vision began to fade . A few moments more, and it was gone completely, with Arran suddenly finding the world plunged into complete darkness .

He had felt some panic at this — how could he not? — but he had tried to stay calm, reminding himself that with Snowcloud at his side, he wasn't in any real danger .

His panic had turned into terror when she informed him that she would be departing for several months, leaving Arran behind to train his Sense . Once she returned, she said, she would give him the antidote to the poison that had blinded him .

He had pleaded, raged, begged, reasoned, and threatened in hopes of dissuading her from the insane plan, but none of his efforts had any effect in changing her mind .

Instead, she had told him that it was a necessary step for him to develop his Sense, and that he would be grateful for the lesson once she returned . He had already resolved to show his gratitude with a fireball to her face once he regained his vision .

"What if you don't return?" he asked . "What if you die, or get injured? What if you decide to leave me here?!"

"If I don't return, your vision should return in under half a year," she answered . "Although by then, you should be able to do without it . "

The words offered Arran little comfort . He wasn't confident in lasting even a week without being able to see, much less half a year .

"Why do you need to go, anyway? Can't you stay here, at least?"

Although her company was the last thing he wanted right now, anything would be better than being left blind and alone beyond the borders of the Empire .

"There are certain herbs I need to find," she said . "And you would only get in the way . Even with your vision, you need a stronger Sense to be useful to me . "

"If I could see you right now, I would punch you," Arran said in a bitter voice, realizing there was no changing her mind .

"But you can't," Snowcloud said . "And that's the problem . You rely entirely on your natural senses, and you haven't even begun to train your magical Sense . "

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"I didn't know I could train it," Arran replied . "If I'd known, I would have started long ago . "

"But you didn't, so now, I'm helping you . " Although he could not see her face, Arran thought he could hear some amusement in her voice .

"There has to be a different way," Arran said pleadingly .

"There is," Snowcloud replied . "You could do what most initiates do, and spend a night or two blindfolded every week, slowly developing your Sense . With that, it should only take you about a decade to reach the level you need to be . Would you prefer that?"

"Yes!" Arran exclaimed instantly . Right now, several years of steady training sounded infinitely better than being left blind in the wild .

"Too bad," Snowcloud said . "I can't wait that long, and neither can you . Now, take this . "

She pressed something into Arran's hand that felt like a rectangular piece of stone .

"It's a Memory Amulet," she explained . "It contains information on the rare herbs that can be found in this region . Your Sense isn't strong enough to read it just yet, but in a few weeks, you'll be able to begin deciphering it . Doing so will help you train your Sense, as well as teaching you the basics of herbalism . I expect you to memorize it before I return . "

"Can't you at least give me some advice on how to train my Sense?"

No answer came, and after some moments, Arran realized that Snowcloud must have left . He called out several more times, but there was no response .

He sat down on the cave floor, then spent the next hour waiting, hoping that she would return . Perhaps she would realize that her plan was complete madness, change her mind, and come back .

But she didn't, and after a while, the truth finally began to sink in . He was blind and alone, in the middle of the wilderness, and it would be months before Snowcloud would return .

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The thought filled him with a dull sense of panic, but there was nothing he could do . As he went over his options in his head, he realized none of them would do anything to change the situation .

After some time lamenting his misfortune — and shouting various curses and insults — he began to examine the Memory Amulet . As expected, he was unable to make out its contents, although he could feel that there was something inside .

This was not his first time encountering a Memory Amulet, of course . Years ago, when he traveled with Master Zhao, he had taken another one from a group of bandits . Supposedly, it held enchanting techniques, but he had never gotten anything from it other than a hint of Essence . As the years passed, he had all but forgotten about it .

Now, he retrieved the amulet from his void bag — fortunately, his lack of sight did not prevent him from sensing the contents of the bag — and began to study it once more .

Although he could still not read it, he found that the presence of Essence inside seemed much clearer than before . And not just that — it was also clearer than the contents of Snowcloud's amulet .

He spent several hours studying it, but although he could tell there was some kind of writing inside, it was like trying to read a book from a distance of a hundred paces .

Eventually, he gave up and focused his attention on trying to Sense what was around him . This, too, proved to be fruitless — although he thought he could feel a hint of Natural Essence in the area, it was far too weak to be useful .

In the days that followed, he divided his time between studying the amulets, trying to use his Sense to make out his surroundings, and the drudging work of purifying Essence .

None of it seemed to achieve much, and after a week, he found himself in the same position he had started in — blind, helpless, and without any idea of how to change his situation . The only difference he could sense was that a week without bathing properly had left him smelling somewhat foul .

He had bottles with drinking water in his void bags, and he had used those to wash himself, but he couldn't be too wasteful with his drinking water — if Snowcloud did not return, he might end up needing every drop of it .

He knew there was a creek about two hundred paces from the cave, and he thought he should be able to make it there even without being able to see . But then, the risk of getting lost in the wilderness was a serious one, especially in his current state .

Deciding whether to risk it took him half an hour, but eventually, he made up his mind . The only way he would develop his Sense was by using it, and merely sitting in a cave seemed like poor practice .

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Reaching the creek was easier than he expected . Although he fell at least a dozen times, stumbling over roots and bumping into trees, he could already hear the burble of the creek when he was halfway there, and finding it proved simple even if he fell several more times .

When he arrived at the creek, he did not dare leave his void bags on its bed, knowing that finding them again if he lost them would be all but impossible . Instead, he wrapped his belongings in his robe, then held the bundle above his head as he bathed . It was far from convenient, but losing his void bags would be a disaster .

As he dressed himself after bathing, he breathed a sigh of relief . Being blind and naked as he bathed, he had felt terrifyingly vulnerable . That he had gotten through it unscathed felt like a small victory .

He did not linger before heading back to the cave, immediately heading back in the same direction he came from, careful to move in a straight line .

After a quarter hour, he knew he had gone the wrong way . He should have reached the hill already, but instead, the land under his feet was still decidedly flat .

Not allowing himself to panic, he made his way back to the creek . Returning was far easier, and soon, he was back where he had started .

A second attempt to find the cave did not fare much better, and this time, he had trouble even making his way back to the creek .

He let out a deep sigh when he understood that he could not find his way back — not without risking getting truly lost . Perhaps once his Sense improved it would be possible, but for now, his best option was to remain where he was, at least for the time being .

Here, he had plenty of water, and there was more food than he needed in his void bags . Without shelter from the wind, the nights would be cold, but as long as it didn't rain it wouldn't be too bad .

For three days, Arran stayed at the side of the creek . It was perhaps slightly more unpleasant than the cave had been, but the cold was nothing he could not bear, and in either place, all he could see was darkness .

He fell back into his routine of studying the amulets and purifying Essence . Occasionally, he would take breaks to study the seal on his forbidden Realm, but there, too, his progress was frustratingly slow .

On the third day, he had just begun purifying Essence when he suddenly Sensed a presence . At once, he was alarmed — anything strong enough for him to Sense had to be dangerous .

When he heard a low growl, he knew he was in trouble .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!