Chapter 1 – Part 4 – Start from the beginning
We killed spiders, worms, more bugs, some type of lizard-ish looking beasts… I casted spells, he pulled his bow, the wolf by our side mauled its enemies… But I was bored. From farmers asking us to help them, to townsfolk losing their rabbits in the wild and needing them back in their pens, it seemed like I was doing a good job, but it wasn’t what made me feel needed. It wasn’t what I was looking for when I stepped out of Divinity’s Reach. Sure, helping others is nice, but it just felt as if I was running errands for them. I wasn’t discovering anything. I wasn’t making a big impact on the world itself. I needed more. I needed treasure, mysterious paths and a feeling of accomplishment.
Bigger accomplishments than picking apples for a farmer, I mean.
I sighed as I was walking in front of Vainard and his wolf. In the distance, you could see fields being watered by a contraption I had never seen before. And what came in mind first was ‘Is this really environmental friendly?‘.
I think Vainard noticed because his way to keep me out of boredom was to throw an apple core to the back of my head. “Really?” Was all I said to him as I turned around and stood my ground, hands on my hips. “That’s the sixth apple core you threw at me. It’s getting old now.” He answered me with his famous snicker. I say famous, because that’s all he seemed to do every time I would frown and look at him. Snicker. “Well,” he began, “you seem really bored and that’s all I could think of doing at the moment.” His hand slid towards my hair and picked an apple seed out. Flicking it away, he continued. “Aren’t you happy that you’re making a difference? You’re helping people and that’s what matters, right?” I looked down to his wolf. Halfear was sitting right next to him, alert. His deep blue eyes scanned the area while we talked, waiting for any danger and ready to defend us. “It’s not enough.” I said. “There’s gotta be something more to it. Helping people… Is good. But helping the world is even better.“
I think my words made him think, because for a moment he looked serious. And he hardly ever was, this buffoon of a ranger. “I think I know what would cheer you up.” He started walking towards the river, where the river drakes roamed freely. They seemed peaceful to me, even though a nearby farmer wanted them dead because they destroyed plants on his farm. Frankly, I didn’t know they ate vegetables. Maybe they just hate the plants, who knows! Vainard walked across the river in the shallow parts of it and up a little hill were nests. “Are those… nests?” I asked, and he nodded to me, a smirk on his face. “Watch this.” He ran up to the giant eggs in the biggest nest and smashed one. “What the… Now’s not the time for omelettes!” He didn’t care about what I said and neither did Halfear. Both ranger and wolf destroyed the eggs in the nest and they seemed to be pretty happy about it, too.
And then I understood. Destroying the eggs was only meant to lure the mother out. She was a giant Drake Broodmother and she was out to kill. Rage glared in her eyes and she let out a screech worthy of battle. “Your turn!” Vainard said, running passed me and leaving me face to face with her. “Wha- HEY!” I had no choice. I had to face this thing alone.
The Broodmother leaned her head back and almost howled, a cry that let her children know who to fight. Out of a nearby nest, two other drakes came out to fight me. Little in size, but I was outnumbered. “Go on! Defend yourself!” Vainard screamed at me in the back as he put an arrow to his bow, stretched the cord, locked on a drake and released the weapon into it’s eyeball. ‘At least he didn’t abandon me…’ I thought, and raised my staff towards the mama lizard. Fireball after fireball, I singed its skin scale by scale. And this is when I felt it. The change in me. My blood burning and a wave of heat flowing from my toes to the tip of my hair. And I knew what to do next.
Turning on my heels, waving my staff in a 360 degrees, I felt the power leaving my arms and resonate through the oaken staff. “BURN!” was all I could think of screaming, and the earth beneath the Broodmother started boiling, magma forming under its feet. The grass left place for a pool of liquid fire and melted the enemy’s feet in a matter of minutes. That’s when I sent another fireball to it’s face and saw the beast collapse under a shower of arrows Vainard had released, the beast’s life leaving its corpse.
The battle over, my body felt limp and I kneeled on the ground, out of breath. “Lava font…” I whispered, looking at my staff which still glowed a crimson colour. Then a shadow covered me and I looked up. Vainard was holding a hand out to me, smiling. “Upgrade, kid?” he said and pulled me up to my feet. “I just learned a new spell…” I answered, still amazed at what had just happened. I had never learned how to obtain new spells in class. I guess field training is a better teacher.
“Come on.” he waved his hand in my hair, making a mess out of it. “There’s more I can show you.“