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Making Connections Jinri

In the world of The Flux

Visit The Flux

Ongoing 1035 Words

Making Connections

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A bright light woke me up. The air was dusty. It clouded the rays of sunlight coming through the window. I called out to anyone around, but no answer came. My injuries were gone when I woke up. Downstairs was vacant, too. Well, vacant of anyone else. The cottage is well furnished. Somebody lived comfortably here. The main room looks similar to a library, with a long table in the middle and plenty of room to read. A fireplace in the corner will help keep the room warm during the colder months. There's a side room with a back door. It, too, looks like a sort of study. Whoever lives here is very well-read. They were kind and prepared food for me, too. The kitchen had a single setting prepared when I came down. 

The outside was picturesque. The cottage sat nicely nestled between a set of cliffs in a wooded area. Around the back was a locked cellar by a cauldron. I wondered if the owner of this cottage made their own candles. Further to the back of the cottage was a stream. A boat had been pulled out of the river not far from a log bridge. I decided to stay close to the cottage. No point in wandering away only to get hurt again. 

I realized over the passing of the day that I woke up that morning in the only bed in the cottage. Where is the owner? Who are they? And how am I here? All of these questions had been puzzling me.

When I went to bed, I noticed a letter with a wax seal addressed to me by name. I have no idea how the person who owns this cabin knows my name.

Neyal, I'm sorry that I cannot be there to answer all of your questions. I had to leave urgently and could not delay my departure. In short, this cottage is now yours. I don't have much to provide you to get by other than what is already stored in the cottage. If you follow the main path away from the front of the cottage, beyond the well, you'll find a village on the edge of the woods. If you choose to stay here, you'll need some way to make a living to continue supplying yourself with what you need. Downstairs you'll find my library and study. Both are full of all the knowledge you'll need to take my craft -- potion-making! Now, while I can't be there to answer your questions, somebody might be able to help you. 

Enclosed in this letter is a series of reagents for a spell. Take them deeper into the woods. Don't worry; there are no kobolds in this area. Make a circle of stones. Put the reagents enclosed here with them. After that, place your hands out, palm up, close your eyes, and listen closely. As you hear a voice, call to it. Who comes will be able to answer many, but not all, of your questions.

Good luck, Neyal

I followed the instructions. I went into the woods until I found a peaceful clearing. I sat there for hours before I finally heard the voice. I called out to them.

"Hello?" I opened my eyes and looked around. It was getting darker already. My mind became clouded with doubt and fear. I started to remember the look of those kobolds as they approached me after I tripped over their trap. Their black eyes, their snarling mouths. Their ears were torn and tattered, even more so than the rags they wore. I couldn't release the image from my mind. I began to listen more acutely to my surroundings. The birds chirping and a twig snapping in the woods, to which my head snapped in attention, I became deeply uncomfortable. 

"Hey! Snap out of it!" A voice came through to my clouded mind, but I couldn't source which direction it came from. I stood up, rotating as I tried to listen for the voice to call out again. I called once again when it didn't come, "I'm over here!" 

"Relax! Sit down, close your eyes! What're you doing?" Whoever was talking to me could see me. I did as they said, not wanting to cause a problem. I crossed my legs as I sat down, tried to calm down, and closed my eyes. "Breath deeply; lift your palms again." I followed the instructions again and felt myself become warmer over the next few minutes. I feared that whoever was watching me had left; they'd gone silent for so long. I needed answers to my questions, so I sat patiently.

To my surprise, I opened my eyes out of curiosity and found that the whole space had changed colour. All around the clearing was lit by blue light, brighter than the blue of dusk. The voice finally picked up again; this time, it was beside me, startling me. "Nyaa! Well, hello, Neyal!" I fell back from the voice that seemed to come directly in front of me. As I kept my focus trained ahead, I noticed the blue light was emitting from my chest! My chest was on fire! I screamed in panic, patting at the flames, which started to grow and spill out faster. Sparks began to spew out into the air. A figure began to climb out from the blue flames, and my screams intensified. "Calm down! I told you to relax!" the voice echoed in my head, causing my eyes to slam shut. I was overwhelmed by a warmth, but not by any fire. I felt a sudden calm take over me, but a weight was still pressing on my chest. 

Opening my eyes once more, I saw a beautiful black and white bird with a blue hue to its feathers on the tips of its wings and tail. The bird cocked its head sideways, blinked, and took a closer look at my face. It hopped up my chest closer to my face. I stared, eyes wide in disbelief. The corvid spread its wings, stretching, and its beak opened to caw, but instead of any noise of a bird, the voice returned, "Please don't scream again." 

I screamed louder than ever before.

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