Reincarnated as a mana core - Chapter 96
Author note: Heya y’all!
I’m extremely sorry for the long silence!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know I said I wanted to take a break for a week (on patreon) and it’s been nearly 4 and I don’t really have an excuse, well, besides the fact that I got really really really depressed. There is not really much to tell about this, it just kinda happened and I’ve been trying to get up and out of the fog for some time now. Took me till now to get back to writing though and I can’t promise that I will be able to to reliably write in the near future. Once again, I’m sorry!!! I’m trying though, so hopefully everything goes well ^^.
That said this chapter is the result of multiple failed writing tries during the last few weeks and I rewrote it a lot and finished it now. I still think it’s good, definitely better than the version of a few days ago, you could literally feel my depression by the way I wrote in that version and that strained the quality quite a bit.
Oh, and about the levels and my upload schedule for SH and Fanstranslations, I’m not quite sure how I want to do it for now. I don’t really like the idea of scheduling the chapters there for a later time, since it kinda makes everything, especially the comment interaction on SH (I haven’t figured Fanstranslations out quite yet. I’m not the best with stuff like this), less personal if I haven’t been the one to press the upload button only to proceed sitting in front of my pc anxiously waiting for the reactions 🙂 I don’t trust myself to remember to upload something after 3/4 weeks though and had the idea to just keep everything I write for my patreon and then upload everything I did at the end of the week. Not quite sure what to do, but I personally like the latter option better and wanted to get your opinion on this.
Anyway, thanks for your patience and for bearing with me!
Have fun reading!
Having completed her book and with that her part of the deal, Argul spent the night once again relaxing and keeping an eye on Jack and Rash, who were making good progress towards the volcano after camping in the wild for a night. Admittedly, she tuned out their voices so she didn’t have to listen to them and since language was a form of knowledge communication, thus being part of her [knowledge domain], the conversation was ingrained into her memory anyway, should she ever need it.
Of course she didn’t just watch them like some weird creep, but also tried to think of a design for her plate of [analyze], so she wouldn’t have to spend hours for this during the day.
Well, it might be weird that she hadn’t really thought about the design until now, but in all honesty she had just been completely engrossed with enchanting and forgot about it. Since she was doing it now, who cared anyways?
So, as she watched the pair of lizards throw stones at her lovely and quite explosive flowers, Argul put her mind into coming up with something that had a bit of flair, a meaning and, most importantly, was in the range of her capabilities. She might be talented with magic and have the stats to work quite precisely, with her nonexistent experience and skill as an artist there was no way she would be able to create something too impressive however.
That aside, the planks she had to work with were just a touch wider than a phone, somewhere between 8 to 10 cm wide, and about 20 cm long. She already knew that the center of the plank would be occupied by the mana storage stone, a sphere of about 5 cm diameter and 4 cm diameter where it was anchored to the plank. The stone would be grown around the wood for half a centimeter to secure it in place.
That left the rest of the plank for her to play with and carve into, though she couldn’t cut away too much of the wood if she didn’t want to make the enchanting needlessly difficult. Less space for the enchantment also meant less mana that the enchantment could hold and move around, so there were more disadvantages to that.
It was also a given that the edges of the plank had to be rounded and smoothed to make it nicer to hold in one’s hand, though how much she would sand away ultimately depended on the design.
Now that she had established a foundation and image of what she had to work with, what should she decorate the plank with?
Simple lines were a bit uncreative, so they were out. Argul also wanted the decoration to have some meaning, preferably related to the plate itself, but she didn’t really have an idea for that, yet.
While Argul was juggling ideas back and forth in her head, Jack and Rash finished their ‘throw rock and watch boom’ game and cautiously began to enter the actual cave. Nothing interesting happened though – well, at least nothing interesting in Argul’s eyes… – and the pair of lizard-kin took their sweet time through the cave. Only about half an hour later when they got close to the ruby deposits and attracted the attention of a quite old cave stalker did Argul pause her brainstorming to watch how things would play out and if needed step in.
She didn’t really want to intervene as that would be conflicting with her goal of not messing with the lives of other mortal sapients in the future.
God how she hated to talk like that, telling others mortals. It just felt super wrong.
Her thought was, that if she didn’t use her powers in the first place, she couldn’t abuse them either, not that she actually believed she would go through with that goal. It was more of a guideline and less of a rigid rule. She didn’t want to lose someone because of something stupid like that and neither was she a heartless being. Considering that humans were definitely going to live in her domain, the latter would probably cause a few incidents in the future.
After the pair reached the tunnel wall with the gems, they put their packs down and took a break for a few minutes under the watchful eyes of both Argul and the cave stalker hiding in the shadows of the light. That made 8 eyes watching them, since, technically speaking, Argul didn’t have eyes.
Once they had rested enough Jack then proceeded to hand Rash something that was probably meant to be a pickaxe, if you could call a solid rod of steel fastened to a tool hilt a pickaxe. Argul wasn’t so sure about that and, judging by the dubious look Rash gave the tool, neither was he.
Now, the smart thing to do and the thing she would have done was not to use the pickaxe and instead just blast the wall with a magic missile, but, well, Rash was a man. He had to at least try once before he judged the thing it seemed, stupid as that may be.
Argul groaned to herself as the guy simply shrugged and turned towards the wall, readying himself to strike. Really, had she been like that too in her past life?
As a kid, probably. Though not as an adult. She did not know what it was like to be an adult that wasn’t depressed and really depressed people seldomly did anything anyway, except maybe suicide, so they couldn’t do that many stupid things.
Anyway, fact was, that the pickaxe was bound to break with the first swing. Normally, that might not be worrying, but considering that the steel rod wasn’t pointed like a pickaxe and Rash was a good 3 times stronger than a normal human, something was bound to go wrong. The question was what and Argul feared that the steel rod would get thrown through the air and might hit one of the two guys, which couldn’t be healthy in any way.
She eyed the pickaxe and then the wall before she let out a mental sigh. So much for not interfering with them.
While Rash finally started his swing, Argul, for the first time, decided to actively make use of all the mental stats to buy herself some time and everything seemingly slowed down.
Taking in the whole situation once again she decided that she wanted to do this stealthily and without the two noticing her actions, so simply blasting the pickaxe away was not an option. The only other idea she had though, was to shift the stone so as to deflect the steel rod in a way that it doesn’t hit Rash or Jack.
Sadly she didn’t have the time to calculate the exact path of the pickaxe and her feeling would have to make do. With that in mind Argul formed her spell matrix, rune or whatever you want to call it as the tool inched ever closer to the wall. Then she began to shift the stone of the wall in a way that would create a small area that was angled upwards and slightly away from the two lizards.
Just like that she was done and relaxed her mind, watching the steel rod crash into the stone. The thing actually pushed a few millimeters into the wall before the straps holding it to the hilt gave out and ripped. Cracks formed in the stone,a few stone splinters flew around and about half a dozen fist sized rocks with some small rubies inside of them fell to the ground, all while the steel rod got thrown deeper into the cave, missing Rash by half a meter.
Argul didn’t care too much anymore though. She was successful in preventing a possible injury, no matter how close and now, the amount of damage the man had done to the cave wall was much more interesting to her.
Considering the tool used, she wouldn’t have been surprised if nothing had happened to the stone at all and thought that maybe a few splinters would get loose, but cracks? Cracks, she had not anticipated, since the stone wasn’t brittle and was a little surprised by the result.
Sure, Rash was stronger than a human by a lot and could do a number to some normal rock, but this was her sixth floor. The mana density here was a lot higher than say on Erod for example, so the stone, of course, was a lot stronger-
No, wait! She realized that wasn’t necessarily the case. There might be more mana around sure, but that didn’t have anything to do with the strength of the stone in a direct way. Plants, animals, bacteria, generally every organic organism really had one thing in common, they were alive, they had some kind of purpose they strived for. Because of that, they produced intent, intent that bonded with the mana, which then in turn strengthened and infused the being again, at least that was her theory.
Rocks though, or other inorganic elements like metals weren’t the same. They didn’t strive for anything, they just existed and while that in itself created a miniscule amount of intent that might not be enough to get the mana to infuse the rock or it might just take really long. If either of those options were the case though, that meant that the stone on this floor was practically the same as normal stone without mana, hence Rash’s relative ease at wracking the cave wall.
Argul smiled to herself, having found a possible answer to her question. She would have to prove it, true, and that would probably be a pretty long term project, but having a theory was better than having no idea at all and it wasn’t like she was in a hurry or anything.
While Argul had been lost in thoughts again, Jack and Rash had collected the few stones that were worth it and the steel rod, before they had headed back to the cave entrance with haste. Apparently it was quite warm in the cave, not unbearably hot, but uncomfortable and both of them didn’t want to stay longer than they needed to.
Argul barely noticed them leaving, happy that they didn’t get incinerated by her weird flowers and couldn’t help but chuckle at the annoyed cave stalker that was hopping around in frustration after having lost possible prey.
With the two lizard guys gone and through the most dangerous part of the quest though, she didn’t have to worry about them anymore. That meant she now had time, time she would use for her work. The design for her plate of [analyze] wouldn’t create itself after all!
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