Sunday, November 1, 2015

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 14 – Three Months Later



Sorry for the delay! Here's Chapter 14! Sadly I didn't make it in time to release this on Halloween. Random blurb in the Author's Note.



Chapter 14 – Three Months Later

Early morning, most people continue to sleep, resting up for the busy day ahead. The outside of the port town of <Timberharbor> is filled with plains of grass. The morning mist, dewey grass and sounds of clashing metal fill this wide expanse.

“Yah!” Two figures clash repeatedly with the daggers in their hands. One figure with long white hair relentlessly attacks the other figure. The other blonde haired figure patiently parries the flurry of attacks. The white haired girl performs a large swing revealing an opening at her side. The blonde haired figure makes her move dodging the attack and counters with her own. Smiling as her attack nears her target, a feeling of weightlessness spreads through her legs. “Ah!” The blonde haired figure lets out a cry as her body tilts forward making her aim fly off course. She sees her body float in the air just as gravity starts to take its toll. The white haired figure gives a smile as she completes her leg sweep. Pouncing on falling the blonde haired figure, the white haired one successfully pins her to the ground.

The white haired girl smiles brightly pressing the dagger against her opponent’s neck. “Well…”

“I give up.” The blonde haired girl being pinned down sighs. She sits up as the dagger leaves her throat. “You’ve made a lot of progress. Without using any magic, you can easily beat me and you’re holding back too.”

“It wouldn’t be very appropriate if I won because of my abnormal status. It’s more beneficial for me this way.” Senna dismounts from Anahid and sits next to her.

“It’s still frustrating that I can never beat you now. It makes my years of training seem like a waste.” Anahid bitterly replies.

“Sorry, my body has a strange growth.” Senna wryly smiles.

“It’s fine. Using what you have is what every adventurer does. They wouldn’t be able to survive if they didn’t.” The two of them sit quietly next to each other for a time. “And? Do you feel better now?”

“I guess so. It’s the first time I killed a person, so I still have mixed feelings.” Senna replies looking at her hands.

“You say that yet you killed the most thieves out of the group with your katana. You could have stayed in the back and bombarded them with magic to avoid staining your hands and seeing them die up close.” Anahid retorts.

“…I know it’s weird. They were thieves that slaughtered an entire village. There’s no way to leave them alive, so I did my part. And I wanted to do it properly. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling disgusted that I killed people.” Senna complains with agitation.

“That’s fine. If you felt nothing, you would be a slaughterer like them. Just don’t stay your hand at a critical moment. If someone important to you dies because of it, then it would be a lot worse.” Anahid pats Senna’s head.

“….Mmn.” Senna blankly mutters.

“Well I’ll head back first.” Anahid gives her a light kiss on the head and starts to stand up.

“One more thing.” Senna grips Anahid’s shirt.

“What?” Anahid sits back down.

“How come you don’t pursue Davor? You like him don’t you?” Senna asks seriously.

Anahid stiffens for a moment, but instinctively gives Senna a whack to the head with all her might. “What the hell are you saying you stupid sister?” Anahid instantly begins to regret her actions as pain shoots up her arm from hitting Senna’s head.

Senna turns to look at Anahid unfazed. “Didn’t that hurt? You always make me use [Magic Body] at full power because you’re afraid of hurting me.”

“…Be…quiet…” Anahid mumbles clutching her throbbing hand.

“Is it really impossible?” Senna earnestly presses the question again as she heals Anahid’s hand.

Anahid looks at Senna’s earnest gaze and sighs. “It’s impossible.” Senna patiently waits staring at Anahid. “Of course. I’ve thought about it. But we’ve grown up together. He treats me as the older annoying sister and that won’t change anytime soon.”

“Then I’ll go tell him that.” Senna stands up quickly.

Anahid grabs Senna by the collar pulling her back to the ground. “Don’t… you… DARE…”She speaks through clenched teeth glaring with hostility at Senna.

“Relax. I was just kidding. I won’t say a word. Happy?” Senna answers with a big smile.

“Fine.” Anahid releases Senna. “Besides, he’s interested in you, not me.”

“And I’m sure I made it perfectly clear. I’m not interested in anybody.” Senna replies.

“I know.” Anahid bitterly laughs. “Enough of this talk. I’m heading back.”

“See you later~” Senna waves as Anahid heads off first. “Let’s get back to training.” Senna sits up and gathers <Dark Magic>. Releasing it, she forms a large black curtain forming a large circular training area, 40 meters in diameter, to block out prying eyes. Thankfully, the guards have gotten used to her actions. Even if they see her spell, they no longer bother to question her about what she is doing.

“Okay. Time to warm up.” She casts the basic <Earth> spell and forms a cube of earth spanning 2 meters for each side. Ever since she obtained the [Chanting Omission] skill, Senna practiced it nonstop quickly reaching level 7.

Incantation Omission Lv. 7
By skipping the incantation, the spell can be casted more quickly. As long as the spell image is retained, there is no chance of failing to cast Basic, Intermediate, Expert ranked spells. Parts of the Master ranked spell incantations can be omitted with little chance at failure. Failure to cast a spell costs an extra 20% in magic power.

The benefits of the skill have greatly helped her training regimen. Senna read through every [Intermediate] level spell for each element, but was left severely unsatisfied with the spell list. She could cast every spell without issue, but felt limited by the contents of the book. By accident, she manipulated the Basic <Earth> spell and reproduced the Intermediate <Earth Spire> spell and created a spike of rock from the ground. Since then, she has been manipulating each element and creating her own repertoire of spells.

{Extraction}. Senna concentrates her magic power in the palm of her hands pointing them at the block of earth. Chunks of soil shoot out from the block breaking down mid-flight. Falling into the palm of her hand, a gray substance starts to form with the use of her magic. When dirt projectiles stop flying at Senna, she relaxes collecting the substance in her hand. “Metal extraction successful.” Storing the metal away, she touches the block of earth. Using the Null spell <Scan>, she sends a pulse of magic to analyze the composition of the block. “Perfect. Not a single atom of metal left in the soil.” She returns the block back to the ground.

“Warming up complete. Time to get serious.” Senna casts the <Water> spell and forms a sphere of water five meters in diameter. {The Elementals think I’m weird for practicing this. But I think it has a lot of potential when combined with my [Storage]. Ways to amplify my spells are always helpful in a tight spot.}

{Heat Extraction} Senna concentrates her magic power into her hands. Steadily increasing the concentration of magic in her hands, Senna patiently waits in front of the water.

……

Within the water sphere, a chunk of ice forms. In a chain reaction, everal other chunks of ice form in various locations of the water sphere.  Like a blossoming flower, the ice spreads outwards. Within minutes, the water sphere completely freezes over. The ice sphere acts like a starving wolf draining the nearby heat from its surroundings. Senna continues to drain the heat from the sphere unperturbed. The grass and air start to freeze over bringing an ice cold chill to the surrounding area.

In Senna’s hand, a red hot orb of heat rests in her palms. Senna sighs storing the heat away casting her own <Flame> spell near the ice ball gradually raising the temperature. She looks at her scalded hands healing them with magic. “As expected, it’s hard to bring the temperature down to Absolute Zero normally. If I expend more magic, I can accomplish it as part of the spell, but purely by manipulation doesn’t work.”

Senna rests as her <Fire Magic> brings the temperature back to normal. Afterwards, she carefully casts a <Magic Barrier> around her body making sure she is completely covered. She starts extracts the air from her surroundings. A vacuum is temporarily created as the air is collected in Senna’s hand, but is quickly filled by the surrounding air. Senna increases the speed of absorption trying to maintain the vacuum as long as possible. She is able to maintain the vacuum for three seconds before the air is replaced. It takes weeks for her to raise her current record by a millisecond, so her lofty goal of five seconds remains out of reach.

Tossing the collected air into her [Storage], she practices with the last of her obtained blessings, <Light Magic>. She extracts the light from the area in front of her creating a dark patch of space until the light elements return to normal. When she finishes, she takes a break lying down on the grassy plain. {I wish I could practice the remaining four elements in the same way, but they just take too much magic to maintain. I have to get the last four [Blessings] first.} As the thought sinks into her mind, she heavily shakes the notion away. {What am I thinking? Four [Blessings] is already out of the ordinary. I shouldn’t become some kind of weird collector. That I can rely on my current skills without resorting to my [Blood Manipulation] skill to fight is already good enough. If I always use it, I’ll eventually die of blood loss at a critical moment.}

{Besides… It’s not like I can meet them right now anyways.} When Senna went to the shore to speak to the Water Elemental, the Light Elemental appeared part way through on a whim. {I wonder why all of them perform some type of sexual harassment as their means of performing the blessing. Earth groped me with vines. Water used seawater to perform a full body grope. Light healed me, and forced me to tears while forcibly raping me. Wind was happy with my own self-mutilation display, so it was skipped.} Senna massages her forehead.

{Meeting the remaining four for just a greeting is impossible right now anyways. Fire, Lightning, and Magic (ruling over the Non-elemental branch) need a concentrated area with their respective elements or else they have no interest in coming out. And the Light Elemental told me the Dark Elemental currently has no interest in meeting me, so that’s a dead end.} Senna sighs and stands up dispelling the dark curtain around the training area. “No point stressing over it. If we’re meant to be acquaintances or even friends, it will have to wait. The [Blessings] are just an unexpected bonus anyways.”

Senna brushes herself off and heads back into town. She walks at a brisk pace, her white hair fluttering in the wind behind her. Greeting various people along the way, she works her way to the west side of town. She doesn’t go all the way to the slums, but beggars are more frequently seen in this area. She slows down her pace when she notices that she has yet to run across a single beggar today. Normally, five of them would camp at her normal path where she would kindly give a few copper Triton coins to each of them. As she turns her corner wondering what happen, she stops and sees an incredibly long line.

She blinks her eyes several times before opening up the clock on her [Menu] screen. {I’m still early for work. I have the right time. That means this is an early queue for today? What should I say? They have a really high dedication in weird places.} Senna sighs looking at the line. She walks towards the front of the line glancing at the people waiting. Strong warriors, magicians, housewives, merchants, a few nobles, and the beggars she normally meets. She pauses when she sees them. “I was wondering why I didn’t see you today.”

“Haha. We’ve been saving up your gracious charity to splurge on one of your special meals.” One of the men gives her a large smile showing his broken teeth.

“I see. I’ll do my best then. But first…”  She glances at the surrounding people in line. They stare at the beggars with disgust covering their nose at the smell. “If you don’t mind, I’ll give you a quick bath? I feel like a fight will break out if I leave things be.”

The men glance at one another before giving Senna a solemn nod. “Thank you for everything.”

“No problem. Hold your breath okay.” Senna silently forms a barrier separating the men from the other people in line. Casting a special <Waterfall> on the five of them, a flood of hot water pours down the five of them drenching them in water. She creates an opening to her [Storage] below their feet to act as a drain. Two bottles of a liquid soap is secretly thrown into the water cleaning them further. Cutting off the spell, the drenched figure of the five men appear from the waterfall. They quickly dry off as she secretly extracts the excess water from them. As she puts down her hand, Senna gives a bright smile. “Okay. Good! Enjoy the meal okay?” She waves as she continues walking to the front of the line.

“Thank you very much.” The men fall to their knees groveling in front of Senna.

Senna giggles. “Don’t worry about it!” Senna keeps walking ignoring the staring people. She wryly smiles thinking about her open display of magic that she would have never done in the past. Anahid had pulled her on various missions over the last few months creating a reputation for her as a powerful magician. Giving up on hiding herself, Senna hides her most powerful skills and uses her specialized spells in a discrete fashion that can’t be easily recognized, the hot water and water extraction techniques being examples of such tricks. The homeless men have little knowledge about magic and the surrounding bystanders could not feel any of the water because of the barrier she cast around the men. Even if she was questioned, she would attribute it to her potion crafting skills.

Reaching the front of the life, she turns around facing everyone in line. “Everyone!!! May I have your attention please!!!” She yells at the top of her lungs to try and reach everyone. They all quiet down and wait for Senna to speak. “Thank you! I hope everyone realizes that the store doesn’t open for another 3 hours!!” She pauses a moment to let her voice sink in. No one reacts, since the majority are regular customers and are well aware of the normal hours. “Furthermore, anyone that wishes to eat any of the special menu items for the restaurant…will have to wait an extra hour longer!!!”

She hears some murmurs of dissent from some people. “Please understand that it takes longer to prepare being the first day!! If you can’t wait, you’re free to eat from the regular menu! But!!! You won’t be able to eat any of the special menu dishes unless you get back in line!!!” Different yells of anger reaches her ears, but the contents are muffled from the distance. “It’s your choice!!!...... Finally! Please make sure to let our employees wearing pink dresses pass through when they arrive!!! We need all the help we can get!!! Anyone causing trouble for them will be barred from the restaurant for today!!!” She catches her breath before finishing up. “Thank you for your time!!!”

Senna turns around unlocks the front door closing it behind her. She opens the windows letting light fill the restaurant. When she returns her attention to the dining area, Senna holds her head in the palm of her hand. Rows of wooden tables and benches fill the room with piles of dirty plates and bowls atop every table. She hears the clatter of pans in the kitchen and calls out. “Mr. Dassler! I’m here!”

“Finally! You’re here! Hurry and help! We need to open soon. I don’t know why I agreed to making these new menu items. My menu was perfectly fine as it is and these new items are too much work.” A man with dark brown hair sticks his head out from the kitchen access window and starts complaining to Senna.

“That’s why I said you should hire another cook. Even the other girls can barely handle the workload with how much business you have right now.” Senna retorts. “<Waterfall>” She pours water cleaning the first row of tables. She creates a small wave moving the dishes to a corner of the room. Manipulating the water, it acts as a brush under Senna’s control cleaning the dirt and grime off the tables, benches, and the floor. After cleaning all twenty tables in the hall, she gives an approving nod moving to the dishes.

“Oi! Hurry up and help with the cooking!” Dassler yells from inside the kitchen.

“I’ll be there soon. I just need to finish the dishes.” Senna replies.

“Leave that for the other girls damn it!!” He yells back.

Senna sighs at her unreasonable boss. {You’re not going to give them the tools or even allow them to use water to clean the dishes. How can you expect them to do it?} She uses <Wind> to bring the dishes with her. She places the dishes in a corner of the kitchen and starts helping with the preparations. 

She splits her attention as her magic is devoted to cleaning the dishes, while she manually uses her own [Cooking] skill to dice vegetables, crack eggs, and prepare breading.

As Dassler and Senna prepare the food, two dark brown haired girls enter the shop. Both of them are dressed in the same pink dress. One of the girls is taller by a head and has a more mature appearance, while the other has a younger look. Despite their differences, they bear a striking resemblance to one another.

“We’re here!” The younger one greets cheerfully.

“As expected, when Senna comes in the morning, cleaning is already over.” The older girl comments looking around the restaurant.

“Hello Eva, Eve. And that’s not true. I was a bit slow today, and still have to put the dishes away.” Senna points to the piles of plates and utensils sitting in the corner.

“Let us help then.” Eva, the younger sister, suggests. The older sister, Eve, nods too. The two of them go to the back and put on their aprons before getting to work. “You were right about coming to work with our uniform. The line outside must have over 200 people.”

“Haha…” Senna bitterly laughs. “I didn’t expect the line would get that long.” Senna prepares some Blue Fowls plucking their feathers and preparing their meat.

“It’s a testament to how great your food is.” Eve replies.

Senna smiles, but doesn’t respond. {More than anything. It’s the influence of [Cooking] reaching level 8. The taste makes it better than professionals. Anymore and it would be a drug instead of meal. I should probably stop soon.}

“Oi! Stop chattering and work faster!” Dassler yells at the three of them. The girls stop talking and quickly finish up preparations. Senna heads to the back room to change and the girls follow her. Senna draws the curtain to change in private. She silently invokes a wind barrier around the room knowing Eva’s temperament.

“I really HATE HIM!!!” Eva yells out stomping the ground.

“Calm down. He’ll hear you.” Eve scolds her sister.

“No problem. I used magic, so he can’t hear us.” Senna replies from behind the curtain.

“Is that so? Then I really hate that GREEDY SCUM!” Eve yells out too. Senna giggles listening to them vent. “How do you deal with him Senna? You never get mad at the lazy bastard.”

“Because he’s terrible I feel less guilty about using him.” Senna replies mischieviously.

“He’s cheap and he’s lazy. It is only because Senna manages enough work for four people that we manage to deal with everything.” Eva comments.

“Sis, that’s not right. It’s only because Senna is here that there’s any business.” (Eve)

“That’s true.” (Eva)

“Speaking of which, I should talk to you two about it.” Senna comments as she finishes getting dressed.

““What?”” Eva and Eve both ask.

“I’m going to make today my last day.” Senna calmly answers.

““Eh?! No Way?!” The sisters yell out.

“Mmm… I took some time from adventuring with my sister to improve my cooking skills, but it’s starting to get out of hand.” (Senna)

“But your cooking is so good!” Eva replies sadly.

“That’s the point. A bit too many people want me to cook. Plus I don’t want to be tied to this restaurant forever cooking. It’s going to all turn to gambling money.” (Senna)

““Ahhh…”” The sisters wince at the thought. It’s blatantly obvious that all of the money goes into gambling instead of improving the quality of the restaurant.

“Ah. I’ve gone off topic. I brought it up because I felt I should give you two advance notice. Once I leave it will definitely get crazy. If you want, I can introduce you two to some shops that need assistants.” The two go silent thinking about what they want to do. “Well think about it. That’s why I’m mentioning it to you now.” Senna dispels the wind barrier and leaves the room.

“Oi! Preparations are done. Take care of the shop. I’m going to earn big money.” Dassler declares as the three of them step out of the back room. Senna gives an exasperated smile at her ‘boss’. Eva and Eve glare at Dassler, but he ignores them. “I’ll be back at closing to pick up the money.”

After he leaves the restaurant slamming the door behind him, Senna points to the door. “A good reason to leave. Don’t you think?” The sisters nod.

“What do we do? We won’t be able to manage cooking and serving like this.” Eve asks looking at Senna.

“I asked for help expecting him to leave us like this. They’ll be here soon. Let’s get ready in the meantime.” (Senna)

““Okay!!”” The two girls give a sigh of relief as they go to finish organizing the tables. Senna heads into the kitchen to perform a last minute check.

Author's Note
For your information, this chapter is 3 months from the Goblin Village event. Nothing to do with the timeskip in that SS timeskip. Also this will be the last big time skip while Senna is in <Timberharbor>.

Originally, when Senna was doing her announcement to the line. I had every line she spoke be in ALL CAPS. When I did my editing, I found it too annoying, but any preference? Every few words is fine, but when half of the paragraph is in ALL CAPS. I find it excessive and overused.

(The Original)


Reaching the front of the life, she turns around facing everyone in line. “EVERYONE!!! MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!” She yells at the top of her lungs to try and reach everyone. They all quiet down and wait for Senna to speak. “THANK YOU! I HOPE EVERYONE REALIZES THAT THE STORE DOESN’T OPEN FOR ANOTHER 3 HOURS!!” She pauses a moment to let her voice sink in. No one reacts, since the majority of them are regular customers and are well aware of the normal hours. “FURTHERMORE, ANYONE THAT WISHES TO EAT ANY OF THE SPECIAL MENU ITEMS FOR THE RESTAURANT…WILL HAVE TO WAIT AN EXTRA HOUR LONGER!!!” 

She hears some murmurs of dissent from some people. “PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT IT TAKES LONGER TO PREPARE BEING THE FIRST DAY!! IF YOU CAN’T WAIT, YOU’RE FREE TO EAT FROM THE REGULAR MENU! BUT!!! YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO EAT ANY OF THE SPECIAL MENU DISHES UNLESS YOU GET BACK IN LINE!!!” Different yells of anger reaches her ears, but the contents are muffled from the distance. “IT’S YOUR CHOICE!!!...... FINALLY! PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LET IN OUR TWO EMPLOYEES WHEN THEY ARRIVE!!! WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET!!! ANYONE CAUSING TROUBLE FOR THEM WILL BE BARRED FROM THE RESTAURANT FOR TODAY!!!” She catches her breath before finishing up. “THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!!”
 

Actually, this is actually a good lead in to a question I had later. One character later has a booming voice that makes the room shake when he speaks. When he speaks, should I have it be represented in ALL CAPS? Please vote if you have a chance. Thanks! (Sorry if it's weird for me to use Royalroad. I want to consolidate the votes, so that it is easier for me.

*Queue random rant*
I do my writing in Microsoft word because that's what I'm used to. When I wrote this chapter, I used '____' as a fill in the blank for later because I didn't have the time to look it up writing it at work. Imagine my surprise when it becomes a full blown line across the page. That can't be deleted. -___- Mind you I did try multiple times. When I got home, I looked up a solution to make it go away. Ctrl + Q was what I found to reset the paragraph formatting. So I did, and it disappeared.

... Or so I thought. It actually moved to a different page. When I finally figured out a way to delete it. I found it had multiplied and left two more later in the chapter. -____- Tried a few things and eventually gave up. I tossed the chapter into Notepad that lacks any formatting, then re-pasted it back in Word. And gone! Urgh weird stuff sometimes.

*End Rant*

Anyways, until next time~



 

11 comments:

  1. Yay new chapter, I was rereading the seires on my phone earlier this week, and I thought up a question: If Senna uses Blood Manipulation on guild cards to take out the blood will they stop working?

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    2. :o dang! you stole first. w/e... though it kinda does seem like she could break guild cards... lol

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    3. Thanks for reading! I honestly never thought of that. XD She doesn't have a reason to break the guild card anyways.

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    4. you know... this also brings up the fact (if you read Chinese stories that is) of if she can unbind things from people... depending on how binding works in this world/universe

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    5. I haven't put much thought into incorporating binding myself. It's definitely a thought I'll have to think about.

      But in the case of a piece of equipment being binded with blood. I would imagine it being in the core of the weapon and Senna extracting it to shatter it. For now I'll keep the idea on the back of my mind and see if I want to emphasize it in my story.

      Probably my preference would be imprinting an item with her magical power to claim it as her own.

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  2. thanks for the chapter~ also there was a thief/bandit event in the time-skip? i don't seem to remember any sort of event like that. As always looking forward to more :)

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    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah, I glazed over a thief subjugation event in the time skip. I'll probably recount it in a flashback when it becomes a significant point.

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