Thursday, November 26, 2015

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 18 – Traveling to the 'Dungeon' Second Part

Chapter 18! Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate it! Author note below, make sure to read the chapter first, so you don't spoil the contents.


Chapter 18 – Traveling to the 'Dungeon' Second Part

Glancing around, she looks for something to help carry him back. {It would be a problem if he moves around in his sleep. And I don’t want to show off my magic here. What can I use to carry him back?} Senna’s gaze falls on a flat boulder. She tosses him on the boulder and ties some vines to drag him back. {Instincts are quite scary. He gives off such a similar mannerism to Rimmer that I’m instinctively afraid of being near him… I wish I didn’t have to do this job... The sooner I rescue him, the sooner I can head back. Considering his position, he might not even need rescuing and I’m just needlessly interfering for no good reason. Hah… I wish I had the luxury of getting a clearer picture of the attacker. These siblings force me to keep my guard up at all times.}

As Senna’s mind revolves around her current problem, she uses a <Water> spell to lubricate the bottom of the boulder easing her burden as she drags it back to the camp. Kristel immediately charges towards Innar when Senna arrives back at the camp.

“What happened?! What did you do?!” Kristel questions Senna hysterically.

“He surprised me when I was handling a poisonous flower. So he got poisoned again.” Senna shrugs.

“Do you ever stop working with poison?!” Kristel tightly holds her brother’s head glaring at Senna.

“Ah…” Senna sees a puff of pink pollen escape Innar’s blonde hair.

“What ‘Ah’? Don’t you have something to say?!” Kristel scolds Senna oblivious to the cloud entering her mouth. Her eyes start to droop as the pollen enters her body. “You keep poisoning my wonder…ful brother… You… should just…”  Her voice trails off as the pollen takes effect. She mumbles a few incoherent words before tilting forward and falling asleep atop Innar.

“Convenient.” Senna mutters. She places Kristel atop the boulder too pulling them the remaining distance to the camp.

Helen and Ollar looks at the sleeping siblings with a weird look. “Um…again?” Helen questions Senna while Ollar carries the siblings to their tents.

“Yes. They’re poisoned again.” Senna answers bluntly.

“Senna, are you doing this on purpose? They’re getting poisoned… a little too often.” Helen meekly questions.

“Yes. Of course it’s on purpose.” Senna declares without hesitation.

“…Eh?” Helen falters at the direct answer.

“It’s mostly from my sister’s influence, but I’m not going to allow an idiotic man like him to touch me.” Senna looks at Innar with disgust.

“B-But he’s a noble.” Helen starts to panic hearing Senna insult him. The damage from the siblings’ revenge is something fears to even imagine. Even though Helen hates Innar with every fiber of her being, she would never openly insult him. If the siblings’ anger was directed at Helen, she and her mother would suffer greatly.

“Fallen noble. There’s a difference.” Senna replies with a smile. “Upper class or not. If I speak to his father, I’m sure there would be nothing to worry about.” Senna asked about Innar’s parents before accepting the job. Though fallen, his father is a hard working soldier that works to provide for his family. He and his wife have long since adjusted to a simpler way of living. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Innar and Kristel who have clung to their long lost status. Secretly wasting the family funds and creating various issues that would severely affect the family.

“B-But…” Helen wants to help Senna and stop her from acting recklessly. But Senna is here to protect her, angering her will put her in danger if Senna decides to leave. Conflicted on what to do, she just stares at Senna with a worried look.

“Don’t worry. I’m doing everything, so you won’t get in trouble for it.” Senna pats Helen’s head. “Get some rest okay? I’ll keep watch for now.” Senna takes the first night watch as the other two rests for the evening.

Naturally, the siblings were once again enraged at Senna the next morning. Yet, they were unable to do a thing when Senna said she would turn around and leave if they were unsatisfied. Later, they discreetly angered a wild boar and allowed it to attack Senna and Helen. But their plans were quickly dashed as Senna calmly punches it on the forehead knocking the boar out. She backs away allowing Helen to perform the finishing blow. The siblings can only click their tongues that they can't pay Senna back for the disgrace they received.

Their fifth evening arrived quickly as they gradually near the ruins. They have yet to inform Senna of anything about the location, partly because of the siblings' pettiness. Senna decided to be patient considering their obvious lack of preparations. Gathering more herbs and brewing more poisons and antidotes, Senna works intently on the mixture through dinnertime. After finishing the concoction, she hunts for more items to be used with her [Apothecary] skill.

When she returns, Senna pretends to put the herbs in her bag while discreetly placing them in her [Storage]. Finishing her work, she lies against the nearby tree trunk and falls asleep. Much to the surprise of the other four, Senna actually looks completely defenseless for once. Innar and Kristel grin widely seeing her be so vulnerable. Helen worriedly takes the first watch to protect Senna, but they mysteriously ignore her. Later, Ollar and Kristel take over the night watch.

Innar pretends to go to bed, but sneaks out the back of his tent. He circles around the camp to Senna's position. From behind the tree, he places his hand on her shoulder to drag her out of sight. Before he can move his body, a stinging sensation assaults his hand. He inadvertently tightens his grip on her shoulder making his arm fiercely throb in pain.

“AAAAHHHH!!!!” Innar releases Senna’s shoulder screaming in pain. A burning sensation spreads from his hand to his arm feeling as if bugs are devouring his arm. Senna is forced awake while the others are drawn to his scream.

“What happened?!” Kristel runs to her brother. Helen creates a flame lighting the area. They see one of Innar’s arm is bright red, while his other arm supports it.

“My arm!! It burns!” Innar cries out. Tears and mucus run down his face. “AAHHH!!!” He screams even louder as his other arm starts to throb in pain.

“Mmm… So loud.” Senna reluctantly wakes up. Stretching lightly she turns around and looks at Innar. She blankly stares at his red arms watching it start to visibly throb before looking at her body. Sighing, she puts on some gloves and removes some flowers hidden under her armor.

Blood Aconite
A dark red flower with highly poisonous nectar. Direct exposure to the nectar causes a strong irritation to the skin forming a large red rash. Keep away from open wounds or delicate organs, like the eyes or mouth. The nectar has a strong digestive effect that can dissolve flesh or exposed organs with ease.

“Well… I can’t be surprised at this point.” Senna chants the <Water> spell forming a ball of water around Innar’s arms. Opening a bottle, she mixes an antidote into the water allowing his arms to soak. “Hold still while your hands soak in this.”

“O-ohhhh.” Innar responds stunned at the oddly kind Senna.

“Why are you being so nice?” Kristel warily questions Senna.

“No reason.” Senna smiles back.

“…” Kristel blushes seeing Senna’s smile, but furiously shakes her head. “That’s beside the point. How could you poison my brother again?”

“Ahh. Because he tried to wake me up. I’m sorry about that. You triggered my anti-rape trap.” Senna smiles showing them the flower.

““A-anti-rape trap.”” The siblings pale with Senna’s words.

“Yes. You see.” Senna brightly smile reveals a trace of darkness sending a chill down their spines. “The juice from this flower is very effective in protecting women when used correctly. It causes the skin to burn when touched. AND when it touches the mouth, eyes, or even a man’s member...” The four of them follow Senna’s gaze as she looks in between Innar’s legs. “…the juice can burn it right off.” Innar and Ollar shiver as they jump back, away from the flower in Senna’s hand. “So this flower is very nice in protecting me from men with bad ideas. I have it hidden under my clothes just in case~”

Innar and Kristel break into a cold sweat as they look at one another. “R-right.”

“L-look at the time. We need to get to bed.” Kristel changes the topic.

“Right! Let’s go!” innar and Kristel escape diving into their tents. Ollar goes back to the campfire keeping his distance from Senna.

Senna quietly laughs seeing them panic. Helen glances at Senna. “Wasn’t that threat a little too much?”

“Maybe a bit.” Senna replies with a mischievous grin. “But at least he will behave for the rest of the trip.”

“Mmm…” Helen mumbles looking at the flower. She quietly takes a step to the side.

On the sixth day of travel, everyone keeps their distance from Senna. The thought of losing an eye or mouth sends shivers down their spine.

On the seventh day, they finally find a clearing. They stop in front of a large bush that they secretly marked. Digging up the bush, Innar and the others begin removing mud and leaves layered underneath. Senna watches calmly as they work, surveying the area with her [Detection] skills. Her back immediately becomes wet with cold sweat.

{This place…is no joke. I can’t believe no one has ever noticed such a dangerous place.} Senna silently conceals her worries. {There’s some time until it becomes dangerous. I need to think of a plan... I’ll use force if I have to and kick them out of the dungeon.}

“Oi! Hurry up!” Innar yells with irritation.

Snapping out of her thoughts, she sees the entrance fully uncovered and the four of them impatiently waiting for her. She sighs joining them as they descend down the staircase. As they reach the first floor, Senna discreetly casts<Scan>, an intermediate Null element spell. She releases a thin magic pulse that spreads through the expanse of the dungeon. The obstacles the spell encounters feeds back into her mind allowing her to construct a mental image of the dungeon in her mind. Blueprints for the 1st floor, the 2nd floor, and the 3rd floor form giving her a clear understanding of the dungeon.

Senna quickly pulls back her spell from probing deeper than the 3rd floor. They would need to run away at full force if she attracted the deepest denizens of the dungeon. Senna is fully confident in staying alive in an encounter, but she has to prioritize the well being of the other four. Even if she dislikes them, she plans to honor the contract of keeping them alive.

Senna walks blankly through the first floor as she tries to form an effective back up plan. As she runs through the floor plan, her vigilance drops significantly as a small smile forms. {Hahhh… now to trick them.} She rubs her forehead in exhaustion.

The corridors of the dungeon are formed from a tan colored stone. Some stone are more intact than others. The group cautiously treks down the hallway. They tense up when the sound of scratching claws reaches them. Several seconds pass tensely waiting for the source of the noise to appear. Senna lets out a bored yawn eliciting glares from the group. Bored with waiting, she decides to help move things along. Senna flicks a single berry onto the path ahead. As the berry rolls to a stop, the sound of scratching grows louder. The group glares even stronger at Senna for her behavior.

From the shadows, a small mouse appears and approaches the berry. Stupefaction passes through the group, not a magically grown mouse, but a simple regular mouse that could easily be hidden in the palm of your hand. The mouse sniffs the berry and starts nibbling on it.

Innar lets out a dark laugh as his anger explodes. “You stupid mouse! How dare you sneak up on us!!” He draws his sword ready to attack the small mouse. Senna stomps her foot making a loud noise. The surprised mouse jumps and runs away carrying the berry in its mouth.

They stare at Senna blankly. “Making too much noise will draw too much attention.” She whispers looking at the overly wrathful Innar. "The same with drawing unnecessary blood. Other things will be drawn to the smell if you kill things wildly. If you have to fight is fine, but don’t pick fights with random animals." Senna recites some of the knowledge she picked up in the <Pact of Ambition>.

“Let’s go.” Kristel mutters forcing the group to move again. Along the way, they find a room empty of everything, but a single treasure chest.

Senna walks into the room, but doesn’t approach. Her [Danger Detection] and <Scan> do not detect any traps hidden inside, so she leisurely watches them. “You know, if a trap goes off, you would take the full brunt of the trap." The four of them immediately back away from the chest. They look at Senna. "I didn't say there was one. I'm just making a point."

"If you're so confident, why don't you do it?" Innar snarls at her. Senna shrugs approaching the chest, while the other four back away escaping into the hallway to take cover. She uses [Analysis] on the chest and sees that it isn't trapped. Covering her face with a handkerchief and googles, and equipping gloves, she looks over the chest examining the structure. The chest looks like it was made of wood and reinforced with metal edges. The base has a rectangular shape, while the lid is shaped like a semi-cylinder. Tapping on the chest, the lid gives a low, dull thud. Compared to the sound of the base, the chest’s lid seems to be thicker and heavier than the base.

Senna quietly works on picking the lock imitating what she saw Anahid doing. However, she is forced to give up because of how complicated the lock is and due to the fact that she has no idea what she’s doing. Giving up, she uses <Earth Magic> to insert clay into the keyhole and slowly hardens the clay as it spreads through the keyhole. When the clay completely hardens, Senna carefully twists the key to test the lock. The key easily turns unlocking the chest.

You have acquired [Key Duplication] Lv. 1. With a low success rate, you can now create copies of simple keys to open locks.

Smiling at the unexpected skill, Senna waves the message away. Placing both hands on the lid, she opens the lid extremely slowly, taking several minutes to swing the lid fully open. Glancing at the contents, she gives a wry smile as she looks at them. "Done."

The four of them excitedly surround the chest. Innar and Kristel both push Senna out of the way. Senna lightly steps out of the way avoiding the push. As the four of them quickly peer into the chest, a small cloud of dust sprays their faces. They start rubbing their faces as Senna sprays them with water. They glare at Senna, clean, but their faces dripping wet. “At least I didn’t soak the rest of your body.”

“What… is… this?” Kristel grunts trying to contain her anger. She points to the treasure chest with a large mountain of dirt.

"Based on the dirt, I would say a chest someone emptied out previously. I can't say if the dirt is a prank or filled in through a hole over time." Senna shrugs.

"There must be something inside! Dig!" Innar clings to the idea of treasure and orders the others to dig through the dirt.

Senna sits near the entrance waiting. She casts <Scan> again examining the situation below her. {This dungeon is really weird.} Completely emptying the dusty chest, Innar stomps the ground making a new dust cloud. Senna can’t help but giggle seeing the four of them covered in dirt. In Innar’s tantrum, he strongly kicks the treasure chest. His face changes to shock as he starts regretting his action. Falling to the ground holding his foot, he lets out a string of curses. Senna giggles quietly. "<Cure>" Senna heals him to quiet the prideful noble looking again at the chest.

False Chest
A dummy treasure chest devoid of valuables. Created as a prank for adventurers to discover and become enraged at the contents. As an added prank, enraged adventurers suffer greatly when they attack the chest. While designed to look like wood, the entire chest is actually build from dense stone and fused with the dungeon floor to be immovable.

{The dungeon lord is an interesting being.} Senna secretly laughs.

"Argh!! This stupid chest!! Disrespecting me!!" Innar unsheathes his sword and attacks the stone chest. 

A loud *Crack* sounds as his blade snaps in half flying in Senna’s direction. She catches it before it strikes her face. Silence fills the room as they look at Innar and the sword blade in Senna’s hand. Helen is barely able to restrain herself from laughing. Kristel comforts her brother, while Ollar stands nearby him.

“I’m sure the treasure chest is greatly reflecting the fact that he angered you.” Senna places the blade on the ground as she steps out of the room. {I wonder if the creator is having a good laugh after watching that.}

“Ahahaha.” Helen bursts out laughing after Senna’s joke. Kristel and Innar glare at her, but she’s enjoying herself too much to notice their gaze.

When they compose themselves, they continue to explore the floor. They find stairs down to a lower floor, but continue searching the floor for treasure. Unfortunately, they only find two more false chests. One chest containing a nest of roaches much to the group’s disgust. Kristel and Innar escape onto Ollar’s shoulders, while Senna holds Helen in a princess carry. Senna forms a protective wall of ice to block the swarm of roaches using the ice to fling them away when they get too close. The other chest held a pile of rodent feces much to the group’s dismay.

“AHHH!!! What’s wrong with these chests?! Where is all the treasure?!” Kristel stomps her feet. The group is taking a break near the stairs to the second floor.

“Don’t worry. There must be treasure deeper in the dungeon.” Innar assures his sister with absolutely no basis.

“Mmm.” Ollar grunts in agreement.

“Senna, what do you think?” Helen asks looking at her.

Senna bites on some dried meat. “I think at best we will find an animal nest with a few random items they collected. This is why I questioned the location to begin with. If we had researched this place beforehand, we would have found out that this location is completely looted and has nothing of significance.” The four of them look away avoiding Senna’s gaze.

“Hmph. You should be glad to even be in my presence.” Innar mumbles. Senna and the group ignore the comment. After the break, they explore the lower floor finding a fox nest. Senna scares them away before Innar has a chance to kill them. “Must you ruin my fun!”

“Unnecessary blood.” Senna bluntly replies. Innar can only stomp away at Senna’s gaze. They circle the floor three times and end up with a rusted sword and part of a silver coin for their trouble. The group also discovers some murals, but find nothing to indicate a lower floor. “Well I suppose that’s it.” The four of them tense up. They’re all too scared to turn around and look at Senna. “As expected, there was nothing here.”

“Shut up! You were drawn here to the treasure too!” Innar yells at her.

Senna shrugs. “I expected nothing. I just came to make sure some naïve adventurers didn’t die a stupid death. I obtained a decent amount of herbs, sadly less that I had hoped.” Senna shoots a look at Innar. He mumbles a response looking away. “Anyways, this ends our contract. I don’t plan to follow you back.”

“What?! What are you going to do?” Kristel yells out. Her plan to enact some revenge falls apart if Senna separates from them.

“I plan to spend a week here and copy those paintings. And study those chests, so I can make one myself.” Senna gives a mischievous smile mentioning the False Chests. “You can’t pay me anything significant anyways. So there’s no point in following you.”

“Kuh.” Kristel gives an offended look as she looks away. After some discussion, the group of four decides to leave immediately.

Helen lingers for a time to privately talk to Senna. “I’m so sorry!”

“It’s fine. I told you I wasn’t here for the money.” Senna waves off her concern.

“But the 30%...” Helen asks.

“Something I mentioned just to rile her up. I don’t care at all about the money. I earned a good amount at the restaurant.” Senna replies.

“Then why…?” Helen murmurs absentmindedly.

“I have a very important reason to come here, enough that I need to risk my life. But that is a personal reason. Plus I believe your group would be a burden, I’m not confident that anyone in the <Pact of Ambition> would even be able to help me.” Senna whispers to Helen. Helen gives a dejected look hearing that she would be a burden. “Sorry, I went off topic. My concerns are not something you should be worrying about. Let’s talk about you. I thought about it and I have a way to deal with your immediate debt.”

“Really?!” Helen face brightens at the thought of dissolving her debt.

“It will have to wait until I get back though. I’ll tell you then. You just have to behave and not get yourself killed until then. Understand?” Senna gives her a stern look. Helen nods obediently. “Good.”

“Oi! What are you doing?” Innar impatience gets the better of him as he yells at Helen.

“Go, we can talk in town.” Senna nudges her.

“Thank you! Thank you!” Helen thanks Senna over and over with tears in her eyes before Senna pushes her to leave.

Senna waits until they’re out of sight before walking over to the room with the mural. She releases a <Wind Barrier> to seal off any sound in the room and curls up into a corner of the room. “Finally. That’s done.” Senna gives off a long sigh. Tears stream down her face as she puts down her façade. She doesn’t bother to wipe her tears as they uncontrolledly run down her face.

{I prevented him from touching me like Anahid wanted, but interacting with him is worse than with Bernard. It’s not one, but both of them…Ugh… Why do I have to remember?} Senna curls herself into a ball crying. She desperately tries to repress the memories, but her disturbed state of mind allows the memories to easily flow into her mind. “No, no, no…” Senna weakly shakes her head as she starts to remember Rimmer and his mistress.

Senna’s body begins to glow a pale white as magic leaks out from her body. Her magic power collects in the air forming twenty orbs of magic. They descend on Senna striking her through her unconscious command. Two of them directly strike her head directly cutting her consciousness. Silence reigns as Senna lies unconscious, her face resting on her knees.


Author's Note
Senna has broken away from the group to deal with her secret agenda. Kristel and Innar are glad to be rid of Senna, but the time spent together was equally unpleasant for Senna. Isolated in the dungeon, memories of the past overwhelm Senna as she suffers from another emotional breakdown forcing her to dream of the past and of the suffering she received. Tune in next time for Chapter 18.5.

Okay, enough of being silly. :)

Because of the timing of the chapter and the holidays. I decided to release two chapters this week. Chapter 18 and a flashback chapter numbered 18.5. It will be a dark and brutal chapter highlighting one of Senna's worst days as a slave. No sex in the chapter though, just lots of cruelty.

As a result, the next chapter may not be enjoyable for some. Like in Prologue 2, I will throw the torture part into a spoiler box and put a short summary of the key points at the end.

For now though, I need to do some gaming. X_X  I haven't touched any in the last few days because of how busy it has been. I have 3.5 days of vacation left. My plan for my remaining time is to write my mom's Self Evaluation for work, Work on Chapter 18.5 for the critical stuff plan. Extra stuff is work on the Glossary and study a bit on Japanese. Both of which I've been putting off.

10 comments:

  1. I forgot you were posting today, part of being a professional cook is that you cook diner for Thanksgiving, so I haven't checked any of the stuff I read until now.

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    1. Thanks for reading! Professional cook. Nice~ Your family must love the extravagant dinner.

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  2. Thanks for the chapter as usual and i kinda saw the end coming there when we got to the sleeping part of this chapter though how 2 of the mana balls decided to knock her out is questionable because normally the abuser wants them conscious thus her body/mind would be expecting more buuut there's probably a reason for that, maybe a little birdy?

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    1. She was knocked around by Rimmel so there must have been times when she was knocked unconscious, also, it wasn't only those 2 balls that hit her, she was first pommeled by the other ones.

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    2. Thanks for reading! Since she controls the magic in the midst of her breakdown, her unconscious desire to wish it was over plays a part.

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    3. hmm maybe it doesn't happen every time then?

      also Misgav only 2 balls knocked her out specifically

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    4. Mostly because of what she remembers. I can elaborate more after the flashback chapter is released, if it's needed.

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