Sunday, December 13, 2015

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 20 – Engaging the Undead

Here's Chapter 20. FYI, if it's late Sunday (PST) and still no posted chapter, then you should check the comments in the most recent chapter. I should have posted a comment about delays if it will only be a day late or so. Just something I thought I should mention since I felt ill Friday from cold party food. Other significant info in the Author's note.


Chapter 20 – Engaging the Undead

“<Light>!” Senna quickly forms a ball of light exploding it before it completely forms. A blinding white light fills to room affecting everyone in the room. She uses the basic <Enchant Earth> spell on her clenched fist. A thick layer of rock forms the outer layer of her first, while soft soil lines the inside protecting her hand. Jumping high into the air, she swings her fist at the ceiling releasing a deafening boom. The entire room rumbles at Senna’s attack. With a <Wind> spell, she blasts the dust away to escape though the hole. However, her movements falter seeing only some slight cracks at the point of impact.

“Thou shall not escape that easily.” The Lich King tauntingly replies. Senna takes a quick glance and notices that only the Revenant has made a move. Everyone else including his Specter subordinates remain in place watching the battle.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Senna relaxes to focus on the Revenant’s assault without worrying about any interference. Senna drops a bottle of Compressed Palmetto beneath her. She twists her body around and swings her katana down on the bottle.

The Revenant jumps up thrusting his halberd at Senna. “DIEEE!!!” His face is twisted in rage at the humiliation of missing his target. He seriously attacks her without holding back.

The bottle shatters open exploding in between the two of them. The Revenant’s attack is slightly diverted away, while Senna rides the explosion to escape his attack range. Senna stores her weapon and punches the wall to reduce her speed and to just try again. Sadly, the wall made of Dark Stone proves to be more resilient than Senna anticipated. However, her attack does noticeably more damage with the addition of <Enchant Light> on top of her enchanted stone fist.

Pushing the idea out of her mind for now, she jumps away from the wall bounding across the room. As her body moves, the Revenant makes his appearance barely missing her and cutting a bit of her hair. Mid-flight Senna gathers a large blob of water in her hand tossing it behind her. “<Fog>!!” The water explodes outwards transforming into a large, thick, white cloud encompassing Senna and The Revenant’s side of the audience hall.

Senna swings her arms forcefully changing her direction towards the Entrance. A blue light from her [Magic Detection] skill marks the door’s location. Clicking her tongue, she uses a specially modified <Magic Platform> spell collecting a mass of magical power high in the air directly in front of her current position. Melding it into a makeshift bar, Senna jumps up and grabs it allowing her body to spin in a full circle several times like a gymnast to kill her momentum. Her [Danger Detection] rings as she spots the Revenant attempting to stealthily attack her from her blind spot.

Spinning in the air as her vision moves between The Revenant and the unknown magic casted on the door, Senna makes a dark smile as an idea hatches. Gripping the magic bar tightly, Senna abruptly slows down her speed forcing her to hand at the bar’s lowest point making herself an easy target. Her feet tense up stepping onto a newly formed <Magic Platform>.

“Hold still you damn human!” The Revenant yells jumping at her again. This time, he enhances his body with <Dark Magic> increasing the power and thrust of his attack.

Senna jumps straight up as he charges forward again. She discreetly chants as her body flies upwards. Both of her <Magic Platforms> disintegrate after Senna distances herself more than several meters away from them. The Revenant shoots past her previous position, but reacts more quickly to the evasion. As he passes under Senna, he releases a spell similar to the intermediate <Dark Cannon>, only far more quickly and powerful. A large beam of black light over ten meters wide shoots towards Senna blasting away Senna’s fog. The Revenant touches the black wall of magic covering the door, but collects himself unscathed.

Senna smiles as she captures the spell in her [Storage]. The spell completely disappears before making contact with her body. “<Illusion>” Senna mumbles the spell name as she casts it. Her body blurs splitting in four different directions. Bounding off the ceiling and walls, four identical duplicates of Senna land and face the Revenant. Their backs face the other spectators. The four Sennas stand still smiling tauntingly at the Revenant, angering him even further.

“Damn Human! How dare you ridicule me?! Are you going to do nothing but run?!” The Revenant yells angrily before disappearing into the shadows and reappearing behind one of the Sennas. He performs a swift horizontal swing cutting through two of the Sennas. A large gap through the two Sennas’ abdomens as the air is disrupted. The four of them move forward unperturbed. They recollect into one form before splitting into four again.

They smile and answer simultaneously. “That’s right. I’m not really in a position to anger your Highness. I would prefer to escape…” The Sennas glance at the Lich King. “…But you’re not making it easy on me.” The four of them collect a large amount of <Light Magic> into each of their hands. The space around them distorts leaving behind patches of pure black space as nature attempts to replace the displaced light taken from those patches.

The Revenant snorts. He moves to the side and slashes not at any of the four Sennas, but at an empty wall. “Got you!” His swing connects as a cut image of Senna appears and distorts into the air.

“Ooo. So close.” The Sennas’ voice echo annoying the Revenant even further. Finishing their preparation, they turn to the door and release their spell. “<Blessed Light>!!!” Casting the intermediate <Light> spell, four beams of light converge attacking the door. The room rocks as a large dust cloud explodes outward. A <Wind> spell disperses the dust cloud, but the same black barrier remains standing unfazed.

Chaos Barrier
A Master Grade <Dark Magic> spell that absorbs all forms of magic. The absorbed magic is used to strengthen the barrier and repel all physical attacks. As a result, this spell is well known as one of the most troublesome enemy barriers to overcome.

"BWAHAHAHA!!! You will have to do better than that to break the Lord's spell." The Revenant laughs looking at Senna's failed attempt.

"Well...it did its job just fine." The four Sennas glance back at the Revenant with a calm smile. The four of them begin to fade as the <Illusion> spell comes to an end. “<Holy Light>!!!” Senna's voice rings out near Umbra and the Vampire Queen. Everyone turns to see Senna floating in the air above them. Umbra and the Vampire Queen quickly distance themselves away from the Senna and her Advanced Class spell. Her spell releases a concentrated brilliant beam of light slamming into the ceiling. The light beam is less than 3 meters wide, but specially concentrated because of the ample preparation time Senna created with her <Illusion> distraction. In the aftermath of her spell, Senna sees traces of a complete hole. {Yes!} Propelling herself up off another magic platform, she launches herself through the hole.

.

..

...

......

And directly crashes into a barrier. Senna clutches her head in pain as her eyes tear up from the impact. As she falls back down, she looks up and sees the same Chaos Barrier hidden behind the stone roof. Senna's jaw drops as she yells out. "Oh! Come on! You've blocked the roof too!!" Senna forcibly spins unsheathing her katana. She pours her magic into the blade using part of it to condense at the back of the blade strengthening it. The rest she allows <Severing Wind> to perform its default function of sharpening the blade with wind.

Using her spinning momentum, she swings her katana with her entire body weight. Sparks fly as her katana clashes with the Revenant’s halberd. Senna uses her momentum to slightly divert the halberd, while using the recoil to shoot towards the nearby wall. Intercepting her, black hands made from <Dark Magic> emerge from the wall’s shadow waiting to catch her. Senna holds her breath tossing a bottle. It shatters on contact releasing a gray mist that envelops the shadowy hands. The contents of the bottle quickly take effect as the hands turn to stone as Senna stomps on them shattering them to pieces. Her [Petrification Resistance] levels up wildly as she passes through the mist, thankfully without ever affecting her body.

Weakened Cockatrice’s Poison (Master Grade)
Rank: C (B)
A poison made from the powdered remains of a Cockatrice’s beak and weakened by powdered gold needles. Exposure to the mixture causes the body to turn to stone, thereby killing the victim. Modified by Senna for the mixture to turn to gas when exposed to air expanding the possible Petrification range.
Sales Value: 30,000 Triton

The Revenant watches Senna closely ready to capture her when she tries to escape. Senna looks back with an expressionless face bouncing off the wall and directly at the Revenant. She quickly uses <Enchant Earth> to encase the back of her katana in rock increasing its overall weight. “YAHHH!!!” Swinging the katana down like a cleaver, Senna clashes again with the Revenant’s weapon. Sparks fly as Senna’s katana clashes against the axe portion of the Revenant’s halberd. A cracking sound emerges as Senna successfully diverts the halberd away from her body. Senna makes a quick <Magic Platform> and propels her body over the Revenant flying towards the front of the hall.

Landing on the ground, Senna turns around breathing heavily. She glances at her katana and sees several deep cracks on the blade. Sighing, she stores <Severing Wind> away. She takes the chance to extract 3 pills from her [Storage] and quickly eats them.

Stamina Pill (Master Grade)
Rank: C (B)
A stamina potion condensed into a pill form. Normally, a second tier potion meant to recover energy. In the process, it suppress fatigue to allow the body to continue functioning at top condition.
Sales Value: 15000 Triton

High Magic Pill (Master Grade)
Rank: B (A)
A high magic potion condensed into a pill form. A third tier potion magic potion that recovers magical power.
Quickly recovers 1000 Magic Points upon consumption. An additional 200 Magic Points is recovered every 5 seconds for 30 minutes.
Sales Value: 50000 Triton

Letting the 2 High Magic Pills and single Stamina pill take effect, Senna forms a wind sword in her hand. As Senna and The Revenant step forward to engage one another, the Lich King interjects. “STOP.” He speaks casually, but places more force in his voice making the room rumble even harder than with Senna’s advanced <Holy Light> spell. The two of them freeze up and reluctantly lower their weapons.

Senna silently cheers for the break. She works on stabilizing her breathing as she prepares more traps to use. She tensely watches the group to see what will happen next. The Revenant continues to glare at Senna hatefully waiting for his Lord’s word to pounce again. The Skeleton Baron and the Vampire Queen looks at Senna with surprise. She held her ground for multiple exchanges with the Revenant and is completely unscathed. Umbra snorts and holds his head up full of pride at Senna’s performance.

The Lich King quietly stares at Senna full of confusion. “Why doth thou not attack? Our subject has given thou enough reason to retaliate.”

Senna gives a bitter smile. “I just wish to leave. I do not wish to incur your Highness’ wrath by injuring one of your subjects. Also, if I wish to make friends with Umbra in the future, it would not be appropriate to try and kill his friends.”

“Thou worries excessively. Thou should enjoy the battle with our subject. We support thy battle fully.” The Lich King replies. The Revenant gleefully readies himself to attack again.

“I have had more brushes with death than I care to remember. I do not desire to place myself on the edge of death to enjoy myself.” Senna answers with a bitter look.

“Hmm…” The Lich King goes quiet.

“My Lord.” The Vampire Queen interjects. “I believe it’s best if you stop Mortimer from attacking any further. If she had put her efforts into attacking rather than escape, then she could have easily killed Mortimer. Not to mention the damage we could have suffered with her best light spell.”

“Hold on! Just who will lose?! I’ll be the one to destroy the human.” The Revenant yells angrily at the Vampire Queen.

“Human win easy. *clack* Ha *clack* ha *clack* ha *clack*. The Skeleton Baron agrees with the Vampire Queen and laughs.

“Shut up! I’ll show you!” The Revenant readies his halberd to attack again. Before he can move, vines shoot up from the ground entangling him. Blue poison drips from the vine’s thorns piercing into his body. “Hah! I knew you couldn’t resist! You’ll have to do a lot better than that to take me down!!” His head is the only visible part of his body as the vines wrap around him forming an egg shape. His body emanates a black light as he strengthens his body with <Dark Magic>.

“Sorry, for the cheap tactic. But I just wish to leave.” Senna shows an awkward smile.

“HRGHHH!!” The Revenant releases his magic to the maximum ripping most of the vines. The remains of the vines continue to inject their poison as they cling to him. The black light from the Revenant’s body strengthening magic weakens with each passing second. “What the hell?” The Revenant looks down at his body feeling his magic reserves drain up.

“<Wind Shot>” Senna releases her spell as the Revenant lets his guard down. An orb of wind appears from the side and slams into side of the Revenant’s chin. His head twists from the unexpected attack. Before he can recover, a large block of wind descends from above slamming directly on top of his head. He falters as more vines appear from the ground entangling his body. He wordlessly moans before falling unconscious from a lack of magical power.

“What did thou do?” The Lich King asks looking at his unconscious subordinate.

“Um…” Senna hesitates to answer. {Oh, why not? I’ll just leave out the part about me releasing poison into the ground to stain the thorns with. Better to let him think I can create the vines like that.} She ultimately decides to truthfully answer some parts in hopes of leaving peacefully before another fight breaks out. Even with only running around, the restrictions in the battle have left her considerable exhausted. Who knows what will happen when she falls from exhaustion? “I applied a poison to paralyze magical beings that have no physical body. He shouldn’t be able to move for some time, which gives me some peace of mind.”

“That doesn’t explain why his magic was suddenly cut.” The Vampire Queen refutes her answer.

“I didn’t say that was the only thing. Mixed in with the thorns are crystals I set up with a <Drain Magic Power> spell. With so many of them piercing his body, it was enough to empty his magic reserves.” Senna manipulates one of the vines and moves it closer to them. They see the vines dripping in poison and the occasional black crystal embedded within the vine.

Senna pulls all the vines towards her and stores the vines away for future use, separating the vines and crystals. Returning her attention to the Lich King, she asks again. “May I leave now?”

“Thou may leave.” Lich points his finger dispelling the <Chaos Barrier>.

“Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you.” Senna bows and turns around. She gives a secret sigh of relief that she can finally escape.

“Wait!” Senna stops and turns around to see Umbra angrily glaring at her. “Are you just going to leave like that?!”

“…Yes?” Senna answers. {Why happened to make him so angry?}

“What about the blessing?!” Umbra glares at her for forgetting something so important.

“Um… You didn’t want to give it, so I was going to ignore it for the time being?” Senna asks. A sense of disconnect runs through their conversation making Senna even more confused.

“Who said I didn’t want to give it?!” Umbra yells.

“Your hostile attitude?” Senna tilts her head.

“Idiot! Come over here!” Umbra yells pointing at the space in front of him.

Instead of being happy, Senna sighs. {The blessing is nice, but it’s going to be so embarrassing. I can only hope he doesn’t make me break down crying like Sol did when she healed me. <Dark Magic> doesn’t have healing spells, but mind-related spells are fair game. Ugh.} Senna’s mind whirls faster and faster as she gets close to Umbra.

The breakdown she experienced when she received the <Light Blessing> from the Light Elemental, Sol, and having all of her scars healed left a significant burden on Senna’s mind. Emotionally unstable would be putting the experience lightly. Sol ended up enjoying the unexpected response as she played with Senna’s body after pushing Senna down. Senna’s attempts to create new scars were foiled by Sol’s God ranked barrier leaving her helpless. The entire experience was extremely embarrassing for Senna broadcasting such a blatant weakness to the nearby Aqua and any other Elementals that happened to be looking her way. In addition, the process of using <Time Magic> to restore all her scars completely emptied her magical energy.

Stopping in front of Umbra, Senna clenches her fist waiting. Umbra wraps an arm around Senna’s waist pulling her closer. She looks up at the smoky figure matching his gaze. Umbra leans over locking her lips. The airy feel of his lips presses against hers, while the smell of musk brushes her lips. The taste of burnt wood and water fills her tongue as she feels Umbra invade her mouth. Umbra presses even further as the smoky tendril descends down Senna’s throat. “Amnn…” A small groan escapes Senna’s lips feeling the Umbra invade her body.

Ignoring her, Umbra controls the tendril passing through her esophagus and into her core. The tendril explodes in her core filling it with black smoke. The smoke gathers under Sol’s symbol of the sun forming the symbol of a black full moon. Finished with the blessing, Umbra releases Senna pushing her back lightly.

You have obtained the [Dark Elemental’s Blessing]. Umbra has taken acknowledged your worth. Failing to please Umbra will cause him to revoke your blessing.

Your ability to use <Dark Magic> requires a quarter of the normal MP cost. On rare occasions, Umbra may come himself to amplify your spell’s potency.

Senna waves away the message and touches her lips blankly. She looks at Umbra in confusion. “That’s all?”

“Of course, that’s all! What were you expecting from my blessing?!” Umbra yells at Senna.

“Uh sorry.” Senna winces realizing she misspoke. “I’m just a little surprised. Considering how ‘extreme’ everyone else’s blessing has been, I’m relieved for such a simple kiss.”

“Hmph. I’m not them.” Umbra snorts.

“Our friend hath shown us a wonderful idea. We shall give our blessing too.” The Lich King interjects.

“Eh?!” Senna cries out.

“What?!” The Skeleton Baron, the Vampire Queen, and the lower retainers all yell out.

“Milord. Please reconsider.” The Vampire Queen runs up to the Lich King.

“Lord.” The Skeleton Baron also interjects.

“Your Highness, I am but a simple traveler. I do not think it is appropriate to accept a blessing meant for your retainers.” Senna joins in refuting the blessing. Accepting a weird enchantment from an unknown monster will bring more problems than benefits.

“Silence.” The Lich King’s voice shakes the room as a <Chaos Barrier> is erected splicing the room in half.

{Crap.} Senna mentally curses looking at the barrier. Giving up, she stands in front of the Lich King. “Understood.” {I’ll just have to accept it and go to the Church to dispel it later.}

The Lich King extends his bony finger and touches the center of Senna’s chest. A blast of black energy with a tinge of red shoots out from his bony finger and slams into Senna’s body. Senna’s body is knocked into the air flying back several meters before crashing into the ground.

“Oi! What the hell?!” Umbra protests seeing the attack.

“Fumu. This blessing business is more difficult than it looks. Our friend is very skilled to control thy power.” The Lich King looks at his finger with surprise.

“Damn it. You should say that before you attempt it. I just gave her my blessing. What will the others say if they find out she died right after getting my blessing?” Umbra continues to complain.

“Your Lordship.” The Vampire Queen interjects. “Is that supposed to happen?” She points to Senna. Their eyes widen when they lay eyes on Senna.

Senna’s body is completely covered in the <Dark Magic> that the Lich King released making her look like a black silhouette. A mass of the excess energy floats above Senna’s body slowly pouring the energy down into her body. Senna’s hands occasionally twitch indicating that she’s still alive.

When Senna was first hit with the Lich King’s magic, she immediately formed a container using a variation of <Magic Platform> to bottle up the magical energy. Extending a connection to her body, she would allow some of it to reach her body and magical core to form a weak blessing. Once enough settled in, she could store the excess without the Lich King noticing the oddity. Unfortunately, the giant mass of energy was ten times what any of the Elementals ever released during the Blessing process. As a result, her guard and footing was too weak.

Crashing into the ground, her consciousness is shaken as the Lich King’s magic flows into her body unhindered. Her vision goes black as every pore of her body is enveloped by the magical power. Senna tries to activate a spell, but her internal organs and magical core have already become completely stained in the Lich King’s magic. Senna continues to struggle, but she gradually loses control as the magic overrides every part of her body. Limping lying on the floor, Senna’s body goes still. The room goes silent as they look at her.

“Shit. Sol is going to kill me.” Umbra mutters.

*BOOMM!!!* A large beam of light explodes from Senna’s body bathing the room in a white light. The Lich King’s magic surrounding Senna’s body explodes away from her flying back several meters, but doesn’t dissipate. It hovers in the air trying to cling to Senna again. The pillar of light from the advanced grade <Holy Purification> spell acts as a barrier holding the magic back. They back away from the light covering their eyes. The Revenant is jolted away as the residual <Light Magic> damages his body. Unfortunately, the vines Senna created continue to bind him and he remains too weakened to break free.

Senna quickly sits up gasping for air. She squints her eyes looking around as sees the Lich King’s magic trying to return to her. The pillar of light gradually shrinks as the spell wears off. Senna swings her hand using <Wind> to grab one to of the blobs of magic bringing it closer, but it does not disappear into her [Storage]. {Why isn’t it working? I’ve always been able to store spells before.}

Her mind questions why the Lich King’s magic is able to resist entering her [Storage] despite being in the one meter range to store or extract any item. Senna doesn’t realize that the Lich King’s magic is a mixture of <Dark Magic> and his own undead life energy. Her [Storage] rejects all living organisms, and unfortunately the undead life energy that is concentrated enough to count as living energy forcing the [Storage] to reject it. However, she isn’t given time to ponder as the pillar of light almost completely disappears.

{No choice. I can’t destroy it. So let’s suppress it.} Senna creates a black cloud using her <Dark Mist> spell. Drawing upon the excess magical power in the room, she expands the cloud even further until it completely surrounds her. The masses of magic from the Lich King weaken slightly when Senna extracts some of the energy, but continue to function as the traces of red energy become more prominent. She swings her hand commanding the black cloud to form a large mouth.

The <Dark Mist> circles around Senna similar to a guard dog consuming every bit of magic that threatens her. {It’s working! The magic is similar enough that my <Dark Magic> can mix and suppress it.} With every bite, a tendril of red extends out from the center forming a random pattern. Senna re-exerts her control over the mist and forcefully compresses the red into the very center. Sweat drips down her face as her breathing quickens. Her focus is completely on controlling the Lich King’s rampant magic leaving her body completely wide open. Luckily, the Revenant is still bound by her poisonous vines while the others remain stock still watching her.

Senna attempts to store every bit of the black cloud once again, but fails to contain even her own spell. Mentally cursing, she resolves herself to completely absorb the mass of magic. Discreetly, she prepares the same safety measure just in case she fails again. With a single command, the black cloud dives at Senna’s chest and into her core. Passing through her flesh, Senna’s control falters for a mere millisecond allowing the Lich King’s magic to course through her body. Every one of her veins course with a red light as Senna works to regain control of her body.

Sweat pours down her face and body as the magic runs wildly. Despite maintaining her normal appearance, her body feels as if it expands to its limit and is on the verge of exploding. Umbra appears next to Senna and taps her on the shoulder. He transfers some <Dark> energy to Senna temporarily suppressing the rampant energy. Senna takes advantage of the lull to contain everything in one go. The red light in her body dies down and everything is drawn into her magical core. Within the symbol for her blessing from Umbra, a faint red skull forms within the center of the black moon.

“Haa…haa…haa…haa…” Senna pants heavily, her entire body drenched in sweat.

“Nice job.” Umbra comments.

“Thank… you…” Senna replies. Her vision blurs as the fatigue catches up to her. Her consciousness snaps as the tension completely leaves her body. Her body tilts forward passing through Umbra’s gaseous body. She crashes to the floor leaving a resounding thud.


Author's Note
Sorry if you were anticipating a major battle. I never planned the chapter to be that way and I left the last chapter to be a bit too misleading. And I'm making a weird habit of having Senna pass out from exhaustion during these events. Lol.

I did various explanations within the chapter, but I couldn't find a place to properly place one detail. Senna's <Magic Platforms> are stationary platforms that disintegrate when they separate a certain distance from Senna. Unless Senna has a specific reason, she intentionally sets them up to breakdown so that her opponent can't use it to chase her when she evades.

There wasn't any response about needing a Q/A session, so I'll hold off for now.

Finally, a small joke paragraph I made. I made a typo as I was typing and decided to go with it for fun. Though I ran out of inspiration after 3 sentences, it was enough to invoke a small laugh on my end.

Stopping in front of Umbra, Senna clenches the fish in her hand. It flails in her hand unnerving her even further. Securing the floppy fish in her hand, she braces herself for the experience.



9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the chapter is she going to get blessing from the other people in the room to.

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    1. Thanks for reading! Nope. No magical blessing from the others. The Lich King is the only one capricious enough to try and do it on a human.

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    2. You must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest.. WIIIIIIITH!..... A HERRING!!!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DopGxUAoAY

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  2. I like this Lich King, he's savy enough to block the roof(assuming the walls too) instead of just the door.

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    1. Yep. The walls too. Thanks for reading!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Thanks for the chapter and looking forward to more as always. Sadly I saw a couple of errors but I lost them in the process of reading sorry :/

    Edit: typo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! No worries. I wouldn't be surprised if I have some errors since I only do a single read through before posting.

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    2. That's okay, from what I remember they were small errors.

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