Monday, June 27, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 40 – Investigating a Monster

Here's the chapter! If you haven’t already read it, I added a Part 2 section to Chapter 39.

Chapter 40 – Investigating a Monster

By the third day, the group is ahead of schedule in leaving the desert perimeter because of the lightened burden on the Flame Steeds.

"What is that?!" Senna cries out as she slams the book she's reading shut. Her cry breaks the silence making everyone else in the carriage jump in surprise.

"Wh-what happened?" Irene asks timidly. During this trip, Senna has always acted calm and composed. Seeing her face filled with shock is a significant surprise and also brings a wave of unease to the group.

"...A weird monster…? I'm going to take a look." Senna replies unsure of her own answer. She sits up, but pauses when Mika starts flapping her wings. {Mika, you stay here.}

{Ehh? No, I want to go too!} Mika complains looking at Senna.

{You can't. I'm going to move at full speed. You can't handle that right?} Senna questions.

{...} Mika doesn't reply, but shoots Senna an accusing look, hoping to convince Senna to take her along.

{Plus, I need you to watch over them. If another attack happens, you can help protect them and call me back faster.} Senna explains brushing off Mika's glare.

{...Fine.} Mika relents flying off Senna's shoulder.

{Good. Call me if something happens.} Senna opens the door and jumps out of the moving carriage.

"Whoa!" Captain Lewis cries out seeing something fly out of the carriage. He catches a glimpse of Senna's white hair as she shoots off. The carriage makes an emergency stop with the commotion. "Your Highness, what happened?!" He peeks inside, but finds nothing wrong.

"She detected a monster. It seems she went to subjugate it." King Victor replies a bit shocked.

"Father should we wait here for Senna's return?" Princess Liliana asks.

"I suppose we should." King Victor replies.

Mika chirps interrupting them. When they turn their attention to her, they see Mika extends her wing forward. She chirps as she makes eye contact with the King and Princess before turning her gaze forward too.

"...Hmm..." King Victor scratches his beard unsure of what Mika's motions mean.

"You want us to keep going?" Liliana asks tilting her head. Mika chirps happily in response. "I see. We should keep going!" She happily claps her hands that her answer is right.

"But how will Senna find us again?" Irene asks mostly to herself. She and the other adults are still processing the face that Mika can communicate so accurately with them. Mika holds her head up proudly and shows a small fireball in her beak before swallowing it back.

"Um...Senna, can find you with magic!" Liliana declares. She happily celebrates when Mika gives an affirmative chirp again.

"Sire, what should we do?" Captain Lewis turns to the King.

"She promised to help Rosemarie. I'm sure she left a way to find us again. Let's continue on." King Victor declares after thinking things through.

"Understood." Captain Lewis nods and closes the carriage door. With a light rumble, the carriage sets off again.

"Your Majesty, is this okay?" Irene asks staring outside the window.

King Victor nods. "Yes. It shouldn't be a problem."


On Senna's side, she flies through the air at her fastest speed. Whenever her speed begins to slow, she creates another <Magic Platform> and bounds off the platform increasing her speed back to the maximum.

Barely a minute after she left the carriage, she has covered the ten kilometer distance closing in on her target. Screams of fear and panic reaches her ears as she reaches a village. She continues flying through the air towards the edge of the forest. A number of people run in the opposite direction in panic. A few sharp eyed people notice and point at Senna, but she ignores it all.

She spots the source of the commotion at the other edge of the village. Five men are desperately fighting against a monster. Amidst the battle lie a number of corpses trampled and heavily bitten. In contrast, the monster has blood trickling down from various wounds, but still seems to be full of vitality.

Senna's eyes brighten seeing the abnormal monster before her. She immediately chooses to interfere in the battle without a second thought. "FOUND YOU!" Diving at the monster, she forms a wall of wind forcibly separating the combatants. Closing the distance in an instant, Senna grabs the center head of the monster and twists her body. She performs a double back flip in the air forcibly dragging the monster along with her rotation.

Senna pours strength into her upper body as her body starts rotating upward and directly throws the monster straight up. She breaks away from the rotation and touches the ground. She ends up sliding several meters across the ground before stabilizing her footing.

The villagers nearby can only stare blankly at Senna's sudden intrusion. They watch in astonishment as the monster they fought so desperately against is thrown into the air like a rag doll. The monster becomes a spec in the sky nearly disappearing from sight. Their attention is drawn back on Senna when they hear her chanting.

Senna stares firmly at the monster's body on guard for any special attacks. She mumbles some random words under her breath pretending to cast a large spell. As the monster descends from the sky, she gets a clearer visual of it.

The first thing that comes to mind is a science experiment. The name Chimera 023 appears when she takes a look at its status. The form of the body and center head clearly look like a lion, but the resemblance ends there. Another two heads protrude out of the sides of the center head. One head is easily identified as a goblin’s from the green skin, while the darkened pig face on the other resembles an orc. The notion that the heads are fake is thrown out of Senna's mind as she sees the heads growl and flail in the air. Scales line the four legs increasing their defensive and destructive force.

Senna makes her move as Chimera 023 gets closer to the ground. She slams her left fist into the ground as magic pours out of her body. "<Nature's Bind>!!" A yellow earthen light surrounds several nearby trees enchanting them. In response, plant vines are fired out from the tree top wrapping around the Chimera. The legs are bound and spread stretching the lion body to its limit. The mouths are firmly bound shut, while more vines wrap around the neck and eyes of the Chimera.

A large earthen jar appears in front of Senna almost overshadowing her in height. "<Blood Drain>!!" Senna pretends to cast a spell, while making a red glow appear on her right hand using a <Light> special effect. In actuality, she uses her [Blood Manipulation] skill. Blood begins to rapidly flow out of the open wounds on Chimera 023 as the blood flows through the air filling the earthen jar. Hidden behind the giant jar, the other men are unable to see her flick her left hand. Six thin blades of magic discreetly form in front of the monster and slash out. Three of the blades stab into the necks of each head cutting into the carotid arteries, while the other three blades stab into the back of the neck slicing the nerves. Finished with her attack, the blades disperse allowing the blood to freely flow from the new wounds.

Within a few seconds of extreme blood loss, Chimera 023 gives a weak, bloody death cry when the earthen jar is half filled with its blood. Senna continues to drain its blood until its body is bone dry regardless of its death. The Chimera's body begins to shrink as all of the blood leaves its body. The vines retighten their grip preventing the corpse from moving about. Another minute passes as the last drop of blood leaves the Chimera's body.

Senna gives a light sigh as she kicks up a nearby sword on the ground and grabs it. She dispels the vines releasing the corpse as she walks up to its side. The sword in her hand stabs down into an open wound. Twisting the blade, she forcibly separates the flesh with the sword. One hand holds onto the sword, while the other hand thrusts into the cavities of the flesh.

The men nearby give Senna an odd look as she calmly gropes around inside the innards of the corpse. "Found it!" Senna happily cries out as she retracts her hand back. With all the blood extracted, only a small amount of bodily fluid covers her arm. In her hand lies a large blood red magic core that is still pulsing and emanating magical power. She looks over the entirety of the gem nodding twice. "Yep." She winds up her body and pitches the core high into the air. Immediately after releasing the Chimera's core, Senna crouches covering her ears.

The men look at Senna in confusion wondering what she is doing. However, they soon get their answer as a distance explosion rocks the sky. They see traces of the shockwave as some nearby clouds are blown away from the impact. Thankfully, the explosion is too far away to cause any real problems other than the intense sound.

Senna gives a short breath of relief as she stands back up. Cleaning her hand of the Chimera's bodily fluid, she glances at the men. "Are you all okay? I can treat anyone that's injured."

"Uh..." The men look at each other before one of them steps forward. Senna identifies him as the leader because of his high level and also from his composed atmosphere. "...Miss, who are you?"

"An adventurer. I found odd markings left behind by that monster. My curiosity got the better of me, so I tried to track it down. The commotion ended up bringing me here." Senna casually replies. Her gaze wanders around checking the men for injuries.

"If that's the case, I'm thankful for your help. Unfortunately, we're a small village. We don't have anything valuable to reward you with." The leader replies bitterly.

"That's fine. I didn't do it for the reward. I would rather get some questions answered." Senna kindly smiles.

"Okay. That works. What do you want to ask?" The leader asks. He inwardly breathes a sigh of relief that she isn't asking for a large reward.

"Is this thing normal to see in this area?" Senna points to the Chimera's corpse at her feet.

The leader shakes his head. "This is the first time this kind of monstrosity has even appeared near the village." Senna's gaze shifts to the other men, but they also shake their heads.

"I see. Then I plan to take this thing with me. I want to examine it closer since it's really strange." Senna points down to the Chimera's corpse again.

"That's fine. You killed it, so you naturally deserve to take it." The leader replies a bit bitterly. He was hoping to use some of the money from the corpse to repair the village. However, he can only give up hearing Senna's desire for the corpse. Despite looking like a young girl, he knows that she's secretly a powerful monster for single handedly taking down the monster that fifteen men sacrificed their lives to lightly injure.

Senna nods storing the Chimera corpse away. "Then last question. I still have some time before I regroup with my comrades. I can help with the damages and treating injuries if you wish." Senna forms an orb of water in the palm of her hand. The men blankly stare at the orb of water in her hand, even the leader's mouth hangs as he stares at her hand. "...if you don't trust me, then I'll take my leave now to save both of us the trouble." She politely offers seeing their blank response. She even takes the initiative to take a step back to show that she won't take offense at her response.

"No, no, no. If you can help the people in our village, then we'll gladly accept. ...Unfortunately we can't reward you properly Because of the state of the village." The leader quickly responds. He tries to point out the heavy damages in the villages and their lack of compensation.

Senna shrugs. "I'm not doing this for a reward in the first place. I'm only helping because I'm in the area. Sadly, I cannot help with anyone that's already passed away. That's beyond my skill. I can assist your village to the extent of my abilities otherwise." She tosses the globule of water in her hand high into the air. The globule explodes, quickly forming a large rain cloud. Rain begins to drizzle over the entire village barely covering their current location. The men look blankly at the sudden shift in the weather and start staring at her as if she was a monster.

Senna takes no note of their gazes and starts talking. "<Healing Rain>, a high level recovery spell. It will last for about thirty minutes. In that time, anything still living will fully recover from their injuries as the rain covers them. But it can't reach anyone living in their homes. Anyone injured and hiding inside should be carried out to have their wounds treated."

As she talks, a soothing warmth fills the men. They feel incredibly blissful as the pain from their injuries wash away with the rain. One of the men cries out in joy when he notices his wounds visibly closing up. The group quickly runs towards the village rushing to tell the rest of their village.

"I probably should have omitted the time limit since I can just cast it again." Senna mumbles watching them dash into the village. "<Sacred Heal>." She waves her hand over the corpses. Two of them begin to shine as her healing magic begins to take effect. "<Wind Platform>" Senna condenses wind under the two men lifting them into the air. The wind condenses into a full platform and moves towards the village under Senna's direction.

Her gaze sweeps through the former battlefield before she gives a deep sigh. "13 died out of the 15 here......" Senna tightly grips her arm as a tear runs down her face. "In the end, I still can't do a thing. Whether it's with their lives or mine...." *Crack* She unconsciously applies strength to her hand snapping the bones in her arm. Pain ripples through her arm as she is snapped out of her thoughts. She gives an exasperated sigh as she treats her arm.

Senna spends the next two hours in the village treating the people in the village. In addition, she creates a few makeshift homes out of hardened clay for some temporary relief. Many of the villagers happily cheer for all her help. However, among the villagers are some people equally distressed at the loss of their loved ones. The most hysterical ones yell at Senna for not coming earlier to help, but is quickly restrained by some of the nearby men. Senna quietly watches them neither reprimanding nor comforting them. A celebration forms to celebrate their survival and as a funeral for the ones that fell in battle. Senna gives a short goodbye to the leader before quietly departing without anyone's notice.

Senna travels back to the carriage, but stops partway to compose herself. She leans against a tree crying to herself about her own weakness. After fully venting her emotions, Senna heals her face to erase any trace of tears. She dashes through the air once again quickly locating the carriages current location. She gracefully lands ahead of the carriage using a small cyclone to slow her fall.

"I'm back!" Senna yells out surprising the Royal guards with her sudden appearance. The carriages come to a halt with her reappearance. Princess Liliana and Mika burst out of the carriage when they hear Senna's voice.

"You're back!" Liliana cheers.

{You're safe!} Mika happily chirps landing on Senna's shoulder.

"Yes. I'm back." Senna pats Mika and the princess wryly smiling at their clinginess.

"Mis...Senna, what happened?" Captain Lewis yells out approaching her.

"Can we pause for a time? I have a few things I want to discuss." Senna asks seriously.

"...Okay." Captain Lewis pauses at the sudden request, but accepts after seeing her serious gaze. The guards organize themselves and break into groups to keep watch. Soon enough, King Victor, Sebastian, Princess Liliana, Irene, Captain Lewis, Vice-Captain Hertz, and Senna are gathered in a circle.

"About 10 kilometers in that direction is a village. I noticed a monster attack, so I went to go assist them." Senna points in the direction she came from.

"That's quite far. I'm amazed you reached them in time." Sebastian replies.

"Amazing! You're a hero! You even saved us and you even saved a village!" Liliana claps her hands happily hearing about Senna's exploits.

"Ha ha..." Senna scratches her cheek bitterly. "I'm not that amazing. I didn't really save them for such a righteous reason..." Senna takes a deep breath before continuing. "I wanted the monster's corpse because it caught my attention. The reason I asked to take a break was to speak to the most knowledgeable person about monsters in the region, specifically the ones that frequent the area nearby that village."

"I have the most knowledge about things in the region." Sebastian replies.

"Arthur used to be an adventurer if I recall correctly." Captain Lewis mutters.

"I'll go get him then." Vice-Captain Heinz stands up and walks towards the other guards. He returns quickly with another guard in tow.

"Captain, you wanted to see me?" The guard, Arthur, salutes.

"Miss Senna asked for people experienced with monsters in the region. You used to be an adventurer correct?" Lewis asks.

Arthur nods. "I spent 5 years working with the Adventurer's Guild."

"Good. Then..." Lewis turns to look at Senna.

"I'll take out the monster corpse now. Ah... Is it okay for the Princess to see?" Senna stands up, pausing when she remembers the young Princess' presence.

"I want to see!" Liliana pouts inflating her cheeks.

"Is it safe, M...Senna?" Irene asks.

Senna nods. "It's just a monster corpse at this point. It shouldn't have any danger."

"Then it should be fine." King Victor adds. Senna nods and drops the Chimera corpse on ground.

"What in the world...?" One of them mutters. All of the men stand up seeing the three headed corpse.

"Oh yes, I thoroughly drained the blood. Let me fill it with water to make it look more normal." Senna presses her palm against the corpse and sends water into the body. The Chimera corpse inflates like a balloon, but none of the water leaks out due to Senna's intricate control. "Then my question, is this kind of thing normal to run into occasionally?"

"N-no. I have never seen such a thing." Sebastian replies slightly pale.

"First time for me." Arthur shakes his head. The others also shake their heads at the new sight.

"Well that's expected I guess." Senna sighs. She takes out her dagger and shaves part of the lion's mane around the goblin head. The hairs fall out revealing traces of stitching with the transition from green goblin skin to the pale pink flesh beneath the lion's neck. "Artificial monsters are a first for me though."

"Artificial? What’s that?" Lewis asks.

"Man made. The sewed on head is not a normal thing to see in my experience. Plus I had to quickly take out and throw away the monster's core because it exploded when this thing died. It’s quite the conniving trap to cause heavy damages." Senna comments re-examining the corpse.

“Man Made?! You’re saying someone made this?!” Captain Lewis exclaims.

Senna nods plainly. “Don’t you think it’s abnormal based on how it looks? This thing is a creation by someone named Baxtor based on my information.”

"Baxtor? Who?" Captain Lewis asks reflexively.

Senna shakes her head. "I don't know that much. I only know the name of the creator." She looks at Sebastian and the King.

Sebastian shakes his head. "This is the first time I've of this name."

"I have not heard of this person either." King Victor replies.

Senna shrugs. "It's probably better if you don't know. The monsters you meet might cause more trouble otherwise." Senna retracts all of the excess water from the corpse and uses it to water a nearby tree. "I'll make a report to the local guild once things are settled. I want to try and send a message to my family that I'm alive anyways."

"They don't know?" Irene asks.

"Unfortunately not." Senna replies scratching her cheek with some embarrassment. "They're more likely to think I'm dead than alive considering what happened." She bitterly laughs averting her gaze from the group.

"Wh..." Princess Liliana starts to ask, but Irene swiftly covers the Princess' mouth. Irene shakes her head signaling to the Princess as well as the others to keep quiet. Noticing Senna's slightly bitter expression, they avoid questioning her.

After resting for a short while, they board the carriage once again and continue on.

Author’s Note
Sorry for the late release. I ended up being more out of it than I expected after my friend’s wedding. Coupled with my packing preparations for my trip, I didn’t allocate enough time for editing. >_>  Sadly, I won’t be able to release another chapter before I head off on vacation. Apologies.

If you haven’t already seen it, I posted an extra part to Chapter 39 extending the length a bit. It’s not critical plot wise, but show a bit about what goes on in Senna’s head.

On this chapter, I tried casually mentioning Status Screen related stuff without the actual table. I think it’s a bit less intrusive, but not sure if it would be preferred? Seems better to me at least, but idk let me know. Plot wise, I introduced a few more dropping hints. Originally I wasn’t planning on saying anything as things developed and let readers connect, but my release speed is pretty slow and most readers will probably forget these minor scenes if you follow as many series as I do. XD  So I’ll leave mention of the connecting points from now on to past chapters, in spoiler boxes of course.

Baxtor was previously mentioned by the disguised human Cecil in chapter 31. The other brother, Aden, has appeared in the story, but I didn’t connect a name with him. Only a long cape, which I mentioned with Aden and Cecil who have appeared. More info about these three will come soon, but will taper off after that while other stuff happens.

I’ll also leave this for people that’s bored and want something to read. This was originally written before the Part 2 section of Chapter 39. It was supposed to be a scene on keeping Liliana entertained when they first entered the carriage and started traveling. A standard game introduction scene that went off on a large tangent. The tangent got too huge, so I scrapped the idea and glazed over the travel portion since it’s taking excessively long to reach the city with everything I’ve done already. As a result, the follow portion is unedited and incomplete with little chance of a follow up since it’s not an emphasis in my desired path for the story. You’ve been warned~  ;)

"Senna, tell me a story!" Princess Liliana shakes Senna's arm breaking her concentration.

"Princess, you're being rude. Senna has been casting magic to watch out for monsters all this time. Haven't you felt it?" Irene pulls the Princess away from Senna explaining things to her.

"Eeeh? Is that what that weird feeling was?" Liliana tilts her head.

Senna gives at wry smile at the Princess. Turning her head, she also sees King Victor and Sebastian also giving the Princess the same smile.

{Sis! How much longer?} Mika jumps in. Senna glances and sees Mika restlessly shifting on her shoulder.

{At this rate, a couple of days. They're a lot slower than us because they have more people. I need to stay inside, but do you want to fly around instead?} Senna answers.

{Yes!} Mika restlessly spreads her wings.

"Okay then." Senna verbally replies. "Sorry, Mika wants to stretch her wings. I need to let her out." She apologizes to the others before opening the carriage door. Mika immediately flies high into the air. {Don't go too far okay?}

{I won't!} Mika replies care-freely.

Senna sighs and focuses on the pouting Princess. "Sorry, I didn't mean to ignore you. And I don't have any happy stories I can think of." Princess Liliana slumps forward hearing Senna's rejection. "...But how about I teach you a game instead and you can play with Irene?"

"Really?! What game?!" Princess Liliana breaks into bright smile as she jumps towards Senna.

"Let's see, I can think of a few games we can play. Which sounds better? An easy, short game. Each game is only two or three minutes. An easy, long game. It's simple to play and can keep playing it for some time. A hard game that can take really long. You have to take time to learn all the rules or you can't play it. Once you learn how to play, you have to take your time and think about what you're doing, so you can spend hours on it. Which one would you like to try?"

"...The second one! I want an easy game! The first one sounds too short." Princess Liliana enthusiastically replies.

"Okay. My sister likes this game for the same reason." Senna chuckles and pulls out a checkered game board covered in cloth and two bags. She spills out the bags contents to reveal several coin shaped pieces made with woven thread. Half of the coin piece is colored black, while the other half is colored white. "This is called 'Reversi' in my hometown. I'll explain the rules okay?"

With the simplicity of the rules, the Princess understands the rules after the first explanation and insists on playing immediately. Senna patiently corrects Liliana as they play. Irene, Sebastian, and King Victor quietly observe the two slowly play.

"Ah! What happens when you reach the side?" Liliana asks seeing Senna place a black piece on the edge of the game board.

"You can't put any piece on this side because it's out of bounds. You need to put pieces here and here to capture this edge." Senna explains pointing out the correct places on the board.

"What happens in the corner then?" Irene interjects.

"Then you need to give up on those pieces and try not to get all of your pieces taken." Senna chuckles.

"I'll win if I get the corner then!" Liliana exclaims realizing how can easily snatch the victory.

"If you do it correctly. Yes." Senna smiles. She places down a black piece capturing several of Liliana's white pieces.

"Ahh!" Liliana cries out seeing only 3 of her white pieces left. A tear forms as she realizes she's going to lose.

"Princess look!" Irene interrupts pointing to the board. Liliana snaps out of her melancholy and sees the situation perfectly arranged for her to capture a corner. Liliana looks up and sees Senna kindly smiling back at her. Senna nods silently urging her to make her move.

The game proceeds quickly from that point as Princess Liliana makes a large comeback capturing most of Senna's pieces. The game ends with Liliana's win. "I won! I won!" The adults watch Liliana jump around with a warm smile, while sneaking a glance at Senna's face.

Senna smiles with a relieved expression. She gives Irene the game board over to her. "Then I'll leave it to you."

"O-Okay." Irene nods. The rules of Reversi were easy to understand, so even the young Princess learned everything immediately. However, Irene only observed the game being played once, so she was still uneasy about being skilled enough to keep the Princess entertained.

"I'll still be here to correct any mistakes, so it's fine. There's not much difference in experience anyways, so the game will be more enjoyable for both of you." Senna answers plopping back into the corner seat to relax.

"...Senna." King Victor speaks up.

"Yes. I know. Here." Senna pulls out a second game board handing it to them without another word. Sebastian and King Victor happily take the board and begin setting up the game. Senna busies herself as she takes out a book that she took from Mater's castle. She uses her [Analysis] skill to decipher and steadily teach herself the Demon language. Of course she still perform on the area screening for any threats.

Senna also keeps a close eye on Mika's condition as she freely flies about. Senna uses their bond to observe the situation through Mika's vision. Thankfully, their days of travel have drastically increased Mika's strength and magic giving Senna peace of mind for Mika to freely move about without supervision. Mika happily hunts some bugs that emerge from the sand devouring her captured prey.

The day passes by quickly and they eventually make camp for the evening. King Victor, Liliana, Irene and Sebastian become ardently addicted to Reversi to the point that they haven't stopped playing after several hours. Naturally, the Royal Guards are naturally drawn to the spectacle and start observing them play. When they find out that the game is from Senna, they naturally ask for more copies to play themselves.

"Senna, can you teach us how to play this game?" Captain Lewis asks.

"They're using the only two game boards I have. You'll have to get one of them to stop first." Senna replies pointing to the Royal Family.

"That's a bit... Can't you create some more with your magic." Captain Lewis shows some obvious discomfort at pulling the King and Princess away from the game for his own entertainment. He tries suggesting making more knowing how ridiculous Senna's magic can be.

"That's a lot to make. I wouldn't be able to make that many copies of the game fast enough for everyone to play." Senna complains. Truthfully, she could create some hastily made ones, but after yesterday's magic recoil, she decides to hold back on excessive use of magic for recreational purposes. Groans filter through the group at Senna's rejection.

Feeling a bit guilty, Senna spreads out a deck of playing cards like a fan. "How about this? I have more copies of cards for gambling games. I'll teach you some games instead?"

"...OOOOOOOHHHHHHH!!!" The guards are surprised at the sudden suggestion, but immediately start cheering when the words 'gambling games' sink in. King Victor and Sebastian stop their game of Reversi when they hear about gambling and join in on the conversation.

Senna spreads out the deck of cards and explains the value of each card. She also casts an altered spell to create of a projection of the cards so everyone can see. The numbers create some confusion at first because of the difference in the writing system. With Sebastian's help, Senna draws a quick table and projects it for everyone to see.

After the initial explanation, she dives into the rules for Blackjack. The ability for the Ace card to become 1 or 11 creates some significant confusion. After some thought, Senna enchants the Ace cards to form a larger version of the suit. With a simple tap, the card can switch between the normal image and the large version to represent 1 or 11 respectively.

The explanations drag on for some time to make sure everyone understands the game. In addition, she has to take extra time to teach the ones that will act as dealers for the game. Afterwards, she leaves four decks of cards and also two colors of playing chips for aesthetic purposes.

Edit: If you see a giant wall of text in the above box, please refresh. I forget coding details when I put in spoiler box stuff.


  1. Fore warning this is going to be a long comment.

    About the main chapter; I have theory about how Senna's body is still relatively squishy post lvl jump, even though in most normal biological structures, and in other fictional magic based biologies it is very hard to severely damage the biological matrix upon which the organism leverages when the force is entirely self contained by the organism and the substance upon which it has traction, even accidentally. In shorter words you can't break your leg running too fast, a beetle can't break its shell opening its wings, and a shark can't rupture its cartilage by turning too fast while swimming. But if the beetle is just under a rock, the shark gets caught in a hydro-jet, or you try to ricochet off a wall, those parts will get broken because that which the organism was getting traction from also became the recipient of the force that he organism gained from it. And traction is just the equal and opposite reaction to the force you applied and so is generally made of sterner stuff than you, so organisms tend to have ways to make sure they don't let the impulse(what makes punches hurt and pushes not even though pushing exerts more force) between them and that substance be too large/long. Beetles that hang out under rocks have long sensitive antennae that would have had to be cut, sharks olfactory and electromagnetic sensors that would have to be befuddled by passing vessels, and humans a conscious mind with common sense to think that running into a rock at full speed is a bad idea. In a simpler way most things that can move have chemical feed back loops report pain or damage to quickly stop the thing from doing whatever if it was their fault. In fictions involving magic, magic things that get more powerful through magic unconsciously also use it to make themselves more sturdy. For Senna this means that as parts of her body accelerate close to the sound barrier the fluid she is in becomes incompressible and acts like a surface on which she can gain traction, like her Magic Platforms, and her bones break, but we don't see this in other magicly powered things. And the explanation to this, I believe, can be found in how she subconsciously would not strengthen her own body beyond that of a health squishy human, because her decade of torture has desensitized her to the negative warning message that pain represents and instead recognizes it as a proper thing(there's a better word) in her body's homeostatic thing(there's a different better word here) psychologically, which is also why she freaks out whenever her scars are healed. So all Senna needs to do to not tear herself apart due to her lvl up is to do what ever web novel MC that learns magic strengthening of power, magic strengthening of biological structures. But this will be hard in a world where lvls are a thing because for everything else there it is entirely unconscious, unless the human consciousness disrupts that somehow(unlikely or bowel movements wouldn't be involuntary and we would have to be taught how to excrete.)

    Also I like that you put the cut content in at the bottom it was fun and I wish more writers who's stories I enjoy did so to.

    1. I wish I was a good enough writer to not create walls of text when writing about something complicated I thought of. :(

    2. In a sense. But I have to disagree on some points. It isn't so much something can be said about this story but most stories that deal with invulnerability, heightenend defense, etc. What is the human body? It's a flexible organism that adapts itself so as to, in the most likely situation and to the most of it's ability, sustain itself. With the majority of materials, being flexible means being weaker in defense. One can easily pierce through skin while having a Rhinoceros hide makes it quite a bit harder, but normal skin doesn't need joints and overlapping parts just to be able to move at a decent rate. What senna experiences in my opinion is just the basic reaction of any normal body with such friction. Think about it, we can all spoute that the body can become tougher through magical means which we cannot explain but really doing so on a physical manner is impossible. The human body allready has the optimal way to move and live and is just not adapted to movement and tension that exceeds a certain threshold. And it would be incredibly hard to do so. Even if we made our bones stronger by making them steel, automatically repairing them as happens now becomes a lot harder. Furthermore, it doesn't actually strengthen the cartilage between them which would break earlier. How would you strengthen the ligaments and tendons if they have to be able to move? Because at that speed it isn't just a tough hide you need to have, no it's basically the same as being under tons of water. The pressure is immense, and if even one organ isn't strong enough, you're doing for. You can't actually realistically strenghten such things like organs. If they aren't flexible and adaptable they can't function, and it's not because something is harder to cut that it can withstand pressure easier.

    3. It's 5am for me and I only just woke up for work, so I haven't taken in everything in your guys' passages, so sorry for that.

      So from what I imagine in when writing about Senna's situation. She does reinforce her body with magic to an extent to increase the load that her body can endure, but it doesn't keep up with her newfound strength. First example I thought up would be souping up a car. If you slap on a powerful engine and thruster onto a car, I'm imaging Fast and Furious type cars with those nitrous oxide boosting system (I'm a noob, so might be using the wrong terms), then the car will need to be reinforced to bear with the output of the new system. However, if you directly rip out the thrusters and all that from say a spaceship to speed up a car, it's going to need extensive revamping to run and not cause the car to break down from the weight, power, etc.

      Senna attempts the reinforcement on her own, while using some info from other people's experience and magic textbooks. Since her power is so abnormally high, their experiences only amount to so much and she needs to figure things out on her own as a result. Adding on her abnormally high stats and the result self destructs when she tries.

      Also, Thanks for reading!

  2. Who was baxtus again? I honestly can't remember.

    1. Baxtor? I mentioned it in the first spoiler box.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. Thanks for the update

    Pd: Maybe you can use this second hide content to post as a little side story

    1. Thanks for reading! Possibly, but it would decrease my time already spent writing the main storyline. XD

  4. When do you believe we'll be able to get another chapter? Even a rough estimate of "this month", "next month" or farther down the timeline would be nice to know.

    1. The coming weekend. I'm back from my trip, so I'm writing. I wanted to have something this past weekend, but got hit with a cold, so that took me out for a couple of days.