World Genesis Volume 1 Chapter 10

I worked hard for the next three days and nights. I felt bad for prolonging my journey to find Eve but I also knew that I had to plan seriously if I wanted to succeed. First on my list of things to do was familiarizing myself with my new weapons and armour.

 

My spear work was a bit clumsy at first; I worked on understanding my new reach and practiced special movements that helped me get used to the inherent traits of my new weapon. Twisting the spear in a clockwise and counter clockwise manner repeatedly for hours helped me get accustomed to the weight and feel as well.

 

My armour was… well let’s just say it’s flexible… that really is the best quality to it. I sincerely doubt that it will provide ample protection against a hungry Hedge Raptor. However it is easy to move in… and my junk isn’t flapping in the wind as much so that’s a plus.

 

I spent the whole first day and half the night getting used to complicated maneuvers and even created dummies out of saplings for greater visualization and conceptualization. I say that because one of the small trees looked deceptively similar to the shape of a Hedge Raptor.

 

“Kuhuhu… prepare your self my most hated foe!”

 

I definitely was not just playing with my new weapons because I thought it would be fun! This was practice! Essential I tell you! …Anyway, I became confident in my understanding of the spear. At least I know I won’t stab myself in the foot… that would be awkward.

 

I decided it was necessary for me to practice daily, so I would get up early and practice for two hours every day and every night before sleep I would do it again. The spear is not a staff, I can use it as such but it’s main power lies in a concentrated attack with a powerful thrust! So I practiced this motion repeatedly.

 

I also did my spatial awareness training in order to use it as a staff if necessary. A staff can trip an opponent and also break limbs… but its main power lay in being unpredictable and detrimental to your opponents’ footwork. This may not be as effective against large Raptors but I doubt all the creatures on this world are like them.

 

My constant practicing bore fruit when I got a new Notice Message.

 

[Congratulations! You have unlocked the Skill: Spear Mastery (Beginner) (Passive)! Dexterity and Strength has increased by one! Movements with a Spear will feel more natural, you now have the ability to save effective attack patterns for later use! Only attacks made on living adversaries can be saved and there are a maximum of ten save slots per attack. Once you complete these slots you may name your style!]

 

[Congratulations! You have unlocked the Skill: Staff Mastery (Beginner) (Passive)! Dexterity and Agility has increased by one! Movements with a Staff will feel more natural, you now have the ability to save effective attack patterns for later use! Only attacks made on living adversaries can be saved and there are a maximum of ten save slots per attack. Once you complete these slots you may name your style!]

 

[Congratulations! You have unlocked the Skill: Dagger Mastery (Beginner) (Passive)! Agility and Perception has increased by one! Dagger movements will feel more natural, you now have the ability to save effective attack patterns for later use! Only attacks made on living adversaries can be saved and there are a maximum of ten save slots per attack. Once you complete these slots you may name your style!]

 

[Congratulations! You have unlocked the Skill: Light Armour Mastery (Beginner)(Passive)! Endurance has increased by two! Light Armour will feel lighter and more natural to move in. When worn, it will become sturdier and harder to damage.]

 

After a long time of constant training I learned these four masteries. I wasn’t even going to use my dagger but after I got the first two I became greedy. What can I say? I like getting new skills and abilities even if they are rarely used. Better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

 

There was something unrelated to training that was bothering me however. That was my Status Window… It only showed a modicum of information on skills and abilities. Stats were percentile based and did not have information on them to make my growth easier. And magic was an enigma wrapped inside a mystery, even with Arumarra’s teachings there was still so much I didn’t know.

 

After some thought I decided to make a logbook, or Journal that allowed me to collect my thoughts and possibly even look back on them and make critical connections that could aid me in my development. My only problem was I had no paper.

 

I used Earth Magic and tried to make a stone tablet but it didn’t really suit my needs. For starters I was going to have a lot of these things and they were heavy and took up too much space. So I attempted to make paper out of a tree, but of course I didn’t know the method, so it ended in failure as well.

 

Stumped I sat on a stump that served as a chair in my cave. I already created charcoal and encased it in thin wood casing to protect it so the pencil was done. I started to absentmindedly play with the wood of the stump and create patterns and designs when it hit me. It wasn’t the most elegant solution but it would do for now. I used my Nature Magic and produced inch thick paper shaped wooden tablets! They were smooth due to my condensing the grains of the wood during its creation. And durable. The light colour was perfect for the pencil to write on.

 

Thus my daily log was created!

 

Every time I learned something new I wrote it down and stored it on the bookshelf I had thought I would never use. I marked the edge to indicate the day I wrote it and its contents.

 

I started with all the information I had gathered on magic and then I moved to Arumarra’s descriptions of the world and the creatures living on it. I dedicated a whole shelf for the bestiary and plant life logs. When the pencil dulled I used my dagger to sharpen it and continued working.

 

I made each plank dedicated to it’s own subject, I drew a small picture of the animal or plant I was taking note of then their identification and habits. On the back I put things like weaknesses and strengths, but I still needed time to observe some of them. For example the Quattro Bat eats insects and ‘Unknown’, until I find that Unknown I simply state that more information is needed.

 

It took some time but I was able to summarize some things to shorten the workload. I made a few wood tablets and packed them in the wicker backpack I was going to use for my journey. I honestly don’t know where to even begin looking for things like thread and leather is more likely to eat me before I can get my hands on it.

 

So, I use the only crafting material I can to make a wide variety of tools. Honestly, Nature magic is probably the best thing that I could have obtained. It’s a bit too convenient, I wonder if it really was ‘randomly’ given to me… it really is suspicious.

 

On the third day I mostly trained with my spear and javelin, the javelin seemed to be rather weak and broke often when thrown. I eventually got a Sub-Skill of Spear Mastery called Javelin Throwing. But it only raised my dexterity and made me more comfortable when using it.

 

Weapon and Armour Masteries are like moments of inspiration, when you realize that they have become a part of how you move and become second nature to you. Like a switch in your mind is flicked and suddenly the equipment you are using become something natural in your eyes. Like looking down at your hand and knowing it is a part of the body.

 

Honestly it’s a complicated yet simple feeling. I even recognized that it was the same for magic; I instinctively knew exactly what my magic was used for even though I didn’t quite understand it mentally yet. Thus it was easy for me to learn its uses.

 

It’s kind of how my Temperature Adaptation, Iron Scales and Infrared Sight are just natural abilities that work because they are a part of me, hard concept to grasp right?

 

Even with a ‘feeling’ for the skills however… I knew next to nothing about the true depths to said skills… just how much do I not know? How can I learn more? I suppose I should feel blessed for knowing what I do.

 

It could have been a lot worse.

 

Anyway, moving on… I packed a lot of supplies and necessities for my journey and came up with some pretty good strategies for killing a Hedge Raptor. In the end I went with plans I dubbed Plan: A, and Plan: B! Plan: C was just running away so it’s not really a plan per say.

 

I knew where the targets lived so it was easier to establish a plan. They nested in an Oasis not too far from my home. They often raid other Oases for food, chasing the herbivores from their homes and hunting them down. Basically, they are the jerks of the animal kingdom… kind of like hyenas without the mocking laughter.

 

I did a few other things to prepare myself but they were more like aces up my sleeves (if I had sleeves). So I wont go into them in detail just yet.

 

I had trained… I had become stronger and I was prepared. The hunter would soon become the hunted!

 

 

~v~

 

I set out, a small wicker pack slung over my back like a one-strap backpack used on hiking trips. My armour was donned and my weapons prepared. Everything I could need for my fated encounter was ready and waiting. And yet I stood there eyeing the place where the hated enemy called home for a good hour.

 

Was I afraid? The answer to that was a simple yes. I knew I had to fight something strong and win, but my nerves got the best of me. Honestly I was never much for fighting even in my old life. I preferred to sort things out by thinking about them.

 

The fact remained however that there might be greater enemies out there than the Raptors drove me. Arumarra was a perfect example of an unbeatable foe… and thank whatever gods are paying attention for the mercy of her being a kind soul. Or I would be dead… no other way of it I’m afraid.

 

So what should I do? The only logical thing to do it get stronger so I can defend myself, find Eve and defend her too if necessary!

 

I’m a Man damn it!

 

I need to act like one… I need to be strong!

 

After psyching myself up with those thoughts I made my way down the hill and to the Oasis I had dubbed Raptor Territory.

 

I found a good location from my vantage on my hilltop home, a craggy area filled with what looked like the remains of a violent earthquake. There were little bushes that seemed to be unsuccessful Kiwood trees. All around the earth is dry and hard, so I can only imagine how tough these trees have to be to grow even that much.

 

Despite their small size they will play a big role in my plan. I use the crags as cover and get a good view of the Oasis. It’s rather full of life compared to the others; I can only assume that this is largely due to the fact that its occupants don’t eat plants.

 

The weeds I saw the other day litter the earth like tall grass and large trees offer enough shade to even darken the inside. Honestly its kind of intimidating me… but to a Triodon it might look like a nice meal and spell disaster. I know from experience that the predators within are on watch, but there are not many of them, they cannot all watch one area.

 

It’s a gamble, but it’s the best plan I could come up with under my circumstances. I set up the area as best I can for the inevitable confrontation. Setting traps and making the terrain favor me.

 

Some might say I’m a coward… that I should go in and face them head on with spear in hand and a war cry on my lips.

 

Some would be idiots like that but not me.

 

I put a lot of thought into this because I know how dangerous those bastards are. I saw what their claws could do, how their teeth could rip through flesh like paper. A good strategy can win where strength is lacking.

 

~v~

 

The crags and dead lands were silent, only the wind could be heard. Silent sentinels stalked the oasis they called home, the only source of life for several miles. The only indications of their presence were the eyes that flashed in the dark here and there.

 

Suddenly a rustling of leaves broke the eerie silence… one of the bushes out to the east of the Oasis was shaking back and forth. One might even think that maybe a small animal was digging at its roots. Located behind a jagged rock protruding from the earth like a tooth.

 

It made enough noise that soon enough a head poked out from the Oasis only to disappear shortly after. There was silence with nothing but the bush shaking to break it for a good ten minutes before finally a predator emerged.

 

A Raptor stalked quietly on the caked earth… it’s steps not even heard by its own ears. It stayed low; ready to pounce on the slightest movement. Its brethren were inside, but it did not alert them. It was hungry and it didn’t want to share.

 

Slowly it approached, low to the ground, it’s eyes never blinking nor straying from the movement. As it came to the stone it slowly and carefully began to peak on the other side.

 

However…

 

The moment its head peered around the rock, the bush stopped and nothing was there. Confused, the Raptor circled the rock, sniffing the air and scraping at the dirt, but to no avail.

 

Still hungry and now annoyed the Hedge Raptor began to turn back when…

 

Swish, swish, swish.’

 

Further down another plant, this time a small thin tree began to move similarly to the one before. Of course the Raptor was confused, never had it met such a quick-footed meal. But nonetheless it pursued!

 

Faster than before and perhaps a bit more anxious for the kill this time, the Raptor went to the new source of the sound. When it came to the craggy stone however, once again the tree stopped and another further away began to shake.

 

Now infuriated by the meat, the Raptor wasted no time and sprinted to the next outcropping of stones and bushes. It was determined to catch this rodent or whatever it was!

 

No meal made a mockery of the best hunter in the dead-lands!

 

It pounced around the corner and was once again met with nothing but plant life and rocks. It stared at the location for a few minutes before finally deciding to give up for sure this time.

 

It never had the chance.

 

As it was about to move away it noticed it could no longer lift its legs, looking down in bewilderment, it found that it was trapped in rapidly growing roots that did not grow down, but up and around it!

 

The moment it was about to leave the roots tightened and stopped it from moving. It was stuck!

 

At this moment a figure presented itself, not very tall but muscular and lean the odd creature brandished a sharp stick and seemed to be wrapped in plants too. Or so it seemed to the Raptor.

 

~v~

 

My plan worked perfectly! I had assumed that the first few times I would draw more than one and have to abandon my catch. Luck was with me however, and only one took the bait. I slowly led it further and further away from its home, and was surprised when it sprinted for the last one.

 

I wanted to lead it right to that spot however so it worked out perfectly. The silly creature even stood still long enough for the roots I formed from some seeds I took with me to tangle around its legs and trap it.

 

The surprise on its face when it saw me was priceless; I couldn’t have imagined that a predator could make such a face. Hmm? Speaking of its face, this thing looks familiar… no way.

 

To my surprise I looked down to one of its hind legs to see a small bite mark. Scaly hide was slowly growing back but it was still rather noticeable. Also I could swear it had a bump on it’s head, could just be my imagination though.

 

“kuhuhu… we meet again my most hated foe.”

 

This was undoubtedly the same Hedge Raptor from before, the one that nearly killed me! We have to stop meeting like this. It seemed to not recognize me, probably due to my new armour. Well no matter, my face will be burned into its memory as it tumbles down into hell!

 

The surprise ended as I wound back, readying myself to throw the javelin. If I could weaken it with this, then the fight would be much easier, if I killed it… well then I would be just thrilled!

 

With all my strength and just a bit of finesse, I let loose my weapon! It flew in a stable ark and its speed was something few people could dodge. It came down aimed at the haunch of the raptor but before it could strike.

 

CRUNCH’

 

“Eh?”

 

With a lightning fast reaction the Hedge Raptor twisted its head to the side and caught the Javelin with it’s razor sharp teeth. Before I even had enough time to recover from my failure. It looked at me, square in the eyes as though it were saying.

 

“Bitch, please!”

 

Then broke the Javelin in half… I could tell it was not pleased.

 

I collected myself and retrieved my spear. It was time to stop playing around, the raptor started to furiously pull at the restraints only to find the ground was muddy and slippery.

 

With a thought I activated Iron Scales on my forearms and charged the beast! We were only about ten meters away from each other so I reached it rather quickly.

 

With a powerful thrust using my whole body behind it I aimed right for the raptors throat! It was getting up still after slipping in the mud so I had a perfect opportunity! But just before my spear reached my target, once again I was met with teeth!

 

Too fast for me to see the Raptor reacted and caught my arm in its jaws. However this was not before I scored a hit! Not the one I was hoping for but the spear hit home at its flank! The razor sharp fang like teeth came down like a vice, crushing my scales and cracking quite a few.

 

The real damage came from the pressure however, I could feel my arm wanting to rip and break apart just from the immense pressure. I wanted to celebrate but now wasn’t the time… we were at a stalemate, the Raptor had me and I stabbed the Raptor.

 

It wasn’t a fatal wound… in fact I was surprised by how much resistance the scaly hide put up against my strike. It was as if I used a dull blade. If it weren’t for my momentum I doubt I would have pierced it at all. Nevertheless, the head of my spear was half way imbedded in its hide and it was hard for the creature to move.

 

Although it felt the pain from my attack it was smart enough not to thrash about and loosen its grip on my arm. If it slackened just a bit I would retract and attack again… just how intelligent are these things?

 

Unfortunately for it however, the Raptor seemed to forget one crucial thing, I have two hands!

 

Without a moment to spare I reached for my dagger, all the while forcing myself to put up with the pain in my other arm. Quickly and surprisingly accurately the dagger came and embedded itself deep into the Raptors left eye.

 

It couldn’t hold its composure this time as it yelped with its strange cry. I immediately put some distance between us but it was short lived.

 

“It’s not happy.”

 

I mumbled to myself, seeing the Raptor was in a frenzy to the point where the tangled roots that even till this very moment continued to grow, thanks in no small part to the magic power I had been storing in the seeds I’d planted them from. Ripped and tore like cheap string as the heated creature whipped around and tore and them with its fang like teeth.

 

“Shit!”

 

I noticed that I was just standing there staring at it in its rage, a bad call seeing as I still needed to kill this thing. Yet my right arm was not responding well, I couldn’t even raise it for another strike. Switching hands I charged again but the over grown lizard was ready this time.

 

With one last movement it swiped its tail around, finally free of its restraints and also attacking me with its tail. But I saw this coming, unlike the first time I fought this thing I knew full well how powerful that tail strike would be. So I quickly dived down to the ground and the tail harmlessly passed above me.

 

Then not missing my chance as it recovered I went to one knee and forcefully brought my spear up and under it for what I hoped would be a heart strike. And as the spear hit I was pleasantly surprised by how easily it went in compared to before. There were no scales on its underbelly, just tough hide. But even though it was tough, it wasn’t tough enough!

 

Or so I thought.

 

Like lightning the Raptor’s teeth came down again, but this time it focused on my spear. Unfortunately my spear lost… With a cracking noise all I held in my hands now was a slightly long stick with pointed wood on the end.

 

I threw it aside and drew my dagger. The thing was heavily injured now, and only my arm was injured… there was still a chance. We eyed each other for a moment; it seemed to be quite wary of me now… perhaps my last attack jolted it back from its enraged state.

 

It then took a step back, I could see that my last attack, while damaging, was not fatal, it barely even bled in fact. Suddenly it opened its jaw and…

 

A loud, rather annoying screech and yelp followed several times. I was confused for a moment but then I realized… it was calling for help. As it did so it slowly retreated a few steps.

 

“Oh… that can’t be good…”

 

Panicking I tried to think of what to do. I was injured and soon to be cornered… I may not have killed the Raptor but I brought it to a point where it no longer wished to fight me one to one.

 

“I think I’ve run out of options…”

 

Mortified as I was for having to do this, I turned and fled. I could easily kill that one perhaps… but there were more than I could handle not too far away. In fact I should have counted myself lucky that nothing came sooner. We weren’t exactly subtle once the fight broke out.

 

It felt like the fight was excruciatingly long, but it was barely ten minutes. The sun was still high in the sky and I could easily find my way home without being followed.

 

I checked behind me and the injured one was not there anymore, but I could hear several yelps further away. And I knew I just barely got out of there in time.

 

I ran, despite the pain in my arm, which was now limp and un-scaled at my side looking purple and red all over. I ran despite my fatigue… but I didn’t run from the injured foe, I ran from the companions it had close by.

 

I realized something rather important this day… It was something I knew already, but it finally sank in as an ironclad rule to survival. It finally had true, terrible meaning.

 

I was one; against the world… no one would come when I call.