24 Days XXXVI - XXXVIII: Cut

The first day was spent fully on traveling. I reached my bedding by the wall at dusk and after a short meal, just went to sleep. When I woke up I ate again, and after a brief inspection of equipment went hunting. I was happy and excited about how its gonna be with my new, upgraded body. I could feel the difference in movement. Even after half of a night, and a whole day of travel I wasn't really that tired.

Maybe my physical condition was not on the level of pro athletes, but it definitely was up there. I ate and went to sleep. Dreams welcomed me pretty quickly. I was a king loved by everyone in that imaginative world.

Reality came back with backpain. Nothing too terrible, probably an effect of sleeping in a bad position. I got up quickly, ate, and packed my stuff, just to a moment later be on my way to hunt. I repeated everything just like before and got myself a nice amount of 46 crystals.

Fighting was easy. I was way faster than before, and my stamina was incredible. I wasn't getting tired at all.

After collecting stones I started to head to the camping spot by the wall. My mind drifted away quickly, and before I knew it, I was planning how I'm gonna spend the points earned this week. I needed to fix my eyes, which I forgot to do, lured by combat statistics. I even had thoughts about unlocking superpowers if I rise my statistics high enough.

The device was an unchanging secret. Giant question mark standing right before our noses. Who made it? What was its purpose? What were its limits? Nobody knew back then.

I ate, and went to sleep, to wake up the next morning. Quickly filled my stomach, and gathered equipment to be on my way as soon as possible. The shield was in a bad condition, and probably would break very soon, so I kept in mind, to be wary of it.

The hunt began as usual. I killed one rat by their nest, and ran away, to wait for the first searching group. It took some time, but they finally showed up. It was a very quick fight. To the point, I started doubting if I have to wait here for them. I could go back, closer to their nest, and if it would get too hard, I could easily escape.

In my mind, it was totally logical. I got drunk on power. Greed overtook my mind. After making my way closer, and closer to true strength, and finally earning crystals faster than ever before, I discovered that I was actually wrong in my assumptions. By the way, I managed to earn 84 crystals.

But back to the point. I assumed that they are using smaller groups to cover more terrain. Just like goblins, which charged as a horde, rats also had their horde. It just didn't go too far away from the nest. The smaller parties were scouts that had a simple mission. To discover the enemy, and get the main force, but since I was alone, they were not afraid and attacked.

I heard them before I saw them. Problem was, they also heard me. When I was getting closer to take a look, they surrounded me. Not the main force, cause I would notice, but several smaller teams.

Stupid rats didn't sneak all the way to the end and jumped while squeaking, that's why I can actually tell this story, instead of being skeleton or something. I smacked down the first few, but there was no end to them, and even bigger numbers were still approaching. It quickly turned into a strange fight.

I was jumping from tree to tree trying to use them as a cover, and not get surrounded totally. They were coming from all directions, but I was somehow able to navigate while actually moving away from the main forces. Well, not exactly. They were approaching quicker than I was increasing the distance, but all I wanted was to make my way through the ambushing group.

My mind was never before as clear as in the middle of that fight. I was doing great to the point, that escape was almost in my hands, and then one lost knife cut me horizontally across my stomach. Like on a signal I bolted as fast, as never before, making it past the last enemies, while desperately trying to hold the open wound together. It was bleeding heavily, very heavily.

I dropped the weapon. Only straps of leather were attached to my hand, the rest of the shield was also gone. I kept marching and jogging in panic. Trying to make it out. Rats were slow, but in my condition, I wasn't very fast either.

Upgrading my constitution had to have an effect on my pain endurance, cause I don't think I normally would be able to withstand it.

I remember that I kept pushing forward, very clearly aiming for the city gate. Rats were behind me, but I was slowly losing them, just like I was losing consciousness. Minutes turned into hours. My vision started to fade away, and my eyelids closing on their own.

- Just one more step, one more... - I was repeating in my mind over, and over.

And coldness overtaking me, that's something I also can clearly remember.

Day ended, and night came, but I kept walking...

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