What a big city.

The biggest I’ve ever seen, in fact. I’m genuinely surprised. I didn’t know cities could get this big. What a strange world I live in.

(No, no. I think your sense of what is strange or not is somewhat skewed. The Planar Tower was much stranger than this, you know? And this city isn’t that big, either.)

[…You’ve seen a bigger one?]Continue reading

(A handshake serves as a greeting or a parting that denotes cordiality and friendship. That’s not to say it’s only used among friends, though. You might also shake the hand of a business partner before and after a successful negotiation or something like that. Do you understand?)

[…Yes.]

(Now, you’ve probably seen it happen between humans in the past, right? There are a few little subtleties to it you might have missed, though. For example, it’s customary to squeeze the other party’s hand a little. Not too hard, otherwise it’s aggressive and confrontational, but not too limp either, or it’s like you don’t actually care about the handshake. You just need to squeeze enough that people know you mean it. You can also cover the handshake with your other hand, for emphasis, if you’re especially happy or grateful or passionate about whatever you’re shaking hands for. Be careful with this, however. Using two hands makes the handshake much more intimate, so some might be uncomfortable with it, in which case you should refrain.)

[…How do I know if they’re uncomfortable with it?]Continue reading

So. If I follow what Phineas is saying, once I’ve attuned to this black suit, I should be able to use it as a replacement for the maid outfit I lost during the battle in Dorn, yes?

It is something of a problem that this is going to take me years of slowly grinding at it though. Which will only start once I’ve found that energy core, even. Which I haven’t.

I wish it could be faster.

<Need. Help?>Continue reading

[…Phineas.]

(That’s right. It’s me. I apologize for the delay, but…) Phineas looks down at himself. (I’m all better, now. Every bit of damage has been fixed.)

Right…

His soul was injured.

I’m not quite sure what he’s so proud of, though.Continue reading

plick, plick, plick…

Water, dripping down onto stone, one drop at a time, coming from somewhere.

I don’t know how long I spend listening to this regular sound, as if it’s ticking down the elapsing seconds. Probably very long. Long enough for those drops of water to erode the stone on which they fall, it even seems.

I feel Sanae nearby. She was probably standing guard over me while I slept.Continue reading

Stay calm.

Calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm.

Focus on the fight.

There is nothing else, right now. No pain. No anger. Just the fight. How to most efficiently decompose these two gods in front of me into their constituent parts. Making them suffer is not on the table. Only killing the two of them is important.

First step toward that went rather well.Continue reading

[…No.]

The answer comes instantly, without a shred of hesitation.

And for some reason, these idiots seem shocked by my decision.

I mean, there was really no way I would have agreed to such an unreasonable request, now, was there? That should have been obvious.Continue reading

The village of Dorn is tucked low between two tall mountains. Their bulk is enough that the sun only shines upon the village for a scant few hours every day.

Apparently, this has made it rather unpopular with humans, leading to a low – and still declining – population. And since this place does not exactly possess any sort of great strategic significance, Finram believes that soon, there likely won’t be any village here anymore.

After a little more than a day of travel – Finram flying and me running – what quickly becomes apparent is that the ‘soon’ in the previous prediction can be turned into a ‘now’.

The first vision of Dorn are the four corpses hanging from the rough stone arch marking the entrance to the village. All are human. The two corpses on each outer side are of a man and a woman, while the two in the center are much smaller, most likely those of children. The bodies are quite battered. They were probably treated rather roughly even prior to their deaths.Continue reading

They wanted me, but since I wasn’t there, they took Lilly instead?

How on earth does that make any sense?

What was their criteria for choosing the person they wanted? Gender? Apparent age? Body size? Did they just want to pick up a little girl, without caring who in particular?

And what ‘return’? Am I some sort of object that people pass around at will? That is very rude. No wonder devils have a poor reputation.Continue reading

Why do people insist on lighting fires, when spending the night in the wilderness?

Isn’t that dangerous? Wouldn’t it reveal one’s position to whatever threats might be out there? Wouldn’t it be much better to dig a hole between the roots of a tree and hide there silently, stealthily, until the sun comes up?

Also, it’s fire.

Which is hot. And thus, bad.Continue reading