128 Chapter 126 Body of Stone
"How long was I out?"
"About 30 seconds after that thing…whatevered," she said, waving her hand in the direction where the creature had been.
"Oh, I banished it."
'Wait, system what didn't I resist?'
(STUN. IT DIRECTLY AFFECTED YOUR SOUL AND DOESN'T ALLOW YOU TO RESIST. YOU ARE NOW IMMUNE TO THE ATTACK HAVING OVERCOME IT ONCE FROM THESE DEMONS, BUT MOST PEOPLE DIE OF SHOCK FROM SEEING THE HOME-WORLD OF ELLEZARAD. THEY ARE ONE OF THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF LESSER FEAR DEMONS. YOU HAVE ONLY GAINED IMMUNITY TO ELLEZARAD THOUGH, BE CAREFUL.)
'How can I protect myself from others?'
(FEW HAVE DIRECT SOUL ATTACKS, SO YOUR WILLPOWER ALLOWS YOU TO RESIST MOST EFFECTS. YOUR SOUL HAS STRENGTHENED SLIGHTLY FROM OVERCOMING THE EFFECTS THOUGH.)
"I'm alright, Stella. Apparently, I'm immune to that effect from demons of that kind now. I think we need to stop this spell though. The spell makes me feel sick, but honestly after the view of the demon's home realm, it feels much weaker in comparison."
The alligator was the largest he had ever seen, but it was so mutilated. At least half of the tail was cut off, and it was still almost 20 feet long. Two large spikes were stuck through it to the ground so it couldn't move. All four of its legs were bent in odd directions, obviously broken. Parts of its hide were cut off and other parts were burned.
The worst part was when he looked in its eyes. There was intelligence there.
A vision of a swamp and it living as king, appeared before him. This thing had fought dozens or hundreds of others to get to where it was before these monsters did what they had done. All of the fights were vicious fights. Sometimes it lost on its way to the top and had to crawl off and heal, but never anything like this. The demons and their minions weakened it with curses and poisons for days before finally overwhelming it. It was dying, and knew it.
"Stella, take the spikes out of the creature."
"What? Uh, Joseph?"
"Trust me, Stella. It wants to die with dignity, it won't attack you."
She slowly approached it and removed the spikes. They must have hurt a lot, but it never moved.
"Choose. Do you want me to send you off, or struggle until the end?" he asked it.
He could feel its resolve. It was a magical ability, not a spell, but he could feel its desires. If his COMMUNICATION was higher, he might have been able to reach true telepathy.
It wanted to die in battle the same way it lived. Its kind didn't die asleep in their dens of old age. What these demons did to it was blasphemy to its people, not just cruel. The king of the swamp was not a mage. It used magical abilities. But somehow, it showed him how to do what it wanted in order to leave with dignity.
Joseph started to channel mana. The hide of the creature hardened and began to turn into a beautiful green gemstone. There was a spell BODY OF STONE, but this seemed more advanced.
Maybe…BODY OF CRYSTAL?
Stepping back, he prepared to cast the spell it was teaching him. If STONE MISSILE was a sniper rifle, then this was a tank round. A huge mass of rock was assembled above Joseph's head.
The alligator mustered the strength to roar, as Joseph released the massive attack. It wanted to go out as a champion, having been truly defeated
As he released it, EARTH compelled him to name the spell.
And then the stone obelisk fell and crushed it. Joseph fell as the ground quaked from the impact. Even Stella had trouble not falling down.
(YOU HAVE BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE KING OF A RACE OF NON-HUMANOID BEINGS.)
(YOU HAVE CAST SKYFALL, A SPELL OF THE EARTH RUNE FOR THE FIRST TIME.)
(SKYFALL IS A MAGICAL ABILITY THAT HAS NEVER BEFORE BEEN DRAWN OR CONVERTED INTO A SPELL.)
(EARTH IS PLEASED WITH THE HONOR YOU HAVE GIVEN TO AN ELEMENTAL CREATURE OF ITS KIND.)
(BY DEFYING THE RITUAL OF DESECRATION, YOU HAVE REMOVED THE CORRUPTION FROM THE MANA IN THE AREA. THE BACKLASH WILL BE SEVERE TO THOSE INVOLVED IN THE RITUAL. THEY WILL KNOW SOMEONE HAS INTERFERED WITH THE RITUAL.)
Joseph stood back up and immediately felt the mana in the area purified and the taint disappeared. The death completed the cycle, so the mana had a pathway to return to the natural order. Part of him wanted to have been able to truly fight the alligator, and to have been able to claim its hide for his equipment, but he couldn't bring himself to disturb its grave.
As he watched, NECROMANCY slowly began to glow over the mound, that was left after SKYFALL, and its spirit rose out of the ground, approaching him.
"Joseph, I can't stab ghosts. Get back!" said Stella, grabbing his arm.
"It's ok, Stella."
The spirit approached him, and then went through him, into his magical realm, to make it back home to rest in EARTH. As it moved through him, it granted him the knowledge it knew in life, sensing that he would make a benevolent king.
(YOU HAVE BEEN GRANTED THE UNDERSTANDING OF: SKYFALL, STONE TO EARTH, STONE TO FLESH, FLESH TO STONE, BODY OF STONE, BODY OF CRYSTAL, AND RAIN OF STONES. THEY HAVE REACHED BASIC COMPREHENSION.)
(UNDERSTANDING OF EARTH HAS REACHED INTERMEDIATE COMPREHENSION.)
(YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS SHORTLY AS YOU ADJUST TO THE AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE YOUR MIND HAS SUDDENLY BEEN GRANTED.)
Joseph grabbed Stella's hand.
They were in his bedroom. The ground was rushing up to him, and Stella caught him. There was a brief stab of a headache, then he was in the EARTH realm. He slowly managed to pull himself together from the random minerals and pieces of earth around him. It took a while. He couldn't tell much about time here.
EARTH wasn't concerned with time, like humans were. A minute to erupt a volcano and destroy an island, and a thousand years to wear away a canyon, were the same to it.
Joseph knew he needed to pull himself together in order to wake up. Oddly, Joe was still working on spells, but the connection with him seemed to be dim. There was occasionally a ghostly image of Stella, but he couldn't seem to wake up just yet. Stella was worried, but she knew he would be alright. Joe made sure she wouldn't worry too much.
His head was stuffy. He opened his eyes and looked up at the ceiling. Nothing made him interested in attempting to move or sit. Someone was holding his hand. Shifting his gaze to the right, he saw that his mom was sleeping in a chair, with a death grip on his hand.
Shifting his gaze to the left, he saw Stella asleep, yet leaning against the wall, standing still. She always hated to have her back to a door.
Closing his eyes, he could feel Derek outside the door, instead of one of his guards. That was weird.
Then Joe reconnected.
'It's good you decided to come back; I was starting to wonder if I would have to control your body.'
'It's your body, too,' thought Joseph.
'Oh, I know, but I really wasn't kidding about not wanting to mess with body stuff. You were waking and sleeping like normal, so I just turned us into stone so that I didn't have to worry about moving and doing stuff.'
'Well, that's good, I guess. Mom and Stella probably wouldn't understand the difference between us, if you had.'
'I knew you would be back eventually. This way I could keep studying magic.'
'That's hilarious. Have I really been out for a full month?'
'Yep. I got a lot done! I completed: EARTH VISION, ESSENTIAL EARTH, WALK THROUGH EARTH, STEELWRAITH, ALTER TERRAIN, SEEK FOOD, CREATE FOOD, ESSENTIAL FOOD, REJUVENATE PLANT, ESSENTIAL WOOD, SHIELD, BLADE TURNING, MISSILE SHIELD, and REVERSE MISSILES. FOOD also reached intermediate.'
(I ALREADY AWARDED YOU ALL THE POINTS AND SENT THE MESSAGES. CHECK OUT THE LOG IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT.)
'Wait, system. There's a log?'
Since Joe read the messages, and he had perfect memory, there really was a log. That just seemed…
(JUST LET IT GO, JOSEPH. WELCOME BACK.)