Side Chapter 2: Myra’s Nightmare
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The Hero Became a Mousegirl
Side Chapter 2: Myra’s Nightmare

 

Caelan never came home. 

The pit of my stomach churned as I gazed out the window at the darkening sky. Auriel and I had waited for her, expecting her to be home moments after we arrived, but she never appeared. As I watched the last rays of sunlight vanish, I knew something had happened, I could only hope that she was still alive. 

“I’m going to find Syene,” I said, swallowing down my terror. “We’re going to go see Cesarina.” 

There weren’t many places Caelan could’ve gone. Nor were there many people in Shadewind who could get the better of her, even if they caught her unaware. More than just having a high level, Caelan had the awareness of a warrior who’d fought in countless battles. Her ability to react to hostility and come out unscathed was unrivaled. 

“I’m coming with you,” Auriel squeaked out, falling into step behind me. 

We found Syene in the dining room, sharing a bottle of wine with Ronna, while Kaphis looked on. “Syene!  Caelan still hasn’t come home. We need your help to check the Spellcaster’s guild to see if she’s there with Cesarina.” 

“Did Caelan say she intended to visit Cesarina?” Kaphis asked, poorly masking the worry in their tone. 

“She didn’t. She was going to heal a wounded adventurer. She didn’t mention any plans she may of had after that, but she needed to talk to Cesarina about something that happened at the guild. I’m just assuming she intended to stop there before coming home.” 

“Do you know what this adventurer looked like?”

“Yes.” 

“Syene, please take Ronna and Auriel and check to see if Caelan is with Cesarina,” Kaphis ordered. “Myra, you’re with me. We’re going hunting for this adventurer.” 

“Are you sure it is safe to send them to the Spellcaster’s guild alone?” 

“I have observed Syene’s abilities and determined her to be capable of protecting herself from low-level threats. Unless Cesarina has turned violent, I do not believe they will be harmed. This adventurer is the last person that we know for certain saw Caelan today. I plan to treat them as a serious threat and thus send myself after them. I need you to come along to point them out.” 

“Okay,” I took a deep breath and turned to Auriel. “Stay safe okay Aurii?” 

“You too Myra.” 

“I’m going to grab my blunderbuss, wait for me by the front door Kaphis.” 

Even after my past life memories returned, I didn’t feel a need or desire to use magic. With Syene’s spell ammo, I could use it if needed, but my current abilities were more than enough for my needs. Only now that Caelan, the most important person in the whole world to me, was missing did I curse my lack of spellcraft. If I had magic at my disposal, finding her would be easy. 

Tossing a bag full of ammunition over my shoulder, I grabbed my blunderbuss and ran toward the door. I knew that any threat capable of taking Caelan out was probably too great for my abilities to be effective against, and yet I refused not to try. If she was in danger, I’d melt the flesh from my own bones before I’d turn my back on her. Levels be damned, a life without Caelan wasn’t worth living. 

“Do you know where this adventurer might be?” Kaphis asked as I fell into step beside them. 

“No. But he seemed to be pretty highly ranked. If I ask around the guild, they should be able to point us in the right direction. We should go there first.” 

It didn’t take long for us to obtain the information we desired. The first person I spoke to identified the adventurer Caelan had left to help as Florian, one of the few serpentine people in all of Shadewind. After getting directions to the inn where he was staying, Kaphis and I rushed over. The man in question was sitting in the inn’s dining room, enjoying a late supper. 

“Excuse me, are you Florian?” 

“I am,” Florian inclined his head toward us, and motioned to some empty chairs. “Take a seat. You look exhausted.” 

“The mousekin girl,” Kaphis said, obviously glaring at Florian despite their unchanging features. “Caelan, where is she?” 

Florian’s eyes widened. “What do you want with her?” 

“We want to find her,” I replied. “My name’s Myra, you must have seen me and Caelan in the guild together earlier today. She was supposed to be home by now, but she never showed. We’re worried something has happened to her.” 

“Did you harm Caelan?” 

Taking a deep breath, Florian put down his spoon. “I’d never harm Caelan. She gave me my arm back, without her I’d be destined to die in a ditch. She’s an angel who I’d lay my life on the line to protect.” 

“Then… Do you have any idea where she could be?” 

“When she left me, she appeared to be heading toward the park.” 

“Then she really did go to see Cesarina. That vampiric bitch did something! C’mon Kaphis, if Cesarina’s turned on us, the other’s are in danger!” 

Kaphis and I ran to the park, quickly finding the tree where the transportation circle was carved. Unfortunately there was one tiny problem I’d failed to consider. Neither Kaphis nor I could use magic. Even though the transportation circle was a special kind that allowed the caster to bring others through it with them, without any magic Kaphis and I were stuck in the park. 

“Damnit!” I hissed, collapsing to my knees. “I’ve never wanted to be my old self so badly. If I were still Elise…” If I were still her I could’ve done so much more. As much as I wanted Caelan to love me as Myra, the truth was… I couldn’t help but feel like the present me was inadequate. It was a feeling I could bottle up and ignore usually, but not now. Not when the present me was handicapping my ability to protect everyone I loved. 

“There has to be another way in,” Kaphis noted. “Just because this path is closed to us, doesn’t mean we cannot find a way forward.” 

“How could we possibly find it?” I cried, digging my fingers in the dirt. 

“We just have to try.” 

“We don’t have time,” A storm of emotion bubbled up from my chest. My vision blurred as I punched the ground again and again until my knuckles bled. The sight of it brought back memories of a perversion of magic, one that only demons had ever used, blood magic. When I'd been human it had been a sickening alien thing, but I was a goblin now, I was a demon. 

“Myra, what are you?” 

“Burn,” The word sprang forth from the depths of my throat, guttural and monstrous, as I coated the transportation circle in my own blood. In that single word, spoken in a voice not my own, was power. Through blurry eyes I watched my blood boil and hiss before the transportation circle activated, dragging Kaphis and me into the Spellcaster’s guild beyond. 

I felt dizzy. Wiping my eyes clear with my sleeve I took a deep breath to right myself. It felt as if my very soul was on fire, as if I’d ignited it with my command. “Come on Kaphis,” I wheezed. “We have to keep moving. They’re around here somewhere.” 

Though I knew about the Spellcaster’s guild, I had no idea what it looked like inside. The fact that it looked like a maze was a bit bewildering, but I assumed it couldn’t be too hard to traverse. Especially if they believed that a majority of people who got through would be spellcasters.

“Let me carry you,” Kaphis said, scooping me up into their arms. “You’re not looking too good. Just relax, I’ll continue our search.” 

“Got it… relax… ugh, I’ll try.” 

“Dear child, you’ve got spunk, I’ll give you that. 

“Kaphis… did you hear that?” 

“Hear what?” 

“Ah, nothing.” 

“Of course the golem isn’t going to be able to hear me. The voice of a god only reaches those worthy of hearing it.” 

“… I’m going crazy.” 

“You’re not going crazy, though what you just did was truly a crazy feat, for a mortal. Myra my dear, you placed cracks in the wall that separates your past and present. You stand a chance to be the first mortal in history to fuse their entire being into a single entity. How could I, the god of fate, not take interest in such a person?” 

“The gods are dead.” 

“Many of us are, yes. But I do not have the power to speak with you at leisure about matters of the divine. What I need to speak with you about, is what you just did, and what you will do.” 

“…” 

“Your soul is at a crossroads, Myra. Continue down the path you’re going and you’ll cease to exist. Fail to follow the path, and you’ll never grow as strong as you could be. Those are your two options, but I can offer you a third.” 

“What?” 

“Myra… are you okay?” 

“Make a contract with me and I can stabilize your soul. I can allow you to reach beyond the life you were fated to have. My only request is that you act in my name, to nip the bud of a fate I don’t wish to see bloom.” 

“Can I save Caelan?” 

“With the power you stand to unlock? Yes, of course. Caelan still lives, and you can save her. But our contract must be sealed in blood. I cannot assist you in saving Caelan from the predicament she’s in, until you’ve carried out a mission in my name.” 

“Name it… tell me what you want.” 

“Kill Kaia, Empress of Orvost. When she has drawn her last breath, you will have the power to save Caelan from those who plan to harm her.” 

“What if I save Caelan first?” 

“If you are able to save Caelan without killing Kaia, then you may turn your back on our deal, I’ll have no hard feelings toward you. But consider your situation carefully, Myra, kill Kaia and you’ll not only be stronger than you are now, you’ll be stronger than Caelan herself. You’ll be able to protect her. She’ll have to rely on you, listen to you, because you will be the sword that strikes down evil in her place. There will be no further need for her to be a hero.” 

“Deal.” 

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