Chapter 23 – The ongoing storm.
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You know that feeling when you're fully expecting things to go wrong, and then, miraculously, they don't, but instead of feeling relieved that the worst was avoided, you feel almost angry that you wasted your time worrying in the first place? And then when something bad inevitably happens, no matter how big or small, that's when you actually feel relief. But you're also really annoyed because, you know, something just went wrong. Overall, it's a terrible cycle of annoyance and miffed-ness. But, what's funny about this, to me at least, is that it all stems from the human desire to not waste time, to always be doing something productive, yet, in the end, it just wastes more time on meaningless garbage. That's funny, right?

Anyways, here we are on a cart going to an unfamiliar place with some armed guards. Now, that sounds like a bad thing, but there's a lot to consider:

We're not under arrest, I think, and they aren't hostile towards us, at least. They simply demanded I, (by extension, we, meaning S and I.) go with them because the duke said so. I think that if I'd give them a good reason to let me go, they probably would. At least, that's the impression I'm getting.

That being said, the tension in here is uncomfortably thick. There's nothing outwardly hostile, but between the Desk guy seeming a little peeved, and S's general distaste for guards, it's not exactly a comforting environment. 

So, as it is, we're sitting here in a very awkward and slightly angry silence. Man, awkward silences are becoming increasingly common for me, huh. Well, I'm well equipped and experienced in dealing with awkward silence, so it's no problem for me. I probably shouldn't be proud about that. Not gonna stop, but, y'know, I'm aware that it's generally not something one should take pride in.

So, here we are, the 3 of us (the other guard is driving the horses. Seems like a talented fellow.) sitting here in silence for who knows how long. Kinda like a school field trip, only more sanitary. Actually, this whole world is a lot more sanitary than you'd think. I mean, it's loosely similar to medieval Europe, but there's a lot of convenient modern advancements here. They even have running water! I'm talkin' toilets and stuff! Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if I came across a bidet!

I wonder what year it is. I wonder how they keep track of time here? Do they even keep track of time here? I mean, they probably do. I guess it depends on how the planet rotates around the sun. Wait, does this planet even rotate around the sun? I mean, there is I sun, I can see it, but maybe, in this world, the sun revolves around this planet. Heck, it's possible this planet is flat. Wait, no, there's gravity, so it probably isn't. Unless it is, because this world has different laws of physics. Or maybe it's just magic. Has science in this world even progressed far enough to know or even begin to question these things? Crap, when did they do it back on earth... Uh... I think maybe we were getting pretty close in the middle ages, but, as I mentioned before, despite this place initially seeming similar to medieval Europe, there are a lot of differences. What if science hasn't really gotten that far at all in this world? Perhaps they've been so preoccupied with magic and stuff, that science as I know it hasn't progressed all that far. 

So, assuming that the world and physics and everything I know about science is the same here as it was in my other world, there's a good possibility that I know more about the world than everyone else living here combined. 

It's a darn shame that I really have no idea how I'd apply that knowledge. Heck, I probably don't even remember any useful details. Man, if someone, like, crazy intelligent and science-y got reincarnated into this world, they'd probably be able to do some pretty cool stuff. If someone like that gets reincarnated here, and I meet them, I'll be sure to mooch off their success somehow. 

Well, again, that's assuming that science and physics and stuff works the same over here, which isn't necessarily the case.

If nothing else, it's fun to think about, at least. You know what's less fun, though? Things crashing into your vehicle at high speeds. That hasn't happened, yet, fortunately. However, I get the feeling that it's gonna happen because of the RAPIDLY APROACHING WOLF CREATURE ON OUR LEFT HOLY CR-

"STOP THE CART!" Desk guy shouts, jumping out, action rolling and getting ready for action, kinda like an action movie cop. Very cool. Wait, how did he do that in armor? 

"Aaaaaaaaah." I scream. It doesn't really sound like I'm alarmed, but, obviously, this couldn't be further from the truth. 

S just smiled and hopped out alongside the guard, quickly throwing sand at the ground where he landed, allowing him a safe landing when he stuck his hand out and did some magic-y stuff with it.

My reaction time isn't quite as good as theirs, also I'm a little paralyzed from fear. I think the two of them intended to challenge and, hopefully, stop the creature, but it just kinda ran past them, right into the cart. I'd have been hurt bad, but, I guess by instinct, I let out my dark noodles behind me, and when I collide with the ground, I spring up into the air. So now that's happening, I guess. Also, I'm still screaming.

Alright, still going up... Hm, this is a predicament. I can't see the ground 'cus my face is also pointed up, so I don't know what's going on down there. Well, that's the least of my problems, as if this keeps going as it is, I'll be this worlds first astronaut. Hmmm... Okay, I'll make one hole above me, that I'll fly into, and one hole on the surface below, but on the Y axis. Hopefully, this'll turn my vertical flight into horizontal, and I can slam my noodles into the ground, get friction, and then be on my feet again. Also, I'm still screaming. 

Alright, here goes. I create the square with my fingers faster than I'd ever done it before, and made the holes in the desired locations. I fly through, and, just as planned, my direction changes, and I teleport nicely. What isn't planned, however, is that I'M ABOUT TO SLAM INTO ANOTHER ONE OF THE CREATURES. I quickly slam the two noodles on the bottom on the ground, in an attempt to gain traction, and the top two I raise in defense. I slow down a bit just before slamming into the creature, and I'm able to get my feet back on the ground. I'm running out of breath to scream with. 

The creatures that have attacked us look a bit like wolves, but seem to have the tail of a cat, and paws of a lion. Very disgusting, and probably deadly. 

It's also very fast, and quickly ducks under my defenses and chews into my leg, and doesn't let go.

I can't help but yell in pain. This hurts. This hurts a lot. I begin breathing heavily.

Alright you abomination against nature, you want to immobilize me, huh? Alright.

Move the hole here on the surface below the creature. I'd hoped it'd let go after that, but it ended up pulling me into the hole before I could react. Next thing this abomination against nature knows, it's plummeting to the earth at terminal velocity. I think I saw fear in its eyes. It was almost funny, in a way. Then I realized I was also plummeting at terminal velocity, and I'm about to vomit or pass out from the pain of this thing grabbing onto my leg for dear life. With its teeth. Well, it's a long way down from here, I've plenty of time. Quickly, I recreate my holes, grab a sickle, and attempt to use it to crowbar this thing off my leg. I also form my noodles behind me, so that when I hit the ground, instead of dying, I fly back up and I can use the same method as before to get back on my feet. 

Anyways, this was painful before, but now that I'm trying to pull this thing out, this is hands down the most painful thing I've experienced. And I've literally died before. Though, that was to a simple, quick, and clean bullet to the head, so there was really no time to feel pain.  

Eventually, I do crowbar the thing off my leg, and as we plummet to the earth together, I once again take a look at the fear and sadness in the creatures eyes. It knows that it's fate is sealed, that there's nothing it can do. I guess it's learned, for the first time, how prey feels. Yep, I'm gonna have nightmares about this. Well, given that this abomination's existence was probably painful to begin with, I don't really feel that bad. Actually, I'm doing a good thing, a mercy, even. Probably.

This is denial, isn't it?

Welp, this is no time to think about that. I don't really know how much longer I'll be falling, but maybe I can speed this up. Alright, here's the deal, I ball up my legs and arms, and make my noodle things form into a chair beneath me. Then, I'll do the same thing as last time, but, y'know, falling into the first hole instead of flying upward into it. 

I create the holes, and fly through just fine, lower one of the tentacles, slow down, and fall into my noodle-y cradle. I then slowly and carefully get out, trying not to aggravate my leg, and retract the noodles.

Man, it's a good thing I created the holes the right way, along the path we were going, 'cus otherwise I'd have flown right into some trees. The path the cart took led us into a forest trail, which is where we got ambushed. 

Speaking of ambushed, I should probably see how the others are doing. I look over to my left to see that S and Desk guy have also been combat with these creatures. They seem to be handling the situation pretty well, though, as they're on their third one. S is a little bloody, but it's hard to tell where that blood is from. He strikes quickly yet deadly at the creature with his glass blade, while still dodging and moving like water. He really screams the idea of a wild, deadly, and terrifyingly efficient predator, like a cheetah or a lion. Desk guy seems tough as well. Intelligently and deftly using his shield, giving the enemy no openings, while simultaneously making calm, calculated and precise strikes with his spear. He almost reminds me of a bird of prey, in a weird way. He calmly waits for the perfect moment to strike from a safe location, and then attacks with deadly accuracy. I'd hate to meet the business end of either of their weapons. 

I'd go in to help, but, really, I'm sure I'd just get in the way. Plus, all I'd be able to use is my sickles, as I don't really want to reveal my holes or dark magic to the Desk guy. Wait, crap, I totally used both of those just a second ago! Wait, their backs are turned to me, perhaps they didn't notice? Yeah, maybe they didn't notice. Wait, what about the other guard? I look around for him. He's nowhere to be found. Neither are the horses, actually. I didn't notice before in all the chaos, but I guessed they got spooked an ran. Maybe he went after them? I hope he's safe. Well, he's a guard, I'm sure he's more than capable. Horses are tough, too, so they're probably good. 

S and Desk guy quickly eliminate the creature while I'm thinking about all this. They finish it with a real cool looking multi attack. First, the creature made a reckless bite towards S, which he dodged with ease, and capitalized by throwing sand into the creature's eyes. Then, Desk guy, given the opening, stabbed the creature through the throat with his spear. At the same time, the one I was with earlier fell to the ground with a loud thud and a terrifying crack. Overall, it was very bloody, and quite gross.

That being said, I'm a little more preoccupied with the terrible pain in my leg. It's only gotten worse and worse as this whole ordeal has gone on. I think somethings broken. Right now I'm just taking deep breaths and applying pressure as best I can. The bleeding shows no sign of letting up any time soon. Crap, I should have put some of S's medical supplies in my pockets... Ow.

"It looks like they're done." Desk guy says, putting away his spear. "Is everyone alright? Any injured?" 

"Beyes... BEYES!" S shouted, running towards me, grabbing a small sack out of his cloak. Desk guy also quickly made his way towards me, after he surveyed the area.

"It's, uh, my leg, got bit bad." I manage to get out in between breaths. To reiterate, it hurts quite a lot. I haven't tried to move it, but I'd be surprised if it could move. 

Immediately, S began wrapping my leg in some sort of bandage. Hopefully that'll stop the bleeding. 

"The duke's personal healers will see to you. We just need to just go a little further-" The Desk guy begins.

S interrupts, shouting "To hell with that! Beyes, quickly bring us back to t-" 

He was interrupted by loud, sinister chuckling coming from the left, followed by 8 more wolf creatures and a shadowed figure, clad in dark, purple robes making their presence known in the clearing where S and Desk guy were fighting earlier. 

Oh boy. This can't be good.