“Please climb down, Castelle.” I blinked in surprise. I was standing on top of the instructor’s desk again. I kept hopping up there for some unconscious reason. I guess I just really like to be up high.
“I know you are impatient to get out and see some real action, but please remember, you are here so you at least have a sliver of a chance of surviving.” Why thank you for having so much faith in me, teacher. “Now, though it is against my better judgment, we are in need of some minor assistance. Some of the mana worms that are attracted by the power pylons to the east have gone rogue. Go kill a few and bring me back six vials of mana residue.”
My eyes lit up. Did she just assign me a real quest? No whacking practice dummies or slaughtering innocent lynx cubs (though their meat is tasty)? I actually get to fight something that will try to kill me? Yes!
I hastily donned my quiver and bow and shot out of the building as fast as one of my arrows. I didn’t even stop to see if Zair, my dragonhawk, followed me. He always did.
Racing towards the east, I reveled in the cool evening air. Teacher had kept me trapped inside all day, reciting all the skills a hunter can learn through experience, and what kinds of animals can be tamed, and what professions are available, and yada yada yada. I didn’t sign up for her course to learn all that drivel; I signed up to learn how to fight!
Running felt so good. Stretching my legs as far as they would go, feeling the wind run through my hair, listening to the happy chirps of Zair as he flew beside me, I would have passed by the pylons, if it weren’t for a sharp zap across my face knocking me flat on my back.
Dazed, I hoisted myself up on my forearms and saw Zair attacking the mana worm that had found its way right in front of me as I was running. Poor guy, every time Zair touched it the slightest, he’d get a taste of its electricity, but he’d keep trying, refusing to let it sting me again, my ever-faithful companion. There was only one thing to do. Shoot it.
Climbing off the ground, tearing my bow off my back, I readied an arrow on my string, pulled back, and let fly. It sunk into the worm’s eye with a squishy kkkkk. It fell to the ground, wriggling a bit before giving off a flow of energy and condensing into a solid, glowing orb. I poked it with my little finger. No shock. I picked it up and placed it tenderly in my carry sack. Well, that was easy.
And then we got swarmed. One down, five million to go.