Matthias, you should have realized this sooner. Much sooner! Matthias reprimanded himself as he lay with a gaping wound across his belly. The star Adventurer group known as Silver Flame was known for recruiting newbies and testing them, and sometimes they failed. Sometimes they didn’t adventure again. But those who survived the first few dungeons often went forward to become local legends. Now Matthias knew why– it wasn’t because the Silver Flame were nurturing these newbies, it was because the newbies who survived must have had incredible reflexes or other means.
The Silver Flame recruited new people so that they would enter the dungeon first. The newbies would be the ones triggering traps, finding the monsters lurking in the dark.
The Silver Flame used them as gods-damned meat shields!
Matthias had already dug through his pack trying to find supplies. The group hadn’t provided him with much, since their healer was ‘top notch’. Not such a great healer if she was leaving Matthias to die!
Matthias had fallen for a Mimic, or, rather, he had been told to open the chest that he had somewhat suspected was a mimic. He had been told they cast a spell to check, but of course they hadn’t. They wanted to save all of their MP for the more dangerous creatures.
They simply froze the Mimic with an ice potion after it gored Matthias, and they walked on without giving him another glance.
The only thing left in his pack was food. Damn. Wouldn’t do him any good without the stomach to digest it. Matthias laughed at the irony, causing a wave of agonizing pain.
For one last little joke, Matthias tossed the roasted goat haunch into the Mimic’s mouth. Maybe when it unfroze it’d enjoy the treat and not desecrate his corpse too much.
Though Matthias couldn’t recall closing his eyes, it must have happened at some point, and he felt himself brushing the space between worlds, like a wall made of cool water. He managed a small, sad smile before placing his hands on the wall, preparing to trudge through–
Pain. An agonizing bolt of pain. He tried to scream, but the noise died in his throat.
“Wha-?” He managed. Beside him was the Mimic, having somehow produced a single feather from a Phoenix. From where, he had no idea.
The feather had brought him back to life, but hadn’t healed him completely. He sat perfectly balanced on the verge between passing out again, and being in too much pain for that to happen.
The Mimic used its bizzarrely large tongue to scooch closer to Matthias. It whined, sounding almost like a dog.
“Oh. Well, thank you.” Matthias groaned, putting out his hand.
The Mimic gave it a lick, then morphed into the shape of a healing potion. Matthias laughed, as best as he was able. “I’m afraid taking the form of a potion and being a potion are two different things.”
The Mimic seemed to at least partially understand. In a moment, it had transformed into a needle and thread.
“I’m not sure anyone has ever had a monster heal them before.” Matthias said, but when he reached for the windfall friend’s ‘body’, something in him re-opened, and darkness snatched him back up in a mere heartbeat.
The Mimic grew frustrated. This was the first human that had shown it any sort of kindness. The first human who had done anything other than attack it. The food that had been placed in the Mimic’s mouth had given it the energy to recover from the ice potion, and the Mimic wasn’t sure it would’ve survived without.
The Mimic made up its mind. There was a shortcut it could use, and if it mimicked the form of a Minotaur, it would have no trouble carrying the scraggly lad with the sad smile.
Quickly, Matthias’s body was presented to the host of the lair. Her form was like silk and smoke, obsidian and ink. The Goddess Samaya, she who presided over death, time, and decay. Dethroned and somewhat diminished, but still well beyond the means of the bloodthirsty adventurers who were headed her way.
Yet, here was one of her minions with just such an adventurer, asking for help. Samaya considered it for a few moments, but upon the Mimic’s insistence that the adventurer wanted to live, she withdrew the presence of death from his body.
In exchange, of course, he would now have to slay the adventurer’s party before they reached her.