74 To Ryan“s Surprise
It had a musty smell inside what my people called a \"sanctuary.\" It was in fact just a cave big enough to hide 300 people of the resistance or at least that's what we called ourselves; people who were left in this world, aside from the undead.
I woke up with Father, Clay, sternly looking at the \"people\" inside.
They who should have resembled people just before I left this world, now look so emaciated that they could be mistaken as skeletons of the undead army. Their skin was tearing from the lack of food and their eyes were sunken so deep that really, I would also mistake them as real skeletons. I did not know that the situation was already this dire. The smell of people who have never known to clean their own bodies for fear that a single second of letting down their guards would kill them. Living in a world like this is a hell.
\"Son, these people are in dire need of help. I can heal them and put their wounds in order, but food, and nutrients, I can't make that out of nothing, at least not yet. And I have already scanned the whole world for signs of wildlife, to no avail. Food source is deadly scarce, and I fear they may have resorted to cannibalism to survive this long. If you wish to save this world, we will have to get rid of the source of this blight once and for all.\"
Father's voice echoed in my mind, stating all the things that I feared most. Because a look at the history of humanity, when the going gets tough, the tough eat the weak.
\"I do not want to impose on you father; however, I don't want them to easily gain salvation. I know it might sound cruel, but if they gain their salvation in an instant, then that will not make them feel as if they need to work hard on protecting their acquired freedom and salvation. They need to struggle to achieve their most cherished wish. If we could help them to achieve their wish, then I'm sure, that would be the start of their rise into taking care of their world for generations to come. I hope you understand.\"
I explained the risk of helping too much to father and hoped he would understand but as expected of father, he got my intention loud and clear and made me in charge of dealing with this world by helping just a little. At least a little visibly, but just being present, father is a force to be reckoned with.
\"Don't worry. I'll follow your lead.\" He answered. How reassuring.
\"Mister! Where did you come from? You appeared in front of our sanctuary's door like a ghost and you expect us to believe that you are here to help us? I'm sorry to doubt you, but we've seen our fair share of betrayals and cheating already.\" The most emaciated person spoke to Father, with doubt and vigilance in his voice.
\"Father, I think I recognize this old cod. This is Herman the Lord of Erkshire. His territory was the last piece of land that we successfully defended from the undead until I died. To think that they were reduced to hiding out in caves as well. Please, tell him what I'm about to tell you.\" I started to tell them our situation and how we could help through Father's mouth.
\"I have come from a faraway place to find the last remaining bastion for humanity in this god forsaken planet. I come, to help you liberate this world from the undead scourge and raise your people to be good stewards of the coming age of peace.\"
\"I am Clay. Lord of Alleucanth…\"
\"But son, I'm not protector of humanity. I don't like titles like these because they are too stiff!\" Argued father. However, we need this kind of assuring words for these afraid and hungry people. So, no, father, you are a protector of people.
\"…protector of humanity. With me are as your leader, we will purge the undead from this Evernight!\"
\"What I need from you is simply your cooperation. For without you, helping yourselves, my help would become useless and a fool's errand\"
\"I extend my hands in equipping you with the weapons you will need for defeating the Grand Liches! Are you with me?!\" Father passionately gave the speech that I told him to give. Although, I never intended for that to be so full of passion and enthusiasm. Father is unexpectedly, a dramatist.
\"Yea!\" impassioned declarations were felt from the almost voiceless screams the \"people\" gave as a response to father's speech. Father and I could see that their responses were also calculated in favor to not alerting the undead above ground that are hunting for any lifeform. Their fear of them, did not blind them enough to forget that they are the last dredges of humanity in this god-forsaken planet. They had to survive. And father's speech gave them the reassurance that they'd at least be able to fight the good fight before dying from starvation and becoming undead themselves.
\"Alright son, they are on board. Should we teach them to make good weapons? Or teach them how to fight the undead?\" Father asked. If this were a normal coup, then the time needed for all those measures he mentioned would have been great, however, these people have not much time left in this world, unless we get them to their optimal state first.
\"Father, I think, we should feed them first. Are you still able to Teleport us back to Alleucanth with your remaining mana?\" I worry that father has already expended his mana pool and we are stranded here until such time that we are able to gather the necessary mana to go back home. That is why, I can't have father use more of his mana in this world where we might not be able to recharge if at all. After all, this is another world. The same rules may not apply within Alleucanth what applies here and vice versa. Just like how mana here is called magic energy there. It's like the magic systems of Alleucanth are still just blooming and even the naming sense of people have yet to develop.
\"Oh, don't worry son. I have enough to keep going every second.\" Said father, but I must take what he says with a grain of salt. I know how fathers would want to look strong in front of their children after all.
\"Then, please Teleport us back to Alleucanth to gather food to bring here and the necessary medicinal components to make restorative medicine as well. I know that you have an alchemy branch in Claiomh as mother always talks about it, maybe we can take some from there?\"
\"Oh, if that's all, then you don't need to worry. I think I still have some monster meat inside my Dimensional Storage so we can just give that to them. I can also cook it with my Craftsman Category Skills… oh, and the medicinal materials and ingredients are good. I have my own collection of Herbs here in my Dimensional Storage as well. So, no need to come back home.\" Father laid down all his cards to me as if they were superficial to them. But having a personal Dimension for storage is something that's highly sought after by mages of modern Evernight. Bless their souls, they are already extinct. I was the last modern mage of Evernight before I bit the dust as well.
\"Really? Then please tell them that they should all be on guard and keep their vigilance as we prepare.\" I asked father to relay my instructions to the people, especially to Herman. And as expected, they agreed to it without hesitation.
Then father started his menial labor on cooking up a storm of good food that even I, as a baby wanted to taste it. It was as if the gods were dining with us after father had cooked. However, just as we were enjoying the scent of the good food, the ground and the walls of the cave started to shake as if an earthquake had come.
\"Father, is it the undead?\" I asked worriedly to my utmost reliable father.
\"Nah, you can relax. It'll stop in a second.\" Father answered nonchalantly again. Really making me feel assured. Although, I know that he only acts that way because he wasn't to look cool and composed. I wonder what father really was thinking now. And true enough, the earthquake stopped, and things returned to being lively for the feast that father prepared for all the people here.
Father also prepared the medicine for them. I hope that through this, at least their health would get better and will motivate them some more to reclaim what's ours in this world of Evernight. To my surprise, having a doting father is such a blessing. Although, he tends to show off in front of me.