Garen Forest, Runes and Power-Ups
The six stepped through the portal after Ellia showed them a map of the continent. There were multiple areas, all vastly different in terms of climate, but the one she was pointing to was a forest, lush green surrounding the area. “Garen Forest,” the writing below the area read.
“Come on, Elucia, Sieq!” Sara smiled as she beckoned the Fairy and the Hellhound over. As she stepped through what felt like liquid, she was no longer in her island, but the forest. The trees grew tall, the quiet chattering of birds ringing out in the area. To the left was a waterfall, the water lazily flowing down the rocks and into the river.
There was a path in front of them, growing worn after years of footsteps walking in the exact same place. As Sara started to walk, two pigs with fierce-looking horns ran in front of her, blocking the way. She gasped and Elucia flew in front of her, Sieq close behind. The pigs looked exactly the same, with the exception of their hide. One pig had a hide a similar color to Sieq’s fur, and the other was a dark brown.
“It’s just practice, so there’s no pressure. Let’s begin!” Ellia called out behind her. Sieq went first. He snarled and lunged at the boar with a dark brown hide, snapping at it twice with its powerful jaw. The boar dropped to its side, and dissolved into light. Elucia went next, a swirling spiral of water surrounding the other boar, attacking it thrice. It was frozen in place. Sieq proceeded to snap at it once, and just like the previous Maned Boar, it dropped to its side and dissolved to light. Yeonhong rolled her eyes. It was nothing she hadn’t seen before; in fact, she had done this test herself when she was first summoned.
“Incredible!” Ellia congratulated. “That was way too easy for a Summoner like you! You didn’t even need the practice!” In front of them laid another Unknown Scroll, dropped by a Maned Boar. Chasun shuddered as she thought of just where exactly a Maned Boar would get such a scroll.
“Look at that! We got a new Unknown Scroll! It looks like today’s our lucky day, eh, Sara?” Ellia directed towards the new Summoner. Sara’s hair flowed down her back, bouncing as she nodded.
“I wonder what monster we’ll summon with this one!” Elucia said as her Summoner picked up the scroll and examined the seal.
“Let’s go back and see!” Chasun chimed in. She wasn’t just playing along to get Sara hyped; she was actually enjoying going on small adventures with her and watching her learn at a rapid speed. As the seven left, two monsters rushed through the forest. One was cloaked in a white and golden hood, a magnificent sword in hand and a pair of wings on his back.
In his free arm he held a tiny girl, much shorter than other girls her age. She was barely older than seven, her green eyes wide and her hair, a similar color, tied up into little curly pigtails. Their names were Eladriel and Charlotte, and though they did not need to hide just yet, they knew that in a few years they would be forever hiding their past.
The monster brought from the latest scroll was a cute boy. His hair was a dirty blonde, tied up into a ponytail at the nape of his neck, where it was held into a small stream behind his back, his red eyes fierce with determination. He held a large, bulky sword with both hands and was covered in golden armor. Like Sieq, he was a two star monster.
“Greetings, Summoner.” He said. His voice was certainly something pleasant to listen to; husky and calm. “My name is Roid, and it is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Ah, would you look at that! It’s a wind Vagabond! That makes three monsters, each with a different element!” Elucia looked up at Roid as he shook the hand of Sara, and her eyes widened. What was this fluttering in her heart? She didn’t recognize this feeling. He looked familiar somehow, like they were lovers in the past, but she would have remembered a face as pretty as his.
“Now you can fully utilize the cyclical attribute relationships in battle. You remember them, right?” Ellia asked Sara, her words sounding foggy and far away to Elucia, as if she were trying to listen with her head submerged in water.
“Right! Water destroys fire, but a breath of wind will destroy water! The fire element’s power knocks wind out of the arena!” Sara chanted. It was one of the first things her parents taught her when she was little.
“And what about light and dark monsters?” Chasun asked, testing her.
“They will destroy each other, counteracting since the beginning of time!”
“Guess that means you better not get in contact with a Wolyung, ‘ey, Yeon?” Yeonhong was disgusted with Chasun. She said so. Roid turned to look at the two Sky Dancers.
“Well, well, who are these lovely ladies?” Chasun blushed at this. Yeonhong felt as if Roid was putting on a façade, like in reality all he wanted to do was to get away from them.
“You are false and empty.” Roid chuckled at this, like Yeonhong had said something funny.
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Sara!” Ellia turned back to her. “Durand left you a little island-warming gift!” She pulled out a stone, shaped like a triangle. A white “E” was emblazed on it.
“This is a Magic Rune you can engrave onto your monster. It contains the power to make monsters stronger!” She handed it to Sara, who took it. She went to see where she could place it on one of her monsters. On the back of Elucia’s neck were six slots, one of which looked exactly where her rune could fit. She placed it in the slot and pressed down. It clicked into place, engraved into the rune slot.
“The rune magic was successful!” She said. “Can you see the difference?” Sara went to see the difference, and a box suddenly showed up in front of her. She stumbled and nearly fell onto the ground, but as she composed herself, she had a look at the box. There were a bunch of numbers, each of which representing a part of Elucia’s stats, including her HP, attack power, defense and speed. Next to her attack power, though, there was a green “+3”
“The green number near Elucia’s attack power is the additional magic that the rune gave to her!” Ellia explained.
“Why don’t you try powering up the rune now?” Chasun piped up. Ellia showed her how to navigate the box so that the certain rune she was looking at showed up on the “screen” Mana in hand; she held the stone against the rune, watching as it dissolved into light, absorbing itself into the rune. Upon checking Elucia’s stats again, Sara saw that the +3 had gone up to +5.
“Great job!” Ellia congratulated. She then pressed a few more buttons, and a digital shop of sorts popped up.
“Let’s construct a Power-Up Circle now, to train your monsters and make them stronger! Don’t worry, I’ve already prepped the material!” It took her a few tries, but eventually she had a Power-Up Circle next to the Summonhenge.
“Elucia!” She called, snapping the fairy out of her daydream. Why did Roid bring those feelings to her? She wanted to study him, like a scientist and a new species of animal they did not recognize; to figure out what was it about him. The girl floated away from the other three, Roid’s voice fading away. He was quite a charismatic man; having already made friends with Chasun. Yeonhong, of course, refused to open up to Roid under any circumstances, but that was normal.
“Here, Elucia; stand over there on the Power-Up circle!” As Elucia did so, Ellia grabbed something by the nape of its neck and dragged it over. Sara studied it for a moment. It seemed like a little stub with a large blue hat on, two small blue eyes on the side of said stub. It was a Mushroom. Upon further examination, she saw it had one silver star. It peered into her eyes, and she looked back, where she saw no emotion, despite the Mushroom about to be used as food.
“You’ll need some mana, too, in order for the food to be absorbed into her being and increase her strength.” Ellia shoved the Mushroom into Elucia’s arms, while Sara placed a few mana stones into a small bowl near the side. She had figured that was what it was for, anyway.
The mana stones dissolved into water and flowed into the indentations in the Power-Up Circle, all of which connecting directly to Elucia. The Mushroom became light and flowed into her veins. A physical chill rushed through her body, and suddenly, an image flashed through her mind, of Sara’s curious face. She was in the background of this image, and said image was tilted up, like whoever took such a photo was too short and had to look up. A memory, she realized.
“That was great!” Ellia smiled. Something in her pocket started to buzz, diverting her attention from Sara. Upon further researching, it turned out to be a message from Durand. Like the last time, a full-body hologram of him showed up, and the message began.
“I was curious about how the Arena preparation was going.” He started. “I assume things are going well?”
“Yep!” Chasun nodded. “Ellia just taught Sara about runes and powering up monsters. Although, we haven’t talked about signing her up just yet…”
“Actually, I believe she’s more than ready for it.” Durand smiled, crossing his arms. “She already possesses the skills to enter the Arena and fight against others. Don’t be alarmed, but I’ve already registered her!” Ellia looked up all of a sudden.
“Durand! She’s just a child! She just summoned her first three monsters!” He shrugged at this.
“Sooner or later, it was going to happen. Doesn’t matter who does it! You all can thank me later!” Roid was listening quietly, Elucia floating next to him.
“Our Summoner shows all the potential of being what they call a ‘Legend Rank,’ even if she is young.” He said to no one in particular.
“You could be a legend, too, Roid…” Elucia dreamily replied.
“There’s going to be a portal to the Arena opening up soon on your island, so keep your eye out for that.” Sara looked up into the sky. Far away, was the fabled Sky Arena, one of humanity’s greatest creations since the dawn of time. It was rumored that the best of the best, every week, had a new monster on their island after they had become a Legend Rank.
“Also,” He said, which made everyone bring their attention back to him; “I have a small favor to ask of you. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Garen Forest nearby.”
“We are.” Chasun replied. “Sara did a test battle there earlier.”
“There seems to be a sudden outbreak of malicious monsters there. Can you find out what’s going on?” Durand scanned Sara and her monsters, looking for a response. When there was none, he decided to go on.
“The Council of Magicians are trying to investigate, and it’s taking time. We’re…a bit busy here.” He did not want to worry them, but they were seeing a surge of powerful light and dark energy in Faimon Volcano all of a sudden – such energy could only be created by who the humans called the “light and dark Homunculus girls”
“That’s impossible, though!” He had said when he first heard of the news. “They were sealed away in an unbreakable seal, and it’s held strong since the creation of the Sky Arena!” He kept it to himself, though. Everyone seemed satisfied with this, except for Yeonhong. He had always thought she was different for some reason; questioning everything around her and acting irritated when she wasn’t given the answer she wanted. The girl stood up for the first time that morning, a sign that she was growing irked.
“What are you doing in there that you can’t go to the forest yourselves?” Durand hadn’t expected to be asked that, and to be honest he didn’t have an answer prepared in case it was asked.
“That’s a very good question, Yeonhong.” He turned to Sara instead, leaving the youngest of the bunch simmering in silence.
“Don’t be afraid, Sara. They’re just forest monsters, so it’ll be good practice for your monsters!” Sara didn’t seem to notice the sudden change of subject, or just didn’t care.
“Great! You can count on me, Durand!” She grinned. “Failure is not an option and lose is not a word in my dictionary!”
“I’ll be waiting for the good news, then!” With that, the hologram disappeared and instantly the quiet island was filled with chatters of excitement.
“Wow, Durand is not very patient, is he?” Ellia shook her head. “He’s already registered you for the Arena…” She, like Durand, soon changed the subject after that.
“So what’s up with those monsters in the Garen Forest, Chasun?” The Sky Dancer was “connected” in a way. She and all other monsters could feel things that humans could not.
“The monsters there seem to feel…tainted, for some reason.” She said, closing her eyes and absentmindedly opening and closing her fan.
“They all want to kill anything that moves and I don’t know why. They’re all filled with hate beyond anything humans can conjure.” Chasun reopened her eyes and went to get her sister, who had sat back down again. Roid was talking to her and she wouldn’t say a word to him. If anything, Yeonhong was filled with hatred for anything that moved, although she could only express in her childish ways.
“It used to be such a peaceful forest…what could have happened?” The blonde sighed. Her eyes were the color of the sky above them, and were clouded with worry. Sara, on the other hand, was not at all worried; if anything, she was excited.
“There’s only one way to find out, Ellia!” She grinned, hopping on over to the Energy Gateway.
Author’s Note: Heya! You just finished reading the second chapter of New Game, New Girl! Don’t worry, the homunculi are actually going to have a pretty big role in later chapters. Speaking of that; I might just introduce you to a new character that’s not Lucien or Lapis a few chapters after this!
If you liked this, why don’t you check out some of my other articles? My latest as of this writing is Top 5 Overpowered Runes!