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Pixel Courage 38

In the darkness of The Sewers, it was hard to tell where exactly the Blood Dragon was. But clearly, he was close.

Panic set in. Couldn’t let the dragon see me.

And so, as the dragon wailed on — roaring about something lost, something found, or maybe just the wickedness of a life created solely for the purpose of others destroying it — I let the water carry me forward.

I took a deep breath.

Plunged my head into the dark water.

There were a couple of things I thought about, as I swam through the grimy water.

One: the water was gross, but there wasn’t too much to be worried about. It’s not like germs could affect me here, right?

Two: the water pressure wasn’t quite right down here. My ears didn’t get that same popping sensation they had when I swam back in the real world.

And three: I shouldn’t technically have to breathe.

The water dulled the roars of the Blood Dragon. And so I continued swim, wondering if I could keep doing this until I found the Soul Weaver. But how to find him?

Able to see so little, hear so little, how would I find him?

I continued swimming, hoping something would help me figure out the answer.

The Blood Dragon’s roar got ear-splittingly loud, even under the water. He must’ve been right on top of me.

My lungs were starting to burn. You don’t need to breathe, I told myself. You don’t need to breathe.

As I moved through the water, the roars began to dull. Getting softer and softer.

Lungs burning.

It was safer down here in the water. And I should be able to stay down here. But my lungs felt like they were going to split open.

My head broke through the water. I took a breath, then went back in.

Time blurred down here, since there wasn’t any sun. No idea how long I spent in the water, drifting along with the current, nothing to accompany but the roars of the dragon and one singular question: how would I find The Soul Weaver?

Eventually, the environment gave me an answer. Or at least, I thought it was an answer. When I broke my head through the water to get another breath, I saw a weaving, shimmering light.

Dipped my head back into the water, allowing the water to guide me in the direction of the light.

Didn’t hear any Blood Dragon roaring, so I peeked my head out of the water to make sure I was going in the right direction. Things went on like that, the water pulling me along, me occasionally peeking my head out of the water to make sure I was going in the right direction.

The light went on and on. There wasn’t even a promise that the light would lead me to The Soul Weaver, but I didn’t have anything better to go on. So I swam.

When I reached something, I was almost surprised. I saw The Soul Weaver standing in a little concrete alcove, standing with a woman. The magic light allowed me to see them pretty clearly, though I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

The man had on a long, red robe. His mouth was just an inch away from a lady’s ear. He was talking to the brown-haired woman. Her features were a little reminiscent of the kid I’d come here for.

Bingo.

I swam to the concrete side of The Sewers, fighting against the current. Grabbed onto its edge and dragged myself out of the murky water. It pulled at me, since I was soaking wet. My armor felt cold and gross.

“Fuck you,” I yelled, struggling to be heard over the rushing water.

The Soul Weaver turned to look at me.

He moved his lips. Something like, “Who are you?” or “Why are you here?”

Didn’t have my sword, but I didn’t need to have my sword. Energy pulsed through the veins in my hand. Thorns broke through my knuckles.

The Soul Weaver raised his hand in the air. The light that illuminated us moved with the movement of his hands. It began encircling me.

“Son of a bitch,” I said. No way anyone would hear me, but in all honesty, I liked it that way. Punched at the light wrapped around my torso. My fist went through the light, but it still had a firm hold of me.

I wriggled, trying to get unwrapped from this thing. I saw that The Soul Weaver was struggling to manipulate the lights like this. Would it be possible to break the light if I made him struggle hard enough.

My fists kept punching through the light, but there wasn’t any HP indicators flashing before my eyes.

I pushed against the light, hit it, struggled with it.

The light picked me up off the ground.

Figured I was done for.

Then I saw the brown-haired lady he was with. She punched him in the face.

The second she did that, the light dissipated. I fell to the floor.

98% HP

I could take 2% damage. I got up off the concrete floor and saw the lady standing over The Soul Weaver.

Her knuckles were a bit bloodied, and The Soul Weaver wasn’t moving. She walked over to me and yelled, “Thanks for the help.” Then, with a smile, “Also, you’re welcome.”

She ran off, and I followed her. We ran through The Sewers, thankfully taking the dryer version.

When we got to the ladder that led back up to the city, she noticed the sword lying on the floor. I picked it up. She backed away from it and went up the ladder.

Once we’d both gotten to the top, the kid hugged his mother.

“Seriously, though,” she said. “Thanks. Sewers aren’t really my style.”

“Yeah, well… I was just doing the mission.”

“Were you?” she asked.

You’ve reached Level 7!

The green letters flashed before my eyes.

“Uh, yeah,” I said. What’d she want me to say?

“Well, I hope it feels good, being a hero.”

I nodded my head. “It does.”

“You know, if you’re looking for another mission, I’ve got one for you.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “My son and I need to go to The Thorny Sword so I can take care of some business. But after the way those dragons took me, I’m thinking I could use some protection.”

“I can do that.”

“Great,” she said. “Follow me.”

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