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Grey: Chapter: 1:12

1.12 An Introduction

“I said, you……forest……got here.”

I couldn’t even guess what he was saying, not even from context. Face still in the dirt and breathing heavily, I gave the rude guy a thumbs up from my prone position. First I died, then I met a talking skeleton, then I’m in a forest, and now I may have gotten a god’s champion killed. So far, the last two days have been super shitty. Maybe I’ve seen worse? Tough to say with my life thus far. That time with my uncle comes to mind.

My uncle, Rogelio, was a used car salesman. He didn’t have the most prestigious job, but he was known as a hard worker and he really took care of his family. One day, he heads home early and finds his wife in bed with another man. He tries to fight the guy, but fate takes a turn and he winds up on the ground as his two kids and cheating wife watched another man beat him in his own house. They got divorced, and the last time I saw him he wasn’t in the best of shape. I’m pretty sure, even after all of that, my day may still be worse than his. 

I groaned and rolled onto my back, feeling the familiar sting of dirt hitting open wounds. Shit, there’s probably strange bacteria here. I’m sure that won’t have severe ramifications down the line. Opening one sweat-covered eye, I looked at what I assumed was a local villager. It was not a he, deep voice notwithstanding. 

She had blue eyes, long blonde hair in a thick braid, and a light pink multi-tiered dress that ended in yellow slippers. They looked like what I, in my limited travels and knowledge, imagine Swedish or Norwegians wore in the 1700s. She was also extremely tall and unnaturally muscled, with powerful tan calves and veins sticking out on her arms. I’d guess her age to be around the same as my own. She was also giving me a flat-eyed stare and tappign one yellow slipper as she looked down on me. 

 “Umm, hi?” I said, unable to think of anything else. She cocked her head and shrugged her shoulders, straining the top of her dress. 

Rosetta Stone: Failure

Unable to translate Earther languages to Other Side residents.

“Well shit”

Rosetta Stone: Failure

Unable to translate Earther languages to Other Side residents.

I just didn’t say anything this time. 

The girl in front of me turned around and started walking away, saying “Wanderer…..always……strange”.

Rosetta Stone: Activated

25% “common” language processed. 

Heyyyyy…I mostly understood that one. 

I look around myself to gain some bearings, then tried to sit up, which I realized immediately was a mistake. Can men swoon? I felt that I did a bit, as all the cuts and rubbed in dirt finally caught up to me. I laid back down for a minute, hoping this feeling would pass. Wait, wasn’t swooning linked to romance? I should’ve read more books growing up. Most of my library had been littered with Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. Good memories. 

That blonde girl did remind me a bit of Misty. And before I could travel down what I’m sure was a depressing avenue, she returned with an older man in robes. Not gonna lie, he looked amazing. 

He stood about eight-foot-tall, with a totally shiny head devoid of hair and a beard that reached down to his stomach. I loved the contrast of his naked head and fully hairy face. He walked with a white cane that I’m sure was taller than me, but didn’t actually seem to need it. I focused my eyes on the cane and sure enough, my MTS popped. 

Staff of the Lesser Healer

Class requirement: Healer, Cleric, Siphoner

Level requirement: 10

Description: A simple staff imbued with the power to enhance the effects of a healer. All healing abilities are strengthened twice over. 

Abilities: None

Okay, so I finally got to see an item breakdown with my ability. So name, some kind of requirement system for both a class and a level, and a description that gives an idea of what it does. No abilities huh. I wonder if that has to do with the level? I bet higher level items granted abilities, and the higher it was the higher the ability given. Wait….

I looked at my classes in the MTS, and still only saw Earther. It didn’t have a level. Well….shit. 

While I was thinking this over, the two had obviously been talking to me. You know, I was analyzed for a-d-d, but they said I didn’t have it…..huh. 

“…..help you, when we…….village and get away…….forest. Particularly we have to…..screams”

Rosetta Stone: Activated

45% “common” language processed. 

Jesus, they must’ve said a lot. Or I wonder if it breaks down the language by different words and how they’re used rather than how much they talk. Hey, my ability was working even when I wasn’t fully paying attention. That’s not bad. I wonder if I can abuse that later. 

I gave a “nice guy” thumbs up and the healer grunted. Taking a knee next to me, he twirled his fingers and whispered something. A bunch of sparkles began to drift in the air before landing next to me, coalescing into a white stretcher. Captain Beardface, what I called him without knowing his name, put a hand to his lower back and stood up. His face seemed more tired than it had when he’d first walked up. The blonde girl grabbed my legs while the captain grabbed my arms, and they placed me on the stretcher and began a steady walk to keep from bouncing me. They both seemed to have a good amount of experience in dealing with injured people.  

It turned out I was on a hill and couldn’t see the village from what I was laying, but as we got closer, I was able to see the tops of buildings and began to hear conversation. I still couldn’t quite hear what they were saying, but my Rosetta Stone ability was freaking out. 

Rosetta Stone: Activated

55% “common” language processed.   

Rosetta Stone: Activated

65% “common” language processed. 

Rosetta Stone: Activated

10% “grudder” language processed. 

Rosetta Stone: Activated

75% “common” language processed. 

Holllyyy crap. I could barely see anything as the MTS just kept blowing up my vision. All kinds of different languages were passing through my feed, from common and noble, to grudder, whatever the hell that was. The excitement I had for looking around the town was being extinguished by all of these notifications. I closed my eyes and tried to bring up the MTS while I wasn’t viewing the world, but no dice. It only worked while my eyes were open. 

They brought me into what I assumed was the local clinic, laying me on an uncomfortable hard bed with practiced expertise. The moment they placed me down, the stretcher faded into the same glitter it’d formed out of at the start, with the Captain taking a satisfying sigh. 

You’ve entered a house of healing. All healing powers have a reduced cost. 

“We’ll get you…better. Just relax and….home.”

Rosetta Stone: Activated

90% “common” language processed.

He placed one hand on my chest and another on my leg, then closed his eyes and whispered something that sounded like a chant, blending high vowels and low consonants. 

I could feel a pulse of energy strike my body from where he’d placed his hands, spreading outward until every part of me was tingling. My wounds slowly began to close, but all the blood that had left my body stayed where it was. I didn’t feel more energetic, if anything I still felt rather lethargic, but at least I wasn’t worried about bleeding out. 

“Ok young man. I believe you….to tell. Rest for a…and we’ll talk soon.”

Rosetta Stone: Activated

92% “common” language processed.

I laid my head down and knocked out within seconds, but not before I heard the first full sentence I could understand since coming here. 

“Where’s the Golden Shield?”

Categories: Grey- Serial Work

Tagged as:

abnormalvaverage

I'm a high school English teacher in Texas. I also hold degrees in radiography and radio and television broadcasting. Though I obtained certain knowledge and skills from my prior degrees, I do not currently use them.

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