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Firestorm Peak, Letter 13


Dear Da,

Well, there we were with two traps between us and where we wanted to go. There were some things that looked like zombies in the other room, and boy were they stinky. But first we had to figure out how to get to them before we could kill them. To get past them, I mean.
Since they looked like zombies, Rhavin went over one of the traps with Canliss' floating Tenser-disc. He tried to turn them, but it was no good-- instead of running away from him, they started to attack him. And with all of us on the other side of the trap! Kariya cast a big web to make the not-zombies not attack Rhavin. I was waiting for Canliss to send the Tenser-disc back to I could help Rhavin.
All of a sudden, I felt a tickle in my boot. I was sure it was one of those awful bugs we'd seen back there that crawled into my boot, but thank goodness it was only Nikita. Usually she rides on Rhavin, so I donut know what she was doing in my boot. But then Canliss sent the Tenser-disc back, so I handed her to Kariya.
Unfortunately, I was so excited to help Rhavin kill things that I jumped off the disc too early-- right into the trap! The floor gave away, and I grabbed on to Rhavin with the hand I wasn't holding onto Hilt with. I didn't know what to do-- if there were any crushing walls or spiky things, I was done for. I couldn't climb without dropping Hilt, and I felt like Id almost rather be crushed than lose Hilt.
Rhavin was able to pull me to the side where the real floor was. I'm glad I didn't make him fall too, when I grabbed him, but I didn't know what else to do. Now I was ready to go after some of these not-zombies-- chop!
But Nikita was on my boot again! She had held on when I fell into the trap, and there was some poison that my boot got into. With her on my boot. Rhavin got Nikita off my boot. He must have been afraid she was dead, because he was so sad he started to cry. He called for Jven to come cure the poison, and I watched the zombies. Jven cured the poison, and Nikita looked much better.
Kariya cast a lightning bolt to take care of the not-zombies once and for all. And it did, too, but rocks fell from the ceiling. It got Kariya pretty bad, because she fell down and didn't get up. That made me drop Hilt and run over to where she was. Unfortunately, there was still a not-zombie left, and I had left Hilt behind me. I tried to hit it, but it was faster than it looked. Canliss killed it-- I was so embarrassed. Maybe I should practice more.
Behind me, Nikita changed back into Nikita again. Rhavin was so happy, he was hugging her and Nikita was hugging and she was crying. I guess it must have been pretty scary. Being on my dumb old boot and falling into a trap and me not even knowing and then getting poisoned. Rhavin would have taken better care of her.
We were hurt again, so we had to rest. Canliss tried to identify Hilt again, but didn't get very far. But now I know how to turn off the blade if I need to... I think it's just to turn it off when I donut need it. But I'm not sure. And I'm still afraid that Hilt is the kind of magic that runs out-- and then where will I be? A swordsman without a sword. I was so worried I asked Nikita if she could find out for me, but she has to save her spells for important things. I guess finding out about Madreus and how we're going to save the world should come first. Kariya says that I shouldn't worry. There's nothing we can do about it here.
So, while everyone was resting, Nikita taught me more how to read. Maybe when we get out of Firestorm peak I'll be able to read by myself! I tried to get someone to practice boxing with me, but everyone was busy. So I just practiced with myself.
Off we went again. The passage was narrow, but tall enough so I didn't have to stoop. We came to a big room with a big stone hill covered with moss. On top of the hill, were bunch of mushrooms that looked like people. Or people that looked like mushrooms. We decided not to bother them.
Then there was another room, with even more mushroom-people in it. There was a really big one-- even bigger than me-- that was on a throne kind of thing. Nikita and Rhavin went up to talk with them, and I didn't know what they were saying. I was just trying to look peaceful-- which is hard when you can't put your sword in a sheath. I just kind of carry it like it's a big piece of sharp metal, and not a sword-- I suppose that's the best anyone could do. I could have tried to make the blade disappear, but I wasn't sure I could make it come back.
Then, all of a sudden, there was this big cloud like in the last trap, coming out of the mushrooms. I tried to hold my breath, but I had to breathe eventually. When I breathed, I could hear the big mushroom talking in my head. And all the littler mushrooms, but mostly the big one. They asked all sorts of questions-- like, what is Slurpy? What is eating? It was hard to explain things to them, but I suppose if you were growing in the middle of a mountain all your life you might need a few things explained to you too.
It turned out the mushroom people didn't like Madreus either. They really didn't like him so much that they wanted to help us. The mushroom king asked one of his bodyguards to come with us, to help. It felt good to be making a friend-- most things were trying to kill us or making us pay for their destroyed bazaar or whatever.
The mushrooms had told Nikita about a 'field of corruption', which didn't sound good at all. Like a desert of despair. It had something to do with extra arms or something like that. She kept asking where it was and what it looked like, but they couldn't explain it. So she cast a spell to find out how we could stay out of it. The spell said that healing could make the field. That made Nikita very unhappy-- we have to heal all the time! She really didn't like her extra eye, and didn't want anything else to happen like that. I like her eye-- I think it's kind of neat, and I wouldn't mind an extra arm one bit. Which I suppose is just as well-- I get healed an awful lot, so if this field of corruption happens, it might as well happen to me.
I got to talk a bit with the bodyguard, after. That dust he makes, that makes it so he can talk in our heads, lasts a while but he can only make it so often. So I just talked with him while it was wearing off. He said his name was One of Five (Kariya said we would NOT call him 'fivey'). I tried to tell him about the icky bugs in the canyon, but he likes bugs because they make food for mushrooms. I told him I didn't feel like being made food for mushrooms until I was good and ready-- maybe he'll understand when he sees all the bugs.
I asked One of Five if he liked to box, but he didn't. Mushrooms donut like fighting unless they have to. They are born knowing how, so they donut even have to practice. Oh well, I guess I can keep shadow-boxing by myself.

--love,

Ester





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