A Strange Sky: Chapter 1- Mosaic


Author’s Note: This is the new and revised version of “A Strange Sky”. I decided to give a more “personal” touch to the system (it felt too generic before), along with other changes to the events and story itself. The old version of this chapter is still available for reading, on a separate post listed on the Novel’s page. Thank you for stopping by!


Still taken back by the view, Conrad stood there staring at the sky above.

Even if the sight of it was indeed beautiful, he did not consider it so. It was strange, unknown. Frightening.

He shivered, his mind running through the implications and conclusions of such sight.

A noise ringed in his ears, and a chill ran down his spine. He thought to have heard a voice, behind him, and he turned around so fast that his head felt dizzy for a moment.

There was no one behind him, but he could not shake off that impression.

He sighed, deeply, thinking about how his mind might have gone for a trip in crazy-town. That was the best explanation he could give to himself.

<<I crashed my car, hit my head strong enough to fall into coma, and all this is just the product of that>>

Once again, his mind turned towards that possibility. He took the time to analyze the situation, to think things through. In his reasoning, he found three plausible answers for what surrounded him.

The first, and most logical, was for everything around him being not real, the product of his mind after the accident he was involved in. In short, a coma-induced dream.

But, thought Conrad, the sensations he felt led him to believe that was not the case. He knew that it was not the case, somehow. And that led him to the second and third options. The second one, was that, somehow, this place was real, but a different place, different from the town he lived, the country. Different from the world he lived in.

Back when he woke up, he was shocked by finding himself into a forest, but he thought it a normal forest.

It was still plausible back when he was under the canopy of trees, when he could only see patches of the sky, covered by the foliage.

But now, it was so surreal that his mind rejected it. Torn between what he saw, and what his body felt.

<<Ah, shit. What the hell do I do now?>>

He sat there for some moments. Although the temperature under the trees was pleasant, up here, the breeze was now getting cold enough to make him shiver.

<<Can you feel cold while in a coma? Or perhaps, this is the afterlife. I cannot rule that out>>

That was the third option, for him. He died in the accident, and what he experienced was nothing but the afterlife.

He had never been a man of faith. Rather, if he would be forced to define his beliefs, he would describe himself as an agnostic. Not believing in any God, but unable to rule out the possibility that, somehow, somewhere, a superior existence, or a multitude of them, could exist.

He definitely did not believe in heaven, or hell for that matter.

And yet, for what Conrad knew, the place where he found himself could easily be either of those.

Or, and that thought was so silly that it almost made him burst into laughter, he could have woken up in another world.

<<Sure, that’s exactly what happened. I have been summoned into another world, and I will become the Hero of Justice here!>>

He shouted his words to the wind, laughing out loud afterwards. It was not a pleasant laughter, however, more similar to a psychotic break than sincere fun.

He calmed himself, after the sudden outburst. The air was too cold now, and his body was beginning to shake a bit too much.

He decided to climb down, going back to the forest below.

There was another reason that compelled him to do so.

His stomach started rumbling again.

The sensation was real, he had no doubt about that.

More than that, it proved that whatever happened to him, it was definitely not a dream.

He felt a plethora of emotions whenever he dreamed.

Lust, anger, sadness, fear. But that was it, they were only emotions. Sometimes, he even felt the pressing need to pee. But he never felt hunger, or pain, like he did since he woke up.

Listening to his stomach, he decided to go back to the forest.

The hill where he was standing was lush with grass and some bushes, but nothing that looked edible grew there.

He saw some yellow berries on some of the bushes, but he decided to not risk eating those.

Descending from the hill was easier than climbing it.

Not only because, well, that’s how hills work, he thought, but mostly because he felt good right at the moment.

The pain was gone, the ringing sound in his ears was there no more.

He even found the strength to run for a bit, and he did so easily.

He was glad about it, but then he began to notice. Some of the cuts he had on his skin, some of the bruises, they were already healed.

The cuts were shallow, he admitted, but the bruises? They were severe, his skin tinged with a shade of dark, almost black purple, now faded into a mixed shade of gray and yellow color, while most of his skin returned to his original, slightly tanned color.

As he went down the hill, he took a glance to his body from time to time.

The bruises were really healing, it was not just an impression he had. By the time he was into the forest once again, they were completely gone.

For good measure, Conrad ran his fingers on the spot where the bruises where, pressing them on his skin.

Nothing, just the sensation of his hands pressing on his chest.

<<And, that marks the third unexplained thing. Shit, what the hell is going on?>>

He was really at loss for words. He sat on a fallen trunk, resting his head between his hands as he thought about what to do next.

His wounds were gone, but those strange, blinking blue and red spots in his view were still there. He tried to blink them away, to rub his eyes, but the flickering spots remained in their position.

Conrad shrugged his shoulders, unable to find a solution for this minor problem. Maybe, he thought, it was some temporary damage due to the accident.

He had other priorities to consider, first.

He needed to find some food, and water.

When he was atop of the hill, he did not see any trace of civilization for miles and miles around.

Conrad wanted to get out of the forest, but to do so, he considered he might have to walk for days, perhaps even a whole week.

<<Maybe, if I follow the river…>>

Doing that, he would surely find water, and food if he managed to catch some fish.

Nodding to himself, he decided his next move.

He would try to find the river, and, once he managed to reach it, he would follow its course, hoping to find some trace of civilization along the way.

Perhaps, if luck decided to be on his side, he might even find a boat along the river, hopefully with someone aboard.

As he walked among the tall trees, he started to take a closer look at them.

Having spend his childhood in the countryside, he was no stranger to meadows and wilds, but every single plant he saw he could not recognize.

They did not look tropical, and the place itself did not have the appearance of a jungle.

It was more like a forest that belonged to temperate climate.

Like the ones that he “explored” as a child, when he sneaked out of his parents’ farm, forging adventurers in his mind.

Yet, the trees he was seeing now were similar in structure, but there were some subtle differences.

The size of them was definitely bigger, and the bark looked more like scales than proper bark.

The leaves were unlike any he had ever seen.

The shape of them was like large needles, but they were soft to the touch, even those that fell off the tree. The dried leaves, as he pressed them between his fingers, crumbled into a thin, brown powder.

Those that he managed to snap from a short, young tree of the same species, they let out a thick, almost transparent juice.

It had a sweet scent, and Conrad was almost tempted to taste a bit of it.

In the end, he did it.

It was delicious, with a syrupy consistence and a rich sweet taste that reminded him of vanilla.

He tried to munch on an entire leaf, but he spit it out immediately.

The whole thing had a bitter taste.

<<So, leaf bad, juice good>>

He thought. Of course, the juice could also be bad. Very bad, if it contained some poisonous substance.

For that reason, he only tasted a small quantity of it. He would wait a bit before eating some again, in order to see how his body reacted.

The other types of plants, bushes and grass that he saw, all of them were different to the species he knew. They were similar, in some way, but different.

The bushes had the same kind of structure as those that he would find in a normal meadow or woods, with a height of no more than thirty centimeters, thick leaves of a dark green color, apt to properly use the scarce light that filtered from the canopy above.

However, they were different. The leaves had peculiar shapes, like two hearts inverted and connected by their point.

Kind of shaped like the numbed eight, he thought while observing them. Those bushes bore berries, with different colors ranging from light purple to golden yellow.

But the thing that surprised him the most, it was a patch of moss like he never saw.

It glowed, a pale, faint blue light. Stems were growing from it, like thin mushrooms.

Something out of a science fiction movie, or a fantasy game.

Again, the lights flickered in his sight. This time, Conrad focused on them, asking himself what the hell was going on with his eyes.

As he acknowledged the strangeness of those lights, and began inquiring himself over them, the light expanded in his view.

<<What the fuck?>>

He recoiled, muttering an imprecation as one single light became a flickering blue window in his view.

Conrad tried to extend his hand and touch it, seeing his fingers pass through it. He turned his head, left and right, but the window followed the movement, remaining in the center of his field of view.

He tried to swat it with his hand, but nothing happened.

But, when he thought about getting rid of the thing, it turned back into a flickering light on the bottom of his view.

As he returned his focus on the thing, it burst out once again. He experimented a bit with it, learning how he could freely control the size and inclination of that strange hallucination, just thinking about what he wanted to do with it.

Strange pictures flickered, white on blue background, like glitched text on a computer screen. But, as Conrad tried to decipher those symbols, that looked to him like some weird sort of writing, the symbols slowly warped, starting to make more sense. Until…

Welcome, Conrad

The simple greeting, written on that floating window made Conrad question his sanity for good this time. He could handle the weird trees, the three suns made him dubious about it, but that simple word made Conrad really think that he simply lost his mind.

System acknowledged- Starting Mosaic Routine…please standy

A sharp pain assaulted Conrad, spreading from the bottom of his spine to the rest of his body.

He fell to his knees, as waves of pain reached his head, bursting inside of it like it was about to split in two. His ears began ringing, his mouth had a weir, metallic taste.

His vision flickered, the world losing focus once again. Twitches, and then spasms took hold of all his muscles, and he collapsed, face flat on the ground, convulsing.

Mosaic System Online. Sorry for the Inconvenience, Conrad.

Would you like to start the Tutorial?

Y/N

The pain started to subside, slowly becoming nothing more than a sensation of warmth spread into his body and head. Conrad got up on his feet once again, rubbing off the tears that began flowing from his eyes.

<<The fuck is going on?>>

Along with the message, he clearly heard a voice, repeating what was written on the blue flickering screen.

It was not coming from anywhere around him. It came from inside of him.

Like the voices that conversed when he thought about something.

But, unlike those, that spoke with his own voice, as they represented his internal monologue and dialogue, that voice held a monotonous, flat tone.

Like the voice of a vocal synthesizer from a computer.

He coughed, muttering and cursing under his lip.

The blue window was still there, waiting for him to pick an answer. At least, that was the impression Conrad had.

He sighed, deeply, before giving in to curiosity and thinking “Yes”.

As he did, a sound of bells ringing happily played in his mind, and the window shifted, new words rolling on it like the credits of a movie.

Excellent! Welcome to the Mosaic System Interface!

Here, the system will display useful, color-coded information that will help you during your journey!

A blue window, along with a sound clue are generated for standard communications

A red one is generated to signal damage report after harmful events

<<So, those lights I saw before…>>

He started to connect some dots. His vision flickered red, before, when he woke up. That must have been a damage report, Conrad thought, surprising himself of how well he was simply accepting what was happening.

He focused once again on the blue, floating window, reading the information on it.

It was different from before, with numbers written on it. Conrad’s eyes gaped wide in surprise.

Below this Tutorial message, you fill find your Status Screen!

It displays a summary of your Mind Mosaic, each parameter being a rough extimation of an aspect of your Mind.

Level: A rough extimation of how much your Mind Mosaic has been completed. For now, it wil be blank, as you still have some tasks to complete, before fully embracing the System

Class: The type of picture that your Mind Mosaic draws. Blank, for now.

Experience: Gaining it and reaching a certain amount will increase your Mosaic Level

Stats are divided into three “families”- Soma, Pneuma, Tekna

Skills: For now, a blank window, where skills will be added. To obtain one, perform certain actions. Skills have levels, and can leveled up repeating the action. Once a skill is maxed, it will Rank up, becoming an advanced version of itself.

Titles: Awarded for special actions, each title has a bonus related to it.

Tiles: can be earned in two ways. Increasing your Mosaic Level, or increasing Skill Level. Sometimes, extra MP are awarded as bonus for performing special actions.

There are three types of Tiles: Soma, Pneuma, Tekna

You can spend Tiles to complete a Pattern. Patterns, like Tiles, follow the Soma/Pneuma/Tekna classification, and each type can be completed by using the same type of tyles.

Completing a Pattern will yield results: Starting a pattern gives one stat point related to the type

Completing 10% of a pattern has a chance to give stat points or a new skill

Completing 25% of a pattern has a chance to give stat points or a new skill

Completing 50% has a chance to give stat points, a new skill or skill synergy

Completing 75% has a chance to give stat points, a new skill/skill synergy/ pattern synergy

Completing a Pattern will open up new patterns related to the one completed, and will reward either stat points or a new skill.

Higher tier patterns require more tiles for completion.

Completing a set of related Patterns, called Mosaic, will yield additional bonus stats, Tiles or skills, and unlock a higher tier Mosaic.

Mind Mosaic Status:

Level: N/A

Class: N/A

EXP: -/-

Statistics

Soma: The Vessel of a Mind, related to physical prowess and Health-HP: 10/10

Strength: 1

Nimbleness: 1

Coordination: 1

Reaction: 1

Pneuma: The Soul side of a Mind, related to Arcane and Dreams- AP:1/1

Intelligence: 1

Willpower: 1

Tekna: The Reason side of a Mind, related to Skill- SP: 1/1

Precision: 1

Perception: 1

Titles: N/A

Tiles: 0

Skills: N/A

Conrad looked with attention at the flickering blue screen, unable to wrap up his mind to what lied before his eyes.

Before he could make other, deeper considerations about it, the screen disappered, substituted by another message.

This marks the end of the Tutorial session. All that is left, is for you to survive and

complete your Mind Mosaic. Good Luck!

<<You gotta be shitting me>>

Those blue windows, and the statistics in them, they were just like one of those you would see in those old RPG games.

He did play his share of them when he was a teenager, but the passion that he held towards them faded away as he grew up, until they became nothing more than a memory that he was slightly ashamed to have.

He disliked his old, nerdy, angry teenager self, so different from the efficient and success-driven adult that he became.

Yet, that thing was really a Status screen, considered Conrad, while recalling the window into view just by thinking about it.

He remained there, staring at it, using his hands to swat away the bugs buzzing around him.

<<You’ve got to be shitting me>>

He blabbered once again, the only thing he could manage to say.

The situation, he thought, was crazy enough to make him want to question his own sanity.

But, as he was still wallowing in his thoughts, he heard a rustling of leaves, coming from his right.

As he looked there, he saw an animal dart out of the small bushes.

He expected it to be a rabbit, given the size of the creature, but when it stopped, standing on its hind legs, gazing at Conrad for a moment before scurrying off again inside the vegetation, the man clearly saw the creature.

It was definitely not a rabbit.

Looking similar to a lizard, without a tail, and two deep black eyes. It had the frame of a rabbit, moving exactly the same way, its hind legs bigger than the fore, that the little thing used to jump around with great speed.

Only, it skin had not fur, but scales, shining with a yellow-green glint. It even had something like ears, although they were more like flaps of scaly skin, that the thing raised when it looked at Conrad with curiosity.

Two messages popped up in his head, rapidly following one another.

 

Enemy ?? Appeared!

 

Enemy ?? Ran away!

Conrad shook his head, shocked by the little thing’s sudden appearance.

The trees were strange enough, the sky even worse than those, but that? That was something insane, he thought.

And then, something clicked into his head. Perhaps, he always knew, since the time he woke up in this strange place.

He had the sensation, the certainty, that this, all of it was real. Crazy, without the slightest doubt, but real.

He was alive, he was not dreaming or hallucinating or whatever else.

He was wide awake, and this place was not his world anymore.

Having reached this consideration, Conrad thought, he had two choices before him. Deny it, or accept it.

And the thing that disturbed him the most, is that he was accepting it.

He surprised himself with the way he suddenly thought it not only real, but logical, even.

This world he woke up to, it was not his old one anymore, but some crazy place, with three suns and levels, experience and all that shit.

And he accepted it, like a given truth, surprising himself.

He became conscious of his own situation, a lone man, weaponless, lost in a forest that most likely hosted deadly creatures crawling among the shadows.

He felt a chill run down his spine, as he was now conscious of every sound, every shadow moving around him.

Conrad looked around, frantically, his eyes darting from bush to tree to stone. He realized that he was out in the open, unable to defend himself.

He had his knife in his pocket, he knew that, but that short blade would require a short range for him to use, and that would lead to dangerous situations.

He needed something to defend himself, that allowed him to keep enough distance from a predator to minimize the risks. A short knife would not allow that.

Near him, three steps away from his right foot, he found a fallen branch, large enough for him to use as clubbing weapon.

Keeping wary of his surroundings, he strolled to the branch, picking it up.

Successfully equipped- Wooden Branch (+1 Attack)

<<Sure. Of course>>

He shrugged his shoulder, questioning himself if he expected something different, given what he already experienced.

He dismissed the blue window, noticing that, once aknowledged, the windows would disappear from his vision, collapsing into a blue dot on the far right of his vision.

If he focused on it, Conrad learned, the windows would be displayed again, in some sort of message log.

He clenched the branch harder, and pressed on, threading into the vegetation.

Denying things would not get him anywhere, he knew that very well.

He had always been pragmatic, and right now, although he already spent some time doubting what he saw, he decided to accept it.

Perhaps seeing that creature was the turning point for him, although, deep down, he knew that the reason was another.

If that thing was there, unknown, practically alien to him, what else could be there?

Woods were dangerous enough without the thought of something lurking beneath the vegetation, but right now, that thought was creeping into Conrad’s mind.

And it was that thought that motivated him to move, to leave the fairly open place where he was standing, gawking like an idiot.

Right now, there was nothing else he could do beside accept things, and try to do something about his situation.

He stopped worrying about his situation as a whole, since he doubted he could find any answers by standing still in the forest, and he focused on his immediate needs.

Food, water, shelter.

And he knew where to find two of those.

The Sun…no, the three suns were still shining their light on the forest, so he still had plenty of time to reach the river and look for something to eat.

He did not trust the berries and strange mushrooms he found, now that he knew this whole place was nothing like he thought at first.

Conrad walked for two hours, stopping only from time to time to rest his legs a bit, or to grab something he thought useful along the way.

Stones, one hard, dense and of deep brown color. Smooth, and did not break when he hit another, bigger rock with the small one he held in his fist.

Then, he found some smaller, white-ish stones that shattered when struck.

Those stones broke into pieces that had sharp edges, good enough to cut through vegetable fiber.

He could not cut down a tree with them, but they would be useful as improvised knives, or even spearpoints, if he managed to actually find a piece big enough to produce a spearpoint from it.

He had still the strips of his shredded sweater and shirt, so he could use them to tie the sharp stone shards to pieces of wood.

But he would take care of that later.

On the way towards the river, he noticed a spot where several branches had fell to the ground, their wood still wet with fresh sap.

He thought them recently fallen, perhaps shaken down by a furious wind.

<<Or ripped away from the tree>>

Conrad whispered, while looking around. He found traces of a large animal’s passage, droppings, scratching marks on the trees.

Luckily, the still warm excrements had pieces of semi-digested, small wooden branches in them, so it was something that ate plants, and not a large carnivore.

He looked at them from half a step away. A disgusting thing to do, for him, but it was also necessary to assess the surrounding.

Traces, be it paw prints or droppings, could reveal a lot about whatever roamed the forest.

And Conrad knew that, and he took the time to look around at each clue, no matter how disgusting it was.

He surmised that the large animal that wrecked that place must have been an herbivore.

Although, thought Conrad, it could still be aggressive and territorial.

To be safe when night would fall, he considered about climbing up a tree.

Staying on ground level could be too dangerous, since who knows what might be lurking these woods at nights.

There were several ways that he could be killed, and Conrad mentally ran through each and every possible death that he could think of.

Trampled, mauled by a predator, stung by insects. Food poisoning, wound infection. Bitten by venomous animals.

Falling to his death. Disease carried by dirty water, disease by eating raw or rotten food.

Even some ridiculous things like being eaten alive by carnivore plants, or by dinosaurs.

He ran through them all. After all, in this place unknown to him, everything was possible.

He was scared, as he never had been in his whole life, but, somehow, he felt another emotion creeping in, making its way between his concern and fear.

Excitement, the rush of adrenaline slowly rising to his head. He could not see his own face at the moment, and if he could, he would be surprised to find a smile in his expression.

He walked for hours, sometimes, more often than he would like to admit, he lost his directions and was forced to mark the trees along his path.

His compass, was not reliable, sometimes identifying the north where no more than half an hour before was east, and so on.

But, and much to his relief, he managed to find his way among the trees and now, he could hear the sound of running waters.

The river was near, just beyond a final line of trees.

Luckily, he did not encounter any large creature during his march into the forest.

He saw some of those lizard-bunnies, and he even thried to catch one of them, but the little buggers were fast.

He was feeling seriously hungry right now, and his stomach was grumbling loudly.

Although the sap from the curious leaves did not hurt him in any way, he still did not eat those that he brought with himself.

Because, he found another use for them. He noticed that, his right hand, that had a bit of that sap smeared on it, was not being assaulted by those pesky little bugs.

After assessing that the sap was safe to use, and had probably some bug-repellant property, he smeared some on his chest, arms and face.

His legs were still protected by what remained of his expensive pair of jeans, but he spilled some sap on them anyways.

Much to his satisfaction, the sap really did work.

The bugs still buzzed around him, but they quickly dispersed.

The biggest success was that they no longer bit Conrad, and he even felt that the bitemarks he already had were less itchy as he applied some sap on them.

When he decided to stop, and take another handful of those leaves to bring them with him, he got a notification, and the usual flickering window appeared.

Gathered Scalethorn Leaf (x5)

New Skil Unlocked!Gathering (1/10)- Type: General (Tekna)- Assist in the act of gathering resources, granting a bonus yield

<<Wow>>

That was the only thing he managed to say.

Now, each time he looked at a single tree and focused on it, a small window would float in front of it.

Detected- Scalethorn Tree

He tried to do the same with the other plants around him, but no window appeared.

Only after he managed to gather some parts of them, like leaves or branches directly torn from the plant, the window did appear.

His gathering skill worked in a strange way. After he managed to gather manually some parts of a plant, and the info window appeared on it, the skill would highlight the parts of it that could be gathered.

Some plants had glowing leaves, surrounded by a yellow aura. Others had the same light around their stems, or branches.

Even some berries showed the same glint.

He spent some time gathering what he could, and as he did, his Gathering skill increased to level two.

At the same time, another notification popped up in his view.

Skill Level Up! Gathering +1 (2/10)

New Skill Unlocked- Identify (1/10)- Type: Active (Pneuma- 1 SP cost)- Focus on a target to learn information about it

Now, whenever he focused on a plant, or even objects, like stones or fallen branches, he could see a small status window about them.

The skill, when he used it, gave him a weird sensation. Like when the “system” activated for the first time, he felt a tingling sensation at the base of his spine, that rose from it as a wave of heat, rising through it and reaching his head, spreading through the brain into his eyes and from them, back to the brain where it subsided.

The action const him one of those “SP”, skill points, leaving him with none. He noticed that, after roughly ten minutes, the single skill point would replenish itself.

Identify, once activated, lasted roughly two minutes, making Conrad’s eyes feel dry and slightly itchy.

During the time that the skill was “on”, he learned that he could identify several items before the effect wore off.

Being wary of the limitations, he used the skill accordingly.

Some items only had showed a small description when targeted by the skill, like the stones he gathered before, or the wooden branch that he had with him.

Others, especially leaves, mushrooms and fruits, showed a bigger window, where, listed below the plant’s name, it showed some effects.

The berries from a nearby bush, they had a “mild poison” listed under their name. Another plant had

“minor poison” listed as an effect of its leaves.

Most of the vegetation around, was useless if not dangerous.

However, thanks to this new skill, Conrad managed to find some mushrooms that had the “edible” effect displayed, and also some berries with the same property.

He gathered some mushrooms and berries, storing them in a small satchel he made with the largest piece of his late sweater, that he decided to cut with his pocket knife.

<<Huh…so, does not work on this>>

Conrad said out loud, when he tried using the Identify skill on his knife. It showed nothing for it, activating on the nearest object.

Conrad surmised that the knife, being from another world could be not effected by the skill. Again, he surprised himself of how sure he was about that answer, and how well he accepted it as logical.

Shaking his head, he left his thoughts to focus on the task he was doing.

He ripped the rest of the sweater and the shirt, cutting them into strips of tissue that he tied to the branch he carried, so that he could keep his hands free while walking around.

The stones he collected were kept the same way as the leaves, mushrooms and berries, wrapped into a fairly large scrap of cloth that he tied to his belt, dangling from the right side of his waist.

After the gathering spree, he finally proceeded.

He got out of the trees, following the growing noise of flowing water.

Until he found himself before the slow flowing river.

Before heading out of the trees, he looked around, using his new identification skill to see if some animals were in the proximity.

When Conrad saw that the place was clear, he headed out towards the river.

It was large, larger than he expected when he first saw it from atop the hill.

The waters flowed slowly, and they were surprisingly clear. He was glad to spot some fish swimming around in low waters.

Their appearance was a little off, thought Conrad, as the creatures looked like armored version of a proper fish. But, their nature was undeniable. He glared at those slowly smimming figures.

Fish could mean food.

<<If I manage to catch one>>

He muttered, looking at the water in anticipation.

Conrad took some time to observe them, waiting for his lone skill point to regenerate, his eyes darting from the shallow waters to the forest from time to time, as he feared something popping out of the woods.

As the skill point regenerated he immediately used Identify on the swimming fishes.

He grinned, when the skill listed them as edible.

Conrad sat down, undoing the satchel on his right side, preparing himself to attempt crafting a makeshift spear.

He took hold of the branch he was carrying, and realized it was too thick for him to properly use as a spear.

Luckily for him, he noticed that the riverbed around him was basically littered with driftwood, and it took him only few minutes to find two pieces suitable for his needs.

Almost reaching one meter and half in length, relatively straight and hard enough to not break after Conrad swung them, hitting a lone rock to test the pieces of wood.

Satisfied by the results, he sat down and took his pocket knife, starting to work on one extremity of the first stick.

Shaving the wood, Conrad attempted to sharpen it, to craft some semblance of a spearpoint from it.

When he did, another blue window popped up

Success! Crafted- Makeshift Spear (x1, Poor quality, Attack +1)

New Skill Unlocked- Crafting (1/10)- Type: General (Tekna)-Assists in the process of crafting items of general use, bonuses granted with increased skill level

Conrad took a better glance at his work. He was slightly irritated by that “poor quality” that popped up near the spear, but he had no time to argue with an immaterial blue window.

Instead, he headed towards the water, ready to test his newly crafted weapon.

After some time spent ankle deep in cold waters, he shouted in rage.

<<Fuck! This is more difficult than I thought!>>

He muttered, trying to calm himself down. The fishes swimming around in the low water, were too quick for him to stab with his spear.

Moreover, the different refraction index between water and air slightly distorted the image he saw of the fish, leading to more difficulties for him.

He tried again, and again, until he finally managed to graze a fish first, then after few more tries he finally landed a good stab on a large, fat fish.

As the animal thrashed around, it almost broke the makeshift spear, surprising Conrad with its strength.

Still, he managed to yank it out of the water, where he finished the still squirming, wounded fish by hitting a rock on its head.

He took only a quick glance at the blue window that informed him about the fish’s death. He gained no experience from the act, and he felt slightly dissatisfied by it.

Still, he had food, Conrad thought with a satisfied grin. The fish, along with the mushrooms he gathered earlier, would make a nice dinner.

He headed once more towards the water, this time to drink a bit and refresh himself. His body was still dirty with blood and sweat, and he was feeling disgusted by his own smell.

He washed himself as best as he could, thinking about how the lack of soap will make the smell persist on him.

Sighing, he resigned to reek for some time. After all, he thought, soap would be incredibly difficult to make in those conditions.

Still, Conrad felt slightly satisfied by how things had turned out. He managed to find the river, and

now that his dinner was secured, and he had enough clear water to drink from the river, he only needed to find shelter for the night.

Mind Mosaic Status:

Level: N/A

Class: N/A

EXP: -/-

Statistics

Soma: HP 10/10

Strength: 1

Nimbleness: 1

Coordination: 1

Reaction: 1

Pneuma: AP 1/1

Intelligence: 1

Willpower: 1

Tekna: Sp 1/1

Precision: 1

Perception: 1

Titles: N/A

Tiles: 0

Skills

General: Gathering (2/10); Crafting (1/10)

Active: Identify (1/10)

Passive: –

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