More clearly than any one time before, my Senna disapparated into a deeper blackness than the encroaching night, leaving me alone with my father. The two of us were struck silent now, he by her emotional outburst and me by the implication of her departure. It was enough to freeze my heart, the combination of everything that was going wrong right now. I’d misjudged how she would react, and failed to do anything about it. This was the one thing I was supposed to be able to do, and I fucked it up. And the consequence was Senna hurting herself and someone else dying before it was at all necessary.
Her action of leaving was sudden enough to prompt me to stand and move towards her – or, rather, where she had just been – vain as the attempt was. The only result had been me completely spilling the bit of stew I had remaining, staining my leggings. I could hardly even register that much, though, with the guilty thoughts that kept hammering into my brain. I was too reticent about tampering with her emotions when I figured she wouldn’t want it, and I couldn’t help but feel like that made this fall squarely on my shoulders. Logically, I knew that was just a gut reaction, but it was hard to dismiss it with that thought alone.
I wasn’t alone in having bad feelings over this, either. Dad was… incredibly conflicted, at the most basic level, and I could guess why. Rather, it was pretty obvious. Must’ve looked pretty stupid at that moment, just standing here lost in my own thoughts, but I kept thinking. I wanted to comfort him, make him feel better. I also wanted, somewhere inside me, to chastise him and externalize the blame for this happening. He had a hand in it, you know? Misunderstanding what she wanted and then refusing to hear otherwise. Even still, I couldn’t bring myself to talk like that to him, not while his heart was shifting between a few different states of guilt, indignation, and confusion at breakneck speeds.
“I didn’t-” a pause, “-didn’t want to make this happen.” His voice sounded small, like he was trying to convince someone even though I already knew. I heard the sound of an empty bowl being set down, more because of how quiet it was tonight than because I’m good at hearing things, and that, of all things, is what got me to finally turn around to face him. He refused to look at me. Expecting me to blame him here? I was just about to for a bit there, wasn’t I? Nothing would be better if I did that. He didn’t need that.
I wanted to help him. That was my natural reaction to this kind of situation. It always was. How many times did I try to comfort him over the years, now? He made me reassure him over and over again that it wasn’t his fault my mom killed herself, and now he probably expected me to assure him that whatever Senna does isn’t his fault either. In spite of myself, I knew now and I knew all along that he wasn’t intentionally doing this, and I wanted to hate him anyways. I couldn’t say anything. I was just staring at him, not even sure what my expression looked like.
“I should wash the dishes now.” That was all that came out of my mouth after all that time. It hurt him, somewhere in there. I didn’t want to care. Just wash the dishes.
“…Thanks for the meal,” he finally replied, voice strained under the weight of his emotions. Mostly the ones I caused just now. He stood and left for his tent without another word, and I, equally silent, collected our bowls and utensils for washing. It was too late for this, but it would bother me knowing these went uncleaned overnight, so I had little choice with myself.
I had really been banking on Senna offering to help with this, since these would be inconvenient to carry over to the stream all by myself. Luckily only inconvenient, because there was no one I was about to ask for help, and there was no way my father wanted to be around me any more right now. I didn’t want it either. Just taking care of this and being alone would be best for me, and that was important, right? Thinking about how I felt for once. Sure seemed like he wasn’t used to being catered to for once. Why was I so bitter all of a sudden?
God this was such bullshit. Not just the precarious balance of these items being carried around while walking, something that had always made me nervous in spite of the fact that my balance had gotten a lot better thanks to training. Having more things screwed up, whether at my fault or my father’s fault or no one’s, wasn’t what I needed right now. Senna not being here wasn’t what I needed. More and more, lately, I found myself growing to hate those times when I was alone in my thoughts. It was like being forced to do nothing but stare into myself, and right now, all I saw was directionless anger trying to find purchase, drowning out even my worry over her, worry over both what she was about to do and her general situation.
If this was someone else, it’d be easier. If I had kept shoving down every bad thing I kept thinking about the people close to me, it’d be easier. Would just calm them, help them be mindful, all the usual things I did. Now I was the one needing to be reminded of that. Which, I guess I did, just now. Deliberately keeping my breathing steady also helped make me less nervous over my balance, which was still doing fine as I neared my destination. The sounds of a brooke bubbling on its way were pleasant. All the little sounds of nature I was hearing, further from the camp’s ambience, were pleasant and relaxing.
A few people seemed to be clumsily washing clothing very close to where I emerged, which was initially unexpected, given the hour. A second thought made me imagine that everyone’s preparations for leaving again must have them needing to do jobs like this at inopportune times, though. Without even a word of acknowledgement or greeting between us, I consciously positioned myself a ways downstream from everyone else and set to the task of washing out the dishes we used.
Thinking about Senna, hoping for her to come back before the night progressed too far, practically filled my head in spite of every scrubbing motion I fixed my attention on. It only got worse once the job was done. Most of the people near me seemed to have more on their plates – hah, accidental pun – than I did, so I was there and gone again before any but one had left. On the way out, I made sure to tell them not to take much longer, though I doubted they needed me to tell them that. Felt like a necessary part of my job anyways, I guess.
It was getting obvious that I was just a few steps away from spiraling somewhere very unpleasant. Being aware of that didn’t seem to help, either. I just needed to be here, waiting for her to come back and things to be okay again.
I had at least some of my wits about me, regardless of the emotional state that made me do this in the first place. My heart said ‘somewhere, anywhere’, and that impetus is what got me such a great distance in the first conscious moments of my flight. Next came the actual thinking, the part that I never figured out how to choose for. It would take me too long to find survivors that I had not already encountered before, which biased me towards someplace like Seyasta again. They had seen my face there recently, though. I could probably avoid making that a problem, but with my nerves as they were, I just wanted to avoid anything that would make my… my job, I guess, harder than it needed to be.
Somewhere else, then. Celdan was still out, and it would always be out. It was uncomfortable to think about, which just fed into the tangled mess of emotions I had. There were a couple villages I had noticed the last time I aimlessly sped around Faenon, villages with names I had never bothered learning and probably still would not learn. Communities that small were unlikely to have anything resembling transmission capabilities, so I neglected even registering them last time, but now, that was favorable. I supposed it was more favorable for them to continue being so unimportant that even the Yleini had not the time to deal with them, though.
Night was blooming wildly in all the corners of the forest, amplified by the deep cloud cover which my eyes could barely discern as they were. These were the furthest outskirts of the village I had pseudo-randomly selected, and whether it was distance or the rapidly approaching gloom, something had contributed to making things feel preternaturally quiet tonight. Part of that was likely my nerves, forcibly calmed though they were. They had to be, for this.
Now that I was here, I had to make a decision. Thinking that one line got me to stall out again for a brief moment, a state which I recognized and worked to dispel by taking an action. No matter what I chose, I needed to move around unseen, so that was what I started with. As the dark shroud replaced my skin, I idly noted that it had been quite a while since I last used the design. It never was under good circumstances, either. Still… there it was, I guess. Had to adjust my eyes even further just to visually distinguish my body from most of the surroundings.
Slowly, silently, I drifted along, on currents of mutest breeze and between dunes of dark expanse, each location chosen with deliberation out of my present inability to know at a glance whether I would be fully hidden within. Indecision brought me between many huts within a short time frame, an ever riskier activity with the apparent watchfulness of a few would-be guards. Seemed the village was not as sleepy as it first appeared. Isolating one of them for… the thing would be one of the easier options, probably. It might also be one of the more damaging options, at the same time.
A man illuminated by meager lamplight strode past my present hiding spot, a movement easily heard beforehand and giving me more than enough time to simply press myself down behind a nearby pair of barrels. The convenience of open sheds was quite high in these circumstances. Peeking out to stare at him with some presently inert mixture of wondering and trepidation rewarded me with nothing as he turned another corner, vanishing behind the wood of that house with only a speck of light tracing backwards to my field of view, then further, further, and gone.
I did not want to make life harder for these people. Was it too callous and inhuman a train of thought to prefer using someone who was not as useful as others for this? I just wanted to minimize my own impact, however contemptuously it might end up looking. I wanted that to be the case, but every time I thought about it, my heart wavered from one direction to the next, unwilling to decide on a specific course of action or ethical stance on this. Every step of the way, I had wavered and faltered and failed at taking action when everyone and everything said I needed to. Needed to stop being useless.
It was cold tonight. Little indications of the end of summer days approaching, huh. Even the ground was cold. Well, cold and muddy could be typified by several places around here regardless of the time of year. A desire to not step in muck forced me to basically leapfrog over to patches of safe grass as gently and quietly as- and then I laughed inwardly, as the first word I was thinking to use was “humanly” possible. Using a weird, ill-defined kinetic ability to move myself without making noise, that was not exactly normal for people. At least, I had never heard of a normal human mutating something like that. Did I count for making things “humanly” possible still?
Before I could bring myself back to focusing my attention on my problem, a pair of approaching footsteps drew every ounce of my awareness elsewhere. Something as simple as footsteps would have just been cause to evaluate my current location if these were not definitively coming from the direction of the woods’ edge, where I had spied no one prior. Though, of course, I did still check to make sure I would not be seen by whoever that was.
Eyes already adjusted sufficiently, my sight swept over in that direction, showing confirmation for two people marching with evident purpose. They looked decently well armed. My first thoughts were of the Ophentum, but there was no way they were looking for me here, right? Something else had to be happening. Keeping to the shadows and observing whatever their goal was, then, would be best. Yes, yes, it was distracting from what I came here to do, but there was no overt rush. I knew I still had to do it. I knew that.
They had been intercepted by a couple of patrolling villagers, lanterns and dingy swords at hand but not threatened. They all seemed at least passingly familiar with each other, and wasted no words on formalities. Hearing those words required minor tuning, which left off the beginning of one sentence.
“-cial really, but we’ve got a sighting pretty close by. Came here from the outpost to warn y’all,” explained one of the visitants, maintaining a professional air to his slightly effeminate voice.
“Nothing special? So it’s not dangerous?”
“We just don’t know,” answered his companion this time. “Alternates docile and aggressive behavior, and we’re not sure what’s causing it. Since it’s heading this way, we’d like to ask everyone to leave for a while, just until a response team can show up.”
All four of them left after a few last words were exchanged, splitting up and reasonably impatient to take people out of harm’s way. My position behind the nearest structure was uncompromised, and I was quickly left ‘alone’, if one could consider me less alone before. What I certainly was was screwed, when it came to what I had to do. It was hard enough dragging myself out here even with- no, just, fuck it. Could not afford letting myself feel how upset everything was making me. Just needed to shut myself up and look for another equally convenient village, if one still even existed.
I could hear gradually more and more people rushing about, more unintelligible words that must have been those of leaving home. Depressing to think about how they avoided the event that forced almost everyone else to leave their homes, only to be subjected to this kind of constant environment. That line of thought, and the act of leaving the scene entirely, they were both delayed by something similar to what distracted me earlier.
Something else was coming out of the woods. Its bald, pinkish flesh stood out starkly from the surroundings, completely indistinguishable as to whether that was weird skin or legitimate muscle. Not much was easily discernible at this distance, excepting that it was more or less a tall, overly muscular humanoid. It hunched itself somewhat, too, and the motions of its head as it turned this way and that all contributed to the impression of base intellect.
This thing made me uneasy on several different levels. I had not seen anything like it before, for the first and most basic level. Thinking more on it, though, if this thing was so close behind, why were the messengers not more panicked? Or at least alacritous? Did they not know? They had to be the Ophentum, as my first instincts told me, so there was no way they would treat this less seriously than it deserved. At least, I should hope so. They mentioned being unable to pin down its exact behavior and temperament, though, so its movements might also have come as a surprise to them.
Its very next actions worked to confirm my little working hypothesis, as it sprinted madly towards one of the outlying sheds with a speed belied by its hulking frame and awkward stance. There was no perceptible emotion or cause to what it did, and upon arrival, it simply examined the unfortunate remains of the shed it had just demolished by barreling into it with the same feral intelligence as before. I could understand intimately why it would have confused them. Just watching this thing had somewhat captivated me, and I decided on staying longer, at risk of losing even more of my nerve.
The noise it had made crashing down the shed obviously did not go unnoticed, and it was immediately proceeded by sounds from the other direct, of some surprise and at least one audible order to check what that was. If there was going to be more of a scene over here, with light and whatnot, then I needed to evaluate where to move to, yet again. As I did so, the increasing din of movement and terrified voices seemed to draw the attention of the creature, an attention that was indeed terrifying to see leveled at anyone.
Somewhere, a split-second decision was made, and a quarrel lodged itself firmly within the muscle of the beast’s shoulder, prompting a chilling lack of the vocal response one would expect from an injured creature. It worked its intended purpose, though, as its attention shifted from the frightened villagers who were now backing away quickly to the Ophentum members, who had positioned themselves almost directly opposite me.
They were doing exactly their job. Maybe more than their job, since they were not considered a proper response team, but still theirs. Why would I expect myself to jump in first? Why would I feel guilty over it? I was too used to trying to play the hero, even though I kept failing at it. I would just fuck this up too. Let them handle it, their own job. Let them. That would be better than anything I could do.
It charged again, only as loud as the sound of its footfalls for lack of anything resembling a bestial cry. Both of the Ophentum ducked and rolled to the side, decently well coordinated whether it was intentional or not, and they had managed to regain their steady footing in time to let loose another pair of quarrels into their quarry. It was difficult to see at this angle, but it almost appeared as if it had tilted itself just enough so as to guarantee the bolts had hit its arms specifically.
That time they had used to shoot it again turned out to only have been afforded by the thing pausing to extricate the missiles from its own flesh, an effort punctuated by a brutal little tearing sound and something much softer as the discarded bolts fell to the earth. Its nigh-unphased behavior would normally give any opponent pause, but probably owing to their training, the two fighting it did not let that happen. Reloading and firing again happened fluidly, and the speed was just enough to keep it occupied with obsessively clearing its musculature of the projectiles.
Ammunition was not limitless, though. Even if they had reached a sort of weird equilibrium in this situation, it would end as soon as there were no more quarrels to reach for. Both of them had to be wracking their brains for another course of action, as was I. The only reason they would keep doing this would be to stall. They must not have had much in the way of good alternatives, and attempts to hit any particular body part were either unsuccessful randomly or were actively thwarted. Meanwhile, all I could opt to do was edge myself closer, closer, as close as felt safe. Just to keep observing.
More details became apparent as I approached. Of greatest importance was the undeniable fact that the wounds they were inflicting upon it were regenerating as soon as the bolts were taken out. Much more minor were the details concerning its heavy, bony, clawed hands and the fact that it almost looked as if it lacked most of a face, from what I glimpsed during one of its silent turning motions. Only a mouth bristling with predator’s teeth was visible; eye sockets and nose both seemed to have been filled in with the same fleshy skin that covered the rest of it, and its ears were little more than tiny holes in the sides of its head.
With heart-stopping abruptness, one of them ran out of ammo. On the next beat, the other did too, as their total shots equalized. The one nearer the forest immediately began shouting and waving his arms frantically, probably to try and lure its attention away from the village. Instantly understanding her own role, the other promptly drew her dagger to approach from behind. This was a horrifically dangerous game they were playing.
The monster was not playing it with them. Its next charge was faster than anything it had displayed before, catching both of them off guard, and with the momentum, it raked its claws across his chest wickedly, thereafter positioning itself behind him. He stumbled, clutching at the wounds, seemingly staggered but not doomed. Yet. Even while his partner shouted a name, losing her composure to rush over there, another attack was made. He soon sported what had to be a similar wound across his back, painful enough to cause his collapse.
Charging recklessly towards it, the woman aimed her dirk between its eyes, looking for a decisive wound to be struck. Her judgment was obviously impaired. Watching things go down like this was wrenching. With similar speed and similar silence, the creature lunged directly into her attack, jaws opening wide before closing down on her forearm. She screamed sickeningly. Its teeth had separated the two parts of her limb without so much as an ounce of tearing effort, relying entirely on absurd sharpness and strength of bite. Did it swallow that whole?
They were both guaranteed to bleed out and die soon without medical attention, at this point. There was- no, with the way the creature was approaching her, having stumbled back in a panicked frenzy, it was going to kill her before she had a chance to bleed out. The scene had gradually slowed down somehow, as if my mind wanted more time to drink in every horrific detail, while my thoughts were inversely racing. I had no intentions of intervening for something like this originally. It felt like I would just mess everything up somehow if I tried. Something would go wrong, some weird consequence would be wrought, and I would be made into a failure again. That was what made me unable to act, before.
Again, a split-second decision was made, but this time, I was the one who jumped into action without sparing any more of a thought for it. There was not much time for fancy maneuvering in this situation, and I was unsure how exactly to hurt it at the moment anyways, so the biggest priority was getting it away from the two wounded militia. Heat flared beneath my skin, concentrated somehow both within me and within the space directly ahead of me at the same time, and my body was pulled forward surprisingly quickly. Slowly heightening my awareness of what was happening made it work better?
I gracelessly ended up slamming into the side of its body mere moments before it would have slashed at the woman’s throat. Inelegant as it was, the sheer force knocked it off its feet and left me in a very awkward position. Reversing what I did earlier in a way, I tried stabilizing myself by reversing my momentum, but it would have just ended with me falling on my ass if I had not ceased using it and instead planted one foot behind me. There seemed to be very little finesse in moving myself like that, to the point that I wondered how I had been pulling this off at all before.
“Get up and get your friend somewhere else!” I yelled, voice somewhat raw with no attention allocated to correct it. Only a glance was spared to see if she had registered what I said; she seemed almost entirely out of it, likely due to shock, and the result was a blank stare directly at my face. I needed to either disable the creature before going back and bringing these two to into the village so someone could treat them, or I needed to kill this thing very, very quickly. The problem was that if I tried to disable it and it proved ineffective, I would have wasted precious time in the process.
Both options had bad potentialities, and if I spent enough time weighing exactly which one was more likely to work out, they would die. Had to pick something, now, and stick with it. I had no idea what this thing’s vulnerabilities could be, but crushed limbs should impair anything, and that logic was what made me decide my course of action. By now, the creature had righted itself and was appraising me with the same unnerving demeanor as before. Rather than give it any opportunities, I needed to act.
Over this much shorter distance, the same method of accelerating myself towards it was even harder to control; my best bet was clumsily putting that momentum to use by hitting it directly during said movement. At least the result was undeniably, sickeningly potent, the beast’s arm which had been raised in self defense cracking and quivering under that force. Attempting to stop myself in place at the conclusion of my attack caused the grass below us some havoc, though, as the dirt was kicked up madly by my reckless use of strength.
This thing was well reinforced. With as much effort as I put in just then, I expected a more total debilitation of that limb, as unpleasant as that would have been to feel. Letting up on it now would be a waste of my effort and, more importantly, my invaluable time, so I sprung for a second hit, using my leg this time. I had already gauged that I needed to hit it even harder. With that in mind, I swept a kick towards the side of its shin, focusing as much of that energy as I could on just moving that part of my body. One could argue that this was not the time for me to try getting used to this relatively new ability, since I still had ones that were far more familiar to me available, but this was the only ‘training’ I ever knew.
Fuck. It was not time for my mind to wander, if anything. This result was the same as last time: obviously damaged but not disabled. I had not put enough force into it? Maybe it could heal its bones slower than its muscles, though. Just as the creature was staggering from the blow to its left leg, I sent an uppercut straight into its jaw, hopefully culminating in stunning it for long enough to do something. That one, at least, was just using a stronger design rather than toying around with this weird energy, if only so I could stop thinking about it and focus.
The girl needed to get helped first, I believed. Turning on a dime, I rushed back to where the two of them were located, this time refraining from overdoing it so I did not accidentally harm them just by moving. She seemed to have passed out due to some combination of blood loss and shock already, which meant I was right to be faster about this. I scooped her into my arms as gingerly as I could, trying not to jostle her too much, and my subsequent scramble into the village proper was tempered by the same worry. Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly, it looked like everyone was hiding. Or, wait, did they leave as commanded while we fought that thing?
No, thankfully not, as someone opened their door to me after a few moments of looking around. The aged man and what was probably his family behind him all stared at me with something like fear and concern, concern very firmly directed at the bleeding woman I carried.
“W-we have bandages, and-”
“Thank you,” I cut him off, passing the girl to them as hastily as I felt I could before turning and speeding back whence I came. Rude or not, there was still someone to save there.
Blurred movement passed in the space ahead of me, past the village structures, and worry strangulated me in that moment. It was already recovered fully enough to move at its former speed. And it got there before me. No matter how fast I wanted to move, it was there. All I could do was behold, in perfect clarity, the moment it sunk its oversized teeth into the flesh of the man I was unable to save in time. It. Feasted. Ravenous, or desperate. My body was boiling alive, the energy screaming for me to use it as it bubbled up into and out through my skin.
Somehow, I had reached it in the intervening time, and I could not call to mind deciding to go there. Not consciously. Something slashed at it through my skin, dozens of spines in a wave that tore into the flesh of its presently-hunched back. Though my arm aided the attempt, there was the distinct movement of those spines apart from that of my body, as if they were directly, independently moved. Another type of instinct kicked in as the thing reached back to swipe at its sudden assailant, and I broke its arm inwards at the elbow with time to spare. I wanted it dead.
Stop. Look. Its back was healing at the same speed as before, which I had not expected. Eating for fresh material to regrow with made sense, but did it have no effect? I had to think like that right now. I would have lost it completely at this point if some part of me were not used to trying – vainly, in the end – to keep my emotions suppressed. What had become an inferno in my chest just a moment ago had quieted down to healthy embers, now, and with it went the bizarre side effects it had on my powers. Shut up. Half a second or more wasted thinking about that.
With a surge of inhuman vigor, the thing pushed itself backwards, directly into me. Trying to knock me over? I could feel a reaction from the energy, an itch to sprout a multitude of spines to impale it on during its own action, but it was left alone. Wasting more time on something I obviously had insufficient experience with would irritate me. The sidestep that followed was entirely under a rational, physical apparatus, and I was left beside the creature with perfect opportunity. Peeling back the layers of muscle in my arms and legs, I reconstructed them as strong as this frame could handle – no innovation in this design – before delivering as brutal a kick as possible to the thing’s torso. It was sent flying.
The angle of attack left its impact dangerously close to the village, a fact I wanted to curse myself for. Thankfully, if anyone was watching this display, they seemed to be doing so from the relative safety of one of the buildings; no one was visible outside, at the moment. As the creature slammed uncontrollably into the edge of another exterior shed, rendering the entire thing slanted and barely standing, I leapt at it. Its short-lived attempt at righting itself was cut down by another blow, one that finally collapsed the entirety of the shed beside us.
I could feel several bones in its shoulder break under the force. Disgustingly resilient skeleton. Now I stood over it properly, able to keep it pinned down and incapacitated through its high recovery speed. Even as I constructed a pair of bone-blades extending from my wrists with which to carve into it, I had to wonder how it kept going like this. No, focus; it was more important to think about a possible weak point, like the Yleini soldiers ended up having. Wait…
Taking no chances, I sent my foot crushing downwards onto the side of its head, cracking the skull in several places and likely causing some brain damage. Minor damage was not enough for this, though, and with the skull’s structural integrity more or less out of the way, I slashed clean through the monster’s brain, leaving the head in two grisly sections. Unpleasantly morbid though it was, I took to observing the body, still keeping myself in position to restrain it if it somehow recovered from this too.
Just as I suspected and feared, the regenerative effect had completely ceased once its brain had been destroyed. As far as I could tell, it was identical to the Yleinic ability, and that is what was so worrisome about my suspicion. I had never seen anything except myself capable of regrowing biomass regardless of whether it had a source or not before the invasion happened. There was no way this was simply some astronomical coincidence. Okay, there was some way it could be, but that would be stupid to assume.
There were a few possibilities for this. This particular creature could have some way of assimilating traits like that into itself, and it consumed an Ylein at some point? I had no idea how this ability worked, though, so that was a weak option. The more logical option was downright chilling. If it was not due to action on this beast’s part that it obtained this, then it was due to something or someone else’s. It was infused with Yleinic regeneration deliberately.
An alchemist was making these monsters, and whoever they were, they had access to Ylein corpses. That was the only other option I could come up with, the only one that made sense with how much information I had, and one that I dreaded the implications of. The Ophentum had to have considered the possibility already, but I had no idea what, if anything, they were doing about it. I had no idea what they could do about it. If this was an experiment, then it probably meant much more dangerous creatures were on the horizon.
A door creaked open slowly, somewhere in the village. I barely heard it. Someone was moving outside. Finally figured that the threat was dealt with? I mean, they would be correct, but I dreaded that, too. Had no desire to be seen any more than I already had been. As it was, there might be unforeseen consequences from this, and I just had no idea how to handle all the possible reactions and questions they might have.
They would probably ask why I failed. I killed that man, basically. Let him die, chose to half-ass it and get the other one out of harm’s way while he was left to bleed. They would be right to hate me for that. Every time I try to do anything, I fuck it up in some way, and people die. People die no matter what I do. They would have died quicker if I had done nothing, though. The girl would not still be alive. Was she still alive? She was bleeding a lot. I might have fucked up and gotten her killed too. Probably did.
On top of all that, I had gotten completely distracted from the original reason I came here. I was supposed to… to deal with the curse. Before it became more of a problem. I failed and could not even accomplish that much. Now there was no way I was doing anything more in this village. That thing I killed looked pretty humanoid, but banking on that of all things counting would be a critically dangerous bet to make. I needed to leave.