Drift’s Odyssey: Chapter 2
First stop, the hunter’s forest, Bowser says. It’s not far and we can take a short cut across the desert to get there a bit faster.
Isn’t the hunters forest supposed to be home to the greatest hunter the world has ever known? Asks Drift.
Yeah that’s why they call it the hunters forest Bowser replies.
Drift looks nervous. Doesn’t the hunter have hordes of spirits at his command, spirits of all the animals and people he’s killed? Drift asks.
Yea why? Bowser responds.
Isn’t that terrifying to you? A huge forest filled with spirits that can keep track of your every move and attack you until their master, the greatest hunter of all time decides he is ready to kill you. Says drift.
No, I already died once, I can’t die again, it should terrify you though. Bowser says.
Drift rolls his eyes.
I am just kidding Bowers says, we are a lot stronger now than we were before, plus we have the shield stone relic and Rain.
What am I going to do, I am stuck in a fishbowl! Rain’s voice boomed from inside the fanny pack.
We’ll you can teach us some new tricks for starters and maybe you could even lend us some magic to recharge our mana or relics. Our little journey for the sword stone is really just a side quest, this won’t take long at all. So, a little magic seems like a fair price for transport to Diamond lake. Bowser said controlling Drift’s mouth.
I really hate when you do that Drift interrupted.
Fair trade! I am riding in a fishbowl inside this knuckleheads’ fanny pack. You should be paying me!! Rain screamed. Of course, if he dies I’ll never get to Diamond lake so I’ll help, but just so my chauffeur here doesn’t kick the bucket. She continued in a much calmer, more level tone. How about this, she closed her eyes and summoned up a large glowing ball of energy and sent it into Drift’s chest, right at his heart. He felt a surge of energy similar to holding the shield stone pulse through his body.
I think our mana bar just got a bit bigger Bowser exclaimed.
That’s right, Rain replied. You’ve just been powered up. I won’t be any good in a fight on land so this is the best I can do for now.
The trio continued their journey past the far side of Shimmer lake into the foothills and down to flat lands. The trees thinned out making way to a patchy field of dry grasses and low brush. The grass and brush quickly gave way to sand and dirt as they pushed on.
Ok, just a half day’s walk across the desert and a new forest should spring from the horizon and stretch up the base of Mt. Erol. That’s the Hunter’s forest where we will find the sword stone, Bowser directed.
This won’t be easy Rain thought to herself. Boys I can already tell this is going to be a lot harder than Bowser has been making it out to be. I can feel an uncomfortable energy in this desert, just getting to the Hunter’s Forest is going to be a challenge. Why don’t I teach you a new trick before we get too far? She asked.
Is it finger guns? Can it be finger guns? Please let it be finger guns. Drift said excitedly.
Drift, what kind of animal am I? Rain asked.
You’re a fish. Drift answered.
Ok, do fish have hands and fingers?
No, they have fins or flippers. Drift responded not following Rain’s line of questioning.
Right again, last question…HOW COULD I BE TEACHING YOU FINGER GUNS IF I DON’T HAVE FINGERS!!!??? Rain shouted loudly.
A slightly embarrassed look came across Drift’s face as he looked down towards his feet. You don’t have to be so mean about it he mumbled, I just really want to have finger guns. I mean finger guns seem like a pretty basic magic fighting skill, it’s not my fault you don’t have fingers. Use your fins then, fin guns would be fine, they would look pretty silly, but fin guns would still be fun. Drift rambled on barely audible as he slowly pushed sand around with his feet, still staring straight down at the ground.
You done moping over there sunshine? You dogs can be so dumb and so sensitive. Finger guns do seem like a lot of fun, I’ll give you that, but you’ll have to be able to control your magic before you can go shooting it out of your fingers. I mean think about the mess you’ll be making if you can’t control the magic. You only have two hands, there isn’t a lot of room for error. So let’s start by concentrating your magic around something that isn’t part of your body first. See that stick over there by the rocks, go fetch, Rain continued with a smile.
Drift rolled his eyes and walked over to the stick slowly. Yay a stick, Drift said mockingly. What’s this going to do for us? It’s only about as thick as my thumb and as long as my arm. I can probably only get three good hits on an eraser cat before it breaks. I am sure it will sting a bit but I don’t think three hits is going to do much.
You’re right that stick alone won’t do a whole lot but if I can teach you to channel our magic through it, you’ll be able to wield it like a sword and even blast magic from its tip, explained Rain. Drift’s demeanor changed as a smile pushed his jowls up and out. Good I can see you’re catching on, Rain said as she watched his smile grow. So, let’s begin, have you ever seen Star Wars, she asked? Already knowing the answer. Of course, you have you’re a nerd, that sort of sci-fi fantasy would be right up your ally. This should be easy then, but to make it even easier for a dog of your intelligence, Bowser and I are going share some more of our magic with you. Drift I want you to imagine that stick is a light saber, just like Yoda’s. Concentrate on pushing all the energy you feel in your body into the hand holding the stick. Then imagine that energy extending up from the handle to the tip, it might even help to imagine the sound, hear it in your head, see the glow of the blade. Do you think you can do that?
Drift nodded yes; eyes wide with excitement. I always wanted a light saber, I am gonna cut so many cats in half, he thought to himself.
It won’t work like that knucklehead, Bowser barked from within. At least not yet, you need to get past step one before you can make a magic blade strong enough to cut an eraser cat in half with one chop. Even then it will probably only work on the little ones. I’ve seen some full-grown eraser cats; they are as big as you and I. Some even wear armor that will protect them from physical and magical attacks.
I almost forgot you were there, Drift replied with a groan of disappointment. Ok so all I have to do is think really hard to make this stick into a lightsaber?…Awesome. Well here goes nothing Drift said…lightsaber, lightsaber, lightsaber. As Drift focused hard on the stick, he started imagining himself as a Jedi Knight deflecting blaster fire from storm troopers and slicing droids in half. As his imagination started to run wild Drift could feel his paws getting warm and he noticed a bright blue glow shoot up the length of the stick, he really could almost hear the hum of a light saber in his head.
HOLY POOP, I cannot believe this actually works; this is AMAZING! Drift howled. Can I hit something with it? What can I hit? What will this do? Drift’s mind was racing so fast he could hardly get his words out right.
Slow down Drift and look around, Bowser said. We are on the outskirts of a desert there isn’t a lot around here. But there are a couple of shrubs over there, stay focused and head over and give it a swing, just pretend the shrubs are droids.
I forgot you were in there for all of that, Drift said slightly embarrassed.
Don’t be embarrassed, it’s great really, I thought it would have taken you hours to get this far but Star Wars really came through. Go hog wild master Jedi this is all you. Bowser said.
Honestly, he’s right I thought you’d never get it but nerdy sci-fi movies really came in handy, Rain added from her bowl.
Before Rain finished her statement, Drift was slashing the nearby shrubs into clippings, he couldn’t stop smiling. This really is amazing you guys, how long will this last? Drift asked still chopping shrubs with enthusiasm.
Probably not that much more, I can already feel our magic running low Bowser said. Maybe 5 or 6 more swings before it’s just a normal stick but as we get stronger, we will be able to keep it going longer. Do me a favor Drift, stop chopping for a minute and save what we have left so we can try blasting something, Bowser said. Good, ok now remember how your hand started to feel warm before the magic engulfed the stick? I want you to go back to that, focus on the stick and focus on pouring your energy into the stick just like before, except instead of molding it into a lightsaber I want you to hold it back. Hold it as long as you can until you hand is hot, almost burning, then let it shoot up the stick and out like a blaster. You have to time this right though, if you wait too long you could blow you hand off. If you let go to soon you will waste a lot of our magic.
Can there be something we do that isn’t always risking life or limb Drift asked.
Nope. Bowser and Rain responded in chorus.
Drift closed his eyes and focused real hard, imaging himself like Han Solo blasting bounty hunters in an alien cantina. He could feel his hand getting hotter and hotter until it felt like he was holding a hot coal. When he couldn’t stand it anymore, he let the magic shoot out of his hand and up the stick, it blasted out with a pop exploding the bushes in front of him, leaving a smoldering pile of branches and leaves. Drift was so excited he felt like crying.
Drift’s excitement was short lived as a group of eraser cats seemed to appear out of thin air materializing out of the heat rising from the edge of the desert. This group was much scarier than the eraser cats they had encountered before. There was a full-grown cat walking up right on two legs it was about as tall as Drift, just slightly narrower and it was flanked by two smaller eraser cats.
They must have sensed us using our magic, we are going to have to be more careful, Rain’s voice broke the silence, snapping Drift and Bowser from their moment of shock. That practice used almost everything we had too. Drop the stick, you’ll have to rely on your paws for now. I’ll try to build up enough magic to use the focus blade again but it’s going to take some time. Now get ready you two, she yelled.
Drift was shaking from fear but he found his courage when he saw the large eraser cat was carrying a large pack on its back and he could smell food on the air. He bent his knees and squinted his eyes as the small eraser cats rushed at him. Punch, punch, kick, pop. One by one he fought them off only taking a few scratches along the way. As the puff from the second cat cleared Drift noticed the large eraser cat was almost on top of him and it was holding a focus blade of its own. Drift dropped to all fours and ran like a puppy fetching his favorite stick. He dove jaws first, sliding on his belly to grab his stick with his mouth. As Drift scooped the stick up with his teeth, he jumped to two feet, spinning around into a fighter’s stance holding his stick with two hands like a real lightsaber. In his mind Drift could see and hear his saber igniting, he ran at the eraser cat and swung with all his strength. The eraser cat brought its sword up blocking his blow and slicing Drift’s stick in two. WHAT!!!? Drift barked.
No magic yet knucklehead, try checking your stick before rushing into battle, I never said I was ready Rain yelled. We are going to have to figure out something quick or this is going to be a really short adventure. If you hadn’t blasted that bush earlier, we’d at least have a stick to work with. Look around for something we can focus our energy around, I am almost ready to go, Rain continued.
Drift looked around frantically as he turned to run from battle. His eyes searched the ground for anything he could grab but there wasn’t anything but sand. He looked down at his paws and spun quickly to face the eraser cat that was following him.
Don’t even think about it, Bowser’s voice rang in Drift’s head.
It’s our only choice, are you read yet Rain? Asked Drift.
Yes, but we don’t have anything to focus on. Rain replied.
Before she could finish, Drift was aiming his left paw pointer finger outstretched at the eraser cat. He focused everything he had on building up magic and blasting it out the tip of his finger. With a pop and a howl the magic blasted from his finger knocking the eraser cat to the ground unconscious. Finger gun, Drift said triumphantly.
That was pretty awesome Bowser said, but your finger is on fire right now and I am pretty sure you’re missing part of it.
Drift howled and screamed, thrusting his paw into the sand to put out the fire. Do you think it will grow back he asked with a panicked voice.
I doubt it, magic injuries like that usually don’t heal like other injuries. No time to worry about it now though, no telling when that cat will wake up. Bowser said. You better get over there and punch it in the face and send it packing.
Is no one going to address the fact that besides the stick incident this knuckle head just ran around like a superhero. I mean honestly, I didn’t think he had it in him, Rain broke in. Where the halibut did all that come from Drift? She asked.
Drift approached the incapacitated eraser cat nervously. Pulled back his right arm and punched it right in the face. With a pop and swirl of smoke the cat popped out of existence leaving his backpack and focus blade behind.
You two really couldn’t smell it? This backpack is full of food, I could smell it before I saw the stupid cats. Smells like chips, cheese, and jerky, chicken jerky, I think. Drift was talking but all his focus was on rummaging through the bag searching for food. Jackpot, he said with a smile. Not to mention we got a real sword now too; I mean this thing is much better than a stick. Drift swung the sword around making whooshing sounds with his mouth.
I can’t believe the fate of the universe rests with this knucklehead, he’s a complete idiot, Rain complained.
Ohhh shiny Drift blurred out, completely oblivious to Rain’s comment. What is this thing?
In his hand Drift held a shiny sphere it was translucent and looked to be made of glass, but it felt much heavier and thicker. Inside the sphere there was a glowing liquid filling about half of the empty space. It moved like a liquid unless you shook the sphere then, whatever was inside acted more like snow in a snow globe. Splitting up into tiny pieces and floating down to the bottoms before joining back together.
Seriously though this ball looks pretty cool and magical, what the heck is it he continued.
It’s a cirafilt. Bowser said with amazement.
Ahh what?. A s-ear-a-fill-t Drift slowly pronounced the word, feeling less and less confident as he went on. You just made that up, didn’t you? It’s just a shiny snow globe.
It’s a cirafilt, a magic container, a focus jar. You can use it to store magic and refill your strength when you need it. There are only a few in existence as far as I know, Bowser explained. Amazing he mumbled looking at the ball. We’re going to have to empty it, if you use someone else’s magic, and it wasn’t given to you willingly, it will blow up in your face. We need to be careful though you can’t just pour the eraser cat magic out anywhere there is no way to know what it might do. We need to dump it onto an item, it will make whatever we pour it on stronger as the item absorbs the magic energy.
What about this sword? Drift asked. Can we pour it on the sword to make it stronger?
That’s probably the best place for it, that sword doesn’t look too strong, it’s probably not much better than that stick you had, Bowser replied. Lay the cat’s sword on the ground, then take the cirafilt…
Can we just call it a focus jar? Drift interrupted.
You really are a knucklehead, Bowser replied. Then take the “focus jar”, Bowser continued sarcastically, and rub the top of it in a counterclockwise motion, it should open up. Once it opens slowly pour the contents out onto the full length of the sword, not just the blade. The magic should make everything it touches a bit more durable.
Drift did as Bowser said, the magic flowed out of the focus jar like honey, slow and thick. As it poured on the blade it slowly soaked into the weapon disappearing as it went. For a moment the blade glowed bright then dimmed as the magic soaked in.
That should do it, Bowser said. Now put the focus jar in your fanny pack Rain or I can fill it with magic as we go, that should give us some reserves in situations like this. Now we have to keep moving, we have to stay focused on stopping Dr. Time.
The three passed through the desert without too much trouble, popping small eraser cats as they went. They arrived at the edge of the Hunter’s forest just before nightfall.
We shouldn’t go any further tonight, heading into the Hunter’s forest, tired at dusk is a bad idea. Let’s see if we can find some fallen trees at the edge of the forest. Bowser and I should be able to whip up somewhere to sleep if we have some wood Rain said.
Really? You guys can make a house out of some fallen trees? Drift asked.
Who said we were making a house knucklehead? At best we might make a shed or a strong lean-to, but it will keep us out of the elements for the night. Rain responded. Alright Bowser take over knucklehead here and help me get this thing built so we can get some rest. With that Rain and Bowser worked their magic turning some logs and a fallen tree into a small doghouse like structure where for them to sleep in.
Very funny you two Drift yelped. A doghouse, ha ha.
As the sun dropped behind the canopy of the nearby forest Drift couldn’t help but wonder what lay ahead of them. It hadn’t been that long since his journey had started and he already learned some basic magic skills, fought eraser cats of varying sizes and found a magic relic. He felt proud and confident but at the same time he was scared and hungry.
The night set in like with a cold wet wind that smelled like fallen leaves and dark soil. It was almost silent, broken every so often by the creaking of the trees as they bent in the cold wind or the occasional bird call. Drift fell asleep, curled tight into one corner of the doghouse, Rain sleeping in her bowl next to him. It would be an uneasy sleep, filled with strange dreams of eraser cats and illusive hot dogs.