I managed to get Pagewyn in the shower, I quickly made some cookies, because I could, before returning to my blogpost once more. Only to discover that I was suffering from writer’s block, which wasn’t a good feeling at all. I cursed, as I do, but then *explosion*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Chapter 3, blurgh woods
‘This is wonderful!’
The voice coming from her bathroom sounded as if on the verge of climax. Nadec snorted in recognition. The satisfaction of a good hot shower is a feeling she knew well enough. It’s one reason why she kept returning to Earth. She loved being in The Other Realm; it felt like home. But she had to admit to herself that certain aspects of the modern world on Earth had its merits, among other things the hygienic options. Especially after spending a lot of time in The Other Realm, where the only option of washing yourself was usually a cold stream, a lake, or nothing at all. Most inconvenient when she was on her period.
Once Nadec had managed to come out of the laughter fit, she’d tried to get more information from Pagewyn. She couldn’t keep the giggles away though. Every time he started talking again, she could see him reciting his list of ridiculous titles. And that always incited another round of mad chuckles. Master of the squares, defender of the triangles, what did that even mean!?
Eventually she gave up and showed him how the shower worked. The wonder on his face at seeing water—and more so at the hot water—coming out of the shower head, had been priceless. Like a little kid going to Disneyland for the first time. Or an adult, for that matter. He had marveled at the metal of many bathroom accessories, shouting out that this castle must be the wealthiest he’s ever seen. Before he could stare at everything in turn, she shoved him into the shower. He would spend the whole day gazing at things if she’d let him, but she had her blog to work on.
She went back to staring at her computer screen while munching on a cookie she’d made right after that. Dragon-shaped, because she could, and dragons are awesome, but unfortunately not real. When she first started skipping to The Other Realm, she’d hoped to see mythical creatures. Turned out they only have weird and unknown ones. She’d given up the hopes of meeting a dragon a long time ago. Kitty hopped off her lap, leaving an empty warm spot where he’d been. She smiled as he stretched, as cute as always. There has to a scientific explanation of why cats are so cute, she thought. The smile dropped when she saw the empty page in front of her.
The cursor was mocking her with its constant blinking. As if impatient to get going. Twenty words. Great, only four hundred eighty more to go. She vaguely wondered if this was going to be the beginning of the end for her blog. Will her twenty four followers now revolt because she missed her deadline again? Bah, they probably hadn’t even noticed. No one was waiting for her posts. That thought did not help her writer’s block at all. And that last one made her stiffen, realising what she’d called it. Well fu— Her couch exploded.
She managed to jump from her chair quickly enough to cower on the ground. Debris landed on top of her, mostly pieces of fabric and wood. Not wasting any time, she grabbed the halberd from its place behind her, changing into her realm-gear in record time.
‘Kitty!’ Panicked, she looked around while slinging the emergency bag on her shoulder. Relief tightened her chest at seeing the grey tabby run towards her, meowing. ‘I know buddy, this sucks.’
She slipped on his harness and put him on her shoulders, grabbed the cookies, and ran to the bathroom to get Pagewyn. Before she got there, he came through the door, his face in shock, water dripping from his wet hair and his body. Naked again.
Nadec shook her head, trying but failing at keeping the nngggh sound in. That man had no right to be so good-looking and wet.
‘Hold on to me,’ she snapped, bending through her knees, moving them against each other while shifting her hands over them. She felt Kitty balance himself, meowing softly. Guilt churned for doing this while his training hadn’t been completed. She hoped he’d be fine during the skipping. It wasn’t the first time, but they’d prepared extensively before.
The next moment they were in the woods, trees all around them. Nadec looked next to her and was relieved to see that Pagewyn had complied to her command. When he let go of her shoulder, he turned around and threw up, falling down on all fours.
‘Sorry buddy, skipping twice in a short period of time can do that to you. Eventually one gets used to it though. Now, where are we?’
Because she had to hurry to get away, she hadn’t been able to pinpoint a precise location. She didn’t recognise anything around her, but that was okay. The woods looked the same almost everywhere anyway. It were the creatures in it which usually told her where she was.
Ah, there we go, she thought, looking at the two creatures lumbering towards them. It appears that we’re in the Blurgh-woods. She urged Wyny to his feet. He stood unsteady but he stood, which was the most important part.
The blurghs running, or stumbling—whatever you want to call it—towards her were about half as tall again as she was, which made them as tall as an average ceiling. Their skin colour imitated a bark, with browns, grays, and even some greens. Nadec felt immense relief at seeing the leaves they used to cover up some body parts; they didn’t always had those and it was too distracting. Their faces were twisted knots and dents, vaguely looking like a human face but you’d need to have a lot of imagination to see it. After stuffing the cookies in the emergency bag and tossing it aside, she grabbed the halberd from her back and shook it, lengthening the shaft.
‘Hey Wyny, I don’t know if you’ve ever fought these guys, but it would be nice if you could give me a hand. I mean, of course I can do it myself but I’ve got to keep an eye on Kitty as well, he’s not trained well enough for it. Here, use this stick.’ She frowned at him as he looked at it in confusion.
‘Hold it out.’ She took a few good swings towards the stick. Her ever-sharp halberd cut through it almost without any resistance.
‘There, just use it now like you would a sword. The trick with these guys is to numb them and they’ll just turn around and stumble elsewhere. Do you see that red-brown coloured area on the side of their body? The one that looks like… you know… a lady’s part?’
She could see him colouring a bit at that and felt oddly satisfied for it. He’s been making me blush often enough already, she thought with a pang of pleasure.
‘Just try to hit that with as much force as you can, and that should do the trick. Oh, but do try to stay away from their—woaah here they are!’
Thank you for listening to Nadec, chapter 3, blurgh woods. Narrated by myself, Nadec. Adventured by and lived through by Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. Before we get to those, [music on background] we just want to say that if you head over to astridjef.com, you can find transcripts and full chapters of this podcast. Even more, you can find the unedited draft of Nadec at least up to 15 chapters further than the podcast goes. So if you’re keen to know how the story continues, you have the option to go and read. Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty
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