Dragonborn Chapter 334: Gains
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“How is your hearing now? Is your voice coming without a problem?”
“Yes, thank you. A… little… better.”
“Good, kid. Don’t be rash just yet. One more session and you will be just fine.”
Jon nodded and left the ‘Hag’s Cure’ going back to the Warrens. He was a large person and was known in the Warrens as someone who can launch people with a slap, none would stand in his way but some would still try to act as his underlings like annoying pests. Jon was only busy meditating anyway.
His mood was clear and set on a series of goals, getting healed up, getting rid of those vines and finally, finishing the Third Labour. But before one gets revenge, one must fill his growling belly.
Jon went out to the market and found some clean food stall and here it comes. Jon is a picky eater even if it is the apocalypse and had high standards in food, a habit that reincarnated with him.
Jon took the best food he can get and walked up the city to a certain spot. There some beggars and miners would go and pick a seat to the anticipated performance. It was under the balcony of the Temple of Dibella, the Goddess of Love, Art and Beauty. Every few nights, the Priestesses of Dibella would gather up at the Balcony with the Sybille of Dibella to perform a musical prayer to Dibella. While only some of the female members of the Cult of Dibella can attend these prayers, no one else is allowed. Still, the beggars are the only ones who get to sit under the balcony and listen.
Jon also wanted to hear the music. He went up the stairway to the temple and walked around the cliff to the area where the beggars sit. He saw a few beggars already up here yet one glance at the giant made them run like ants.
Jon didn’t mean to scare them but it was not bad anyway. He can pick the comfiest rock to set on.
Back on the balcony, the priestesses were gathering on wooden chairs lined up in a circle. They weren’t many of them but from the way they spoke to someone, Jon realized that there is someone important among them.
“We are honored that you joined us this night for the hymn, my lady, but aren’t you going to get tired. You still haven’t recovered yet.” a priestess spoke.
“It is okay, Senna. If I don’t go out, the little one won’t go out. See, she is so scared of people.”
“But… my lady. Since when did we start to pick up homeless kids? Shouldn’t you at least sent to the steward of the keep to enlist her to the orphanage?” Senna seemed protesting.
“Senna, that’s enough.” another voice joined the conversation.
“The words of the Sybil of Dibella are the words of Dibella. Don’t argue a lot. Now, let’s start. Here, little one. You can play with that drum, don’t break it.”
The priestesses ended their conversation and started playing calm and beautiful music. Jon felt peaceful listening to it and he took some of his warm food and ate quietly and started thinking of what happened last time he heard music.
*Two months ago*
Surprising himself and shaming any other living organism on Tamriel, Jon survived for a full month in that tree. Even though he should have died from hunger and thirst, even though his muscles should have got badly damaged and blood stopped flowing in them from the way he was put in the tree, even though he should have bled too much to live, even though the Briarheart tree should have sucked his life force and turned him into a lifeless husk of a corpse, he still managed to live.
Seeing something unbelievable, the Hags and the Forsworn were at their wit’s end. They tried to kill Jon multiple times during the last month but he was too much to deal with. Ordinary weapons can’t hurt his skin, Nettlebane can kill him but even the cursed blade can’t make him bleed anymore. Just how much terror can that Nord give them? As their last attempt, Alaric stabbed Jon at the heart but Jon didn’t die.
Jon kept looking down Alaric who was traumatized that day.
The Hagravens then had to step in and seal Jon along with the tree. They couldn’t understand what Jon was so they kept everyone clear from him. Jon got into their heads without even doing anything.
‘Well, at least they didn’t behead me… ignorant savages.’
Just how on Nirn could Jon not bleed to death, getting an organ failure or surviving a stab to the heart?
The answer was not simple at all. Jon himself was the most impressed one as he knew the secrets behind all that. Knowing the truth behind the trick can sometimes be underwhelming but Jon was impressed with his progress.
To survive, he needed energy and he happened to be surrounded by his favorite source, the Vital Padomic Energy. To empower his human machine, he needs food, food becomes energy in the cells but there were various kinds of energies in the body but the most important one is the Essence Energy that comes from the soul. To keep his system alive, Jon started a trial and error process on how to distribute his Essence Energy on the cells. It was tedious work at first but he later felt his body condition feel better.
How to acquire more energy was all depending on the Briarheart Tree. Jon kept absorbing the Vital Padomic Energy that was assaulting him and replenished his Essence Energy. The Briarheart Tree also managed to absorb some of Jon’s Essence Energy but he was superior in the term of manipulating energy. He was only relying on the tree trimming to assaulting him because he can’t cast a spell to absorb the Padomic Energy it has, if the tree was not a mindless being, it should have known better and stopped attacking him let him die from the lack of energy.
The next problem that Jon met was the bleeding, he couldn’t stop the hags from stabbing him every day to get some ‘God Blood’ on the tree. He was really annoyed with it and replenishing the blood with Essence Energy was a pain.
The answer to that was trying to achieve an inner control over his blood. He went deeper with his meditating, deeper than wherever he went before and started unraveling the mysteries of the human body. He started concentrating on the regeneration of the cells and how can he control things that he never controlled before. His research was simple and crude but very fruitful. He learned the ways of the blood and how to manipulate it inside his body, how to stop the flow, how to hasten it, how to avoid certain blood vessels all together and even how to detect any harmful microorganisms inside the blood.
Just like that, when the Hags tried to cut him for blood, only a few drops fell and nothing else happened.
In his free time of fighting off the tree’s energy and cultivating it inside him, Jon’s research went further and allow him to control some parts of his body that were impossible to control like how to move his organs from inside. Shifting his heart’s place was the secret why he didn’t die when Alaric stabbed him where the heart should be.
The body has two kinds of organs, those which follow the will of the person and those which are programmed to do their thing. Jon can now control most of those organs and skillfully too. This was also the secret of how he avoids Muscle Atrophy.
By that point, the Hags started to think that Jon is an immortal and started to use some magic on him which posed him no threat. The Hags used the [Hedge Magic]. Magic that doesn’t fall under any school of Magic and was quite famous between the Orcs and the Reachmen. The term ‘Hedge Magic’ can describe any unusual forms of magic that are not widely used in the community of Mages. Jon, being the Magic Genius he is, observed the ‘Hedge Magic’ with all its Wrong Practices and Strange Hex. He started to get a basic idea around it too.
It was simply magic practiced in a mix of primal and ancient ways containing many lost secrets in the art. Jon saw some aspects of Necromancy, Prison Magic, Blood Magic, Curses, Voodoo, Astral Protections, Sacrificial Ritual and Chanting Rites and many things. The hags would sing scary songs and make tricky spells and command hidden forces. Jon was simply impressed by his captors for a while until he unraveled most of the mysteries and then lost his interest.
All this and that happened in the last month. His visitors we’re barely anyone interning too. The only person who would come was Grosh. Jon stopped seeing him as a freak once he learning that he was transformed from a normal kid to such a creature by the Hags. Not even aware of his own age, Grosh always acted like a kid and would bring kids to play in the Briarheart Grove too.
The Forsworn always lived this way anyway. Jon didn’t care about them and would kill them as soon as he gets the chance to do so.
And like that, a month passed. From the Hags to Grosh and Alaric, to the kids that play with Grosh, Jon had no visitor interesting enough for him to open his eyes to… or at least that was the case until someone finally decided to visit.
“Oh, old friend. You look like a mess.” A Black Serpent appeared before Jon.
Jon raised his head and grinned.
“You… should… have seen… the other… guys.”
The serpent wasn’t taken aback as it had seen how Jon descended on a Forsworn army and killed them.
“Planning to leave any time soon?”
“Not…yet. Need… some help.”
“And help, I shall offer.”
The black serpent turned into a black fox and leaped on the Briarheart Tree then reached a gap and flowed in like a liquid.
“There are some things you need to know.”
“Yeah… Welcome… back, Shadow.”
*Present Time – Eastmarch, Eldergleam Sanctuary*
Lokthur flew away to play away from the sanctuary as Alina walked in. The Acolytes of Kyne that were stationed around the area all recognized Alina and Lokthur and withdrew immediately from the sanctuary. The Sybil of Kyne was officially their spiritual leader so it was natural to bother her or her annoying family but it was known around Skyrim what happened to Jon and how Alina was carrying all the burdens after he disappeared.
As she was sure that Lokthur and the Acolytes are away, Alina took off the [Fire Keeper Mask] and her flawless face and red ruby eyes were revealed.
‘How beautiful can a girl be?’ One may ask. Well, beauty is a gift from God as anything else so there is no fixed scale. With that, it is safe to say that despite being the Sybil of Kyne, Dibella has done one hell of a job on Alina.
But today that beauty was clouded by a lot of sadness. Alina, who suppressed her tears all that time, sat on the side of the pond at the center of the sanctuary and rest her head on a root of the Eldergleam.
She started remembering all her favorite times with Jon like how they got on the wrong foot when they met for the first time and how bad she was defeated when she challenged him on the title of the Nurina’s Legacy Apprentice, there was that time when her face veil fell and a fight almost broke between her overprotective father and Jon over her, they times they fought for Winterhold together, the travels they had together, the places, the study, the drinking, the sex, the strange stuff he showed her. Now that all this was gone, bitterness only took its place.
She didn’t know why but her memories came in that order.
Burdened by all that, her chest got tightened. She stood up and undid her dress and it fell around her feet.
Her graceful figure was revealed to no man’s eyes other than Jon’s and she touched her sides as he liked to cuddle with her all night missing his touch and teasing. Waving around her hair that reached her knees, Alina jumped in the water.
The water was cold but not too cold, it gave her the comfort she needed. The world underwater was calm and slow, it could contain all her thoughts and worries. She felt like it wouldn’t hurt if she stayed under the water for a little longer, just a little bit of that peace.
“Sadly, you will hurt yourself if you don’t breathe.”
Not sure how, a voice talked to her from behind her shoulder. Alina panicked and jumped out of the water standing on its surface by her [Frost Steps] spell.
Magic was ready to be cast at whoever appears and soon someone appeared. From the pond she was diving in, another woman appeared and rose from the water looking at Alina.
Alina couldn’t process how can anyone look at her in the eye without getting harmed but just some time ago when she met Alfe Fyr, the latter made eye contact with Alina and felt a little tingle. Jon was as special as Alina if not more and Alfe was insanely powerful, this meant that the woman in front of Alina right now is as strong as Alfe at the very least.
‘I must run!’
Why would someone so strong sneak up on her if not for bad intentions? Alina stomped on the water and pushed a strong Frost force on the woman before jumping away.
The woman panicked but as soon as the attack reached her, it went through her without a touching her at all.
“A Space Mage?”
Alina was stunned but she knew she was in trouble if a space mage chased her, she needed to hinder the woman for enough time then run out of the detection range.
She manipulated the water with Telekinesis and used it to make a cage and froze it with Essence Energy. Even a space mage can’t walk through that.
This was all done as Alina was performing textbook footwork on the water and jumped away to land on one of the large roots of the Eldergleam tree. She picked her dress and was about to run but suddenly, the root moved on its own and threw Alina away.
“Geez! I said stop moving! And it is rude to step on someone’s root in their home. Didn’t anyone teach you that?” The woman who was caged in a frost cage destroyed it by moving the root while shouting at Alina.
Alina has already landed on her head while her butt stuck up like a dork.
Still, as soon as she heard the woman speaking, she shot up with a face full of mud and hair full of leaves. She spat out some grass before speaking.
“Wait wait waiwaiwaowait! You said your root? Your home?” Alina was fully in panic.
“That’s right, young one. I, Gleam am the Elder of this sanctuary. It is my home.”
Alina heard ‘Gleam’ and ‘Elder’ then collapsed in the water.