Chapter 4:

A Night Raid

Nol and Voyd: A Quiet Fantasy Life Isn't So Quiet After All!

After closing up my shop, I returned to making potions, this time reserving some of my energy so that I wouldn’t faint. It was probably a needless worry, but I wanted to be ready just in case something happened. After tossing the potions into my inventory, I went and curled up on my chair and gave Voyd some specific instructions.Bookmark here

I woke up the next morning and continued to make potions, still playing it safe. I wondered if there was any way to train up my energy capacity, but using my energy would surely increase it, right? Either way, I intended to look for other ways to increase my energy capacity and recovery. For now though, I needed to work on making potions.Bookmark here

As long a deficit existed, my shop would be extremely busy on the days I opened. This meant I lacked the time to really research or train. For that reason, my goal was to pump out potions as much as possible until the number of injured people went below the amount that all the apothecaries produced. With my prices raised to approximately the same as the other apothecaries, the residents should spread more evenly.Bookmark here

With having some extra energy, I decided to do some research. Using my ability, I made a small knife and, after numbing myself with a potion, made a small cut on my palm, then used a health potion. It quickly healed. I repeated this with deeper cuts until the cut didn’t fully heal with a single potion. I tried the cut again and used a more concentrated potion this time and it healed fine.Bookmark here

It seemed that I could heal some rather significant damage without an issue, but could I regenerate lost parts? I decided to test it with my pinkie toe. I wanted to avoid doing irreparable damage, so I carefully tested with increasing amounts of damage until I ended up with a pinkie toe in hand. This did require a more concentrated potion, but that healed fine as well.Bookmark here

Based on my results, as long as I was alive, I could eventually heal up any damage even if I lost a limb. This made things much easier. So long as I survived, I could recover from normally debilitating injuries given enough time. With any luck, I wouldn’t end up in a situation where that might be a concern, but it always helped to know your options.Bookmark here

I decided to rest so that I could better recover. Even if my potions did allow the body to recover, I imagined that my body needed rest to deal with the blood loss. Well, I imagined it possible that my potions recovered blood as well, but I lacked the tools to test that. Even I wasn’t so blinded by my research that I’d remove all the blood in my body to test that. I’d die if I did that.Bookmark here

I woke up the next morning just fine. No night raids and no poison in my breakfast—not that I expected anyone to manage that given I’d notice if my worms died—a perfectly peaceful morning greeted me. After making my quota of potions for the morning, I decided to work on my next research subject.Bookmark here

Some minutes later, I ended up with a small beaker of health potion and a flask of a thickening agent. I carefully mixed them in a small bowl of stone—I made a pestle and mortar set with my ability. Slowly, I added more and more of the thickening agent until I managed to make something like a paste.Bookmark here

I made a small nick on my pinkie and then applied the paste to it. I waited a little and washed it off with an energy potion. While the energy potion wouldn’t recover the energy I spent on it, it made a good alternative to using health potions as liquid since healing my injury with a health potion would sully the results of the experiment.Bookmark here

Looking at my pinkie, it did heal, but in a weird sort of way. It seemed like the paste blocked the healing somewhat. I remade the cut and healed myself with a health potion this time. My pinkie returned to normal. I then remade the cut and applied the healing paste not directly on the cut, but in the area surrounding. The wound slowly mended itself.Bookmark here

Knowing this, I couldn’t sell my thickened potions as salves. They would block the healing process as the body didn’t absorb them properly. I considered selling them as slow acting potions, but I imagined someone would get the ‘bright’ idea of smearing the potion on their wounds.Bookmark here

Still, this could be useful if I wanted to make a potion with longer lasting effects. If I made a potion that emitted light, for example, it might only emit light for so long, but by making that into a paste, I could extend the duration at the cost of the brightness. At least, that was my theory.Bookmark here

Continuing on that theory, the more solid I made the potion, the longer it would last, but the weaker the effect would be due to the effect being drawn out over a longer period of time. Of course, just being liquid didn’t necessarily make a potion instant. Or, actually...Bookmark here

I made a light potion. As in one that produced light. Just with it sitting in the bottle, it emitted light. Letting it pour out, I noticed that it was somewhat thick. Actually, I wondered what might happen if I mixed this with the thickened health potion and had someone drink it. Would their body glow as it healed?Bookmark here

Well, I didn’t have anyone to test it on and using it on myself would make it hard to observe the effects, so I decided to shelve that thought for the time being. Instead, I decided that some more bed rest was most important. I certain slept a lot. Was it because I had cat parts?Bookmark here

Several days passed without incident and I opened up my shop one more. This time, some of the potions were thickened, such as the odor removal potion. One version offered more instant effects while the other allowed for a longer effect, which allowed people to use it as a breath freshener or a deodorant among other possible uses.Bookmark here

While nowhere near as popular as my health potions, those deodorant potions sold rather quickly. I guess after staying alive, your presentation was important, especially to the younger men looking for dates. Well, good luck to them. I wanted to make some perfume potions and such, but I wasn’t about to start a war with the cosmetics companies for no reason. Bookmark here

As usual, I sold out pretty quickly. Even with my adjustments to the amounts, you just had to expect some leftovers. With how popular my health potions were selling, I suspected I could even just sell health potions, but if I was going to run an apothecary anyway, I wanted to provide a variety for those that may need those other potions.Bookmark here

I made some more potions after closing up, then went to sleep as usual. A nice and peaceful routine was definitely best...Bookmark here

I woke up several hours later to Voyd shaking me. So much for peace and quiet. Well, on the positive side, it seemed a few people really wanted to volunteer as test subjects. I was fine with that. My tentacles cackled as they began to whisper. Correction, I was kind of annoyed that they interrupted my peaceful life.Bookmark here

Voyd seemed rather excited as it darted about as it spoke, “Enemies! Devour! Insert tentacles! Great Happiness!”Bookmark here

That roughly translated to, “Enemies are here, let us defeat them. I will enjoy stabbing them to death!”Bookmark here

I smiled gently as I corrected Voyd, ”No, we are keeping them alive. You can eat one of them if you want, but we can experiment on the others. It would be a complete shame to waste such valuable resources. And we need evidence.”Bookmark here

Quickly changing into more appropriate clothing for a night battle, I pressed my ears to the wall. Listening carefully to the movements of our intruders, I also heard some disturbing conversation about me. I shuddered somewhat just thinking about their thoughts. Rather, I was shaking violently as I grasped the wall to steady myself. These guys were scum, utter and absolute scum at that.Bookmark here

I could perhaps understand if these people were doing this as a job, but to think that they relished in doing such vile acts. My body just couldn’t stop shaking as I thought about these intruders. They wanted to steal from me, capture me, and do horrible things to me. They were coming and I wasn’t sure how to react.Bookmark here

The doorknob slowly turned and I stood there, watching as the door slowly swung open and a man entered. With the pitch black room preventing them from seeing, they drew a shuttered lantern, opening it slightly to provide just enough light for them to see. I held my breath though I worried that the sound of my shivers would give me away even before they saw me. Soon enough, they saw me.Bookmark here

“What in the world? She’s smiling?”Bookmark here

Ah, I guess that was it then. I was so excited. Not only were these people criminals, they volunteered to be my guinea pigs and were even such scum that I didn’t feel the slightest bit bad about it. I leaned and pressed the top of my head to the wall as I started to giggle, struggling to speak properly. I did need to greet them.Bookmark here

“Welcome, my volunteer test subjects. I hope you’ll enjoy some rather dubious experiments.”Bookmark here

“What the f—aaaahhhggg!”Bookmark here

Before the first man could finish his sentence, the sound of metal hitting the ground reached my ears and the sound of tearing flesh preceded a scream of pain as a harpoon pierced the man’s lung. Of course, it would be a waste for the man to die here, but I doubted he’d be dying anytime soon. These were my new model of harpoons that leaked potions gradually. It was likely still pretty painful, but he wouldn’t be dying anytime soon.Bookmark here

The shuttered lantern fell from the man’s hand and disappeared as I grabbed it with a tentacle, retrieving it and tossing it into my inventory. Then, as if accompanying the screams, voices started to fill the air as the ends of my tentacles changed to mouths and began muttering.Bookmark here

“Mister mister, come with us. Come with us. Join us on the other side.”Bookmark here

“I can rip off their legs and arms. Chop them to pieces. Such fresh meat.”Bookmark here

“Little Tommy came out to play, guess what he saw today. You, my dear, he sawed this way.”Bookmark here

“In and out they went, inside out you go.”Bookmark here

Some tentacles laughed, some tentacles cried, most intruders were silent. I spread my many tentacles simply kept my smile as I spoke, “You all are to become subjects, a way to allow me to research!”Bookmark here

A knife flew past where my voice came from. How scary. Too bad I was no longer there and neither was my tentacle as it dropped into the midst of the intruders, “Hey, old man, that could’ve hurt me, you know.” I yanked my tentacle back up as the intruder slashed at the tentacle, just in time as another man bowled over in pain. That wound looked pretty nasty. This was rather fun, actually. How nice of these men to provide entertainment.Bookmark here

My tentacles continued to whisper from various angles as I tossed a little mixture. A nice bottle filled with crushed glass, partially filled with some healing salve, topped with a potion like concentrated peppers, then finished with a bead containing explosive potion attached to the lid. I designed it to explode mostly downwards at an angle, I quickly threw the potion at the earlier tentacle that was still hiding above the men. Grabbing the potion, I shook it up, dropped it, then retrieved my tentacles as I dived for cover.Bookmark here

Glass shards scattered through the hall and several screams of pain erupted. I giggled somewhat as I grabbed some of the men with my tentacles and threw them against the wall, pinning them with harpoons. That was probably pretty painful, but not my fault. They were the ones that wanted to attack me.Bookmark here

Three of them managed to escape mostly intact and booked it for the front door. They reached the door and grabbed it, but no matter how they tried to open it, it remained shut. “Damn it! It isn’t opening!”, shouted one of the men. They didn’t even notice until it was too late as their shadow bulged upwards into a gaping maw... that soon chomped down on their legs. Such pleasant screams, I could get addicted at this rate.Bookmark here

No, wait. I shook my head to clear my thoughts. I was letting battle lust get to me. I needed to hurry up and finish this so that I could just settle the matter. I hurried over and drop kicked one of them in the guts, using my tentacles to give me an extra push. That was one down. The next man I gave a mighty kick in the face and then finished it off by kicking a potion like concentrated hot sauce into their head. And I don’t mean their face. That one gave a shrill screech before it fainted.Bookmark here

For the final one... I didn’t really need to handle it as Voyd was already dragging him into the shadows. Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to give Voyd a treat every now and then. I tossed a few healing potions into the shadow for Voyd to use. Shortly after, while I was tidying up the aftermath, a knock came from the door. Bookmark here

Using a tentacle, I opened the door while continuing to sweep up the glass—with a broom, of course. I just had to experience it once, a cute girl sweeping up glass as she greets her guests. Who was the cute girl? Me, of course! I was definitely cute, not scary, okay?Bookmark here

Anyway, as expected, the guards showed up in force. Seeing me, the one in front asked, “Are you okay, Miss? There were reports of screaming and we came as fast as we could, but...” The guards looked around to see... quite a mess really. I was still in the middle of cleaning.Bookmark here

“As you can probably see, I had some... uninvited guests. It was really a complete waste of my potions and I will probably have to be closed for longer than normal as a result. A pity, but it can’t be helped. These kinds of things just happen when you are targeted by a noble.”Bookmark here

“You fought off your intruder? Are you hurt?”Bookmark here

“They are in the storeroom right now. I’m honestly kind of happy though. I can do some experiments that I really needed some test subjects for. I couldn’t imagine anyone would just barge in and volunteer themselves, but there they are.”Bookmark here

“I... see... May we have a look? We need to question them.”Bookmark here

“Will I get them back? I really do need someone to test some new potions on. Want to make sure they work as intended and all.”Bookmark here

“We can try to—”Bookmark here

I interrupted the guard before he could finish his statement, “I mean, they intruded, so it is all within reason that I can kill them all, right? So returning them to me shouldn’t be an issue, right? Just think about poor me being assaulted in this town. I might find it too unsafe to stay.”Bookmark here

“Right, well—”Bookmark here

“Oh, and...”, I interrupted the guard again, this time walking up to him and explaining what I heard the intruders say. The guard trembled and his face turned quite red as his face twisted into what looked like a gargoyle statue.Bookmark here

“We will make sure to interrogate them thoroughly and return them to you.”Bookmark here

“Good, but let me sit in on these interrogations. I do need to keep them alive, after all.”Bookmark here

“That is...”Bookmark here

“Sir, you have to see this!”Bookmark here

“What is it?”, the guard I was talking to ran into the storeroom before letting out a shout, “What the heck is this?”Bookmark here

I calmly walked over and gave my best smile, “Oh, I thought I’d get started on interrogating them a little. Just a little before cleaning warm up.”Bookmark here

“This is... a little?”Bookmark here

“So, it is fine if I sit in on these interrogations, right?”Bookmark here

“Right...”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

It seemed that I secured a personal lesson for myself. I was definitely interested in how to get these guys to really talk and it was best to learn from the professionals.Bookmark here

Golden Boy
You can resume reading from this paragraph.