Chapter 31:

Chapter 31 Monstrous Amphibian and the Obsidian Punisher

Hermit's Diary

The sky split open with a mighty squawk as the colossal crow descended upon us like a dark omen. Its obsidian feathers gleamed in the rain, and its sharp beak, akin to a dagger, struck the frog piercing its body. The frog's grip on me loosened as its gargantuan body convulsed under the impact.

 Amidst the chaos, I shouted, "Crow-smash-frog... rain bad... scary dark bird... Uh... big bird... sharp beaky thing... what happens? Big bird, friend or not? Run or hide? Confused! Stupid rain, stupid bird, what do, what do?! Big beak, big bird, big mess! Wreeeee!"

I fell to the wet ground, my arm aching and throbbing with the fresh wounds inflicted by the frog's sharp teeth. The crow, majestic and fierce, continued its assault on the frog, tearing into its slimy flesh with its powerful beak.

During the commotion, I managed to mumble, "Owie! Big birdie, good? Froggie, bad? I confused! Ouchie, my head hurtsy! Ouchie arm! Gobby scared, gobby go bye-bye!"

In the chaos, I staggered to my feet, my movements hindered by both the pain and the wet, muddy ground. Clutching my injured arm, I stumbled away from the gruesome scene, my big goblin eyes wide with a mix of fear and awe at the massive crow dominating the frog.

The crow's wings beat with a powerful rhythm, raindrops scattering like diamonds in its wake. With each strike of its beak, the frog's desperate croaks grew weaker, until finally, the monstrous amphibian lay still, defeated by the obsidian punisher.

As the crow finished its brutal conquest, it turned its piercing gaze towards me. Fear surged through me once again, and I fell to my knees, bowing my head in submission. The crow's eyes, however, held a spark of intelligence, and it cawed loudly before taking off into the stormy sky with a dead frog in his claws, leaving me soaked and shaken with my head in the mud.

Cautiously, I lifted my head, glancing around as if expecting more feathered terrors. The rain continued its relentless assault, the droplets joining forces to mock my fear.

In my stupor, I mumbled to myself, "Stupid crow, eat frog. I'm glad it did not eat me. Big feathery demon. Bad frog hunter. I stay away, not anger the birdy." I patted my head as if congratulating myself for escaping the bird's appetite.

With a weary limp that rivaled the slow march of an injured snail, I cautiously crawled through the soaked terrain, utilizing every available cover - from the protective overhangs of tall grass to the broad shelter of a leaf draped over my battered back. Each step felt like an arduous journey, my body protesting every move with the language of pain.

The gnarled roots of the tree stump beckoned like a sanctuary, a haven from the turmoil of the rain-soaked battleground. Inch by inch, I crawled into the familiar embrace of my hiding place, nestled beneath the colossal roots that twisted and turned like the aged fingers of a giant.

My battered frame, on the verge of collapse, sought refuge within the confines of my secret chamber. With my gnarled fingers, I poked at my wounds, thinking, "Ouchie! Boo-boo hurt. Licky tongue makes it better, right?" I then proceeded to slurp on my arm with gusto, imagining the magical healing powers of goblin spit. With the remnants of my strength, I initiated a ritual of self-care. My tongue, an unrefined tool of healing, delicately licked the wounds on my arm, cleansing them.

Nestled in my nest nook, I cocooned myself within the refuge of my meaty ears, drawing comfort from their familiar embrace. Curled up in my nest nook, I muttered to my meaty ears, "Ears, protect from rain! Rain bad, ears good. Snuggle, snuggle, cozy, cozy."

 I huddled beneath a large leaf, waving it like a triumphant goblin banner against the storm, chanting, "Leaf shield! Leaf shield! Rain, you do not get me! Leaf, strong leaf, protect goblin from wet, yes, yes! Goblin clever!" A large leaf became my shield against the remnants of the storm, a feeble attempt to stave off the relentless rain that persisted outside my hidden enclave.

Seeking safety, I burrowed into the soft dirt beneath me, creating a cozy hidey hole within the comforting arms of the tree's stump roots. As the dirt covered my form, an improvised blanket of earth, I sought solace in the darkness, a goblin's fortress against the turmoil beyond. The world outside may be a storm, but I clung to the hope of a brief reprieve within my subterranean sanctuary. 

As I burrowed into the soft dirt, my goblin instincts kicked in, and I giggled to myself, "Nook! Cozy nook! Dirt blanket! Gobby fortress, hehe!" I imagined the dirt as my trusty armor, guarding me against the chaos outside.

In the darkness of my subterranean sanctuary, I chattered away, "Dirt blanket, keep goblin snug. Thank you, dear dirt, for being a cozy friend. Ghegheghe! Good dirt! Safe dirt! No rain here, only dry dirt. Shh, quiet time, rain! Goblin nap now, hehe!" 

And with that, I closed my half-lidded eyes, my trembling body curled into a vulnerable ball. Pain, both physical and emotional, lingered, but the stump provided a semblance of safety amidst the dangerous wilderness. 

After a night of rest in my snug nook, my battered body gradually absorbed the energy from the makeshift feast of bugs I had devoured. I pried open my eyes in the new morning feeling newfound strength coursing through my spindly limbs, and the pain that once gripped me subsided.

With a triumphant squeak, I decided it was time to venture beyond the comforting embrace of my dirt cocoon. Slowly, I pushed aside the dirt covering, exposing my gnarled head to the outside world. Raindrops greeted me with a gentle tap on the nose, and I responded with a delighted, "Reeee! Wet, wet cold water!"

To shield myself from the rain, in a burst of misguided genius, I surveyed my surroundings, seeking the perfect solution to the misty rain. Spotting a particularly large leaf, I hatched a brilliant plan that, in my goblin mind, rivaled the most magnificent feats of intelligence.

 I punched two holes, transforming the leaf into a raincoat against the rain. My leafy ensemble clung to my goblin frame, protecting me from the relentless assault of droplets. As the raindrops pitter-pattered on my leaf coat, I reveled in my ingenious creation, convinced I had outsmarted nature itself.

"Gheghe, goblin strong! Rain tried to beat the goblin, but the goblin won! Yes, yes!"

Sporting my large leaf raincoat, I decided it was time to explore the world beyond my sanctuary under the tree roots. The rain made everything look blurry, and the tall grass formed a mystical curtain around me. 

Feeling adventurous, I sought higher ground for a better view. The gnarled bark of the tree stump became my trusty ladder, and with a mix of clumsy climbs and tumbles, I reached the top. 

"Stump high, goblin see far! Look, look!" I yelped, standing proudly like a goblin conqueror surveying the land.

From my elevated vantage point, I spotted the distant goblin camp walls, a sight that stirred both curiosity and terror. Memories of the guard who sent me flying cascaded through my mind, a reminder of the harshness that awaited me beyond the tall grass.

Concern for Kaka loomed large in my goblin heart. The image of his beaten and broken form haunted my thoughts, "Kaka hurt very bad, survive? Goblin hope, goblin worry. Must find Kaka!" 

Driven by a mix of courage and stupidity, I decided to descend from height. The climb down turned into a series of wobbles and tumbles, my goblin body navigating the gnarled terrain like a drunken goblin on a misguided quest. 

"Down, down, like heroic fall! Gheghe!" I laughed, embracing the sheer absurdity of my pathetic climb.

 But my clumsy goblin feet betrayed me, and I slipped, falling like a sack of squirming grubs, splashing into the wet mud with an undignified squelch.

My limbs, still tender from recent injuries, protested with every move, and my entire body felt like a collection of creaky joints held together by sheer stubbornness. I tried to shake off the mud clinging to my limbs, but it only smeared and spread, transforming me into a living mud creature.

Sprawled and muddy, I felt the sting of pain returning to my recovering body. Each movement resonated with a chorus of creaks and groans as if my bones were still protesting the brutality they had endured. The wet mud, now an unwelcome companion, added an extra layer of humiliation to my already sorry state.

With squishy mud clinging to my battered form, I summoned what remained of my dignity and pushed myself up. Standing there, a mucky mess with soggy ears drooping, I mumbled with sorrow, the weight of my misadventure sinking in.

 "Ouchies, slippery tumble, hurt goblin. Mud hug me too tight, dirty, yucky!" I sighed, my voice laced with pain.

With a distinct squish-squash soundtrack accompanying each limping step, I trudged through the damp terrain toward the looming walls of the goblin camp. The mud-slicked ground clung to my gnarled feet, making each movement a precarious endeavor. My wounded body protested every jolt, but the prospect of reaching the camp spurred me on.

As I approached the camp, I noticed the flickering glow of a bonfire through the tiny gaps in between the walls. The warmth of the flames beckoned like a promise of solace. My goblin instincts, finely tuned by survival, kicked in, and I quickened my pace despite the pain.

Reaching the camp wall, I banged my tiny fist on the rough surface, a rhythmic plea for entry. I wailed in desperation, my goblin-sized voice echoed through the vastness of the goblin camp, resembling the feeble whispers of a particularly shy cricket.

"Wreeeee, open up! Goblin in need, goblin in need! Help me, yes, yes!" I yelled my vocal orchestra reaching new heights of pathetic urgency. I hopped from foot to foot, a tiny dance of distress, hoping that my minuscule form might catch the eye of someone, anyone, who could lend a hand. But to the guards, I was nothing more than a passing breeze, a mere rustle in the air, my stature akin to that of a humble mouse.