Chapter 50:

Chapter 50 Singular Purpose

Hermit's Diary

Kaka's eyes widened with terror as the gaping maw of the beast-eating plant loomed closer. The acidic droplets dripped from the plant's gaping jaws, sizzling as they splattered on the forest floor below. With a surge of adrenaline, Kaka kicked his legs frantically, pushing against the plant's bud with all his feeble might. His heart raced in his chest as he felt the pull of the plant's insidious trap, threatening to drag him into its acidic clutches.

"Ahhhh! My leg! It's gonna eat me alive! Let go, you vile plant! Unhand me, I say! I don't taste good, I swear! I said let me go, you slimy weed! I ain't no snack for you!"

With his strength waning and his knees buckling under the strain, Kaka knew that he was running out of time. In a final act of defiance, with a primal squeal, he swung the jagged tree root he had managed to grasp in his free hand, aiming for the soft, vulnerable flesh of the plant's acidic pouch. The root struck true, tearing through the fleshy exterior with a sickening squelch. The impact sent shockwaves rippling through the plant's grotesque form, causing it to convulse in agony.

"I refuse to be plant food! You hear me? I refuse! I'll fight you tooth and nail, you menace! Take that, you foul creature!"

With a sickening squelch, the acidic pouch burst open, its corrosive contents spewing forth in a deluge of destruction, splashing across Kaka's face, torso, and crotch with searing intensity. Agonized screams tore from his throat as the corrosive liquid ate away at his flesh, leaving behind angry chemical-burned welts and blistering burns. 

"Ahh! It burns! It burns! Wreeee! My face! My body! It's melting away!"

The acid burned at Kaka's necrotic ball sack and his egg-laying straw. The acrid fumes filled the air, burning Kaka's sensitive skin and searing his nostrils with their acidic scent.

"Oh, gods, my face! My poor, poor face! Wreeee! What have I done to deserve this? My crotch! My... my... it's burning! Make it stop, make it stop! Reeeee!"

 But even as the acid ate away at his flesh, Kaka refused to yield to the pain.

"I... I won't... I won't... I won't give in! I won't let you break me!"

As the vines recoiled in agony, loosening their grip on Kaka's battered form, he seized the opportunity to break free from their clutches. With one final burst of strength, he tore himself from the plant's grasp, his body covered in burns, raw flesh, and bruises, but his life was spared.

As Kaka rose to his feet, his entire body convulsed with agony, every movement a torment that threatened to overwhelm his senses. The acidic burns seared through his flesh, devouring his delicate skin with merciless hunger. With each step, pieces of his body peeled away, leaving behind a grotesque picture of exposed muscle and raw tissue. His ballsack and straw, now a mangled remnant, fell to the ground with a sickening plop, a testament to the brutality of the acid's bite.

His face, once a canvas of goblin features, now resembled a melting wax figure, the skin sloughing off in grotesque ribbons under the corrosive onslaught. The acrid stench of burnt flesh filled the air, mingling with the scent of charred skin and scorched meat.

With trembling limbs, Kaka staggered toward me, his gait unsteady and faltering. His once vibrant green skin now marred by angry blisters and festering wounds, revealed the raw muscle tissue beneath. His eyes, bloodshot and clouded with pain, bore the weight of unbearable suffering. But his strength betrayed him, and with a feeble cry of anguish, he collapsed before me, his body unable to withstand the relentless onslaught of pain.

"Wraaaaaa! It's too much... The pain... it's everywhere... It hurts so much... I can't... I can't take it anymore..."

"Kaka, please! Get up! You must get up! You must! Kaka, please, hang on! I'll find help, I promise!"

The sight of Kaka's suffering sent a surge of panic coursing through my dimwitted mind. In that moment of desperation, my only thought was of the goblin medicine, the slim hope of salvation within the chaos of pain and despair. With a pathetic squeal of terror, I hurled myself into action, diving headfirst into the basket of herbs. With trembling hands, I gathered the necessary ingredients, my fingers fumbling as I struggled to grind the herbs into a fine paste. Each movement sent a jolt of pain shooting through my body, but I ignored the discomfort, driven by a singular purpose - to save Kaka from the brink of death.

Finally, after a couple of minutes of agonizing effort, I held the precious medicine in my hands, its strong aroma mingling with the stench of Kaka's wounds. With a determination born of desperation, I crawled atop Kaka's prone form, his twisted features contorted in pain, and began to smear the foul-smelling paste onto his grotesque injuries.

Each stroke of my hand brought a renewed wave of agony to Kaka's ravaged flesh, his body convulsing with each touch of the healing salve. But despite the pain, there was a glimmer of hope in the air, a sense that perhaps, against all odds, he might recover.

With each application of the medicine, I prayed to whatever gods would listen, begging for Kaka's salvation. And as the last of the paste was applied, I collapsed beside him, my body trembling with exhaustion and fear.

As I lay there, exhausted and spent, a heavy silence enveloped us, broken only by the occasional groan of pain that escaped Kaka's lips. With trembling hands, I reached out to Kaka, my heart heavy with worry and fear. His once vibrant green skin now bore the scars of his torment, blistered and burned by the acid that had ravaged his body. Each shallow breath he took was a struggle, his chest rising and falling in a rhythm marred by pain.

I longed to offer him comfort, to reassure him that everything would be alright, but the words caught in my throat, choked by the enormity of the pain. What could I, a mere hatchling, offer in the face of such overwhelming suffering?

Hours passed in agonizing silence, each moment stretching on like an eternity. I stood by his side with a meager stick in my hands, ready to defend him. 

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Kaka's labored breathing began to ease, his chest rising and falling with a newfound rhythm. The pained creases on his brow softened, replaced by a serene calmness that seemed to wash over his features like a gentle breeze. And then, with a soft sigh, he stirred, his eyelids fluttering open to reveal eyes that sparkled with a glimmer of life.

"Kaka! You're awake! Hermit happy! Kaka! Kaka!" I cried, relief flooding my voice as I reached out to touch his arm. 

Weakly, Kaka reached out a trembling hand, and with a ragged sigh, he whispered words of thanks, his voice hoarse and barely audible. 

 "Th-thank you," he stammered, "th-thank you for helping me..."

His fingers brushed against my cheek in a tender gesture of gratitude. And in that fleeting moment, I knew that despite the trials we faced, we were not alone. We had each other.

As Kaka slowly pushed himself off the ground, his movements were unsteady, his legs trembling beneath the weight of his broken body. His head spun with dizziness, the world around him a swirling vortex of blurred shapes and colors. With a grueling effort, he reached for the basket of herbs, the woven strands digging into his weary shoulders as he hoisted it onto his back.

Turning to me with a gaze clouded by exhaustion, Kaka spoke, "Little Hermit, I will be fine. We must make haste. The injured gobbies need our help. The forest is treacherous, its depths teeming with unseen dangers. We cannot linger here."

Relief flooded through me at the sight of Kaka standing, a flicker of vitality returning to his weary form. But my curiosity gnawed at me, demanding answers to the forest's mysteries. 

"Kaka, what was that monstrous thing that attacked you?"

With a gentle push, Kaka urged me forward, his grip firm but gentle.

 "We'll talk as we walk, little Hermit. But know this: that was no ordinary plant. It is a creature of darkness, a nasty plant, a predator that lurks in the shadows, waiting to ensnare unsuspecting victims. Beware its cunning traps, for they spell certain doom for any who fall prey to its vines. Many goblins have perished by these plants, when they suck you into their pouch, it's all over. There is no escape only painful death. Kaka got lucky this time but need to be careful or there might be no next time."

As we trudged through the dense undergrowth, every step was fraught with peril, the forest thick with oppressive vegetation and unseen threats. Kaka moved with a cautious grace, his eyes darting from shadow to shadow, ever vigilant for signs of danger.

With each passing moment, the forest seemed to grow darker, the tangled foliage closing in around us like the jaws of some ancient beast. My heart pounded in my chest, a steady drumbeat of fear echoing in the cavernous depths of the forest.

As we pressed onward, vines snaked out from the undergrowth, their sinewy tendrils reaching hungrily for our ankles. I stumbled and nearly fell, but Kaka's steadying hand caught me, pulling me back from the brink of disaster.

"Watch your step, little Hermit. The forest is full of traps and snares, but we must remain watchful. Monsters lurk on every corner and even plants are longing for our meat. We must walk carefully and sneaky, like goblins we are."

After a few hours of navigating through the dense vegetation, we reached the outskirts of our goblin breeding farm. The clearing ahead offered a brief respite from the oppressive foliage, a small glimmer of hope in the wilderness.

As we paused to catch our breath, Kaka's keen eyes caught sight of a cluster of medicinal herbs sprouting from the forest floor. Without hesitation, he urged me to join him in gathering the precious herbs, his movements swift as he plucked the delicate leaves from their stems. 

"Look, look! Oh, oh, look, look! Herbs! Good herbs!" Kaka's voice squeaked with excitement as he pointed to the cluster of herbs. 

"Precious herbs, we need them! We need all we can carry, but no harm to the plants. More will grow later. Come, come, help me gather!"

I followed suit, my hands trembling slightly as I worked to gather as much as I could carry.

"Yes, yes, Kaka! I help, I help! I careful, I careful!"

Lost in the task at hand, I scarcely noticed when Kaka ventured farther into the clearing, his figure gradually receding into the distance as he searched for more herbs. It wasn't until I looked up from my task that I realized I had become separated from him, my heart pounding in my chest as panic threatened to consume me. Suddenly, I heard a faint rustling behind a cluster of bushes, my breath catching in my throat as I braced myself for what lay beyond.

Peering through the foliage, my eyes widened in horror as I beheld a sight that filled me with dread. A group of towering giants, clad in gleaming armor and brandishing wickedly sharp weapons, loomed before me. Fear clutched at my heart as I realized - these were adventurers Kaka had told me about.