Chapter 8 - Manmade Beauty

Once more, the Imp carefully placed one of the Meat cubes into his mouth and began to chew on it, in the same way as he had been for the past few times whenever he finished writing all the versions of one 'Letter', which the Imp found the short sounds to be called, and each 'Letter' usually had two versions to itself, a big and a smaller version.

It seemed like the Imp was not even halfway done with all of the different letters there were when Avalin grabbed the book and stood up with a smile on her face. "Alright, come. We need to keep walking now. We'll continue tonight, okay?" Avalin asked the Imp, who just slowly nodded his head.

It didn't really understand what Avalin was saying, but he understood when she was trying to ask him a question, and most of the time, it seemed to be a good idea to nod or say 'Yes'. It didn't always work, but in about four out of five cases, it did! And that was good enough for the Imp, really.

Either way, for now, the Imp once more started to follow the three things along the trampled path in this forest. And while he was walking, the Imp decided to punch the notifications that appeared while he was writing the letters, because there were a lot! They all seemed to be the same one though, at least all the letters were in the same order on them.

The Imp also noticed that there really didn't seem to be that many other notifications appearing lately, no matter what he did. A few ones did come by again, but only very, very rarely! Of course, the Imp had mixed feelings about that.

For one, it meant that he had nearly achieved absolute victory over his oldest nemesis, but he was also missing out on the sweet new things that it could do because of them. He felt so much smarter, stronger, or quicker whenever they appeared, but now that they stopped coming by, he stopped gaining as much stuff in those areas.

Although, there was one other new notification that appeared a few times since the Imp started writing the letters, and one of them actually appeared while the Imp was writing the last few letters!

[Your fingers feel easier to move. Dexterity +1]

And whenever this one appeared, the Imp's hands started feeling different, and he could write the new letters far better! So this was definitely also a good one!

And with a smug grin on the Imp's face, he continued on walking behind the three things, although he was soon filled with unimaginable boredom. And then, another few monsters appeared! The Imp was hoping that it was allowed to help again this time, but instead, the three things just got rid of the monsters immediately, although one of them was holding a pretty interesting thing that the Imp didn't seem to be able to eat properly.

It was short and hard and looked a little like all the trees around from its material, and Avalin slowly squatted down in front of the Imp and took the small thing from him. "Hmm, a wooden toy dagger?" She asked, confused, and then looked at the Imp with a wink.

"Here, you can keep this." She told him, but the evil black thing seemed to have something he wanted to complain about again.

"Come on, what the hell are you doing all the time?" James asked with an annoyed expression on his face, and Avalin stood up with her arms crossed. "What do you mean? I just gave the Imp something to play around with. Toys are supposed to help children's intelligence develop, right?" She asked with a frown, and James seemed to want to say something but instead just sighed angrily and shook his head before turning around. "Just tell it to start eating already." James told her annoyedly, "How does it even have an appetite like that?" He asked, but Avalin just shrugged and smiled down at the Imp, who was still trying to somehow bite the wooden dagger apart.

"Well... That means it's healthy, at least, right?" The nice red thing suggested, and then squatted down toward the Imp again. "No, don't bite it. That's something like my dagger here. You used it before, remember?" She explained, and the Imp slowly nodded his head and looked at the small item, somehow seeing the resemblance between the two things, even if just barely.

Avalin's dagger was super shiny and pretty, but this one was just dirty and not even sharp! And some idiot seemed to have even covered it in their saliva! "Greeh..." The Imp grunted with a wry smile, placing the dagger down to the side before leaning forward toward the Monster lying in front of him to just eat instead of trying to figure out what to do with this thing.

Although just when he was trying to bite into it, the Imp noticed that something felt off. It wasn't a big feeling, and it wasn't anything like what he kept feeling with the three things, it just felt... wrong.

Confused, the Imp just sat down on his butt and tried to think about what that 'wrong' feeling was about, and then used his blunt claws for ripping a small piece off flesh out of the Monster before placing it onto his mouth.

It seemed like, for some reason, Avalin was happy about seeing this and started doing something with the other monsters while the Imp was eating the first one.

After a little while, when the Imp was finally done eating the Monster with the exception of those hard bits in the center of the flesh that were hard to rip apart with his hands, he stood up to eat the others, but for some reason, there were already only the hard bits left. Did he forget that he already ate those?

At the very least, that was the Imp's first thought, although it seemed to be rather different in reality. Soon enough, Avalin stepped up to the Imp with a very delicious-smelling bag in her arms and held it up in front of the Imp. "Here you go, now you can eat while we continue walking!" She exclaimed, and then opened the bag up to show that there was more meat inside of it, although it didn't seem to be as bloody as the meat that the Imp usually ate.

"That's actually a pretty good idea..." Thomas, the blue and silver thing, pointed out as he looked at Avalin, who happily chuckled as she tied the bag to the Imp's back in a way where he was able to simply pull the bag to the front of its body to start eating. And although the bag was very, very heavy, the Imp still kind of liked it, because he now always had something very delicious with him!

"I know it is! But let's get going now if we hurry we can maybe get over the bridge to Erand before tonight." Avalin pointed out, but Thomas quickly shook his head in response.

"I doubt it. It took all day last time, remember? There's supposed to be an Inn there. We should reach it in a few hours, so let's just relax when we get there." He replied, and James seemed to take an issue with that suggestion.

"But that's going to cost us probably half a day... Can't we just try to walk around the lake this time?" James asked, but Thomas just sighed deeply and once more shook his head.

"That's going to take two days longer than waiting for morning. And just think about how many bandit hideouts there are supposed to be all around the World Lake... it's a pain in the ass, trust me." Thomas explained before turning around and starting to walk again.

"Let's just keep going. The sooner we get to the Inn, the sooner I can get to training properly again." The Blue and Silver thing said with a rather annoyed expression, and Avalin and James slowly nodded their heads before following behind him, while the Imp did the same as he was continuously stuffing his face with some of the meat in the bag.

Although, now that he could carry it around with him, it seemed to be a good idea not to eat it all at once. Until now, he was overeating all the time when he ate the monsters and was literally hurting himself a little, but he had to in order to keep his hunger from making him mad.

But if he was able to eat all the time now, he wouldn't need to worry about that! "Gregeh!" The Imp cackled to himself at his intelligence and stuffed his mouth with another chunk of fine, raw meat.

And after a little while, he figured to just put the bag on his back again so that he wouldn't end up eating it all at once, and a nice little notification appeared in front of him.

[You resisted a basic urge. Willpower +1]

Surprised that it suddenly appeared out of nowhere, the Imp quickly hit it with his new wooden dagger to make it disappear, and then continued to just follow the others in front of him.

He didn't know why he was given the wooden dagger, by the way, but it looked pretty fun, so it didn't have much issue with it. And for some reason, the Imp felt pretty comfortable while carrying it.

And with such thoughts, the Imp continued to follow behind the three things for another few hours, until he started to hear something in the distance. It sounded pretty loud to the Imp, so he wasn't sure what exactly the loud sounds came from, although it was rather curious about it.

The Imp and the three things were currently walking up a tight slope, and he actually had to use the wooden dagger for support a few times, but the further they went, the louder the sounds became. And then, the Imp's eyes were blinded by bright light nearly immediately from the light of the sun that had started lowering itself.

And when his eyes got used to that light, the Imp was able to see the place that the sounds originated from. There were hundreds of things just like the three things that the Imp was with inside of that place, and there were a handful of big structures there with many different moving blocks of wood pulled by animals moving toward and away from it.

But the things that seemed most impressive to the Imp were none of that. Rather, what impressed him were the structures behind that.

There was a giant, seemingly infinitely long gray road reaching into the distance, where the Imp could see some kind of tiny speck of dirt floating above the water.

With the sun directly behind that speck of dirt, the Imp had no idea what to think. It was something that it hadn't felt before.

This was the first time that the Imp was faced with Manmade Beauty.

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