Chapter 14 – Demon’s Seed
The Heat-Seeking Ice Hunter seed that Lotus had thrown was an expensive thing, and a dangerous one in such a cold place. She wouldn’t have used it but none of the other plants she had could both survive the cold and support Oak and Dima’s weight. As the blue-white plant grew it coiled through the water like a snake; trying to reach the source of heat so close to its grasp. On land it wasn’t much better, as Lotus avoided the plant that was trying to grasp her. She yelled out to Dawn, telling her to use her voice.
Dawn focused her energy and waited till the plant had pulled their companions from the water. When they were clear, she yelled ‘slice’ with her ability and caused the plant to fall to pieces with clean cuts. Dawn then fell back into dizziness. Lotus hurried to treat her new patients. Luckily, they Dima had consumed the cold protection potion and didn’t seem to have breathed in any water. When he recovered from the shock he would probably wake up.
Oak on the other hand, seemed to be in a much worse condition. Lotus left Dawn to take care of Dima while she went to work. She immediately brought the heavy tree spirit close to the fire and laid her on some pelts. Her armour was frozen in place and had to be levered off with a dagger. The worst injury was a frost burn around her body where the plant had gasped her. Lotus wasn’t entirely sure about how to go about treating her, and immediately gave up on herbal remedies. Instead she used more of her druid power.
Mend plant and heal tree didn’t seem to have any effect. The improved version, restore nature, also did nothing. From that she realised that, despite how she looked, Oak wasn’t a plant as far as her magic was concerned. That considerably lowered the number of spells she could use. In the end she modified the heal animal spell infill it had some small effect, than repeated that till it was fully healed. It was crude and inefficient, but it eventually got the job done.
When oak had recovered and was resting, Lotus noticed that an extra person had been pulled out of the ice. She was above average looking and a little older then herself. There was something familiar about her that she couldn’t put her figure on. Lotus would have been more worried about her, since she had been in the ice, but she was standing up and stretching like she had woken up from a nap. Furthermore, her clothes dried in an instant and colour rapidly returned to her face. With a still sleepy face the woman spoke with a yawn.
Lotus resisted the urge to correct her and point out that it was well into the afternoon, but instead returned the greeting.
“Good morning to you, too.” On hearing a reply the woman seemed to wake up more and look at Lotus clearly. Her green eyes locked with her own and Lotus was reminded of the dreams she had had since she started playing the game. Her dreams were when she felt like she was talking to the 13th world.
“Eh? W-who might you be?” the woman somewhat timidly asked, “Did you, by any chance, save me from the ice?” Her timid attitude was far in contrast with her appearance. Her face looked like it was carved from pure determination, but when she spoke her image broke.
Lotus introduced herself and confirmed that she pulled her from the ice. The woman introduced herself as Lotus a demon organ merchant. Her trade was how she was able to survive under the ice. Demons were often similar to humans in appearance and anatomy. As such, a demon organ merchant would preserve the fresh organs of a demon and transplant them into customers. Class-wise it seemed that to become one levels had to be taken as both an apothecary and a demonologist.
A lot of Lucy’s internal organs had been replaced with demonic parts and as such being under the ice like that only put her to sleep. Unfortunately, the reason she was in the ice in the first place was because she had been robbed. She wanted to repay Lotus for helping her but didn’t have anything much on her to do that. As Lucy had once been an apothecary, she knew all too well how much the seed that had saved her was worth.
One thing that she did have, however, was a small opal-like seed that had colours like a nebula, like a night sky far from city lights. Its colours and lights seemed to move and have no fixed position. If was solid in the hand but they moved like it was a liquid of gas. Lucy explained that it was a type of demon seed called a devouring shield seed. Demon seeds were, as the name suggested, seeds that came from a demonic plant. They had both demon properties and plant properties making them useful for a number of classes. Unfortunately, true demonic plants were rare and if they lived long enough, they could become sentient. The devouring shield seed could be implanted under the skin of a section of a body and grow a light-weight and durable armour that would regenerate if damaged.
It was worth far more than the Heat-Seeking Ice Hunter seed Lotus had used. As such, wanting to maintain a long lasting relationship, Lotus accepted the seed only in exchange for some healing poultices and leopard horns. She still profited heavily from the trade but both sides could at least feel like they gained something.
After talking for a short while longer Lucy said her farewells and promised to meet again after she got her trade back up and running. She made her way down the mountain alone but seemingly in high spirits. To Lotus, she felt kind of like the big sister she never had, and it was comforting to know someone like that. With Lucy gone, Lotus checked on everyone’s condition. Dima was still out cold, though healing well, and Oak seemed to be pretending to sleep. It didn’t bother Lotus that she was faking; she just thought it was another one of her quirks relating to her husband.
Dawn on the other hand seemed to have acclimatised to the cold, albeit with the help of the fire, and was able to walk away from the camp without getting dizzy. Since the couple were going to be out till at least the next day, Lotus decided to take Dawn and hunt for dinner. With some luck, they came across some more leopards. Taking them down easily, they dismantled them and returned to camp.