We have been traveling for countless days. I often wonder how things got this bad.
“Darling, go hunt us something, we are hungry.” Dubhe waved a paw-like hand at me dismissively.
She is an Ursine, or bearfolk. Something like a cross between a human – more often referred to as a hume in this land – and a literal bear. Although her facial features are more human-ish, it is hard to delineate her from a giant overstuffed plush bear. Especially now that she was expecting. Instead of a typical bear snout, the only bear features of her face are her fur patterning, and her black, cold, wet nose.
She is currently sitting on her rump, resting her back against a tree. If she were standing, she would be a bit over six feet tall. Probably closer to two meters. Her arms and legs are only slightly different in length. This allows her to trot on all fours when needed. She is doing much more of that lately, on account of it being easier on her while so far along in her pregnancy.
I can’t say she appeals to my sense of physical lust… Yet, I am certain those will be my children. I am worried about their eventual appearances. Being a mix between hume and ursine… what will they become?
I trudge my weary legs through the forest. It’s difficult to keep your steps quiet after walking nearly the whole day. Spotting some small game… for this world… I hurl a small spear. Its tip is shaped like a twisted arrowhead, carved from wood. The shaft is also wooden. To enhance its speed, I have become adept at accelerating it using my runes.
I have become quite effective, recently, at using these inscription on my arms and hands to accelerate objects beyond my normal means. The runes impart a… an ability to control certain forces at will, when well practiced. I happen to design a set that controls all forces, but of a very weak nature, due to there being no focus. Turns out, this is actually somewhat beneficial, and can often be used in unusual ways. Generating a small amount of matter at the end of the spear; literally too close to the butt, generates force. Combining that with accelerating the air around the spear, and a vacuum in front of it, and high pressure behind it, and spin along the sides… Despite their weak effects, the combination of all of them together results in quite the force.
With the considerable speed and spin, it impacts, drilling through the creature, something close to a large boar. I’m told they are the children of orcs. After foraging around for several tens of years, they reach some sort of growth spurt, and their bodies start to change into something of a humanoid pig. Every time I think about it, I just get pictures in my head of the ‘Animal Farm’ book I had read in school. When they survive through their growth spurt, they become formidable creatures that rival the ursines in their strength. What’s worse, is that they become ravenously promiscuous. Apparently worse than ducks.
That leaves me to thinking about how I haven’t seen many flying creatures since coming to this world. It’s not that they don’t exist… More like they only exist if they serve a particular purpose. Like being exotically pretty. Well, at least, that’s what I’ve noticed.
My thoughts continue to meander while dragging the prey back, I see Lilia standing in a small window of sunlight breaking through the forest canopy above. She is a very curvy and slightly short dryad. She is also expecting, and shows definitive signs that she will also be delivering soon.
None of this was in my original plans. I don’t even know how it ended up like this.
I am now a slave whose sole purpose is to feed the soon-to-be mother bear Dubhe, and Lilia, the wonderful dryad, won’t talk to me anymore. She just follows along half asleep. The only time I see her show any sort of interest in social contact is when she is cold, and snuggles up to Dubhe for warmth at night. Which, I do admit, Dubhe’s fur is divine on a cold night. Snuggling up to her is like putting a thick blanket over yourself with an electric heater.
“Oh, an orc child! Wonderful. Certainly this is worthy of my appetite. Darling, you may have what is left when I am done.” I don’t even bother listening, I just walk away to find some nuts, legumes, or other edible plants.
Ursines like their food fresh, uncooked, and abhor fire. Apparently we are close to the ursine Great Library, and starting a fire here will incite aggression from the other bearfolk in the area. I, personally, can’t stomach raw meat, except maybe a bit of fish.
Fish. How long has it been since I ate fish? I have yet to see an ocean… or a lake… or even a river, since coming to this world. Just forests forever. Not even a hill or a mountain. Just flat forests. The only thing that breaks the similarities is the occasional hume town, which we never go near, and the Gaia Trees. To say the Gaia Trees are massive would be an injustice. They are easily a few thousand feet tall.
In many ways, this is a wondrous place. The Gaia Trees embody that magical sense of wonder in my mind, as do these runes etched on my body. In many ways, this place is also very boring. There is literally no culture here, very few towns, and those that do exist hardly have more than a few hundred occupants.
It is a far cry from my old world of skyscrapers, and metropolises of millions strong. I still wonder why I’m here sometimes. I don’t know why the Goddess reincarnated me, but I find myself appalled at this world’s sense of morals. The town I first went to, where they enslaved women as baby making machines; to the Enclave with their hive mind exiling anything non-conforming; and finally, the ursine with their culture of mortal combat to claim enslavement to and child rearing rights from a female.
I just can’t justify standing idly and not showing these people there is a better way.
There has to be. And finding out that I will live for a thousand years, I aim to create a town to show that.
First, however, I need to survive parenthood with a wife that thinks I’m a slave… And a dryad… concubine? Either way, she won’t talk to me.
Goddess help me.
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! First chapter! Wooo! Sorry for the quasi-recap. I hate it when authors do that… but now I realize why they do.