I regained consciousness after what I can only assume were hours. I took a minute or two to gather my wits and take a look at my surroundings. I was, in fact, in a thick, dark forest. I sat up, and almost immediately regretted doing so because of the pain in my side. I felt around and unfortunately discovered that I had a dislocated rib. I worked up the courage to grab hold of it and shove it back into place. That part was also very painful, but the pain susided after a few deep breaths.
I looked at my left leg, recalling that pain from when I hit the ground. It looked alright, but when I put pressure on it, I realized that I had a badly sprained ankle. I couldn't just keep walking on it, so I tore a branch down and used it as a sort of crutch. I did not know which direction to head, so I just picked a path and started walking. Limping, rather
I wandered for what felt like another hour before I reached the edge of the accursed forest. I looked out upon a beautiful scenery. I saw a green valley placed between several mountains, and resting in that valley was a colorful and active town consisting of cottages, gardens, gazebos, and I think I saw some sort of town hall.
I spotted what looked like an apple orchard and a farm to the left, and it was pretty close to my position, which made me notice that I was suddenly very hungry. I hadn't eaten much since I started practicing the ritual almost non-stop. I limped over to the orchard in a hungry haste. There was a short white fence, but it posed no deterrent.
I somewhat strolled through the seemingly boundless rows of apple trees and looked for a suitable apple, but it was like each and every single one was the perfect shade of red or green. I wondered how the farmer could grow all of them so perfectly; I would expect to see at least a few rotten, worm-ridden ones to be lying on the ground, but all of them were just... perfect.
I just grabbed a dark red one near my head, and sat down under the shade of its tree. It was so juicy and delicious.
After a few minutes, I spotted motion behind one of the rows of trees. I saw a man's body, from the shoulders down, pushing a wheelbarrow practically overflowing with the fruit. I then heard some one, a woman, but with a southern drawl and a hint of toughness say, "Alright, Big Mac. Just that last batch an' we'll be done fer the day."
I got up, grabbing my crutch, and ventured off in their direction. i poked my head out from behind the foliage right behind the man, but the sun was quite an irritant. I lifted my arm up to shield my eyes. But because I did it with my crutch-wielding arm, I seemed to look like an assailant about to hit the man in the back. I did not think that at the time, but I put two and two together when I heard the female shout, "Big Mac! Behind you!"
The man, apparently this "Big Mac," turned his head to look at me with a calm "Hmm?" and he was upon me in less than a second, pinning me to the ground with his left hand on my crutch arm, and his right on my throat.
I hadn't gotten a good look at him earlier, but now I could see him perfectly. He had medium-sized blonde hair, light stubble, green eyes, and a stalk of wheat in the corner of his mouth. He seemed to be in his late twenties to early thirties. I looked at his apparel; he was wearing a black-and-red plaid button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and a pair of worn down jeans. But what caught my attention was his physique. He was, without exaggeration, an Addonis. But his face; it held this plain expression of calm and apathy.
Just before my eyes completely glazed over from the strangulation, he released his hold on my throat. And as I lay there, coughing and hacking and wheezing, the source of the female voice walked over and stood over me along with Big Mac.
"Sheesh, Big Mac. Ah said to look out, not kill 'em."
Big Mac shrugged.
"Anyway, who are you, an' what're ya doin' in Sweet Apple Acres?"
She was a young blonde girl, with a few freckles across her cheeks, green eyes, and her long hair was set in a ponytail that hung over her left shoulder. She had a brown stetson on, cowboy boots, and an orange plaid button-up like Big Mac with the sleeves rolled up.
"Ah said, 'Who are you, and what're ya doin' here?' And what's with that funny-lookin' getup?" Her voice was kind, but concerned.
She was referring to my ritual clothes and body paint. I was wearing a black sleeveless hooded robe with coattails that reached my ankles and had an arcane design stitched in gold going through the dull red borders. The body paint was literally full-body. It resembled a skeletal image and could have easily frightened a small child.
"Uh... It's my ceremonial robe and body paint," I answered awkwardly.
"Uh, okay... but that doesn't answer who y'are or what you're doing here."
"I was, uh, my name is... is..." Why couldn't I remember my name? Could the fall have been severe enough to jar my memory? It's possible, but then how could I remember everything else about myself?
"I-I don't... remember my name. I don't remember my own name."
She looked at me puzzledly,"Um, well ah'm gonna have to call you something..." She rubbed her chin, deep in thought, "How about Nobody?"
Big Mac looked at her with a face that said something like, "Really?"
"What? What else should we call him?"
"No, no. She's right. Just call me Nobody..." I supposed that that would be just as suitable a name as any.
"Alright, then. But what're ya doin' here?" she pressed.
"I was, trying to speak with Mephisto and see if he would take the voices away. I swear I did the ritual and the spell correctly, but somehow, I ended up here." I didn't care if they thought I was a lunatic. They wouldn't be completely wrong if they did.
"Wait," she said,"Did you say 'spell?'"
"Yes. I'm a, I'm a Necromancer," I said, now a little embarrassed.
"That involves magic, doesn't it?" she asked, sounding a little confused.
"Yes," I answered.
She looked at Big Mac questioningly, and he gave her a shrug as a reply. It seems I've either confused them somehow or just made them think I'm crazy.
"You, a normal earth being, can use magic?" she asked, now sounding a little sarcastic.
"Earth being? What do you mean e-" What she said struck something in me. What if I'd done the ritual correctly and this was the Underworld? What if she was a messenger of Mephisto? That must be why she said "earth being." I've landed in the Underworld, and these people must be demons!But what if I've offended them? What if I can't seek counsel with Mephisto because of this?
I quickly rolled over and got on my knees, put my hands on the ground in fromt of me, bowed my head, and quickly blurted out "O' forgive my insolence, great messenger of Mephisopheles! I did not mean to offend! Please, I merely seek counsel with your almighty leader!"
Sorry this chapter was as long as it was. The length of each chapter will vary a lot, but they'll stay around the same size. Next chapter: A wild Rainbow Dash appears!