Swamped Chapter 1 Page 7


As you look over the selection on the rack, you’re surprised to find a large, thick pair of gloves. Not that you don’t recognize it – you just wouldn’t have expected the Bogknights to have them at all.

You put the gloves on and they feel comfortingly familiar. These are Jonathan Flame’s Throwing Gloves. The famed inventor equipped them with various mechanisms you don’t fully understand which improve your grip on small objects and allowing you to throw with much more control than with just your own hands – and, if you so desire, power.

You mostly used them to simplify the process of carrying small objects across the farm. Still, you developed reasonably good throwing technique as you did, and it might serve you well here. At the least, you can demonstrate some sort of skill.

Of course, you’re going to need something to throw with it. But it seems they thought of that, too; there’s a wooden skyslicer right next to it. If you’re going to specialize in thrown weapons, it’s probably best to have one that comes back to you.

Having picked out your gear, you walk back into the middle of the room and take a few moments to judge the best angle of attack. Then you fling the skyslicer at the dummy. It strikes your foe in the chest and knocks it over, before flying right back into your hand.

“A decent start,” the sergeant says. “Your technique is good, but you took a bit too long in planning your attack. If that had been a real opponent, they could have used that time to strike you or a teammate, or move to an inconvenient spot.”

You nod. She has a point. You’ve generally been able to take your time planning trajectories and the like, especially with the skyslicer where you need to account for its return. But if you get into real combat, you’ll need to think faster.

Still, you feel you handled that reasonably well. Although, you’re curious about something.

“Why do you have a pair of these gloves? I heard the military didn’t consider them adequate.”

“Well, first point, we take what we can get here. Flame donated us a few of his tools, gloves included. We didn’t have much use for them, but we put them in storage anyways. Second point, which military exactly are you talking about?”

You’re reminded that you don’t know much about the political situation behind this war.

“I’m from Graeland, sir. I meant theirs.”

“Right. Well, we don’t take orders from Graeland, or from anyone else. Rather, we get volunteers and supplies from every kingdom. So anything their military’s decided doesn’t affect us.”

Now that she mentions it, you realize you haven’t seen any national flags around here.

But if they’re not working for any kingdom, that suggests they’re not trying to hold or claim the territory for one. What’s the fighting all about, then?

You don’t really have time to think about it, though, as the sergeant is already reminding you that your training for the day is hardly finished yet.

“We can’t do much more with offensive training today, since we need to plan a course based around your preferred weapon and current skill level. So instead, we’ll be moving on to…”

What’s the next step in your training?

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underwater breath holding class

Getting this dang swamp muck out of clothes.

Author’s Note:

I am a shameless punster. I am equally shameless about dropping a terrible pun to subvert a highly impractical suggestion and turning it into worldbuilding.