Swamped Chapter 74 Page 18

Maybe examining the corpse will offer some kind of clue. It’s not like you have any other leads.

The simplest option would be to swim out, jab it with your mudpike, and swim back carrying it along. But the muckweed makes that a good deal harder than it sounds.

In fact, it’s pretty strange how much muckweed there is here. It doesn’t usually get this close to the surface. Maybe the water was transported from the depths of the swamp?

Well. You’re out of other ideas, so you suppose you’ll go for a swim.

The hardest part is actually the first few steps. The water isn’t very deep, so there’s little between you and the muckweed. Once you actually have enough space to push off from the ground, it’s not nearly as bad, though you do have to push quite a few weeds away.

You try to stick to the path you’ve already cleared as you make your way back. It gets a bit rough without a free pike, but you soon make your way back to the ground with a dead muckdiver.

And you’re not sure how it died.

Usually, muckdivers survive the rain by hiding on the very bottom of the swamp, amidst the muckweed. You’ve seen what happens to stragglers before, and this isn’t it – the only wound is the one where you poked it to drag it along. And its more common predators wouldn’t leave this much of a body behind.

But it doesn’t look fully matured, so it probably didn’t die of old age. So that leaves disease, or… something it ate.

Well, you’ve already poked a hole pretty close to its stomach. Might as well see what you can find. You slice at it with your mudpike and look inside.

It’s mostly plants. Leaves, twigs, stray bits of muckweed… hold on, this twig’s got a bit of rope tied to it.

And near that is… a necklace? Looks like silver, but it’s deteriorating. Probably what killed the thing…

…and maybe it’s what brought the water here, too.

“Pity. Still, most of her meat shouldn’t be contaminated, only what’s near the throat. And I know someone who could use the meal.”

You turn around. It’s Rider.

You’re about to ask him where the hell he’s been, but you stop in shock when you see who’s with him.

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Ash would likely be quite a shock to see
A wizard. Not one like Captain Long, but an actual fully fledged wizard.