The fall took a while--a few minutes, in fact, which was long enough for it to become surprisingly boring. Dunstan had never been skydiving before, but it didn’t strike him as particularly thrilling. Without being able to alter his trajectory very much at all, he was stuck watching as the vast forest slowly crept closer.
Reza’s excitement level seemed to have dropped significantly as well. ‘Hey, do you think you’ll survive this? A hundred wingwangs says you don’t.’
‘I don’t know what a wingwang is.’
‘It’s any unit of money. I’d pick a specific one, but we’re in Korgum now, and I don’t really keep up with that shit anyway. You know how many different currencies have come and gone during my lifetime?’
‘A little more than that, smart guy.’
‘So four, then?’
Reza snickered. ‘Y’know, I kinda like it when you play dumb. It makes you seem more innocent and charming. In fact, from now on, just do that forever.’
Dunstan finally reached the forest and crashed through the canopy at terminal velocity. The net of leaves and branches tried to break his fall and only narrowly succeeded. Wood exploded into splinters and fell with him, and his right leg snapped and then tore clean off. The final impact into the underbrush still shattered almost every bone that he could feel, and as he regained his senses, he was fairly certain that at least a few of his organs had been liquefied, though he was mainly just surprised that his brain had not been one of them.
The regeneration was already in effect as he struggled to leverage himself onto one arm. The blood that came shooting out of his mouth, nose, and eyes informed him that it would be a little while longer before he would be able to stand again.
‘Hey, uh, Dunstan,’ said Reza, more nervously again, ‘I know you’re still having a rough time right now, but we’re not alone down here.’
He couldn’t quite formulate a response yet.
‘There are a bunch of servants around us,’ she said, ‘and most of them have fucked up souls. And I don’t wanna worry you, but I think they’re gonna be tryin’ to eat our faces here in a little bit.’
He rolled over and found the brunt of a thick tree for support. ‘Hide underground for now,’ Dunstan told her.
‘Yeah, about that, uh, I’m sensing some weird shit underground, too, so...’
‘I’m not really sure. But if you could stand up right now, that’d be awesome.’