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Chapter 19 - Personal Improvement Plan - Step 2: Guidelines for Improvement

Elric opened his eyes and lowered his hands. The goblin form of Ventus stood in front of him, wide eyed and mouth slightly open. The demon Francis came running quickly from the other side of the room carrying a bandoleer holding several potions.

The smell of burnt clothing and hair filled Elric’s nose. He shook a little as his body tried to decide what it was going to do, it settled on screaming.

“Aaaahhh!!” Elric said, screaming as he fell to his knees. The cool stone floor touched his skin where his pants had burned away.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean.” Ventus said rushing towards Elric. A slight haze from the fire still surrounded Elric.

Francis appeared at Elric’s side and quickly pressed an open potion into the mans lips. Forcefully the demon tilted Elric’s head back and the contents dumped into the mans body. Black ash coated the man so after the first potion was administered the demon conjured a little wind. The breeze scattered the ashes and haze allowing everyone to examine th…

Chapter 18 - Personal Improvement Plan - Step 1: Summary of Discussion

Elric appeared in the teleportation room at Mortis Operandi. He turned and thanked Guldag. When he turned towards the door, he saw a goblin bolt down the hallway. Not thinking anything of it, Elric headed to his room.

While Elric didn’t lock his door, it being slightly ajar worried him. Gathering up some power just in case, he opened the door. Sitting on his bed inside was Eft.

“The boss wants to talk to you.” Eft said as he stood up. “As soon as you got back.”

“Alright when do we go?” Elric said.

“You, he wants to talk to you alone.” Eft said. He reached up and patted Elric on the shoulder as he walked by. The old goblin stopped and turned around. “You smell like alcohol. Are you sober?”

“Yeah,” Elric said but was still a little buzzed. Eft appeared to be not convinced. “I’m fine, a little buzzed but I’ll be ok.”

“Here this will help you sober up some,” Eft said as he reached into a pocket and pulled out a vial much bigger than the pocket looked. He handed it to Elric. “Currently you…

Chapter 17 - Non-Paid Time Off

“Done,” Elric said as he walked back to Guldag who had been sipping a drink in a tavern. “I wrote the message, paid some town criers, and even found a crooked priest to add it to the daily prayer.”

“While it’s your money,” Guldag said when Elric sat at the table. Though the tavern was empty, he kept his voice low. “Will spreading rumors of a fake god with the same name really cause that much of a problem?”

“What you saying you do not believe there is a new god of easy and smooth shits? Do you doubt the divinity of Mar, the powerful being that helps crap flow from your asshole?” Elric worked hard at trying to not laugh, “Blessed be those who proclaim his name and beg his favor so they may shat with ease?”

“So people will think of him when they shit,” Guldag said. He whirled a finger in the air, “woo. Sounds like a minor annoyance.”

“Sure, minor, until your woken or have your dreams invaded by images of people shitting. Usually those who will invoke his name won’t be those who have easy…

Chapter 16 - Short Term Leave and FMLA

As Eft told his tale, Elric nodded his head and tried to note anything important. Marcanous’s group seem to not take precautions when using unknown powerful magic. They also appear to be unquestioningly loyal to each other to the point of being blind. A long moment passed after Eft went silent before either of them spoke.

“I’m sorry.” Elric said, breaking the silence.

“Thank you, it gets easier over the years,” Eft said. His tale over, he reached and finished the  remaining amount in the bottle.

Over the next few minutes Elric explained how he tested the rumor. The next step was to explain what he intended to do. He included everything so Eft could fully understand the end goal.

“You do not have to do this for me, I am managing my vengeance.”

“I’m not doing this just because of you. There were others injured in their attack, and who knows how many others have the  same tale as you.” Elric paused for a moment before asking a question he had been waiting to ask. “The item of power, woul…

Chapter 15 - Eft's Tale

“Ten, no fifteen years ago, gods has it been so long. It is much easier now, that I don’t about them each day. Margaret, Samuel, and little Denise. Denise would probably be a mother in her own right. She always loved acting like her dolls were her babies. She, she,” Eft turned his head away from Elric and his little goblin body shook several times.

Elric didn’t make a move. He was still mulling over the idea that Eft was once human. Why hasn’t the goblin gotten the spell reversed? Slowly and without making a sound, Elric reached over and slowly uncorked the bottle of liqueur. Carefully he put a handkerchief on the desk near it, then waited.

“I’m sorry, it is not something I’ve thought about, but the pain is still real.” Eft said as he turned around wiping his wet eyes. He saw the bottle and the handkerchief on the desk. He grabbed the cloth and wiped his eyes.

I remember it being a warm day, it was unusual in that snow was still on the ground. The winter had been mild and we were worr…