Oh my god chapter number 4….. Sorry that took so long! It’s all because of my computer dying… Yeah, all because of that. Well, uh… I don’t have much else to say. Expect the next chapter in two weeks or so. Oh, and I’ll post some other thing I wrote back on another site sometime this coming week. Why? Cause branching out, that’s why!
“Well, he wasn’t in that one…” I muttered as I snuck out into the back alley of a pub, my HP in the red. I pulled an arrow out of my arm and flicked it behind me. After I drank a health potion, I called Daemon. “Alright… where’s the next place?”
“Next street over, beside an inn.”
I let out a defeated groan and looked up at the darkening sky. “God this is taking forever… Searching for him in every bar in Incipio is stupid!”
Daemon rolled his eyes. “Well then, you have a better idea?”
I thought for a minute. “Okay, is there any bar not marked on the map?”
Daemon glared at me. “Oh, okay, let me just check the map for an unmarked bar. That’ll certainly work!”
“Tone down the sarcasm. I was just thinking, If Gnatz was at a pub that any player could get to; reports of him being in the city would explode. Yet nothing even hints to him being here. So he must be somewhere reclusive…”
“Or he’s disguised as a normal person and he’s at any ol’ bar.”
I let out another defeated groan. “Dammit, you have a point…” I begrudgingly plodded towards the next bar; my shoulders slumped heavily at my side. “All the stupid Princess said was that he was at some pub! How is that helpful in the least? He might not even be at a pub! He’s a blacksmith, right? He could very well just be at some smith shop! Though I doubt any smith could handle whatever uneasy air he has…”
My feet stopped moving once I got to the main street. My brain began churning. “But…” I said quietly, “I know a certain buff elf who could handle him…”
I felt hot breath against my ear as the dragon beside me perked up. “You mean that lovely Smith from before! She thought I was cute…”
There was a moment of silence. “You know she tried to kill me!”
“Yeah, that’s what made her even better. I like people who try to kill you.”
Before I could reply, I caught something from the corner of my eye. There was a figure down the street, staring directly at me through the crowd. “Whatever,” I said to my guide, “Let’s just go…”
I spun around on my feet and rushed off to the elf sisters I had met earlier today. Within a few minutes, Magnes’ Shop and Smith was before me, a closed sign set on the door of the shop. A few loud knocks were met by the soft voice of Lith telling me that the shop was closed. The next couple of knocks were met by the harsh voice of Magnes telling me to go suck off a donkey.
“Might wanna try a different approach,” Daemon advised.
I scanned over the shop and shed, looking for another way in. The shed doors were locked and all windows were closed. There was a door at the back of the shop though, but knocking on it had no effect. I huffed, looking over the back of the shed on more time. I paused as my eyes went to the chimney. No smoke. Which meant that the kiln wasn’t in use. My mouth formed into a sly smile.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea…”
“Well then, you have a better idea?”
Daemon was silent. He sighed then puffed away.
“Thought so. Operation Santa Claus is a go!” Using my heightened agility, I was able to scale the back wall of the shed. Once on the roof, I peered down the chimney. The bricks were caked with soot. “God I hope Gnatz is in here…” I muttered as I took the leap. There was a loud crash as I hit the bottom, breaking an empty kettle. I hesitantly crawled out of the kiln, seeing three shocked and angry faces. Two belong to the elf sisters and one belonged to a stocky, dark-skinned dwarf. I stood up, my arms stretched out before me. “I can explain…” I said, seconds before a hammer smacked me square in the head.
My vision went black, meaning one of three things. I was blinded by a spell of some sort. My character was knocked unconscious. Or I had just died. The first option was ruled out, as I couldn’t move my body. The third wasn’t it as there was no prompt telling me of my demise. So I must have been unconscious. Great. About half a minute later, I woke with my head resting on someone’s legs. I could hear two voices arguing about something. Though I couldn’t make out who they were or what they were saying as my vision was blurry and my hearing was a bit faded. I flipped onto my back, rubbing my eyes. I opened them up again to see a pointed face peering over an ample bust.
A soft voice rang out like a bell, “Oh, so I see you’re awake, madam. I was afraid you’d be out longer considering how hard Magnus through the hammer at you.” The young woman rubbed my forehead. “But you have a pretty big mark…”
“Wha…” I immediately bolted up right. “What?!”
Lith gazed at me, a light smile on her lips.
“Oh geez! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to look at your…” My eyes wandered back to her chest. I found it funny how the smaller sister had the larger rack.
“Hey! Stop eyeballing me sister you perverted asstwat!” Magnes stood up, gripping the collar of my cape to hoist me up. “What kinda girl ogles another girl?!”
“A lesbian…” I said through garbled breaths.
“Magnes, cut it out,” Lith demanded in a strict tone. “Put her down.” The petite yet busty elf returned to her normal voice, “I know you’re just jealous because I happen to be more developed than you…” Lith tilted her head to the side with a sincere smile.
Magnes took a deep breath and dropped me, causing me to fall back down onto the bench. “Why do you gotta bring that up…”
The dwarf who had been silent the whole time giggled a bit. “Oh you two,” he began in a happy, gravelly voice. “At it with each other as always.”
I let my eyes drift to the dwarf, nervous at what I would see. Even though he didn’t sound like how I thought he would. When I finally got a good look at the fabled blacksmith, I felt my heartbeat rise. The dark-skinned dwarf looked at me back with happy eyes, red cheeks, and a full smile. A large bottle of some dark bubbly liquid was in his hand.
“I’m Gnatz,” the dwarf said with a hiccup. “Nice to meetcha, human! I haven’t met one in quite awhile!” He took a swing of his drink before outstretching his meaty hand, “And while I’m usually not to fond of ‘em, a friend of these lovely girls is a friend of mine!”
After an initial moment of shock, I shook the dwarfs hand. His hearty grip caused me to lose a few health points. I pulled my arm back, trying my hardest not to groan in pain. “He-hello… Gnatz…”
“This twerp ain’t a friend of ours!” Magnes bellowed.
“Oh quiet Maggie, I know you like her,” Lith replied.
“Pfft, like her? I only like her dragon…”
Daemon appeared on queue, happily flapping to the large elf.
I shook my head. “Yeah, yeah…” I gave the drunken dwarf another look over. “I, uhh… Don’t know if this is the best time Gnatz, sir…”
“Oh nothing with sir! Gnatz is just fine!”
“Okay… Gnatz. I have something to give you… A letter from Princess Sheol.”
There was a second of silence before the dwarf let out an enormous burp. “A letter you say? Lemme ‘ave a gander!”
I look the letter out of my inventory, hesitantly giving it to Gnatz. The drunken smith took the letter from my hand in a swift motion, ripping it open with his teeth. With one hand, he discarded the envelope and opened the letter, his other hand still gripping the alcohol.
“Hmmm…” Gnatz slowly read over the letter. He took another swig and read it over again. “Darn Princess, can’t read her handwriting! Lith! Tell me what this says!”
Lith reached her hand out, taking the letter from Gnatz. After a quick read, the elf held her breath. “I…” she mumbled. “I can’t believe this…”
“What is it!?” I yelled, attempting to snatch the letter from the girl. All I got was a slap on my hands.
“Gnatz,” Lith began, “This is important. The Princess wants… you to go to Ruins of the King….”
“What’s the big deal about that?” Magnes asked.
“No, not just go to it. Go under it…” The room was silent as Lith continued. “Apparently Russtle found some hidden passageway in the Ruins… A passageway that leads to an expansive chamber under the Desolate Tower.”
“What!?” Magnes and I exclaimed in unison.
“There’s a chamber under the Tower?” I crossed my arms under my faux bust, my head titled to the side. There was nothing about that online… The entire game, besides the unreached levels of the Tower, had been explored. And there was never any talk about the updates adding in new areas. The passageway Russtle discovered must have been added in the most recent update. It was weird that Absolute Medium opted not to inform the players. Then again, there was no information about a quest being triggered by interacting with the Princess. Does this have anything to do with the 2nd Anniversary Tournament, I wondered.
“Well that’s what the letter says…” Lith responded. “Anyways, the Princess wants the chamber to be investigated. But she can’t send anyone well known down there. She said that if the populous know about it, adventures would comes in droves to search throughout the crypt.” Lith looked up at Gnatz, “So she wants you to go down there and investigate.”
“When does she want me to go?” The dwarf asked in a frighteningly serious tone.
“As soon as possible. She wants you to go before people start gathering for the Tournament.”
Gnatz sighed, drinking more of the alcohol in his hand. “That’s just great… I was planning on relaxing tomorrow!” The smith shook his head. “Any other bothers I have to deal with?”
“Well, uh…” Lith read the message once more. “Princess Sheol wants… You to have someone tag along.”
“But she knows I don’t work good with others! Just who does she want to bog me down?”
“Yes, um… She wants you to take the human.”
“Me!?” I asked enthusiastically, “Am I the human!”
Lith nodded. “The letter says for Gnatz to take the deliverer of this message down to the chamber with him…”
I gave Gnatz a wide smile. He gave me an angry glare. I looked at the dwarf nervously. He kept the glare. I responded with an awkward laugh. He lifted the bottle of booze to his mouth, gulping down the entire thing. I laughed again. He slammed the glass flask down on the table. I bit my lip. An uneasy air was coming off of Gnatz. Sweat began to bead on my forehead as my heartbeat quickened. After a long moment of excruciating silence, Gnatz burped once more, this time causing the table and chairs we were sitting in to shake. His drunken smile returned as the air settled down.
“Man!” He finally said, “That burp took a long time coming! And it was quite powerful, huh?” The smith let out a hearty laugh.
I muttered under my breath, “These NPCs are fricking insane…”
“So,” Gnatz said in a cheery voice, “Looks like we’ll be working together tomorrow! Sound good to you?”
“Uh, yeah… Sure. Sounds good, but I kinda don’t have a good weapon with me. I’m waiting on some handmade weapons. But they’ll be done right before the tournament starts…”
“Well who’s making the weapons for ya?” The dwarf asked.
Magnes cleared her throat. “I am, actually. Making some daggers for her. They ain’t gonna be done early though.” The muscular elf turned her attention to me, “Cause since a certain someone fell through our kiln!”
“Well, I’ll just have to help you then. Let’s finish ‘em up right now! I always work better when I ‘ave some whiskey in mah system!”
Magnes looked back of the Dwarf. “We both know that’s a lie.”
“I said let’s finish ‘em up right now!!” Gnatz stood up from his seat and stumbled towards a nearby workbench.
“I SAID RIGHT NOW!!”
“Fine you old boozer!” Magnes angrily replied. She cupped her hands under the dragon on her lap and placed him gently on her chair as she got up. The elf then grabbed her soot-covered apron from a hook on the wall before walking over to the kiln. “But this is my shop so we do things my way!”
“Yeah, yeah…” Gnatz grumbled, heading to an icebox in the corner.
“Which means no more drinks!!” Magnes gabbed the hammer she had thrown at me and threw it at the older smith.
As the hammer scored a direct hit, I glanced over at Lith.
Lith smiled, sensing my concern. “It’s okay, they normally act like this.”
“I really gotta give it to the NPC programmers of this game…”
The green-haired elf tilted her head. “What was that?”
“Uh… nothing.” I pulled up my menu, checking out the time. I would need to get ready to go to bed soon. “Well this has been fun,” I said to the girl beside me, “but I need to go find an inn and rest up.”
“Oh, well you can just use one of the beds upstairs.”
“But… won’t you guys need to go to sleep?”
Lith shook her head, “Elves don’t sleep as much as humans. Once every other day or so is fine for us.”
“Cool. I’ll gladly take your offer then.”
“Alright then. Go into the store and use the door beside the counter. Take the stairs and use the bedroom on the right,” Lith said with a smile.
I smiled back as I stood up. “Thank you.” My gaze went to the little dragon asleep on the chair. “Daemon,” I called out “Wake up, we’re going upstairs.”
Daemon groaned as he puffed away. He reappeared on my shoulder. “I was hoping you’d forget about me…”
“And I was hoping you wouldn’t be a dick when…” I clenched my fist, angry that Daemon had fallen back asleep on my shoulder. I decided to leave him be and entered the store. I looked out the large display windows beside the front door when I walked by. I suddenly stopped in place, seeing a figure standing outside. It appeared to be the same figure from before. I licked my lips, a thought raced through my mind. The figure stayed for another second before walking off.
“Damn… I guess I didn’t shake everyone off from earlier…” I went to the door beside the counter, my hand tightly gripping the knob. “The shed is soundproof, so I know whoever that was didn’t hear anything… Gotta make sure no one follows us into the Chamber tomorrow…” I opened the door and proceeded up the stairs, mentally preparing myself for whatever would happen the next day.