Questing V1, Chapter 6: Favor

When Demil jumped down into the vault, she immediately felt a burning sensation on her palm, so she quickly opened it and read “Congratulations; you have successfully exterminated the bandits and completed Luna’s quest within the optimal conditions! You have been rewarded with three-thousand, five-hundred favor points for killing over two-thousand grunts; the officers and clan-leader had a combined bounty of nine skill-points, giving you a total of twelve!”

She sighed and muttered “Ah, this is pretty ridiculous… so each of those golden bones must have been… what the hell?” While she was trying to access the menu, something else popped up and blocked her from shopping.

The message said “New Lunar Quest! Geb has been a slave for nearly thirty-nine years; he has been used and abused since childhood, because of his strong elven blood, and innate talent in earth-manipulation. A few months ago, he was captured by the ‘Sahidic Demons’ clan, and brutally tortured because of his refusal to help them open an ancient tomb a dozen miles to the northwest of where their encampment was.

“Free Geb, and return him to his mother Anouke, who is the current matriarch of Quena Village. If you are able to heal his wounds, you will receive bonus skill-points and favor. Do you accept this quest?” Her answer was pretty easy to guess.

After hacking off his hands and feet, rather than wasting time trying to fool around with the iron chains, she dragged him onto her mount and let him rest on the hard mithril-scales. It was obvious that the obsidian-skinned man was severely dehydrated and starving; considering his rather extreme injuries, she decided to finally go into her stash of luxurious emergency rations.

The man would have been nearly six-feet tall, if he possessed the ability to stand, but he still seemed incredibly small when compared to Demil. Since she dismembered him, the irritated tigress was forced to pour the glass vial filled with concentrated mana-fruit directly into his toothless mouth; he smelled disgusting, and she could tell that there were quite a few festering wounds on his body, not to mention the general filthiness.

Before anything else, her first order of business was to ride Angu to the river; then she used a special soap and rough sponge to viciously cleanse his obsidian skin. Regardless of how uncomfortable, or painful, the burning sensation was, he never uttered a single word; she didn’t even try to talk to Geb, because she knew that he wouldn’t have understood her anyway.

Once she finished scrubbing the ‘man’ to a sufficient extent, Demil sighed and brought him back to the giant lizard, so that she could feed him some extremely expensive magical-beast blood. Since he couldn’t possibly chew anything, and was completely useless in such a pathetic state, she needed to invest a considerable amount of effort into ‘fixing’ him.

As she looked at his stumps, she muttered “Where the hell is Rachael when I need her?” Then the irritated tigress hesitantly retrieved one of the emergency pills that she had received from the absent doe; it was an incredibly precious, dangerous, and potent ‘medicine.’

Demil walked back over to the trembling, scarlet-eyed man, who was laying on his back, completely powerless; after she shoved the screeching pink, wingless cockroach, into Geb’s mouth, it immediately scurried down his throat. Once a few seconds passed, she glared at him and growled “You better fucking survive this. Not that I would ever want to use this on myself, but do you have any idea how difficult it was for that brat to create one of these disgusting bugs? Of course you don’t, you have no idea what I’m talking about, and now you’re… yep, you’re unconscious. Ugh, so gross…”

The exhausted tiger-girl went back to her soft, leather, sofa-chair, and reclined it; she had been up all night, and needed to get some rest. Luckily, the man that was laying by her feet was unable to scream, or move, so she was able to have a peaceful nap.
For nearly four days, Rachael and Alexis had been in a comatose state. Yet, after consuming nothing but demonic and celestial materials prior to that, their bodies were still filled with an overabundance of mana, energy and nutrients.

However, the fact that they were incontinent for all that time… well, it was fortunate that their clothing and supplies were placed, very far away from them. Even though they were barely breathing, and surrounded by a disgusting stench, they definitely weren’t dead.

The slime that had been covering their skin and fur, completely lost most of its moisture by that point, and it was incredibly adhesive. When the walls of the crystalline pyramid began glowing brightly, a deep rumble was resounding outside; more important than that, was the rapidly decreasing mana-level within the atmosphere the two girls had been breathing.

Once the air had dropped down to a similar mana-density as Angren, both the elf-doe and chimera-squirrel, began regaining consciousness. Rachael’s left cheek, was glued to Alexis’ furry forehead; luckily, only their upper-bodies were stuck together, though it was still pretty bad either way.

Both of them immediately began groaning, and struggling to detach from each-other as quickly as possible. After a few immensely uncomfortable minutes, they managed to separate; Rachael was the first to stand-up, and she stretched her arms out, while smiling happily: as if she had just woken up from a pleasant nap.

Alexis stumbled to her feet, and gagged, while looking at the mess that they were just laying in, the smell was almost as terrible as the sight. She sighed and grumbled “This… just what the hell happened to us? Shit, did you drug me again? Eww, for fuck’s sake! Gah, my tail… no-no-no-no, ugh, there’s so much… everywhere.”

The doe snickered and explained “Judging by the amount of excrement, it seems we’ve remained unconscious for at least two or three days. Hmmm, this crystalline structure is peculiar, and we appear to be surrounded by water… Maybe you should be a little more concerned that we’re trapped in a giant pyramid, and stop complaining about being slightly dirty?”

Then she suddenly noticed that the back of their right hands had an azure crescent-moon tattoo on it. While the squirrel-girl was having a panic-attack, Rachael was examining her palm, and exclaimed “Holy shit! Alex, stop freaking out and look at your hand! Hahahaha~ this is amazing!”

She was ecstatic, because unlike the other three, her understanding of illusion magic was fairly high; at least it was enough for her to recognize how difficult it would have been for someone or something to create such a complex program. Instead of creating a holographic display, to act as an interface system, it would have been far simpler to create an auditory hallucination, but visuals were rather tricky.

Alexis managed to suppress her urge to vomit or scream, and ‘calmly’ gazed at her palm; then she asked “What the hell is this? Congratulations on passing the Lunar Buffet challenge… it says we earned seven bonus skill-points for a total of ten. Hey Horsie, do you know anything about this nonsense?”

Rachael snickered, then replied “It’s some kind of game between ridiculously powerful spirits. From what I can tell, we’re constantly being monitored through some pretty extreme telepathy. Well, whatever, the important thing is that when we do things for them, they pay us in a type of currency, which we should be able to use to download information and buy things. You don’t have to touch the hologram that you’re seeing, it’s an illusion, so just control it with your thoughts.”

When the squirrel-girl accessed the party-chat, she was able to read several days worth of conversation between Coffee and Demil; there was a single sentence of concern… but that was all, the two of them were completely forgotten. Actually, a good portion of the dialogue was definitely sexting, which had earned them some ‘Lunar’ favor for some strange reason.

Alexis sighed and started scanning through the shop’s skill-list, then she asked “Should we be picking a bunch of cheap ones? Wait, is there some limit to the amount of things we can learn?” In her recommended section were a myriad of useful abilities, such as: “Basic Stealth,” “Beginner Domination,” “Advanced Concealment,” “Master Torture” and plenty of other techniques or spells.

Many of the possibilities that they could choose, were simply more difficult versions of skills that they had already possessed. Rachael was smirking as she replied “If it works the same way as my teacher’s books, then it won’t make you understand anything. Rather, it should simply deliver the information required to learn things, directly into your mind. You would be amazed at the mental capacity of most humanoids… even if you could access every single one of these skills, your brain probably wouldn’t cease to function! I still wouldn’t recommend that though; once you reach a certain limit, you would start to forget some stuff.”

“Well, you can pick whatever you want, but I’m going to focus on the things that I wouldn’t be able to obtain on my own. For example, it says that ‘Terra Translations’ contains all written and verbal languages on Earth; we might not become fluent in them, but it only costs three points. Then there’s… no way, hmmm, we need to go do some quests or whatever!” She had seen some of the more expensive skills, and realized just how ridiculously fortunate they were, to have been chosen to become players.

Hearing her explanation, the squirrel-girl shouted “Fuck it! I can’t deal with this shit now! Let’s just clean ourselves off first; we can talk about this later!” However, in response to the irritating complaints, a stream of glowing pink liquid sprayed out of the doe’s mouth.

After the vibrant fluid splattered all over the front of Alexis’ body, hundreds of tiny purple worms began scurrying across her skin. She screamed “Seriously!? This is why you have no friends! I know for a fact that you can use water creation-magic, but no~ you just had~ to vomit all over me! Gah, I can’t even kill you because of this damn seal! If you weren’t such a fucking masochist, I could at least, inflict some sort of pain or discomfort on you!”

Rachael just rubbed the fragrant ooze all over herself, and snickered at the high-pitched squeaking. When the squirming critters finally started working properly, she calmly spoke “It may be ‘our’ waste, but there are still plenty of nutrients and mana in this excrement. We produced it after gorging ourselves on celestial foods and beverages, so it would be incredibly inefficient if we just washed it away.”

The glaring, red-eyed, goop-covered girl was struggling to ignore the worms ‘cleaning’ her fur and skin, as she asked “Fine, but how the hell are we going to leave this place? Maybe you can projectile vomit a bit more, since that’s your solution to everything?”

A few hours passed as the two of them searched for an exit along the crystalline walls, starting with the center of each side. However, there were no doors, gates, switches, or any kind of indications that an exit even existed; so they eventually returned to the very center of the pyramid, and the deer-centaur ‘gathered-up’ all of the gorged purple mana-worms back into her body.

While they were exploring that colossal equilateral triangle, which was a kilometer on each side, they managed to find their belongings in one of the corners. At first, they thought that it was possibly a hint that the northern point, was the way out, but that didn’t end up being the case.

A huge and elaborate design was placed on the floor, which had many seemingly random shapes etched into the clear crystal. It was similar to the teleportation runes that they had seen in Black Mithril and Angren, but they were hesitant to test it out; neither of them had a very deep understand of the subject, so they had no idea what was going to happen.

Then Rachael remembered something fairly important, and opened the ‘menu’ again. She activated the ‘help’ feature, and then asked it “What is the purpose of the device that I’m standing on?”

Suddenly, a monotone, high-pitched and feminine voice echoed throughout the pyramid “Since this is the first time either of you have utilized this function, I shall waive my typical fee of ten Lunar favor points. You are currently located within a private teleportation and restoration site. The previous owners were deleted seven-hundred and fifty-nine thousand years ago, so you currently have the right to claim it. To register your party as the new owners, simply say ‘activate’ while at least one of you places your right palm against the center of the glyph.”

Even after the floor was ‘cleaned’ and the waste was removed, Alexis still didn’t want to touch the ground with her hands, so the doe was forced to struggle to kneel down with her deer-half. The moment that she uttered the word, a deep, booming, sound occurred; it was so powerful, they the two of them felt like their internal organs were going to rupture.

When the noise finally stopped, the ‘help’ voice continued “Now you need to wait for a few days, while the teleporter charges. However, there is also the option of opening the doors, and attempting to navigate your way to the surface. Hmmm, that would be rather entertaining to witness. I’ll give you each a hundred favor if you can reach the surface in less than twenty-four hours.”

The moment that it stopped speaking, a chime resounded in both of the girls’ minds. Alexis sighed, but Rachael snickered while yelling “Open!” and the giant empty space began filling with water from all three sides, at a rapid pace. In front of their faces were holographic screens, which displayed “New Solar Quest! Observer-5821 is bored, and wishes for you to perform a ‘Feat of Strength’ by navigating the underwater crystal cavern tunnels. There is a time limit, but even more important than that, is survival; many powerful magical beasts are lurking in the mana-rich depths. You have already accepted the quest, good luck!”

Once the leather-clad ninja hopped on the back of the black and white t-shirt wearing doe, their auras immediately began to swirl together into a maelstrom of green and blue: creating a thick teal fog. After a few seconds, all of that mana began to take a tangible form, preventing the water from touching the area around their bodies.

Then they simply walked out into the brightly illuminated cavern-floor, from the northeastern exit. There were actually quite a few rather large translucent eels, and a wide assortment of colorful, but hideous, sharp-fanged fish; yet none of them dared to approach that strange pocket of air, emanating an eerie humming noise.

The two girls were harmonizing their voices, while singing a popular song by the Dark-Dwarven Rat-Tribe vocalist ‘Clara’ and the doe was casually trotting around the hard, crystal-coated ground. Since the spell that they were using, was a combination of water-manipulation and wind-creation magic, it did take a bit of telepathic cooperation; however, rather than chanting obnoxiously, it was a fairly common practice for people from Black Mithril to sing instead.
Thirty miles south of Quena, a starving, brown-furred bear-tribe man was slowly walking up an incredibly high sand-dune, heading north. He was panting heavily, while holding his left hand over his stomach, and limping slightly; suddenly, he started laughing hysterically and roared “Yes! Hahahaha~ I finally made it!” as a very small oasis appeared in his hazy sight.

Before getting too excited, he looked at the map above his right palm and made sure that he wasn’t hallucinating again. Although he was able to replenish the water in his body, with creation-magic; it was only a matter of time before a hulking, muscle-bound giant like himself, would succumb to starvation without proper nutrients: A tiny scorpion or snake every day, wasn’t nearly enough to keep him alive for very long.

Around the three-hundred meter long, oval-shaped crystal-clear pond, was a decent amount of vegetation. There were assorted desert-animals scurrying about, but Coffee’s goal was obviously fish; he quickly hobbled over to the water in a hurried manner, completely ignoring the high-pitched screams and obnoxious yelling in a language that he couldn’t understand.

For the incredibly small community of Fox-Tribe outcasts, encountering an eleven-foot tall bear-man was definitely the most terrifying experience of their lives. Even if the six or so young men were fairly well-built, and had long wooden spears or bone-clubs… a monster was lumbering towards them at a rapid pace, so they obviously didn’t have any intention of fighting it head-on.

However, the twenty-five members of that group, which was smaller than a village, all realized that the giant wasn’t interested in them at all. In fact, he didn’t even glance at the crocodiles that were laid out on the beach and shallow water; one of them snapped at his ankle, because he was about to step on it, but its eyes exploded and blood began to flood out of all its orifices. Witnessing the gruesome sight occur several times, even the reptiles were able to figure out that there was no way that any of them had a chance at killing him.

Then the truly incredibly performance played out before the miscellaneous fox-people; dozens of large carp, at least a foot long each, began swimming towards the half-submerged bear. Suddenly, two of the silver-scaled fish flew out of the water, into his hands; without worrying about skinning or cooking them, he immediately began tearing into the defenseless creatures with his sharp, white, teeth.

Once he had finished devouring at least a hundred pounds of meat and bone, the mysterious giant started laughing hysterically. He took a few steps backwards, and took the glaive off his back, then fell onto the sand with a smile on his face: It was a truly strange and horrifying sight to the inhabitants of that tiny oasis.

After gorging himself, Coffee was completely content and exhausted. For close to a week, he had been wandering through the desert almost all day and night; regardless of how physically fit he had been, it was amazing that he could even survive that long. If he didn’t have access to mana and magic, he certainly would have perished long before he would have made it there.

He lost consciousness the moment he closed his eyes and stopped laughing, the giant glaive was stabbed into the ground, next to his right arm. In the unlikely event that someone or something tried to attack him, he was fairly confident in his ability to retaliate: especially since he couldn’t smell even a hint of a dangerous aura.

There were four families in total who lived in that serene oasis; they had all been members of Quena Village at least a generation prior. It wasn’t like they were banished, it was just a measure that each of the five Fox-Tribe clans had used to prevent overpopulation. Their ‘Goddess’ had laid out strict rules regarding that matter, though no one actually knew the reason why.

Practically the entire group were living on the southern side of the lake, in small huts made out of grass, mud, and palm-leaves; they were spread out intermittently, a decent distance away from the shore. The crocodiles were a pretty big threat; even if they used primitive weapons, it wasn’t uncommon for young men and women to be killed trying to go spear-fishing. Yet, that strange furry beast-headed man arrived, and easily massacred a handful of the fifteen to twenty-foot long monsters.

Nearly the entire mini-village was gathered together, a hundred meters away from the slumbering bear. The men and women wore mostly coyote pelt skirts, leaving the rest of their light-brown to obsidian skin completely bare; most of them had intricate runic designs carved or burned into their flesh, and many had their fluffy, red-furred fox-ears pierced with small, bleached, bones.

Each marking or adornment designated various achievements throughout their lives. A spiral brand on their right hand was placed once they became adults, certain designs were cut into their faces as infants depending on whether they were male or female; a series of bumps were created on their left arm depending on how many descendants they had, and their chests or backs were often tattooed with elaborate symbols.

Among the group of people, there was one little girl who didn’t quite fit in. Well, she had the appearance of a child, with unnaturally smooth hazel skin, a height of less than four feet, bright-green eyes that didn’t have slit pupils, medium-length, curly golden hair, and short Elven ears. Even though the Fox-Tribe children didn’t wear anything on their bodies, she was clothed in a nearly transparent, silk-like white sundress; she had no markings or tattoos.

There was a tiny, tan, fennec walking next to her as she calmly approached the mysterious giant. Though it wasn’t true for all Desert-Elves, her clan was blessed with near agelessness, but cursed with relatively weak and small frames; it would have been a completely different story, if they had access to a significant source of mana.

Unfortunately, in such a magically barren place, it was fairly difficult for their people to survive or propagate with each-other. However, among many of the tribes, they were actually considered deities or demigods; that particular little girl named Liara, had been living in that oasis for a hundred years before the four families even showed up.

Once she listened to the slumbering bear’s aura, she grinned, then turned back to the others and quietly announced “It’s okay, he isn’t a monster. Gather up the crocodiles; we should prepare a feast for our hungry guest.” As soon as she spoke, the strongest men and women, who were all over six-feet tall, quickly rushed over and began removing the carcasses that surrounded Coffee. However, they didn’t dare to come too close to the furry giant, or even whisper in his presence.

Liara frowned as she gazed at the dark and turbulent northern skies; the epicenter of the storm was an island, over a hundred miles away from the oasis, but they still received an errant thunderstorm once or twice a day. Rather than that, she was more concerned about the violent and dangerous aura emanating from the deepest part of the lake.

She picked up the frightened fennec and whispered “Don’t worry Aisis, this time will be different… The Earth Mother has sent us a much more powerful champion.” as the aftershock of another volcanic eruption off the coast, created a deep and unnerving tremor.

Once evening turned into night, and the bright grey crescent Moon could be seen in the eastern sky, Coffee woke up to the loud crackle of thunder. There was a strong wind blowing against his fur, but the rain was only falling on the northern side of the giant pond. Within moments, there was a mild drizzle occurring around him, and he felt slightly nostalgic: It was fairly common for storms to occur quite often in the third-ring of Lorthon Forest.

He quickly sat upright, and noticed at least a few dozen voices resounding over a hundred meters behind him. Then he stood-up while lifting the incredibly heavy, mithril glaive with only his right hand, and skillfully sliding it into the demonic-leather bindings behind his back. It was essentially just a series of ten straps, that were made out of a rubber-like material; the belt that wrapped around from his left side, up to his right shoulder, was fairly comfortable: even with such a large burden. With the blade aimed towards the sky, and considering how tall he was, it was relatively safe for people… just not for any ceilings or doorways that were less than four meters high.

There were at least twenty small huts spread out to the east and west, but he was only interested in the rather large, sandstone manor, that was directly in-front of him. He was mildly delirious earlier in the day, so he didn’t even notice it before. Unfortunately, the three story building only had a door which was less than seven-feet, and it definitely wasn’t built for someone of his width either.

It only took one whiff, for him to immediately notice that there were at least thirty people inside, and that they were roasting a significant amount of meat; most of them were some variation of Fox-Tribe, and one was an Elf of some sort. As he stood at the archway, which didn’t actually have a door, he was contemplating whether it was proper to knock in such a situation.

Considering that he couldn’t enter the house, even if they invited him inside, Coffee hesitated for a few seconds before crouching down and poking his head inside. The first person that came into his view, was a small, brown-skinned, Elven girl; who smiled at him and said “I apologize for not greeting you immediately, Champion; however, I’ve spent the entire day constructing a suitable place for you to stay. Please follow me to the eastern wing of my home.” as she walked outside, and quickly led him to a massive archway on the side of the building.

When they entered, the confused bear-man told her “Excuse me but… I was actually just passing by; even if the weather is a bit rough, it isn’t nearly bad enough for me to spend more than a few hours here. I do need to gather up some provisions first, but you didn’t have to go through the trouble of creating a whole room for me. Though it is rather impressive that you’re able build such a place with so little mana.” while looking around at the huge cube-shaped room.

There was a bed made out of sandstone against the southern wall, and an archway connected to the main-floor of the manor to his left. Suddenly the girl looked panicked, as her eyes started to well-up with tears; she was trembling all over, and he immediately asked “Hey, what’s wrong kid? Are you in some kind of trouble? If there’s something I can do to help, I definitely will!” He obviously had a rather severe hero-complex.

Liara started smiling wryly, as she hesitated for a moment, before revealing “I’m sorry… I had foolishly assumed that you were a champion sent by The Earth Mother, to slay the demon that dwells within our lake. You seemed far too powerful to be a simple traveler; I apologize for almost involving you in this terrible affair.”

Suddenly, there was a burning sensation in Coffee’s right hand, and a loud chime reverberated in his mind; when he looked at his palm, the holographic display appeared immediately. It read “New Terrestrial Quest! You have discovered The Forsaken Oasis! Three-hundred years ago, this place was the home of a fairly powerful Sand-Elf clan, whose earth-magic proficiency had protected them from invaders for millennia. However, one day, a relatively small, dying, water-dragon discovered the lake; it wasn’t particularly ruthless, but it wasn’t willing to let a bunch of tiny humanoid mages kill it.

“Rather than a battle, it was essentially just a one-sided massacre. After tasting the delicious meat of the nearly ageless elves, it didn’t stop eating until the entire clan was wiped out… except Liara, the only survivor. Once it was satisfied, the massive beast retreated into the deepest part of the lake. It typically never leaves the water, but now that there are storms almost every day, it’s very likely that the monster will awaken and devour the little, four-hundred year old, girl before heading back to the ocean.

“Terra is willing to offer you a tier-one armor piece, weapon, accessory, or two-hundred favor for slaying the dragon. If you’re able to complete the quest solo, you will receive fifteen skill-points!”

Liara was incredibly distressed by the time he finished scanning through the page of information, since it took him nearly twenty-minutes. It appeared as if he was glaring at her with his luminescent, azure irises; not to mention the fact that, his aura had completely enveloped the entire room.

She was far too terrified to say anything, so she just waited patiently for him to stop, and eventually his eyes returned to their normal, dark-brown; though the torches along the walls didn’t offer nearly enough light for her to see them clearly after that: which made her even more anxious. Finally he smiled and yelled “Of course I’ll accept this challenge!” in a happy, but incredibly loud, voice.

The underdeveloped Elf, wearing a white, silk, sundress, was shocked and didn’t know how to respond to his deafening proclamation. After a few seconds, she grinned and exclaimed “Wonderful! This, finally… hahaha~ I’ll make that fucking piece of shit wish that it had never hatched! If I wasn’t so damn weak, I would capture that asshole myself! Hehehehe~ then trap it in the dunes, bringing it just enough water for it to stay alive, as I slowly erode its slimy scales with sand! Hmmm, I bet that damn dragon would be able to survive like that for at least a century or two…” while pulling at her curly locks with both hands.

Coffee nodded while crossing his arms and saying “Ummm, yea, sure… heh~ so anyway, something sure smells amazing; do you think there’s enough food left for me to have some? I don’t really have any money on me, or items to barter with, but maybe you could just call it a favor?” as he averted his eyes from the mildly delusional little girl, and looking into the main lobby of the manor.

Liara finally snapped out of her ‘happy-place’ and returned to reality; then she started blushing and replied “I’m really sorry about that… well, if you ever have your entire family murdered, then spend a few hundred years lamenting over it, you’ll understand my resentment a bit. Oh yea, I completely forgot about that! You were a little out of it earlier, so you might not remember, but you killed half a dozen crocodiles before passing out; the whole village gathered them up, along with a bunch of coconuts, pineapples, and prickly pears… To be completely honest, I was going to try and win you over with my cooking skills; if that failed, then I would have probably attempted seducing you the old fashioned way.”

The uncomfortable bear cleared his throat, then laughed awkwardly for a few seconds before muttering “I really didn’t need to know that…” Perhaps Coffee wasn’t the most well-endowed Kodiak-tribe man, but that certainly would have been an impossible fit; unless there was a very skilled healer present, or perhaps she was intending to die in the process?

Fortunately, even if he was interested in ‘that,’ he was completely faithful to Demil. Well, there was that one time when he almost cheated on her with a certain spirit of fertility, but she nearly fell into the same trap, so it all worked out in the end.

While he was eating an oasis buffet, his girlfriend had finally woken up from her fourteen-hour long nap. However, when she was unconscious, her mental link with the giant mithril-plated proto-dragon that she was riding, was temporarily weakened; which meant that it was free to wander aimlessly, looking for food or water.

The thought-processes of such a creature were fairly limited, so it wasn’t like it would go binge drinking and gamble away all their money at a casino; no, it had much simpler desires and urges. It wasn’t lacking for sustenance, but there was something that all magical-beasts craved: mana.

There was a loud ding noise, and a low growl, along with some irritating scratching noises; yet, the burning sensation on her right palm was what finally forced Demil to regain consciousness. The first thing that she saw was a colossal, golden-colored, gateway; and noticed that her mount was incessantly clawing at it.

She sighed dramatically, then finally looked at her hand. It was so bright that the illusion actually made her eyes hurt, but she quickly read “Congratulations! You have discovered an ancient vault! If you wish to unseal it, you must either solve a series of incredibly challenging puzzles, and survive a multitude of extremely dangerous traps… or you could pay a thousand favor, doesn’t really matter what kind.”

Without hesitation, she chose the second option, and the giant door started rumbling loudly, before falling downward; her mind was still pretty foggy, and she was half-asleep, but there was no way that she wouldn’t be interested in treasure. A screeching, foul-smelling, crimson aura exploded out of the opening, rapidly dispersing into the atmosphere.

The excited proto-dragon hurried into the darkness, basking in the thick and dense mana-pool of that relatively large, open space; then the massive slab of golden-mithril slid back up, resealing the colossal chamber. Suddenly, the entire room was illuminated by floating balls of incredibly bright, white, light.

Demil smirked as she hopped down off her five-meter tall iguana, gracefully landing upon the metallic ground. She instantly recognized that it was a structure that was very similar to the triangular pyramids; yet, it was shaped like a very large cube.

As she looked around, it only took a moment for her eyes to fall upon an over-sized, glass, display-case. She immediately unholstered her right pistol, and cocked it, then took a few seemingly cautious steps forward.

Going from a level-zero to level-four mana-zone was typically extremely disorienting, at least for a person who wasn’t wearing a black-mithril veil over their entire body. It didn’t completely obscure the mana that was reaching her eyes, ears, and nostrils; however, it was much more mild when it touched her senses, and wasn’t nearly enough to overwhelm her.

Suddenly, a red beam of light flashed in-front of her face, and when she stopped walking, it quickly approached. Demil turned to the left, and fired off three rounds at the source; causing a huge explosion of white flames, that engulfed nearly that entire half of the room.

Then she turned around and witnessed her shiny, silver, giant iguana tearing apart a creature with a similar shape to itself, but covered with golden scales. Fortunately, she had made sure to firmly attach all of her luggage, and Geb, to the back of her mount; so even as it was jumping around, and wrestling with the enemy, there weren’t any losses. Although, the terrified, obsidian-skinned passenger, wasn’t exactly enjoying the ride.

The tigress didn’t have time to worry about her proto-dragon, because she could see at least three other red lines flashing around. Even in a brightly illuminated room, it was incredibly difficult for her to actually discern the various camouflaged enemies, that were quickly sliding around.

They weren’t only on the ground, but also attached to the walls, and dangling from the ceiling. Luckily, the golden humanoid figures, weren’t too resistant to incredibly hot flames; every time her “Trajectory Perception” showed her the location of a golem, she fired a round into its bow or chest.

Unfortunately, each clip only held seven bullets, so she needed to reload frequently. The other pistol, and half of her magazines, were filled with black-mithril bullets; she didn’t know for certain whether or not they would have been effective, but it wasn’t necessary to perform experiments: The runic incendiary shots definitely worked.

It almost seemed like every time she killed one of the strange inorganic creatures, another one would appear; and the temperature within that large, enclosed, space was rapidly rising. Demil roared “Stop making me waste money!” as her silver irises began glowing with a bright-white luster.

Then she finally used her last explosive round, and screamed “Fuck it! Angu, stop playing around with that asshole, we’re leaving!” while sprinting towards the display-case. It was huge, but the only item within that giant crystalline box, was just a small obsidian container; when she approached the counter, it automatically slid apart, and she was able to easily snatch it.

The moment that the tiny treasure-chest was removed, all of the lights in the room turned off, and the giant door opened again. As she was running towards the exit, she managed to pick-up all of her empty magazines, and even some of the golden-mithril arrows that were laying on the ground; everything was quickly thrown into her relatively large backpack, because she wouldn’t have been able to carry it all by hand.

When the tigress and proto-dragon reached the outside, not only the gate, but the entire cube-shaped structure, swiftly sank below the orange sands behind them. In a few seconds, a huge dune had taken its place.

Once it was all over, Demil looked at her palm again and roared angrily as she read “Congratulations! You managed to survive a favor-trap! Sometimes the amount or quality of the treasure far outweighs the price you have to pay to enter… though depending on the creator, they’re often just designed to kill players and steal their favor.”

(Proofread by Thoeberus)

Next Chapter

3 thoughts on “Questing V1, Chapter 6: Favor

  1. Pingback: Chapter Five: Skills | Immortal Soul

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