Kiss of Fire
“What are we going to accept today?” Jasper yawned as he stretched. His bed head was truly outrageous that Sliver couldn’t help but hold in a chuckle. It made him look like an upside down ice cream cone. “What?”
Silver pointed towards his hair, he reached up confused. His hand move back and forth, trying to push down the bed head as best as he could.
Silver and Jasper stopped in front of the bulletin board, taking a good look at what they have in front of them.
“Hmmm, it seems there are some new requests. The old ones are gone as well.” Jasper was glancing over each request with interest.
│Bring back【Ancient Lost Tablet】(Non Repeatable request)
│Content: Bring in the【Ancient Lost Table】as proof.
│Reward: 1450 Angel Coins
│【Imp】subjugation (Repeatable request)
│Content: Subjugate 1【Imp】monster.
│ Bring in the【Imp’a Horn】as the subjugation proof.
│Reward: 10 Angle Coins
│Bring back【Black Orc】(Repeatable request)
│Content: Bring in the【Black Orc’s Ear】as proof.
│Reward: 25 Angel Coins
│Bring back【Kirin’s horn】 (Repeatable request)
│Content: Bring in the【Kirin’s horn】as proof.
│Reward: 150 Angel Coins
│Bring back【Dresden’s heart】hidden in the castle (Repeatable request)
│Content: Bring in the【Dresden’s heart】as proof.
│Reward: 240 Angel Coins
│Bring back【Undying Flame】from the Orcs (Non Repeatable request)
│Content: Bring in the【Undying Flame】as proof.
│Reward: 40 Angel Coins
“What do you think about doing an subjugation quest? Right now, getting stronger to get ready for the next big game is important.” Jasper tapped at the subjugation request of Dresden’s in the gate 3.
“Sure, but we need to come back before nightfall and start on the Retrieval Request for the Ancient Tablet.”
“Wait? What!?” Jasper mouth fell opened stunned. “Don’t you see how high the request level is? It’s going to be really difficult.”
“This is suicide.”
“It’s a chance worth taking.” Silver stated stubbornly. She knew that retrieving the Lost Tablet will take two to three days to complete. This is what she heard from the people who had challenged it from her memories. The problem was it would take until the end of week, when everyone will be forced to take the next big game that Kushiel will enforce.”
“I give up.” Jasper threw up his hand in defeat. “Sometimes your sense of danger level is nonexistent. Don’t you realize you could die?”
“Then, wouldn’t it be safer to go recuperate for this weekend?” Jasper tried hard to persuade her.
“No.” She knew that neglecting in the begin stages of the game would put her at a huge disadvantage in the future games to come. Getting ready for those crazy stunt like games were her priority. There were no time to just relax and leisurely hope that they would win. It was a do or die game. “We can’t be lazy now. There is too much at stake.”
Jasper sighed. He placed his hands on his hips, cocking it to the side and took a good look at Silver. Silver shrugged her shoulder and didn’t look him in the eye..
“Yo.” Tyler came up next to them and stopped. He was wondering why they were such heavy tension in the air. “Something up?”
“Tyler, please put some sense into this women.” Jasper threw up his hand in the air. “I think she wants to kill herself.”
“I highly doubt that, but what’s up?”
“She wants to take the Retrieval Quest for the Ancient Tablet, tomorrow.”
Tyler went completely silent as he was stunned. “You kidding me, right?” Trying to get a reassurance that he was just hearing things from Jasper. “What we came out from yesterday was hell and just looking at the level rating, isn’t it a letter higher?”
“Yea.” Jasper replied with a sigh. He was frustrated that he couldn’t put any common sense into Silver and Tyler could see why.
“If you’re having trouble, you really think she will listen to me.” Tyler gave Jasper a look, telling him that he wasn’t even sure that Silver would listen as well. “If you can’t persuade her than how do you expect me too?’
“Good point…” said Jasper. “Well then, let’s go to Gate 3 and get some Dresden’s heart.”
“Wait. Wait. Wait.” Tyler raised his hands to stop Jasper and Silver from continuing. “Isn’t that the same difficulty level as yesterday?”
“So?” Silver raised up one eyebrow. “It’s one level down.”
“It’s still in the same letter range!”
Silver shook her head. “One level makes a big difference, plus we all gotten stronger.”
“True, but I do love my life….”
Silver shrugged her shoulder, not really caring if the two come with her. She had a job to do, and it was to get stronger. Right now, doing an Subjugation Request for a day was not a bad idea. Getting ready for tomorrow’s high level mini game was the most important thing and gaining crystals was imperative.
She didn’t wait for them to follow, instead she went ahead to Gate 3, leaving behind the two. It didn’t take to long before they realize Silver had left and followed behind her.
“What the heck women!” Tyler jogged to catch up beside her. “You left us behind.”
Silver didn’t reply and kept on walking, until they were in front of Gate 3’s entrance. In total, they were twenty people, including them as they patiently waited. She noticed that a quite a few people had new weapons in their hands that they bought at the inn. She expected this to happen, knowing full well that not everyone would stay behind and do nothing.
“Not bad with the turnout.” Tyler whistled. “Last time it was just the eight of us.”
“I’m not so sure having more people would be considered the best option in surviving. I personally believe it’s quality that counts. Working on improving the group with what we have is the key to helping out with bringing in more people.” Jasper folded his arms in front of him. “Not only that we’re going to have some serious competition in hunting down a Dresden at this rate.”
“Let’s hope this Dresden monster is not as scary as the Kilkenny or the piranha’s,” said Tyler. “Seriously, the piranha demons was no joke and the giant dogs…don’t get me started.”
Japser nodded his head, understanding full well what Tyler was implying. “Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.”
“Well, well, well.” Tyler was displeased when he saw Rose.”Who do we have here.”
“What scarface? I can’t be here?” Rose strutted in with her head held high. She was giving him a scowling look as she rolled her eyes.
“No. Seeing your face early in the morning makes me want to hurl.”
“Shut it Scarface,” scoffed Rose. “You just can’t handle this.” She motioned all of herself.
“I rather not.”
Silver quietly watched them bicker. She got a feeling that Rose came along for another reason, but she didn’t care. Having allies in this mini-game was imperative, especially if that person was someone like Tyler or Jasper. Rose was a different story, but that didn’t mean she pushed her aside for the past things that she had done.
Yes, Rose was annoying, but to Silver she was tolerable. She had met people who were worse than her in the future, so her prickly attitude didn’t phase her at all. For someone as beautiful as her, she didn’t give off to bad of the typical save me attitude anymore, instead she had an aura of doing herself and not giving up.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
The gate loudly blared, making everyone jump up from the sudden sound.
Rumble. Rumble. Creeeeeaaaak.
A blast of hot air blew in front of everyone’s face, and the start of the mini-game had begun. People into the open gates, wondering what they would see. Some inched forward, hoping nothing would happened. Ten seconds passed and nothing jumped out of the gates, instead the joyful sounds of tropical birds could be heard singing.
“Well then shall we proceed?” Tyler asked with a goofy smile on his face.
Silver couldn’t help but think that Tyler was actually enjoying this whole ordeal. With quick steps, her group of four trudged forward along with the other group of people. They were like a giant herd that moved when the first person took the initiative. Everyone headed into the thick forest, while humid sticky air stung their skin.
Silver begun to sweat from the dense air, her clothes stuck closely to her body even more. One thing she disliked about tropical environments wasn’t just the heat, but the annoying bugs that annoying buzzed around her body. A couple of times, she swatted away the flies that buzzed to closely to her face, annoying her.
“We should break off from this group.” Jasper quietly whispered.
“I was just going to suggest that.” Tyler nodded. He pointed towards the left. “I saw no one go that way. We should try taking a stab to see if we find anything over there.”
Jasper nodded. They detached from the main force, and started to head towards the left. The thick forest made it a lot more difficult for the group to pass through. They step through mud, got stung by mosquitoes, and even had to cut their way through the thick vines.
“I swear in the movies they make everything so easy. Who in the right mind would want to go on a jungle exploration.” Tyler was grumbling. He was slashing with his dagger, but he barely even cut anything, instead it got caught. “Damn it!”
“You do realize that you’re using a dagger right?” Jasper pointed out Tyler’s mistakes. “For something like this, you need a thicker blade or a machete.”
“I know, this is all I got. Why don’t our little miss over here use her blade.”
“Sorry, my blade is not for cutting trees and plants.” Silver shook her head. She didn’t wanted her sword to get dull and not be able to penetrate an enemy’s hide. “Just use your hands to push your way through. Sometimes using minimal amount of force is a lot easier than expending too much force.”
“We have a guru here.” Tyler joking stated. He was watching and noticed how easily Silver just seem to slip through difficult spaces effortlessly, while he was battling nature as if it was a wild animal, attempting to attack him.
“By the rate that you’re going, you’ll probably die from exhaustion.”
“I’m already feeling it.” Tyler grunted. He was starting to get a bit impatient at his failures. “I swear, I want to burn this whole forest down.”
“I can accommodate that.” Rose gave off an cheery response. Throughout the whole time she was tagging closely along with them. At first Tyler was going to tell Rose not to follow, but when he saw Silver and Jasper not caring, he gave up.
“Are you nuts? You want to kill us along with the forest?”
“I said no such thing.” Rose snapped at Tyler and pouted.
“You just did. You have a pyromaniac attitude. I would like to stay alive thank you very much.”
“Asshole.” Rose spat and pushed ahead of them.
“Same to you, bitch.”
Silver sighed and shook his head. She couldn’t help but feel like they were a bad chemistry between the two from the very beginning and the day just started. At this rate, they were going to continually bicker throughout the whole day.
“You guys, can we cut back on the squabbling,” asked Jasper annoyed. “I would like to enjoy my day.”
“You want to enjoy your day in this god forsaken weather and place? Getting bitten by mosquitos, trucking through the damnable rainforest, and hunting for a monster that can kill us? I’m not sure enjoying one’s day in such a situation is the right thought here.” Rose frowned.
“You could always go back. I’m just happy to be alive.” Jasper blantly spoke out, which caused Rose to squint towards him with disbelief.
“I agree. Be happy that you are alive, or are you sad that you didn’t die?” Tyler responded like a bird..
“I never said that.”
“Well Miss Gloomy, who’s in need of a pedicure, like Jasper said you can go back.”
“That would be difficult Mr. Who-he-thinks-he’s-all-that. The door is closed, and I didn’t come here to have a picnic. I’m here to hunt.”
“We all are honey.” Tyler sweetly replied that made Rose shiver and took a step back.
“Don’t say that.”
“What? Honey? Or should I say sweetheart?”
“Stop. You going to make me hurl.” Rose held up her hands in front of her mouth, pretending to gag.
“That’s wonderful, honey. I hope you do.” Tyler lips curled up. Sliver could tell that this man was enjoying her torment.
“They truly get along don’t they?” Jasper was next to Silver, whispering towards her with a hint of amusement as they walked through the thick forest.
“You noticed it as well?” Sliver raised her eyebrows.
“Yea, they sound like a lover’s spat to me.”
“You’re not bothered by her killing someone?” Silver took the time to see his reaction and hear his thoughts. She watched as Jasper’s face twitched, and his body seem to slightly tense up.
“I’m not saying, I’m not bothered by it.” His words were sharp. “I get the feeling that was more of an accident, and she’s beating herself up for it. Not only that, I can tell that she’s only covering herself up by retaliating back with words.”
“I wouldn’t say I am completely. Just things that I picked up here and there. The normal things you know.” Jasper cheeks flushed, when Silver gazed at him with unflinching eyes.
“Well, your observation is quite spot on. I got the same feeling too, but let’s not tell her that. She’ll probably lash out and make a big deal out of it.”
Jasper agreed with her to the point where he shook his head so hard that Silver couldn’t help but giggle. He reminded her of a bobblehead figurine.
“Nothing,” said Silver. “Let’s just find these Dresdens and get out of here.”
Since the moment they splitted apart from the large group of people, they slowly made their way through the thick forests. So far, they didn’t come across any monsters, instead they were continually barraged by the sound of birds chatting away noisily.
“I swear those birds are getting on my nerves.” Tyler grumpily replied. “Give me a damn gun, so I can shoot them off the branch.”
“Quite violent aren’t we?” Rose replied. “I swear men are all animals.”
“Women, if you don’t shut up. I’ll sew that mouth shut.”
“Try me.” Rose egged him without a single care.
For a moment, Silver thought Tyler finally had enough. He sharply turned towards Rose and beelined towards her. Rose at first stood her ground, but when he got closer, she took a few steps back out of nervousness.
With a slam of his fist, his body and hers were only a few inches away and into the tree behind her. Rose was entrapped by Tyler’s large body unable to weasel away. Tyler hands gently caressed her cheeks as a horrified expression appeared on her face.
“You know instead of sewing up that pretty mouth. I personally think scarring it a few places would make you stay quiet. I heard the female’s face is life. Why don’t we try that out.” A hint of dark amusement appeared on his face as his finger gently traced down her cheeks.
“Do it and, I swear, I’ll kill you.” Her words were in between a growl and horror.
Tyler taps her cheek a couple of times. “It’s a shame that a beauty like yourself is beautiful on the outside but black on the inside.”
“Burn you asshole!” Rose shouted with such intensity that Tyler couldn’t help but be startled by her piercing gaze.
Tyler scrunched up his eyes and nose, in seconds, he felt a hot sharp pain in his finger as he stumbled backwards. .
“What the hell did you do?” He wildly shook his hand, trying to cool the heat that he felt from their touch.
Rose smirked and walked past him. She flicked her hair and laughed.
“Oh hell no, don’t you dare walk from me!” In anger, Tyler raised his uninjured hands upwards. The ground shudder and the vines slightly move upwards, catching Rose by her foot.
Rose fell face first into the pile of mud with a loud splat. Everyone was momentarily silent at what just happened, until Tyler broke out laughing.
“Gahahahahah!” He grabbed his stomach trying to hold himself steady. He unconsciously grabbed the vines to steady himself. The heavy weight caused the vines to snap, and he fell down backwards, hitting himself onto the tree.
“Wonderful. Truly.” Jasper clapped slowly and let out a sigh. “I give you both ten points for stupidity and acting unadult-like. Seriously?”
Tyler was gasping for breath as he took in a sharp intake of breath. “Kid, you’ll understand when you get older that some women are crazy, and she’s one of them.” He brushed himself up.
“If I’m crazy, you’re insane.” Rose was peeved that her face was covered in mud, but instead of crying out how dirty she was, she quietly wiped the mud off her face, surprising everyone.
Silver couldn’t help but chuckle at the three. They were like a personal drama tv show, playing in front of her live. At times, they were interesting to watch, and others they got on her nerves quickly. This was the one those time that it was funny to watch. Not only that, she noticed both Tyler and Rose had unconsciously used a small bit of their powers, telling her that they were quickly adapting to the change in their body.
“By the way, how did you make your skin hot?” Tyler asked curiously. His retaliation towards her cooled down, and he realized that something strange had just happened.
“I-?” Rose didn’t know what to say. She peered at her hands confused just like Tyler.
“I noticed that too.” Jasper spoke. “It was like Tyler got zapped by electricity, while Tyler raised the vines off the ground. Did you guys use magic?”
“Really?” Both Rose and Tyler spoke at the same time.
“Magic actually works?” Tyler was getting excited at such thoughts. He examined his hands excitedly.
“Yes, you both did.” Silver drew out her sword. They stepped back, wondering why she was taking out her sword now of all times “Though, you guys will only be able to use a small portion of your power right now. Usually, it only amounts to heating up water, starting a small fire, slightly shaking the ground, or moving a bit of the vegetation. Eventually, as you eat more crystals and practice…”
A black fire like glow coated the sword, and a chilling cold invaded them as they felt Silver’s power. With a swing of her sword, Silver cut through a thick branch of tangled vines. Upon impact of the sword, the vines slowly started to crystallize and turn into ice.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg on what you should be able to do.” Silver sheathed her sword, not wanting to continue to use it against vegetation. It took quite a bit of her magical power, which could lead her to demise.
“That’s pretty cool.” Tyler walked over to examine the frozen vine. He reached over and tapped it. Moments later, the ice crumbled, leaving behind nothing. At the same time, he felt a sharp pain, dark energy swelled around his fingertips, causing a small blister. Viciously shaking his hands, he tried to stamp out the dark energy as best as he could.
“Are all men idiots?” Rose shook her head at Tyler’s stupidity. “It’s common sense not to touch something dangerous. Only you would do that.”
“Women, even though we do stupid things, we aren’t an emotional train wreck like you.” Tyler sucked on his fingers, trying to quell the burn.
“Here we go again.” Jasper groaned. He raised his hands onto his head, and rubbed it.
Silver examined the two, and she leaned forward. Her hand were at the hilt of her sword. With a fluid motion, instantaneously, she pulled out her sword in a flash. A loud hiss and crackle could be heard, wind kicked up in front of all of them, especially in-between Tyler and Rose and froze the vegetation in between them.
Sweat dripped from both their face as they felt as if there life flashed before their eyes. They both momentarily saw a flash of silver metal cut in-between them, and they both went cold. Turning there heads achingly slow, they look towards the direction where Silver cut.
In front of them was a dog sized creature with scaly skin, cut open on the ground. It’s grotesque looking face that reminded of a squash and monkey mixed together laid dead. Even on the ground, a large cut-like mark deeply splitted apart the earth like parting waters. Rose and Tyler gulped, when they saw and felt the power that Silver just emitted. Compare to them, who just used their skills unconsciously, Silver had a faster grasp of her power that they couldn’t rival.
Silver walked past the two as if nothing had happened and squat over the dead creature. She knew this specific monster, they were called Squash Monkeys because of there face. She dug out the crystal in its heart and store it away. “We need to move now.”
The three was jolted awake by her words, confused.
“Why?” Tyler asked.
“Are there more?”
“Yea, and it’s going to be many more than the Kilkennys we fought yesterday.”
“You mean those dog/cat/ horse looking thing we fought yesterday?”
Silver slowly nodded yes. She got up and left, leaving behind the carcass.
“I noticed that you didn’t harvest anything from it like you usually do.”
“They don’t have anything worth harvesting, except the crystals. I didn’t see any subjugation request for these monsters.”
“Wait, they were more subjugation request? I didn’t see anything about the Piranha Demons or the Kilkenny request anywhere. Where were you looking at that I’m not?” Jasper asked. He was confused at how she knew all this.
“It’s quite simple. You can find more subjugation request by flipping through the digital menu. It also has small bits of information about the monsters in each gate. In total, they are three monster subjugation in this area. Dresden’s aren’t the only ones.”
“Then the other two are?”
“Vineyard Parrots and Kashas,” said Silver. “Vineyard Parrot are 60 angel coins for their feathers. Kasha are 80 for their pelts.”
Jasper thought over what she said. “Do you know what they look like?”
“Vineyard parrots have three black stripes running down there back and they are bird type monsters. While Kasha has a white boot shape shoe for a fur pattern and more feline looking.”
“Then a Dresden?”
Silver slowly raised her hands in the front of them. “That.”
“You gotta be kidding me.” Jasper gasped, when he saw the monster in front of them, it was twice the size of a horse.