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Price of Success [Q]

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Price of Success [Q] Empty Sat Nov 12, 2022 7:38 pm

‘How?’… Kali was sure it started as a rather peaceful day. In fact, it was so peaceful in the morning that Kali thought the whole of Baska was sleeping when she sat at the pretty cafĂ© downtown sipping on a cup of tea. She was sure that day would go by slowly as she gets to relax but why did something like this have to happen? Honestly, the moment she heard the loud voices piercing the morning silence, she should have walked away. She should have walked away and never looked back, nor should she have gotten off her seat and went to check it out only because all the noises seemed to come from somewhere close to the goliath blacksmith’s shop.

Her first thought was that Godfrey was losing his shit at someone again. He had been doing that for a while now, ever since that blade was forged. He used to show his crueller side occasionally before but they always came with a side of guilt as well. However, these last couple of days, Godfrey seemed to lose his temper much more than often. It almost took him no reason to blast someone’s ears off and there was times Kali noticed -very few times but they were there- the blacksmith clenching the iron hammer in his hands as if he was only a string thin distance away from breaking someone’s skull.

So when all this noise came from that direction, Kali was sure it would be the same thing again. If not, at most the guy must have beaten someone. She did not think at all that the reason would be something that would have her run around trying to fix it for the whole day. For real, she should have just walked away instead of letting the curiosity get the better of her.

The shop she stepped into was nothing like what it used to be. Gone were the neat rows of weapons and odd materials, the crystal clear glasses that lined the walls and now everything was in shambles. It looked like an elephant ran over the shop as everything laid in a state of crumble all around her.

Walking further into the backroom, Kali started to notice more and more trails of destruction. At first she suspected a fight or a brawl like what happened with the gem merchant all those days ago. However, it was starting to increasingly become obvious that there was something else to it. The nail in the head was exactly when she noticed the missing black sword from the special, secure place that it rested in. Rather than a brawl or fight, this was a robbery and with Godfrey missing, Kali wasn’t exactly sure what the whole situation was about. Did Geoffrey himself disappear with the sword? Did someone break in? Kali stood there just pondering on what the hell must have happened when she heard footsteps behind her and looked back to find…


Price of Success [Q] YJbUk0F

Price of Success [Q] Empty Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:06 pm

Godfrey stood at the broken entrance looking something like a lost animal, his eyes out of focus and his whole posture just slightly hunched over. He was tired and completely out of it. The light in his eyes only returned ever so slowly as they landed on Kali who was staring back at him with an arched eyebrow. Waiting for the man to explain whatever happened, Kali pointed to the place where the sword used to rest with a questioning look.

‘It’s gone…” Kali heard the blacksmith mumble. It took Godfrey another full hour to explain exactly what happened. Apparently, the blacksmith was doing nothing but appreciating the black sword, his masterpiece, when something or someone approached him from behind and rendered him unconscious. The sword was gone by the time he woke up and then the rest of the shop’s destruction, was apparently Godfrey’s doing himself.

When he grabbed Kali by her arms and started shaking the still contemplating void mage, weeping and screaming about how he must get the sword back, Kali knew she would have a whole strenuous task ahead of her for the day. For a moment she truly wanted to tell him off that it was none of her business and whatever happened is the result of his own doing. But looking down at the blacksmith who seemed to be hanging by a thread thinning by the minute, she decided it be best for herself as well as the rest of Baska to just get whatever he demanded over with.

She just needed to find the sword but where should she even start? It was at this moment that the scream suddenly pierced her ears and Godfrey’s as well. He whipped his head around to Kali with silent words hanging heavily in his eyes. She understood what he meant. Something seemed to be happening in Baska and it might be where they would find the sword.

Shaking the blacksmith’s hands off of her, Kali sprinted towards the exit and down the street where she thought she heard the sound come from. And sure enough, there she saw it. A badly mutilated and almost impossible to identify corpse laid in front of her with all their limbs scattered in a grand display of what Kali immediately felt was ‘art’. All the bloody trails, the gouged-out flesh and the number of body parts all now seemed to point to a different direction where Kali once again heard a commotion.

She left immediately, following the blood and the sound to another couple of corpses. It seemed like some kind of demon descended to Baska and was now on a killing spree. Rune Knights were starting to notice the murders but could do nothing as none of them had a clue as to what could have caused all this on what seemed like a peaceful morning. Kali found three more corpses going into the direction of the catacombs of the Giant’s Tear Ducts. It was an eerie place to be at any other time of the day but right now with all the killing going on, it seemed to promise something much darker inside.


Price of Success [Q] YJbUk0F

Price of Success [Q] Empty Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:46 pm

Lifeless bodies of Rune Knights were strewn across the entrance of the catacombs. The blood was leading down a particular passage, dark, narrow and eerily silent. It caused cold sweat to rise as Kali walked down the path followed by the giant blacksmith. He had been behind Kali all this time, watching the same trail of destruction as she did. At first, he was surprised and made many noises, most of which had to do with getting the sword back but later at some point he had gotten so quiet that Kali, if she did not have her vampire senses, would have completely missed him. Towards their journey to the catacombs and then down the passage, he seemed more lost in thought again.

She didn’t get time to ask him what he was thinking about. They had already reached the end of the path and what awaited them, to both of their surprise, was a little girl with silver shoulder-length hair and crimson glassy eyes. She looked mentally deranged with the way she cracked her neck to the side to peer back over her shoulders, a creepy smile set completely in place on her lips.

She was standing over a rather strange looking coffin, the black sword in hand. Her lips moved to form words as Kali and Godfrey approached but what came out was a hollow voice that seemed to echo and hound them from all directions. The voice told the story of a blacksmith; a blacksmith that reminded Kali of Godfrey himself yet it wasn’t about him. It did not take her too long to figure out that the girl was muttering about whoever was inside the coffin she stood over.

He is the beginning; Kali would immediately understand. The person who wrote the scroll, the person whose creation ended up being his demise. He is the person who started this whole thing and Godfrey, being as ambitious as he was, ended up taking over the incomplete project by himself.

Everything seemed to fall into its place and Kali was almost certain that this wouldn’t end with just a story time. She was just about to ask the possessed girl more about the blacksmith when Godfrey, who had been listening silently from the side all this time, moved as he was possessed by some other spirit as well. He looked livid as he dived towards the girl, intent on catching her by the throat.

Before Kali could stop him or even tell him that he wasn’t a good enough opponent, Godfrey had already gotten stabbed by the black sword. In a scene that seemed to parallel the story of the other blacksmith, Kali watched with a grimace as Godfrey slid down to the ground and passed out in a small pool of blood. He wasn’t dead and that was all that she could determine at the time as the girl moved once more, this time towards Kali.


Price of Success [Q] YJbUk0F

Price of Success [Q] Empty Sat Nov 12, 2022 9:07 pm

Kali had to admit, this spirit was a rather tough opponent. It was strange that it chose to possess a small and weak girl but in any other body, Kali assumed that the difficulty would have been much higher. But due to their height difference and speed, Kali still managed to evade most of the attacks the spirit seemed to send her way.

The girl wielded the weapon like an expert, slashing it in all sorts of tricky directions that if Kali had not paid keen attention to, would have gotten cut in two or three clean pieces already. Another attack pierced the air next to her ear, missing by an inch, when Kali decided to go on the offense herself. The body of a small girl was keeping her away from doing anything too much so far but her draining stamina said that if the mage did not do something, she would end up just like the person in that coffin.

So using the opportunity where the girl leaned forward with the sword attempting to cut through the left side of her torso, Kali grabbed the girl’s hand that wielded the sword, pulled her towards her and knowing that the girl held more strength than her and that she would soon turn the blade back to stab her, Kali instantly formed a ball of high void energy in the palm of her free hand. A heavy scream left her lips as Kali thrust the ball right into the girl’s gut, watching it explode and send her back to slam down on the black smith’s coffin.

It didn’t end there. Kali knew the girl was not dead yet. She followed her to the coffin before the spirit possessed girl could get back up on her feet again, grabbed her by the throat and sunk her fangs into them. Kali watched the girl once again attempting to bring the sword down on her but before the sharp tip of it could pierce her body, the blade seemed to crumble, breaking down into black dust until nothing but the hilt of it remained.

An almost uncomfortable silence fell over the scene as Kali got up. Godfrey had come to at some point between her confrontation with the spirit and now he sat propped up against the walls of the catacomb, looking pensively down at the destroyed weapon. If he had said something about what a pity it was for things to end this way, Kali would have killed him without a word on the spot. But unlike the other times, the quietness that dawned over the blacksmith was almost fatal. He genuinely looked guilty that he had created something like that sword.

Rewarding her for all of Kali’s service, the blacksmith sat still again, lost deep in thought. Kali assumed that he needed some time to get over the whole thing. What she did not expect at that moment was the horrified eyes of Godfrey’s little brother staring at them through the entrance of the tomb. The moment all of their eyes met, Gallant ran off with Godfrey rushing after him, leaving Kali to go her own way.


Price of Success [Q] YJbUk0F

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