Adventure Story Series
The Adventure Story series is a series of Readable books within the game.
Chapter 1: The Curse 1. "Please... K-Kill me..." His fingers dripped with blood as the dark bladed sword quivered in his hand. The intense battle had dented and shredded his armor, wracked his body with pain, but he still couldn't let go of the sword. His eyes tearing, he once again pleaded for death. "Please! L-let's get this over with! Kill me!" One of his knees finally collapsed to the cold ground. He tried to prop himself up with his sword, and his face betrayed his anguish. I can't afford to think of him as the man whose smile guided me to the light of life. In this moment, I can't think of him as a Lord Knight chosen by Valkyrie. I pointed my Katar at him. "*Pant* Please... Let me die by your hands..." "Do you really wish to die?" He answered my dry question with that smile of his through the blood and tears on his face. "*Pant* *Pant* Sure, why not?" He slowly lifted his sword, its tip pointing straight at my heart. He thrusted with all the strength he could muster, but I quickly stepped back and parried the blow with my Katar. Aher looked at the blade in disbelief. I was sure of what he was thinking: "This can't be happening! This isn't what I want! Stop!" I know him too well. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." The wind carried the scent of his tears. I never thought I'd see Aher crying and begging like this. I've always dealt out death as a matter of fact: whether they begged for mercy or to finish them off, I just did the job. But it's different this time. I can't kill Aher. No matter how much he begs me. My pride won't allow it. "No!" With that scream, I knew that the evil sword took over. As the sword glowed and jerked in Aher's hands, I could tell that it was burning away at Aher's life energy. The sword swung at my throat with increasing violence: the longer I wait, the more dangerous Aher will become. I don't have much time. I can only think one way to separate Aher from that accursed sword. I hate the idea. But I've got to do it. ZAP! THUD! "Argh!" "Kshar -!" I could see the terror creep onto Aher's face in slow motion. His hand still wouldn't drop the sword as its blade sunk deeper into my heart. The pain of each heartbeat after that was excruciating, I just wanted it all to stop. I stretched my hand out to Aher as he came closer. I saw his hand shaking, and the sword finally fell from his fingertips. I thought I heard Aher scream my name, but then I fell backward into numbing darkness. There was nothing but oblivion. But I guess I won. A hollow victory is still a victory, I guess. 2. "Kshar." "Yes, master." Only a select few are allowed to enter the dark room. Hidden deep inside the mysterious Assassin Guild's base in the middle of the desert, it's said that half of this continent's secrets are guarded there. After a long silence, Kshar courteously greeted his master who summoned him. "I heard you met the Valkyrie, the Maiden of War, a while ago." "Well... It's not like something like that never happens." "True, true. But it's not like something like that happens everyday, either." "Umm... Is that supposed to mean anything?" "Please. I'm trying to compliment you. You don't have be so humble. A little pride is good." "Why have you summoned me? I hope this isn't related to Valhalla." "No, don't worry. I just happened to hear that you haven't been assigned any missions ever since you became an Assassin Cross. I wanted to have the honor to be the first to assign you a mission in person." The guild master's grin was composed and relaxed, but Kshar's eyes displayed suspicion towards him. "This isn't another petty errand, is it?" "Hahahah, come on! What makes you think that? You don't think I'm no longer reliable as your boss, do you?" "Fine. Spit it out. What exactly do you want now?" "You haven't changed, have you? Why can't you say something along the lines of, 'Your orders, sir?' Even though you're an Assassin Cross, I still outrank you in the guild. Understand?" Kshar quietly swore to himself that he'd chop the hair neatly braided behind his head someday as he lowered his eyes. "...Your orders, sir?" "Much better. Yes, here's your mission. I'll give you a few things, and I want you to hide them inside treasures in the pyramid. You don't need to be too careful about where you hide them. Just scatter them here and there. That's all." "What...?" "I know that it doesn't seem like an important mission now, but I think you're the only person suited to this task. Believe it or not, this is for the future of the Assassin Guild." "Fine." "Kshar?" Kshar was speechless in awe, but the guild master stopped him as he was about to leave. "Shouldn't you be saying 'Yes, sir!' before you leave?" "...Yes, sir." *BANG* "Heh. Isn't he stubborn and uptight?" "Uhhh... Are you sure that's okay?" Huey revealed himself from his hiding place, appearing next to the guild master. "Huh? What do you mean?" "You're always picking on Kshar like this. Aren't you worried that he'll explode with anger at you one of these days?" The guild master's answer was expected, and merited Huey's sympathy for Kshar. "It's fun to play around with him. Wouldn't you agree?" *BANG* "Damn it!" *BANG**CRASH* "Goddamn it! Damn you!" *SLAP* "Who the hell are you, bastard?! Why are you hitting me?!" Kshar's rampage, knocking over chairs and stomping the ground, was stopped by a man that hit him in the back. Kshar screamed with rage, but he immediately froze when he turned to see who struck him." "Z-Ziklein?" "What the hell do you think you're doing?" "I... I'm sorry." "You're causing a lot of trouble for the tavern master, you know. Running around, breaking things... You're scaring away his customers!" "I... I don't have any excuse. I must have gotten carried away with my anger..." Ziklein patted Kshar on shoulder, who was now pale and drained of his rage. "I know that our guild master is especially fond of you, but..." "I..." "That doesn't give you the right to just destroy guild property. You know?" Ziklein's conforting words calmed Kshar, and he took a deep breath. He realized what he has done as he looked around the bar: a broken wooden chair lay in the cornder, and overturned tables scattered the floor." "I expect you to take care of that broken chair and the table." Ziklein stopped what he was saying, and then menacingly raised his right leg. "Heh heh~ And this is for calling me a bastard...!" "Hey, Kshar! I heard you were here! Huh? What's going on?" My savior! though Kshar to himself when he saw Aher enter the bar. Aher recognized the damage in the bar, but not its cause, and approached them. Ziklein lowered his kicking leg, pat Aher on the head, and quietly left the bar, but not before mouthing a quick warning to Kshar: never call me a bastard again! Morroc's secret underground bar's sullen atmosphere was instantly broken by Aher's presense. His silver blond hair, his milky complexion, and gentle smile didn't belong there. The sincerity of Aher's beautiful smile made Kshar feel especially uncomfortable. "Did I miss something? It looked like Ziklein was just about to kick you." "Forget, it doesn't concern you. Why did you come here?" "Oh? I'm not allowed to come see you without a reason? Hey, Kshar, why don't you look at me when I'm talking to you? It's like I'm talking to myself here." "I'm listening, and I'm answering you so you're wrong about that. Again, why are you here?" It was still a little strange to Kshar that a Knight was so relaxed in the Assassin's secret hideout. Not only was he supposed to be there, but most Knights would have been quaking in fear in that place. Still, Aher was his friend, so he was already considered the exception to the rule. "Well... It's not something that's all that interesting. I just need to go somewhere." "You're going on a trip? I'm guessing you're seeking companions." "Do you want to come with me?" Kshar almost answered "Yes" to Aher's eager, anticipating eyes, but then he recalled the assignment from his guild master. "I've got to take care of a mission." Aher's disappointment shone clear on his face for a heavy moment, but he retrieved his smile. "I guess it was you that made a mess of this place. You really hate it that much?" "That's right! God, I hate that guy!" Kshar gulped down the rest of his drink, and slammed the glass on the table. "Well, yeah, but... If it weren't for him, we'd never have met." "Whatever." "...Boy, remember that time he assigned you to pluck feathers from Pickys?" "Yeah, I remember! It doesn't make me very happy! Now--" "Hahah, and there was that time you were chopping down bamboo trees, and carrying them around on your shoulders!" "Quit it, already. I re--" "Hahah, oh, and there was that one time he made you steal Sohee's clothes!" "What are you, deaf?! Yeah, I was forced to pluck Picky's feathers, and I ended up getting kicked by you! I was the one the guild master ordered to chop down bamboo trees, dry them in the shadows, and then slice them! I was the one that stole Sohee's clothes, laundered them, and sent them to the guild master! God! Why are you reminding me of all that?! You really want everyone to think that I'm a pathetic Assassin Cross or something?!*Pant Pant*" Aher's peculiar smile was unfazed despite Kshar's enraged shouting. "No... No. I just wanted you to vent out your anger. Don't you feel much better now?" Kshar remembered why he liked Aher so much as his friend calmly tapped the table and invited him to sit. He always seemed to comfort him at times like this. But as Kshar looked around the room, he was met with stares from curious onlookers. Oh, Odin! He was able to thank Aher, but now all these strangers know about the shameful things the guild master forced him to do in the past! Aher diffused Kshar's annoyance with a strategic pat on the shoulder. "Even if it's a lame mission, just do your best. You know, for the pride of your guild. By the time you're finished, I should be a Lord Knight. I'm a little disappointed that you won't be able to come with me..." "What?" Kshar stopped himself from pushing Aher's hand away from his shoulder when he heard that. Now he knew why Aher wanted to go on a trip... "I mean, I figured it was about time, you know? My friend is an Assassin Cross, but I'm still a Knight? That's why I'm going to try hard to become a Lord Knight. Why don't you wish me luck?" "Alright, I understand. Good luck, Aher." "Thanks. Say, why don't we celebrate now? It's a little early, but we might as well seize the day if you're going to be busy with your mission later. Yeah, let's drink all night! Kshar, don't even think about turning in early! Master, two jugs of strong ale please~!" That day, Aher made Kshar drank with him until early the next morning. - To be continued *All characters in the Young Adventurer's Journal Series are fictional: they're completely unrelated to actual events.
Young Adventurer's Journal Chapter 1: The Curse 3. Kshar was standing in front of the entrance to the giant Sphinx in Morroc, running over what he could remember from what had happened three days ago. He recalled making a toast with Aher, wishing him luck on his pilgrimage to become a Lord Knight, but nothing else. He had to stay in bed for two days from all the alcohol he drank. This was especially unusual since he always refused to drink or smoke. He didn't want to risk hampering his balance or sense of smell to detect poison, so he never even went out with his comrades for a casual drink. This was actually his first hangover. "Whoa, you look pretty nauseated. Have you been drinking? I thought you didn't do that at all." Kshar didn't even look up. That was Esmir's voice, calm and slightly high pitched as usual. Just one of the guild's leaders, showing his concern. "Oh, you're definitely hung over. Huh. I never thought I'd see this. Still, it's good to see that you have your off days too." Ziklein. Another guild leader come to check up on him. Kshar shrugged in an effort to show that he was okay, and then took a deep breath. He was such a fool to try to keep up with Aher's drinking. His superiors were here now, and he should give them whatever attention he could muster. However, they didn't seem to notice he was capable of listening. "I thought he just got his assignment two days ago. Do you think he'll be alright?" "Oh, yeah. So he went drinking, even though he's got a job to do? Pretty gutsy." "Hey, Esmir. Aren't you supposed to help Kshar in his assignment?" Esmir shrugged at Ziklein. He didn't know much about it. Ziklein started explaning Kshar's mission from the guild master to Emsir. They were still talking as if Kshar couldn't hear them, and this made him furious. Kshar looked up to the sky. The sandy winds should have blocked his view, but he could see that it was crisp and blue. The deepness of the color brought his mind into focus. He was sober now, even if he did have a pounding headache. "Aaaaaaaaahhhh!" Kshar screamed to the sky (it was probably a powerful kihop or a scream of rage--it was hard to tell), and then ran straight into the dark mouth of the Sphinx. He'd been in there so many times that he could navigate its maze with his eyes closed. He worked on reflex alone, slashing nearby Drainlairs and wandering undead slaves as he sped past them. "This mission is so stupid! We get enough burial accessories from the Assassin test applicants! I don't see why he wants more of these!" Kshar slashed the throat of the Requiem attacking him behind from his right Katar. "Even if we did need more of this junk, the rookie Assassins could handle this! I should be working on something more important!" Kshar's angry thoughts throbbed through his mind in tune with his headache. He spied a Zerom, kicked open its box, and then split its head open and stabbed an approaching Drainlair with the same Katar in one fluid motion. The monsters lay still on the stone floor in a puddle of their dark blood. Outside, the two senior Assassins were chatting. "Why does the Guild Master pick on Kshar like this? I mean, that guy is cream of the crop. Even he doesn't like Kshar, he shouldn't be assigning these kinds of missions to him." "Esmir... The master has got it all planned out. Haven't you ever wondered how Kshar got so strong so quickly? He wants to prove to the master that he can do anything the master asks of him. Sure, Kshar's angry as hell, but the Guild Master is motivating him in his own way. You'll see what I mean..."