Dear Brave Adventurers,
Have you heard that rumor about the ghost that lives deep within the sanctum just a mile east from town?
Legends say that if you look at it in the eye, it steals your soul! And they say that it’s already claimed the lives of several adventurers!
I’m looking for a brave group of adventurers to defeat this ghost and make the sanctum safe to travel through again.
Reward amount can be found below...
~ Concerned Clergy Member
Today, a brave group of adventurers boldy accepted the quest! Their names were Marin, Zex and Orsus.
Although the Orsus and Zex gentlemen seemed reluctant, that Marin girl was all for it. She even started saying things like:
“In my line of work, I've fought all kinds of creepy creatures of the night, so this will be no sweat.”
“Hah! Look at all you chickenheads. What? You all too scared to check it out ain’t yah? Suckers!”
With that, Targus decided to volunteer them for the quest. Here’s to good luck!
"For the third time, I would ask that you release my cloak. I cannot move with you clinging to me like this."
There are two types of quests that any reasonable adventurer would never take.
Those are: pet retrievals and sanctum investigations.
"Is it not strange Orsus? I vaguely recall a period when our brave red-headed friend had so proudly proclaimed that they were ‘not afraid of no ghosts.’"
Why does no one take them? Well... the reason lends itself to the collective wisdom of the many adventurers who had accepted such futile requests in the past.
A collective wisdom which was immediately dismissed by a certain impatient red-haired adventurer who then somehow compelled her far too trustworthy companions to agree.
This, of course, being the case after seeing the value of commission offered...
"I wonder…what are the thoughts of our fearless leader now? Or perhaps I simply heard wrong and need to get my ears checked? Or ratherrr-"
"S-s-shut up Zex! I'm not s-s-scared! I'm j-j-just checking his cloak for t-t-tears!"
It was but a mere moment ago when the trio managed to walk down only a few hallways before realizing that they had become completely and hopelessly lost.
Fortunately, Zex knew of a helpful little spell which he lazily named "Light Ball."
Once casted, he programmed several balls of light to lead the way, providing support for each individual party member.
Included in the group of lights was a seemingly rambunctious ball of light that seemed to have a mind of it’s own as it wildly floated around Marin’s face-
“--Goddamit Zex, keep that thing away from my eyes. You tryna blind me?”
By this time, Orsus had about more than enough.
"Can either of you two act like your age for once?”
"---Anyway. This may be Beiyora's sanctum, but it is just as dangerous as any other. So be on your guards.”
The three made their way deeper into the twisting halls.
Filled with the undertones of an unnatural silence, a tension began to fill the air.
Somehow, it felt as they were being watched...
A sound pulsed all throughout the halls of the sanctum until the echo crawled slowly back down into the pitch black void distance, only to gently fade away, returning to a deep silence…
"Yep. I think I'm done.”
In a suspiciously calm manner, Marin released her grip from Orsus’ cloak and began to walk in the opposite direction of sound.
"Oh no you don’t!”
With a snap of Zex’s fingers a wall of solid light thwarted her escape.
“You’ve already gotten us in deep for this mission! And besides, remember when you started calling everyone “chicken-headed” for not taking this quest? You do realize that there's absolutely no way we can just show our faces at the guild empty-handed after that, right!?"
"*sniff* b-but, but…."
Sensing a disturbance in their partner, a sleepy Grimm snuggled his way out of his bandaged confines.
"Yawwwn. Red-hair. During my attempted slumber, I could not help but overhear your predicament."
"Ugh. Just go back to sleep, Grimm. Nothing good is going on."
"Hmmm? Elevated stress hormones... increase in adrenaline... increase in the 'fight or flight' response patterns of the brain... I detect the mortal emotion of fear."
"Haha get out of here, what do you even mean? Me? Afraid? Don’t be ridiculous (shut up, shut up, shut up please)..."
"Worry not my pitiful partner. For as long as you wield power as great as mine, you shall have nothing to fear."
Marin began to slowly walk in the direction where she was pretty sure the exit would be.
"Oh thanks Grimm! I'm sure that a sword, a solid physical object, could just totally, you know, chop a ghost in half or something! Thanks! Super helpful."
Grimm peered at Marin with his big yellow eye.
"A ghost? You mean a lamb whose soul has yet to be claimed? Absolutely no contest. Ghosts cannot be harmed, nor can they harm others. Tis is their fate for forsaking life, while also refusing the call of death."
Satisfied with his reasoning, Grimm had about returned to his slumber when-
"Ah and besides... did you not see how many shiny gold rocks you would receive for accomplishing the request?"
“I don’t recall the number exactly. But I do remember seeing, oh I don’t know, a single digit number followed by, maybe, five zeroes? You do enjoy mortal tasks with monetary compensations that exceed several digits, yes?"
“Wait… I’ve seen that look in your eyes, hold on-”
Marin immediately transformed Grimm into blade form and charged ahead, vanishing into the darkness of the hall.
"Well... there goes our brave party leader."
---Moments later Orsus and Zex could hear new sounds permeate the halls.
Though initially unrecognizable, they soon became clear as they hastily made their way down the hall.
"I can't believe this was a 5,000 coin job! Yippie! I'm going to beat the **** out of these ghosts and go collect my darlings!"
The message boomed down the hallway until it could be heard no longer.
A deeply perplexed Zex then asked,
"How is it possible that she could take such a turn from 0 to 100?"
"Courage isn't always about being brave. Sometimes it's simply about being stubborn enough to gain something you want no matter the cost."
--- By the time the two reached her, she was no longer moving.
Her arms hung loosely by her sides while her face twisted wide in shock as they looked ahead, bearing witness to the very source of the disheartening sounds.
There, in front them, were three little white penguin-looking blobs with large eyelashes and fake wings wrestling around on the floor laughing without a care in the world.
“Orsus… What are Cherubs doing here?”
“How would I know?”
The largest Cherub had pinned down the tiniest of them with his superior squishy body and began tickling its little foot relentlessly.
"Stop, stop! Not again, hahaha! I'm gonna… i’m gonna- che-che-che!"
Marin stared at the Cherubs, eyes almost wide as Grimm’s, until even they had noticed the ominous energy emanating from her piercing gaze.
Together they responded in unison,
"Uhhhh... we can explain-"
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOING IN HERE?"
The littlest Cheruba then stumbled up to Marin.
"We're playing blind tag! It's a special kind of tag that you play when it's super dark! It makes getting tagged so much more exciting, ooooo!"
The other Cherub filled with eagerness came approaching fast.
"Yeah! Wanna play with us?"
Running over to Marin with true excitement in it’s soul it took it's little squishy hand and tagged Marin on her knee
"Tag! You're it now! But no lights aloud. You gotta turn off all those lights, kay? Catch me!"
Marin immediately began to chase after the little Cherubs who’s boundless energy had her running in circles for seemingly hours while they laughed in glee, completely oblivious to her intent to do them great harm.
Orsus and Zex looked at each other and after a brief moment, mutually shook their heads as they both slowly put out their lights.