Yup, this is my latest writing project. I’m going to novlise Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. Hey…HEY! Get back here!!
I’m not JUST going to novelise it. I’m going to shatter this game, melt down the pieces and reforge it into what it could have…nay, SHOULD have been. I will make it bigger and better than anyone ever thought it could be…hopefully. ^^;
Now, without further ado…
<center>FINAL FANTASY: MYSTIC QUEST
The Rise and Fall of the Dark King
The world was being torn apart by war.
Armies of fierce demons and fiercer warriors were tearing the land asunder.
Lead by a cruel conqueror named Ventharion, humanity didn’t have a chance.
But how could one man gain so much power? How could one man bring all of the land to it’s knees?
Cassius Ventharion was eternally plagued with a insatiable thirst for knowledge and power. Once a nobleman, he shunned society and locked himself in musty libraries and spent countless hours obsessing over old tomes and grimoires.
Most people disregarded him, thinking him insane. Perhaps they were not wrong.
One day, after years of relentless pursuit, Ventharion found what he was looking for.
He discovered a book that gave the means to invoke powerful demons. And that he did. Summoning forth a demon lord of great power, Ventharion bargained his soul for power, knowledge and immortality.
The first thing he did was put his newfound strength and knowledge to work building a weapon for himself. For an entire year, he worked on forging a weapon for himself that would aid him in his conquest. No longer did he need to eat or sleep. Day and night, from sunrise to sunset, he worked.
His final creation was a mighty scepter, forged from precious metals and gems and imbued with the darkest and most forbidden of the arcane magicks. With it, he could summon forth and contain the powers of the demons at will.
His power secured and his weapon complete, Ventharion’s campaign had began.
He began ripping towns and kingdoms apart, demanding that the people serve him or be annihilated. Many opted to become his servants. Some feared him, others wanted a taste of his power.
Soon, he had an army. And soon, the world would feel his wrath.
In the very center of the continent, Ventharion and his followers began forging a grand fortress for him from a great mountain. And while this was happening, he conquered. All who got in his way were destroyed or made slaves.
In what seemed like no time at all, his fortress was complete.
He named it Doom Castle.
For many months, Ventharion watched the world from Doom Castle, destroying anything on a whim. Every single man, woman and child in the world feared him and obeyed him, for the alternative was painful death…or worse.
He became known as The Dark King.
But what he didn’t know was that he was not without opposition…
Meeting in secret, in places hidden from the Dark King’s omnipresent eyes, was a group of men and women whose goal was to dethrone the King. A rebellion, if you will.
Led by a group of four mighty wizards, the group slowly but surely worked against him. They ambushed his death squads, destroyed his supplies, freed slaves…all from right under his nose.
But Ventharion would not remain ignorant for long, as they all surely knew. Soon enough, he discovered their headquarters. Most of them fled, but many died.
All seemed hopeless. The wizards decided it was time for their last resort…
The four Crystals…each representing one of the forces of nature that made up the world; Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
Together, they held the world – or what was left of it – in balance. Such was their power that even the Dark King could not take him. Everyone was thankful for that, for if he could harness the power of the Crystals, he would become a god.
The four wizards who led the rebellion were the sworn guardians of the Crystals. For ages, their bloodline had kept them safe from harm.
They had sworn a sacred oath to always use the power for peaceful means, and never for violence.
But as the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.
They journeyed forth into the resting place of the crystals, and, for the first time in millennia, removed them.
With the nigh-invincible power of the Crystals in their hands, they gave to the King’s forces everything that they had been given themselves. They never stood a chance.
Ventharion immediately knew. For the first time in years, he felt a hint of fear.
He called his strongest generals to his side for his protection, but it was no use. After a long, hard battle, the wizards had defeated him.
But such was the Dark King’s power that he was beyond death.
The wizards did the next best thing; They stripped away as much of his strength as they could, and sealed him inside his massive fortress.
It was finally over. Light had triumphed over darkness.
It was decided that they could not risk the Dark King ever freeing himself. Over the next few years, many people began constructing a massive tower over the sole entrance to Doom Castle. With the aid of the Crystals, it was soon completed.
It had been christened “Focus Tower”. At the very bottom floor, where the gate to the Castle was, a magical seal was created. The wizards locked the seal with four magical coins.
Their job completed, the Crystals were returned to their places, and the barriers around them were reinforced. To further ensure their safety, the wizards hid the coins with the Crystals, so that they, too, would be protected.
After what had seemed like an eternity, peace had returned.
The gigantic monolith that was Focus Tower eternally loomed in the center of the continent. Over the years, it evolved into a trade route. As it was built into a mountain, it allowed easier access to the upper regions of the world.
The years that passed swiftly became decades, centuries, eons…history began to fade into myth and legend, and in time, the Dark King was forgotten.
Thousands of years have passed since the end of the war, and unbeknownst to all but a select few, the King still sleeps...deep underground, he waits for the moment when he can return to the world and have his revenge... Deep, deep underground, in one of the darkest chambers of the ruin that once was Doom Castle, give cloaked figures were having a meeting. “My generals...” the lead one said. He spoke in a low, raspy tone. “My friends...my brothers in arms...I think our time may have finally come.” The one standing to his immediate right responded. “You...you’re serious, my lord?” “I am.” He said back. “I can hardly believe it...” said a woman’s voice from behind another one of the cloaks. “Gods...how many years have we been trapped in here like rats in cages?” “Five thousand, four hundred and sixty-three years.” said a cool voice beside her. “You...counted?” she said. “Not much else to do in this tomb.” The leader spoke again. “That is irrelevant. I believe I have found a means to finally leave.” They all fell silent, listening closely. “All the time I spent when we were not in magically-induced sleeps, I have spent in my library. My books are what gave me power in the first place, and I have no doubt that they will bring it back. As you all probably don’t know, I have been slowly regaining my strength over the centuries. I am still nowhere near where I once was...and at the current rate, it would take tens of thousands of years to get it back. As it is, I don’t have the power to free myself...” “...however, I believe I may have sufficient power to free all of you.” The group was stunned. In unison, they started babbling. “What?” “You can?” “How?” “Silence!” the leader shouted. “Do not worry about how it will be done. Worry about what you are going to do once you are out there.” After several moments of stunned silence, the man on the right spoke. “Um...what WILL we do, lord?” “Simple. I need more power to free myself. You’re going to bring me the power of the Crystals.” “WHAT?!” they shouted together. “Calm yourselves!” he said. “To answer the question you have not yet asked, yes, the Crystals are well guarded. I knew the Crystals were the key...but I had no means how. Finally, I have found the solution.” “I have done much research. I have found out that the defensive spells do not protect the crystals themselves, but simply stop them from being removed from their resting places.” One of the cloaked ones rose an eyebrow. “But...how does that help us? What does this mean?” “It means, Serrith, that we can harness the power of the Crystals another way. Once I free you all, you will use a spell of my creation to slowly sap their energies. No-one but the bloodline of the Guardians can remove the crystals, and that even I cannot stop.” He grinned. “But that leaves us more leeway than it may seem. I have been using the years to craft a powerful spell that can channel the power of the Crystals into us without moving them. You will drain them for me. With the crystals weaken, the world will slowly crumble, and once I have the power, I can finally be free of my shackles!” For a moment, no-one responded. One of them stepped forward. “My lord...can this really work?” The leader chuckled darkly. “Of course it can, Marus. This is foolproof. However, it never hurts to have contingency plans.” He passed each of them a shard of what looked like quartz. “I have saved these for all these years for a time when we could use them...that time is now. In these crystals are the essence of the most powerful demons I have ever summoned. Use them at a time you deem worthy.” The one called Serrith spoke again. “When shall we implement this plan, lord?” “Immediately!” With that, his hands began to glow. “Marus...Serrith...Damia...Lethe...my generals...my comrades...it has been so long...oh, so long...but the time has come...the time is NOW! Go forth and bring me the power of the Crystals! In the name of the Dark King...GO!” There was a bright flash...and the King was alone. “Soon...” he said to no-one, “very soon...I shall cast darkness upon this world...and it will all belong to be once again...” He began to laugh. A long, hard, malicious laugh. With no-one but himself to hear, it echoed eerily through the cold halls of Doom castle. CHAPTER I Benjamin’s Destiny Benjamin was who you would call an average boy. Born an raised on a farm, he was a hard worker and a good son, and overall an average Joe. He had a good life, but as he got older he began to wish for something more. He was stricken with an insatiable wanderlust. One day, he decided to come forward and talk to his parents. He wanted to go out in search for adventure. At first they were – quite naturally – hesitant to agree. These were dangerous times...monsters were becoming increasingly violent and strange phenomena were happening throughout the world. But they soon realized that they could do nothing to stop him. On his twentieth birthday, his uncle – a skilled blacksmith – forged him a sword from fine steel, and on that day he set out in search of adventure...
At the moment, Benjamin was consulting a map that his parents gave him, pondering his first destination.
“If I keep traveling east, I’ll eventually hit the Foresta region…that seems like a good place to head. But in order to get there, I have to pass by this mountain. What’s it called again…ah. Mount Destiny. What an apt place to start an adventure…”
And thus, he set out. Traveling by day, and resting by night, often stopping to practice with his sword. He had no formal training to speak of, save for a rundown of the basics of swordsmanship from his uncle, but he seemed to have a natural talent for it. Still, it wouldn’t take a master to notice that he was an amateur.
Soon enough, he came to Mount Destiny. It was fairly small, as far as mountains go, and the path through it was surprisingly smooth and linear. But Benjamin had a felling that there was more to the mountain than meets the eye…
“Well, guess I’d better get to it.” He said to himself, and began the long trek.
The journey up Mount Destiny was fairly nondescript, as was expected. But as he neared the summit, his leisurely stroll was interrupted by an “EARTHQUAKE!” The ground began to tremble violently, and rocks began to fall around Benjamin. Panicking, he ran, trying to find a safe spot. Soon, the ground began to tear itself asunder. He flatting himself against a firm wall, and prayed for it to stop, when he heard a voice cry out. “Someone! Please! Help me!” He looked around and saw an old man hanging off a shaking cliff. Without thinking, he ran to the man’s aid. He extended his hand and shouted for the man to grab it. The man did so and Benjamin pulled him up. The two quickly ran off, looking for safety. With a mighty rumble, a great fissure appeared in the middle of the path. The old man ran and leapt across it with surprising agility. Benjamin was dumbstruck for a moment. “Don’t just stand there!” he shouted. “Jump!” Benjamin quickly regained his sense and leapt across the chasm. Several large rocks fell in the spot where he was standing as he ground crumbled away. Moments later, the shaking stopped. Both men stopped to catch their breath. “Huff...thank you, young man. If you hadn’t shown up, I would have been a goner.” “Think nothing of it, sir.” Benjamin responded. “I did what any honest man would have done in my shoes.” He looked the old man over. He was fairly plain-looking, clad in a long brown coat and bearing a large, shaggy mane of snow-white hair, with a mustache and large beard to match. “My name’s Benjamin.” “Nice to meet you, Benjamin, though I wish the circumstances could have been better. Call me Lucas.” “Nice to meet you as well, Lucas.” Lucas chuckled, though at what, Benjamin wasn’t sure. “Heh...I think my age is starting to catch up with me...my old bones ache. Do you think you can escort a tired old man to the summit?” Benjamin saw no reason to deny him this, and thus, they continued on until they reached the highest point on the path. The two looked over the edge and were rewarded with a breathtaking view of the scenery, though Benjamin immediately noticed one thing. The vast sea of trees that made up the Foresta region – normally a lush green this time of year – was mostly composed of sickly yellows and browns. “You notice the trees too, I see.” said Lucas. “These are troubling times...the world is not well.” Benjamin raised an eyebrow at these words. “Look over there.” said Lucas, pointing. “What do you see?” Benjamin looked in the direction he pointed. “I see Focus Tower.” “Exactly. And what do you know about Focus Tower?” “It’s a trade route. But it’s been closed fort the past few months...why, I don’t know.” The old man chuckled again. “There are lots of things you don’t know. But one thing you should know...the world needs help.” “What do you mean?” asked Benjamin, once again raising a brow. “You can see it everywhere. Monsters becoming more violent, Foresta’s trees dyeing...and more. What this world needs,” Lucas said, giving Benjamin a look, “is a hero.” “A...hero?” Once again, Lucas chuckled. “Yes. A hero. Someone to fight for the LOOK OUT!” The two were interrupted when a large, horned beast known as a Behemoth was charging at them, snarling. Without thinking, Benjamin drew his sword. The beast balked for a moment after seeing the blade, but quickly charged again and tried to impale Benjamin on its horns. Benjamin leapt aside and struck at it’s tough hide with his sword. The thing let out a howl of pain. Angered, and rushed again, attempting to gore him. Again, Benjamin met the blow and stabbed the beast. This time, his blow struck home. With one last roar, the monster fell to the ground, dead. “You’re a natural with that sword, boy.” Lucas said, impressed. “Like I was telling you...the world needs a hero. You can be that hero, Benjamin.” “Me?” Benjamin said, confused. “I’m no hero...I’m just a farm boy who wanted to make something of himself.” “You will, Benjamin...believe me, you will.” Lucas said cryptically. “Now...make your way to Level Forest. You will know where to go from there.” Before Benjamin could say anything more, there was a bright flash and Lucas was gone, leaving Benjamin to feel confused. Not knowing what else to do, he began the trek down the mountain and into Level Forest.
Soon, Benjamin found his way into what should have been the immense greenery of Level Forest. It looked worse up close.
Lumber was the biggest expert from the Foresta region. It was well known for fine trees. But all the trees were withered and rotting, their leaves dried out and brown.
“What…could have caused this?” he thought out loud.
His thoughts were interrupted by a voice. “Back! Back, you foul imps! BACK, I say!”
He turned and saw an old man in a blue cloak trying his best to fend off a horde of goblin-like creatures with a withered tree branch. Individually, the creatures were no match for him. They were small – about a foot in height each – with brownish skin and covered in red cloth.
Unfortunately for the man, they had him outnumbered by a long shot. Leaping around like rabbits, furiously punching and kicking, they would overwhelm him soon enough.
Benjamin ran forward and swung his sword, instantly cleaving a number of them in two. Seeing this, the rest of them scattered.
“Thank you, good sir!” the old man said, his hand on his heart.
“It was no problem.” Benjamin responded. “Why were you out here, anyway?”
“Well,” he began, “I hail from the village of Foresta, where many of the townsfolk – especially the children – are sick from a disease which none of us can identify. I was out here looking for some herbs so we could make medicine. Kaeli, one of the village girls, is quite skilled at it.”
The man sighed. “Poor Kaeli…she absolutely loves the forest. I don’t know what’s killing the trees, but it’s tearing her apart.”
“But I digress. Anyhow…where was I? Ah, yes. Those brownies attacked me! I don’t understand…they’re normally so docile. They would never come within a yard of any humans, and suddenly they’re trying to kill me?”
Benjamin pondered this for a moment. “This is…very strange.” he said.
“Say…would you mind showing me the way to Foresta?”
“Why, certainly, young man.” the man responded. “It’s the least I can do. Come on.”
It was a short walk to Foresta Village. When Benjamin arrived, the first thing he noticed was that there were barely any people around. “Half the village is sick in bed.” the old man said, seeing Benjamin’s confusion. “Yikes...” Benjamin said. After thinking for a moment, he asked. “Where does this Kaeli live?” “In that house over there.” The man said, pointing. “She lives with her mother. Her father is a sailor – captain of his own ship, if I recall – and he’s hardly ever home.” “Thanks again,” Benjamin said, as he walked toward the house. He couldn’t explain it, but [i]something[/i] told him that it was important that he meet Kaeli. He was about to knock on the door when it open, revealing a middle-aged woman with reddish-brown hair. “Um...hello, sir.” she said. “Does Kaeli live here?” Benjamin asked. “She does.” the woman said. “What business do you have with Kaeli?” “I...have some questions that I think she could answer.” “Very well. Come in. Would you like some tea?” “No, thanks.” Benjamin walked in. The place was fairly small, but quite cozy. “Kaeli!” the woman called. “There’s someone here to see you!” “Coming, mother!” a voice responded. From the other room emerged a girl about seventeen, with shoulder-length red hair and a well-rounded figure, wearing a green dress. “May I help you, sir?” she asked politely. “My name is Benjamin. Can you tell me what happened to the forest?” She blinked several times. “Well...I’m not too sure myself. About a month or two ago, the plants and trees just started dyeing, and nothing new will grow. Shortly after, people started getting sick. No-one has any clue why...” She gave him a weird look. “Who did you say you were?” “Just...passing through.” “You have the look of an adventurer about you.” she said, smiling. “Perhaps you can help me...” “Help you with what?” asked Benjamin, interested. “Well...our stores of herbal medicine are quickly running dry, and we can’t make much more of it. I heard humors that in a cave to the north that people call the Sand Temple, there are some great treasures...one of which is a powerful healing potion known as Elixer.” Benjamin smiled. Lucas said that the world needed a hero...and he though that maybe the idea of being one wasn’t so bad after all.” “Say no more. I’ll go find the Elixer for you.” “Oh, no. I want you to escort me to the Sand Temple.” It was Benjamin’s turn to blink. “Er...no offense, but don’t you think it would be wiser if I went alone? I could focus more on the task at hand if I didn’t have to protect you.” Kaeli let out a single, loud “HAH!” “I don’t need anyone to protect me.” She said. Hanging on a nearby wall was a good-sized battle axe, which Kaeli swiftly grabbed. She twirled it several times to show off her skill with it. “You just worry about covering your own ass. The reason I asked is, honestly, it would be insane to go through the forest alone at this time. The creatures are turning violent, and on top of that, weird things are happening. I’m going anyway...the people of this town NEED Elixer. If you want to help me, I’d appreciate it. If not, then you know where the door is. That won’t stop me. Besides, no-one knows their way around the forest like I do. I’ve been exploring it since I was three and I know it like the back of my hand.” A grin began to creep it’s way across Benjamin’s face. “I like you, Kaeli...you’ve got spirit. Alright, you’ve got yourself a traveling companion.” “Allright!” she shouted happily. “Let’s get right on it!” With that, she bolted out the door. Benjamin sighed and started to follow her when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw Kaeli’s mother. “Benjamin, you said your name was?” she asked. “I know that Kaeli can take care of herself, but all the same, I worry. I can’t help it. Please try and look out for her.” Benjamin nodded in response. “I will.” “Thank you. Now hurt along before she leaves you behind.” “Good idea.” With that, Benjamin swiftly turned around and ran after her.
“I didn’t realize how big this forest was before…”
“Oh, Level Forest is huge! It covers more than half of the region!”
“I wish I came at a better time…I’m sure it looked nice before…you know…”
“It did.” Said Kaeli in a saddened tone. “It was beautiful. I hope that someday I can figure out what caused this horrid rot so I can get rid of it.”
With Kaeli in the lead, the two navigated the deep forest. Occasionally they were attacked by brownies. After several of them met a swift and messy end to Kaeli’s axe, the frequency of the attacks was drastically lowered.
“I must admit, you’re pretty damn good with that axe.” Benjamin said.
“It comes from growing up in a place where lumber is a big export.” Kaeli responded cheerfully. “About half the people who live in Foresta have to learn to use an axe if they want to work. Of course, cutting down monsters is a lot different than cutting down trees, but it’s the same basic principle.”
“I can see that…” said Benjamin, noticing the remains of the latest brownie to attack them.
The two went deeper still, when Benjamin heard a weird sound.
“Kaeli…do you hear that?” he asked.
“Yeah, I do…” she responded. “It sounds like…something oozing…”
From behind some nearby bushes, several large globs of slime emerged.
“Ew!” Benjamin and Kaeli exclaimed in unison. Slowly, the globs coalesced and started to ooze toward them.
“What IS that?!” Benjamin shouted, stepping back.
“Some kind of slime creature!” Kaeli responded. “They’re usually pretty rare in these parts!”
The thing oozed closer, dissolving most of the plants that were in it’s path.
“Can we kill it?” Benjamin asked, drawing his sword.
“I hope so,” said Kaeli, squeezing the handle of her axe.
Benjamin leapt forward and slashed his sword at the pulsating mass. It went right through it with little resistance and some chunks came off. They didn’t grow back.
“We CAN hurt it!” exclaimed Benjamin. “Just keep at it!”
The slime quivered and launched several balls of slime at the pair. Kaeli dodged it easily, but Benjamin was too slow and got some on his arm.
“AAAHHHH! It burns!” he yelled frantically. He shook his arm wildly to get the slime off. There was a nasty burn where the acidic goo was.
Shrieking a war cry, Kaeli brought her axe down as hard as she could into the gunk. It splattered and began to dissipate.
“Here,” Kaeli said, wiping sweat off her brow. “Let me look at that burn.”
Benjamin presented his singed arm. Kaeli put her hands over it and chanted some words under her breath. Her hands took on a blue shimmer, and the burn started to heal.
“Wow…” said Benjamin, utterly amazed. “Was that…magic?”
“A simple healing spell.” She responded. “It’s easy enough. Some people have a knack for it, but almost anyone can do the simple stuff. If you want, I can teach you sometime.”
“Yeah…I’d like that.”
Once again, they traveled down the forest path. They encountered quite a few more brownies and several more slime monsters along the way.
“The road to the Sand Temple lies just beyond this…path…”
They stopped in their tracks. In the middle of the path was a smallish pine tree. For some unknown reason, it had a strange orange glow about it.
“There’s something…evil, about that tree.” Benjamin said.
“Well,” Kaeli responded, brandishing her axe, “I know one way to get rid of a tree.”
She stepped forward hacked at the tree. As soon as she made the first cut, the glowing tree gave off a flash of light. When it subsided, a large, burly man with the head of a bull was standing in it’s place.
“Surprise!” it shouted with a snarl, as it threw something at Kaeli. It hit her, and she fell with a scream.
“AAHH!” she put a hand to her neck and felt a dart, which she swiftly pulled out. She put it to her nose and sniffed it.
“He’s…poisoned…me…” she wheezed, as she struggled to right herself. “Just…like…he did…the trees…”
The minotaur simply laughed. He held up his muscled arm and clicked his fingers. A large axe materialized in his hands. He let out a roar and raised the axe above Kaeli.
“NO!” Benjamin shouted. He rushed forward and stabbed the beast in the gut. It yelled out in pain and turned it’s attention to Benjamin.
The bull-man grunted and assumed a combat stance. Benjamin responded in kind.
The thing charged forward and swung wildly. Benjamin was able to evade easily enough. The thing seemed to be fighting Berserker-style, without technique. His swings with tough, but slow. Benjamin played this to his advantage. The beast raised his axe and prepared to cleave Benjamin in two.
This was the opportunity Benjamin had waited for. He swiftly lunged forward and pierced the beast through the heart.
The thing gasped and dropped the axe, then fell to the ground.
Benjamin ran to Kaeli’s side. She looked quite sick.
“Bag…” she moaned. “Bottle…red…liquid…”
Benjamin looked into Kaeli’s travel pack. Sure enough, there was a bottle of red liquid. He pulled the cork out with his teeth and poured the contents into Kaeli’s waiting mouth. She swallowed, then coughed a few times.
“Argh…that stuff tastes awful…but it works.”
“Are you okay?” Benjamin asked.
“The bastard got me with poison.” she said darkly. “I’m betting that something similar is making the villagers sick…you need to get the elixir. The medicine I took will take some of the edge off the poison…temporarily at least.”
With a little effort and a lot of help from Benjamin, she stood up.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” he asked.
“No.” she responded with a half-smile. “But the medicine gave me enough strength to get home under my own power. I’ll need some Elixer.”
“I’ll go an get it.”
“Thank you…the Sand Temple is just a little further due north…”
She coughed again. Before Benjamin could say anything, she said “Don’t worry! I can get home fine…”
Benjamin was unconvinced, but he decided not to argue. Without another word, he set off for the Sand Temple.
Sand, Rock and Bone
Benjamin found his way out of the forest easily enough. What surprised him was that on the other side of the forest was a large desert.
There was the entrance to a cave in a distant rock face. Sighing, Benjamin began walking toward it.
‘Considering that this is a desert,’ he thought, ‘it really isn’t all that hot. I really have to wonder how a desert and a large forest can exist so close to each other…’
In due time, he made it to the Temple. He wasn’t sure why people called it that. It was just a cave. And a fairly small one. Lit torches lined the walls.
The Temple was fairly easy to navigate. In the chamber next to the one where Benjamin entered was a large chest. ‘Hmm,’ Benjamin said to himself, ‘I wonder if the Elixir is in there…only one way to find out, I guess.’
He leaned forward and started to open the chest, when suddenly, a throwing star lodged itself in the chest, inches away from his hand.
“I don’t think so, kid.” Said a voice from behind him.
Benjamin froze in place, unsure what to say.
“Stand up and turn around.”
Benjamin did so. The voice had belonged to an older-looking man – Benjamin guessed that he was in his mid-to-late thirties – dressed in the garb of a ninja. He had long, black hair tied into a ponytail, dark, piercing eyes, and a handful of throwing knives.
“You don’t look like a common thief.” He said. “Why don’t you tell me what you’re doing here, kid?”
Benjamin decided that at the moment, the wises course of action would be to do as he said. “My name is Benjamin. I came here looking for Elixer. The people of Foresta are very sick, and need it to cure them.”
The man chuckled. “Your cause is noble, at least. You picked the right box, by the way. Or at least it would be, if I didn’t find it first.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a bottle of glowing blue liquid.
“You bet your ass it is, kid.” the ninja said with a grin.
“I don’t suppose I can have it?” Benjamin asked, shrugging.
“Hey, this is valuable stuff, kid. I can’t just give it away.”
“Please don’t call me kid. I’m twenty.” Benjamin interrupted.
“That makes me seventeen years your senior, KID. As I was saying, this is pricey stuff. But I’m a fair man. I’ll sell it to you for, say…nine thousand gil?”
“NINE THOUSAND?!” Benjamin exclaimed, his eyes widening.
“I told you this stuff was pricey…” the ninja responded, rolling his eyes.
“I NEED this stuff. Can’t we work something out?”
The older man took a moment to think about this.
“Alright…I like you, kid. You came here to get this stuff, and for that, I commend you. So I’ll make you a deal. A bit further north is a huge temple known as the Bone Dungeon. Inside the bone dungeon supposedly sleeps some fantastic treasures. You help me find the treasures, and the elixir is yours. No charge.”
Benjamin didn’t hesitate. “Deal.”
“Fantastic!” The man put away his knives. “Now, introductions: The name’s Tristam, treasure hunter extraordinaire and purveyor of all that is shiny. You?”
“Benjamin. Unlikely hero out for adventure.”
Tristam laughed. “I like you, kid. I think you and me are gonna get along juuust fine.”
“You know my name now. Do you have to keep calling me ‘kid’?”
“Why, yes. Yes I do.”
(To be continued...) I CRAVE FEEDBACK! Tell me what you all think, and do NOT hold back!