Goblins. A species of demonkin that are synonymous with the word 'weak'. Though they are weak individually they are not to be taken lightly. If you see a goblin, in the wild, you can be sure that there will be a whole lot more somewhere close by. Goblins know that they are weak, so they band together and form small tribes to survive. They usually find their home close to areas where there is a lot of carriage and caravan traffic, so as to make it easier to lug back the loot and whatnot after ambushing the poor travelers.
Inside the dimly lit cave room, James Tarker had already killed three of the four goblins that were pleasing themselves with the kidnapped girls. The stench, a thick mix of bleach and fish, was horrid, but it wasn't something new to him. He had already taken care of the girls by running his sword through their bellies. It was a pitiful thing to have to do, but it would prevent the goblin babies from being born - it was important to do this so that they could stop future travelers from being attacked.
James Tarker looked at Jun Long, who had fallen to his knees in front of a partially stripped girl. Her clothes, like the others, had been ripped part to expose the breasts and the skirt had been torn all the way up the middle. He couldn't help but frown at the sight of his friend acting so crestfallen.
"Yo, Jun," James called out to him. "I'm sorry that you've gotta see something nasty like this, but we got a job to do."
"... right..." Jun Long's mind blanked.
James Tarker sighed softly, recalling his own first time seeing such a sight. He could easily sympathize with Jun Long. James Tarker bent over and reached for the hand that Jun Long was holding the dagger in. Jun Long jerked his hand away from James', out of reflex, and held the dagger close to his chest. James slowly reached for the hand, again, and held it firmly in his. He pulled Jun Long's hand over to the girl's belly, which looked like she was ready to give birth any minute now, and slowly let go of the hand.
Jun Long looked at James Tarker, as if confirming that it was alright to do what he was about to do, and saw him nodding at him. Drawing in a sharp breath, Jun Long yelled out as he raised the dagger in his hand and stabbed it into the girl's stomach once. His hands shook as he let go of the dagger, and he started to fall to the side. James Tarker was able to catch him in time, and helped him to stand up. James bent over the girl and pulled out the dagger from her stomach. He then proceeded to slash her throat to allow her the quickest death he could give.
When Jun Long was able to stand on his own again, the two made their way back to the fork in the path with the intent to go down the other side. James Tarker stopped Jun Long, grabbing his shoulder and looking into his eyes.
"Yo, Jun," he said, trying to sound as easy-going as possible. "You gonna be alright, man?"
"Y-yeah. I think I'll be alright."
"Great! Then we can go kill us some more goblins!"
"You... you're pretty strong, James haha."
"I don't mean to brag," James said, rubbing his upper lip. "But this ain't the first time I've done one of these goblin hunts."
"Do you... do you ever forget?"
"What?" James looked at Jun Long weirdly. "Forget what? Killing?"
"Haha!" James' body bent over, and he had to hold his sides. "Hell no! Most people end up throwing up after a few minutes, and that trauma stays with them forever!"
"..." Jun Long watched as his friend laughed about such a serious matter.
"But," James continued, wiping a tear from his eye. "No matter what line of work you go into, there'll come a time where you'll need to end something - or someone's - life. If you can't do it without remorse now, while you've got someone watching your back, you'll end up being the one to die when the time comes."
"You're a pretty good guy, Jun. I don't want you to die any time soon."
"Thanks, James..." Jun Long started to cheer up. "Really. Thank you."
James Tarker once again lead the way deeper into the goblin's cave, Jun Long was holding the torches. The bleachy smell of days old dried up semen had already disappeared, allowing Jun Long to feel more at ease, not having one of his senses invaded by something so unpleasant. It helped that there wasn't something to keep reminding him of the pitiful scene from before.
Jun Long was consciously distracting himself by looking at the way the cave had been dug out. The cave ceiling wasn't littered with stalactites, and there weren't any other creatures or animals other than the goblins themselves, which gave off the feeling that this cave was only recently formed. The deeper the two adventurers delved into the dark cave, the more this became apparent.
Jun Long and James Tarker didn't talk much, which was unexpected to Jun Long. In the multi-player co-operative video games that he had played, back on Earth, he and his friends would always be talking to each other to keep everyone well informed of what was going on, and what the next plan of action was. Other than a word of caution, here and there, James Tarker barely spoke - nothing like what his usual demeanor was outside of this cave.
"Maybe he's just focusing on the job," Jun Long thought to himself.
Jun Long bumped into James Tarker as he was thinking to himself. He hadn't noticed that his blonde adventuring partner had come to a stop in front of him.
"You alright, Jun?" James turned to ask him.
"Yeah, sorry," Jun Long apologized. "I was thinking about something and didn't see you stop."
"No worries! We got goblins up ahead - heaps."
"Right. How are we going to do this?"
"'We'?" James Tarker snickered. "You're the mage in our party; this is your job haha!"
Jun Long's eyes widened, his sudden despair clearly showing on his face, and he shakily pointed a himself as if to confirm that James Tarker meant him when he said "You're the mage in our party."
"Yes!" James said, nodding with vigour. "This'll be good practice for you. The mage's main job in a adventurer party is to wipe out groups of enemies in one go, or at least hit the group hard enough to make it easier for the rest of the team to kill them."
"B-b-but I don't even have a spell that can hit more than one thing at a time!"
"Didn't you already learn 'Flame' from me?" James Tarker looked a little befuddled.
"Well... yeah. But! I only learned how to use it to punch that tree! I don't know how to shoot it or anything!"
"Haha! It's time to learn, then!"
"Look, it's not hard to do. Just use 'Flame' again, but this time, instead of wrapping it around your fist, try to 'push' it towards the goblins. Like this."
James Tarker raised his hand to chest height, the same as he demonstrated during their rest by the campfire, and then pushed his hand outwards with force. There was enough power behind his push that even Jun Long could feel the air brushing past his face. It reminded him of those kung-fu movies!
"I-is the mana movement the same as using 'Flame' to wrap around my fist?" Jun Long asked.
"Next to no difference," James assured him. "You managed to learn how to use 'Flame' instantly, so I'm sure that you'll do fine here."
Jun Long felt gratified that this happy-go-lucky adventurer in front of him was able to put so much faith in a newbie like him. When was the last time that anyone really looked at him this way? Jun Long resolved himself with a HUP, clenched his hand into a fist, and made his way in front of James Tarker.
The room ahead was filled with goblins making a huge racket over who got more food than the other. The cafeteria-like common area was littered with old crates that had been flipped over, to be used as make-shift tables, and the walls were smeared with days-old foods that had probably been thrown in anger or some other reason. To Jun Long, who had poked his head into the room to see just how many goblins he'd be up against, the green midget monsters looked like a barrel of monkeys - always screeching at each other, jumping up and down, and waving their arms all over the place!
Jun Long couldn't fathom as to how these chaotic beings could even live together in a functional society. Maybe being in a small tribe has different rules than civilizations. Regardless of this own thoughts, Jun Long had already resolved himself to carry out the job given to him by James Tarker: exterminate these cretins that don't hesitate to **** and plunder in broad daylight!
Slowly walking through the common area entrance, Jun Long watched as the goblins all came to a complete stop - like they were all in some old western movie - to look right at this stranger in adventurer garbs. The countless dark and beady eyes started looking at one another, showing their shock that there could be a lone invader in their cave in the mountains. "Was this guy for real?" it seemed they were asking each other.
The goblins watched as this dark haired stranger raised his hand to his chest and created a ball of fire in the next second. This was real! Each and every goblin knew this now, and finally a few closest to the stranger moved to jump at him. Before they knew it, however, those first few to move had already been engulfed in a bright and intensely hot flame.
Thud thud thud...
The sounds of the charcoal coloured goblin corpses hitting the hard rock floor echoed off the cave walls. If one were to listen carefully, they'd even be able to hear the wispy crackling that signified how crispy these roasted goblin corpses were. Unfortunately, though this sort of scene would scare normal humans into not wanting to confront such an enemy, these goblins were as dumb as they came - they all rushed towards the perpetrator of these goblin arsons, Jun Long.
Seeing the sheer number of green midgets clamouring over each other to get to him, Jun Long panicked and acted to cast his Flame spell at the oncoming crowd. He yelled out with a passionate "HAAAAAAAA" and blazing flames spewed from his hand continuously! James Tarker, who had made his way into the room, stood on guard next to his powerful mage companion. He was surprised at how long Jun Long was able to sustain his Flame spell for.
From what he knew of the spell, 'Flame' would drain one's mana at a quick and constant rate until the user's mana pool had completely emptied. For this reason, most mages who practice the School of Fire would rather use spells that would drain their mana just once each time they casted it. 'Flame' was simply uneconomic! That being the case, how was Jun Long, a newbie mage, able to sustain his 'Flame' for so long?
Jun Long was still shouting at the top of his lungs, as though he'd die if he ever stopped. With his flames going all over the place, none of the goblins were able to reach the two adventurers, he was burning each and every goblin that stepped up to cinders! Eventually the heavy sounds of pitter-pattering coming from the goblins' rush toward them died out to the sound of the fire blazing throughout the room. Jun Long was unable to control the output of the flame at all, burning up all the wooden crates and turning all the animal meat to ash.
James Tarker noticed that Jun Long was unable to stop himself, and though he was awestruck at the sheer amount of mana this guy had, he had to help Jun Long stop before he got himself into a situation where he'd suffer from mana strain and faint!
The happy-go-lucky swordsman moved behind Jun Long and grabbed the wrist of the hand that was gushing out fire nonstop. Jun Long was still shouting at the top of his lungs up until that point, but stopped when he felt a hand grab him. He looked down at James' hand and managed to become distracted enough to cut off the mana going into the 'Flame' spell. Jun Long could hear James Tarker sigh in relief behind him. He wanted to sigh too, but ended up apologizing again.
"S-sorry, James..." Jun Long had to clear his throat. All that screaming took its toll.
"That was fuckin' amazing, Jun!" James was sparkly-eyed.
"Your mana limit must be sky-high! Heaven-defying, even!"
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