Stage 16: Captured

Day had returned to the game world and in turn, her friends had continued their journey saying their farewells to the bartender. Of course, all of them except for Anthea were suffering from a hangover.

Hazel groaned muttering, “How is it that Miss. NPC is fine after drinking so much?”

“I feel fine,” stated Anthea filled with energy and then added, “And my name is Anthea, not Miss. NPC.”

“Whatever Miss. NPC,” stated Hazel making Anthea pout.

As they walked Geronimo began to whistle with his arms crossed behind his back and then asked, “So where is our next stop?”

Sky pulled out his map and stated, “The next village to head to would be Balthazar.”

Geronimo chuckled saying, “I remember that village. I once fought some bandits there for a mission and gained 500 gold as an award.” Hazel perked up with a smile with gold practically dancing in his mind.

“Then let’s go and gain some more gold,” stated Hazel in excitement. Geronimo nodded in agreement and then high fived Hazel. Sky sighed knowing full well that gold also made Hazel motivated, but he was in agreement that they should head to Balthazar.

All of them seemed to be in agreement, except for one: Anthea, who stared at her opened map in worry.

“Is something wrong Anthea?” asked Sky. Anthea nodded and showed her map pointing at the blue dot that only moved a few paces in circles.

“This hero seems to be trapped.”

Sky looked at Anthea’s map and focused on the blue dot. He frowned, saying, “You’re right. Usually when a person moves around like this on a map, they are trapped.”

Hazel scoffed saying, “They must have been caught during a mission. So stupid.” Geronimo nodded in agreement.

Anthea showed a concerned look and asked, “Can we help? I mean we do need all the heroes to complete my quest.” Sky looked at the map again and then nodded saying, “This hero is not too far from where we are, but…”

Sky looked toward Hazel and Geronimo.

“Those two need to agree too.”

Hazel scoffed saying, “I don’t want to. That hero got into trouble and he can get out himself.” Geronimo nodded in agreement.

Sky frowned, but Anthea suddenly showed a smile and stated, “If you come, I’ll give you 1 million gold.” Sky flinched and seemed ready to agree, but shook his head saying, “I’m not that cheap.”

“2 million gold.”

“Deal,” stated Hazel with thoughts of riches rushing through his head.

Geronimo groaned saying, “No matter how much you pay me, I still won’t go.” Anthea stared at Geronimo and then approached him quickly and leaned toward his ear.

“If you come, I promise to give you a kiss on the cheek,” whispered Anthea with a slight blush. Geronimo immediately perked up and stated, with a smile, “You can count on me.” Anthea nodded still blushing, but that made Sky wonder exactly what Anthea said to Geronimo to make him agree.

Anthea looked over her map one last time to figure out where the trapped hero was and then they began their journey to the hero.

As they continued walk for about an hour, they began to be surrounded by the thickness of trees and bushes. Sky looked around in caution and stated, “We have to be careful here.”

Hazel nodded in agreement and added, “This is the perfect surrounding to get ambushed or to set a…”

The ground suddenly gave way making the entire group fall into a pit. They all groaned in pain, while Geronimo was muttering curses under his breath.

Anthea looked at the walls of the hole they fell into and then looked at Hazel asking, “Were you going to say trap?” Hazel nodded with a groan. Anthea glanced up and stated, “This is a pretty deep hole.”

Hazel scoffed saying, “This hole is nothing to me.” Hazel jumped up, but the moment he reached the top, his head collided into a barrier and he was sent falling back down. Hazel muttered curses, while Anthea looked at him in concern.

Sky glared upward stating, “To place a barrier on a trap after it is activated. That’s new.”

They suddenly heard rustling and all looked up only to see Goblins appear from above around the hole.

“We caught more heroes.”

“They are so stupid.”

“Stupid heroes!”

Hazel growled and began to yell out threats at the Goblins. Sky immediately covered Hazel’s mouth saying, “We don’t want to make them any angrier, especially when we are trapped.” Hazel smacked Sky’s hand away and stated, “Those Goblins are weak. The moment they release that barrier I am going to give them a piece of my mind.”

As Hazel began to describe what he would do to the goblins, Anthea noticed that one of the Goblins pulled out what looked like a grenade. Being a NPC vendor, she knew exactly what this grenade was. She looked at her companions quickly and yelled, “Cover your mouths!”

At that moment, the grenade was thrown in and released smoke into the hole. Anthea managed to cover her mouth, but the others weren’t so lucky and one by one began to pass out. This grenade was a fast acting knock out smoke. Back in her Vendor days, she made a few for passing heroes.

When the smoke dispersed, she was the only one still standing. The next thing she knew, the barrier was released and the Goblins jumped into the hole.

One of the Goblins stared at Anthea with wide eyes and stated, “One hero is still awake.” Anthea immediately pulled out a sword from her inventory and warned the Goblins to stay back. The Goblins looked to one another and then began to snicker. Anthea didn’t know why, until she felt a sting in her neck. She reached toward her neck and yanked out a dart. She looked upward where the dart most likely came from and saw one goblin smirking with a blowgun in its hand.

“Night, night, Hero.”

Anthea’s world turned black.            

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