Stage 3: The Swordsman

At the Old Man Oak Tree, the five heroes gathered and a clear screen appeared before them giving them a choice to continue to a new quest or disperse. All of them clicked dispersed and the party of five was no more.

Hasani flew off the ground and said, “Unless there’s something in it for me, don’t call me for any new quests.” With that Hasani flew off into the clouds out of sight.

Plato bowed before them and said, “I need to practice this new skill in the Church, so farewell.” Plato used a teleportation spell to teleport him to the Church of Hirusei, where his background as a game character was based on.

Yami made a void of purple appear next to her and said, “Do not call upon me anymore.” Yami entered the void making it vanish instantly like it was never there.

Hazel scoffed and said, “I can’t do fancy exits like that.” Hazel was about to walk off until he noticed that Sky was looking in the direction they came from. Hazel sighed and said, “Come on Sky. Forget the stupid NPC.”

“But I stole from Anthea.”

“It’s not stealing and I should know since I’m the thief. Those items were meant for us. I don’t know how the NPC got them, but that was nothing but a glitch.”

Sky groaned and said, “Your words don’t help.”

Hazel scoffed and said, “Do what you want. Give her that upgrade stone that you took. I bet she won’t even blink when it’s returned.”

Sky nodded and said, “I’ll do just that.” Sky began to head down the road with Hazel watching his back. Hazel was ready to walk away, but then sighed and began to follow Sky curious to see what would happen.

Meanwhile, Anthea had finished writing the letter for Pongo to notify him that the Quest was complete and a letter for Moogle to let him know that she was fine. She rolled up the letters and tied them together using a rope string and then wrote “Pongo” on one letter and “Moogle” on the other. She then looked up at the sky and whistled. An angelic tune began to play as a pigeon with silver wings descended from the blue sky.

The silver winged pigeon landed on Anthea’s extended hand and then squeaked, “Delivery?” Anthea nodded tying the two letters to the pigeon’s right leg.

“Take these to Pongo and my father, Moogle,” ordered Anthea. The Pigeon nodded and was about to fly off, but stopped as it looked at Anthea’s face.

“Were you crying?” it asked. Anthea nodded trying to wipe the tear remnants away.


“I rather not say,” stated Anthea. The pigeon nodded and then said, “Be right back with reply.” With that, the pigeon soared back into the sky out of sight.

Anthea sighed and was about to sit down, but then heard approaching footsteps. She looked down the road and gasped when she saw that it was Sky with Hazel behind him. Anthea dusted off her dress and then went into her NPC position as a click was heard.

Sky finally reached Anthea’s stand and stood in front of her saying her name.

“Welcome to my humble shop fellow traveler. Would you like to buy any of my wares?”

Sky gulped as he pulled the upgrade stone from midair and held it to her saying, “I’m sorry for taking it, so please have it back.”

“I am willing to pay 5,000 gold pieces for the elemental upgrade stone. Is this offer to your liking?” asked Anthea with a smile. Sky shook his head and said, “I don’t want to sell it. I want to give it back.”

“I am willing to pay 5,000 gold pieces for the elemental upgrade stone. Is this offer to your liking?” repeated Anthea making Sky sigh.

Hazel scoffed and said, “See? She won’t take that stone back unless you sell it to her.” Sky nodded with a saddened look, but then noticed the tear streaks on Anthea’s face.

“Were you crying before Anthea?” asked Sky.

“Would you like anything else?” asked Anthea. Sky stared at her face and then fell on all four before her making Hazel flinch and Anthea to look down at him.

“I am so sorry for taking your belongings without permission and to even make you cry. How can I even call myself a man?”

Hazel sighed and said, “Sky, kneeling before an NPC is not going to help.” Even though Hazel said this, Sky remained on all four as he looked up at Anthea with an apologetic look.

Anthea stared down at Sky and could see that he was sorry, but she couldn’t reply to his apology and she couldn’t accept the stone he returned without asking for a price. Anthea instead searched her programmed lines for anything that she could say to him. As if struggling, Anthea opened her mouth and said, “Thank you…for…”

Sky stared at Anthea with wide eyes.


Anthea suddenly smiled brightly and said, “Thank you for your service.” Sky groaned lowering his head in disappointment, while Hazel chuckled on the side.

“That was priceless,” laughed Hazel, earning him a glare from Sky. Sky stood up and placed the elemental upgrade stone on Anthea’s counter.

“I won’t accept any payment, so I will leave this here,” stated Sky.

“I am willing to pay 5,000 gold pieces for the elemental upgrade stone. Is this offer to your liking?” stated Anthea, not responding to Sky’s initial response. Anthea smiled as she placed 5,000 gold pieces on the counter next to the stone saying, “Thank you for your service.”

Sky sighed, while Hazel went next to him taking the gold pieces saying, “If you don’t want the payment, I’ll take it.”

“Do as you like,” stated Sky, clearly disappointed. Sky stepped away from the stand and as he did so, Anthea said, “Please come again.” Sky perked up at those words and smiled with a blush saying, “I’ll come back tomorrow.”

Sky walked away with Hazel following him with a puzzled look.

Anthea’s programmed state ended as she glanced at the elemental upgrade stone on her counter.

“He really didn’t want the payment,” stated Anthea. Anthea picked up the stone and smiled hugging the stone to her chest hoping to see the hero again.

Hazel glanced at Sky as they journeyed down the road and asked, “Are you seriously going to come back?” Sky nodded and said, “I decided to visit her until she says my name.”

“That’s not going to happen. You’ll be going there forever and you’ll fall behind when it comes to upgrading your level.”

“I’ll still train, but I want to see Anthea every day.”

Hazel rolled his eyes and said, “Well it is pretty entertaining to see you try to get her to say other lines, so I’ll visit once in a while too.” With that, Hazel ran ahead and stated, “I’ll be staying at the Inn near the Old Man Oak Tree.” Hazel was soon out of sight.

Sky shook his head and glanced in the direction of Anthea with a smile saying, “I’ll see you soon.”

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