Anthea, Sky, and Hazel had finally left the village and were walking down a dirt path. Sky was smiling at Anthea hoping for her just to look at him, while Hazel looked at his surroundings as did Anthea.
“We should reach another village soon enough, but if a low level monster appears then Miss. NPC is fighting,” stated Hazel. Anthea gasped with confusion on her face. Hazel smirked at Anthea and stated, “Come on Miss. NPC, did you expect to have a leisurely walk? You need to train for this quest, so we are fighting monsters.” Anthea nodded with uneasiness in her face.
At those words, a Badger Rabbit leaped out from a bush sniffing the ground. Hazel smirked saying, “Badger Rabbits are pretty low-level so I think you can kill it after three shots or even less with your assigned strength.”
“Kill a Badger Rabbit?” asked Anthea turning slightly pale. Hazel nodded. Sky noticed the uneasiness in Anthea’s face and asked, “Do you want me to do it?” Hazel elbowed Sky’s side making him gasp out in pain.
“She needs to get her own experience.”
Sky glared at Hazel rubbing his elbowed side. Anthea gulped nodding in agreement.
Anthea drew out a silver winged dagger from her inventory and approached the Badger Rabbit telling herself repeatedly that she could do this, but as she got closer, she noticed the soft fur of the Badger Rabbit glistening in the sun light and the way its ears twitched at the tiniest of sounds. When Anthea was only inches away from it, the Badger Rabbit lifted up its small head and met eyes with her. There was silence between the two, but Athea began to shake as she immediately dropped her dagger and embraced the Badger Rabbit with tears in her eyes.
“I’m sorry for even thinking of hurting you,” wailed out Anthea. The Badger Rabbit in turn cuddled against her neck giving out small squeaks of content.
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?”
Hazel was gaping at the scene in disbelief. He never heard or seen this before. A player hugging a monster like it was a pet and not only that, the monster seemed to be enjoying the embrace. He heard of pets before, but those were cats and dogs, never a monster.
“Miss. NPC, you are supposed to kill it for experience. Stab it, chop off its ears and feet, tear out its heart, anything!”
Anthea and the Badger Rabbit looked at Hazel with pale dark looks making Hazel click his tongue.
“Don’t look at me like that! Do something about this Sky!”
Hazel froze stiff when he noticed that Sky was blushing muttering how the scene between Anthea and the Badger Rabbit was adorable.
“I want to frame this scene and keep it forever,” stated Sky in bliss.
Hazel went to Anthea and crouched down in front of her with Anthea trying to hide the Badger Rabbit from his sight.
“Miss. NPC, you know you need to slay monsters to get experience points right?”
“So why won’t you kill this monster?”
“Because he is cute.”
“So if it isn’t cute then you can kill that monster.”
Hazel nodded and began to rush off into the grassy area telling Anthea and Sky to stay there, but added, “And make sure that Badger Rabbit is gone before I get back or we are having some delicious stew tonight.”
The Badger Rabbit seemed to react to those words and immediately rushed off into the thickest part of the grass area. Anthea looked at her empty arms and then sighed glancing at Sky, who had finally stopped his rant on how he wanted to save the scene Anthea was in before.
“What is Hazel going to do?”
“Try to find you an easy monster to fight.”
Anthea frowned saying, “As an NPC I never needed to fight monsters. When my village was attacked was the first time I was forced to fight.”
“Well it is something you need to get used to in order to get stronger.”
“Aren’t there other ways?”
“I think there is Phoenix meat you can eat to get stronger, but that is hard to come by.”
Anthea nodded and stated, “I know. I had to climb Boar Mountain in order to find a Phoenix to make the item.”
Sky’s eyes widened as he looked at Anthea.
“You actually got Phoenix Meat before?”
Anthea nodded and stated, “It was a special item that was needed for a hero quest before fighting the Dragon Lord, but since you guys barely fought him, it gave us time to get the item.”
“When you say us, do you mean your village?”
Anthea nodded and added, “My village was responsible for making the items of this world.”
“Making the items?”
Anthea nodded again.
“That’s what Venders like me do. Without us, there wouldn’t be new items.”
Sky turned pale as he asked, “Were you the only village that made the items?” Anthea nodded.
Sky began to go into deep thought and then looked at Anthea seriously.
“Is that why the other NPCs have been low on supplies?”
“I believe so, especially since the attack on my village happened a long time ago.”
Sky went into deep thought again and asked, “Can you make all items?”
“I can, but I need ingredients.”
“Anthea, this is serious. If what you are saying is true then this world is destined to fall. We live on those items and without them…”
“The quest can’t be complete,” finished Anthea clenching her hands to her skirt.
“Sky, I will make more items as we travel. I will complete this quest and have the village restored. I won’t let this world fall.”
Sky could see the determination in her eyes and smiled with a nod.
Hazel suddenly emerged from the grassy area and stated, with smile, “I found the perfect monster for you to kill.”
Hazel held up what looked like a green rag, but at closer inspection, it was revealed to be a Green Slime, a low-leveled monster for Rookies to kill.
“This guy can be killed with a single hit,” sated Hazel and dumped the monster in front of Anthea adding, “Now make your first kill.”
Anthea picked up her dagger with seriousness in her eyes, but as she lifted her dagger, the Green Slime jiggled in fear. Anthea once again dropped her dagger and hugged the slime saying sorry repeatedly.
“AH COME ON! THAT THING ISN’T EVEN CUTE!”
Anthea looked at Hazel hugging the slime and stated, “But this little guy was so scared. I can’t hurt it.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
Sky chuckled and allowed Anthea to let the Green Slime to escape.
“Don’t be so hard on her Hazel.”
“DON’T BE SO EASY ON HER SKY! She needs to slay a monster.”
Anthea whimpered and stated, “But these monsters you showed me are ones that I am used to handling on my travels. They help me get supplies.”
Hazel and Sky looked at Anthea with wide eyes.
“Are you serious?” asked Hazel. Anthea nodded. Sky began to ponder, while Hazel seemed to be fuming in frustration.
Sky looked at Anthea and asked, “Can you show me your skills again?” Anthea nodded and showed her stat screen to Sky. Sky looked at her skills and sighed.
“That’s why what?” Hazel muttered and looked at Anthea’s skills. He began to curse out making Anthea ask, “What’s wrong?”
“You have the Animal Whisperer Skill and that means you can control small monsters.”
“That means small monsters won’t attack you and you have the choice whether to attack them or not.”
Anthea nodded in understanding and asked, “So what does that mean for me?” Hazel glared at Anthea and stated, “That means we have to find higher-level monsters for you to kill to get your experience points, you blasted cheat character.” Anthea nodded inching away from Hazel.
Hazel walked ahead on the path and stated, “I’ll take care of the smaller monsters and if we find slightly higher ones then Miss. NPC will kill them.” Anthea and Sky nodded, even though Anthea still seemed uneasy.
Anthea tugged at Sky’s arm as they continued to walk and asked, “I will complete the quest, even if someday I would have to kill the monsters I once called friends.” Sky smiled and whispered, “You don’t have to kill friends, so cheer up.” Anthea lightly blushed muttering her thanks to Sky.
Sky nodded and looked toward Hazel, who still seemed angry, and whispered, “I’ll figure out the right time to tell him about your village’s purpose.” Anthea nodded, not knowing that they would tell Hazel only an hour later and he would be cursing up a storm.