The beasts of the night have finished burning to death under the heat of the sun. The only things proving their existence are the stinking flesh of the zombies, and the bones, arrows, and bow of the skeletons. I’m dreading opening the door, the scent of the mornings must be absolute hell.
Readying a sword and some food in my hands, I kick the door open, holding my breath like my life depends on it. My cheeks puff out as I bolt towards the green, hissing beast, readying my weapon to attack. They blow up when you’re near them, so it’s best if I hit, move, hit, and keep on doing that until they die. As I grow nearer to the horrifying monster, it begins to hiss and turn a lighter green. I slice it with my sword, knocking it back. Its skin goes back to its regular green, and it slowly marches back over to me, lighting back up and hissing once again. My sword goes through it and quickly slides back out, I raise my leg and kick it away from me just before it explodes. It goes back to its normal colour once more, hissing as it steps towards me, scratches and stab wounds not letting any sort of blood out. With one last swipe of my sword, he hisses and tumbles to his side. In less than a few seconds, his body disintegrates into the ground almost like it’s melting, leaving only a gray powder behind. As I pick it up, I realize that it’s gunpowder.
“Hell yeah, I can use this for potion making,” I smile and cheer to myself as I pour the powder into a little sack and place it in my pocket. My chest rises and falls as I take a deep breath, instantly regretting it but promptly noticing that there are no bad smells.
“Hey, Rustler, check this out,” Anthony’s voice says with a cheerful tone.
“What do you want?” Rodrigo asks, sounding a bit tired, which makes sense since he was up all night. “Oh shit that’s pretty cool.”
“What? What is it?” Renato questions with curiosity. “Show me.”
I hop over a little hill, heading towards the huge mountain engulfed by water. Curiosity leads me towards it, questioning what it’s all about. As I reach the top of a slightly larger hill, hundreds of bamboo poles come into sight. Revealing a small city built on what seems to be a lake.
“Hey what’s with all of this fucking bamboo?” I ask as I race towards the area to check it out. The chutes of bamboo reach up to the clouds, some even higher than that. It’s a mystical yet confusing sight.
“Oh, that’s Little Japan,” Angel answers in less than a second. “It’s Alberto’s.”
“Alberto and all of his fucking bamboo!” Rodrigo shouts with amusement in his voice.
“We should burn it all down,” Anthony chuckles.
“Yes, that’s an amazing idea!” Rodrigo agrees with excitement. “Just imagine how he’d react.”
Choosing not to react to their diabolical plans, I continue forward, quickly finding a bridge that leads to the center of the large lake. It’s beautifully designed and extremely well lit. I sprint through it all, in complete awe at the gorgeousness of this land. There’s a little circle of dirt and grass that’s connected to three bridges, one of them being the one I was just on. The flowers on this center of land are so perfectly placed, making it seem like a garden of relaxation.
Bryson lets out a terrified screech, as the others seem to start attacking him once again. I laugh quietly to myself as I run down the right path, enjoying the beauty and the decor of this entire land. I reach the end of the right bridge, stopping in front of a large house. Without hesitation, I go inside, immediately seeing a few furnaces, barrels, and chests along two walls. There’s a staircase leading up to the second floor, other than a small fence to ensure someone doesn’t fall off, there’s nothing else here, not even a roof. I look across the lake to the building that the left bridge led to, it appears to be an aquarium shop of some sort. There’s certainly a lot of fish, I can even see a few salmon swimming about in a large tank.
I turn around and head back down the steps and onto the main floor. In the corner of my eye, I notice a bit of magical mist reaching through the stairs, fading into nothing. Out of curiosity, I jump down the rest of the steps and go around the stairs. There’s just a double bed, with a plain chest, and another chest with an eye embedded into it, that must’ve been what made the weird mist. Without even caring if someone sees, I open the chest and look through its contents. Nothing special, though I do grab some more gunpowder and a few of his gold bars.
Then I move onto his wall of chests and barrels, stealing some warts and other supplies that can be helpful with potion making. Once I finished checking everything three times, I run out of the house and back down the bridge. Dodging and avoiding another one of those green, terrifying, explosive beasts that’s floating in the lake.
Without showing all that much interest in the garden now, I sprint down the left bridge and towards the aquarium-looking place. There’s a door missing and some water leaks out from the building. As I skip past the occasional puddles I admire the large interior of this building. It seems to be a shop of some sort. There’s a few aisles with almost empty shelves, other than a few raw fish here and there. I slip as I go over a stream of water, immediately seeing where it came from.
“Hey, guys,” I start, as I stare at the huge hole in the back of the building. “There’s a huge hole in the roof.”
“What? Where?” Renato immediately asks, worry in his voice.
“At this weird shop on a lake surrounded by bamboo,” I answer, still unblinking as I gaze at the large opening in the middle of a glass fish tank. There’s some fish still alive, though I have no doubt that most of them have died due to the hole. There’s also an upstairs, but it doesn’t lead to anything.
“Oh that was probably because of West Nation,” Anthony mentions, sounding as though that a destroyed building is no big deal.
“Yeah that makes sense,” Renato agrees, showing the same lack of concern.
“We should strike back,” Rodrigo recommends with a battle-ready level of excitement and energy.
“Yes!” I agree, my voice echoing through this destroyed shop. I circle around and head back out of the door, joyfully walking back to the little center island. “Let’s blow up their entire nation!”
“No,” Renato responds, blankly. “We are not going to war.”
“But they started it!” I shout, completely going past the garden and running down the first bridge to the mainland.
“Exactly!” Rodrigo and Anthony agree with me, excited for the terror they can bring to West Nation.
“Yeah that’s true,” Renato mutters, sounding as though he’s putting an immense amount of thought into the activity.
“Come on,” I pester him once I reach the mainland, sprinting through the grass and past the huge, watery mountain. “Payback.”
The sun lowers in the distance, turning the sky into a pink and orange blend. The heat of the day begins to fade, giving way to the chill of the night. As I speed through the grass and hop over the occasional cave and random bits of upturned dirt, the beasts of the night start to appear out of nowhere. The moans and groans of the zombies climbing out of the ground start to rise as the scent of their rotten flesh flows with the breeze. Skeletons ready their bows, aiming for my head as I attempt to dodge them all.
An arrow goes straight into my shoulder, blood squirts out of the wound as I pull it out, tossing it to the ground and continuing forward. My heart races as I squint my eyes and clamp my teeth, trying to keep my mouth shut and ignore the pain until I get to the safety of the house. One of the green monsters chase after me at a petrifying speed, their claw-like feet tearing up the dirt behind it. Fear rises within me, the struggle of pushing it back down grows more and more difficult as monsters start to overtake the land. The sun disappears past the horizon, allowing the moon to dominate the sky as it ascends behind me.
I finally pass the little shack of luminance, knocking back a zombie and speeding past it and up the steps. The door squeaks as I pull it open with all of my adrenaline-led strength, slamming it behind me just before a baby zombie manages to attack me. My heart races as I take a deep breath and rush to my bed, getting as far away from the door as I can.
“Guys go to sleep,” I order, climbing under the covers and wishing to not get eaten by a zombie in my sleep.
The door to the house opens and shuts a few minutes later, followed by light footsteps marching their way over to the two back rooms. Renato appears in the corner of my eye, as I squint them shut in an attempt to keep the light out of them.
“Renato, go to sleep!” Anthony demands, his voice sounding muffled, most likely by a pillow.
He then disappears back into the first back room and climbs into one of the beds. Soon snoring takes over the house as we all drift to sleep and avoid the dangers of the night.
My eyes snap open faster than my body could even register. Renato has already reached the basement, going through some of his stuff. A hint of fear stays stuck in my throat as I dread the chance of him asking me where all of his stuff has gone. But just as I leave the two back rooms, he leaves the house with some food, pickaxes, and other materials. He must’ve not noticed all of the missing stuff.
I go straight back down to the basement, rummaging through the chests and taking anything that would be helpful to me. There’s quite a lot of new supplies, and a lot of it would be very helpful to my goals.
“Hey, Darcila!” Rodrigo appears behind me just as I close one of the chests.
My body shoots around, heart pumping through my chest as I hope that he didn’t see me stealing anything. “What’s up?” I ask, nonchalantly.
“Have you seen the portal yet?” He asks, completely believing the facade.
“Oh yeah!” Renato chimes in, energy in his tone. “We should show her.”
“N-no I haven’t,” I stutter, though I already know what portal they’re talking about, I just don’t know where it is exactly.
“Sweet,” He grins and spins on his heel. “Follow me.”
I do as he says and follow him outside where I see another staircase leading up the side of the mountain that this house is connected to. Renato soon catches up with us and I follow both of them up the mountain and through a secret passageway that could easily be missed if one weren’t paying attention. The crevice I’m led through is small, dark, and damp, the staircases are just barely low enough for me to walk on them without falling. The entire thing is steep and makes me fear for my safety.
Finally, the guys run through a random hole in the wall that I’ve failed to notice and continue to sprint through the dark passageways. I catch up to them, luckily, and follow them down a long ladder. They hop off after one floor, though the ladder continues to go lower. As I hop off the ladder, I immediately catch sight of the portal. It has a black outer layer that can only be broken with either a diamond pickaxe, or a pickaxe made of materials from hell.
“Here it is,” Rodrigo points out, stating the obvious. The thin purple on the interior is swirly and water-like, allowing mists of purple to extend past it, dropping to the ground. It’s the portal to hell. It continues to shine bright even as the rest of this little stone room is already illuminated by torches.
“Okay,” I shrug, acting like it’s no big deal.
“Alright let’s go,” Renato says as he speeds back to the ladder, descending it to the only floor left. I follow suit and see them as they turn a sharp corner.
Once I do the same, I see that we’re back in the basement with all of the chests. I guess that’s where the random opening leads to. “Why did you guys take me all the way around then?” I ask with a bit of laughter.
“I honestly don’t know,” Rodrigo snickers and follows Renato up the stairs. “Come on, Francisco, let’s get back to work.”