Into The Darkness

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Enter the Priest

*Crunch crunch*

The crunching of the sand is heard beneath her feet as she walks across the dunes. The sky is blue and free of clouds, perfect weather. But the girl would prefer if there were clouds. The 3 suns burn away at her and the only protection she has is a flimsy white robe.

"I really should've taken water magic"

Panting slightly as she climbs over a large dune, she wipes the sweat off her brow. She looks ahead of her; seeing nothing but more sand, with a few figures here and there, milling about in spite of the sun. The shimmering mirage of the desert assails her tired eyes and trick her with watery images of buildings in the distance.

Sighing slightly she makes her way down the dune.



Landing face first into the sand she gets a good mouthful and proceeds to tumble down the rest of the dune sending clouds of sand in the air and through her clothes.

Spluttering as she stands up she shakes her body releasing waves of sand back to their habitat. However she still feels a thin layer clinging to her skin.

She looks back wondering what happened. Deciding it must've been a rock she climbs back up the dune to retrieve the staff she dropped on the way down. For some reason, the dune looks a bit lopsided to her now, which she thinks was because she fell down taking quite a bit with her.

Reaching her staff which resides in the new indent of the dune she takes a step on some harder ground.




She didn't step on sand, and it doesn't feel hard enough to be stone and it's slightly warm. Lifting her foot she sees a face with a soft foot print.

"Eeek!" taking a step back she trips on the hem of her robe causing her to tumble backwards down the dune.

Spluttering and coughing, she once again makes her way up the dune towards the suspected corpse. Cautiously, she wipes away the remnants of sand on the persons face.

It is a man with a sharp jawline and pronounced cheekbones. his hair is long, black and scruffy and with his light stubble he has an appearance akin to the 'homeless' style. His skin is abnormally white, deathly white even, not clammy like a corpse but similar enough. His eyes are closed and he doesn't move so she thinks he's just a corpse but...

"Uhhhh" a slight groan escapes from his lips.

Jumping back in surprise, luckily catching herself before re-tumbling, she frets and worries for a second. She rushes over to her staff and once retrieved begins casting multiple <Heal> on him. The white light with a healthy green tinge shines above the man for a minute or so, till she thinks she's stabilized his hp.

Edging closer, she sees he has regained some colour and looks less like a corpse buried in the sand and more like a person buried in the sand.

Taking the sleeve of her robe, she begins to wipe away the sand that covers the poor man. Slowly parts of him are revealed; his muscular chest finds itself free of sand, and the girl, well, she slides her hand over his chest feeling a grin pass her lips as she lingers on his nice pecks.

With much effort, she takes her hand away blushing deeply as she mentally berates herself.

After calming herself down with clean thoughts she wipes away more sand.

She reveals most of his hardened 6 pack and closing her eyes as if her hand was acting independently, she smoothly cups each slab of thick muscle that she passes. Feeling a bit of drool leave her mouth she wipes it away quickly feeling mildly ashamed but still unable to control herself. She strokes her hands down the man's V-line excrutiatingly slowly, caressing his side muscles one by one. She hears her breath come out in soft pants as she moves further down his body until she feels something warm and soft.

Her heart furiously pounds in her chest as she feels the warmth at the tip of her fingers and her breath stops as she forgets how to breathe. Her mind is exploding inside her and she feels as though she is burning from the inside and the warmth from her fingertips are the cause.

She feels a small drop of sweat roll down her cheek and drop and sizzle, on what she suspects is his body. Imagining how hot the man is, she starts trembling as she slowly opens her right eye.




Frothing in the mouth she collapses on the sand

(Sook's POV)

A heavy force on his face wakes him from the dreamless sleep that he was in. Last he remembered he had left the cave and found himself in the middle of the desert. After a short walk he felt tired and lay down for a rest. How long he's been out he doesn't know.

A small "Eeek" comes from his right and then further sounds of poofing sand as if something landed in it.

seeing light covering his face, he tries to open his eyes but for some reason he cannot move. He releases an "Uhhhh" before the darkness takes hold of him once more.



Waking up once more, he opens his eyes to the glaring suns, all 3 of them. He sits up finding his upper half relatively clean of sand and he feels quite energetic, as if he's been pumped full of drugs.

Checking his surroundings, he immediately notices a figure to his right in a white robe frothing in the mouth. The figure in question is a lizard looking being, of a dirty gold colour. He can tell it's a she by the long yet thin face as well as the feminine upturned eyes.

Seeing as though the unconscious being may be the answer to many questions swirling in his mind, he decides he should wait till she becomes conscious once more. Although to him it looks like she won’t be up any time soon.

Brushing off the sand from his legs, he stands up unsteadily. Ripping his trousers till they reach just above his knee, he uses the ripped cloth as a makeshift hood to cover his face. Feeling his stomach grumble he peeks around for some food of any kind and quickly finds something suitable.

Bounding down the dune, he jogs for a few minutes getting used to his body once more, after sleeping who knows how many hours, his body had gotten a bit stiff and he feels a bit lopsided when running too.

Reaching a flat bit of sand, he takes out his dagger and crouches down observing his first target;

A black shelled scorpion the size of a large dog. Sook's seen scorpions before and he knows they aren't usually that big.

Watching the scorpion mill about wandering to and fro for a few minutes he waits for the moment when the scorpion turns its back to Sook. Stealthily he creeps up on the scorpion but about 10 feet away the scorpion swings round, it's yellow eyes flashing red.

Abandoning stealth, Sook charges at the scorpion and bounding off both feet he vaults over the scorpion. Its stinger darts out piercing his right shoulder while in midair, and he grabs it holding it in his shoulder with one hand while the dagger wielding left hand slices down in reverse grip splitting the tip of the sting from the body.

Wailing, the scorpion skitters a bit forward and then turns round to charge Sook who is carefully removing the sting from his shoulder.

As the scorpion charges, he rolls to the side and flips his dagger so he holds the tip. The scorpion turns round once again and with a whoosh, the dagger embeds itself in one of its many eyes.

Crying out in pain, it stops for a second in a recoil of pain and as it recovers Sook appears point blank, grips the dagger and runs it across the rest of the eyes.

Opening its maw in pain it wails out at being blind but is quickly quieted by Sook who rams the dagger through the open mouth, into the soft roof, to the brain.

Splatting on the ground, its legs twitch for a few seconds before it lays to rest.

Cracking his knuckles, Sook looks down at his newfound meal.



A short while later Sook has 3 piles before him; 1st is the exoskeletons of 4 scorpions that he hunted, 2nd is the meat from each scorpion and the 3rd is the extra bits such as the stingers and the teeth.

Opening up his 5th scorpion, he chucks the insides away and fills it with the pile of things he's collected. Dragging the scorpion by the tail he reaches the spot with the lizard woman who is no longer frothing but is still unconscious, about 30 minutes after he woke up.

Dropping the scorpion baggage he goes to pick a few pieces of meat but his body stops responding suddenly planting him face into the floor and into darkness.

(Lizard girl POV)

Waking up to the heavy sound of poofing sand she opens her eye to see the light blue sky. She wondered why she was lying down in the sand for a second before remembering. Gasping for air at the memory she sits up and tries to regulate her breathing and calm herself down from trembling.

Once she no longer shook and her heart no longer beat furiously she took a peek at her surroundings.

The man was lying face down on the floor to her right along with what looked like an over-stuffed dead scorpion. Standing up she averts her eyes from the man and kneels by his large muscular back. Placing her hands above him, resisting the temptation to touch this time, she takes a look at her patient; He bore a few scratch marks on his back and sides along with a large puncture wound that went clean through his right shoulder. Finishing her diagnosis she starts casting <Heal> until the wounds closed up. Then she turned him over towards her causing her to start breathing radically along with a thumping heart while trembling like a leaf. It was in full view.

Gulping she takes an antidote from her inventory and starts pouring it down his mouth stroking his throat, stopping to caress his defined adam's apple. It made her turn red and worsen her condition.

Taking a few deep breaths she begins to cast <Heal> until her mana runs out.

Done as much as she could, she lets him lie on the sand and inspects the stuffed scorpion. With a small gasp of surprise she sees a large amount of meat, shells, stingers and fangs. Taking some meat she produces her cooking pot, some wood and her flint. Pouring some precious water from her inventory she fills up the pot and dumps in the meat along with some desert herbs she's found as well as some barley bread. She lets the stew thicken for a while as she continues to heal the strange man.

Once the thick stew was done she puts them into some bowls and starts feeding the man. Absentmindedly she takes a mouthful from the bowl before realising it’s the wrong one and blushes a deep red and spills the bowl on the man with a slight sizzle.

Freaking, she casts heal numerous times to compensate for the possible burn damage and then wipes off the soup shaking her head at her inner devil's intentions.

Eating her own bowl she feels quite satisfied with her meal, although a bit bland.

(Sook's Pov)

Waking up, Sook slightly opens one eye and sees he’s being fed by the lizard girl. Unable to get up for some reason, he remains still.

The Lizard girl spills on him and he watches her wipe it off while blushing deeply.

Soon the food stops flowing and Sook gets some fresh air in his lungs. He watches the lizard woman preparing another dose in a cooking pot over on his right. Sitting up, he coughs slightly to get her attention.

She turns around mildly startled and looks at him, well her eyes went down, for a few seconds, before her face went a tinge of red, and turned her head while trembling. After a few more seconds she seemed to have finally calmed down and now looks at Sook in the eyes.

Her eyes are a deep green, like a gem of sorts. Although the shape is like a lizards with a narrow pupil as well as a strange sideways blinking feature.

"Nice of you to wake up, would you like some more?" With a light smile she continues stirring the stew, which is now letting out black fumes, absentmindedly as she raises her eyebrow questioningly.

"Ah no I'm fine "

"Oh really? I didn't think I fed you that much"

"No no, you fed me more than enough"

"Ok, if you say so" with that she sips on her soup ladle "mmm"ing slightly

Standing up, he sees the lizard girl turn away trembling, and heads over to his stuffed scorpion. Only a bit of meat is missing but the rest is fine.

"So ummm, who are you" Sook hears from behind and he feels her curious stare at his back

"Hi, sorry I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Sook and thanks for feeding me, by the way who may you be?" Turning round he strolls towards her offering his hand

With eyes closed she takes his hand gently

"I..I'm Crissstal" with her forked tongue "sss"ing.

"So what brings you here, the middle of the desert, Crissstal?"

"Ah I'm headed to Sable, and what about you"

I’m guessing that’s a town

"Oh perfect, as it happens I'm going there too"

"Really? thats great, can we travel together"

"Of course, I wouldn't think of travelling alone in this place"

Plus it seems like you know more than me about this place

"Yes you are right it’s quite dangerous here, but us together could make it less so. By the way whats's your level?"

What’s a level?

"Oh shouldn't the host tell me hers first?"

Her goldish skin tinges slightly darker with embarrassment at being a bit pushy "I'm sorry, shouldn't be too pushy. I'm level 10, novice priest." She stands up and twirls in her white robe before realising how embarrassing it is.

"Aha that's great news. I'm level 6 and a-"

"Monk wannabe right?"

Sure, why not

"Well how did you know?"

"Well since you aren't carrying anything except the starting dagger and you took out some scorpions by yourself. However I must say I'm impressed you took down these level 11 scorpions, it's almost unbelievable”

Shit, should’ve picked a higher level

"Ah I'm just fast so I don't get hit often and then I just run around beating it up, it takes a while but I do it nonetheless"

She muses for a few seconds before nodding her head deeply

"Makes sense but still you must be pretty pro"

"I confess I've done this before"

"Good good, partying with a noob really is difficult"

"Um, thanks?"

"Oh did I just say that out loud, whoops! nevermind me"

"Ok, in one ear out the other"

"Thanks. So what's with the character?"

"How so?" Cocking his head in true ignorance

"Not to be rude or anything but why choose human? I mean it's kind of a useless race, like it has no abilities whatsoever"

I distinctly remember there was no such choice...hmm odd.

"I just wanted to be more realistic"

"Wow, you sure are weird. Most people want to change themselves and you want to stick to boring old human? Seriously you got to get your virtual life in order."

"Maybe but you should have a look at yourself, you're a lizard and this is Fairy..." he makes a few rolling hand gestures to signify 'you know what' to Crissstal

Pulling her hood down a bit to cover her face slightly "It's just that I hate being the cutesy fairy that everyone else likes to play so I opted for the decently unpopular Salamander race which looks pretty badassss" Hissing her tongue and wagging her scaly tail "But you see, there is another reason why I took the Salamander race; because of its 10% magic resist and its mild mana absorption and spell deflect racial abilities!"

"I don't quite understand"

"Yes it is a bit hard to see but I'll give you a little sneak peek on my devious future plans" Licking her lips with her large forked tongue is indeed a sight to Sook. "You see being a Priest means I'm at the rearguard, which you already know, therefore I don't really get hit with attacks except from magic spells. Hence having magic resist as well as spell deflect will prevent a good amount of damage. Also each time a spell is cast on me I'll absorb a percentage of its mana cost and gain it as my own. And free mana as a priest is invaluable. So basically I'm an anti-mage healer"

"Oh I totally get it now" But what happens if they shoot you with non-magical things?"

Grinning slightly as she knows the answer "Easy, I'll just get my second class as a heavy armoured Knight or maybe go ranger so I can switch between dps and healing or even tanking"

"That sounds like a good plan, but going for a second class?"

She seemed to deflate a little "Yes, yes I know that having the second class loses 30% of the xp gained as well as splitting the remaining 40/30 on the main/sub class which is why not many of the high level players are dual classing. The penalties are pretty huge due to really slow levelling but the bonuses are really good as well. You unlock both skill trees as well as getting benefits from both classes with may bring some great combos out like my high magic resistance and defense healer. Though you can only get your second class when your primary's level 50 and the secondary starts at level 1 so the gap is pretty huge. In some cases like mine the dual classing is actually beneficial but most people think otherwise, and rightly so."

"Sounds like I should be thinking of dual classing too, it sounds like fun"

"But what will you combine with your monk"

"...That's a good question. Oh by the way what is the time?"

"'s around 10am, so 5am RL. Just look at your HUD"

HUD? What is that

Sook looks around subtly, but doesn’t see this ‘HUD’ she speaks of

"I just forgot about that, thanks anyways"

"Ok so should we get going? And do you want to make the party?"

"Ummm, no I'm cool"

"Oh you're really going with the solo biz?"

"Yep, completely and utterly, I'm forever solo" Sook states with a cheesy grin

"That is not something you should be happy about, such a weirdo" Shaking her head while sneaking a grin

Grabbing his over-stuffed scorpion he trails behind.



After a good 4 hours of trekking across the dunes of the desert, the two decide to have a quick break. Taking out the cooking equipment, Crissstal starts to cook but is stopped with a smile from Sook who takes the role of cook. Charring the meat black over the open flame he decides he's burnt it but still gives Crisstal a piece. Gladly she eats it telling him its "Pretty good"

While eating, he notices she is actively avoiding at looking at him. He noticed it quite early on in their trek; she didn't look back at him once for some reason, always staying in front. And even now she had her face turned away from him. Even when she was healing him after every fight he got into, since they encountered a scorpion every so often.

(Crissstal's POV)

Sitting down by the campfire she makes sure she doesn't look at him because she fear's she'll have another round of heart thumping and trembling. She cannot believe he hadn't noticed by now. It's actually wondrous. She's tried her best not to look but when she had to heal him she couldn't avert her eyes and almost fainted at the sight a couple of times.

But apart from that little situation she was quite impressed with her new companion. He fought quite brutally ripping the stinger off the scorpion before rushing to its front and stabbing its brains from the inside. Quite daring to put his hand in the mouth between sharp fangs, something she would never be able to do. It was quite brutal to watch but her heart seemed to flutter somewhat at his masculine display, further worsening her condition when she had to heal him since thoughts lurked.

After downing their meal they rested for a short while. Crissstal sneaked peeks at Sook as he idly scratched his stomach.

"Umm Crissstal"

"Wha..what is it? I'm just sitting here not doing anything, of course!" Crissstal turns away quickly


"Uhmhm...Can you not see it?"

"See what?”


"Whats wrong? Seriously Cryssstal tell me"

"Its...its your..."

"My what?"



"YOUR RIBS DAMMIT" She starts trembling like a leaf

And also the fact that you have great abs and a V-line but that’s another matter!


Looking down Sook sees the ripped chunk from the right side of his body and sure enough he has 1 rib fully exposed and the second half exposed to the air.

"Wow shit, completely forgot about that"

"For..." Her mouth was agape her eyes dumfounded

"Well it does explain why I was feeling a bit lopsided today" Sook chuckled awkwardly

"A bit..." She starts breathing heavily while shaking 'There's a whole piece missing of you and 'you're feeling a bit lopsided'?" He can tell it’s a mixture of anger and fear as well as more than a lot of disbelief which is a bit strange. It seems he doesn't know why someone should be afraid of a little wound like he has.

"But you can heal me yes? And then we'll be all good?"

"Ye..yes I can but it's taking a while"

"Oh so that's why you kept furiously healing me even when I only got a scratch. But is it really that bad to look at?"

"THERES A HOLE IN YOUR BODY!!! OF COURSE ITS BAD TO LOOK AT" Crissstal has begun to rock back and forth slightly muttering softly to herself.

Sook had only met one before but he remembers it quite well. Haemophobia, the fear of blood. Sook looking at the hole, where the cloth used to cover but must have fallen off a long time ago, sees that it’s covered in dried blood, even the ribs have a thin crimson layer covering them. He tried moving some and saw that a small squirt of fresh blood came out of his vein at the bottom.

"Right right, I get you. Don't worry; you just need to do a bit of magic and it'll be gone like that"

"...I see why you play a musclebrain monk"

"haha that is true. I'll lie down here and when you feel like it you can heal it all you want"

Lying down Sook closes his eyes to wait for Crissstal to slowly calm down. He hears her breaths get quieter and soon hears her move towards him and kneel with a crunch on the soft sand next to him.

He can see the bright lights being produced even with his closed eyes and he puts his left hand towards his eyes. Opening them slightly he looks towards Crissstal; She is trembling slightly while looking in the sky and chanting some words.

Suddenly grabbing her hand with his right he moves it over the hole having her fingers brush his bloody insides. The sound of someone frothing at the mouth is heard within seconds and letting go of her hand he sees her drop unconscious next to him

Taking her hand, he rests it on his bloody insides and wipes it around, since this way she can get used to feeling blood as well as getting used to the gore factor. After a few minutes Sook pats her lightly on the cheek causing her to "mmmgh" awake drowsily. Wiping her eyes with both hands she stops and lowers them to eye-level. Frothing at the sight of her bloodied hand she falls unconscious once more. A ding sounds by her too.

(Crissstal's POV)

The last thing she remembered before blacking out, from the horrible sight of blood on her hands as well as the squeamish feeling as it rubbed on her fingers, was a small ding of a system message.

Soon she felt a soft pat on her cheek and wakes back up, sitting up and breathing deeply. She can feel something....foreign, yet disturbingly familiar, in her hand. Her breathes increased and became hyperventilating while her heart beat out of her chest uncontrollably. She could feel the froth forming around her mouth and was losing sight of the world. But there was a message in front of her that made her forget her current situation:

Due to repeated action of healing and analysing grevious wounds, you have learnt a Rare Priest Skill: Regeneration

Priest skill: Regeneration [Beginner lvl1]


Heals a limb or part of body regenerating lost parts over a short period of time

Cost: 150-300 mana (depends on greviousness of wound)

Channeling:30 seconds-1 minute

Cooldown:10 minutes

Due to learning a Rare Priest Skill, +8 INT, +4 WIS, +3 DEX, fame +25

In complete shock, she reads and re-reads the window in-front of her. After getting it through her head that she has learnt a new skill, and a great one at that.

Jumping in joy she dances around the low-burning campfire before throwing herself at Sook, who is now sitting up, for a hug.

Her joy melds into something else as her left arm seems to go further than the right and she ends up hugging the warm and soft flesh covered in dry blood.



(Sook's POV)

He had just witnessed his lizard companion jump around a fire crazily and then hug him only to feel the blood and fall unconscious once more.

Patting her awake after a couple of minutes, she wakes up again and immediately goes red about hugging Sook and apologizes for being so rash

"Don't worry about it but why were you so happy?" cocking his head in ignorance

"Ah thats because...I learnt a new skill! and a rare one at that!"

"Great! but what is it?" "It's regeneration!"

"Waah how cool"

"I know right, now I can heal thaaa...." She looked at it and started hyperventilating but was able to look away in time "At that"

"Allright, but do we have to, I'm kind of getting used to it"

"NO NO NO, I shall not have you walking around with th...that. It's too wierd ok!"

"Ok ok, jeez. HEAL me up Crissstal"

Crissstal got to regenerating Sook's missing right side and although it cost almost 300 of her mana as well as 53 seconds of channeling, thankfully not having to look at the wound, she was able to successfully regenerate his body to a full one.

They both celebrated a bit due to no longer having to see the thing/not being lopsided and had another bite of the charred scorpion.

Once her mana had regened a bit, she tried to regenerate his left shoulder, as there was a small scar there

Sook looked at her with raised eyebrows "What are you doing?

"I'm removing this scar on your shoulder"

"Oh don't remove it please"

"Really why? Nevermind that I can't seem to regenerate it anyways"

"Well it's one of those defining features of mine"

"Oh its one of those things. That's quite cool"

Those things?

"Ummm thanks?"

"..." she looks away and back at Sook seeming to fight an inner conflict "C..Can I see it closer?"

"Yea sure, no problems"

She leans towards Sook checking out his scar with her green lizard eyes that twitch when she blinks. She takes her hand and starts to trace the small scar; it is only a few centimetres either way as it the outer damage seemed minimal, as if his shoulder was punctured cleanly.

She notices her tongue has escaped out her mouth and her tail is waggling; by the whoosh of the sand, therefore she stops touching and grabs hold of her tail looking embarrassed. However Sook didn't notice her behaviour as his mind was busy with something else.

He was inspecting his body finding his old knife scars residing on his palms. Also by trailing his hand through his hair he notices it’s as scruffy as ever, as well as having a light stubble as he checks his chin.

The only explanation he has right now is that it is his body or at least looks like him. It even has the old bullet wound on his shoulder that Crissstal was checking out. He had no idea how the capsule worked so he was quite surprised how he was in a body that looked like his own.

Finishing inspecting himself he focused back on the situation to see Crissstal sitting facing away from him once more for another reason he did not know.

With a sigh escaping his mouth he tells her they're going and starts heading out, in the front at last.



"FINALLY WE'RE HERE!!!" Sook yelled to the air as they finally made it to a large group of building which he supposed was Sable.

They had gotten a little lost beforehand since he was leading but Crissstal soon took over telling him off about not using his map. Of course he was confused since he didn't have a map, but he kept quiet about that.

However they had finally arrived after another 2 hours walking.

Sable had large sandstone walls with a large rusty iron door as the main gate. The gate was at least 20 metres high and they couldn't see anything behind it but a few tower tops that jutted out. The tower tops were built with the same type of sandstone as the walls. The sandstone blending quite well within the desert and the two of them didn't properly notice the city on the horizon since it was well camouflaged.

Sook was actually mildly impressed as although the walls and visible towers are all the same colour, in no way do they seem dull as there were multiple patterns on the tower and the wall itself was not built symmetrical but had a wavy shape of bricks giving the image of sand water on the walls. Sook was pleased he got to see the outside and was intrigued about what is in the inside.

Running ahead he gave his best winning smile for Crissstal telling her to come along

(Crissstal's POV)

As Sook ran to the gate Crissstal was contemplating.

"You had the appearance of a happy-go-lucky but only now do I see a little bit of happiness in your eyes...Why is that Sook?". She whispered the words to the air. This was not the first time she had seen fake smiles, no she was used to such smiles. She frowns and shakes her head "Nevermind that, you seem like an interesting guy so I'll follow you for now, to see what makes you smile, truly smile"

With that she sighs in mild defeat and runs after Sook to the gates of Sable



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