Chapter #5: Side Quest: The Innkeeper’s Daughter

It’s noon and it takes me only a few minutes to find out where the Vampire Castle is. It is said that it was once an infamous cynosure for scientists and philosophers from all over the world. Now a shadow of its former glory, it stands sad and gloomy, overshadowing Pedasa with its recent past. That’s the place where numerous men and women lost their lives and where demon lord Alastor killed the Vampire Queen. At least, that’s what Markos told me.

I see several people in white tunics here, gathering some type of purple flowers. They wear a bizarre garment around their necks, probably to hide the fact that they are bitten by Nestor. Markos told me that these people were offered as sacrificial offerings to the Vampire Queen in the past. Addicted to the vampire kiss, it makes it impossible for them to return to their families now. The folk of Pedasa fear them and if they aren’t bitten once every month or two, they could go mad.

Maybe this is another side quest and I must find a cure, but for the time being, I should focus on the task at hand: Melissa.

“Hey friendly fellas,” I tell a young, black haired man.

He glowers back at me and says, “This place is forbidden to strangers. Go back the way you came.”

He isn’t friendly, but again, no one is in this city.

I raise my hands, showing my palms at him, trying to calm him.“I’m looking for a girl and you might be able to help me, I just arrived in your city.”

My last sentence makes him more wary than before. “What’s the girl’s name?” He demands to know.

I check him with my NCI. His Threat Level is 2, HP: 17/19, common folk.

Good, I could easily take him on if he tries anything funny. What I don’t like though, is the fact that two more men in white tunics approach us. They have the same stats as him and notice their HP is a bit decreased as the man before me. Probably from the constant blood sucking I guess.

“Well, what’s the girl’s name?” He repeats again, now his two comrades standing side by side.

There’s no way to avoid them now, it seems I messed up. “Her name’s Melissa, her father wants to know if she fares well in the Vampire Castle.”

“She sent you right?” The guy shouts, now taking his dagger of his belt and the rest follow.

I’m at a loss and have absolutely no idea who he refers to. “Look lads, you got it all wrong, her father…” but I’m unable to finish my sentence, as the guys start attacking me, trying to slit my throat.

I avoid the cut and unconsciously cast Fire Bolt. The spell activates immediately and through my hand, I unleash my full wrath. The Fire Bolt crushes on the guys head, achieving a Critical Hit and Blindness. The other two guys are at a loss from their friend’s moaning, but quickly gather their lost morale and try to stab me. I avoid them the best I can and gain some distance from them. I cast Chill Touch to the one guy and now that the ghostly hand appears and attacks him, I stop retreating and rush against the surprised other. I punch him in the face, throwing him down and now I’m above him, punching him hard, each time decreasing his HP by 1, till I have him lying unconscious on the ground. The tooltip says Paralyzed above his head.

Chill Touch has been pretty effective and now my last, standing opponent has HP 12/17. I cast Fire Bolt and I manage to decrease his HP 5 more points, while burning his chest. I hear all of them moaning now. I take the dagger and head to the one who’s still conscious, ready to put an end to his misery.

But I’m interrupted when a strange, gorgeous girl makes her appearance. She’s tall, the same height I am and has long, blonde hair, “Stop it,” she tells me.

The tooltip above her head shows a Threat Level of 9 and holds a dagger and a whip. It will be impossible to win against her with my current level 2 and without any proper spells.

I decide to defend myself with words. “They attacked me first, all I wanted was to deliver a message to Melissa, the innkeeper’s daughter.”

She stops and glowers at me. “Tell this old fool, my father, that I’m doing well, and I’ll visit him when my duties allow me.”

I nod agreeably, admiring her petite, elegant body.

“Now leave, before the Vampire Squad comes and kill you!” She booms at me.

My NCI informs me of another Main Quest, which I look immediately: Escape the Vampire Squad.

I leave her standing and start running, heading back to the innkeeper, hoping the Vampire Squad will need some time to prepare.

After some time of intense running, I reach the inn and inform my friend of what happened. Markos finally reveals to me that Melissa is one of Nestor’s future brides and that Ambrosia has attempted to murder her in the past, so that was probably the reason the other guys attacked me. Maddened by the sick bastard’s poor briefing, I request twice the amount of food we’d agreed for compensation. He accepts it without arguing. Now that I think about it, I should have demanded thrice the amount of food, but anyway, I don’t have much time. For all I know, the Vampire Squad could be on my tail, so I must hurry and leave this place.

As I leave the inn and say farewell to Markos, a window appears: Side Quest Completed Successfully!

Good, now I must head to the royal capital of Lycia, in hopes of finding demon lord Alastor and escape the Vampire Squad at the same time. And I’m left to wonder, what kind of gameplay experience I’d have in this world, if I decided to revert the difficulty to Hardcore again. Better left wondering, I think to myself.

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