Liri took a sip from the small bowl of soup she had bought with her meager four silvers. The sun was hot on her exposed shoulders, her rag of a shirt hung just above her waist. Wild black hair laid on her collarbone. Her yellow eyes were empty as always.
Her presence was ignored, everyone passed by without giving her a second glance. It was probably for the best. Usually, as she had felt earlier, when she was noticed, it was for all the wrong reasons.
A few people walked by, whispering about things Liri simply couldn’t care less about.
“Did you hear?” One woman said. “They say Tell village has been overrun by monsters!”
“Oh, terrible.” The woman walking next to her replied. “My husband had a cousin living there.”
“What if we’re next?”
“Don’t be foolish. The walls of Ora have kept peril at bay for millennia.”
Liri stared blankly at the empty bowl of soup in front of her. Well, it was good while it lasted.
Effect Lost: Starving
A message said above her. She went to stand and found that her ankle was still hurting.
Liri walked down the street, not really sure where she was going, but she didn’t want to stay in one place, lest another incident happen.
A man was yelling at the corner of the street, dressed in a purple robe. A priest of the Five.
“The end times come!” He yelled. “The Five will descend onto Ora, bring up the righteous, and burn away all of the disgusting Gen from this land!”
Liri continued to wander, seeing several different buildings all catering to different well-off people’s needs. A restaurant, a bathhouse, a tapestry, an armory etc. Eventually though, Liri found a place with several young people swarming in and out of it.
The Ora Adventurer’s Guild.
She sighed. Not for me. Nothing’s for me. She reminded herself before continuing to walk past.
Before long, day turned to night and now another matter had presented itself.
Effect Gained: Freezing
Liri quickly began tonight’s search for shelter. Having had the same routine for years though, she knew of several small hotspots where she could hope to find rest. There was an alley near the front of the city where people tossed away rotten furniture. There was another place near the back where amounts of grass grew, making for a strange kind of bed, but this was a dangerous selection as other beggars would fight for the right to sleep there. The last option was the hardest to reach, tonight particularly with her weakened ankle.
A spot at the top of the Adventurer’s Guild where someone, at some point in the past had laid a bed. She’d usually not risk it, but today had her thinking that if she fell off and died, it might be a blessing in disguise.
She made her move.
Staring up at the large, three floor building, she gulped. For all her earlier thoughts, she was afraid now. Still though, it was too late in the night to go anywhere else. Walking the streets now pretty much guaranteed trouble.
The walls of the guild were covered in plants used as decorations. With a malnourished girl about to climb a wall, there were good news and bad news. Good news, she was light, so light that pulling herself up was like pulling up a broomstick. Bad news, she had close to no upper-body strength.
Determined though, she huffed and grabbed hold of one. With her one good leg, she pressed her foot into a small indentation. Pulling herself up by the plants, she continued this process.
One tug after another, she slowly progressed up the wall.
However, midway through, a message appeared above her.
Stamina: 10/ 49
Alert: Your Stamina is nearly depleted! Any action being taken when Stamina reaches 0 will instantly stop.
This was bad. One might even say this was terrible. Her eyes bulged fearfully. Did she want to die? Probably. Did she want to die falling off the side of the Adventurer’s Guild? No. Rather, she’d not die until at least, those bastards who so joyfully assaulted her earlier could share a coffin with her.
Sure, she was used to being mistreated, but those pieces of trash took it too far.
She breathed deep and almost screamed as she continued pulling herself up by those plants. Her right ankle started throbbing, as if warning her of how distant she was from the ground at this point.
Alert! Your Stamina is dangerously-
I know! She yelled in her mind. The Status menu quickly went away and Liri saw the roof of the building within her grasp. With a final grunt, she managed to pull herself all the way up.
Only to find that others were currently standing here.
Against all of her instincts, which were currently telling her to scream for water and whatever other help could be provided, she placed a hand over her mouth as soon as she reached the roof to quiet herself and quickly scurried behind a wooden crate that was right in front of her.
“Ya hear sometin’?” A man said.
“Probably nothing. Your ears playing tricks on you?” A confident, youthful voice replied.
“Ain’t nothin’ wrong wit’ my ears ya prick!”
Liri’s heart nearly stopped. She knew that voice. Knew it very well. Peeking from the crate, her eyes widened. She saw the same group of beggars that had beat her down earlier, standing in front of one of the adventurers that had come into the city. The one she’d made eye contact with, the youngest.
“Listen here, princess.” One man said to the adventurer. “If ya tink yer droppin’ out of ‘ere jus like dat, ya got another ting comin’.”
“Yeh, this ‘ere is our roof. We don’t let jus anyone come up an’ sleep innit.”
“For the last time,” The adventurer replied, “I wasn’t’ trying to sleep in your roof, whatever that means.” He ignored one of them responding “it means exacly dat!”. “I was just trying to get some fresh air, heard this place was good and cold, headed on up. I’ll head back down if you need me to, no need for trouble.”
“Really? All peaches like dat?” His voice turned menacing. “Wat if we wan’ trouble?”
All the while, as Liri heard this, she went through a range of emotions. She was scared, curious, intrigued, but now, all she felt was anger.
She wasn’t sure when the idea appeared, but she knew this was it.
The only chance she’d have to kill at least one of those bastards without needing a weapon, hell, without needing two good ankles. All she had to do was push one of them off the roof.
Didn’t really matter who, but if she got the one that had pissed on her, it didn’t bother her what they did to her afterwards. Just as long as she took one of them with her.
She stood from where she had hidden, and limped forwards.
“Aye, who’s dat?” A man to her right whispered. As she walked, she found her target. The one that had pissed on her was standing between everyone else, his legs just a small distance away from the edge of the roof.
The adventurer was standing in front of her as well, only his back was turned to her. Of course, as the beggar called her presence out, he turned.
“What the…?” He asked no one in particular.
“Oy, ain’t that…”
Another beggar spoke, but the world was blocked out in Liri’s eyes. Her yellow irises traced a line straight through to the beggar near the edge of the roof.
“It is, it is!” He started saying. His voice, she could hear. “It’s you. Well well, one fuck ain’t enough, ya came for secon’s?” He asked, his hands on his hips.
Liri stood close enough to him to where she could smell the disgusting breaths the beggar took.
“I told you, I’d kill you.” She whispered. The man leaned in.
“And how da fuck do ya plan to do dat?” He asked with a grin.
Liri breathed in deep. She was going to enjoy this.
Quickly, she poked him in the eyes.
Effect Gained: Blinded
Appeared over him.
“Al!” Another beggar yelled. As they moved to stop her, she didn’t bother using her legs and her back to push him. Instead, she threw herself into him, jumping on one leg. Crashing into the man, she nearly sent both of them off the roof, but she fell just before the edge. He wasn’t so lucky.
His cried as his body fell to the ground beneath them. With a thud, his status appeared over him.
Above Liri, another message appeared.
EXP Gained: +1, 1/10
He was dead. Enough to bring the first genuine smile to Liri’s face in years. His friends weren’t smiling though.
“YOU BITCH!” One of them yelled, before running towards her.
“Oh no you don’t.” The adventurer, who Liri had forgotten was even there, said. He pulled out a dagger that he’d been hiding somewhere and quickly slashed one of the beggars across his neck.
“What the fuck?” Were the last words of the next beggar, who fell just as quickly. Above them, their statuses appeared.
Both of them, dead. Liri wondered if it was her birthday. A valid question actually, considering she legitimately didn’t know. She laid on the cold rooftop, her back to the ground, her yellow eyes glued to the stars.
If her existence revolved around killing these idiots, then her job was done, and she could die happy.
However, a silhouette blocked her view of the night sky.
“Hello there.” The youthful voice said. “That seemed personal.” He left it at that, as if asking for an explanation.
“It was.” Was all Liri said.
“Hm… Kind of got me out of a tough spot there.” He admitted. “If you hadn’t shown up, I probably could have taken one of them out, but the others would have jumped me. How about I treat you to something?”
“What?” Liri asked.
“I said, how about I treat you to something?” He asked again. “Food. Do you want some?”
Trust. It's a fairly simple concept, a resource that Liri was never fond of. She'd been alive for fourteen years and in those years she'd never met a single person who didn't hurt her. For that reason, she had no trust to give. However, there's another concept that is important enough to overtake Liri's reluctance to trust. Hunger. That is why, when this stranger asked her to follow him, she replied the way she did.