“What the hell?! What the hell did you DO?!” Francis screams.
“I think I messed up,” I respond.
Now people are running, screaming, not just the two of us. The uniformed men still pursue us, but in a practical sense, they, too, are running away from the burning disaster in the Vendor Hall.
A list of reasons that firing a fire arrow in the middle of a crowded indoor shopping district is not a good idea:
Arrows have a high probability of hitting people. My arrow did not hit anyone, but it very well could have injured or killed an innocent civilian.
Using weapons in enclosed areas causes panics. Panics cause stampedes.
Fire is very dangerous. It can hurt a lot of people.
Fire burns uncontrollably. Shopping areas have many flammable objects. Fires grow quickly when there are many flammable objects nearby.
I will admit that mistakes were made. These mistakes could potentially be leading to catastrophic, cascading failures.
Some hero I am.
A D-Rank [Adventurer?] Me?
Well... You know what? It did stop the pursuit, for the most part. There’s so much screaming and so much panic over the growing fire behind us that the uniformed men are unable to keep up. Some of them even peel off to attempt to contain the chaos.
One of the uniformed men trips and falls over himself.
[+1 Destiny point.]
Thank you HUD for giving me another Destiny Point to use later on. I sure hope that guy is okay, though. I would be awfully miffed to learn that the damage I am currently causing is to the detriment of everyone else around me. I would much prefer the damage to be temporary and something we can eventually remember and laugh at.
Francis, whose wrist is still in my firm grip, is hyperventilating. He is no longer screaming, as I believe he has mostly given up on attempting to rationalize the situation.
I am a true hero. One of the greatest heroes, indeed. That’s twenty three Destiny Points, if you are one to keep track. I certainly am.
We exit the Vendor Hall, where some sort of magical system at the ceiling has activated and begun spraying jets of water down to douse the flames below. Now, we are in the main hall. It, too, is rife with people running, a frenzy of exactly the kind of active action that makes being an [Adventurer] so fun.
I love this!
At the front entrance, the same uniformed man from before, the one who checked my sword, stands in front, a stick in his arm, raised with a shaky grip. “S-stop right... there...” he mumbles.
“Have a nice day, sir,” I say as we run by. He does not attempt to attack or apprehend us, in the end.
We have again exited the convention center and now we are running to our next destination...
“Where are we supposed to be going?” I ask Francis. I slow down my running speed and then let Francis go.
There’s a loud screeching sound in the distance.
“You hear that?” he asks. “That’s police sirens. The cops are coming to arrest us.”
“For such a minor trespass? What a foolhardy group. I will strike them down with the tip of my blade.”
“N-no, you don’t have to do that. In fact, don’t do that at all. Running is much better than fighting on Earth, because when you hurt people on Earth, you get sent to prison.”
“Practically worthless, this world.”
Francis shrugs. “Well, we need to get out of here, like, right this instant.”
“Well, I had a chance to send some texts while we were running from the cops. You may be good at one-handed bow and arrow shooting, but I’m good at one handed texting. You never know when something like that will come in handy!”
“I don’t understand anything you are saying, but go on.”
“Well, I sent a few messages that are going to prove very useful in the near future.”
“The near future?”
“By the new future, i mean right about...”
“I don’t, er, see what you are referring to,” I say.
Francis’s demeanor collapses. “I thought it would be so cool if I timed it dramatically...”
About thirty seconds later, a horseless carriage pulls up in front of us, with a woman seemingly piloting this thing all by her lonesome. The window inside rolls down, magically by itself, and she leans over to say, “I’m here. Get in.”
We get in.
The “police sirens” grow louder and louder as they draw closer. But, miraculously, before their new contingent of horseless carriages arrives at the convention center, ours has already departed the scene. We have escaped the wrath of those who wish to do us harm.
Francis and I both sit in the back seats, with this mysterious woman in the front. She looks back at me through a rear-view mirror, and then at Francis.
For what it is worth, though, Francis seems completely preoccupied looking at me.
He shakes his head. “That back there, that was...” He looks at me more closely. Then he raises a hand, as if to strike me. “That was... really frickin’ fun.”
His hand is still raised. I keep my face back just in case he means to slap me.
“Oh, uh, this is supposed to be a high-five,” he says. “You’re supposed to clap my hand.”
“Clap? How would one... Ah, I see.” I raise my hand and slap it against his.
“Ack!” Francis reels backwards.
The woman in the front eyes me again. “This man. He’s it?” she asks.
“Isn’t he so... cool...?” Francis asks, fighting through the apparent pain.
“The radio said there was a fire caused by two pink-haired cosplayers. Thousands of dollars in damages.”
“I do not believe I have had the pleasure of making your acquaintance,” I say to the woman. “My name is Eryk Solbourne, a D-Rank [Adventurer] from the world known as Mystix. I am new to the Earth, so I wish to apologize for any burdens I may cause while I am learning the customs and systems.”
“Quite the catch,” the woman says.
“Her name is Delta Rafati,” Francis tells me. “Delta’s my best friend. She may be a little direct sometimes, but she means well.”
“Ah, I know well the pitfalls of dealing with those who are at times overly confident in their own ability to communicate,” I say. “This Delta woman must be too enthused with her skills to understand tact and reason. Well, I prefer someone more blunt, anyhow.”
“I’m going to throw him out of the car in about fifteen seconds,” Delta says.
And thus ends our adventure at the Miller Lite Memorial Convention Center. Now, in the middle of this horseless carriage, it is clear to me that my adventure has only just begun. We have escaped the prologue, the tutorial to the rest of my life. Now it will be time to begin my real journey. I will become the first S-Rank Hero in millennia, even if I do so on a brand-new world with brand-new rules. It is the goal I set out for myself, and I will achieve it at any cost.
In commemoration of today’s great successes, winning a battle against many foes, defeating a paper-made skeleton, and starting a fire to escape mysterious uniformed pursuers, I deserve a bonus. And that bonus, as always, will be drawing a Destiny Card.
I pull up my Destiny Deck and sacrifice Life Points to draw a new card.
The new card is—
Absorb: Rank 5. A healing attack that drains LP from the target. Must have direct contact. Cost: 0 LP.
...Wow! A Rank 5 card! That’s just about the rarest you can get. And to boot, it’s a Destiny Card that has the ability to heal me if my Life Points get low. What a boon. What an absolute boon.
Yes, I am indeed thinking that this is going to be an adventure worth chronicling.