Chapter 79- Infection
***July 14th, 965 A.F. (night)***
After catching my breath, I looked around frantically for signs of dangers. All I found was pedestrians giving me strange looks for my sudden outburst before carrying on with their own business. There were no signs of any “event” happening. It means that I still have a chance to get out of the city. Letting Geordie down from my back, he finally asked me.
“What’s happening, Ajax?”
“I want you to listen very, very carefully, Geordie.”
“I can’t tell you how I know this, but we are in great danger.”
“Why? Is someone after me? Did someone find out who I was?”
“No, but from now on, I need you to listen to me and follow my instructions. Don’t even question me for a single moment.”
“Okey dokey. No problem. Haven’t I been doing that?”
“No, you have not. I put up with your incessant whining and begging up till now because it didn’t matter. Nothing was on the line. You seriously have no idea how bad this could get. I need you to shut up, listen, and do exactly as I say. If you can’t do that...”
I grabbed Geordie by the throat and applied just enough pressure for him to start choking. I didn’t really want to do this, but this is the only way to make Geordie understand the gravity of the situation.
“I will leave you behind and let you die. If you didn’t stop for a few seconds to argue about me carrying you, we would have made it safely outside. I have held up my end of the bargain about taking care of you up to this point, and I swear that I will continue to do so to the best of my abilities. But I will be damned before I die because of your actions. Do I make myself clear?”
Geordie, with a twinkle of tears in his milky white eyes, barely nodded and tapped on my wrist in submission. It seems that I have gotten my point across. I slowly released my grip and Geordie slumped down onto his knees.
“Good, now stay silent and follow me.”
Seeing that I have his full cooperation, I turned my attention back to the issue at hand. Looking at the sky again, the system menu shone brightly, contrasting the fading twilight. A different message appeared.
Be the survivor. Outlast the night. 9:59
I gritted my teeth. I don’t want to stay in the city for 10 hours. Who knows what will happen in between now till the morning. Leaving the Dwarven Capital is still my best option. I looked around to locate a soldier to ask for information. Seeing one next to the closed gate, I ran up to him with Geordie following closely behind me. I put up my cute children act as best as I could.
“Is there any other way to get out of the city right now?”
“I can’t let a couple of kids leave the city at night. It’s not safe.”
Even though I didn’t get what I wanted, it’s a start. At least with this conversation, I can confirm that there is some way to leave the city without using the main gate. It won't have made sense if there is no way for someone to enter or exit the city during the night.
“Please sir, it is really important.”
I took a few pieces of small silver coin and snuck it into the hands of the soldier. Not much in this world can’t be solved with a simple bribe. The soldier looked into his hand and shrugged.
The soldier led us through a small door into the wall. We passed through a narrow corridor, through a living quarter for the soldiers. The whole structure was built with defense in mind. If an enemy breaches the wall through the passage, they would have a hard time passing through while it will be easy for defending side to hold the position.
Several of the soldiers that we passed by gave us a simple greeting. After a few more twists and turns we finally arrived at a metal door in a small room. Two other soldiers stood guard in the chamber.
“Hey, Steve. Open the door and let these kids through.”
“Are you sure…”
“Just do it.”
Steve shrugged with apathy. After undoing all the deadbolts, he pulled on the door. Nothing moved. Confused, he put both of his hands on the handle and tried again, putting his whole body into pulling the door open, yet the door did not budge at all. The other two soldiers chuckle at Steve’s expense.
“What’s wrong Steven? You didn’t have your dinner yet?”
“Hahaha. Do you need someone to carry your shield as well?”
“It’s stuck. Let’s see you try it.”
The other two soldiers tried their luck at opening the door as well but to no avail. Before long, all three of put their strength together. A groan creaked out from the iron door. Unfortunately, the sound was the from the handle. The handle finally could not stand the force and snapped. A loud bang resounded in the small room, and all three soldiers fell onto the floor.
“Damn, what’s wrong with the door. It’s not even moving a bit.”
“We should probably get someone to oil the hinges tomorrow.”
The soldiers may see this as something trivial, but I know what is up. It was too unnatural for a door to be unusable just as the event started. Since the key to the event is surviving the night, the GMs must have locked everyone out to prevent people from joining midway. That way, it is fair since everyone has to survive the same length of time. In doing so, they also locked everyone in the city as well.
Leaving the city was no longer an option.
***July 14th, 965 A.F. (Night)***
Underneath the shiny exterior of the Dwarven Capital lies a dirty little secret. A cult worshiper mumbling a prayer towards a demonic skull laid on top of an altar. The only light source came from candles used by the cultist in his ritual. Eerie purple smoke from the candle seeped into the nostrils as he inhales and exhales rhythmical.
Unbeknownst to the cultist, there was something else dwelling in the room. It was a raccoon, snuck into the cellar seeking shelter from the elements. The unwelcomed visitor silently crept towards the cultist.
The cultist sprung up in pain, knocking the raccoon against the wall in the process. It flew across the room and died instantly from the impact. Blood seeped through the fabric of his pants, blooming into a flower pattern. He rolled up his pants to inspect the injury on his calf. Grumbling at his bad luck, he headed upstairs towards the kitchen.
He grabbed a towel to wipe the blood off of his. Just as he was about to dip the cloth in a bucket of water, he hesitated and stopped. With hand hovering over the bucket, he stared at the water as if it was the abyss. An indescribable fear slowly filled his mind. He couldn’t understand why he was afraid of a bucket of water.
While he was occupied by his fear, drops of water splattered onto the ground. He started to salivate. Drools slither down from the corner of his mouth. The drool slowly turns into a white foam. Without him realizing what was happening, he completely loses his reasoning, succumbing to this unknown disease. His bloodshot eyes look towards the open window at a passing pedestrian, the next victim.