I actually finished writing the first chapter of arc 2 and the book still haven’t arrived. I decided that I will just forge on ahead without the referenced book. Unfortunately, it also means that I can’t write as much detail as I have planned about the ruins. Fans of the said referenced book/series, please don’t hate me.
I woke up when my stomach rumbled in hunger. I don’t know how long I have been in this ruin but from my biological clock, I can tell it had been at least 3 days since we were trapped inside of our own home. With her head on my shoulder, Queenie laid beside me and cried herself to sleep last night. I moved her away from, careful of not waking her up in the process.
Taking a look at the fire pit in the center of the room, the fire was almost out. What was left was a smoldering ember in the center. Knowing how hard it is to start a fire again, I quickly broke some wooden furnitures in the room and managed to keep the fire roaring again. It wasn’t easy though. I stumbled in the darkness and tripped over clay jars in the room, breaking a few in the process. After I got the fire going again, I took a look around the room. There was a small canal running through the room at the other end. The water in the canal ran towards the other room that I woke up in. If I had to give an educated guess, I would say that this was used to collect drinking water, while the other was used to bathe in. I guess everyone got out in this room, while I drifted further down when I was unconscious. When I looked in the water canal, I could see small fish swimming around without a care. At least we wouldn’t need to worry about food in the short term.
Hearing a sound behind me, I turned around and saw Queenie stretching her arms.
“I am sorry, did the noise woke you up?”
“No, it’s fine.”
“Are you feeling okay?”
“I am still sad about everything, but I feel a lot better now compared to before.”
“I am going to go out and look for everyone, they still hadn’t came back from scouting yet. I am worried about them.”
“I will go with you.”
“No, I need you to stay here and secure this room. That way, we know that we have a safe place to return to.”
“No buts. You are staying here. Go catch some fish in the canal and cook breakfast for all of us. I will be back.”
“You have your spear?”
“No, I lost it in the river.”
“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.”
She offered her spear to me. I gently rejected her offer and gave a quick chuckle. Not knowing why I laughed, she tilted her head in puzzlement. Even if I explained, she wouldn’t understand the reference.
“No, if I take it, what would you fight with if something happens? I still have my hammer and I can use that as a weapon.”
She nodded her head slowly.
“Okay, I will keep the spear then. You be careful out there.”
I gave Queenie a quick hug. Just before I left the room, I turned and gave Queenie a good look. She was already in the canal, trying to catch some fish. I watched her stumbling in the water, trying to grab the fish with her bare hands. I chuckled at how cute she looked like that. I turned around with my renewed resolve. I have to lead everyone to a perfect goblin world. In a place where there were no threats and plenty of food. In a place where our family will flourish. With a torch in my left hand and a black hammer in my right, I walked outside.
There were no signs of anyone else. Even though I had yet to encounter any enemies, I was starting to worry for their safety. I shouldn’t have sent them out on their own. Without someone to lead them, it would be dangerous for them to wander in an unknown place. I was starting to hate myself for making so many rash judgments.
The ruin was huge. From what I could tell from observing the surroundings, this was a city in a mountain that dwarves used to live in. We must be deep within the mountain since I have yet to see the light of day, walking around for hours. Skeletons of dwarves were littered everywhere. The cause of death was most likely an epidemic. Save for some bite marks from rats, almost all the skeletons had no damage on them. If they were wiped out by war, there would be signs of a fight or struggle, such as severed bones on the skeleton. I have to tell everyone to kill and burn all the rats they see. That would reduce the chance of our tribe falling to the same fate.
I heard a sound coming from around the corner. I quickly pressed myself against the cold dungeon wall. With abated breath, my head emerged from the edge of the wall. What a saw relieved my soul. I ran out from my hiding place towards the noise.
“How did you guys get stuck there?”
“I have no idea what happened. We were just walking around, and these came out of nowhere, blocking our way. I was afraid that we were going to die being stuck in this place.”
Sylva answered me from behind a pair of portcullis. They must of triggered some sort of defense mechanism of this dwarven city. Luckily, it looked like no one was hurt by the trap. I looked around to see if I could somehow undo the trap. I found a set of cog wheel and lever in the room. After studying mechanism for a bit, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I set the pawl back in its place, locking the cogwheel. After that, I worked on the lever. It was extremely heavy. It barely moved when I pull on it. I had to climb onto the lever and jump on it in order to get it to move. After jumping on the lever for about seven times, the portcullis was finally lifted a bit. A small gap appeared in between the portcullis and the ground. One by one, everyone crawled out from the gap. I gasped for air after my strenuous workout. Wiping some sweat from my forehead, I turned my attention back towards Sylva
“We should head back to the safe room and meet up with Queenie. I made markings along the way so we wouldn’t lose our way.”
With me leading the way, everyone followed behind me. The only exception was Sylva who was walking beside me. It looked like she lead the way for everyone else as well during this time and kept everyone calm and collected. As expected of a previous captain. It looked like she can be a leader in case something happened to both Queenie and I in the future. I started to question Sylva to learn more about the ruin.
“So is there anything special you guys found in here?”
“Well I can tell you that there are no enemies in here. The biggest living thing we found was a rat.”
“Kill and burn all the rats you see in here. Do not eat any rats in here. They are…. poisonous.”
I decided to use the term poisonous to describe them. It would be hard for them to understand the concept of micro-organism.
“Is that all? Was there anything else you found”
“Oh, we found an area with a mountain of copper-like things in the middle too.”
“Ya, it looked like copper, it felt like copper, but the color was different. Some were more yellow, some were white.”
I widen my eyes at the description. Could it be?
“That area is it near here?”
“Yes, it is just around the corner.”
“Sylva, we are taking a detour. Lead me to that place.”
Following the footsteps of Sylva, we navigated through the twists and turns of the ruins. Soon, we arrived in a large open area. After 3 days of darkness, I was finally able to see the blue sky once again. It looked like the area we were in was the center of an extinct volcano. High mountainous walls surrounded us. It would be next to impossible to climb out of here. In the centre of the area was a mountain of treasure, filled with gold, silver and platinum. I ran towards the treasure laughing all the way. When I reached it, I dived into a pile of coins and pretended to swim. I had always wanted to be Scrooge McDuck. When I turned back, I saw everyone looked at me as if I went crazy.
“What are you doing? Are these important?”
“HAHA! With these, we won’t be worried about the dw….”
I stopped laughing. Something clicked in my mind when I was thinking about the dwarves. The clues pieced together one by one.
Ghost city inside a mountain.
A mountain of treasure.
Oh, my, god.
The designers are a bunch of fanboys.
***Fin'Dictive Gaming Studio's Internal Message Board***
Fin: Is the first secret dungeon ready yet?
JRRT: Almost. The dungeon’s design was finished already, I am just doing some finishing touch on the boss.
Fin: We are sooooo behind schedule :<
JRRT: I know I know, stop rushing me. I think I can launch it within today.
Fin: Why are you behind schedule anyway? Aren’t you just plagiarizing everything?
JRRT: HEY HEY! It’s not plagiarizing if I am using my own works. You cannot steal from yourself
Fin: Whatever. Just make sure you launch it by the end of the day. Do you need any help?
JRRT: Nah, I am fine.
Fin: Btw, are you going to plagiarize everything again from your series for the second secret dungeon?
JRRT: ITS NOT PLAGIARISM!!
Wyn: He is technically correct. It is the best kind of correct.
Fin: Shut up Aenwyn. No one asked you.
Fin: Well are you going to copy everything again?
Fin: *facepalms* Can you be a bit more creative?
JRRT: In my defense, it’s what the players want. They love my series. The polls on the message board said so.
Fin: Aenwyn, can you get the legal department to whip up some sort of contract. I don’t want to be sued by him over this if he left our company later.
Fin: You better do a god damned fantastic job for the other secret dungeons.
JRRT: So can I use my idea for the next few secret dungeons as well?
Fin: *Sigh* Yes.
Fin: Somehow, I feel like I will regret this decision.