Trespassing into Hell (Solo Quest)

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Trespassing into Hell (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/21/2012, 4:33 pm

Senzu Magic

Medium Quest

Requirement: Must have completed Korin's Tower.

Reward: 1,200 zeni and a Senzu Bean.

As miraculous as the legendary Senzu Beans are, it takes a lot of time and energy for Korin to grow them. Recently one of the bushes that produce the beans has withered and died. Korin has asked you to go into the Forest of Ancients and fetch him some spring water packed with rare minerals to help revive the planet. Beware, it is said the spring is guarded by a wicked beast...

Dread wrote:John examined the wad of cash handed to him by Korin. It seemed that it was his reward for having manually climbed the tower. “Is there something wrong?” The feline asked him.

“No, not really,” John replied; he honestly had never handled the amount of money he presently held in his hand. He supposed he should have felt happy that he now possessed cash that “Coach” had not hid away from him. “This is just not what I expected,” John softly said. “I was told there were treasures for completing the trials, but money just seems so…common.” He voiced his opinion carefully, struggling for the right words.

“You got that right!” Korin declared with an obnoxious chuckle. “What did you expect for something so easily done? You admitted earlier that getting up here would be nothing to you. You should be grateful I gave you anything at all!”

“I’m sorry,” John muttered. “Thanks for the gift.” He said solemnly.

“Cheer up, pal!” Korin exclaimed.

“I am not your ‘pal’!” John suddenly lashed out at him. “Do not think I have forgotten your little mind probe. We can never be friends, Korin! I will never forgive you for what you have done!” John calmed down after a few minutes; Korin spent all of them in silence.

“Getting up here was just the beginning.” The feline eventually said. “There are treasures, but they may not be what you are expecting. You can earn them though if you are willing to continue.”

“You already know damn well that I have no choice but to continue!” John spat as he stuffed the money into one of his pockets; he would not be relinquishing his grudge on the mind reader for a long time to come. “Tell me what I need to do next,” He firmly spoke.

“Fine, come over here and take a look at this,” Korin instructed.

John moved closer to the cat and stared down into his open paw where small yellowish green bulbous objects rested. “Do you know what these are?” Korin asked him; John told him that he did not recognize them. “They are called senzu beans. They possess incredible restorative powers; they can, in short, heal almost any wound and renew your fighting strength after you have tired.” He explained.

“What do they have to do with my next test?” John asked.

“Patience, John; I was just about to get to that.” Korin replied. “I grow these beans; it is a very difficult and time-consuming process and, I must admit, I have not entirely perfected it yet. I have made some mistakes recently and now one of my plants is dying. I have tried everything I could think of to revive it. I even attempted to crush one of the beans from another plant and mix it in with the water I give it, but that didn’t work! I can only think of one possible solution, but it is too dangerous for me.”

“Coward,” John spat.

“What did you call me?” Korin demanded.

“Just hurry up and tell me what you need me to do so I can get it done and over with,” John said.

“Alright then, I need you to go to a place few people know about. It is called the Forest of the Ancients. I need you to enter this place and collect water from its spring. The water from this particular spring, you see-“

“The water isn’t normal water, right? It’ll fix your plant, right? I get it. Move on and tell me where this forest is,” John rudely interrupted.

“Fine! You want to know, here it is!” Korin declared, assaulting John with telepathic images, implanting his mind with the information he demanded.

John howled in pain and wondered if this is how the kanassans felt when “Coach” crammed the entire English language into their brains. “You fucker!” John screamed at Korin as he pressed his hands against his forehead.

“Take this,” Korin said, handing John an empty water skin; John snatched it from him and immediately took off for the forest. I don’t know what you see in him, Kami, but I will trust your judgment and I will help him. Korin thought to himself then suddenly shouted to no one in particular, “JUST DON’T EXPECT ME TO LIKE IT!”


Last edited by John Dark on 8/22/2012, 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Trespassing into Hell (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/21/2012, 6:10 pm

Dread wrote:John neared his destination and inwardly laughed at the title that had been given to it because he had personally spent plenty of nights and days in an actual forest. The forest of the ancients featured a certain type of trees in abundance and their branches twisted and curled over the land, tangling themselves up with their neighbors so that they cast skeletal shadows across the land. None of the trees grew any leaves and how could they? The trees that came into John’s view, the trees he had seen from the images Korin had shown him, were a sickly gray and he knew that they were all as hard and smooth as carved marble.

The ground below him appeared in nauseating shades of grays. The land over which he hovered was entirely too smooth as though it had spent millennia undisturbed by any manner of life. John also noticed a change in the air as he passed over the forest. The wind no longer whipped at him; the air had become still, dry, and quiet. It unnerved him and he moved back to the edge of the forest where he felt the wind greet him. He also noticed its current; it circumvented the forest, avoiding it altogether as though nature itself feared it.

John flew with the wind around the forest and sought out a safe place to land, but all he noticed were pointed spires of branches reaching out toward the sky. They looked like mangled claws of some monstrous abomination. There was not a clearing to be seen even after John had circled around its entire border. He landed several feet away from the forest; he had tried to sense some life dwelling amongst the petrified trees, but he felt only an empty void of inanimateness where life may have once thrived long, long ago.

John thought long and hard about his next course of action as he down in a patch of wild grass. He dared not proceed too quickly onto the deathly pale turf of the forest ahead. “Something is very wrong about this place,” John spoke aloud; he had known from the images he received from Korin that the forest was off. He needed to experience the forest personally in order to appreciate the sheer unnaturalness of its existence. “Somewhere deep inside is the spring.” John reminded himself. “I could probably make a clearing, but it’s best to preserve my energy. I do not even know what those trees are made out of and I don’t know how they react to energy.”

The more he spoke the more he came up with reasons not to enter. His wisdom, regardless of how substantial it became over time, to avoid the task ahead paled in comparison to the fearful prospect of facing “Coach”, however. He stood up at long last and eyed the monochromic land before him. He searched for any obvious paths straight into the heart of the forest. He spotted entrances, but the darkness beyond them that was afforded by the infinite entanglement of branches denied him further intelligence.

John dusted himself off in one final act of procrastination against the inevitable then walked forward. He stepped onto the pale terrain without incident and proceeded forward. The ground was somewhat soft like mud in the final stages of drying, but it did not cling to his shoes. He stopped just as he passed beneath the initial shadows of the forest and turned around. He took one last look at the ordinary world behind him then noticed, with visible shock, he had left nothing of a trail behind him.

He glanced down at his feet; they had both sunk a fraction of an inch into the ground. He lifted his right foot experimentally and looked down. The ground beneath his foot appeared flawlessly smooth as though he had never walked onto it. “What the hell?” John muttered; he surmised this was one of the forest’s means of concealing its secrets from him. “I wish I could go back.” He hung his head in despair and passed the first cluster of trees, giving him the impression of being admitted into a kingdom by its guards.

John looked back the way he had come after taking no more than ten paces into the supposed forest. He had allowed his imagination to run wild after the strangeness of the land he had already experienced and thought the cluster of branches had begun to close behind him. The pathway back to normalcy remained, beckoning him to depart the dreary forest behind. He could not retreat no matter how appealing the idea seemed to him because it meant a much worse alternative to immersing himself deeper into the forest’s guts. He had absolutely no inclination to further sample “Coach’s” temperament for failure.

He left no prints as he turned back toward the abysmal depths of the forest and moved deeper within its labyrinthine corridors. His lack of a trail was by no means deliberate; the land kept to its vigilant task of retaining its absolute smoothness and dreadful purity. The darkness of the forest encroached upon John and he craned his head upward toward the cloudless sky in search of the sun; his only visual anchor to reality. He squinted and easily located the star, but it had lost its natural colors; it had undergone a blood-curdling transformation and appeared to John as a shining entity of brilliant unmarked white. The light it cast upon the forest was as colorless as the land he traversed as though his surroundings habitually devoured color.

John checked his clothes and his skin for their natural hues and breathed a sigh of relief, color had survived with him. He walked on in great contrast to the environment; had there been any locals to watch him, they might have viewed the intruding human as a flamboyant ambassador from an equally flamboyant civilization. John may not have been able to sense any life emitting from the forest, but he still could not shake the sense of being watched. He would have immediately interpreted his growing feeling of unease as a product of his rampant imagination, but his instincts told him to exercise caution. He decided that if he thought he was being watched and followed, he would believe it.

“To hell with my sanity,” John spoke aloud in a deliberate effort break the silence that plagued the forest. His voice failed to carry far, but he supposed it would not, given the close proximity of the surrounding trees. He still persevered in making himself heard by whatever denizens would call such a dismal place home. “I have accomplished so much that I thought impossible weeks ago. What is sanity other than a restraint that makes the idea of achieving incredible things seem absolutely bonkers?” He all but shouted his philosophical question, but he received no answer, not even an echo of his own words.

John continued meandering forward, futilely attempting to carve straight trail through the forest that vanished faster than he could lift either of his legs. He came upon a particularly thick cluster of trees that refused him further progress forward. John contemplated blasting his way through, but the branches of the trees looked exceptionally sharp. Even if he managed to blaze a trail forward, how many of the wickedly pointed limbs would come vengefully crashing down on top of him? As strong as John considered himself, he decided against tempting fate, especially since he still had no clue what his energy might do to the fantastical forest.

He chose; instead, to look to either side of him for an alternative path. When none presented itself, John backtracked until he discovered another pathway to his right. He hesitated in front of it and deeply frowned. He could not afford to wander aimlessly through the forest; doing so meant risking losing himself. He needed to know his way out.

An idea occurred to him. He plucked a few strands of hair from his scalp then dropped them down onto the ground. He watched them for a time in case the ground swallowed them as it had done with any prints he had attempted to leave behind. The hairs rested, undisturbed, on the ground even after a minute had passed. Unconvinced that they might still magically disappear, he proceeded back toward the exit of the forest. As soon as he reached its edge, he turned right back around and made for the turn where he had deposited the black strands. He happened upon them exactly where he had left them; satisfied, he continued through the right-hand path.

He quickened his pace and felt his previous worries begin to dissolve. He had found a way to break through the forest’s defense of utter solitude. He had given definition to that which, at first, appeared impossible to define. All it had required was a little of himself, the most expendable piece that would naturally restore itself if he depleted it. A few hairs here and there to mark his turns and to remind him of his progress removed enough of the mystery of the forest to allow his casual procedure. He encountered many dead ends, but he scoffed at most of them for their feeble attempts to bar his progress and disorient him. The forest could no longer dampen his revitalized spirits, but that which had observed him since the beginning of his trespass would certainly make a better attempt.

A noise reached John’s ears and he stopped to rest, to slow his breath, and to calm his heart. He waited in order to determine if the sound had substance or if it merely was an invention of the state of insanity he had recently adopted as his new preferred method of thinking. It came at him like something from an almost forgotten dream; it whispered in his ears promises of life as well as a chilling capacity for murder. It sounded playful, serene, and energetic all at once. The word for it entered John’s mind. “That’s water,” He announced to himself. “I am nearly there.” He allowed himself to grin, but his smile appeared vastly more manic than he had intended.

He hurried through the next twists and turns toward his destination, but he was not in such a hurry as to neglect continuing to mark his passing. He arrived, at long last, at the center of the forest; it could not have been anything else. Light splintered through the thickly clustered canopy of branches above, but the trees dared not encroach upon the center of their home. John realized that the forest had featured a clearing after all regardless of what it had selectively revealed to him from above. The clearing had simply been blotted out, hidden, by its lifeless guardians, but even they, it seemed, chose to respectfully distance themselves from what lay directly ahead of the trespasser.

He shared no such reservations about the perfectly round and swirling pool some paces ahead of him. He saw no body of water connecting it to generate the motion of the water; he surmised that an underground source must be perpetually running underneath it. However the pool managed to maintain its movement hardly mattered to him. It provided him with a substantial reason for celebration. Not only did it offer color with its deepest of blues, but it was the spring from which he had been sent to collect water. How was it that water from this spring would save the death of a plant when it seemed so incapable of nurturing life around it?

John shrugged and callously said, “This is what he wanted; I’ll fetch it for him and call this little trial over.” He bent over with the water skin in hand with which Korin had supplied him. “This was hardly a challenge at all.” He commented, and a moment too soon.

The ground behind him exploded; immediately frightening John into turning around. A dark blur flashed above him and threatened to crash right down atop him. He hurried to his feet and leaped away; accidentally leaving behind the water skin in his desperation. The thing that had nearly collided with him sank down into the ground, vanishing from sight. It burrowed its way into the earth, but the hole immediately sealed itself behind the unidentified entity. “What the hell?” John asked aloud, frantically searching about for any sign of the thing that had attempted ambushing him. “What’s going on?” He asked as he found no disturbances in the ground to tell of the creature’s emergence from it or descent back into it.

John tried sensing the area above and below ground for any amount of life, but nothing registered. The only warning he received of the creature’s second attempt at surprising him was a soft tremble in the ground. It would have gone unnoticed elsewhere, but John had grown accustomed to the absolute stillness of the dreary forest and the tiniest of changes within it proved prominent. He jumped far from where he had once stood and landed on the opposite side of the spring. He tried glimpsing his attacker, but it only appeared to him in the shape with which it had earlier presented itself, a distorted blob of darkness.

As quickly as it had arrived, it disappeared back into the ground, leaving behind no evidence of its arrival or departure. John considered his options when he remembered the task that remained incomplete. He went back for the water skin, but stopped as soon as he noticed a subtle ripple in the colorless soil around it. Whatever the thing was, it refused him to finish his job. He had no other choice. John realized he had to attack. What if it doesn’t work? He suddenly started doubting himself. What will happen to me in this place if I try?

The ripples in the ground grew more pronounced and John, placed under pressure, shed his worries and made his decision. He balled both of his hands into fists and aligned them in front of his chest, facing one another. His aura burst to life around him, enclosing his body in absolute darkness with the exceptions of his eyes; they both glowed green. Additional blackness gathered between his knuckles and streamed forward, solidifying into the shape John had envisioned for the sole purpose of dealing death to a single enemy.

He directed his attack toward the ground where the water skin continued resting, but he took care not to aim directly at the tool. John brought his fists together as soon as he finished constructing his weapon. At that very moment, an ensuing and deafening crack of thunder swallowed up the eternal silence of the forest and it left the air within it ringing for seconds to come. Having been condensed into the shape of an enormous bullet, John’s lightless ki punctured the ground and encountered its target.

The forest’s sole resident that had maintained silence for years issued a single shriek of agony and terror. The message it issued was clear to John. It did not want to die. “And neither do I,” He retorted as he landed by the water skin.

The massive wound his attack had drilled into the earth healed, but the process proved sluggish as though John’s ki had somehow poisoned the land. He paid it no further attention and set about filling the skin with spring water as instructed by Korin. The skin gurgled almost merrily until it swelled to capacity and John resisted the temptation to drink from the spring. It had proved tiresome enough spending time inside the forest and he had no inclination to have any of it inside him!

He tied the water skin to his sash and made certain it was secure for the flight following his departure from the forest. Its moistened exterior sprayed his pants a little with water, but they would soon dry. Satisfied, John searched for his trail and quickly found it; he felt relieved that his attacker, whatever it had been, had not disturbed his marked path back to his world. He quickly reached the end where, without further hesitation, he took to the sky and made his way back to the tower. What will my reward be this time I wonder.
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