Magna Buzzy, a monster resembling a hippopotamus the size of an elephant and additional teeth like a crocodile.
Such a beast lifted its head out of the water in front of Seth´s and Fin little boaty. And it was hungry for human meat!
”Fin! ”, he grabbed the little squishy fairy in his fist and started shaking and spinning her around to wake her up!
”Puak! I´m awake, stop sha~king me! ”, she screamed in desperation.
”Look! ”, he pointed the little fairy towards the beast nearing them. And just in this moment the gigantic hippo that had already opened its gigantic maws as it charged towards them- vanished.
two even bigger jaws had suddenly emerged without any previous indication and pulled the giant under water! Soon the water turned crimson from huge amounts of blood rising to the surface.
Seth paled. Fin wailed. And there was no shore to be seen. Only water and reeds. Even so Fin was a whopping lv. 48 fairy now, she was also just a fairy. The little brute would have already been hard pressed to deal with the Magna Buzzy. How were they supposed to survive against something that just ate it?
”Let´s calm down. We are not far from Zhiqe and whatever that was… it has eaten. Everyone knows, after a big meal come a good nap, right? So, we should maybe, very quietly, start paddling and get there as fast as possible? yes? ”, he whispered to his fairy companion.
Fin nodded in agreement and the carefully and as fast as possible crossed the remaining distance.
Soon they could see the first signs of civilization. Groups of run-down shacks on floating platforms and stilts started appear here and there in the marshland. they grew in number until the broad river they traveled on until now, was bordered by a kind of slums.
These huts made of wood and reed seemed old and abandoned judging by the level of disrepair. Mold grew everywhere and the stench of rot filled the humid air. They did not see a single person which intensified the unsettling atmosphere of this place.
Fortunately, they soon left behind these rotting slums. The marshland receded and made for dry land. More normal huts could be seen among fields and lush vegetation on the resurfacing shores of the river. Although the people looked poor and malnourished, they could finally make out some normal people in the vicinity. They could be seen working on the fields and plantations. This sight calmed their hearts a little since it was a sign of relative safety.
And soon they saw it. Before them reached a gigantic whitewashed city wall into the skies. It formed a big bridge with several big gates over the main river. These portcullises of different sizes made it possible to regulate the entrance to the city, while letting the river flow mostly unhindered. This structure spoke of glory, might and wealth.
Or that ’s what it would have during its heyday. The wall looked abandoned and desolate. Many parts had crumpled away and were never repaired. Moss and vines covered much of the wall, with what could be seen having a tint of green tainting the once whitewashed structure. Only few portcullises seemed to be still functional. Disturbingly, the bigger ones had their metal grilles smashed in, with what was left becoming twisted scrap peeking out of the river.
Using one of these smashed gateways boaty entered Zhiqe. The banks of the river were fortified by sturdy walls on both sides, the only things that looked mildly maintained.
The city they entered looked like it was once a beautiful a vibrant hub of life and commerce. But like the walls outside, it now appeared dreary, empty, and lifeless. Few small vessels were tied to the quay wall restricting the river.
The architecture of the city looked magnificent and exquisite, despite the desolate state it was in. However, it was probably never as luxuriant as Ivicer in its prime.
”We should look for the guild, I guess? ”, Fin suggested as they entered a network of narrow streets and meandering alleys you would not expect from just seeing the city´s skyline. They promptly lost their way in the confusing maze of dark alleys. It was silent and empty. There were no people they could have asked for the way.
”Well, well, well, look what we have here! Did you lose your way, my friend?
”, a voice echoed from the shadows they had just passed. Stepping out from the darkness was not a human, but a kind of lizard man! His face looked almost normal, except for his eyes and small patches of scales. Same applied for other parts like his hand, not covered by his dark and worn leather attire. His reptilian eyes twitched when Seth instinctively used
< Name: Asso Title: ”Twilight Walker ” Age:17 Level: 15 Race: Reptilian Sex: Male Affiliation: Adventurers Guild Health: 970/1000 Mana: 50/74 >
Despite looking like a generic robber, Asso was actually an adventurer! Still, Seth kept his guard up. To his surprise Asso did not use
” Quite cheeky to just look at someone else´s status, aren´t we? Asso will forgive you this time. ”
”How did you get behind us? ”, Fin asked agitated. It was one thing for Seth not to register anything, but for her to be sneaked up onto was different. She had a fairly high level! Low-level stealth would not work on her, even without the perception attribute!
The other opened his arms showing his unarmed hands and shrugged. ”Asso is a very good sneaker. Very stealthy. How would a little fairy see us, hidden in the twilight? Anyways~ ”, he clapped his hands together, ” I watched you wandering around in this old district and wondered if you lost your way? This place has been abandoned for a long time, there is nothing to see. ”
Seth examined Asso for head to toe before answering.
”The guild? That is easy! Let this Asso help get to the main district. There you will find the guild, the inns and anything else you might be looking for! ”, the lizardman answered enthusiastically and just stared going. When he saw them not following him, he stopped to wave at them. ”Come on! ”
Seth told Fin what he knew and they judged that Asso was not really a threat. Thus, they followed their scaly guide through the winding alleys of Zhiqe.
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