Upon entering his apartment, Jake tossed his tote bag onto the couch before making his way towards his bedroom. As he entered his room, he quickly changed out of his stained clothes before throwing them into the corner. Grabbing a gray undershirt and dark denim, he put them on before giving himself a once-over.
‘This’ll work,’ he thought before walking out into the living room. Sitting down next to the bag, he slowly started to bring out his new equipment. As he looked over the items he picked out, he noticed something. A commonality of sorts. Each item had a small marking on it, that of a circle with a line going through it.
'Eh, it's most likely just an identifier mark,' he thought before putting on his new clothes. As he put on the rather well-fitting clothes, he couldn't help but feel like he was back working security detail. At least he wouldn’t have to deal with people talking about their problems for hours on end.
Putting on the final accessories, he got up from his seat and walked into the bathroom. Flicking on the lights, he stepped in front of the mirror, giving himself a look over. He had to admit, he looked like he was part of a biker gang. The dark jacket, the black shirt, the mask covering the lower half of his face, it all gave off an odd tension.
‘This’ll work,’ he thought as he left his bathroom. The easier it is to scare people, the better.
Grabbing both his dagger and pistol, he strapped the blade onto his thigh before holstering the pistol in his beltline. Pulling his shirt and jacket over the pistol, he grabbed his new backpack before filling it with all of the necessary items.
‘That’s done,’ he thought before slinging the bag over his shoulder and walking out of his apartment. Now all he had to do is go back to that bar.
As he walked through the streets and towards his location, he couldn’t help but feel a chill go through his body. Normally, he’d just shrug it off. After all, it’s still pretty early in the year, with small patches of snow still lingering on the ground. However, this was different from nipping cold or biting frost. This chill, it was different. He felt it seep through his skin and bite at his very being. However, almost immediately, that feeling just…stopped, almost like it was never there.
‘Odd,’ he thought before continuing on his way. Probably best to not really think about it.
Entering the bar, Jake made a beeline for the Dungeon Board, weaving through the tables like a serpent. Stopping in front of the large board, he looked over the papers nailed onto, his eyes landing on one.
Reward: 8500 Macre}
'An AbnoDun, huh?' he thought before ripping the parchment off of the board and pocketing it. This’ll probably be worth it. After all, it’s not everyday that these appear.
Walking over to the bar, he leaned forward as he watched the staff go about their motions. Once one got close, he brought his hand in front of one of them, a man with black hair who seemed to be a few years older than his body, before snapping his fingers, causing the man to jump.
“Oh, uh, hi! Welcome to the Ebony Hawk.How can I help you?” Black-hair said, clear surprise and nervousness in his voice.
"Mainly just need a ride," Jake stated, placing the paper on the table. Upon seeing the paper, Black-hair's eyes seemed to look between him and the paper, clearly surprised. It made sense, since he's pretty much going into an Abnormal Dungeon by himself. These things, even at a low rank, would need a team at least a rank higher.
“Yeah, just give me a bit. You can go and hang out near the back,” Black-hair said, pointing the finger at the door nearby.
Giving him a small nod, Jake walked over to the door before entering the kitchen. However, instead of the smell of cooked meat and the sound of knives on cutting boards he expected, he noticed something was off. A sharp tension amid cold silence permeated through the room, almost like they were waiting for something.
'Not really my problem, though,' he thought before walking over to the back door. Leaning against the wall, he closed his eyes, listening to the ticking from his wrist. As he listened to his watch, he suddenly felt…cold. However, it wasn’t bad. Instead, it was more like an aircon was covering his body. As he felt the chill seep into his body, he felt something pull at his mind. However, before he could focus on it, he felt something on his shoulder. Opening one eye, he was met with Black-hair in front of him. Guess he was too deep in thought.
“Let’s go,” Jake asked, standing up from his spot.
Nodding, Black-hair then opened the door and walked down the alley, Jake following shortly behind.
As they walked they walked through the dimly lit backstreets, Jake noticed that Black-hair often glanced back at him, brown eyes filled with unease. However, whenever he looked like he noticed, he seemed to immediately look forward.
Guess he really looks that intimidating.
After a short while, they arrived at the depot. Upon entering the building, Jake noticed that a large amount of the vehicles seemed to be gone. Additionally, the garage was wide open, with various sized tire tracks leading out.
Must be rush hour or something.
With nothing but the echoing sound of their feet, the both of them eventually stopped in front of what looked like a humvee. With tinted windows and a gray coloring, it looked like it belonged to a PMC of some sort.
‘Must be used for more personal transport,’ Jake thought before walking over to the passenger side, causing Black-hair to snap out of his seeming appreciation of the car.
Hearing the soft click of something being unlocked, Jake climbed into the back, throwing his stuff onto the seat next to him. Just as he did so, the engine suddenly roared to life before calming to a low growl as they drove out of the depot.
As they drove through the street, the scene changing from metal and concrete to that of wood and leaves, Jake decided to close his eyes and wait. They’ll get there eventually. However, shortly after closing his eyes, he felt that same tug at the back of his mind. Focusing on it, he suddenly felt a word come to his mind. Something that opens on the skin. Like tears in fabric, it marks an ending of things. It could be stitched up or overed, but it never truly disappears. And with each one, it proves to be a lesson.
Opening his eyes, he felt a faint chill covering his body. However, it was peaceful, like he had an iced coffee. However, as the calm in his body faded away, he noticed a tension coming from the front. Tilting his head, he was met with a rather unexpected sight. A large crowd of people stood in front of the car, wearing worn armor and wielding a variety of weapons, from axes to bats. Hell, he even saw a few rifles among the group.
‘Must be pretty skilled,’ he thought as he scanned through the crowd. Taking a quick glance to the driver's seat, he saw that Black-hair had a look of fear plastered onto his face.
Fair response to people who seem like they’ll kill you.
Might as well get rid of them.
“Wait here. I’ll deal with them,” Jake said, causing Black-hair to snap towards him. However, before a word could even come out, Jake opened his door, gaining their attention.
“What the hell…?” one of the brigands asked, suspicion in their voice.
“You, go check it out,” another commanded, seemingly the leader.
As he heard the sound of approaching footsteps, Jake closed his eyes and let out a small breath.
Wait for it…
Feeling everything slow to a crawl, he dashed out of the car and towards the investigator. Grabbing their face, he slammed their skull into the side of the car before pulling out his pistol and firing a round into their skull, painting it with blood and brain matter. Before the rest of the bandits could react, he turned his pistol on them before letting off a barrage of shots, cutting down the gunmen and some other brigands.
Holstering his pistol, he quickly pulled out his dagger and dashed forward, slashing open one of their throats. Ducking under a swing, he slid behind one of them before stabbing them in the back. As the bandit fell, he grabbed the ax out of their hand before twisting his body and slamming it into the skull of one of the bandits. Yanking the ax out of their skull, he then swung into the neck of another, removing head from shoulders. Twisting his body, he then threw the ax into the skull of one of the brigands.
Purge and Destroy.
Feeling a destructive force build up, he dashed forward before slamming his fist into the stomach of one, launching them into a small group and knocking them out. Pulling out his pistol, he fired a barrage of rounds into their bodies, causing a pool of blood to come from the pile.
‘Now, the last one,’ he thought, turning his head towards the leader. Nearly a head taller than him and covered in scars, he noticed that they had a rather amused face.
“Never thought I'd come across someone like me,” they said before unsheathing their sword. Walking over to one of the corpses, they ripped the blade out of its hand before tossing it towards him.
Catching the sword in the air, Jake immediately jumped back, dodging a swing for his neck. Dashing forward, Jake let off a barrage of swings, one following another. As each strike was blocked by the bandit leader, he saw their eyes grow wide in shock.
Might as well end it now.
Letting up, Jake hopped back before dashing forward, aiming a stab at their chest.
As the world slowed to a crawl, he dashed behind them and, with a single swing, cleaved off their head.
As the world went back to full speed, his eyes went to the blade in the fresh corpse's hand. Yanking the dark-colored blade out of its hand, he noticed that it was actually rather balanced. Whoever made it knew what they were doing.
'Eh, might as well take it,' he thought before taking the sheath and strapping it to his back. putting away the sword, he scanned the field for anything else that could be useful, his eyes landing on a nearby rifle.
Walking over to the gun, he picked it up before examining it. A mix of finished wood and treated metal, it honestly seemed like it was from a world war. Slinging the rifle over his shoulder, he took the corpse’s ammo bag before walking back to the car.
Climbing back into the car, he heard the engine roar back to life before the car drove off. Ignoring the glances sent his way, he closed his eyes and let out a small sigh.
Hearing the sound of an engine die, Jake opened his eyes to what seemed like an old sewer. Covered in overgrow and filth, it seemed…unnaturally old, like it was built eons ago.
Eh, not like it matters.
Climbing out of the car, he brought the rifle down into his hands, strapped the ammo bag onto his waist, and slung his backpack onto his shoulder.
Time to explore.