Standing in front of the door, I unsheathed my sword. Remembering it was a door, I re-sheathed my sword.
Tried the door handle. It opened.
Didn’t say a word. Took a step inside while looking around.
The troll’s apartment was mostly modern: dirty dishes in the sink, empty bottles of booze, a well-worn sofa.
The troll sat on the sofa. He had long, stringy orange hair. His face looked Cro-Magnon, and his eyes were looking straight at me.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“Thorny Sword bartender sent me. Said you’ve been causing trouble recently.” My hand went to the pommel of my sword.
“Yeah, I know what she’s talking about.”
I nodded my head, not sure what to say next.
The troll stared at my sword. “Jumpy.”
I was. He seemed jumpy, too. He sat, I stood, and neither of us seemed to know what was going to happen next.
“I’ve had my problems. I’ve caused plenty of troubles. That what you think I deserve?”
This game was so fucking weird. The way he was talking — about what he deserved, about his past and personality — freaked me out.
I unsheathed my sword again. The troll nodded his head and stood up, balling his hands into fists.
He charged; I swung.
He ducked, which meant that my sword missed.
He rammed into my stomach. My stomach slipped from my grip as the troll slammed me into the wall.
I had 95% HP left.
He roared, picking the sword up off the floor, then throwing me back onto it.
Thorns grew on my knuckles. The troll stomped on my calf.
He smelled like shit, which didn’t make any of this better. I got up, leg weak, trying to go for my sword which was just two feet away.
The troll grabbed my foot, dragging me back towards him. He then slung me over the kitchen counter. I landed on the kitchen floor next to the sink, with 76% HP left.
In the time it took the troll to come over, I managed to get up off the ground. Took on of the grimy plates and threw it spinning at his face.
It hit him in the nose, causing his head to jerk backwards. He fell down just a moment later.
I thew a second plate at him, but he dodged it. Kicked me, hooking the top of his foot onto my ankle.
I fell to the floor, my head smacking against it.
Swung my arm up to grab a plate from the sink. The troll pulled me towards him, but not before I snatched another one of the grimy plates.
The plate cracked against the side of his head.
The troll smacked me with his hand.
My fist came down onto his face, the thorns piercing through his skin.
I brought my fist down a couple more times, blood muddying his face, dripping onto the floor.
He swiped his hand, trying to grab my neck. I jumped back, narrowly avoiding the hand.
I jumped and climbed onto the kitchen counter. Rolled off of it and ran towards my sword. Lunged at the sword. Just as I grabbed it, the troll got a hold of my ankle.
My arm made a 180-degree arc, my body twisting to follow it. The sword sliced straight through the troll’s neck, opening up so that the blood poured out.
The troll held his throat with his hands, trying to stop the blood from flowing out.
I pursued the initiative, swinging my sword again at the troll’s neck.
The head came clean off.
The green letters appearing before my eyes weren’t really necessary. It was pretty obvious he was dead.
The head rolled across the floor as I walked out the room.
All the way back to The Thorny Sword, green letters flashed before my eyes.
All the way until I was fully healed again.
— — —
The Thorny Sword’s lighting was oddly familiar. It’s not like I’d been to the tavern all that often. But still, it just felt right.
Charon’s architecture was so odd, but even though The Thorny Sword exhibited a bit of that melange, it was still recognizably a tavern. Perhaps it felt familiar because it was so similar to real-world bars.
As I walked inside, the bartender didn’t do anything other than give me a brief glance.
“You finished the mission?”
“Yeah, I took care of the troll.” I sat down at the stool.
“Took care of him?”
“Yeah, I finished the mission.”
She didn’t move to make me a drink, nor did she even offer me one. Instead, she said, “What did you do to the troll?”
“I killed him.”
The bartender’s visage turned ugly. “You killed him?”
“Yeah, that was the mission.”
“The mission was to talk to him!”
“He’s an NPC,” I said. “He’ll respawn. He probably already has.”
“Get out,” the bartender said, voice defeated.
She didn’t have to tell me twice. The anger on her face let me know it was time to leave.
I got up and left, wondering where to go next.