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Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #2162085
And this is why Adventurers are always in demand...
Inspired by:

https://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/8epipf/wp_an_adventure_composed...

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Now, I'm no Adventurer, but our town's rat problem has gotten really out of hand. And, seeing as how I did a few years in the king's Army, the mayor is asking me to go and deal with it. Of course, the rats live in the sewers, and I really, really don't want to go down there. So now I have to try and convince the mayor to leave me out of it.

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Well shit. It looks like I'm going rat hunting. At least the mayor's offering a little gold for my trouble. Of course... Now that I think about it, risking my ass in a stinky sewer might deserve a little bit more cash.

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Great. Now I'm not getting an advance on the payment, and I got chewed out. Ugh. I guess I better go get this over with.

I head home, and go up into the attic to fetch my old stuff from when I was in the army. It's not much, just some leather armor, surcoat with the King's colors, and my trusty short sword.

I get geared up; it takes longer than it used to. I guess I'm out of practice. It still fits though, so that's something. Geared up and ready, I head to the edge of town, where the sewer outlet spits into a creek.

It doesn't take long to get there, our town isn't all that big. I try to look reassuring to everyone as I head down the road.

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By the time I make it to the edge of town, all I can do is sigh. Nobody was very impressed, and they looked more worried than anything. My luck was just terrible today. Hopefully that would fix itself by the time I ran into these rats.

Down at the creek, I find the metal grate that's covering the sewer exit. It's heavy, and held in place by a couple of large pins. Removing the pins isn't too hard, even though they're a little rusty, but the grate is really heavy.

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Oh. That's my back... I have a sit-down, wincing, and wishing that I had never taken this job, mayor be damned. I am getting too old for this shit. Now I've got to kill a bunch of rats, and I've thrown my back out.

I wait a while before getting up and stretch a bit, and get ambulatory at least. Deciding that trying to lift the gate out of its position manually is a lost cause, I scrounge up a large branch and pry it loose. It groans as its swings out and flops open on its hinges. That was way easier.

Looking down into the tunnel, I can see that it's dark as pitch in there.

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So of course I forgot to bring a torch... But there's not much I can do about that at this point. Maybe I can improvise one? Plenty of sticks around, and I can just tear a piece off of my surcoat to wrap around the end. Of course I don't have any oil or tallow...

It takes a few tries but I eventually get the thing to light. Sort of. The cloth on my torch smokes and smolders a lot, and barely lights anything, but it's better than nothing. So time to head in.

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I'm probably 50 feet from the entrance when I get ambushed by a rat bigger than my leg. Son of a bitch! But, this is what I came here for. I take a swipe at it and...

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Oh fuck that was my torch, wasn't it? Complete darkness surrounds me as it snaps clean in half and the embers hiss out in the much. I desperately drop the broken stick and draw my sword. I hear the critter squeak nearby, and swing my sword at it desperately.

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I clang it off the bricks holding up the wall, and a little bit of something filthy plops on my head, not too mention the shock that rolls up my arm. Awesome. Then suddenly...

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Ow! It bit me! I think I'm fucking bleeding! I limp a few steps backwards, the damp ground unstable beneath my feet, making it hard to keep my balance.

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A blinding flash fills my vision when I crack my head on the ground, and everything goes dark.

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When I open my eyes, I groan and see that I'm in the town healer's house. She looks at me pityingly as she sees me wake, and comes over holding a cup of something steaming.

I try to ask what's happened, but I just break into a coughing fit.

"Easy now," she says soothingly. "You've been very sick for almost two weeks - I've never seen such a fever! It finally broke last night. Between that, your leg, and your banged up head, you're lucky to still be all in one piece! Here, sip this."

Nodding, I sip it, slowly finishing the vile medicine. "Thank you," the words are a faint croak.

"Shh, rest," she said, standing and walking over to her countertop to put herbs away. "Wait, what the... Did I leave them...?" She turns back around, confused and looking about.

1

"Oh shit, how much Nightblossom did I put in that!?" She squeaked, her hands rushing to cover her mouth in panic.

Wait... My thoughts are so fuzzy... Isn't Nightblossom poisonous in larger doses? I feel dizzy, and the room starts to spin.
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