003: The Mysterious Cheese

The grip on her mouth loosened, Luna turned around to face the man behind her. A pair of round eyes staring directly at her, two pairs of eye met. She studied him from head to toes, awed by the bizarre creature form in front of her. It was the humanoid rabbit man who stood next to the Queen before.

“Fear not,” He murmured in a very low voice as he tried to calm her down before he continued, “I am called Sir Teiri, a minister working for the Queen of Rheathea. I know your presence here was merely a coincident. Being in a wrong place at a wrong time.”

“Yes! At last, someone agreed with me!” Luna bellowed excitedly.

“Shhh… Not too loud, please,” He scolded her, his hand gesturing her to shut up, “I can show you the way out safely from here, but I need you to do me a favor.”

“Yes, of course, of course! Anything! I’ll help!” Luna answered without hesitation.

‘As long as it had nothing to do with my head nor painting your boudoir in red.’

“As the minister, my life and death are tied to Her Majesty’s breath. I cannot by any means, leave this palace when Her Majesty life is threatened. I need your favor to deliver a parcel to my beloved daughter, Rethe. Are you willing to take up this quest?”

  

New Quest

Deliver the Item I

  • You have been requested by Sir Teiri to deliver a parcel safely to his daughter, Lady Rethe at Cottage No. 1, Fraysea Village

Accept or reject?

‘A quest??’ 

Luna stared at the screen for a while before she nodded, “I accept.”

“She dwell in Fraysea Village, Cottage No. 1, by the Forest of Pillowgrass. She is called Rethe. Take this map with you, I hope it will do you good.”

With a wave of his hand, a ray of white light came out from his finger. With a little help of magic, the knot on her back turned to dust. She rubbed her swollen wrist, the knot left a red marks on both of her wrist.

The trophy of freedom, she proudly named it.

“Thank you for untying the knot. That – that magic you do, is awesome!”

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“You must pass it to no one but only her. This is my last wish.” Sir Teiri smiled lightly at her compliment as he took out a small wooden box and a sheet of canvas map from his pocket.

Luna took the items and nodded, “I understand. I will only pass it to Lady Rethe, no one else.”

You have received a new item: Map of Sleethallow Town

Just a hundred years old general map of Sleethallow Town, most probably outdated.

“Good. Come with me, there is a secret passage that can lead you out from here safely.” Taking the lead, he pulled her hand as they rushed to the hidden passage.  

“Are you really sure you don’t want to leave together with me?” Luna asked him again.

“No, this is my fate. I must never leave the Queen behind. Go now, before its too late,” He hesitated for a while before he added, “Remember, never take the cheese. Anything, but not the cheese.”

Sir Teiri shoved her down the stair leading to the secret passage before closing the entrance. Luna was curious about the cheese, but the door was already locked before she can even ask. Praying that she didn’t fall into a trap, she scuttled down the stair, braving into the dark, humid passage.

Her hands were fumbling on the wall with every step she took. It was so dark down there, she had to lean close to the wall so she wouldn’t go astray. She suddenly jerked and pulled her hand away, there was something on that wall. It was slimy and gooey, and cold. But what should she do? She couldn’t see anything. Should she run? But to where?

Luna stood frozen and waited. Her heart beating rapidly.

A minute passed, but nothing happened. Luna slowly touched the wall with her fingertip again, the slimy thing is still there. It took her lot of guessing until she settled with moss. Yes, moss. Her guess was affirmed by the sound of water dripping to the ground.

Relieved, she continued walking again.

Three steps forward, Luna frowned again. Her fluffy slippers stepped on a pool of water, soaking her left slipper wet. The water got into her feet, it was cold.

There was a squeaking sound ahead. Hopefully its just mice, she prayed hard. The squeaking sound soon replaced with tiny voices she barely could hear.

“It’s a human! Look, it’s a human girl!”

“How long has it been since we had a visitor?”

“Do you think she will stay long?”

“Do you think she’ll like me?”

“Oh, the cheese! The precious cheese! Go and get the cheese from the vault.”

Luna was stunned by the conversation. Looking up and down, left and right, but it was too dark that it’s impossible to find the owners of the voices.

“Hello? Who’s there?” She asked.

“She’s talking! She’s talking to us!”

“Hello? Who is it?” She asked again.

“Its me! Down here! Yes, a little bit to the left. No, no, not too left. Turn a bit more to the right. Yes! Right here! I’m here!”

“I’m sorry, but its too dark in here, I couldn’t see you. Perhaps you have some light?”

“Light? Yes! Oy Brie, bring over a torch!”

A light so small appeared from a distance. Her eyes followed the movement, the light stopped right under her feet. 

Luna squatted down as her eyes slowly adjusted to the light. A little mouse in boots standing with his hand holding a little torch, about the size of a toothpick.

“Hello, tiny fellow. How are you?” She greeted, her eyes studying the little mouse in curiosity.

“I… I… I’m –“ He fainted.

“She’s flirting with Brie!”

“Oh, me too, me too. Talk with me!” A little mouse jumping on his little feet, excitedly raising his hand to the air.

“Hello everyone. How are you?” 

“Ahhhh! Look, she smiled at me!”

“No, she’s smiling at me.”

The two mice started fighting with each other.

‘Uhhh… This conversation is going nowhere.’

“Dear fellow friend, is there a way out from the tunnel?”

“You’re going out? You’re not staying here?” 

“I’d love to, but I have a very important errand to run. Perhaps, some other time.”

“Oh…” Gouda, the plump mouse pouted, disappointed.

Cheddar, the little mouse came back with a small cart carrying a wheel of cheese. 

‘Oh, the legendary cheese.’

Luna stared at the cheese curiously. Why did Sir Teiri warned her about the cheese?

‘Should I take it?’

“An offering for you, our beautiful goddess.” Cheddar tipped his hat, gracefully bowing to her.

“Oh, what a nice offering. But I have to disappoint you, I couldn’t take it along with me right now.”

“Ohhhh….” Gouda pouted again. 

“How about showing me the way out instead? I will be very grateful if you could show me the way.”

“Of course, beautiful goddess. This way, beautiful goddess.” Cheddar led the way, followed by dozens of mice each holding a torch.

After walking for almost an hour, she let out a breath of relief when she finally saw a white light at the end of the tunnel.

‘Am I finally out? Thank god.’

Luna fastened her step, almost stepping on Edam who was ready to die in the hand of the goddess, or rather – her foot.

Cheddar tried to push the cheese to her few more times, but she sternly refused. Disappointed, they gave her a handful of peanuts instead.

You have received a new item: Handful of Nutty Nuts

Got a neighbor who won’t stop gossiping at your front door? Feed them will a handful of Nutty Nuts, guaranteed to drive your neighbor nut from non-stop munching.

After thanking the group of mice for few more times, Luna waved goodbye as she heads toward the pine forest.

Pine trees stand tall and mighty before her, their narrow forms stood reaching high as they rocked to and fro. Wild bushes and shrubs grow wildly on the forest floor as the vines crept their way up. The sun breaks through the cracks, lighting up the small path ahead of her. The forest around her is alive with the chirping of birds singing and the song of cicadas. 

‘Ahh, finally… What a narrow escape. Can’t believe I almost lost my head back then.’

*** 

As she sat down on the wooden log, Luna finally let down her guard. She wiped down the sweats rolling down her face. So much had happened from the moment she opened her eyes in this foreign land, so much that she couldn’t grasped the reality. For the hundredth times that day, she pinched her delicate arm hoping to wake up from this nightmare.

“Ouch! That’s hurt!”

The last thing she recalled was falling asleep on the sofa after she finished a book – and a late night call from the drunk Samuel asking her to pick him up from the bar.

‘I guess, I just have to go with the flow for the time being until I know what’s going on here.’

Something about that hologram screen startled her. Now that she had time in her hand, Luna tried recalling it once again. It took her a few attempts to finally controlled the screen as she pleased.

Luna browsed through the screen, her eyes reading the words one by one. 

Name: Luna Moirae

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Level: 1

Race: Human

Class: Undertermined

XP: 0/100

Health: 100/100

Stamina: 98/100

Mana: 100/100

Agility: 10+

Endurance: 10+

Strength: 10+

Intuition: 10+

Wisdom: 10+

Active skills: Stealth

Passive skills: None

Blessings:       Gift of Tongue

                        Eyes of the Death

‘Dear Lord Yama, what the f*** is this? What on earth are mana? Agility? Endurance?? Well, they kinda look familiar, but what the hell is this!!’

“Samuel, I will kill you!!”

Luna almost screamed her lung out, if its not for her fear of attracting wild animals to her side. Poor Samuel had been cursed for hundredth of times that day. She remembered those unfamiliar word when she was playing with his phone last night. Yes, last night. But what really happened last night?

— New chapter is coming soon —
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