The Diary of Working in Stormwind – Chapter 018

Publish Time: 2024-07-08 10:22:23 84 views
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Chapter 018: Dark Underground

The dwarf packed up his things, wanting to see if he had lost anything in the chaos earlier. As he rummaged through, his gaze suddenly fixed on the right side of Jesse.

Jesse glanced to his right and saw a skeleton buried in the grass up to its chest, although the bones were all jumbled up, each part was relatively intact, with his right leg already under Jesse's buttocks.

Jesse closed his eyes and said helplessly, "I hope I won't get poisoned, darn it."

"Well, you brought spare clothes, so I have to say you were quite prepared, my brother," Greed said with a hint of mockery.

"I did bring clothes, but I didn't bring pants." Jesse stood up slowly and noticed that the person was missing an arm, perhaps the previous owner of the arm he had just found.

"His body rotted away, leaving only bones, but there was still flesh on his arms. How did this happen?"

"I think," Greed said, "he might have been scratched by a zombie on his arm, poisoned. To avoid turning into a zombie, he cut off his arm himself."

Jesse looked at the dusty, empty skull and asked, "So, was this a success or a failure?"

"Chopping off an arm is very painful," Greed said. "If my guess is correct, I have to admit this person was very brave and decisive. He probably couldn't bear the pain, passed out from loss of blood or something, then got eaten by other small creatures. If it was a large animal like a bear, there wouldn't be such intact bones left."

Jesse asked skeptically, "Aren't you describing it in too much detail?"

"These things happen quite often. I once saw an elf die like this in Hinterlands," Greed said. "But it was not zombies that bit him, it was spiders."

Jesse had a strong impression of the spiders in Hinterlands.

He used to be afraid of spiders, but when he reached the final stage of the Spider God mission in Hinterlands and saw the huge spider mother suddenly appear, he felt goosebumps all over his body while fighting the boss.

The Spider God had a very cool name, but he couldn't remember it for a moment. Thinking about it for a while turned into an obsession, he had to remember it.

"Sha...Shadra..." he tried to pronounce it to get a feeling.

"Shadra," the dwarf added, "the Spider God that Amani Trolls worship. You do know quite a lot."

"Yes, that's the name." Jesse felt relieved all of a sudden, saying, "There are also troll ruins in Lordaeron, around Hillsbrad, it's not surprising that I know about them."

Without the metal fence blocking, without the low wall obstructing, the cemetery covered by the thin fog of early morning felt a bit colder than before.

Now Jesse felt like he was facing the cemetery completely honest, without any protection or gap. If any danger suddenly emerged, there would be no hiding or avoiding.

The two walked along the fence, at the edge of the cemetery. Greed stared at the possible anomalies in the middle, while Jesse held the scroll in his hands, searching for suspicious plants around.

After about an hour or two, as the fog lifted slightly, they found three different-sized clusters of Silverleaf, one of which was still difficult to confirm if it was Silverleaf or some other similar plant.

In the end, the harvest was not very abundant.

Most importantly, they searched several tombstones near the edge of the cemetery consecutively, but found no trace of Grave Moss.

This is not a game. Even if the real herbs don't glow here, moving the mouse around won't show any interactions. Of course, there's no mouse pointer here for you to move, everything has to be done by hand and eye.

After concentrating for two hours straight, Jesse was tired with sore eyes. The bag only had one bottom and it was all cheap Silverleaf.

"We must venture deeper," he admitted. "We won't find anything good at the edge."

Pointing at a stone house guarded by animal statues not far away, he said, "See those tombs? Maybe there's a bunch of Grave Moss waiting for us inside. We've been circling here, missing out on chances to get rich."

"Lead the way," Greed said.

Jesse looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, "Lead the way, then."

With that said, he walked straight towards one of the tombs.

Greed licked his dry lips, seeming a bit surprised by Jesse's courage, but since the human was already leading the way, the dwarf had no reason to lag behind.

Though the tombs here were made of stone bricks, most of the doors were wooden.

After a long time without anyone taking care of it, the door of this tomb had cracks in it, as if it could be easily split open with an axe.

Jesse held the axe in his hand, but the extremely quiet surroundings made him hesitate to chop down, as the whole graveyard might hear it.

"Let me do it." Greed stepped forward, glanced into the crack of the door to make sure no zombies were hiding to ambush, then firmly grabbed the crack of the door.

"Uh oh..."

The dwarf exerted all his strength, his face turning red with bulging blood vessels, saliva dripping out, then with a crack a large piece of wood was forcibly pulled off by him.

The chains swung back and forth empty, Greed casually broke the remaining wooden board and walked straight in.

Jesse thought to himself that it was like bringing a siege engine.

Unexpectedly, the tomb was spacious inside, with a passage leading to the innermost part. From the surrounding inscribed stone plaques, it could be seen that a noble from Stormwind was buried here, but now his surname was unknown.

This noble died during the invasion of the Gurubashi Empire decades ago, still a war hero.

For thousands of years, the Gurubashi trolls held control over the entire Elwynn region all the way to the south in Stranglethorn. But as the human Kingdom of Stormwind grew, the long-standing friction between the two pushed the troll empire's control line further south, eventually limiting their territory to just Stranglethorn.

Twenty years before the Dark Portal opened, farmers from the Kingdom of Stormwind clashed with the trolls in Stranglethorn once again, leading to the outbreak of the Gurubashi War.

The leaders and strongest warriors of the Gurubashi trolls came out in force this time, unable to tolerate their already small territory shrinking further, intending to teach the humans a lesson once and for all.

Once the ancient empire was provoked, the Kingdom of Stormwind kept retreating, and in less than a year, the troll army had reached Stormwind.

However, they were met by Medivh.

At just over twenty years old, Medivh, for reasons unknown, used terrifying magic to wipe out the entire troll legion under the city walls. The Gurubashi leader and all the elite forces of the empire were instantly destroyed, with only a small number managing to escape back to Stranglethorn, retreating to the capital of Zul'Gurub and a few other troll cities in the south, too afraid to venture out easily.

Not only were the trolls frightened by Medivh's magic, but the humans were also greatly alarmed. The Wrynn royal family deliberately downplayed the power of the magic, attributing the victory to favorable weather conditions and the bravery of the soldiers defending the city.

In the end, although humans emerged victorious from the war, they suffered great losses. Based on the inscriptions of mourning, it is believed that a noble died during the initial troll invasion.

"I never expected the owner of this tomb to be a war hero," Jesse said.

"Maybe it's a knight," Greed said. "His burial goods might include a sword and armor..."

"We are gathering herbs, not tomb raiders," Jesse said. "Plus, do you want to be chased by ghouls while carrying heavy metal armor?"

Greed proudly said, "If I had the full body armor of a Stormwind knight, why would I need to run from ghouls?"

Jesse said, "If you get sprayed with corpse poison on your face, unless you cover all the gaps with mud, you'll still be in trouble."

"Go away," Greed said as he threw a pebble, which Jesse easily dodged.

They took down a torch hanging on a shelf at the entrance of the tomb, lit it, and went down together. They discovered that although the tomb room was large, most of the coffins were empty and there were not many burial goods.

As the surroundings grew darker and quieter, their footsteps also slowed down.

A faint, inexplicably damp and stinky smell lingered, indicating that there were corpses in the tomb room.

Since there were corpses, Grave Moss might be present. After all, according to the book, Grave Moss grows by absorbing the death essence from bodies.

Something that used to be scary has now become a reason to look forward to.

Inside the tomb, only the footsteps of two people remained. Greed was walking in front, Jesse was walking behind. Before long, Jesse suddenly heard the sound of water nearby.

"What?"

"I stepped on water." Greed shone the torch down and realized he had stepped under a step, and below it was completely flooded with water.

He shook the torch and then realized that the light couldn't illuminate things just a few meters away, which was why they hadn't noticed the nearby water.

Greed asked, "What's going on here, why is it so dark that even the light is swallowed?"

Jesse asked back, "Isn't it the same outside?"

Though it was said so, when they arrived here, they truly felt the darkness that covered Duskwood and realized how terrifying Medivh's inner darkness really was.

It seeped into every corner of the forest, gathering in every hidden place underground, accumulating more and getting darker, making the living wish they were dead, and the dead unable to rest.

"We go in and out quickly," Jesse said, "If these dark things are poisonous, we have no way to cure it."

"You remember to remind me now?" Greed held up a torch and waded in the water, running faster and faster.

The tombs here seemed to collapse due to some geological pressure, and many of the walls had cracked.

The ground had changed from stone tiles to mud, with strange cave algae growing here that Jesse had never seen in any herb book before.

After a few steps, they reached the deepest part, with only one half-submerged coffin left in front.

Jesse held the torch close to the water's surface and searched underwater, but found no traces of Grave Moss except for some water grass.

Greed felt along the wall for a while, then turned to look at Jesse and shook his head.

Now, they had only one tightly closed coffin left to search in the whole tomb.

Jesse's scalp tingled at the thought of opening a coffin, especially not knowing if what's inside is dead or alive.

"No matter what the tomb owner is wearing or holding, do not touch it," he emphasized.

"I wouldn't touch anything that belonged to the dead person even if you asked me to," Greed muttered as he approached the stone coffin.

He clenched his teeth, pushed the stone coffin slightly to reveal a small opening, then raised his sword and aimed for a moment to make sure there were no hands reaching out to scratch him before continuing to push.

Jesse approached with a torch and shone it inside, when suddenly the darkness inside started to churn violently.

"What in the world?!" Greed exclaimed, so scared that he almost catapulted back and fell into the water, while Jesse also took several steps back and leaned against the wall.

A mass of dark substance surged out of the partially opened stone coffin like boiling mud, impossible to see clearly in the pitch-black tomb.

"If we don't earn a single coin on this trip back, I'll drag you to Old Town and sell you!" Greed cursed as he approached again.

"Well... someone has to be willing to pay for this," Jesse said, holding the torch closer as they finally saw what the black things were.

They were countless beetles packed closely together!

Beetles were crawling out of their burrows like a tide, then crawling into the water. Greed, who witnessed this scene, could barely hold his sword steady.

However, these beetles didn't seem to be attacking them. They were just frantically fleeing from the firelight, scattering in the water.

Greed, as if understanding something, said, "These beetles are no longer ordinary insects. They have become mutated creatures nourished by necromantic energy. Many of the torches in the burial chamber were made by the Holy Light Church, especially in the noble family crypts. Some possess slight magical repellent powers, which is why the bugs are fleeing."

"If we get bitten by these bugs..." Jesse hesitated to ask.

Greed replied, "You may get sick, dizzy, or start vomiting, but being bitten by one or two of them won't turn you into a zombie. Let's quickly check if there's any Grave Moss inside."

Jesse approached with the torch again. Most of the beetles had already fled, leaving a decaying body lying in the mud. The exposed bones were surrounded by dark green eerie plants sticking to the surface of the bones and the already darkened clothes, like a heap of spores.

"This must be Grave Moss," Jesse said, trying to suppress the urge to vomit.

Greed sighed and said, "I really hope you're wrong about this."

Jesse tried to block his nose with his arm, though he knew it wouldn't help much.

However, the body in front of him was decaying to the point of his imagination, but the smell in the air was not very strong.

"Why is there no smell?"

Greed pinched his nose and said, "All bodies affected by Necromancy don't have the usual foul smell of natural decay, but more of a strange bloody smell, just like this one. This one soaked in water might smell a bit lighter... Let's not talk about this anymore, let's start working quickly! The sooner we get out, the better!"