Bitter 147

The six kobolds looked a bit different. They seemed bigger. Bigger muscles, bigger swords. They also looked very angry.

Britta was fine with letting the others do the fighting although it would mean she wouldn’t get any experience points, again. She was only level three and had been for a while.

Fizz, the tiny fairy, took point. She was small but fast, buzzing about in front of the kobolds who tried to swat her away. She didn’t have any weapons and her attack consisted of being as annoying as possible. It was surprisingly effective.

The kobolds all fixated on her. Some tried to hit her, others jumped out of the way like when a wasp appears in a playground.

They could have just ignored her, that would be the obvious thing to do, but for some reason they didn’t seem to be able to take their eyes off her.

She assumed there was a reason, some spell or innate fairy ability that made the kobolds obsessed with the way she darted about in front of them. It probably only worked on low level monsters or it would be incredibly overpowered.

With all six kobolds thoroughly distracted (they were that dumb) the rest of the team moved in for the kill. It was obvious they had done this many times before. Each knew their role and when to attack.

Rarebit hung back and fired arrows from one side while Tal did the same with her daggers from the other. Lord Jim worked his way around Fizz and attacked the kobolds from the flank with his long sword. Father Paddy mostly look bored, occasionally firing off a spell. Britta had no idea what they were but they were aimed at his teammates so they were probably buffs of some kind. There was certainly no need for heals.

The kobolds must have realised they were being picked off and that the fairy was the least threatening of their opponents, but even when they did try to defend themselves against the others, Fizz would flit around in front of their faces until they got so worked up and annoyed they would go back to trying to grab her.

It seemed pretty unfair on the kobolds. They were being forced to fight in a completely disadvantageous manner.

Within a few minutes the kobolds were all on the ground covered in wounds, their eyes still darting from side to side watching the fairy flying just out of their reach.

Lord Jim pointed his blade downwards and stabbed each defenceless kobold, a single hit enough to kill them. There was one left when he turned to Britta.

“Do you want to kill this one? You could probably use the XP.”

She remembered Diana had offered her the same charity when she was fighting the zombie horde. Back then even a couple of extra XP were valuable to her, but now she needed quite a lot to get to the next level.

The kobold moaned pitifully, his hand over the gash in his side, his eyes fixed on Fizz.

“Thanks, but I don’t think it’d make much difference.”

Lord Jim seemed surprised. “You know how the XP system works, right? The person who gets the last hit gets almost all the XP.”

“Really?” said Britta. “I didn’t know that. Isn’t that a bit unfair.”

“Yeah, of course,” said Tal, like it was obvious. “That’s why people always try to jump into a fight at the last minute and try to kill steal the points. It’s bloody annoying.”

Everyone showed they agreed by looking unanimously fed up, shaking their heads and tutting. Even if she hadn’t been able to tell from their accents, it was obvious they were all British players.

“Shouldn’t someone tell the devs?” asked Britta, which got her more of the same.

“They keep saying it’ll be fixed in the next patch, but then it never is. One day.”

“Soon,” said Tal.

“TM,” added Rarebit.

The last kobold was still alive, bleeding profusely. Even though she needed the points and it wasn’t like the kobold was going to live anyway, she still felt reluctant killing it. In the heat of battle it might be okay, but to coldly execute it just felt wrong. She knew it was a game and the kobold wasn’t even real, but still. Wrong.

“You go ahead. I’d rather earn my own way up.”

“Got to respect the girl’s attitude,” said Father Paddy.”

Lord Jim shrugged and then stabbed the kobold in the chest. Britta realised he had got the final hit on all of the kobolds.

“Doesn’t this mean only Lord Jim gets any experience points?” she asked.

“Most of them,” said Tal. “We take it in turns to get final hits so everyone can boost up. You get bonus points if you get multiple kills in a row.”

“Like a combo?” said Britta.

“Exactly,” said Lord Jim. “Another thing they should look at.” He wiped his sword on the kobolds ragged trousers and put it away.

They quickly searched the bodies and found a few copper coins, some unidentifiable junk—pebbles, chunks of charcoal, bits of string. These were elite kobolds, she was told, slightly bigger and stronger than the regular variety. Their weapons and armour were of a better quality but too big for Britta to use, even if she’d been the right class to do so, and also too big to put in her inventory. They still looked old and rusty, so she doubted they’d fetch much of a price.

Once that was done, they descended to the next level.

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