Bitter 157

Lord Jim stood with his hands on his hips and Britta’s cloak fluttering around him. It suited him, hanging down to just below his waist and not dragging along behind like it did with Britta.

“What do you think you’re doing,” he said to Stan who had his bow string pulled back, one eye peering down the length of an arrow. “This isn’t a PVP zone.”

Stan shot him.

The arrow was no more than a blur until it hit Lord Jim’s left thigh.

Lord Jim let out a yell. “What the hell?” He drew his sword, the arrow in his leg more of an inconvenience than a major injury. “Everyone, take him!”

At Lord Jim’s command, the rest of the team fanned out. They didn’t charge Stan even though they outnumbered him five to one.

Stan ignored the people flanking him on either side and shot an arrow into Lord Jim’s other thigh.

Lord Jim grimaced but it didn’t look like the arrows had hurt him very much. He took a step forward and fell over.

“Shit! He poisoned me,” wailed Jim. “That’s cheating.”

“Stop whining,” said Stan. “Of course I’m cheating. How else do you beat a bunch of cheaters?”

Britta didn’t like any of these people and would have been very happy to see them all kill each other, but she had to agree with Stan’s approach. No point playing the good guy when everyone else was trying to stab you in the back.

Tal got behind Stan and tried to stab him in the back.

Three daggers struck Stan in quick succession. He ignored them.

“What the hell?” shouted Tal. “How didn’t any of those crit?”

“Can’t backstab me,” said Stan. “Cape of Reflection.” He patted his shoulder where he had a small cape that barely covered the top of one arm. “Broken as shit, doesn’t even drop in the game anymore. Cost me a fortune in the Auction House.” He shot an arrow into Tal’s chest. She collapsed and lay sprawled out, flat on her back.

Rarebit had been firing off arrows all this time, but they all missed. Stan wasn’t even moving but they all whizzed past him. Rarebit walked closer and closer continuously shooting arrows but getting no closer to hitting his target, his face growing more and more irate.

“Don’t bother, you’re too low-level. Come back when you level up five or six times.” Stan raised his own bow and then stumbled back as Fizz came flying in, buzzing around his face like a kamikaze mosquito.

Stan still managed to release the arrow. It hit Rarebit in the head, going in one temple and out the other, like a joke arrow. Rarebit died instantly, disappearing the moment he hit the ground, leaving behind his bow.

“Damn, didn’t mean to do that.” Stan batted away the fairy. “You know, you can level up these things a lot quicker with some fairy dust. It’s a bit pay to win, but much more efficient.” Stan pulled a small cloth pouch out of somewhere and emptied it in the air. A cloud of gold dust enveloped the fairy.

She stopped buzzing about and hovered, sparkling dust raining down. She spun around like a ballerina, arms outstretched, and then fell to the floor. The dust collected around her body forming a golden cocoon.

“She’ll upgrade to a full fairy queen when she emerges. If she emerges.” Stan raised his boot and stamped on the cocoon, flattening it.

“Nooo!” screamed Lord Jim, dragging himself along the ground, his legs limp and useless.

“Don’t worry,” said Stan. “You can always buy another one.”

“You’ll pay for that,” shouted Jim, tears falling from his eyes.

“Sure,” said Stan. He put his hand in the leather bag hanging from his belt and took out a handful of gold coins. He dropped them in the dirt in front of Lord Jim’s face.  “Buy two.”

“You’re a scumbag,” spat Tal. She was on her back, an arrow sticking out of her chest. Her legs were bending and stretching in an effort to get back on her feet but her upper body seemed to be stuck to the ground. Her arms were spread wide but only the hands moved, flapping about like fish out of water. “You won’t get away with this.”

“I will get away with this,” said Stan. He picked up Lord Jim’s sword.

“Only because of your father,” said Lord Jim bitterly. “If it wasn’t for him, you’d be nothing, Daddy’s Boy.”

“Well duh. Obviously. That’s how nepotism works, you moron. That’s how it’s always worked. You think they used to choose kings and queens on merit? You think they vote for the people in charge now because of their progressive economic policies? People who have power like to keep it in the family, away from plebs like you.”

Stan walked over to Tal and raised the sword over his head. “Interesting fact. If I chop off your head, you respawn with your head intact. If I chop off your hand, you respawn with a hand missing.” He brought the sword down, cutting off her right hand.

There was no blood, just a number ‘7’ that floated away. Tal screamed.

“Don’t worry, you can buy a hook from the cash shop. All different colours. Makes it a bit hard to throw daggers, but great fun if you want to accessorise your outfit.” He brought the sword down again and chopped off her other hand.

Britta winced. It was an extremely unfair fight. Stan had all sorts of amazing items that would have made him OP against high-level characters, and these were just level three and four. She was witnessing a massacre but the lack of blood made it seem less real, oddly comedic, and thoroughly deserved.



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