Colorful gems and shards filled the spacious cavern with rainbow lights. There were less at the entrance and more deeper in, but that’s where problems would arise.
“Spiders!” Jon, the black-haired adventurer, cried out.
Dozens of knee-high spiders came scurrying out of their nests. In his red and gold armor, Jon swung his great sword and cut a few down.
“There’s too many of them,” he warned.
“Let me lend a hand,” Diane, the chubby-cheeked woman, said.
As a harmonious song left her lips, her golden hair flapped in the wind. A couple of seconds later, a golden glow surrounded Jon, making his attacks faster.
“Is there any behind us, Diane?” Jon asked.
“No spiders, but there are slimes closing in,” she said after spinning around.
“Damn. Where’s Bradley?”
“Right here! Burning Bomb!” a voice yelled out.
From above, a ring of flames slammed down around the two adventurers and burned the monsters on the spot. In a second, the mobs were reduced to ash as a boy with lime green hair and light matching armor landed.
“You guys okay?” he asked.
“Thanks to you, yeah. We’re lucky to have you, Bradley,” Jon praised.
“What would we do without you,” Diane said.
“Ah, come on. You guys are strong too,” Bradley bashfully said.
“Bradley, look out!”
Diane’s voice rocked Bradley’s head, forcing him back to reality and unveiling his daydream. Right in his face was a spider bringing its teeth down.
“Ahh!” Bradley screamed.
Fortunately, a giant blade came down and cut the spider’s head off.
“Come on, Bradley. Get your head in the game,” Jon said before cutting down more monsters.
“Are you okay, Bradley?” Diane asked while helping him up.
“I-I’m fine. When did all of these monsters surround us?”
“When you blanked out. What do you think you’re doing this deep in the cave?” Diane scolded.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
“Good. Now let’s clear them out,” Jon said as his blade shone red. “Killer Cleanup!”
With the wave of his great sword, Jon unleashed a blinding light that took over the cave.
“Wow,” Bradley commented once the light faded.
Each and every monster near them was slain, their ashy bodies on the ground. With a huff, Jon planted his sword into the cave floor.
“You two alright?” he asked.
“Yeah, thanks, Jon,” Diane said.
“I’m sorry, guys. I should have been paying attention, especially this deep in the cave,” Bradley apologized.
“You don’t usually do it on the job, so it’s fine just this once. What was on your mind this time?” Jon questioned.
“It’s dumb, but it was me being the one to save you guys instead of the other way around.”
“How is that dumb? You save us all the time with your healing spells,” Diane said.
“No, I was doing a badass fire spell that erased the monsters, and you guys thought I was so cool. I wish I had something like that.”
“Haven’t you been working on something like that for a while? Show us how it looks right now,” Jon said.
“It’s not how I want it yet.” Bradley aimed his left palm away from his friends and an ember of fire shot out, but it flopped, not even reaching a foot. “I told you. It’s pretty lame.”
“It’s fine, Bradley. It’s amazing in itself that you’re making your own spell. I’m sure it’ll get stronger in the future,” Diane reassured.
“I’ve been working on it for months, and it’s still bad. No matter how hard I try, I can’t be as strong as you guys or my parents, especially since you all have blessings from the Gods.”
Bradley pushed past Jon to proceed further into the cave.
“Come on, man. That’s no reason to feel so dumped. It’ll probably just be a while until a God catches interest,” Jon said.
“I doubt it. You guys have never been put on a pedestal of expectation. People always say how great I’ll be because of my parents and adventuring with you. I－”
Bradley was interrupted when the cave began to rumble and shake.
“An earthquake?” Diane questioned.
Gems and rocks crashed down from the ceiling. Bradley fell onto his back before the ground until him crumbled.
“Bradley!” his friends called out as they watched him fall into a hole.
On shaky feet, Jon trudged to the hole, but a giant boulder stopped him, covering it. Darkness surrounded Bradley as he fell deeper until slamming into hard stone.
“Ow,” he said before a pebble hit his head.
Bradley took a second to rise and notice that he was still in darkness. A second later, his finger sparked a light at its tip, revealing a dank, mossy path directly in from of him. The walls were riddled with holes and vines hung from the stone ceiling.
“Well, there’s no way I can climb or fly back up. Let’s just hope those two can get to me before monsters can.”
So, Bradley cautiously into the temple-like dungeon. Smaller non-threatening spiders skittered on the walls and into their little holes. After taking a couple of sharp turns, the boy stumbled upon an open room with pillars surrounding a sarcophagus.
“Come on over,” a voice echoed in Bradley’s head, causing him to flinch. “I can give you what you want: power, recognition, and a blessing.”
Being persuaded, Bradley strolled over to the sarcophagus and examined the markings on the top. ‘Don’t open’ was etched into the top along with some other scribbles that he couldn’t make out.
“Just push it open. That’s all you have to do,” the voice spoke again.
As if being controlled, Bradley placed his hands on the side of the lid and struggled to open it. After a decent try, the lid clicked open, and shadows surged out of the box, extinguishing Bradley’s light.
“Thank you for the help, young adventurer,” the same voice said.
At that moment, Bradley watched two giant red eyes break through the darkness, putting a spotlight on him.
“Tell me your name, boy.”
“B-Bradley! Uh, were the one talking to me?”
“Yes, yes I was, and as a show of gratitude I’ll deliver on what I promised. You want a blessing from a God, right?”
“You’re a God? Why were you locked away?”
“The others were just jealous of me. Believe it or not, they’re just as insecure as humans. So, you want power and a blessing or not?”
“Sorry, but this is a big decision. I don’t even know your name yet.”
“Ah, my manners must have been forgotten in that tomb. I’m Serucius, the God of Chaos.” The God’s hand glowed red in the darkness as he held it out towards Bradley. “Think carefully though. A God’s contract isn’t something to mess with.”
Bradley stared at the hand as he thought, remembering everyone hyping him up from birth.
“Bradley! Where are you?!” he heard Jon shout out followed by bug noises.
“Maybe you should decide soon. Someone’s looking for you,” Serucius stated.
“Okay, I’ll take the blessing.”
The young adventurer took hold of the God’s hand and shook it, absorbing the shadows from the God.
“Oh, man. Where the hell did he go?” Jon questioned as giant bugs chased him.
“All we can do is keep searching and hope this monsters didn’t get to him,” Diane said.
“Burning Bomb!” a voice cried out.
Soaring past the two, a fire bomb blasted the bugs and stopped their movement.
“Whoa, when did you get so strong?” Jon asked Bradley as he walked out of the shadows.
Their healer friend’s hand was smoking while his usual down expression changed to serious.
“I finally got the hang of my fire spell. Isn’t it cool?”
“It is, but how did it get so strong so quick?” Jon questioned.
“We can ask about that later. We need to get out of here first,” Diane said.
“Then let’s go back to the hole.”
Bradley led the way to the way he came in and stared up at the now open hole.
“Make sure to stay close,: Diane said while turning her palms upward.
“I’ll just see you guys up there.”
With a cocky grin, Bradley leapt at the wall and dug his foot into it. Then, like a ninja or some old school plumber, he hopped from wall to wall until out of the hole. Jon and Diane looked at each other with worried expressions before levitating up with one of Diane’s spells.
“Oh, I feel great. I finally have the power that I wanted,” Bradley said to himself.
“Hey, what happened to you in that dungeon? Did you run into anything?” Jon inquired.
“Actually, I finally got a God’s blessing. You were right, guys. It did come eventually.”
“That’s great and all, but which God was it from?” Diane asked.
“The God of Chaos, that’s who.” Jon and Diane’s faces froze with shock. “I knew you wouldn’t like it, but I bet you would just keep asking anyway.”
“Why the hell would you take his blessing?” Jon questioned.
“Because you guys needed help, and I get a blessing. It’s a win-win.”
“Did he even tell you the conditions of the contract?” Diane continued.
“No, but I probably won’t break them. It’s fine. Maybe he was a decent guy before getting trapped.”
Bradley strolled to the cave’s entrance.
“Wait,” Jon said while stepping front of him. “Was having a blessing all that mattered to you?”
“As I said before, you’ve never had high expectations to meet. Now, move.”
“Why can’t you just be happy with yourself? Stop looking for others’ approval.”
“If you won’t move, then I’ll force you to.”
“No, no, no” Diane separated the two by getting in between them. “No fighting. I’m sorry we can’t really understand, Bradley, but a contract with Serucius can’t be good.”
Suddenly, Bradley’s body shook, and he grabbed his head.
“You two are giving me a headache. I’m done talking about this.”
Dark aura surrounded his feet before the boy vanished from sight.
“We need to do something about him, but what?” Diane asked.
“I don’t know. A God’s contract can’t be broken unless it’s a mutual agreement or the God calls it off, and I don’t think he will.”
Bradley was light on his toes as he hopped through the bright cave. He didn’t even stop to fight the small monsters. He just shot out his fire bombs and disintegrated them.
“This feels amazing! I can’t believe I was lucky enough to get this much power.”
The adventurer stopped an inch away from the giant beast. Its roar made the surrounding monsters scurry off. Preparing himself, Bradley summoned his fire, but his body froze.
“Try this instead,” a voice said.
The fire in Bradley’s palm shifted to a deep blood red as it shot out towards the monster. On contact, the minotaur exploded and let out an echoing cry as it hit the ground. The boy sat in silence for a second.
“I even get new spells? This is the best!”
He continued on and eventually made it out of the cave, unable to see the sun since the big trees blocked it. Yellow tape encompassed the entrance to ward off civilians while the forest was untouched by monsters.
“I can’t wait until mom and dad see what I can do now. Maybe I should show off in front of the townspeople first.”
So, Bradley jogged towards town. Once past the iron walls, he saw many people of different species roaming around. There were normal humans, but various humanoid animals did the same as the humans. Some could even conversed with them while others needed help talking. Before Bradley could take another step though, his body ached again.
“This place will do just fine. Now, kill them all, Bradley,” Serucius ordered.
“Wait, what? You didn’t say that was in the contract.”
“I didn’t have to say anything. Gods make the contracts however they please, and you humans can do nothing about it. You either take the power or die. Now, you will listen to me.”
Against his will, Bradley’s arm raised with his blood red fire in hand.
“No! I didn’t want to kill anyone. I just wanted to show them I was strong.”
“Well, you have no choice. I told you to be careful with a contract. Now fire!”
The flame shot out. A random group of people screamed as they were lit on fire. People around them panicked.
“Bradley! What the hell?!” a guard yelled out.
As they apprehended the caster, black lines crawled and covered his body like tattoos. Before the guards could reach him, Bradley spun and shot out another bomb, blowing them up as well, making Serucius bust out laughing.
“Nice. You’re a pretty good host. I like this little fire spell you have going on. Did you make it yourself?”
Serucius joked around while Bradley set multiple homes on fire.
“God damn it! Someone, please stop me,” he thought as a tear rolled off his cheek.
“Bradley!” Jon and Diane shouted as they ran through town.
“Oh, this should be fun,” Serucius said using Bradley’s mouth.
“I can’t believe it’s already this bad,” Jon commented as he passed the flames.
“We really need to do something about him. Maybe the other Gods could help us,” Diane suggested.
“It’s either that or kill him.”
“There’s no way we could do that.”
“You’re right. You can’t do it,” Serucius said before landing behind the two, making them halt. “Because you’re weak. Phillus and Apossum’s powers aren’t stronger than mine.”
“Let’s test that statement out then,” Jon said, preparing his great sword.
“I guess we’ll have to restrain him until we can break the contract,” Diane said.
“Come try it then.”
Serucius darted at Jon while he brought his blade down.
Jon’s sword flashed its great light, blinding everyone in the area. Even Serucius had to cover his eyes. Not affected by it, the user stepped through the light and swung the flat of his blade at his opponent. However, Serucius stopped it with his palm, shocking Jon.
“Aw, you couldn’t hurt your friend? Well, he’s not here anymore,” the God said as he opened his eyes.
After shattering the great sword with aura around his fist, Serucius stabbed Jon in the chest and shoulders with his solidified aura. The red-armored adventurer flew out of the flash grenade and landed on his back. A second later, it cleared, so Diane watched over Jon.
“I think it’s about time we end this, Bradley. What do you think?” Serucius asked when his hand exploded with fire.
“No!” Suddenly, the fire died, and Serucius grabbed his head. “I won’t let you kill anyone else!”
“You bastard! Are you defying a God’s contract?”
“I was dumb,” Bradley said with his own mouth. “I’m sorry to you guys and everyone that got caught in this. It’s my fault so I have to pay for it.”
“Do you even know what will happen if you break a contract?!” Serucius questioned.
“We’re about to find out.”
As Bradley said that, a white orb formed on his forehead.
“Bradley!” Diane called with a tear in her eye.
“No!” Serucius yelled.
Then, the orb expanded until covering the boy’s entire body. A couple of seconds passed before the orb shrunk and disappeared, completely removing Bradley and Serucius.