For Love, You Endure
rating: +16+x

You wake up. You feel disoriented and dizzy. Your nose is stuffy, like you have a cold. Slowly, carefully, you sit up. Your armour is heavy on your chest.

Gods, what happened? Where are you?

"Did you sleep well?" a gentle voice asks.

You turn to look and see your dear cleric, your intended.

Sleep? Did you sleep well? Did you sleep? Was that it? You suppose you must have been sleeping because you woke up. But did you sleep well?

You still feel a little groggy. You tell your cleric that. She smiles sympathetically and pats your shoulder.

“Poor darling,” she says, “it’s fine, your head will clear once we start moving.”

You stand up and look around. It’s dark around you. The walls are too close and wet. Is this a dungeon?

“Are we in a dungeon?” you ask.

Your cleric smiles. “Yes.”

You try to remember how you got here. Or why you’re here. Nothing comes up. You ask your cleric.

She laughs brightly. “Did you forget already? We’re here to collect money to buy medicine for my sick sister!”

As soon as she says that, you remember. Of course. But you also remember talking with her about raising money to buy a house you could live in after getting married. Which is it?

You voice your question.

She smiles. “Both. We’re doing both.”

Oh, yeah. That makes sense.

“Are you ready to continue?” your cleric asks.

“Can I have breakfast first?” you ask.

Your cleric’s smile falters for just a second. “Of course.”

After a light breakfast, you two wander deeper into the dungeon. You don’t encounter many monsters, but the ones you do see, you kill and loot.

The loot is small, but your cleric seems pleased nonetheless. She drops the small gold nuggets into her gold satchel, which is starting to look quite full already. How much does she have in there?

You two wander deeper. You feel like the walls are starting to close in. The air is starting to feel more dense and heavy. You have a bad feeling about being in the dungeon. You say that to your cleric.

She doesn’t seem concerned. “It’s just in your head, silly,” she says.

You two wander deeper. You run after monsters and kill them. The walls are closing in, despite what your cleric tells you. She keeps telling you that there’s nothing to be worried about.

There’s a bigger monster in the corridor. As soon as it sees you two, it turns and runs.

“That must be worth a lot!” your cleric exclaims. “Let’s get it!”

She runs after it and you follow. She casts a spell that boosts your speed and you run past her. With a swift swing of your sword, the monster is impaled.

It turns to you and you could swear it has human eyes, filled with pure terror. “Why?” it wheezes.

“Wh-what?” you ask, shocked. You step back and pull your sword out of the monster.

It groans and gurgles. Blood seeps from its mouth and it slowly slumps over on the floor. There is a long wheeze as the air escapes its lungs when it dies.

You stare at it, feeling numb.

“Well done!” your cleric chirps, patting your shoulder. “One hit! Amazing!”

She strides over to the corpse and starts looting it.


She stops and looks at you. “What?”

“It… It spoke.”

Your cleric blinks in confusion. “What?”

“The monster. It spoke to me! It asked why I killed it!”

Your cleric stares at you in shock before she recovers. “Oh, my dear…” she coos and walks back to you, grasping your face gently. “It didn’t say anything, you were imagining it.”

You almost believe her, but you remember the monster’s eyes. Deep green with brown specks, full of fear. Your chest tightens. “It has human eyes! It’s human!”

Your cleric frowns. Her gaze hardens. “I said you were imagining it. You always get like this! Why can’t you just calm down!”

“I’ve killed a human!” you cry out, clutching your head. You fall to your knees, breaths coming in heaving sobs.

“Look at me,” your cleric hisses.

You can’t breathe. Your vision blurs with tears. Your face feels numb. The walls are closing in.

“I said, look at me!” your cleric screams.

There is a short slapping sound and your head whips to the side. It takes you a moment to realize that your cleric, your intended, has struck you across the face. She grabs your face, fingernails digging into your cheeks.

“You are so pathetic,” she spits. “Why can’t you stop having a panic attack every few minutes? How did a coward like you become a knight?! You’re pathetic!”

You are still reeling from the impact. You blink tears from your eyes.

She seems to realize what she has done. She sighs. “How many times do we have to do this?” she whispers, tears in her eyes.

You stare at her in numb shock.

Your cleric grasps your face again, gently this time. “How many times, my dear?”

You are about to ask what she means, when she casts a spell and you black out.

You wake up. You feel disoriented and dizzy. Your nose is stuffy, like you have a cold. Slowly, carefully, you sit up. Your armour is heavy on your chest.

“Did you sleep well?” your dear cleric, your intended asks sweetly. “Are you ready to move on?”

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