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Religious Learnings [C-Rank Mission - CrimsBayo - Private]

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Job Name: A Sacrifice
Job Rank: C
Job Location: Heliohapt
Job Rewards: 100 XP, 7,000 Huang
Chain Bonus: 3,000 Huang
Job Overview:
The Black Temple is a place that people come to mourn the dead and offer sacrifice to the gods and the Ruhk so that they can find the answers that they desire. The temple often sacrifices a beast found near the town of Heliohapt. This beast is one that the people often saw as symbols of the gods; the desert crocodiles. Monstrous in size with thick hides, they are able to kill a person easily, making these beasts difficult to take down. The priest of the temple has a powerful poison that was made for the beast, causing it to become sluggish and weaker and making it a much easier target. Do not kill the beast, as doing so will prevent the sacrificial rites from being able to be performed.

As the afternoon started to age the waters began shifting making the ride anything but tolerable for Rami. Its been roughly several months since he had left Balbadd to set out on his first journey since the death of his parents. He had half expected the world to be different, but not much has changed; at least from what he could see. As he heard a commotion happening outside of his cabin, he took it upon himself to see what had been going on. Making to the outside standing clear on the ships bow he gazed off in the distance and resting upon the horizon was the city of Heliohapt.

Rami took a deep breath but soon regretted it as he covered his nose from the pungent smell of the salty air and the fishy waters. The smell itself was too much for him to handle unfortunately, causing him to heel over the edge of the ship hurling everything he had ate just moments ago.

"Gods...I hate the ocean," He said retreating back to his cabin waiting for the ship to lower its anchor indirectly notifying Rami that they had arrived at his destination. Lucky for him after several hours or so the ship made it to Heliohapt as he was the first one to make it off; though the anchor wasn't deployed yet. As he stood on the solid surface of land that belonged to Heliohapt he bounched on either foot limbering himself up, loosening his tense muscles and getting a feel for his surroundings.

The first thing he noticed about Heliohapt wasn't something that excited him at all, quite the opposite actually. Crowded. Walking the streets of Heliohapt looking for some spacious areas to actually view the beautiful city seemed to be a lot harder than usual. With every direction Rami looked he saw more and more people piling in his line of sight congesting his vision and his mind. His breathing sped up into long heavy spurts as he continued to look around for any kind of sanctuary. He tried to keep his cool but anyone could see he was seconds away from a panic attack. That was until he came across a temple, he himself didn't know it was a temple but anything beats being outside in his opinion; in this moment.

The moment he stepped foot in the large building he took a deep breath followed by a sigh of relief to see that hardly anyone was in their with him. He looked around for a bit observing the architecture of the beautiful place contemplating whether or not he was actually ready to venture on his own. He experienced claustrophobia in Balbadd before but if anything it would cause him to be more irritable than anything else, Heliohapt it was different, for reasons unknown. Rami looked around some more and noticed that the temple was one where people came to visit their long but not forgotten loved ones. Leave it to Rami to find peace in a place were people rest in it.

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With its sails billowing with a more than gentle wind, a small boat bobbed on the glassy waves. Pacing up and down the narrow deck of this vessel was a young woman with purple hair whose name was Zubaidah. The cause of her apparent discomfort was the lack of people on the boat. Her household had been forced to take a different boat to her, and as such she was riding on a separate vessel to Heliohapt.

She sighed as the white crested waves brushed against the wooden sides, flicking soft foam into her face. The boat calmly rocked to and fro on the gentle tide, engine ever closer to its destination. As she stared into these clear waters, a glint of gold caught Zubaidah’s eye. Raising her head, her eyes widened in surprise as she looked towards the horizon.

Reflecting the sun’s harsh rays lay an expanse of shining buildings. Sharp columns jutted out from the gaps in the flat roofs, and vast domed edifices sitting in the middle of bustling squares.
Markets, set up around the corners of the city, were filled with people of all ages and races -  Heliphaptians, Reimano, Imuchakk, Fanalis - the diversity of the populace displayed in the variety of produce on offer. The reds and browns of Kou’s spices, verdant greens of Reim’s herbs and silver scaled fish from Imuchakk mingled together into a beautiful array of colours.

So enthralled was Zubaidah at these sights, that she didn't realise the boat had already entered the harbour.
‘Alright, Miss, you gotta get off now, I've got a tight schedule!’
Hearing the captain’s words, Zubaidah tossed a bag of coins in his direction and quickly disembarked onto the wooden pier. Troubled as to where she should go at first, Zubaidah wandered through the main street, absorbing the pungent smells and brilliant sights. As she walked along, the street opened out into a spacious square. In the centre of the square, surrounded by a crowd of people was a large wooden board with dozens of sheets attached to it. Working her way through the crowd, she approached the board and saw that each sheet had jobs written on them. Grinning to herself, she muttered,
‘If I'm already here, I might as well make some cash!’

[380 words]

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Rami continued to look at the visuals of the temple, examining every inch of the architecture he spotted. He had never seen a place dedicated to mourning over loved ones, for when his parent's had died he buried them behind his old home. He stopped his personal tour for a second as he began thinking back to what life was like when he was a kid and how far he has come since that moment. The world has matured him too quickly and created a introvert out of him as well.

"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear," Looking behind him Rami spotted a man dressed in robes pacing back and forth; beads of sweat falling from his face. He had half thought about approaching the strange man, but did not want to get involved in anything else other than exploring as many places as he possibly could picking up where he and his parent's had left off. Trying to exit the temple quietly, Rami's nose began to scrunch up as he tried to plug it before the inevitable happened. Achoo! Giving away his position Rami stood frozen hoping the man did not notice him, to Rami's surprise the man was directly behind him, eye's full of a new found hope, "Oh please you have to help me. Our sacrificial beast was supposed to be obtained today for our ceremony the people I had originally sent backed out on me last minute. It seems no one is even willing to assist with our annual memorial, could you please help a priest out I will pay you kindly. I even posted about the predicament on a Job bulletin still no takers," Rami tuned the man out as he began to ramble on a little too long. Taking a deep breath he stared at the priest and turned around to face the temple entrance.

"Sorry, but I am not trying to risk my life for those who are already dead," the priest began to follow Rami outside of the temple into the open city. He was rather determined to change his mind.

"C'mon you have to help I mean look at the size of that weapon of yours! I am sure you can take on a simple desert crocodile," Rami kept walking as the Priest did not give up his pursuit. The Priest began making a scene as Rami was trying to blend in with his surroundings; things were getting slightly more embarrassing.

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After examining the contents of the job, Zubaidah ripped it off of the board and slotted it into the loop of her belt. As she did so, she incited a few of the people to cry out in anger, as if she had no right to take that job. In response, Zubaidah lightly twirled her spear, whittling away a nearby wooden post into a small part of what it had been before, with its sharp edge. The people who had been so eager to protest before decided it would be wise not to anger her, and quickly backed away.

The crowd surrounding the job board parted slightly from seeing that little display, allowing Zubaidah enough space to exit the forum. Laughing to herself, she muttered, ‘Seems I'm going to have to prove my worth here…

Having left the main street, she continued on through the residential district towards the outskirts of the city. The faint smell of bread, that had been wafting through the desert air, grew stronger as he turned onto a market street. The aroma of the buttery bread mingled with that of the strong wines being sold in the nearby stores, distracting her attention and bringing the tastes of freshly baked pastries into her famished mind. This newfound appetite was soon put off by the stench of raw meat and fish, causing bile to rise in her throat.

Walking briskly past the butchers’ stalls, she started to hear the voice of an old man. He seemed to be begging for someone to do something for him. Edging closer, a young man with hair that was close to white, but ever so slightly off, came into view just ahead of the old man, who seemed to be the target of the his begging. As she came nearer to the two, the full extent of their conversation reacher her ears.
‘C'mon you have to help I mean look at the size of that weapon of yours! I am sure you can take on a simple desert crocodile!’
At that last exclamation, Zubaidah’s hands moved to the paper rolled up at her waist. Hadn't the job she’d taken mentioned taking out a desert crocodile? Deciding that, even if the old man wasn't related to the job, he might have some information that could clue her in on what she had to do. Striding over to where the two were arguing, she took out her job request and showed it to the old man.
You know anything about this job?

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By the expression on Rami's face it was clear he was growing more and more annoyed as the begging continued. His eyebrows furrowed as he pinched the bridge of his nose. He let out a deep sigh and ran his fingers through his hair like a comb. Memories began projecting in his mind of his parents back when they all use to travel together. His mom always told him adventures and journeys come in many different sizes. Maybe this could be the first adventure on my world journey, he thought to himself. He turned around for a moment examining the priest not sure how to respond after he had been begging for nearly fifteen minutes straight.

" don't give up do you?"

"You know anything about this job?" A voice would direct Rami's attention to the source. He noticed a girl addressing the priest, her hair purple and eyes as vibrant as the sun. The moment the priest took notice of her he focused his attention on her but grabbed Rami's sleeve letting him know that he wasn't finished with him yet.

"It is a simple job you see," The priest began, "We have a ceremony for the dead, its a tradition here in Heliohapt. The ceremony does require a desert crocodile to be killed here in the temple, but so far no one wants to take the task into their own hands. Everyone is too afraid, and here I am thinking this was a world full of warriors," Holding his head down in shame Rami couldn't help but feel bad for the guy. He looked at the girl then back at the Priest.

"How many people do you need?" The moment that question was asked by Rami, a tiny light bloomed in the priests eyes that then expanded and filled his iris's with joy.

"You two will do just fine," He said as he did a rather too traditional bow to Rami and the girl beside him. Rami felt kinda awkward not introducing himself to her and felt it would be necessary before they even though about partaking this mission together. The priest let them know he would meet them back at the temple which was good for Rami. That man nearly took all the air out of his lungs with his constant banter. Focusing his attention to the girl again he took another deep breath and held out his hand. It was the right thing to do.

"My name is Rami, Rami Naeem. It is nice to meet you...uh? I am sorry what was your name?" breaking the ice wasn't necessarily Rami's strong point but it usually worked more times than not.

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Holding out the flattened job request, Zubaidah waited for any kind of response from the supposed priest. The old man turned round at this, looking quite expectant. The man with the off white hair seemed to take this as a chance to get away, but the old man saw this and grabbed at his sleeve, as if trying to stop him from escaping. At this, Zubaidah had to cover her mouth with her free hand to stifle a laugh, it was such a comic scene. The old man then behind to give an outline of the job.
‘It is a simple job you see. We have a ceremony for the dead, it's a tradition here in Heliohapt. The ceremony does require a desert crocodile to be killed here in the temple, but so far no one wants to take the task into their own hands. Everyone is too afraid, and here I am thinking this was a world full of warriors…’
    In response, the man with the off white hair asked a simple question,
‘How many people do you need?’
That was enough, however, for the priest to exude an aura of absolute joy, filling the whole area with his excitement. He hurriedly replied that the two of them would be enough, before directing them to the temple where he said he would meet them later. As he rushed off, presumably to make preparations, Zubaidah was left alone with the young man. He seemed to be a little uncomfortable, his face held an awkward smile and his eyes seemed to be wandering across the space, reluctant to make contact with hers. However, he seemed to muster enough courage to talk with her after a while, and stuck out his hand. He introduced himself as Rami Naem, and asked Zubaidah for the same.
The name’s Zubaidah Mansur. I hope to work with you more than just here.

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Rami wasn't good with one on one communication. He honestly tried to avoid it at all costs, but since he would be going on a mission with this girl before him, the inevitable was yet to come. Once he held out her hand she had connected hers with his and introduced herself as Zubaidah Mansur.

"It's nice to meet you Zubaidah," Rami responded as he began to further examine Zubaidah. He wasn't one for making friends so he had to make things between the both of them blunt, brief and unexciting.

I hope to work with you more than just here, Rami didn't know how to further respond to that statement. He simply just nodded his head and proceeded back to the temple.
"We should hurry to the temple and get our job debrief so we can get this show on the road," He didn't turn around to talk to her however. He kept his back to her with his face forward. He had insane trust issues with almost anyone. If it weren't for Aliosha (the bandit that stole everything precious to him even the lives of his parents) maybe he wouldn't be such a reserved, paranoid individual.

The moment the two would make it to the temple the priest would be their waiting as if there was more he had to tell them.

"Well we are here, is there anything else you need or can we go?" Rami said not trying to waste anymore time.

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After introducing herself to him,  Rami seemed to back away slightly, averting his eyes from any contact with hers, overall seeming to be reluctant to work with her.

The cogs of Zubaidah’s mind started to turn, as she tried to analyse these seemingly irrelevant actions into a developed reasoning.
As she stopped to buy a gourd of water from a nearby market stall, her thoughts seemed to group together and form a steady train of logic.
Each movement was clearly not individualised. While it may have seemed obscure to the average viewer, they were relative to one another. Just as a drop of water is seen to be singular, it can be inferred from this that there was a larger property that it was taken from.
Like this, each of Rami’s action could be seen as affected by some subconscious reasoning.

Whatever the reason was, Zubaidah did not have the time to continue thinking about it, as soon enough an oh-so familiar voice rang out from in front of her, the excited warbling of an old man. It seemed she had arrived at the Black Pyramid.

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Rami knew conversing with Zubaidah would be inevitable but he tried to hold it off for as long as possible. He still wasn't all to comfortable traveling with anyone who he didn't recognize as family. He could tell by her silence she half knew what was up but he didn't want to question her about anything, not wanting to spark any unwanted tension or awkwardness; things were awkward as is.

"The beast you lot will be capturing, as I had stated before, is none other than a Desert Crocodile. Taking the beast down will not be a simple task and will require not only strength and stamina, but wisdom and integrity. You must work together, never apart. How does that old saying go, 'two heads are better than none', or was it one?" The Priest began rambling one trying to remember how the saying went, but ultimately locked the thought away in his mind for a later time as he passed a vial and handed it to Zubaidah. Rami examined the vial from afar as he could see liquid sloshing around inside it.

"What is that?" He had asked curious as to why they would need it on their mission.

"This my boy is the essence of poison. It won't kill the beast, but it will weaken it, making it more sluggish and easy to take down. Without this poison fighting the crocodile will be the equivalent to taking on roughly around fifty men. Using the poison however is completely up to you, just whatever decision you make, be sure NOT to kill the crocodile for you will have to start this all over again and I may or may not be able to concoct another essence such as that in time," A lot of information was given to the two from the priest and it was clear Rami was ready to get this show on the road. A tiny smile slightly stretch the corners of his mouth as he looked the priest in the eyes and nodded. He turned to Zubaidah nodded to her as well and made his way to the Temple exit.

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As the old priest talked about the job request, he slowly pulled out a small vial from within his robes, and passed it over to Zubaidah.
‘This, my boy is the essence of poison. It won't kill the beast, but it will weaken it, making it more sluggish and easy to take down. Without this poison fighting the crocodile will be the equivalent to taking on roughly around fifty men. Using the poison however is completely up to you, just whatever decision you make, be sure NOT to kill the crocodile, for you will have to start this all over again and I may or may not be able to concoct another essence such as that in time.’

    Having received this info, Rami seemed to be trying to process it, and exited the temple for the outside. The priest, when he saw this, tapped Zubaidah’s shoulders lightly.
    ‘I have entrusted that poison to you for a reason. Make sure that you use it at the right time, and so in a effective way. I am sure you will not fail, but you can never be too safe, can you?’
    Nodding in recognition of his words, she turned to leave. Just before she passed back into the searing desert air, the priest added on one last piece of advice.
    ‘Be cautious out there. Remember, even if it is a simple desert crocodile, anything can become a dangerous foe if it is not dealt with seriously.’

    As she walked outside, she shook the vial slightly. The liquid splattered against the glass walls, leaving a strong green trail along them. She stared at the vial, fascinated, before being dragged back into reality as the harsh heat scorched her skin. Reaching for her water gourd, she motioned towards Rami who was waiting outside, to move out and head towards their next task. To locate a desert crocodile.

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