Bungo the Barbarian, Chapter 21 - Adventure Mart Upstart
Not far from the beach, Bungo and Shallica had
stumbled across a strange hut seemingly at the entrance to Turdmondaz. The
weary travellers’ alarm had soon changed to amusement when they realised that
it was one of many chain stores that were always placed handily right in front
of all major dungeons. The sparkling neon lettering emblazoned above the
threshold proudly read “Adventure Mart” in bold capital letters. In their exhausted
state, the building had an almost unquantifiable draw; an oasis of sorts for
As they approached, the magically enchanted doors
opened by themselves and beckoned them in. The interior was bright and clean;
with soothing music being played by a tiny harp playing fairelf from somewhere
nearby. Needless to say, Bungo had already ruined the cultivated calm of the
retail environment by traipsing a large quantity of beach sand in with him. His
arrival was also punctuated by a loud bang as he knocked a stack of shoddy discount
wands on the ground. They rolled across the floor in a clatter of soon to be
broken twigs as Bungo’s oversized boot carelessly ground them into the carefully
“Welcome to Adventure Mart, can I take your order?”
A nervous looking shop goblin shuffled round the front counter. He looked at
Bungo expectantly with shining eyes; ushering him towards a shelved area where
an eclectic selection of goods were displayed. Bungo’s attention was soon
caught by an oddly bulbous vial filled with a bubbling red liquid. He eyed the
item with suspicion; picking it up in one oversized hand and sniffing it
“I see you have a keen sense of self-preservation.
Our life potions are guaranteed to keep you fighting fit for longer, with their
patented dual-guard action.”
The salesman continued enthusiastically; sensing a
potential sale in the making.
“For only 3 more Chromes you could upgrade to the
latest edition; Health-Up Diamond Magnum. Its special whitening formula really
does wonders to restore your natural lustre.”
Shallica’s eyebrows raised almost imperceptibly with
concern. Bungo uncorked the concoction; wafting the unfettered potion under his
“This is just grape juice.” The barbarian rumbled
the words quizzically, before sticking his finger down the glass bottle to taste
the mixture. His massive digit stuck fast in the finely turned ornate
bottleneck. He struggled for a moment, before trying to nonchalantly move the
item out of eyesight of the shop-clerk while feigning interest in another
product. A short while later, the sound of broken glass could be heard from
nowhere in particular; followed by some tuneless whistling.
A bead of nervous sweat ran down the shopkeeper’s
brow, and he shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot trying to think of
something to say. A moment passed in silence, until he followed Bungo’s
disinterested gaze to the clothing aisle, and he took the opportunity to move
towards products that weren’t so fragile.
“Maybe you’d be interested in these hand-knitted
Derpo-pants. They were a limited run” he paused mid-sentence “or at least we
haven’t had a shipment for quite some time. Their sporty design really gives
great air flow”. He held up the threadbare fatigues gingerly; trying to
position them to avoid the wide yellow-brown stain that was spattered across
the crotch. Shallica made a muffled gagging sound as she threw up a little bit
in her throat.
“Go on, give them a try”. The clerk held up the
item; wafting it towards Bungo and Shallica seductively. His only reply was a
sharp horrified screech from Shallica that cut the organised calm of the shop
like a knife, followed by a loud bang as she scrambled to hide under a nearby
table. The she-demon’s hissing face appeared from under the tablecloth a moment
later; snarling like a feral feline surrounded by wolves.
“Maybe not” rumbled Bungo, swaggering further down
the aisle. He stopped briefly to inspect a murky green jar that was labelled
with the words “Pickled Hero Sausage”. As he stared, several meaty objects
loomed out of the slimy depths; accompanied by what appeared to be a reptilian
eye and some shoelaces. Bungo grunted approvingly before stuffing the item down
the front of his leather pants and walking on.
The shop clerk was oblivious to Bungo’s banditry, as
he had spent the last few minutes trying to coax Shallica out from her hiding
spot with little success. Resigned to the fact that she was unlikely to come
out any time soon, and with a face covered in spittle for his trouble, the
clerk turned back towards Bungo; only to see him staring out the shop window
with an intense look on his face.
“Something’s coming”. The words had gravity to them,
and almost as if on the command of some strange magic, an ominous rumbling
sound could be heard approaching steadily.
The noise seemed to build to a vibrating crescendo
as it got closer, and the whole Adventure Mart started to shake. Several
potions were dislodged from the shelves by the din; intermixing the heady
stench of strange spices and grape juice into the sensory overload. As the
volume increased a multitude of jabbering screeching voices could be heard.
“It’s here!” Bungo sounded unusually excited; his
deep baritone was barely audible over the din. A heart beat later, the wooden
shop wall exploded in a shower of splintered wood as a colossal steed broke
through carrying a small terrified figure on its back. They skidded to a stop
in the store; followed by a swarm of angry raging butt-goblins with weapons