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Cook's Assistant

Cook's Assistant
by TheJason

It felt as if a his stomach was turned upside down. For Jason, magic was a new and exciting experience, but when the Magic Instructior cast his teleportation spell, he felt the world spin faster and faster until it had become a horrendous smudge of color. He quickly leaned on one of the nearby trees for support. After a few minutes, his head began to clear but the sickness in his belly remained. He staggered to a fountain nearby and drank deeply; his stomach accepted the cool liquid greedily. From a distance he heard someone call out "Damn noob". The word was alien to him and so he didn't give it much thought. As his stomach stopped rolling, he stood up and looked around. To his amusement, there was another person leaning on the same tree he was earlier, looking as sick as he had. He felt the sun was beating down on him and judging from its position, Jason guessed it was around noon. He suddenly realized he was hungry, it had been hours, (or was it days?) since he had last eaten. Time was impossible to tell on Tutorial Island. Directly in front of him stood what could only be Lumbridge Castle. Its walls seemed to reach up to infinity. On the very top of the castle, Jason could see massive cannons looming luminously; ready to defend the castle had it been under siege. No army in a hundred years has dared to enter the Kingdom of Misthalin, let alone attack Lumbridge. A massive door stood at the entrance of the castle, built from fine oak by master craftsmen. Jason had heard that it was the legendary owners of the crafting guild who had built it. The door seemed to be lined with golden hinges and handles. The sunlight reflected off of them in a shower of yellow light which warmed Jason’s soul.

His train of thought was interrupted suddenly by a rough shove from the side. Jason fell to his knees, scraping them. He looked up to find a large man walking towards the castle. He was wearing armor black as night, with a massive sword at his side that was as long as Jason's height. The man was built like an ox, his broad shoulders fitting tightly into his plate mail. Enraged at the attack this man has landed on him, Jason drew his bronze long sword from his side and got up to strike back at him when a firm hand fell upon his shoulder. He turned around to find a gentle face greeting him. "Let it go", she told him quietly, "Saradomin shall give him what he deserves". Jason would have went after the man had it not been her eyes, they were blue as the ocean. He was held within them, hypnotized by them. "And besides", this stranger whispered in his ears, "He could have squashed you". This broke Jason out of the trance he was in. He was now angry and humiliated. He was annoyed by her statement but he knew it was true. The man had been ranked a level 40 where as he was only a level 3.

Jason got to his feet, cringing at the sting of his scraped knees but that seemed pale in comparison to his now ruined pants. He finally noticed the stranger was ranked a level 37 which put his rank to shame. She had long, golden hair which flowed down her back, covering most of the chain mail she was wearing. It was either iron or steel, he couldn't tell which. She was slightly shorter than him, although she was wearing thick and high boots. He was shocked to find that she was around his age, if not younger, yet she had a commanding look to her. Perhaps she had been in the military, or perhaps she was the daughter of a general. The latter made him uneasy. She had a fair face, which reminded him of a friend he had grown up with back in his home in Hillsfert. Instantly, he was struck by a strong wave of homesickness. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to go home and see his family again. To hear his sister's laugh or to wrestle with his brothers. But it was too late now, it was his decision to come here and he was going to stick by it.

"I'm Amber" the stranger inquired as she struck out her hand. "I'm Jason" he replied while he took her hand and shook it. "I'll have to get going now, I'm already late" Amber said as she looked down at a small round object she took out of her pocket. "If you need anything, just use the gem you got off of Tutorial Island." Jason rummaged through his backpack and fished out a small black stone. Its smooth surface gleamed in the midday sun. Jason turned it over in his hands, felling the cool and smooth surface. Carved into one side was the letter P and on the other side was the letter M. Jason didn't understand what the letters meant, but he did remember how to use it. The Quest Instructor had taught his lessons well. "I must be going now, if you're hungry, head into the castle and find the cook. He is very kind towards newcomers". Without another look, Amber turned and left, disappearing quickly through the crowd.

Jason's stomach rumbled an angry sound. He now realized he was starving. He had a few coins, but looking around, he saw no vendors. So he decides to take Amber's suggestion and headed towards the castle. Two guards stood by the entrance, but they said nothing when Jason approached the door as they understand that Cook usually helped newcomers and welcomed them to his kitchen. As Jason stepped through the door, he was astounded at the marvelous architecture that even put the grand church in his village to shame. Black and white tiles lined the floor. Painting upon painting lined the walls; some of landscapes, others of the king. Between every two paintings stood a suit of armor. Jason has always wondered if someone was hiding inside when he spotted one of these. The castle was a maze; three passages opened before him and he hadn’t the slightest clue where the castle cook resided.

Luckily he was greeted by a friendly looking servant named who introduced himself as Hans. He wore a simple red shirt and comfortable green pants. "Hello, what are you doing here?" asked Hans. "I don't know, I'm lost, where am I?" replied Jason honestly. "Why, you're at Lumbridge Castle of course". A look of amusement crept across the servant's face. "Well, I know that. I meant, where in the castle? I would like to see the cook." Jason exclaimed. "Ah, bet you're hungry right? I heard they give you nothing but chicken feed on Tutorial Island." Hans chuckled. Before Jason could reply, Hans was walking straight towards the corridor in front of the castle entrance. Hans lead the way, first entering what could only be the dining hall. Again, Jason was amazed. A huge table stood in the center of the room, surrounded by satin covered thrones while delicate china plates lined with blue designs were placed atop them. "Why, a banquet could be eaten from this" Jason thought silently to himself. Before he had a chance to see more, Hans took a left turn and entered the kitchen. "Here you are" He grunted, and left through an adjacent door.

The room was nothing compared to the banquet hall, but Jason was equally amazed. Never in his life had he seen a working sink that brought water with the twist of a handle. In his village, all of the water was drawn from the village well. Cooking shelves lined the walls, filling the room with the aroma of a hundred different scents. To the right stood a piping hot range, a pot of stew cooking on top. In the center of the room lay a trapdoor, to which Jason can only guess led to the basement where more herbs and spices were stored.

And above the trapdoor stood the one and only, Lumbridge Cook. The Cook had tired black eyes. He looked as if he hadn't slept in days. He had graying hair which matched the color of his moustache. He wore flushed colored pants and a black blouse. Over his clothing was a long stained apron that reached from his neck to his knees. Perched atop his head was a chef's hat. It looked quite silly to Jason. Jason's stomach growled loudly but the cook didn't seem to hear. He had to eat soon or he feared he was going to pass out. "Erm, excuse me sir" Jason called out quietly. The cook didn't seem to hear. Instead, he rummaged through his drawers, looking impatiently for something. "Hello there sir" Jason said more loudly. The cook spun around, seeing Jason for the first time. "Oh hello" He replied. "I'm sorry, but it's not a good time for a chat, please leave the tomatoes by the sink." "You must've confused me with someone sir, my name is Jason, I'm new to the world of RuneScape." Jason said. "Oh, my apologies then, but I still have no time for chit chat, I'm very behind schedule", replied the cook." He seemed to be agitated now. "I'm sorry to disturb you sir, but do you perhaps have something to eat? I'll pay you if you wish." Jason asked. In truth, he didn't want to pay. He counted the coins in his pocket, and found he only had 25 gold pieces. A month’s profit from the farm his family had given him as a farewell present. "Huh? Oh that’s quite all right, there’s half a meat pie on the table behind you, help yourself." Cook stated uninterestingly. He was now heading down the trapdoor. Jason turned around and found an entire meat pie with a slight sliver cut off on one edge. The pain in his stomach took over, he plunged into the pie. The taste was wonderful, he had heard Lumbridge had the finest beef in all of Misthalin, perhaps even RuneScape. This is due to the two huge ranches in the city where the cows were supposable fed wine to soften up their muscles. Within a few minutes, the pie was entirely gone, along with Jason's hunger pains. He got up and walked to the sink, filling a jug with water then drinking deep to wash down the salt from the pie.

A few moments later, the cook climbed up the trapdoor. He looked more troubled than ever. Jason thought of just leaving, but he couldn't do it after the generosity this man had just shown him. It would be extremely impolite, but something in the back of his mind told him to get out. Instead, he walked over to the cook. "What’s wrong?" Jason asked. The cook did not seem to hear; instead he went back to his task of searching through the countless shelves placed around the kitchen. Jason tapped the cook on the shoulder. "Huh?" replied a startled cook "Oh yes, there’s half a meat pie on the table." The cook went back to searching. "What am I to do?" Jason heard the cook whisper to himself. "What’s wrong?" Jason asked much louder this time. "Huh?” the cook replied while spinning around, “Oh, it’s nothing to trouble you with, but ooh dear I'm in a terrible mess. It's the Duke's birthday today, and I meant to be making a big cake for this evening" the cook replied with a long face. “Unfortunately, I've forgotten to buy some of the ingredients. I'll never get them in time now. I don't suppose you could help me?” What was Jason to say? He had to agree, this man had fed him when he was hungry, the very least he could do was to try and help this man. “How can I help?” asked Jason in his most sincere voice, although deep down he wanted to explore this new land rather than help this strange man. "Oh dear oh dear, I need flour, eggs, and milk. Without them I am doomed" cried out the cook. He was on the verge of tears now. Jason gave assurance to the cook that he would get the necessary ingredients before sun down. He set out immediately, almost losing himself inside the castle on the way out. Luckily, Hans was there to save him again. Jason had to work fast, it was only a few hours before night and this was a foreign land to him. In the distance, he saw a building with a pot shaped sign hanging on its side. Jason instantly recognized it as the symbol of a general store. "Perfect" he muttered to himself. "Damn noobies talking to themselves now" exclaimed a passer by. Jason realized the word was meant to offend, but he didn't care. It meant nothing to him. Jason enters the general store to find it packed with housewives picking up last minute supplies before dinner. He had to shove his way through the crowd just to speak with the shopkeeper. "Can I help you at all?" asked the shopkeeper. He was an old man, perhaps the age of the cook. Neatly comber gray hair covered his head. "Yes please, what are you selling?" replied Jason. Jason was shown a display of everything in stock within the store, which wasn't much. This greatly disappointed him. Almost everything was already purchased by the noisy housewives. A few buckets and jugs remained and what looked to be a rolled up scroll. "What is this" asked Jason as he pointed at the scroll. "It’s a newcomer's map, issued by the RuneScape Council to all new citizens, only 1 gp" But with only 25 coins in his pocket, Jason wasn't so sure. One gold piece was enough to buy an entire day’s meal back in Hillsfert He bought it nevertheless, knowing it'll be needed to find the necessary ingredients the cook wanted. "Here you go" he said as he handed the coin to the shopkeeper. "Thank you" replied the shopkeeper while handing Jason one of the maps. "Thanks" said Jason as he headed out the door.

As he exited the store, he unrolled the map to find it no help at all. It was a map of all of RuneScape. He had hoped for just a map of Lumbridge, where he could perhaps find the nearest farm and purchase the needed items. Jason was now overwhelmed, the sun was moving west fast and he hadn't one single ingredient yet. He thought of just leaving the cook, and was shot by a strong sense of shame. He looked around and found a tall man leaning against a nearby tree. He approached the man, hoping for directions. "Hello" greeted Jason. "Hi" the man replied. He was wearing an orange split colored shirt and matching pants. He had brown hair and blue eyes that reminded Jason of Amber. "Can you direct me to the nearest farm? The cook of Lumbridge Castle has sent me on a sort of quest" Jason said. "The cook of Lumbridge Castle?" asked the man. "He happens to be a close friend of mine, what do you need?". "Well, it's what the cook needs, and it’s an egg, milk, and flour." replied Jason. "Hell, I was just heading over to Alian's farm anyways, come on I'll show you." So they headed north, the man in the lead. "I'm Pete by the way." The man said without looking back. "But my friends call me Em.” "Nice to meet you Em, I’m Jason of Hillsfert." They turned east onto a bridge. Jason could see ducks swimming in the river. “Hillsfert? Never heard of it” responded Em. They headed north until a chicken farm came into view. "Over there" grunted Em. Jason walked up to the man Em pointed at, a middle aged farmer standing in the middle of his chicken coop, pitchfork in hand. "Hello, do you have any eggs, milk, or flour?" asked Jason. "Yeap" replied the farmer. "Eggs a coin each, milk you can have for free as long as you milk them yourself. I'm a bit behind today so I haven't had the time to cycle through my chores, they're over yonder." The farmer pointed behind Jason at a bundle of ranches. “Third ranch from the left is mine, as for flour you'll have to get over by the windmills.” "Alright, I'll take one egg then." The farmer hands Jason an egg in exchange for a coin. Jason watched the coin go with grief. He rejoined Em, telling him what the farmer had said. "Alright, let’s go milk us some cows." They headed towards the cow pens as Jason rummaged through his backpack for the bucket he was given on Tutorial Island. He finally found it sitting next to his short bow.

It was true, the farmer had truly slacked off. The cows were bursting with milk, if they were not milked soon, they would explode. Jason chose the closest one and milked the cow with ease, bringing back another wave of homesickness. He remembered milking the cows at dawn with his dad, smelling the hay and sweet dew. Jason shook his head vigorously to rid his mind of these thoughts. "You alright?" asked Em. "Yeah, just fine" replied Jason in a very tired voice. "Do you know where the windmill is?" Jason asked as he hoisted the milk up and placed it into his magical backpack. Only one of these backpacks are given to each citizen of RuneScape, it could hold 28 items of any size. "Yeah, it's not far from here." They set off again, crossing the bridge and passing the general store. The sun was nearing the horizon. As they walked, an ugly green creature crossed their path. From his studies, Jason recognized it as a goblin, only a level 5 creatures but still vicious in packs. This one was holding a spear, making it extra deadly. Jason quickly drew his bronze long sword and put himself in a defensive position as taught by the combat instructor. "Put that aside" He heard Em say. "They wouldn't dare attack anyone in Lumbridge" Jason obediently sheathed his sword, feeling quite foolish now that he realized other people roamed the grounds among the goblins. Of course the goblins wouldn’t attack anyone this close to Lumbridge Castle, with so many city guards around. Shortly after, the two adventurers came upon a wheat field. Seeing no one around to ask for the grains, Jason went in a picked some himself. He had no time to waste with nigh approaching so quickly. Em had no objection to this, in fact he had a sheepish look on his face as if he picks wheat grains from this plot of land without permission as well. They continued north and not long after, they came upon the windmill, its sails rotating lazily in the evening wind. Em opened the large doors and climbed up the ladder, Jason followed after. On the top floor stood a large, metallic machine. Upon examining it, Jason found it to be a hopper. He guessed it must be to grind wheat grains into flour. His dad was always the one who went into town to grind their grains so Jason didn't know how to work the machine. Em understood this from the confused look on Jason’s face and so he took the wheat grains from Jason. "Here" he said as he put the wheat grains into the hopper, and then pulling a lever at the hopper controls. Jason heard machinery activating below him and the sound of grain sliding down the chute. They climbed back down to find a pile of finely grinded flour at the base of the chute. Jason searched in his pack for a pot to store the flour in. He thought he had lost it when he finally spotted it hiding behind the map. He quickly swooped up the flour with the pot. "Well, I think that’s everything" said Em. "I must be going now; I'm having dinner with a friend. Give Cook my best." Without another word, Em turned and left. PM me if you need anything else he called back over his shoulder. "Thanks" Jason cried after the already dimming form of Em.

He was fairly excited now. All of the ingredients were now in his possession. With a smug look on his face, Jason headed back to the castle. Streams of people were heading into the Castle when Jason arrived. Two different guards stood outside of the castle doors, taking invitations. Jason felt uneasy. He realized these were the guests for the Duke's birthday celebration. He walked up to the door, trying to blend in. A harsh hand came down on his shoulder. Jason turned to find the scarred face of an annoyed guard who seemed ticked for being assigned such a pointless position. "Name?" The guard said harshly. "I'm here with ingredients for the cook." replied Jason. "A noob like you? Push off squirt." "It's okay, he’s with me." said a familiar voice. Jason looked over the guard's shoulder to find Hans rescuing him once more. The guard mumbled something under his breath which sounded a lot like issant. Jason thanked Hans as he was rushed to the kitchen by the servant. "At last, do you have the ingredients?" the cook asked with high hopes in his voice. "I now have everything for your cake. Milk, flour, and an egg." replied Jason. "I am saved, thank you." the cook whispered with relief in his voice.

"Come now" Hans said while pushing Jason through a different door. "We must leave the cook to his work. There’s a bed upstairs if you wish to spend the night, here take this." Hans handed him an entire meat pie along with a jug of wine. He then left Jason to his own. Jason never realized how exhausted he was until now. He found an empty room upstairs with a simple but comfy looking bed. He washed down the meat pie with the jug of sweet tasting wine. Setting the empty jug and pie-tin on a nearby table, Jason flopped down into the bed and was asleep instantly as his head hit the soft pillow. It had been a long day in RuneScape.



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