*Action* or *Sound* (and sometimes censorship for curse words)
Tackling an impossibly hard obstacle course that was named Hell’s Ground as the sun was coming up had a certain romantic feeling about it. Adamas couldn’t help but feel like he was Hercules about to perform the famed 12 Labors. Well, in Adamas’s case it was 10 gut-wrenching courses that required completion before 15 hours…
Adamas looked up towards the end of the last course and spotted Grant ready with a huge hourglass containing black sand at the bottom. He was casually waiting for Adamas to start the course and flip the medieval timer. His eyes were full of greed waiting to see Adamas wither in pain under the continuous pressure of each course. Or at least that was how Adamas portrayed Grant in his mind.
Slowly but surely Adamas walked up to the first course’s starting line. After the line was an endless sea of swinging logs that would swing across the field at irregular intervals. The humongous trees surrounding the pathway across the numerous amount of swinging logs groaned slightly as the ropes which are supporting the logs keep on swinging as if Newton’s Law of Motion didn’t exist in NLR. Adamas stood there in wonder once again.
This is the second time I’ve seen this up close but I still wonder how the logs don’t slow down despite air resistance and gravity…. Maybe it has something to do with Magic?
Despite reading about magic back at his NPC parent’s home Adamas was still nowhere near understanding how it worked. The book he read only taught its readers the incantations of certain levels of magic and not the mechanics of it. It just didn’t click inside of his head. Just by saying a bunch of words and being able to shoot out fireballs was amazing to Adamas, but he still wondered how did it all happen. It was too simple. He wanted to know why the incantations are necessary and how they affect the mana inside of people He wanted to know if mana existed only inside of people because maybe mana might exist all around in the air itself. He wanted to know whether animals possessed mana as well or maybe even plants might hold some mana too.
Magic. As soon as Adamas heard about the concept of magic in a virtual reality game he wanted to know all about the gears that makes it a reality in NLR. For all he knew magic could probably have its own “physics” to how it works. Certain rules and laws that govern the way magic works in the world. A world that doesn’t have the same laws as the real one does. A new world! So Adamas decided to postpone any and all magic training until he could find an appropriate teacher that could help him find the answers to his questions.
Adamas kicked off the ground and Grant turned over the hourglass at the same time. Adamas ran straight towards the first opening between the swinging logs with both swords in hand. All of the logs were swinging at irregular period like there was no pattern. Ranging from 1 inch from the ground to 4 feet, every log was spread out between these heights and he had to sometimes jump and duck while dodging. Some logs were bigger than others and sometimes they were placed horizontally instead of vertically forcing Adamas to dodge to whole wide length of the trunk. Nonetheless it was tiring on his mind and body. At all times he had to grasp everything and anything in his immediate surroundings. The everlasting barrage of logs would always force Adamas into awkward dodging positions which would make him feel funny at times.
To outsiders Adamas looked like a little kid dancing through a sea of moving logs. His movements were all magnificent dodging each log with the minimum movement required. The movements that were awkward to Adamas only served to add more spice/originality to his improvised dance. Grant was also a bit surprised thinking that Adamas looked like a wood elf dancing casually through a forest of swaying logs. But casually was not the word Adamas would have used to describe his current predicament. He felt like he was constantly on edge. His face was stiff with tension and concentration and his body moved instinctively towards whatever he saw or thought would be coming. The swords in both his hands trailed behind him sometimes skimming against the logs whenever his dodges were too close for comfort. Every pore on his skin was pouring out ferociously with sweat which oddly only made him look much cooler while dodging the incoming logs.
After 37 minutes of slowly dancing in between swinging logs Adamas crossed the finish line and decided to rest for 10 minutes which was 5 minutes shorter than his first time resting after the first course. He quickly munched on some smoked meat while trying to get his breathing under control. Another trick he learned in NLR during his first attempt at Hell’s Ground. The sooner you get your breathing under control the sooner your stamina recovers.
When the strip of smoked rabbit meat was consumed Adamas headed past the starting line for the next course. As soon as both feet passed the green line on the ground some of the many ropes on the ground swiftly floated up and shot straight towards his legs, feet and thighs. The ropes bound his whole lower body together forcing Adamas to hop through the rest of the way.
I’ll never get used to this….
The first time he tried to attempt the course, the ropes sudden movement freaked him out into thinking someone was casting a magical attack on him. When he finally calmed down Grant explained in between his large fit of laughter towards Adamas’s fright about how the ropes were magically programmed to tie the legs of anyone who walks past the starting line.
Once the ropes stopped moving Adamas began his hopping journey though the second course. He had to jump through a long line of wooden donuts that lay flat on the ground while holding both swords tightly in both hands. The objective was to simply jump in the empty circle of each wooden donut and the farther you proceeded through the course the more separated each wooden donut is from each other forcing the challenger to jump harder and farther. This course reminded him of American football training his classmates in high-school would do before the season started by aligning tires in two rows. But unlike Adamas they didn’t have their feet tied together.
Halfway through Adamas’s thighs were bulging out from the shorts that Grant had given him along with his shirt for training purposes. They were pulsating from the stress of having to push-off from the ground and land abruptly on hard ground for a whole km. Now they had yet another km to go. His legs and feet were beginning to feel like an old rusty machine that creaked and groaned in agony every time he would land and jump again. He did everything possible to help him ignore the ache in his lower body area. He thought of the new skills and stat points he would receive as a reward, he thought about how happy his NPC father would be when he told him that he completed the training he had and he thought about Liam and Kandy.
All his thoughts served to spur him on emotionally and physically; expectancy towards his NPC parent’s happy expressions, desiring more pain in order to help him out-hurt the pain Liam and Kandy both inflicted upon him when they betrayed his trust and love, and aspiring to test the limits of his perseverance. His emotions caused a hurricane inside his chest that pumped more strength and will-power though his entire body. Before he even realized it Adamas was now bounding onto the last wooden donut and a soon as he hopped though it the ropes tying his legs came undone. He landed with a thud face down on the ground and just lied there with his chest heaving up and down trying to catch his breath.
Five minutes later he dragged himself up calm and collected but weary and tired. He began to slowly nibble on some smoked rabbit meat while performing a couple of quick stretches. Stretching his whole lower body gave of a sharp pain at first but soon afterward it was covered with a refreshing feeling that served to soothe down every sore part.
I can’t believe they also make muscle aches a reality in NLR. Stretching also helps relieve the ache quicker just like in RL. I didn’t believe Grant when he told me at first but now I have to tip my hat off to him. He definitely knows his stuff… Thankfully it’s bearable here in NLR unlike in RL.
Ten minutes later Adamas felt relaxed and ready to go on. He walked up to the next starting line. In front of him was an open hallway sandwiched by two buildings that were each a km long. Three feet and four inches (101.6cm) from the ground were numerous round contraptions along the walls of both building for the whole km that served to shoot out arrows continuously. Once the course begins the arrows would be shot out non-stop until the challenger reaches the finish line. To make matters worse the round contraption were able to adjust their heights on the walls by going up and down the long oval holes that held them. The long oval openings extended from 10 feet (2.4m) from the ground to the ground itself. This gimmick was designed to adjust to the challenger’s height and also to prevent anyone from lying down in one place for too long. As soon as the challenger would arrive crawling under an arrow trap contraption it would slowly began to descend from its initial height on the wall raining failure and continues pain since no one could die.
Adamas laid down on the ground and started to fast crawl his way through the course. Arrows were released as soon as he passed the green start line (finish line is red). The sounds of arrows hissing and the contraptions mechanical groan as they slowly lowered in height filled Adamas’s ears. His elbows, arms, chest, and legs were covered in dirt as he prodded his way through a storm of arrows.
Throughout the whole crawling ordeal he couldn’t help but feel like an insect or to be more specific a worker ant looking for food for his queen. His imagination ran wild and Adamas started to act out in his mind the part of a loyal ant worker serving the majestic silver ant queen loyally hoping to make his existence known to her. In his mind the worker ant (him) was finally acknowledged by the queen after long months of finding the most exotic and delicious cuisines. His queen promoted him with a class change to her mate. He grew wings and his body developed and became more sturdier. Together alongside with the queen they both flew off far away to develop another new colony.
Wait… Why did I make the queen silver?
Unknowingly Adamas colored the queen silver in his imagination and with that question thoughts of silver hair began to occupy his mind.
Everything immediately became quiet as Adamas ignorantly passed the red finish line. He registered the lack of noise and became aware that he had just finished the third course. He briskly stood up and dusted himself off. He walked over to one of the resting area’s building in order to respond to nature’s calling.
This game is too realistic, I wonder if they have an option that allows me to turn this feature off….
As soon as he finished his business and walked out the building with clean hands he proceeded to do a couple of fast stretches since he only had 5 minutes left before he had to confront the next course. He glanced over at the next course while he was trying to touch his toes while standing.
Why did they have to add a mountain to the obstacle course!?
The mountain was 3km high. The first two km are a steep slope that can be traversed on foot. The last km had to be climbed since it was a peak stretched upright from the ground. The climb up was hard but not as time-consuming as the climb down: aka as the fifth course.
He jumped up after he finished his last stretches and began the hike up the mountain. He began jogging his way up the mountain with both swords unsheathed in his hands. As Adamas began to cover more distance the mountain began to get steeper and steeper as he hiked even higher up the mountain until finally he reached the base of the peak. He looked and leaned against the wall for a quick breather. He steadily regulated his breathing and laid one of his hands in one of the hand holds on the wall of the mountain peak.
The climb up was arduous since it was long and more than a bit frightening for Adamas. It was the second time he had really climbed anything other than a tree and whenever he looked down he would be hit with a sinking feeling inside of his stomach. The height of 1km was no joke and it scared Adamas shitless. Shortly after he looked down he would gain a burst of speed due to his desire to get on flat ground. As he slowly reached out and grabbed the top of the mountain his breathing was erratic. He desperately pulled himself over the edge and landed on the top of the flat mountain sprawling on the ground with a red face.
Oxygen was very thin at the top. It was a struggle trying to get a full intake of fresh air so Adamas decided to make his stay on top of the mountain short. Adamas once more stretched and ate a small meal of salted boiled veggies along with his smoked rabbit meat in a few short minutes. He looked down from the mountain and the scenery caught him breathless for the second time. As far as the eye can see there was lush green land upon land. The outer gates were visible and the land beyond it as well. The vast wilderness was spread out with little dots marked on the far out land that looked like villages and some of the other Threshold cities. Adamas was also beginning to feel that the NLR world was far larger than Earth.
As Adamas began to swallow the last bite of his meal he looked down the edge of the mountain and began to plan his path down. The first km down the mountain is only navigable by rock climbing your way down. It was the first km that bothered Adamas during his first attempt. Trying to find sufficient hold for his feet and hand was tough on this side of the mountain since he couldn’t really view them from the top. So he had to work his way down slowly and improvise his path on what his immediate surrounding provided him with.
Retracing his steps from his previous attempt, Adamas climbed down at a rather moderate pace. It was faster than his first time but still a bit slow due to his caution. As soon as he stepped on the ground he unsheathed his swords and began to hike down the last 2km. His whole body suffered but it was his arms that were throbbing from muscle pains. Rock climbing up and down the mountain was tedious work and his arms and hands were now paying the price.
“This is total bullshit.. *Haah-haah* Freaking psycho Grant, never met someone as messed up as him.. *Haah-haah* Oh yeah.. my sister is pretty much the same too… *Haah-haah* God-dammit this training course is fu***** deranged!! *Haah-haah* …And who the hell would bring a 7-year old to an obstacle course called “Hell’s Ground”!!
The rest of the way down Adamas couldn’t help but complain and whine. He was tired, ragged and in need of sleep. The stress was piling up and he could only grumble and bit** about his troubles.
When he finally caught sight of the finish line Adamas shut his mouth and dragged himself down the mountain to the resting area past the red line. He went through the same routine of stretching while eating during the short 15 minute break. During his first attempt Adamas tried to stay in the rest area longer than 15 minutes but he was forcefully pushed past the starting line by an invisible force. Knowing that staying any longer was useless he headed towards the next course.
25 freaking logs!! Me and my stupid decisions… As soon as I heard “hell” I should’ve said no!
Twenty-five logs were stacked up in front of Adamas and .15km (164yards) away was the drop point for the logs. It was marked by a large square painted on the ground. Adamas grimaced and walked over to the stack of logs. He pushed the whole stack down resulting in all the logs rolling down on the ground in chaos. Adamas went up to two logs and bent down. He picked up two logs by encircling one log with a one-armed hug. The logs were a bit large but not too big for Adamas to handle picking up.
One trip took Adamas about 7 minutes to reach the drop zone. Seven grueling minutes of dragging two very long thin logs. Each seven minutes felt like an hour, but somehow Adamas kept on walking. The logs would drag against the earth and sometimes bump against rocks sticking out from the ground. It was hard gruesome work and Adamas’s arms were already sore from climbing down the mountain.
“Finally… *Haah-haah* The last log!!”
Adamas bent down and hugged the last remaining log with both small arms tightly and forced his way through the fatigue and pain and hauled his body towards the drop off point. He threw the log down with the rest of the logs in the large painted square and plodded his way towards the rest area. As soon as the log landed inside the square the red finish line just a few yards away began to flash signaling the end of the 6th course.
Adamas walked past the flashing finish line and went through the same steps. Eat smoked meat, stretch the body, and observe the next course.
The next course only consisted of a small peg sticking out from the ground. It was 1 feet (30.48cm) high and 1inch in diameter (2.54cm). All Adamas had to do was balance himself on the peg with his right foot for 30 minutes and do it over again with his left foot. If he fell off he would have to start all over again.
Adamas walked on the peg with his swords sheathed and stood with his left foot. His right foot was pressed against his left foot in a triangle while his hands came together in a prayer pose on top of his chest.
It was a yoga pose that his sister taught him when he was young in RL and practicing with dual swords. Balance was something he had to learn before he began learning his extensive swordplay technique. His sister would force him to do yoga with her before they began practice everyday so all the positions were easy for him to perform. This was how he passed the course the first time without falling off.
He did the same when it came time for him to change. The small peg would began trembling when the first 30 minutes were over as a warning to switch feet. According to Grant if a person doesn’t switch feet the peg will start jerking around all over the place forcing the person to fall off and repeat the course from the beginning.
This course was the easiest to Adamas so he finished it rather swiftly in the hour required and moved onwards to the rest area where he went through the usual steps in preparation for the 8th course.
Trees were carved into long, short, thick and thin monkey bars. Everywhere you looked you would only see monkey bar supported by wooden pillars. They were all different in size and thickness. It felt like a forest setting with palm trees sticking out here and there along the path and there on the ground underneath the monkey bars were spikes made out of clay and dirt. Failure meant excruciating pain and failure of “Hell’s Ground”.
Adamas jumped from the starting line ledge and reached out towards the first of many monkey bars. He swung through them like a monkey on drugs. He was super fast. Occasionally he would move to the right or to the left in order to dodge bait traps which were just broken monkey bars that looked fine at first glance. Sometimes he would stop and let one of his arms hang in order to let the blood flow.
The next course was a long 2km dodging boulders by jumping and diving sideways. The boulders were about the size of a large adult. Their never-ending tumble down the hill shook the earth creating an artificially small earthquake. Adamas had to predict their trajectory and landing-point while running at the same time. When he finally reached the top of the hill and passed the finish line he was overlooking a large river flowing towards him.
Adamas lied down on the ground and gnawed on some smoked rabbit meat while stretching. He looked down at the river in apprehension. He hated the last course the most. Being forced to swallow mouthfuls of water every minute due to the river current was vexing. Even worse was the amount of effort it took to swim against the river’s current. He could only groan in resignation.
*sigh* “so they save the worst for last, huh”
Adamas leapt from the ledge of the cliff and dived straight into the river with both wooden swords tied to his back. He launched into the water like a torpedo and began to swim towards the surface for air. Adamas escaped the depths of the river and gasped for air on the surface. He was instantly pushed along by the river’s current. After filling his lungs with air, Adamas began to freestyle against the river. His progress at first was slow but once he got into the pattern he began to swim at a somewhat moderate pace.
At long last he reached he opposite shore where a huge waterfall was crashing down and a gold line was located drawn on the grass a short distance from the river. (Gold line indicates the end of “Hell’s Ground” course) Adamas pushed himself up and tumbled past the finish line. He was wet, tired, and he felt sleep-deprived. As soon as he reached the grassy area past the gold line he fell down and looked up.
Grant was there looking down at Adamas.
“Hahaha good job kid, why don’t you get some rest. You look like you’ve been to hell and back… Muwahahaha
Adamas’s eyes shut while he was trying to curse Grant out loud and his consciousness wandered away in a dream…
“Ah! Your back already!”
A girl in a white and black summer dress jumping up and down while clapping her hands in joy appeared in front of Adamas. Then like magic the scenery appeared at first it was the ground around him then it spread out before him just like before when he was there.
Woah, this place really does look amazing just like last time…. Last time??? I was here before?
Adamas’s eyebrows furrowed in thought.
This scenery is familiar.. and the girl with the silver hair also loo- Wait! silver hair! She’s the one that I’ve been thinking about this whole time!
Then the memories rushed back into Adamas’s head.
“I was here before! We were about to drink some tea and you were going to explain why I was here when I suddenly woke up without any memories!!”
“Hehe, Only those who have the proper requirements are allowed to keep their memories of Temptantes”
The girl smiled cutely and walked over to a small white table. It was carved beautifully out of white marble depicting two muscular men holing the roung table. Their arms and hands acted as holders for the table and their legs were the legs of the table. Their expressions were fierce as if their only objective in life was to hold up the white circular table above them forever.
She sat down on one of the silver chairs. The chair she sat on was carved out of silver wood and carved into that wood were flowers. Roses, lilies, camellias, daisies and many more. They were all however silver just like the rest of the chair. The little girl looked up at Adamas and invited him to sit.
“Hurry up and sit! We have so much to talk about. It has been so long since I’ve had a visitor… Actually you’re the first! My name is Fleur, (the r is said roughly like the french people say it) what’s yours?”
“My name is Adamas”
He walked over the chair opposite of the little girl. It was plain with no patterns on it but when he touched it with his hand the chair itself started to morph. The wood flowed forming into countless blades and the legs resembled a lots of sheaths stuck together. Wooden swords stuck out from the back and the arms of the chair as if it countless wooden swords were merged together to create it. The chairs final form looked majestic as if it was fit for a king to sit on.
Adamas was startled by the sudden movement and was hesitant to sit after the chair stopped morphing. Fleur giggled in a small cute voice and spoke up.
“The argentum chairs take shape of what the person sitting in it thinks about the most. It seems like you’ve been thinking about swords lately hence the many swords on it.”
Adamas had a sudden thought and asked.
“What if you’ve been thinking about a person?”
Fleur smiled and took on a mature persona which surprised Adamas.
“It depends on how you think about them. If your thinking about someone you love than the argentum chair resembles a heart. If your thinking about someone you hate then the chairs takes the shape of a dead tree with many branches.”
“Ah I see, so the chair basically takes the shape of the sitter’s emotions. Then these swords must represent my fighting spirit?”
“Yes, your right, It shows that you’ve been fighting both physically and emotionally lately but let’s not delve to deep into the subject of the argentum chairs. There are many interpretations and the argentum chair still remains a conundrum even to me. They cannot be easily understood…. Instead let’s talk about why you’re here!”
Fleur returned to her playful self and smiled excitingly at Adamas.
“Those who only fill a certain number of requirements are allowed into Temptantes while dreaming. Since you filled those requirements twice that means your eligible to come here physically!”
Adamas frowned and raised his right hand in a stopping motion.
“Wait, stop right there. Let’s get over with what’s been bothering me since I first came here… Why does this place look so deserted as if you are the only one here?”
Fleur suddenly looked sad after hearing Adamas’s question.
“It was due to a great tragedy that occurred long ago in the past, but I’m not allowed to tell you more until you’re able to arrive here physically. I can only tell you the name of this place. Nothing more.”
Fleur looked down and wore a painful expression as if she was playing the tragedy all over again in her head. Adamas seeing this regretted asking what he did and tried to lighten up the mood.
“This place looks really beautiful! The flowers, the birds, and the castle in the distance together makes this land look majestic. I feel like I could stay here forever.”
Fleur looked up and smiled bitterly.
“Say that after you’ve stayed here as long as I have but I also understand how you’ve come to think this place is beautiful. I’ve been tending to this kingdom for countless centuries all alone. It is a sight to see and enjoy but it would be appreciated more with someone else rather than by yourself.”
“You can’t leave this kingdom!?”
She looked up and smiled sadly
“No I am oath-bond to remain here waiting for any future arrivals. When those who are pure in intention arrive, then I’ll be able to leave.”
“I see…. So that’s why you want me to come here.. But why can’t you tell me more. Perhaps if you tell me where this place is I could arrive faster.”
Adamas knew if the Temptantes was not discovered before he started playing by the NPC’s of NLR than the place was definitely well hidden. It wasn’t going to be easy for him to find with just the name.
“Fleur shook her head.
“No I can’t. It doesn’t work that way. Being able to find where Temptantes is located by only knowing its name is a test of sorts. Only those who are worthy are allowed into this kingdom. Now more than ever….”
She looked up at Adamas with her puppy eyes pleading to him.
“So will you come look for me?”
Temptantes is a forgotten ancient kingdom. Find out more about the kingdom! Search for answers about its location! The princess of Temptantes is depending on you! Failure will result in -500 fame points and Fleur will never talk to you again.Quest Difficulty: E
Quest difficulty is only E? Is finding informations about Tempatantes really that easy… Wait…. Whoever said that E was the lowest quest level… Holy shit!! I might have made a huge mistake when I accepted Rand’s quest….
Adamas knew that trying to find an ancient kingdom of the past that no one has ever seen or heard of in a long time was asking for failure. He decided it was impossible. 99.9% impossible. No way in hell He was hovering his finger over the no button and was about to press it but he made a stupid mistake by looking at Fleur.
Her hands were together in a begging position and her puppy eyes were tearing up in hope.
He couldn’t help but feel sorry for the girl. He wanted her to be happy, to smile more. What about me, Shouldn’t I be happy!! He tried to strengthen his resolve and decline the quest but when he caught sight of the magnificent but lonely castle behind her he could only sigh in defeat. I guess she deserves happiness a lot more than me. And so Adamas made yet another foolish decision.
“Alright! I’ll do it. I’ll find this place and rid you of your solitude by taking you out to see the rest of the world!”
Fleur smiled in gratification and hug Adamas. She was about the same size as he was so her head was buried into his shoulder.
She started crying in joy
“Hey, you don’t have to cry. I told you that I would find this place and set you free!”
She looked up with red eyes and smiled.
“I know. It’s just that this is the first time in a long time *sniff* that I’ve seen anyone *sniff* and you’re already *sniff* gonna try to come find me. *sniff* I’m just so happy you were the first person *sniff* here.
Adamas smiled awkwardly and patted her back.
[i]Aren’t I supposed to be like a ghost… How am I touching her?[/i]
Adamas’s sight was going on and off. He would find himself in total darkness then he would find himself back in Temptantes.
His world started to flicker even more. Fleur looked up with a tear stricken face and tried to regain her posture by wiping away her tears and standing straight. She looked at Adamas in the eyes and smiled.
“You’ll remember everything about this place from now on since you have decided to *sniff* come here… I hope you find me soon and thank you for agreeing to such a hard request!! Good Luck!!
As soon as Fleur finished saying “good luck” Adamas left Temptantes.
Wishing him good luck Fleur watched Adamas disappear. She looked up at the sky and yelled out
She had finally found someone worthy after waiting for soo many centuries. A child for now but he would grow soon since that was what his mana aura indicated. He would turn out to be a fine warrior. She looked at the chair he just sat in decorated with many silver swords and smiled with anticipation and whispered in delight.
“The Guardians shall return…”
Adamas woke up with a start. He was wet. not from the river but from the man standing in front of him wearing a happy expression with an empty bucket of water in his hands.
“Muwahaha, I’ve always wanted to do that!! You truly are everything an instructor could possibly want in a student! Hahaha”
Adamas looked up and smacked his lips in irritation. Grant was too childish for him to get angry at. He looked around and realized the sun had set long ago. It was probably after midnight around 2 AM. Grant was still laughing but he was now managing to get it under control.
“Haha, enough of that for now, It seems like you’ve managed to beat your past time. I have to say you did very well my boy, very well. Let’s go and see all the specifics on the Plaque.”
The Plaque was a stone sticking out from the ground that recorded the time of each course. The Plaque was located in the center of Hell’s Ground and the whole obstacle course circled around the Plaque. It wouldn’t be mistaken to think of the Plaque as the heart of Hell’s Ground. It is the recorder of all who have passed the obstacle course and also a recorder of the time for each challenger. It was as large as a podium. Inside was the center stand was where you would place the hourglass and on the plaque it would record what the hourglass measures. The hourglass is magically connected to the finish and starting lines of every course and can tell when someone passes them. It then proceeds to transfer that information to the Plaque which magically shows the times on its surface. It looked like this:
Adamas Mason (Attempt #2)
1.Swinging Logs. (1km): 37min
“You completed Hell’s Ground an hour earlier than you last attempt kid! You’re almost done with my training now! Hahaha”
Adamas sighed in relief when he saw that he had finished Hell’s Ground under 15 hours. He knew somewhere in his heart that he did just fine on his way to the Plaque but actually seeing his results was a huge load off his shoulders. He looked towards Grant and asked him a questions.
“So what do I have to do now to complete your training?”
Grant smiled and patted Adamas on the back.
“Actually my boy, you’ve already completed you training, you just have to sit down and meditate for an hour. It’s the process by which you absorb all the changes that occurred inside your body during the challenge. Once your done with that you’ll have officially passed my training program… *sigh* I guess I’ll have to go back to the training center…..”
Adamas secretly smiled. Inside he was excited.
Yes!! I can finally say goodbye to this crazy obstacle course!!
Adamas quickly sat down on the floor near the Plaque and began to meditate with both hands on his knees. He closed his eyes and felt every sore muscle in his body. It was practically every muscle imaginable. They were tired from overexertion and wouldn’t stop swelling. He went further inside and reached into his chest he felt his heart beat. Its every motion and the blood flowing from his arteries could also be felt. Right there besides his heart was a clump of energy.
It shone out brightly and when Adamas tried to feel it, the clump of energy started to spill into his heart. It was scorching hot. The heat was unbearable but somehow his heart withstood the inferno and pumped the now liquidated energy along with his blood. The energy then started to flow through Adamas’s body. Chest, arms, legs, hands, feet, etc. The energy flowed throughout his whole body then returned back to the heart where it was once again pumped though out his body. It was a continuous cycle and Adamas had to clench his teeth due to the rapid changes it caused in his body. His muscles didn’t become bigger but denser. His skin became harder and some of his organs grew while others became stronger. The changes continued to occur until the energy was diluted into Adamas’s blood. It didn’t disappear. He could still feel it but now it was smaller and now a part of him.
Adamas opened his eyes and he was struck with numerous notification pings.
You are the very first player to complete Hell’s Ground.
Reward: Fame +200
|Level Up: Sword Mastery  (5%)
Adamas jaw went slack from what he was seeing. He knew now that he was probably the strongest level 1 player in the game even when he still had the penalty of having all his stats halved. Grant seeing Adamas expression chuckled and walked over to Adamas.
“About time you finished boy. You’ve done a great job completing my training program so here’s your reward son.
You have completed Grant’s “Two Days In Hell” training without fainting once. Congratulations!
Rewards: Talk to Grant to claim them!
Adamas received a gold book and on the cover were two swords crossing each other. Underneath it the fine print read: “Dual Swords Skill: Double Guard Slash.”
|The Book of Secret Sword Techniques from the Gladiss:
*Double Gaurd Slash
Long ago in lands far away there existed a group of devotees who dwelled in the mountains. Their sole goal was to further their inner and outer strength. They used dual swordsmanship as a tool to measure their true strength. Through many years they have refined their skills and became to be known as the Gladiss.
This skill is one of the many skills that they have developed over the years. All members of Gladiss first learned how to defend before attacking. Next they would learned to attack while defending and finally they mastered the art of only attacking. This skill is restricted to only those who follow the same path as the Gladiss once did. Only those who use dual swords may learn this skill.
“I came upon that book during my adventuring days. I tried looking for other of the same kind when I found it but it was the only one there. Maybe in the future you could seek the rest of the skill books!! haha!!”
Adamas looked at Grant and saluted him in thanks.
“Thank you sir.”
“Haha don’t get all chummy on me yet boy, I’ve still got something else for you…”
Grant then proceeded to unwrap something long in his hands.
“This here is the sword that I used during my younger days. I’ve been taking care of so it still has an edge to it and since I was weaker than you back then I’m sure you can use it as well.”
|Grant’s Old Sword:
Despite being old the sword is in very good condition. It has been crafted by a master blacksmith who has the skills to turn any metal to a weapon.
Requirement: STR 12+ VIT 12+
Adamas didn’t know how else to thank Grant except from saluting again and voicing out his thanks once more.
“Thank You sir, I’ll make good use of your sword.”
Grant smiled and patted Adamas back again while laughing out loud
“Gwahaha, I know you will boy. In no time you’ll be stronger than most of your peers! Hahaha.”
Adamas smiled and thought that Grant wasn’t actually all that bad after all. He realized then that his Black Gravity Armaments felt extremely light and decided to check his stats.
“Show stats”, he whispered and the screen popped up in front of him:
Adamas could only gasp. He was now undoubtedly sure that he was the strongest level 1 player in NLR.
Yes! All that hard-work finally paid off! I’m so glad I lasted through that hell. I’m so much stronger now….
He thought about all the training he had to do and also carry the wooden swords at the same time. He felt like he was going to die half the time.
Oh yeah I need to give Grant his wooden swords back and the back sword belt.
He took off the wooden training swords and back sword belt he received from Grant and tried handing them over to him. Grant just smiled and shook his head.
“You keep them boy. You can use them whenever your training.”
Adamas took back the wooden swords and put them into his bag. His bag was like a vacuum it sucked in everything no matter the size. The only down side was that it had a weight limit.
“Let’s get back to town and get some refreshments before you return back home, what do you say boy?”
Adamas equipped the clothes he got from his NPC mother and he also equipped the iron short sword his father gave him and Grant’s old sword. He looked up to Grant and replied.
“You lead the way sir!”