*Action* or *Sound* (and sometimes censorship for curse words)
#Whisper# (Means to chat with another player)
5 A.M. at the Wandering Sword. It was still dark outside without a single soul about and the lights of the inn outlined the windows of the main hall in the darkness.
Adamas and Grant along with the innkeeper were sitting down at the table eating a congratulatory breakfast in the main hall. As soon as Grant arrived he offered to pay for breakfast. When they ordered more than 10 dishes for breakfast the inn-keeper came by and asked them what the occasion was. When Grant told her that Adamas had just passed “Hell’s Ground” twice in a row she busted out some of her special grape juice and gave some to Adamas.
“It’s on the house”, she said as she gestured for Adamas to drink with no reserve.
Adamas frowned at his cup unsure if he should drink and the inn-lady laughed.
“Don’t worry, its non-alcoholic, We don’t give out our alcoholic drinks to children.
They and another group were the only people up and awake eating in the main lobby.
The other group consisted of two bow-women and one swordsman. They were huddled up together whispering in low voices. They looked like a suspicious lot to Adamas, mainly because he didn’t know whether they were players or NPCs. It was one of NLR’s special features where an ordinary player or NPC can’t tell if someone is a “destined” one or just another resident of NLR.
“I’m telling you that’s the kid we saw at the Training Hall!! That’s the head instructor Grant sitting right beside him!!”
The only male in the three-man team spoke up in an excited whisper.
“He doesn’t have anything to do with us….”
The girl dressed in dark green pants, shirt and vest with the large long bow leaning beside her chair said in a low barely audible tone.
“Of course he does! Don’t we want to join the “Fierce Fighters” guild!? That kid is our ticket into the big leagues! If we’re able to hand him over to them they’ll have no choice but to accept us. They are expanding a lot of resources just to locate the kid. Imagine if we hand him over! They’ll love us!!”
The other girl dressed in light green with a short bow and two daggers on her hips turned her attention to Gaurald and spoke up in a cautious tone.
“You saw how he fought at the Training Hall, if he can fight like that in a real battle then we won’t stand a chance in close-quarter combat…. and I’m beginning to have second thoughts about the Fierce Fighters. Their leader isn’t capable enough. While he does have good values his capabilities as a proper leader are severely lacking according to the rumors that have been circulating. He isn’t able to coordinate the guild well.”
Gaurald laughed in response to what she said.
“It’s just a little kid Lindsey! Even if he does know how to fight there’s no way he can take on all three of us! I’ll hold him off with my sword and shield while you back me up from behind and Hailey can pick him off with her god-like sniping from the distance with her long-bow! And if you’re talking about that supposed rape incident involving the Fierce Fighter (FF from now on) members, I heard that’s it’s all a lie made up by the other guilds so FF can lose face…. Even though I still can’t say with certainty whether or not the incident happened, but do you really think that players can rape NPCs in NLR? I really doubt that’s possible.
Currently they were all in search of a good guild where they would be able to grow and become stronger. They wanted to become the best players in NLR in order to make the maximum profit possible. They were MMG (Money-Making Gamers) or what people like to call them: Dark Gamers. They decided to become dark gamers in order to make some cash on the side when they were attending middle-school. They have played many different popular MMORPGs and have made at least 1,000 dollars a month. Sometimes when they’re doing really well they would make up to 5,000 dollars a month. And joining a guild meant more cash.
Since there weren’t many players that would join a guild before the one month lock-down period most guilds didn’t have more than 40 members. Only three guilds managed to pass the number barrier that every other guild had. Right now the three friends were looking to join up with one of those three major up and coming guilds that popped up in Greenage. Loyalers, Fierce Fighters, and Valiant. Loyalers wouldn’t allow them to join since they knew the guild leader and he didn’t really like them. Valiant is a secret group that did not have as many as FF or Loyalers but according to Gaurald they only accept players who have completed a G-rank quest which is almost impossible to find during the lock-down month. So the team’s only option was Fierce Fighters which boasted of the most members at 1,572.
One thousand five hundred and seventy-two members is actually a large amount of players since most of the people who started NLR the day it came out were already done with their 10-day growth period. FF is extremely popular and more people flock to them as each day passes. According to Lindsey’s calculations if FF keeps on growing at the rate it is, it will be one of the top 10 strongest guilds in NLR.
The girl who had spoken up first, aka Hailey ignored the conversation between Lindsey and Gaurald and peaked at Adamas in a thoughtful manner. She was the silent type and would never say anything un-necessary within the group. She loved using the bow both here in NLR and in RL, so she was considered a prodigy with it by her friends and family. She would always go hunting with her father in the mountains when she was young and they would always use longbows instead of the usual compact bows or guns that hunters usually used. Her time with her dad when she was little had a great impact on how she turned out and she knew it. She loved him the most out of everyone else in her family, which is why it hurt her inside whenever she thought of him.
Hailey observed Adamas closely and was beginning to have second-thoughts about capturing the kid. Through her years of taking life and being able to read every minute detail in her prey’s body language Hailey was able to sense something abnormal about Adamas
When Hailey looked at Adamas something inside of her told her not to confront the little boy head on in a battle. It wasn’t his vulgar way of eating as if he hadn’t eaten anything in weeks or his terrible smell that permeated from his body. It was just a gut feeling she had. She just felt that he wasn’t your average kid.
This kid is dangerous…..
|You have unlocked the new skill Aura Perception!!|
|Aura Perception (Passive Skill)The ability to sense the auras of any living entity or object and perceive whether there is anything more than what meets the eyes. Can measure the level of danger any entity can pose towards the user or measure true value of any object. This skill requires the user to concentrate greatly when observing their target. Can only be used passively on one target at a time.|
Hailey was slightly surprised and concentrated her stare towards Adamas until a small bar came into her vision. From the left the bar was colored green and as it moved to the right it became darker until it started to turn dark red at the end. A white arrow appeared towards the right where the bar was beginning to turn red.
So I guess this means he’s dangerous…….
Hailey turned her head away from Adamas and the bar disappeared like smoke from her view.
She looked back at her group leader Lindsey and waited for her decision. Lindsey’s brows were wrinkled as she thought about the team’s next course of action. She was always the intelligent one in their little group. She would always map out their plans and finalize their decisions.
Hailey looked towards Gaurald and he was eagerly looking at Hailey awaiting her decision. He was the only guy in their team and despite his lack of caution he was pretty good with the sword and shield. He mostly used his shield over his sword but it didn’t mean he was unable to use the sword. Whenever he would go on the offensive his sword strikes were quick and brutal. He was also their information gatherer. He would go out and interact with NPCs and players for info and look for any quest-givers. He was really good at finding the truth in rumors and gossip. He had a knack for socializing.
Hailey then once-more looked at Adamas and concentrated her sight on his two swords strapped to his back.
Two-swords? …..Dual swordsman?
Haiey was brought back to attention when Lindsey sighed out loud. Lindsey raised her face to her two companions and spoke up with resolve.
“Fine let’s do it. I hate it when we have to resort ourselves to something as low as kidnapping but if we don’t join a guild soon, being the best will be 10 times harder. We’re used to MMORPGs but this one is different guys, we shouldn’t underestimate the kid just because we were able to find out that raising our stats during the growth stage was easy.”
Hailey smiled at what Lindsey said. It was all due to Gaurald that they were able to find out about raising stats early on.
“Here’s the plan! If he logs out before we capture him we’ll just let the Fierce Fighters know where his location is so that when he logs back in they can take care of him. They should let us join the guild if we do that much. If he doesn’t log out and puts up a fight then we’ll capture him. Remember though, our objective is to ONLY capture him not to kill him. It would suck if we were hunted by the guards before the lock-down around Greenage goes down.”
Last thing we need is to become like Crazy Kong.. Hailey thought while stealing glances at her new target.
There was a rumor of a crazy player who killed two other players outside the inner wall and became a “marked” payer. Ever since then he’s been on the run from the guards living in the outer city away from civilization. He was a Korean with Kong in his name so everyone calls him “Crazy Kong”. At first the team didn’t believe the rumor but once Gaurald authenticated the information they had no choice but to accept it as the truth.
Lindsey spoke up again informing them of their plan
“We’ll injure him badly enough and disable him so that he can’t fight anymore than tie him up with ropes. Since i know the bandaging skill I’ll always be near in case his health gets too low. Gaurald you don’t have to cross swords with him. Just be our argo so that Hailey can injure him. Once you see an opening start using the ropes to hold him down while we run towards you. Hailey you’ll be far out of sight in order to disable him with shots to his limbs. Do the both of you agree?”
“You’re the boss Linds”, Gaurald said with a grin.
“Okay….”, Hailey said in a small voice without showing interest.
Linds short for Lindsey. She asserted her position of leader and brains of their little three-man team when they both agreed to her plan.
Hailey took one final peek at the little kung-fu kid sending out a silent apology.
I’m sorry kid… No matter how dangerous or strong you are… we can’t let our ticket into Fierce Fighters just walk away…
Adamas, unbeknownst of the approaching danger, continued eating the delicious breakfast while the inn-lady and Grant continued to talk about how he performed during his training.
“Fifteen hours!? That is really long, but I’m even more surprised that he finished it at such a young age!”
The inn-lady who used to be a famous adventurer truly did look surprised but Grant just laughed at what she said.
“Hahaha! If you think that’s a huge accomplishment then you’ll be blown away by how he improved by an hour less than 15!!”
“Wow, looks like you’ve got yourself an accomplished little genius! I wish my daughter was as hardworking as he is, she does nothing but slack off lately. I feel like she needs a good push in the right direction.”
The inn-lady released a long sigh and looked at Adamas with envy written all over her eyes.
Adamas could only continue eating his food awkwardly under the gaze of the inn-lady. He was ravishing everything within his sight on the table. He was reaching out for the biscuit slathered in grape jam when the inn-lady spoke up suddenly.
“Child, just make sure to pass by this establishment before you leave Greenage after your month is up. Gathering relevant information about your destination is also an adventure’s duty.”
Adamas retreated his hand to his side and looked towards the inn-lady in confusion.
“What makes you so sure that I would decide to leave Greenage after a month?”
The inn-lady and Grant looked towards Adamas in uncertainty as if they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
“Don’t you already know? As a destined one you should have the desire to go out adventuring in the world. Aren’t you going to leave Greenage after you’ve stayed here for a month?”
“Y-yes, I will but how did you know that I would want to leave after only a month?”
Do they know about the one month-restriction that doesn’t allow player to leave the city?
“It was decreed by the Gods and Goddesses! That’s how. Four years before you were born, most of the High Gods and Goddesses sent down messages through the oracles that informed the citizens of Alvernon that our kingdom would soon greet the “Destined Ones” in each of our 6 Threshold cities. Great individuals who even had the potential to rival our exulted 7 heroes and would eventually bring drastic change into our lives. They would all be free without any allegiances to any kingdom including the ones they’re born into.
They said that most of the destined ones would have the desire to leave and explore the world as soon as they could walk and this made the council of Alvernon worry for their safety. The council took the news of the arrival of the destined ones calmly but they were worried inside since they knew how dangerous it is beyond the borders of the cities and villages so it was decided unanimously by the council to hire the Great Sages to erect a barrier around each city with a month growth limit. The barrier would not allow any “Destined One” who hasn’t been alive for more than a month inside the city to leave the walls. The people on the other hand were more than calm when they heard of the “destined ones””
Grant interrupted the inn-lady by slamming down his mug of watered down ale and spoke up with good humor.
“Haha, boy, every person in Alvernon was excited by the news. The council said to the citizens that they would welcome the “Destined Ones” with open arms when they arrived but in the end we were all caught by surprise when the oracles told us how they were exactly going to arrive. Hahaha. If you could have seen the look on everyone’s faces!”
The inn-lady smiled with a nostalgic feeling and continued her narration.
“Yes, we were all caught by surprise. For three years the High Church’s oracles did not receive word on how or when the “Destined ones” would arrive. Everyone began to feel as if they had done something wrong to anger the High Gods and Goddesses. We were all on edge making sure to not commit any type of sin in fear of further angering the High Gods and Goddesses. Until finally about 9 months before you were all born, most of the High Churches sent multiple messengers out on their fastest horses all over Alvernon with word from the High Gods and Goddesses. The oracles had once again received word that the destined ones would be born onto this world from the people of Alvernon after 9 months! We were informed that the women of our fair kingdom were chosen to give birth to the Destined Ones.”
Grant snorted in laughter and added in his own bit.
“Don’t misunderstand boy, they didn’t just magically become pregnant. They had to work hard with their loved ones in their bedrooms in order to give birth to you all! I remember it all like yesterday. It was the night after the messengers rode into town. I went to my usual tavern and it was empty! Not a soul inside except for the bartender. When I asked him where everyone went, he let me know that all the men were at home with their wives hoping to make their own “Destined child”! Hahaha, those poor fools. The whole kingdom was in heat that whole month. Some of my instructors would show up with bags under their eyes because their wives wouldn’t let them get a good nights sleep! Gwahahaha, Thank god I’m not married!”
The inn-lady joined in with Grant’s laughter.
“It was really hectic that whole month. Almost every family had a pregnant wife that would soon give birth to their own Destined Child. Even the council members were working hard with their spouses! Me and my husband on the other hand decided that having one trouble maker in the family was enough so we didn’t really have the desire to raise any of the destined ones. The oracles let everyone know that the “destined ones” (DOs from now own) would continue to arrive in our world even after the first month they were born. The only requirement is that the family has to pray to their gods and they will most likely be answered in 9 months.”
The inn-lady finished her narration and took a drink of some water for her dry throat.
Adamas stared at his mug of water slowly digesting everything he recently ate and heard. He was excited. Knowing that there was an actual back-story for the players arrival in NLR was pretty cool, unlike all the other MMORPGs he had played before.
They even have a back-story for the one month restriction! I wonder who the Great Sages are, they sound like really powerful mages…
Adamas looked outside one the inn’s windows and saw the first rays of morning light streaking through the sky. He stood up and looked towards the inn-lady and Grant who suddenly stopped talking to each other when they noticed Adamas standing.
“I should get a head start so I can make it back home in time for dinner…Thank you for letting me stay here ma’am, I’ll make sure to stop by before I leave Greenage. Grant, thank you for the training, I’ll be glad to repay you in any way when I’m grown up.”
“My name is Anebelle, and please do, I look forward to seeing how stronger you get from now on.”
Grant just laughed and said “No Problem, it was fun.”
Adamas smiled and left the table to head towards him room in order to pack with his super dimensional bag that was currently no where in sight. He recently found out that the bag can not only take in items larger than its size but that it can also disappear and reappear whenever he wants. The weight of the bag still pulls him down but it can easily be accessed without having to carry it. It just appears right besides him. Magic. That was the only explanation Adamas had and it was all he needed for now.
As soon as Adamas stood to leave, Hailey and her friends stood up and left before Adamas could. They waited in an alley across from the inn where they could keep a good eye on who left and came. As soon as a little child exited the inn the group slowly followed behind the kid making sure to keep their distance.
Adamas was now past the inner city’s gates jogging towards his NPC parent’s home. The sky was dyed in red as the sun announced its arrival for the day. He spent the past 70 minutes observing the many people who were also on the same road. Some were merchants in a large cavern, soldiers on horse-back, travelers, families, and they were all diverse consisting of high elves, dark elves, wood elves, humans, wild dwarves and even a couple of mountain dwarves.
When he realized he was getting closer to the spot where he heard the strange sound of something being dragged he decided to concentrate on his immediate surroundings. Ten minutes later he diverted from the bustling main road onto the small empty road that was used to get to his house. He decided to stop for a quick break after he realized he was almost upon the same spot where he heard the suspicious sound
He was warned by his NPC mother to not diverge from the road on his way to the inner city but she said nothing about him staying on the road on his way back. Adamas smiled while he thought about how witty he was and took out some of his smoked rabbit meat. As soon as he was about to take a bite he changed his mind and decided to soak the meat in some of the special sauce Anabelle had given to him. He then proceeded to lower his hand from his mouth towards the jar that contained the savory sauce.
As soon as the rabbit meat met the jar of sauce on the ground an arrow passed through the space between his hand and mouth. The exact same place where his hand would be if he had taken a bite without Annabelle’s sauce.
Adamas recoiled in shock by falling on his back.
Where the hell did that arrow come from!!
Before Adamas could think on the origins of the long purple fletched arrow, somewhere near the bushes to his left he heard a rustling sound. He looked up towards the bushes when suddenly a full body armored man came out with his shield in front of him. Adamas quickly rolled to the side and stood up. He began to raise his hand in order to draw his swords when another arrow came flying towards him. Out of some mysterious force of luck the arrow struck his right writ’s gravity armament and bounced off harmlessly. Adamas was dumbfounded by his luck recently and realized it might be because he had actually gained some stat in luck from Hell’s Ground.
Thank you Hell for the luck.
Too distracted to realize the irony in his thoughts Adamas was caught unawares when the unknown man with the shield suddenly sped up. The guy lowered his body and pulled back his shield in preparation for a shield dash. Adamas seeing the enemy in front of him getting ready to wham him with the huge shield that was twice his size, he reacted by crossing his arms and jumping up by raising his knees in front of his stomach. Floating in the air with a defensive stance The full armored guy bashed Adamas at the end of his dash with an enormous force that shook Adamas’s whole body.
He flew for a couple of yards rolled up like a cannon ball until he hit the ground where he rolled around like a rag doll for the next 4 yards. Adamas was face down in the dirt unable to move feeling more than a bit hurt.
Shit! What the hell is going on! Who are these people!
Luckily Adamas flew into the woods on the side of the road where he had enough cover to avoid any more deadly arrows. He still remembered that long purple fletched arrow that almost took out his hand. The man on the other hand was once again charging towards Adamas. But this time, instead of a shield he had ropes in his hands.
Adamas had four more seconds before the stun effect would wear off and the guy in full armor heading his way would reach him in less than two. He quickly thought about using the gravity field on the huge junk of metal that was currently heading his way. As soon as he thought about his target being weighed down by his item skill, a couple of words flashed in front of Adamas’s vision.
The big hunk of metal that was currently running towards Adamas suddenly stopped in surprise. Despite the small amount of extra gravity working on the shield-bearer, he was still taken by surprise which gave Adamas the time needed to recover from his stun-affect.
He quickly jumped up and unsheathed his swords. Once his swords came out the guy in full metal armor was suddenly approached by a woman who was wielding a short bow.
Is she the one that has been sniping me… No her arrows have red feathers, the other arrow had purple instead, so that must mean another one is still out there. Damn I don’t think I can win with these odds.
The new arrival came up to her friend and when she saw that he was okay she took aim at Adamas with her short bow.
Adamas jumped behind a nearby tree only to hear the arrow skim of its trunk. He took a glance back at his two enemy’s only to find them approaching his location fast. The girl was now wielding two dangerous looking daggers and the shield-bearer now had a sword out. Adamas quickly retreated further into the woods. He ran between every tree possible in order to gain cover from his pursuer’s arrows. Arrows started whizzing by. They would all hit tree or empty spaces until one of the many arrows finally met their mark. Adamas was hit violently on his left shoulder, he turned his head and looked at the arrow stuck in his shoulder during his short flight due to the arrow’s impact and saw that it had purple fletching. Argh!! Shit it hurts!! But god damn this person is a monster with the bow. He hit the ground and fell down.
Due the ground’s decline he rolled down what seemed like a hill loaded with trees sticking out. Adamas was afraid he might collide with a tree resulting in more damage. His HP was now already in the yellow due to the purple fletched arrow and colliding with a tree would definitely make the situation worse. He continued his roll down without luckily hitting any of the trees breaking the arrow lodged into his shoulder in the process. He rolled and rolled until he arrived at a line of bushes on the even ground where instead of rolling through them, he suddenly plummeted down a hole hidden under the surrounding bushes. He yelled out in surprise only to get the rest of his breath knocked out of his lungs when he landed with a thud on a dirt covered floor.
|You have discovered the secret mini-dungeon Wanderer’s Bane!!
Adamas rolled on the floor and sat up right holding his wounded shoulder while looking at his new destination.
….Never a dull moment in this game…huh.
“Where did he go!!” Lindsey yelled in frustration!
*Sigh* “I don’t really know Lindsey, I did see him roll down the hill but after that I don’t know where he went….. What did he hit me with back there.”
Gaurald mumbled the last part to himself wondering what the little kid did to him when he suddenly felt heavier as if his whole body weighed a bit more.
Lindsey and Gaurald were currently searching the area where they thought Adamas had landed but their efforts did not bear any fruit.
They heard rustling from behind and Lindsey took aim with her bow and Gaurald raised his shield and sword up.
Hailey burst out from the nearby trees and stopped in her tracks when she saw the tension in her teammates. Lindsey sighed and lowered her bow while Gaurald sheathed his sword but still kept his shield at the ready. Hailey looked around and found part of her arrow with blood on it that hit the little kid lying on the hill. She frowned and thought to herself
…So it did hit….
She didn’t feel good targeting a child but once the hunt starts all emotions must remain in the back-seat. That was what her father taught her and that was why she was so good.
“We can’t find out where he bloody went” Lindsey said in frustration as she threw up her hand in proclamation.
…….You can tell she’s really mad when her British accent starts showing….
Hailey looked at her friend and told her in a calm low voice.
“It’s okay…. We can still call FF…. and tell them that he’s here…”
Gaurald smiled and put his hand on Lindsey’s shoulder.
“She’s right, maybe he just logged off, this is still a city. Even though I’m not sure if you can log off in the middle of a battle…. I guess you might be able to in the city… But that doesn’t matter now. Let me just whisper the guild and tell them we know where their little kung fu kid is and we’ll tell them where exactly only if they let us join!!”
Lindsey visibly relaxed by taking a deep breath and letting it out.
“You’re right, the situation is out of our hands now. Our next course of action should be to contact FF and tell them we know where the kid currently is in exchange for becoming members….. Will you do us the honors Gaurald?”
Gaurald grinned and said.
“No Problem Linds”
Gaurald walked off a few steps away from his teammates and controlled his menu bar to whisper one of his acquaintances in the FF guild.
#……Hey Gaurald, what’s up?#
Gaurald grinned mischievously and whispered back.
#You won’t believe who we just met…..#