Alive Gear Massive Update!
June 16, 2015. Wednesday.
The Yami Hikari building.
The convention announcer made his way into a private room with a do not disturb sign. He went up to the utility closet and removed a chair that had been propped up against the door. An identical man tumbled out the closet with his hands tied to his back, mouth taped, half-naked, and unconscious.
“Tch. Such a nuisance,” the announcer mumbled under his breath.
The announcer took out his knife and severed the man’s rope, untied his hands, and carried him onto the sofa. Without waking the real announcer up, the imposter removed his clothes and put them back on the real announcer. His job was only half complete.
With quick fluid motion, the impostor then went and pulled out a plastic backpack from the cabinet. Inside were black jogging pants, a dark gray hoodie, a black pair of shoes, and some empty beer cans. He quickly changed into his own clothes and scattered the beer cans around the announcer.
He grabbed an unopened beer that he had stashed away in the bag and opened it. It bubbled and hissed as it foamed. He had a quick sip without it touching his lips to stop it from spilling over. He wiped his mouth with his hands and then left the nearly full can under the real announcer’s hand that was dangling off the coach.
His eyes scrunched up with disgust at the taste of beer. The sour taste of it over powered his sense, and made him slightly light headed. He had already looked into the announcer background and habits and found out that he was a heavy drinker.
Lightly dipping a paper towel in the beer can, he gently tapped it on the real announcer’s lips. With his other hand, he pulled out a small orange spray the size of an eye-drop bottle, and squirted it around the announcer’s body. The pungent smell of alcohol permeated his nose and around the room.
Walking up towards a small wall mirror next to a desk, he peeled off the fake skin on his face, revealing a jagged scar on his cheek. Then he pulled out a lighter from his back pocket and burned the fake skin. Like a flash paper, flames engulfed it in an instant. Not a trace of residue was left.
A couple of small Yami Hikari trinkets lay on the desk. One of them was very interesting: it was exactly like the Yami Hikari logo. Underneath the light, it glistened and changed color from blue to red and vice versa. Its wings looked alive, ready to flap away from his hands. He had another trinket almost identical in size to this one he was holding. He kept a couple for himself. He enjoyed collecting small trinkets and buttons for every mission that he completed successfully. It was a personal hobby.
The man spun around, headed towards the unconscious announcer, and delicately peeled off the tape with his pocket knife.
The man took out his black android phone and looked at the message.
With his job done, he picked up the backpack and quietly left the building without a trace.
BlackStar sat in front of his computer working away. There were three different monitors splayed out around him that illuminated his dark room. Soft piano music was played from his computer. His workspace was spotlessly clean, and not a single bit of dust could be found anywhere.
Next to his desk was a glass of display case, full of rows and rows of buttons and trinkets. He was proud of his vast collection and accomplishments. He kept them organized according to size, shape, what mission they were from, and personal uses. There were some small trinkets he bought at the convention for his personal collection that didn’t have to do with gaming—the latest popular anime characters that people drew or small buttons shaped like them.
There were two trinkets missing, but it didn’t bother him much. He already had an extra Yami Hikari trinket and the other one he lost.
There were at least ten thousand participants to Growth that already registered today from the convention. On his screen, he had about fifty different applicants that he kept tabs on. Each were unusual in their own way. Agnis’s and Zero’s profiles were uploaded on the right monitor. He leaned back and stretched. Hot steaming tea that he’d made ten minutes ago was now drinkable without burning his tongue. How he hated scalding things entering his mouth. He didn’t like spicy foods either. Everything he ate had to be either just the room temperature, cool, sweet, or sour. When it came to hot soup, he would either ask for ice cubes or let it sit for a while to cool down.
He took a sip of tea and turned on his Alive Glass gear.
|Welcome to Growth.
An unregistered player has logged in. Would you like to start a new account?
|What would you like your name to be?|
|What race would you bzzzzzzttt……|
The screen phased in and out.
|Thank you for registering. All personal information has been deleted.|
“About time.” He smiled.
June 20, 2054. Saturday. 5:45 pm
Zeraph walked towards the slums on the east side of Kingdom of Terra. Beggars were littered around the streets. Some were begging for coins while others just watched Zeraph with solemn eyes. There was no life and will to live in them. They wished for quick death. In their lives hope was an absolute lie.
“Sir. Please. Would you spare some coppers?” said an old beggar as his wrinkly fingers clung onto Zeraph’s clothes. His eyes were wrinkled up with stress and old age. This man was once a proud citizen of Terra, but now he was just a beggar.
Zeraph reached into his pocket and threw a handful of copper coins behind him. A swarm of beggars flocked towards the copper that was on the ground.
A dirty-looking boy wearing nothing but battered t-shirt bumped into him. With lightning-fast reflexes, Zeraph grabbed the boy’s wrist right as the boy grabbed onto his purse.
“Tch. You guys fall for the same trick so easily,” Zeraph growled as he roughly grabbed the boy. His hands tightened as he constricted the kid’s movement.
“Let me go!!” The boy struggled hard, trying to get away with Zeraph’s money, but he was mercilessly pulled into the alleyway. Zeraph threw him onto the wall. His sweet demeanor that he’d shown to Agnis was gone and was replaced with a cold, heartless mask. This was his real nature. His sweet personality was only one of the many different acts that he pulled out depending on different situations.
“Listen here, kid. You are going to do something for me,” said Zeraph as he held the kid by the throat against the wall.
The haggard-looking boy spat at his feet. “I ain’t going to do nothing!”
Zeraph eyes’ narrowed in disgust. He smacked the boy roughly on the face and made him fall to his knees.
“That is for the disrespect you showed me,” said Zeraph with a growl of anger. Zeraph crouched in front of him and held a silver dagger to the boy’s throat. The sharp-pointed knife slit a small clean line. Drops of blood slowly dripped down his neck.
“We can do this the easy way or the hard way. You choose,” threatened Zeraph as he looked menacingly into the boy’s eyes. The boy shivered in fright.
“Okay okay okay I’ll give it back. Just let me go,” said the boy as he gulped in fear. He turned his head away from Zeraph.
“Let you go? Who said I’ll let you go?” said Zeraph with an evil chuckle, enjoying the boy’s fear. He gave off a menacing look, ready to kill him in seconds if he made an unexpected move.
“Wha-wha-what are you going to do to me?” said the boy. It was as if he tried really hard to merge with the solid wall and disappear from Zeraph. Like a frightened rabbit, he wanted to hide in a hole til danger passed by.
“You got two choices: death for stealing, or your service to me.” Zeraph rummaged in his small traveling backpack and pulled out a clean white scroll. It was made by skinning cow for leather. He opened it up in front of the boy’s face. The boy looked at the scroll and looked at Zeraph.
“I don’t un-un-understand, sir. I can’t read,” said the boy, hoping that would allow him to be free. If it didn’t work, he had other ways to feign stupidity.
“Well, let’s put it this way. You will be in my service doing jobs that I give you. All you need to do is sign this paper and our contract is sealed,” said Zeraph.
“Um…how am I supposed to sign it?”
“Give me your hand.”
The boy shakily gave his right hand to Zeraph, who pricked it with the silver knife. The boy winced in pain. Blood trickled down his thumb.
“Stamp it with your thumb,” ordered Zeraph.
The boy nodded his head. The scroll glowed a brilliant, bloody red.
A blood contract has been made.Zeraph has undergone an ancient blood magic contract. This contract cannot be reproduced, copied, or destroyed. If lost it will magically return to the owner. To terminate this contract, the owner must burn the contract over the holy fire.A total of twelve can be made. If all twelve are made no new contracts can be formed.
“Stand up. What is your name, boy?” asked Zeraph as he got up. He brushed dirt off his clothes and wiped his blade with a white handkerchief.
“I don’t have a name, sir,” the boy whispered. He was embarrassed to tell Zeraph that he was nobody. The boy slowly stood up.
“Your name will be Scion. Come; we have work to do.” Zeraph turned around and silently went toward the dark alleyway.
“Yes sir,” he squeaked quietly and followed after. They both silently disappeared into the dark streets.
Scion followed closely behind Zeraph as they walked into an old, rickety, rundown building. Zeraph’s torch brightly burned as it lit the stairway. They continued to descend deep into a sealed basement. Upon the sealed door, Zeraph undid the seal with his silver knife. It was the key to opening the door.
With loud creaking sounds, the door rumbled and opened. Zeraph noticed in the middle of the dark room an empty wooden chair stood in place. Hundreds of candle lights flickered on one by one around the chair. A few moments later, a ghostly apparition appeared and sat in the chair. Its body was transparent, with only its ghastly face showing clearly. Its broken crown lopped on the side of its head. His eyes were pitch black.
“S-S-Sir. This is not a wise p-p-place to be,” said Scion in fright. He inched backwards towards the stairs, ready to bolt. Danger was something he knew too well, and this apparition radiated with dark powers.
Zeraph ignored him and walked toward the ghost with confident steps. He was here on a mission, and something like this did not scare him.
“I came here to bring back what was once lost,” said Zeraph to the apparition. It stared back at him with eyes like empty voids.
“W….What…..ha..ve….I….lost?” said the apparition in a monotonous voice.
“Your kingdom, your honor, and your people, your highness, and I have brought back your salvation,” said Zeraph. His hands clenched into fists.
“Sho..w…me…thy proof,” said the apparition with a dreary voice. His eyes flickered as if it was remembering something very important.
Zeraph nodded and motioned Scion forward. “Scion. Come here.”
“Sir Zeraph…” squeaked Scion in fright. He was shaking, but his legs were frozen in place.
“I said come here!” said Zeraph sternly as he pointed in front of the apparition. He was not going to tolerate insubordination from this rascal. If Scion didn’t arrive in a couple of seconds, he was ready to grab him by the scruff and throw him towards the apparition.
Scion walked forward dejectedly. His hands and legs trembled uncontrollably. He did not know how long his legs would hold up before he collapsed.
“I have brought you a life,” said Zeraph as he looked towards the apparition. He was satisfied with Scion’s action and decided to not beat him later.
“A.h…a…young….life…how I waited…for this day. Give him to me,” said the apparition. His black, transparent hands slowly rose up and pointed towards Scion.
“S-Sir!?” Scion’s eyes went wide with fear.
“Go!” Zeraph shouted coldly. He disliked when his orders were questioned. Scion wanted to run but he could not disobey. In the flickering candlelight, Scion cautiously walked towards the apparition. Scion instinct screamed at him to run away, but the blood contract made it difficult to disobey Zeraph. As Scion got closer, the candle lights blew out. In a blink of an eye the apparition appeared right in front of Scion’s face.
“You’ll do nicely.” The apparition smiled, and a foul, rotting smell of death entered Scion’s nose.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” screamed Scion as he fell backwards and desperately tried to scramble away. An ancient, green, magic circle lit up underneath Scion. Black wisps of smoke hovered around Scion’s body and whips of ropes restrained him. He gasped for air as the ghostly smoke entered into him through his mouth, nose, and eyes.
“Karggggggggggggggh.” Scion eyes rolled backwards and his back arched. Black smoke entered through every pore of his body, immobilizing him. His veins pulsated and throbbed up underneath his skin.
Scion collapsed onto the ground. Zeraph walked towards Scion and stood over him with a hardened expression. Scion’s eyes slowly opened; they became pitch black. His head pulled back, his jaw open in a silent scream.
“Kyahahahahahahah! I’m free!!” The boy’s voice changed into a deeper husky tone, and he laughed evilly.
“No. Now you obey me,” said Zeraph as he brandished his sword at Scion’s throat.
“What?!” yelled the apparition inside Scion. A strong force of energy came out from Scion’s body and forced Zeraph back. His hands rose forward to block the blast of energy. Thousands of cracks formed all around the walls from the sheer pressure the possessed Scion gave off. Dark aura-like tentacles whipped erratically towards Zeraph.
“You dare?!” said the possessed Scion as it floated up over Zeraph’s body. Zeraph pulled out his contract with Scion and showed it to the possessed apparition.
“This is the contract between Scion and I. He is contracted to me and you who inhabit his body follow my rules or your existence is forfeit!” commanded Zeraph. Even a dead king could not disobey his contract. Red lines appeared on Scion skin, restraining the dead king.
“GAHHHHHHHHHHHH! HOW DARE YOU!” screamed the possessed Scion as it cringed in pain. It had nowhere to run; it was now trapped inside a child’s body.
“Go back to sleep, fallen King Diadem! Until I call for you, you are not allowed to harm that child!!” Zeraph roared with power. A swoosh of wind blew across Scion’s body, and he fell. Zeraph caught Scion.
|You have gained a special job class Mirage Hunter, an old book, 100 gold, and a gold key.|
The Fallen King Diadem’s secret job
The ancient text found in the ruin of Eastern Kingdom of Diadem. The once powerful kingdom has fallen from an ancient race that has somehow disappeared from history. There’s a rumor that the fallen King of Diadem is the key to awakening the lost art. Capturing him alive has given you access to new knowledge. Search for the ancient texts of Mirage Hunter arts.
Difficulty Level: CRequirements: Have the ancient contract skill.Reward: Unknown.
Scion opened his eyes and looked up towards Zeraph.
“Sir Zeraph?” asked Scion, confused. “What happened to the ghost?” He peered around the dark room. There was nothing. He now felt safe.
“Not bad, kid. Not bad,” said Zeraph as he patted Scion on his head, “Let’s get you something to eat.” He lowered Scion down to the ground.
Zeraph’s screen became static.
What’s going on? He looked around, confused. Was this a possible forced ejection of the game?
|Welcome, the one who walks an Illusion path.
Have you come to take my Seed?
What? How does it know? he thought and pondered for a moment.
|Hehehehe. Very honest, aren’t you?
I welcome you. You who have been hiding behind many masks.
Let us change history together.
I’ll leave a seed in your hands.
A bright light flashed in front of his eyes and his vision returned back to Scion.
“Sir? Is everything okay?” Scion asked worriedly as he looked up at Zeraph.
“Yes, I’m fine. I just have a horrible headache right now. Give me a moment.”
BlackStar took off his Sense Embryo Gear and rested it upon the table.
I still have this wretched headache. It’s been a week now since that day and it still hasn’t disappeared, he thought as he silently cursed in his head.
This headache was stopping him from doing his work. He did not like it when his physical body hindered his job. He was a workaholic; even when he was sick he would keep on working.
“Where the hell is the seed?”
He clenched his fist in frustration.
His phone vibrated.
Two new messages were received.
There is nothing wrong with your avatar nor has anything changed. We’ll keep tabs on it and notify you if there are any new changes.
Would you like to trade info? I found the person you are looking for.
Wednesday. July 1, 2054. 12:45 pm.
Scion ran toward Zeraph with two large bags of fresh-baked honey bread with goat cheese. He had a loaf of bread stuffed in his mouth while running. The hot scalding sunlight toasted Scion’s head, making it sting annoyingly as sweat dripped from his brow. He was so thrilled to be allowed to eat something so warm and freshly baked that small drops of happy tears spilled down his cheeks. All he had eaten in the past was disgusting leftover scraps left in trash cans as he desperately scrounged around for just enough to survive.
Not only was Scion given fresh food, Zeraph had taken him to the bath house and paid one of the ladies to scrub off Scion’s filthy body that reeked of piss and feces. He hated baths, but somehow the lady managed to clean him spotless.
Next the two went to the tailor store to buy him new simple clothes to replace his tattered rags. Throughout his entire life Scion never had brand new clothes and shoes. He especially loved the shoes. No longer did he have to run around the city barefooted—in fact, Zeraph forbade it. Zeraph extremely disliked the uncleanliness, stink, and the tattered clothes from Scion, but now he looked and felt like a whole new person. He wasn’t afraid of Zeraph anymore; he was grateful.
“Sir! I brought you what you asked for. Do you have anything else for me to do?” He bounced around happily, like a dog wagging his tail for his master after a long absence. Zeraph took the bag and kept walking forward without once looking at Scion.
“What are we going to do next, sir?” Scion asked through a mouthful of bread.
Zeraph stopped in front of a rundown two-story building, noticing one of its front door hinges was broken off and barely kept together. A message floated in front of his screen.
|Rundown building #121
Price: 10 gold
One of the buildings in Terra’s city slums. To purchase this building you must go to the town hall. Entering the abandoned house is not recommended because of its rundown state. Certain areas look like they would collapse in any moment. Some of the appliances and rooms can still be used without any problems. If you leave any items behind in the house, anyone can take them for themselves. There are a small number of rats occupying this building.
Zeraph closed out of the message and entered the damp, rundown building. The place was grimy and discolored from age. Wallpaper was peeling from the walls, and the air smelled a bit stale from the smell of old wood. Which each step Zeraph took, the wood creaked loudly.
“Sir, what are we doing here? We are not looking for another ghost, are we?” Scion asked nervously. He was not fond of meeting another ghost anytime soon or anytime ever for that matter. Zeraph halted and Scion bumped hard into him nose first. Zeraph turned around and looked down upon Scion.
“S-Sir! I really didn’t mean to. I-I-I,” stuttered Scion through his hands, holding his nose in pain.
“I need you to do something for me,” said Zeraph, smiling warmly.
“Yes? What can I do for you, sir?” Scion looked up at Zeraph eagerly.
“Go and find me ten orphaned children and bring them here. Tell them they will be fed, clothed, and even educated. Be here by the time the sun sets tomorrow. Now go!” Zeraph waved his hands at Scion to leave.
“Yes sir! I’ll do my best.” Scion saluted and sprinted out of the living room.
Immediately after Scion left Zeraph’s sight, Zeraph pulled out a broom, a mop, and a dust pan from his inventory and started to clean. Zeraph did not like dirt or disorder, not even a speck. His colleagues in the real world always said that he has OCD.
The sun had finally begun to set in the real world as a day passed in the game. In the world of Noriene time moved three times faster than in the real world. The room was dimly lit with oil lamps, and the room was tidy, without a speck of dust. There were twelve children of different races that were present. In addition to Scion, there was a pair of twin hybrid dark-elf boys, three human girls, a male hybrid dwarf, a female hybrid troll, and four human boys. These were the children that were forgotten or thrown away by their parents. Their ages ranged from five to twelve years old. Zeraph stepped out from the shadows and walked towards the children. The children huddled closely together, eyes filled with fright, and the eldest child pulled them back behind him.
“There seems to be one more than I had planned. No matter. Now, you all came here because of what I promised to give you, but at the same time you know that this world is not always fair. Nothing is given freely. You all came here for the hope to live a better life, did you not?”
Zeraph made eye contact with each of the children one by one as he stressed the last sentences to them. They all eyed him, and each gave a firm nod.
“For your service I will provide for you. My word is law. If you do not want this, then leave now. But remember. If you leave you will not have another chance to be protected, to have free food and a place to call home,” said Zeraph as he stressed each word. He wanted to get the point across to them that they could obtain all these blessings for a price. These children who lived on the streets knew this was a rare opportunity. A couple of the children looked at him enthusiastically and slowly inched forward with anticipation.
“Come and join me. You will start a new life and be given a new name,” said Zeraph as he sweetly coaxed the children to his side. The younger children were weeping tears of joy, for they had no home to call their own; but the older children were wary of Zeraph’s promises.
Zeraph pulled out eleven pieces of parchment made out of high-quality sheepskin. He beckoned the children to approach.
The first children to come forward were the twin hybrid human elves.
“We would like to sign together,” said the elder of the twins.
“We don’t ever leave each other’s sides,” said the younger of the twins. They both grinned up at him excitedly as they pushed each other to be in front of the other.
“Give me your right hands,” said Zeraph as he extended his hands towards them. The twins showed him their hands. He pulled out his silver knife and pricked each of their thumbs.
“Stamp it here and it is done.” Zeraph pointed down towards the end of the page.
At the same time, as if it were a game, the twins stamped their fingers to see who could do it the fastest. The contract was sealed and magic welled up around them, and just as quickly as it appeared it disappeared.
“Your names from now on will be Chance and Chase,” said Zeraph, satisfied. His naming skill was not the best, and he gave them whatever came to mind at that moment. They bowed their heads and stepped to the side, where Scion was watching.
Next the three human girls came forward. Their face and clothes were plastered with dirt.
“Um. Sir. We are sisters. We would like to do it at the same time as well,” said the eldest with long, curly, orange hair. The baby fat in her cheeks was still prominent in her face. Her blue eyes sparkled like sapphires.
“Will this hurt?” said the youngest redhead of the three. She didn’t like the thought of pain and looked up at Zeraph with worry. Her stunted growth made her head look too big for her body.
“Shhh! Let him do this so we can eat,” said the middle child with short brown hair. Her hands were covered completely in soot as if she had just come out from a chimney. She had a natural habit of climbing down the chimney to steal warm food when nobody was watching. Her stomach grumbled, reminding her that she had not eaten in three days.
“We also have an extra requirement, sir,” said the eldest. She knew that it wasn’t a wise decision to ask anything from their soon-to-be savior, but her love for her sisters pushed her forward.
“Oh? What is it?” asked Zeraph as he eyed her carefully. He did not like to be given extra requirements if it wasn’t under his terms. To him this usually spelled disaster or was something he had to watch out for.
“If possible, could you get my youngest sister a doll? She’s never had one before,” said the eldest softly as she blushed slightly. She looked down with embarrassment as her right foot drew a small circle.
“It will be done. Now show me your hands.” Zeraph breathed a little easier. This wasn’t a difficult requirement. He didn’t mind giving away a couple of dolls. He just made mental note to be sure to make them work harder for their gifts. The process was quickly done and a name was given to each. The youngest was named Ines, the middle child named Robin, and the eldest Alana. They excitedly went back towards where the other contracted children stood.
The hybrid dwarf boy and the hybrid troll girl stepped forward next with confident steps. Her ponytail dangled and swayed with her every step. Large, tusk-like teeth protruded out of her mouth. Her green skin was dyed with brown bruises from early instances where she had been beaten. They did not back down and met his eyes with pride. These races were prideful races, and they did not bow down to anyone very easily.
“Sir, we want to keep our own names,” said the hybrid dwarf boy as he puffed up his chest. For his age, he was shorter than the average dwarven child. His eye color was strikingly different from a normal dwarf’s, and it set him apart from his race. It was blood red.
“Why is that?” asked Zeraph. He eyed them suspiciously to make sure they didn’t make any sudden move toward him.
Zeraph knew that having too much pride could get you killed, especially when demanding things from their savior. It could also mean they might have a hidden agenda. He was a very cautious man, and knew that these children could be used as weapons against him. Zeraph himself had been shaped into a tool for assassination at just five years old. Even at such a young age, Zeraph made sure he succeeded in his entire mission. His mindset was that of a survivor.
“Because we want to remember the names that our parents have given us,” said the troll girl. Their names were the only gift they had of their parents, who had not abandoned them, but had been murdered.
“You can keep your name, but you must use a different name when you are working,” said Zeraph. In time, he would strip their names from them, but for now he could be patient. Mercy was not in his dictionary. They both nodded without question and extended their hands, sealing the contracts. Their names were Rosy and Gray, and their work names were Tigerlily and Juniper.
Next, three of the human boys came forward. They didn’t care about their names. The only concern on their minds was that they would be able to eat, sleep without fear, be protected, and have a place to call home. They knew that Zeraph was dangerous and was no ordinary man, but it did not bother them too much.
The first of the three was a tall, young teen. He was completely skin and bones. All that covered him was a sheet of cloth with crudely cut holes for his head, arms, and legs. His hazelnut hair was covered in mud. He was missing a couple of fingers, the telltale sign of a thief who was caught too often. Zeraph named him Leaf.
He named the next boy Hans. The boy was shy, docile, and dumb, but he had an unnatural knack for playing music from memory. His fingers were calloused and broken from the jealousy of other noble children. No more could he play the music he loved.
The third one he named Roy. A troublemaker since the day he was born, Roy shamelessly lied and had a knack for stealing from the grumpy local butcher. Animals were his only true friends, and they were loyal to only him. A black snake was sleeping on his shoulders as he petted its head.
Finally, the last of the twelve children stepped forward. He stood tall, his shoulders straight and strong. Zeraph could tell this kid would need to be watched closely.
“I don’t know why you are doing this, but I don’t like it.” He crossed his arms. “I’m here because these kids are my family, and we stick together. I’m not going to let you do anything to hurt them.”
Zeraph cracked a smile as he looked upon him. “Ah, the protector of this little group has stepped forward. You’ll do nicely. Do not fear. If you wish it, I’ll put an exception in your contract. You will personally lead the children, but in return, their mistakes will fall on your shoulders. They will be your responsibility, and you their leader and protector. Would that suffice?” Zeraph asked, matching the boy’s strong gaze. He knew without a doubt that this boy would take the offer.
“Yes,” said the eldest.
“Then so be it.” Zeraph’s smile was warm, but his eyes were cold. Their contract was made and the deal was sealed. “Your name shall be Cyrus.”
Eleven blood contracts have been made. Until the contract has been released no more new contracts can be formed.
Zeraph cleared his throat. “Everyone go upstairs and take a bath. You stink like death, and the hot water is ready. When you are done your new clothes will be lying out for you to wear. You all have thirty minutes. Now get to it!” said Zeraph sternly as he pointed towards the bathroom.
The children scrambled after one another as they excitedly ran toward the bath and their new clothes. Zeraph knew that his task was going to be long and difficult, but he welcomed any challenge, no matter how slim the chances of success. Born in the darkest part of society in a world that was never kind to him, he grew up stronger and wiser than the average person his age.
His heart was a realm of snowstorms, but when he looked upon the children he felt a bond towards them. They too would grow up stronger than anyone else, especially the one called Cyrus. He looked forward to teaching him the same excruciating lessons that his master had taught him. His plan was just beginning.
Zeraph pulled out ten large, wooly pelts that he got from slaying bear-type monsters and laid them on the ground. He sat down comfortably and crossed his legs in lotus position. Reaching in his backpack, he pulled out an old piece of paper that he had gotten as the King Diadem quest reward.
|Part 1 of History of Noriene
Chapter 1: The Twelve ElementsThe world of Noriene was created from the twelve elements. In the beginning there was Void. The great spirit moved and called forth using its voice. From the moment that the great spirit spoke the element Sound was created. The word the great spirit uttered created many different elements and brought forth billions of stars and galaxies. Noriene was one of them. Twelve elements were used to create Noriene: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Light, Dark, Sound, Electricity, Ice, Wood, Spirit, and Void. Each balanced perfectly in harmony with one another in a circle.
The twelve elements were spread far and wide across different continents where their powers were hidden away.
It is said that all species were created from different elements, each with their own strength and weakness.
The human race is said to be a unique race where they inhabit the power that allows them to harness any form of the elements.The trolls are said to be created from fire and are masters of fire magic.The elves were created from light, water, earth, wind, and fire. They are one of the oldest of races that were born.
The dwarves were made from earth and fire.
(A large body of text is missing from old age.)
Chapter 2: The Twelve Continents and the Unknown Continent
There are a total of twelve known continents and one unknown continent that are connected by land or divided by the sea. Five thousand years ago a calamity brought forth a dark age to Noriene. Many great civilizations rose and fell.
From this catastrophe six great heroes emerged to save their people from the brink of destruction: three humans, a troll, an elf, and a dwarf, banded together in an allegiance of friendship, were born to protect their people from the calamity. They were pushed back to the fire continent by armies of demons. This was their last stand. Sacrificing their magical powers, the heroes encased the whole fire continent with an ancient grand protection magic spell. From that day forward it has protected the fire continent from the invasion of demons.
The six great heroes split amongst themselves the Fire Continent to rule and protect their people. The elven hero brought his people deep into the woods, and the Kingdom of Leafe was born. Their capital is called the City of Elements. The dwarven hero took his people into the mountains and built deep, maze-like cities. Its capital was called the City of Mazes and the Kingdom of Dezno was formed. The three human heroes founded the Kingdom of Terra, the Kingdom of Lilac, and the Kingdom of Tano. The Kingdom of Terra’s capital was called the City of Diadem. The Kingdom of Lilac’s capital city was called the City of Tenu. The Kingdom of Tano’s capital city was called the City of Time. The last hero did not take any land because it was not in a troll’s nature to live in large cities. So the heroes agreed to leave the middle of the five kingdoms’ land for the trolls, and it was called the No Man’s Land where the trolls would live and roam.
It is said that the other eleven continents were named after the elements, and to this day their lands remain cursed.
There is a rumor that the unknown continent is inhabited by demons. No other information is known.
Chapter 3: The Fallen King Diadem
For three hundred years, the Kingdom of Terra was ruled by the wise and kind King Diadem. He was one of the six heroes that protected the Kingdom of Terra and also the creator of the Mirage Hunter arts. But in his greed for wealth and power, he sought out darker arts, tainting his magic and his extending his life.
The once wise and kind king had turned into a tyrant, ruling over his people with iron fist. Slowly his people were killed off over time for his fear that they intended to steal his arts. Six human heroes rose up and slew King Diadem. They sealed his body away underneath a rundown building to symbolize his fall from power and divided his Mirage Hunter arts into pieces. He split the three keys throughout the Kingdom of Terra. Each is hidden in a different location, guarded by powerful magic.
(The page is torn and faded.)
Oh woe is to thy king who has fallen, fallen, fallen.
Let him sleep in his wretched misery,
For he has sung his last song.
We dance in joy of his fallen state.
Oh woe is to thy king who has fallen, fallen, fallen.
For his soul has been ripped into three.
One flies with the white dove that touched the sun.
The second falls into the gloom of despair hidden behind death.
The final shall rest in peace with him.
Oh woe is to thy king who has fallen, fallen, fallen.
His wails are heard in his buried state,
For he seeks his vengeance.
Oh woe is to thy king who has fallen, fallen, fallen.
Let him sleep forever and ever.
For his hatred runs deep.
(End of history)
A new message appeared in front of Zeraph.
Quest has been updated for the quest of the Fallen King Diadem’s secret job.
Find the three keys.
One out of three is found.
Zeraph closed his menu window just in time as the children ran down with their new clothes on. They excitedly sat down in front of Zeraph and begun chatting loudly. Scion watched them quietly. He was trying his best to imitate his hero.
“Are we going to eat now?” said Ines as she looked at him with pleading eyes.
“What are we going to do now?” said Leaf. Chance and Chase wrestled on top of the bear skins next to him.
A dark, cold glint was seen in Zeraph eyes as he silenced everyone.
Zeraph waved his hands towards Scion, “Scion, bring me my bags.”
Scion, who was sitting close to Zeraph the whole time, reached over and gave him the two bags of food. Zeraph handed each of the children bread with goat cheese. The children cried out in pure pleasure and tore happily into the meal. For the first time in a long time, they all ate heartily. Not one fought over their food. While they were all eating a message came in for Zeraph.
|You have received two urgent messages. Would you like to read them?|
“Yes,” said Zeraph.
New update is ready for Alive Embryo Gear. Two new quest slots will become active for real-world quests! Use your Alive Gear to find them! Enjoy the game!
A phone call will be coming in around 12:05 am.
Zeraph looked up at the digital clock on his status menu. He had about five minutes till the phone call would come through. Zeraph quickly ate his fill to satisfy his hunger.
“Lights out in three minutes. Cyrus, this will be your first task. Every night make sure everyone is sleeping by midnight. Any sluggish performance the next day from a lack of sleep will be dealt with. Remember well because I will not repeat myself twice,” said Zeraph coldly. He looked at each of the children to drive the point home. A couple of children were about to open their mouths, but closed them suddenly. Zeraph did not tolerate whining.
“Yes sir,” said Hans.
“I’ll see all of you early in the morning. I’ll be back,” said Zeraph.
Zeraph logged out, taking off his Sense gear he squinted. The fluorescent lights in his bedroom were much harsher than the lights in the rundown building he’d seemingly just left. He traded his bulky Sense gear for the sleek, glasses-like Alive gear. He got up and went into the darkly lit living room. From right to left different variety of weapons were placed inside a glass display. Even hanging on the walls was littered with the latest technological advance weapons.
A green phone icon appeared on his Alive gear ringing. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his butterfly knife opened in one of the glass table that he meticulously had organized.
“Pick up call,” said BlackStar as he closed the butterfly knife and neatly placed it on the coffee table, where more knives were organized in three rows by size and type.
“Hello?” he said, adjusting his other knives neatly one-by-one.
“Ah, BlackStar, nice to hear your voice,” said a female voice.
“What is it?” BlackStar asked impatiently.
“Booo, don’t you like talking to me anymore?” she said sweetly in a voice as cloying as honey. WhiteRose. He rolled his eyes.
“Get on with it. I’ve got things that I need to do.”
“Psh. You are no fun. Not like those nights you and I spent together,” she said seductively.
“What are you talking about?” asked BlackStar. He did not remember ever doing anything with WhiteRose.
“Hehehe. That’s because I slipped something in your drink. I must say that was quite an achievement for me. You’re usually so very careful with your drinks. What a night that was. You were like a different man.” She giggled.
“Enough, WhiteRose. Tell me what the higher-ups want,” said BlackStar in a strained voice. His hands twitched and brushed against his favorite collection of knives, pushing them slightly out of place. He clenched his hands so tightly that his nails tore through his skin, letting blood drip from his fist.
“Awww, BlackStar is angry. Why don’t you join me for the night and let out that other side of you again? Then I’ll tell you what the higher-ups said.”
BlackStar breathed in deeply and silently. He didn’t want to let WhiteRose know how furious he was with her, so he tried to recompose himself. Straightening his back, he pulled back his bangs and then cracked his right fingers.
“Just tell me now,” he said.
“Nah-uh. Where is the fun in that? Come by tomorrow at midnight at the Rose Hotel. I’ll be waiting in the usual room. Ciao.” WhiteRose hung up the phone.
“That bitch!” He paced around in anger. Letting out his frustration he punched a hole in the wall.
“I’ll get her for this. How dare she pick me for her final test when there were so many other candidates. I’ll give her a taste of her own medicine,” said BlackStar. He wouldn’t let anyone treat him with such disrespect, especially not someone like WhiteRose.
A quest message appeared on his Alive Gear.
Spend one night with WhiteRoseThe cunning witch WhiteRose has called upon your services at the Rose Hotel. This is your chance. Revenge is the sweetest poison. Why not make her taste her own medicine threefold? But be wary, for being too swallowed up in revenge might make you forget your purpose, which is to get the message from WhiteRose!
Difficulty Level: ARequirements: None.Reward: A hint to what you’re looking for.
Failure: You will be dealt with by your superior and no hints will be given.
Would you like to accept the quest?
“Yes,” said BlackStar without a moment’s hesitation. He looked at his disorganized set of knives and went back aligning them perfectly.
Thursday. July 2, 2054. 10:00 am.
Eve scrolled through the Growth website and checked for any new updates. The soft humming of her air condition room cooled her surroundings. Her tank-top and jogging pants kept her even cooler.
“Hmmmm.” She scrolled down and stopped at a very eye-catching, colorful page. A new update was posted.
|Thursday. June 25, 2054. Updated at midnight.
Welcome, fellow players of Growth!
We have a very special midnight update today. Your Alive Embryo gear will be updating automatically. From today on you will be able to take on quests in the real world to strengthen your avatar! How does this work, you ask?
It’s very simple.
Interact with the people and environment around you. Anyone will do, but remember not everything that you do will become a quest. To be more precise, only 1% of your everyday activities can become a quest. Each quest is unique to the player and has its own requirements. We won’t tell you the rules; where would the fun be in that?
Your avatar will be able to hold three in-game quests and two real-life quests. Quests can be viewed anytime to check your progress, but once the slots are filled you won’t be able to take on more quests until you complete one.
Also on the special note our new translation technology Babylonian has been updated to accommodate the language barriers between different players. It can now handle 99% of all languages worldwide. These past few months we have seen an explosion of number of amount of people joining the game.
Go out and make some friends and enemies alike!
Become the movers and shakers of this world!
“Unbelievable,” said Eve. She brushed her long, bluish-silver hair behind her ears. They really did incorporate the Alive gear game system with the world. How deeply it was incorporated, she hadn’t had the slightest clue, and after all it was just the beginning. Who could say how far this technology could be pushed, and she looked forward to its growth and development. She scrolled through the Growth forum for any clues of the new real-life quests.
|Growth> Forum> New global Growth update!
Navi> Kya! This is so exciting! Innovative interactive real life quest!
Slyphon> It’s been done before. It’s just on a grander scale. Nothing to be surprised about.
Tuneup> I just got a quest in real life. This is so cool!
Navi> What did you get?
Tuneup> It a level E quest called Delivering Package. I received a package that wasn’t mine but my neighbors’. The mailman apparently delivered the package in the wrong mailbox. I was wearing my Alive gear at the time when I went out to check my mail. All of a sudden a quest message popped up asking if I wanted to do a delivery quest. Because I was curious, I picked yes to check what it was all about. I left the package at the front door and left. But for some reason, it didn’t state quest complete right away. Apparently I had to deliver it personally for it to be completed.
Tuneup> I got something like a blueberry candy. It raised all my character stats for a duration of three days by +10. This is so neat!!!Pompom> That’s it? Some kind of status increase?
Sim> It’s useful when you’re soloing. So it’s not such a bad thing. It’s expected for such low level quests.
Sara> I wonder what you will get from higher level quest.
Sim> I don’t know, but I bet it is something really cool.
There is no clear answer on how to get one, thought Eve as she leaned back on her chair. There was always little news with just enough information for the products, and the rest was usually found out through the customers.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a kid’s scream and the sound of running. Her little brother Luke burst into the room.
“Eve! Tell Logan to give me back my toy!” he screamed. But Logan, Luke’s older twin, was right on his heels.
“No! It was mine in the first place!” yelled Logan.
“Guys! Guys! Guys! Calm down! How about we go outside?” said Eve as she quickly thought of it on the spot to try to quiet them down.
“Outside? Really?!” they both said in unison.
“Yes, really. Go put on your shoes and let’s go.”
Eve lazily got up from her couch, still wearing her Alive gear. Her Alive gear had thin glass-like films that could be hooked onto the Alive gear as a secondary layer used to block out the sun, since she knew it was going to be sunny today. In seconds, the twins forgot about their squabble and rushed towards the door.
This is how you get kids to forget what they are fighting about. Give them something else they like. Eve felt satisfied with the outcome and smiled contentedly.
“Come on Eve! We are ready to go!” Logan shouted from the front door.
“Okay. Be there in a second,” Eve called out towards them.
Eve picked up her keys and left the house with her brothers. It was a beautiful summer day. It was perfect weather, with a light cool wind that tickled her face and nose. Eve breathed in deeply and exhaled while she walked with her brothers to the park. The smell of fresh air made her feel relaxed and calm.
As they arrived, she noticed there were quite a few children running around the park while their parents talked amongst themselves. Logan and Luke bolted off towards the playground and joined the other kids.
Eve walked toward an empty bench. She dusted off the fallen leaves and sat down to enjoy the light breeze.
“Call status menu.”
|Name: Agnis||Race: Wood Elf|
|Level: 57||Main Job: Wind Walker
Secondary Job: Cook
|Health points: 2,532||Mana Points: 3,254|
|Magical Attack: 215 (+20)
Magical Defense: 200 (+20)
Wisdom: 175 (+20)
Intelligence: 176 (+20)
Fame: 150 (+30)
+ Companion Contract (Auto)
+ Call of the Wild
+ Women’s Wail
+ Hand-to-Hand Mastery beginner level 6 (30%)
+ Bow Mastery beginner level 8 (56%)
+ Wiseman mind (Auto)
+ Meditation beginner level 7 (90%)
+ Calling of the wind beginner level 3 (79%)
+ Wind Manipulation beginner level 3 (70%)
+ Wind Arrow beginner level 5 (77%)
+ Rain Dance beginner level 2 (23%)
+ Fire Arrow beginner level 2 (70%)
+ Fire Ball beginner level 3 (7%)
|Info: A wood elf who is in a companion contract with Zero. When contract is in effect special privileges are given. This contract cannot be broken without going to a contract breaker. An Undying Holy Fire Stone has been tamed to her will. She is the new master of the Undying Holy Flame.|
Eve had worked hard to attain her special job, Wind Walker, by herself through a C rank quest. It took a couple of days to get it, but it didn’t stop her at all. She’d been determined to get this job even though she didn’t know what kind of specialties it would give her. She had gained all her magic skills through the job quest, and the outcome was better than she expected—especially gaining and taming the Undying Holy Fire Stone. She was a bit worried she wouldn’t be able to get a single fire spell. But by having the Undying Holy Fire Stone on her, it was a catalyst for her to use Fire magic.
It took her a while to understand how the Undying Fire Stone worked. Through a lot of trial and error she was finally able to figure it out. By calling upon her wind magic, she was able to draw out the blueish white fire in the stone and encase it with wind without snuffing it out. Eve then amplified the fire’s intensity by directing the flow of the wind to make it grow. Even a small spark of flame could turn into a fiery tornado, but it drained an extensive amount of mana to call upon the forces of nature. She had to keep a constant eye on her mana gauge.
There was one peculiar skill she was not happy with, called the Women’s Wail. She was too embarrassed to admit she had screamed quite a bit in fear and surprise to have earned the skill. She usually was not one to jump up in fright, but soloing had put her on edge. Her last quest had been like a crazy roller coaster, and she had screamed so often that the dungeon name changed to Cry of the Women’s Wail, and the players and the people of the land steered far away from it for the fear of possible hauntings. Eve vowed to herself to never use that move in public except in emergencies.
Eve exited out of her status window and closed her eyes. Breathing in deeply and exhaling all her worries away, she cleared her mind and let her thoughts wander with the wind. Every time she meditated in real life, her in-game meditation skills increased. It made her wonder how the Alive gear picked up on what she was doing, but she wasn’t about to complain. She was grateful for the skill level-ups. Over time she felt like her senses were becoming sharper, stronger… and she felt more at peace with herself. Wind Walker wasn’t such a bad job; she actually fell in love with it.
Playing Growth gave her alternative to reality. Her family had always moved around a lot, so it had been difficult for her to make close friends. Every three months to a year, her parents were either on duty or were constantly moving to different locations. They weren’t your typical parents; they made sure that she was sent to many self-defense schools. There was a couple that she chose herself, such as Aikido, where she enjoyed the calm, fluid forms, and Krav Maga, which was more brutal. She never skipped out once, because she knew one day she would need it.
Two months ago, when she’d turned twenty-one, she decided to settle down in one place. She asked her parents to leave her younger brothers in her care. They agreed and thought it would be best for them not to uproot the kids constantly. Every two weeks, her parents deposited money for the twins’ expenses and planned to visit as often as they could. It had been almost two months now, and she was slowly getting use to life here. It still was not easy for her to make friends. It was not only because she’d moved; her quick temper and sarcastic remarks tended to turn people away. It got her into quite a bit of trouble, but she didn’t mind it at all. She enjoyed her solitude.
Lately, Eve had been hanging around an interesting guy name Zero who she thought was a bit grumpy and a bit of a prick; nevertheless she didn’t mind his company. He was her first real friend in Growth that didn’t hit on her for her looks. She especially enjoyed petting him on her lap in his small dog/fox form. The soft fur that would go through her fingers was something that she rarely felt before.
The very first time she remembered him struggling viciously and scratching her hands to get out of her grasp. Eventually he ran out of breath and gave up. Other times he would dash away whenever he saw her in his Origin form. Eve had to be creative to catch him. She saved the contract ability “Heel” for emergency situations. Plus she noticed that his fur got rough and mangy from the static when she used this skill. It completely defeated the purpose of catching him to pet him if his fur became frizzled with shock.
A while ago she’d found him rolling in a patch of catnip; he was like a cat high off of it. After that incident she harvested many Napata plants from the area, turning them into clumps of catnip and making sure to keep them on her when he changed forms. She would make small toys, stuff them with catnip, and throw one to him. He would pounce on it in a blink of an eye and play with it, forgetting his surroundings. This gave her a small window of opportunity to catch him. After she caught him, she would have a couple of catnip balls in her hand to calm him down, pick him up, and put him on her lap. For the next hour she would continually stroke his fur as they both fell asleep. Every single time he would wake up in his human form and walk off sulking.
The joy of having a pet, she thought as she smiled with bliss. She knew Zero was not a pet, but now she understood what it might be like if she did. She loved animals and he was a great substitute. She knew it irked him from making him into a fool, but she couldn’t help it. He would turn into the most adorable looking fox/dog creature she ever saw and reason went out the window. Sadly she couldn’t keep pets in her apartment because pets were not allowed. If she had a choice, her apartment would probably end up like a zoo.
There were more times spending time with Zero, then going out on solo mission these past week. She had asked him personally to teach her a bit of his art. She remembered it as if it was yesterday.
“Zero, teach me your style of martial arts. I noticed you had some interesting form that I have never seen before. Please.” She begged. She wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to learn something new.
“Are you sure? When you learn from me I don’t go easy on girls,” Zero asked with his arms crossed.
“Yeah. I can take a beating.”
“You sure you will listen to every word I say. I don’t like teaching people who are not serious. It’s a waste of my precious time.”
“Of course, I take martial arts seriously. I do Aikido and Krav Maga.”
“If you’re serious. Meet me at the fountain every day in the morning at 8am sharp.”
After that, the training has been hell. The first couple of days, both of them did a marathon, crunches, pushes up, lunges, and many more. It was hell, but well worth her time. She did not stop, nor did she complain. It was hard work, and eventually slowly he introduced to her different skills.
Life these past two weeks had been peaceful with training. They had two more days before the night of the quest, and she was not looking forward to it. Their levels were not as high as needed for the quest, which would make it very difficult to complete. Eve frowned, deep in thought, starting to lose her concentration.
Eve’s head snapped up at the harsh sound of wheels screeching to a stop.
“Kyaaaaaahhhhhh!” A lady was screaming at the top of her lungs. She huddled behind a chair as if she was going to be protected by it.
“Watch out!” yelled a man as he watched in horror.
The car was sent flying, flipping over three times. It skidded across the ground, creating electric sparks as it screeched against concrete. It missed a couple of pedestrians by inches. Finally it skidded to a halt right in front of the lady hiding behind her chair; the car lightly tapped it. Broken glass from the windows was scattered everywhere. The sunlight hit the broken glass and made it look like as if thousands of sparkling diamonds were spread on the ground. Eve could see a couple of people injured with light cuts from the flying shards of glass.
“Someone call an ambulance!” screamed an old lady in panic. Dozens of window shards were embedded in her arm.
Eve bolted up and went towards the ruckus. The driver was still in her car, unconscious, bleeding heavily from her head. Her car was flipped over and she hung upside down. Pedestrians looked on in horror. There were a couple that called the police, but everyone else seemed too clueless and confused to act. A few people came out of nearby shops, staring or taking pictures with their phones.
A man in his late 20s walked up to the elderly woman that was crossing the street when it happened.
“I-I-I didn’t mean to,” sobbed the old lady as she held onto her injured arm, “I-I-I was just crossing the street.”
“Calm down. It’s alright. Let’s go sit down,” said the man, who was wearing an Alive gear, as he directed her towards a bench.
Eve’s eyes darted through the wreckage, and her Alive gear zoomed in to focus on the car’s punctured side. She noticed some kind of liquid was streaming down and forming a puddle underneath the car.
“Is that what I think it is?” said Eve as she walked faster toward the car.
Save the lady in the car. There is an 80% chance to save the lady. You have noticed a puddle of gasoline dripping out of the car. The lady is unconscious and cannot leave the car. There is a possibility that you will get hurt. Do you want to save her or just watch?
Difficulty level: AReward: The Seed.If you choose to do nothing you will gain no rewards. Choose wisely for her life is on the line. You have about 15 minutes until the car will possibly burst into flames.
“This is no time for a quest! She might die!” Eve yelled in frustration. She quickly read through the quest and noticed she had a time limit.
Eve ran towards the car as her heartbeat accelerated from the tension. She pulled out a black glass breaker knife from the pocket of her jeans. It was easy to hide under all her clothes, and she always carried it around for safety reasons. Her meticulous preparation was finally paying off.
|You have accepted the quest. Time limit starts now.
Time limit: 00:03:00
The timer minimized and moved to the corner of her glasses for her to track.
She arrived quickly at the car, squatting down by the driver-side window. She braced herself and bashed it in. The window wasn’t completely broken and was still holding up in place, so she hit it again, more carefully this time. It worked.
Eve cleared out the jagged edges so she could get in safely without cutting herself. Dropping down to her knees, she flipped open her knife. It was an all-in-one glass breaker, seat belt cutter, and hand knife. Thank the lord that I have this.
|Time limit: 00:02:31|
Her adrenaline rush had kicked into overtime, and the world felt like it was slowing down; each second felt like eternity. With quick precise hand movements she slashed through the seat belt, careful not to let the lady hit her head as she was freed. Eve struggled to pull her out carefully, but she knew she didn’t have much time. It was either get blown up or risked getting her more injured. The chance of both of them coming out alive depended on getting away from the car as fast as possible.
I don’t have time, Eve thought as she struggled with the lady. She probably has some broken ribs, and moving her around too much could rupture her organs. Even though her mind was screaming at her to leave, Eve moved carefully and gracefully, and finally she was able to pull the woman completely out of the car.
|Time limit: 00:01:33|
The man who had walked the old lady to the bench rushed over to Eve’s side. Reaching down, he picked up the lady’s legs and helped carry her towards the grass.
The smell of gas was overwhelming, and Eve could hardly breathe. Coughing, she yelled to the man, “We need to quickly move as far away from here as possible!”
“What? Why?!” said the man as he adjusted himself to better handle carrying the women.
“The car’s going to explode!” she said frantically. The timer ticked away in the corner of her glasses.
|Time limit: 00:00:20|
“Run!” yelled the man with fear clearly in his voice. His eyes were bulging out in fright.
They ran as fast as they could while carrying the lady’s body awkwardly between them.
|Time limit: 00:00:05|
Eve tripped on the curb and fell to the ground.
|Time limit: 00:00:04|
She caught herself with her right arm, causing her to bleed from the scrape, while balancing the lady from hitting her head with her left, causing her to twist her wrist and sprain her ankle.
|Time limit: 00:00:03|
She quickly forced herself back up. She felt sharp pain run up and down her wrist and ankle, making it difficult to maneuver much less run.
|Time limit: 00:00:02|
|Time limit: 00:00:01|
|Time limit: 00:00:00|
A huge increase of heat has been detected!
Please stand clear!
The noise of the explosion rippled over her. Fiery debris flew in the air, and the car was engulfed in a fiery inferno. But Eve, the man, and the lady were safely out of harm’s way.
“Hahahaha!” The man’s laugh sounded panicky but relieved. “I swear I thought I was a goner.”
“Yeah, me too,” said Eve as she flopped down onto the grass. She did not want another day like today for a very long time. Once was enough for now.
It was the twins. They jumped onto Eve.
“We couldn’t find you,” said Logan, crying in Eve’s arms. His snot covered his face and her shirt. He didn’t know what was happening and it scared him.
“I’m scared. I want to go home,” said Luke as he looked down at her in worry.
“I’m sorry. Everything is going to be okay. Why don’t we go home now?” said Eve as she slowly got to her feet. She winced when pain shot up through her right ankle. She shifted her weight to her left side and caught herself from falling back down.
“Are you okay?” asked the man with concern in his voice.
Eve looked back at him. “I’m fine. I’ll leave her in your care. I need to take my siblings home now.” She put a hand on their heads, and her right wrist sparked with pain.
“Wait! Are you sure?” asked the man.
“Yes.” Eve nodded. She didn’t want the media up in her face and crowding her apartment. It was enough to deal with just her twin brothers.
“That was very brave of you. Before you go, may I register you on Growth? I notice you are wearing the Alive gear,” said the man. He smiled a little shyly. “I want to make sure you’re all right.”
Well, he’s not a bad man. Why not, thought Eve. Usually she didn’t take phone numbers, but today was an exception, especially after he helped her carry the lady out of harm’s way.
“Sure. I go by Agnis,” said Eve as she tried to balance on her good leg. Luke noticed and helped steady her.
“Okay. Register Agnis,” said the man.
A message appeared.
|Would you like to register Jack as your friend?|
“Yes,” said Eve. She ran her fingers absently over Logan’s hair, and he clung to her good leg.
“Are you sure you are going to be alright?” the man asked. Sirens could be heard off in the distance rushing towards the scene.
“It’s alright; I should be able to get home fine. Thanks,” said Eve as she brushed his words aside.
|You have completed the quest! The seed has been sent to your inventory.|
Huh. I wonder what it is, thought Agnis. I’ll look into it later.