Zero stretched, standing over a cliff in his human form. The sun was setting, making the world in Noriene feel even more magical. The orange, red, yellow, and blue were harmoniously mixed like art. M2 was sitting next to him, drawing the beautiful sunset on paper. A sweet aromatic smell of evergreen floated past them as the wind brought warmth. Standing on the cliff’s edge, he could feel his energy revitalizing.
“You know, these days and age, you can barely get a glimpse of this in the city. One must take a trip to look for nature’s beauty.” M2 spoke, and he gazed into the distance. “Sometimes I wonder what have we done to our mother earth to destroy such beauty that one needs to take the time to look for it.”
“Well, it’s human nature to destroy and create new things.”
“I’m not so sure; we create more than we destroy. The earth’s natural beauty is deteriorating faster than we want to preserve what we have left.”
Kiyro was silent for a moment. “All we can do is start from ourselves.”
“Yes, that is true.” M2 stopped drawing. “Learning how to draw is quite useful in my field of work. The amount of data one could preserve and capture at that moment is quite beneficial.”
“Where did you learn that skill?” Zero thought it over; if he knew how to do basic drawings, it could help him immensely in drawing in his book. Moreover, the number of pictures he could show the readers what he was talking about would be very helpful without spelling out everything.
“I could teach you.”
“Why not. It’s a very easy skill to learn. Plus, you’ve been helping out on my quest that I am working on now. So think of this as a thank you.”
“If you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.”
Zero sat down next to M2. M2 handed him a parchment of paper and an extra pen that he had taken out of his Zenith pouch.
“Everyone can draw. The skill depends on accurately pinpointing what’s in front of you and transferring it onto paper. For a beginner, one starts with an outline and then moves into shading.
Then as you get better, you draw shapes or shades first to create a form then you touch it up with an outline. A professional can move freely from shapes, shades, and lines to create style. This is not something easy to do.”
Zero was hunched over his paper, trying to draw the trees in front of him. He licked his lips, completely engrossed in what he was doing.
“Not bad for a beginner. You have a knack for this. Are you sure you don’t take drawing classes?”
Zero nodded his head no. “I’m just following what you just said. To follow the outline of the tree with my sight.” His drawing was becoming clearer and more detailed. M2 was impressed with how quickly Zero picked up the skill, even though he was a beginner. “This skill will come in handy in drafting dungeon maps.”
“Yes, it will. The more detailed it is, the higher the price. You should see the maps that are sold in the shop. They’re hideous. I don’t know who has been drawing them, but it’s difficult to read half of them.”
For the next couple of hours, Zero continued to draw his picture till he completed his drawing. Then, with a final touch, he signed the bottom of the drawing with his signature and placed it in his Drezo Regalia’s History book that he was working on for his quest.
A new skill has been learned.
Skill Level 1
One has learned how to create simple shapes, lines, and symbols using a pencil and a pen.
+ 1 art stats
Would you like to give a name to your artwork?
Dusk is the first drawing ever completed by Zero. For a drawing from a beginner, it’s not too bad. However, this drawing gives a feeling of melancholy to the viewers.
+ Low chance of bringing up memories when looked upon.
“What an interesting effect your drawing has.” M2 glanced over his shoulder to take a look at his piece. “Who would’ve thought that there are such status effects like that? This is definitively something to note.”
“This game has so many hidden features that I’m not surprised.”
“You and me both.” M2 leaned back onto his hands. “Have you ever heard about the Seed before?”
Zero was silent. He was very skeptical that anyone who brought up anything that had to do with the seed and was Adventurer was someone to be very cautious around. Especially because he was kidnapped and brought to the Psychic Academy for Seeders like him, if he wasn’t careful, M2 could be an insider for the Academy he was in. It’s been a couple of hours in the new Embryo Type II Machine, and Zero had brought the cat people not too far away from the hidden Draconis Village.
“Sort of. It was floating around on the web, wasn’t it?”
They only need a good day’s walk to get to the hidden village. In the time it was going to take to get there, he hoped nothing would happen, but he knew that could be too much to ask for. Zero, M2, and the Cat people had run into several monsters through the Forgotten Forest. From worm monsters, lizard types, spiders, and even a few flying bats were trouble.
The best part about the cat people was that they were strong warriors and helped fight off larger-level monsters pretty easily. Walking through the forest was like a walk in the park. What did slow them down was that the cat people had a short attention span. They would go out and chase after butterflies, bugs, and even flying bat monsters. It got so bad one of the bat monsters had a heart attack from being batted around like a toy.
“Yes. Several rumors are going around that supernatural things have been happening worldwide. I believe it could be some kind of bug in the game.”
“It could be random data, don’t you think?”
“No.” M2 completely leaned back on the floor and lay down, staring up at the sky. “It’s highly unlikely. The data on a Seed can’t even be cracked. It’s encrypted.”
“There is a security lock beyond the modern-day encryption. But, the strange part about it, the Seed seems to be alive.”
“The Seed is alive? That sounds a bit far-fetched, don’t you think?”
“Not when you see it on screen.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Zero turned towards M2, carefully examining him. His hands were on his side. “Aren’t you worried that someone might use this information against you?”
“Use this information against me? You?” M2 laughed a healthy laugh. “I don’t see you as the type that would easily sell someone out. However, I also believe that this Seed is worth examining.”
“I don’t think that would be wise to endeavor.”
M2 curiously turned towards his head and stared at Zero, wondering what he had just said.
“Look, sometimes being too curious would get you in deep trouble. You heard of that phrase curiosity killed the cat.”
“So you know something.”
Zero got up, looking away from M2. “No.”
“I can tell you’re hiding something. What is it?”
“Look, I said I don’t know anything. Really.”
“The corner of your mouth is twitching. You must know something.”
Zero breathed in deeply and thought it over. If he told anything about where he was and what he was going through, it would spell disaster. He did not know what these people at the Psychic Academy could do to him. “Look, it’s best that you don’t know right now.”
“So now you are saying there is something more. Interesting.” M2 scratched his chin, and he got up. His hands went behind him, and he stared out into the distance. “I understand. I won’t ask you anymore.”
“Why, you want me to keep asking?”
“No. It’s alright. I would appreciate it if you did not.”
“You are the third person who could not answer my question. There are three types of people when it comes to the Seed. The first is the people who know and will share the information, the second is the people who hide the information to make themselves powerful, and the third is those who do not have a choice.” M2 turned around. “You are the third.”
Zero was speechless. He got all that out of just having a short conversation with him. He thought he was good at reading people’s minds and even got the so-called Telepathy skill. If only he could consciously activate the skill with his own will, he would love to take a peek into M2’s mind.
“You think so?”
“I know so. I am a Seeder. An a Seeder can feel when there is another Seeder standing in front of them. All it takes is to listen to one’s guts.” M2 stepped forward, making Zero feel a bit uncomfortable. “When a Seeder meets another Seeder, do you know what happens?”
“The energy that we give off shimmers like a light bulb. We send out three times more power than a normal being.” M2 grins. His cat eyes widened in interest staring beyond what Zero could not see. “You give off that same power of an Awakened.”
“Awakened?” Zero stepped back too far, and his feet hit the cliff’s edge. He cursed at himself for choosing such a high place to have momentary peace, especially with someone like M2 nearby who seemed to him that he had found an interesting toy.
“Awakened,” he said. You can’t be serious; you don’t know?”
“I’m new to this like you. I’m trying to connect the dot here and helping to finish the quest.”
M2 sighed and stepped back. The shimmer of his eyes was gone; instead, he was holding his head as if he had a headache. “Here, I thought I had something.” He muttered.
“An explanation is in order after you just antagonize me for questions. You seem like the type to share information.”
“Not for free.” M2 squinted and his eyes gleamed. “What would you give in exchange for the information that I could give you.”
“I can tell you what I heard about Seeders.”
“That is a start. Go on.”
“You will give me information if I tell you about mine?”
“Yes. Yes. I promise.”
Zero sighed. He, too, felt like he was chasing around in circles for answers he barely knew.
“Seeders are psychics in real life.”
“Yes. That’s the best I could give you.”
M2 went silent. He paced back and forth. His tail swished from side to side as he was deeply engrossed in his thoughts. Even his ears went up and down in irritation. “You sure?”
“You should already know the answer to that question.”
“Damn it. I was hoping my guts were just stirring for no reason.” M2 kicked a rock off the cliff in frustration. “This would explain everything. The abilities, the supernatural events, and the veil.”
“So what is an Awakened and a Veil?”
M2 stopped. “A veil is the other side. I call it purgatory. An Awakened are players who have received the gift of enlightenment. Special skills and abilities that a normal player does not have. You have to be chosen to receive the blessing, but the question comes down to who is the giver of these gifts.”
“It’s a girl.”
“A girl? How do you know this?”
“In the Special World Quest Event, Dion spoke of a girl. I briefly heard it spoken from the vampire’s mouth. Aldrin has heard of it as well.”
“Aldrin. You mean the Hercules guild leader?”
“This is fascinating. I must look into this.”
“If you do find the answer, I would like to know.”
“What would you give me in exchange.”
“I knew you would say that.” Zero pulled out a book that he was working on. The worn leather pages and the disheveled amount of papers sticking out of it. “The first copy of the Drezo Regalia History personally written by me. Free of charge. In exchange, I would like an equivalent amount of information.”
M2 eyes sparkled with interest. His hands were inching toward Zero’s book, ready to snatch it away. Instead, zero pulled back the book out of M2 reach. At that exact moment, Zero knew M2’s weakness. His deeply engraved curiosity.
“You do know what a Drezo Regalia is, don’t you? The new race of dragons that are out to play. Even now, as we speak, more dragons are being born.”
“They are just new races. What benefit would that do for me?”
Zero quickly thought it over, searching for a different answer. “We are the keeper of knowledge.”
“Draconis Library…” M2 spoke softly, realizing where this was going.
A light smile escaped Zero’s lips, and he had to reign it in quickly. “I’ll give you the third access pass to the secret files only if you are willing to work hand in hand with me.”
“The secret files that not even a regular player can get their hands on.” M2 gulped, and he drew in his drool.
Zero nodded. In actuality, they were one more access level above the third pass. It was the Forbidden files that not even he could just waltz in and look at. He still hadn’t found a way into that locked room, and even Garrett did not know what was beyond the locked doors. Only rumors about the Forbidden files floated among the Lunar Rabbits.
“A-a-are you saying t-t-that I will get to read those books?”
“Only if you go into a contract with me.”
“Yes!” M2 jumped in on the offer.
Zero grinned from ear to ear. He pulled out a special type of paper in his Zenith pouch. A magical paper has been soaked in holy water, prayed upon for ninety days by a Bishop of Infinity three times, and kept in the holy sanctuary for seven years. Blessing one paper was difficult in itself. It was the paper on which the Contract of Infinity was supposed to be written. Not only that, he had a couple more stashed away in his Zenith pouch for later use.
With a feathered pen in hand, Zero quickly went into work, jotting down the contract between M2 and him. God blessed even the pen he was using. Obtaining the paper was an ordeal in itself. To go through a thirty-day process was a pain in the butt, but it did not take too long to accomplish.
“Here.” Zero handed him the paper and a pen. He had signed the contract at the end.
“I agree with most of what you have written; it’s just a couple that is slightly too constraining. You know how to make contracts.”
“Not talking about the information one has obtained in the third access pass.”
“How about this? Just don’t share information without an equivalent exchange of information, and anything that has to do with the Drezo Regalia’s secret you can not tell anyone at all.”
“That’s not a problem.”
Zero jotted it down on the paper. M2 picked up the pen and signed it. A blinding light erupted from the paper, blinding both of them. Zero and M2 had to cover his eyes and Squint. An
Angelic being appeared before them as she spread out her wings.
As a witness for the Lord of Infinity to the contract between two parties, this contract will be in effect till all eternity through the generation of one’s bloodline. If one of the party members wishes to break the contract, one must go through the ritual of Infinity with the consent of both parties. If one shall break the Contract of Infinity, the one who has broken the contract will be given a respectable curse. Be wary of contract holders, for the curse of Infinity is not a trifling matter.
Zero gulped. He could feel the binding power of the contract between both of them. It was an iron-clad binding that was not something both of them could not escape.
For the first ever Contract of Infinity done by players, you gain a permanent status increase in luck. Your affinity for conversing with people has increased.
“The Contract of Infinity,” M2 whispered. The angel dispersed into the light and burning fire of an Infinity mark stamped onto the paper. Then the paper was split into two giving one for Zero and the other for M2.
“Do you know what you have done?”
“The first Contract of Infinity done between players.” M2 was speechless at what had just happened to both of them.
“It’s not bad, you know. This contract is fair. Think of it like a business contract.”
“I know that if any of us break the contract, we’re both screwed! You just handed one of the sacred contract bindings like some tissue paper.”
“Actually, no, this is my second one.”
“The Drezo Regalia ancestor’s had one done with the King Diadem. The price was the Draconis
M2 went silent. He thought over what Zero had just said.
“Look. The Draconis Library is special. For King Diadem to have such a binding with the Drezo Regalia means something. I do not give up such sacred knowledge without repercussion. You should know knowledge is power, which could do more damage than enlighten people in the wrong hands. I am just following what my ancestor has done.”
“So the Contract of Infinity has been done before…” M2 was not mad anymore but instead was even more curious. “I’ll go along for now. I know this contract keeps both of us safe, but remember this, I work when I want to. How I obtain, the information is my own choice.”
“I’m fine with that. I ask you to bring new books twice a month.”
“That could be arranged.”
Zero held out his hands. M2 stared at it for a moment and grabbed it.
“You are one sly person.”
“I was just being safe. But, you know how deals can go sour.” However, Kiyro felt that M2 was more cunning than him in taking information noticeably.
“I understand perfectly. I would’ve done the same.”
“I’m great to hear that we are on the same page.”
“Well, enough resting; it’s time to go back and get things moving. We’re not even a day away from the Draconis Village, correct?”
“Yes.” Zero nodded. “At the rate we are walking and resting; we should make it on foot in the next hour.”
“That’s splendid. I was getting kind of tired of fighting these low-level monsters. Follow me if you want to catch up with the group.” M2 bounded forward; he jumped off the sloping cliff and ran fearlessly downwards. Zero stares with gaping jaws at the brash jump. He was amazed that M2 did not break a bone or two from the slippery fall.
Zero was unsure if he should follow after M2 by jumping off the cliff or climbing down. The rate that M2 was running down the slope was extraordinary. He knew that even jumping off the cliff could cause severe damage to his health points or, worse, kill him from the fall. Right now, if he died from the fall, there was a chance that the cat people would lose their way through the forest and never find the Draconis Village. This meant he would fail the quest because he would have difficulty finding them in the thick forest. Zero carefully climbed down with a sigh and eventually made it to the large group of cat people.
“What took you so long?” M2 called out, his tail swishing back and forth. He tapped his feet impatiently.
“I don’t have nine lives like you, you know,” said Zero. “Jumping off a cliff can kill me.” Though he did jump off the side of the wall once, that was when he was in his dragon form.
“Oh? Zero, you’re back. Did you see how far we are?” Elder Mako came forward with his hands behind him.
“Yes. We just need to continue in the direction that we are headed. In another hour we should arrive at our destination.”
“Splendid. Did you all hear that?” Elder Mako shouted.
“Yes!” Every one of the cats meowed and answered.
“Then let’s move out.”
“The first one to kill more monsters gets first to draw on Catnip Coffee!” Elder Mako and Miki
spoke out with excitement.
“I would appreciate it if we could add one more.”
“I would like the skills that all of you guys make.”
“That won’t be a problem. You are the guide that we have hired. We don’t mind compensating you with the spoils on our way.” Elder Mako turned toward the group and yelled, “Anyone who kills more monsters and harvests them first gets twice as many catnip coffees!”
“Catnip coffee!” The cry of excitement rang throughout the whole group. The frenzy for catnip
coffee was wild to the point where Zero thought they would be hysteria over catnip coffee. But, he knew that this catnip coffee was something he could use to barter with the cat people.
Every cat participated in the hunt, from small to the elderly, and even the weak to the mighty.
Even M2 took flight in the rampant frenzy of hysteria to win over the Catnip Coffee.
Zero ran with the frenzied crowd of cats as they all split up into groups and slaughtered monsters
in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and levels, from swarms of Baby Spiders to Grey Wolves. The Cat People battled with a ferocity that he saw patches of Grey Wolf fur flying in all directions. He was glad that they were on his side and not his enemies. Every single one of them was above level two hundred. Even though the cap level of players was two hundred, he knew that they were higher levels that players could reach because the transformation of turning into a hybrid dragon was around level two hundred and fifty. He didn’t know how or when the limit would be released, but he hoped it would be soon.
Drawing his black Katana, Kamori, he swung it downwards, hacking the Baby Spiders that chattered among its brethren. One side of the Baby Spiders’ legs was torn away, making it loop to one side. This gave Zero the chance to strike towards the exposed belly of the Baby Spiders. Instead, he twirled the sword around him and slashed another in the face, stopping its tracks. It flopped over dead, twitching.
“Not bad for a hybrid.” M2 rushed out and brought out a sword that was thin and fast. It reminded Zero of a fencing sword. Like a blur of lightning, the sword swished around him like a swarm of hornets repeatedly stinging its prey. Each strike cut the legs, fur, and parts of the body of its enemies like minced meat.
A howling cry of the wolf pack could be heard echoing. Then, a large pack of Grey Wolf jumped in on the group fight.
“Not bad yourself.” Zero ran in and thrust into a Grey Wolf that jumped from the side. He cut the Grey Wolf in the stomach as guts fell out.
It was like a game; the thrill of hunting down their prey in the middle of the battle was like a high to the cat people. Every single one of them was grinning cheerfully as they attacked non-stop. It was truly a strange sight to see battle-crazy cats that danced around their prey like it was a game with plastered smiles.
The young cats chuckled and jumped in three on each side of a giant spider. Each one grabbed a hairy leg of Spider.
All of them simultaneously pulled. A loud pop-like sound could be heard while the legs were pulled out of their sockets. With a loud thump, the body of the Spider rolled on the ground, unable to move. They laughed out loud at the strange sight of the legless.
“Kahahah!” M2 laughed with glee. He swiped and strike one after the other batting the Grey Wolf like it was nothing.
Zero batted the flying Grey Wolf that came from the side and he heard a yelp when his Katana made its mark.
Teeth, claws, fury, and wicked blades of iron flew from left to right as both M2 and Zero hunted down the pack of Grey Wolves as if it was nothing. Even though Zero was in his human form, his abilities did not falter nor lag behind M2’s.
Two more Grey Wolves growled and started prowling around both M2 and Zero. They both watched carefully, waiting for any sudden movements. M2 snaked in first, stabbing the Grey Wolf on the left, while Zero took the one on the right. They were both doing well, covering each other’s backs. Slash after slash, M2 quickly dismembered and destroyed his Grey Wolf, and following closely behind was Zero.
“Not bad. Not bad.” M2 whistled in glee. He was humming a tune while he was fighting.
Another Grey Wolf jumped out from behind the bushes, and M2 whirled around in a circle. His sword went straight into the jaws of the Grey wolf’s mouth, while Zero’s Katana sliced down onto the wolf’s back.
A splintering cry of pain and anger from the wolves crying yelp could be heard echoing in the forest. Then, with the pack of Grey Wolves dead and the large nest of Baby Spiders, Zero put away his Katana and brought out his knife. He squatted down and began to skin and cut up the wolf’s meat.
“That’s one thing you just can’t get used to,” M2 spoke as he eyed what Zero was doing. “The thought of skinning for their pelts makes my stomach go in circles several times.”
“Really? It doesn’t bother me. You get used to it if you do it enough.”
“I understand the need for reality in a virtual reality game, but there are some things I wish the
creators of this game took out. It’s a bit too extreme.”
“I wouldn’t think so. For actual hunters, they might find this normal, though the number of
real-life hunters playing this game compared to people who don’t are quite high.”
“Either way, I wish they were an off button that magically gets this part over with. Then, you can have my kills.”
Zero quickly harvested his prey and moved from one to the other effortlessly. They were times when the other Cat People would bring him the spoils of the hunt. They did not complain; instead, they were happy to have fun fighting and hunting for prey.
Zero felt a bit uneasy about the Cat People because they hunted their prey as if they were sports. They would bat at their prey as if they were toys for a while before killing them; most monsters usually died out of heart attack or exhaustion. So they were not enemies he would like to fight against, especially with their nasty habit of playing with their prey.
As time passed, the other cats hunted down the prey effortlessly, making the travel easy. In all honesty, he had never had such an easy hunt before. The cat people were natural hunters who fought with wit and claws. They made their way towards the Draconis Village in under an hour clearing monsters as if it was nothing.
“Stop!” Zero yelled out towards the Cat People. “It’s here.”
The cats stopped and stared at him oddly. They did not see what he could see, the towering Draconis Village that was invisible to the naked eye beside the dragons and him.
Zero raised, fidgeted around, looking through his pocket. Finally, he found what he was looking for a special card key that all Draconis residents had that identified them to the VillageVillage. It was Garrett’s idea to enforce such a policy for all new and old residents that came to the Draconis Library, but it was now endowed with a special power to bring down the flying boat that brought residents back in.
“What are you doing?” M2 asked. He glanced curiously at what Zero had in his hands. “I don’t see the Draconis Village anywhere. Are you sure we are at the right place?”
Zero ignored him and raised the card. The card glowed blue brightly, and blue light from the sky shot down towards the card connecting one to the other. The cats stared up, mesmerized by the sight of the pretty light that struck the card. Their eyes glistened mischievously at the sight of a new toy. Even M2 was drawn toward Zero with his eyes glued to the card. All the cat people were ready to pounce on Zero.
Just as the bright light appeared before them, it thinned out and disappeared. Their mesmerizing eyes were saddened at the loss of a new toy, and their gazes were brought back to their usual cheerful and aloof attitude.
Off in the distance, a small blue dot became bigger and bigger. Finally, a large boat appeared from the sky. The cats scattered like roaches as they hid behind trees, watching with curious eyes. Zero did not hide nor move; instead waited patiently for the boat to land in front of him. With a loud thump, the ship landed. A gush of wind went outwards as Zero was pushed back a couple of steps.
“It’s gotten bigger,” said Zero. It wasn’t long since he left the VillageVillage in a small boat, but now a larger boat ten times its size was in front of them. Moreover, it was not crafted shabbily but more elegant with a flare of artistic taste.
“Did this just come from the sky?” M2 stared with awe. “Fascinating. Truly, fascinating.”
“Chief Librarian,” A Lunar Rabbit stepped out from the large boat and bowed. “When I noticed your call, we sent our best boat down to bring you back up. Unfortunately, though, I did not know we were expecting guests.” He glanced wearily around him.
“These are the cat people. They came on a pilgrimage and sought sanctuary on our land. If you don’t mind, I would like to bring them all in with us.”
“All?” The Lunar Rabbit gasped. His ears flopped over, dismayed at the predator in front of him, and gulped. “I-I-I’m not so sure that would be a wise idea, especially a….cat.” He whispered the last part, only audible to Zero. “We don’t do well with cats, Chief Librarian.”
“I’ll talk with them. Give me a moment.”
“But Chief, they’re cats, for crying out loud.”
“Let me deal with them, okay?”
“Yes, Chief.” With a bow, the Lunar Rabbit walked back towards the boat, worried about what Zero would say.
M2 walked over next to Zero, “So what did the Rabbit say? We good?”
“Well, I need to speak with Elder Mako and Elder Miki.”
“Alright,” M2 turned around and called out towards Elder Mako and Miki. “Elders, please come forward.”
“MemoryMaker, what is it?” Elder Miki was the first to come. Then Elder Mako was next.
“Zero has something to say.”
“Zero, what is it? What’s holding us up?”
“Elder, I have a requirement you must uphold when you stay at the Village.”
“If they are reasonable, we will uphold it.”
Zero took a deep breath before he said what he had to. “First, please leave the Lunar Rabbits alone.”
“Lunar Rabbits, you mean that giant rabbit you just talked to?” M2 asked.
“Yes. They would like to be left alone. No trouble between you or them. This is one of the requirements.”
“And the other?”
“Well, there isn’t anything else.”
“That’s no problem at all. Just leave the rabbits alone. We can do that.” Elder Mako nodded his head in agreement and turned toward his people. “You heard Zero. We are not to touch the Rabbits.”
“I was hoping for a light sport.”
“S-s-sport?” The Lunar Rabbit stuttered and stared with wide eyes. He was shaking when he heard the outburst of the Cat people.
“We don’t mind.”
The cat people’s face fell as if their favorite toy had been taken from them, but their mood changed just as quickly as their carefree attitude.
“You heard them. We will uphold our honor with the Chief of Draconis’ Librarian.”
“I am glad to hear. You heard that?”
The Lunar Rabbit nodded. “Though the words of the cat people are just words, how would I know that you would not see us as playthings.”
“We will uphold our promises in honor of the cat people’s fur.” Elder Mako stated with a sharp intake of voice. He did not like what he had to say.
“Yes, our fur. Our fur is our pride. If we go back on it, we will shave our fur bald.”
“Bald!” Gasped the cats, “That’s-“
“Ugh….no. My fur.”
The cat people shuddered in fear at the thought of losing hair.
Zero motioned towards the cats looking at the Lunar Rabbit’s reaction. “That is good enough for me. All aboard.”
The cheerfully the cat people were excited to get on the boat. Not everyone had adventured far and wide, nor had they ever ridden on a boat that flew. They were like excited children that just seen a new toy. In a single file, each of them entered the ship happily, and they sat down. With everyone on, the boat’s sail dropped down. It caught the wind shaking as it slowly lifted into the air. It flew upwards towards the sky.
A soft breeze swept through the boat, bringing in a fresh pine tree smell. The birds flew around the boat, curious at the odd flying structure, while the cat people watched enthusiastically. For a moment, Zero thought they would attempt to catch the flying birds in the air. But instead, a couple of the young children were jumping around, trying to swipe at them.
“So this is the famous flying boat.” M2 held onto his seat. Both Zero and M2 were sitting near the outer edge. “It shakes quite a bit, doesn’t it.”
“More like a tumble if you ask me.” Zero felt a bit queasy. He did not like the rocking back and forth of the boat that swayed from side to side in the wind.
“Elder, do you have the catnip coffee brew?” One of the young male cats spoke.
“Catnip?” The word caught every cat’s attention. Their ears perked forward in interest. The voices of the cat people rang out with excitement.
“I killed 20 Baby Spiders.”
“23 for me!”
“24 with one Grey Wolf!”
“Bah, that’s nothing. 30 Baby Spiders and Five Grey Wolves.”
“Quiet!” M2 bellowed loudly, quieting the rowdy crowd of cats. “We’ll take turns speaking out how many we have killed. But, first off, raise your hand if any of you have killed more than forty-five Baby Spiders and fifteen Grey wolves.”
Only seven males and one female raised their arms. Those eight were considered the best warriors out of cat people. They were the fastest, smartest, and best swordsmen known.
“Okay, that’s more like it. We’re down eight now. I expected that much.” M2 slowly spoke. “How
about forty Baby Spiders and twenty-five Grey wolves.”
The hands dropped to three.”
“Fifty Baby Spiders and Thirty Grey wolves.”
All the hands dropped.
“Wait, then, who won?” The male cat asked. “Is it not one of us.”
“Nope. I won.” M2 spoke with pride.
“Sixty Baby Spiders and Forty Grey Wolves.”
“I expected as much.” Everyone nodded in agreement. “There is none other than M2 who could
accomplish such a feat.”
“How many did you kill?” M2 asked Zero.
“Sixty Baby Spiders and Thirty-one Grey Wolves.”
The cat people gasped.
“He’s on equal terms with M2.”
“That’s impossible. He could’ve fabricated it.”
“No. No. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did kill that many. He is a half-dragon breed, after all.”
“With that being said, the winner of our little fun goes to M2 and Zero.” Elder Mako came over
and handed the catnip coffee in a small box.
Every cat near him stared with envy and want. Zero gazed upon the small box of catnip coffee, wondering what it would taste like for all the cat people to be so caught up on it.
“We have some hot water and tea brewer.” The Lunar Rabbit spoke. “I can brew up something for you.”
“Really?” Zero was surprised to hear that this large boat that looked more like a ship had such things.
“Yes, I’ll go get it right now.” The Lunar Rabbit that was steering the boat let it auto-pilot by itself. He went towards the lower deck and came up with a large teapot filled with water and cups.
Zero handed the catnip coffee to the Lunar Rabbit, and the Rabbit started to brew the tea.
“You’ll be amazed at the effect this tea does.” M2 was given a cup of Catnip Coffee. The other cat people drew in closer wanting to have a whiff at it.
“I can see what you mean…” Zero unconsciously leaned closer to M2, trying to escape the Tyger sniffing the air around them. But, unfortunately, he was getting a bit too close for comfort.
“Tyger,” Zero coughed, trying to snap him out of a trance.
“I’m sorry.” Tyger blushed red. He was ashamed of his behavior. “It just smells so good.”
Zero could see drools coming out of Tyger’s mouth. The Lunar Rabbit handed him a cup to both M2 and Zero. Zero took it in hand. A strong smell of minty coffee brushed against his nose. He took a sip and was amazed that it tasted more like hot chocolate with a pinch of peppermint than coffee. Then he felt a warm fuzzy feeling that ran up and down his spine, making him feel at ease.
The world around him seemed a bit clearer as his sense increased by three-folds.
All five senses have increased by three-folds for three days. It allows the sixth sense that has been locked up to blossom and grow with you over time.
An ability that allows you to exceed the normal sense and see beyond the supernatural.
“You drink this every day?”
“This is quite fascinating.”
“This is nothing.”
Zero cocked his head confused. “There is more?”
“Here’s a little secret.” M2 leaned in next to him and whispered. “This effect works even when you leave the game for the next twenty-four hours.”
“Test it out. You’ll know what I mean when you leave the game.” M2 leaned back and happily,
continued to sip on his coffee.
Zero was confused about what M2 meant. He thought it over wondering what M2 meant.
The boat finally stopped and docked against something that no one could see but Zero. Then, with a thump, the boat lightly bumped into something hard, and at that moment of contact, the invisible VillageVillage slowly appeared before them.
“Woah,” M2 spoke, a bit shocked. “I did not expect such a large change from the last report. I heard it was smaller, but this is completely different from what I had imagined.”
Zero couldn’t help but feel proud of his VillageVillage that he was looking after. “Lava Magic helps expand the land over time. After the emergency magic went into effect, the lava magic increased its output. I’m still surprised at how fast it’s grown, even the short amount of time that I was away.”
“Chief, It’s ready.” The Lunar Rabbit motions him forward towards the exit.
Zero and M2 were the first to get off the boat. After that, everyone got up and headed off the boat onto solid land.
“Quite amazing,” said M2. He was busily glancing around, taking in the open land. Even though there were not many trees growing on the new land, large patches of green still filled the rich soil.
Zero saw several small sprouts of trees growing at a rapid rate. A good portion of the lands was being built with small stone buildings, and the new residents were farming large lands. Zero could not see the end of the Draconis Village anymore. Instead, the Draconis Library and the buildings surrounding it covered their view.
“Well, this place is your temporary home till you find what you are all looking for.”
“Do not worry. We won’t terrorize the locals.”
“I’m afraid of that…” Zero mumbled under his breath. He coughed and cleared his throat. “I’ll keep an eye on my people.”
“That put me a bit at ease.”
Elder Mako and Elder Miki walked over next to Zero.
“We can not thank you enough for letting us stay.” Elder Miki smiled. Her ears and tails flicked side-to-side in pleasure.
“It’s not a problem. I’m just as excited as you are.”
“You don’t know how much this will help us. For us, this is like getting back our lost heritage. Please have this.”
Elder Miki handed him a small bag of seeds. “Given to us by the Eleven Race and now passed on to you. All the kills were also yours while we tracked through the forest. We shall stay in town till we arrive at the City of Elements. There is destination will end.”
Zero took the bag of seeds gratefully. The thought of having fresh fruits and vegetables without waiting for a whole season to pass was something he was grateful for. This allowed the food shortage to be solved much faster when they were on the run.
Side Quest has been updated.
Plant the Seeds and feed the young Drezo Regalia.
“I’ll see you around.” M2 shook his hand. He followed his people into the Draconis Village with enthusiasm. Zero watched them mingle with the residents.
With a sigh, Zero felt a heavy weight on his shoulder. He felt he was babysitting the new dragon race and helping them grow. He had gone through thick and thin to grow to who he was now. However, so many baby dragons needed to be looked after, which made his head spin.
Without waiting, he delved into the newly given task of farming the new land that the lava magic had been churning out. He had a long week to finish what he had started.
Kiyro ejects out of the Embryo Type II Machine. His time inside the game was up and was brought out like everyone else. The water quickly drained from the pod, and the helmet detached itself. With a grunt, Kiyro pulled himself out of the machine and stepped onto the cold floor. His toes and hands felt pruny from soaking long inside the machine, and the cold floor was not helping his situation. He felt cold from the cold hard floor.
Suddenly he heard loud, obnoxious voices that did not stop talking all around him. Glancing around, Kiyro saw people leaving their pods and heading toward the changing room. Not many were even talking among one another, but the voices in his head kept getting stronger while he stared at the peculiar person.
It got even worse when their eyes made contact with one another. Voices ranging from male to female that he had never heard spoke loud and clear even though their mouths did not move.
Who is he?
Wow, what a bedhead. He looks like he just had sex. Hahaha.
Not bad. Not bad. I earned fifty gold coins from that quest.
I wonder if that lady NPC will go on a date with me. She looks so cute.
My butt itches. I hate these stupid suits. I’m breaking out. I’m going to give a piece of my mind to the teachers. I can’t stand this at all.
Kill—what a wondrous word. I can’t wait till I meet with death once again.
Kiyro stopped and searched for the last familiar voice, but he could not find the owner of the voice anywhere. Instead, the overpowering voices of the people drowned out the sound giving him a headache. Shaking his head, he hoped that the voices would stop. Finally, the voices in his head slowly faded away, allowing him to have better control over his thoughts. He scanned around for familiar faces but did not see anyone. So instead, he followed the crowd and changed out into comfortable clothes.
“Kiyro!” Daulton yelled out and waved him down. Daulton was in a simple blue t-shirt and pants. Wow, he looks awful. I wonder if he’s alright.
“I’m fine,” Kiyro replied unconsciously.
“What?” Daulton was surprised by Kiyro’s answer.
“Nothing. What’s up?”
Daulton stared at him strangely, and he brushed it aside in a matter of moments. “I’m starved. Let’s get something to eat. We got a couple of hours of free time before we go to class.”
“Yea, did you forget? We’re here to grow our psychic abilities?”
“Psychic abilities? Oh! Yea. I completely forgot.”
“Yea, it happened to me as well on the first day here. So you’ll get used to it for sure.”
“I’m not sure I want to be used to this.”
“Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Everything is going to be alright.” Daulton grinned. Man, I’m hungry. I wonder what’s for dinner. I hope he doesn’t dawdle too long, or my stomach will eat itself.
“Well then, we should get something to eat, shall we?”
“Hell, yes. I’m so starved that-“
“You’re stomach is going to eat itself. I get it.”
Daulton’s eyes turned wide. “You just took the words right out of my mouth.” He nervously glanced toward Kiyro.
“What? It’s a popular line, you know. So it doesn’t take much to guess what you will say.”
Both Daulton and Kiyro walked down the corridor and to the cafeteria. Hundreds of people from different races streamed in to get something to eat. Kiyro searched for either Eve or possibly Alex, but so far, he has not found either one. So instead, he picked up a tray of fruits and a chicken sandwich and followed behind Daulton.
Once again, they sat next to Ken and Sylvia, talking.
“Hey, guys.” Daulton pulled up a chair and took a seat at the round table.
“Daulton. Kiyro.” Ken waved and acknowledged their presence. “Nice to see a familiar face.”
Even Sylvia nodded and continued to eat.
“You guys are out early.” Daulton picked up a fork and stabbed cheese broccoli.
“Things happened. They booted us out of the game that much sooner. So I’m guessing there is something important going on.”
“Every day is an important day for them anyways. What could be any different.” So Ken thought, though living in this Psychic Academy is strange enough. Who in the right mind would bring all these people together under one roof and put a collar that can kill them on their neck?
“Good question. So how was your quest been going?”
“Everything proceeding smoothly. I got through the forest without much effort. Of course, having a large group of powerful NPC with you makes things much easier.”
“Tell me about it.” Kiyro agreed.
“You have experienced it too?” Ken asked, a bit surprised at Kiyro’s answer. “Renting out a mercenary is expensive, though if you are really lucky, you might be able to work together with the city’s soldiers.” Does he have a secret I don’t know about that will allow one to get more followers? I do wish to try one day to lead a large army against a castle. How cool would that be?
“Well, you can say something like that.”
“You’re so lucky. I wished that I got such a quest. Do you know how hard it is to gather so many NPC in one spot? Especially leading a large force to go hunting? The scale does not compare to just a regular Raid party. We’re talking about thousands.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m leading a group of thousand people. Just a couple hundred would be more like it.”
“On an expedition or a raid?” Everyone listened in closely to what Kiyro had to say. They had momentarily stopped eating.
“Just a simple guiding. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“That’s still so cool. Damn, I wish I had at least a simple quest like yours. Unfortunately, I’m still collecting hundred thousand pine cones to get a special chain quest. You don’t know how tired I am from collecting these pine cones. I swear, I’m dreaming about them even in my waking moments,” Ken picked at his carrots and broccoli in disappointment. “I feel like I’m some kind of gatherer or something. At this rate, I’ll probably take another couple days till I’m done with it.”
“That’s better than me,” Sylvia grumbled. “Try hunting down 7000 Grizzly Bears where one grizzly bear spawns every fifteen minutes. Not only that, you have to fend off other players from killing it before you do. It’s not easy, I tell you.”
“That does sound like a pain to do.”
“Attention, everyone!” Mrs. Angela called out to the group of people. “Attention!” The voices of the people lowered but still did not stop. What an annoying bunch of kids. I wished they had just shut up—Mrs. Angela’s thought rang clear into Kiyro’s head.
Kiyro wondered how he could hear so many people’s thoughts so often today. He had all the trouble in the world to use such an ability out of his free will. The only problem was that he struggled to stop the voices from entering his mind.
“She said to shut up and listen!” A cold male’s voice cut through, stopping everyone in their track. Everyone turned towards the unknown male that stood next to Mrs. Angela. Even next to her, the pressure around this unknown man intimidates everyone. His hair was slicked back, wearing an expensive white and red suit. His silver cross chain hung from his side, and a silver cross necklace hugged his chest.
Kiyro felt an intimidating aura from the man that he knew. He had met him twice throughout his life in the past month, and each meeting was at the scene at the wrong time and place.
“Now that’s more like it.”
“Thank you, Angel.”
“No problem, sweetheart.”
“We will be welcoming two new teachers that will be joining us. Angel Luminous and Red Raven.”
Next to Angel was a tall thin, silver-haired man wearing gothic clothes. For a moment, Kiyro thought Red looked like a typical vampire wannabe with his attire. However, compared to Angel,
who looks like a gentleman, Red is the opposite, wearing bright red and black.
“Angel will be taking over one of the classes as a teacher while Red will be your P.E teacher. They both did not want to be introduced in the auditorium, but when you all are at ease. So I thought it would be best we announce it now. The other will be informed in due time.”
“It’s nice to meet you all. I’m very pleased to inform you to share my knowledge in what I know. Though I must say if you have any problems, I will gladly love to listen and help you out in your time of need.” My new personal toys, Angel’s thought rang loud and clear.
Kiyro was alarmed. He had a nagging feeling that something more was going on that he did not
“With that being said, we are also like you who have come here to learn and grow into fine Psychic. With your help and our guidance, you will all become someone great in the future.” Angel handsomely smiled, making a large group of females gasp. However, we will make you all into the finest killers.
“We are heroes in the making. We all have the potential to become someone great.” A Hero they shall be, but a Hero they do not expect. A dark thought that was not his rolled in on Kiyro’s mind again.
“We’re not your everyday comic book superhero. We are normal citizens that are taught how to survive and lead the normal citizens in the correct path of light that brings up the greatness of humanity.” And the downfall of many.
Kiyro gulped. He didn’t have to read the man’s thoughts to feel an evil intent that made him shiver. This man was a cold-blooded killer, and to be a teacher was a different story. In all honesty, he did not want to learn from this man and instead hid away safely in his home. Just live life every day without much trouble, but life was not kind and instead threw something else in his direction.
“There is more. Suppose anyone could bring me the Solomon’s Key in the game. A one million dollar reward will be given to the winner. The deadline is by the first Yami Hikari Convention, but I feel that not all of you will search for this little key. So to make this bet even more exciting, a contest on whoever finds me the key also gets ten tickets that let you leave out of this academy for good. The winner can also hand these tickets to their friends who want to leave here. I know quite a few of you are brought here without consent, though I must personally say that you are in good hands.” Angel cleared his throat.
“With that being in order. I would also be joining in on the game. So let’s all have fun, shall we?” He opens his arms with a mischievous hint of a smile.
Everyone cheered with excitement at the new challenge ahead, though Kiyro was not too thrilled. He was not pleased to be pulled into this game contest of finding Solomon’s Key. What he needed to find was a way out and any information on his brother’s whereabouts.