Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chapter 5: Chivalric Code

They always said that "Someone's happiness is someone else's sorrow". I always thought that it was the way the world works. Some people are happy with their lives, but others aren't. The world is already set up with all the unfairness whether we like it or not.

Even in this world, I still feel it. People like Val, they look at this as opportunities, but others look at this world as a ticket to hell. Although it's solely based on perspective, but it is in our human nature that we don't want to be blamed.

People's individualism can be counted as very high here. People chase their wants and needs, their ideals, and their own will for something they longed for. Many dared to fight and emerged victorious, even in a way which isn't fair. There isn't much place to put trust on.

My inn wasn't that far away from Ridgeview Crest. It was just  about 100 meters south from Ridgeview.

"Here we are.", I said when we reached the front of my inn. "Thanks Val, you're so kind", I said while smiling at her.

"Are you sure you'll be okay from here? I can help you until you go to bed.", she said.

"I'll be fine. Don't worry okay?", I said.

She smiled and said, "Okay. Good night.".


I went inside my inn and collapse on my bed. I took out the piece of cloth that I tore from the rogue who attacked me this evening. It has part of the skull insignia that those guys have. I wanted to go back to the place where a guy logged out from, but that isn't possible at the moment. I gave up on that idea and went straight to bed.

The next day...

I opened my eyes to see someone right next to me. I wasn't able to make out a face because my eyes were still heavy. I rubbed my eye to be able to see. It was Val, sleeping on a chair which she put next to my bed.

"Umm... Hey, Val", I said while trying to wake her up. She woke up and looked sleepy for a second before she gained her consciousness.

"... X!!! Y-Y-You're awake!", she said in shock. She jerked backwards that she fell of the chair she was sitting on.

"Umm... You okay?", I asked while sitting down on the side of my bed.

"Oww.... That hurt...", she said while holding the backside of her head.

I sighed. "What were you doing in my room this early in the morning?", I asked.

"Err... I wasn't convinced you're well hahaha.", I rolled my eyes upon hearing that.

"I also made you breakfast.", she continued.

"Seriously?". I probably looked excited here. No one beats Val's cooking.

"Yep. I made you some sandwich", she said while showing me my breakfast.

"Thanks a bunch!", I said. I took one and ate it. It was just as amazing as the first. There's a soft filling that is simply indescribable. I have some vegetable taste on it, but also rather a bit sweet.

"It's.... Good". I would most likely drool in front of her since it was so good.

"Hahaha. Thanks.", she said. Her smile made my day.

"What did you use this time?"

"Just vegetables. I cut them to pieces and grilled them together in a mash potato. I also added a sauce made of mayonnaise and mustard", she said.

"I like it."

"Glad you do.", she said.

"So what do you plan to do today?", I asked her.

"Well, I would probably buy some supplies for my restaurant and go there later.", she said.

"I see."

"How about you?", she asked.

"I got something to do later. I need to do some digging around about my attacker yesterday. Which reminds me. Have you ever seen a insignia like this?", I said while showing her the ripped cloth I got from my attacker. Valeria took the cloth and studied it.

"I've never seen it.", she said as she returned the cloth.

"I see. Well, can you look out for that insignia in your restaurant? Contact me if there's one.", I said.

"Ok, add me as a friend.", she said while she opened her menu interface. I opened mine and saw a friend invitiation notice. I added it after seeing Val's name on it.

"Ok then, I'll take my leave. Bye!", she said as she left my room. I waved at her and lay down on my bed again. I closed my eyes and drifted into sleep again.

A breeze rolls in. Leaves from trees flew around, almost dancing with the wind. A boy was sitting under a tree, facing out to sea. It was evening, the sun showing only half of it as the other half dived behind the horizon. The sky was in the middle of evening and night, some parts of it orange, some part dark blue, and a violet contrasting line in the middle of them. A girl came by, seemingly trying to find a place to think. She noticed the boy, it was someone she knew. Someone she knew from way back.

"Don't take a nap here, you'll catch a cold." the girl said.

"Huh? Who's taking a nap? I'm just sitting here chilling out.", the boy replied. The girl approached and sat down beside the boy.

"Well that's kinda creepy. Usually people chill out with their friends in a mall or something.".

"Look who's talking. Anyways I'm here with a friend, so does that count as chilling out?".

"Who says I'm your friend? I'm your enemy you know.", the girl said.

"Whatever", the boy replied. The girl giggled as soon as she heard her answer.

"Hey, what type of girl do you like?", the girl asked after a moment of silence between the two.

"I don't know. Definitely a beautiful one though.", the boy replied. "How about you? What type of guy do you like?"

"Umm... I want one whose smile can help me go through a day without worries. I want to be cared for as who I am. Of course a good looking one too hahaha.", the girl replied.

"I see. Good luck finding the right guy for you", the boy said.

"Yeah. You too", she said.

I woke up about an hour later. I went to the bathroom and washed my face. I checked my right leg to see if I should take a day off or not. Apparently it was fine. Afterwards I set up my gear and head out into town. I wanted to know about the group that attacked me yesterday.

I head down to the town square. Apparently there was an open meeting going on. The meeting was held by Havok of The Chivalry. It seemed it was an urgent meeting, considering how many people were attending the meeting. I was just in time to hear what important message that Havok had to give.

"Greetings everyone. I am Havok from The Chivalry, and I have good news for all of you. I am pleased to announce that scouts from The Chivalry was able to find the gate to the next floor.". Everyone cheered the moment they heard this announcement. Some also simply just gave a sigh of relief. But I wasn't convinced that the news will stop there. Every RPG game always has a boss, which usually is to advance to the next level of the game, which in Blademasters Online, floor.

"However", Havok continued. "We do encounter a problem. There is some people protecting this door. We are unable to identify them as players or NPCs. The Chivalry have decided that we are to gather force to fight these people in order to go to the next floor.". People start to looked worried.

"Is there any particular similarities from the members of those people?", a random player shouted out.

"Yes, they all wear grayish hood. We are unable to make out any of their faces during the fight. I do need to warn you that all those people are skilled fighters. We have lost several men from our guild due to our last encounter with them.". The whole town square went silent. Not even a single voice can be heard.

"Due to the losses of these men, The Chivalry has decided to open registration for enlistment in our guild. We will be waiting in our guild house to the north of Stoneridge. We hope to see you there.". Havok went down the stage and left the scene immediately.

Not long after, Stoneridge's square was back to it's lively state. The sound created creates the same cheerful vibe despite the news about earlier, but the news earlier has became quite a viral topic all over town. People were asking each other whether they're going to try and join The Chivalry. It was none of my concern though. I had always preferred to be alone.

They all used grayish hood huh? I wonder if they have a skull insignia on their upper arms. I would need to ask The Chivalry for this information, but I didn't want to join them at all. I chose to go to their headquarters and talk to Havok myself.

1 hour later...

I reached The Chivalry's headquarters. It was packed with players trying to join them. I barely can squeeze myself inside their building. I thought I might be able to climb up the guild house from the back, but I might cause a commotion due to that, which completely eliminates my chance to talk to Havok.

"Hey! X!", a familiar voice called out from somewhere. I looked around to look for the source of that voice. I caught a familiar face, it was Barrios.

"What are you doing here X? I thought you weren't into these guild stuff.", he said while patting smacking me on my back.

"I'm not here for that reason Barrios. I wanted to talk to Havok. I need some information from him.", I replied.

"I see. Must be about those hooded guys he was talking about right?".

"Yeah. By the way, are you ditching your guild to join The Chivalry?".

"Hahahaha. Good guess kiddo, to bad it isn't correct. I was looking for the opportunity to create a task force with them to fight the gate guardians.", Barrios replied.

"I see. Your clan is Alpha Wolves right?", I asked.

"Yeah. By the way, how exactly are we going to get through this ruckus?".

"Up the roof.".

"You've got to be kidding me, X. We're going to get into serious trouble for that.", Barrios answered.

"Any other suggestions?", I questioned him.

Barrios took a while and rolled his eyes around. After some time, he looked at me and smiled. "You know what? Trouble's my middle name.".

I signaled him to follow me. We went around The Chivalry's guild house and stared upon a wall about 4 meters tall. I used my scarf to cover up my face. Barrios noticed this and thought I was kinda odd for doing so.

"Why would you need to cover your face as if we are going to rob them?", Barrios asked.

"I'm practically going to rob Havok of his information, but I have my own reasons to do so.", I replied.

"Up to you then Mr. Incog.", Barrios said as he shrugged. "So, how should we do- X! Where did you go?", he said as he realized I wasn't beside him anymore.

"Can't you keep a low profile? I'm up here already.", I said while throwing a chestnut at him.

"Well you could've told me"

"I could've-".

"Should've", Barrios said with a face that seemed to be annoyed.

I sighed, "Well quit wasting my time already. I'm going in.", I said while jumping into The Chivalry's guild house.

"Hey! Wait up!", Barrios said. I waited for him while scouting around the area. There were some guild members training. Among those guild members, I noticed Havok was talking to one of his subordinates, probably about the recruitment process.

At first, I intended to approach him stealthily, but looking at how vast the training field is, it seemed impossible already. I was planning on following him after he went into the main building of the guild house. Suddenly a sudden loud thud came from behind me. As I looked back, I figured out that Barrios fell off a tree while trying to jump over the guild house's walls. I shook my head and noticed some of The Chivalry members had drew their weapon preparing to attack us.

Havok walked forward and waved off his men to sheathe their weapons. "What do we have here? 2 kids trying to barge in and join us without recruitment.", he said.

"Who do you think you're calling a kid?", Barrios said in an enraged tone.

"Who else am I talking too? Of course to both of you. What business do you have here in our grounds?", Havok replied. Barrios seemed as if he was about to draw his backsword  but I waved him off to try and explain what was our intentions. Barrios understood me and let go of his hand from his backsword hilt.

"We're here not to enlist into your guild. We rather have other matters to discuss with you. Will you hear us out?", I asked.

"I'm listening.", Havok replied.

"My name is Extorsion, and this is Barrios. Although both of us have different things to discuss, we both still need you to listen to our reasons. Barrios here, he's the leader of the clan Alpha Wolves. He would like to create a task force with you in defeating the gate guardians.", I said.

"Create a task force? Hahahaha. Don't be ridiculous. The Chivalry works as an independent guild. Although I have heard of Alpha Wolves, an underdog guild which has been increasingly popular over time, I would have to say that creating a task force with you will simply slow us down.".

"Why you... You needed more men! We are prepared to lend you a hand in clearing the first floor!", Barrios said enraged.

"Please. You're doing this just to increase your guild's reputation. We, The Chivalry, will be the clan that will bring freedom to all of us in this world. We don't need help from an amateur guild", Havok replied. Before I was able to stop Barrios, he charged towards Havok with his backsword ready to attack him. Havok prepared his so-called custom made longsword, the Diamondback. As soon as their swords met, Barrios' backsword cracked due to the impact with the Diamondback. Havok rammed Barrios back when he was shocked that his sword was cracked by the impact.

"You want to end up like this guy too?", Havok tried to provoke me with his arrogant intonation. Fortunately, I am rarely provoked by other people.

"No. My reason to come here was to ask some information to you, but judging from what you said to Barrios, you can ignore my intent.", I said calmly.

"What sort of information?"

"I said ignore my intent."

"I insist that you ask me what information is it that you need."

After hearing what he replied me, I decided to ask him for the information I need rather than provoking him into attacking me. I showed him the ripped cloth that I got from the ambush the other day.

"This symbol. Do you recognize it?", I asked.

"I do."

"Was it on the grey hooded people you encountered at the gates to the next floor?"

"I'm afraid that's all you get to know.", Havok replied. For a second, I saw his face showing a rather disgusted expression. Due to that, I was sure that skull insignia was on those grey hooded people's upper arm.

"I see. I'll take my leave then.", I said. Havok thought otherwise. He held his sword out in a battle stance and looked at me with the intent to kill.

"You're not going out of here that easily, Extorsion. I won't let you go for free after giving away such information.", he said. Simply by taking a good look at Havok's eyes, I can tell the kind of person he is. He thinks he's the only hero in this world, the only one who can lead people in this world to freedom. He dares to take out any factions that oppose from his ideals. His eyes can tell his intent to battle. Actually, I would say the need to battle.

Sorry for the late update guys, but here's chapter 5. Took sometime to post due to exams I have to attend to haha. Do tell me what do you think of the story so far in the comment section below, that would be a great help. Thanks again!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chapter 4: Heat

"Hey, look there", a boy said.

"Wow! It's amazing!", a girl replied to the boy while looking at the scenery he had mentioned. They were both sitting on a tree branch, looking over at a rare sight for them. A golden ray shyly hiding behind the horizon, birds flying from one side to another, some leaves blown away by the gentle wind. They both speechlessly looked at the scenery.

The boy looked to his right and was even more amazed at what he was seeing. It was the girl who he knew from kindergarten, but he was seeing her in a different way. Her jet black hair let down to her waistline, a pair of eyes that sparkles off sun rays, and her smooth skin he touches with his forearm in an unintended manner. He felt as if he was dreaming.

"Umm.. Hey...", the boy started to speak in an awkward manner. The girl looked at the boy in a curious manner, which startled the boy for a second before he continued speaking.

"Umm... I really like the scenery here. It's like everything here is flawless.", he said. The girl nodded in agreement.

"You know, the sky is really unusual today isn't it?", the girl asked.

"Yes it is, but the skies matches your eyes.", the boy said while looking deeply into the girl's purple eyes. The girl was shocked. She immediately blushed upon hearing the boy's compliments. There was an awkward silence between those two as they just stare at each other's eyes.

I felt a breeze of air flowing through my nose. I realized I'm not dead yet, but my whole body can't seem to move. I decided to stay still for some time before trying to move my body again. After about 5 minutes of becoming a statue, I tried to open my eyes. A flash of light pierced through the moment I opened them. I was blinded for about 3 seconds before I gain my visibility.

"Ugh...", I moaned while covering my eyes. I tried to sat down but failed due to the pain I felt on my abdomen. I looked around while still laying down on the ground. I was in a forest, but different from the forest I was ambushed. As I look up, I saw the hill I was thrown from. There was no one at the top. I still had no idea who ambushed me. Another thing I was confused at is the fact that I wasn't killed by those who ambushed me.

It seems that I was hit by some kind of poison when I felt that sharp pain on the back of my neck. But how is it that I didn't die? A poisoned effect status will periodically decrease your HP until you drink the Anti Poison Remedy or use the Status Rune. I was probably out for more than 12 hours, which is more than enough time for even a light poison effect to kill me.

I fought the pain on my abdomen and I was able to sit down. I checked my HP bar and it was on the red bar, a bit less than a quarter of my full HP gauge. I opened my inventory and drank a potion to replenish my health. As my HP bar expands, I felt that my body starts to feel a whole lot better.

Since I was able to stand up and walk again, I decided to go to town and take the whole day off. I wanted to try "living" in this game for a day. I head back to my inn and took a shower since I literally slept on the ground for the whole night. I filled the bath tub with warm water and went into it immediately to ease my fatigues. I felt so comfortable that I was actually thinking about laying in the tub for the whole day.

I finally able to persuade myself to get out of the tub and flush down the water too the drains afterwards. I got dressed and head outside to get some fresh air and something to eat. I was thinking about eating at Ridgeview Crest, but I do want to try eating other stuff too. I finally decided to buy some deep fried dumplings sold by an NPC. It was good, but it isn't anything compared to Valeria's toasted sandwich.

I decided to go out on a stroll around Stoneridge. Simply sightseeing around town was actually quite relaxing to me. I started at the gates of the city, and walked aimlessly to who knows where. Eventually I finished my stroll in the square. I noticed a lot of people gather up on the district near the square.

It's probably normal since it is the easiest meeting place of all. In the middle of the square was a monument standing around 4 meters tall. At the top of the monument was a golden knight holding his sword and shield in a battle stance. It had a peculiar set of armor, which looks like what knights used back then in the Medieval Ages. The armor had spikes on it's shoulder pads, which I thought it's sole purpose was to cause damage while ramming someone with his shoulder. It's helmet surrounds the knight's face so that his face can't be clearly seen. The helmet itself looks like the Roman's battle helmet, only with a more enclosed look and without the signature Roman mohawk.

As I looked around at people, something caught my eye. It was someone wearing a similar cloak to the guy which logged out of this game. He seemed as if he's checking his inventory. I decided to use this chance and tail him in hope I might get some answers on logging out of this game.

I slipped out of his line of sight by going out of the square and into the crowd. As soon as I am in the crowd, I looked around if there are any alleys that might lead me to that suspicious man. Since I wasn't very tall, I couldn't really see, so I opted for any alley I can go into. I saw one on my right and head there immediately.

As I entered the alley, I noticed that it was simply just a dead end. No matter though. It seemed that the walls are close enough for me to double wall kick up the roof. As soon as I was on the roof, I took a stealthy approach towards that suspicious guy. He was already on the move and moving towards the outskirts of the city. I tailed him from the roof, jumping from one building to another.

I went down the roof when he was nearing the city gates in the east. I followed him but also trying to keep my distance from being too suspicious. He suddenly turned around, probably making sure he wasn't tailed. I was able to react quick enough to move my eyes to another direction and just walk forward as if nothing happened. I relied on my peripheral view to keep track of him. He did looked at me in a suspicious way, but looked away after a while.

He just simply walked toward the gate thinking there was no one suspicious around. As soon as he is out of the gate, he turned north and started to move away to a blindspot behind the city walls. I followed him, but loss sight of him when I looked left. Damn it! I would easily track him down if I was a rogue, since rogues are the most adept class to tracking targets.

I wasn't planning to give up, so I climbed up a tree and try to figure out which way he might've gone. I jumped down from the tree so that I could act as if I was a regular player trying to fight some monsters. As soon as I touched the ground, someone charged towards me.

I was able to react quick enough and throw one of my throwing knives at the guy. I ran to a nearby tree and kicked the tree to lunged myself to the attacker. He was able to dodge my throwing knife but wasn't prepared for the upcoming attack. I pull out both of my daggers, double slashed him, somersaulted forward, and used the momentum from that somersault to deliver a hard kick before he could pierce me with his broadsword. He fell to the ground hard.

I realized that he was the same hooded guy I was tailing. He didn't recover from the blow fast enough, which made me able to stick my dagger to his throat and try to get some answers out of him.

"I want some answers.", I demanded.

"No wonder you were tailing me. See if you can get some out of me.", the guy reluctantly said.

"Yesterday I saw a guy wearing a similar hood like you. He was able to log out of the game. How is it that he is able to?", I asked in a rough manner.

"I know no such guy.", he said arrogantly. There's a sense of him being calm from his tone. Almost too calm.

"You better give me the truth quick if you value your life.", I said while tightening the grip of my hand on his shirt and my dagger.

"You have no proof I know him. Just because we wear the same cloak doesn't mean we share anything in common.", he said.

So he's looking for proof huh? I tried to remember other things about the guy who logged out. I remembered that he had a skull insignia on his right upper arm. I glanced at the guy's upper arm and see the same insignia.

"Is that so? Well can you explain the same insignia you have on your cloak's upper arm?", I asked him.

"You do have a good eye kid. Problem is you're too cocky. You didn't even bring any back up when assaulting someone.", he said in the same arrogant manner he used for all the words he spoke.

"First of all, I work alone. Second, I didn't ask for your opinion. Third, I'm giving you-", I was stopped by a sudden kick from my right side. So the guy did call for back up before I attacked him. I was tossed away towards a tree.

He was loose from my grasps and took his broadsword from the ground. He was then joined by 3 other guys, 2 defenders and a rogue.

"You got some nerve to meddle with us, kid. Now, it's our turn to attack!", he said while charging towards me. The other 2 defenders also charged with him. The rogue however, was staying there doing nothing.  The 2 defenders charged with their shields looking to bash me. I dodged the 2 defenders, but I didn't manage to dodge the fencer's slash.

"Argh!", I shrieked in pain. I was pushed back a couple of meters, but a defender rammed me with his shield before I could regain my balance. I was slammed towards a cliff. Luckily, I was still able to regain my balance before falling over.

"You should give up, assassin! You're outnumbered 4 to 1!", the fencer said.

"I'm never going to give up, even if it takes the life out of me.", I said. I took in some breaths before continuing. I pointed at the rogue and said, "Nice trick. You used a disorientation explosive on me, other wise your boss will be humiliated by the way he missed.".

"You're sharp. That rogue is our support specialist. Just for your information, I might not be able to hit you if he wasn't helping me out there. Problem is we have practiced this tactics everyday, and we do have a strong teamwork.", the fencer said. "I'm thinking about sparring your life. You seem to be a tough combatant. I'm giving you an offer. Join our cause, and we will rule this world together.".

"Over my dead body.". The rogue suddenly tossed a small bag to the sky. The bag exploded and covered the area with a thick black smoke. The rogue smirked and started to run around. The rogue might've thought that he had the upper hand, apparently he was terribly mistaken. He attacked me from behind, causing me to be lunged out of his line of sight again. As soon as I was hit, I activated my Stalker skill and ran towards a defender who was coughing due to the smoke. I stood in front of him and get ready for the upcoming attack. As soon as I sensed the rogue was attacking, I dodged his attack and caused him to push his team mate off the cliff.

"Block!", the rogue exclaimed after the smoke had cleared out and realized his team mate was gone. Everyone was shocked, including me. I did plan to dodge the rogue's attack for him to attack his team mate. Rogues are able to tag someone, and the target will be highlighted, even through smoke or walls. I used his lack of visibility to my advantage, but I didn't expect the cliff was behind that defender.

"Impossible! Everyone, fallback!", the fencer commanded in horror.

"Y... You... You'll pay for this!", the rogue said while he dashed towards me. He was consumed by rage. He swung his saber like an enraged pirate trying to battle all out for a pot of gold. The look on his eyes simply said everything I need to know, he wanted to kill me for real.

"No, wait!", the fencer said. It was too late though. The rogue missed his attack on me and fell into the very same cliff his team mate had fallen into. I did try to pull him up, but I was only able to rip off some of his cloak.

"You'll regret this boy.", the fencer said. He ran away after saying that. Probably going back to his base. I tried to chase after him, but the swift slash that hit my right leg thought otherwise. I fell to the ground trying to chase him. When I looked up, neither the defender nor the fencer was in sight.

I drank up my potion and went back into town. It was somewhere about 7 or 8 p.m. I was exhausted and decided to go to bed immediately. I passed through Ridgeview Crest, apparently Valeria was just done locking up.

"X!", she greeted me with a huge grin on her face.

"Hey, what's up?", I replied.

"I'm just, you know, locking up the restaurant. How about you? You look umm...".

"I know. It's a long story."

"Are you going to be okay?", she asked with a worried face.

"I'll be after a good night sleep. I'm just exhausted that's all.". I took a step forward, but suddenly my right leg acted up again.

"Ack..", I shrieked. I was falling to the ground, but Valeria managed to help me stand.

"It was fine a second ago.", I said enduring the pain.

"Please don't push yourself too hard.", she said. She helped me sit on a bench near the front of her restaurant.

"Can you please tell me what really happened?", she demanded. I couldn't resist to say no. She did gave me an amazing free dinner yesterday. Not only that, I'm someone who always speak the truth when someone demands. I don't know why. I guess it's simply in my nature.

I told her about everything. Starting from the time I left her restaurant up to now. She looked worried the whole time, especially in the part where I was mistaken as a killer.

"I... I can't believe it.", she said after hearing the story.

"It's just how it is, and I didn't make this up.", I said.

"I know.".


"I don't know. I just have a feeling that your not lying.", she said.

"I see...".

"Thanks... for believing me", I said. She didn't say a word, but her smile answers everything.

"All right. Come on, I'll help you go home", Valeria suddenly said. She stood up and tugged my arm signaling me to stand up.

"Wha... You really don't need to.", I replied.

"I insist.", she said as she pulled me up and put my arm around her shoulders. I gave up trying to go back to my inn alone. I simply walked with her helping me and showed the way.

Right! Chapter 4's done and dusted. I might not be updating chapter 5 for quite a while though, as I will be busy with exams on the following weeks (ooo damn it...). Thanks for reading everyone! Please do comment on this so that I might know more about my not-so-amusing grammar and stuff, or even you may try to speculate what will happen (I might make a side story from your speculations haha).