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.
"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
"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"
"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.
"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!