Katherine is trapped in a virtual video game. She knows what she will have to do...
At 1:00pm earth time, I placed the game gear on my head. The game gear creates an imaginary world according to the game chip in the minds of the players. I logged into my character account and played until a full day passed in the Land of Arcana. When a player first starts out, they are required to create a character, customize it, and select its abilities. Besides creating a character, the most crucial information is told and given to the player by the game master/game creator.
One of those pieces of information is that for each two hours on earth, 24 hours would pass in the Land of Arcana. The meaning of arcana is secrets or mysteries, and is the title of this plausibly dangerous virtual game, which I originally thought was used for advertising purposes. I was wrong, and I found out that fateful day.
"What is wrong with my character? This isn't the one which I selected. Log out, log out, log out! No, this can't be true!" one of the players said in a frantic voice. As I confirmed this with my own settings, a game announcement came on.
"As you realize by now, I, the game master, have altered your body to match your real life body size so you will have an easier time moving around in your next couple of months or possibly years of freeing yourself from this game. One warning will be given, if someone pulls the plug on the game gear, it will result in death, not only in the game, but also in real life. FYI: One day in this game will result in one day of earth world time instead of Arcana land time. That is all, good luck to all players."
All the gamers by me went into hysteria while all my thoughts suddenly froze like the drifting icebergs in Antarctica. A five year old little boy cried for his mommy. Some old man looked as if he was going to have a stroke at any given moment. Another timid girl standing in a corner, burst into tears. My body started moving on its' own, heading to the nearest resting point to organize my thoughts.
"OK, so I have to beat this game, alone? or with partners? Calculating my chances of survival... partners are a better and safer idea. Now I need high level players with good compatibility. I am at the highest level a mage can get, I am fully equipped, I have connections, and I am currently not making any progress so I better get going." I thought in my head in the time span of five seconds. As I set off, me, a 16 year old famous tactician type mage, an assassin class boy sneaked up on me (or at least tried to) as I walk to the edge of town. When I reached the edge of town, I confronted him.
I stopped in my tracks, turned in his direction and stated, looking straight at where he stood "Please come out, Mr. Daniel Cruz. I already know your location; This game's 'day' is no longer as fast as it was before, and moving shadows are easy to notice."
He laughed and high stepped out of the darkness. "Still as sharp as ever, I can never sneak up on you, Ms. Tactician, Katherine Iris Lee. I know what you're doing next and I want in."
"I was counting on that. OK, one down, one to go." I sighed. I never liked groups, which is why I only went in groups when there was a mission or level that required groups (which luckily was only three). In those three raids, I was in large groups that requested me for impossible or high level challenges, and Daniel was in one of them. Lastly, I need a front-liner, a soldier. I carefully scanned my friend list and selected three; I debated with Daniel to narrow the choices down to one. The result was the arrogant annoying, but no doubt talented, Mr. Kevin Zhang. He was also like the rest of us, a top notch high level player.
The Land of Arcana consists of three main levels, namely Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. In each level, it is divided into 10 sections. All the numbers increase (1, 2, 3, 4, 5...) and gradually become more difficult as they increase, including high level monsters with higher intelligence. In order to beat the game, players must reach level Gamma 10 and beat the monsters and tricks displayed by the monster(s). Once the monsters are defeated, the players receive prizes called "bonus items". This is the overall layout of the game.
Besides the adventure modes, there are also many relax areas, like towns and cities, where players are not in danger of fights breaking out (doesn't include poisoning). Even though there are many attack type players that focus on defeating the levels, there are also other types of player skills, like tailors, metalworkers, cooks, which all go under the supporting craftsman type, but players can also buy things from non players, programed helpers for beginner players and quick shopping spots.
As we located him on our friendship map, we found he was already quickly moving up Alpha (the lowest main level).
It took 5 full days to catch up to him (he was at the end of Gamma 10), and luckily he was taking a break, otherwise the chances of finding him would be slim. I modestly approached him, "Kevin Zhang?"
"What's up? Oh, it's you again, what do you want?"
Besides arrogant, he was also a reckless idiot. No doubt the moment the announcement was projected to all the players, he began adventuring like it was his second nature at the sound of danger. Contrarily, I was carefully planning each step of the way, rationing supplies, collecting rare objects, and saving my HP ( human power ). To be blunt, he is my complete opposite, and he hates me deep down. At least I think he does, the way he tries to avoid me.
I spoke formally to him while explaining our plan and why he should be with us instead of others, it took a little while to explain but as soon as I finished he disrespectfully declined.
"No, I work alone, you know that," Of course, this is exactly why I was really against recruiting Kevin, but no Daniel just had to have Kevin.
"I understand that you only work in groups when it is required and you only chose from the best," I reasoned, "but if you are thinking of escaping this game, the number of group missions will increase and you will be unable to move on."
"Oh really, well then if I join the team then we switch positions. I'm the new leader and you're the follower. "Got that?" Kevin asked in an overconfident voice.
When the words tumbled out of Kevin's mouth, Daniel swooped down from the ceiling and exclaimed, "Great, we agree."
"Better than not," I sighed. Therefore we proceeded to the next level, Beta 1. When our "leader" stepped onto the ring of the battle field, monsters began springing up like daisies on a field. High level rats, medium level gargoyles, and at the end of #1, there, standing on its hideous shredded hind legs, was the mob monster boss. Rushing in with the most mindless like style, Kevin headed as straight as an arrow for the boss.
He yelled at us, "Back me up!"
Instantaneously, I thought, "What in the world is that supposed to mean?" But because I had already fought with him over this topic, I knew it meant, "Take out the minor devils, I'll get the big guy," Kevin said early on. Even though that phrase itself was intended to be an explanation, it was still very vague. Not that I really minded anymore, after all he did share the winner prizes. Most of the Beta levels were similar in a sense that they all had a class of minute high damage level monsters, another class of medium damage monsters, and the big boss. Only when we reached Beta 10, Kevin started to struggle a bit with the mob boss.
Which then he held off until we defeated the minor monsters and rudely ordered, "Need a spell and ambush here! Well, what are you waiting for?"
"Coming!" I shouted as I rolled my eyes.
"Finally asking for help now, isn't he?" Daniel grinned.
"Well that's no surprise, he was bound to do that sometime soon," I commented on Daniels obvious statement. With my supportive enchants, and Daniel's slash sneak attacks, we managed to defeat the boss.
Outside of my concern, we soon became the center of attention. Our names spread and it eventually developed into "One" symbolizing our talents balancing each other out. We became more and more famous, until we, almost unbelievably, were the leading team that made the most progress in the challenge levels. "Destroying everything in our path, while leaving it as bare as bones until the next challenger comes (the monsters generate)." Many people spread our names and rumored strengths throughout the players. I personally think that when we work together we suck and all our movements and missions could be a lot faster than they are now.
"Daniel, Kevin, could you two go gather enough food for a week? I'll carry it in my infinity purse," Instructed them. In the end, I became "manager" and was responsible for supplies, battle plans, etc. It was almost as if I were the leader instead of Kevin, taking responsibility. Despite the fact that I do everything else, I at least give him some credit for logically sharing the bonus items. We are currently on gamma 10 and it's clearly increasing in difficulty. When we entered alpha 1 it became obvious it was going to take days to pass this level, and a much more careful rationing of combat products. For example, healing potions, food, and money.
Usually, when we weren't in the battle zone, Daniel would go ask around or research for information, which really helped since I had my hands full, maintaining the amount of supplies and planning the amount we would need, the cost, what we would get from the winner prize, and including anything we could scavenge ourselves, picking of trees and such in adventure mode. When I found out that our winner prizes would not feed us for long, I announced, "We need to get some more money."
Kevin asked, "The bonus items should keep us going."
"They will, but according to my calculations, our supply will run out at the most crucial time, before the last battle," I pressed on, "even if my calculations are wrong, all of us will need our strength in battle, which will drain more and more quickly due to the power level of the monsters."
Kevin paused stubbornly then retorted, "Well we should be fine because when Arcana was a simple game, we beat the whole thing!"
"True, but this is no longer a game, or do you still think that this is just a game, Kevin?" Daniel injected, "And even if you think could go without food and any other supplies while fighting the rumored Greek mythological monsters level, like the Minotaur, hydra, Medusa, etc. will you be able to defeat the mystery boss by yourself?" I was about to add on to Daniels statement but I knew this was one of his "spotlight" moments so I butted out of the conversation. When Kevin finally gave in to Daniel's arguments, we went into relax mode and entered the town of Dellmead. Dellmead is a town famous for high class pricey weapons, player tournaments, and important meetings. All towns and cities have their own specialty, like how Rose Wyvern is a city famous for their beautiful rose gardens and in some areas, the dragons that reside in the thorns. Shadow Wall is famous for its shady non players that live there. Many skilled craftsman type players live in the city of Dellmead, which is also why we teleported to this city, to get stronger weapons and to deposit our bonus items.
"The easiest way to earn money is to compete in those time consuming PVP contests, but just a couple smaller street battles should be enough money we need." I suggested.
Without complaint, Kevin and Daniel drew their weapons, synchronized, and announced, "Whoever thinks they're strong enough to defeat me, step up!" In a PVP (player vs. player), the players are allowed to harm each other until one is knocked out. After the battle is over, then both players heal back to their original health. The winner receives an average amount of money from the loser. There are also group battles, but those are even more complicated and time consuming. In the time span of 30 minutes, Daniel and Kevin knocked out around 60 players. In the end, we gained a massive amount of money from winning the PVPs.
"Let's go to the weapons shop," Kevin instructed after the PVPs, without a single drop of sweat.
"Sure, it's probably best to secure out weapons before anything else," I agreed.
"The last time I came here, I think the best quality weapons were sold in a shop called Iron den, which sells blades made of dragon scales and some of the most rare weapons." Daniel hesitantly said.
"Alright, we'll go check that shop out first, even though it looks like they're not the most popular," I commented, while looking at a store nearby with swarming masses of people.
"Wait a second, this doesn't make sense, the map says it's right here but there is nothing here, just a wall!" Kevin disapprovingly frowned.
"You would probably find that this wall is projected if you used your head just a bit more," I insisted as I stuck my hand right through the wall.
"Now I remember! I was practicing a sneak move and just as I thought I was about to hit the wall, I fell through it and found this shop, at that time I was still at skill level 10." Daniel suddenly spilled his thoughts.
As we passed through the wall, a strange sensation crept up my back, but I don't know if Kevin and Daniel felt the certainty that something was scanning/observing us.
Breaking the silence, Daniel pointed straight ahead, "There it is, Iron den." There, standing before us was, surprisingly, a small cozy Japanese style house, with a couple bamboo trees hiding the entrance.
"Whoever this is, he or she sure loves hiding!" Kevin mumbled. I pried open the sliding entrance door and noticed banging sounds coming from the back of the house. I opened my mouth to say hello but Daniel covered my mouth and pushed my head down. Zing! Razor sharp violet blades passed over my head. Daniel lifted me off my feet and used stealth mode to whiz through all the booby traps, leaving Kevin behind.
As Daniel gently set me back on my feet, I apologized, "Sorry about that, and thanks."
"No problem, ladies are my first priority either way," he joked. Then Kevin burst through the wall from the house.
"What the heck is wrong with this craftsman, I nearly died back there!" Kevin miffed.
"Trust me, it would have taken much more to kill your stubbornness," Daniel laughed.
"Hello there, good job on surviving the test!" a rowdy lady's voice shouted. At once, a tall metalworker walked out from the metal shop on our left. She had long auburn hair tied up in a ponytail, corduroy pants, large t-shirt, and a black apron filled with silver tools. "Aren't you that naive boy that came to my shop a year ago? What's your name again, Danielle?"
"It's Daniel, Mira." Daniel blushed furiously, then introduced us, "This is Katherine Lee, and Kevin Zhang, we're a team, but better known to people as 'one'."
"So I've heard, but if you're really as good as they say when I see it with my own eyes," Mira sassily commented.
"Want to try?" Kevin taunted.
"Ha-ha, no, you will show me if you're that talented by gathering the materials for your weapons," Mira paused, "the highest quality is what you want right?"
"Absolutely, it has become a necessity, but what do we need to do for you to make our weapons," I insisted.
"Then go to Diamond cell, the city of the dragons and take your pick, that is if you can," Mira answered.
"What!?" Kevin blurted.
"You heard her, let's go!" Daniel pushed.
"Can we use our teleportation devices to get there?" I asked Mira.
"Yes, to get there but not to get back until you have exited the city area," Mira replied honestly with a worried face, "but you are just kids, usually only very experienced players come to me to make weapons, knowing they would have to collect their own sword materials."
"Don't worry, we won't let you down!" I cheered.
Zip! Whoosh! Thump!
"Ow! My teleportation crystal hates me, it always drops me in a falling position, how do you guys land normally?" Kevin whined. Daniel and I giggled in secret but after a while I seriously thought about it.
"Maybe because your teleportation crystal like humble people, and you just happen to be, you know, not so humble? Understand what I'm hinting?" I hypothesized.
"Or maybe because your crystal is broken," Daniel added.
"Could be, but now that I think of it, why are you two so tolerant with me?" Kevin said with a furrow in his brow, "Usually people ignore me, hate me, or constantly say I'm annoying."
"Do you want us to do that? Because if you do, we can," I grinned and joked.
"No thank you, I'm fine" Kevin replied.
"Just fine? Or something more?" Daniel crept closer to Kevin, Kevin turned away, starting to look red in his cheeks.
"Are you alright? You're cheeks are red..." I started saying but I never completed my sentence. Daniel gasped at the sight of Diamond cell, the nest of the most ferocious dragons. Kevin's jaw dropped and I couldn't even blink for a couple seconds. It was the most astonishing view I have seen so far in this game. The shimmering, sparkling, blinding light reflected of the enormous palace.
"I've only heard rumors of this majestic place, and now..." I was speechless.
"Speechless, huh, just speechless," Kevin finished my thought.
"What are we waiting for?" Daniel hopped to the door, "Welcome, to the palace of the dragons, Diamond cell."
The nest of the dragons not actually a perfect palace, but it's a maze of ice, gems, and other precious rare materials. In Arcana, the perfect material for your sword would give of a blazing flash before the player's eyes. I had not found my type of material yet, nor has Kevin of Daniel because there were so many different types and most people would not even be able to touch any of the minerals that specifically form in Diamond cell. I've seen other players find theirs and was jealous for a time, being unable to find my own. Glancing upon the doors, my heart pounded in excitement and fear. The palace door automatically opened at the touch my hand, because a high level mage was needed to open the door.
The towering glimmering doors slowly and majestically opened, promising the fulfilling beginning of our exploration. When we all stepped inside the palace, Kevin stepped forward and started turning left and right, landing us in a large posh crystal room.
"Wait, let's turn back, if this is a moving maze, it won't help to track our progress," I nervously quivered, "we just need to wait in one place if the walls move around, and eventually something will..." Boom! Crash! "like I was saying!" I shouted over the sounds as we all stepped back and switched into fighting mode.
"Good idea, but a little too late, don't you agree?" Daniel responded.
"Nope, just on time!" Kevin laughed. My head tilted upwards at the face of the beautiful mature dragon.
"An ice crystal dragon, it's weaknesses are fire related weapons and spells. Here, Daniel, light it up!" I ordered as I tossed him my luminescent crystal.
"Yes, Ma'am!" Daniel said obediently.
Strangely, Kevin stood as back up silently while listening to me bark instructions.
"Kevin, switch to your flame blade, it will do more damage even if it is weaker, stab, and use flare when I make, or you find, a chance. I'll aid you with Ancient Blaze and Fire Magick." Daniel used sneak and successfully ran onto the dragon's back, smashing the luminescent crystal ablaze. The blue fire of the crystal spread rapidly on the glistening scales of the dragon, making the entire interior of the room we were in flash before our eyes and the light then started focusing onto Daniel.
"Daniel! This is definitely your new sword material!" I shouted excitedly.
"You got that right, and I'm coming to get it!" Daniel exclaimed.
"Wait a second, I'll cast a spell," I asserted. I casted Ancient Blaze ( a spell that increases attack damage) and both Kevin and Daniel attack from two sides, front and back. The dragon was confused for five seconds and began lashing out, swishing its tail, breathing an icy breath, freezing the room. In seconds, the room became and winter wonderland, snow falling from the ceiling, icicles hanging down with large sized snowflakes, and a mysterious wind blew from the door behind the ice dragon. Stomp! Tromp! Stomp! Uh oh!
"Don't tell me!" I stammered.
"I think it is," Kevin wearied. In came, through what once was a back door, a humongous red dragon, slightly larger than the ice dragon. The ice and fire dragon exchanged a series of terrifying roars, and the ice dragon started to tromp away.
"You go chase the ice dragon Daniel, be careful," I admonished.
"I'll be back before you can say 'nice job' to Kevin," Daniel dared.
"We'll see," Kevin taunted.
"Stop wasting time already, focus on the fight," I corrected them.
The fiery dragon stretched his wings, and flapped them a couple times, blowing away the snow, and melting the icicles. Then cleared his throat while spitting "miniature" fireballs.
"Humans," he clicked his tongue, then speaking in a deep gruff voice, sighed, "do you never learn your lessons? My name is Smaug, be grateful I am one of the more tolerant dragons, I will give you one chance, leave now and I will not kill you, or choose to die."
"Cowardice or death? I choose death!" Kevin proudly proclaimed.
"And you? Human girl?" Smaug asked patiently.
"I'm sorry for disturbing your peace, although on normal circumstances I would leave, unfortunately I do not have that option, according to the situation I'm in," I announced.
"Clever girl! Very well, as you have chosen death, I shall grant your desire." Smaug cheerfully and wickedly spoke. Smaug sealed the doors shut with his burning flame, then lit the edges of the room with mysterious blue flames. "Just to be fair, I swear not to exit this room until this fight is over, agree?" Smaug twistedly laughed.
"We wouldn't have it any other way," I stubbornly scorned as confidence started to well up. Kevin nodded his head and glared at the snake like eyes of Smaug. I began randomly using low level offensive attack spells, and Kevin attacked openings I left to match my attacks.
"Hahaha! You'll never defeat me, I'll bet you never even fought a dragon before, judging by your weak attacks," Smaug snickered while taking his time to completely melt the icicles on the ceiling.
"Focus on the battle, will you?" Kevin diverted Smaug's attention.
"I am, I'm creating the perfect scenery for the deaths of you two, be patient," Smaug annoyingly replied. It was true; the ceiling was alight with flames the color of sunrise, which beautifully reflected off the flawless crystal walls, making the walls seems as if they were endless clear oceans, gently and easily bearing the weight of the sun. Finishing the scene, there would be a floor turning into a green meadow, with cute furry little animals and fluffy dandelions swirling in the gentle breeze, but I had a feeling it would be a burning fiery atmosphere, with bare trees on fire, no more grass, and the bones of animals burning and disintegrating into ashes.
Somehow, I got the feeling of a little girl saying in a sing-song voice, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, crunch my bones, before I rust." It was probably the overwhelming creepy evil magic overpowering my senses.
As we fought, I listened for crackling sounds, and then I heard it. Crack, chip, slam. A pillar of ice that once stood behind Kevin, fell. Smaug began to turn his head to search for the origin of the sound. I silently muttered a trap spell and encased Smaug in a spherical blue barrier.
"Now!" I shouted. Kevin swiftly slipped into the barrier, tightly gripping the eternal ice in one hand, and switching to his hailstone blade. Every second made the battle more intense. Kevin sparred with the dragon, barely managing to block while absorbing the immense damage force from the rash attacks created by Smaug. Kevin's HP (human power) dwindled to a point where he could no longer absorb the attacks and had to keep dodging the head on reckless attacks. While I worried over Kevin's safety, my own barrier was also starting to flicker and fade out.
"Stop shrinking barrier, Kevin, hurry! Don't lose, or else you know what's coming next!" I angrily threatened.
"Can't you say something like, 'no pressure!' or 'take your time'?" Kevin snobbishly replied.
"Oh, so you're finally back to your annoying self, eh?" I snapped. Smaug's eyes flashed red and he roared beastly, louder than a lion, and a million times more terrifying. Smaug tore the weakened barrier like it was a flimsy piece of cloth. Turning my way, he inhaled, breathing in the blue flames from the corners of the room, and calmly blew the flames onto his palm and flourished his hand, waving the flame like a banner. I gasped as Smaug turned his scaly palm towards me. My heart pounding so loud and quickly my ears and face turned rosy pink, and I felt my blood pounding as it coursed through my veins.
"Haa!" Kevin plunged the eternal ice into the center of the dragon from the back. In a blinding flash, the scales peeled off one by one, as all Smaug's scales flew off his body like a wave in a cheering crowd, it revealed the bare bones of the dragon, and a shining jewel shaped as a heart. The center of the heart shone with a pounding rhythm, which was slowing to an eventual stop, with eternal ice severing it right through the laser red light. Flash! Deja vu, once again when the light ceased, a blinking gentle and warm light canceled out all the dangerous magic in the room.
"So your new sword will be one that can cancel out all magic," I sighed, " how nice, the second we enter, you and Daniel obtain your sword material, leaving me the odd one out."
"Who ever said we were abandoning you?" Daniel popped in, proudly lifting his crystal hunk of material, "Don't worry, Kevin and I were just lucky this time around, yours must be very special if you have found it yet this deep into the palace." As I gazed above us, my eyes widened.
"Where are we? I thought we were just in that room a moment ago!" I confusedly exclaimed.
"It turns out you were right, this palace is a moving maze, changeable by all the dragons living here, dead or alive," Daniel explained.
"Woohoo! We're trapped, how convenient, we have no control over the walls and have to wait until one just happens to open up," I sarcastically announced.
"Can't you be a little more positive? Jeez, you're really not helping," Kevin replied.
"Well sorry for being such a sourpuss, I look at reality, unlike some people who rush headlong into something they can't take on alone," I exasperatedly pointed out.
"Fine, I admit being with you guys has really made me realize some things, but who's the one who begged me to hurry up in defeating a dragon?" Kevin taunted.
"Stop it already, why can't you two get along, and why do I feel like am the bridge between two enormous powerhouse enemies?" Daniel asked.
"#1, probably because you are, and #2, we better get moving, we'll have a better chance to find the exit if we move rather than doing nothing and sitting here like babies," I commented.
"Good idea, but I won't give you credit because I thought of it first," Kevin childishly ranted.
Just because I was annoyed with him, I continued to retaliate with harsh comments, which I sort of regretted later. We walk on the crystal floors, that suddenly changed into Rocky Mountain/volcano paths, then jewel covered tunnels, and finally halls and gardens of silver and gold.
In the garden, ruby, pearl, amethyst colored roses flowered, all the green were brilliant emeralds, and the fountains sprayed hoards of sapphires. In the midst of the garden, slept a silver dragon.
So majestic it seemed untouchable, as if someone were whispering snobbishly from behind, "Behold, a world you will never touch your entire lives, yet you have been honored with the sight of this magnificent being!" I waved away the thought as I listened to the calming peaceful deep breathing of the dragon. Thunk!
Zzz... I feel asleep.
Tap, tap. "Hmm?" tap tap tap, "Ahhh!" I screamed. The 20 ft. tall silver dragon bent over, tapping my shoulder, while piercing my armor. Those curious eyes peered at me, as if I was a specimen, observing, and taking tests. As drops of my blood dripped from slight scratches opening up from the earlier battles, the silver dragon licked my wounds which instantly healed. Strangely, it didn't seem like vicious or evil intent, more like a gentle and caring lick from a harmless puppy, even though it was coming from a silver dragon. Without the twittering of birds, or the splashes of fish, silence continued.
Silver dragon are rumored to be to king of the dragons, all fear him, bow to him, and serve him. Also similar to the Satan of Hell, in other words the king of evil. Unlike the descriptions, he seemed to give off an enlightening aura that most people would find enchanting. Unfortunately, I am not "most people" when that puppy face peered into my eyes, I twitched in annoyance while looking away.
A couple seconds passed. Kevin and Daniel awoke, "Wha...? Ahh!" I sighed.
"You have all finally awakened! Lucky me, there are hardly any guests that wake up so soon," the silver dragon replied in a childish immature voice. Daniel, Kevin, and I were taken aback.
"H-h-h-ow, w-w-why, w-where, what... "Kevin stuttered.
"Time for explanations, Silver dragon, and please keep all claws, tongues, Â and feet to yourself." I tried to respectfully say.
"Ha ha, quite a troublesome impatient one aren't you?" Silver dragon delightfully smiled.
"That's what I also thought when I first met her!" Daniel chimed in.
"Enough, Silver dragon, tell us your name," Kevin commanded, coming back to his senses, "How shall you have us proceed? A fight to the death, a free pass? A requirement? Or..." Blah blah, as Kevin blabbered, considering every idea while chattering on and on.
"Is he always like this?" Silver dragon playfully asked.
"Yup! He makes everything lively," Daniel immediately answered. I groaned in frustration.
Then, realizing the piercing glares and confused stares, Kevin paused, and asked, "What are you doing with the silver dragon? You, silver dragon, get away from my friends!"
"Calm down buddy, I'm just chit chatting with your lucky friends, and my name is no other than Silver, ladies may call me Sil," Silver added.
"Who ever said I would believe you, Silver, Haaa!" Kevin started rushing towards Sil.
Sil made a cutesy begging puppy face, but when Kevin didn't stop, Sil knocked him out in an instant. Our surprise must have been very evident, because then Sil said, "Didn't have a choice, he was going to kill me." I mysteriously understood immediately. "Why don't we all peacefully settle down and discuss our disputes, eh?" Sil continued. Agreed, is definitely what Daniel thought, as he sprinted to the elegant table in the center of the gorgeous garden and comfortably plopped into the seat facing us, beckoning us to quickly join him.
Daniel is acting strange, so was Kevin, what's going on? I'm also feeling very annoyed, why are our emotions out of control, is it the garden? Well, no point asking if I don't get answers. When we were all seated, Daniel and I were on one side of the table, and Sil was on the other in an enormous chair.
"First, let's all introduce ourselves, as you know, my name is Sil, or Silver, I am a silver dragon who has recently done nothing except sleep, be tolerant, and dream."
"I'm Daniel, nice to meet'cha; I'm currently working with Katherine and Kevin." Silence, then stares. "Um, Katherine? Hello?"
"What? I can hear you."
"Why don't you introduce yourself, Katherine?" Sil suggested.
"My name is Katherine Lee, and I want answers."
"OK?" Sil confusedly agreed.
"Explain." I commanded.
"Uh, this garden is gold and silver, the aroma influences the negative side of people to show, I want to know why you're here, and that is about it," Sil slowly listed.
"We, actually, am here to find a weapon material personalized for me."
"Have you found it yet?"
"Look around do you see any on me?"
"... Actually, if you're looking for something similar, I think I can help you," Sil slyly smiled.
"Really?" I interestedly questioned.
"After all, it seems your special material is right inside me," Sil laughed. I glared and readied my weapons. "Calm down, I'm ready to make a deal," Sil added.
"A deal?" I asked.
"Yes, if you allow me to transform into your staff, you will have a staff, and my interest will also be satisfied," Sil presented.
"Interest?" Daniel popped in.
"My ambition is to see the outside world, but I wish to travel without attention. Those old geezer dragons keep me locked up here, so I'll need you to help me fight them." Sil stated as a matter of fact.
"But aren't you the all-powerful mighty silver dragon?" Kevin groaned, surprising everyone.
"True, but I don't have any experience with anything on the outside; including any activities the elders accuse me of."
"Alright, let's go." I boredly yawned.
"What?" Kevin, Daniel, and Sil bewildered.
"Oh, I forgot, Sil, can you temporarily morph their materials into swords?"
"Yes Ma'am" Sil followed, recovering from shock. Sil lifted his front claw, mumbled a couple words, and chimed, "Good as new, because it is!" then chuckled.
Then, wickedly grinning, I smoothly said, "Let's get outta here!"
As soon as we set foot out of the garden, we were greeted by a green dragon. The scales of the green dragon looked soft and smooth, and smelled of vibrant green grass. His aura shone with dragon and star plushies, even when his size was the same as Sil's.
"Hey, taking your pets out for a walk?" He smirked.
"Yea, and btw, Galzara, care to help discard the stalkers?" Sil casually asked.
"Sure, as long as it's not a bore, any task will do, bye Sil, see ya in a couple days!" Galzara farewell, whistling as he went. Thankfully we didn't have to fight; otherwise it might have attracted some unwanted audiences. Back tracking our route, through the halls of precious minerals, then underground gem laden tunnels, carefully edging our way across the rocky paths, we finally arrived at the crystal halls. By that time, we were all back on our feet, thinking straight, and moving forward. Because none of us knew the way around the shifting path, Kevin lead the way, randomly twisting and turning all based on instinct. But all the same, we followed him. Daniel followed him because he's a friend. I follow him because... just leave it at that.
30 minutes passed in a blur. Kevin, Daniel and I were all panting like wild dogs. Sil had already transformed into staff form, so I had placed him into my pouch. The a voice like tinkling bells popped up in my head, and apparently Daniel and Kevin could hear it as well, telepathy? Most likely.
"I think I can help you, take out your teleportation crystals," the mysterious voice urged. Kevin was about to inject in and rant about it, but Daniel silenced him before a word came out.
"Do it, both of you," I followed, summoning out my own crystal.
"In three seconds, I will make it so that your crystals will work, but I can't hold on long, so do it fast," the voice continued, "three, two, one, now!"
Synchronized, we all teleported except it was somehow altered. We could see ourselves, swiftly passing over the cities, deserts, forests, and what not.
Then I asked in my head, "Who are you?"
"I'm a spirit, I admire your group's courage and partnership, and therefore I have decided to help you, but unfortunately, my purpose in Arcana is over, so you must go on to..." the voice disappeared.
"Wait! Please, wait!" I clung to the voice, but it was no use. The voice of tinkling bells faded away, and we slowly came to a halt. Gently, like the arms of a caring guardian, we were set down on our feet. I faced the sky, as faint sparkles soared high, and I whispered, "Thank you."
From then on, the journey was smooth, or should I say too smooth. Everything went perfectly, Sil became our new famous comrade, and we beat the levels, until the very last. Gamma 10, the very last level. Now that we had Sil by our side, even the Alpha levels became as easy as the Beta levels. Sadly, it became a bore, my normal spells, aided my Sil's magic was enough to defeat a monster of high intelligence, strength, and agility. I never really considered the thought of dying, nor did I really focus on the battles, all though Daniel and Kevin were getting more heated up after every battle.
My suspicions are that the players were never supposed to be able to conquer that dragon palace. Which explains why everything is so easy now, it is as if we had never needed to struggle from the beginning. Even though the final battle was the most difficult, I would only describe it as dragged out. Our opponent was a god, the god of hell, Hades. We fought a total of 48 hours, or two days. During those two days, Daniel exhausted all his moves, Kevin fought till the brink of death, and I used all of my MP (magic power). Gradually, Hades was pushed back. Then with our strongest moves, hit together, Hades disintegrated into a pile of ashes, with three gold rings lying in the pile. Just in case, I used my reserved MP to make the ashes nonexistent. Then Daniel swooped down to pick up the rings.
"Choose, there are three," Daniel briefly said with a dizzy voice. I picked the ring with the purple amethyst. Kevin chose the ring with the flashy lemon yellow citrine, and Daniel took the last ring, the one with the bright green diopside.
Before us, laid a door of pure white. It seemed majestic towering high above our heads. I guess it's true that light is brightest, in the dark. I said farewell to Sil, Kevin, and Daniel. The door opened at the touch of our rings. Flash!
In an instant is was over. Blinking, I awoke in a white room, on a white bed, with thin white curtains slightly blocking the white light of the moon, and I slept peacefully.