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[F1-PP] To see the world <<The First Lesson>> (Soren, Zenshu, Teddy, Syra)


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‘What a day!’ The old man though to himself, stretching as though his muscles would be tense after a long morning of sitting in the old creaky rocking chair he so often made his perch. ‘The sun is shining, the town is bustling. Perhaps I have spent to long waiting. I did always love such things as adventures as a youth. Maybe I can find someone to join me in this place. These NPC’s are nice conversations for a while but can get rather repetitive.’ The 85 year old man got up from his chair, reaching for a cane he hasn't had nor needed since he was trapped in this game. “Ol’ habits dahe hard, Ah reckon”[1]  the raspy voice came from the gray haired man, as a reminiscent smile came over his face. 

 

He walked over to the edge of the safezone, it would be a trip he had only made a few times before. He almost stepped out when he looked down and realized he wasn't wearing his armour. The yellow button up and dark grey blue jeans as untarished as the day he had entered, though he assumed that they didnt have a system to make them seem worn overtime. “Okay, Teddy” He said, his eyebrows pinched together and a bit of a frown coming over his face as the gears in his head began to turn. “Hahw do Ah equip things again?”[2]

 

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Word Count: 238

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(OCC: Translation for those not well versed in southern american accents: [1] “Old Habits Die Hard, I guess.”   [2]”How do I equip things again”)

 

Spoiler

Lvl: 1 | SP 1/5 | HP 20 | EN 20 | MIT 8 | THRN 18 

 

Inventory

- Battle Ready

- - Healing Potion [50HP] x3

To be equiped this thread: Plate Mail, Thorns x2

 

Armor Skill

Heavy Armor Rank 1

 

Edited by Theodore Bell
Converting to The First Lesson
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After a few days looking around and getting a bearing of the town, Soren begrudgingly knew it was time to seek out a party. His first thought that came to mind was “Why spend time looking for a party, they won’t want to join you! They just want a boost for themselves, then they will throw you to the side like a pile of sh*t and leave you there to rot“. However, another thought, more persuasive than the first, entered his mind. “They might not care, but that would still be a boost to you, you should make the most of it and throw them in the dust!“. So Soren moved around a building near the town square…

After walking out of the town toward the edge of the safe zone, to Soren’s surprise and honestly, horror, the first man he saw was an old man.  He was sitting in a chair as if his bones were to frail, though this was a game… his joints couldn’t possibly be effected the same as outside the game. Regardless, this was not Theodore Bell, it couldn’t be. The guy was probably still in that toy shop dusting or doing crosswords. This must be another old man who got tangled up in this game… He stood up reaching for something, but then recoiling his hand back to his side instinctively… and walked a few steps toward the edge of the safe zone before stopping and looking at his attire. “Hey ol’ man, could I be of some assistance to you? I overheard you didn’t know how to equip your armor. It’s actually some of the simplest shit I’ve ever seen in a game. You just have to access the menu, scroll to your inventory, pick the item and equip. Oh, and don’t listen to some of the other players, they probably don’t give a flying Fuc* about you, players tend to only care about themselves.“ Soren demonstrates how to equip armor as he equips his light armor and a short sword.

Spoiler

Soren Rider | Lv.  1 | HP: 20/20 | EN: 20/20 | DMG: 1 | MIT: 6 | BLD (12 DMG)

Battle Ready Inventory:

Equipped: Uncommon Light Armor-1 Slot MIT

Equipped: Uncommon Short Sword-1 Slot BLD

5 Starter Healing Potions

 

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Word Count: 339

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Edited by Soren Rider
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Zenshu’s morning had been, well, uneventful. He’d survived the recent endeavours curtailing the required running around – and corresponding actions – that hunting down the mayor’s loan had entailed. He had to admit, as easy as the quests themselves were, the truth was he would’ve preferred a much faster avenue of completion.

“Well, I’ve just got to focus on getting it completed. Sure, it has me running around a lot – but that’s just good exercise and all! Keeps me fit and sharp. Besides…” His self monologue came to an abrupt stop as he turned the corner towards the main court, his eyes and ears fell upon an odd encounter. Pausing, he listened and watched as one player explained to an older looking man how to equip armour – and likely other gear. “Well, that’s…concerning. I should probably go keep an eye on them…just to be safe.”

Nodding to himself, he changed course from his original destination, refocusing on the duo by the entrance. As he approached, his typical beaming smile split his face, and he raised his right hand in a greeting. “Good morning! I’m Zenshu, I heard that you’re going through some basics? Did you plan on heading out into the field? If so, I would be more than happy to accompany you! I’m not the strongest individual, yet, but I can certainly provide some protection services and guidance! Plus, I know my way around fairly well now!”

His beaming smile slid between the two, as he waited for them to answer. The hood of his tunic – pulled up over his blue hair – shifted softly as he turned his smile back and forth between the two. He wasn’t sure what to make of the younger blonde, who towered over Zenshu. The words that the man had used bespoke of a much more outwardly aggressive manner – and he was clearly someone of a more western culture, but Zenshu gave his welcoming smile nonetheless.

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Spoiler

Zenshu | Lv. 5 | HP: 100/100 | EN: 28/28 | DMG: 7 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 13 | Light Momentum [+1 BD]

Tier 1

Equipped Items

Ninjato [Tier 1; One-Handed Straight Sword; Uncommon] A simple black, single edged ninjato.
Enhancement: Damage [1 Slot] | Effect: +(1 * Tier) base damage per slot.

White Tunic [Tier 1; Cloth Armour; Uncommon] A simple white overcoat with blue and yellow embellishments.
Enhancement: Light Momentum [1 Slot] | Effect: After an unsuccessful attack, gain +(1 per slot) to the BD until your next successful attack, at which point this bonus is removed. Another unsuccessful attack will reactivate this enhancement. Cannot be used to cause a critical hit. [For Area of Effect attacks: This effect only activates if you miss all enemies targeted by the attack.]

Arrowhead Brooch [Tier 1 Trinket; Perfect] A golden arrow-head with a pin fastened to it. It's modern and minimalistic.
Enhancement: Accuracy [3 Slots] | Effect: Gain +(1 per slot) to the BD when attacking. Cannot be used to cause a critical hit.

Fox Head Necklace [Vanity]

Battle-Ready Inventory

Starter Healing Potions {5} | Heals 50 HP
T1 Uncommon Health Potion {1} | HP Recovery I
T1 Uncommon Damage Potion {1} | Damage I
T1 Uncommon Overhealth Potions {1} | Overhealth I
T1 Rare Health Potion | HP Recovery II

Inventory

Sword Arts

[x8] ST-I (8 EN) | A single-target sword art.
[x11]
ST-II (11 EN) | A powerful single-target sword art. Only available for use when ST-I was used and successfully struck an enemy the previous turn or if ST-II had been used and had missed the previous turn.
[x3] AOE-I (1 + 2 * targets EN) | AOE | A sword art that strikes multiple targets at once.
[x4] TECH-A (5 EN) | STUN | A single-target sword art that stuns an enemy.

Weapon Skills

Straight Sword
Rank 3
Passive
Effect: +5 DMG

Armour Skills

Cloth Armour
Rank 2
Passive
Effect: +13 MIT

 

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Teddy turned to see the younger gentleman approach, though there was something uniquely familiar about them that his mind could not quite place, the voice sounded familiar as well. 

"Ah would greatly appreciate the assistance, ah haven't had too much experience in these newfangled games of sorts." The blonde haired man showed the process. "Ohhh…" The old man said, his voice a bit breathy, gravely. As he followed the instructions of the, Now clad in shining new plate-mail with a rose engraved on the front. "Well ain't that just handier than braking down beside a mechanic? You seem to know quite a bit, would you be willing to help an ol' fart like me out a bit more? Ah must say though, somethin' abaut you looks a mighty familiar"


It was at that time, or thereabouts time got hard to keep track of time anymore without the old grandfather clock in his shop to give him assistance, that another approached. "Whell howdy there my good friend, Ah hope you are doing well today. An Ah must say that outfit youre wearin' looks a mighty fine. Almost as if pull rahght out of the ol' fantasy pic-turs of old! It is a pleasure to meet you." He takes the man's hand in what would have once been a firm handshake but has deteriorated in the way old hands that have seen much use do. "You can call me Teddy, Ah find that Ah am rather lacking in the department of knowin' how these sort of things work, and my buddy here." He motions to Soren, "... Oh! My apologies, I don't think I got your name yet friend! We have been going through some of how this all works, Ah tell you what, it ain't nothin' like the ol' Dungeons and Dragons of mah time, Heh Heh" the laugh leaves the man, who is at this point smiling from ear to ear with crows feat around his eyes in joy, in that way if laughing that sounds more like a goose then a person, a honking style of laugh that would seem humors to some. "Ah figured the best way to learn would be to go out into the great beyond and find mah path as it were, though perhaps yous can point me in a better direction. An if ya do want to tage along, I do always love to have company!"

 

 

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Word count: 388

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Edited by Theodore Bell
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After equipping his short sword and light leather armor a few times for the ol' man to process, Soren was about to address helping him. However, another joined from beside them. The smaller guy in a hooded tunic, that which almost completely covered his blue hair, smiled and waved to the two, seemingly addressing them both. "Fuc*, theres another! Run!" But of course the ol' man had to invite the guy. Not only that, but the ol' man said he was... Teddy... "Wait... Teddy... Wha... Why... The FUC*!" Soren could process quickly, but maybe he processed too quickly. His ol' man couldn't be in this game, he had a toy store to run! "Don't say your name, this could be a different Teddy! But he also said dungeons and dragons... but any ol' man would reference that!" Soren quickly corrects his facial expression to one of a smile, seemingly copying the hooded figure. "Shit, Sorry, I think I misheard. Teddy? My name is Soren Rider. I don't know how you could recognize me, but maybe there are others out there that look like me." Turning his upper body so to face the smaller man in the hood, "Please forgive me, but..." To which the ol' man said he could join... "Fuc*, is this man serious! how could he just ignore my previous warning..." The man just smiled as waited for the ol' man to finish... "Yes, the ol' man is right, lets fuc*ing get a head start on this! I presume you are offering to protect us while I help this ol' man become more acquainted with the system? Sweet Jesus, that would be helpful. Mind sending a friend request to one of us first?" Soren seems more relieved than bothered by this addition to the party, its one more set of eyes to watch for danger.

 

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Word Count: 308

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Edited by Soren Rider
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Smiling as the elderly man spoke, Zenshu had to refrain from grimacing as the man took his hand in what was likely a sign of respect. The action was far beyond what would’ve been considered appropriate in Zenshu’s world – especially for someone you had just met – but, he assumed the man came from the west, a place the action would likely be acceptable.

He was just about to speak when the younger blonde opened his mouth. The words immediately left Zenshu’s mind as he listened – the tone carried an edge to it, welcoming yet warning. The words themselves were far more vulgar than Zenshu had been used to – even with his limited experience. For a few breaths, he was left speechless as he processed what was said.

“I…yes, I can definitely provide some protection while you help your…friend?...learn the systems. If you haven’t already, I would advise starting with the learners quests – specifically the first lessons quest, where you help the mayor get back money he’s loaned out. It’ll give you a nice little introduction to some of the basics around the world…including how to make things! Well, potions, to start. But it’s definitely a good introduction!”

His beaming smile returned as he spoke, and soon Zenshu’s hesitation had disappeared. At the others suggestion, he pulled up his own menu and sent the friend requests to both individuals, not wanting to leave either out. “There! This way we can all be friends now! And here’s a group request too, so we can party up for the time being! I’d say you’re rather safe in the Town of Beginnings itself, it’s really only out in the wilds that we need to worry…but if we do the quest we’ll be out there soon enough!”

He glanced back the direction he’d been heading, realising he was putting off his own quest. But others were in need of help, and Zenshu wasn’t one to turn away from those who required help. Mentally shrugging away the hesitation – he could come back to the quest after he’d helped them here, after all – Zenshu returned his gaze to the elderly man.

“If you feel up to it, I know the general area that we can find the mayor in order to start the quest! He does move around a bit, but he shouldn’t be too hard to locate if we roam about a bit! Then we can get you started on the very first quest. It’s easy, as I mentioned. Although it does contain some talking, and walking, and searching – oh and some fighting if you choose to go that route. Nothing overly dangerous though! Just some easier boars and wolves, out in the fields!”

Waiting for the reply, Zenshu tensed himself to head off should the others agree to find the mayor. He wasn’t entirely confident that the man would be found in the first spot that they attempted, but he was certain that with some general roaming they would eventually find the NPC.

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Word Count: 498

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The old man gave a softer smile at the man. “Mah apologies, Ah forget mahself. It sometimes leaves me that the people here are mainly eastern. Ah happen to be from the U.S. Ah made some substantial income when Ah was a younger man and mah son introduced me to the concept, Ah thought it would be good to get to use a body as the one Ah had in mah youth again. In fact, Ah got him a copy for his birthday as whell but Ah cant say Ah know that Ah have run into him yet. He always did have an independent streak, Rita always admired that in him. He was a good kid, you know. Ah must say Ah am very impressed with the way this game is able to use the universal language o’ the mahnd to allow us to speak to each other freely regardless of language differences” The man did not loose his smile while he said this though the tone of his voice became perhaps more distant, as those do when recanting memories. It both felt like ages and also seconds since he was that man. A man who did not need to worry about how his body would feel the next day. A man with a dream, a man with goals. All that was long behind him now, his goals achieved, his life fulfilled. Teddy liked it that way though, and came to terms with oblivion long before. 


“Ah mah apologies Soren, perhaps Ah am mistaken. You did not hear me wrong though, Ah go by Teddy. Always felt like it suited me nicely.” Teddy had not thought much about the circumstance, though he never liked to look too deeply into things like this, things would sort themselves out as they were tend to do. He turned back to Zenshu. “That quest sounds like a wonderful place to start. Hahw do we fahnd it? Ah guess, Ah can follow your lead.” It takes him some time to do it but Teddy eventually figures out how to accept both of the requests. To think of the fun the three of them would have going forward. The world awaited them, and so back into The Town. “Oh and this means you can contact us easily in the future in the case y’all ever need to call in a favor!”

 

 

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Word Count: 396

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Soren moved to unequip his sword and to accept Zenshu’s friend request. With that, Zenshu's name popped up for approval. "Ah yes, Fuc*ing great, you have another friend who will eventually leave your side..." While Soren quickly learned how to send a friend request to the Ol' man, Zenshu explained the events of first quest. Apparently, they needed to find the mayor of the town of beginnings. The idea of taking the combat route for this quest seemed quite appealing, "You could Fuc*ing end your life easy, but probably won't happen with this Zenshu guy" , the ol' man mentioned how he has western customs. That was kind of abnormal for the demographic playing this game, but, as with Soren, wasn't impossible. At least Soren knew that handshakes were normal greetings from where he was from... but the mentioning of wealth and getting a gift for his son...

Soren stood dumbfounded, his smile fading in a few seconds, it was beginning to process. "Did this ol' guy... just say Rita? That was Teddy's wife.... Christ on a Bike, thats my ol' man's wife!" How overwhelming this was for him. Once Teddy seemingly apologized for incorrectly recognizing him, he was certain. As the Ol' man turned away and talked to Zenshu, Soren waited and whispered "Theodore Bell", almost begging for confirmation. He smiled slightly, though it was much more full of worry. "Why in the name of the beast would you take a chance and join a game that you don't know how to use? You certainly are too old for this sh*t. An Old man isn't fit for this, its most concerning, especially for someone like your adopted son" Soren finished sending his friend request to Theodore Bell, but a smile grew on his face. “That being said, its good to know we are both stuck in this bullshit game together” and now turned to see where Zenshu would lead them, many more thoughts crossing through his mind, bombarding his mind.

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Word Count: 333

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Zenshu nodded appropriately as the elderly man spoke, telling a story about western customs and some sort of family – things that were not entirely foreign to Zenshu, but definitely out of context for the situation. Not one to be rude, he politely smiled, nodding where it felt appropriate as the man prattled on.

At the mention of the languages, Zenshu couldn’t restrain himself, his words slipping out almost immediately to correct the misunderstanding – albeit, a good explanation in and of itself. “Well, it’s less that the game reads one’s mind, so much as it comes with an integrated translation software that is generally far beyond the main stream ones available through more conventional markets. Essentially, you think in your common, mother tongue, and the artificial intelligence – Cardinal, which operates everything here – automatically translates whatever you’re saying into the linguistical preference of your target audience, and et al. This way you don’t have the struggle of a delayed communication exercise – essentially you’re registering everything in this game, as though it’s all in your own native tongue. For example – I’d be assuming that you’re speaking, and hearing English, whereas everything for myself would be in Japanese – my own mother tongue. That being said, to each of us it would sound normal, even to the degree of technicality. I’m sure there’s some ‘lost in translation’ moments, but that is generally written off by the mind as little more than misunderstandings, or miscommunications by the speakers…”

His voice trailed off as he realised that he had now been the one carrying on. He bowed slightly in response, giving a half-hearted apology in an attempt to make his embarrassment known. His excitement had clearly gotten the better of him, and carried him away from the moment.

Leading the two on, he listened intently to the conversation between them – there was clearly some sort of connection there, beyond just meeting in the game. Likely the two knew each other from the real world – not entirely uncommon, but Zenshu had the odd feeling that in this case, it was coincidence more than planned knowledge. He smiled, at their good fortune – assuming the best in the situation, regardless of the reality.

As they passed another corridor, Zenshu began casting his eyes about, looking for the well dressed man whom was denoted as the mayor of the Town. The first encounter Zenshu had with the NPC had been…lack luster, but he’d quickly overcome the thoughts he’d had in order to throw himself fully into the quest.

The search didn’t take long – only twenty minutes after they’d left the main court, Zenshu spotted their mark. Casually waving a hand in the direction of the NPC – careful not to point directly – he smiled at the other two players. “The well dressed man over there is the mayor – Dorian. As soon as you approach him, he’ll begin speaking with you, which basically starts the quest. He’ll explain that he needs your help getting a loan – you can basically say whatever you want, other than some surprised responses, he’s pretty straight forward and doesn’t care what you say. Eventually a dialogue box will appear before you. Just hit the accept button – the blue circle – and you’ll have started the quest! Then we can head over to the alchemist’s shop, for the next step!”

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Word Count: 550

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Syra sat alone at Rebecca's Cafe, finishing her meal, and laying the payment on the table. It was still a lot to get used to, life in the virtual world. Up to this point Syra didn't have much hope, lived life on the first few levels, how was life meant to go on like this? What was the point of risking your life just to get back to the real world? 

Most of her days were spend wondering around, engaging at times with NPC's, but for the most part she kept to herself. "No, I can't just loose hope! What if this was to go on for days, months years? Am I really willing to waste my time away, sitting on my as* and praying for a mirical?" 

She made her way to the request board, maybe something would catch her eye. The most recent request struck her interest, another player was looking to learn about the game, and start the levelling process.. pick up some tricks. "This could be just what I need to get started! I could join this simple quest, and get hands on experience about how the mechanics work in this game." 

It was unfortunate how Syra got into SAO, It was a gift from her nurse, a way to bring her spirits up, but also a way for Syra to walk again, after the accident. Syra was never much of a gamer, but was told that most of the controls should be fairly intuitive, though for somethings she found that not to be the case. "If there is a lesson going on, I should be apart of it." She looked down at the request and sent a reply, within minuets she got a response, learning that there was a small group starting the <<First Lessons>> quest. Looking it up, and realizing she was on the wrong floor, She made her way to a teleport station, in hopes to meet up with the group in time.

 

When she got to Floor 1, she scanned through the area, trying to locate a player that matched Theodore's avatar in the message. After some time, she figured she had missed her mark, when she overheard a player explaining how to start the quest, and sure enough she had found the group.

 

She hesitated at first, She only had been in contact very briefly with Theodore, who were these other players? Did they want her here? would they ask her to leave? "No! I have to see this through! I can't sit around doing nothing, now is the time for action, to do what I couldn't in the real world!"

So she marched up to them. "Theodore? Um... hey it's Syra, we had that brief message..." She looked at the 2 other players, slightly bowing to them as a greeting. "I hope I'm not too late to join you guys?"

 

--word count 480

Edited by Al_Gal
Adding word count
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He followed Zenshu as he took in what the youngin was saying. While Teddy didn't have a full grasp on how the newer technologies worked, some things did make sense. “Whell Ah can only guess hahw Ah must sound through the translators. He He. Ah am sure that is quite the strange sounds. You seem to know a lot about this, did you come from a background of working in tech?”

 

 Theodore listened to the grievances of Soren as things began to click. He never did mention his son was adopted, the memory of such a thing rarely crossed his mind. In his mind there was no real distinction between the adopted child or one that shared blood. “Whell Ah thought Ah recognized you!” He said with a smile as he put his arm around Soren. “These strange colors and such musta’ got mah mind confused. Its good to see you again Levi! Zenshu, this is mah son! Crazy how these games can run your head around in circles eh?”

 

The group walked for a while more.  This place was huge, the thought really started dawning on Theodore as he walked. The way the game mimicked the sun, the bright blue sky and the calming feel of the wind was something truly to behold as well. He wondered what more he could learn from Zenshu in that regard. It seemed like the kid knew quite a bit about how this all worked. He made a mental note about asking him more sometime. The walk took longer than he expected, but it was nice. After the nice walk, Zenshu pointed out the man that was apparently the mayor. Theodore began his approach when he was stopped once more. A young girl was approaching them, one far younger than Zenshu and Soren, not to mention himself. She seemed a bit timid about approaching, Theodore found that perfectly understandable given the circumstances but he waited patiently. 

 

“Whell, howdy there! Ah had not expected to see ya’ so soon! Everyone this is Syra, we had been talkin’ some… yesterday? Ah think that sounds rahght. Syra this is Zenshu and mah son Levi!” Teddy put his hand out to offer a handshake. “Ah find mahself joyful that ya’ found us though. You aren’t too late at all! In fact we were just about to get started. Here let me…. Wait… how do I add someone to the party again?.. Oh there it is…” After a longer period then it should be Teddy sends Syra a party and friend request. “It is a pleasure to have ya’ as a companion!”



After the short discussion, Teddy initiated the conversation with the mayor. “Howdy there Mr. Mayor sir, hahw can we help you today?” Teddy puts a hand out to the man, forgetting that it is an NPC, and getting a smidge disappointed when he realized he wouldn't be getting a return shake. Still, the quest was given, and Teddy was happy to have some amount of directive. “So we will be figurin’ out who owes the money and giving it back to the mayor then? Whell, that sounds easy enough! We gotta start with Zackariah. You know Ah new a Zackariah back in Texas, good ol’ boy, Ah think he got in with the church. Ah could always find him waving people down on the street corner with flyers. He was a fun conversation when he wasn’t too busy. Oh I think Ah am ramblin’ again. Mah apologies, mah mind races with memories but that is bound to happen when you are as old as Ah am.” Teddy gives another honking laugh as he looks to his new group of friends for direction.

 

 

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word count: 616

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Soren listens earnestly to Zenshu describe the artificial intelligence called Cardinal and how it respectively works with the game. "Thats fuc*ing impressive, for something so complex as to automatically translate linguistical speech to other people within the game... I would surely hope it doesn't mistranslate my words..." Soren shakes his head as if making easy sense of his description. "This Zenshu fellow reminds me of my roommate back in that shady, overpriced apartment. I am honestly glad he isn't as fuc*ing pessimistic as that guy was though.

Thats about when Theodore Bell decided Soren was actually Levi and wrapped his arm around him. When Theodore mentions his name, his actual name, to Zenshu, Soren's facial expression turned sour. "What the Fuc* ol' man, you can't tell strangers in this game that kind of stuff!" "Um, Teddy, I would appreciate it if you didn't just say my real name to every fuc*ing person we meet... not that I mean any rudeness to you or Zenshu. I just don't have that kind of immediate trust in people" "I hope I didn't come across as some ungrateful bastard, but Teddy does need to learn how to judge people still..." Soren took the arm of Theodore off his shoulder with respect and waved his hand forward as a jesture to follow behind both Zenshu and Theodore as they traveled.

Zenshu continues to lead them to the mayor, all the while Soren watched as Theodore took appreciation to the aesthetics of the world. "It must feel like a fuc*ing blessing being in an ol' body without arthritis or any other physical ailments holding you back. Truly another wonder of Cardinal." When the group finally approached the man, the mayor of the town, Dorian, Zenshu stopped and instructed both Soren and Theodore how to address him. Theodore moved to approach when a young girl came forward... calling out for Theodore... by name?

"Wait... Theodore knows her... how? There is no fuc*ing way they met in the last couple days. Surely he isn't this naive, anybody could befriend you and then backstab you while you're vulnerable" Before Soren had the chance to move forward and speak his mind, which would have been a polite decline, Theodore not only confirmed that she could join the group, but she would be allowed to join the party. And of course, he had to say Soren's real name. "Son of a B*tch" to which Soren looked between the ol' man and the girl. "Well Fuc*, guess we can add Syra to the party too since she is already acquainted with you. And Christ on a Cracker ol' man, please stop using my real name when I am meeting people for the first time. They are complete strangers to me even if you met them already.

Watching the ol' man try to send the friend and party request was like watching paint dry in the apartment. Soren leaned over and pointed things out so it wouldn't take up the rest of the day. Soren also sent Syra a friend request with his other hand as he directed the ol' man, masterfully doing them simultaneously. He hoped he hadn't warranted any reason for her to distrust him, though his demeaner was often interpreted that way. After the short discussion and lengthy party invite, Soren followed Theodore and listened to the ramblings of the NPC. Then he listens to the ramblings of Theodore and Soren couldn't help but let out a loud and distractive yawn "Aaaah, Sh*t, I think you are beginning to ramble about old times again, ol' man. Soren tried to recollect where Zackariah might be, but ultimately decided following Zenshu might be the faster, and lazier, choice of action.

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Word Count: 625

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Zenshu patiently listened as the elderly man explained about amazement with the translators, and with Zenshu’s knowledge of how the artificial system worked. He hadn’t considered himself knowledgeable – he’d never really been engaged in the modern world of high-tech components until a later age. However, he’d done a lot of reading once he had begun to explore the technological advancements of the world around him.

Bowing his head in response, he smiled at the elderly man, responding with a tone of gratitude and humility. “Well, I have some knowledge about it. But I’m far from an expert – I actually only recently started to get involved with these things…including games. I’ve done some reading however, especially as part of my schooling…”

His words were cut off as the younger man – his son? – cut in to reprimand the man for speaking his true name. Zenshu glanced off into the distance, pretending to miss the interaction entirely. He felt a moment of embarrassment – this wasn’t the kind of interactions he was used to – and it took him a few steps before he realised that the two were done arguing entirely.

As they approached the NPC – and Zenshu pointed it out – a third member suddenly appeared, calling the elderly man by name. Zenshu waited patiently as introductions were passed around, bowing when his turn came to meet the newest member – a girl named Syra. “Ohayo, it’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Zenshu, and I would be more than happy to have you join us. We were just getting ready to begin the very first quest – First Lessons, as it’s called. I personally have already completed it, but I’ve agreed to help these two welcoming individuals, especially seeing as the game itself can be less than welcoming in many aspects. If you’d like to join us, that would be most enjoyable!”

He smiled a wide, welcoming grin at the girl before sending out a friend request of his own – Teddy having handled the party request, albeit with a bit of help required. Zenshu waited patiently as the others spoke with the mayor, before everyone managed to collect the quest. Waving a hand, he gestured towards the northern area of the town.

“The alchemist, Zachariah, is off this way. It’s just a few blocks away. He’s…well, not the most welcoming fellow. But he does provide you with…well, actually not much in the way of guidance. He does teach you how to make potions though. Although I think that’s only the one time…unless you take a profession in potion making. I believe that’s the alchemist profession…I was considering it, myself. I’m sure that there would be a need for it here!”

He began walking as he spoke, careful to keep his pace controlled so that everyone could keep up. His eyes passed over the group, watching for any signs of anyone struggling to keep up, and adjusting his speed as he went. He wasn’t sure if any of them were actually listening or not, but he continued to explain the next steps of the quest regardless, more than happy to fill the silence when it was possible.

“Essentially you’ll have to try speaking to Zachariah – he’ll tell you he’s busy, but once you explain the mayor sent you he sends you off to collect materials. Those are what are used in order to make things…at least from what I can gather. I’ve heard rumours they look different for everyone, depending on a number of different factors. For me, they look like brilliantly white little crystals, but some people see them as shiny bricks of metallic material, or luminescent pieces of polyhedral shapes…it’s quite fascinating, truly.”

He realised that he’d been rambling a bit, and smiled to the others before bringing himself back on track. “Once you’ve spoken to Zachariah we can head out into the wildlands. Gathering materials can be done one of two ways – you can either search the fields for them – sometimes you can find them hidden in the tall grasses, or small holes and crevasses. Or you can fight the creatures out in the wilds…wait, does everyone have a weapon?”

He almost stopped moving as he asked the question, the realisation causing a halt in his forward movement before he caught himself. He glanced around at the others, waiting to see their response before nodding and continuing on towards the alchemists shop.

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Word Count: 731

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Syra took in the small collective of people set before her, She was grateful for such a warm welcome by Theodore. His smile and essence reminded her of her fathers, safe, secure. It had been a long time since she felt that sort of connection to anyone, or anything. “No, now is not the time to be emotional.”

Syra smiled and nod to the other two members present. She watched as Teddy went into his menu, and struggled to figure out how to create a party. “Should I send him a request?” Before having too much time to react to anything, a notification popped up in her feed, it was from Zenshu, then another. “and just like that, 2 new friends.”

Syra didn’t know what to make of Levi, she could feel his cold shoulder to her, clearly there is some tension in this relationship between father and son that she very much would like to stay out of, so she took note of his avatar name. Soren, “would rather to not get more on this guys bad side.”

“Nice to meet everyone. And thank you for the warm welcome! I am very excited to be here, and to get a handle on this game as well. I have never been much of a gamer, so a lot of these mechanics don’t fully make sense to me.”

“Oh gawd, I hope I am not making a fool of myself! Last thing I need is for these guys to feel like I am just a burden to the group… Wait! What am I talking about? This is just a simple, learn the ropes kind of mission. What are the odds I would see any of these players again?”

In any case, she was excited to have a group to be with, even if it was only for this one mission. For the first time in a while, she was going to be a help, a support, and not a burden! She could do it! She was capable, and strong! At least in this world she was.

She went with the group, following Zenshu’s instructions, and started the quest, heading north of the town. Zenshu was talking on for quite some time, Syra didn’t mind, but to be honest she wasn’t paying too much attention. She was happy to be walking, existing, and listening to conversations. It brought her back to the joys of listen to her father go on at the dinner table about his daily affairs. It was nice to be in a group, no longer plagued by the defining thoughts encircling her mind.

6 hours ago, Zenshu said:

– sometimes you can find them hidden in the tall grasses, or small holes and crevasses. Or you can fight the creatures out in the wilds…wait, does everyone have a weapon?”

She snapped into the conversation. “A weapon?” Her hand instinctually fell at her side, gripping the rapier she had. It is far from a decent weapon, but for this quest it would have to do.

“Yes I have a rapier. It isn’t super great though, just a common one, would it still be okay against creatures?”

How excited! She had never fought anything yet in this game, being able to learn how to engage the Sword Art attacks, and dipping her toe a bit into combat sounded all too thrilling! This is what she needed, to get stronger! To fight! If that was an option for completing this quest, she was going to charge in.

Word count: 567

Edited by Al_Gal
Fixing Quote Problem
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It was a hard for Teddy to wrap his head around not referring to someone by their name. “Doesn't everyone use their real name? It would be rather cumbersome if you had to remember multiple names for someone right? Well I guess I have multiple names, what is a nickname aside from a second name for someone.” He was staring off into space as everyone was accepting the quest. “How strange that these things are so lifelike and yet so robotic.” He snapped himself out of the thoughts, hoping he wasn't too obvious with his zoning out. “Ah think that Ah might do some trinkets if Ah can. Ah feel like it would be as similar to mah work as an antique curator back in the real world. If ya had ever been to Texas you might have seen us. But there Ah go rambling again” It was strange to speak with these youngin’s they didn't have the same propensity for long stories as those he knew. Perhaps it was a cultural thing. “Ah have an interesting question for y’all, what are y’alls goals here? Ah think Ah want to be a tank, like the palahdins in mah ol’ games.” He looked up at the alchemist's shop. It was a quaint hole-in-the-wall kind of place. He wondered how much the place got business. It seemed to be a rather busy part of the business district, though that didn’t mean anything. Teddy had plenty of friends who went out of business even though they did everything right. He listened to the question posed by Zenshu. “Ah… think so?” struggling he opens his inventory “Hahw do Ah equip a weapon? Is it different from armor? Ah don’t see one?” He waved for some help, and sure enough there was no weapon in his inventory. “Well Ah think Ah’ll be fahne. Ah got mah armor which is enough right?” 

 

Shrugging the concerns of his party members, he walked into the shop approaching the man. “Howdy there partner, Ah was sent here with the mayor with mah companions to collect a bounty of sorts.” upon the response Teddy replied, “This man comes across rather rude. Ah cant say ah would want to do business with them. Ah can’t fathom hahw he gets the business he does. Surely that kahnd of bluntness turns most people off to shopping here. Ah really dont think it is a good way to make his dreams come true… assuming being the worlds best alchemist is his dream. But, that is that then, hahw should we do this collecting materials think rahght? Ya’ say that they look lahke a type of crystal rahght? Are there mines around here that we can get them from? How does all this work Ah don’t think Ah have ever done anything like that before. Ah think Ah’ll have to follow your lead Zenshu.” 


The walk to the edge of the safezone was long, on the trip he looked at his newest friend, Syra. “hahw has the game been treating ya’ so far? This place seems rather like the result of someone’s wildest imagination comin’ to fruition. Ah fahnd it rather strange as it stands. Are all games this way?”

 

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Word Count: 535

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Syra couldn't help but smile a little at every word that came out of Teddy's mouth, She had never met some one from that far south, and only thought accents like that existed solely on Tv, but she liked it. It made him feel more approachable, Safe. "Can't be good that he doesn't have a weapon? What if he gets into trouble, and the rest of us are in trouble of our own? or worse... What if I am in trouble and he tries to step in without a weapon, risking his life? Getting himself killed?"

She shook her head, No she can't let herself slip back. can't allow the thoughts to consume her, not again.

"Not that I know too much, but if you are engaging in combat, isn't it kinda hard to fight back without a weapon? I mean, how would you take down a creature without one? Or defend yourself?" She looked around at the shops as they passed. "would it be possible to maybe stop and grab you a starter blade? or something low cost, just in case?"

But no such luck, Teddy was determind to head straight for the next goal in the quest. No concern for any possible risk for his choice. "Must be nice, not to worry so much. To be able to still push forward, even when odds seem against you."

Well how much did she know, really? Maybe Teddy was more than capable going in this with his bare fists, Her father would probably be the same way. She smiled to herself, "Well if Teddy is confident in his choice, then no reason to fear."

As they continued on the long walk out of the safe zone, she started to feel more at ease. "This was going to be fun" In fact, she was already having fun, the nerves that engrossed her moments before had dissipated, replaced with adrenaline, and fun. Fun. When was the last time she had fun? Felt Joy? Not for a long time... It felt good to smile again, to be excited about something. "I guess Trisha did a good thing after all, getting SAO for me. Would I ever have been able to find friends like these in the Real world?"

45 minutes ago, Theodore Bell said:

“hahw has the game been treating ya’ so far? This place seems rather like the result of someone’s wildest imagination comin’ to fruition. Ah fahnd it rather strange as it stands. Are all games this way?”

His question rang in her head. "Treating me? Treating me? I would say treating everyone like Sh*t. 10,000 players held hostage, secluded from their loved ones, their lives! All for what? For some sick game master to fulfil whatever boyish fantasy he had about being a god in his own created world?"

She took a moment to compose herself. To be honest it really wasn't all that bad. At least in this world she had her mobility, she was able to start a new life, clean slate. 

"Well I think my biggest regret is not knowing more about games before jumping right into a massive VRMMO. But it is rather incredible, the technology of it all. In here a person would be able to do things they could never in the real world. Experience life in a whole new way. That fact is pretty incredible to me." She stopped herself from speaking more about it, Not wanting to look too weak, or naive. They didn't need to know about her life IRL, it would be best to just keep quiet about the whole thing.

"If i may ask, What Brought everyone to this game? I mean like have you played many games before, and this being the next big game to get into? Was this more of an experience of a life time, sort of situation?" Curiosity got the better of her, What was it about this game that drew in so many different people, from various walks of life, and degree of gaming knowledge? She had never even heard of SAO before her nurse got her a copy of the game, and the nerve gear to go with it. For Syra it made sense jumping into this world, But Teddy? What is a man like that doing in a game like this? "I guess no harm in asking."

 

word count: 683

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Of course, when asked whether everyone was properly equipped with a weapon, Soren moved to enter his inventory again and re-equip his short sword. It wasn’t anything extravagant like his ol’ mans armor, but it would suffice for a while. That would be a resounding yes from me, but as for my ol’ man, that sh*t's doubtful. He probably took the tank starter pack, which would leave out a weapon for more advanced armor” “Honestly that is pretty fuc*ing pathetic that my ol’ man didn’t choose a weapon in his starting pack… but I guess he was basing it off of his Dungeons and Dragons experiences back in the day. Actually, this ol’ man might be able to capitalize on that vision for himself and actually become incredible… he just has to survive long enough…” As time progresses and Theodore goes and talks to somebody important and stuff, the party begins asking some particularly interesting questions.

 

Theodore addresses Syra, asking how this game is treating her… and how could she not recoil to such a loaded question? “Why does my ol’ man not understand that this game is bullsh*t? I get that it is way more advanced than anything he has experienced, but it is still essentially holding us captive, possibly leading all of us to our deaths within the game…” Soren expected a pessimistic response from Syra. However, Syra’s response surprised Soren… “Wait, Syra is fascinated with this technology? In fact, she doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by my ol’ man’s loaded question… Am I stupid, or have these people lost their minds?” 

 

Before Syra asked why they joined the game, Soren spoke up Are you being honest about how this bullsh*t game is treating you, or are you just responding to my ol’ man with something he would like to hear?” Soren realizes he might have come off too aggressive and surprisingly backed off. “I don’t mean to be rude toward you, I am just fuc*ing bothered by how this game was brought about and what it means for people stuck here… forgive me."


When asked about why he joined, Soren said three words. “To escape reality

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Word Count: 365

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As each of the party pulled forth their weapons – or lack of – Zenshu nodded, taking note of the composition of each. Should it come to combat, he figured that most of them would be okay. The elderly man’s lack of weapon worried Zenshu at first, until he realised that the trade off had been much more durable armour – likely with increased capacity slots for upgrades. He considered offering his own weapon at first, before realising the handicap that would cause for himself.

Putting the problem aside, if only for the moment, Zenshu continued leading the group out of the Town. Waving at the guard as they passed the front gate – ensuring the tradition was upheld – he turned back to his conversation with the party. They’d begun asking the taboo – about the real world. At first, Zenshu was silent, unwilling to bring about anything about himself. He wasn’t ashamed of any of it, it was simply an unspoken rule that you didn’t ask about the real world in this game.

But as they continued sharing their experiences, Zenshu realised that he was being the rude one. Remaining silent, ignoring the topic…the very least he could do was share some insight. It didn’t need to be everything, but it couldn’t hurt to give at least somewhat of an answer. Bracing himself, and waiting for the quiet moment when he could interject, he almost fumbled as Soren provided his own reasoning.

“My reason will likely pale in comparison to yours…I didn’t join to escape reality, or to encompass myself in the amazing technology – as wonderful as it is. The reason I joined Sword Art Online was…because of the swords. I competed at national levels in Kendo and Kyoudo, as well as the less common Yabusome. So a game that let me not only act out those skills – well, the Kendo skill at least – but to also give me new avenues of skills…that was something I just couldn’t avoid.” He gave a half-shrug as he paused for a moment, before continuing. His half-grin covering his face, he kept his eyes forwards even as spoke to the others, not wishing to display his discomfort. “Like I said, it’s nothing like wanting to escape reality, or become integrated with amazing technology or anything like that. I just…like swords, and this was just another avenue to work with them. I never anticipated…well, any of this…”

He bit his tongue, stopping himself from saying aloud the remainder of what had been on the tip of his tongue. He knew that he’d shared more than enough, at least to make the appearance of being polite. There was no need to provide anything beyond that. Shaking himself slightly, he turned and smiled at the group as they finally excited the town itself. He somehow thought it would be the first time for some of them, and so he gave them a moment to take in the flowing grass fields, small collection of trees and bushes, as well as the rolling hills. As he glanced around, he could even see a few packs of wolves harassing the many boars that roamed the field.

Unsurprisingly, there weren’t many players out in the field itself, giving them lots of room to work without getting interrupted. His gaze returning to the group, he decided to take the initiative. “So, did you want to focus on gathering, or combat in order to find the materials you need? I can’t really help you find the materials themselves – that’s some each individual needs to do for themselves, but I can give you a lesson on how combat works in this system.”

Pulling up his menu, Zenshu summoned the all black, straight bladed ninjato that was his weapon of choice. Drawing it in a smooth motion, he let it twirl around his right hand into the reverse grip that had become so natural to him. Giving a quick grin at the small group, he rushed forwards towards the nearest boar, sliding across the grass as he lashed out sideways with the blade in an attempt to run it down the flank of the creature.

Sailing past, he landed on the opposite side of the boar, taking a moment as the system locked him in place after the attack. The boar behind him having exploded at the impact, Zenshu wasn’t worried about a counter attack. The moment he was able to, he rose, swinging the sword around his hand before sheathing it again and turning back to the party.

“Combat isn’t too difficult, but make sure you don’t face anything too difficult. Even though the creatures on this floor are more modest, they can still cause harm – and if you’re really unlucky, even kill you. A few players have fallen into that pit…if things look really bad, I can of course jump in and help you out – but even with me around, things can get dangerous…so, let’s all just be careful, okay? If you’d prefer, you can of course focus on gathering…although if you face something that you can loot – weaker creatures, not so much, there seems to be a system limit on that – you can quickly get the materials you need in order to complete the quest!”

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Zenshu | Lv. 5 | HP: 100/100 | EN: 20/28 | DMG: 7 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 13 | Light Momentum [+1 BD]

Boar | HP: 0/30 | DMG: 8

Round One
ID209422 | BD: 8+3=11 | <<ST-I vs. Boar>> | Hit: 7x8 = 56 DMG | Boar is defeated.

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Word Count: 869

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Posted (edited)

Teddy smiled despite the harshness his son was showing. They never really got close, and for good reason Levi alway did keep everyone at an arms distance. Not to mention he knew how an involved profession can influence your speech, it's a harsh world out there. Still Teddy wished that he had done more with the little youth Levi had in his care, though Rita always had a stronger caring spirit than he did. After she died Teddy did his best to relax, the stresses of work and the intensities of the real world being put aside to make himself a better person. Or perhaps he was just overthinking things, it was common when you lived your life in your head. 

 

His head perked up a bit at the mention of not knowing much about mmo's "Whell you're in good company Ah can't say Ah'll be all that much help but we can struggle through together. Better than alone!" It had never occurred to him that others might be in his boat like this, so unsure as to what was going on as to make one afraid. Didn't trouble him any, but it wouldn't. His old age allowed him to understand that his time would come, be it here or elsewhere. He had adopted the phrase internally: Embrace Oblivion after Rita died. Though it wasn't in the way of feeling pity for oneself and sulking but instead it was in the vein of, Life will end eventually might as well embrace it and live well while you still have time. 

 

The question posed, well it gave him pause when Levi said his piece, perhaps a discussion to be had when doing so wouldn't make him feel cornered or called out. He gave a joyful laugh when Zenshu said his though. "Ah say that is a perfectly good reason! If we ever do make it outa here Ah'll have to fly you back to Texas. Ah got a few of y'alls fancy Japanese O-datchies an' Katanas that Ah'm sure would pique your fancy, if not those Ah got some antiques Ah keep on the shelf, they ain't for sale though!" He kept walking smiling as he did, before he realized that it was his turn to say his reason.

 

"Whelll Ah say mah reason is two fold, for one ah had always been curious about these fancy computer games. As Ah said, Ah quite like the world's weaved bar D&D so the concept of havin' one on demand is a whild notion. But being in mah years Ah never found mahself with the Dexterity to make such things happen properly. When Le…. Uh….. Soren, told me about this fancy Full Dahve stuff Ah decided to try it out. The excitement behahnd being able to walk without the pain o' mah bad hip and use mah hands without the pain o' mah arthritis was truly something to be envious of. Ah say you never truly know what ya have until it's gone as it were." He gave the group a big smile before turning to the surroundings

 

"Ah say, Zenshu that was a mahghty fahne strike you had there, Ah'll have to teach me sometime if ya would suffer an ol' man as much. Ah can see how ya got into the big leagues with skills lahke that!" He sat and marveled for a bit as the shards of the creature disappeared and vanished as though it had not even take breath in the first place. It was truly a magical feeling and sight.

 

He looked, as the conversation continued, for the first of the items in question, but nothing seemed to come to life before him like he had expected it too. He went to adjust his glasses finding nothing there, remembering that he didn't need nor have them here. New body would also give him new eyes after all. "Um… Ah can't seem to find what all we are looking for, can ya give me a refresher on what they all look like? Mahbe Ah'm looking for the wrong thing."

_________________________

209431 | LD: 4 (No Mat)

 

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Word Count: 681

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Edited by Theodore Bell
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Listing to everyone’s reasoning was refreshing, Teddy Brought a ray of sunshine with his optimism, and it was also nice to meet someone else that was benefiting from the lack of physical limitations in this world, as apposed to limitation one would have IRL.

 

“What an interesting reasoning to be here for the love of swords, and the skill of mastering them. But I guess that would make sense, wouldn’t be a shock to learn that military train for battle under similar conditions, and now that full dive is a possibility, it could open up a whole new medium of combat training and preparation! Would it even be possible to settle disputes in a virtual world like this, to save innocent lives?”

 

There she was loosing all her thoughts again. Whenever one thought popped up another followed, which lead to another, that dragged another into the spotlight of her mind.

 

When it came to Soren’s response, Syra was taken a bit back, but she couldn’t help but feel his raw emotion in it, perhaps he wasn’t as closed off to her as she had thought.

 

“Don’t worry about it, this game brings up so many types of emotions. If I may speak my mind, I am more than a little dismayed with the current predicament. For the first few months, when all of this started, I was weak, and lost all hope. I didn’t think I had the strength to go on. I came to this game for an opportunity to re-imagine life, as a way to cope with new limitations IRL. I didn’t expect this.”

She turned to Soren, nearly stopping in front of him. “But Thank you for your honesty,”

Quickly assuming that was too direct she turned to keep walking in pace with the rest of the group.

“I think people have too much of a mentality to either pretend it isn’t real, or that it doesn’t bother them. But if you ask me, we are all stuck here together, why not open up and be real with each other. People already do enough faking in the Real world, you would think here of all places people might open up about who they really are, and how they are really feeling.”

 

“Was that too much to say? Well it’s out there now so no sense in saying, Sorry for overstepping…What good would that do?”

 

Finally making it to the end of town, the field ahead seemed to open up in front of them, it was quite a view to behold! The sea of flowers waving in the breeze, the various animals going about their day around the bushes and grass areas, off to one side she caught a glimpse of a boar being taunted by wolves, but such is the circle of life.

It felt so good to be free from the walled in concrete jungle, and have a moment to just be in nature. And as a plus, it seemed as though they were the only group out today, “That makes things so much easier, not feeling watched by other players.”

 

They headed down together, as Zenshu asked how they would like to continue for this part of the mission. Then, in awe, she watched as he took out his black sword, and proceeding to cut down a boar with a single slash.

 

“If I were at that level he is at, I would for sure be able to help make a difference in getting through this game!”

 

He sheathed it and continued on about safety and being carful with the mobs here, even if they are easier targets.

“I don’t care, I need to get stronger! I need to do whatever it takes to build up my skill, even if that means it would risk my life, if I die, I die trying!”

 

“I would like to try my hand at combat, that is if you don’t mind helping me out with that?”

 

Word count:660

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