Author’s Notes: Sorry for the delay! Well,
the unedited (I’m sure Vincent will get to it when he can, I haven’t even sent it to him yet!) part 1 is here now. I am currently doing part 2 which should be about as long as this one and be out in a few hours. I will update this and give you an ETA as soon as it is mostly done.
It is finally done and edited, ready for all your enjoyment. I actually didn’t do too bad a job with this one for the initial write.
Editor’s Notes: …
I accept the quest from the inn keeper, Rix, with the greatest pleasure. It has been such a long time since I have accepted a request directly. I also don’t gain any infamy.
‘Could this be one of those rare times where it is possible for me to gain fame!?’
I shout in my mind, recalling the first effect of the ‘Intimidating Aura’ skill.
- Intimacy can not be grown with NPC's under normal circumstances.
As time passed on, I slowly forgot about this effect. The description of it did not pass on when the skill upgraded to ‘Class Skill: White Warrior’. But, the effect itself still seemed to pass on.
Looking back over to everyone else. Verde, and even that prince, have looks of complete surprise on their faces at me receiving a quest directly. Mason and Matrix, still not fully unaware of my circumstances, give me a thumbs up.
“I’m sure you have all already read the quest.” I speak to everyone as I return to the makeshift table they are at. “All we need to do is follow his daughter without being seen. Surely it cannot be that difficult.”
“I can probably do it myself,” Mason puffs out his chest in pride. “I have never once been caught before. I will follow her over the rooftops and discover where she goes.”
“I’m pretty sure you are not supposed to be on the roofs. Last I heard, the guards will start chasing you once they spot you.”
“That’s only if I am spotted!”
I want to try and explain to him the difference between hiding in a city and hiding in a jungle, but Verde speaks up before I do.
“I think I should be the one to do it. I can definitely follow the child without being seen.”
I look at her out of curiosity, she seems extremely sure about herself, almost arrogant. Mason however, refuses to back down.
“Hah! What can you do? I can silently travel along the roofs and keep an eye on where she goes from afar. I will not be spotted, nobody ever looks up.”
“I have a class skill which allows me to cause everyone’s eyes in the area look anywhere except at me. I can walk directly behind the girl and nobody will know, not even the hundreds if not thousands of players I will walk past.”
She is now standing, leaning forward with her hands on her hips as if trying to pressure Mason. There is no need however, the knowledge of her having a class skill is more than enough to damage his confidence. The knowledge of her special skill crushing what remained.
“Tch. Fine, you do it.” He flicks his head away, looking anywhere but at her.
I smile to myself, hoping they will slowly get along better.
“Well,” I speak up, clearing my throat to ensure I have all the party members attention, “it is currently the beginning of night, and the innkeepers daughter does not leave until sunrise. How about we log off for the three hours that we have to wait and come back here?”
Everyone looks at each other slowly, giving a slight shrug of agreement.
“We will see you in three hours.” The brothers log off first, automatically leaving the party as they disconnect.
“Umm… Bye, Lost.” Verde says nervously before rushing to log off, Prince Charming silently following suit after her.
‘I suppose it is time for me to log off. Fen should be in the locker, probably mad by now.’
I open my main menu and select the log off button, causing the world around me to instantly disperse like an illusion.
I find myself standing back in my locker, the classical decor theme called ‘China3′ is as marvellous as ever. I mean, it looks good even with half the furniture turned upside down. The only furnishings that are still where I left them are the coffee table, wall mounted television, and the main sofa couch. On that sofa, Fen is currently seated while facing the opposite way from me.
“… Fen.” I stand behind her, pretending to ignore the situation around me. “You’re mad?”
“… Why… Why can’t I… Be with you.” She turns her face towards me, tears brimming up.
I am speechless. I don’t exactly know why, but I have a guilt rising up inside of me. She just stares at me, ready to break out into tears at any moment by the look of her.
“Umm. I…” I don’t know what to say to her. I only wanted to walk through the town by myself. Maybe I would have run into Verde, who Fen doesn’t get along with. Isn’t it better she wasn’t there at the start.
That is a poor excuse, I know it but I will not say it out loud.
“It’s all… I want… To be with… You.” She looks like she could break out into tears any moment.
“…” I open my mouth, but no words form.
“I have to go.” I don’t know what else to do, so I go to log off. Opening the main menu to press the log out button.
“NO!” Fen cries out, pouncing at me.
It is unfortunate but she is too late, I already press the button. Only, nothing happens.
As if I am clicking a broken internet link, nothing happens. My mind starts to panic at the thought of being trapped in virtual reality. Thinking back when I first started using the VL, I recall the emergency shut down command.
“System command; Terminate connection.” I speak the words out loud and everything slowly starts turning to mist while an emergency shut down script is played out in front of me.
“Stop… Running away!” Fen calls out, hitting me with her body and knocking us both to the ground.
System Error. Emergency shut down aborted. Searching for anomaly... Search complete. 0 anomalies detected. Recommencing emergency shut down. Emergency shut down aborted.
Errors start flowing down in front of my vision, the mist returning back to its previous state. Eventually even the repetitive loop of errors stops by another unknown error and they all vanish.
‘W-What is going on!’
The terror in my heart starts to grow. I can’t form any words and stare at Fen now pinning me to the ground.
A tear leaks out of one of her eyes and drips onto my cheek, I feel the cold liquid drop run down my cheek to my ear.
My heart quivers while I look at her. Through my fear, I can somehow feel her fear and sorrow.
“Fen…” I utter her name.
“Stay… With me…” She pleads to me, more tears form and her nose starts to sniffle.
“Okay.” I give in to her.
The fear of being trapped in virtual reality starts to pale in my mind, but it cannot possibly disappear.
The wolf girl slowly gets up off of me and looks down, not at me, but her feet. Standing up, I move to the couch and sit down. Fen follow behind me.
I see the cup of coffee on the table and look at the girl.
“You’ve… Been drinking coffee?” I look at her dumbfounded.
“Mmm… It’s… Horrible… But you… Drink it.” She sniffles throughout talking and stares at the half empty cup of coffee, now stone cold.
She is strange, I have rarely even drunk the coffee, let alone in front of her. I think she assumes I must drink it based on the fact that it is here.
The situation grows oddly quiet, so I pick up the remote to the television from the end of the table. Fen eye’s me strangely as I point it at the device and press the power button.
I’m not particularly interested in anything that is on, but the silence is causing the unrest in my chest to steadily grow.
It is early evening in the real world so the news is currently displayed. Fen immediately clings to me nervously at seeing the strange sight in front of her.
On the news is currently a story of a tidal wave that hit in one of the neighbouring cities. Thanks to modern day technology it was detected early so everyone was successfully evacuated, but it could not be stopped.
Up to twenty kilometers of the coast is flooded up to ten meters deep by the force of nature. Houses and cars can be seen flowing in the current.
“W-What… Is that.” Fen clearly has never seen much of the real world except for outside the single window in my locker. And she is completely shocked by not only the destruction but also something completely new to her.
“That is my world.” I say to her quietly. “These sorts of things sometimes happen. Sometimes the entire earth will quake, other times a devastating tornado of wind will form. They are all terrible disasters, but they happen.”
I don’t know how else to explain it to her.
She clings on to my arm even tighter in sadness, so I change the channel. The second channel is also currently playing the news. Thankfully, it is showing something more pleasant.
The reporter is discussing the days events and all the valentine’s couples that have been seen around. They even play footage of some big shot celebrities on a date that they thought was secret.
Fen looks at the two holding hands and walking through a public place in my city of Taile, her eyes intently fixed on the two.
I can’t remember the names of the two, but they apparently got together in a recent movie they filmed. I try not to pay too much attention to the love life of celebrities, they seem to change with every season.
The scene skips two the two having lunch, the man feeding the woman with food off of his plate.
“I… I want… That!” Fen’s eyes are glistening, still slightly red.
It is a complete turnaround from how she was before.