Chapter 02: From The Very Beginning
He was facing the ceiling of the floor of the building that he was planted. Dust clouds everywhere, Siva lifted his head with difficulty as he checked on the crowd waiting in the light outside.
Siva stumbled twice before he pulled three red potions and a blue one before swallowing it all down.
“Fuck me. Why is this happening?”
He grumbled and could only mutter to himself while looking at the [STATUS] of his avatar.
“I’m poisoned. Defenses and movements are being affected and I am also depleting my stamina as fast as I lose health when fighting and taking damage.”
He doesn’t have a cure to poison and the Black Smoke Skin wasn’t helping him as well.
Siva summoned his player panel and then put on the Dragunov, activated its [function], and then wore the Flight Armor.
It was also at that time that he heard the voices of men from the hole.
“Where is he?”
“I think I saw him smash on that building!”
“He should be stunned from taking too much damage. This is our chance!”
“Surround the building up and down. Don’t let him escape! The Grand Quest is ours!”
“Leader, more prisoners are coming!”
“Don’t let them get closer! Stop them!”
There was a commotion outside and Siva heard all of them speak as if he was connected to something like a Grand Quest. And yet, he didn’t have enough time to ponder over it all as he steadied himself to his feet.
When he just about to make his move, he discovered something important was off and frowned on it. “Just what kind of… where is the heart?!”
He looked all over his body and touched different places but the blue colored core, the heart of the Dragunov where he can charge it with electricity from the Spark Grenades, was actually missing.
Not until he actually flipped his right palm that he saw something etched into the back of his right hand where a dim but still discernable in close examination blood-colored detail of what seemed to have been The Heart was tattooed in there.
Siva unequipped and equipped the Dragunov and sure enough, whenever he uses its ‘disintegration’ function that revolved around him like a dark aura, the ‘Heart’ that should have been on his chest and was a fist sized bluish metal was gone and was instead now the same detail and shape but in a form of a tattoo, smaller than his palm and looked like an open eye, that’s actually appeared at the back of his right hand.
Rolling his sleeve up, he gasped and his eyes opened wide to see that it was not only etched there; it actually was connected at the design on his sleeve.
He removed the long sleeve like a normal polo and not the way the Inventory Function worked only to discover that when he removed his shirt, the same ‘burning’ details on his right sleeve was etched on his right arm. Horror and disbelief shrouded his heart.
“But I was the one that designed this shirt!”
Remembering the time when he gathered the materials to make his long sleeve polo and actually designing it, Siva couldn’t help but to gape in disbelief.
Everything right now is weird.
“Just what the heck is happening to me?!” In the middle of his investigation, rustling noises came from the outside. He clicked his tongue and ‘unequipped’ and ‘equipped’ the polo on his inventory. “I have no time for this now.”
After the flash of light, three people emerged from the hole in the building. When the saw Siva, they immediately yelled outside.
“Damn it. Don’t let him get away!”
From the opening on the wall, three figures entered and Siva rushed to meet them with a burst of acceleration of his own. He didn’t have time to dabble on the things that he had no idea what’s happening.
For the matters that concerned his current condition, “I have to get away first!”
The Dragunov reformed on all his four limbs and he clapped his hands that sent a thundering loud BOOM that rattled the air around him, sending the three tumbling back to the hole.
Even with the [Killing Zone] being active, he was only able to knock them off and not actually give them their Game Overs.
“These guys are tougher than the enemies I’ve fought before!”
He wondered how they were still alive where the ones he had seen from the War of Two Powers, once they were hit by his [Shockwave] that’s been amplified by the Killing Zone, they only have the option to die.
But even then, Siva –no, Rex Kingsley, thinking back to the days when he was researching about the game that his parents helped to develop, he also knew that even though there is no way for the users of RPG: Terroa to add stats to their Basic Stat points, there still exists two ways to become strong:
(1) Find [Missions] that offer Stat Points as rewards and stack them on their Support Stats Bar
Realizing this, Siva could only guess as to what kind of environment there was in the Northern Continent.
Training – an act of doing something over and over again until the very act itself becomes a subconscious action like a habit that doesn’t need a mindful effort to accomplish.
In the game, very few actually had the patience to do it but once it was done, the rewards are very fulfilling. After all, this game doesn’t allow adding stat points to the default stats bar and thus can only add those extra stat points from missions to the ones called as ‘supporting stats’ –with the Weight Limits stat being an example.
Increasing stats requires a lot of work and patience that’s why only a few are actually able to accomplish this. He can only guess that Hagrid was one of those very few.
Siva, thinking about this, whispered in resignation.
“If I had more time, I could have done it…”
With a burst of timing, the rubbles behind him scattered as he burst out of the hole on the wall like an F1 car, leaving only a blurred shadow of himself as he passed through.
When the light bathed on him, he didn’t stop. He kicked the wind and headed up into the air where five more prisoners met him with a net.
Three of them held it while the two others went to him from two sides. “They don’t want me dead, they just want me captured!”
Siva was forced to a stop in midair. Behind him were ten or more people, above were five and standing by around them were at least fifty or so.
He was surrounded.
“If they are all these strong… then that Hagrid’s strength may really be not a joke.”
Thinking back to that time when Hagrid had him ambushed and captured, he couldn’t help but to think that everyone in the Northern Continent was as strong as these guys. If so, then wouldn’t that mean that the rest of the players all over the world can be defeated by those from the north?
What about Gats… the celebrity?
What about Cramer of the TOS Guild?
As far as he knew, his win against Cramer was just a mere luck because Cramer gave him an opening and that there was also FlowerLord (which turned out to be Alice) that gave him that opening.
But with strength alone, he knew that Cramer was far stronger than him in many ways… let alone that Volt who, he knew, was just hiding his real combat ability from the time they were in a party together.
Seemingly like a call, just as he thought of Volt and being trapped at the same time, he heard his familiar voice coming from behind him.
“Get down!” Volt’s voice echoed aloud.
Following that call, Siva released all resistance as he kicked the air and flipped, following the voice.
Just as he did, he saw a large projectile come from where his shoulder was and he had no time to dodge as that projectile exploded into a large cloud of Plasma Smoke Screen.
“Use your spark!” Volt’s voice echoed again.
Siva had no time to process it and did as was told.
In his right hand, subconsciously calculating so, he willed a Spark Grenade from his inventory’s three quick access items and then activated them on his right hand that which was absorbed by The Heart tattoo at the back of his hand.
Surprise and disbelief filled his heart, his entire right hand became a hand filled with lightning and it traveled through his body –as the disintegrated Dragunov followed the initial effect it had with the curse.
The spark flowed on and Siva wasted no more time as he willed to throw that lightning into the cloud that expanded around him.
He was the spark and the cloud was the fuel, the entire area that had the Plasma Smoke Screen was bathed in fire as it madly exploded.
Its rattling explosion shattered the glass windows of the buildings, blew off the fifty or so people that surrounded him, and… sure enough, it killed the people that was about to capture him.
“Don’t just stand there! Come on!” Another voice came and when Siva turned his back, there was a familiar aircraft that boomed its shadow on him.
“Hagrid is coming!” said Volt from the driver’s seat. The Cyclone was, in all respect, an air shuttle but with a normal car’s driver’s compartment without a door and could only be boarded from the opening on the sides.
The Cyclone seemed to skid in the air as it turned a sharp angle to let its side face him. The clamp door opened and Thorn, with his blue armor, was there reaching his hand for Siva.
“Grab my hand!”
Siva turned around to the direction where he last saw Hagrid and saw that him and The Predator were already hot on his trail.
He didn’t waste any more time and kicked the air, grabbing the hand that reached for him, and then pulling himself inside the Cyclone, bumping with Thorn as he crashed at him.
Siva and Thorn tumbled inside as the latter cried towards the cockpit area. “He’s in, go. Go! GO!”
“Grab on!” Volt’s voice boomed on the speakers.
With precise movements, he pressed buttons and stomped on a pedal, closing the open hatch while activating the thrusters behind.
The light of fire ignited in the chambers, the large bore at the back of the Cyclone formed a fiery red ball of fire. At the next instant, Hagrid’s call can be made up from the increasing sound of the engine. He and The Predator were still a hundred meters or so away.
“No!” The Predator cried.
“Stop them!” Hagrid shouted.
Two wyverns flew hastily and atop the red one is a blonde beauty who was gritting her teeth.
The green one took a quick altitude before diving down, while the red one roared and spit out fire from its mouth. The speed of the attacks were almost impossible to dodge but just as they were about to hit the ship, the thrusters at the back side was fully ignited and a loud BOOM rang as it moved the Cyclone flying off to the distance.
Hagrid and The Predator could only shout in anger and loss as the two inside the Cyclone were rattled as they sighed in relief.
“North… Northwest…” Siva uttered as he fixed himself. “I need to go the Northwest direction.”
Volt, from the cockpit, glanced at the overhead display where Thorn was sitting upright and Siva with a chest heaving up and down.
Thinking about it, Volt thought of the direction they were headed and couldn’t help make a serious face and say in a serious tone. “Are you planning to go to Alexandria?”
Siva didn’t answer. He looked at Thorn and then back to the screen display on the passenger area.
“Is Baron… your brother… the one you told us about, really here in Terroa?” Volt’s words made Thorn remember what Siva said earlier in the battlefield. He connected the things that they know and the things that they were guessing over all these time in The Archangel.
Siva, again, didn’t answer him but he sat down to one side of the passenger bay as he removed his skull mask and embraced his head.
After a while, his shaky voice resounded, “I have to save my brother…”
His voice was filled with grief and pain, and anger and hatred. He had already wasted enough time in that jail and no matter how much he hurry, the fear that something might have happened to his baby brother was the most frightening thing that he could imagine.
Being alone there in Alexandria, a city of thieves and murderers, of powerful extortionists on the same level of strength with Hagrid… filled Siva with the most frightening scenario. The worst part is that he can’t help it. After all, from the time he was in the underground arena and from the time he woke up just a little while ago, he had no idea what had happened.
Thorn, on the side, only watched him. Given his intelligence, he could at least patch a few things from that one sided conversation just now and from the things that had happened so far.
He faced the screen on his side of the passenger bay and asked the pilot, “This is more than just a game… isn’t it?”
On the pilot seat, Volt looked at Thorn’s image on his screen display eye to eye, moving his gaze a moment later towards the horizons.
“From the beginning.” He said and then glanced at Siva who was sulking in a corner before repeating his words in a more somber tone. “From the very beginning.”
In a sky somewhere in the Northern Regions of the continent of Tiara, a giant dragon-shaped ship was hovering at a high altitude.
Around it were people in black clothes and armor sets with presences that distinctively separates them from the rest of the players.
One particular character among them was a woman with very alluring curves that could rival the Witch of Aarun, Rafaela. This girl though, as to betray her beautiful expression, was sweating in fear because a screaming voice could be heard coming from inside their ship.
She was closest to their captain who was hovering beside her with his dark brown mechanical wings.
The man in black armor looked behind him and he blandly called her name, “Malecite.”
“Captain, we’ve signed up for something far beyond our capabilities to handle. As things have now turned out, this Father person that’s been giving us orders are not as simple as it looks like.”
Her captain only looked on to the ship calmly and then he looked back again and gestured for her to come close. Malecite approached him and even though they were in midair, he groped her left chest and pulled her, caressing her… the rest of their crew only looked on with nonchalant eyes.
A vicious look can be seen on the captain’s face as he licked her neck and then started to undress her long black skirt in midair.
With the background of the frightening screams of rage and pain continued on inside their ship, Malecite the proud Necromancer, was rendered powerless as she was touched there and then.
The captain said coldly, “You are only a pawn on the plans of the Great Father. You have no right to say a thing. When I say you kneel down in my lap and lick my crotch, you will do it. When we say you destroy a city, you will do it as well. A slave only have to say yes and nothing more, nothing less. Do you hear me?”
Malecite, with a bashful look and a charming and embarrassed expression, nodded her head to agree to it but was still grabbed in the neck and then pulled to her captain’s eye level.
“I can’t hear you.”
“Y-yes… master… Slave will follow whatever you say and will lick your crotch.”
The captain, let go of her neck and she expertly used her flight armor to hover in front of his crotch, moving in practice, as they stood there in midair, while she worked her magic and did as she was told.
Inside the ship, at the very heart of the crew’s lodging area, was a large room specially made for a single person to use.
From the time that they met this person and how the ‘Father’ had proposed to them a power that they can carry in the real world, they had been in his service and carried this ‘kid’ in their team like a secret but important luggage.
But then, 12 hours ago, his quiet and normally blank expression that only becomes lively when his ‘father’ sends his commands through bottles and other means, started to distort into an ugly look of pain and suffering.
And then, moments later, he started to scream and hit his head around his dark room, and then totally turned into this continuous loud cries of agony that now lasted for an entire day.
His handsome expression had drastically changed into that of an ugly demon and he was banging his head harder after that cinematic video played.
And yet now, the screams began to lessen and the cry of agony and suffering started to subside.
Moments later, the whole ship, with its grand size and massive frame, became quiet.
And just as the members of the Alcides Guild are about to approach the ship, a shout filled with an unprecedented level of wrath exploded like a roar of thunder.
It rattled the air and shook the wind, the name that the ‘kid’ shouted filled the place with murder that could shake one’s soul.
The scream was a name.
Its cry… was a call for murder.
Watching the Cyclone leave the city eight people were looking at it as if they were watching a show that was just getting started.
Five youths and three adult-looking avatars.
In their front was an old man wearing normal clothes as if he just came from a relaxing walk from his normally relaxed normal life, while the five youths, right after the Cyclone left, started to bicker on whose right or wrong on something.
The five youths did their own things, brabbling on the background. On the right side of the old man was a silver-haired black robed man that seemed to have been in his late twenties or early thirties, respectfully keeping his distance from him.
On his left, however, was a familiar face, Garin, who had a complicated look in his face as he remembered that great fight earlier.
Although he could only remember a few blots of shadows clashing in the distance and creating tremors all over the place, the great rumbling of the ground and air in the city still made him swallow a full load of nervousness each time.
Also, he was still able to see how a particular blot of human-shaped individual was blasting her way through the crowd with her distinctive style of wielding a railgun weapon.
Garin had shared many missions with that woman with the unique style so of course he was able to recognize that it was Cassiopeia.
But even so, not in the slightest can he try to even oppose what ‘that’ man wanted of him.
Garin spent a few long moments glancing at the complicated expression on their leader’s face as his old complexion seem to have grown more aged as he let out a sigh.
“Teacher…” spoke the silver haired man on the right. “Are you really sure about this?”
Garin was paying special attention to these two’s conversations and even though he had been with their group for a little while now, he was still not able to pick up where their conversations were pointed at.
There are times that they talked about particular events that had happened in Terroa, while there are times that they are talking about topics that he found to be somewhat only random.
In particular, there was a time that they asked him if he had ever heard of the continent of Chronos.
Garin tried to think it through and even though he was not given a definitive time to give an answer, he still took it by heart as to not be as just a luggage to this group. So he researched that part.
Sadly, Chronos… had no leads. Even using the extensive information network of The Illuminati, even a shadow of a lead turned zero results.
And while on his musing, Garin’s thoughts were interrupted when the old man sighed again and turned to face them.
“Sadly, with those guys digging up the relics of the past, they are bound to awaken the Chaos Gods.”
Gabriel gritting his teeth, told Janus, “They took her, Teacher. If the kid finds out about this, all the more he’s going to unlock the seals mother placed on him in exchange for her life. If only… if only…”
Janus shook his head and gently spoke, “There is no point in dwelling in the past. You know what limits Mana had put on me. I am just like you now that even The One had to follow the Will of Mana when he’s at work.”
“It’s those guys’ fault! I’ll exterminate them!”
“You know you can’t do that.”
“Stay by my side, Gabriel, and everything will be alright... eventually.”
Hearing the last part that sounded like a wish, the silver haired Magician let out a long breath to signify his helplessness on the matter.
When mentioning ‘those guys’, Garin looked back at the city and saw the many shadows of ships and flying arcs following the direction that the Cyclone took.
He thought, “Is he talking about them?”