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Chapter 002: Short Relief From Pain
“Thorn, I need you to check on something for me down the cellars.”
Thorn blinked in confusion.
“What are you going to check out there for?”
“A Black Ball.”
When Siva spoke at this part, none of the members of The Company became relaxed. One should remember that a Black Ball is a Demon Commander’s source of strength. It’s what makes them a terrible enemy, and that’s what makes them valuable resources.
It was their heart. For Inventors, Black Balls are treasure items. It has a value comparable to MODs.
Thorn couldn’t help but exclaim, “But how did a Black Ball ended up in the cellar dungeons?”
Siva tried to prop his body up but there were jolts of pain that assailed him and he almost fell on his face if not for Scion who supported him up.
With heavy breathing, he told him “Mefisto is not an ordinary Demon Commander. He is the highest ranking Demon among their horde; he is the very first Demon… the so called First Born of their entire Devil Race.”
Devil Race… it was a new word. A villainous word.
And yet, for him to know about this, would this be a [game content] that will be released in the future if a player unlocked it?
“It’s no wonder.” Murmured one of the players, “I saw the videos of Master Hagrid’s fight in Dragona and could tell that whatever it was he was fighting there, it definitely looked like a devil.”
“I saw a video once” nodded another User. “When the perpetrator of Dragona’s destruction managed to enter the Central Pagoda, that figure had black skin and horns with eyes blazing red like fire… my friend who recorded the video died but he was able to gain back the money to buy another Avatar from selling the rights of the Video to TDT.”
“TDT? Terroa-Day-Today, right? Isn’t that where Kathleen Brew is a host?”
“Aye. If TDT bought the video, then its authenticity is real. But I heard that Kathleen Brew was there herself and that the videos they showed in TDT were exclusive ones.”
“Not all of the videos showed in TDT are theirs, some of them were bought exclusively from the players who were there when it happened.”
Many who heard this nodded in accord while there are also others who recalled the eventual circumstances that occurred in Dragona.
Back then, they all clearly heard the rumors saying that that “Devil” was Mefisto… and yet on the more famous videos circulated in the net, with the sworn written accounts of the ones online at that time regarding a scene that said Hagrid did indeed fought Mefisto and not Siva, they all saw and knew that for some unknown reason, there were two Mefistos and that one of these two Mefistos had managed to ‘possess’ Siva’s avatar in Dragona and cause havoc there… leading to the conclusion that Siva was still Siva but he was just [cursed] by Mefisto in Dragona.
This was a majorly accepted theory.
Although such a notion (NPCs taking over a player avatar) was absurd, this thing did occur in the Port City of Dragona so majority of the people and fans of RPG: Terroa had no choice but to agree.
The videos and articles were all around them but it was still as if none of them could summon the very notion of questioning the authenticity of this claim. It was as if they have no right to. Yet, this did not stop the more knowledgeable ones to still harbor that small doubt regarding the real events that happened in Dragona.
…..most especially regarding the mysterious existence that is ‘Siva’ / Mefisto that appeared there.
And yet, now, Siva just told them that there was a so called [Devil Race] that is unannounced in the official list of races in RPG: Terroa.
So what does this mean?
It meant that there are indeed more secrets and mysteries that Terroa had to offer for the gamers.
Perhaps, possession of a “Player Avatar” is just one of these so called features. And perhaps… in the future, such features will be under the control of the gamers if they could select that Race.
Just imagining this could already ignite a player’s greed for more game content and could put even a pro-player’s mind reeling at the mere thought of monopolizing this information.
“The Company… joining this organization is the right choice.”
“Honey, we did the right thing.”
“We haven’t begun to quest yet but I’m already more excited being here than having to be just a mere cannon fodder in The Legion.”
When majority of the players’ thoughts ventured in this course, many were secretly delighted at the fact that they were with the Grand Quest holder, Siva.
Using a pro player’s mentality, the first to discover this secret and exploit it to their best interests will gain the rights to demand compensation for those who wanted a piece of this pie… until the pie itself became publicized and available for all.
After all, this game is not just meant for gamers since almost 30% of Users in this game were all professional gamers who make a living out of the game’s contents.
The more information they monopolize, the greater their income will be.
Besides, the Blue Card Legion is such a Guild… a guild that almost has half of its members centering their minds on money, fame, and glory.
Thus, majority of them didn’t question the existence of the [Devil Race] any further.
All they know is that they are now following Siva who has the exclusive access regarding this still unannounced [game content]. It’s like they were trailblazing the future of RPG: Terroa.
And when the idea of “trailblazing” took root in their minds, although it will definitely be hard, to be a pioneer of the game’s future [content] is all worth the risk and trouble.
Joining [The Company] was a right choice.
Siva’s entourage, at this moment, with just a mere simple sentence from him, had already increased in number in an unprecedented way.
For the Acolytes, however…
Siva, telling them these as if it was a part of a history, like an ill omen, like a legend of times long past… seemed like a joke and yet not.
Yes, they did thought of it as an unannounced [game content], but they took it differently than the rest of the former members of The Legion.
They all heard and saw what happened in the cellar dungeons and so they are aware that there were frightening things that Siva hasn’t told them yet.
He did, unknowingly, however, sparked the fires of ambition and poured the blood of adventure into the blood veins of the rest of the crowd here.
None of them around him could understand what it was with this version of ‘Siva’ that makes him a bit of a nutjob with these almost nonsensical ideas he was pouring in their minds…
Imagine… an NPC, taking over a gamer’s avatar…
Pft. If it was anyone else, they’d be laughing their asses off by now.
And yet they can’t even summon the slightest bit of will to utter a smile.
Coralline, Heller, Red Metal, Niobe, Otus, Debra, Ren, Thorn… all of them…
All of them saw what happened down there.
They all knew more and beyond what that simple [Devil Race Ability: Possession] idea entails. It’s not only limited to the [Devil Race], it was also available to the [God Race].
What more, Thorn’s active call during Siva’s fight against the Colossi earlier was linked to the active conference call of the Acolytes all this time.
They all heard that conversation between Siva and the demoness, Sefirah, earlier: Siva was the [Last God] and that almost all of the Gods had fallen.
The grand Era of the Gods will be officially over if the so called [First Born] were to consume Siva.
Now, they all knew who this so called First Born that Sefirah had been referring for was… Mefisto!
If this was a game content, then yes, this was worth monopolizing and making money for.
But no, this was more than that.
They may not be able to link everything regarding the existence of this so called “Janus” and his very important connection to this world and with Siva, but the Acolytes were still aware of Terra’s importance to Siva and the history of this world.
What more, they also had that conversation in the Cellar Dungeons earlier…
They knew that there are people who had their hands on Siva’s and his brother’s necks… adding to that Scion’s repeated calling of Siva as “Rex”…
If they can’t connect these dots into something that is more than just game content, then they’d be nothing more but gamers who had stuck their nose into the mafia world, waiting to be killed where they stand without knowing why.
Thankfully, they were inside the game world right now and there was no one else who were aware of what had transpired in the cellar halls below.
They weren’t wearing their real faces and they’ve all already agreed that whether they want it or not, they are now all in this together.
They have no choice but to join Siva’s quest and then try their best to survive.
If they die as [gamers] then it’d be better. That’d only mean they’ve escaped the clasps of that Mafia’s hands.
What they have to do with their utmost efforts right now, however, is to pretend that they don’t know any of the things that lay in the shadows of the world behind Siva.
They just had to follow him as members of his so called [The Company]…. and nothing more.
Fortunately, different their personalities and their goals for sticking around him may be, they were all smart people on a certain extent, including even Red Metal who’re shaking at this moment.
A line was drawn between these new members of The Company and the Acolytes of (now non-existent) Elder God Donar.
This game, to them, was more than just a game now. Because there were frightening secrets that lay between the lines of what they are looking at right now and the things that were spoken of and is available for the general public to see.
RPG: Terroa… is not just a game anymore.
It was a stage where two worlds’ secrets are bound to clash with each other… one way…
One bloody way…
Something changed with this Siva, the acolytes noticed it.
His tone, his bearing, his diction and manners… he was different from the ‘Siva’ that had a random tendency of creating troubles out of the blue just to suit the needs of the moment that they’ve been with all this time; the ‘Siva’ that they all saw lose his composure when provoked by Kladis… wasn’t this one.
This ‘Siva’, for some reason, gave them that very mysterious and ancient impression as the [Siva] that represented the faction of the Gods earlier.
Thorn couldn’t get himself to argue with him with this statement so he just flew up the air and went inside the main palace to check whatever was there below the Cellar Dungeon.
While this happened, Coralline walked in, “Are you really okay? Why are you panting and seeming as if you are in pain right now?”
Everyone was surprised by this question. Now that they think about it, injuries in Terroa only felt like a tickle on their senses.
Yet why does Siva seem to be in so much pain?
In Terroa, even if one lost a limb or be chewed upon by a monster, the most uncomfortable feeling they’d experience is the sensation of warm and slimy saliva, then the poking of a strangely large stick…. or being grinded by a blunt saw, or in short, like a massage and the fact that they will lose all bodily functions of anything severed from their body, and nothing more.
Injuries, in Terroa, held as little pain as possible.
Pain in Terroa was lessened by 70-80%, in addition to the fact that it WILL NOT let the players feel any actual traumatizing pain.
Yes, the graphics rendering of monsters and the other creatures, even the scary expressions of the sadistic players, were also scary.
But that’s it.
All other major sources of pain like stabs, burning, bumping, lacerations, or any other actual pain… is almost non-existent. The rest of the pain resource are just purely made by the brain because of their imagination.
Of course, who wouldn’t be scared and imagine the pain of being chewed on by a monster? Or be stabbed a weapon of a Player Killer (PK), or be burned, drowned, or electrocuted by spells?
And yet, Siva, right now, looked really in pain that the mere act of talking, what more is standing on his two feet, was actually a tiring task.
They may not be able to see his expressions very clearly but they all could tell that he wasn’t faking the faint trembling and weak shaking of his legs.
Siva didn’t deny or confirm anything and only gave her a slight chuckle and a shake of his head. “I really don’t know how to explain it to you guys since even I don’t know how this is why myself. All I know is that ever since I started this game… everything that can normally hurt you in the real world really hurts a lot inside.”
“How’s that possible?!” Before anyone could even say another word, Volt’s image appeared before them. “When Agatha was gravely injured in the Anazon Forest back then, she only passed out because of fear but she said it didn’t hurt much.”
Siva looked at his [email protected] rendering and thought for a moment before shaking his head, saying with resignation: “I’m also confused myself. I’ve always imagined just how the players of this game enjoy such pain over and over where I’ve always felt that such pains were really like a torture…”
Siva’s words were simple but they contained so much frightening information that everyone was just taken aback by them.
It means… all this time… Siva had been fighting everything as if it was a fight in the real world?
Coralline was flustered and as well as the rest of The Company’s heavyweights, the Acolytes.
“So you mean…” Siva looked at them with wide eyes of confusion, “…that all these time, none of you are feeling the same pains as me in this game?”
After he spoke, he glanced at Coralline, “When I met you in The Mansion…”
Coralline shook her head, still confused, “I was blasted off but I wasn’t that injured. It only felt like just a light bump.”
Siva then drew his gaze at Heller, “When you guys were attacked by Mefisto earlier…”
“Like the Little Witch said, it’s just a light bump.”
Siva was frozen for a moment but Thorn, Volt, and Rentaw, out of them all, suddenly recalled his words just before they reached Alexandria.
Back then, when he was talking to FlowerLord, he spoke about everything he had experienced and he actually spoke of them with substance and the real emotion of pain and suffering.
Who would’ve thought that he actually meant it this way?
Like… literary… he was in pain and is suffering the game’s features physically…. or perhaps was it even mentally (?).
Siva looked at Scion and then asked her, “Weren’t you hurt when Kladis…”
Beading tears in her eyes, Scion shook her head while wearing a beautiful smile on her face, “I was only fearful of what might have happened but it’s not as if I was really in pain or anything. When he was planning on doing that to me I… I can’t move my body and could only watch helplessly but aside from that, I felt no actual pain when he slapped and tackled me and there was nothing that did happen so…. so you’re… umm… ano…”
Mid-sentence, Scion became flustered and her face reddened in embarrassment. She may not be innocently naïve and ignorant, but she just went through said experience and it was embarrassing for her to talk about it in front of everyone else.
Luckily, Siva didn’t mind that and had just honestly been worried about her all this time.
A very short, breath of relief escaped Siva. It was like a very short laugh, or a sigh, or just a snort but it contained an undeniable sense of relief from something that’s been bothering him.
He lowered his head and his voice trailed with the emotion of happiness, “Thank god… thank God! I can accept any pain on myself but you… you…”
Siva stopped mid-sentence and turned his gaze towards the direction of Alexandria.
“Ah! Baron… he…”
Two worlds will collide someday…
Now they all knew how Siva felt all this time.
Next Chapter: Treasures left by Mefisto’s invasion
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