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Chapter 809 - Green Orc Settlement
Riveting Night stood in the office of the mayor of Vita settlement, quietly waiting for a certain group to arrive. It was eerily silent in the office, and anyone who had been there would’ve felt extremely uncomfortable.
Eventually, Riveting Night sensed some presences outside the door, coming down the hallway. Unlike Draco, whose body was weak, she was essentially the same as she had been in their previous life. She could activate her Control abilities to the max and without restraint.
The double doors to the large office were pushed open, admitting five people.
In came Uno, Boyd, Rina, Cobra and finally Kiran. They had been chatting on their way there, but upon entering the office, the eerie atmosphere made them go silent. It was like walking down the streets with your friends, bantering all the way and suddenly realizing that it was far too quiet.
That sense of danger and creeping fear enveloped the Five Generals like a blanket in the night. They all stared at the source of this eerieness, the woman in tight leathers that displayed a modest body that was definitely impressive, but not mind-boggling. However, her raised hood didn’t even outline her face, making her seem like a humanoid version of the Nazgul.
She remained still for more than half an hour, in which the Five Generals had dared not move for reasons they themselves didn’t understand. It was similar to when a huge black widow was crawling slowly around your body, you’d stay still until it got off.
In this time, their bodies had gone from pristine to sweaty. Since sweat wasn’t considered excrement in Boundless, like feces, players could still release it.
Eventually, Riveting Night raised her head slowly, gazing at each of the Five Generals in turn, her eyes lingering slightly on Rina and even longer on Kiran.
For that matter, Kiran felt a strange feeling when that happened. He felt like his bloodline squirmed when the woman called Riveting Night gazed at him, which should be impossible! Only the top three lineage bloodlines should be able to...
Kiran’s mind instantly became tense as his expression turned solemn.
’This...This is not good.’ He thought.
Riveting Night didn’t say anything to him personally, but that look had conveyed a lot to him. Since Riveting Night had decided to keep quiet, Kiran’s true ident.i.ty wouldn’t be unveiled just yet.
"I see you’ve finally arrived."
When they heard the pleasant and sonorous voice that came out from under that hood, they were startled. The feeling she gave physically compared to the one her voice gave created a dissonance.
"You’re the members of Umbra, the First Guild of Boundless. Do you understand what such a t.i.tle means?"
Riveting Night’s question made them look at each other with confusion. Sure, the t.i.tle sound great but... so what? It was just a pretty cool FIVR game, what was the big deal about it?
Riveting Night could almost read their thoughts from their body language, or something close to it. She sighed internally, as she pondered why Draco hadn’t bothered to drill this into their heads before.
The problem was, Draco had much bigger issues on his plate than to baby these fellows. Before now, he didn’t have his OP acquisitions and Riveting Night herself by his side, meaning he had a wide range of issues to cover as just one man.
Riveting Night reasoned as such and settled down. She realized she would have to finish what Draco started properly before she could even get to the reason why she summoned them there.
"All of you, follow me."
Riveting Night led the silent group to a random field zone nearby. This zone was called the Frost Fortress, and it was an ice-heavy region. The monsters here were between level 10-30, meaning it was prime leveling for early Rank 1 players.
She hadn’t chosen this place intentionally, but was a random field zone that was reasonably nearby the Vita settlement. It was about 5km2 which was the size of a district in the modern world.
As the group traversed the snow capped area, the generals began to feel uncomfortable with the temperature. Rina had it reasonably easy as she could auto-cast her basic fire attack every now and then to keep warm, but the others had to fend for themselves.
They didn’t encounter any monsters on their trek, they just kept walking. Thanks to the limitless stamina out of combat, they could go on and on, without stopping, rendering them unable to find an excuse to rest.
It also didn’t help that the lady boss was silent the whole time, not even bothering to check up on them. She also didn’t make a peep of complaint and her body didn’t s.h.i.+ver in the slightest.
How could they, as men, hold their heads up high if their lady boss was totally unfazed?
After four hours of this torture, their HP bars were left with only 20% remaining and they were hit with the debuff. Their movement speed had been reduced by 70% and they were regenerating health and mana much more slowly. Also, they were taking 0.1 HP DoT every minute.
After an extra two hours, the first to fall to his knees at 1% HP was Cobra, who dressed like a male p.r.o.s.t.i.t.u.t.e. Next was Uno whose armor had become a great burden as it became stiff, forcing him to exert more effort to move it.
Boyd was next to go, as his face reflected his unwillingness and shame. Kiran went on for a long while after, his face locked in an expression of calm determination. Surprisingly, Rina fell before he did, her fire magic abilities only allowing her to go on for a little bit longer compared to others.
Kiran kept walking behind Riveting Night, her back his only anchor as he took every step forward. He went on like that for another two hours, which seemed like years to him, until he finally died as well.
Riveting Night stopped when he did. Then she returned to where each of them had died and picked up the items they had dropped before returning to the entrance of the field zone.
When players died in Boundless, they resp.a.w.ned at the entrance of wherever they were unless they had special skills to counteract that. Also, special circ.u.mstances, like the unique quests, modified this mechanic.
At Rank 0, they lost absolutely nothing but an item and 10% exp. As they climbed the ranks, the penalties would become so steep that death in Boundless would be much more fearful than actually dying in real life.
Riveting Night met the Five Generals who stood around quietly, expressions of unhappiness on their faces for being put through such an experience. If it wasn’t for the fact that their lady boss terrified them even more than Draco did, they’d have quit halfway.
"What did you learn?"
The Five Generals were silent for a bit before Uno spoke hesitantly.
"Uh... that we are weak?"
Riveting Night didn’t acknowledge his words, so they a.s.sumed he was wrong. Boyd made an attempt after that.
"We were ill equipped?"
Once again, Riveting Night remained silent. Cobra took the mantle here.
"We did not utilize the terrain to our advantage?"
Seeing her silence, they almost choked. They were grasping at straws just to get this over with. Rina decided to try.
"We did not utilize our cla.s.ses to our advantage well enough?"
Riveting Night turned to gaze at Rina, which was her only response so far. This gave them all the hope that they were onto the right path.
However, Kiran, who had been silent as usual, opened his eyes that had been shut all this while and displayed a wry smile. He, unlike the other four, understood the fundamentals of what Riveting Night was trying to teach. The others had the general idea, but they had sugarcoated it too much.
"We are trash."
The other four’s expressions changed, turning to look at Kiran with irritated and disdainful gazes. Who was trash here? If you were trash, why add us unto the equation?
"You are. All of you." Riveting Night replied coldly.
Kiran nodded, but the other four looked unsatisfied. No one liked being told they were trash, especially without knowing why. After all, they were made to walk through an ice zone without preparation and without any goal at her behest, yet they were trash because of that? Bulls.h.i.+t!
If they had planned to come here, why wouldn’t they have prepared ahead of time? Did this lady boss think she was the only one with brains or skills?
Kiran looked at his fellows expressions and shook his head. He, as a proud member of the lineages, hated being called trash even more than they did because it wasn’t just a smear on his name, but on the name of his lineage and even their progenitor.
However, pretending as if he wasn’t would be an even graver insult.
"I can see you feel unsatisfied. Let me tell you why I called you trash." Riveting Night began, looking at Uno first.
"You are moving towards the Paladin cla.s.s clearly, and they way it looks, you might just get it. However, do you even understand what a Paladin is?"
Uno was startled by the question but answered immediately. "A Paladin is a holy warrior that is imbued with the energy of his deity to be their champion in battle."
"Exactly, for all intents and purposes, that is what being a Paladin entails usually." Riveting Night replied with a light nod.
"However, what if I told you there were no deities in this realm?" She continued with a mocking tone.
The Five Generals were startled, then their faces changed, especially Uno. Grudgingly, he filled in the logic. "A Paladin without a deity is... trash. Like a battery without any charge in it. A bottle without any water."
Riveting Night nodded. She knew Uno’s story and specifications, after all, he had been one of Draco’s generals. This fella had given Darkrow a ma.s.sive headache with his a.s.sault tank combat style. She was aware how he quite literally carried the Paladin cla.s.s from general mockery to respect.
Riveting Night turned to Cobra. "You are like me, going for the a.s.sa.s.sin cla.s.s. I see that you have the talent for the job, since you practice the profession in the real world too."
"But that is not enough. I can bet you that if I placed you, with all your skills in the real world, against a teenager who played FIVR games extensively, you would lose terribly."
Cobra seemed sullen. This was after all, a ma.s.sive insult to his skill. His body count wasn’t low at all and he had refined the art of murder for years. To be told that he couldn’t even beat some nerdy kid made him angry.
"I know you feel it’s untrue and that would only hold in the real world. If I were to create that same scenario in the real world, you would kill that teen 99 times out of a hundred."
"Uh, what about that one time that Cobra loses... you can’t really expect a teen to kill him... right?" Boyd asked uncertainly.
"No, that would be impossible, That one scenario where he might lose was if Cobra was struck by lightning or had a sudden heart attack." Riveting Night replied with amus.e.m.e.nt in her voice.
She looked to Boyd himself next, and the one eyed fellow began to sweat. "I see you’re going for a berserker cla.s.s. With your body structure, it would be a perfect match for you."
"However, you will never reach the pinnacle with this cla.s.s for the same reason Cobra and Uno will fail."
Riveting Night turned to Rina and gazed at her quietly. This woman... Riveting Night remembered her well. She, like Draco, knew Rina’s damage and as a fellow victim of forced s.e.x.u.a.l abuse, she sympathized with her a lot. Still, Rina had bedded Draco far too many times in their past timeline for Riveting Night to let it go so easily.
Rina tilted her head slightly. What was this? She felt like she was being pitied one moment, then felt slight killing intent the next. Was she hallucinating or what?
"You chose the path of the mage. Out of all the people here, your choice is the one that I could spend hours explaining on how much trash you will be in the future, but let me make it short."
"What is magic?"
This question caught Rina offguard. "Magic is the ability to do the impossible."
Riveting Night shook her head slowly. She knew Rina’s case would be the worst, so she would have to work on her the hardest. "That is the answer any elementary school, child can give. Magic has nothing to do with making the impossible possible. Magic is simply the ability to influence the world with willpower and energy."
Riveting Night hadn’t taken a magic cla.s.s in their past life, but her sister for life, Sublime Notion, had been a magic cla.s.s user. She had told this to Riveting Night so many times that it was stuck in her head.
Riveting Night then turned to Kiran. She sized him up quietly and he did same. The other four noticed there was a tense danger lingering in the air between these two and they suddenly felt as if they were side characters in a show that had no idea what was going on behind the scenes.
"You already know your faults, so I don’t need to explain." Riveting Night finally acquiesced on behalf of Draco.
Kiran seemed to relax at that moment, as if he had been tensed to either fight or flee the moment she spoke. The other four also calmed down a little when they noticed that the dangerous feeling had dissipated.
Riveting Night gazed at them collectively, shaking her head.
"The fundamental issue underlining your tras.h.i.+ness is your mentality first and foremost. Second, would be your ignorance. Then your skills. Finally, your willpower."
"Let’s start with your mentality. The five of you came into this world thinking that it’s a game, just like everyone else. Let me be frank with you, it is not. This is, and will be, the new era for mankind. Why do I think so? Here’s why..."
Riveting Night scanned each of them with a tilt of her head. "This world is almost not different from the real one. Your senses, actions and thoughts are unrestrained. It feels just like reality does it not?"
"Yet, it isn’t. It is a thousand times better. In this world you can do anything you want and make progress. You can be a blacksmith, a physician, a fighter, a gambler. You can be a diviner, a farmer, an alchemist and more. Those are just tradeskills I’m mentioning. Let’s not even start with the combat cla.s.ses."
"In this world that feels like real life, you will never die. You will live forever and never age. You can fight, f.u.c.k, steal, eat and play. As you get stronger, you can do things that are physically impossible in the real world. All the cool stuff you see in the movies are easily achievable here with enough effort."
"The most important aspect of this world however, is the extension of life. If, and I say, if, a method to stay fully immersed in the game, like some sort of gaming pod or cabin, were developed, do you understand the magnitude of such a thing? The time dilation in this game grants us 4x more time than the real world does. Essentially, staying fully immersed in the game means that you’ll live four times longer."
"Do you understand?"
How could they not? The Five Generals were trembling where they stood. Riveting Night’s words had hit them right in the place they didn’t want to acknowledge. When they had been training with Draco, they had simply thought that this game was super cool and might become big in the future.
However, they hadn’t know exactly how big. It was like when smart phones first came. We found them nifty and an impressive step up, but no one could have predicted how staple it would become to modern life.
Now that they had a firm grasp of the effect this new game... no, this new world, would have on society, they slowly bean to understand exactly why the lady boss was so disdainful of them. They also began to feel the burning desire to get stronger. After all, everyone would be entering this world soon. The ensuing chaos as everyone fights for a piece of the pie would be catastrophic for weaker players.
Only the upper echelon could ride the waves like a calm sea surfer and direct where they wanted events to go. The rest would rise and fall at the whims of those at the top.
It was Uno who spoke up first after a bout of silence.
"You were right Madam, we are trash."
"I agree with him." Cobra added simply.
"We were thinking far too simply, failing to a.s.sess the facts." Boyd concurred with a wry smile.
"This world would become a pillar of mankind. We that are early have the privilege of steering future events, yet we failed to take the opportunity seriously." Rina lamented with a shake of her head.
Kiran remained silent, just looking at the other four with a hint of disdain.
Riveting Night gazed at the silently before shaking her head. "You think you’ve understood something, but really, you’ve only understood 20% of what I’m trying to get across. The reason you are trash is compound, not so simple."
"The second reason I mention was your ignorance, and your earlier statements b.u.t.tress that. In the world, in any world, knowledge is power. Even the strongest fighter can be defeated by the smartest weakling."
"What do you all even know about Boundless? Nothing. And you’ve made no effort to rectify that."