It’s pitch black inside my makeshift fort, forcing me to create a small flame in order to see.
As the fire bursts into life I see that despite being the last one asleep, I’m still the first to have woken up.
Asla looks to have regained a bit of color, the wound on her side has disappeared so it should only be a matter of time until she awakens.
Castellum too looks to have healed, evidenced by the soft snores escaping him. It’s great to hear that noise, in comparison to the deathly silence from before.
I start to laugh.
I can’t stop.
This entire situation is so ridiculous. Mortal wounds heal in hours, magic and adventure in limitless quantities. Even a total ability to overcome disability or death. If it weren’t for his unusual circumstances that is.
Why did they have to fight so hard to restore the material world? This was living here. There are literally limitless possibilities in virtual reality to cater to any type of person. It required relatively little resources to keep running, and if there was one thing I’d learned from my science and history lessons it was that nature would always find a balance provided there wasn’t any forces working against it.
Arguably the easiest way to fix the world…. would just be to leave it.
Quenching the flame, I wake up Castellum and Asla by shaking them.
She rubs her eyes and stretches herself to consciousness. “Where
…” she yawns. “Am I?”
“Somewhere in between…” Asla screams and stabs me with something before I can finish. It hurts like bloody murder, but I still have the wherewithal to produce a flame. “Easy, easy! Holy shit woman, calm down.” I rip out what I can now see is an arrow from my shoulder and continue, grimancing at the sore burning sensation that remains. “I found you lying in the path toward your village. You never showed up to our meeting so I rushed over to see if you were alright.” I can’t tell her I got impatient and nearly died… nope, that never happened.
“It just seemed prudent to set up camp, since I didn’t know what caught you, or for that matter what sort of trouble laid between here and your village.” She nods, “That’s sensible. Let’s get going now though, I’m sure between us the monsters won’t….” A look of horror crosses her face. “Oh god that’s right! We have to hurry! Bestle.. it was under attack!”
“Calm down and explain. What is attacking it?” I cut through the walls with a few well placed water beams while she explained the situation.
“Bestle, it’s… it’s under attack by another player.” I stumble a bit upon hearing that. Not good. “He didn’t have a human avatar, but I’m certain he was a player. Monsters…. they don’t behave like that.” She shudders as she recounts the story. “It was horrible. We tried to resist but…”