4 Ledger - Reality Breach!
I opened my eyes. Surrounding me, a field of swords and shattered steel. A ringing in my ears. A sharp, pulsing sting from a fresh cut. I felt a deep laceration across my left eye. Blood ran down my cheek onto the coarse dirt below. Red droplets of blood fell onto my open palm.
The sound of slow steps, which were barely loud enough to hear, drew my attention.
The calm approach of another rival. I turned to face the direction.
It was a scrawny man draped in a long black hood, only a grin could be seen from what the hood couldn't cover. The man was armed with a bow, one much too large for practical use.
The man reached for the weapon which was slung over his back -- that oversized greatbow. Next to the bow was a quiver of arrows. These arrows were more similar to long metal javelins than arrows.
Within the moment of contact between this great weapon and the man, he changed. The hooded man immediately transformed. He had taken another shape and altered his appearance into a tall muscular man. The transformed man had unruly black hair and wore no shirt, only loose pants, with bracelets and other accessories. His eyes were now glowing white like some god-like figure.
The god-like archer drew back the string of his bow with a cocky grin ear-to-ear. He held an arrow snug against the greatbow with two fingers and spoke:
"The man you see before you is none other than Lü Bu Fengxian."
The archer laughed to himself:
"He's a master archer. I'd tell you to say your prayers, but I'm afraid there won't be time."
Without any further hesitation, Lü Bu released his arrow.
"So long, friend."
The shot fired, and with it came an explosion of energy towards me. The speeding javelin was covered in fiery blue energy. A path of destruction followed as everything in its wake scattered from sight.
I drew the weapon sheathed at my waist -- a straight short sword. The sword itself was double-edged and fit for single-hand use, and while it was ornate in design, it couldn't compare against the incoming missile.
As my hand came into contact with the hilt, I transformed as well. Long blonde locks of hair fell down into the edges of my field of view. I shrank in height and size. My once moderately toned arms were now waifish in appearance. I took a moment to look down. I had transformed into a girl in golden armour.
This wasn't the form of a god like my rival had. This girl appeared to be short and meek, with porcelain skin and shaven legs. Her armour was uncomfortable and tight.
I could feel the heat of Lü Bu's shot as it closed in on me. The javelin had to be a mere meter from my face. We swung our sword instinctively, parrying and deflecting the javelin arrow away from us.
The energy-engulfed javelin exploded off in the distance behind us.
This girl didn't look like a god, but she was powerful.
Lü Bu was dumbfounded.
"How the hell did you survive that?! No one's ever survived that!"
He had never seen someone move and react with such speed and timing.
Without wasting a moment, we lunged forward. I could feel every muscle move as she thrust our sword towards Lü Bu. I could see he was lining up another shot from across the field. It felt as if the sword was pulling us through the air. It was as if we were now the javelin soaring straight towards our target. The blade pierced its mark as we careened into the Archer's chest.
Lü Bu coughed, spewing blood from his mouth. He looked down in shock as the girl's sword pierced through him.
"...How is this possible?! I can't lose to you!"
I had fallen asleep in the bath. The floor was soaked in warm bath water. The water had overflown from the tub.
I should get out.
I've been spending so much time on the online servers that my mind was feeling fried and warn out.
17 hours straight is how long my last session was. I was starting to get addicted to the player versus player content, which I mostly avoided most of my life ingame. I was always more of a player versus environment type of gamer, but the release of God Game Royale changed that for me.
I turned off the running taps and sat in the tub a little longer while it drained.
As I dried myself off I noticed something unusual. From the pool of water on the floor, there were footsteps leading out of the bathroom and into the main room. Either I was sleepwalking and don't remember doing so, or someone had been in my house.
I cautiously opened the bathroom door wearing only a towel.
The wet footsteps kept going, leading into the kitchen.
I continued on down the watery trail into the kitchen. The cupboards and fridge were open. Someone was clearly in my house. A robber wouldn't check the fridge if he was looking for valuables unless it was a hungry robber -- which actually might be more dangerous now that I think about it.
The footsteps lead from the kitchen to my room now.
Weaponless and naked, I approached with caution.
It would be smart to arm myself with something like a kitchen knife, but for some reason, I didn't feel the need. Not that I'm a champion fighter or anything, but if it is a home invader I could likely handle it. I spent so much time fighting online with my god-tier summon roster that it felt like I could get the same results in real life.
God Game Royale used real motion which was inputted straight from thought into code, meaning things you accomplished online were also basically accomplished offline too. If you thought you were training with Bruce Lee all day, you'd pick up his moves. I spent so much time reading and predicting other players movements and attacks that I felt it was possible out of game as well now.
I entered my bedroom. My closet was open as well and I know I had it closed last because I hardly ever used it. I wasn't the most organized man, and left the clothes I liked in places easiest to find them -- which meant my clothes were still on the floor in the bathroom or on the bed where I could see them.
The sounds of rustling came from the closet now. It could be a bag of chips being rifled through, or maybe a grocery bag loading up on my undesirables. Was the intruder searching for my sister's room, surely he would want her underwear, not mine.
"Is someone there?" I called out.
I poked my head into the closet, which was a large walk-in one full of never-used dressers of socks and underwear, old junk consoles and collectibles.
A blonde haired girl looked up at me with the strangest look I've ever seen. She was kneeled over wearing one of my big hooded sweaters and boxer briefs and looking almost disappointed in me. In one hand was a bag of potato chips and in the other was more of my underwear.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
She stood up and handed me the bag of chips. She must have been only five foot and a couple of inches in height because I had to look down while she talked. She had unusual eyes, like a light golden colour and long hair.
"You've summoned me to such a place without any of my armour or weapons. And from what I can tell this house only has gear woven of cloth! Now, I can summon my sword when it's dire, but I will need armour," spoke the girl.
"Summoned? What are you talking about?!" I asked.
She looked at me with a puzzled look and spoke:
"Yes. You summoned me to your aid, via memento. Did you not?"
"Memento? You mean like in God Game Royale? Are you a GGR player too?"
The girl tilted her head and looked up at me confused. Her golden eyes were captivating. She had a sense of familiarity about her that I couldn't shake. At first, I thought she might have been a cosplayer, who styled herself to look like one of the popular summons ingame. It was the only option that made any sense to me.
"D-did you need some proper clothes? My sister's room would be a better place to start. I mean, she's not home and she's probably the same size as you."
"What sort of armour does she wear? I prefer something hard, but I will settle for bronze."
This cosplayer girl was going full Daniel Day-Lewis on me.
She was either the best method actor alive today or completely fucking nuts!
She kept talking about armour, mementos, summoning.
"Well, uh. It wouldn't be armour… but it would be clothes so you wouldn't need to wear my boxers anymore…" I said.
The girl came up close to me. I stepped back slowly.
"That necklace around your neck..."
I could feel her breathing lightly on my neck as she examined the bead. She pressed up against me as I looked to the door for an easy exit in case she started doing anything even remotely batshit crazy.
"This was a gift from my sister Enyo. She gave me this... moments before..." said the girl.
She paused and seemed to be deep in thought.
Her hand was still on the bead necklace hanging around my neck.
I could feel her rolling the smooth bead in between her fingers.
I looked down to see the necklace she mentioned around my neck, which wasn't there prior to taking my bath... I don't even own any jewelry so I know it wasn't mine. How did this necklace manage to find its way onto my neck?! Did she tie this necklace around my neck when I was in the bath? That's weird as fuck, but kind of hot in a scary sexy kind of way.
"Ares?..." I spoke under my breath.
I was starting to lose it. I knew this girl... but I knew she also... wasn't real...
"This is the memento that made it possible to summon me," said the girl.
"Is this the same memento I have ingame?!"
Everything about this was bizarre. Could this actually be the memento from ingame, and was this girl the summon? It had to be. This girl was my companion ingame. There was no doubt about it. Perhaps my brain really is fried and I'm just hallucinating.
"Then you must know that it's imperative to carry a summon's memento on them at all times. You must cherish it. If you were to lose it, you would lose me as your companion as well."
"You really are my summon from God Game Royale, aren't you?" I asked.
"...? Are you okay, Summoner? You look as if your mind has been broken from the dark arts."
"Just very confused at the moment."
"Then please rest! I will solve this armour situation in the meantime! We need to be prepared for future battles," said Ares.
"Right. Well, I don't have any armour here..."
"Then where do I start to find proper fitting armour?"
Ares walked past me towards the main room and pointed to my sister's room.
I nodded my head.
"Yeah, that way..."
She gave me a thumbs up and walked in.
I sighed out loud.
What the fuck was going on...!
Nothing made sense when it came to the bleeding-edge technology of VERSE, which was what made God Game Royale possible. It could simulate virtual-reality so clearly that it wasn't virtual anymore. Any action we made or skill we learned ingame, was part of us forever. But, this was different. VERSE couldn't generate characters in the real world, could it? It didn't make sense. Nothing can just spawn out of the blue. Matter doesn't just appear from nothing, especially full-blown women appearing from thin air. Did she just emerge from inside a 3D printer one day and decide to break into my house?
Either way, she didn't appear harmful. I guess I could keep her around until I made sense of all of this.
I should probably clean up all of those wet footprints before they ruin my nice hardwood flooring too...
I sighed again.
I mopped up every inch of the house that Ares had explored while soaking wet. She had traveled further than I initially thought. Even appeared to have opened the front door to the house. Hopefully, she hadn't done so while stark naked. I'd have a hard time explaining that to my neighbours.
Ares was still busy in my sister's room so I went in to check on her.
I poked my head in.
Ares was holding up a shirt to the window to see how thick it was in the sunlight.
She shook her head and then repeated the process with another shirt.
I knocked on the door to get her attention.
She beckoned me into the room:
"These options are worse than before, Summoner."
"What do you mean?"
Ares stood up revealing her new look.
She was wearing my sister's clothes, a sort of dress top and denim shorts.
"We should go to the blacksmith and request something of higher quality."
"Blacksmith?! Those barely exist anymore. Maybe one or two shops but, that's out of the question. That outfit looks fine. If you want, we can go to the market and pick you out something else."
"Yes. That sounds excellent. I would like to try some food, Summoner."
Now she wants food too?!
She's going to murder my wallet! I already can't even afford my books for school!
"I meant to buy you some clothes, but uh, I guess we could get some food, too..."
"Yes! We need food -- meat and vegetables, Summoner. Let us go to the markets for a real meal!"
My life sure will be more entertaining with Ares around...