Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Volume 3 - Chapter 3 - To Advance Further

No, that isn’t right… left hand down, counter clockwise twist, flip into upright…

*zuzaza*

“Ahahahah! Yo bro, check out that fool that just wasted himself!”
“…”
“Bro?”
“Shut up.”
“Wait bro, what’s wrong? This isn’t like you, yo!”

I’m flat on my back on the cool grass, staring at the deep blue sky with the sun at its zenith, after failing to even complete a set of the moves I pulled off inside the game. There seems to be some commotion, but I can’t be bothered to care, the park is for everyone to use anyways. I wonder how Till’s feeling, I didn’t see her login this morning… Actually, I shouldn’t get distracted…

*fuuuuu*

Taking a deep breath, I roll slightly into a ball, rock backwards and press my hand on the ground over my head, then with a push, spring into an upright position with my arms’ strength alone. I give myself a quick shake to dispel the unnecessary thoughts from my head and refocus. Although I still can’t pull off a sequence, I can get one or two moves in before losing my balance. I dust myself off a little and move my body slightly, trying to emulate the motion I envisioned in my head. A sudden thought hit me, if this had been a year ago, wouldn’t I already give up after failing once? With a smile on my face, I try the move set again, a one-handed cartwheel that stalls midway with the legs straight up in the air, the legs flaring out into a counter clockwise twist, flip- *zuzaza*

“Damn it! I will get you working! Just you wait!” I yell at the sky with no one person in mind, before getting up and trying again.


* * * * *


“Ma’am! Are you alright?” A short female elf with straight, cropped hair ending at the nape of her neck, sitting to the right of a late middle-aged human female, asks with concern. The person in question gives a curt nod with a pale expression, holding onto the soft, white fur with both her hands, her knuckles white from the strain.

“You know Lidi, you don’t have to rush like this…” The bulky dwarf to the left of the human offers - this dwarf is none other than Hank. After Kun went and explained the situation to him last night, he contacted a particular unorthodox, maverick doctor that he often butted heads with when he was still a greenhorn on active duty. Unexpectedly, this acquaintances of his rushed out and prepared a team literally overnight and logged in this morning. Fortunately, Sammy was sent back with a student when the party of four decided to stay near Norman for an extended period of time, as Sammy would be more helpful at the Academy rather than just staying around camp; thus they have a guide and a quick means of transportation. With the help of the demihumans, the team of new arrivals were gathered up quickly and set off to the Norman Kingdom.

“You don’t understand! We have to be quick about this! This is a chance to prove that my theory is right!” The woman says it through clenched teeth.

“These are just computer simulations you know…”

“And it’s said that the simulation in this game is just like the real thing.” The woman’s sharp gaze, with her white hair in a bun behind her head, gives off a stern, dignified impression, coldly killing off Hank’s rebuttal.

“…” Hank couldn’t come up with a retort, as he himself sometimes forgets that the demihumans are not in fact ‘people’. Just that their actions and responses are indeed realistic, to the point that he feels like he’s back in a camp on active duty during his later years.

The three users of different races sit quietly on top of the blob of white fur, trailed by a convoy of demihumans with a handful of other users situated in the center of the formation. They are slightly delayed since the cadejos had a harder time fording the river when they left the [Forest of Illusions] from the north, unlike Sammy who seemed to just glide across the surface of the water. During the entire trip, the demihumans are on high alert as they make their way to the camp outside Lilyheim since Hank relayed the news of the slavers to everyone.


* * * * *


“Oh… so all the items are stored in the warehouse by types like this…?”

“Yep, and then whenever a department needs to restock something, they just need to send someone and retrieve the items by following the lighted path on their wristwatch since the computer can calculate the shortest path to get all the needed items. The algorithm will even factor in traffic density since most departments stock twice or more times a day and as you can see, we have over 500 departments in this district alone.”

The girl tilts her head at the Resource Manager’s explanation. “But wouldn’t it be faster if you automated the task on a conveyor-belt system? Instead of sorting it by types, why don’t you just move all these common goods to two sides and have it parcel out the common items at a few collection points and have the specialized good in the middle.” The girl points at the map on the monitor showing the locations. “Since you’d have common starting points, wouldn’t the paths be easier to calculate and you won’t have people having to waste time to go grab the common stuff every time at different locations. Also, the overall distance would be shorter too.”

[ED: Amazon did warehousing this way years ago.]
[T/N: News to me, I just know they’ve the crazy robot army o.O]

“Hmm… you mean like a monorail or a metro system with a central hub…? Wait, if we move these to the corners, then have the specialize items in the middle… we can cut travel time… we’d have to ship the common items to four different locations instead of one… but that’s done by trucks and machineries instead of individuals…” The bespectacled man with graying black hair and dark brown skin mumbles to himself as he does a mental simulation of the idea.

“Honey! Don’t you have school today?” A youthful, professional looking woman with a ponytail walks into the management office excitedly before giving the girl a hug.

“Mom, you're embarrassing me!” The girl struggles half-heartedly. “And you know I don’t really need to go to classes!” She squeezes her facial muscles a bit to pull a face.

“Right, so what’s so important that you rushed out here? Actually, let’s go to a more private place.” The reserved, graceful woman let’s go of her daughter before turning to the man still mumbling to himself. “Thanks for keeping an eye out for my daughter, Dalim!”

“Hm…? No problem, Xin…” The man resumes mumbling with *hmm*

*kara*

The daughter/mother pair leaves the room, with the sound of the door closing behind them. As though shaken awake by sound. “Um… Wait! Xin, let me borrow…” The man turns around sharply towards the door, only to realize that he’s now alone in the room. “Damn it!” Without a moment of hesitation, he sweeps his desk clear and spreads out a large blank sheet of paper on it before drawing quickly on it.





“Sorry I haven’t been home, honey, I’ve been busy working on the new systems.” Xin apologizes meekly towards Nyoko in the small private conference room down the hall from where they were a moment ago.

“It’s okay, I know you’ve been busy.” The girl gives a small smile before sitting herself down on an oversized leather office chair with a *shu* before swinging her dangling legs back and forth.

“So, what’s up?” The woman sits herself across the table, placing two cups of water on it.

Nyoko sucks on her lips a little before a making a pout. After a moment, she steels herself and asks. “Is there a way to fix someone that’s hurt inside the game directly?”

“Hurt? You can just use potions for that…?” The woman has a questioning look on her face, since this is her daughter speaking, she should know something this simple.

“As in, say, missing an eye.” Nyoko unconsciously places her right hand on her cheek, next to her eye.

Xin shakes her head, “I don’t think that’s possible, we don’t even know how the NPCs are made…Sorry.” she makes a complicated face, slightly uncomfortable.

“Then would a wish from the upcoming Gods system be able to restore the eye? Or make it a technique or method to restore eyesight like in my case?” The girl speaks without stopping to breathe, talking rapidly.

“Um… Nyoko, what Gods system?” The woman’s face turns serious, her brows furrowing slightly.

“Eh? Isn’t that what you have been busy with? Rick-ni got followers and even got an unidentified quest from it already.”

“Honey… we have been working on the Martial Compensation system, you know, the one that was announced not too long ago. That joke code actually got activated and now the masters are pressuring us relentlessly to find these users… we have 4 teams working around the clock searching for them.” Xin can feel every single hair on her body standing up, goosebumps spreads across her body. “What is this Gods system you are talking about?”

“Ah, hmm… Rick-ni said he got like 900 messages when he logged back in one night. He was closing them one by one, so I said just sort them by group and confirm them all together. Turns out there were prayers, offerings and a quest that’s supposedly filled with ???.” Nyoko tilts her head to the side, unsure of the situation. “I speculated that this would be the next system you’d be working on while you guys work on the Custom Magic system on the side.”

*gokun*

Xin swallows slightly, trying to calm herself. “Custom Magic system…?” She shakes her head for a bit to clear some confusion and focuses on the first problem. “Let’s get back to this Rick-ni of yours, is there anything unusual about him?”

“Hmm… he’s fun to tease, Bell-ne has him under her thumb, he is kind of funny. He’s weak, at the same time, also strong, I guess? Oh, he also complained that he only got to choose one school from Martial Mastery menu.” At this point, Xin’s reaction went from merely goosebumps to twitching eyes as she realizes that he’s one of the people her teams are desperately searching for. “Um… mom, are you okay…?”

“Nyoko, how many people know about what you just said?” Her voice is lowered unconsciously, creating a tone that hints at conspiracy.

“Hm… me, Kun, Bell, Rick, maybe Gui and Kun’s uncle?” The girl lowers her voice as well before leaning forward on the table. “Why? Is there some big new event coming up or a new system?”

“There could be. Just don’t let anyone else know about it, I promise I’ll look into everything, okay?”

“Got it, mom.”

The woman looks down at her watch, realizing time is almost up. “So how have you been doing? Have you been eating everything? I know the food is bland, but do try to finish eating them…” She switches back from professional mode into her motherly mode.

“Yes, I ate them all.” The girl licks her lips a little. “Alternating between eating those and Kun-ni’s cooking gives it a nice contrast. Did you know that snakes can be eaten, multiple ways?! And so yummy too! And those salted roasted sweetfish! Boar steaks! There is also that weird chicken thing with those herbs that De’muel and Mak’ra made for testing a while ago. You should come and meet them when you have the chance!”

“Hahahaha, alright, I’ll see about visiting you and everyone else when I’ve time.” Xin grabs one of the cups of water and drinks it with a series of *gubi*. “Well, mommy has to go back to work, don’t bother anyone okay? And go say hi to the uncles and aunties!”

“Got it mom, see you.” Nyoko gets up from the chair, moves around the table and gives her mom a hug.


* * * * *


*ziiiiiiiiii*

“Did you find out who those users were?”

“No idea, they logged out immediately, we couldn’t even beat the answer out of them.”

A fiery felinoid paces back and forth, hissing between questions as a black-haired young man answers them.

“Next time, just string them and hang them upside down over some spikes instead of killing them.”
“Wouldn’t that just needlessly make ourselves a target for their comrades in order to rescue them?”
“Then hang them somewhere else!”
“Actually… I do have an idea… alright, I will try to remember it the next time.”

The large felinoid nods approvingly, before finally stopping her pacing. The catwoman is of course Bell, who finally got the chance to log in after having to unexpectedly help out another team in the mines. She was shocked and angry after discovering what happened, especially with the looks on their students’ faces.

“Uru?” The gray fox that’s quietly laying on the ground perks up his ears and gets up.

“Hm? What’s the matter, Gui?”

“Hank and others are coming.” Gui looks far into the distance of the savannah, towards the south. Soon, a vague cloud of dust can be seen on the horizon.





*kerororororo*

The unique croaking of Sammy can be heard, before it stops in the middle of the camp. Soon after, dozens of demihumans and users with different race gathers around as well, dismounting.

“Psst, Kun, why is Sammy here with these people?” Bell squints her eyes a little to stare at the various figures. “Who are they?”

“I… don’t know, I asked my uncle for some help, I guess those people would be the help…?”

“No matter, we will know shortly, it’s not like Sammy would let just anyone mount him.”

After everyone dismounts, the group of users, led by Hank and an older woman, walk up to Kun and Bell.

“Kun, meet Dr. Lindia Merslov, a field doctor and now an *keho* advocate for the mental health studies. Doctor, this is Kun, the owner of the facility that I’ve previously talked to you about in the past.”

“Greetings.” Kun offers a his right hand.

“Greetings, young man.” The woman gives him a firm handshake, with strength that does not match her appearance.

“So where are the patients.”

Kun leans in and whispers, “There’s a young girl that isn’t logged in right now that’s I am concerned about. But pretty much everyone else here could probably use some help.” He turns his head towards the young demihumanss doing their work listlessly before turning towards the tents.

The woman nods solemnly as Kun gets back to his original position next to Bell, “Is there a quiet place we can work in?”

“We have enough material to prepare a big tent, give us a moment.”

“Sure, in the mean time, round up everyone please.”

Bell turns to Kun, giving him a quick nod before she walks off toward the young demihumans.





Another large white tent appears within the campsite, all the young demihumans are gathered within, along with the doctor’s team. Away from the commotion, two beasts are staring at each other.

*kero*

After a long silence, the larger beast deflates with a croak, rolling over and revealing his belly. The gray fox lightly walks up and puts his front paw on the exposed abdomen before stalking off toward Bell, Kun, and Hank, who are idly chatting.

“Brother, I will grab some long fruits, okay?”

“Sure, need help getting it?”

“Nope!”

Gui walks off towards one of the tents with a low profile, sticking his nose into one of the loosely tied bags. After grabbing a bundle, he puts it on the ground, gently biting the cord and pulls it, closing the bag. He picks up the bundle of fruit joined at the stem and walks back.

“Uncle, want some?” The fox stops once more in front of the trio, putting the bundle of fruit on the ground.

“Uhwa…?” Hank makes an unintelligible noise.

“Umm… I’ll grab one for him, Gui.” Kun reaches down to break off a fruit, then returns the bundle back onto the floor. Gui picks it back up nonchalantly and walks toward Sammy who has since returned to an upright position.

“Eh… Mister Hank, are you alright?” Bell looks at him with concern, as his mouth is slack, eyes bulging and seemingly slightly off balance. With his bulky stature of a dwarf, it makes it look even stranger.

“Was… was that really, Gui?”

“Yeah, don’t you recognize him?”

“But… what… he spoke…?”

“Yeah, why, what’s the matter?”

The dwarf simply holds his right hand up while he covers his face with his left hand, causing Bell to look at them suspiciously. In a distance not too far away, Gui is eating one of the fruit slowly while Sammy is making a quivering motion before spitting out just the peel of the fruit. In the blink of an eye, another fruit gets sucked into his mouth with a *kupu*.

“It’s nothing, you kids don’t have to worry about the things here, we will take care of it somehow.”

“You sure? Who is that doctor anyways?”

“Dr. Lindia Merslov, a pioneer in the field of behavioral sciences 15 years ago, been at the center of controversy for advocating treatment for those that were deemed to be crazy and had their spirits stolen from them. First and foremost, she has been pushing for government funded mental health institutions in every country she has visited.” Bell interjects with her eyes closed, before slowly opening them. “I don’t like the idea of the students being used as guinea pigs, but she did provide some results in a few small-scale trials.”

Hank raises his eyebrows at the strange felinoid, “I’m surprised you know of her.”

“I’m more surprised Kun knows someone that knows her.” Her eyes slant ever so slightly. “But if harm ever comes to the students as a result of this…”

“Don’t worry, I will make sure she doesn’t do anything rash.” The dwarf promises with a serious expression. “She might be stubborn, but she always puts the patients first.”

“In that case, let’s try and solve what the hell is going on here.”

Everyone present knows the underlying meaning, someone is going to pay dearly for this.

9 comments:

  1. Hum.... is the mother going for god mode or custom magi .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the sounds of it, she is only concern is that Rick as a apprentice candidate.

      Delete
    2. It seems that the God and Custom Magic systems are something she knows nothing about and she is currently working on finding the 4 people who were only allowed to pick 1 martial mastery, of which Rick is one.

      Delete
  2. Hahaha. Watching the mom go crazy is going to be fun.

    "Game" Breaking 101:
    Mom: "So what have you been doing?"
    Till: "Creating custom magic and becoming a God."
    Mom: "..." *walks away with a panicked expression*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lmao
      What a group of 'problematic' people.

      "What is custom magic?"
      "You know, like, creating magic from the scratch? Or controlling nature phenomenon and bends it to your will?"
      *gasp*

      Delete
  3. Using your connections to call for help on mental health issues. It's not like there hasn't already been stuff I wouldn't have thought of doing, but this one really hit me for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  4. word order

    "middle… we can cut time travel…"

    should be

    "middle… we can cut travel time…"

    ReplyDelete

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