It sounded like some words were somehow censored. The anonymous voice continued,
”Since the very beginning, when your ancestors brought their painted hands onto the cave walls, a story was created. Depicting their ways of life to teach and immortalize themselves ”
”To answer why you are here, think of this as some great tournament! You were called here and cut away from your modernized, boring lives to make something interesting. To fulfill your purpose as a human ”
”Do not think you are here for amusement, because if you take this tournament lightly. Then this abomination you see right here is what will completely erase your pitiful little planets out of existence ”
They cleared their throat, pausing for some time to allow people to soak in that information.
”To be more specific. Humanity was chosen because most of your species are VERY peculiar. Almost to a point that one may prove to be the strongest human alive. Im sure with the lot of you, we can make the perfect story ”
People looked more confused than anything else, but no one dared to mutter a word, as most of us stood here silently, probably thinking how their homes and daily lives were thrown out the window.
”Now, to lessen these burdens, we happily found sponsors that wish help you, to continue their own stories through one or two of you. After all, being remembered is the only known way for immortality ”
These patrons were probably the ones who were watching us during our trials, which explains the empty patron slot in our menus, but who exactly are these sponsors?
”After these announcements, we implore everyone to exit through the large gateway that is about to open and register in a formal order. If any found companionship with others, then you may register as a group, to further your chances of survival ”
”Before I forget, if anyone is to stay here, we want you to know this place will completely cease to exist, so anything left in here will be erased ”
The screen turned off and began rotating back into the wall. A huge glowing doorway was taking its place.
”And with that, we wish each and every one of you our gratitude for their unconditional service, make sure to write a good story, best of luck ***! ”
The voice was gone, with the last word censored.
Most people seemed hesitant but slowly began moving into the entrance, as we moved along, I couldn help but think this was some crazy dream still, our planet was about to be destroyed for what? A story, its almost like this is some game and our lives are just toys.
We all stuck together and talked about any way to make sense of all this, though they were equally as confused and worried about their homes and families, well, most of us anyways.
As we eventually made it to the doorway, we looked at each other with weary eyes, making some form of unspoken pack to stick together through this terrible time, so that we can go back home.
With a nod of acceptance, we touched the glowing doorway to be greeted with a message.
[Please roster all characters in your group. Any pets maybe be added as well]
A screen and keyboard appeared, and we figured out we each had to type each of our names. Each time we typed our names, a small ring of acceptance came from the floating screen. That was until, it came to Jon.
He put in his full name Jon Adriana Ortiz but the screen would blare red and make an error noise.
[Unable to register character!]
Great, since he is some flaw, we can even add him to the group. However…
A lightbulb slowly flickered on in my rusted brain and I ushered Jon away from the screen. I went to add in a pet and as I added his name, it ringed with acceptance this time.
Everyone gave a small laugh as Jons face flushed with unfathomable anguish. I guess he was considered our pet now. hah.
With everything set in stone and Jon still upset, we walked through the doorway.
Im already getting used to this feeling of being transported from place to place, when I regained my eyesight, I was placed on a long strip of the same white panels looking out into a blue, hazy abyss. My friends were right beside me too, but Jon was nowhere to be seen.
We looked to each other, not sure what to do, when a window popped in front of everyone.
[Please place hand to recognize characters sponsor choices]
Peter was the first to move his hand as we were hesitant, when he placed his hand on the screen, an unbalanced expression of curiosity and contemplance could be read from his face. However, the screen was blank, at least to us.
His finger finally poked at the screen, selecting something.
The sound of a grandfather clock reaching its top hour echoed in our space.
He was then developed in a blinding light and the interface he sat by was now gone. A little untrusting sight, but Im sure hes fine.
Everyone now did the same thing, I reluctantly did so, it seemed to scan my hand, then my name and a loading symbol appeared on the screen.
Kaleb was taken next; a set of festive chimes was heard.
Then Kai after high winds enveloped around her.
Scott and Marcus went after, they both were struck with lightning. A thunderous roar came after they were gone.
Now it was just me and Clay, I wonder what sponsor he will choose, if any.
I was about to speak when a black shroud came over his shoulders. It was like a cloak of darkness until it encased his entire body. He was now gone.
Im now alone with my thoughts, thinking about the whole sponsor thing. I can remember if I had anyone that was interested in me, but even so, do I want help? Are there any drawbacks for having one?
The screen said it completed its search. About time.
[No Sponsor Available – If wanted, you may contact sponsors that watched or interacted with you in your trail(s) for a limited chat. If not, you may proceed without selecting]
Well, thats a bummer, not even one wants to be my sponsor, mostly everyone in our group had at least one or more, but I guess thats just my fault for not being special.
Still… it did say I can contact other ones, there was a button on the bottom beside the proceed button with the letters Contact Patron
I clicked it out of curiosity, and the window went to this rather short list with this weird type of categorization.
[The Father of a Merciful KNight] – Myth
[Stone Prisoner of Equal Heaven] – Legendary
[The Boon of Merchants] – Myth
[The Laid Down Spear] – Hero
[The One-Eyed Hermit] – ?
I clicked on the first one and a request to chat was sent, I then clicked the second one but that immediately got declined, what an asshole. The third, fourth, and fifth were also sent.
I waited for what seemed at least ten minutes and I got a message back saying the request was granted.
The same chimes could be heard like Kalebs, and a largely built figure now stood before me on the horizon of the abyss. They were giant.
[The Father of a Merciful Knight has opened your message; He apologizes and cannot accept any appeal to be your patron, but does have a request regarding his most viable choice Kaleb Sangstun]
Wow, so he picked my ass of a friend as his runner up instead of me, I don know if I should be jealous or mad, but its fine, I guess the name doesn sound cool for how long it is, and whats up with the spelling error on KNight imagine having that as your sponsors name.
I yelled back, making fun of his name and didn give up hope, there are still three more to go.
[The Father of a Merciful KNight says it was a typo and mentions you can refer to him as The Merciful Father, he still offers his request]
”What exactly do you have in mind? ”
[The Merciful Father offers 500 kredits to ensure the safety of his candidate]
”thats it? For how long? ”
[The Merciful Father says every week that goes by with the objective complete, he will give you 500 kredits]
So, I basically get an allowance for keeping my friend alive? A piece of cake! Ive been doing that since Ive known him for free.
”I accept your proposal ” I practically yelled out loud.
Seconds passed and nothing happened.
[The Merciful Father clears his throat and says to press the acception button]
I was to stuck on my high horse of how I got the easiest quest, I failed to realize there was a screen below with the said agreements. Embarrassed, I clicked on the accept button.
[Side Story added to your log]
He thanked me profusely and the giant figure left the scene; he seems like a nice guy.
My body was still on the strip of paneling, I guess I never left. Now Im wondering if I could get any easier quests from these guys.
A couple more minutes passed when another notification came up and another Patron answered my chat request.
This time, the ocean could be heard, a tidal wave from somewhere came over me, yet I felt nothing.
Another figure came from the horizon, this one was still as giant and seemed to wield a long silhouette of a spear in their hand.
[The Laid down Spear asks if you are from an island]
Thats a weird question, I replied with no and with that they immediately left the scene, I now felt more pissed off, their like children finding the coolest superhero, but thats FINE, two more tries.
A cash register making a sale was made and a silhouette wearing a long dress was now seen.
[The Boon of Merchants refuses to answer any question as you made her lose a bet]
[The Boon of Merchants has left the chat]
Hold on, is this from those weird messages I saw when I first accessed gaming hud? That bet was against me?? That petty bastard, I guess this is my last one, I just hope they are at least hospitable.
[The One-Eyed Hermit has opened up your chat]
I waited for one more outline of a humanoid person. However, no strange apparition went over me. No sound, no bells. Everything was silent.
[You are being brought to a private chat]
The environment changed before my eyes; I was placed in a box where I was standing. A chair and a holographic computer interface were now in front of me. Taking a seat, the computer turned on, almost like a chat room.
[The One-Eyed Hermit thanks you for winning them those bets]
Huh, I guess this was the winner, there were multiple bets though? I guess it feels good being fought for, in a way, I guess. I didn win by myself.
[The One-Eyed Hermit asks for the reason of this meeting]
I almost forgot about the reason for this chat! I want to see if maybe he could sponsor me.
[me: Since I helped you win those bets, does that mean you can sponsor me?]
[The One-Eyed Hermit says no]
[me: WHy not?]
[The One-Eyed Hermit states they do not have enough kredits to sponsor you]
[me: But you have enough to make a private chat which I can only assume takes money?]
[The One-Eyed Hermit states to not think of yourself special, they do this for confidential reasons]
I can get mad at this thing. I didn know it took money to sponsor me, maybe this thing is just broke. As I was going to leave the chat to proceed, they wrote one last message.
[The One-Eyed Hermit says they can offer a deal]
[me: what kind of deal?]
[The One-Eyed Hermit mentions they can give you many of their personal skills if you give them all the money from your rewards, including you chapter fragment]
How does he know about that? That doesn make sense, those messages should have been private. Bigger question, how does he know about the chapter fragments and what does he want with mine?
My mind began to spiral, what if the chapter fragment is something really powerful or something important? Are sponsor skills something incredible, coming from a guy called The Hermit I don know if I can trust him.
Even the deal itself seems unethical, how am I sure that he won just take my money, is there like a money back guarantee type of system here? yet again, a personal skill sounds rather nice, since I don have one of my own.
[The One-Eyed Hermit, says they are leaving]
[me: Hold it! I can trust you because I still don know how everything works, how about I give you most of my money for one skill? all I ask is for my chapter thing and trail reward]
[The One-Eyed Hermit is contemplating…]
[The One-Eyed Hermit agrees to your counteroffer, click on the continue box]
[3000 kredits for a Private Skill y/n]
I clicked yes.
[3000 kredits have been lost]
[One-Eyed Hermit has left the chat]
That two faced bastard! I knew I shouldn have done it, great just great, now Im practically broke and Im not getting any help.
Frustrated, I tried punching the screen, but my hand went through it and punched the wall instead. Still upset, I pressed the proceed button with my hurt, empty hand.