Adventure in a Virtual World

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 15 (v.1) - Virtually Impossible

Submitted: May 04, 2016

Reads: 192

Comments: 1

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Submitted: May 04, 2016

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Later that night I sit alone in my room. My mind is a vast ocean filled with unanswered questions. The emotions inside my chest roil the very depths of my being until they erupt, breaking forth through the ocean floor. The flood gates burst as a chasm opens within my heart. My thoughts swirl around in my head, gaining speed with every revolution. A mighty vortex dances to and fro as it fights its way to the surface. There atop the blackened waters sits the battered hull of my sanity. With nothing more than a pair of wooden oars I desperately fight the pull of the abyss below.

I’ve never had to mourn the loss of a friend before. I’m not sure if I even know how. 

I glance at the gown hanging up in my open closet. Red. One color, one simple word is all I need to explain what Jake meant to me. It’s the color my face would turn when I caught him staring. It’s the color my face would turn when he held me in his arms. Red. The color of blood rushing from a fresh wound. The color of blood as life slowly slips away. Red. The color of a rose. My thorns never bothered him and he never feared getting hurt. His touch was soft and caring, wanting nothing more than to let my beauty bloom. 

He and I used to have lengthy conversations late at night after the other guild mates logged off for the night. For hours we’d talk about our favorite games, favorite movies and favorite songs. He put up with my insults and countless times I called him a jerk when he made a comment about my laugh. I always assumed he was just making fun of me but I know better now. That knight in shining armor act was always who he’s been. He was my best friend and with all my heart I hope this isn’t the end.

It’s been three weeks since we arrived in Calemdor, a land within a video game. The land overflows with magic, it surely must be too good to be true. One of these days I will find myself back in front of my computer like nothing happened at all. Jake will be just a voice chat call away and everything will be alright in the world again. 

I climb off the bed and head into the hall. Door by door I knock to rouse everyone out of bed. I’ve decided to be selfish and state what’s on my mind and it can’t wait until the morning. I have a serious question that I need an answer to. To my surprise it doesn’t take much to convince them at all. I guess I wasn’t the only one having trouble sleeping. With the five of us together we head to the fourth floor where the Security Council members sleep. 

I have no clue how they will react to being disturbed at one in the morning. I hope they won’t be too angry. We split up, each going to a separate room. I approach the door and I knock. “Hesire?” The door opens almost immediately and startles me. Hesire nods and tells me to follow him as if he were waiting for me. That is beyond creepy.

Hesire leads me around the circular corridor, his long strides making it hard to keep up, until we have everyone back together again. The other Security Council members weren’t in their rooms but are waiting for us downstairs in the meeting hall.

Do I even want to know how and why they are already waiting?

“Have you gone mad old man? You know what time it is?” Carmen asks the instant the doors open. Without a word Hesire beckons for us to sit down with a signature swish of his forest green robes. 

Hesire takes his sweet time settling into the chair at the head of the table, scooching the legs across the floor until they squeak. Carmen balls a fist becoming more irate until she finally slams it down onto the table. Her brother looks at her with disapproval, Elenora gives her a glare. 

“Quit acting like a child,” Elenora scolds.

Hesire stops fiddling with the chair. “Shana, what is on your mind that you wanted to ask us?” 

Can he read minds? 

“No, I can not read minds. If that is what you were thinking.”

“I see, the old creep is sensing things he should not again. No use asking him about it, just roll with it,” Carmen sighs. 

I’m unsure of where to start so I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. “Are you people real?” Tracy looks at me in shock and mouths ‘did you seriously just ask that’. I expect them to get offended at the question but they seem relieved. 

“It is about time you start asking questions,” Arino says. “Wandering around in the dark is foolish when you can choose to light the way.” Huh?

“He told me the exact same thing. What he’s trying to say is that it’s a good thing you want answers. We’ve been worried that you had just accepted everything for what it seems instead of thinking about the truth,” Ryan explains.

“I’m not sure I understand.” I shake my head hoping it might knock the pieces of the puzzle together.

“We’re in a world that exists in the virtual world. It’s logical to assume we’re in a video game, right?”

“I don’t think there’s anything logical about getting sucked into a video game,” I laugh.

“Correct, it’s impossible but it would seem more likely than magic, right?”

“Yeah, I guess...” I’m still not sure where he’s taking this or why everyone else seems to be going along with it.

“Being here has proven that magic is possible, wouldn’t you agree?” 

I look down at my hands. “Yeah.”

“If magic is real and it’s impossible that we’re in a video game, wouldn’t everyone here be as real as you or me?”

“I think I’m starting to understand now but when did all of you figure it out?”

“When Hesire told the story about Lord Belrose. Their wounds sound exactly like the ones they described on the news the morning we arrived here.”

“Couldn’t that detail have been added by developers or something?” I ask. I’m not entirely convinced, I don’t want to believe this is real. If this is real, those deaths were real. I recognize my own denial but keep hoping that if I make sense of it, things will somehow be different. 

Ryan glances at Zoe. “Zoe disappeared just over a day before us. She was here for two weeks already when we showed up. For every twelve days here only one day goes by on Earth. Hesire told that story to Zoe on her sixth day here”—Carmen shoots a dirty look at Hesire— “that would have only been twelve hours Earth time and at least six hours before the bodies were found.”

It really shouldn’t surprise me Ryan did the math...

I start thinking about the question I gathered everyone here for in the first place. “Ryan, what’s one eighty-three divided by twelve?” 

Hesire suddenly stands up and walks out of the room without a word and Zoe follows him.

“Uh... wha-? About fifteen... where did they just go?”

Fifteen years ago I would have been five. I’ve never told them that I don’t remember anything before I turned five or that I was adopted. I may or may not be trapped in a video game and light shoots from my fingertips. Is it really that much more of a stretch that I could be a queen too?

“If this is real could I really... could I really end up as Queen?” I ask in wishful thinking. If it were true I would finally know something about my real parents. Nothing feels real anymore and my head is swimming. 

Hesire returns holding a book and a jewelry box, Zoe follows closely behind carrying what looks like a picture frame. My stomach ties itself in knots as I wait to see what they rushed off to get so abruptly.

“Prince Avery wanted to be present when we showed you this, but unfortunately he can’t be here,” Zoe said to me. “Could everyone but Hesire and Shana leave the room please?”

“First you drag me here in the middle of the night, then the brat kicks us out? What the hell Hesire?” Carmen complains.

“For once I agree with Carmen. Why is the little girl giving orders?” Elenora asks.

“She is my sister,” Hesire states with sincerity, “and a topic for another time."

Zoe gives me a toothy smile as I stare at her. I jump back and gasp as she shapeshifts before my eyes into a frail old woman. I knew she could use illusion magic and change her appearance at will but I had never seen it at the time of use. She cackles like a witch for added effect and with a ‘just kidding’ she resumes her natural youthful form. I’m finding it very hard to believe that this girl is older than I am, much less Hesire’s sister.

Hesire sets the jewelry box down on the table and delicately opens the book. Red mist wafts from the pages as they turn on their own. With a determined rustle the pages flip endlessly adding their own emerald mist to the air above. When the dust finally settles the book lies open to the Belrose family tree—a complete record of the past ten generations magically scribed onto the page. The entire right side of the page and the lower half of the left, branch out from a single man and woman. Their names and years of life are written so small they are nearly impossible to read. At the very top left however sits two lonely names and their one tiny little branch:  

Carlyle Belrose Jan. 14, 8e91 ~ June 5, 8e120 [blankspace] Arabeth Belrose Sept. 25, 8e93 ~ June 5, 8e120
 

My heart flutters as I gaze upon the name written below theirs.
 

Shana Belrose Feb. 12, 8e115 ~
 

I stare in disbelief at the three names before me. It’s overwhelming to think that these might actually be my real parents’ names. Dad... Mom?

Hesire places a hand on my shoulder to get my attention and then opens the jewelry box and pulls out a silver chain necklace almost identical to the one I’m wearing right now. My emerald however is just an ordinary stone while the one he holds in his hand glows as if touched by the sun.  “This necklace belonged to the late Duchess Arabeth Belrose. This unique gem, given as a traditional wedding gift to the Belrose women, has been enchanted with a powerful charm that can discern lineage. If the wearer places this around her neck and the gem continues to glow it is accepted as proof that they belong to the Belrose family.”

My stomach leaps to my throat and my heart nearly stops as he gives me the necklace. The cool metal tickles my palm as the chain coils in its descension. For a long while I stand there awestruck. Anticipation and fear root me in place and paralyze my body. All I can do is stare at the glowing jewel in my hand. This very moment could possibly determine my fate and the fate of those around me. If I put this on I will be jumping blindly into the unknown. Do I have that kind of strength in me?
 
Zoe walks up to the table and gently places the picture frame she was holding in front of me. 

My eyes well up with tears as I gaze upon a portrait of a smiling young lord and lady. 

She removes the necklace I’m wearing, takes the necklace from my hand and fastens it around me.

The young woman in her early twenties has light auburn hair and green eyes. Her smooth complexion and confident smile give off an air of grace and beauty. 

The emerald ceases to glow.

The equally good looking young man with messy brown hair and loving blue eyes gazes downward with such pride. Clinging to her father’s leg is a bright green eyed girl with apple red hair.

The light of a thousand suns comes roaring back to life.


© Copyright 2018 T.J. Little. All rights reserved.

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