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Dragon Lance—Chapter 2

by Christine 'Kitabug' Cates 4 years ago in anime
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Chapter Two

It was a couple of hours later and Ashley was done with dinner and helping her mother getting things cleaned up after. She headed to her room after the text from her friend Kurt, he informed her that she could message him when she arrived to let him know when she spawned in. He gave her his gamer name, Satyr, she laughed softly when she read his name.

“The old goat man of Greece.” She nodded slightly. “Fits him well.” She chuckled again and pushed on into her room. After memorizing his location, she put the AmuSphere on her head, turning it on, and laid back on the bed.

“Link start,” Ashley called out.

The white background with the meteor shower of colors zipped past her again until she was in the main menu of the game to pick out her character and name. She flipped through the many choices looking at each one. Starting with the Cait Sith.

“A clan living toward the west of the World Tree, Cait Siths are skilled beast tamers with the best eyesight and high speed. They are recognizable through their cat ears and tails. Hm…” Ashley hummed flipping to the next clan.

“Gnome?! Really?” She wrinkled her nose and continued, not even reading their bio or traits. “Imp… A clan living in the Alpine areas of the Southeast, the purple-styled Imps are the masters of the night and are blessed with great night vision. Nah…” She moved on.

She laughed at the next one. “Really? A Leprechaun fairy?” She read the bio and traits just to see what it said. “A clan living at the Frost areas of the North, Leprechauns are the blacksmith race and are blessed with mechanical wings. Mechanical wings…” She shook her head and chuckled some more flipping to the next one.

“Pooka? Dear lord where did they get these names.” She read on. “The Pookas are from the Northwest, specializing in using music in combat to confuse and attack opponents and support allies.” She laughed again. “What are they going to do lull them to sleep with a lullaby? Come on. Get real. Give me a good strong fairy at least if I must wear wings. Geesss.”

She kept looking. “Salamander…” her nose wrinkled again. “Oh, that’s just what I want to be associated with. A slimy lizard. Moving on!”

“Now this one doesn’t sound too bad. The Spriggan. A clan from the Ancient Runes area of the Northeast, the black-styled Spriggans are masters of Illusion Magic and excel in treasure seeking. Not too bad. I guess. Let’s see what else they got first.” She flipped to the next fairy clan on the list.

“Sylph, a clan from the Grassland area of the Southwest, the green-styled Sylphs are considered to be the fastest race and are masters of Wind Magic. Dang, they put all the good ones at the end so far. Looks like one more let’s see what they have to offer me.” She flipped to the next clan.

“Undine…Oooo a water fairy! A clan from the Wetland area of the East, the blue-styled Undines are masters of Healing and Water Magic. I like…”

She selected the Undine fairy as the next step popped up. “Pick a name? Hm,” She hummed in thought. “Should I go with the gamer name I have always used?” She thought for a few seconds. “Yeah, I think I will.”

T-A-N-Y-A, she typed in and pressed enter. She made a few more selections in the modification of her avatar and hit submit. She then found herself being transported into the game as they told her she was being spawned over the Undine’s province. Appearing in what she guessed to be the East side of the world she looked around, not even aware that she was hovering over a large body of water. A beautiful enchanted forest surrounded her, bright lights off in the distance. A large city she guessed.

“It’s beautiful,” She spoke softly as her eyes started to settle in closer to where she was at.

Her eyes caught the water spread out in front of her. Her head started to lower as her eyes followed the water. Her heart started to race the closer her vision got to her own person. When she looked straight down she saw nothing but water under her. She panicked and looked slowly behind her at her bright blue wings as they fluttered steadily. “I’m...Flying…” Her panic grew as she started to lose her balance.

“What idiot…” She exclaimed being cut off as she splashed down in the water going under.

When she came up she gasps for air slapping at the water. “Spawning over water! What moron thought of this bad joke! IDIOTS!!”

“You may want to stop thrashing about. You might attract unwanted company. Come on.”

She looked up to see a young man with short messy black hair, he was about her age and he was hovering over the water in front of her, his hand extended to her. She did not take his offer at first just looked at him. He was a Spriggan, or at least that’s what she gathered with his black attire and wings from the bio she read.

“Thanks, but I will swim to shore,” She told him as she started to swim away.

“You sure about that,” he asked her, as he flew beside her. “I was not kidding about the unwanted company. There are monsters in the lake.” He slid his hands in his pockets. “I am just trying to help out a new member is all.”

She kept swimming as she spoke to him, “What makes you think I am a new member?”

He shrugged. “Well, I was not sure at first when I saw you. You were hovering so gracefully over the water. Then all of a sudden you were gone.” He chuckled softly then cleared his throat as his gently fisted hand covered his mouth and he looked away from her. His eyes then slowly drifted back to her. “Sorry, but it was rather funny watching you freak out like you did then taking a dunk.”

“Oh, haha. Laugh at the N00b. I see how it is.”

“So you are new?” He offered his hand again. “Come on let me help you out.”

She stopped swimming and looked at his hand again this time taking it. “Are you sure you can fly with me?”

“Sure.” He told her lifting her from the water as he took altitude. “My wings are strong, and I don’t think you can be all that heavy. You looked rather shapely from the distance I was, but I doubt you’re heavy.”

She blushed at his statement about her figure, wrapping her arms around his neck. Taking her up in his arms bridal style, he flew toward the shore.

“It must have been a glitch in the generator. It normally doesn’t spawn new members in dangerous areas. It must have thought you had a high experience level.”

He landed on the shore, gently placing her to her feet.

“Yeah, must have been a glitch,” She replied looking away from him. “Thanks, I owe you one.”

“Nah, it’s all good. Just happy to help.”

She nodded slowly as she lifted her hand and dragged her finger from left to right. She blinked and tried again. “Great. My panel is not working.”

“Try top to bottom,” He told her.

She looked his way then back in front of her doing as he said as her panel opened. She shivered slightly. “It’s cold here at night.”

“Huh?” He asked her, his look dumbfounded. “You’re cold?”

“Well of course,” She told him looking his way, “I am wet.”

“But...you shouldn’t be able to feel anything.”

Still looking at him she blinked a couple of times then wiped away a few drops of water trickling down her face. “Oh, I get it. You don’t have your sensory turned up.”

His eyes widened. “Why would I?!”

She looked away from him back to her panel and smirked. “So you’re a pans—”

Her eyes widened as she went silent when she saw her experience and skill levels. “No way!” She exclaimed at a whisper as a huge smile crossed her face. “Aaron was right about the hearsay.” She chuckled softly and quickly went into her inventory.

“I would rather be a pansy than a masochist,” he replied crossing his arms over his chest.

She looked quickly away from her panel to the boy. “Who’s a masochist?”

“You are apparently.”

“Huh?” She tilted her head at him a confused look on her face. “How do you get that?!” She asked with a growl.

“You’re one of those people that like to feel the pain of the game.”

She chuckled lightly and in a sarcastic tone replied. “Oh yeah. I just love the feeling of getting cut with a blade or feeling an attack from one of the demons. It feels wonderful.” She shook her head with annoyance. “Idiot. I do it because it makes me quicker.”

She continued looking through the inventory as she heard him exclaim.

“Quicker!!”

Ignoring him, she noticed she still had all her items from Dragon Lance they were just unusable for the game at hand. Though with the new Avi, she had acquired a new sword and a bow with arrows and the armor and clothing of the Undine. She smiled wide and pulled a cloak from her inventory as it appeared on her person. She closed her panel and looked to the guy once more as she pulled up her hood.

“Yes, quicker.” She turned from him and started a path toward the Southwest and Sylph territory. “Thank you, but I think I have it from here.”

He huffed as he watched her walk away, running up behind her, he grabbed her arm stopping her in her path. She turned on him out of instinct grabbing his arm and flipped him over her shoulder before she could stop herself.

“Oh! I am so sorry!” She exclaimed covering her mouth with her hands as she looked down at him. He blinked a few times as he looked at her from the ground.

“You’re quick,” He informed her, his eyes wide.

“I’m so sorry.” She offered her hand as he took it and she helped him up.

He dusted himself as he looked at her a few times. “You’re not a noob, are you? You might be new to ALfheim, but you are not new to VRMMO’s.”

She stood erect pulling her arms inside her cloak as she turned slightly away from him. Biting her lower lip, she shook her head. “No, this is not my first VRMMO. I have been playing another for about three and a half years. I am just here to help a friend out in his Guild.”

“Do you know where you’re going?”

“Well, of course, I know where I am going. He gave me his coordinates…” she hesitated. “Oh crap!”

“What?” The guy asked her as his eyes widened slightly. “Are you alright?”

She nodded slowly as she opened her panel again. “Yeah, I am fine. I just forgot to message him when I spawned in.”

He chuckled softly as his throat cleared, “Hmm, sorry again. Though that might have been kinda hard since you took a dip in the lake.”

She looked at him with narrowed eyes. “Hush…” she told him as she went back to her message to her friend.

He smiled remaining silent until she was finished. “So where are you from? Game that is?”

She closed her panel and turned toward him. “Dragon Lance and I live in the States IRL.”

“The United States?” He asked, his tone shocked.

“Well yeah. Is there any other?”

“Well no, but I have yet to meet someone here from the States.”

“Oh, I am sure you have. They just haven't told you where they are from. I have a few friends from school playing this game. And I am sure there are plenty more.” She watched as he nodded his head, a silence falling between them, but it was not uncomfortable. “So,” she started then turned toward him offering her hand. “I’m Tanya, and you are?”

He smiled and shook her hand. “Kirito. Pleased to meet you, Tanya.”

Her hand slowly moved back from him as she looked into his eyes. “The Kirito? The SAO, Kirito?”

The look on his face went blank and he looked away from her as his fingers combed through his hair on the back of his head. “Yeah. The same.”

“Oh...Wow...” She replied slowly and silently from the shock of who he was. She then fell silent.

He looked her way with her tone. “Wow... I don’t know if I can handle all this excitement from you. Might want to calm down a little there.”

His tone was snippy and sarcastic as she turned to him with a dumbfounded look. “Well, what do you want me to do? Jump up and down and be a fangirl? I figured you had about enough of that and I am sure it’s something you don’t like talking about.”

“Sorry…” He looked to the ground. “I guess I'm just so used to people getting all excited and carrying on when they meet me. You caught me off guard.”

“It’s fine. I understand… I mean... I know there is a difference between the two, but I have fans as well in Dragon Lance. They can get annoying sometimes, but then when someone doesn’t react to you it’s like ‘Really? Did you hear who I said I was?’.”

Kirito chuckled. “Yeah, I guess so.” He looked her way again. “So. Where you headed?”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Southwest.”

“To Sylph territory?” Kirito replied.

She nodded. “Yeah, I guess so. Kur—,” she quickly corrected herself. “Satyr said that’s where I would find him.”

“Satyr, huh. So he is a friend of yours?”

“Mhmm, I have known him since grade school.” She pointed to her head. “He’s not the brightest crayon in the box, but he is a real sweetie.”

Kirito laughed. “Well, that was a nice way to describe him.”

“Do you know him?” Tanya asked.

“I met him once or twice. My little sister knows him well enough. He is trying to start a Guild and was having issues with it. She was trying to help him, but the time difference got in the way. Now I know why.” He chuckled softly.

“Yeah, it's kind of hard when you live halfway around the world from one another.”

“Mhmm,” Kirito hummed. “Well let’s go then.”

“Huh?” Tanya replied with a shocked tone as she watched him turn from her to the Southwest.

“I will take you to him. It’s a pretty long walk and with your wings being wet you won’t be able to fly for a while. Not knowing the area and being a new member, I don’t think you want to go it alone.” He turned to look at her again. “And when your wings dry I will teach you how to fly so you can get around faster.”

“I...well...I mean.” Tanya drew her hand to her head. “Are you sure about this? I don’t want to take up your time. I am sure you have other things to do.”

“Nope~” he turned from her again and started walking. “Just hanging out.”

Tanya nodded and quickly caught up with him as they traveled along a path to the main road headed Southwest. They followed a cobblestone road for a few miles making small talk between them as Kirito filled her in on different aspects of ALfheim. Tanya found there were quite a few differences between their games. Not just in gear and weapons but in safe zones and bosses. The familiars of the fairies and who and what not to trust in the world. Their walk was rather peaceful as they moved along the way, only running into a few challenges. Kirito letting her handle them so to get used to her gear and weapons. After a few more miles their talk drifted to her game, Dragon Lance. Kirito fell silent for a few moments as he looked over at her with curious eyes.

“What is it, Kirito?” Tanya asked him.

“I was wondering. You said something back at the lake.” He chuckled. “Well, you said a few things back at the lake I wanted to ask you about, but this first. If you don’t mind me asking that is?”

“Shoot,” Tanya told him with a bright smile.

“You said you understood, but the reasons were different.” His questioning eyes fixed on her. “What’s your reason for having fans? You save the gaming world too?”

Tanya laughed aloud. “Not even close.” She kicked at a pebble on the path. “It’s my Guild.” She looked over to him.

“Must be some Guild if it made you popular,” Kirito replied.

“Mhmm, well not to toot my own horn here, but it is ranked number one in the Dragon Lance world and it has only been around for a little over a year.”

“What’s your Guild called?”

“Knights of The Mystic Dragon. We are the largest, strongest and wealthiest Guild in Dragon Lance. I was sixteen when I started it.”

“Wait!” Kirito exclaimed waving his hands in front of him then looked quickly her way. “When you said your Guild. You meant your Guild?”

Tanya nodded blinking a few times as she looked at him. “Well yeah. I’m the Guild Master. I started with seven people a year and a half ago and if we were lucky three hundred gold pieces to our name and not a treasure to speak of. Now we have well over a thousand members in our Guild alone. Over eleven billion in gold pieces. Our treasure room is so full we need another to catch the overflow. I have thirteen Noble Knights under me, fourteen if you count my Vice Master. Eight Templar Assassins. Four Advisors. Two hundred and fifty Archers and I lost count on the footmen. Last count I heard from my Vice Master the count was up and over a thousand. And that’s still not counting our dragons and villagers. And members are still waiting for authorization to join the Guild or just to move into the villages in the area, and none of these are NPC. Well except the Dragons.”

Kirito wavered, his hand going to his forehead, his other hand to her shoulder as his knees slightly buckled under him. Tanya grabbed his arms, a worried expression on her face. “Kirito! Are you alright?!”

“I need to sit down,” He said weakly.

She walked him over to a stone wall and helped him take a seat. “Are you light-headed? Take deep breaths and exhale slowly. It will help.”

He chuckled softly as he looked up at her, “No it’s not that. It’s your Guild. That’s amazing. I don’t think I have ever heard of a Guild being that well off.”

Tanya shrugged. “Like I said, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but my Guild is rather good.”

“Good!” Kirito laughed. “People would kill for a Guild in a VRMMO that successful.”

Tanya shrugged again. “There are older Guilds out there and I am sure just as successful.”

“Not to my knowledge, and I am sure they have a large turnover rate. Also, you have to look at the activity of the Guild members.” He looked at her and smiled warmly. “How active are your Guild members?”

“Very,” Tanya replied. “We’re not all on at the same time most of the time, but I would say a good half of us are logged in at all times. One goes off another one comes on, and vice versa. The most I have seen on in our Guild was if we are going into battle, but that has not happened in a long while. At least a good six months or more. Having the most powerful Army sorta detours challengers or attackers.”

Kirito chuckled. “I would say so.” He patted the stone wall next to him for her to sit. “So how long have you been playing VRMMO’s?” He asked her not remembering if he had asked or she even told him.

She sat down next to him. “Three and a half years now. The Guild a year and a half.”

“So I am guessing your XP, HP and skill levels are out there,” Kirito questioned.

“Well…” Tanya replied rather sheepishly. “I don’t know if it’s from the game differences between Dragon Lance to ALfheim,” she looked his way. “But my XP, HP, Sword skills and a few others are maxed in this game.”

Kirito’s eyes shot open as did his mouth. “No way?”

Tanya only nodded. “They’re not that way in Dragon Lance. They’re high but not maxed yet. I have not even mastered my Dragon Control yet in Dragon Lance, but there is a skill bar titled Familiar and it’s maxed. So I am guessing it took the place of my Dragon Control from the Dragon Lance game.”

“So are the dragons in Dragon Lance NPC’s or are people allowed to play them?” Kirito asked her.

Shaking her head, she replied, “They are NPC’s. It makes them trickier and the skill a lot harder to acquire, but if a dragon marks you it’s for life.”

“Marks you? What do you mean by that? And where do they mark you?”

Tanya brushed her skirt aside showing Kirito her upper thigh, then turned beet red covering her leg once more as she looked away. “Sorry. I forgot this is not Dragon Lance, but anyway. Yeah. Upper thigh or shoulder blade for the women and forearm or bicep for the men.”

“That’s alright.” He chuckled lightly. “And nice legs by the way,” Kirito said with a wide smile.

Tanya shook her head trying to keep a straight face as a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “Anyway. The mark of the Dragon varies in color for what the marking is for. You have five types of markings. Familiar is the color of the dragon with a lighter or darker outline. Master is White, Comrade is Red, Friend is Blue, and Acquaintance is a Teal. Familiar, of course, being the highest marking from a Dragon. If you are marked as a Familiar, you have passed each stage of winning a Dragon over for life. Once marked with this high honor by the Dragon you're bound to the beast till death.”

“Can you be Master of two?”

Tanya nodded. “You can, but if you are, it is best for them to be mates or siblings. The mystic dragons are the hardest to come by in any fashion. If you are lucky enough to obtain one of them and are able to have them mark you as Master, you are one lucky player.”

“I am sure you have one since you were willing to show you were marked off.” He chuckled slightly as she blushed. “Is it a mystic?”

Tanya nodded. “I was very lucky in finding Musashi. He was still in his egg, but that did not make him any easier to train and win over his trust. I had no clue he was a Mystic Dragon until his eyes opened.”

“Oh, and what about their eyes tells you they are a Mystic Dragon?”

“They’re ice blue.” She paused and went into thought as she talked about her dragon. “He’s bigger than a single-story house, his body as long as two buses. Five if you add the length of his tail.”

She held up her hand with her index finger extended. “His talons alone are longer than my index finger.” Her hands then went to her hips. “His head is as big as two of my entire body and his horns are as long as my legs.” One of her legs lifted.

“I would say if I got my measuring tape out his height would be about twenty-four to thirty feet. His body length between thirty to thirty-seven feet and his wingspan about a hundred and forty-two feet.” She paused, “but he is only three years old and still has a lot of growing to do still. He is as black as my hair,” she pulled a lock of her hair from over her shoulder looking at it then chuckled lightly, it was blue. "…Well as black as my hair in Dragon Lance—and he has a heart of gold.” She snickered softly thinking of Aaron and Musashi together. “As long as he likes you.”

“I guess there is someone he doesn't like?” Kirito asked with a soft chuckle as he listened to her talk about her dragon.

She nodded slowly. “My Vice Master. And I am not sure what it is with them. I have seen them together before and Musashi was fine with him, but when I am around he is all standoffish with Aaron.”

“Maybe he is jealous,” Kirito offered.

Tanya looked to Kirito and giggled again. “Which one?”

Kirito laughed with her as he stood from the stone wall and stretched with a groan. “That’s a good question.” He turned to offer his hand to her. “Ready to learn a new skill?”

“And what might that be?”

“How to fly of course. Your wings should be dry by now.” He took her hand in his and pulled her to a standing position. “If you feel like you owe me after this. You can partner up with me one day when you're here and we can go hunting or go take out a few Bosses in Aincrad. I would like to see those skills of yours.”

Tanya was looking at him wide-eyed. “Aincrad? You want me to go into SAO with you? I thought SAO was closed down.”

Kirito shook his head. “It is but when the new world seed was set into place I had Aincrad moved into ALfheim.”

“You what?” Tanya asked as he placed his hands to her shoulders and turned her South. His arm extended over her shoulder as he pointed off in the horizon.

“See those lights floating above the trees?” She nodded. “That’s Aincrad.” He felt her tremble under his hand on her shoulder as he turned his look to her. “Are you cold again?”

She shook her head. “I have always dreamed of playing Aincrad. A hundred floors of pure adrenaline pumping fights.” She turned quickly and looked at him. “You have conquered all the floors, haven’t you?”

He nodded slowly. “Yeah, a couple of years ago.”

“I would love to go there. Yes, whatever it is yes. I will show you all the skills I have if you take me there to battle.”

Kirito laughed. “All of them?”

“All of them. I will even cook for you if you want,” Tanya blurted out.

Kirito extended his hand to her. “You got a deal.” She took his hand and they shook on it. “Let’s get busy then.” Kirito turned them around as he started to explain to her how to fly. How long she could fly and how long she would have to rest before she could fly again. He told her of the speeds they could fly and the best wind currents to catch to help her stay in flight longer. He even taught her how to land without breaking her neck. After about an hour of flight lessons, the two took off to the Southwest once more for Sylph territory.

“Tanya?” Kirito called to her as they flew along. She looked over to him a bright smile across her lips. “I forgot to ask you. You said you turn your sensory up on your avatar because it makes you quicker. How?”

“Because I can feel the pain,” She told him.

“But how does that make you faster?”

“Because I don’t want to feel that pain. It makes me more aware of what is going on around me, so I avoid the attack or learn to block it. I stay alert and watch everything. I don’t want to hurt or die so I make sure I am fast enough to avoid it,” Tanya told him.

Kirito fell silent for a moment then asked. “Does it—” He fell silent again as his mind flashed back to the time when his pain sensor was turned all the way up.

“Does it what? ...Hurt?”

“I know it hurts, but how do you get used to it?”

Tanya laughed. “You don’t. I look at it as a fact of life type thing. We hurt IRL. What’s the difference if we hurt in the game?”

Kirito looked to her an odd look on his face. “Because IRL we are not getting stabbed or munched on by monsters.”

Tanya chuckled. “True. It hurts like Hell, but like IRL we learn to keep from getting hurt. The same here. You sharpen your skills and XP to keep it from happening. You get quicker you get smarter and you get stronger.”

“Good point.” He looked ahead of them again in thought. “I think I will turn mine up and start training with it.”

“Well don’t jump in with both feet. Do it slowly. The type of pain we suffer in the game will put your body in shock IRL so turn it up slowly. Very slowly,” Tanya told him. “When you start getting used to the pain at that setting turn it up a little more, and so on and so forth. So far I have mine at fifty percent.”

Kirito wavered in flight as he looked quickly back at her. “Fifty percent?!” She nodded her head to him as he shook his head and looked forward again mumbling to himself. “Damn! Fifty percent. She can feel everything at that percentage.”

anime

About the author

Christine 'Kitabug' Cates

I am a writer, or well, I would like to think I am. I have enjoyed writing since I was very young. I guess you could say since I picked up a pencil. I have had many good comments on my stories, so I hope you enjoy them as others have.

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