The Labyrinth

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Chapter 10

The Labyrinth

¨ ... Even the creators did not expect that the game would become such a success¨ said the lad, breathing with difficulty as he climbed the hill. ¨ But for some reason it became instantly famous. Personally, I think the reason it became so successful was the element of surprisem and the fact that a player could never be prepared for what he will face since the level may include elements of the alien logic, and then he'll find a job".

They say that the game consists of 500 levels, but no one yet has come to an end as they constantly add new elements and new rules. One can buy an identity here and earn money by selling weapons that increase the strength of character.

In general, the rules are very simple. Essentially I could summarize the essence of the game in one sentence. Survive, and move on.

Every new player is required to pass 10 levels with the identity of the character chosen for him from the game. And just when you acquire experience you can choose which character you will use in order continue for the rest of the game ... ¨

¨ Oh silly me! I expected that you would use some kind of trick to take me to a higher level! ¨ chuckled Sia ironically. She was tired but, trying not to show it. Furthermore she felt very uncomfortable with her ​​outfit, and every now and then she pulled her skirt down only for it to rise again and again.

¨ This would be the easiest thing, but I can assure you that things are not so easy," replied Ito. At last he had climbed higher and was enjoying a spectacular view. ¨ Rumors will spread that there is a player who goes from level to level with dirty tricks. People here will be upset. I don't know what the implications might be afterwards for those who transferred here without being potential players. Also, the essential part is that you have to get experience. I can't protect you all by myself constantly, and the same goes for Sebastian. You must be able to protect yourself. ¨

"So how long will it take; ¨ asked Sia feeling her anger to fester.

"As long as it needs," responded Sebastian who until that moment was hardly involved in the conversation. "The only thing that doesn't matter here is time. The sense of time is disabled. Years might have passed in the game but it the real world it will take not more than some seconds."

Sia stopped. "Are you telling me that even the few seconds we gonna waste but which count as years within the game have no importance for Maria?"

¨ I do realize how you feel, Miss de Niez, but right now we cannot do anything else but play according to the rules of the game ¨ responded calmly Ito. ¨ There is no magic formula to go from one level to another. Besides this, who knows? Maybe you are one of those who managed to acquire a Skill that fits only to you! ¨

¨ A Skill,¨ repeated Sia. She had finally climbed the hill. Once the spectacle view unfolded before her, she felt her breathing being taken away. A forest with towering trees once stood in front of them. And just on the edge of it one could see homes which seemed like fake from that distance.

¨ Yes, a Skill" responded calmly Ito. He began to descend the slope. ¨You see, in order to increase people's interest for testing the limitation of their personas, the creators established a rule that allows to a player to gain a skill, like which a same one wouldn't exist within the game. So far there are only seven players who have Skills. ¨

¨What about you? ¨ Sia asked Sebastian. He shook his head. ¨I managed to get through so many levels thanks to my patience and perseverance. But all the time that I've played the game, I haven't met anyone with a Skill. ¨

"I think I might go crazy ¨ stammered Sia. She wanted to fall down to earth and start pounding with power her fists on the ground. She had never felt before so helpless and useless.

¨Well in fact it's not that difficult as it sounds ¨ said Ito. ¨What you can do is to turn off the feeling of pain. The positive thing is that here there are no biting mosquitoes and the character stays clean regardless of mud and dirt in which they will dive. But ... ¨ he paused, ¨ I'll let you know that if you find yourself in the middle of a battle, the smell of blood is absolutely true ... ¨

Feeling sick Sia took a deep breath and closed her eyes. A smell came to her nose from pine trees and flowers. They were approaching the forest. ¨What do I do if I have to fight? ¨ she asked, hoping that the answer would be relatively painless.

¨ In the first phase we will protect you ¨ responded Ito. ¨For some reason we landed quite far from a village where you can obtain even a small dagger. No weapons, no fighting. ¨

Almost as response to his words a strong roar sounded from inside the forest. Birds rose up and remained to cut out circles in the air. Ito stopped. Sia discerned a feeling of doubt in his eyes. ¨Everything is too strange today. ¨ he muttered. ¨We are not an alliance, well an official one yet, so the game wouldn't expect that one is going to protect each other. And in addition we have a player with zero level. ¨

"Oh really? " said ironically Sia. "Are you telling me that YOU have powers?"

¨ I can assure you that he may seem small and defenseless, but I'm sure he must be at least on the 30-50 level ¨ responded Sebastian drily. ¨ I'm sure he keeps this infant character to mislead the other players! ¨

Ito nodded his head. He turned and pointed with pride his chest. ¨In this place I have the honorary title of Healer. One of my abilities is to heal with the help of my rod while I can craft various drugs in areas where magic is blocked. ¨

'There is so much I have still to learn," thought Sia. A shadow fell over her and, after raising her eyes she saw that they stood in front of the forest. She looked at Ito over her shoulder. Her eyes met his. He shook his head. ¨There is no other way. We must go and what is about to happen… Oh well. Let it happen."

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