''The challenge has begun, Mr Williams!'' Vaughan Davenport shouts at me as he stretches out his arm and beckons an extremely long silver trident in his hand. I know what he's going to do with that. I quickly jump to my left as he tries to stab me.
''And the challenge is what exactly?!'' I shout at him. Is it killing each other, as Dimple was hinting at? That seems too...barbaric. But then again, it is up to the level keeper. Who still hasn't shown up at all. Is she watching from a distance as we tear each other apart?
''You said it yourself. It's time to die!'' Vaughan says as he lunges at me again. I quickly spring to my feet and dodge a few more times, but I need to stop this before I really do get killed. What can I do to protect myself against a trident?
Think, Nash, think!
''Ah, clever! But you cannot keep protecting yourself forever!'' Vaughan says as he sees me conjure up a shield that looks like Captain America's just before he lands his trident into it. This guy sounds like a maniac.
''So the challenge is to kill ourselves? I don't remember hearing that or seeing the countdown,'' I tell him as I try to throw my shield at him to deter him.
''The timer is above your head, you idiot. And as for the challenge...we were told 'Battle Royale','' Vaughan replies as he tries to desperately stab me with the trident. I look up quickly to see the countdown there, reading 15 minutes left. I didn't hear any one announce it. Can Mathilde do a countdown without allowing me to hear it?
''Battle Royale? Who told you?'' I ask him as I use the shield to bat away his trident. This is so weird that we are talking while he is trying to kill me.
''A voice in my head said it. Thought you got the message too. Everyone else did,'' he explains. I'm not sure if he's telling the truth, but as I look and see other participants battling each other, I guess the challenge isn't as far-fetched as I thought. Why did I not her this message?
''Why are you fighting me? Why not someone else?'' I ask him as I throw the shield towards his face. He bats it away, and now I am left with nothing to defend myself with. He comes closer to me as I try to beckon the shield to me. It's like I'm trying to use the Force or telekinesis. He poises himself, raises the trident above him like a javelin, and is getting ready to throw it into me.
''Because I don't like you,'' he says before he throws the trident at me. At the same time, I beckon the shield to come to me. It comes right on time as I feel the shield and trident collide and I fall backwards from the force of the impact.
''ACH!'' I scream as I fall backwards. I lie on my back, feeling my body ache from top to bottom.
Why does it hurt so much?
I look up above me and see the time is now saying 10 minutes left. That was quick. I wonder what happens at the end of the challenge when every one is dead.
''Time's up for you, Nash,'' Vaughan says as he stands over me, trident in hand, blocking my view of the time. God, why won't this guy go away? I look up at him as he smiles.
''It's been nice knowing you,'' he says as he readies his trident over my body. I glance over to my shield, and try to pick it up, but I have no strength left. No, it's not that I don't have any strength...
My arm's broken!
It must have happened when I collided with the trident. I've just realised that I can't feel it! I look up at Vaughan who has the nastiest villain smile I have ever seen.
I guess this is it.
I'm sorry Hannah.
I tried my best. I really did.
I close my eyes as I get ready for the pain to come.
I count in my head, waiting for the time to die.
Shall I start again from 20?
Why has nothing happened?
Or has something happened and I am not feeling it? I open my eyes slowly and see Vaughan still over me. His face still has the evil smile...but...he's not moving. He's stuck, just like Dimple was when the game was paused...
''Has the game been paused?'' I ask myself as I struggle to sit up. I look around, but all the other participants are still fighting. Then why is Vaughan frozen?
''Shimatta!'' I hear the avatar say behind me. I see that it means 'Damn it!' above her head. I slowly get up and walk over to her. Seems she makes an appearance at strange times.
''What's wrong?'' I ask her.
''Someone got in,'' I read her reply. Someone got in? What does she mean?
''Who got in?'' I ask.
''Hakka,'' she says. 'Hacker'. A hacker?
''Someone has hacked into Vaughan?'' I ask her. I look over to him and he is still frozen.
''No, not him. The level,'' I read the answer. Not Vaughan, but the level?
''What happens now?'' I ask. The other participants are carrying on fighting, but I'm stuck with nothing to do.
''Wait for clearance,'' I read. Wait for clearance?
''What does that involve?'' I ask her.
''The gate keeper will get rid of the hacker,'' she says.
''Oh, the gate keepers are going to get rid of the hacker. OK. What happens after that?'' I ask another question.
''Reberu no rebooto,'' she replies. 'Level restart'.
A level restart?! I don't want to do this again!
I was just about saved by this hacker. Now I have to go through this again?
''Aratana chosen,'' she says to me. I read 'new challenge' above her head.
''A new challenge?'' I say, trying to mask my relief. I shouldn't show I'm too happy, because for all I know, she could do something worse than this.
''O ni chusei,'' she says with a smile. 'Allegiance to the King'?
What does that mean?