iSync

Trapped in an online world called iSync, Issa meets a thousand other players from every corner of the world, who all go by their online ID names. Struggling to survive and fighting for a way out, he meets Flower, a mysteriously smart girl. How will a human mind survive in conditions evolution hasn't prepared it for?

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17. Chapter 17

Chapter 17

 

For hours we went through every building, every street, every tinny narrow alleyway. Brother and sister were nowhere to be seen. We tried to message them via the AirMenu, but the messages couldn’t get through, all we got was error messages.

 

After several hours of searching, we ended up back at the training farm. The boars were still peacefully wandering about in their stalls, as if nothing had ever happened.

 

“Where could they have possibly gone to?” I went through my hair with my hands.

 

“You think they ran away? Or maybe while we were asleep, they were approached by one of the escaped sixteen players, or maybe Irady?” Quaker suggested.

 

Flower shook her head. “If they had any intention of joining Irady, they would have done it during the celebration in Queenstown.”

 

“Maybe Irady came here after we went to sleep and persuaded them in person?” I said.

 

Flower shook her head again. “Irady had two other players supporting him. If they wanted players from Praya to join them, those two would have talked to them first. It wouldn’t make sense for Irady to be anywhere near Intos. It’s too close to Queenstown. The risk of being seen and captured would be too high. He wouldn’t try to confront all of us in Intos unless he has leveled up high enough to make up for our larger numbers.”

 

“Then if none of these are possibilities, then why did they vanish?” I asked.

 

We all thought for a while, but if without including Irady, we couldn’t think of any other possibilities.

 

But, there was one more place we hadn’t searched. I glanced over to the farm houses that were next to the boar fields. This was the first place we had come to when we searched for them. Since they weren’t at the fields and nobody responded to our shouting, we were in such a rush that we didn’t bother searching through the farm houses. But if they really were in there, then why weren’t they responding to our calls?

 

“Let’s have a look in there,” I pointed my thumb at the farm house.

 

Quaker gave me an uncertain look.

 

Flower glanced over, then looked away. “I doubt that they are in there...”

 

“We searched through every building, we might as well have a look at that last one,” I shrugged.

 

We walked into the farmhouse, and as expected, it was completely empty. There were two levels. Flower and Quaker went upstairs while I searched the ground floor. I saw an iSync controlled character walking around in the kitchen. The virtual old man was drinking a cup of coffee and staring out of the window. Normally such a sight would have been natural, but considering that this ‘person’ was not real, it gave me goosebumps.

 

“Excuse me...” I tapped him on the shoulder.

 

With a smile he turned around. “Are you here to train, lad?”

 

Stunned, I stared at the old man. His smile, his voice, the kindness in his eyes...it all appeared so human.

 

“Yes,” I answered after a moment. “Outside with those boars.”

 

“The boars, yes,” the old man nodded. “System information tells me that you are close to reaching level nine, and I can see that your equipment is of high quality. Perhaps it would be more effective for you to train in the basement.”

 

“The basement?” I asked.

 

“Aye. There are higher level monsters in there, lad. You’d have much more fun fighting those.”

 

Immediately, I ran upstairs to get Quaker and Flower. If Saaler and Thunder had vanished anywhere, then it had to be the basement. If my suspicions were right, then they would have gone into the basement for training as soon as the three of us went back to Berry’s.

 

I quickly told Quaker and Flower about the stronger monsters down below.

 

“What makes you think Saaler and Thunder are so strong that they can train in there? They should have less combat experience than us,” Quaker said.

 

I shook my head. “No. If anything, I think those two should be stronger than all three of us combined.”

 

 

Quaker raised an eyebrow, clearly confused. Even Flower waited for my explanation.

 

“Think about it. Saaler and Flower managed to survive the chaos at Praya, then get out of Praya by defeating a Gate Guardian without knowing that there would be one. For that kind of thing, some prior training is needed. And if they didn’t get it in iSync, then they must have gotten it elsewhere.”

 

“The real world,” Flower said.

 

 

I nodded. “I’m not exactly sure what they are hiding from us, but even though their levels and stats are lower than ours, they are similar to Irady. Their fighting experience is far higher.”

 

Without losing another moment, we ran down to the first floor and a few minutes later, found the entrance to the basement. The stairs headed into infinite darkness like the Northern Gate. If we took a few steps into it, we would automatically get transported into the next area.

 

Quaker equipped his Queenstown Wall. Flower locked and loaded her Eagle Crossbow. I drew out my Star’s Cut and loaded my Feather’s Cross. We nodded at each other.

 

I took the first step down the stairs, and instantly, the darkness swallowed me.

 

At first I couldn’t see anything, but then my eyes adjusted. My jaw dropped.

 

“This is one hell of a basement.” 

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