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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18. Chapter 18

Chapter 18

 

Moments later, Quaker and Flower appeared next to me. They too needed a few moments for their eyes to adjust before their mouths were open with awe like mine.

 

In front of us was a large room. There entire room was constructed using large, rough stones. The ground was more or less flat, but the walls resembled more of a dungeon than a basement. Candles illuminated the entire room, showing us just enough for us to move, and hiding plenty. I gulped. This entire place sent shivers down my spine. The developers made a joke to call it a ‘basement’.

 

“They could develop amazing stuff like iSync, but they can’t put proper lights in this place,” Quaker commented.

 

“Maybe they wanted it this way,” I shrugged. “Adds to the atmosphere.”

 

I could feel Flower stepping closer to me. I couldn’t blame her. This was by far the creepiest ‘basement’ I had ever been in. Who knew such a place could exist underneath that peaceful training farm.

 

We took some steps into the large room, and soon we could see several corridors branching off into different directions. There were also several staircases leading to even deeper levels of the basement.

 

“Which way do we go?” I asked.

 

We looked left and right, up and down. All we could see was what the candles allowed us to see. Into the distance, the darkness swallowed the light.

 

I was about to open my mouth to shout out Saaler’s and Thunder’s names when we heard a furious cry coming from the corridor to our right.

 

Automatically we gripped our weapons and sprinted into that corridor. If I wasn’t mistaken, that must have been Saaler’s voice. Was he fighting? Was he in pain? Where was Thunder’s voice?

 

We had gotten so used to the speed of the Wind Boots that running at normal speed felt like snail pace. At the same time, in this dark place with uneven ground and tight walls, we didn’t want to sprint at full speed using our boots.

 

Moments later, we arrived in an open area. It resembled a large dining hall, with thousands of candles hanging at the walls, giving the darkness some resistance. There were large tables spread here and there, most of them destroyed and torn to pieces. But it wasn’t the wrecked dining hall that caught our attention.

 

There they were. Saaler and Thunder. Saaler held one large sword, while Thunder had two smaller, thinner ones equipped.

 

But finding our two Praya players wasn’t what caught our attention either. It was what they were fighting. In front of them stood the minotaur Gate Guardian that we fought at the Northern Gate. Or rather, it was the Gate Guardian’s older brother. That minotaur was about twice the size of the Gate Guardian. Its dual blades were longer, and had spikes at the sides, making it more difficult to dodge its attacks. Its eyes glowed blood red, and unlike it younger sibling, it had  long teeth coming out of its mouth like a vampire. If you managed to dodge its sword and get up close to do damage, this minotaur would literally bite back.

 

Quaker, Flower and I stood there motionlessly, frozen with fear. What were Saaler and Thunder doing? Why weren’t they running? How could they possibly fight something that is more than twice their size?

 

We soon got our answer.

 

Before we could even call out their names, with an angry cry, Saaler sprinted ahead with his Wind Boots. I thought that he was insane. At this speed, sprinting head on towards the monster wouldn’t give him anytime to dodge incoming attacks. He would impale himself.

 

As expected, the minotaur swung its blades with deadly precision. I could almost see them slice Saaler apart, but at the very last moment, he dodged by a hair’s breath.

 

I was stunned. How could he dodge while carrying the Wind Boots’ momentum. Just how fast was his reaction time?

 

He got past the dual blades and before the minotaur could initiate another attack, Saaler impaled his heavy blade deep into the minotaur’s gut. A howling cry filled the room, but Saaler was still in trouble. He stabbed his blade too deep. By the time he pulled it out, the minotaur would be able to bite his head off.

 

To my amazement, Saaler didn’t try to pull back. Just the opposite. With a roar, he took the hilt of his sword and pushed even further. Under the pressure, the minotaur even took a step backwards.

 

I quickly opened my AirMenu. Saaler and Thunder’s health bar was still full. They hadn’t gotten hit a single time.

 

A few steps further away, we saw another pair of Wind Boots start to glow. It was Thunder. What was she doing?

 

Silently, with a “swish” sound she vanished. A short moment later, we saw her again. She had jumped up, and was eye to eye with the minotaur. I smiled a little. She had used the momentum of the Wind Boots to jump and carry her upwards.

 

Without making any sound, she crossed her dual blades, forming an ‘X’, and severed the minotaur’s head.

Immediately, there was a shower of polygons and AirMenu’s opened in front of them indicating what kind of rewards they had received for their victory.

 

While Saaler was noisy when he fought, his sister made up for it with silence. Even during battle, she was as silent as a player could be. Even when swinging her blades, her cuts seemed so clean that they didn’t make any sound. The Silent Thunder.

 

I gulped. I was glad that they were on our side.

 

Wordlessly, the Quaker, Flower and I started clapping. A minute ago we were worried that they might have gotten killed, and now we stood there, rendered speechless with awe.

 

“You two are amazing,” I said.

 

Slightly breathless, the two siblings stepped over and smiled.

 

“How come you guys are down here?” Saaler asked.

 

“You two didn’t come back last night, so we got worried,” Quaker said. “We searched all over town for you, but we didn’t think there’d be a dungeon below the training farm.”

 

“We didn’t come back last night?” Saaler’s eyes widened.

 

He opened the AirMenu to look at the time. Thunder did the same.

 

“It’s this late already?” Thunder asked.

 

“We must have lost track of time. We were training down here all night.” Saaler laughed and scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.

 

“Sorry that we made you worry,” Thunder said in a quiet voice.

 

“Are you guys alright through?” I asked. “It’s looks dangerous down here. Did you use the HEAL spell?”

 

Thunder shook her head. “There was no need for that.”

 

We started making our way back, with Saaler and Thunder walking in front. I made eye contact with Flower and nodded at her. She stepped closer.

 

“Just how strong are they?” I asked in a whisper.

 

 Flower looked at the two, trying to make an assessment. They had trained all night without using the HEAL spell even once. They didn’t show any signs of fatigue, and fighting like this seemed like the most natural thing in the world to them. Their levels weren’t all that high, but the way they fought showed that they had a lot of experience. With this, they could beat monsters far stronger than them since their raw skill made up for their lower stats.

 

Flower let out a breath and leaned in closer.

 

“It’s almost as if they had been in iSync before.”

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