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?


29. Chapter 29

Darkness engulfed me and I continued to dive in free fall. At first I was worried that Gavin might want to play a bad joke and simply have me fall at full speed to the ground, but since Irady landed in this dungeon safely, it should be alright.


After falling for another few moments like Alice in Wonderland, I felt my free fall slow down and my feet touched the ground.


One by one, candles around me were lit. The sight was breathtaking. The floor was made out of the same stone material as the dungeon in Intos, but the walls were made using a mixture of marble pillars and glass. Through the glass I could see rooms and monsters which were still several corridors away, and the candle light illuminating the glass gave the entire dungeon a magical glow.


About a minute later, Saaler and Flower arrived. They too were awestruck by this dazzling architecture. The incredible use of a combination of stones, marble, candles and glass. It was like something out of a dream, yet existing in this iSync reality.


I loaded up my Feather’s Cross and drew out my Star’s Cut. Saaler took out his black blade and Flower shouldered her Eagle Crossbow. This set up was strong, no doubt about it. But what worried me the most was that we had no defense shield to fall back on. My strategy was to move swift, act fast, and having a team with the strongest and most precise attack power would do this.


Get in. Get out fast.


“Your father had a strong sense for architecture,” I commented to Saaler as we began walking down the corridor of the dungeon.


“It seems like it,” Saaler agreed. “I’ve never seen him study architecture or design, but Praya and this dungeon down here...this must be his life’s work.”


Suddenly Flower stopped and aimed down the sights.


“Don’t move,” she said.


Before me and Saaler could react, Flower squeeze the trigger and an arrow whizzed past us. Quickly our eyes found the target. Hiding behind a rock formation a few meters in front of us, stood a skeletal warrior with a crossbow. Since he camouflaged with the rock, neither Saaler nor I noticed it. Flower had aimed straight for the bullseye.


Flower gave me a look that said: “stop chit chatting and concentrate”.


I gulped.


To notice the monster hiding behind the rock, and then aim so fast and hit the bullseye dead on, what kind of concentration did Flower have?


Saaler and I made eye contact and nodded. With Flower here, we didn’t have to be afraid of any anti-virus program.


Now in silence, the three of us continued to explore the dungeon. Every now and then we would come across a skeletal warrior, a lizard or small minotaur, and we would take turns to fight them.


At first I had difficulty attacking, since they would also be counter attacking at the same time. But soon I started repeating the same combination of moves with sword and crossbow I did on the training farm in Intos and I warmed up.


Concentrate my weight, sprint ahead, cut at the side, do a half turn and finish it off with a near point-blank shot. Beautiful.


Every few hours we updated Quaker and Thunder on our progress. 


After a few hours of searching, we entered a church-like area. There was an altar at the very front, and long rows of seats leading up it. We dropped ourselves down on the seats, exhausted from all the walking and fighting.


“We haven’t found the anti-virus program, and we still haven’t seen a sign of the escaped players,” I said with a long sigh.


“We just have to keep looking,” Flower said. “This dungeon is large, it might take days until we have explored all of it. Our supplies should last us about a week, so we should be fine.”


I smiled. Flower held a new weapon in her hand. Or rather an attachment. After she defeated several skeletal warriors with crossbows, she received a scope that would attach to the top of her crossbow. This way, she could aim her burst arrows with deadly precision from longer distances. This would allow her to stand further away from the main battles, giving her a higher safety margin to her lower defense.


She attached the scope and looked through it. She smiled. She aimed at the altar which was about fifty meters away. She shot, and the silver cup on top of the altar was blown away.


“The Eagle Crossbow is much more accurate with this,” she said. “But in close or mid-range combat this extra zoom will be in the way. It would be best if I could find a second crossbow with no sights attached for mid-range combat.”


I smiled. “There are plenty of strong monsters in this dungeon. I’m pretty sure that at least one of them will drop a high quality crossbow.”


Flower took her upgraded Eagle Crossbow and aimed at several more targets around the dungeon church to get used to the new scope.


Saaler and I watched her practice and we both nodded at each other. Flower was something else. She had been in this game for only as long as me and Quaker, yet the confidence with which she handled the crossbow was years ahead.


“Uhm...excuse me,” a voice sounded from behind us.


Immediately, Flower turned around and pointed her crossbow at the new target.


I turned around. Who was this person? He certainly didn’t look like a dungeon monster. He was about my height with blonde hair. Wearing a black cloak, leather chest armor and boots, and with no shield and only the standard issue default sword...he looked like a beginner player.


“Are you...players?” the person asked us. He took a step towards us.


“Don’t move!” I shouted and pointed my Feather’s Cross at him. At this range, even I would be able to land a good hit.


“Who are you?” Saaler asked.


Frightened, the guy put his hands behind his head. That was some very human behavior, I thought. This kind of movement is habit of someone from the real world. The reaction when the police told you that you were under arrest.


“Put your hands up! Hands up where I can see them!” I shouted.


It was at times like these I wish I had the sleeping and paralyzation poison Irady had used against me in Queenstown. It would certainly come in handy now.


The guy spread out his hands and put them high up in the air.


“Saaler, get a rope out of your inventory and tie up his hands,” I said. “Flower and I will guard him with our crossbows.”


Saaler nodded and summoned his AirMenu. This was a set up I thought of while we were wandering around the dungeon. If we ever get within close proximity of anything that might seem like the anti-virus program, then we should let Saaler fight close quarter combat, and Flower and I would act as support. The anti-virus program wouldn’t be programmed to fight Saaler since he was from Praya, hence it would make it an awkward fight for our opponent.


Saaler tied him up and we put the blonde guy on one of the benches. With Flower pointing her crossbow at his head, we surrounded him.


“Who are you?” I asked.


“I’m a player from Queenstown,” he answered.


“Your name?”




“Yamil, what are you doing here in Praya? What are you doing down here in this dungeon?” I asked.


Yamil shrugged. “A few weeks ago I was connected to this world, and right at the beginning, I decided to go exploring with a friend and exited Queenstown. Ever since then, we have been wandering around, and eventually, we found this city.”


I looked at Flower. We both nodded. If what he said was true, then he was is one of the original escaped sixteen players. Yet at the same time, from what Irady said, the anti-virus program knew how to act human. But would the anti-virus program know how to lie?


“And Yamil, tell me what you are doing down in here in this dungeon? Are you looking for someone?” I asked.


“My friend and I we came down here with another Queenstown player. His name was Irady I think. Then we met another player down here. He was wearing a hood, so we couldn’t see his face. Us four, we explored the dungeon together until Irady asked the guy what he was doing down here. The guy answered that his job was to permanently erase all Queenstown players from Praya,” Yamil said.


His story checked out. He knew Irady’s name, he mentioned other friend. Just one more thing.


“Yamil, what is your friend’s name?” I asked.


“His name is Iren,” Yamil answered. “When that guy started attacking us, we got separated, and ever since then I’ve been looking for him and Irady.”


I motioned for the Saaler and Flower to come to me.



“For now, I don’t think we should tell him that it is our intention to get him back to Queenstown,” I whispered. “We will need his corporation to get out of this dungeon. After we’ve gotten him above ground, we can properly capture him. For now, we will help him find his friend Iren, then we will capture all both of them together.”


They both nodded. The plan made sense. I smiled. Today was a good day. Yamil, Iren and Irady. All three of them would be captured. Three down, sixteen more to go.


“Yamil, your friend Irady has already made it above ground,” I said. “He told us about the anti-virus program in this dungeon and we’ve come here to find you and your friend.”


“Seriously?” Yamil beamed. “Thank God...I’m already at the end with my supplies, and wouldn’t have lasted much longer without finding a way to the surface.”

“We’ll find Iren together, and then we will return above ground. I have the exit mapped, so we will getting out of here won’t be problem,” Saaler said.


Flower and I both opened our mapping options and we could see what we have already walked very far from the exit. It would take more than an hour on full Wind Boots boost to get there. It looks as if Yamil didn’t have such boots. If we traveled at regular speed, it would be a half day trip. Our supplies should last us almost a week, even with one extra person it shouldn’t be a problem.


I opened the messaging window and told Quaker that we had found one of the escaped players. We would now proceed to find the second player in this dungeon.


Today is a good day. 

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