TRIBUNA

What if you found yourself inside a game? Lewis and thousands of others found themselves inside the online MMORPG: Swordsmaster. The thing is, there is no reviving, no multiple lives; if you die in-game, you die in real life. Lewis soon learns that the only way to be free is to beat the game, and that can't be done alone. Can you really trust someone you hardly know?

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8. Cake and Hot Chocolate

With the level 1 boss defeated, the gate to Floor 2 had opened. In every town, there was a gate to the next floor which could only be unlocked once the boss corresponding to that floor was defeated. Beyond the gate was a portal. This portal would take you to the next floor.

Without a word, Adrianna stepped through the portal. Mike walked in after her, he seemed frustrated and tired. Nina tried to smile but if anything it looked painful. Of course, Adrianna’s actions were going to look bad for the guild as a whole. Adrianna was right, if no one said who would actually kill the monster then she had every right, but since the leader from The Lune Legends had put the mission into action, it should have been him to receive the reward.

Lewis felt a pull on his arm and saw Buttercup.

“Come on, we should go.”

He nodded and the two walked through the portal together and onto the next floor.

The world swirled around them and when it finally slowed to a halt they were in a new town. It was empty except for the NPCs. The town itself was just like the others, with the same sandstone streets and stone buildings.

“Okay you guys go explore, buy swords, food, whatever. I’m getting armour so don’t get any yourself.” Adrianna didn’t even look at them as she strolled off.

“Well, I say we just wander around,” Lewis spoke up, “but stay in this town. If we were alone, going down a route might not be smart.”

They all nodded and split up. He wandered around aimlessly, popping into shops to see what they sold. Soon it started to get dark, however, so he slowly made his way back to the main square where they started.

“Hey, Lewis!” Buttercup ran towards him, “You hungry?” She clasped her hands behind her back and leant forward playfully.

“Umm, I guess. Why?” Lewis shrugged.

“Well I found this little café just round the corner and I wondered if you wanted to get some dinner.” Her cheeks turned pink.

“Sure.” He smiled at her.

She grabbed his hand and pulled him down the road she had just come from and into a little shop. The windows gave off a warm, inviting light and the smell of fresh bread and coffee was overwhelming.

They sat down and ordered a slice of cake and hot chocolate each. It came almost immediately and the two dug in. It was just like real cake.

“This is great,” Lewis laughed, “How did you find this place? It’s really out of the way.”

“I went exploring!” She took a sip of her chocolate and squealed.

“You okay?”

“I burnt my lip. That was hotter than I expected.” She laughed.

Lewis soon joined in. He liked her. She wasn’t as serious as the others. He felt his own cheeks heat up. Buttercups laugh was the cutest thing he had ever heard; it was childish and playful. When she laughed, her head inclined just the slightest bit, making the light bounce off of her blonde hair. His stomach did a little flip.

*

“We should probably go before it gets too dark.” Buttercup sighed as she looked out the window.

“This was fun; we can do it again if you want.” Lewis smiled.

She nodded enthusiastically and the two set off for the main square. It didn’t take long before her hand found his.

“I really like you, Lewis.”

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