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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14. The Spade

The creatures didn’t fight back. All you had to do was get it to walk, or fly, towards you. With the assistance of the strange fruit growing on the trees, TRIBUNA soon worked out which creatures liked which fruits better than others.

“I’m naming her pixie!” Buttercup clapped as the purple bird sat on her head.

“Hmm…” Mike stared at the little dragon perched on his shoulder, “Maybe Oz? Because it’s green like emeralds, and the Emerald City was a place in The Wizard of Oz.”

“I don’t know what to call mine.” Nina held the bat in her hands and stared into its little eyes.

“Why not Akane?” Adi suggested, “It’s a Japanese name. I think it means something like ‘deep red’”

Nina smiled and nodded.

“What about yours? Thought of a name yet?” Lewis turned to look at their leader, carrying the little bear in her arms.

“I like the name Jean. Or maybe Crystal. I can’t decide.”

“Ooh! Call him Crystajean!” Buttercup bounced up and down as they exited the forest.

“Sure.” She nodded, looking down at the little creature.

It was starting to get dark. A gentle rustling could be heard from the woods, most likely the sound of the animals putting themselves to bed. Adrianna seemed tense. She put the bear down and grabbed the hilt of her sword just in case.

“Well, well, well.” A male voice jeered from behind them, “Look who we have here.”

Adi pulled out her sword as she whipped around to face whoever had spoken. The others turned as well.

There were seven boys in all, ranging from around sixteen to twenty. They, too, had guild uniforms. The blood red and burgundy uniforms were covered in dark armour. On the uniforms were black spades like that of a playing card. One man was standing ahead of the others, most likely the leader of the guild. His hair was brown and spikey, and his eyes were chartreuse. He was fairly tall and muscular, most likely the oldest of the group.

“Woah now, Sweetheart,” The man smirked, his hands held in front of him in mock surrender, “Don’t go looking for a fight you can’t win.”

“Pride comes before a fall, you know.” Adrianna’s knuckles turned white as she gripped her sword tighter and glared at him.

“With that rag-tag guild?” He laughed coldly, “You wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Mike was having none of it. He walked confidently to his leader’s side.

“Who are you and what do you want?” He spat.

“You don’t know who we are?” He laughed cruelly once more before leaning forward, hands on hips, to come eye-to-eye with Adi, “Why don’t you ask your little girlfriend, eh?”

The members of TRIBUNA turned to look at their leader, confusion clear on their faces. How did Adrianna know these people? Lewis lowered his sword slightly and walked forward so that he was stood a few steps behind the blue-haired girl.

“Adi?” He asked quietly.

“This guild is called The Spade, probably 

the least respected of all the recognised guilds. This twat’s called Dante.” She straightened her back out and looked Dante up and down.

“Now, now. That’s not a very nice way to introduce your old guild.” He said patronizingly.

Mike whipped his head round to face the girl, his mouth hanging open in shock. Lewis and Nina’s eyes widened, and Buttercup stumbled backwards, surprise and confusion showing clearly on her childish face.

“Adi…” Buttercup’s voice shook, “Is that really true?”

“Oh it’s true alright!” Dante clasped his hands behind his head and laughed, straightening back to his full height, “That girl’s a right bitch; it was great having her on the team. I’ve gotta say, I’d hoped your guild would look a little better than this, Adi! You find these kids on the streets or what?”

The other six members of The Spade laughed along, adding their own teasing remarks.

“Yeah, Adi, that’s a real let down.”

“I bet you’ve missed hanging with us, haven’t you?”

Adi shook her head disgustedly at the boys before her, shoving her sword back in her belt angrily. Lewis had never seen her so angered before; her entire body shook with rage.

Dante took another step forward so that he and his old teammate stood only around thirty centimetres from each other.

“What do you want?” She hissed through clenched teeth.

“Relax; we only wanted to check up on you. See, we heard about your little stunt in the boss room. Guess you’ve still got balls.” He folded his arms.

“Got more balls than you.” She, too, folded her arms across her chest.

For the first time since The Spade had appeared, Nina spoke.

“Adi,” She placed one hand gently on her arm, “let’s go.”

She nodded, and TRIBUNA began to walk away from The Spade.

“I wonder if you’d still respect your leader if I told you that she-”

Dante didn’t get to finish. Adrianna’s fist was buried in his cheek. The Spade surged forward to retaliate, but she was gone in a flash, TRIBUNA’s members with her.

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