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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4. Training With Buttercup

Adrianna had decided that, since it was only lunch time, they should get some training in to level up. However, she didn’t think that Lewis was up to it.

“He won’t stand a chance against the higher level monsters we’ll be fighting.” She eyed her long, black-handled sword, “Someone ought to take him to one of the lower level routes. For now at least.”

She was speaking as if he weren’t even there, and he couldn’t say he was all that happy about it.

“I’ll do it!” Buttercup jumped up and down, with her hand in the air as if she knew the answer to a difficult problem in maths.

Adrianna nodded. “We’ll be on the Amillino route; the one near Talune City. Message us if there’s a problem.”

Buttercup saluted and grabbed Lewis’ hand. She led him to the door and looked through her inventory and clicked a button. No sooner had she done so, the two started spinning and the world around them began to fade into white light.

It only lasted about a second, but when the light finally went away, Lewis felt as though he was going to be sick. He lost his balance and fell forward onto his hands and knees.

“It’ll go eventually,” She knelt beside him and hugged one of his arms, allowing her head to fall on his shoulder, “nothing makes you sick quite like your first time.” Her face went bright red once she realised she didn’t mean to say it like that, “Teleporting, I mean!”

Lewis couldn’t help but laugh. He sat back on his feet.

“So, what are we gonna do first.” He stood up and stretched.

“Well, there aren’t a lot of monsters round here, so we’ll only be finding little ones so you can get used to sword fighting.” She stood up and scanned the field, “Ah! There’s one!”

She slid down the bank and ran across the emerald green field towards a blue smudge in the distance. Lewis slid down after her. As they drew closer, he could see what it was. It was a strange monster, like a mix between a warthog and a wild dog, with blue fur and crimson eyes.

“So, have you ever used swords before?” She asked, pulling her own sword, similar to those used in fencing, out of her belt.

“Ummm…” Had he? He still hadn’t regained any of his memories from before he found himself in this twisted game.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” She slapped her free hand against her forehead, “I forgot you don’t remember anything.”

“It’s fine, seriously.” Lewis ruffled the small girl’s hair, which she seemed to enjoy.

“Okay, well these monsters are only level two, so they won’t fight back much,”  Buttercup explained, “all you have to do is use the sword to kill it. Let me show you.”

She smiled at him, and then turned to the creature. She faced it side on, bent her right leg so she was close to the ground, and held her sword in her right hand, letting her left hover beside the blade. She sprang forward, using all of her weight, as well as the rotation of her body, to push the sword into the beast. It squealed and shattered into the same, eerie blue shards from the night before.

“Look, there’s another over here,” She ran off towards another boar-like monster, “you try. But make sure you’re comfortable with your stance first.”

After plenty of trial and error, he settled for the typical fencing stance. He defeated beast after beast. Every time you defeated a monster in Swordsmaster, you got rewards. Lewis had a fairly large amount of gold, and even some meat.

“Should we head back now?” He asked looking up at the orange sky, “it’s starting to get dark.”

“I don’t know,” Buttercup placed her fingers to her lips and looked up in thought, “we could probably stay a little longer.”

“Well there aren’t any more of those things at the moment, what's the point of hanging around?” He shoved his sword roughly back into its sheath.

“But if we go back I’d have to share,” She hugged his arm, “I like having you all to myself.”

“Come on, we can hang out later. Besides, Adrianna doesn’t really trust me; she’s probably worried about you.”

“Hey, I’m nineteen! She knows I can handle myself!” She folded her arms and faced away from him, faking anger. “Fine, let’s go.”

She clapped twice and teleported the two of them back to Lochston.

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