I watched tiredly wondering once again why I had ever thought this was a good idea as Claire and J.J. took care of the last of this latest skeleton horde. I really couldn’t remember what had possessed me to think that this would be a fun way to end the weekend, probably something convincing or mocking Alex said that spurred me on no doubt. Standing up from where I sat I hefted my sword back onto my shoulder and walked up to meet with the rest of the party.
“Hey bro, Cyn hasn’t respawned yet so I vote we take a break for a while before moving deeper into this madhouse Alex made… Or better yet we could call it quits here for today and pick this up again next weekend.” Claire’s avatar, an elven rouge with mismatched blue and green eyes, leaned heavily against the grey stone wall as she glanced at me. I agreed with my sister that we could use a serious break, Alex’s dungeon citadel was slowly breaking me down mentally, but we were six hours in and we hadn’t even made it to the inner courtyards yet. If this was all we could manage to do in six hours Alex would never let us live it down, I could not and would not let that happen. It was infuriating enough the last time when he conquered the castle I spent days working on in only a few hours, I would not let him have gloating rights like that again.
Right before I was about to speak I heard J.J.’s avatar, a towering human paladin in full plate armor, chime in. “Yeah man, I got practice in a few hours. If we can’t capture this place soon, and I’m talking within the next hour levels of soon, I’m gonna have to pass this time around.”
Shit, I forgot about that... The football team does hold practices in the mornings… It had slipped my mind, but that little detail had just lost our party its main tank and auxiliary healer. Without J.J. this whole invasion raid would collapse very quickly. “And you’re sure you can’t miss a practice? Just think of how much of a pain Alex is gonna be tomorrow if we don’t conquer his base and weigh that against one practice of our shitty football team... look deep into your heart J.J., which one is more important to you?”
The paladin’s helmet just turned and faced me. “Well that’s easy enough, I chose the shitty football team since I’m not the one who bet Alex I could beat his dark citadel in one night…”
“Connor please don’t tell me you’re making those ridiculous bets again…” I turned to see Cynthia’s avatar, a cat eared light mage, step out of a pillar of light while shaking her head.
“No! No this is a purely monetary bet, no humiliation or pranking involved this time!” I was incredibly glad that my avatar couldn’t show any complex facial expressions or changes since at that moment I was sure that my face would’ve given me away.
Suddenly a voice sounded out of nowhere and echoed throughout the room. “When he loses he’ll have to read that story he wrote in first grade. Aloud, on tape, and In front of all of us. Oh and I’ll also be getting ten bucks out of the deal…”
There was a moment of silence before I heard Claire’s laughter sound out from her avatar. “You mean that story we all had to write in first grade so that we could learn more about books and publications? What was his called again? ‘Connor Courage’?”
The voice sounded out once again. “Why yes, it is that very same quality work of literature that I’m referring to, I can’t wait to hear it read from the author’s mouth in person…”
I heard a low whistle come from J.J.’s avatar. “Damn man, why did you want to do that to yourself? Why not bet something safer like a naked lap around the school or writing sappy love poems to a teacher?”
“Really Connor, you and Alex have to stop these bets…” Cynthia’s avatar shock her head as she sighed.
“I don’t know Cyn, I think I’d like to hear more about this ‘Connor Courage’ story… But it’ll have to be at another time, sorry guys but I gotta go. Seeya tomorrow.” J.J.’s avatar waved a gauntleted hand as his avatar burst into pixels and disappeared.
Well that’s one tank down… If Cyn can do the healing then I can try handling the tanking… I shook my head before looking up and walking to the door that had been unsealed. “Well let’s give this one more shot, I’ll tank and Cyn can heal. Sis you’re on DPS duty, but you’ll still need to scout ahead. We can do this we just need to be a bit more careful…” Lifting my sword off my shoulder and pushing open the door I looked out to see zombies and skeletons shambling around the hall. Pointing my sword forward and taking a heroic pose I really felt like some sort of legendary fantasy warrior. “Let’s show Alex that his base isn’t any better than ours!”
As I took off my VR helmet I leaned back and let out a deep sigh, looking over at my desk clock the flashing 4:12 told me that I would either be getting no sleep or would be skipping school in the morning. Shit, who even puts that many Mobs in a single courtyard… I mean really? Who could take on four death riders and a small army of death knights in so little space… How much time and gold has Alex sunk into that place anyway? It’s just ridiculous, no one could handle that place without a fully maned and max level raid party… With a chuckle I thought about how deeply my best friend ends up delving into these fantasy games, it actually didn’t really surprise me that his base was so much more dangerous and elaborate than ours. Next time we’re gonna play Global War and I’m gonna destroy him in a few rounds of team deathmatch…
It only took me a minute to decide that I didn’t need to head in for morning classes today, my time was probably far better spent in bed than in the public school educational system. Besides I already knew what I was going to do with my life and missing a few classes wouldn’t impact that path, with a yawn I pulled out my phone and checked for the inevitable gloat fest that Alex will have texted by now. Looking down the first thing I saw was in fact the expected gloating, but under that there was a link to what Alex only described as “More zombies, since you seem to like them so much”.
The link sent me to a clip of what looked like some low budget indie zombie flick, the camera was shaking a lot and the gore was a bit too much for my taste but the screaming seemed realistic enough. I’d seen better but when the clip ended with the camera falling down and getting stepped on I was at least a little interested, I figured this was some sort of trailer for an upcoming indie movie and didn’t think too much more about it. Shutting off my phone and rubbing my eyes I let out a tired laugh.
Where does Alex even find this type of stuff? That guy needs to spend less time on the internet… looking at my bed I found myself smiling unintentionally. Tomorrow was going to be a great day, I figured I’d sleep in then figure out a way to unintentionally burn all the copies of my childhood mistake before Claire handed a copy over to my best friend for my eternal humiliation. Yep, tomorrow is gonna be a good day…