You turned around and there was a very average looking player standing there with a travelers bag over one shoulder.
Glancing at the players name you saw the Spear19 name tag and smiled.
“Oh good! You’re still here then.”
“Who are you?” he asked suspiciously, gripping onto his travelers bag strap a little harder, “I don’t have anything and I don’t know anything, so if you’re trying to get information out of me then I suggest you talk to someone else.”
“Hey, woah,” you said calmly, “it’s ok. I’m no one suspicious.”
He looked you up and down.
“You look hella suspicious,” he said bluntly.
“Ok… yeah I know it’s weird for some random to suddenly know your game name and call out for you but we need some help.”
“No,” he said with a head shake, “I’m not getting involved. I don’t want to know.”
Then Butterfli3 stepped forward with his hoodie low over his face and Spear19 paused when he saw him.
“Oh shit,” he gasped when he saw Butterfli3’s name, “Butterfli3. Umm are you two together? Are you working together? Please… I… I need to talk to you.”
Suddenly the tables had turned.
“You need to talk to us now?” You asked Spear19, half amused by his sudden 180° turn.
He nodded and glanced around.
“It’s not safe here though… and they’re probably already onto me.”
“Ok. Let’s go,” you said, turning to Butterfli3, who still hadn’t said anything.
You led the way out of the township and across the open field.
“I know it’s in the open but at least people can’t eaves drop from here,” you said with a smile at the two male players.
“Spear,” Butterfli3 addressed the player, “what do you know of the blue businessmen?”
“They’re a bastard of a group,” Spear19 replied sharply, “they took everything from me.”
“What happened?” you asked.
“I started playing RFO a month or so ago. I was lost when I first entered the game so I went to the turtorial shop to figure out how to play. When I left the shop, some guy came up to me and told me there was a way I could level up quickly… guaranteed.”
“So you took the guy up on his offer,” you confirmed.
“Yeah. He told me about slave contracting but he said I’d be in a group that were all new as well, under one strong player,” Spear said, his voice darkening, “fucking dirty trick.”
You waited for him to continue.
“I had in mind,” he said, “that it was like a guild of new players? But no. We were all contracted to move weapons, money, and gold. Treated like shit, some of us tortured, and then they would threaten us with taking out any of our in game friends or relatives if we blew the whistle.”
“I’m gonna kill ’em,” you seethed, “they can’t do that.”
“I was on the ship. You know?” he added, still on his angry vent, “I lost everything. Yes it’s true that I had leveled up quickly- as they had promised. But then I lost it all. The ship guard stabbed me just as the ship went down. His words were ‘well we can’t let you get away with all our hard earned work. If you die, you’ll come back to us to level up again. See you in the next life’ and then I died. When I restarted my avatar I had nothing. Everything was back at zero.” He hung his head. “I thought I might have been able to escape them the second time around but they’ve remembered my name.”
“Have they tried to do anything to you?” Butterfli3 asked.
“No not me,” he said softly, “but I’m scared for my sister’s in game life…”
“Your sister plays?” you asked.
“They had threatened to do stuff to her if I exposed them. I haven’t told her about it though. She knows they are bad people but that’s all. As long as I don’t call BB out, they’ll hopefully leave her alone but what if they threaten to do something to her if I don’t contract to them again?” He looked up, tears in his eyes. “She shouldn’t have to suffer because of my stupid mistake.”
“Where is she?” you asked, “maybe we can keep an eye on her.”
“She… she runs the merchant store in town, just down from the hairdresser…”
“Wait… with the red sign out the front?” you asked with surprise.
“It’s her! She’s your sister?” you asked him.
“She was the one who gave us your name! Incidentally, I used to own that shop when I was starting out.”
“Oh. Cool,” Spear replied, “well… umm, if you could look out for her that would be really good. Especially since you’re the top player Butterfli3, BB wouldn’t mess with you.”
“I’m going to get to the bottom of this mess,” Butterfli3 said, lifting his head a little and pushing his hoodie back to reveal his face to Spear, “do you know where their headquarters are?”
“No, I don’t… but I know where they kept me before we were put on the ship. It was like a holding house or something on level 11.”
Butterfli3 turned and headed back to the town center with both yourself and Spear19 following behind.
“I’m assuming we’re going there then?” you asked Butterfli3 who was walking a little ahead.
“With all due respect I’m going to bow out on this expedition as I don’t want them to see my face again,” Spear commented, “but if you think I could be of any help later on then contact me on the chat.”
“Thank you for your help, Spear, and I will see to it that your sister doesn’t come to any harm,” Butterfli3 promised.
“Thank you,” Spear replied with a grateful look on his face, “boy am I lucky to have bumped into the number one player! That’s pretty sweet.”
You smiled to yourself. Butterfli3 just had a way with creating instant calm when he showed up.
“He has the makings of a hero for sure. A symbol of peace and calm.”
Once back inside the town centre, Spear peeled off and headed down a back alley and you and Butterfli3 walked to the teleport pad to head to level 11.
“Level 11!” Butterfli3 called once you were on the platform.
Your forms sparkled and turned white then evaporated and re-appeared on the platform of level 11.
You looked around.
It was a very manicured level, with large cottages and older style establishments dotted over the rolling hills, even the grass looked freshly mown.