You didn’t spend as much time in game that night. It would have been suspicious if you had suddenly known how to work your new skill and besides that, you didn’t want to get in strife with any quick sand and risk losing all your hard work up until this point. So after practicing your steps a little you headed back to level 44 with Ægir.
Once back home and in bed you slept better than usual, the urgency to upskill was getting less the more you saw improvements so there wasn’t that constant worry in the back of your mind and you woke the next morning feeling a little more refreshed than usual.
It was a quiet Wednesday morning, and you decided to make yourself a hot drink and sit outside on the deck and enjoy the sun.
“I’ll call Mirio today and find out what the movements are for the next few days,” you thought as you took a sip of your drink.
No sooner had you thought it, your phone dinged and you looked down at it as it sat on the table.
There was a message from Mirio.
“Well, well! Looks like we’re on the same wavelength,” you thought with a smile as you picked the phone up.
“I was just about to text you,” you sent him.
“Nice to know we’re on the same page,” he replied, “want to meet up today? We can go over details of the mission.”
“Sounds good! That’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about,” you sent back.
“Perfect, right?” he replied, “after school, I’ll come over to your place.”
“That sounds good to me,” you sent back, “good luck at school today and I’ll see you this afternoon.”
“EYE look forward to it!” he replied and you shook your head with a smirk. “Get it?” he added, “EYE… because I and my eyes can’t wait to see you again… because seeing is with eyes…”
You giggled at his awkward explanation and tapped out your reply.
“I NOSE what you were meaning.”
“Oh! Very clever!” he sent and you could almost feel his excitement.
You said one more goodbye then rested back, enjoying your relaxing morning.
“Cute police! Open up!” Mirio called outside your front door around 4:30pm that same afternoon.
You smiled and walked to the door.
“Yes? You are a cute police. Please come in, cute policeman,” you said brightly as you opened the door.
“I was meaning that I am to police cute things… and arrest the cutest things I can find. And you are under arrest,” he said brightly, mellow blue orbs glinting at you as he grinned his biggest grin.
“I know,” you giggled, “but I re-worded it so that I’d have the win.”
“Oh Ho! Clever, right?” he chuckled as you invited him in, “I’ve missed your playfulness.”
“I don’t think I’m very playful?” you replied.
“You’re getting more and more playful as the days go by,” Mirio replied as he sat down at the kitchen table.
“Really?” you asked curiously.
He nodded. “You were very analytical and always focused on the task at hand. You’re starting to relax a little.”
You thought for a moment then smiled. “That’s all thanks to you,” you replied, “I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for meeting you.”
“It’s been my pleasure,” he replied with a smile, “and speaking of relaxing a little, we’re all ready for a little stroll up to level 46.”
“Oh! When?” you asked, full of interest now.
“Would this weekend… Saturday, work for you?” Mirio asked.
“I’m free whenever!” you replied, “Saturday sounds good!”
“Great! That’s 3 days away. We don’t have a lot of planning to do. We’ll mostly just play it by ear once we’re up there but we’ll atleast make a start in that direction.” Mirio smiled.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a while since I moved around in game.”
“Yes. Me too. I miss it,” Mirio said.
You got together some chips and drinks then moved your conversation to the lounge room and caught up on other things, spending as much time together as possible before 8pm.
As the time drew nearer you excused yourself, pretending that you had an important zoom meeting to attend and Mirio needed to sleep anyway before school the next day so with a gentle kiss, he left, letting you get ready to do another in game dive with Hansu.
“Let’s go, let’s go, we only have 2 more dives before the mission,” you said to Hansu as you arrived 20 minutes late to the lab.
“You’re the late one,” Hansu replied over the top of his glasses, “I should pack up and go home now.”
“No, no, no, please, come on, we have level 6 to explore!” You picked up the headset that was sitting on the examination table and put it on, gesturing for Hansu to do the same.
He crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at you, grey fringe falling across one eye.
“Please?” you begged, “I don’t even care if I’m being over the top with the begging, I need this! Only 2 more to go before the mission so I need to upskill as much as possible.”
He conceded, under duress, and walked over to the other table then got up onto it and put the headset on.
You waited for him to lie back then both called for link start at the same time.
Into the game you were whisked, waking up beside each other on the lounge.
“Ok, off we go then,” he said, standing up.
You smiled and stood up beside him then took the lead to the front door and confidently left the house.
A few minutes later you were on level 6 and you and Hansu took a moment to look around before stepping off the platform and onto the sand.
“Where to?” he asked you.
“I don’t actually know?” you replied, “I don’t even know if there are any dwellings on this level…”
“Well if we follow along this ridge here, it looks like some semblance of a track, so it might lead us to level 7 or the main town of this level, if it has one.” He gestured to the small animal like track along the top of the sand dune and you shrugged.
“Probably the best idea… since field monsters are less likely to come at you on the track. It’s more if you walk off the track that’s when they go for you and I don’t particularly want to fall into any sand traps.” You shuddered.