Your stomach churned nervously as you awoke beside Migata in game and your eyes shot immediately to the floor that had been bloodied up just a day ago but there was no evidence of your mess there- allowing you to release a sigh of relief.
“Thank goodness I cleaned it up enough!”
“Ready?” Migata asked, seeing you staring off into the distance.
“Huh? Oh! Yes. I’m ready.” You threw him a big fake smile.
“There’s no need to be nervous, we’re all here.” Migata reached across and patted your knee, his eyes falling to your new boots.
“Oh! You have new boots!”
“Hmm?” You asked, looking down, “oh! Wow! I do! Fancy that.”
“When did you get those?” he asked.
“I… I don’t know?” you lied.
“Hey, hey, hey!” O/N cried with delight as she slid into the room, “are we ready to rumble?!”
“I’m ready to spin a web!” Migata replied with a grin, forgetting all about your surprise new boots.
“Oh! New boots!” O/N said, pointing to your legs.
“Fuck. I thought I had managed to dodge the boots thing.”
“They must have upgraded when you were out of the game. Sometimes it does that,” Migata said, “they are adding updates all the time.”
“I see.” You nodded, keeping as tight lipped as possible.
“Anyway…” O/N said, “let’s get a move on!”
Just then Butterfli3 walked into the lounge room to meet everyone and after pleasantries were exchanged, you all headed off.
You really wanted to call for Ægir but didn’t, following the rest of the team on foot to the platform.
Butterfli3, reluctantly, called for the spider level and you were all off!
Materializing on level 46, you looked around at the setting. Similar to level 1, the teleport platform was in the town centre but unlike level 1, the brickwork of this level was more red and held together with some kind of white substance.
“They use spiders webbing to hold the buildings together on this level,” Migata commented to you.
Just then a man, leading a large spider on a leash, walked past, and you and Butterfli3 nearly exited the game through the sky.
Migata and O/N had to respectively hold you both down.
“They have spiders as pets on this level,” Migata said with a chuckle.
“Oh my god. I’m not super scared of spiders but it was just a shock to see one that big following along placidly behind someone,” you wheezed.
“No. You can’t kill them,” O/N whispered to Butterfli3 who had drawn his sword and was standing there on high alert.
“The dream team!” Someone gasped from nearby.
“Oh my gosh, it’s them!” another exclaimed.
“Have you come to save those players who have been stuck in the spiders cave?” another asked.
“Yes, we have,” Migata replied with a smile.
“Oh, I’m so looking forward to the interview for that one,” the person replied with glee, clapping their hands together excitedly.
“Interview…” you thought, the remembered Free. “Migata,” you whispered in an urgent manner, “we forgot about Free! What if she turns up today? What if she’s here on this level waiting for us?”
“Oh! Good point,” Migata replied to you, “I’ll make you invisible. Here step up onto the platform so when I use the spell it looks like you just left.”
“Ok.” You nodded and stepped back up onto the platform, much to the confused looks of Butterfli3 and O/N.
“We’ll see you again soon, U/N,” Migata said loud enough for those immediately around could hear and your two other companions gave him a strange look.
As everyone watched, you evaporated from their view but Migata had only used a single invisible spell so that you would only be invisible to those surrounding and not to Butterfli3 and O/N.
“Ok, gang, let’s head on,” Migata said with a smile and you quickly got off the platform and followed behind Migata.
“Is this to cover her if Free shows up?” O/N whispered to Migata, who nodded in reply.
“Ahhh,” she hummed.
While they were talking, you heard some bystanders whispering to each other and overheard their conversation.
“It makes sense that she would be sent on ahead or something because she would definitely be the strongest of the group.”
“Yeah. That Grizzlee incident was pretty fucking epic. I wouldn’t want to mess with her…”
You half smiled to yourself.
“Looks like my reputation has gotten around pretty quickly then…”
From the shadows in an alleyway a high level mage watched on.
“Ahhh, she knows the Tormentors might be tracking her and so has had her own mage use his invisibility cloak. I need to let them know I’ve found her. 100k Mahi sounds wonderful to me…” he snickered as he turned and walked away.
Making your way through the town and out the other side, without any hiccups, you breathed a sigh of relief and as the people entering and exiting the town started to die down a little you spoke to the group.
“Sorry, guy, I suddenly remembered Free… that’s why Migata made me invisible.”
“That’s fine,” O/N replied as she walked beside Butterfli3, “I had completely forgotten about her too.”
“Now we just follow this track up through the wilderness to the cave,” Migata said, pointing to the well worn dirt and rock track that led up the side of a mountain, along the ridge line to the next mountain, and then off into the never ending rocky crags.
“How long till we get there again?” you asked.
“About 2-3 days,” Migata said, “so we might need to get out of game at least once but there’s an inn along this track. I’ve heard about it.”
“Ok,” you said, continuing on with them.
It was a pleasant walk, although the road was a little rough, the scenery was beautiful and the sun was warm.
It was so quiet out in the middle of nowhere that you started to relax, smiling along as the conversation within the group ebbed and flowed.
You had crossed the second mountain by now and were starting your descent when movement up ahead caught your eye.
“Migata,” you whispered.
“Yeah?” he asked back to you.
“I saw something up ahead… someone is hiding behind that rock…”
“There’s a presence,” Butterfli3 confirmed, “I just picked it up now.”
“You have sharp eyes, U/N,” O/N said softly, all of the group on high alert now.
As you all got closer, Migata spoke.
“Come out. We know you’re there. If you don’t present yourself we will consider you a threat and take action.”
“That sounds like a hero line,” you thought, staying behind him.
From behind the rock ahead, a devious cackle could be heard and your blood ran cold immediately. You recognized that laugh…