49 Zavyyn enjoys conversations by listening

by Apr 16, 2021Best Seller, Curse and Cantrip, Fantasy Fiction, GameLit, LitRPG, Top Rated, World of Systems1 comment

Play the song while reading! Comment about what you thought in the comments below the chapter!

 

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“Thank goodness you’re safe, we were coming to rescue you.” Rhynn sounds a bit flustered.

It’s kind of hard to see their expressions from up here, but I think I should ask my questions from up here in case there is combat. This pipe will be easy to retreat into if things go poorly.

“Thank you for the help. I had a few questions about some things if you don’t mind.”

“You sure this is a good place for that? This place has an hour timer for respawns, so the longer we spend in here, the more bullshit we’ll have to kill on the way out.”

“You know about my goop, I can clear this place like how I one-shot Flushy the Goldfish there earlier.” They were going to win before I intervened, but they were a little slow since only one person was attacking the fish.

“Fair point. What is it you wanted to ask?” None of them have changed their posture, so I will characterize this as a tense moment.

“Did you notice me having any memory issues recently? Seems like I was.”

“Yes, and we’ve been trying to help you with it using all the magic and all the items we could buy or find. Are you still having a problem with your memory?”

“No, my memory issues have been fixed, and at least my last few months of memory have been restored. Still nothing before coming into this world. So if I was a player, what does memory loss mean? Just lay it on me.”

I think that’s respectful, right? I just want to know what is going on, Warden Taconight.

“Players who get dementia can become undying monsters who have to be sealed. Shards that aren’t solo usually ban forget and amnesia status effects so dementia can be recognized more quickly. I know for a fact that this one bans it. You shouldn’t have any of your memory issues if you’re a player unless you have dementia. You’re not a random spawn from a dungeon, you might be a named NPC, but you have enough in common with players I think you’re a player. Your thread on a private bulletin board has a lot of people who think you’re a player and a non-player at the same time. Or maybe a bugged out shardbuilder. Some loonies say you’re an admin. I don’t know. I’m just trying to protect you from the shard, and the shard from you.”

“Why are you the Warden? Why did I meet you in a prison cell?” Meeting a PVP legend in a prison cell seems odd.

“I’m one of the admins for the shard. I am also a potential mentor to players new to the area to assist them with the overarching shard tutorial. And I’m a player who likes meeting new people, and this job lets me do that. You got an intro tutorial that managed to get you up here from an old instance of a nation. Those are points in favor of you being a player. But you showed up with no henchmen, which is unheard of. You’re supposed to have a minimum of two different party member options in your tutorial to begin educating you on the shard. You showed up with zero. But you were having memory issues, which you shouldn’t have been having, and were using magic that nobody could detect or analyze. When I am told about how we have a troll who does a surprisingly good impression of Doctor Manhattan and nobody can tell if it’s a player, I am the guy who takes a professional interest. If there is something wrong and you need help, I am a good guy for that. And if there is something wrong and we need you to vanish, I can probably come up with a plan for that too. And I don’t think you need to vanish. I like you. I want to find out what is going on with you and make sure that whatever this is doesn’t come up with anyone else and doesn’t screw you up.”

“Why am I a troll?” Seriously, I want to not be Wizard Kong.

“I don’t know. I don’t know why you can’t remember things about the system, but you do understand ancient pop culture references. You know all sorts of science and can, on the fly, execute a process that requires a high-level understanding of a problem in terms of physics or biochemistry, and you can apply your cantrips on point to do it. Cookie Clicker numbers. Fucking octillions? The system shouldn’t be allowing those kinds of numbers on the stack all at once for one character. Personally, that is more important to me than whether you use pet shampoo.”

“I figured that my class being Ascended Wizard is what helped me with multicasting.” That makes sense to me.

“I helped make this shard and I don’t remember that being a class option. Wizards are already like gods, tacking ‘ascended’ on there doesn’t really make sense unless you’re saying you’re already a god. And given how you have different stats, that wouldn’t be a bad interpretation. Some people on the bulletin board think you’ve got a unique storyline and quest progression and you’re a chance for people to snag unique Divine gear. Shitting out diamonds in public is more demonstration of reasons for people to exploit you. We had to get you in the arena to scare people off, and someone still managed to kidnap you the first time we left you alone.” Rhynn finally relaxes slightly, lighting a cigarette.

“Who kidnapped me?”

This seems like a good time to ask about them.

“Nihilists, who want to tear down the system, we think. They probably had something evil planned with you that could destroy the shard. Even now that you’re safe, we still have to go in and take care of whoever is behind this. We’d like your help, and I want you where I can keep an eye on you.” Rhynn finishes the cigarette, smoking it down in one long pull leaving a distended glowing cherry, flicking it into the water, the butt pinwheeling around the glowing cherry. It hits the water, and I hear an explosion.

Rhynn, Podlihob, and Alba are battling a group of enormous monsters stitched together from rotten corpses. One of them had a skeletal dragon head and neck instead of rotting tissue. As I take in the scene, I hear from behind me a new voice.

“Okay, I let him get his say in, I would like a chance to rebut. Hello, my name is Kushpok, and I object to being lumped in with the Nihilists, we’re just Necromancers thank you very much. Consider us an alternative view to the one your friend is providing. We don’t want the system torn down; we want to reallocate resources. We do not adequately fund true scientific research, and this economic shellgame helps nobody. The likes of Delrubian and your friend Rhynn would be better served in researching more grounded things given the unique opportunities a shard of this population size provides rather than LARPing and sticking their heads in the sand. After all, we have to look past what the system has to offer, do we not?”

The speaker is a statue of obsidian, its head chiseled to look like a dragon’s. When it speaks, a dull red glow from its mouth smells of suffocating death. I take the opportunity to analyze the statue and see it is a player who is a demi-lich, obsidian runemaster, and darkbinder. Their main weapon is their phylactery, which is the obsidian statue they inhabit, and it is full of lava. That’s fine, everything is fine. Oh, all the tiny fissures inside the obsidian statue are multidimensional runes, which they have set up to do a zillion and one things. I will label that as Things to Note.

“I apologize for the kidnapping, but we wished to keep you available for conversation until I was able to get here. Very impressive what you did to my hirelings back there. Drowning people with urine, very inventive, very non-conventional.”

The statue pauses, and now I see that this is just a magical projection, and not the actual player. Oh, thank goodness. I see the projection is only capable of affecting me with auras and spells that require line of sight. Wait, isn’t that probably a lot of options? Another item for Things to Note!

“I understand why you would do something like that in light of our actions, and I hope you see our slate wiped clean due to your actions. I know that’s a view I would certainly be willing to adopt. Now, I’m not going to ask you bail on this place right away or anything, I just want to let you know there’s an alternative to a glorified theme park. When you’re sick of the kiddie attractions, you come up to Azathoth’s Nightmare. I just want you to know I like the cut of your jib and would be happy to be your friend. You want some help getting run through your main quest so you can get to more important things, you let me know. Anyway, I said my piece, you have yourself a fine rest of your day.”

A friend request window appeared in front of me, and the statue waves at me before fading from sight.

Should I accept this friend request? It sounds like the battle has ended. What the hell. I accept it and close the window.

1 Comment

  1. zavyyn

    I’m listening to that one again.

    Reply

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