Chapter 50 – New Year

“Get back Gizmo! You don’t need to aggravate them even further, they’re right behind you! Bendan, get it there and help him now! Okay, now you two hold him off for a minute… okay now Tyron go from behind now!” commanded Luon over the team chat as he gazed upon the map on the tabletop in front of him.

When you have fun, time passes by fast and before Luon knew it, the next school year was only a day away. What did he do over the summer? He spent the majority of the time practicing with his friends for the Alliance tournament.

After his first year was over, the young half-elven boy, Luon, got permission to take the Vortex Container home, it was easy to carry after storing it in the bottomless and spacious intraspatial bag.

What Gizmo suggested that they do over the summer was to practice by battling against other people online. At first, Luon did a lot of strategies around the concept of building a force from scraps and playing around the valuable attacks which eventually overwhelm their enemies. However, Gizmo talked him out of it as his methods were as he said unpopular and if he were to use it every time, then it would be popularized and studied.

With those words, Luon sealed off the building strategy and began to follow the metagame, with early scouts as he tries to outmaneuver his opponents, build counters, and lay traps, Luon became very familiar with the most common command style.

However, if there was a significant factor that made every group more unique than the other, was obviously only one thing, gear.

Some groups weren’t armed well enough which caused Luon to able to defeat their opponents in the first few minutes of the game with a rush tactic. Others were too armed with professional grade gear and without the ability to play for value, Luon and the others lost several matches. Since they were testing different tactics Luon was okay with losing some matches, he studied the replay the system provided each match and crafted several different pieces of gear based on those experiences. From studying each battle, commanding his friends, testing different types of soldiers out, and crafting tools for their campaigns, Luon’s time was completely preoccupied.

Fortunately, their friend Thomas Graves, who wasn’t able to join them since Luon had no strategies that dealt with engineering, had tons of free time. Thomas and Luon collaborated together to create the gear and devices he had thought up. Not only that, but Thomas had always spectated their matches and gave reviews based on his point of view of the match.

Some of his suggestions made sense, however, when they had contradicting opinions they would debate for hours and hours, sometimes they even fought with each other. It was no surprise Luon had physically won these arguments causing Thomas to think how childish, shameless, and stupidly violet Luon was. This caused Luon to feel embarrassed after he had regained his senses, and this had happened many different times.

Why would Thomas still be friends with Luon if he always bullied him like this? It’s because of the expression Luon made when he was the first to apologizes, he was his first friend, and it made sense that friends fight with each other sometimes. From his fights with Luon, Thomas thought that if he ever got himself a wife, he would make sure his partner wouldn’t physically win their arguments.

However, even though they geared up for their matches, Luon held back on some of these tools. For example, the device that he made during the second engineering examination was never used despite its fantastic ability to scout.

The reason for this was that after he had completed the tool, Luon didn’t submit and publish it publically. He didn’t have to do so, besides the judges and the others who watched him build it no one else knew that it even existed. Luon wasn’t an employee of Novera Corporation, he was just a freelance, part-time engineer and the information the association provided was free. If Luon had submitted the tool, all he would get would be funding to mass produce it and contribution points for creating the device which he could trade in for resources.

Since Luon was able to craft the device all the judges could do is ask for it, and since Luon rejected the offer, they only posted it on the board that it was possible to make it. The older engineers scoffed at the post, they had their own projects to manage, and they weren’t interested. However, the newer engineers in the association thought it could be their time to prove themselves, so a few of them tried to create a device to replicate the skill. So far the results weren’t that good.

Luon’s tool was kept away from public eyes, this would be his trump card for the tournament, once the matches start there was no way they can replicate during the tournament.

Just as Luon was about to win the match, he heard a voice ringing in his head.

[Luon Fate, you have a request for ejection of the Vortex Container from outside, would you like to exit now?]

Luon frowned at the message as he asked the system, “Who is it?”

[Your mother.]

At this moment, Luon looked at the time indicated on his BMPU, he bellowed at his friends to hurry up with the match before exiting the Vortex Container.

Commanderless no more troops could be produced, and the units who weren’t occupied with the enemy stopped moving. Fortunately, the match was already over or else Gizmo, Tyron, and Bendan were going to give Luon a big scolding at their next session.

Luon after exiting the match got up from his Vortex Container and met his mother’s kind eyes as she looked at Luon with perplexity. She gave a little sigh as she slightly muttered in a voice almost inaudible in Luon’s ears, “To think my son would play online all the time, and not only that he would play as a girl online… if only Luon were a girl, it would make more sense… I’m pretty sure I can get the application for gender change really easily.”

When Luon and the other guys battled against other groups online, they all played female characters to shroud their original identity. Even though they could play male characters with a different kind of model compared to their true selves, Gizmo suggested that they should set their online avatars as females and act like so to hide their identity. His point of argument was that some people may be able to realize their habits if they play male characters and if they fully immerse themselves as female characters no one would know who they were in real life.

If their opponents and spectators knew their real identity, they could study their strategy and use it against them when they actually begin the tournament. Among the viewers, Luon’s mother who was on Luon friend’s list had watched a couple of their games causing him to feel ashamed when he stood before her.

Luon sighed at his mother’s quiet mutter and said, “Uhh, no need for the gender change, thanks for telling me it’s time for work.”

Rina smiled as she replied, “No problem, I know how occupied and immersed you are when you battle in those virtual wars. Just remember that Zekar wants you to arrive on time, you don’t have school or anything else to do this break, so he was a little disappointed that you didn’t spend more time over there, and if you make even less time maybe your teacher would get even sadder.”

Luon nodded and said, “Okay, okay. I’m heading over now. Don’t want to be late.”

Luon ran off after saying so, Rina who looked at the door he exited from sighed a little as she said, “I wonder who he inherited this tardy lifestyle from.”

A few doors away from the room she heard Kane bellowing, “Ahhh crud, I’m going to be late for the meeting with my old buddies at the bar. Where’s my jacket? Pants? Oh no, my phones ringing, they must be calling me right now! Hello? Yes, yes, I’m halfway over right now, just stopped myself at a toilet stall nearby. What? No, I’m not at home. I’l-”

Rina who heard Kane’s voice once again sighed.

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Luon rushed passed the crowds of people who were outside minding their own business. Seeing the hurried young man running in public they all walked around him opening a path like Moses splitting the ocean open. Because of their actions, this Luon was able to speed up even more.

Going through each terminal in a matter seconds Luon traveled several kilometers in only a few minutes.

Just before he entered the dark alleyway towards the underground world, Luon accidentally bumped into someone who didn’t notice the rushed Luon. The person flew several meters before they could manage to react to the charge attack Luon dealt. In mid-air, the person continued to fly for a second before doing several backflips to reduce the impact a little. Just as they attempted to land perfectly on the ground, the moment their feet met the floor their body wavered a bit to regain their sense of balance. Unfortunately, the person stumbled backward, and their butt hit the floor.

After only seeing that he had hit someone with his rash behavior did he stop for a moment to ask if they were okay. Just as he went up to help the person he was scolded.

“Ah, Watch where you’re going. You’re going to kill someone one day! You’re lucky that the great me was hit otherwise your in for trouble. If you apologize to me now and thank me for being lenient, I’ll let you off. Now say my name and apologize to me now,” said the female before Luon.

Luon looked at the girl before him and appeared confused. She had long blue hair and wore a suspicious set of clothing which covered nearly all visible parts of her body. Her hat that shrouded her face fell off, as Luon looked into her face he didn’t recognize her, so he didn’t know her name. She appeared to be very young and was around the same age as Luon, her skin was white as a blank sheet of paper without a blemish but very aesthetically appealing. He thought she was like an idol, however, after thinking about it again almost every single beautiful person he met nowadays looked like an idol. Luon then said, “I’m sorry for hitting you, miss. Are you okay? Do you need to go to the hospital?”

The girl responded, “Miss? Didn’t you hear me? My name, not miss! Don’t tell me you don’t recognize me? Hey, don’t tell me that’s it isn’t true?”

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Luon looked at her face again and still couldn’t recognize her face. Was she his childhood friend? Maybe if she were incubated in the same area as he was, she would be considered so, but he never really looked into those Vortex Containers so who knows what could be regarded as a childhood friend. Maybe she was an employee of the convenience store he goes to or part of the library staff?

As Luon continued to think of her identity the crowd started pointing and whispering towards their direction. Luon heard them whisper and figured they might report this accident if he stayed any longer, so he decided to escape as soon as possible. Her name? That doesn’t matter, he had already apologized, now it’s time to high tail it out of here before someone takes him into the station for investigation.

Once he formulated his plan, he turned towards her and said a few words before escaping, “Well, I’m sorry for hitting you, whoever you are. You look okay, so bye now!”

Seeing Luon escaping she yelled at him a bit before quickly getting up in an attempt to chase after him. However, before she was able to start chasing after him she heard a flashing sound, she turned to face towards the direction of the sound and saw that one of the members of the crowd took her photo.

“Wow, a picture of the Frost Queen Diva, Janet Myrail herself, in the flesh! This is definitely going to sell,” said the photographer.

“Can you send me a copy as well? I stupidly forgot my phone at home,” said a man beside him.

As the crowd got rowdier and hyped by her presence, Janet hurried and picked up her hat that had fallen and covered her face. She started to run away from the crowd as they continued to chase her. She thought in her mind as she ran, ‘Great, just great, my perfect day off ruined by an ignorant fool! Doesn’t know who I am? Who doesn’t? If I see him next time, I am going to get payback for sure! Whoever you are you are going to pay for ruining my, Janet Myrail’s, day off!’

- my thoughts:
Hello, ANormRobot here. I don't know how many of you checked my Patreon out, but if you haven't then you probably didn't know the schedule has been changed to Sun-Wed. at 12:15 EST, 1 chapter less than the previous weeks. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it is convenient for me to only do 4 chapters a week as I have some business to take care of. As compensation I was thinking of doing holiday specials, however, that is a different story. A note about Patreon releases, if you want to get ahead, then they will be posted at the regular times, Mon - Thurs. Thanks for reading!
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