Artemisia rode her silvery white diatryma across the Vale of Amorelle. Its feathers gave off an iridescent, burgundy sheen under the twin moons looming in the star-studded sky. Her faithful owl-wraith, Kaminari, flew just behind her. Grass carpeted the sloping hills, dotted with elegant trees that rose up to the heavens. Bioluminescent insects flitted about like tiny will-o'-the-wisps. It's probably the most beautiful place in all of Arcana.
She reached the shimmering expanse of the lake, at the edge of which was the small town of Beirus, where she was to meet Zero for the first time. She stopped at the lake to feast her eyes on the spectacular scenery. Is he going to look like his real-world counterpart? What race would he be? What class? How come the ogre didn't so much as give a hint!
She skimmed through her inventory and decided to make a Sumptuous Feast that could boost their stamina. A campfire sizzled into existence, sparks flying into the air. She started cooking.
A dark shape suddenly darted among the trees. She whipped around to get a better look, her dark red ponytail making a curving arc in the air. She went into battle mode—her bow at the ready.
A second later, the figure materialized and lunged at her with frightening speed. A siren Deathslayer from Lumino!
She stood no chance of survival at melee combat, since she didn't even have her PvP gear equipped. What's he doing here! This is an Umbra zone. He must be after honor points.
Artemisia cast a quick spell and shot backwards, sending arrows whizzing towards her target. He dodged them, except for one. Yet, it failed to incapacitate him. He was immune to her dizzying spell and the poison. Kaminari's talons tore at him, but his attention was on her.
As the battle raged, she took heavy damage, despite her attempts to evade him. Her gear was still that of a rookie high-leveler. Her well-timed arrow got in a satisfying critical strike, but he was just too strong.
The siren leaped and dealt a dagger strike that disoriented her. Her health plummeted. She braced herself for the death blow.
It never came. He slumped dead.
She stared at the limp form in amazement. Then she noticed the dark figure standing a little way off under a tree. He was a tall lunar elf, dark metal armor sheathing his form. A Black Knight.
Zero strode towards Artemisia, cloak billowing out behind him. Before she could react, he started healing her. A burst of white light enveloped her form, and her health shot up. Of course! Black Knights have killer DPS and healing abilities.
He smiled. "Hey Evanna."
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𝗪𝗔𝗧𝗧𝗬𝗦 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 𝗦𝗛𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗟𝗜𝗦𝗧 · EDITOR'S PICKS · AMBYS 2022 WINNER · A quirky Asian high school story fused with sci-fi, romance and mystery | A lonely, small-town gamer girl dreams big when she enters Komoreby High in a glamorous eco-cit...