Drifter Ch. 07-Migration
Nope, Half Prince isn't mine.
"The mother firetrucking son of a bathtub!" Of course, that really what I said, but the gory details...Er, I'll leave that up to your imagination. What followed was about thirty pages' worth of unprintable words. I went on raging for a full fifteen minutes after the door stayed shut behind the son of a bathtub. And since I had never met any of my grandparents, I was fine with insulting them.
My mother, however, couldn't stand the cussing anymore. "Hey! Calm down! Do you want me to wash out your mouth with soap?!" She hit my head fiercely with her hand.
"Ow...I'm fine now." After rubbing my head, I glared at my mom. "You let him walk all over you. He deserves it. If that wasn't bad enough, now he wants me to move to China too. And I can't even speak Chinese^ all that well."
"Sweetie, this is his way of apologizing for what he did eight years ago. Why can't you just accept his offer?"
"And leave you here, by yourself? Plus, eight years is a little overdue for an apology." I shook my head and scowled. "If he wants me to go to Beijing, he's going to have to drag me there, after what he did to Michael."
"Keelan, this is your daddy. Say hi." My mother's voice had been shaking nervously with...anger? Nervousness?
I didn't understand, really. All I knew about dads is that I never had one, since mom never wanted to talk about it. So, when a handsome stranger showed up on our doorstep with a bouquet of flowers, I never accepted him as my dad emotionally. He was undeniably my biological father, since I obviously inherited his face. However, it was sort of nice to have this "dad" around for a couple of days or so.
Back then, Michael had already been showing that he was a whiz with computers. After all, I always asked him to hack my computer games in order to get a high score...Never mind. You didn't hear that. Anyways, both Michael and I were showing signs of extraordinary gifts, and both of us were hopeful that this father-thing would work out.
Oh, he was the epitome of fatherly love. Always taking Michael out to eat, or Michael out to play games. I always cried, since I was like an afterthought. I won't deny it; I was so jealous that Michael got to spend time with our father. My mother wasn't of much help either. It's not surprising then, that I turned out like my currently weird...Ahem, charmingly quirky personality. I could tell that even those trivial events that seemed small took Michael further and further away from us, and closer and closer to him.
Until the day he had Michael pack his things up and my dad (I say the word with absolutely no sarcasm. Sure.) put his arm around Michael's shoulders.
"Michael and I have talked this over, and he says he wants to come to China with me. So, Michael, say good-bye." Michael had looked down the entire time, avoiding our eyes. I stood completely still with the shock that my loving older brother would betray us for him. My rage started to boil up. My mom had already started to cry and scream. She had a mental breakdown, in other words.
"You took off eight years ago. You left me with two children. How dare you come and say now that you'll take one of them away?! You filthy, dirty, manipulative-"
She raised her hand as if to hit my dad, but I stopped her. Even then, I could feel this fierce anger and sorrow emanating from her.
"Mommy, don't hit him. He's not worth touching." As I comforted my unstable, sobbing mother, I had shot a look at my dad. I hope he got the message, since my eyes were practically radiating hatred and disgust. "He's not anybody at all."
Looking back, I really feel that...I need a therapist. This isn't normal stuff any kid deals with.
Ever since then, Michael went to Beijing to receive training, while I stayed with my mom throughout elementary, middle, and high school. I even forsook going to college, since I was afraid she might fall apart had I gone to a far-away college, and the ones near our house were way too expensive for us.
Do I sound bitter? I am. Michael had these way more obvious talents, but I was talented in my own way as well. I suppose graphic designing and sarcastic humor weren't as awesome as designing a game.
I sighed. Reliving the past is exhausting. I changed quickly into my pajamas (Don't judge, they're blue with teddy bears. What? They were adorable.) and slipped into bed.
Real life somehow seemed way more unrealistic than Second Life. One unstable mother, one hell of an annoying father, one brother in China, one adoptive brother in China...Even soap operas weren't this bad. I mean, seriously. I have no love-interests whatsoever. Come on, even the most shallow heroines have boyfriends or crushes at the very least! Sigh...Sigh...Sigh...Future husband, you seriously can show up around now.
I put on the gaming helmet and fell asleep instantly.
So, this is Star City? It certainly was beautiful, with the European style of architecture. "Now, where in the world has everyone else gone?" I looked around helplessly, uncomfortably aware with the amount of attention my looks were gathering from the crowd. Thank God, no one tried to molest me yet, since no one could figure out my gender. Ha! All the guys aren't sure if they're gay or not, and all the girls don't want to rush up and hug another girl. Hehe~I feel like messing around with them~
"Could anyone tell me where the Adventurer's Guild is? It's my first time on the Central Continent, and I'm a little lost." I smiled helplessly, and laughed like a devil inside. Hee hee, this is really fun.
I promise you that the next moment, my face paled and my blood pressure skyrocketed. I could feel a rush of energy as adrenalin was pumped into my body in order to escape the coming death before me...
H-holy mother of-The hell are they chasing after me for like they're rabid dogs?!
I jumped up onto a crate and used the momentum to propel me to a shop awning, which propelled me to a low roof. I kept jumping until I was clear out of the tangle of awnings and clotheslines. Free! Free! I can fly now!
System: Player Nightingale has learned a new skill, Jumpstart.
I looked around, confident that I would be able to find my teammates once high in the air, but I saw no one that even looked a tad suspicious. Opening the team channel, I called out, "Hey, where did you guys go?" They were all online...
"Gale! Oh my GOD, thank GOD, THANK GOD. We can leave now!" Willow's emotional reply left me with the impression that something horrible had happened.
"What happened to make you guys sound like this?" I was seriously worried.
"For some reason, each of us logged in at a different time. It was Arachne, me, Willow, and then you, Gale." Night Angel's voice sounded on the verge of tears.
"Did you see what happened when you appeared? That mob of slobbering dogs and wolves, and the crowd of complete perverts. They kept on chasing after me...*Sob*..." Arachne had actually started crying.
"Those females are unstoppable. No matter how many I cut down, ten more would rise to take a fallen girl's place. Ugh, such a horrifying experience..." Night Angel was completely perturbed by the event.
"I agree with you." Willow sounded like he would be nodding. "And yet.. Wouldn't it be the worst for Gale?"
"Oh! That's right! Gale, you okay?"
I laughed humorlessly. "In the beginning, they didn't want to approach me, but I asked for directions and then they jumped on me...So I flew away to escape." I'll just leave out the part about me provoking the crowd...
"Anyhoo, we're staying with a kind girl. She was actually quite helpful to me, and even helped out Night Angel and Willow when they logged in. She's quite nice."
"Of course, she also happens to be an archer. Her name is Kkoom." Night Angel, did you cough or something?
"Oh, oops. Translated from Korean, it means Dream. She's actually quite a fantastic archer."
"Okay. Tell me where her house is. I'll be there in five minutes, tops."
I stared at our potential new recruit soundlessly. She wore a pretty yellow dress embroidered with beautiful designs and gems, and a short jacket on top of it that was bright red*. Her braid reached down to the floor and she had a longbow in her hand. It was obvious that she was a girl, and it was obvious that she was an archer, but...
Her eyes are completely covered by her bangs. Can she even see me? On the other hand, can she even see her targets.
She crossed the room to my exact location, and revealed her hand for me to shake. "Hi, my name is Dream, level 37 archer. Nice to meet you!"
So, she can see my location, but nothing else. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure she would have attacked all three "males" in this room by now.
"Nice to meet you, my name is Nightingale." I shook her hand politely and withdrew as fast as possible, just in case she was trying to pull one on us.
"Anyways, I was thinking of participating in the Adventurer's Tournament, but couldn't find a team that wanted me." Dream sighed.
"Why would they reject you?" I was curious.
Dream's voice became pouty. "They brushed me off with some nonsense about me not being pretty enough or revealing enough. I should have known most guys were pervs. Anyways, now that I know for sure this is an all-girls' team, may I join you?"
Arachne and I started to laugh while Night Angel and Willow spewed tea. "Ahahaha..She thinks you guys are girls...AHAHAHA..." Arachne laughed hysterically.
"My God, seriously?" I was chortling.
"W-wait a second...Then who the hell is a girl and who the hell is a boy?" Dream started panicking.
Willow raised his hand lazily from the couch he was sitting on. "Boy."
Night Angel crossed his legs and sipped his tea properly. "Boy."
Arachne patted Dream on the back. "Girl."
I smirked. "Eh, not telling."
"Ugh...Boys..." Dream's face (or at least, what I could see of it) turned pale.
"If you hate boys that much, then why would you even..?" Night Angel sighed and shook his head.
I took Dream's hand gently. "Hey, we all look like girls in this team. If you want to get over your fear, you need to start now. The boys in this team are pretty much all wimps, anyways. It'll even feel like an all-girls team!"
Both Night Angel and Willow opened their mouth to protest, but Arachne shushed them with a single withering look.
"I'll only accept on one condition. Nightingale, what gender are you?"
"You don't sound too sure of yourself." Dream giggled. I'm not, believe me.
"Let's welcome Dream into Blue Moon!" We whooped and hollered. I sighed. I guess I need to do what needs to be done...
I pumped my fist into the air. "Drinks are on me!" Viola, who was still sitting unnoticed on my shoulder meowed happily. "Yeah, yeah, I'll buy you milk again," I sighed.
Night Angel got so happy, he lifted me up in his arms and twirled me around the room. "Yes! I was running close to empty in my purse again..."
I supported Willow on our walk to the Adventurer's Guild. "Hey, sleepy head, wake up!" I scolded.
"Mm...Would it kill you to let me sleep for a little longer?" Willow's head fell onto my left shoulder, while Viola was on my right shoulder.
Arachne and Dream supported a totally drunk Night Angel between them. It turns out Dream actually has the highest liquor tolerance of us all, despite her looking like she came out of a period drama. They were chatting about how nice Second Life was. Looking at the bright moon above us, I laughed out loud, and Viola purred contently.
I turned to look at my teammates, my eyes shining. "Wouldn't it be nice to have this scene just last forever?" I twirled around, forgetting that Willow's head was on my shoulder.
His head hit the ground, and Willow got up, grumbling. "Stupid Gale, I got the point, but you didn't have to dump me on the ground."
I jumped off several nearby trees and leaped into the air, unfurling my wings.
System: Jumpstart successfully executed.
I was startled to feel Viola's claws digging into my shoulder. I looked back and she was there, hooking her claws into my clothes in a desperate attempt to cling onto my body. "Eh? Oh, sorry, Viola."
Come to think of it, what is Jumpstart? And I'd like to take a look at my other skills as well.
I opened the skills window and saw a surprising number of skills.
Silver Claw, level 5. Enables the attacker to render an opponent's armor useless. Uses up 150 mana, can destroy up to level B equipment.
Storm Bird, level 7. Summons the spirits of lightning and thunder to lower opponent's strength and agility. Uses up to 90 mana per opponent.
Clear Song, level 3. Calls upon the birds' songs to heal an ally of debuffs. Uses up 200 mana, cannot be used again for ten minutes.**
Dragon Dance, level 8. Uses a flurry of quick, powerful attacks. Uses up 200 mana, can attack up to 5 times, has a chance of 20% to stun for 30 seconds.
Gray Fire, level 1. Burns any nearby opponents. Uses 600 mana, attacks up to 6 players, unable to distinguish between friend or foe. Will automatically reduce user's health points to 1.
Camoflauge, level 6. Allows the user to hide. This skill requires a Black Dragon Wing.
Jumpstart, level 2. Adds 10% more speed when flying if user has used a jump to start flying.
My skills weren't all that bad, but they all had really cheesy names. Plus, when in the world did I learn Gray Fire? Using up 600 mana was a pretty big amount, it would attack anyone in my vicinity, and it would reduce my own health to 1. Wasn't Gray Fire was basically a suicide attack then?
I'm never, never, never using that one unless I'm the last one left in my team.
I shivered, since the skill itself sounded so ominous.
"We're almost there, Gale. Pull yourself together!" Willow knocked me playfully on the head. "Let's go find our last teammate."
Why are you so enthusiastic? I wonder which weirdo we're going to end up with this time.
^I am using "Chinese" instead of Mandarin or Cantonese, since I don't really know which dialect they use in Beijing...Or even if they have dialects in 21XX A.D.
*This dress style is a hanbok, or Korean traditional dress for women.
**Maplestory skills...Because there's a cooldown period where you can't use the same skill again. :3 Practically all of my gamer knowledge comes from Maplestory...Luminous FTW~
A/N: Yay! It's out! Anyways, besides that, I'm currently unable to find an artist for this story, so better get used to Hatsune Miku.