The Pistachio TreeMature

Chapter Thirteen


“But I thought you had to be at least on level five to have a guild?”  Jason and Rapid had had a short meal, their little skirmish famished both of them and now Rapid had just told Jason that he had only accepted the mission to be an assassin because he had heard things about Jason and wanted to recruit him into his guild.

When Jason had asked Rapid why he wanted Jason, of all the players who were probably more experienced and better than him, to be in his guild, Rapid had simply replied “Because I have heard about you, and others I have not.  Well, I have heard of them but they have probably already have a guild, or they will not serve any purpose to us, where as you will.”  Jason had asked him what that purpose was but Rapid had not answered that question.

It looked as if he would not answer it now either.  He was quiet and when he did speak, it was as if Jason weren’t there.  “Yes you do have to be on at least level five, but if we recruit people early enough, then we can train them and help them achieve the level much faster than if they went along on it by themselves.”

“So what is the name of the Guild?  They have names do not they?”  Jason asked rather forcefully, frustrated by Rapid’s cryptic answers.

Rapid smiled and stood up to dust off his clothes.  The night had move really quick, and the two had been talking for a while so the first light of dawn was rising up behind Rapid.  It surprised Jason at the inconsistency of time in the game, and it made him reflect back to his discussion with Wings earlier.

“To most people the name of the Guild is ‘the ResistOARS’, but we have a nickname that we in the guild use as sort of a code to the other members.”

“What is it?”  Jason asked.

Rapid held up a finger and waved it at Jason.  “You aren’t in yet, so I can not tell you.  Do not worry though, I just wanted to give you enough information to give you a taste of our freedom and try to lure you into our guild.  When you accept my offer, which you will most undoubtfully do so, I can give you more information about us, but until then, audios!”  Rapid winked at Jason.  “Keep practicing those fighting moves of yours, you will be rather decent with lots of practice.”

“Gee, thanks.” Jason mumbled and rapid laughed in response.  It looked like the half elf half human guild leader was about to walk away when Jason called him back.  “One more question, how did you ‘hear about me’ as you had said earlier?”

Rapid shrugged.  “From Nox of course.  Your master and I have had our encounters, pardon me for saying so, but none of them are very pleasant, and he tends to brag a lot.  He is on a lower level than me, and he thought he could antagonize me by bragging about your ‘wonderful acceleration in the sword fighting art’ I think was how he put it.  Well, actually I think it was something more like ‘my apprentice kick’s yours ass in sword fighting!  Oh wait, that is right, you do not have one!’ Yup, that sounds right, anywho, long story short, Nox said something about you, then I heard some other people talking about a new player near the edge of town.  Turns out that was you.  That is about it, I think.”  Rapid finished with a little bow.

Jason could not help but smile when Rapid made fun of his master.  It seems that the both of them found a disliking towards the level fifteen elf.  “You never lie, do you?”  Jason asked, noticing how very truthful and straightforward, no matter how silly or stupid, Rapid’s comments were.  Rapid clapped his hands together.

“Always!  Now, I do believe we have been stuck here far too long, and I want to get back to the nice, ice cold snow before I overheat again.  The Pistachio tree is about a mile away, to the west.  That is your right, I think.  So good luck, and I will be seeing you later, for sure.”  Rapid winked as if what he had said held more irony and secrets to it then Jason thought, and Jason waved as Rapid headed off in his own way.

Jason looked around once his friendly assassin had gone.  He watched the sunrise briefly, then picked up his knapsack and shouldered it onto his back.  From there he went to the right.  In the direction west he walked, and soon the caked earth beneath him smoothed slightly, though it was still bare and lifeless.  Not too long, though, Jason found what he was looking for, and he neared the end of his quest.

Jason saw the pistachio tree nearby.  It was surrounded by blackened earth.  Jason wondered if it was the scorch marks of when the player had been imprisoned inside of it, and he unlatched the canteen from his belt.

The water inside of it swished and Jason smiled as he approached the tree.  He pressed one hand against the rung and poured the water from the canteen into the soil.  There was a gust of wind, almost like a giant taking in a deep breath, then the branches of the tree creaked and Jason nearly jumped as an old and barky sound voice spoke to him, from the tree.

“Good job young player.  I am the pistachio tree, my words spread wisdom and trust throughout the game lands Temphandora.  You have successfully found me in the desert and delivered water to my roots.  You have completed your quest.  Now, before you collect your experience points and the riches of glory, can you answer a tree a few questions?”

Jason nodded, then remembered that the tree could not see. “Erm, sure.  Fire away.”

“Gooooood.” The tree slurred in almost a moan of pleasure. “What is your name?”

“Avenged_Thief.  What is yo- AH!”  Jason had remembered Wing’s warning about names a little too late, once he had uttered the last syllable of his name, vines had consumed the hand pressed against the tree trunk, and some force was pulling him to the tree.  Meanwhile the tree’s ancient and trustworthy voice had shifted into something maniac and crazy, the laughter of a prisoner escaping.

“Stupid newbie!  You have given me your now and now I can trade places with you!  For now on you will be stuck inside this boring old tree for the rest of eternity!  And I can play, I can play Genesis Alpha and gain all your riches and spoils!  I, Pistachio_thenut, can return from my prison!”  The new player that was in the tree was slowly becoming more recognizable as a human.  It was a man with bushy red hair and wild bloodshot green eyes.  He laughed at Jason and pointed his finger as more and more of Jason’s body was sucked into the tree trunk.

“Thank you, thank you oh so much Mr. Avenged_Thief.  Now I wish you well as you rot in hell!”  he continued to laugh, and Jason’s free hand, his left, searched his side for his sword.  He found it and pulled it free from his belt, then slashed it at the tree. One of the vines holding him captive was broken and the other player cried out in pain.

“My god, what is this? This... This… This pain!  I feel as if you just punctured me in the side.  Oww!”  Jason hacked at the tree again and he pulled his leg free.  The other player yelped again and crumpled as if his leg were broken.  Jason took one last swipe at the tree, and yanked his right hand and arm from the trunk, and there was a loud pop!  When Jason turned around, the other player was gone, and the tree was still.

But all around it, appearing almost simultaneously as Jason had gotten free, gold and weapon and food materialized all around him and the dormant tree.  Jason sucked in a breath and stared in wonder as his body was given a whoosh! And e felt his body recharge and fill with power and adrenaline.  His skin glowed and he realize that he was gaining a level.  The light faded shortly, along with the adrenaline, then it was back almost instantly.

Woah! Jason thought and he clenched his hand into a fist. I am gaining two levels at once!  That means I am now on level four…  When he had received his second level, the disembodied voice he had heard at the beginning of the quest piped up now.

“Player: Avenged underscore Thief. Level Four. Quest completed.  You may now select four items to take with you.  You have been awarded one thousand seven hundred fifty two Flechs for completing the quest and killing your assassin.  You have received six hundred forty eight experience points.  You have gained two energy and stamina upgrades.  When you select your four things, you will be transported back to your base.  Do you accept?”

“Yes.” Jason replied, thoroughly satisfied with himself and he looked around to select his four items.  The first thing he saw, and picked up, was a beautifully crafted blade.  It was elven, just like Wing’s but it was much more elaborate and it was one he earned for himself.  He opened his knapsack and slid it inside.  The next thing he got was a large basket of cured meat, nearly five pounds it looked, along with lots of fruits.  He put that in his knapsack.  Then he selected a very nice deep royal maroon cloak that shimmered when it move.  He placed if over his shoulders and lifted the hood up.  The last thing he was going to get was a nice dagger, It had a curved and grooved blade and had a ruby red gem encrusted in the hilt.  He picked it up and turned it in his hands.  It warmed to his touch and he smiled before tucking it into his belt.  Then he shouldered the knapsack and felt a familiar whoosh of wind.  He closed his eyes and was transported back to the Tundra.  He knew because of the sudden chill in the air.  But when he opened his eyes, he saw the inside of the helmet, and the scarlet visor’s light fading.



{Private guild chat log: #19, Guild: the resistOARS, Online: wingOAR, rOAR}

wingOAR:      So rOAR, were you able to meet him?

rOAR:             Yes wingOAR.  It was rather hard to track down his assassin and kill him, but I found avengeOAR rather easily.  He is better than you had said he was.

wingOAR:      Oh?  How so?  I did not think Noxious would’ve thought him much.

rOAR:             Virtually nothing.  The kid is clever though, and very skilled with a sword.

[no response from wingOAR]

rOAR:             I can almost feel you smiling.  Why did you give him your elven blade?  The one that I stole for you?

wingOAR:      You gave it to me when I was recruited, so I gave it to him when I recruited him.

rOAR:             Stupid logic.  He did not even know about us, what made you think he was worthy?  Do you like him?  Do not make attachments wingOAR, nothing good comes from it.

wingOAR:      Shut up rOAR, you are just jealous you did not find him first, admit it.  I gave it to him because he saved me from losing one of my lives.

rOAR:             Who attacked you?

wingOAR:      The silver skin

rOAR:             What life would it have been?

[no response from wingOAR]

rOAR:             wingOAR?

wingOAR:      My second.  But back to the kid, he found one of the seven gems, rOAR.

rOAR:             No way, you are kidding, right?

wingOAR:      Never.  I saw it myself, it was one of the dark magic two.  The dark purple and red one.

rOAR:             Strange.  Where did he get it?  How did he get it?

wingOAR:      I asked him but he never said anything.

rOAR:             You should have asked him until he told you.  Your master taught you well, though.

wingOAR:      I suppose so.  Are you proud of yourself?  Or am I a nuisance?

rOAR:             No, you are fine.  And I guess I am a little proud.  One more thing, Keep an eye on him, make sure he actually makes it to level five, then when he does bring him to hackOAR and get that gem checked out.  Hopefully he will be able to identify it.

wingOAR:      Sure thing.

[rOAR leaves chat]

wingOAR:      Master.

{end of archive}

The End

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