Laurenar was walking before me, leading me away from the throne room and down the long corridor. Two young guards in shining armor followed us. I felt weary about them as shining armor had never been tested by battle. When we arrived at what seemed to be a guest room, Laurenar silently pointed out the bed and some pieces of clothing draped over a chair. Without a further word, he left me to be. I only heard his footsteps disappear in the night: the guards stayed behind guarding my door. Were they ordered to protect me or prevent me from running? A bit of both would prove to be true.
The sun hadn’t risen yet and the moon was illuminating the room, giving me enough light to put out the candles around the room. The room was similar to a hotel room in the real world. Only the electronic gadgets were missing. The was filled with a bed by the window, a little desk with chair backed to the wall and the chair Laurenar had referred to next to the bed. This situation was too exciting for me to be able to sleep. I took off the cloak I had been wearing to conceal my modern real world clothes and took a closer look at the garments provided to me. Thankfully, they didn’t want me to wear plate or mail armor, which would have put unnecessary strains on my body. However, the queen had found it suitable to give me some protection as the clothing consisted of black padded cotton pants and a dark blue leather breastplate. The breastplate was beautifully crafted with a lion’s head stitched across the back. The lion really was ubiquitous. Interestingly enough, on the front of the body armor another symbol was placed directly over the heart: a rolled-up scroll. It wasn’t visible from afar and barely detectable from up-close. But it definitely existed. I thought about the scroll for a minute and tried to think of its meaning. I had seen a scroll before arriving in this world, but hadn’t really encountered one during my time playing the game. Why was it stitched onto my armor? Maybe the armor had belonged to a famous scholar and the scroll acted as the symbol of his family like the lion represented Illusio. I found this explanation to be the most reasonable one and placed the breastplate back on the chair.
I sat on the bed and stared at the floor below. My mind was trying to process all the new impressions I had gotten since arriving in Illusio. Laurenar looked so similar to my character but acted so different than I had imagined. His hair was blonde, he rarely smiled and spoke in a stern tone. I had always imagined my character to be a dark-haired and gregarious hero. But I guess that was the an important fact to observe: Laurenar was not my heroic character. He was alive and a real person in a faraway world. Or so I hoped. I still hadn’t closed my eyes to sleep and wondered if I would wake up from this dream anytime soon. But then again, slapping myself had hurt and seemed real. So I believed this place to be real.
My thoughts turned to Seraphina. This real version of her seemed to be close to the game version of the sorceress. In the hour or so we had spent together, she seemed collected and friendly. In fact, she was not the only one who had seemed calm as a lake on a summer day. The queen also hadn’t shown a hint of worry while talking to us. If danger was eminent, they were very adept a hiding it. Why did the queen have two soldiers guard my room then? I started pacing around a room, wondering what queen Sophia meant by adventure. Then something underneath the little desk reflected the incoming moonshine, catching my eye. I knelt down and looked under the table to find a short rapier lying there, just waiting to be found. The sword’s blade was as thin as two sheets of paper. I slowly took it by its hilt, which was wrapped in brown leather and weighed it carefully in my hand. It felt as light as a feather. The craftsmanship was excellent, but my swordsmanship wasn’t. Not wanting to cut myself by clumsily performing movements with the weapon, I put it down next to the chair with my newfound armor.
I finally decided to lie down and let the events of the days go through my head for the thousandth time. Then I finally dozed off and fell right into a dream:
I was standing on the gate of glory, fully clothed in the leather armor I had received. I was holding my rapier in my right hand. Seraphina was standing on my right in a crimson-and-white robe. Laurenar was located underneath us looking like a hero in his black armor. He was gripping his sword in one hand and a smaller version in his left. The knight sat on a black stallion covered by battle garments. We were staring across vast plains watching a large army laying siege to the city. The walls of Illusio were manned by three dozens archers, while Laurenar was commanding countless brave troops on foot. Behind the infantry was a tiny group of knights ready to lead distracting attacks after the battle for the city had started. At strategically important positions, wizards and sorceresses were staring at the enemy with steely determination. The whole scene was quiet. The sky was blue and the sun was heating up the battleground. Suddenly, the cry of an eagle was heard by the hundreds of fighters preparing for the fight of a lifetime. Laurenar looked up and gave us a slight nod. Seraphina smiled at me. Flames appeared between her hands, growing bigger and bigger. She released the fireball…
And I was yanked out of my dream by a loud boom and the shattering of glass in my room.
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