❯ .hack//CHECK – Swing ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The dungeon interior had bluestone walls with small torches mounted to the wall providing little luminescence.

« Okay. We don’t really know what were up against here, so Stan, you’re on ‘bloods detail’. », ordered Deacon.

« Already on it, Deac. », replied Stan as he began using various bloods on his teammates.

« Fairy’s Orb’s finished scanning… », said Naomi, « Looks like you were right, Deac, two floors. How’d you know? »

Deacon began to move forward. « Easy, » he said, « I took a look at the Area Information. That was another feature they’ve improved for this version of the game. Instead of that confusing-as-hell gem system they used in versions I and II, the Chaos Gates just tell you what you’re in for. Everything from weather to monster strength is displayed during the loading screen. »

Before they could enter the first room of the dungeon, yellow letters appeared and flashed in front of them: All Dungeon Portals Open.

« Damn. That was quick. » remarked Stan. « What is this, a level seventy dungeon…? We just wiped our feet, and all of the monsters are gone. »

They stepped into the first room. Same decor, but treasure chests were scattered throughout. « Hey! », exclaimed Naomi, « There’s a ton of treasure here. Looks like all of it is safe -. » She started towards a chest.

« STOP! » yelled Deacon « Look closely. » He pointed to the side of one of the chests. On it was a small exclamation mark surrounded by a small yellow triangle. « Well, geez. », remarked Naomi, « That’s not so obvious. What happened to the blue chests? » « Another change. They decided that since no one was falling for the traps, they’d make them more difficult to detect. », explained Deacon as he used a Fortune Wire to disarm the trap. « It wouldn’t be such a problem if they hadn’t raised the price of Fortune Wire. » Naomi quickly pulled the treasure from the chest and stashed it into her inventory.

« They’ve got to be close to the Gott Statue by now. », said Stan, « If we don’t hurry, we’ll miss our chance. »

« The stairs are that way. », said Deacon as he pointed to the door on the far wall. « Let’s move! »

Within moments the three had arrived in the Gott Statue room. To their surprise, the other party was still there. Though, the chest had been opened. The figure holding the huge sword reached into his pocket and retrieved a Sprite Ocarina.

« Drop it. », said Stan as he readied his spear. He looked as though he was going to throw it.

« Turn around, you. », ordered Deacon.

The man dropped the Ocarina, and turned around. He wore red « Samurai-like » clothes with a strange pattern embroidered in orange on them. His pale complexion, tall, thin build, white hair and shifty-looking, gray eyes certainly didn’t make him look like a pleasant fellow. The sword he carried was a little wider than his torso with a green jewel on the ornate handle. The decoration on the handle looked like a dragon. « Looks like the party’s over », said the man. His voice had a gruff, eerie tone. He waved his sword to the side. His other two teammates turned to face Deacon, Stan and Naomi. The Twin Blade was a female in a yellow one-piece dress with brown eyes, and blond hair. The Wave Master had red hair. She was wearing a blindfold and an ornate white dress with green detail.

« Remember, » commented Deacon to Stan, « We have to get a capture of that guy logging out. »

« Be careful, » said Naomi,  » Remember. He’s PK’ed ninety-seven players in the past two weeks. »

« Right. », said Stan.

The figure in red swung his blade violently in Deacon’s direction, releasing a wave of energy. Deacon calmly deflected the wave with his sword. It hit the Gott Statue and sliced it in half before it hit the ground. « Hey, hey… We’re not newbies, either. », explained Deacon.

« I see, » said the man, « You’re just Bounty PK’ers. » He began to lunge towards Stan.

« Swing it! », yelled Deacon as he lunged for the Twin Blade.

.hack//CHECK – Mark
.hack//CHECK – Ghost