In the wee hours of the morning, while the stars still twinkled in the sky and the moon cast a pale light on the world, Oliver stirred from his slumber. With a burning desire to outshine his comrades and rival Richard in strength, he tiptoed out of his room, careful not to make even the slightest noise that might alert anyone to his plans. As he crept through the room past the sleeping figure of Charles, the tension in his muscles palpable, he felt a thrill of excitement course through his veins.
But just as he thought he had made his escape, Charles’s eyes fluttered open, and he sprang up like a panther, blocking Oliver’s path with a single swift motion.
“Where do you think you’re going so early, Oliver?” Charles’s voice was low and guarded, like a sentinel keeping watch over a forbidden realm.
“I’m going somewhere,” Oliver replied, his tone just as guarded as Charles’s.
A flicker of suspicion crossed Charles’s face, and he stepped forward, his eyes narrowing. “Is it the training facility at the guild?” he demanded, his voice low and husky with fatigue. “I’ve been thinking of going there myself, ever since I saw what Richard could do the first time I joined the party. I’ve been practicing every night, trying to hone my skills and get stronger. And now, it seems you’re trying to do the same thing.” He rubbed his eyes, his voice trailing off into a yawn as he spoke.
“Uh… Ok yea I am.” Oliver said
“Ok, then im coming along.” Charles said. “Oh you will see someone you know there too.” Charles said in a whisper as they walked through the building.
“Who is it?” Oliver asked in a whisper.
“You will see,” Charles said.
The duo stealthily navigated through the labyrinthine corridors of their building, their movements as smooth and fluid as a river flowing through a deep canyon. The air was thick with a sense of excitement, and Oliver couldn’t help but feel a tinge of nervousness as he contemplated what lay ahead.
Oliver and Charles emerged from the building like two stealthy ninjas, their movements as smooth and graceful as a pair of swans gliding across a tranquil lake. They slipped through the throngs of people like ghosts, their senses attuned to the slightest sound or movement. The streets were alive with a frenzied energy that was both intoxicating and terrifying, and Oliver felt as if he had stepped into a madhouse.
As they made their way through the pulsating heart of the city, Oliver couldn’t help but be awed by the sheer scale of it all. Everywhere he looked, there were towering buildings that soared up into the sky like great stone monuments, their windows glittering in the pale moonlight. The streets were crowded with people, all of them lost in a dizzying haze of alcohol and drugs, stumbling around like zombies.
But it wasn’t just the crowds that were overwhelming. The clubs and bars that lined the streets were like nothing Oliver had ever seen before. Each one was like a towering fortress of neon lights and thumping music, a veritable temple of debauchery and excess. And in the shadows, red-light districts beckoned to the adventurers who had just returned from the dungeon, promising them a chance to indulge their darkest desires.
For a moment, Oliver felt like he was in a dream, like he had stumbled into some sort of alternate reality where everything was larger than life. But then he remembered why he was here: to train, to become better and reach Richard level some day
The night air was thick with the acrid stench of alcohol and sweat, and the sounds of raucous laughter and raunchy music assaulted their ears at every turn.
Oliver and Charles had to weave their way through the throngs of people, their progress slow and cumbersome. The neon lights of the clubs and bars were blindingly bright, casting lurid shadows on the faces of the revellers as they stumbled about in their drunken stupor.
The red-light districts were the most unsettling of all. The dimly lit alleyways were lined with scantily clad women, their eyes glinting with greed as they beckoned to the adventurers passing by. The air was thick with the scent of cheap perfume and desperation, and the atmosphere was charged with a palpable sense of danger.
Despite the unease they felt, Oliver and Charles pushed on, their eyes fixed on their goal. The guild loomed in the distance like a beacon of hope, and they could feel their resolve strengthening with every step. They were determined to prove themselves in the training facility, to show their worth to the party and to Richard. And nothing, not even the dark and twisted world they found themselves in, could stop them from reaching their destination.
Soon they came to the guild’s lobby, which was like a grand cathedral, with soaring arches and glittering chandeliers that hung from the ceiling like a thousand stars. The walls were adorned with priceless paintings and sculptures, each one a masterpiece of artistry and craftsmanship.
As Oliver and Charles made their way through the guild’s lobby towards the training area, they spotted Luis, their party member and a warrior whose Ranked level was just one level above theirs. He was a towering figure, his muscles rippling beneath his skin like a coiled snake ready to strike. Despite his intimidating appearance, however, Luis was dressed in loose-fitting clothes that belied the true extent of his physical prowess.
Charles chuckled under his breath as he pointed at Luis, who was working out nearby. “there’s Luis,” he said. “He’s been coming here since before I died. The first time I saw him, I was so confused. I didn’t even realize he was on the same party as me until he came up to me.”
Oliver nodded, intrigued by Charles’s story. “What happened?” he asked.
“He has a serious Sleeper build, man,” Charles replied. “He only looks bulky when he flexes, he’s really toned and built.”
As they approached Luis, Oliver and Charles couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and respect for their party member. Despite not being an intermediate or pro-level adventurer like Richard, Luis was still a force to be reckoned with, and his dedication to his craft was an inspiration to them both.
As they worked out, sweat pouring down their faces, Oliver, Charles, and Luis came up with a rigorous workout plan to follow. They would start with a warm-up of jogging around the guild’s training area, followed by stretching exercises to loosen up their muscles. Next, they would move on to weightlifting, using heavy rocks and logs instead of modern weights.
For their upper body, they would do push-ups, bench presses, and pull-ups, each set consisting of 10-15 repetitions. To work on their lower body, they would do squats, lunges, and calf raises, each set consisting of 15-20 repetitions.
For their core muscles, they would do sit-ups, leg raises, and planks, holding each for as long as they could. They would also practice their swordsmanship skills, using wooden swords to avoid injury.
After their workout, they would cool down.As they followed this rigorous workout plan, Oliver, Charles, and Luis could feel their bodies becoming stronger and more resilient. They knew that with dedication and hard work, they could achieve anything they set their minds to.
After finishing their workout, the trio decided to engage in some sword sparring to hone their combat skills. They took their wooden swords and stood facing each other, their eyes locked in fierce determination.
Oliver and Charles circled around Luis, who stood still like a statue, his eyes locked on his opponents. Suddenly, Oliver lunged forward, swinging his sword with all his might, but Luis deftly parried the blow and countered with a swift strike of his own, forcing Oliver to step back.
Charles was quick to take advantage of the opening, darting in with a flurry of strikes, but Luis was too quick, ducking and weaving out of the way and launching a powerful counterattack that sent Charles stumbling backwards.
The three of them continued to spar with fierce intensity, their swords clashing and ringing out through the training area. They moved with fluidity and grace, each one constantly adapting and changing their tactics as they fought.
Hours passed as they sparred, each one pushing themselves to the limit and striving to improve their skills. By the time they were finished, they were all drenched in sweat and panting heavily, but they knew that they had made significant progress.
As the echoes of their swords reverberated through the arena, a man in the audience couldn’t help but express his admiration in a tone laced with a hint of snark. “Wow, what a truly magnificent performance!” he exclaimed, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “You all seem to be already worn out from that pitiful display. How could you possibly claim to have pushed yourselves to the limit when none of you even bothered to utilize your full range of abilities?” The man paused briefly before erupting into a fit of mocking laughter, his contemptuous gaze fixed upon the performers.
Despite his exhaustion, Luis mustered up the energy to retort. “Excuse me, sir, but may I ask who you are?” he inquired, his breaths coming out in short gasps.
The man flashed a wicked smile and introduced himself as Kristoffer. “And you, Luis,” he continued, “would you care to engage in a friendly sparring match with me?”
Luis was taken aback. “Why on earth should I spar with a complete stranger?” he demanded, his voice tinged with suspicion.
Kristoffer chuckled. “Well, I did ask you, didn’t I? Come on now, get up and ready your sword.”
Reluctantly, Luis rose to his feet and unsheathed his sword. “Fine, let’s get this over with,” he muttered under his breath.
But Kristoffer wasn’t finished. “And don’t forget, Luis, I want your friends to join in on the fun as well.”
As the news of the impending sparring match spread, the word travelled like wildfire through the guild halls, drawing in hordes of eager spectators from far and wide. Soon, a sea of intrepid adventurers had amassed around the ring, their hearts pounding with anticipation as they waited for the match to begin.
At the center of it all stood Kristoffer, his chiseled frame oozing with confidence and power. His grin grew ever more sly, betraying a hint of sadistic pleasure as he awaited his challengers. The sheer aura of dominance that he exuded was enough to make even the most seasoned adventurers feel a twinge of fear.
As the spectators looked on with bated breath, one among them couldn’t help but voice his surprise. “Wow, Kristoffer, the King-level adventurer, is sparring with a bunch of beginners again,” he exclaimed, his voice carrying over the din of the crowd.
Upon hearing this, Luis and Charles froze in their tracks, their eyes widening in shock and awe. They had heard of Kristoffer before, of course, but they had never imagined that they would have the chance to face off against him in combat. As for Oliver, who was still struggling to understand the significance of the term “King-level,” his question was met with stony silence from his companions.
Just then, a voice from the crowd piped up, drawing attention to the trio’s obvious terror. “Hey, look at those three, frozen in fear like a bunch of rabbits in front of a lion!” The remark was met with raucous laughter from the spectators, who jeered and taunted the challengers mercilessly.