Chapter 01: Thunderbolt
That night, it was raining. It almost seems like a bad omen. Thunders and lightning fill the sky. A man comes out of the small store
James shakes his head.
‘I guess I have to get wet a bit.’
James run away from the rain to his car. He forgot his umbrella before he went to work.
‘Haish’ he sighed. He quickly ran to his car and open it. He closes it and waves some of the water on his clothes. It is a Ford car, shiny and expensive.
Not suitable for a place like this. he thought. But it was an emergency for her, so he came nonetheless. He opens up his phone and look at the time
It is 10 pm.
He has been helping out at a friend store. It is Ashley store. He had always had a crush on her since high school.
James come from a well to do family. They live in Lower Manhattan where his father company is located. He looks outside the car and nodded at himself.
I still have two hours before the firework started. Ashley is working. So, I guess I could play some games’ It is 2019. The eve of 2019.
Tomorrow would be the year 2020.
People in the past thought when humanity reaches the year 20202, humanity would have flying cars and futuristic city where the buildings pierced the sky and we would go to space like we are having a trip to other countries.
Sadly, those people were all wrong.
‘And how about me? Playing games instead of going to Henry parties’ then he smiles. Henry party is dope. But it is not for him. Henry is the bad boy among his circle of rich friend.
Like real bad. James never like the guy. And games are better than going to Henry party, getting drunk and shooting drugs
James is unlike his any other friends. He like games. Most of his friend is leaning the ropes of the family business.
And he did too. But he likes playing games more. Since he is smart, his father never said anything to him. Sometimes he plays with Ashley.
He started the engine. He is rushing to get home. The rain grew heavier so he slow down a bit while thinking about the game he had bought a few days ago.
About five days ago, he was shopping when he saw a stall.
And it felt creepy.
It was at night, the stall is at a corner of a building and he doesn’t know how to explain it but he felt creeped out by it. But at the same time, something compelled him to come
When he come in front of the stall, there is a young Chinese man gesturing him to look at his wares.
The creepiest thing is that there is a lot of games there. At first, he thought the stall would be selling some food. But instead it sells games.
Isn’t everybody using Steam nowadays? Who buys CD anymore other than console games?
James felt the whole experience to be so surreal. He looks around him. There is nobody around which is weird.
And it was cold. Nonetheless, he was interested. There are the new games that comes out already and there are also a few obscure games.
There is console games and there is even PC games. One game in particular caught his interest. The title of the game is the Martial World.
James like playing wuxia theme style game. But for some reasons, there is not that many kind of games that is in that genre.
He once played Tale of Wuxia and get all of its ending.
He also played the prequel. He also played Age of Wuhu before it became P2W centric. It is not like he doesn’t have money to play it but he never liked pay to win games.
And people who don’t have money started leaving the games and so the game experience is not as good as before.
And while Age of Wushu was great in the beginning, the lack of maintenance, the increasing ways to make people play using money suck all of the immersion of the game.
Which is why he likes playing single player games. But there is not a lot of single playing game that have wuxia theme as it main focus.
He bought the game for only ten dollars from that mysterious guy
He did ask why is the price is so cheap. The seller said he knows a guy who know a guy. And that is enough for James.
It wasn’t until he got back home that he felt the experience felt very weird. Nonetheless, he played the game
It did not need internet connection.
And it had seamless quality and the story mode is very engaging. He could choose whether to be a veteran or a young child beginning his journey in Jianghu.
He chooses a child because he could direct the potential. The setting of the game is after the fall of Tang dynasty. It is the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.
It is weird time period to use as the setting of a wuxia game. Most wuxia game he played either start at the Ming dynasty or the Song dynasty.
But he also notices something. The history of the game world and the history of the real world is different. There are some similarities but there is also a lot of differences.
There are some sects that is not founded until the Ming dynasty but yet in the time period of the game, it is already being founded.
And then there is something that James had noticed. He notices that the game changes certain names. Probably to avoid copyright by the related party.
Shaolin for example turns into Righteous temple
Wudang turned into Divine Sword Mountain.
There are many kinds of wuxia genre in the games from the many explanation archives., There is a bit of Jing Yong martial arts sects and martial arts skill. There is Huang Yi, Gu Long and many other writers of wuxia genre that seems to be plagiarized a bit by the game
James would have laughed and throw the game if it is not that addicting.
And there is a lot more of such cases in the game. The more he played, the more he realizes there is something weird about the game.
He checks it in the internet and he found there is nothing about a game called Martial World.
he then remembers the mysterious seller and that mysterious stall. It wasn’t until a few days before he recalls back how creeped out he was at the experience.
He then thought that maybe this game is not yet released and he bought something that is akin a company secret.
James is confident that if this game is released people like him who like playing this kind of game would buy it.
And with the graphic and the story it probably be a hit. There is history in it and there are martial arts in it.
There is no s***h of a sword chopping off a mountain like a Xianxia story but the moves of the martial arts technique in the game is very smooth,
It must cost a fortune to animate all the movement.
And James keep playing it. Today, he thought he would stop playing and meet up with Ashley and ask her to go with to see the New Year together.
But since she is busy he decided to return and resume his game. Thunder roars above his head and James look a bit worried. Thankfully he is already near his house.
Coming into the driveway, he parks his car inside the garage. The house is empty. The guards gesture with his hand and he just nodded.
He enters his house and went to the west wing. His family house is very big. And since there is only two of them, it felt a bit like he is living inside a castle.
He went to shower first.
It is already 11 pm by the time he finished showering. Walking alone in this big and empty house while searching for his clothes, he is reminded of the days when his mother is still alive.
James lost his mother to lung cancer when he is twelve. Since then, his father had always donated to cancer causes. He shakes his head to shake off the unhappy thoughts.
Sometimes, when he is at home alone, his mind would wander to the days when he still had his mother. He sighed and then went to his room.
He went to his entertainment room and boot up his PC. The music sound of string instrument fills the room, giving the impression an ancient time.
James sit down and choose load. He started from when he left yesterday. He just come down the mountain.
He still doesn’t know where he is at.
The first priority for him right now is to find any NPC that could help him tell him where he is now.
then he would start his journey finding some sects that would have him and learn martial arts.
He found a few lightness techniques from the wolf he had killed in the forest, so he could run away if there is danger. His power level is just weak so he needs to strengthen himself first.
He is eager to finish this objective for tonight before he went to sleep
He went down the mountain. The game realistic journey sometimes is a bit annoying.
the map is big and the world is also big. Probably it is even bigger than Skyrim. It is an open world game
It already takes him a few days just to discover the area around the mountain where he first appeared.
The clock on the wall shows it is almost twelve. James did not realize that it is almost midnight. Outside, thunder and lightning fills the sky.
The guards on the guard post look at the sky with worried expression.
The clock strike twelve and then a lightning bolts struck James house.
And in that moment, James disappeared from his seat, leaving only a scorched chair and like a chain reaction, the computer exploded