Guild Wars - Chapter 117

Published at 21st of November 2020 10:17:38 PM

Chapter 117: 117
The alarm rang just as Uno took of the Virtua Helmet and rose from his bed .

He gazed at the morning sun with a light smile, stretching his body as he felt refreshed . He went over to his bathroom as he began to clean himself up, humming all the time .

After taking a long and hot shower, Uno went to his mirror and took out his barber's blade . With a steady and precise hand, he performed his routine shave after applying a liberal amount of shaving cream, Uno fine tuned his mustache and beard to a crisp perfection .

After washing his face, he checked his face thoroughly to see if everything was alright .

Nodding his head Uno left the house in the middle class district of the city . It wasn't the largest in the area but enough for a family of four in this suburban area .

He wore a nice and crisp tweed suit that was a grayish color . Such a dull tone would look extremely out of place, but with Uno's orange coloration for his hair, eyebrows, mustache and beard, it just fit him perfectly . Uno disliked bright colors . The only exception to this rule was his own beautiful hair .

Uno used his Holo-Watch to hail a cab to work . It was exactly 6:30 am of 29/03/2065 . It was incredibly strange to see someone heading to work this early, but Uno was surprisingly punctual .

He sat in the cab silently, flicking through the daily news . There was none in there aside from him and the Self-Driving AI which had already shuttled off in order to fulfill its directives .

Uno's expression hadn't changed once, maintaining that stiff indifference that was a stark contrast to his expression when he was in Boundless .

Soon, the cab had reached the business district . Uno departed from his ride with elegance and poise, staring at the building before him .

"Arcadia Business Works" - nearly 50 floors in terms of building height, almost reaching the cloud above . It was a skyscraper that was half as tall as the one Umbra owned .

Standing outside his office, Uno couldn't help but make the comparison between this building and their Rank 7 Guild Hall . Despite this one being much more advanced and aesthetically pleasing to look at, why did he feel his energy drain as he thought of entering it?

Why was it that whenever he entered the guild's skyscraper, he always felt excitement and awe deep down?

What was so different this time?

Uno sighed and entered his workplace with a light step . At the reception was an attractive woman with pale skin, black hair and brown eyes . She wore glasses and was tapping away at her computer boredly .

When she heard the glass doors slide open and saw that it was Uno, her eyes lit up as she rose to her feet and bowed with respect .

"Greetings to the Assistant Managing Director!"

Uno smiled at her gently and nodded . "Hard at work as always, Moira . Please keep it up . "

The woman called Moira felt her heart skip a beat as she was praised by the usually stoic and soft-spoken assistant boss . Was there something special about what she wore today that made her stand-out?

Let's not kid around, she knew she wasn't doing anything special when the Assistant Boss has entered and he should be aware of that . Yet to still compliment her openly…

Her mind associated many things .

It was normal, especially in the corporate section of society . While others were working hard to climb the social ladder and make a name for themselves despite being challenged at every level, others were seeking shortcuts to reach the top without paying the effort .

Uno did not have the Eyes of Caelo, neither was he much of a people person . However, her train of thought wasn't hidden with the way she cast flirty and amorous glances back .

Uno just smiled lightly as he nodded once again before continuing to his office .

He entered the elevator and rose to the 49th floor, which was where his office was located . All the while, the receptionist had been eyeing him with lidded eyes and covetous intentions .

Uno entered his exited the elevator with a step, walking through the hall of the 49th floor . This floor was shaped like a plus sign, with four large office spaces sharing it .

Each office was the same size, but had different name plates on the door .

Uno entered the one with his name on it, admitting himself into a well-ventilated and immaculate office room .

It was thickly carpeted and cool, with three A/Cs blasting away . A couple of beautiful and expensive paintings hung on the pristine white walls, as well as some flower pots here and there that added some ambience to the office .

There were two three seater couches nearer to the door of the room, with a glass table between them . On the table were some magazines and one more flower pot as well .

Near the northernmost edge of the room was a large manager's desk with a computer, a printer and a scanner on it . Various files and documents were arranged neatly on the table, giving any onlooker the feeling that the one who worked here was perennially busy .

There was also a bookcase that stretched across the wall from behind the manager's desk .

Uno walked to his desk and sat down, booting up the computer with a light press to the on button .

He checked his files and folders to confirm everything was intact and untouched . He sighed in relief when he saw that nothing had been tampered with .

Uno began to resume work from where he had left off last night .

Now… why would such an upright citizen end up in the Cartel?

Uno was a strange person .

He did not have any tragic backstory . He had been born to two parents who had belonged to the upper middle class . He had enjoyed a fulfilling childhood as his parents neither neglected him nor had made any kind of mistakes in raising him well .

He had friends in school who had respected him, and girls who had considered him to be quite handsome with his strongly tanned skin and orange hair .

He had earned the praise of his teachers for being so clever, as well as the encouragement from his sports trainer for being so athletic and strong .

All around him was positive reinforcement that most children had lacked when growing up, and was what they desired the most .

Uno had enjoyed it for a time, just as anyone would .

However, the thing with humankind was that we might be described as ungrateful creatures . Instead of being content with what was ours our time would be spent lusting  after what we couldn't have . Fantasizing about it all the time . The mind would over-exaggerate the satisfaction of achieving whatever it was until we got it .

When it was acquired, it did provide relief and great satisfaction… for a time .

If you ate ice cream for the first time, it tasted like heaven . If you ate ice cream everyday for one week, it would still taste amazing, but with each passing day, there would be the increasingly nagging feeling that something was a little lacking .

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If you ate ice cream every day for one month, it would become like waste in your mouth, with you eventually being unable to take one more small bite . You would begin to wonder just how anyone could like this .

Too much of a good thing was bad .

Uno slowly lost his love for the perfect little world he lived in, as the same drivel was fed to him everyday . For the entirety of his childhood, he had never faltered, not even once, leaving him to bear the burden of being praised by everyone .

It was possible for a person to become arrogant with such an upbringing, but that depended on how they were raised . Uno had been raised by conscientious parents, so such a thing only crossed his mind briefly until things got dreary .

The world had become like a silent movie, as the colors started to become duller and duller . Nothing happened to Uno's eyes themselves, but it was his mind that had begun to register everything in such a manner .

Now,when a person's world lost color, life would be difficult for them . Every day would seem like an eternity and excitement was the last thing they could muster .

Uno had been like this . A living robot going through the motions of life, until one day he found realised that he quite liked muted colors . They weren't that bad, and the peace that came with them was quite desirable .

This was what cultivated his love for dull tones in everything .

Yet one thing happened that changed Uno's life for good .

Oh, it wasn't some extraordinary event involving a tragedy . In fact, calling it an "event" may already be an exaggeration it would be more proper to refer to it as a banal thing that happened to almost everyone at some point in their lives .

When he was 17 years old, Uno had gotten involved in a street fight .

He had seen some troublesome fellows try to force a girl to go on a 'date' with them, but she clearly wasn't interested .

Uno wasn't a hero of justice, but he had been raised well . The girl also hadn't been a total stranger, as they had spoken once or twice .

He decided to intervene gently, as he approached the fellows and lied that she was his girlfriend, and that they were supposed to meet up soon . If they could kindly let her go, he would be very grateful .

Uno topped this off with a polite bow .

The hoodlums were startled as they shared dismayed looks…

Before they burst into laughter .

"Haha! What an Idiot!"

"I'm dying here… he… is he mad . . ? Haha!"

"He's legit bowing guys… what a tard!"

"Damn, you don't see losers like this anymore… what the hell . "

They ridiculed him for being polite, but they didn't rush to attack him or anything like that . They had…'ways'… to keep the girl silent after they were done with her, but beating up a fellow who was so cultured and well-mannered would be troublesome .

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Not to mention that Uno had experienced a slight growth spurt, making him quite tall and muscular . He was nowhere near Boyd's level, but he was ripped to hell and back .

As such, they tried to scare him off with threats, bu Uno just smiled lightly and shook his head .

"I'm afraid that I won't be able to leave here without her . Please do not make this difficult for me . "

Taking this as a threat, the fellows lost their patience . The longer they entertained Uno, the higher the chance that the scene would attract unwanted attention .

As such, one of them rushed forward before swinging his fist to deck Uno in the face and disorient him, allowing his boys to lay onto Uno without fear .

Uno was stunned by their sudden violence and took the hit right to the cheek, dizzying him for a second as his vision went white . Seeing this, the other fellows rushed in an attack him from all sides with a barrage of kicks and punches .

Uno tried his best to block more than a few of them, but he wasn't a trained fighter . He was just bigger and stronger than most, with great endurance . This allowed him to take the hits without being severely damaged, but it began to hurt badly as the corners of his eyes blackened .

However, something sparked in him then . A primal rage and brutality that had been beaten into submission by his moral upbringing and pleasant personality . The side of every person that made humans very dangerous to themselves and each other .

Disregarding the hits he received, Uno became like a tank as he became numb to the pain . He stretched his hand out and swept it around his body, knocking more than five of them over due to the sheer force and his strength advantage .

The other paused in fear as they realized that the fellow had lost his temper, and they tried to run . Uno dashed forth and grappled three of them, bringing them into a tight bear hug .

He squeezed all three of them until he heard a few bones crack before he let them go with a wolfish grin . To the fellows he had bowled over, he walked up and broke one of their legs each as they howled in pain and agony .

Uno walked over to the girl who had been harassed, her face locked in a mask of awe and surprise . When she saw Uno who had faced grave danger and injury for her sake, squat down so close to her as he smiled gently, her heart fluttered .

"Please allow me to bring you to safety . "

Uno pulled her to her feet gently and led her to the nearest police station after reporting the matter .

The next day, his face was in the papers across town, as the noble and heroic youth who had saved a girl from hoodlums . His parents were so proud of him that his mother cried as she hugged him and his father repeatedly praised him for how great a son he was .

The guys in his college looked up to him and the girls swooned over him . The school held an award ceremony for him, where they awarded him a medal for bravery .

Naturally, the school was capitalizing on his current fame to get some good publicity .

Uno saw and heard all this, but it was like smoke passing through the atmosphere . Nothing stuck, and even as he reminisced it now, he could not remember the exact words or faces of those who praised him back then .

No, what Uno remembered vividly was how the color in the world had returned to his sight after that battle . He had felt alive and invigorated, feeling like he was truly living his best life .

Uno had become hooked onto that feeling . He realized that the dullness of the world had its own attraction to him, but those sporadic bursts of color he got when he fought were amazing .

As such, he had maintained his day life, graduating with a 4 . 0 GPA and nailing a job with Arcadia as a Senior Officer from the get-go due to a mixture of his parent's influence and his own merits .

In the span of ten years since then, he had become the Assistant Managing Director, with him being the top contender for the next MD by his peers and the Shareholders .

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Uno had his own house located in a quiet and safe area, with a healthy amount of money in his back account . If he wanted, he could easily settle down, marry and continue his family line .

But Uno had been forever changed by that one encounter .

During the years he spent in college and Arcadia, he had secretly joined many fight clubs in order to experience that thrill that came with engaging in a brutal fight .

His fighting style was refined with every fight he lost or won, making him much more efficient in beating down his enemies while taking the least amount of damage .

In one of these fights, he had met Boyd, who was also there to blow off some steam . The two had fought for three rounds non-stop, with no winner emerging between them .

For the first time, Uno felt kinship towards someone else . Boyd was also struck by Uno's prowess and the two became fast friends .

Thanks to that tumultuous fight, they two had both been invited to the Cartel to serve as reserve fighters, almost at the same time . They both discussed the offer before agreeing, entering the Cartel as members .

After winning many fights on behalf of the Cartel, their gross value rose, but not their position or compensation . They didn't complain or fight back though, as the years of being in the Cartel shed light on how bad their decision was .

Still the two of them persevered and put up with it until an event happened in Uno's life that he would never forget .

A black haired young man with bright green eyes had entered the stage, his slightly handsome visage ruined by his scrawny structure . He had all the world's arrogance surround him, making one feel like he was someone special .

He had displayed a unique ability called Control, which he used to defeat Uno and the other special reserve fighters of that specific branch of the Cartel .

After that, he had pulled them into some popular new game that seemed so realistic . They had gone around fighting monsters and learning new skills .

The Lady Boss had tutored them on what playing Boundless was truly about and what it meant to be a member of Umbra .

She as well as Draco had praised Uno for his combat sense, which - to him - was a whole different flavor from the meaningless praise he received for others for academic success .

What was most important was that Uno was able to fight to his heart's content in Boundless . Fighting was the truest way to go forward, and there was such a variety of enemies that Uno would reach his expiry date before he ever got bored of it .

In Boundless, the world was so bright to Uno that it was hard to even look, but despite that he opened his eyes wide . He couldn't get enough of this game world, the combat, his guild and his new friends .

Everything was just perfect for him when he had that Virtua Helmet on his head .

Uno shook himself out of his stupor and sighed with exhaustion . He finished proofreading his resignation letter and he signed it digitally before submitting it to the Managing Director's email .

Without wasting any more time, Uno packed his things from the office and left the building, much to the confusion of the aspiring receptionist .

Uno felt like he had thrown off a weight that bore down on his shoulders as he walked home . He muted his Holo-Watch so he would not get any calls from his family, friends or co-workers .

He began to whistle as he walked, and every step became swifter .

Uno was like a boy running home to play his latest game,which was comical when one thought about it, but it was the truth .

After all, for the first time in his life, Uno had found a place that showed him the beautiful colors of the world .