Lyria heard strange sounds coming from inside Epsilon's room when she returned to the noodle shop. She also heard subtle thuds and sticks striking. She couldn't imagine what they were up to.
She peeked inside. Astrid and Luna were doing some kind of martial arts drill together. Each of them had a stick and were facing each other as they repeated the poses and movements. "What are you ladies doing?" she asked.
"Oh, I'm teaching Astrid some martial art drills," replied Luna.
Astrid stretched her arms. "I figured it would be better if we also trained our bodies' reflexes as well. Want to join us?"
"Why were you making those weird sounds?" Lyria was confused.
"It makes us feel like we're in a martial arts movie!" They said in unison with fangirl smiles. They were both very fond of martial art action movies.
A drop of sweat formed on Lyria's cheek as she smiled awkwardly. "I want to join you, but I'd rather not make those sounds. I don't have a partner though."
Luna and Astrid both pointed at Epsilon who was lazily chilling out in the corner eating a bowl of noodles.
"Yo," Epsilon greeted with her raised chopsticks.
"Will you be Lyria's drill partner, Epsi?"
"Sure. Just let me finish my noodles first."
The girls trained for about an hour before stopping for a break. Luna decided to turn on the TV as the girls snacked on more noodles. All the training made them hungry.
"The artificial world Aries has been overrun by an unknown group of hackers. Players remain trapped within the hostile environment with nowhere to run. We're now here with one of the survivors of this tragedy," said the TV announcer. The camera's view shifted to include a man standing beside the reporter.
"Aye. It was terrible. Monsters and NPC suddenly harmed players while we were having a good time at the ball. We had to run and take refuge in our guild headquarters."
It was Frisk.
"Woah! Frisk is on TV!" Luna was amazed.
"How were you able to escape?" asked the reporter.
"We worked together to force open the portals leading to this world, but they caught on to our activities. Only some of us escaped."
"Is there anything you want to say to your fellow players who escaped?"
"Ladies, if you ever need a man to comfort you, I'm available. I left my contact details with the TV station. Call me maybe." He winked before the cameraman moved him off camera.
"Let's call the TV station and get Frisk's contact details." Astrid hurried to the phone. She dialed the station's number and spoke with the people there. After a while, she put down the phone. "I have his number." She gave the paper to Luna.
"I'll try calling him." Luna took out her phone and dialed the number she received from Astrid. She waited for someone to pick up.
"Hello?" It sounded like Frisk. "Are you a lovely lady needing comfort?"
"Frisk? It's Luna."
"Luna! Did you make it out of Aries?" He sounded surprised to get a call from someone he knew.
"Yeah. I'm with Astrid and Lyria at the moment. Anna and Amelie didn't make it."
"I'm glad you're alright. Sorry about your other members. Tank made it out at well."
Luna was relieved. "Tank is safe? Thank goodness."
"How did you get my number?"
"Astrid called the TV station."
"Aye. I'm glad I left my contact details there then. You girls be careful. We don't know if the hackers plan to do anything in this world as well. They might not have much power here, but they have our friends hostage."
"Ask him if we can meet up," said Astrid. "We'll let them in on the plan."
"Can the girls and I meet up with you and Tank?" Luna asked.
"Aye. I never thought you'd ask. Let's meet at this coffee shop." Frisk gave them the address. "You shouldn't miss it. They have great coffee there."
Luna recognized the address. "That's in the city next to ours!"
"We're near each other then. That's good. How about we meet tomorrow? I'd be glad to see you all alive and well."
The girls gathered at the train station at eight in the morning. Astrid, Epsilon, and Lyria were sitting on a bench waiting for Luna to arrive. Epsilon yawned and struggled to stay awake. Astrid was eating a lunch box from one of the booths at the train station. She couldn't resist the delicious looking meals.
"I hope Luna didn't fall back asleep," Lyria said as she checked the time. She was already halfway through reading her historical romance novel.
"Doesn't she usually oversleep because of her comfortable bed?" Epsilon yawned. "She's probably going to be late as usual."
From a distance, they saw a girl clad in a sports jersey, jacket, and shorts running to where they were. It was Luna. The three stared in shock. She was actually on time!
"Holy alpacas!" Astrid nearly choked on her meal. Luna? On time? Nonsense!
"Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy?" Epsilon questioned reality.
Lyria cried tears of joy. "I can't believe I lived to see this miracle!"
Luna smiled awkwardly. "Girls, stop exaggerating."
Luna earned the reputation of being always late in their circle because of her consistent late arrivals and sometimes sleeping through the whole event or planned meeting. Her being on time was a divine miracle.
"Let us pause for a moment of silence to remember this miracle," said Astrid and closed her eyes. Lyria and Epsilon followed her.
"Ok! Ok! I'll try not to be late anymore! Can you cut it out already?" Luna begged. "Let's board the train already!"