Astrid carefully removed all the contents of the box. It wasn't just combat algorithms inside the box, but also unreleased skills and weapon designs. She was glad they brought the whole box out of the house. When she was about to completely empty the box, she noticed one folder sitting at the bottom. She reached for it and checked its contents.
"Garth, look at this." She passed the folder to him.
He opened the folder and viewed it. It was about an emergency mechanism M.K. put up that could reset the world back to a specific point in time. It was exactly what they needed. He looked through the other papers and found a map to its location as well as instructions on how to operate it.
"This is too good to be true. If the enemy isn't aware of this, this could put us at an advantage." Garth placed the map on the table. "This area looks like it's on top of a snowy mountain. Any idea where it is?"
Astrid stared at the map and thought hard. "This looks like somewhere near the edge of the map. A place with the least number of players."
"Of course. A place where no player would ever visit because of the inhospitable terrain and the lack of any nearby town. That's probably the best place to put something like this."
"The highest mountain in all of Aries?"
"There's a high chance that it's Mt. Telros. No quests, no boss areas, no known farming areas... There's almost nothing there. No one would go there for the view either. I heard there's too much fog halfway to the top."
"Do you think the reason why that area was designed like that is because of this?"
"Probably. If I wanted to keep players away from an area, I'd either put lava or make something like this."
Astrid continued staring at the map. "I wonder if M.K. expected something like this to happen."
"For all we know, he could be the one behind this. Until we figure out the mastermind, anyone is a suspect. For now, we should inform the others about our discovery and hear what they have to say."
The next day, Astrid and Garth informed the rest about how they broke into M.K.'s house and retrieved the box. The others couldn't believe it when they had their chance to examine the box.
"I never thought you'd be the rule breaking type, Garth," said Tank as he leafed through the papers.
"Only when necessary," replied Garth as he waited for the rest to finish examining the box's contents.
"You sure picked up a treasure trove. Great job."
"Would we be using these unreleased skills and weapons?" Lyria held up the relevant papers.
"Better use them as base and enhance them," replied Frisk. "We're still not completely sure yet if the enemy knows about these."
"I agree with Frisk," Garth followed. "If we really want to take them by surprise, we need a set of original skills."
Luna stepped forward with a piece of paper. "Umm... I came up with these skill sets last night. I had nothing better to do. I hope they're ok."
"I also came up with some functional armor designs, made to be suitable for any terrain." Lyria pulled out her own designs. "You can pick out the appearance you want."
Epsilon followed with her folded paper. "I designed some poisons I would like to use on Magnus. You guys can use them too for other things."
"Good thing I did my homework as well." Frisk pulled out a piece of paper from under his sleeve. "I did a redesign of the menu tablet and included some brand new apps that might help us. Scanning tools, enhanced camera, etc."
Tank shrugged. "I guess I'm the only one with no homework. Alright. Tonight's coffee is on me."
Frisk was the happiest out of all of them. "Free coffee!"
Astrid collected the papers. "I guess we'll get to work on transforming these into codes."
The team spent the day continuing their project and cramming more world development techniques. They still continued their martial arts training and first aid lessons, all for the sake of better survival. By the end of the day, all of them were exhausted but felt a sense of fulfillment from the progress they made.
"See you tomorrow, guys. I have a date with a lovely office lady I have never met." Frisk waved and left first. He was probably out to pick up girls.
Astrid, Lyria, and Epsilon followed. "Later!"
Luna was sleeping on the table.
"Hey, wake up. It's over," Tank said as he lightly slapped some papers on her head.
"Huh?" Luna slowly got up. When she saw that Tank was looking at her, she immediately became anxious. "Tank! Sorry. I didn't mean to fall asleep. Did everyone leave already?"
"I'll walk you home. Let's go." Tank turned towards the door and threw his coat over his shoulder, letting it hang there while keeping it in place with his right hand.
Luna followed awkwardly behind him. They bid goodbye to Garth and walked together down the street.
This is it, Luna! He's going to reject you, Luna told herself. She couldn't bear to continue.
She couldn't take it any longer. "Tank! I'm sorry about the other night. I drank too much. I have no idea what I said to you, but please forget it."
He turned around and had a confused look. "Huh?"
"I don't want things to be awkward between us."
He stopped walking and paused for a moment. It was a long and agonizing pause for Luna. "Actually, I want to thank you for that." He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. "I've been criticizing myself so much lately because of what happened. I lost all my confidence, but your words helped bring it back. I'm glad you were there with me that night."
Luna froze. What exactly did I say to him?
He placed a hand on her head and messed up her hair. "Don't worry. Things won't be awkward between us."
Luna cried inside. I... didn't get rejected?
He smiled. "Care for a spar before we head home?"
"I'm game!" she replied happily.
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