Risingshadow has an opportunity to feature an excerpt from Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul (A LitRPG Adventure) by D.J. Bodden.
About the author:
DJ was born in the Cayman Islands and raised in Monaco. At 17, he decided to join the Marines and enrolled in a military high school. He graduated from Annapolis, became a helicopter pilot, went to sandy places, and wrote a couple books.
He's 5'10, brown haired and hazel eyed, and enjoys long, barefoot walks on the beach or anywhere else no one is thinking of shooting at him, and gets along freakishly well with small animals.
- Author's official website
- Author's Twitter page
- Amazon link for Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: Illusionist Series, Book 1
An excerpt from Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul (A LitRPG Adventure) by D.J. Bodden
I focused on the plaza. The nobleman had reached the far end and strode through an archway. In the crowd behind him, a tall man with a vertical scar on his right cheek and a gray-skinned Risi shoved their way through the crowd, clubs drawn and focused on their prey. They flashed purple as my Keen-Sight skill marked them as hidden threats, and the word [Thug] appeared over their heads.
Quest Alert: Save the Scion!
A nobleman has gotten himself lost in the wrong part of town. This is probably none of your business.
Quest Class: Unique, Faction-Based
Quest Difficulty: Moderate
Success: Save Provus Considia within 7 minutes.
Failure: Provus Considia dies.
Reward: 1000 EXP
Oh, hell. I took off after them. The moment I stepped forward, the prompt disappeared, and a timer appeared at the bottom of my field of view.
I pushed my way through the market crowd, squeezing between a couple holding hands and knocking over a servant carrying three live chickens in stacked wooden crates. Flapping chickens, feathers, and curses everywhere. Someone took a swing at me. I ducked, saw the gray Risi make it through to the archway and break into a lumbering run.
There was a narrow alley closer to me that looked like it ran parallel to the one the nobleman, Risi, and now the scarred thug had vanished into. I took a chance. I jumped onto one of the palm-encircling benches and running a few steps before dropping back down. I stepped over and through two street vendors floor displays, knocking over a full sack of almonds and very nearly twisting my ankle. More cursing, some of it stunningly descriptive if anatomically impossible. An oil seller jumped in front of his amphorae, arms wide and face panicked. I dodged right, bumped into a woman wearing a faded blue Stola over her head and apologized over my shoulder as I sprinted down the alley.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Jeff said in my ear. “What’s going on?”
“Not now, man!” I took the first left, saw it was a dead end, and nearly skidded onto my ass.
I backtracked, took the next left, and ran to the next intersection. The cobbles were beating the crap out of my feet. A yellow stamina bar appeared at the top right corner of my view, emptying with alarming speed.
I took a right, now on the same side street as the trio I was after, and ran on, breathing hard. In the real world, Osmark had tried to get me to run with him, but I always came up with an excuse not to go because I didn’t want to get shown up by my boss. I jogged on my own time to clear my head and stop myself from looking like I spent all day in an office, but my Level 1 body was in even worse shape than my real one. My stamina bar ran out as I reached the end of the street.
I’d emerged onto one of the wider avenues I’d seen from the upper city. The road, paved with wide, fitted stones, ran straight and clear from one of the large, fortified gates in the outer and passed to the right side of the heights, near some kind of colosseum. Palm trees were planted at regular intervals on either side. In between was a slow and steady flow of carts and people—dozens of ox-, horse-, and donkey-drawn wagons, and hundreds of pedestrians of every race I knew of in the game.
I started moving. I didn’t know how and when the thugs were going to attack, but I knew the general direction the nobleman had been heading. There were just too many distractions. A group of four armored Risi completely blocked my sight until I got around them. A pair of Accipiters flitted down the avenue, chasing after each other. “Jeff! I need help!”
“Dude, your heart rate’s—”
My pace faltered. “Am I dying?” I asked, suddenly less concerned about the game than my heart exploding in the real world.
“Damn it, Jeff!” I started running again. “Help me find—”
Something flashed purple in the corner of my eye. I looked and saw the gray Risi charging down a side street.
A passive ability allowing the observant adventurer to notice items and clues others might not see.
Ability Type/Level: Passive / Level 5
Effect 1: Chance to notice and identify hidden object increased by 30%.
Effect 2: 1% chance of slowing time 90% for 5 seconds on spotting an enemy or triggering a trap.
I dismissed the notification and changed directions, heading straight across the avenue. I spooked a yoke of oxen, making the two big beasts lowe, eyes rolling, and they backed into the cart they were pulling. I saw the driver stand and raise her whip. The lash fell across my back and upraised arm, and my health dropped more than a sliver. For a second, I felt the urge to turn and pull the Wode off her cart and rip the whip from her hands, woman or not, but the timer kept winding down, and I kept moving.
I made it to the side street, another alley wide enough for three people or maybe a handcart, and followed it around a bend to find... nothing. The alley kept going for a hundred yards without meeting another road, wide or narrow, and it was empty.
I slowed to a walk. There were dozens of doors, a stairway to the second and third level of a condominium, a metal plate shaped like an anvil... I thought of the old man and closed my eyes, listening.
“—the money? There’s only paper in this—”
I yanked on the wooden double doors to my right—they weren’t locked or barred—and burst into a small courtyard. The scene flashed purple, and time slowed.
Nearest to me, the gray Risi and his scarred friend were crouched over the nobleman’s courier bag. The Risi’s mouth was twisted into a snarl, his hand raised to show the scarred Imperial a sealed scroll. Time was moving so slow, I saw his eyes widen and slide toward me gradually instead of an instant flick. Behind and to the left, the nobleman was on his toes, back arched, and it was only by focusing on him that I noticed the Dokkalfar. The murk elf was dressed in gray leathers and had an ash colored bandana covering his face. He had his fists raised on either side of the nobleman’s neck, and wire glinted silver between them. The nobleman had gotten his left hand up between the wire and his throat, palm out. The murk elf was sawing through his fingers. Off-balance and in pain, the nobleman was reaching for the short sword on his left hip.
Time picked up again. I charged. The Risi’s eyes flicked to me. The scarred man turned, drawing a dagger. The Dokkalfar kicked the back of the nobleman’s knee. I felt big, rough fingers slip off my ankle as the nobleman gave in to panic and grabbed at the wire with both hands, and I plowed into him and his would-be assassin at full speed. The three of us slammed into the far wall. I went down sideways, dropping onto my shoulder with a loud pop. The nobleman ducked, spun, and drew his short sword across the assassin’s stomach, between the dark elf’s cuirass and leather belt.
The timer stopped at 0:35 and faded.
Dislocated Shoulder: You cannot use your left arm and cannot cast mage spells requiring hand gestures; duration, 1 minute 30 seconds.
“Alan?” Jeff said. “Alan, are you okay?”
My health bar, at the top left of my sight, had dropped to 50%. I couldn’t hear anything. My left shoulder was further forward than it should be, and the pain was like a bell ringing over my head. I rolled onto my back, my mouth wide open. I’m not an athlete. I’ve never been in the military. I think I screamed.
“You’re okay, man. Your vitals are all over the place, but you’re okay,” Jeff said.
The part of me that descended from fiercer men and women was alert enough to see the Dokkalfar stagger toward me, a curved dagger drawn, and I thought I’d probably done enough.
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