Inside the dimly lit Magic Metaverse Arena, the Game Master stood on one side of the black, rectangular Magic Court. The two hundred and fifty participants, all wearing their black and white uniforms, surrounded the court and looked on at the Game Master as he summoned his Chronicle.

He was of Light Nature, holding his shining white Chronicle in front of him, hiding a sly smile beneath his mask. ”Well, then. ” The man spoke, looking over at the crowd of young adults around him. ”Who would like to volunteer to be my assistant for this demonstration? ”

Immediately, dozens of hands shot up, followed by the volunteers practically begging the man to choose them.

”Ooh! Me! ”

”I wanna do it! ”

”Pick me! ”

”I volunteer! ”

Hiding his distorted smile, the masked man pointed to a single Latino boy whose hand was raised toward the back of the crowd. ”13, come on up here. ” The Latino boy was ecstatic as he was ready to be the first of the contestants to be able to use his Chronicle in battle. Pushing past his peers, the boy lept onto the stage before approaching the Game Master.

Pointing his finger toward the other end, the Game Master gave the boy further instructions. ”Alright, buddy. Go ahead and stand in that circle over there. It is called the Summoning Circle. Go ahead! ”

As instructed, the boy skipped across the rectangular court with his Ice Chronicle until he ended up standing in the circle on the other side. As soon as he stepped foot in the circle, his name and stats appeared over his head and above the field of the field next to the Game Masters.

[Edgar Gonzales – HP: 10000 MP: 2000]

[Game Master – HP: 5000 MP: 2000]

”Great job, buddy. Now, go ahead and look through your Chronicle. Right about now, your starter spells should be getting added to it. This applies to everyone. ” said the Game Master. Just as he had claimed, spells in each participants preferred language began to inscribe themselves into each Chronicle.

”Now, Edgar, I want you to place a Defensive Spell. Can you find one? ” the masked Game Master asked the young man. Edgar nodded as he raised two arms toward the sky before pulling downward, straining as if he were actually pulling down physical objects. ”Ice Wall! ” the boy shouted autonomously as he yanked a massive block of ice down from the sky, causing it to land in front of him while generating a powerful thud.

As the wall of ice hit the field, the boys clothes and hair were blown back by a chilling gust of wind due to the sheer weight of the ice barrier. The other participants looked on in awe as Edgar stood with a confident smile on his face, feeling as if he had just executed a grand feat.

[Ice Wall – 50 MP]

[Defensive Spell]

[Ice Wall HP: 500]

[Turn Shift]

”Wonderful! ” the Game Master complimented as he clapped his hands snobbishly. He didn truly think it was anything of the sort, if anything, it was a pathetic display in his eyes. ”Now, it is my turn. I cannot attack you directly, as I have to destroy your Defensive Spell. ”

The masked man summoned his Chronicle once again, flipping through its pages until finding his desired Attack Spell. He raised a single hand in the air delicately as if he were grabbing an apple from a tree, prompting dozens of individual weapons made of Light to appear above him. ”Raining Blades of Light! ” the Game Master yelled as he yanked his arm downward, causing the Light weapons to crash onto the Defensive Spell in front of the young man and destroy them in one attack.

[Raining Blades of Light – 50 MP]

[Offensive Spell]

[Ice Wall – HP: 0]

[Ice Wall – Destroyed]

[Turn Shift]

The young adults in the crowd began to applaud the Game Master, prompting him to bow and flourish to them elegantly. ”Thank you, thank you. ” he said with a sinister smirk beneath his black mask.

”Now, Edgar. I want you to wait out the clock. Each duelist has exactly sixty seconds to make a move or else… well, youll see. ”

Just as the Game Master instructed, Edgar waited all sixty seconds. By the time the timer hit zero, everyone was staring up at the clock in anticipation of what was about to happen.

”Ah! ” Edgar wailed, falling to his knees as he held onto his head in pain. His brain felt as if it had received a powerful electric shock, one so strong that the boy could hardly even think at that point. The crowd gasped in reaction to this and the Game Master did nothing but chuckle arrogantly. He was enjoying the sight, it was his favorite part of the demonstration every year.

[Edgar Gonzales – HP: 9000]

”As you all can see- ” The Game Master could barely even speak through his own laughter. Seeing the boy in pain was amusing to him. As he laughed uncontrollably, the young adults looked at him with unapproving and frightened eyes, realizing that he was clearly bizarre in more ways than one.

”If you wait out the timer, you get a one thousand Health Point deduction. It hurts too! ”

[Turn Shift]

”Oh, and you lose your turn. ” the man added. ”Now that its my turn, I will place down a Trap Spell. ”

The Game Master waved his hand in front of him, causing a perfect and smooth block of Light to form in front of him.

[Trap Spell – 100 MP]

”Since Trap Spells have a hidden property, they are formless until the requirement for activation has been met. He can choose to attack me directly or attack the spell itself. Either way, I will take damage. The question is: Will my trap activate upon me taking direct damage or will it activate upon the spell itself taking damage? Its quite the gamble! ”

The Game Masters once cool and calm voice had been replaced by that of a sadistic maniac by that point. The participants were developing a fear of the man, even Edgar was starting to become wary of him.

”Has he gone completely mental? ” Tom whispered to Kamari, looking up at the crazed masked man with a face full of disgust. ”Josh said he had a few screws loose, but I didn expect this. ”

”Hes completely lost it… ” Kamari responded, having his own revolted expression as the man continued to speak crazily.

”What will it be, Edgar!? Direct attack? Or will you destroy the spell? ”

Edgar, finally standing back up on his feet, looked toward the masked man with a malevolent glare. The ** is this fools problem? the boy thought to himself as he held his forehead with one hand.

His Chronicle reappeared in front of him and the boy began looking through the few spells that he had access to before settling on one. ”Ice Boulder. ” the boy muttered as he held his right hand, palm facing upward, next to his body. Slowly, a ball of ice began to form in the boys hand, growing in size until it reached the size of an enormous sphere of ice, as the name would suggest.

[Ice Boulder – 20 MP]

[Offensive Spell]

As if it were weightless, the boy launched the ball forward, striking the Trap Spell and destroying it with one hit. He couldn see it, but the masked man had a slimy grin on his face underneath his black mask.

[Game Master – HP:4500]

[Trap Spell HP: 0]

[Trap Spell Destroyed]

[Trap Spell Activated]

[Trap Spell: Triple Tap Payback – When this Trap Spell is destroyed, the attacker will receive triple the amount of damage that they dealt to their opponent]

”Arg! ” Edgar let out another scream as he felt his Health Points being stripped away from himself. It felt as if he was truly having his life force sucked out of him as his HP decreased once again.

[Edgar Gonzales – HP: 7500]

[Turn Shift]

The Game Master once again laughed hysterically as he watched the boy inflict pain on himself. ”Ouch, looks like you chose wrong! ” The Game Master couldn help but taunt the boy as he was outright destroying him due to the difference in experience and strength.

”Lets end this, shall we? ” said the Game Master as he immediately began casting another spell. This time, he simply snapped his fingers, causing a beam of light to gently cover the boy. Edgar could feel the warm rays on his skin as he looked up toward the heavens. Shortly after, that warmth transformed into harsh heat.

Edgars eyes widened before the beam intensified, letting out a roaring sound as it began boiling the boy alive. ”Aaaaaaaaah! God! Help me! Waaaah! ” His agonizing cries and pleas for help sent chills down the spines of everyone watching as they looked on in horror. Edgar could feel his skin melting off of his bones as if he had entered the pits of hell, continuing to wail as if anyone could save him at that point.

The Game Master did nothing but chuckle as he watched the boys Health Points continue to plummet until they reached zero.

[Edgar Gonzales – HP: 0]

[Edgar Gonzales – Eliminated]

The beam ceased, leaving a cloud of smoke behind that slowly dissipated in front of the young spectators. Within a matter of seconds, the silhouette of a person, or what was left of one, could be seen by all.

Soon after, horrified gasps, shrieks of terror, and the sounds of people calling upon their creator could be heard as the remains of the boy were finally revealed.

All that was left were his scorched bones, standing in the same spot before dropping to the ground lifelessly.

The assemblage of teens was dead silent, looking at the boys remains and the Game Master with terrified eyes.

As if he didn just murder an eighteen-year-old kid, the Game Master clapped his hands together and spoke to the spectators. ”And there you have it. Thats the basics! ” No one in the crowd reciprocated his enthusiasm.

After a moment of silence, a girl raised her hand.

”Yes, 47? ” The Game Master said, pointing at the curious girl.

”Is he okay? What happens to him in the real world? He sounded as if- ”

”As if he were really dying? ” the masked man said with a hidden, but still grotesque, smile beneath his mask.

The girl nodded.

”Remember, everything you feel in the Metaverse is felt by your body. So, to answer your question… thats because he is dead. When you die in the Metaverse, you die in real life. ”

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