Thomas found exactly nothing after spending an hour or two searching the entire abandoned and decrepit village. If there had been anything there it had either been looted or rotted to nothing over the course of years. He couldn't even tell how long ago the village had been abandoned. The only clues he had were the overgrowth and that told him nothing. He moved to the center of the village and frowned. He was no expert tracker or anything but it didn't look like anyone had beat him to this place so there should be something here right?

Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and frowned as he looked around. Maybe it really was just an empty abandoned village with nothing inside of it. His gamer instincts insisted that there was something here, really well hidden probably. His search had turned up nothing though. Maybe he needed a different tactic. He moved to what he felt was the exact center of the village while uncrossing his arms. He clenched his hands into fists and started to churn the mana within his body. He had one thing he could try, if it didn't work he'd think of something else.

After his mana was churning throughout his body he released it in a massive pulse that drained nearly half of his mana. He'd activated a skill he hadn't used in a long time, Mana Field. His mana flew out in every single direction all around him. As it moved it fed information back to him allowing him to see everything within 360°. As the mana spread further he could see through the ground, walls, trees, everything. Nothing was hidden from him. When the mana spread out to nearly fifty meters he finally spotted something he hadn't seen already.

Near the first building he'd searched, there was an underground tunnel connected to the basement room he'd fallen into. He'd been unable to find it because there was a wall of dirt and stone nearly a meter thick that separated the basement from the tunnel. It had been buried and covered over making it nearly impossible for someone like him to notice it normally. After reaching nearly a hundred meters his Mana Field stopped expanding and collapsed. He had a slight headache from processing so much information at once but it had allowed him to follow the hidden tunnel for a distance. It was rather straight and seemed to go for a fair distance.

Thomas moved back to the first house he'd searched and hopped down into the basement. He moved over to the wall that he knew the passage was behind and looked it over. There really were no signs at all, that he could see, to indicate there was anything behind it. Thomas crouched down and placed his hand on the wall near the bottom of it. He wanted to try something, though he figured it should work without an issue. His mana moved from his hand and through the wall along where he determined the floor should be.

When his mana reached the end of the meter thick wall and came out the other side he began the process of converting his mana into the earth element while shaping it. The ground groaned in protest as his mana solidified and began to gain shape. He continued to pump more and more mana into the spell as it grew larger. By the time he spent a quarter of his mana, the earth element had formed a tunnel a meter high that went completely through the wall to the other side.

He quickly scrambled through the tunnel to the other side before releasing his spell. The tunnel he had made immediately collapsed with a rumbling sound that slightly shook the area where he stood. Thomas found himself in pitch black darkness. There was no light coming from anywhere at all for him to see by. He didn't find this to be an issue at all as his eyes began to glow. His 'All Seeing Eyes' activated and gave him the ability to see in the pitch blackness as if he was beneath the bright sun at noon. The dark vision mode of his 'All Seeing Eyes' really was extremely helpful.

He looked around his surroundings and noticed they were slightly different than he'd imagined with his Mana Field ability. The tunnel had survived so long because the walls were all solidly paved with stone that had been fitted together. There was no sign of grout or anything between the stone blocks, they're simply been carved to fit perfectly together with no gaps. After looking over the wall, he started to make his way down the pathway. It seemed to curve slightly making it impossible for him to look too far ahead and see what was there.

Thomas made his way slowly down the tunnel. He had no idea if it was trapped or not and he had never been good at finding hidden traps. He had plenty of experience making traps, which you would think would make him great at spotting them. For whatever reason though, he really sucked at finding traps that had already been set. He was tempted to just run as fast as he could, after all, he was rather fast at top speed. He didn't do so because his kind of speed was nothing special within this world and traps would likely be designed to counteract the special properties that people's bodies would possess. Speed, durability, strength, the traps would be designed to counteract these traits. Otherwise, the traps would be pointless. Well, if there were any traps.

Thomas didn't know how far he'd walked, it was hard to tell with the curving pathway that never seemed to change in appearance. If he had to guess, he figured he'd walked at least a kilometer within the tunnel. When he found the end of the tunnel he was surprised by what he found. Standing in front of him was a massive ten-meter tall pair of double doors. The size of the doors surprised Thomas. They indicated that he'd been walking down a very gradual slope, so gradual that he hadn't even noticed that he was moving deeper and deeper beneath the ground.

The doors were plain with no decorations or hint at what they were built for. They were simply two flat slabs of metal with a seam down the middle. Not even a sign of a handle or something to pull them open with. He moved closer and began to examine the doors in detail. He couldn't immediately recognize the metal the doors were made of but it was clearly a good material as there were no signs of corrosion at all. For them to be down in the ground for so long with no damage showed that they were well made and made of excellent material. He wanted to steal the doors. Forget gold and jewels, this was his kind of treasure!

Thomas reached out and stroked the metal doors with the tips of his fingers. The metal was cool to the touch and so smooth that he felt like his fingers were trailing through water. It was shocking as it made the door feel as if it didn't generate much, if any, friction. As he stroked the door with the tips of his fingers his mana began to stir and before he realized what was happening a thin stream of his mana began to flow from his fingers and into the doors. Unsure of what was happening, Thomas yanked his hand away from the doors like he'd been burned. The mana stream from the tips of his fingers didn't terminate though and continued to flow into the doors.

Thomas quickly retreated away from the doors and attempted to forcefully cut off the flow of his mana to them. Nothing he tried worked. He even attempted to convert his mana into earth and metal in an attempt to make his mana solid so it could no longer flow into the door. Nothing worked. The stream of mana was thin and slow so he wasn't being drained dry at a rapid pace, but he could do nothing to stop it at all.

His mana had recovered some from his large expenditures earlier, but it was still not near his maximum due to spending a bit to maintain his 'All Seeing Eyes' with his night vision mode. Unable to do anything to stop his mana from flowing out he sat down on the floor and crossed his legs. He closed his eyes and quickly activated his 'Serenity' skill. He couldn't stop the flow of mana and didn't want to risk all of his mana being drained. If it was he would likely end up unconscious and unable to defend himself if something were to happen.

He used 'Serenity' to increase the recovery speed of his mana while it continued to drain at a slow but constant rate from his body and into the doors. Even with all of his abilities deactivated and 'Serenity' running his mana continued to drain faster than he could restore it. Fortunately, his recovery rate offset some of the drain and prolonged the time it would take for him to completely run out of mana.

Thomas was unable to tell time while using 'Serenity' so he had very little idea just how much time had gone by. All he knew was that after some time had passed the doors released their hold on his mana. He intended to maintain his use of 'Serenity' to recover his mana but the doors had different plans. Thomas heard a rumbling sound and was forced to end his use of 'Serenity' before he could recover very much at all. He opened his eyes and leaped to his feet. He didn't have to activate his 'All Seeing Eyes' to see what was happening.

The large double doors were glowing with a bright golden light as the vibrated within their frame. Thomas retrieved his Peace Maker and cocked the hammer on it. He had no idea what was going on but he was ready to shoot anything that might leap out at him. As he cautiously watched the doors he saw glowing white runes begin to emerge on them. He didn't recognize them at all. He found this extremely exciting!

Games like AoG would translate primary languages of the game and the languages of the real world in real-time to the players. Its what allowed for a seamless worldwide audience to all play together. Thomas could play with people from around the world who only spoke their countries primary language without any issues. When they spoke he would hear English and when he spoke they would hear their language. This was relevant because the language that was appearing on the door was not being translated automatically. This meant it was an obscure dialect or a dead language that the game didn't give him automatic access too. In other words, he'd just found a good secret!

The runic language continued to spread and grow in complexity along the doors. As it grew the vibrations of the door grew more and more intense. Dust and dirt fell from the ceiling above Thomas and he began to worry about the possibility of a cave in. This place was who-knows-how-old and could have become unstable over the years. He crouched a little and prepared to run back the way he came at the first sign of the ceiling trying to fall on top of him.

The vibrations of the doors grew more intense but there was no sign of the ceiling caving in. Whoever had built the place had been meticulous about it and Thomas was one to appreciate lasting work. After a few minutes, the doors were completely covered in glowing white runes and stopped their shaking. Dust and dirt continued to drift down from the ceiling for a bit but there was eventually complete silence within the tunnel. The doors stood silently while glowing brightly.

Thomas waited in the silence for a short time before he grew curious. Though the door had drained his mana and he had worried about the ceiling collapsing, nothing truly dangerous had happened yet. He walked up to the doors and looked them over closely. He still had no clue what the language on the door meant or if it really even was a language. For all he knew, it could have easily just been enchantments or something completely made up. He doubted that though, he was relatively certain it was a language of some sort.

Before he did anything else he stored his cocked Peace Maker, pulled out some supplies, and began to copy down the writing on the doors to the best of his ability. He wasn't much of an artist when it came to drawing things. Give him a piece of metal and a hammer and he would make something amazingly beautiful. Give him a piece of paper and a pencil and you would be lucky to get a stick figure. This was relevant because the language on the doors looked more like art than any kind of writing that Thomas had seen before. It kind of reminded him of Egyptian hieroglyphs he'd seen in pictures, though somewhat simpler than them.

It took him a fair amount of time to copy down the entire contents of the doors. They'd continued to glow the entire time with no sign of the glow dimming or intending to go away at all. Thomas stored the information he'd copied down inside of his inventory and looked over the doors. He wondered what he should do next. The doors had done nothing since he touched them and he started to wonder if he needed to touch them again. Did they need another dose of mana? Could they be opened now? Or had he just primed a trap without knowing it?

Thomas frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. He decided that before anything else, he needed to fully recover his mana. He had no idea what was going to happen if he touched the door again and he wanted to be prepared for any possibility that might arise. He stepped back from the door and sat on the floor once again. He used his 'Serenity' and began to recover his mana. Once he was recovered he would see what happened if he touched the doors once again. Until then he would recover.

A note from thomasdarkrose

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About the author


  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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