"Come on, Zach. You have got to play this game," a boy wearing glasses and uniform uttered.
"No matter what you say, Shay. I am not playing any games. Especially those VR games," Zach denied.
"Hey, Kayden. You tell him," Shay turned to Kayden and said, "You two are childhood friends, so he will listen to you."
"Give it up, Shay," Kayden scoffed and uttered, "He hates games, and you know it."
Three high school boys, Zach, Shay, and Kayden, were on their way home after attending the last day of school before the summer holidays.
Zach, 18 years old, has black hair, golden eyes, a little bit taller than the teenagers on his age, a perfect body build, and an attractive smile as well as an arrogant smirk. He lived with his mother and little sister. His school reports were above average, but nothing extraordinary. He was just a normal high school student— or so he looked like, but he was hiding a big secret from the world. He had no life goals, and he wanted to take care of his sister and mother.
Shay, 17 years old, has brown hair, brown eyes, skinny, and he wore glasses. He was the son of the richest man in the city, and he was spoiled to the core. He looked innocent from his face, but he was a playboy. He has played all the VR games available in the market. Some might call him a professional VR gamer, but Zach always thought of him as a gaming nerd. His dream was to become a game developer.
Kayden, 18 years old, has dark brown hair, black eyes, and a bodybuilder. He was Zach's childhood friend. But unlike Zach, he was popular because of his sturdy build. He was going to inherit his father's tech business.
"Argh! You two are boring. Especially you, Zach," Shay remarked.
"Hey, I am not boring. I play games with you, don't I?" Kayden retorted.
"What's so fun about playing VR games anyway?" Zach asked with a curious look on his face.
Shay looked at Zach with a shocked expression on his face, as though he couldn't believe what Zach just asked.
"VR games are a lot better in every aspect compared to this shitty world we live in," Shay answered.
"Seriously, Zach, you should try it out once," Kayden uttered.
Zach shrugged his shoulders and said, "You know I am not rich enough even to buy a VR game or gear on that matter."
Shay squinted his eyes and furrowed his brows at Zach, and said, "Who are you kidding?! You won a 10 million dollar lottery last week, didn't you?"
"Yeah," Zach nodded. "But I am going to use that money on my family. I don't have a father, and I need to take care of my mother and sister too, you know?"
Zach lost his father at the age of seven in a natural disaster. However, his body was never found, so he still had a hope that he would return one day.
"How much money did you get in your bank account after all the tax and stuff?" Kayden asked with a curious yet calm look on his face.
"Around 6 million, I guess," Zach replied honestly.
Shay placed his hand on Zach's shoulder and said, "A VR game only costs around 3 million. And you will still have another 3 million left."
"I am not wasting 3 million on some stupid game," Zach uttered in a solemn voice.
"Alright, alright. No need to be so annoyed."
After walking for a while, Shay couldn't help himself. He glanced at Zach from the corner of his eyes and uttered, "How about we go to the 'VR center' store?"
"What is that?"
Kayden cleared his throat and said, "VR-center stores are where you can play a VR game of your choice for a limited amount of time. It's like renting a VR game. Although, we can only play at the center."
"For free?" It piqued Zach's interest.
"You need to pay, obviously."
"Then nevermind." Zach lost his interest.
"Come on! Can't you at least try it once? And since we will be renting, it will be cheap," Shay stated.
"If it will be cheap, then I guess… okay." Zach finally agreed to play.
"Yes!" Shay took out his phone and said, "Let me check the nearest VR center."
"Uhh…" Kayden raised his hand and said, "I know one, actually. It's nearby."
Zach, Kayden, and Shay went to the VR center.
It was a five-story building with nothing but everything related to VR in it.
A man in his early fifties greeted them and asked, "How may I help you?"
The place had no one walking around except the workers who worked there.
Each floor had dozens of rooms with different types of VR gears in them, depending on what type of game one would play.
It also had a restaurant and bathhouse on the side of the lobby after the reception desk.
"We are here to play VR games," Shay replied. "Obviously."
The man took them to room number 23ß, where three VR capsules were vacant.
On their way, Zach glanced around, and he saw dozens of people playing VR games.
"Which game would you like to play?" the man asked in a calm voice.
Zach looked at Shay and waited to hear his reply.
"It's Abyss Online," Shay replied.
"Good choice." The man nodded and said, "The game is only two weeks old, so you can make your name well known by climbing at the top early-stage of the game."
"How long are we playing?" Kayden asked Shay.
"Wait, wait, wait! I can't stay here for three days," Zach panicked.
"Don't worry." Shay placed his hand on Zach's shoulder and said, "Three days in the real world is a week in the game."
"That's even worse! I can't sleep if I don't see my family."
"..." Shay facepalmed himself and thought, 'This guy is so corny about his family.'
"How about you call your mother and ask for her permission?" Kayden suggested.
Zach phone called his mother while saying, "There is no way she would agree."
[What's wrong, Zach?]
"So Kayden and my friend Shay are asking me to play a VR game with them. We are at the VR center right now, where you can rent VR games. But I need to stay here to play it."
Zach was talking in a respectful manner with a calm voice.
[Then play it. I tell you all the time to enjoy your life.]
"But, I will be staying here for three days. It's so—"
[Just play it already. Don't worry about me or Zoe.]
"I have promised Zoe that I will watch a movie with her tomorrow."
[I will take care of that. And if you enjoy the VR game, then go ahead and buy it.]
"No way, they are so expensive."
[You do know that your father has left us enough money to survive without you working a job, right?]
"I am hanging up." Zach hung up the call.
Whenever someone mentioned Zach's father in front of him, he got agitated.
"So, what did your mother say?" Kayden asked with a curious look on his face.
"She said it's okay."
"Nice!" Shay rejoiced.
Zach let out a weary sigh and shook his head.
Shay turned to the man and asked, "How much for three days?"
"Our charge is 5000 per day, but since you have chosen three days, I will charge only 10000," the man answered.
"What?!" Zach exclaimed. "10000?!"
He turned to Shay and shouted, "You said it will be cheap!"
"It is cheap, the cheapest VR center I have ever been to in my life," Shay shrugged his shoulders and continued, "And 10000 is nothing. Heck, you can't even get a decent phone in 10000 nowadays."
After pondering for a while, Zach sighed and groaned, "Fine~ I will play."
The man pointed his hand in the room and said, "Relax yourself. I will go link the VR capsule with the server of Abyss online. When the light turns green on the capsule, you can dive into Abyss Online."
They entered the room and stood in front of the VR capsule.
"Have you asked for your parent's permission to stay here for three days?" Zach asked Shay.
"Shouldn't you at least inform them?"
"They always yell at me when I play games at home. So there is no way they are going to allow it," Shay scoffed.
"Is that okay?"
"Who cares? It's my life, and they don't get to make choices," Shay answered in a haughty manner.
Zach looked at Kayden and asked, "What about you, Kayden?"
"My uncle owns this place," Kayden asserted nonchalantly.
"So that's why you brought us here, you clever fox." Shay nudged Kayden and remarked, "Already helping in the family business, huh?"
"The light is green. Let's dive into it before Zach changes his mind," Kayden commented.
The VR capsule was made for the players who wanted to do a long dive in a VR game. They could play it nonstop for a week without eating anything.
They laid down in the capsule and had their body examined to make sure they were ready for the long dive.
Meanwhile, in the heavens.
[This is madness. We shouldn't do this,] a voice rang in the clouds.
[Why shouldn't we? Since they like the fake worlds this much, we will send them to one,] another voice said.
[There is no point in punishing humans. They haven't done anything wrong,] the third voice echoed in the clouds.
[They stopped worshipping us! They stopped believing in us! So now, they shall face the wrath of the gods!] the fourth voice said.
[But isn't god all-forgiving? So let's forgive them,] the fifth voice uttered.
[Indeed. Gods are forgiving. But they shall be forgiven after they receive their punishment,] the sixth voice stated.
[So what's wrong with them creating their own worlds?] the seventh voice asked.
[Nothing is wrong. But If they want a new world, then we shall give it to them. We shall make an online world,] the eighth voice declared.
[You all are out of your minds. What do you want to achieve by making humans suffer?] the ninth voice asked.
[To show them that we are supreme beings. To prove them that they are just inferior pests!] tenth voice asserted.
[Why is he salty?] eleventh voice questioned.
[Isn't he always salty?] the twelfth voice laughed.
The gods kept discussing the matter for a while.
[Alright, as we have been doing so far. We shall vote if we should do it or not.]
All the gods and goddesses voted their opinion, and the results were obvious.
[The votes are in favor of yes.]
The clouds rumbled with thunder as a voice announced, [Transmigrating all the souls of the humans who are currently playing VR games, into the new world, an online world— Gods' Impact!]
Ready for impact?
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