"I don't have much time. Which is why I came to speak to you…" I stood there in front of my house, oblivious of what he was talking about. I was worried about him. I raised an eyebrow in confusion as I invited him inside the house.
My friend went inside without hesitation. My mother's car was gone which means she must be doing groceries or something. But still, I was glad that there were chips and cookies for us to eat while we together have a conversation. However, he doesn't look too merry to even bite food at all.
"What's wrong?" I said worried. He brushed his hair gently as he sighed.
"I wanted to tell you something very important. And…I didn't want to involve anyone else, including Joan. Which is why I wanted to talk you, Alister. Because you are my friend."
I blinked. "Did something happen?"
He shook his head. "There are events that are transpiring today. Throughout the days, you haven't seen me because of these events. And very soon, this town will be enveloped on a gruesome battlefield."
I laughed nervously. "What are you talking about, dude? What do you mean by that?"
"What I'm saying is…that you and the rest of the people in town will disappear into nothingness. It is inevitable that this event will transpire, and it will. There is no escape."
I gulped. "Listen, you are scaring me. What are you talking about? There's no such news on the TV. There's no war from other countries. Everything is fine. Did something happen to you, dude?"
He sighed. "As expected, you will not believe me what I'm talking about. I will like to show you something to start off." He got up and walked toward my window. And unexpectedly, he smashed the window with his bare hands.
"This world you live in is nothing more than a simulation. A fake reality that constantly pits together in a battle royale to claim a powerful artifact called the Crown of Infinity. He who wears it grants the user the power to create or destroy the world. That is the main rule of this simulation. You must win in order to gain this power."
"Those days that I were absent was because I was battling my enemies. I fought hard, ended with many wounds, but now there's only one left. And soon, a great battle will begin. A contest to win the crown at Heaven's Castle. I have been set to do this countless times. A never ending cycle."
I was processing the information he was giving to me. What is this 'Heaven's Castle? And what the hell is he talking about a crown?
He waved his hand and something out of this world pops on the air, like a projection. It was like a menu displaying all kinds of words that I couldn't understand. And miraculously the window he broke pieced together into one.
"Everything in this world is fake. The people you meet while walking to school, the classmates you befriended, even your own mother…is fake."
I gritted my teeth. "What…is going on here? Why are you telling me this? And how the hell did you repaired that window just like that? Is that…magic?"
His eyes turned dark as the storm and pierced into my soul. "No. It's nothing more than data. Once you gain experience in battle, you gain perks. And these perks can be used to repair stuff. Some can heal humans. Others to harm humans. That is the law of the simulation."
I was still confused and rather scared of the ominous words he was talking. But his eyes answered it all. He was not lying.
He walked slowly to me while speaking. "Alister, you are my friend. Together with Joan, I have gained so much from you two. So many good memories that I will treasure it forever. The truth is, you, Barry and Joan are the only ones who I found to be real humans. I observed you, studied you, and acknowledged your existence. Just like the others. But I…I'm nothing more than a lost forgotten human who lost everything. When the time comes, I will like to ask you a favor. If I win the crown…" He opened his palm and in a flashing second, a glinting sword appeared on his hand. "I want you…to kill me."
My face turned pale as these words came out from him. My head throbbed with pain as I tried to visualize what was happening. Why would he tell me this? Why would he ask me this? He's my friend.
"Stop it." I lowered my voice as I gritted my teeth with anger.
"You have to kill me. It's the only way that you and Joan and Barry will be saved from 'Them'. Promise me that you will, before the simulation ends."
"Please, Alister." He started to sob."Please, end my suffering. End my curse. I have done this countless times. Please, you are my friend… I beg you, promise me that…"
"Stop it!!!" And I launched a powerful punch on his face. He flipped into the floor while the glinting sword was knocked into the floor.
I couldn't believe his words. I couldn't believe what he was saying. A simulation? Everything that I gained was nothing more than a fake reality? All these accumulated emotions…was nothing?
Without thinking, I grabbed his shirt and lifted him as I looked at his stormy eyes, washed by tears. And so, I opened my mouth and yelled at him.
"Who are you?!"
And he just smiled gladly and said. "My name is…"
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