Furious clicking and clacking could be heard in the mostly darkened room as a woman was sitting in front of her computer, her eyes glued to the screen as she moved her character to keep up with her guildmates. She was illuminated by the pale glow of her monitor while the rest of the room was dark and quiet, no moonshine daring to force themselves through the drapes in front of her windows as if scared of her wrath. But even though it was late at night and she had no heating running, the woman had felt as if the temperatures in her room had been rising for the past 5 minutes, her sweat drenching her shirt.

She simply chalked up to exhaustion and excitement. The raid had been going on for about two hours now after all and they were reaching the end of the instance. It was the furthest they ever got so far and they were so close to victory. After this all was over, she could take a relaxing bath, let some air into the room and sleep for the night with her, hopefully ultra rare loot, safely secured in her inventory in the game.

It was good to finally be able to raid with her guildmates again. A new school year had just begun and that meant a lot of work for her. Handing out assignments, correcting tests, teaching lessons were only part of the job she chose for herself as a teacher. Getting up early and as such, not staying up all night and playing games were part of the whole deal as well, parts she willfully ignored every so often during nights such as this one.

She had been skeptical at first when the leader of her guild had suggested to go and give it another try as their last one had failed spectacularly after just the first few rooms. But back then, all of them had been weaker and not as well equipped as now and it definitely showed. They rushed through the rooms easily this time, not being bothered by any gimmicky encounters or trapped rooms. With a bit of game knowledge and teamwork, it felt like nothing could stop them this time!

One of her arms went up to wipe her brow and she could feel the sweat sticking to her hair and arm as well now to her own surprise. Perhaps this was an early sign of her getting sick instead of just the excitement? But that should not be possible as she took good care of herself whenever she could, excluding her gaming habits. But there was no good in thinking about it now as her concentration was needed elsewhere. Namely in the digital fantasy world of Filna Fantasy!

The group entered the last room and right before the fight that would determine their fate begun, a message popped up in the lower left corner of her screen. Just seconds after, her fingers swiftly typed in a message. After so many hours of playing this game, she had become used to fighting and chatting at the same time, a skill most of her guildmates had picked up over time as well. It certainly did help during difficult fights such as this one.

konakona: alright guys we're almost there. don't mess up now

yamanka: don't worry, we got this

nanakon: we're gonna finish this tonight! wb

gatongo: lolololo

konakona: got 3 on me, healz pls

yamanka: on it

nanakon: debuffing adds

yamanka: thx

konakona: gato, stun now

gatongo: lolololo

yamanka: nanakon more dps

nanakon: (-_-) doing my best, sorry. heat is distracting me

konakona: 2 down, 3 to go. Lets go!

gatongo: lolololo nice

konakona: taunt on Cd, someone bind

nanakon: done

konakona: thx. yama need def buff

yamanka: casting. nanakon too?

yamanka: nanakon? ಠ_ಠ

gatongo: lolololo

nanakon: yes sorry. room is so hot for some reason (╯°□°)╯

yamanka: stay focused

gatongo: computer too hot? lolololo

nanakon: not the computer. something else (-_-)

konakona: all good nanakon? healz!

yamanka: healed. talk later, play for now

nanakon: all good i think. one sec

konakona: just the boss. all dps now!

yamanka: right

gatongo: lolololo

konakona: nanakon go go

konakona: nanakon?

Your friend nanakon has logged off

yamanka: ?

konakona: ? need dps!

gatongo: down! lolololo

konakona: so close!

yamanka: im down too

konakona: no not now!

yamanka: just a little more

konakona: WHAT?

yamanka: oh…

gatongo: CRIT! lolololo WIPED!

In another house on the other side of the very same town a girl about ten years younger than the other woman threw her hands up in the air with a small cry of frustration, staring at her screen in disbelief as a few more messages from her guildmates came one, one typing in frustration and annoyance while the other seemed to have a great time, laughing about the fact they just lost so very close to victory.

One or two more attacks from her and the boss would have died. After hours of fighting and planning, using up items and cancelling other plans they had, the group had been so very close to finally beating this instance for the first time. They could have done it but then the hydra got lucky and landed a massive critical hit out of nowhere, finishing off her last HP in one clean swoop. But the critical hit was not the actual reason they lost.

Right towards the end, the group had fallen apart completely. With Nanakons sudden disappearance, they were lacking decisive dps to finish the fight quickly enough before the hydra's attacks could outdamage Yamanka's healing. Gatongo's damage was good and her own tanking skills were something she was proud of. But without her teachers dps, they was now way they could have beat the boss.

Letting out another annoyed groan, she typed a goodbye message in the chat to her guildmates who were still arguing before logging off and turning off the screen. The PC remained powered of course, who knew when she would be needing to look something up quickly, without the patience to spare to wait for it to boot up again.

With it being this late already and her mood for gaming gone, she just threw herself onto her bed and buried her face in the pillow, trying not to think about all the possibly epic and legendary level loot they all missed out on by their failure. But tomorrow was a school day anyway so she should try to get a few hours of sleep in at least, or so she thought. Sleeping in class was no problem usually but right now, escaping her upset mind by passing out seemed much more entertaining than mulling over spilled loot. Her last thoughts went out towards her teacher, half angry and half confused why she had suddenly logged out out of nowhere.

Back on the other side of the town, the woman stood in front of her apartment complex, panting hard while cradling her Pc in her arms. Seeing how she had to leave in a hurry, she only wore a black tank top with a white button up shirt thrown over it as well as a black pair of sweatpants but no shoes. Her hair was a mess and hanging loosely with nothing to tie it together like usual when she left the house. There had been no time for any of that.

As it had turned out, it had not been her computer or any sickness or excitement that made her feel so uncomfortably warm before when she had been playing with her guild. No, it had been something much more serious, serious enough to make her quit the game right before beating the final boss of the raid her guild had been trying to run successfully for weeks now. The reason she had left was staring straight back at her.

The building had been and still was on fire, that much was obvious. A few flames were still peeking out from inside windows, casting an eerie shine onto their surroundings as they fought against the attempts of the firefighters to put them out and to get the situation under control. They had done a fantastic job, arriving quickly and putting out as much of the fire as they could but a lot of things had certainly fallen victim to the flames.

She knew something was wrong when it got hotter and hotter in her room and the air had started to smell like campfires but when the fire alarm had finally started blaring throughout the entire building, her body had almost acted on its own for the following minutes. Throwing on some clothing, grabbing her most important essentials including her wallet, phone and keys she had been about to storm out of the building but then her eyes had fallen onto her Pc.

The people that saw her on the way out could only describe her as a bolt of yellow passing by, panting violently while dashing through the smoke and heat of the house fire with her massive computer cradled in her arms like a mother would do to keep her child safe. Instead of escaping the house with one of the fire exits on the back of the house, she had even chosen to brave through the at that point, rather dangerous staircase leading downwards to be able to keep her computer with her the entire way.

Luckily, she had escaped mostly unharmed safe for parts of her clothing having burn marks from the fire but physically, she was in a perfect condition. Once outside the danger zone of the fire and the splash zone of the water the firefighters were using, she felt exhaustion finally slamming into her body like a truck at full speed. Her legs almost gave out underneath her and she was forced to place the heavy computer on the ground to not just let it fall down. It would be a shame for this thing to be destroyed now after putting so much effort into saving it.

But what now? Almost all of her belongings had been in her small apartment when she had fled the building. Would everything be fine once the fires were out? Could she just go back up, plug her PC back in and go back to normal after this was done? The fires still burning inside of the building destroyed that train of thought within seconds and proved it to be wishful thinking.

A lot of her things were likely burned to a crisp. And life had been going so well. She was lucky to say her job was something she enjoyed doing most of the days. It paid well and she got to do something she enjoyed doing, teaching kids and making sure they got through school more or less alright. Other than that, her games and other such things almost always kept her busy and entertained when she had free time to spare. The only thing life had been lacking in was romance. Perhaps one of the firefighters was still single?

She threw that thought away with a shake of her head and focused back on the matter at hand. What was the next right move to take? Did she have a place to stay while this was getting sorted out? Would she be able to appear in school the next day to teach? With another heavy sigh, she sunk down and sat down on the sidewalk with her back towards her apartment complex, throwing a glance at the computer next to her on the street. At least she had been able to save something after all.

A hotel room would have to do for tonight and everything else came after. Nothing she could do at the moment anyway. Tomorrow she would come back and see what was next. After getting her keys out of her pocket, she lifted up the computer again and carried it over to one of her only belongings left untouched by the fire. Her car. With the computer stored on the backseat, neatly secured with the seat belt, she turned on the car and drove off, trying to remember the address to the nearest hotel.