306 The big screen
Walking around on top of the arena was a bit harder compared to the other day. It was now fully filled and bustling like a city centre with a sale on the weekend.
"A big event that attracts people from all over," Vorden said.
Luckily the platform was quite large and wide, allowing plenty of space for the vast amounts of people to move around. At the moment, most of the people were gathered around the screens that were stationed ever so often along the circular path. They were now turned on and were displaying the starter events for the day.
The "block, block" event that the group wanted to go to was stationed on screen seven. While walking by, they managed to catch a few events on the other screens. On one of the screens, there was a soccer match going on that allowed the use of specific abilities. There were complicated rules for which abilities were allowed and not allowed for this event.
It seemed quite hectic and was hard to follow along, but after the introduction of ability soccer, normal soccer just seemed boring to watch.
The next screen they passed there were giant pillars as tall as a house. The students were told to use their abilities and craft the most beautiful object they knew of, and there were even more going on.
It was such a joyous day, and the atmosphere around them was great. Usually, on a day-to-day basis, Quinn would have someone throw an insult or a slur towards him, but everyone was far too focused even to notice him or the others there.
He felt guilty that he wouldn't be able to enjoy the events that were going on, for he had Peter on the back of his mind. Even if he knew why they decided to do this to Peter, he still didn't know what they would do after, nor could he do anything. He wasn't able to get strong enough in time and hoped that after using Peter as bait like Logan thought they would allow Peter to live at school a bit longer before moving him on to trial.
In that time frame, Quinn would try to get as strong as possible and save him.
Eventually, they had finally reached screen seven, and there was already a large crowd in this section. In fact, it was the largest crowd compared to all the other screens. At first, it was mostly filled with just students, but later on, adults and others from different factions came to take a look since they too were wondering why the event was so popular.
"I didn't know Block was such a popular game?" Quinn said.
"It isn't," Vorden replied. "I never expected there to be this many people."
The group walked through some of the people who were at the back, not paying attention until they eventually found some seats around the middle area. There were seats for those who wanted to stay and watch the event permanently in front of every screen. There were then standing areas towards the back and sides, for those who might want to continue to walk around and see the other events.
Most people preferred to stand. That way, they could go to the stands or watch the other events and come back to the ones they enjoyed first, But because Quinn and the others didn't want to watch anything else, they were happy just to sit down.
"Sorry," Quinn said as they passed a man that they didn't have any military uniform on and sat in the three seats next to him. The man was sitting at the very end of the row.
After sitting down and watching the event for a while, they realized how boring a game it was to watch rather than play. The game was currently at level three, and they needed to witness multiple students to do the same thing again and again, clearing the same level.
It wasn't an exciting atmosphere like last night, and there were even a few in the crowd starting to yawn.
"I think we might have made the wrong decision to trust you to pick the event," Fex said, yawning himself and stretching his arms.
"I'll go get us some drinks and snacks. You guys can wait here." Vorden said as he left his seat.
"Don't worry," The man sitting next to them said as he brushed his long hair that went down to his collar bone away and placed them behind his ears. "Although the beginning is a bore, this type of game gets better in the later rounds." He said with a smile. When looking at the man, he had beautiful clear skin and didn't look a lot older than twenty.
Both Fex and Quinn didn't know what to say, so they just smiled back at the man and carried on watching the event.
What he said was true, Quinn thought. The later rounds would be far more exciting, and he would love to see others' perform at a level beyond five.
As the levels went up, more students started to get knocked out. It didn't seem like it was because they couldn't do it, but instead was due to the event's nerves and pressure. They had made silly mistakes at crucial times.
The atmosphere was still tame. However, that all seemed to change when they had announced they would start to move onto level four.
The audience members seemed to perk up and started chatting heavily among themselves.
"Is there something big that happens when it reaches level four?" Fex asked.
"Not that I can remember when we played yesterday. It was the same right, even up till level five. It just got faster, and the attack patterns changed slightly." Quinn replied.
The man sitting next to them had overheard their conversation.
"Oh, so you managed to bet the game at level five. I might say that's quite impressive, what's your top level?" The man asked.
"I don't know," Quinn replied. "We stopped playing after Level five. We were only playing because of a bet anyway.
Vorden soon returned with the drinks and snacks, and by now, a few students had already passed and were knocked out by the level four machine. Then when the next participant started, he did something that seemed odd. Instead of blocking the attacks, it looked like he was trying to hit the machine as soon as it moved.
The students had gone wild after seeing this.
"Is it him? So he was at the event after all!" A Student shouted.
But soon after, he had made a mistake and had hit the machine before it even moved.
"Fake!" Another shouted.
"I guess he couldn't be in the tournament, especially if he were in the video. It happened here on the top floor, remember?" Another said.
Quinn and Fex, with their hearing, were able to overhear the students talking. When hearing what they were saying, they looked at each other. Unsure about what was happening.
They didn't say a word but had a dreadful feeling in the back of their minds.
The game continued with several other students attempting to do the same thing. They were hitting the machine as soon as it moved to make it look as if it was standing still. In the end, not a single student was able to achieve it, and even the favorite to win the competition was knocked out.
The man who was sitting by their side was finding the whole thing strange. He had watched the event multiple times in the past years but had never seen anything like this happen. Nor the level of excitement coming from the other students nor the strategy the participants were using.
"Can I ask?" The man said to the student sitting in front of him. "Why are they all attempting to attack the machine like that? Why not just play the game like normal."
"You mean you haven't seen the video?" The student replied back. "My guess is the contestants saw the same thing we all did. There's a video of someone playing the game at level four, who was able to attack the machine before it even moved. He managed to clear the level perfectly, not making a single mistake while doing this."
The sound of something hitting the floor and then ice spilling all over the place was heard. When the man turned around, he noticed that the student sitting by his side had dropped his drink.
'What the hell? How do they know about the video?' Quinn thought.
The level four event had ended, and since there were now very few participants, the events team needed to do something to fill the time. They decided that they would interview the favorites to win the event. It was quite a shock since most of the participants had been knocked out earlier than planned.
On-screen, one of the students was being interviewed who went by the name of Kyle. He was the favorite to win the event but had attempted to do the strange actions and was knocked out in the process.
"Kyle, we just wanted to ask, what made you change tactics like that? We saw many here today attempt the same thing you did today, but it seemed like a risky move that didn't pay off." The female interview asked.
"This game has become too easy in the past. I knew that if I played usually, I would have had a high chance of winning, but what's the point when most likely the best person in this game isn't even participating. After seeing someone do what seemed like an impossible task, I decided I would try to challenge him in my own way. The plan was to emulate what this person had done in a video I saw today. If I achieved that at level four, I would try to do the same at level five and send out a challenge to him.
It turns out after attempting and failing at a level four. I respect this student even more."
The screen then went back to the interview, who had a few more words to say.
"For those of you unaware, the video Kyle was talking about was uploaded last night. It had become an overnight sensation due to the timing of things and how it was filmed and done only a day before this very event and at this exact place. The video will be played on the screen now for you all to see."
The screen changed once again, and now full on the big screen in front of everyone, the video of Quinn in the gaming booth was then shown. His face was blurred out, but the others, even though it was their first time seeing it, they could clearly tell it was Quinn.
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