“I had another question about packs.”
“Go ahead, although I’m not guaranteeing that I will answer it.”
“How do you feel about selling people?”
“Ah, this question. You ask about the morality of selling heroes. It is a difficult question but I think the real answer is a different question. Why do you think heroes are so weak?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you think that heroes are controlled by their Dreamer and that if the Dreamer wanted to control them they could?”
“Well, I Dreamer could keep them in card form. That would stop them.”
“Could then? Have you heard of forced awakening?”
“No, nobody has ever mentioned it to me.”
“Normally it is the Dreamer that awakens a Hero however that isn’t always the case. While a hero is reliant on a Dreamer’s crystals they can force themselves into the crystal and activate themselves and a Dreamer can not do anything to stop them.”
“That… wait,” Berardo remember the first time that he had meet Rose. He had activated the phone and started Destiny Burst but he certainly hadn’t awakened her that first time. She must have awakened herself to protect them and escape.
The man smiled, “Then maybe it is not the Dreamers who control the Heroes but the Heroes that control the Dreamers. A strange symbiotic relationship and that is not including the outliers.”
“Maybe someday you will see one. Dreamers who can use other people’s crystals as well as their own. Heroes who are also Dreamers. Dreamers that can control an infinite number of crystals. There are as many rumors as there are people telling them. Some of them are true but don’t believe everything that you hear. Maybe you are an outlier and don’t even realize it yet.”
Then the clerk left back to his counter leaving Berardo to ponder his words. The man was obviously not just a regular store clerk, more likely the person who ran this branch of Destiny Burst, an actual Maker.
And like it was perfectly timed the moment the man was back behind the counter Rose and Horizon walked into the store. Berardo raised his hand. Rose noticed and did her own wave but Horizon came running over.
“Are you alright? We were worried since you went off by yourself like that.”
Berardo grinned, “I’m better now. A friend talked some sense into me and that helped me see straight. I was just looked at the different packs and was trying to decide which one to buy.”
She smiled and hugged him, “I’m just glad that you are feeling well.”
He hugged her back, “Don’t worry about me. I’m a grown man and can handle my own insecurities. Now if you and Rose would help me choose. Rose said that Hidden Treasures was a good pack but I asked the clerk and he said that Curiosities of Wonder would probably be better.”
Rose was in hearing range by this time, “He did?” She glanced back at him and then back at Berardo, “Now if he recommended it then that is probably a good choice. I don’t really know about what is in Curiosities of Wonder but his advice is probably right.”
Horizon looked over at him watched him for a moment and then looked back at Berardo, “I agree too.”
“He is one of the Makers isn’t he?” Asked Berardo.
Rose nodded, “Yeah, although he is not in the store very often. I believe that he normally works in development.”
Horizon spoke, “He is very important.”
“Important? How?” Asked Berardo.
“He was one of the Makers that made me.”
Berardo blinked a few times, “Really? One of the ones that made you? How do you know that?”
“I just do.”
Rose said, “We can have some more recollections of the creation process. Sometimes we remember those that helped create us. I don’t really have any of those memories however.”
“Well, you had better thank your father before we leave.” Said Berardo and he grabbed one of the Curiosities of Wonder packs from the shelf.
“My father?” Asked Horizon.
“Isn’t that basically what he is?”
“I suppose. I don’t really know what it means for somebody to be my father.”
“Best to do these things when you have time. One day you might realize that it is no longer possible.” Said Berardo from experience. He only vaguely remembered his parents. His sister however…
Berardo dismissed those thoughts and took the pack to the front desk with the clerk.
“I decided to take your advice. Now is this transaction made in the same way as losing a Destiny Burst battle?”
Berardo took out his phone and initiated the transfer. It was 10 crystals for a pack like this, normally that would take about 10 days to pay for. Berardo had gotten some extra crystals playing against some other Dreamers. Like Meike had said when he first met her the couldn’t really use those crystals for battling but getting some extra options was a good thing.
He did a small bow, “Thank you for your purchase.”
Berardo turned and walked toward the door. He stood there with Rose and waited while Horizon nervously stood there.
He looked at her with a questioning eyebrow lift but didn’t say anything.
Finally Horizon bowed very deeply and said, “Thank you for making me.”
The man chuckled and then said, “You’re welcome. Now get along. Your Dreamer needs you.”
Horizon rose and the ran off pass Berardo and Rose and out the door. The man watched her with an amused grin.
Once they were all outside Rose and Horizon looked at Berardo.
“I suppose you both want to know what is inside this pack?” He asked.
Horizon nodded enthusiastically. “The last time you open a pack it was mine so I didn’t get to watch. This time I want to see.” Her desire for need sights and experiences was plain and Berardo wasn’t that different from her in that regard.
“Well, how about we find a place in the food court and have a seat. I’m starting to get a bit hungry and I’m sure you two would like to eat too.” They nodded.
It took them a around 15 minutes to get situated in the food court with food and a secluded table. Berardo was actually a bit surprised how many of those there seemed to be in this food court.
Berardo had chosen some noodlely dish which he ate with a fork. That way he could keep his hands clean while opening the pack.
He pulled open the top and slide the cards out.
“Chisel of Remembrance.” Said Berardo as he looked at the card. “Records memories.” The picture was of the chisel carving into a table. Next to it was the head of a person with writing visible beneath the head.
“That is certainly a strange item. I’m still not really certain how it would work.” Said Berardo.
The two of them had scooted in on either side of him and were looking over his shoulders. Rose spoke, “It is probably a non-dual intended item. Packs usually include one of those. Things that wouldn’t be directly related to duals but would instead be used by the Dreamer in everyday life. In the aftermarket for Destiny Burst cards those are usually the most expensive ones. Many people play Destiny Burst just to acquire those kinds of cards.”
“I’ll have to experiment with it later because it feels like a spell that does strange things that I wouldn’t expect.”
Berardo put that card at the bottom and looked at the next one.
“Bracelet of Mud. Creates and controls mud.” He pondered that. “I wonder how that would be useful. I guess that depends on the properties of the mud.”
Horizon leaned in more to look at the card, “The man in the picture seems to be being lifted by the mud so it will probably have some uses.”
Berardo nodded, “Yeah, I’m sure it has combat uses. I expect to have to test basically every card in this set to figure out what I can do with them.”
“And the next one is, Bead of Gravity. Weight grows over time. Well, this pack is certainly living up to the marketing. Everything in here seems very strange.”
“Weight grows… I wonder how quickly.” Asked Horizon as she took the card and looked at it. “This monster is being crushed by the bead.”
“It looks like the next card is something more normal. Mystical Claws of the Etherealist. Only cuts what you desire.”
Rose said, “At least you are getting one weapon. It looks like a close knife like weapon. I wonder if the description means that it can pass through armor. That would be useful.”
“Certainly better than being unarmed. I wonder how much focus needs to be spend deciding what to cut and what not to cut. I can certainly see it being a difficult weapon to use depending on that factor.”
“Now quickly,” Said Rose a little excited, “The last card should be the rare one. What is it.”
“Rare… let’s see… The Crown of Destiny. Victory is Inevitable.”
Rose whistled, “A three crystal cost equipment. I’m not sure what it does but it must be impressive to cost that much. Although we probably need to be very careful while testing it. Three cost equipment tends to have particularly impressive effects. I’ve heard stories about people getting gravely injured while testing them. I know some people don’t even use any 3 cost equipment they possess because they are often difficult to use appropriately and when you are unskilled with them it is better just to spend those crystals on something else.”
Berardo looked at the art depicting a man in the crown surrounded by money. It didn’t initially look that dangerous but if Rose said that it was then he believed her.
“So, since we have these cards,” Said Horizon, “What is next?”
“Let’s see.” Said Berardo as he pulled out his notebook. He had still kept it as updated as he thought he could but it had been difficult the last few days but he still had standards. As he glanced over everything trying to bring a plan together he said, “Oh! Right, I remember now!”
“What?” They both said.
“I knew something was bugging me but I only now remembered what it was. During the battle with Cockatrice, one of his heroes was defeated by Diane Simons.” Horizon nodded in remembrance, “Well when that happened it was Diane who grabbed the card. She had one of Cockatrice’s heroes and I want to talk to it. Also she might be in danger because of it.”
Horizon looked concerned, “You think Cockatrice will go after it, he should be able to trace it and I made sure all of them were clean before we let them go.”
Rose said, “You mean forced activation. That shouldn’t happen unless she registers that card.”
“But if she thought like me then she might have done that to question her. Once she has done that then it would be open for forced activation right?”
She nodded, “Yeah”
“And if she doesn’t know about forced activation then the hero might be waiting for the right time to abuse it and escape.”
Berardo was already pulling out his phone. Since she was a duelist he had he contact number. He gave the number a ring and after a few rings Diane finally answered.
“I wasn’t really expecting a call this soon.” She paused, “Actually I changed my mind. I did expect the call. This is about the prisoner isn’t it?”
“Exactly, have you done anything yet?”
“I tried questioning her but she didn’t want to talk. I was considering calling you about it but I thought I would wait and give her some time to stew first.”
“Stay right there and watch her card. Also tell me where you are and I’ll be right over.”
“Um… ok.” Said Diane and she gave him her address.