Chapter 26:

Parabola

BRO: Battle Royale Online


Another shot rang out, and I plunged to the sand, taking my partner with me. A spray of sand exploded right in front of us. I raised my head and scanned my surroundings for the shooter. But he was nowhere to be found: only dunes, sand, and abandoned buildings surrounded us. Suddenly, my gaze was caught by a white glint in the upper floors of the tallest building. With no front façade, the sand was rushing in and the lower floors were already all buried under a gigantic dune. The glare disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. There seemed to be no danger from the building.Bookmark here

Was I dreaming?Bookmark here

Immediately the flash reappeared and another bang echoed. I lowered my head and the sand exploded right next to me. We couldn't stay there.Bookmark here

"Rin! On the count of three, we run! One... Two…"Bookmark here

The glare showed itself again and a detonation occurred almost immediately.Bookmark here

"Three!"Bookmark here

Without waiting, we dashed forward. The bullet ended up in a cloud of sand just behind us. In front of me, Rin was running straight towards the van. We were almost there. Suddenly an icy chill came through my back. Trusting my instincts, I immediately dove into the sand. The ground rose up just where I would have stood and the echo of a bang was lost between the dunes. Rin started to slow down.Bookmark here

"Don’t turn around! Go back to the van and take cover, I'll be fine!"Bookmark here

She nodded and sprinted forward, a frightened look on her face. The sniper increased the rate of his fire, and I was soon pinned to the ground. If I got up or moved even a centimeter, I was sure to get shot. The sand flew around me, and my whole body was soon covered by it. But little by little the shots became more precise. Where the spray used to rise a meter away from me, it now rose only a few centimeters from my face. I needed a plan, and fast.Bookmark here

I glanced at my partner and saw her climbing into the white van. She had done it. Now that she was out of trouble, it was my turn to move. But as I watched her sit through the windscreen, a strange feeling came over me. Something seemed unusual. Suddenly I realized: she had climbed in on the driver's side. About twenty meters ahead of me, the car's engine suddenly roared. She stepped on the accelerator and the van leaped forward. She didn't know how to drive. But in this case, that was the least of my worries. Rushing at full speed towards me, she abruptly turned the wheel, and the van swerved to my right. I stood by, understanding exactly what she wanted to do.Bookmark here

The vehicle almost tipped over, but the wheels touched the ground again, throwing up sprays of sand. As she passed me, my eyes met her panicked gaze. Immediately, I was filled with concern.Bookmark here

I hope she doesn't kill herself or run me over while driving like that...Bookmark here

The van lurched away behind me before swerving a second time to turn around. The wheels almost left the ground, but this time the tires held. Having managed to get around me, I could see her face relax a little as she sped towards me. I shifted slightly as the van approached from my left. Throwing sand everywhere, she brought the van to a halt right next to me. The bangs grew louder and louder as the sounds of metal impacts rang in our ears. In this position, with the van between me and the building, I was protected. But for how long? At the same time, a bullet ripped through the metal and tore right through the van before slamming into my feet. I swallowed.Bookmark here

Immediately, Rin opened the passenger door and shouted at me, "What are you waiting for? Get in!"Bookmark here

As soon as I stepped into the van, Rin accelerated again. The vehicle leaped forward and nearly tore my arm off the door. As we picked up more speed, I struggled to get into the vehicle. Beside me, Rin's eyes were staring straight ahead, filled with terrible fear.Bookmark here

Without even looking at me, she said in a terrified voice, "I’ve never driven in my life! I don't know what to do!"Bookmark here

She suddenly turned to me and stared at me for a few seconds as if to say: "I beg you, take my place!"Bookmark here

I shouted, "The road! Look ahead!"Bookmark here

Driving straight into a dune, she turned the steering wheel again and the car almost tipped over, before coming to a complete stop. Immediately, the sound of metallic impacts resumed. The sniper was still shooting at us. Gradually, holes appeared and light entered the cabin.Bookmark here

Rin let go of the wheel and shook her head. She didn't want to drive anymore. And for once, I was in complete agreement with her. Swapping places with difficulty in the confined space, I sat in the driver's seat. I gripped the steering wheel and stomped on the accelerator. The engine screamed, the wheels bogged down, but suddenly the van broke through and zigzagged to avoid the gunfire.Bookmark here

As the road led us right back to the sniper, I decided to drive deeper into the desert to put as much distance as possible between us and him. But the fire did not abate. Thanks to his elevated position, our adversary had an unobstructed view of a huge portion of the desert. We would never escape him like that. As I realized this, I saw a long crack in the sand ahead of us. Rin hiccuped as she pointed to the thing. A canyon. A little more than a hundred meters ahead of us, just behind a small dune, the sand opened up into a ravine, probably carved out by a river. Immediately, a strategy formed in my mind. As crazy as it was suicidal, this plan was unfortunately the only one we had. I turned my eyes on a terrified Rin.Bookmark here

"Rin, I'm sorry but you'll have to take the wheel."Bookmark here

Without giving her time to answer, I left my seat and climbed over the driver's seat to the back of the van. An exclamation of fear and confusion escaped her lips as she rushed to take the wheel.Bookmark here

"Mordred! Are you crazy? We're heading straight to a ravine! What are you doing?"Bookmark here

Abruptly, I opened the back doors of the van and the wind rushed in. Screaming to cover it, I turned to my partner.Bookmark here

"Don’t mind me! On my signal, you hold the wheel steady and drive straight towards the canyon!"Bookmark here

Rin swallowed and looked at me as if I were crazy. I smiled at her and gave her one last look.Bookmark here

"Do you know anything about suicide plans?"Bookmark here

Immediately, fear seemed to diminish in her eyes and a big smile broke out on her face. She nodded her head.Bookmark here

Good. Now it's just between you and me...Bookmark here

I lay down slowly against the body of the van, careful not to fall. I unhooked my sniper rifle from my back and pressed it against my cheek. The van was still zigzagging, and our opponent's dilapidated building was only intermittently visible in my field of vision.Bookmark here

Rin suddenly cried out, "Mordred! We're coming over the ravine!"Bookmark here

I shouted back, "Now! Go straight ahead!"Bookmark here

Immediately, the building stabilized in front of me, several hundred meters away. The glare was still there, like a bird of prey staring at its prey before it swooped down. Shots rang out and the sound of bullets ricocheting off the metal chimed again. I tried to put my enemy in my sights but the vibrations prevented me from doing so. With each jolt of the van, the glare went out of my sight. But soon everything would stop.Bookmark here

Suddenly, Rin shouted again, "We’re taking off!"Bookmark here

Immediately the shaking stopped, as the van rose. We had left the ground. In less than a second our pseudo-flight would end and we would fall. In the distance, a high-pitched scream seemed to reach me. As if in slow motion, I finally got the sniper in my sights. Then suddenly the van came to a halt. We had reached the top of the parabola. Immediately I pulled the trigger. The gun went off and the bullet went straight towards the shiny glare. This time I was sure the bullet would hit its target. Then slowly, gravity took over the van, and we were hurtling down the ravine.Bookmark here

A few meters below us, a powerful shock came and an icy liquid rushed into our vehicle. The canyon was lined with a deep river! Within seconds, the water rushed into the van and it began to disappear. I climbed out of the back doors and broke the surface of the water.Bookmark here

Rin!Bookmark here

Where was the one who was piloting the van? Locked inside? A wave of panic swept over me. I had to get her out of there immediately. I took a deep breath and was about to dive in when suddenly:Bookmark here

"Mordred! I'm here!"Bookmark here

Interspersed with choppy breaths, my partner's small voice called to me. I breathed a sigh of relief. Even though it was certain that our life points had not come through intact, we were both alive. If we only got a few bruises from all this then we were definitely lucky. Slowly we swam to the edge and then pulled ourselves up onto the shore. Rin spat out some water as she came to rest beside me. We lay against each other, staring up at the sunset sky, too breathless to say a word.Bookmark here

Carried by the wind, a soft beeping sounded. Despite the distance and the swirling of the river, I had no doubt about it: this sound announced the death of my opponent. I sighed with satisfaction and let my head rest against the sand of the bank. We had succeeded. Once again, we had narrowly escaped death and had had to improvise from start to finish, opting for a suicidal plan bordering on stupidity. As I placed a hand on my forehead, a laugh began to escape from my throat. This time I didn't want to say that it was my comrade's fault. If our luck had run out, so be it! It was much more fun this way.Bookmark here

Next to me, Rin straightened up painfully. I followed her lead and soon we were both sitting up, staring into each other's eyes. Her blue eyes glowed with excitement.Bookmark here

Her face lit up with a budding smile as she said to me, "Hey Mordred, I think we agree on that, don't you?"Bookmark here

Seeing exactly what she was getting at, I nodded. Then we both said at the same time, "Never. Again."Bookmark here

Immediately we burst out laughing and slumped on the sand again. God, I didn't know how long it had been since I'd laughed so much, it felt so good.Bookmark here

It's strange, it's always on the verge of death that you appreciate life the most...Bookmark here

She suddenly handed me Orso's knife, which she had buried in her pocket out of reflex, according to her. Grateful, I seized the weapon and put it in the sheath of my old one.Bookmark here

After several minutes of staring at the glowing sky with our foolish smiles, mine gradually faded. It was the third night. Judging by the speed at which the dots disappeared on the map the first two days, there couldn't have been many players left. Which could only mean one thing: the tournament would soon be over. Tonight, maybe tomorrow with a little luck, we would be forced to part ways. This thought ripped my heart apart. But in reality, I knew it all along. There was only one winner for each tournament, and I swore to myself that I would be this year's winner. My team with Rin had always been subject to this condition. It could only be temporary. And I had the unpleasant feeling that the moment of separation was approaching. It was with a look of nostalgia that I plunged my eyes into those full of mischief and excitement of my partner lying next to me. We were going to part, very soon. For some strange reason, I couldn't get used to it. It felt like our partnership was supposed to last forever. But I knew that wasn't the case. Whether in the game or in real life, we were doomed to be apart. I was doomed to be disconnected.Bookmark here

As my face closed, hers filled with concern. Noticing my mistake, I pretended to smile. But she saw through my mask effortlessly. I tried to cheer up. I didn't want to make her sad. Not more than necessary.Bookmark here

She brought her hand to my face and opened her lips to say something. I froze, aware that if I missed this moment it might be lost for eternity. But suddenly three notes rang out and a female voice declared.Bookmark here

"Congratulations! You are the last five survivors! If you are still alive, it means you represent the elite of this game!"Bookmark here

The voice paused as Rin and I stared at each other, our eyes wide with astonishment.Bookmark here

The woman continued, "An area will be displayed on your map, it will be the place of the final battle! Be careful, if you are not there before nightfall, you will be automatically eliminated! Good luck!"Bookmark here

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