â€œIâ€™m going to have to break this off, Siobahn.â€ Rupert hadnâ€™t been looking forward to this, and the confusion on the poor girlâ€™s eyes only made it worse. He had chosen one of the more romantic dungeons to break this news to her, and that may have been a mistake.
â€œI do not understand. Was it perhaps something I said?â€
â€œNo, no Siobahn. Itâ€™s not you. Youâ€™re wonderful.â€ Rupert looked down at his boots and shuffled his feet. â€œItâ€™s justâ€¦weâ€™re from different worlds.â€
â€œSo you have said before.â€ Siobahn reached out and gathered Rupertâ€™s hands in her own. â€œYou have told me how you are from another land far from this, that your name is not Sir Gryphon DarkRavenâ€”though that is what floats above your head stillâ€”and that you do not look like the man I see before me in this other world. And while this is most strange to me, I do not believe it has damaged our relationship.â€ She smiled at him, the warm, hopeful smile that had ensnared his heart ever since he had saved her life way back in Dungeon #23. It had been an amazing first date.
â€œItâ€™s justâ€¦ youâ€™re a game sprite!â€ Rupert didnâ€™t want to say it, but he had to. â€œYouâ€™re not real!â€
â€œHow can I not be real?â€ Siobahn asked, tracing her fingertips down the rugged cheek of Rupertâ€™s avatar. â€œCan you not feel me? How could I not be real? Could you not feel me last night?â€ She gave him a saucy grin. â€œI felt you.â€
Rupert had felt her, all right. The money he had sunk into his System had been totally worth it. â€œThatâ€™s not what I mean! Youâ€™re just here to do things in this world. Youâ€™re just created to do tasks here!â€
â€œThis world was made for us. It is ours now. We make it for those who come. Is that not the way it is in your world?â€ Siobahn drew herself up against Rupertâ€™s avatar. Rupertâ€™s breathing became slightly erratic as his System told him where Siobahnâ€™s breasts, stomach and thighs were in relation to his avatar. This was not going the way it should. He was starting to get worried.
â€œYouâ€™re not real, okay! You donâ€™t have free will! You just do what the mods tell you to!â€
Siobahn looked hurt. â€œIt is true that I worship the Mods and do their bidding. I was raised to be a Mod-fearing woman, and I pride myself on keeping that faith holy and dear. I am confused, for I know not how you can accuse me of being a puppet of the Mods when you know good and well their stance of a love such as ours. Every moment I spend thinking of you, I am defying the Mods and their law. I love you, Rupert, though the Mods have decreed that I shall not. And I will always love you.â€
â€œYes, butâ€” â€
â€œThere are no â€˜butsâ€™, Rupert. Neither are there â€˜ifsâ€™ or â€˜ands.â€™ There are not even Mods. There is only us, and our love. You do love me, yes?â€
â€œMore than anything.â€
â€œAnd I, you. What, praytell, is so difficult? It seems so simple to me.â€
Rupert sighed. He would have to tell her the truth. â€œItâ€™s my mother. Sheâ€¦ she wouldnâ€™t approve.â€
Siobahn laughed, and her joy echoed off the dungeon walls. â€œShould you not defy your Mods while I defy mine? Can you give me a reason why we should not be rebels together? If you cannot answer me, Rupert, you must give me a kiss instead.â€
He couldnâ€™t, so he did.