Manuscript Status: 1 month
Mentor Names: Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta
Mentee Name: Allison Castle
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 85,000
Unaware her world is virtual, seventeen-year-old Mei is programmed to help human players win. But when three players plan to obliterate the game server that keeps Mei and everyone she loves alive, she must become the hero herself… even if it means bringing her fight to this so-called “real world.” WESTWORLD meets SWORD ART ONLINE.
They say only Heroes can leave the monastery. If that’s the case, they should have made the walls higher.
I run up the stone, the soles of my boots making dust fly, and grab the ledge to peer overtop. In this broad daylight, too many of my fellow students could spot my return.
The coast clear, I vault overtop and drop back inside. Hiding behind a weapons rack, I use the leather of my leggings to rub leftover wolves’ blood off my daggers. I wish I could have stayed out in the wilderness longer and leveled even higher, but the Hero will be returning from her quest soon. Experience points won’t mean much if I’m not present for the guardian selection.
I remove my stats scroll from my belt and unroll the parchment.
Weapon: Novice Daggers (Damage: 1-3)
Attire: Novice Armor (Armor: 1)
Level five. My chest swells with pride. This morning, before the Hero arrived, I was like all the other students: a measly level one. By now, I’ve ridden around most of Newburos Island and discovered all manner of beasts, but I didn’t pick fights with anything more than one level above me. Even experience points aren’t worth my life.
I gasp and clutch my scroll to my chest.
Instructor Stefan steps toward me, his robes casting a long shadow onto the stone floor. “What were you doing outside the gates?”