The Problem Chapter 3: Reflections

    As Ris's days in the digital paradise continued, she often found herself lost in thought. Memories of her past kept resurfacing, tugging at the edges of her consciousness. The turmoil she had left behind in the real world haunted her, and she began to question her decision to embark on this digital journey.

    One particular memory weighed heavily on her heart. It was a fateful evening, illuminated by the harsh glow of the kitchen light. The argument with her sister, Vivian, had reached its peak, and harsh words had been exchanged like bitter arrows.

    Ris had always been close to Vivian, sharing secrets and dreams, but as the years passed, their paths diverged. Vivian pursued a traditional career, embracing the expectations of society and their parents. Ris, on the other hand, had chosen the path less traveled, driven by her passion for art and the desire to escape the constraints of a conventional life.

    The argument had been a long time coming, a culmination of years of tension and misunderstandings. Vivian's voice, sharp and accusatory, pierced the air, "You're just wasting your life on these digital fantasies, Ris! When are you going to grow up and be responsible?"

    The words had struck deep. Ris felt like a wayward dreamer, constantly judged and misunderstood. Her artistic pursuits, her dreams, everything she held dear was dismissed by her family. The clash of ideals and the pain of rejection had pushed her over the edge.

    In the days that followed, Ris had decided to leave home. She left behind a tearful note for her family, who had become strangers to her. Her determination to find a place where her dreams could be realized overshadowed the sorrow of parting.

    Embracing the journey towards what she believed was freedom, Ris had discovered The Initiative. It promised an escape from societal expectations and the chance to immerse oneself in a digital paradise. The allure of a life free from pain and suffering had been irresistible.

    As she was initiated into the system, Ris underwent experimental procedures, allowing her to exist solely within the digital realm. The transition was both unsettling and liberating. She detached from her physical self, feeling the boundaries between her physical existence and the digital world blur.

    With time, she adapted to her new reality. She reconnected with The Dreamwalkers, who had also taken refuge in this digital Eden, and she embraced a life filled with endless possibilities.

    Yet, amidst the digital splendor, the memories of her past, her family, and the fight with Vivian had continued to haunt her. Her moments of contemplation and introspection were a reminder of the real world she had left behind.

    One day, lost in thought, Ris stared into the virtual horizon. Her friends, Vesper, Zephyr, and Luna, grew concerned. They had seen her change, noticed her inner turmoil, and they couldn't bear to see her suffer.

    "Ris," Vesper said, his voice filled with concern, "you've been distant lately. Is something bothering you?"

    Her thoughts still anchored in the past, Ris hesitated for a moment before answering, "I can't help but think about the real world, about my family, and especially about my sister, Vivian. I left behind so much pain, but I'm starting to wonder if I made the right choice."

    Zephyr reassured her, "Ris, you're not alone here. We've all made sacrifices to be in this world. It's natural to have doubts, but remember why you came here in the first place – for a life free from suffering."

    Luna added, "We're your friends, Ris, and we support you no matter what you decide. You need to find peace within yourself, with your past and your choices."

    Ris appreciated their understanding and support. She knew that the digital paradise offered her refuge, but her past was never far behind. The questions about her choices, her family, and her future lingered in her mind.

    Suddenly, her friends' concerned voices snapped her out of her reverie, back to the present moment in the digital world. She had been caught staring into space, lost in her thoughts. But the questions and doubts about her past and the choices she had made remained, waiting for her to confront them once and for all.

    "Ris... Ris!", A familiar voice echoed in her mind, a distant yet familiar whisper. Was it who she think it is?

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