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Arc 1: Beginnings – Prologue

South City, Age 749, Sunday March 9

“Ten, go get some tomatoes and onions!”

I sighed, staring at the translucent blue window in front of me.

Quest Alert

Buy groceries for mom, so she can cook you a badass dinner!
Time Limit: 1 hour

Reward: 200 XP, 50 Rep with Mom
Failure: -50 Rep with Mom, Incessant Nagging

Accept / Deny

Moving my hand, I pressed my index on “accept”, before getting off the couch, grabbing my backpack and going outside, saying bye to my mom as I went out.

Around forty minutes later, I was almost home, carrying a bag of the groceries I bought. Of course, the weird power I’ve acquired termed it as a quest item.

[Quest Item: Bag of Tomatoes and Onions]

I shook my head in equal parts bemusement and bewilderment. I’ve had this power for a bit over a day now, and it was already starting to grate on my nerves.

Of course, I haven’t said a word about it to anyone— who would believe me if I did?

I sighed again as I saw my home in the distance. It wasn’t anything special— just another house in a sea of houses in the suburbs of South City.

Fiddling with my key at the entrance, I went back inside, took my shoes off and headed into the kitchen, my mom swiping the bag and going straight to work.

Quest Complete!

200 XP! 50 Rep with Mom!

“Dinner will be ready in a bit!” She flashed me a smile and began to cut the onions.

I stared at her for a few moments as she worked— rather, at what was above her head:

Loving Mom
Jean – Lv 7

Rep: 800/20000 Exalted

“Thanks mom.” I answered half-heartedly before sitting down on the couch again, trying not to think of anything.

My mind decided to, of course, think of exactly what I didn’t want to think about.

My gamer powers.

I had been so obsessed with games that my life had actually become a video-game. At first, I’d thought it was a dream, but pinching myself seemed to dissuade me of that notion, as it still hurt.

It was surreal, even then. A whole day had passed, and yet I still kept getting these notices. I still saw the name over my head when I stared in the mirror.

I went to the bathroom and stood before the mirror once more.

The Gamer
Ten – Lv 1

I lost track of time, staring at the floating letters and numbers over my head, until I was interrupted by a shout from my mom.

“Dinner’s ready!”

I sighed again before heading to the kitchen, sitting by my mom. She was fairly young, with shoulder length black hair and black— looking almost nothing like me, what with my blonde hair and blue eyes.

“I noticed you’ve been down lately, sweetie.” She smiled at me as she gestured at the food. “Spaghetti and meatballs, your favorite!”

I smiled, despite myself, feeling cheered and relieved that, even if the world was turned on its head, my mother would always be the same.

“You’re the best, mom.” I grinned and dove into the meal with gusto, mind completely forgetting about everything that had happened until this point.

A few minutes later, I was already full.

I took the plate to the sink, rinsing it with water before going and grabbing my mom’s empty plate before she even asked. Maybe everything wasn’t so bad after all—


A skill has been created through a continuous movement!

Dishwashing (Lv 1 – 0%): The act of cleaning your dishes. You can get the job done, but are actually pretty slow at it.

My eye twitched as I swiped the windows away and went back to my task. Once done, I thanked my mom once more before heading to my room, locking the door behind me.

I took a deep breath as I sat on the bed.

“My life is a video game, with quests, reputation, experience and levels.” I muttered to myself. “In essence, an RPG.”

That only meant one thing.

“Status.” I said, and a window appeared before me.

Name: Ten
Occupation: The Gamer
Level: 1 (800/2000 XP)

Race: Human
Age: 14

HP: 103/103
MP: 124/124
Ki: 103/103

STR: 2
VIT: 3
AGI: 2
INT: 8
WIS: 6

Points: 0

Battle Power: 2.3

Wow, I was really weak.

“What the hell is Ki? Or Battle Power?” I shook my head in confusion. “I know what the rest are— MP for magic points, so magic’s real? And whatever this Ki thing is?”

Was this sheet for real?

There was a small question mark at the bottom of the window, so I pressed it. Another panel popped up.

Rundown of each stat

STR: Your physical strength. The higher the number, the stronger your muscles are. Related to HP and Ki.

VIT: Your vitality. In other words, your endurance or stamina. The higher the number, the longer you can run, fight. Related to HP and Ki.

AGI: Your agility. This stat will determine how fast you move, how balanced you are, and how fast your reaction speeds are.

INT: Your intelligence, this shows how smart you are, and how much magic power you have.

WIS: Your wisdom; all the smarts in the world don’t matter if you don’t know where, and how to apply them. Related to magic defense and MP regen/sec.

HP: Your Health Points. If this reaches 0, you’re dead. How HP is calculated: (100 x Level)+(STR x VIT/2).

MP: Your Magic Points. If this reaches 0, you can no longer use spells for a while, while also suffering from a [Magic Exhaustion] debuff. How MP is calculated: (INT x WIS/2)+(Level x 100).

Ki: Your Ki, otherwise known as life force, chakra. Martial artists have harnessed this energy since time immemorial, using it to great extent. If your Ki reaches 0, you suffer through [Ki Exhaustion]. Ki is calculated at the same rate as HP.

Points: The points you add to each stat. You receive extra points to spend with every level-up.

Battle Power: an aggregate of all your stats combined into a single numerical form.

I lay back in bed as I pondered this new information. So, magic was real, super powered fighters were real— I supposed they had to be. How else would people from the World Tournaments do what they did? I’d always thought they’d done it with wires, mirrors and special effects.

I blinked as an idea began to form.

Wait, the World Tournament. That’s in a bit over a year, isn’t it?

Maybe I could attend it, perhaps catch the eye of any martial artists who can teach me something.

I nodded to myself, and smiled. That’s exactly what I would do.

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