Skip to content

Chapter 3

Age 749, Thursday, April 24 (Around an hour later), South City Docks

“-and make sure to check the boat for any leakages if you feel something’s off!” My mom said for the second time at the pier.

I smiled and nodded, humoring the woman who for all intents and purposes, was going to be alone from this point on.

“I will.” I reassured her confidently.

The trip to the docks would have only taken about fifteen minutes, but I’d suggested we have lunch together one final time, to which mom had agreed quickly.

“…” My mom’s gaze turned intense for one second before she smiled. “You look just like your father.”

I smiled back, scratching the back of my head in embarrassment. “Thanks, mom. For everything.”

A moment passed before she started rummaging through her purse, pulling out a beaded bracelet, the color of the beads alternating between black, white and brown.

“Here.”

Curious, I cast [Observe] on the very familiar item, grabbing it as I read through its description.


Beads of Haste

Class: Accessory (Wrist)
Rarity: Rare
The bracelet your father always used to wear. He always said it was his lucky bracelet. You’ve always thought it was too bad he wasn’t wearing it the day of the accident. +5 to AGI.

Additional effect: ? , Insufficient AGI to unlock.


“..Are you sure I should have this, mom?” I asked seriously. “I mean, this is dad’s. I can’t just-“

“I think he would’ve wanted you to have it.” My mom said softly.

“Shouldn’t you- I mean-” I found myself at a loss for words.

She shook her head. “I’ve many a memento of our time together. That bracelet was meant for you; your father always talked of giving it to you when you were ready.”

When I was ready?

Was she talking about the hidden effect, or was it just a family heirloom passed on at a certain time?


Quest Alert

Unlock the hidden power of your father’s old bracelet and learn of your father’s history.

Reward: 20 AGI, 10 All Stats, Closure
Failure Penalty: Nothing

Accept / Deny


I blinked in surprise and bemusement, not having expected a quest alert, but also because the failure penalty didn’t involve my death or the destruction of the universe.

I accepted the quest and the bracelet in question, wearing it on my right wrist. Immediately, I felt a shift in my balance, the 5 points of AGI quickly taking effect.

“Thanks, mom.” I tried to smile but it came out awkwardly.

“I love you.” She only hugged me in reply. “I know it’s been hard for me to talk about your father, but I want you to know he’d be so proud of you right now.”

I felt my breath hitch and my heart leap up my throat before Gamer’s Mind muted those reactions. Eventually, I pulled away, throwing a capsule in the water which exploded in a big puff of smoke.

A few moments later, the smoke began to disperse, revealing a very familiar looking motorboat. It was one of the old models, so there wasn’t much beyond what was necessary for it to function.

“Isn’t she a beaut?” My mom’s voice came from behind me.

“Yeah… Wait, what happened to the roof?” I mused, scratching my chin in confusion. “Something’s not quite right.”

“Oh, yeah.” My mom moved to stand by me as we stared at the boat. “It had a roof— but it was so broken that I had it taken off. You are going on a rather long trip, after all. It wouldn’t do if you had to make any unnecessary repairs to it.”

What she didn’t say was that she likely couldn’t afford to fix it.

“Good point, mom.” I agreed with her, not letting on. “Thank you.”

“You’re very welcome.” She pinched my cheek in response, making me roll my eyes. “Now get on the boat, already. If you’re going to make me say goodbye one more time, I’ll ground you and make you stay here forever!”

Her voice was light, but I could feel an undercurrent of need coming from it.

I had no doubt she might do just that.

I nodded and moved to get on the boat, giving my mom one final hug before boarding the craft. It took me a second to familiarize myself with the controls, unfurling an old map and placing a compass on top.

The motorboat whirred to life, the loud rumbling sound being all I could hear for the next few seconds until my ears had adjusted.

I turned to look at my mother, giving her a wave- which she returned- and gently easing the boat out of the crowded docks.

When I had enough space to freely maneuver, I put on some more speed, sailing the boat towards the horizon.

The boat lurched suddenly, inexplicably increasing in speed. It wasn’t much faster, but I hadn’t adjusted the lever which adjusted speed, so I was a little confused. At least, until-


Ping!

Through driving your father’s old boat, you have acquired the following skill!

Sailing (Lv 1 – 0%/Passive) : Many men and women have looked towards the sea in wonder and astonishment, but very few were actually brave enough to have crossed it on boat. Your father has shown you the basics of it all, so you know how to handle yourself at sea- but you are not very good at it. 5% Increase to boat speed.


I rolled my eyes at the skill. Of course the game gave me something like this.

Yet another thing to grind, can’t have me slacking off, eh?

I supposed that wasn’t too bothersome, though. A passive speed boost which seemed to not take up any more gas than before could only be good.

I could cover more ground- or in this case, sail further.

I looked back to the docks, barely able to pick my mother out due to the distance.

I raised my hand in a final wave, watching her jump and wave at me for a few seconds, before I lost sight of her completely. I stared for a few seconds longer, mentally and emotionally processing the fact that I was alone, now.


Ping!

You Sailing skill has gained a level!

Sailing (Lv 2 – 22%/Passive) : Many men and women have looked towards the sea in wonder and astonishment, but very few were actually brave enough to have crossed it on boat. Your father has shown you the basics of it all, so you know how to handle yourself at sea- but you are not very good at it. 6% Increase to boat speed.


I dismissed the window, and went to the unfurled map, checking my compass as I did so.

“Okay, so…” I looked over the map, pointing out my position to east of South City. “I’m more or less here.”

My finger moved northeast, until I reached Fry Pan Mountain. “There’s the mountain that’s always on fire. Then east of it is.. an archipelago.”

I scratched my chin.

“Kai said that the guy lived further east than that, on an island too small to locate by normal means, but that the people who live on this island here-” I checked further east to an island about a tenth of the size of the one South City was on. “-knew the guy, and how to reach him.”

So, that was my plan, more or less. Northeast, then east along the coastline, then southeast to the large island. After that, figure out where the Master’s island is from there.


Age 749, Sunday, April 27

I bit into the ration bar, grimacing slightly at the taste as I stared off into the horizon.

Nothing but water on all sides. I sighed slightly.

It had been three days since I set sail towards Fry Pan Mountain. I knew it would take a while to get to my destination, but damn.

I just didn’t realize how boring it would be.

The rough distance between South City and Fry Pan Mountain was about 5000 km.

Seeing as this old boat could go at about 40 kph, I knew it would take quite a while to get to shore.

125 hours just for the base trip alone, not counting refueling, eating, sleeping, trying not to die of boredom…

Luckily, the boat didn’t need much in the way of steering- my quickly rising sailing skill making it easy for me.


Sailing (Lv 17 – 76%/Passive) : Many men and women have looked towards the sea in wonder and astonishment, but very few were actually brave enough to have crossed it on boat. Your father has shown you the basics of it all, and you’ve further increased your aptitude. 21% Increase to boat speed. 5% Increase to turning speed.


Come to think of it, the boat’s speed was 40 kph without the speed boost— the speed indicator only showed the speed corresponding to the amount of fuel I was using.

So, I was actually going at, um.. 48 kph? A bit over that number. It was a marked improvement, but still irked me.

I shook my head and stared at my surroundings once more.

A few months ago, if you’d told me I would be alone, on my dad’s old boat, looking for an ancient martial arts master to teach me how to fight, I’d have looked at you like you’d just escaped the insane asylum.

It was unbelievable, how I transformed from a snot nosed brat to who I was now. I mean, my strength was through the roof, my speed as well.

I had no doubt I could probably now contend with Olympian level athletes and not even break a sweat!

I smiled at the thought of bringing gold medals home, before it slipped off my face at the view from the distance.

Dark clouds were forming in the horizon. I felt the barest of breezes run over my skin, steadily rising in strength as the seconds passed.

I checked my compass and swore loudly. “Fry Pan Mountain’s in that direction. I have to sail through it? Fuck that.

I scratched the back of my head, making sure to furl the map and put in my inventory; I wouldn’t have wanted to get it wet. I made sure to check around the boat, spotting a few of my supplies lying around, putting them in my inventory instead.

Anything caught in the storm that wasn’t tied down or heavy enough to not be swept away was as good as gone.


Ping!

Due to acting quickly and methodically in the face of the storm, you’ve gained a level in Sailing.

Sailing-


I dismissed the window, not particularly caring about a 1% increase in boat speed. I was somewhat disappointed I didn’t get a quest from it.


Quest Alert

Survive the storm

Reward: 5500 XP, 15 Levels in Sailing
Failure Penalty: Death. You also lose your dad’s old boat; what kind of dickhead are you if you let that happen?

Accept / Deny


Was my ability being smart with me or something? I’d never seen it straight up insult me, before. Was it perhaps affected by my own subconscious— or was it being controlled by someone else?

The only answer I received was the ever increasing strength of the wind, buffeting me to the side as the air pressure increased.

With a sigh, I accepted the quest and called up all knowledge I knew about surviving a storm.

Stow away all unnecessary items. Check.

Life jacket. I checked to my left, there was dad’s old life jacket. I was a bit small for it, but it would have to do. I observed the item while putting it on.


Life Jacket

Class: Chest

Rarity: Grand

Description: You might think you’re a good swimmer, but faced with a storm, you can’t truly beat the ridiculously huge waves. Instead of struggling to remain over the water forever, the Life Jacket will keep you floating safely over the water, thus allowing you to better focus on other tasks, such as not drowning like an idiot. 5% Increase in movement speed while in the water.


As soon as the jacket was on, I felt it re-size itself to my form. Momentarily distracted, I let a smile grace my face for a few seconds, before I focused back to the matter at hand.

Life Jacket, check.

I couldn’t really see any lightning coming from the storm, but it was probably safe to assume that it would come— best stay away from any metal rails and whatnot. Best bet would be to stay in the cockpit, as I was.

Basic safety, check.

Speaking of safety, I’d also hooked myself with a harness so I wouldn’t fly off the boat. It was a flimsy old thing, but hopefully it would hold.

I turned the boat to drive away from the storm, only to realize, fifteen minutes in, that it was gaining on me, and looked to be getting stronger and stronger.

“Fuck.” I swore loudly, before shaking my head and turning the boat to head straight in storm, instead. “No choice, storms in this region will get stronger the more time passes— at least until they hit the shoreline.”

Seeing as I was 3 days away from South City’s shore, I realized there was no choice. Flashes of lightning began to strike in the distance, illuminating the dark gray clouds above.

The waves, now mountains of water, rushed to me like implacable, angry beasts out to destroy me.

A wave of fear spread over me for an instant, but Gamer’s Mind snuffed it out quickly.

So, I was afraid, I thought. I grit my teeth and turned my boat into the appropriate angle to sail through a wave, watching as the first of many reached me.

The boat shook and groaned as it ascended the first massive wave at a 45 degree angle.

As I crested the top, I felt weightless for a moment, before the boat crashed down, sending water high into the air and splashing me further as the storm raged on ahead, flashes of white in the seemingly endless gray.

Staring out into the distance, I was taken aback by the sheer power and horrifying beauty of nature. When I was a boy, I’d messed around with toy boats in the water, splashing water over them and capsizing them dramatically, imagining myself in storms such a this one.

I would be the daring hero braving the seas, easily able to drive through the storm.

And now, I was living it.

I barked out an exhilarated laugh as I frantically turned my boat to take on the next wave, feeling the boat groan and shake at the power of nature.

The wind felt mercilessly cold, the waves increasing even more in size as I wiped at my face for the third time that minute, trying to eyeball my way through the wrath of the storm.


Ping!

Sailing skill has gained one level!


Ping!

Sailing skill has gained one level!


Ping!

Sailing skill has gained one level!


Ping!

Due to exposure to col-


“No time, disable skill notifications.” I stated clearly as I rode the next wave, slipping slightly on the wet floor.

That was close; the only thing that kept me on my feet— only just barely— were the pair of shoes I had equipped beforehand. Still, there was no time to think, I steered the boat to take on another wave, and another.

I moved to wipe the water off my face, losing concentration for a moment and slipping, falling on my ass— just in time for the biggest wave yet to hit the boat straight from the side.

My world was awash in water as the wave carried the boat higher, almost capsizing it in that one instant— a few more seconds, and it actually would, leaving me stranded at sea.

I pointed my palm at the wave below me.

-500 Ki!

Ha!” I shouted as a white ball of power burst forth from my palm, smashing against the wave and tearing through it, instantly ruining whatever momentum it tried to build; a second later, the boat crashed into the sea below with another huge splash, wobbling dangerously as it attempted to right itself over the unforgiving, roiling water.

My head slammed into the floor with the impact, bouncing off of it with a flash of pain— but I paid it no mind, quickly getting to my feet and taking stock of the situation.

-200 HP!

I steered the ship as fast as I could, ignoring the quickly fading pain in my head. The ship groaned once more, but obediently moved towards the next wave— they just seemed to get bigger and bigger.

The next hour was a blur of frantic action, constant observation of the movement of the waves, trying to suss out the best path to take within the storm.

I’d lost an additional 500 HP to situations I couldn’t have possibly predicted. Having two humongous waves come at me from both sides wasn’t something I expected. The boat had capsized that time. It was only by using the rest of my Ki and detonating it underneath the boat that I was able to correct my position.

Things had looked bleak for a while. My HP was at less than half of its original value, and my Ki was sitting at about 20— I’d made sure not to use it all up, knowing that it would throw a [Ki Exhaustion] de-buff on top of my current problems.

But finally, the weather began to let up. It was still storming, sure, but the waves were relatively easy to manage in comparison to the hell I’d gone through earlier.

Two more hours passed, and I saw the most beautiful thing ever: clear blue skies, and calm seas. I urged the boat to go full speed, trying to get as far away from the storm as possible.

Not that it was necessary, the storm was naturally moving away from me on its own. Still, it was better to be safe than sorry.

Another twenty minutes passed before I was finally able to feel safe enough to stop the boat entirely.

I leaned against the dash for a while, taking deep breaths and re-enabling my notifications. I began to read through the list, and dropped the anchor to stay in place.


Ping!

Due to exposure to cold, you have gained the following skill!

Cold Resistance: Through cold exposure, your body has learned to adapt. 3% Resistance to cold effects.


Sailing skill has gained one level!

Sailing skill has gained one level!

Cold Resistance has gained one level!

Sailing skill has gained one level!


Physical Resistance has gained three levels due to impacting your head against the floor!


Sailing skill has gained one level!


Through creative use of your Ki, you have unlocked the following two skills!

Ki Concussion (Lv 1 – 0%/Active): Through force of will, your Ki Ball explodes, sending out a wave of concussive force! Cost: 200 Ki. Damage: 350.

Ki User (Lv 1 – 0%/Passive): Ki is like a muscle, the more you exert it, the more powerful it becomes! 10% Increase in your Ki pool.


Quest Complete!

You actually managed to survive the storm!

5500 XP! 15 Levels in Sailing!


Ping! You have leveled up!


Holy fuck, that was a lot of progress. I read through the skills that have been affected.


Sailing (Lv 45- 0%/Passive) – Many men and women have looked towards the sea in wonder and astonishment, but very few were actually brave enough to have crossed it on boat. You, having braved the storm and all its beauty and horror, know just how dangerous the sea can really be. 49% Increase in boat speed. 33% Increase in boat turning speed.

Cold Resistance (Lv 9- 42%/Passive) – Through cold exposure, your body has learned to adapt. 11% Resistance to cold effects.

Physical Endurance (Lv 15- 82%/Passive) – The body’s durability increases, allowing for less damage taken. 17% Decrease in Physical Damage taken.


Name: Ten
Occupation: The Gamer
Level: 6 (700/7,000 XP)

Race: Human
Age: 14

HP: 732/1,388
MP: 1,203
Ki: 350/1,527

STR: 25 (36.25)
VIT: 30 (43.5)
AGI: 23 (33.35)
INT: 29 (37.41)
WIS: 25 (32.25)

Points: 25

Battle Power: 37.7


I stared at my stats for a moment, before slapping myself in the face.

“…I should’ve used Mana Shield.” I realized suddenly. In my haste, I’d completely forgotten I had the skill. Granted, I wasn’t in grave danger, having around half of my HP left, but if I’d used my MP as a buffer, I would’ve had less trouble.

Meditating would, well, at an HP regeneration of 0.5%/min enhanced by 195% from the skill description, I would be regenerating around 20 HP/min, and around 22 Ki/min.

I’d be back to full health in half an hour. My Ki, on the other hand, would take about an hour to go back to full.

First, however, I stripped out of my wet clothes, hanging them over the wheel. Then, I pulled by backpack out of the inventory, pulling out another one of my nutrition bars, biting into it greedily.


HP/Ki Regeneration has increased by 25% for 30 minutes!


Blinking, I stared at the notification for a second, before dismissing it, casting Observe on another one of my nutrition bars.


Nutri-Bar

Class: Food
Rarity: Common
Description: Part of the ration supplies your mother bought for your trip. They provide all the essential nutrition a body needs, though their taste could use some work. 25% increase to base HP/Ki Regeneration for 30 minutes.


So that would change it.. only very slightly. Still, less time is less time. I had to work with what I could get. Hell, most people probably would not have survived hits like that.

I’d started out with around 100 HP. I would’ve died with the first hit, had I been a regular person. I really had come a long way.

With a sigh, I sat, naked, on the wet floor and initiated my [Meditation] skill, waiting and watching as my reserves slowly went back to full, keeping my mind busy with thoughts of further training, and getting so strong that a loss of 700 HP would mean nothing to me.

An hour later, I ended [Meditation] and stood back up, checking myself over to see if I was dry. A cursory look at my discarded clothes showed that they were still wet.

I grabbed my backpack, rummaging through until I reached the capsule which said “WDRB”, short for “wardrobe”. With a click and a throw, the capsule exploded, revealing a small dresser full of clothes. I pulled on a red shirt and brown pants, staying barefoot for the moment.

I’d wear socks when my shoes were all dried up. For now, it wouldn’t hurt to be barefoot.

Starting up the boat, I stared out into the distance, smiling as I noticed the color of the water lightening ever so slightly— a sure sign of reaching landfall soon.

Dangerous as that experience was, I had to admit that it was great fun.

Just like an actual game.

Published inUncategorized

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Copyright 2021 © Samir Karam