A sea of flame burned my left arm, revealing the bones inside. The hot air blew to the forest alighted in crimson.
I grimaced in pain however my steps didn't stop. I dashed behind a tree and took a cover just before another searing flames assailed me.
I managed to evade at the last moment or else my life would have vanished.
I forced myself to take a huge breath to steady myself. I then glanced at the tree which was basically «undamaged».
Everything in this world was «fake», a lump of data created by a system. What I only see was only just a rendering of a 3D virtual reality.
And what I was facing right now was capable of unleashing fire. It was a magician, a person that tried to kill me.
He was an avatar controlled by a player. A human who used what sort of an «equipment» in the real world to dive in a VRMMORPG.
This meant that he will respawn regardless how many times he was killed.
He was only playing the game to relish in leisure and enjoyment whereas I was «fighting for my life»!
I was transferred to this world to only meet NPCs incapable of human thoughts. Then suddenly I was termed as a foreign and abrasive factor of the system. I was targeted by all of the players and since then, I lived a lone life in isolation.
When you think about like that, its extremely unfair. I was treated by everyone as a bug NPC. Without even letting explain myself, I was attacked in bombardment. I grievously suffered until in my current stand.
The enemy magician in my sight was draped in a red hooded robe. His eyes were as if torches, gushing out flames. He was also like an inferno, blazing throughout his body.
At least for myself, this is reality. This is my world. Everything here is real. There's no virtual reality or fakery of any kind.
A chill breeze came in, cancelling the heat the man emitted and shook the flames around his body. The wet dews of the plants reflected the flickering incandescent light.
He closed in towards me accordingly to my expectation. I intentionally hid behind the tree in order to lure him into creating this situation. A person who was only treating this a game could never beat someone who treated it as his life.
I unsheathed my dual swords out of their scabbards and leveled them to waist-height as I watched the enemy. The horrendous injury I had could not deter me, my unknown stats boosted my body.
My swords suddenly flashed as the right was engulfed in fire and the left in wind.
This is the most important element in battles in this world, «Magic Skills».
My legs sprung as if a spring towards him as I swung my two swords horizontally, two arcs streaking across towards him – flame and wind.
It heavily struck the defensive barrier that he instantly procured, producing dull sounds. As soon as he recovered from his shock, before he could unleash a skill, I sped up and slashed the barrier with my flame sword as I uttered a short shout.
Then it was followed by the wind sword and chained my attacks, in a nonstop and consecutive times. Left and right, the magician could only focus on maintaining the barrier.
As my swords were crisscrossing on it, the wind and flames complemented with each other as it burst out even more power.
Finally, the barrier cracked and my flame sword pierced through and shot at his heart — a critical point in the game. I had finally took a revenge and burned him although he was a fire magician himself.
However, only a red colored wound was showed. Perhaps he was inflicted by only a bite as his expression was not twisted in pain like humans would normally reacted as so.
Even still, my swords didnt halt as the other wind sword finally destroyed the barrier and continued to slice half of his waist. His body was still connected even by the long cut, scattering bright red lights instead of blood.
Then I put a strong pressure in my left foot and my swords sped off right from left. In this state, I spun a full circle and the last strikes split his body apart.
They fell on the ground, leaving small trails then it suddenly stopped awkwardly.
With a sound similar to breaking glass, they broke into infinite polygons and disappeared.
This was the «Death» of this world. It was instantaneous and short, a perfect death, leaving no traces behind.
My body glowed in bright light as if I leveled up. The appalling wounds I sustained vanished in an instant. A feeling strongly sprouted within as if I was getting closer to my goal. Perhaps if I am powerful enough, I could finally get out and escape on this pit hole.
I glanced at the ground where my enemy died. Taking a look to the items that were dropped, a pitch black hooded robe, a plain black mask, vials of different type, and a golden letter.
I picked up the robe and draped it to my body while I wore the mask on my face. Having already black boots, swords and gloves, I gave off a gloomy aura.
The vials were of no use to me as I didnt hold a system storage like the players had.
I didnt also examine the golden letter for I had already saw it countless times. Each one was always signed and stamped by the kings and emperors themselves, inscribed in words to annihilate me.
I knew it was not them but the system itself that made up the quest. Any NPCs were as if a robot, standing in the same spot of their location eternally; only giving quests, information and holding a shop and trade.
The players were incited by greed as the reward in the letter was probably astronomical. It was only just a holy weapon — the likes of which were unknown to me, a nongamer.
The heavens had already forsaken me so I treaded in the path of desolate darkness. I came and went only in the shadows as I gravely hate the light.
Am I an egoistical man who dearly believed that he could do all alone by himself without allies?
Am I just that insolent and impudent to exclude anybody and solo everything in the dark with my swords?
As I started walking into the tenerous depths of the woods with a slight smile of self-scorn, I thought back to that day.
One year ago.
The moment when everything ended and began.