1 Chapter 1: Welcome To The New World

Volume 1

Chapter 1: Welcome To The New World

I don't like summer. It's too hot… even sitting down, I feel myself sweating. If you ask me, winter is the best time of the year. At least in winter, I can warm up with a hot drink, while in the summer, I won't feel cool even when I sit in front of a fan. It doesn't help that our school has no AC or that the window can only open a crack. Unsurprisingly, everyone in my class looks hot and tries to cool themselves off with makeshift paper fans.

This is starting to feel like torture. The teacher is late, not to anyone's surprise. I can't even remember the last time he was on time. I bet he is still in the staff room, in front of the large fan they set up. Lucky. I wish they would also put fans in all the classrooms instead of leaving us to suffer like this. But the heat isn't my only problem. It's too nosy here, making reading my book hard.

Like they usually do, my classmates break into groups and talk amongst themselves. The sports crowd gathers in the back of the room, the popular kids fill the centre, and the gamers sit up front with their handheld gaming devices. Our school does have a rule about those things, but none of the teachers ever enforce it. The rest of the students sit in pairs or trios between the main groups. As for me, well, I am all by myself.

Don't go getting worried about me. It is not like I am some unsociable person. I just never fit in with any groups or had a good relationship with anyone not associated with said groups. But I do have friends. They just are not in the same class as me. Well, I have one friend in my class, or at least we used to be friends. But even if we were still friends, I could hardly go over to her and talk.

"Hey Luke," Speak of the devil. "What are you reading?"

Elise is the most popular girl in school, with countless boys and even girls asking her out daily. It is not hard to see why with her long brown hair and pretty blue eyes that can make people's hearts flutter with just a glance, Elise is extremely popular.

It is hard to believe someone like me used to have such a close relationship with her. You would have thought we were joined at the hips when we were kids because we would do everything together. But growing up, everything changed. Elise was more intelligent than me, made friends with everyone and was more athletic than I could ever hope to be. It was not long before I was left behind.

I look up to see Elise rush towards me. I really wish she would take more care of what she is doing, as her bouncing chest makes it hard not for me to stare. Elise really lucked out when her body developed. As for me, I was left with a petite body, which meant she would still be towering over me even if I were not sitting down. Setting down the book I was reading, I saw Elise smiling brightly. I don't know how she does it. You could always count on Elise to smile whether she was having a difficult or good day.

"Just some lame comedy," I shrug.

I only brought the book I was reading on a whim when I saw it in the sales pile. I hoped I had found a hidden gem, but the story was not funny or exciting. I feel a little grateful that Elise distracted me from such a boring book. But I could do without being on the receiving end of the glares from Elise's fans.

"Is it really that bad?" Elise asks, leaning down to stare at the book. She really should be more careful. I had to look away because I could see down the front of her top. "I have not seen that book before. What's it about?"

"Just a comedy with bad jokes and characters," I reply, struggling to maintain eye contact with the tempting view just slightly lower. She really needs to stand up straighter or button her top up. "It's not really that good."

"Can I borrow it then?"

I do not know why she would want to read such a crappy book, but she is free to keep it if she wants to. I just wish she would stop bending over.

"Sure," I nod, and she quickly grabs the book. Thankfully with this, she straightens back up before I give into temptation. "You can borrow it for as long as you want."

"Thank you," Elise smiles, and I envy that book when she hugs it tight to her chest. "I will give it back as soon as I am finished."

"Hey, Elise, you shouldn't waste your time with a loser like him,"

I should have known something like this would happen. To be honest, I am surprised it didn't happen sooner. One of the jocks calls out to Elise, dragging her away from me. This is the main reason we drifted apart in the first place, and we live in two different worlds now. People always want Elise close to them and me out of the way. If I remember correctly, this particular jock even asked Elise out a few times, but Elise always turned him down. I do not blame her. From what I have seen, he is not a good person.

Still, I am curious as to why Elise has turned him down. While not just him. Every boy and girl who has asked her out in the past has been turned. I should just drop it. It is not like I will ever be able to ask her why.

"I can talk to…."

"What's that?"

"What's happening?"

"We need to get out of here!"

Before Elise can finish her sentence, the floor starts to glow as some weird symbol appears beneath our feet. Panic quickly sets in, and it only worsens as the building shakes and people scramble for the doors, but they do not open. No matter how hard anyone pulls on the door, it remains firmly shut. Even the strongest people in our class working together could not get it to open.

"The windows!"

Someone shouts out, and everyone scrambles for the windows as the shaking worsens and the glowing light glows brighter. But, like with the door, the windows are sealed shut and refuse to open. One of the jocks throws a chair at the glass, but it harmlessly bounces off. This cannot be happening. I jump when something grabs my arm, but I calm down when I see it is only Elise with her face drained of all its colour. Her soft chest feels nice as she presses closer to… focus. I cannot get distracted right now.

I need to find a way out of here. The doors and windows are no good, and the floor is made of tiles, so I doubt I could dig out of here. The ceiling? That could work. The panels above me are loose enough to pry open, but I cannot reach them alone.

The shaking is only worsening, causing some of the panels I was thinking of removing to fall off. We are lucky no one was hurt as they shattered on the ground. Then suddenly, it is over. The shaking stops, and the glowing light blinds me. I cannot see anything. I cannot hear or feel anything… not even Elise's grip on my arm.


I blink, and when my eyes open, I am not in the classroom anymore. I… I do not know where I am. My classmates are scattered around me, and I notice Elise still clinging to me. However, she jumped away with a blush when she realised what she was doing. It is a relief that everyone is here, and no one seems to be harmed, but where exactly is here?

The stone floor looks well-swept, with no specks of dust in sight and covered in a strange pattern. I might be able to tell what it is if I find a higher place to look down from, but I do not see that as a priority right now. The stone columns leading up to a dark ceiling hold medieval torches, supplying some light. However, the flickering flames still leave plenty of shadows where anyone could easily hide. There is nothing in this room apart from us and a stone altar that gives me a strange feeling whenever I look at it.

Finally, someone else enters the room. I do not know whether to be scared or relieved as several robed priests holding golden staffs walk into the room. Looking at my classmates, they seem divided. Some appear happy to see them well, while others take a step back. Elise sticks close to me, looking as unsure about these priests as I am. The one I think is the leader of the priests' steps forward. Unlike the others, he wears a golden neckless that might show a rank within the priest's hierarchy. Clearing his throat, we all go silent, waiting for the priest to speak.

"Welcome, brave heroes. We are happy that you have answered our call for aid," The priest bows his head as he speaks, and we are too stunned to react.

Heroes? We are heroes summed here. This is starting to sound like one of those Japanese anime my little brother is addicted to. I wonder if the things I overheard him mention to his friends are true. My brothered mentioned that people summoned to another world are overpowered and constantly have beautiful women fighting over them. It would be best to keep the part about beautiful women fighting over me to myself. I do not want to anger my female classmates currently surrounding me.

"As we speak, the demon lord's army is gathering its strength, and it won't be long before they attack," The priest continues. This sounds increasingly like that anime my brother loves by the second. "We don't have much time to help you grow in strength, but our kingdom will do everything possible to ensure you are ready for the upcoming battle."

Several people gasp, and one girl whimpers as everything sinks in. We were brought here to fight a war that will decide this world's fate. I do not want to fight. Fighting has always scared me, and I hate pain and the sight of blood. I want to go back home. Being bored to death in class is preferable to this. Maybe they made a mistake, and the real heroes will turn up any second now. I hope that is the case and the priests will send us straight back home. But as the seconds pass and no one else appears, it seems increasingly likely they wouldn't be coming.

"What do you mean battle?" One of the jocks calls out. "Do you bring us here to fight for you?"

"I don't want to fight," The nerd beside me whimpers.

"I don't want to get hurt," One of the girls near me mutters.

"I know you are all scared right now, but the gods themselves have chosen you to fight," The priest smiles, but his words do not reassure us. "With the gods' blessing, you will certainly defeat the demon lord and return to your homes unharmed."

The priest must know his words have little effect on us. I can hear some people start to cry, and others look like they are about to attack the priests. After glancing at the other priests behind him, the head priest turns to us.

"Please calm down. I'm sure you have plenty of questions right now, so how about you ask what's on your mind, and we'll talk things through,"

That seems to work, everyone looks slightly calmer, and no one appears ready to attack the priests now. Small groups form in our class, and once again, I find myself alone as even Elise is drawn into one of those groups. I do not mind, though. It gives me time to think and analyse the situation. It does not do me any good with how little information I have, but it is better than doing nothing. Unfortunately, all I get out of it is a headache, so maybe doing nothing would have been better.

"Can you tell us where we are?"

Elise speaks up. Judging from how everyone looks at her, I think it is safe to assume the class selected her to speak on our behalf. No surprise there. Elise typical is the person we select to represent our class. No one else stands a chance against her popularity.

"You are currently in the Temple of Heroes located near the capital city of the Kingdom of Slocrenia," The priest swiftly answers. "Slocrenia is the largest and most powerful kingdom, but even we will be destroyed by the demon lord without your aid."

The demon lord must be formidable if the most powerful nation can't deal with him. How the hell are we meant to defeat him if they can't?!!!

"Can you tell me who this demon lord is we are meant to fight?"

"He is a giant minotaur who wields a great axe taller than a man and can use all forms of magic,"

"You want us to fight that thing?"

This time it is not Elise who asks a question. Everyone turns to see one of the jocks staring at the priests, his eyes wide with fear. I have to agree with him. Asking us to fight that monster is just too much. I doubt any of us have any experience in fighting in the first place.

"Yes," The priest nods his head. "You were chosen by the gods, granted power by them and brought here for that purpose."

"Do we have to… fight him?" One of the nerds asks with a shaky voice.

"Yes," The priest nods again. "Like I said, that is why you came to our world."

"Can't you send us back and find some new people?"

I do not catch who asked that last question, but I pray that the answer is yes.

"No," In an instant, the priest crushes my hopes. He could have at least broken that news to use more softly. "But once you defeat the demon lord, you will be given a choice as to whether you want to stay in our world or go back to your own by the gods."

"So, you are saying we have no choice but to fight this demon lord,"

Finally, Elise retakes the lead. Everyone else tries to let everything sink in. We can't return home unless we fight. I don't know why my brother said he would like to be taken to another world because this is a nightmare.

"Isn't there any other way we can go back home?"

"No, there is no other way," The priest confirms. "But rest assured, our kingdom will do everything to aid you in slaying the demon lord." The priest turns around and points to the altar. "But first, we need to assess your powers. Please step forward and place your hands on the altar one at a time."

Some of our class still seems unsure, but we line up behind Elise. A few people are still crying, and others look angry, but I think most of us have accepted that there is no going back to our old world without facing this demon lord. I take a deep breath a try to stay calm. Maybe this will not be so bad. The priest said the gods brought us here and blessed us with power. Maybe we will be as strong as superheroes in this world.

Elise steps up to the altar and places her hands on it like the priest instructs, causing the same glow that appeared in our classroom to light up the altar. I have a bad feeling about this like Elise might be teleported away. Instead, words appear above the altar as soon as the glowing dies down.

Name: Elise

Level: 1

Health Points: 100

Magical Points: 100

Strength: 20

Speed: 20

Stamina: 20

Dexterity: 20

Intelligence: 20

Titles: Hero

Class: Sword Hero

Skill Points: 0

Unique Skills: Perfect Dodge

Skills: Sword Level 1 and Holy Magic Level 1

Spells: Bless

With a smile, Elise steps aside to let the next person in line be evaluated. With titles like Hero and the ability to use Holy Magic, we will be able to demon lord in no time. But I wish the gods would have started us off at a higher level. One by one, we get evaluated, and all find we have the hero title but different classes. Some specialise in certain weapons, while others are blessed with powerful magical classes. Finally, it was my turn. I don't mind being last, but I would prefer that everyone was not staring at me.

Name: Luke

Level: 1

Health Points: 1

Magical Points: 1

Strength: 1

Speed: 1

Stamina: 1

Dexterity: 1

Intelligence: 1

Titles: Hero

Class: Hero

Skill Points: 0

Unique Skills: Underdog (Grows faster) and Absorb (Can gain EXP, Abilities, Skills and Spells from anything)

Skills: None

Spells: None

What is this? Why am I so weak? Everyone else is at least ten times stronger than me, and I am the only one who does not know a single skill or spell. The only thing I have going for me is that I have two unique skills instead of one. There must be some kind of mistake. I can hear people giggling behind me, and I shamefully lower my head. Something must be wrong here unless they want the demon lord to kill me with a single breath. I am probably weak enough that even a falling leaf could kill me.

I hope the altar made some error, and my correct information will be coming up any second now, but nothing. Nothing happens. The priest tells me to stand with the others, and I return, letting the news of how weak I am sink in. How is this far? Shouldn't I have become some overpowered hero like my brother said? Elise tries to cheer me up, but I feel no better.

"Right now, that we have assessed everyone, we will now provide you with equipment the gods have chosen for you to have," The priest tells us, and soon more priests arrive carrying a large box. "We will hand out the weapons in the order you were assessed, so please form another line."

Once again, Elise goes first. But instead of opening the box, a glow engulfs Elise's body. When it fades, she is covered head to toe in armour. It's pure white in colour with golden trims that appear to shine. On Elise's hip is an elegant-looking sword. When she draws it, the sword baths us in a golden glow.

"The Holy Sword Excalibur…." Even the priests seem taken aback by Elise's gear. "You must be destined for greatness."

The rest of my class gets holy swords, bows, axes, spears, and armour. Still, none of them is as powerful as Elise's holy sword. My classmates that specialise in magic receive staffs and blessed robes. When I collect my weapon, I think the gods hate me. First, I get terrible stats, and now I have a single holy dagger to use as a weapon. I do not know what I could have done to offend them, but I am sorry if you are listening, gods of this world. They didn't even give me any armour to wear.

"Now that you are all armed, you need to head to the capital city of Slocrenia,"

As the priest talks, two massive doors open behind us, letting in the sunlight. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust, but I can see a thick forest with the sun rising between the tree when they do. It looks like an ideal hiking spot… it's a shame I am not a fan of hiking. At least when the cool breeze hit me, I could tell we won't have to suffer that unbearable heat from the classroom anymore.

"You must go by yourselves. This is a test commanded by the gods to see if you are ready. Make your way through the forest to the capital, and you pass, but be warned. There are monsters in there that will attack you on sight."

I gulp. With my stats and weapon, I do not stand a chance.

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