It's been 6 years since the war began. Nearly all of Econica, with the exception of some of the bigger cities and the Elven Forest, has been taken over by Orthlys. There was no resistance in most areas. The people lost trust in the government after the Lifah incident, and as a result, happily handed their land to Orthlys, wanting to be ruled over by a different monarch. Only Daster, Kindus, Draconica, Aquifa, and the capital city of Cornear remained. Orthlys now controlled roughly 85% of the continent, and with that, they halted their attacks. No peace treaty was signed, but there was an untold truce. Roughly 5 years after the war began, it was reported that the Orthlys queen was assassinated by Econican spies. After that blow, Orthlys began to slow their attacks until both sides reached a standstill, with Orthlys coming out as the clear victors in this unfinished war.
Though there were multiple Econican strongholds Orthlys was unable to breach, there was one that stood out from the rest. Throughout the war, Orthlys attempted to mount several attacks on the Elven forest, but their forces were always mysteriously repelled by a masked man before making it to the village, causing them to stop sending soldiers.
This mysterious force was none other than Rein Alister, who had been training every day for 6 years, honing his System in the monster den of his father's grave. He reached level 85 with his System, every level being 10 stat points. Level 60 was reached in the first year, then 5 levels per year after. Stats began increasing much slower after level 60, and progression became much more difficult. Since he didn't kill any soldiers that invaded, he wasn't able to gain large level boosts. Even at about level 70, he was able to repel a whole battalion single-handedly. His stats were now:
Cold Affinity: Resist
Demonic Affinity: Resist
Slime Affinity: Resist
Earth Affinity: Resist
On Sight: Allows you to copy the Spring of someone by simply looking at them, as long as you know what it is.
Warped Touch: Enables you to flip the Springs of other people by touching them for 3 seconds.
Though killing monsters didn't give him the experience boosts that other intelligent creatures did, they did provide him with some useful skills that he added to his repetoire.
Rein often trained with Emria and Saphrilla, whose telekinesis Spring came in very handy when Emria is unable to move while using her Spring. Voron, still oblivious to Rein's inverse system, spent most of his time researching the origins of Rein's power.
Rein felt that it was strangely quiet on the morning of November 18th, his 16th birthday. He couldn't feel Voron's presence, and as he looked around, he noticed that Voron had left him a note It read:
"Happy birthday Rein! You're 16 now huh? Almost a fully grown adult! You might be wondering what this note is yeah? Well, I would explain it in person… but then what's the point of the note right? Anyways, I think I found a lead about the origins of your Spring, and now that the fighting's stopped, I think it's the perfect time to follow it. I know that you're waiting until you're 18 so you can become a Ranger, but you've heard of Ranger academy, right? You can actually join when you're 16. The problem is, the fee is incredibly high. But look at the pamphlet at the back of this note, there's an entrance tournament. If you place in the top 5, you get a free ride, and if you place 1st, you get a free luxury dorm! I forged a fake ID for you and Emria using the last name Xilris. Take her and Saphrilla with you. Good luck! You'd better win that dorm for them!"
He was speechless. To spring this on him all of a sudden was just like the old man. The girls were still sleeping, so he had to go wake them and break the news. He knocked on their door.
"Emria, Saphrilla, wake up!" It was useless. Even this close, the soundproof walls blocked out all noise. He rang the bell inside the room, using the rope they installed for situations just like these. The door opened, revealing two half-asleep girls.
"What is it, Rein. Please explain why you have woken us so abruptly." As always, Saphrila retorted in her cold tone of voice.
"Start packing your stuff. Your dad left me this note." He handed Saphrilla the note and she and Emria began to read it.
"This is ridiculous. What is that stupid old man thinking." Said Saphrilla, unimpressed and irritated.
"Huh? This is great! I get to go to Ranger academy with Rein! And we get to stay in a luxury dorm!" Emria woke up after reading the note and was filled with excitement.
"That's only if I win the entrance tournament."
"Oh, I'm not worried about that. You'll definitely win!" Emria's remark made Rein laugh and pat her on the head.
"Hey! I'm not a kid anymore!" She blushed.
"Oh? But it looks like you're enjoying it. Is your face turning red?" He teased her, inducing an angry reaction from Emria.
"Anyways, I don't think we'll be able to live here without Voron. We don't have any money, that old man took it all with him. He's really leaving us with no choice." Informed Rein.
"This pamphlet says that the tournament will be held on campus. The location is shown to be in the middle of the Habisin Gulf. Hmph. I'm beginning to think father has given us a fake pamphlet." Proclaimed Saphrilla.
"I don't think so. I remember Leona used to head there a lot when she was on business. I think that's where the headquarters actually are. Anyways, is there a date listed?" Asked Rein. Saphrilla scanned the paper, looking for a date. Her eyes stopped at a point and stayed there silently for a good 10 seconds.
"... November 18th, at 12:00 PM. Exactly four hours from now."
"WHAT?! We need to hurry! If I copy Emria's spring we can probably make it there in three hours, we'll have one hour to sign up." Rein panicked.
"Alright! Let's hurry up and pack up!"
They hurriedly got ready, packing clothes and tools into Rein's inventory, whose weight limit was now 431 kg, which scaled in a 2 to 1 ratio to his strength stat. After they finished up, they tied a rope around Rein which connected to Emria and Saphrilla. Then, Saphrilla used her telekinesis Spring to lift Emria and herself up in the air while being connected to Rein as he ran on the ground, pulling them like kites.
"You're up Versys." Said Rein as he copied Emria's spring, turning his eyes red. He began to run at about 120km/h, so they were flying through the air at incredible speeds, granted Rein didn't go full speed out of concern for the girls. This meant Emria had to use her spring to protect Saphrilla and herself in case something hit them. It truly was a flawless mode of travel.