Gradually, Quinn's eyelids started to flutter open and his vision soon returned. His head felt heavy and his body was slightly sore. As he lifted himself off of the ground, he touched his head gently to see if he had injured himself.
'Why does my head hurt so much?' He thought, bewildered and unable to make any sense of what just happened to him.
After patting his head all over, Quinn then went to pick up his glasses that had fallen on the floor not too far from him. Regrettably, only one lens that was left intact, still, Quinn put the glasses on out of habit. He felt a little disoriented and his vision became slightly blurry.
He took them back off and noticed that his vision only turned hazy when he put the glasses on. 'Wow,', he thought before he quickly rushed to his desk to grab a pencil. He proceeded to draw the letter "A" on the wall and stepped back. He continued to move back until his back had hit the wall that was on the other side of the room. The figure 'A' was still there, and he could see it clearly.
"What?! But how?!" Quinn said slowly, mind-blown. He was still trying to make sense of what had happened to him.
Somehow, Quinn's vision was now perfect. He had lived his whole life with terrible eyesight, but strangely, he could now see clearly. His mind started flashing images of the events that laid to his passing out on the ground. The more the memories flooded his mind, the more one thing stood out - the book.
When Quinn surveyed the room, he felt panic building up in him. The book was missing…
"The book! Where the hell's the book?"
He looked everywhere for the book, yet he couldn't find it. It couldn't have gone missing in such a small room, so its disappearance was baffling.
"Where's the damn book?" he lamented. He imagined the book at one corner of the room hidden and out of sight, somehow living and silently enjoying his misery.
"Maybe it's like my socks. They go missing all the time. Ahh, don't be stupid. This is a book we're talking about, not a sock." He muttered, trying to reason the uncanny comparison.
Quinn tried to think hard about what had occurred a few moments before he collapsed. He took his mind back, moment by moment, then he suddenly remembered the book hovering in the air. Then, just before closing his eyes, he heard a few words.
"What was it?" he thought. "A type of system message?"
As soon as Quinn said those words, a status screen appeared right before his eyes.
[User: Quinn Talen]
"Whoa," Quinn said.
It was like the old games people used to play all the time when the earth was not in danger of being overrun by some alien creatures. Quinn noticed that, on the status screen, there were more tabs that were placed on the top. Accordingly, even without doing anything and just by reading the tabs in his head, the screen automatically switched to the [Skills] tab.
[0 skill points available]
It was strange, but he played along, curiosity fuelling him. His life was normally characterised by boredom as he had no friends, and was the loneliest child in the school. On the skills tab, Quinn wasn't really able to see much. Everything seemed to be locked and slightly greyed out, so he quickly moved on to the next tab,
[Unlocks at level 10]
"Can I do anything?" he wondered.
The last tab was the [Quest] tab. Finally, it seemed like a tab that wasn't locked behind a requirement.
[Reach level 10]
[Daily Quest: Drink two litres of water]
[Reward: 5 exp]
After checking everything that the system had to offer, Quinn had to just think about closing the system and it did. When he thought about opening it again, the screen immediately popped up in front of him.
There was another thought on Quinn's mind that explained what was happening to him- the book that his parents had left him was an ability book. These books could often be bought at very high prices from the military or a company. Some were even sold on the market place. He had never seen any of such books, but only heard of them in whispers of fellow students that would have nothing to do with him.
However, Quinn had never heard of an ability book that promptly disappeared, granting the user a system such as the one he currently had. The ability books were designed to be learnt manually. It wasn't something that one could pick up and instantly understand how to use, and it definitely did not appear as a screen overhead when one thought of it.
A smile started to slowly appear on Quinn's face. This was great news for him. He had always been a level 1 ability user because he could never afford to buy any ability books. To his fortune, he had something that he could use. His mind raced, reeling out options for him. He had things he could practice, things he had never done before. The book would help him, he thought.
"Water bending, come on!" Quinn said as he raised his right palm forward towards the kitchen sink, expecting water to gush from the tap at his command. Embarrassingly, nothing happened..
"Ok next! Wind, Wind, out!" Quinn did the same again, but there was nothing happening.
After trying out many different things according to all the abilities that he had seen before, it turned out that he was unable to perform any of them. He made his way to his bed and sat dejectedly on it.
"What the hell is this useless thing? Is it really just a system ability?"
Quinn thought about it for a while. If it truly was like a game, then perhaps, by completing the quests, he would eventually get stronger and unlock more skills. He had heard the students in school gush over those memories, which were shared to them by their parents. Some of them still had these games, which were now antiques sitting in their homes. Maybe it was his mistake that he was treating it like an ordinary ability book when clearly, it was not. He was still unable to find it, and ability books did not disappear into thin air.
Usually, ability books were based around one ability. It was important for a person to select their first ability book carefully, since a regular human body could only perform one ability attribute in their lifetime. If one got transformability as their first ability, they would only be able to acquire other skills that were related to this attribute. For instance, if someone obtained fire as their attribute, they could solely dedicate themselves into gathering skills that the attribute fire could utilise. But this book was different, he felt it. What ability book could completely heal his eye defect?
Quinn went to open his mini-fridge, grabbing the bottles of water that were inside. He soon began downing the water bottles one by one.
"Damn, how much is two litres? My belly feels like it's going to burst."
After finishing his fourth bottle of water, the screen popped up in front of him, and a new notification message appeared.
[Daily Quest complete, 5 exp has been granted]
"Well, at least I know how the system works now," Quinn said, satisfaction evident in his tone.
A loud knock from the door startled Quinn. He jerked and almost threw the empty bottle of water he was holding on the ground. The knock came again. There was only one group that knocked like that, the real soldiers. Quinn dashed towards the door and opened it. As he opened the passageway, standing in front of him was a large, muscular, bald-headed man wearing a black military uniform, signifying the earth attribute. There were several medals on his garment. His name was written on the area of the uniform right above his chest - 'Sergeant Griff'.
"Boy, it is time for you to vacate your room immediately. The vehicle has been waiting outside for five minutes already."
With everything that had happened, Quinn had forgotten about his move today.
"It's time for you to head to military school," Griff announced.