1 First Day

"You may now kiss the bride."

But no kiss came. The warmth of her hand suddenly vanishes; the feeling of standing on the stable ground switches to the stomach-churning pain of free-falling, and then my consciousness is severed.


"Lily…" I murmur.

My back hurts, my whole body feels like stone, nausea prevents me from trying to get up, and my nose is filled with the musky smell of nature. I finally realize I'm laying down with my eyes closed and my belly up.

Once the nausea subsides, I decide to open my eyes, and I see huge trees that almost cover the entire sky. Like cracks on a wall, the crown shyness of the canopies let only small streaks of light pass through.

After regaining control of my body, I manage to sit and look at my surroundings. This is a forest with trees bigger and thicker than anything I have ever seen before, but bushes prevent me from seeing too far. The air is damp and slightly hot, reminding me of the subtropical climate I was born in.

I get up and notice my body feels weird, then I look down and see I'm not wearing my tuxedo, but instead, I have a leather jacket lightly padded with a gambeson, a woolen white shirt, woolen black pants, and some rather uncomfortable leather shoes. On my waist, there's a belt where a sword and scabbard are hanging.

I draw the sword and notice that it's rather light. Oddly, I don't find it difficult to handle, and it's almost as my arm moves on its own as I swing it. Its blade is straight and double-edged, about 90cm in length. There's space for only one hand on the hilt, which has a cross-shaped guard. The edge is sharp and can easily cut the bushes I swing at. This is not a prop.

"Am I in a renaissance fair?" I ask the air, astonished.

I don't remember how I got here. Did I hit my head? The last thing I remember is being at my wedding ceremony.

Then a small amount of panic enters my heart.

"Lily…!? LILY, WHERE ARE YOU!?" I scream in panic, but no response comes, I'm completely alone. After a few moments, I calm down and continue taking in my situation.

My body still feels weird, and I don't know why. At least I'm not nauseous anymore, but now I'm starting to feel scared.

I don't know where to go because there are only trees as far as the eye can see. I also don't remember how I got here and in which direction I can go to find someone. I'm truly lost in the woods with no idea of what to do.

Besides, I've never seen a forest like this. I'm a Canadian living in the cold north where it should be winter and the trees are much smaller. Did I travel to a faraway place to the south, or is it summer and I simply forgot the passage of time?

Time passes while I think about what to do, and I start to feel an itch slowly growing inside my head. It's not on the outside, on my hair, but actually inside. Like when water gets on your ear and it gets uncomfortable. It feels like I can almost "touch" it, but it's barely out of reach.

I keep trying to "scratch it" while shaking my head, and little by little, it feels like I'm getting closer. Then, suddenly, I somehow "scratch it," and a menu opens.

Like a light projection in front of me, I see various columns of black squares with white letters on them, similar to a touchscreen on a phone.

Now I feel like I'm going insane. There's no source of light or medium where the light hits to explain this as a mere projection. It's a floating object that passes through the bushes near me as if it's non-corporeal, and as I move around I notice that It follows my torso but not my head.

Curious and scared, I use my finger to touch the square that says "Status".

A new black square opens with a lot of information written on it.



[Name: PRESS HERE TO CHOOSE | Age: 16 | Race: Human]

[HP: 100 | MP: 100 | Magic Power: 175]

[Level: 0 | Experience: 0/100]


[Strength: 7 | Endurance: 8 | Dexterity: 9]

[Speed: 10 | Intelligence: 20 | Wisdom: 15]

[Willpower: 11 | Charisma: 10 | Piety: 0]

[Perception: 15 | Sanity: 9]


[.Status Effects: 'NONE'.]

[.Titles: 'NONE'.]

[.Affiliations: 'NONE'.]

[.Companions: 'NONE'.]

[.Crimes: 'NONE'.]


I can't believe this. Mom told me this would happen but I didn't listen. I have now officially gone insane, I'm seeing a video game "status" in real life.

I start panicking a little. This situation isn't funny. Compounding on my loss of memory and waking up in an unknown place, now I'm seeing something impossible to explain: a ridiculous looking menu that makes me believe I'm into some ultra-realistic virtual reality game.

I can feel the pain in my body; I can breathe in the smells of the forest; I can perfectly see a level of detail only a real eye can; I can feel a slight hunger in my stomach; I can feel how uncomfortable these ridiculous clothes are; and I can taste my saliva inside my mouth. Just to make sure, I lick my hand and taste the salt of my cold sweat. All of my senses tell me that this is real.

Is this the future where I purposely erased part of my memory and entered this virtual reality just to feel like I've been transported to another world? This is the only logical explanation that does not involve a supernatural event. But if this has really happened, then there's a huge problem: I see no "Quit" or "Logout" button.

My heart beats like crazy, my vision loses focus, and I start to gasp for air because I feel like I can't breathe. My mind is slowly filled with fear, then my vision darkens, and my knees start to buckle. I'm having a panic attack.


I blink, and suddenly I regain my awareness. It seems like the worst has passed.

Apparently, I had laid down at one point, and at least I didn't collapse and hit my head against the ground.

I sit up and look around, still a bit dizzy, but dismay hits me as I notice that I'm still in the same stupid forest as before.


I need to focus on my only ally here: logic. Logic is my friend, logic is my ally, and logic will help me get through the insanity and ridiculousness of my situation so that I can make a proper decision and that won't get me killed in this horrible world.

First things first, I have to explore my options. There are more buttons to press on this menu, so let's just pull off the brakes on my skepticism of this fantasy.

On the left of the menu, there are buttons on a column, they are: "Status", "Items", "Skills", "Magic", "Notes" and "Messages".

"Messages" has an exclamation point near it, and I assume it signifies that there's an unread message. I open it, and it shows me the only unread message.


Sender: God.

"I'm sorry about this, but there's no way for you to go back."


Logic doesn't help when God fucks you over. My vision is darkening again, I'm having another breakdown.

Then I see my "Sanity" in my "Stats" window going down a point.


This time, I forcefully bring myself back from the stupefied state I was in.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no~~! I can't get mad, this is a prank, someone is messing with me. A camera is hidden and soon someone will jump out of a bush and laugh at me. I have to keep calm so the entirety of the internet, and then the world, won't have a reason to point and laugh at my situation. It's okay, keep calm, it's all a prank.

Since this is a prank, why not use magic? I want to see what kind of special effects they're going to use.

I press the "Magic" button and… a blank black box appears.

So, I guess I don't have any magic skills yet. Well, let's see how "Items" works. I don't have a backpack, so how are the items going to appear? Hah, it's going to go *poof* and materialize from thin air or something?

I press the button and a list appears.



[Item Name: Quantity | Item Name: Quantity | Item Name: Quantity]

[Empty backpack: 1 | Spare clothes bundle: 1 | Rock bread: 10]

[Dried meat: 10 | Deer waterskin: 5 | Sleeping bag: 1]

[Flint: 1 | Kitchen knife: 1 | Skinning knife: 1]

[Cooking pot: 1 | Whetstone Q100: 2 | Wool cloak: 1]

[Firewood: 10 | Rose coin: 1 | Gold coin: 10]

[Silver coin: 50 | Copper coin: 100]


"At least you gave me money, you shit stain of a god," I grumble to myself.

I press the "Sleeping Bag" button and the menu suddenly closes, then a transparent sleeping bag starts to hover above my finger.

Scared at the sudden apparition of a ghost sleeping bag, I step back and pull my hand away, but the ghost follows my finger as if it's glued to it, even going through the nearby bush without disturbing it.

I swing my hand trying to unglue it, then I press my finger against my jacket, and the sleeping bag suddenly materializes in front of me with a *poof* and falls on my feet.

I think I'm starting to get used to the insanity. A sleeping bag materializes from absolutely nothing and I don't really feel anything. Is this "shock"?

Now… how do I put it back?

I notice that there's an icon on the corner of the item screen that's animated. It shows a hand grabbing a sword, then bumping a button, and the sword disappears, then it loops.

I grab the sleeping bag, press the button shown in the animation, and *poof*, the sleeping bag disappears. Then I see the entry "Sleeping bag" appear on the item list.

So is there an item limit? Or a weight limit? Is it limited to things I can carry on one hand? Maybe I should write these on my "Notes" and test them later, it should be a priority to understand this if I'm going to be stuck in this fantasy land.

Finally, let's see the "Skills" menu. On the right, there's a column with the writing "Skill Points: 10". Below it is written "Acquired Skills," and below that there is [Sword Use 1], which has a minus and a plus sign beside it. It seems I can increase or reduce the skill points at will with these ten "Skill Points."

On the right of this column, there's a large box with the tabs on top: "Physical," "Magical," and "Miscellaneous." And each of these tabs shows an uncountable number of skills.

"Physical" has things like [Sword Use], [Axe Use], [Shield Use], [Block], [Parry], and [Bow Use]. Some of these look like they might be overlapping, so perhaps the benefits stack, but it sounds troublesome to test. There are others where the name isn't very descriptive, like [Antushi Style], which is probably related to martial arts schools. Then there are some like [Enhanced Reflexes], [Muscle Explosion], [Hawk Eyes], and [Battlefield Perception] which are interestingly named. There are also dozens of crafting skills like [General Blacksmithing], [Armor Smith], [Weapon Smith], [Jewel Crafting], [Woodwork], and [Bow Crafting]. And finally, there are some ridiculous ones like [Enhanced Sexual Stamina], [Oral Technique], [Enhanced Genital Control], and [Enhanced Semen Recharge].

"Magic" sounds extremely interesting to me. It has all of the standard elements like [Electric Magic], Space, Light, Dark, Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, and Nature. Then there are more exotic skills like [Spirit Magic], Summoning, Conjuring, Blessing, Cursing, [Undead Creation], [Bloodwork], and many more. There's magic enhancements like [Mana Control], [Mana Efficiency], [Mana Recovery], [Mana Absorption], [Mana Reflection,] and [Reduced Mana Cost].

Mana seems to be the name of the source of magical power in this world, so maybe MP means something like "Mana Points."

Continuing, there are resistances, like [Poison Resistance], [Fire Resistance], and so on. Then crafting, like [Armor Enchanting], [Weapon Enchanting], [Jewel Enchanting], [Alchemy], [Potion Brewing], [Magic Tool Carving], [Poison Brewing], and [Golemancy]. The last one seems extremely interesting to me since I have a degree in robotics. And there are ridiculous ones too like [Slavery Magic], [Sexual Charm], and [Sexual Metamorphosis].

"Miscellaneous" contains things like [Weapon Appraisal], [Jewel Appraisal], [Metal Appraisal], [Ore Appraisal], [Flute Playing], [Lute Playing], [Musical Improvisation], [Singing], [Oratory], [Acting], [Writing], [Housework], [Cleaning], [Washing], and even [Folding]. Then there are some interesting ones like [Sense Presence], [Hide Presence], [Quiet Steps], [Quiet Action], [Intimidation], and [Charm]. There's even a bunch that's related to language proficiency, but I don't know which one to choose, so I'll leave it for later. Some look like they belong into the "Physical" category, but with things like [Charm] and [Sense Presence], maybe they revolve around some weak form of magic, so they are a mix of both physical and magical skill.

Luckily, at the top, there's a search function, but typing on this menu is very awkward. Unlike a keyboard, where you can feel the feedback of pressing a key, this keyboard passes through the finger, so I don't feel anything when I press a button. The feedback is even worse than that of a smartphone.

I can add and remove skills at will, and since I already have one point in [Sword Use], I actually have eleven skill points I can use if I remove this skill.

"Notes" operates like an office computer software where you create and organize documents, and simply write things in them with the awkward, floating, non-corporeal keyboard.


Now that I have seen it all, I need to decide on my next step.

I have some food, and although something like "rock bread" doesn't sound appetizing, I don't think I'll starve to death so soon. But still, if there's no civilization nearby, then I need to secure a source of food and water.

Perhaps [Conjuring Magic] will give me something to survive, but I'm not sure relying on it is a good idea. I have no idea what kind of nutrition magically created food has, and I also have no idea of the mana cost of conjuring it, or how fast mana recovers. I'll need to test it, but testing it now might cost me precious time.

Since I have no idea where to go, maybe it's best to find a vantage point where I can look over the surroundings and search for a river or a man-made structure. The problem is that I can't see very far in this thick forest, so I might have to wander about for a long time before I find a hill. I'm also scared of sleeping in an unknown forest and what might hunt at night, so I absolutely don't want to waste time.

Suddenly, an idea comes up to me. Since I can add or remove skill points at will, I can see which magic gives which spell, so maybe there's something useful in there. Once I put one point into a magic school, it gives me at least one spell. Most magic schools seem to require ten points until the next spell is unlocked, but some require five, and I don't know what's after level eleven since I don't have enough points.

Although [Golemancy] seems interesting, it doesn't look like it's useful right now. [Conjuring Magic] gives me [Conjure Water] at level 1 and [Conjure Bland Meal] at level 5, and [Conjure Dirt] at level 10, so at least I have a source of water, but I'll have to test it later for how much water it gives me. It might also be a good idea to have at least one offensive magic since I seemingly have good stats for magic if it's based on "Intelligence" or "Wisdom" like most RPGs.

I wanted some healing magic, but since my "Piety" is zero, I'm uncertain if it's a good idea since healing magic is tied to religion and piety in plenty of games.

I'm starting to wish I wasn't an atheist.

If this truly is a different world, then I better start believing in the divine seeing how supernatural things are happening around me.

After I look at [Summoning Magic], I get an excellent idea. The first spell for Summoning is [Summon Small Bird], which might be my best way of finding my way around this forest, so I put a point in it, go to the "Magic" tab, and press the spell's button.

For a second, I feel like my blood is being sucked out of my body through every inch of my skin, then a ball of light appears in front of my finger.

Not knowing what to do, I decide to touch the ball, and gravity suddenly starts to apply on it, so it falls on the ground and then stops shining. Suddenly, I'm looking at the sky again.


When my head stops spinning, my senses are overwhelmed by the oddest combination of feelings I've ever felt. On one side of my vision, I can see the sky, and on the other, I can see the sole of my own boots as I appear to have fallen on my back; my body feels really weird and tired while also light and energetic at the same time; I feel like I've "grown" more limbs, yet I can't "control" them; everything sounds a lot noisier and louder than before; and my stomach feels both hungry and full at the same time.

After getting a little bit used to the situation, I raise my upper body. On one side of my vision, I see a small brown bird that looks like a fluffy ball, on the other side of it I see… myself? I don't remember looking like this. I'm younger, much younger. This baby face that I didn't see for more than a decade is staring at… me?

After a long minute staring at the bird, all the weird feelings start to make sense and I get over this mind-fuck. This little bird in front of me is my summon, and I'm "sharing" its senses. Things like sight, hearing, touch, taste, proprioception, heat, and maybe even more. There are so many that a headache starts to flare; my mind isn't ready for so much information.

I wish that I wasn't sharing all of those senses

Suddenly, the sharing stops, and I feel so sick that I almost puke.

A flush of information followed by a sudden cut is too much for me to handle. I have to spend a few minutes controlling my stomach so that I can keep whatever's in there.

After getting my stomach under control again, I look at the bird and notice that it's still in the same spot, with its beady little eyes staring intensely at me.

If all I need is to wish for this "sense sharing" to stop, then I wish that I could only share the sight.

And now my vision is back to seeing two images.

It's not like my vision decreased, it "expanded," and now I can see much more, which puts a strain on my brain and makes me feel a little queasy. At least now I'm sure that this little guy is the perfect thing to help me find civilization.

I look at my "Status" and notice that my max MP has been halved, and that my current MP is now at fifteen points. It seems that either summoning is an advanced form of magic, or I'm just bad at magic even though I have good stats. Also, I didn't put any points into things like [Mana Control], [Mana Efficiency], or [Reduced Mana Cost], so maybe that's why this magic is so expensive. That was a mistake, so I wasted a lot of mana points.

But it doesn't matter now. What I need to do is learn how to control this bird.

First, I try to wish for it to move like I wished to stop the sense sharing, but nothing happens. Perhaps it only works with voice commands, which makes it impossible to use it as a puppet.

"Sit on my hand," I order, then I open my palm, and it obeys.

Seeing the bird suddenly take flight makes me nauseous again, but I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it.

Now, with the bird closer to my face, I can finally see myself properly.

I'm truly much younger than before, I'm really sixteen again. Round face, protruding jaw, full cheeks, traces of pimples, a few characteristic freckles, complete lack of the stubble that made me look manly, and short black hair neatly combed to the side, now slightly disheveled.

That's me, the young, baby-faced me. Considering how I'm seeing my younger self through the eyes of a little bird, I can feel my "Sanity" dropping another point.

I need to get a hold of myself! I'm not supposed to be affected by this anymore, and my safety is the top priority right now. If I really am inside some sort of video game, then just by looking at the large number of combat skills I can assume that this is a dangerous world. Not only that, but I'm alone in the woods, which is the most commonplace for enemies to appear, so I need to prepare myself and focus back on finding civilization.

While calming myself, I notice something odd inside my head. It's like an "itch," and it's similar to the "itch" that I have to scratch to open and close the "Menu," but maybe this is related to the [Summoning Magic]? I feel like I don't have to make an effort to scratch it, so I'll leave it like this, otherwise, it's possible that I could accidentally dismiss the summoned bird and lose the mana I'd already spent.

Finally, it's time to scout the area.

"Fly high in a circle and come back after two minutes," I order.

Hopefully, it knows what two minutes are. I also defined a time limit since I'm afraid that it won't come back unless I tell it to.

The bird quickly flies upwards and crosses the canopies, giving me a breathtaking view.

A sea of trees, that is how this place looks from above. There are some trees that are much taller than the rest, allowing me to see their trunks, and they show huge vines hanging from their branches. There are huge roots thicker than a house that twist around the ground and disappear among the trees. Blue, red, yellow, orange, white, and black patches of leaves color the sea as if they were drops of paint on a green canvas. The sky is completely clear and blue, showing me that this isn't a completely alien world. But the most beautiful detail of all is the sunlight reflecting on the leaves, which creates beautiful twinkling lights as the bird flies around.

Based on the position of the sun, it looks like it's either a few hours before noon or a few hours after it because I don't know which direction is north or which direction the sun is traveling towards.

Far away, near the horizon, I can see a grassland, and beyond that, just on the edge of my view, I see something that makes my heart stop: multiple black lines stand on top of another black line. It's not a mountain or a weird tree, and it kind of looks like towers behind a stone wall, but it's definitely man-made.

Finally, I have a direction to go. After the bird comes back, I'll order it to fly towards that to investigate more closely.

But wait, that doesn't look like anything modern; it reminds me of drawings of medieval fantasy towns… Just another piece of evidence I'm not in a normal situation.

Suddenly, the bird's view gets shaky and blurry, and a shadow blocks part of it. The bird has been captured by the claws of a large, scaled animal.

I don't know what happens if it gets killed, but I fear that a painful feedback could be sent to me if that happens, just like in some games.

I immediately "scratch" the "itch" inside my brain, and the vision of the bird instantly gets blurry, then it slowly goes black. My field of view returns to normal size and the discomfort of double view goes away. It seems that I just "unsummoned" my familiar.

This hits me like a bucket of cold water. It shows again that this world is dangerous and I need to prepare for battle.

So far, I only have 1 point into [Summoning Magic] and [Sword Use], leaving me with 9 unused points, so I better prepare.

First, I test the melee skills. Taking off [Sword Use] instantly removes all the "intuition" I had when holding a sword.

I slash with the sword, then I put the point back on and slash again. I instantly feel a difference as my second slash feels much "smoother," but I have no conscious idea of what I'm doing, it's all just "intuition."

I test [Parry], [Dodge], and [Block], but the "intuition" they give me is incredibly weaker than [Sword Use]. Then I test [Sword Use] again and notice that it also gives me some small intuition in how to parry, dodge, and block just by itself. There's some overlap in what the skill gives me, so I don't necessarily need to spread my points around to multiple skills, at least not yet.

The Style skills don't give me any noticeable changes, so I have no fucking idea how to use them, and their names don't give me any clue about what weapon they're about.

Once I put on [Muscle Explosion], I instantly feel like I can do a "power punch" or an "instant dodge." In fact, every muscle of my body feels ready to move with "explosive" speed.

I try out the punch, but I pull a muscle on my arm and it takes a few minutes to stop hurting, then I try the "instant dodge" and also pull a muscle on my leg. I don't remember being that physically inept, but it seems like this younger body is pretty weak.

Is this a fucking Deprived start?!

[Hawk Eyes] allows me to "focus" my vision, basically reducing my FOV to allow me to see better, but after a few seconds of using it I feel mentally tired, so I don't think I need it right now.

The "enhancement" skills like [Enhanced Strength] also use "mental energy" to work, but instead of actually making me stronger, they just make it slightly easier to "use" these attributes, as in, easier to push me to my limits.

For example, [Enhanced Strength] doesn't actually make me stronger, it just allows me to better use my (I assume) meager seven points of "Strength."

Curiously, [Battlefield Perception], doesn't give me any noticeable changes, so I don't understand how it works.

"Sneaking" skills like [Quiet Steps], [Quiet Action], and [Hide Presence] also need me to "focus" to feel any noticeable difference, though [Hide Presence] doesn't visibly do anything besides draining my mental stamina, but at least it's a lot less straining than [Hawk Eyes].

[Sense Presence], on the other hand, instantly gives me a response the moment I put it on. I "know" that there's a "white dot" ahead, which I locate with my eyes and identify as a little squirrel going up a ginormous tree. A few seconds later, the small "white dot" disappears from my mind, though I still see the squirrel moving, so I guess the range of the skill is limited.

It's kind of like a mind radar, with plants being extremely faint white "dots," and other animals as properly discernable "white dots." These "dots" start to gain weird shapes the more points I add to the skill, but I have no idea what these shapes mean, and the skill drains me exponentially more with the number of points, so I can't test it for long.

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with the "Physical" skills. They don't give me any significant benefits besides [Sword Use], so that skill is the one that has the most use to me right now, pun intended.

Now, magic, on the other hand, seems a lot more impactful.

First, I want healing magic. I bite the bullet and put 10 points in [Light Magic]. I have a suspicion it uses "Piety," and since I have zero in that stat, it might be useless to me.

I go to my "Magic" tab, press [Heal]… and nothing happens.

I guess I was right. If zero "Piety" means that I can't cast it, then maybe it works like a multiplier. If I assume that "ten" is the normal value for the average person, then I might need at least that much "Piety" before it becomes cost-effective.

Well then, at least there's another healing spell I can use. I put five points in [Nature Magic], and it gives me two spells: [Constricting Vines] at level 1 and [Regeneration] at level 5. Both seem very useful for someone like me that doesn't really want to fight. I put one point in [Electric Magic] so I at least have one offensive spell: [Lightning Bolt]. I don't want to use [Fire Magic] in a forest since I'm not confident I won't start a forest fire.

Now, how do I use the last five points? I should at least always have one on [Sword Use]. One on [Hide Presence] just for safety, one [Sense Presence] to let me see ahead leaving me with two points left. It's straining to keep these two skills "active" at the same time, so it'll be impossible to use a third like [Quiet Steps].

There's nothing that helps me fight better than adding two more to [Sword Use], so I'll go with it.

Now there are six "itches" inside my mind and because of some sort of subconscious understanding, I can differentiate between them quite easily. One is the "Menu," two are for the [Nature Magic] spells, one is the [Lightning Bolt] spell, and the last two are [Sense Presence and [Hide Presence]. With a little bit of familiarity, it seems that it'll be very easy to quickly use the one I want.

My mana is back to twenty, so I think I'll rest some more until it's back to full.


While I wait, I focus on calming my heart so I can do what I need to do, then I notice my "Sanity" going up one point, and it's now at eight. I guess that forcing myself to prepare for danger has repaired my mind, somewhat.

I assume that the average is ten, so being at eight isn't necessarily bad, but I believe this means that I have to work harder on keeping calm.

This is possibly a medieval fantasy world with swords and magic, which means that it's different from my society. I need to be mindful of things such as respecting the nobility, avoiding triggering the superstitions of locals, understanding local laws, adapting to the food and etiquette, understanding the economy, understanding the common sense, and dozens of other small things.

If I fail with this first contact, then I don't know if I can survive until I reach the next town. I can't bring attention to myself, so I should avoid things like [Slavery Magic], [Bloodwork], and [Necromancy Magic], which sound dangerous and potentially illegal. [Summoning Magic] also seems advanced and exotic, and it's best that people don't ask where I learned it, so I should hide it, too. Also, the skill system seems abusive. I could turn from a swordsman, to a mage, to an assassin, to a craftsman, and to a negotiator, all in a small amount of time. It doesn't seem normal for people to be able to do what I did with this skill system. Even the menu and things like "Items" could be abnormal here, so I have to be cautious of that, too.

Now I'm starting to accept this might really be another world. "God" may have sent me a message that I can't go back, but there's no evidence of that, it's just the words of a suspicious being that I have never seen before. Perhaps I can go back, or perhaps not, but first, I need to search for knowledge about this world, about teleportation, and about other worlds, only then can I truly decide if it's possible or not.

Even if this world is only a game, I can still feel a lot of pain, I can feel the pleasure of the wind, I can feel the hunger in my stomach…

Now that I think about it, I feel like I should eat a piece of meat.

This "dried meat" is too salty for my taste, too hard to cut, and too rubbery to chew.

I really want normal food now.

I didn't even get to taste the buffet that I ordered for my wedding, and there were so many choices of chocolate candies that I never got to enjoy.

I slap my cheeks to get away from these idle thoughts.

Going back to the previous train of thought, I can feel the satisfaction of eating something, and everything else that I should normally feel. For me, this is reality, not a game, so I don't want to live a poor and hard life. If I can basically do anything with this skill system, then maybe I can use it to my advantage and have a quiet, but fulfilling life while I search for knowledge about how to get back.

I sigh and lay back on the cold, hard ground. I can see the sun on top of the canopies now, so I guess it's about noon. Also, my MP is now back to full, and it took at least an hour of waiting, so I think I should conserve my MP as much as I can.

I just wanted to hug you one more time, Lily…


I try to eat a piece of "rock bread", but it's really as hard as a rock. Well, I guess this is why it won't spoil easily. Then I try to wet it with my saliva and it easily turns into mush.

Bland, wet, white bread, delicious.

I have to test [Lightning Bolt], too. It's best to know your tools, even if I'm going to waste the mana right now by firing it at nothing.

I scratch the "itch" of [Lightning Bolt], and immediately the point of my left finger starts feeling hot while the sensation of blood leaving my body comes again, so the spell must be charging.

I look at my finger and see that it's shining faintly. I point it forward, and after two seconds of holding it still, a lightning bolt flashes from my finger towards a bush ahead.

After the flash and thunder, I see that the bush has been partially carbonized while the rest has caught on fire.

I have no idea how to measure damage, but this spell feels dangerous, though a small, rather dry bush would burn extremely easily. I'm not sure if it can kill someone in one hit, and there are also the status values and HP values, so maybe people can get resistance through "Endurance," or something.

I cast [Constricting Vines] and feel my finger getting hot, so I point to another bush, and once the spell fully charges, green vines burst from the ground and wrap themselves around my "target." It takes a few seconds for them to wrap around it completely, so I don't think I can use this on an enemy that's moving.

These spells cost me around 1/4th of my mana, and my MP isn't at max, so I only have four more uses or so of [Lighting Bolt].

I think I'll wait again until my mana is full since I don't know what happens if I use all my mana. In some games, you can feel sick, faint, lose health, or even die, so I'm unwilling to test my mana to the limit.

Finally, after resting again, I get the motivation to move on. Now I need to walk in the direction of town and reach safety.


I walk with [Sense Presence] and [Hide Presence] activated and just power through the tiredness that they give me.

The skills make me tense, but I can still appreciate the environment. The trees are all ten to fifteen meters tall, with a girth that would require at least five people to make a human chain around it. There's also the occasional huge root snaking around the trees, randomly going above or below the ground, and they make me wonder if they're the roots of one huge tree.

There're also plenty of different bushes and small trees with fruits, mostly colorful berries and grapes. I try to put the fruits into "Items," but they all show a "??? fruit," so I'm not sure what they are or if they're even edible. They look quite appetizing, though.

Then, as I walk through a small patch of blue-leaved trees with a white trunk, my [Sense Presence] picks up something different from the animals. I sense a "red dot" a few meters away and to my right. Not only is the color ominous, but I actually do feel like the skill is telling me that it's something "dangerous."

Then my heart skips a beat when I notice that the red dot is coming directly towards me.

Did it notice me? Does it also have [Sense Presence]? I can't even see it because the bushes are on the way.

I hide behind a bush and crouch. If possible, I'd like to avoid combat. In games, killing monsters gives experience, which will increase my "level," but I don't have confidence in my abilities, and I also don't even know what kind of "enemy" is coming.

The presence continues towards me. I notice the intercept route is a little off, so maybe it's just a coincidence that our paths would cross, but it'll still be very close. I can't afford to move and make a noise.

I put my hand on the hilt of my sword.

As I wait for the enemy to come closer, I start to hear footsteps. The pitter-patter makes me think that the red dot is a quadruped, so perhaps it's a dog? Then I hear the sound of someone sniffing the air. It's smelling me. There's no escape now that it caught my scent; it's going to find me.

A bush ahead of me rustles, then a small wolf-like animal comes out of it. It has a long snout that gets thinner at the nose, fangs coming out of its closed mouth, and a round body with spines covered in moss. What's not covered in spines is covered in grey fur. It's certainly not an animal that I know.

I freeze for a moment as I'm still not used to the ridiculous things that happen to me, but that was a mistake.

The monster has noticed me, and it immediately bares his fangs, then lunges at me.

It's coming, it's gonna bite me, it wants to kill me, I'm going to die.

"AAAAAAAH!" I scream in fear.

The fight or flight instinct kicks in, and this time, I decided to fight.

When the monster gets close enough it jumps, aiming at my face.

Like the noob that I am, I forgot to draw my sword, so all I can do is aim the blade at the monster while it flies towards me, and it hits the side of its snout. This isn't a katana capable of Iaido, so I only manage to give it a mere cut, but at least I deflected the tackle.

It passes by my side and falls two meters away.

I turn immediately to face it, and the animal does a move that sends chills down my spine. It lifts the hind legs and lowers the front legs, then the spines move their pointy ends directly towards me and start to shake. In the next moment, they shoot out like arrows.

Through some incredible reflexes or luck, I lunge to the side, hiding behind the nearest tree, but it isn't a perfect dodge. The side of my left leg is assaulted by a wave of pain as the mossy spines enter my skin.

My heart was already pumping adrenaline a few seconds ago, so I manage to ignore the pain, but still panic and decide to use my trump card. I charge [Lightning Bolt].

I hear the rushed footsteps of the monster chasing after me. It has to go around the tree, so it doesn't reach me instantly, but its speed is still faster than I can cast.

I see it, and it immediately jumps again, its open, fanged mouth aiming towards my face, then the Bolt flies.

The lightning roars and the animal screams. It tackles me, but it doesn't bite. I protect my face and manage to grab him by the snout. It isn't very heavy, so I manage to not fall back from the impact. Then I slam it against the ground in rage.

Part of its fur is burned, there's smoke rising from its body, and its eyes are both cloudy and possibly fried, then it starts to convulse, but it's not dead yet.

Anger runs through my body and I pierce its head with my sword, letting the skill do it all for me.

The monster twitches for a few seconds, then it stops moving.

I killed something, I actually fucking killed something…but the feeling of my sword piercing through flesh is disgusting.

"You are now level one," a female voice echoes around me.

"W-what? Who's there?" I question and look around, but there's nobody around. I blink as I process what I heard, and after a few moments, I recognize that the voice was inside my head, like a video game announcer.

I stand still for some time, thinking about what just happened, but the adrenaline goes away and the pain of the spines piercing my skin starts to grow.

I quickly pull the spines out, but it just makes the pain worse. Now, my skin trickles with blood and stains my clothes, then I notice that four spines got stopped by the leather jacket.

I guess armor really is useful here, though it's a bit lacking in padding.

I cast [Regeneration], and a ball of light appears, floating above my left palm. I push it against my body and it sinks like it was ethereal, and I remain still for some time as I feel my mana steadily drain, then I start to calm down as the pain slowly subsides, and a slightly pleasurable feeling courses through my body. It seems that this is a continuous or "channeled" spell.

It takes ten minutes, but the blood stops completely, then the wound starts closing, and the pain goes away completely. I guess this magic isn't something you use during battle, but it remains in effect for a minute after I stop channeling it.

My mana is now at twenty. I guess I really need that [Mana Efficiency] skill for magic.


While waiting for my mana to recharge, I look at my stats, but disappointingly, they didn't change. Perhaps, like "Sanity," stat values change based on training or other conditions instead of level.

Then I look into my skills and notice that I have four new Skill Points to spend. I use two for the [Mana Efficiency] skill and two for [Sword Use]. Even though I barely used the sword, it was because I made a mistake and kept it sheathed before the battle. The monster was fast and magic has a short delay to cast, so I need to defend myself with a weapon if I get into melee.

I test a [Dismantling] skill, but it seems it just gives me "intuition" in how to butcher it, but at least it gives me the idea that the corpse of monsters might be valuable.

I decide to put it into my "Items," and it shows as "Hedge-wolf? monster corpse." I don't understand why there's a "?" there. Maybe it's like the fruits and the naming is based on my knowledge, so it picked the most appropriate name I could think of.

I also change my pants since the smell of blood could attract more monsters. The bloodied pants are put into "Items" and get named as "bloody black woolen pants."

I take out the "spare clothes bundle." It's a neat stack of clothes tied by a small cord. Maybe it needs to be like this so that it can "stack" and be considered as one item instead of each piece of clothing being separate. The bundle also has some linen underwear, which is the same as the one I'm wearing. It's loose-fitting and a little uncomfortable for me.

Now I start to think about this world. It's clear that there are monsters different from animals and that they're hostile.

This one likely discovered me by smell, so I guess [Hide Presence] was a bit useless, but maybe there's some magic that can help mask my scent. The loud roar my [Lightning Bolt] made when I tested it might've also alerted it of my presence, so that could be why it came towards me, to begin with.

But the main lesson here is that I need to fight and I need to kill what I fight, there's no other way to survive here.


After recharging my mana, I start moving again. Now I feel a little more confident since I calmed my heart, but I'm still feeling rather stressed. The [Sense Presence] skill is taking its toll on me.

After walking for what seems like half an hour, I get another hit on my radar. The red dot feels "different" this time, and it's not coming directly towards me.

I hide behind a bush with a good vision ahead and wait until I can see it. After a minute or so, a bush rustles and the monster comes out of it.

It's a skinny, little green man with an ugly, oversized bald head full of wrinkles, a large, pointy ear, and a curved nose. It's a goblin, a standard enemy of fantasy worlds. It's completely naked, and its disgusting genital is dangling around, waving as he moves. He's also wounded as I can see a few bruises and cuts all over his exposed skin that are lightly bleeding. In his left hand, he is dragging a long, thin dagger, probably used for piercing, not cutting.

This is a golden opportunity. A single Hedge-wolf gave me one hundred and ten experience points and let me level up, now I need two hundred points, but every single point counts.

Just a single level in [Electric Magic] was enough to be the difference between life and death, or at least life and a nasty bite on my face. If I want to survive, I need more skill points, so I need more levels, and, therefore, I need to kill this goblin. The chance of success on this is high unless I'm mistaking the strength of this little green thing. He's not even a meter tall, so he should be weak.

Yes, that's it, I'm charging.

I draw my sword and dash towards him, holding it high above my head. The goblin barely has a chance to react before I'm into range, and I chop downwards.

The goblin's face instantly warps into a scowl as he raises his dagger and tries to deflect my sword with his dagger, but he's too weak in comparison to me. He's not fast or strong enough to parry, but he still moves my sword sideways a bit. What was supposed to be a single hit kill by a chop to the head becomes a deadly wound as the tip of my sword sinks into his shoulder. It passes through flesh and bone, entering his chest, then it gets stuck.

"GYEEEEEH!" The goblin screams. A nasty scream so loud that it hurts my ears.

With this, the color drains from my face. He could be calling for allies, and now I might be in a bit of trouble.

With anger fueling my movements, I dislodge my sword from its body, then bring it back and slice horizontally. The skill helps me do a simple, but perfectly executed cut, and the blade smoothly slides along his neck sinking deeper and deeper until it comes out on the other side, decapitating him, and his head rolls away. This is an awfully sharp sword, though his neck was pretty slim.

I don't have time to be stunned by the bloody scene. If a wounded goblin appeared, maybe there are others who just finished fighting. Even if they're wounded, I have no confidence in fighting more than one enemy, especially if they can just throw things at me, like spears.

Leaving a corpse will attract more monsters sensitive to smell, so I quickly add the goblin's body, head, and knife to my "Items," then I dash into a right angle from where the goblin came from to maximize my distance from where I killed it.

After a minute or so, I slow down and catch my breath. I look at the sword in my hand and realize I forgot to clean it, so it should've left a trail of blood directly towards me.


I pull the already bloodied pants from "Items" and use it to clean the blood, then I resume moving towards my destination.

This goblin gave me one hundred and eighty experience points, now I only need ten more for the next level. This is good progress.

Just two more points into [Sword Use] allowed me to properly swing the sword twice and get a kill, so I'll soon be able to increase the skill some more. But this battle went so well because it was a surprise attack against a small monster armed only with a knife, so I hope I don't find anything worse.

But I do, find what that goblin had fought.


After another hour, I get another hit on my radar, and it sends chills down my spine. I feel that this red rod is considerably larger than the previous ones, and I estimate that its body size is as big as me, but much longer and thick.

I immediately crouch behind a bush and hide in fear, then I make sure that [Hide Presence] is constantly on.

The monster is just going to pass nearby, and there's no risk of it getting too close. It's slowly strolling around, and it seems like it doesn't even have a fixed destination, so I assume that it's not searching for me, specifically.

After two minutes, I start to hear the monster walking. It's another quadruped with a very heavy body. Then I hear a small growl, an unmistakable bear growl.

I start sweating cold. Even in my world, a bear is not something you fight with just a sword and a party trick spell.

Then the bear suddenly stops.

Did it notice me? How? I can't hear it trying to smell the air.

Then I hear it turn in my direction. I wait for a few seconds, my heart trying to escape my mouth, then it growls again, and this time, it sounds angry.

Yeah, it noticed me. [Hide Presence] must've failed!

I should've walked away, I should've taken [Quiet Steps] so that I could walk away from any dangerous encounter, but I didn't think this would happen, I didn't expect that it could so easily detect my presence. I thought the Hedge-wolf was an exception, but I was naive.

Now, what do I do, flee? I'm getting tired, the bear is in the way of my destination, and I'm not sure if I can outrun a bear. Maybe I should fight and test the waters, then flee if the situation gets worse. The problem is, if I get hit once, then maybe I'm dead, so there's no room for a mistake here.

I need to at least look at what kind of enemy this is. The hedge-wolf was just bizarre, but maybe I can see something that'll help me defeat it.

I get up and peek from behind the bush and regret doing so. The enemy is truly a bear, a frightening bear staring at me like a ravenous beast. It has five claws the size of my hand on each paw, fangs the size of my head protruding from its open, salivating mouth, and grey fur covering its body.

But then I become surprised as I notice that it's wounded. I can see more than a dozen shafts of what seems to be spears stuck to its body, there's a strong trickle of blood dripping from its face, one eye is closed, and there are multiple bloodstains all over its grey fur. It's heavily wounded, so it's probably what the previous goblin was fighting.

I think that there's a chance of victory, but I can't get hit. If I do, I'm dead, so I have to use everything I can to win.

I draw my sword and start casting [Lighting Bolt], then the bear immediately starts charging. I don't want to use [Constricting Vines] because the spell is too slow, and I also have a feeling that simple vines won't stop the charge of something that big.

He's fast, but so is my casting, I manage to cast my bolt twice before he gets into melee range. Each hit slows him down considerably and the smell of burnt flesh fills the air, so I successfully stop his charge.

He gets on his hind legs and tries to use his huge paws to swipe at me, but they're too slow, so I jump backward and release another Bolt, making him roar in anger.

Now he's angry. With a sudden burst of speed, he waddles a little closer and swipes with a speed that catches me by surprise. All I can do is defend myself with the sword as the claws hit the blade and its massive strength sends me flying.

I hit my back against a tree and air leaves my lungs, then I feel a blinding pain that immobilizes me for a second.

My vision becomes blurry, but I manage to cast the Bolt again. The spell hits the bear on the snout, then it stops its attack and starts convulsing.

An opportunity! I could run away, but the bloodlust clouds my mind. Anger makes me move forward, and the sweet deal of getting a large amount of experience fills my thoughts with greed. I charge forward.

How long are his convulsions going to last? I don't know, but since this is low-level magic, it's likely to be short, so I start casting again.

A strong headache attacks me, so I think this is my last spell.

The bear stops convulsing and roars again, then I finish my cast at point-blank range.

The bear flinches in pain from the spell, then I let the skill take hold, and I lunge. The tip of the blade sinks through the eye and continues on until it reaches the hilt, then I feel the tip hitting the back of its skull.

The bear twitches once, then his body gives up and it falls limp on the ground.

"You are now level five," the female announcer reports again.

I look at my stats, my MP is at minus four. A massive headache flares and my vision goes dark.


I slowly recover my consciousness. My back hurts a lot, I'm shivering, I have difficulty breathing, and my head hurts so much I don't think I can even stand.

While laying down, I look into my stats and see that my MP is at ten but my HP is at ninety.

Even though I blocked the attack I got damaged. Scary.

My "Magic Power" grew by five and my maximum MP by ten. I now have twelve new skill points, so I put them all on [Mana Efficiency] and cast [Regeneration] on myself.

It takes another ten minutes, and I heal myself until I have only one MP left. The spell helps with the back pain, but the headache worsens, and I'm still feeling very tired.

I simply rest on the ground until my MP reaches twenty, then I use [Regeneration] again and the back pain subsides enough to let me stand.

I look around and see that the bear is dead with my sword sticking out of its eye.

I did it, I fucking killed a huge bear, a monstrously large bear. Fucking hell.

I take the sword out and clean it on the bear's own fur, then I grab a paw and store the bear on "Items. Now I need to properly distribute my points.


I have thirty-one points total, so I put them like this:




[Skill Name: Level | Skill Name: Level]

[Sword Use: 5 | Dodge: 3]


[Skill Name: Level | Skill Name: Level | Skill Name: Level]

[Mana Efficiency: 3 | Mana Recovery: 3 | Electric Magic: 4]

[Nature Magic: 5]


[Skill Name: Level | Skill Name: Level]

[Sense Presence: 4 | Hide Presence: 4]


I should at least be able to use [Lightning Bolt] five times without fainting, perhaps one more and then fainting. I don't know which is more efficient, [Mana Efficiency] or [Reduced Mana Cost], so I'm just going to bet on efficiency. I also don't have time to test them since it's way past noon now and I need to keep moving. I prefer to spread out my capabilities a bit instead of focusing on only one thing since no skill has a significant impact on my fighting capabilities because they seem to be heavily limited by my stats. I need to be versatile and adaptive here.

With unsteady steps, I start moving again. I'm still hurting, my HP is at ninety-eight, and my MP is at forty, but I shouldn't linger any longer here lest another monster find me, attracted by the sounds of our battle.

The range of [Sense Presence] is noticeably higher now and it makes me less tense to use it along with [Hide Presence], which is good since I still have a headache.

I can see my MP gradually going up even while moving, so [Mana Recovery] is a good investment. Now I can heal myself again while walking, then the headache and back pain gradually stops, but I'm still feeling very tired.


After another hour, I get another hit. This time, I know it's a goblin.

It seems to be standing still, so I could test using [Quiet Steps]. I don't want to fight and I'm really tired, but I need this knowledge!

In games, goblins usually attack in numbers to compensate for their lack of intelligence or equipment, so finding a single goblin is lucky. Maybe not so lucky since I also met what made them scatter, but still, this situation is a lucky find.

I switch [Sense Presence] for [Quiet Steps] and activate it, then I sneak closer to the goblin. Like [Sword Use], [Quiet Steps] gives me "intuition" in how to move quietly, and my footsteps become noticeably softer. It seems that the skill isn't straight-up magic, but it's close.

I manage to catch a glimpse of the goblin, and he seems to be looking downwards, distracted with something, so I circle around to get behind him and continue approaching.

From an opening in a bush, I notice he's treating a wound. He has a nasty cut on his shoulder, and he's wiping it with a seemingly clean cloth.

How smart is he?

Then I notice that he's wearing a small leather jacket and that he has a wooden spear with a shining metal tip next to him.

He's not the same as the previous goblin. This one is more experienced, seemingly smarter, and also has better equipment. I need to kill him with one attack.

I carefully approach, inching closer, little by little.

I must have patience.

My heart beats so fast I can hear my own pulse.

I inch closer.

My hand shakes with anxiety and anticipation.

I inch closer.

He's barely within reach of my sword.

"Gah?" He leaks a sound and looks behind, but it's too late.

I lunge forward and stab his throat, then he immediately pressures the wound as he writhes on the ground. All he can do is garble some words and gasp for air while slowly dying from drowning in his own blood.

He stares at me intensely. His beady little eyes don't contain anger but only surprise. Maybe he's surprised he got attacked, or just surprised he's going to die.

I stand over him and stare back, but the bloody scene makes me feel nauseous. He's way too human for me to just watch him slowly die.

Perhaps I made a mistake. Perhaps he's sapient and a person who belongs to a community in this world. Perhaps I committed a crime. I never allowed those two goblins to attack first; I ambushed both of them.

I can't look at this anymore, so I decapitate the goblin.

Shit, I feel even worse now.

He gave more experience than the last goblin, but it's not enough to level up again. I look at my status and see that my "Crimes" section is still saying "NONE." This gives me a little comfort, but only a little.

I put him and his spear in my "Items," then I turn around towards my objective again and see something frightening.

A human skull, multiple bones, and a skeleton torso are laying at the foot of a huge tree. The bones are small, but they're definitely human, or at least I think they are. Goblin heads are seemingly much larger than this skull.

Then I see something besides the skeleton, a ruined backpack.

I now remember that the goblin's equipment was rather dusty and old-looking. The spear was clean, but it was chipped. It seems that the previous owner of this equipment was the skeleton remains. The goblin had just found it by chance.

When I look inside the backpack, I see a small ruined notebook. I open it, and while it's mushy and the words are blurred, I can still discern some foreign characters every once in a while, so I remove one point from [Sword Use] and start adding it to each of the language skills in my "Miscellaneous" tab.

After a few minutes, I finally find the language this notebook was written in, it's Norvok.

I have to put five points in the language for me to be able to make sense of what's written. Also, it seems that the maximum for language is ten.

This notebook is a diary. A dwarven young man was traveling to the other side of the continent and writing about his travels. There are tellings of what was eaten, killed, who he talked to, and minor random details. I can't absorb anything from the culture just by reading this, but it helps me discover that the language used by the locals is called Andraste.

There's no identification in the backpack or notebook, so I don't know the name of this dwarf. I feel like I should bury him, but I don't have a shovel and neither the energy nor the time to waste here, so I just put all his bones in a pile and continue on towards my objective.


After another hour of walking, I finally see something glittering beyond the trees. It's grass, grass touched by the sun. I've finally reached the border of the forest.

I start to run. I don't care if I find another monster, I just want to see what's ahead. If it's really a town, then the last stretch of my journey is close, and with that, comes safety.

The view opens up, and the forest finally ends. I'm now in a grassland, and I see a beautiful sight. The green tall grass reaches my waist and waves with the wind, painted with the gold of the reflected sunlight. It's a calming picturesque view that makes me wish to just lay down and relax, but the most beautiful sight is beyond the grassland.

I see the stone wall, around twenty meters tall, with towers double its size behind it. Very far away, to the left of where the wall ends, there's a cobble chest-high wall, and behind it, I see a few wagons with dozens of people walking around them. Beyond the chest-high cobblestone wall, I see plantations, so they must be farms.

Finally, civilization!

I remove [Quiet Steps] and [Hide Presence], and reduce [Dodge] by two, then I add ten points to [Andraste Language]. With preparations done, I start running towards the wagons.

Suddenly, my energy runs out as I realize something. I haven't thought of a story to tell them yet. Even if I can communicate, it's best that I don't tell them I came from another world or tell a shitty lie like I lost my memories or something similar. There's a probability that I will be taken advantage of if I do that, so I need to decide on a believable story.

I kneel and try to hide under the waist-high grass, then I take out my backpack from "Items" and fit a few things on it, like the sleeping bag, cooking pot, change of clothes, pieces of food, knives, and some coins. Now, my backpack is full and heavy, so I continue moving forward. I hope nobody noticed I didn't have it on me before.

As I approach the wall, I attract attention from the people ahead, then some men with cloaks lean on the chest-high wall as they watch me.

Then I get close enough to discern the details of the men watching me. They're all wearing a hauberk with a grey tabard on top, and a mail coif. A few have spears, but all of them have swords hanging from their waists and kite shields strapped to their arms. The tabards are black with a simple white kite in the middle, which has a golden sword and a rose crossed over it. This must be the heraldry of the town's lord.

Is this really Earth? It looks like I'm in a medieval fantasy world.

When I get close enough, I count four male and two female soldiers watching me.

"Ooi, are you okay?! Are you an adventurer?!" Shouts one of the men.

Adventurer? No, that sounds dangerous, I'm just a traveler.

Their speech sounds really odd to me. I hear foreign words, but in my mind, I perfectly understand what they mean. This must be the effect of the language skill.

"N-no, I'm just a traveler. I got lost in the woods and got attacked!" I answer in the same odd speech as them, clearly not English.

The soldiers start murmuring with each other, looking slightly surprised and confused.

Once I get close enough to properly see their faces, one of the soldiers starts talking out loud as he frowns, "Uh, you're too small to be traveling by yourself, and you don't look like a dwarf, but I guess the forest should be calmer right now since the last culling was just two days ago."

The other soldiers snort and chuckle.

"Kids are always looking for a cheap way to get levels, even if it's dangerous," another comments, and the soldiers hum in agreement.

I tense up, unsure what to say, but if they think I'm just a dumb kid then I guess it's acceptable.

"Anyway, are you going to enter the town?" The first soldier casually asks.

"Yes, please. I'm tired, and I really need some rest," I quietly answer.

"Don't go out again, you got lucky this time, kid," a female soldier advises me with a reproving tone.

Lucky? Pff. If that's being lucky, then please wake me up from this nightmare.

The first soldier ignores her and continues, "Alright, I'll process your entry, come with me. Now everybody, back to your stations!" He barks as he glares at the other soldiers, and they all disperse immediately. I notice that this man wears a golden armband on both arms, so perhaps he's the leader of the watch.

I could only look at them for a short time, but these men and women are all tall, burly, and have attractive faces. I'm rather surprised they aren't uglier.

I jump over the wall and fall on a raised cobblestone road, then I follow the leader. We pass by two stopped wagons, and each has another soldier writing something with a… pen? It looks like a thin metallic cylinder with a very small jewel at the tip.

Both the civilians and the guards that are talking are wearing such finely embroidered woolen clothing that makes mine look like rags. One even has a beautiful silk cloak. I guess they must be merchants.

We walk through a long, wooden bridge lowered across a moat, then we pass through a huge portcullis, and we finally enter the town.

Ahead of us, there's a short row of boring and bland buildings. After that, a spectacle of crooked, bizarre, and beautiful buildings starts. Perhaps the boring ones are barracks.

The man leads me into a small office stuck on the wall. Inside, I see a few simple wooden chairs around a wooden table with a few sealed scrolls on top of it.

"Alright, sit," he casually orders and motions to the chair. Once I obey, he continues, "Do you have any identification?"

I sweat a bit. I don't even know what this "identification" is, so I need to lie here.

"No, I lost it when I got attacked. I had another bag, but it got torn," I stiffly answer, doing my best to keep a poker face.

He lazily raises a black eyebrow. "Right. Well, we'll just use the Inspection Crystal, then. Is that alright with you?" He sternly asks.

I have no idea what this "Inspection Crystal" is so I'm just gonna go with the flow.

"It's ok," I calmly answer and flash a shy smile.

"Then wait here. Let me grab it in the other room," he replies and leaves without waiting for an answer.

Perhaps this stone will see my status window. The name is obviously suggestive.

When I open my "Status," I notice that I haven't written my name yet, so I hastily try to awkwardly write down my own name on the floating, touchless keyboard.

Wait no, my name sucks. Fuck that shit. It's time to choose a cool name my parents were too boring to pick for me.

I choose "Wolf Ryder."

A few seconds later, the man comes back with a simple box that cushions a crystal ball and a tablet. It looks slightly expensive.

"Alright, put your hand on the ball and keep it there until I say otherwise," he orders.

I obey, and when I touch the ball, the transparent crystal tablet changes color to black, and white letters start to appear in a style that's exactly like the "Menu"'s, then I notice that the letters are in Andraste, but my "Menu" is in English.


The man carefully reads the tablet, and I notice that my new name is written right at the top. I'm glad I took the time to write it.

He knits his eyebrows and comments with a worried tone, "Hmm… there's nothing wrong here, but you're awfully low level for someone of your age, and what's up with those skills? No Conjuring, Fire, Space, or even [Light Magic]? Also, no life skills, and though you have a language skill, you don't have [Writing] like a scribe should…" -He raises his head and looks at me bemusedly as he stifles a laugh- "What kind of sheltered child are you? I've never seen a combination of skills like yours."

"Well… uh, I'm…" I desperately search for an answer and look away.

Well, he's not lying. My life on Earth could seem sheltered in comparison to the people of this world. Also, I could come up with an excuse, but that would just give more rope to the conversation. Even if he looks down on me, I shouldn't speak carelessly.

"I'm a bit sheltered, yes," I admit and blush in embarrassment.

"Hah! it's kind of a miracle you survived the Sea of Trees… Well, anyway, since you have some combat skills, go to the monster hunter guild or the dungeoneering guild if you want to survive here. The Sea isn't like the Mainland, so don't go out there alone or without preparation again," he talks down at me with a tired tone as if I was a stupid kid, which he knows I am since he saw my age in my "Status." Then his tone instantly shifts into a commanding one as he adds, "Now, let me see what's in your backpack."

The way he said Sea of Trees makes me think this is the true name of that forest.

I open my backpack and show all the things that I have inside.

"Alright. The ball says you don't have an [Item Box], so the tax is just going to be one silver coin for entry, and five copper for using the status stone."

[Item Box]? Perhaps it's different from my "Items" ability. There was something called [Space Magic], so perhaps [Item Box] could be found there?

I silently pay him the amount.

He advises me like one advises your little brother, "The guilds give free IDs, so go register there, and you don't need to pay tax depending on which ID you show." Then a subtle glint appears in his eyes. "Also, is this your first time here? I can sell you a map for ten copper coins," he offers with a grin that shows a set of very white teeth.

"Alright, I'll take one."

I pay him and he hands me a sealed scroll made from roughly textured paper.

He shows a business smile and says with a practiced tone, "Then that's all. Welcome to Rabanara, the great fortress on the shore of the Sea of Trees."

I ask for an inn recommendation within the middle price range, and he tells me to go to the Resting Spring's Inn, then he waves me away.


The map is quite crude and lacks beauty, but it gives the location of all the important locations. The Bazaar, the Flea Market, the Farmer's Market, the Guild's Corridors, the Crafter's Corner, the Gambling Den, the Theater, the Carnival Field, the Colosseum, the slums, the commoners' area, the Nobles' Quarter, the multitudes of inns, and the brothel district. After some searching, I find the Resting Springs.

As I walk through the streets, I see a large amount of weird-looking people. People with animal ears, tails, claws, snouts, patches of fur, animal-looking digitigrade feet, and hands that almost look like paws in any sort of combination imaginable. People with horns, tails, wings, and plenty of other weird body parts. Skin colors of all the colors of the rainbow. Most wearing very revealing clothing, and plenty are floating around or flying slowly. Their clothes go from delicate togas and kimonos, to rough and boring medieval clothes, and some even use straight-up animal pelts like stereotypical barbarians. It's a carnival of people with mismatched armor and weapons, and with body types ranging from big, burly, and tough, to small, cute, and scrawny.

Not only is the populace interesting, but the town itself is also fascinating. It's like someone partially demolished a cobble building, then used whatever wood they had to rebuild it but also used a different architectural style. It's like the town is a patchwork.

All of the buildings have odd, crooked shapes, and they're made of a mix of a dark and light wood with white and dark-blue cobblestone. They don't look hastily made, though, as both the stone and wood are full of relief, details, and decorations. Some buildings have heavily jettied floors, giving it a comfy look as they "lean" towards the street, and others have an assortment of statues and other decorations on supporting pillars, and some even have vines growing directly from the beams.

Truly an odd town.

All those things in combination with the bizarre architecture makes me feel like I'm actually the normal and well-dressed one. I see even a few small animals that look a bit human-like in their behavior. They run around like children, appearing and disappearing out of thin air.

Surprisingly, the town looks clean and doesn't smell even though horses are everywhere. Behind nearly every wagon, there is a floating yellow broom that sweeps the floor by itself without even lifting dust, it's like it just makes shit disappear. Perhaps these are spells that keep the roads clean.


The inn is close by, and there are still a few hours until sunset, but my body and mind are exhausted. All I want is to rest for a little while.

The inn is a large building. It isn't as crooked as the other ones, and it's made entirely out of cobblestone. It has three floors and gives off a rustic feeling. There's no spring, though. I've been lied to.

Once I enter, a middle-aged man with a small chin, brown hair, and small circle glasses greets me from behind a desk while he writes in a book with an ink quill.

"Welcome to the Resting Springs Inn. Would you like a room?" He asks with a kind tone and a gentle smile.

"Yes, please. What kind of rooms do you have?" I calmly reply.

"We have a only few single-bed rooms on the third floor, but on the second floor, there's still a lot of space in the communal room."

The communal bed might be one cheap room where multiple people sleep together. No, thank you.

"Single bed, please," I politely request.

"That'll be one silver a day, would you like to reserve the room for multiple days?"

Uh… my brain is not working properly.

"Ten days…" I come up with a random number.

He nods and smiles again. "We also give breakfast and dinner, five copper for each meal. During dinner, the public bathhouse is open, and the bath is included with the meal, but personal bathing rooms can be reserved by ten copper. There's also a magician responsible for the bath that you can rent personally for fifteen copper at any time."

Food is cheap, a bed is not...

I (try to) think for a moment, then I answer, "I'd like both meals for each day. Also, what's the exchange rate for silver and copper coins?"

He stares blankly for a moment, likely surprised at my question, then he recomposes himself and answers in his usual gentle tone, "Avgi silver coins are equal to ninety copper coins."

Perhaps this is not something people normally ask him. Also, now that he said "Avgi coins" I notice that there's something written on the coins. It's written in the [Andraste Language], but it's only a few letters and some numbers, so perhaps it's some identification?

I pay the innkeeper and he gives me a key with the number 304 on it, and a smaller black key.

He assumes a practiced tone and recites, "Here it is, room four on the third floor. The smaller key opens a safe. Once you leave, give me the room key, but keep the safe key, and don't leave anything valuable outside of the safe. The safe can only be opened by us after your stay ends. Finally, would you like to be called for breakfast and dinner?" He gives me a business smile.

I don't have a watch or an alarm clock. I'll never get up at the right time without them.

"Yes," I awkwardly respond with a nod.

He turns the book around and hands me his ink quill, then points to a blank line. "Please write your name here."

I start to write my name and my hand just moves by itself. It's a very odd feeling, like I'm doing things by reflex only. I don't really know what I'm writing until it is done and the language skill tells me that I've written "Wolf Ryder." The squished characters are a bit difficult to tell apart, but something tells me that my calligraphy is perfect.

"Thank you for your patronage," he adds and bows slightly, then I nod and walk towards the stairs.

The inside of the inn is made entirely of light brown wood. It's simple and a little cramped, but perhaps they just wanted to maximize the number of rooms. I notice that shining jewels on the ceiling are illuminating the inn; they're basically weak light bulbs.

I enter my room and lock the door, then I take off my sword belt, boots, and jacket. I sigh in relief, then I drop on the bed and fall asleep.


I dream of the unpleasant sensation of cutting flesh with my sword.


A knock on the door wakes me up.

"The dinner is ready, and the bath is hot," the muffled voice of a young woman reaches my ears.

I don't know what the bed is made of. It's not hard, but it's not really good for my back. I might need to search for a proper bed if I'm going to stay here for a while.

I put my clothes back on and go downstairs.

On the first floor, there's a communal hall with a few square tables and chairs. A small number of commoners are sitting about, waiting for the food, and I see more people are coming down the stairs.

I sit and wait, and soon, a plate comes to me. Vegetable stew, a piece of roasted mutton with spice and herbs, and a piece of fluffy, white bread. It tastes okay, the stew lacks some spice, but the mutton is well done. Perhaps due to the prominence of woolen clothing sheep are a staple food.

After eating, I go through the back door and reach the baths. Contrary to every single fucking medieval novel, baths aren't that rare. The Romans loved baths, you know, bathhouses were a thing throughout history, you know.

I ask the attendant at the front about how it works. They use the heat of the kitchen coupled with the help of a mage to heat the water of the bath, so that's the source of the mist coming out of the doors ahead. It makes me quite happy that I'll be able to get some hot water to sink in and not just a towel bath.

For four pieces of copper, I'll get a towel, a very small piece of rough soap, and a sponge. The bath is divided into three parts: men, women, and mixed. Using the men or women's costs another piece of copper. Curiosity gets the best of me and I enter the mixed one, which is free for the patrons of the inn.

Let's say that some light prostitution is going on over there. I immediately leave and pay for the men's bath. I'm not a puritan, but seeing sex live is too awkward for me right now.

The etiquette is that you first gather a bucket of water, then use it to wash away all the dirt with the sponge and soap, then you're allowed to relax in the pool of hot water.

So I start washing, but I start to feel conscious of my body. Most men here are somewhat handsome. I'm not ugly and I have a cute baby face, but damn, are all the people in this world at least somewhat attractive?

When I get out of the bath, it's already night, and the people are either going to bed or to a tavern to drink. I don't really drink, so I go to bed early today.

I lay down on my not so comfortable bed and spend some time reflecting on what happened today. I got sucked out of my wedding into a painful, dangerous, magical, insane, and ridiculous world. I killed two humanoid beings in a very gory way, I killed a bizarre animal, and I killed a huge bear that almost killed me. If not for [Regeneration], I think I would be dead now.

What kind of god would throw me here at this precise timing? Fuck you, God. Or help me, help me because I want to go home, I want to see my wife, I want to hug her, kiss her, and have sex with her, then have her fall asleep in my arms and wake up seeing her smile. Fuck this world. Either help me, please, or get yourself fucked, God!

I feel something "change" inside of me. I open my "Menu" and look at my "Status." My "Piety" increased from zero to two.

I break down and cry myself to sleep.



If you'd like to support Rupegia, you can become a patron at: www.patreon.com/manasong

Next chapter