1 Night in the Woods

"This is not what I meant when I said I wanted to go someplace where the pandemic was no longer a worry."

Theo stared up at the darkening sky before sighing and sitting up. He took in the outfit he was wearing.

But even without the rather formal-looking attire, he'd already guessed this was not the body he was used to for over twenty years. As he stood up clumsily while he reviewed the flashes of memories, he also noted it was the wrong season from his previous location.

It was cold and he was very far from home.

He turned to look down at the spot he got up from. The last bit of light from a rapidly approaching night revealed dark stained leaves and mulch approximately where his head had been. It was exactly like the flashes of memories from the previous owner suggested—a very dead previous owner.

"So I've transmigrated into a crime scene of, uh, my own murder?" Theo exhaled and looked a bit rueful.

First, the pandemic getting him stuck going to school online and leaving him accessible to his mother. The world's population suddenly becoming a host to a system but it only ended up a very shitty system to a very shitty reality (proving life really is The Worst Game Ever). Then, essentially running away (tactfully leaving, since he was an adult, thank you very much) to crash at Brunilda's place in his last semester before graduation. And now…

He was transmigrated to another world where the previous owner of the body that was now his got shot in the back of the head. It had not been bad luck or opportunistic, so at least one person in this world already had it out for Theo.

Did he still have the System or—

"Oh. Good," he muttered in a voice still foreign to his ears as the window popped up.

Ignoring everything else, he accessed his Inventory, relaxing and being a bit more relieved when he saw the books he had automatically shunted in there when he felt himself be spirited away.

At least he had been in a bookstore when it happened. He thought it was somewhat ironic that he and his roommate were together to get some books since they wanted to go camping to get away from the Quarantine Life, only for him to transmigrate into the middle of the woods. But at least he now had a book that would hopefully help him survive the outdoors! He grew up in New York City and was a total city kid—the closest place he'd ever been at compared to these woods was Central Park.

But before he took a particular book he had in mind out, he removed his gloves and took out the bucket of hand and surface disinfecting wipes to remove the dried blood he could feel clumping the back of his head as best as he could. He was also unsurprised when he wiped his face to see it come away dirty.

"… At least I know the bullet came out." He made a face as he put the dirtied wipes back in his inventory and pulled out a bottle of water.

As he took sips to rehydrate, figuring it wouldn't hurt with the headache and the probable loss of blood, Theo scuffed his boots around to remove the signs of blood. He felt oddly guilty about essentially contaminating a crime scene even though doing so would only help him.

It was night by the time he was done wiping the area clean of his "death."

He quickly flicked through the survival 101 book to read the essentials before picking a random direction to get as far away from the area as he could, in the small chance the killer would come back to clean up.

The sound of wolves a bit later had him curse and also figure out why the person who killed him just left the body out in the open.

Climbing a tree was not something he's done much of and the less said about climbing a tree when he was still getting used to a taller body, the better. Not getting eaten was a great motivator to do something he wasn't great at though.

The man cursed under his breath as soon as he stabilized himself against a high branch, back leaning against the trunk of the tree that was probably going to be his shelter for the night. At least getting a higher vantage point revealed civilization in the distance, the lights of the city or town like a beacon in the gloom.

"Why me? Nilda would be better at this considering her Guardian title. Aren't transmigrators supposed to have some OP ability or advantage? I'm just a university graduate. I'm just lucky I still have the Student learning bonus—"

Theo was whining a little to himself as he caught his breath and brought out the takeout they got before heading to the bookstore. It wasn't like there was anybody else to hear or see other than the wild animals around him anyway. He figured he was entitled to throw himself a pity party considering the situation he was in and if it prevented an uncontrolled outburst in the future, all the better.

As he ate his order of sushi, internally glad it wasn't something even more fragrant (though he still smelled the metallic tang of his blood that would do more than anything else to attract the predators), he scrolled through his Inventory to take stock of what he had before checking the other tabs to make sure the System still worked even with a world change.

He paused at the personal summary tab, blinking a bit at the different information.

Name: Mattheus Crown (Theodoric He)

Title: Prodigal Son

Occupation: Transmigrator, Dedicated Student, Aristocrat

Age: 19 (22)

Height: 186.5 cm

Weight: 68.3 kg

At least he now knew the name he's supposed to go by in this world.

He wasn't going to think deeper about him now being a noble (who was shot dead in the woods) right now but he did check the occupational bonuses. The Student buff was still the same, giving him a bunch of bonuses that revolved around reading, comprehension, and learning. Being a Transmigrator simply allowed him to exist without contradiction, along with apparently giving him partial memories of the original Mattheus Crown. As for being an Aristocrat, it essentially gave him a charisma and charm bonus.

A bit bemused about the bonuses of an Aristocrat, considering Theo hadn't exactly been the life of the party, he paused when he considered the Transmigrator bonus again.

Actually… that was really good. The newly named Mattheus didn't want to be deleted from existence thanks to being a foreign entity in this new world, after all. It also meant he got Mattheus's abilities, whatever they were.

Finally, he checked the new silver-colored title, considering it was Titles that gave the superhuman skills and abilities. If one was lucky enough.

[Title: Prodigal Son]

[Miracle Invoker - The ability to return the dead back to life. Once a day.]

[Healing Magic Mastery - Can utilize magic to heal injuries, ailments, poison, et cetera of other living beings.]

Mattheus stared.

The skills were overpowered as hell. Ignoring Miracle Invoker, whose levels of OP were self-explanatory, he was aware of how abilities gained from Titles worked thanks to his friend and housemate having one, along with some of the others that openly admitted their Titles and abilities online. The "Mastery" part basically meant there was no limit to what he could do as long as he had the willpower to do so, especially considering the lack of warnings given in the short description.

Well. Maybe he was a transmigrator with OP skills.

A howl and snarls below him reminded him of his current situation.


The man grimaced. Even if he was essentially an OP healer, he still lacked the ability to defend himself. An overpowered healer was still a squishy healer when shot or eaten alive by wolves, thank you very much.

No longer able to concentrate with the arrival of the pack of hungry wolves right below him and the growing exhaustion, Mattheus internally thanked his lucky stars he was carrying the camping supplies they bought as he prepared to catch some rest before he involuntarily fainted.

Tying himself around the trunk with a combination of rope and bungee cords, Mattheus made sure he wouldn't fall out of the tree before he pulled out his noise-canceling headphones and turned his sleeping playlist on to drown out the wolves.

Mattheus hadn't been sure if he could fall asleep, especially considering he was prone to insomnia, but he must have underestimated the fact his new body died only to come back to life an hour later with a new person in the driver's seat. The head wound had mostly healed but the back of his skull was still very sensitive and sore, not to mention the constant low-grade headache he felt that only subsided a little with some food and water.

He fell asleep almost immediately and didn't wake up until morning. He probably would have slept more if it weren't for the bright daylight waking him up, considering how beat up he felt.

Groaning like an old man he blindly grabbed some water and some ibuprofen, only opening his eyes to make sure it was the right bottle before he took double the dosage and emptied the water bottle.

As soon as he figured the wolves seemed to have given up, he returned the roped back into the Inventory, then re-summoned them, before tying them to the branch so he could rappel down.


He orientated himself in the direction he remembered the town to be after relieving his bladder. He pulled out a granola bar to eat on the go and resumed going through the System menu he stopped midway the night before.

Everything looked the same before he checked the "quest" list, which had basically been a glorified to-do list before. The System was mostly useless except for the Inventory and skills/buffs one could get—if one was lucky—since a productivity and tracking app would work better than it.

'I suppose it might be useful depending on exactly how different this world is other than the two moons,' Mattheus thought as he mentally "clicked" the last tab.

Mattheus stopped walking.

There were exactly two items on the list, which was the least he's personally seen so far. The first was a very obvious find out who Mattheus Crown was. The second…

[Reunite with Brunilda.]

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