The Lone Healer

When the Unity Trials first began and Neve was granted a system along with the rest of humanity, she sincerely hoped she would be among the first to die. Death eluded her, though, so, until her time came, she reluctantly settled into the role of a healer. One day, she and a group of players ventured into the realm of the Final Challenge, a strange, otherworldly dungeon that would give humanity a ten-year resting period if they completed it. But, although death eluded her, it found all of her allies. Now, with no one to rely on and a burning desire for revenge, Neve must become stronger if she hopes to avenge them. How exactly can she do so, however, when she is only a healer? A survival GL adventure story!

Already_In_Use · LGBT+
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232 Chs

A Brief Journey

As the meeting came to a close, Neve walked back to her side of the camp.

The other low-level players were clearly anxious. They had been keeping an eye out and when they saw Neve pop up, they immediately stood up, waiting for some sort of a report from her.

She swallowed and took a few steps closer.

"Get ready," she said, somewhat quietly. "We're heading out."

"Where are we going?" A level 11 girl wearing mage robes asked.

"We're going to take on the main dungeon."

Neve wanted to soften the blow, but she needed to get that out of the way first.

As she expected, everyone began protesting.

"What!? Why? We haven't even warmed up! We're just gonna take on the last dungeon right now?"

"This is suicide!"

"Why are they sending us there? We're not ready."

"Do we not have a choice?" A man asked desperately.

[Not the best start, huh?]

"Look," Neve quickly interrupted them. "Like Tamira said, the enemies in the main dungeon are going to scale based on our levels. So, if we're weak, that means they're going to be weak too, understand? It's going to be fine."

Her words made them pause. Only for a moment, though.

"Is it really fine to tackle the biggest part of this whole thing so quickly, though?" That same girl asked.

[… Maybe they'll listen to me if I try to talk to them through a different angle?]

"The truth is, we want to get this over with as fast as possible." Neve switched her approach. She wondered if playing to their paranoia might yield better results. "Think about it this way. Even if we separate our camps, outside of a dungeon, the higher-level players can still harm us in our sleep. We're still in danger."

That caused the lower-level players to go silent. Now, the dungeon wasn't what they were worried about.

Which, of course, went a long way in convincing them to risk it all in clearing the main dungeon.

"But, they gain nothing from attacking us in the dungeon. They'll need all the help they can get to clear the Final Challenge. I asked the assistant about this stuff. The quota doesn't matter while we're in that dungeon. Nothing matters while we're in that dungeon. As long as we're in there, we're fine."

[At least, as far as being attacked by other players is concerned,] she added internally.

"… And, if we clear it, we don't have to think about the quota. We just leave. So, yeah," Neve shrugged.

She had one more tool up her sleeve to try gaslighting these people into being on board with the idea.

"I told them I thought we should just take the mission on right now. I did that for you guys. And, they agreed with me. If you don't want to, I'll go back and tell them that we need to do something else, but I think this gives us the best chance to survive."

Portraying the choice to tackle the main dungeon as her own idea, hopefully, would make the players think it was a decision that the higher-level players didn't benefit from.

Essentially, Neve was trying to frame it as though she pulled a fast one here, and that they'd be foolish not to capitalize on it.

"I think you're right," someone suddenly stated. The firmness with which they spoke caught Neve off-guard, though.

It was a tall, young man wearing glasses, with messy black hair and the leather armor of a thief or an assassin class player.

He looked familiar.

The man gave everyone around him a polite smile as he joined the conversation.

"I think the sooner we get out of here, the better. And, it seems as though clearing the main dungeon gives us the highest chance of that."

[Thanks for the save.]

"So, yeah. Do you guys agree?" Neve asked, crossing her arms. "If you don't, I'll go back and tell them right now. What do you think?"

Thrusting the decision onto the players made them pause. As the higher-level players left the camp and began walking in their direction, probably to hear their reaction to everything, some of the lower-level players nodded.

"You're right," one of them finally said.

"Yeah… I guess."

Slowly, one by one, they echoed that sentiment.

"Okay," Neve turned and found Carson moving toward her. "They're on board."

"Sounds good. We'll have to leave now if we want to make it to the dungeon before midnight, though. Everyone, pick up whatever you set down and put your tents in your inventories. We're heading out."

On that note, both halves of the group began packing their things.

Neve hadn't brought much here, so she just turned toward the landscape and sat down on the grass.

[… What am I doing?] She wondered.

It was one thing to want to die herself, but getting others killed hadn't been her intention. Sure, none of this was her fault, but it did feel like she was sending some people to their deaths by having them all go and tackle the main dungeon.

The alternative, them slaughtering each other for Activity Points, was arguably worse, though.

"Hey," a voice called out to her. Neve turned toward it. It was the same boy from before. "What's your name?"

"Uh, Neve, hi."

"Greetings! Name's Thomas. We spoke earlier but we didn't really introduce ourselves," he suddenly stated. "Before we came into the Final Challenge."

[Ohhh, I see.]

That polite smile of his remained perfectly still, as his brown eyes locked with Neve's own.

"Nice to meet you," Neve said indifferently.

Thomas sat down calmly a short distance away.

"Well… We're kinda screwed, aren't we?"

"… Kinda."

Neve wasn't about to start lying. She didn't quite have the energy for that. If this guy understood how bad their circumstances were, then that was all there was to it.

"You know, up until now, the new world has been rather fair. Wouldn't you agree?"

Now, *that* caught Neve's attention.


"Heh, outside of here, I mean. Think about it," Thomas lay down fully, looking up at the sky. "Everyone gained EXP at the same rate, everyone could tackle the same dungeons, and everyone could use the same weapons and abilities, depending on what class you picked. As harrowing as fighting monsters could be, it was all fair."

"I-I guess, but…"

[What's your point?]

He seemed to catch on.

"My point is, it feels weird that they'd throw away all that fairness here. Isn't that strange?" Finally, he glanced over at her again. "I understand the reward is great, 10 years of peace is a big deal, so it makes sense that they'd make it difficult to attain. But, I can't understand why they'd make this unfair when nothing else has been so far."

Neve shook her head.

"What's the point in trying to understand the things that caused all this? All that matters is that they did and how we're going to respond."

Thomas took that answer in for a moment. Then, he laughed.

"You are a very practical kind of person, aren't you?"

"I… wouldn't say so?" Neve shrugged.

[What is with this guy?]

"Well, I should go finish packing up," Thomas stated, out of nowhere. "Let's hope we do well."

He then stood up and left just as quickly as he'd come in.

This conversation was so short and yet it made her feel even more tired than the meeting had.

"Fair, my ass."

Briefly, she could see her parents' image again, on the first day of the Unity Trials.

[What was "fair" about that?]


The 100 adventurers made their way to the main dungeon then, using wagons they'd purchased with WS tokens to pull their things. They weren't able to purchase horses since they couldn't use the World Shop to purchase living beings, so they had to pull the wagons themselves.

On the way, Neve stood close to the center. This was done so that the low-level players could see her standing next to the higher-level ones, so they wouldn't fear that there was any type of conspiracy against them forming.

It was a tense journey, but slowly, some of the players started talking.

"It's gorgeous out here, isn't it?"

Stella, the Valkyrie's representative, asked that question.

Neve remained silent, of course. Her head was lowered, and her eyes were half-closed. She probably could have remained in her own world like this the entire way there, but before she could get too comfortable, Stella cleared her throat and said:

"Neve? Did you hear me?"

Neve's eyes widened.

"H-Huh!?" She turned toward her. "You… You were talking to me?"

"Of course," the woman giggled, pushing back some of her hair behind her left ear.

Right... Online, Stella was known for being an otherworldly beauty, even as she tore through groups of monsters. The type of woman who, it seemed like not a strand of her hair could fall out of place no matter how many flips and spins she did.

The sight of her now just about melted Neve's heart.

"I, uh… Y-Yeah. It's pretty out here."

As they walked together Stella looked around.

"My first dungeon was this weird glacial ruin," the Valkyrie suddenly said. "It was cold as hell and the walls were covered in sheets of ice. Have you ever seen one like that?"

"I-I think so," Neve replied. "I went through one that was kinda like that. Where I had to fight-"

"Ice Wraiths," Stella said at the same time as Neve. "God, they were annoying."

"Yeah… It took the tank I was doing the dungeon with seven swings before he figured out that physical weapons didn't affect them. They were hard to deal with."

"It was a bit of a reality check for me," Stella continued. "Before the Unity Trials, I was just an office worker. I'd never even left Starlight City. Our little concrete jungle was all I'd ever known. If you asked me what a fantasy world would look like in real life, that kind of place wouldn't have come to mind. No… I feel like this is more like it," Stella told her, her eyes roaming their surroundings. "This is more…"

Neve's eyes weren't on the land, however. Her vision was taken up almost entirely by Stella's regal appearance.

The way the sun bounced off her skin and hair, the way her hair flowed in the wind, and the way her armor hugged her skin, it all looked…

"Beautiful," Neve muttered.

It was hard to accept that someone who looked like this had been spending her time slaving away in an office before the Unity Trials. She should have been posing for magazines or whatever.

"Agreed," Stella replied, turning back toward Neve. Neve's cheeks turned red. "Maybe this is just the Forces That Be trying to lower our guard."

"They'll have to try harder than that," Neve remarked.

That ominous castle in the distance grew so much larger the closer they got. From afar, it looked like a regular fortress, but now, it looked bigger than a football stadium. Maybe a couple of times bigger, actually.

The clouds above it seemed like they were darkening as the group approached, almost like the world itself was taunting them for making this choice.

Some of the players behind Neve chatted amongst themselves. Neve heard Thomas's voice and turned. She found the man in high spirits, joking around with some of the other low-level warriors.

"… We've got some eye candy, huh?"

"W-What?" Neve asked.

"The guys here," Stella whispered conspiratorially, "they're pretty hot, aren't they? The whole attribute system did wonders for people's physiques."

"I… guess?" Neve shrugged.

"Hm? Wow, are your standards that high?" She asked, slightly amused.

"I, uhm, no. I'm not really into guys."

Every word of that sentence was quieter than the last. Some tendencies from life before the Unity Trials would never fade, it seemed.

"…" Stella blinked. Neve looked away. "OH! Oh, sorry, sorry," she laughed. "My bad. I didn't know."

"It's okay," Neve giggled as well. "I get it."

They fell into silence for a little bit after that. Neve hoped Stella wasn't feeling too awkward. Before long, though, she said:

"… Weird how we haven't seen any monsters yet."

"Yeah," Neve responded, looking around. "It's been a few hours, too."

"Mhm…" Stella's face was far more serious now, as her eyes roamed the tree lines surrounding these plains they were cutting through. "Even though I haven't seen anything, it almost feels like we're being watched."

"I'd guess we are," Neve quickly responded. "Isn't that the whole point of the Unity Trials? Some sick fucks in space are watching us and laughing?"

A hint of the smile Stella was carrying previously returned then.

"Don't let Father Uriel catch you saying that. He might get the wrong idea."

"Right," Neve chuckled.

The conversation ended there. Stella then went and spoke with some of the other high-level players. Neve, however, was silent the rest of the way.

[... Shit, I really am going to die a virgin. How sad is that?] She thought at one point.

Before long, they were standing in front of the main dungeon.

Where their fates would be decided.