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

The End of Regular Life

"Ugh, but you're so bad at the game! It's unbelievable."

As moonlight shone through the windows, a thin, short girl with silky sapphire hair and chapped lips hammered away at her keyboard.

Not because she was writing a book or a school assignment, but because she was executing the highest-tier combos in her favorite game.

In between that, however, she would, no, she needed to make sure to let her teammates know exactly how she felt.

{xxhealsl0txx}: how r u in the same elo as me? ? ?

{xxhealsl0txx}: your actual dogshit

{ThePenetrator}: lol

Neve Stephens proceeded to type out a full-length essay in the game's chatbox detailing every single one of the mistakes her teammate had made.

Legends of Overcraft, one of the single most popular games in the world, was known for its toxic, sweaty fanbase. And, during moments like these where she was feeling frustrated to no end, Neve was more than happy to contribute to that perspective.

It was frustrating having queued up for a ranked game only to be paired up with someone as inept as this person. She needed a moment to vent.

"Honestly, why do you even play?" She asked aloud, bitterly. "Just afk or something."

It was particularly frustrating because Neve was a healer. Unfortunately, the game was designed in such a way that she simply could not carry the team's living burdens on her own. She needed teammates who had some idea of what they were doing.

Instead, she had a bot masquerading as a human.


As her carry began spamming a dance emote next to her, Neve practically growled.

"No, no, no. I'm leaving the game. Give me the penalty, I can't be asked."

Just like that, she alt-f4'ed, and stepped away, dropping onto her bed with a huff. The game had produced a headache that pounded away at her skull.

Lazily, she grabbed her laptop and laid back, placing it on her thighs.

She couldn't help but check the leaderboards. She wanted to see just how many ranked points she'd lost as a result of that last game.

"Minus 31? Seriously!? Ugh, the mmr for this game is so broken."

Despite her rage quit, Neve was still in the top 100 players in the server, and the top 10 support players overall. It was a fact she was proud of, even if it wasn't something she could really brag about to anyone.

[Aaaagh, if I didn't have to deal with school, I'd probably be rank 1 already.]

That statement reminded her of something.

[Wait, did I write my oral presentation for tomorrow?]

Setting aside her laptop for a moment, Neve went and looked through her backpack. After going through it for a few seconds, she found a couple of sheets of paper she'd scribbled on a few days ago.

Reading some of it out loud, Neve paced around her room. Her eyes were mostly kept on the notes until she caught sight of herself in the mirror atop her drawers. 

What she saw was... slightly embarrassing. Wild, barely-managed, dark blue hair, unkind eyes of the same color, pale skin that had rarely felt the caress of makeup but probably needed it badly, and the body of someone who only ate in between her online games, and even then the food mostly consisted of random, very unhealthy snacks.

[... Ugh.] 

Going back to the notes, they were,  well, half-assed and terrible quality, but she felt like that gave the presentation a sense of soul.

Additionally, she just didn't care enough to want to make it any better.

[This is enough. Whatever.]

And so, with the bad taste of poor ranked gameplay fresh in her mouth, she decided to go to sleep then and there, preferring to go straight into the next day.

Not that the next day was much better.


"H-Hello, m-my name is N-Neve, Neve Stephens, and this, ehm, this is my presentation on the history of St-Starlight City."

Five rows of uninterested, uncaring faces watched her as she tried to push through what she felt was an unconstitutionally torturous experience.

[Seriously, what is the fucking point of this?] She asked herself as she felt the sweat coming from her hands getting the papers she held wet. [Isn't it enough to just write an essay? Why do I have to stand up here and humiliate myself like this? By the way, did someone turn the heater on? Why am I sweating so much? Fuck!]

Thankfully, several people in the crowd couldn't be any less interested in this presentation, as Neve could tell by the fact that they were laying their heads down on their chairs, asleep. She wished she was doing the same, but alas, she had this to get through.

The teacher herself looked like she cared about as much as Neve did. The middle-aged woman had her chin resting on her palm as she stared at Neve with half-closed eyes. If it wasn't for the slow blinking she'd do every 10 or 20 seconds, Neve would guess she was sleeping with her eyes open.

No, the only people who seemed to genuinely care about this presentation were the nerds. The damned nerds.

Their gazes were the ones that mocked Neve the most.

She could feel the judgmental thoughts going through their heads just from looking into their eyes, past their glasses.

In particular, there was this slightly chubby girl with a ponytail whose stare Neve could feel burning a hole through her forehead. Her eyes, narrowed and scornful, said one thing: "I could write a better report than this in my sleep".

Honestly, Neve believed that.

She went on, and on, until, finally, and thankfully, she was done, bringing this slow, public execution of her dignity to a close.

"And… yeah. That's it."

With the gravitas of a silent fart, Neve's presentation ended.

Keeping her head low in shame, Neve went back to her chair and proceeded to emulate the same pose as the other sleeping beauties, crossing her arms and resting her head on them.

There was an awkward silence for a while before the teacher finally realized the presentation was actually over.

"Ahem, um, thank you, Miss Stephens. I believe… uh, wait, who's up next?"

While she went through her notes looking for the answer to that question, Neve closed her eyes and allowed her mind to drift off. Her thoughts ended up landing on the games she played yesterday.

She could play them back almost perfectly in her mind's eye. She cared about them to that extent, so much so that others would likely judge her for it if they knew.

[Hm… My positioning was so bad in that fight. I should have been off to the right. Maybe we would have won, actually.]

After that, several monotone presentations came and went before the bell finally rang and the class was allowed to leave.

Neve assumed that she was too, but the teacher called out to her.

"Miss Stephens."

"Huh?" Neve turned toward her with a dumb look on her face. "W-What?"

The teacher stood up and walked over to her.

"Have you given your college studies any mind lately?"

"…" Neve blinked.

"Miss Stephens, we talked about this!" She stated with a sigh. "You need to figure out what it is you want to do."

"I-I know," Neve replied. "I just… I'm so busy, and…"

"It's okay," the teacher told her with a wave of her hand. "You still have time. I'm just saying, you need to think about your future."

Neve felt like a 12-year-old at that moment. But, the scolding was merited. She really did need to figure out what the hell she was going to do.

"I know," Neve bowed her head a little. "I… yeah."

"Alright, you can go."

"Thank you."

She left as quickly as she could.

The rest of the day was largely uneventful. Everywhere Neve went, she swore she could feel people looking her way, judging her. Maybe they thought her shoes, which were a few years old, looked stupid, or maybe she didn't put on enough makeup today, or…

It could be a million things. Whatever Neve's mind needed to remind her that she wasn't as good as anyone around her. That she wasn't as valuable.

Perhaps that was why all she could think about as she walked back home was turning on her laptop and playing some more League of Overcraft.

After all, that was the only thing she was good at.

And, even if it didn't matter, she tried to take some pride in that.

By the time she got home, the streets of Starlight City were packed with people with actual lives trying to get from one place to another. The skyscrapers that were a source of pride for the locals hid the sunlight, making it seem like it was almost nighttime at just 5:00 pm.

Neve went into her home and closed the door behind her.

Her house was quiet.

[Hm? Are my parents-]



Her mom and dad leaped out from behind the counter up ahead.

In their hands were balloons and, on the desk, was a cake that Neve hadn't noticed.


On the balloons was the number 18.

"Happy birthday!"

Neve's brows shot up.

[Oh… Right. It's my birthday today.]


"So, still nothing, huh?" Neve's father asked as he and his daughter stood on the balcony, looking down at the lively city beneath them. Sirens and constant honking were so common in Starlight City that they may as well have replaced the sounds of crickets. Neve's stomach was full and she was pretty sure she had pieces of cake stuck in her teeth she'd need to pick out later.

"Yeah," she responded. "I just… I haven't found anything, you know? I-I mean, how am I supposed to know what I wanna do for the next whatever number of years?"

[Do I really have to make a choice like that right now?] She asked herself. Of course, the looming threat of poverty and ancestral shame made it so that the answer was "yes".

Her father disagreed, though.

"Not necessarily," he responded. "But, it would be nice if you had some idea."

"How am I supposed to know, though?" She asked. "Like, is it supposed to just happen that I'm staring at something one day and I go 'oh, I think I'll do *this* forever. Awesome'?"

"For some people, it's like that. Other people are late bloomers. Personally, I think you'll be fine."

"I hope so."

"Honestly," he chuckled. "You're a smart girl. And, I'm not just saying that cause it's my job to give you positive reinforcement or anything. I mean it. You're more clever than you give yourself credit for."

"I'll take your word for it."

"You should! Now, come on. Time for your first drink."

"What? Seriously?" Neve looked over at him.

"Yeah. You're an adult now. If you end up working at an office or something you're gonna get invited to drink from time to time and my daughter's not gonna be a fuckin' lightweight. Come on."

"Uh, okay."

That was it. That was all her birthday amounted to.

She didn't go out with friends, mainly because she didn't have any, the celebration couldn't really be called a "party", and the cake was… decent.

That was how Neve stepped into adulthood. With mediocre, vanilla cake and some cheap drinks.


The next day, Neve woke up early.

She wanted to get a couple of games in before heading to school.

The moment she got up, however, she found something hovering over her head.


Words of some sort were just… there, floating above.

"Huh?" She asked, rubbing her eyes and yawning. "What the hell?"

The words read out:

{The Unity Trials have begun!}

{Choose Your Path}

{Path of the Warrior}

{Path of the Assassin}

{Path of the Mage}

"… Okay. I actually went crazy. Fuck, I didn't know I was that stressed out. Unlucky."

Ignoring the words that she assumed were just a figment of her imagination, the result of a newly developed schizophrenia, Neve dragged her legs over to the door.

As she got close to it, she heard some strange sounds coming from the other side.

[Is that… growling? A dog?]

Even more confused, she opened the door and took a single step outside.

One step out of her room was all she could take before the sight ahead made her freeze.

Blood everywhere. There was a streak of crimson marking the wooden floor from the front door to the counter, the same one where Neve had just eaten her birthday cake a day ago.

When Neve found the source of all this blood, all of the wind in her body left her lungs.

She couldn't speak. She couldn't make a sound. Chills went up her spine.

In the center of the room, growling as she bit through flesh, was Neve's mother.

And the body she was currently devouring was that of Neve's father.

"… Mom?"

The word came out so quietly, through a pair of trembling lips, and yet she still heard her.


Neve's mother turned toward her, and Neve found no life in her eyes. Only a wild, bloodthirsty look that had now placed Neve in its crosshairs.

Walking slowly across the room, Neve tried not to choke up.

"M-Mom?" She asked again, hoping for some sort of response. Her mother simply stood up, her husband's meat falling from her chin to the floor as she watched her daughter. "W-What's going on?"

"Aaaarrrr…." Her mother lowered her posture.

Moving around her, off instinct alone, Neve went to the counter and grabbed a knife slowly.

Among all the thoughts of "this can't be happening" and "what is going on?" there was one that took over.

[She's going to try to kill me.]

And, that thought made Neve squeeze the hilt of her kitchen knife harder.

"... Don't," she begged.

Her warning went ignored.

Her mother charged at her.

"Ah!" Neve screamed, putting her knife between her and her mother.

Her mother walked straight into it.


The kitchen knife went straight into the woman's throat, and yet she still had the energy to swipe and claw at her daughter's face. She flailed violently, and it was all Neve could do to keep her face turned away to prevent it from being cut and scratched.

She tried her hardest not to look at the woman on the other end of that kitchen knife. She failed, though.

Then, her mother fell back, dead.

Neve collapsed. Her knees hit the ground and her pj's soaked up some of the blood from her father that had pooled up.

Those strange words remained over Neve's head, almost as though they were taunting her.

That was how Neve woke up on the day that the world changed. The day regular life ended and a new world emerged.

The day the Unity Trials began.

Hello, readers!

This is the first book I've written that actually takes place on Earth. Admittedly, it does feel strange. Anyway, just to be clear on this, there will be yuri in this story. My works always contain a balance between romance and action and I wanted to continue that trend here. I hope you like it!

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Daily updates, by the way. Usually around 12 pm EST. Again, I hope you enjoy the story!

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