This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Where am I?
Where is this place?
Standing up in a completely white room I looked around uneasily. With no walls, the room seems to extend endlessly in all directions with only the ground and ceiling visible. Crossing my arms and closing my eyes, I start to think about the events that transpired before finding myself here.
“If I recall……”
Certainly I was lying on my bed right before I lost consciousness. But… I’m not sure exactly what else happened.
Pondering about my current circumstances, a voice resounded in the air.
“Welcome, I am God!”
Appearing out of thin air, the person proclaiming herself as god appeared in front of me.
Looking closely, God looked to be a small child with long white hair, flowing all the way down to her ankles almost touching the ground. With big eyes, slender arms and legs, God spoke to me in a really cute voice. Puffing out her chest, she bent her arms holding her waist with almost a haughty attitude.
“If you aren’t sure why you’re here, It’s because you have agreed and accepted the terms and conditions of the email I sent you!”
Come to think of it, I did check my email much earlier in the day before I lost consciousness. However wasn’t that from the company asking if I wanted to participate in their full dive beta for Project Iris Online?
PIO, also known as Project Iris Online the MMO that currently dominates the MMORPG game industry. It is the first game to demonstrate the use of virtual reality headsets. Although it isn’t a true virtual reality experience, it is a step in the right direction.
There was a lot of news regarding them developing a full dive experience. Upon completion they would select a number of lucky participants and begin beta testing.
Thinking closely, my day started off with me doing that didn’t it…
Several hours earlier…
“Hot… today is really hot.”
I woke up in the morning summer heat, with sticky sweat covering my entire body. Groggily sitting up I head straight for my shower carrying myself as I sway back and forth. Stripping off my clothes and tossing them everywhere, I turn the knob for the shower. As the water slowly comes on with a *creek*, shooting out in small waves before a steady stream of water begins to fall, I hop inside and wash myself down with some body soap that foams quickly. Scrubbing my crotch, butt and then quickly washing down my armpits and lastly shampooing my short black hair.
My name is Tetsu Tagami. I guess if this was Japan my family name would come first? In any case I am a man nearing the age of 24, with a height of 5’7, attending university overseas living in the dorms, single, and a gamer. I have a terrible physique, being scrawny with no muscles, and usually go by the nickname Dead Eyes. That is because I am a gamer who likes to stay up late gaming everyday so I have eyes like a dead person. Large dark circles formed from my many sleepless nights of gaming coupled with little to no sleep every night. Of course, it isn’t like I do badly in University you know. I still maintain decent grades since I will still need to graduate and get a good job in order to live properly.
Turning the knob back, turning off the water to the shower I step out and quickly dry myself. Putting on some clean underwear I walk out of the bathroom still mostly nude and check the time.
Class doesn’t start for another 2 hours or so. Thinking this I sit down, grab my virtual reality headset and log into PIO for a small gaming session before class begins.
“Welcome back master!”
Logging into the game world, I’m greeted by my personal non-player character or NPC for short. She is a slightly short beautiful elf girl with golden yellow hair tied in a ponytail, green eyes, has an extremely cute voice, and stands at a height of 5’0. In other words, my ideal type! However it’s not as if I’m a lolicon you know! I do like big breasted women much more than flat chested types! However if it’s an elf then of course she needs to be much smaller for when she wields her bow…
“Yes, I’ll be going out for a while, please watch over the house as usual.”
“Yes, as you wish Master!”
Cheerfully sending me off with a bow, I open the door to the outside world of the virtual reality game.
“Yo! Up and online early as usual aren’t you Tetsu!”
Receiving a personal message from Grants, a close friend of mine both in this game world, and in real life, I greeted back with an indifferent tone of voice.
“Hmm, it’s only been the usual 3 hours of sleep I would say”
“Mr. Dead Eyes, you seem slightly cranky this morning don’t you~”
“In any case, there’s still a few hours before class, let’s go kill some stuff”
“Sure, I’m in the center of town next to the teleporter”
Letting out a deep sigh at his cheerful responses, I marked his location on my mini-map and then proceeded towards the town square.
Upon meeting up with Grants, I was greeted by a friend of his going by the name Mimi, a flat chested little girl with short red hair reaching down to her shoulders. She had a very petite figure, but overall it was a cute character, donning the mantle of a wizard along with a pointy hat and cane to go with the attire.
“P-pervert, lolicon, molester!”
Staring at the shorty intently, she immediately blushed and hid behind Grants poking her head out glaring back at me while spouting verbal insults.
“No no! it’s just that your character is really well made that I couldn’t help but to stare you know”
Looking up towards the Paladin clad in sparkling silver armor, a handsome western face with blonde hair was greeting me with a lady killer smile.
“Sorry did I keep you guys waiting too long?”
I greeted him with my own smile, as someone from behind had appeared next to me.
“No, you’re just on time, but it would seem that I’m slightly late”
Turning around there was a priest with long black hair reaching her waist. Her name is Reyna. A head shorter than I was, she had beautiful and delicate features which made her character stand out from the feeling of pureness she continually emitted.
“Ahh! The sun is surely too bright today as well…”
Covering my eyes from the intense brightness she naturally gave off, I back pedaled a few steps from being abnormally close to such a bright person.
“That’s no way to treat a lady!”
Cheerfully smiling with a radiant expression, Reyna took a few playful steps towards me.
“Ok ok! I understand so please don’t stay so close to me!”
Waving my arms frantically, she lets out another smile and nods her head while taking a step back.
Don’t get the wrong idea; it’s not as if I’m afraid of women you know. It’s just that the people around us would get jealous if their lovely goddess was seen getting close with a person like me you know. Having shimmering black hair, and a soft voice that goes with her gentleness along with a well-proportioned body, she could be a gorgeous model. Her fan club I’ve heard has already reached well over 400,000 players.
Looking around us, there was already a commotion starting from the other online players whispering next to each other.
“Look, it’s the 4 top members of the guild Divine Retribution”
“Are they going on another adventure?”
“It’s the Heavenly Knight Grants, he’s so awesome!”
“Shining like the sun, the Radiant Goddesses Reyna and Mimi are here!”
“The Undead King Tetsu!”
The four of us are longtime friends of PIO, and have been together since the start of the game. Divine Retribution was the name given by the guild leader, Grants, and we became the top guild in PIO. Although Grants was named as leader, the 4 of us equally contributed in building the guild into what it is now.
The nicknames aren’t a title granted by the system; rather it’s just something people came up with on their own.
If I had to guess, Heavenly Knight would refer to how Grants obtained the one time title “Might of God”. The system title was awarded to the first person who achieved soloing 666 Arch Demons in the Demon Continent, which isn’t an easy task to do, as the level of Arch Demons are 94 with the level cap of players set at 100.
Soloing a single Arch Demon could take up to an hour since it is considered as a boss monster. However rather than the lengthy amount of time it takes defeating them, they use a suicide attack that ignores all defense including magic barriers, and instantly kills anyone within its attack radius once they reach 1/5 of their life. And adding salt to the wounds, because it’s a suicide attack, it doesn’t count towards the overall 666 Arch Demon kills so the title was naturally deemed impossible to achieve.
How did Grants achieve that title you say? Stacking buffs and magic enchantments from Reyna and Mimi, while maximizing his equipment for pure attack, I lent him my sword “Holy Executioner” that dealt triple damage to Demon and Undead type monsters. Along with his unique class skill “Light’s Fury” it gave him an additional increase of 200% damage dealt to all darkness elemental creatures, at the cost of sacrificing his defense. Watching as he sickeningly slaughtered Arch Demon’s using only 2 skills; the system title was obtained in less than an hour.
The Radiant Goddesses would probably just refer to how cheerful Reyna is and how she’s always glowing like the sun. Mimi on the other hand has red hair so it’s convenient to stick her with the same title I suppose. However on a side note, Reyna was the first priest to max out her class and earn the title “Saint of Hope”. At the same time Mimi reached the pinnacle of her magic profession earning the title “Master of Magic”.
I on the other hand, have no achievements to brag about. Then what would the title “Undead King” be? That is a good question, when the highest level raid dungeon first came out, Demon Lords Catacombs, in a 20 man raid, I in a party with Grants, Mimi, and Reyna successfully repelled all 13 waves of enemy mobs during the final boss confrontation using the “Staff of Caine” that granted me unlimited mana usage as if I had complete control over the thousands of undead that continually assaulted the raid team. Although there was no significant system title for achieving such a feat, people had revered me as some sort of absolute ruler when I displayed my complete overwhelming dominance over the waves of monsters.
After killing a few monsters in random dungeons, it was nearing the time class was to start, so I logged out and quickly put on a random shirt and pants then headed out. Opening my front door, I did one last check in my room, and shut off the lights then closed the door behind me.
The clock resounding in the atmosphere signaled the 11th morning hour. Just as I walked into my classroom, everyone was seated with loud chatter still waiting for the professor to arrive and start the lecture. Looking on my phone, it was 11:03am. Oddly the professor wasn’t here when he normally already has something written on his writing board to welcome the new lecture day.
Checking my email while waiting I noticed there was a pending notice from Project Iris Online. Checking and reading the contents, the email was addressed to me,
“Having become the best Magic Swordsmen in the world, we invite you to experience an entirely new world. We eagerly await your response.”
Checking the sender once again, it was indeed a system message from the game. Could it be that the full dive technology has already been created?!! It has only been 3 years since PIO was released, if so they’re really innovating the world, was what I thought.
Immediately replying to the email,
“Yes, I would love to join. Please sign me up!”
I sent it off right as the professor showed up for the first time late to class.
A few hours later the class lecture ended, and I had proceeded to the ever busy cafeteria to get some food.
After eating some odd looking spaghetti and meatballs which had meatballs that looked nothing like meatballs, I gulped down the rest of my orange juice and then left back to my room under the cover of the night sky. Reaching back to my dorm, I made my way up the winding staircase to my room on the third floor. Opening the door to my room I instantly felt a wave of dizziness hit me like a truck. Quickly closing and locking the door I silently set down my backpack, and fell face first onto my bed.
“Guh!, what is this feeling?”
Could it possibly be that odd spaghetti I had?!! I knew it!!! I should have gone for the grilled chicken instead!
Slowly losing all my strength, my consciousness was going out fast. Unable to maintain my composure the surroundings faded into black as I finally drifted into darkness.
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Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."