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The New Life

'Little brother!?' [Ameanum]
Ameanum had a little brother, not a sister, and he didn't have any siblings in the game.
'If only I could see my status maybe Ii....' [Ameanum]
Lost in thoughts, suddenly a white window, same as the ones in the game, appeared in front of him. Even with his eyes closed, this window appeared clear as day.


NAME: Shingi Maki


RACE: Half-Human Half ????

HP: 5/5

SP: 2/2

STR: 1

AGI: 1

END: 1

INT: 10

CHA: 2

CONDITIONS: Incapacitated


'What the heck?!' [Shingi]

Nothing about the status made sense. The NAME wasn't either of his character or his actual name, and it set his CLASS to none. His stat's values were less than even when he started the game. Even a level 0 NPC would have most of their stats at 8-10 value, but all except INT were lower than that. Also, he encountered no CHA stat in all the years he played the game. STR (Strength), AGI (Agility), END (Endurance), and INT (Intelligence) were the main stats. They could never have access to any other except those. Some hidden stats existed, but the system never mentioned them or showed their value.
His RACE was strange. There were different races in the game, and there were Half-Elves or Half-Orcs, but that was a rare case. His one half being unknown to him or the system was something he had never heard of happening in the past.
More strangely, his HP (Hit Points) and SP (Stamina Points) were too low even for his stats. Both increased by the END stat. Each point gave at least 10 HP and 5 SP.
Plunged in pondering over his current attributes, the Incapacitated active condition caught his attention. He focused on it to check if more information would show. As he thought about it, a new window of similar design to the other but a little smaller and colored yellow color appeared in front of the status window.
Description: While under this effect, you have no control over your body, and you can't use any Skills, Items, and Active Abilities. Passive abilities are still in effect, but some may have a lesser effect.
Source: Curse (Never-ending Sleep)
Duration: Until cured

'Never-ending Sleep!? Why does it have to be that?' [Shingi]
Never-ending Sleep was something that players could never learn. He hasn't encountered or heard about any monster or even NPC that could use it, but he knew about it since there were quests that mentioned it. There were a few quests that involved gathering materials to make a possible cure for it. Even if the curse was of a Basic Grade, its treatment was hard to make, and the chance of success was low. Some people said that it should be a Master Grade curse.
Under the curse's effects, one was in a comatose-like state. The body affected by the curse would develop at a slower than the average rate, but after ten, years, no matter what, the user would die if not cured.
He heard more steps that were a little heavier than the previous ones of the 'sister' of his. He could tell because of his heightened senses and the experience that two people just entered the room. He heard something resembling a walking stick, so most likely an older person.
As the pair approached, one to his left and one to his right. He heard some lighter steps from a little distance away, probably from the 'sister.' This time she stayed where he estimated the door of the room would be.
As the two stopped, he heard some words coming from the person to his left; it was an old lady. The words she said were of the Edhergo's ancient dialect, the Northern Kingdom of Enerias, which was commonly used in rituals.
'She seems to be saying some prayer to Mother Nature.' [Shingi]

Even if he wasn't a magic user, he had studied the game's story and the mechanics of mages, enough to be considered a high-level mage, at least in theory.
He could understand the general structure of her ritual, and it seemed that it had a beneficial effect on the target.
It could be a possible cure to Never-Ending Sleep, but he couldn't be certain.
Minutes passed, and he tasted liquids, some bitter, some sweet, administered to him by the person. The woman repeated the prayer, which seemed to be of four phrases, and each time increasing her voice volume a little.
A surge of energy twinkled around Shingi as comfort and warmth embraced him.
Within ten minutes, the voice stopped speaking, the energy disappeared, and then a white system window appeared.
Conditions for the MAIN QUEST: ROAD TO LIFE were fulfilled. Will you accept this quest?
He couldn't see it, unlike his status window, but the voice of the system read it for him, which happened only for special notifications.
'MAIN QUEST!? Am I this lucky this time?' [Ameanum]
While playing the game, the players could gain various quests, each having its rewards. Most of them were available to all users. Some could be obtained at specific times per user or had a cool down until it was available again. But the rarest ones among them were the MAIN QUESTS. Those were quests that appeared randomly.
Still, the reason was unknown. Once accepted by one, it was impossible for anyone else to receive it, even if the user failed to complete it. But the MAIN QUESTS' difficulty was of a high degree, but the rewards were worth it. The few people who succeeded became a great power in the game, as they had brought significant changes in the game.
Even knowing the dangers of this decision, he was never one to be a coward in the game, and without a second thought, he accepted the quest. Fortunately, just thinking the commands were enough for the system to work.
All the weight keeping him still suddenly left his body, and his eyebrows weren't as heavy anymore. He slowly opened his eyes. Some sun rays lit the room, entering through an open window nearby. His eyes took some time to adjust.
"Little brother!" [Young girl]

As he waited for his sight to settle, he heard a squeak from his 'sister', and she hugged him suddenly.
He found himself in a small bedroom, resting on a barely two-person bed. The girl hugging him was a teenager, maybe around fifteen. A short old woman held onto a quarterstaff. To his right, there was a well-built man in his thirties. His clothing alone showed his low status as a civilian.
The mirror next to the window reflected back the same look he had when he was younger in real life, maybe around the age of 6.

He knew that that the body would look younger than its true age, as a side effect of the Never-Ending Sleep. The only difference from his actual world young self was his eyes, which now were crimson instead of black.
Over time, the girl, with tears glued to her eyelids, still hugged him, making things a little awkward.
The old lady coughed to draw the girl's attention.
"Annoue, that is enough. Your brother just woke up and needs some time to adjust. Prepare some food for him. He will need it. I will stay here with your father, and the three of us will join you soon." [Old Lady]

She pointed towards the door, and hosted by hesitation Annoue stopped hugging Shingi, cleared her tears, and hurried outside.
As Annoue left, the old Lady turned towards Shingi, her tongue greasing her smile.
"Hello there. My name is Aneta Greentea, and I am the mayor of this small village. I just helped you to wake up after a long time. I am sure you have many questions; that is why I am here." [Aneta]
Shingi was still weak but could make quick questions to ask.
Speaking with the mayor, Shingi learned a few things about what happened while he was away. Although there were limits to her knowledge, he could put a few things together himself.
First, he was in the game's world. His current body was under the effects of the Never-ending Sleep for the past nine years. His father came across an adventurer, who most likely was a player, that helped him gather the materials for the cure. In return, his father, the local blacksmith, gave him a craft of his at the adventurer. Fortunately, the mayor was a capable alchemist who had developed a ritual that would have a chance to cure the curse.
Also, he learned that unauthorized expeditions at the tower were uncommon for the last ten years for the public. The only people allowed to pass its entrance were people of the Dark Guild, and only they could permit others to enter.
Shingi had encountered them in the past. The Dark Guild was a group of players trying anything to profit over others, and most ways involved hacking. Although they had little power in the ENERIAS TOWER game, he knew these people through other games. The system's security was of another level than usual games, so hacking it was nearly impossible.
'Could it be that Light and Dark were part of them?' [Shingi]
The way they killed him wasn't following the system's rules, so the Dark Guild being behind it sounded logical, but then why couldn't think of the reason. Stopping players from entering the tower should have been enough to draw the developers' attention long ago. Since they did nothing, that was something quite frightening.
The worst piece of information that he learned was that his in-game character hadn't appeared in the last ten years. His name was quite famous in the game, so his disappearance affected others, and many discussed it. Of course, that was because his reputation was over the charge in most towns in Edhergos so that most NPC would have heard about him.
'Ten years in the game means two years have passed in real life. What happened to my body during that time?' [Shingi]
He was aware of the capsule's capabilities. After the shocks, he felt sure that his heart stopped. Before he learned of being gone for two years, he thought maybe people found him on time and got him to a hospital, but he was confident that nothing could hold him for that long. He even thought of commanding the system to see if he could log out, but it was unresponsive. 
He only had access to his status window. Now that he woke up, other than that the Incapacitated Condition disappeared, nothing changed.
'So I somehow got trapped into the game!' [Shingi]
It seemed to be the case, but he remembered that he got banned from the game. However, it should have been impossible since his account was of high status, a little under a moderator. Even a serious ban, which is normally permanent, would have been temporary for him to some degree.
'Now that I think about that, the worst my account could get other than a permanent ban in the game would be up to two years. So could it be I have been trapped for two years and didn't have access to the system until today?' [Shingi]
The scenario made sense, but his change into an NPC's son was still a mystery. But he didn't care about it. He had a fresh start and something important to look over.
He commanded his quest window to open, opening the info window of his MAIN QUEST.
Task 1: Earn an NPC class
The quest had a long list of tasks, but only the first one was visible.
Every player started with a class, and it wasn't rare for NPCs to have a class, although there were NPCs with no class but no players with no class. And that was the case cause for both to earn their class; they needed a tutor. In the player's case, the system was doing most of the work, at least for their initial class, making it a matter of minutes or at worst a few hours for one to earn their class. 
Meanwhile, that wasn't the case for NPCs.
If the system did not design an NPC with a class, earning one wasn't easy.
A few players who desired NPC bodyguards were helping some NPCs with the potential to earn suitable classes for their needs. All of them needed many resources, and only after weeks to months would they learn the basics of their classes. Further development needed more resources and time. It was close, as it would be to train one in actual life. Hence, few players preferred it as NPCs didn't seem much stronger than other players unless one had crazy potential.
'So I am considered an NPC now. This will make things more interesting.' [Shingi]
Excitement flared within him. He felt a little bored over the game lately because of the limits of his character. Classified as a Warrior-type, artifacts or trinkets were the only forms of magic he could deploy. They didn't seem that fun and had to be saved for being used in case of emergencies. That is why he spent that much time in the tower lately, to experience such emergencies.
'This time, I am going to follow the road of Magic and become an even more prestigious figure than before.' [Shingi]
With INT as his highest stat, it was more suitable for him to become a Mage. Still, his stats were so low that even an apprentice Mage would destroy him without using magic. He reopened his status window and looked over it once more.
'As expected. No level yet.' [Shingi]
Players always had a level. Even when beginning the game and without a class, you started at Level 0. But NPCs don't have levels without a class.
That's why a few people started training them but noticing their slow growth rate, it wasn't worth the costs.
After he stopped gathering the information he needed, he headed over to where his sister went with the help of his father, as he still didn't have enough energy to move around by himself. Unlike his appearance, his power resembled a newborn's, maybe even weaker.
'I'm weak now, but I'll definitely improve' [Shingi]
For now, even eating by himself was impossible. Fortunately, he could muster his mouth to eat but still needed some help cutting the food, which Annoue seemed to be more than happy to help. She even tried to feed him like a baby and a young mother, which made things even more awkward for Shingi. After seeing him sitting at the table, Aneta left, saying her goodbyes as it seemed she had other business to take care of.
And so the first day of Shingi's new life began.

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6 Νοε 2021

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