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Shingi went to lay down in bed. He could continue training his skills and probably make them reach base rank throughout the night, but he decided it wasn't wise.

Even if he didn't need sleep for now as a side effect of the Never-ending Sleep, he wasn't getting tired physically or mentally. If he strained himself too much early on, it would affect his future progress, and that was something he wanted to avoid.

He knew of people who overworked themselves and increased their Skill Levels or Ranks fast enough initially. However, the bottlenecks, later on, were harder than normal and nearly impossible to pass. So, even if he was going faster than a normal person, he still needed to be careful not to take any unnecessary risks that would bite him in the future.

As he started thinking about his next moves, a notification window appeared.



Save file A06 is available to be used.


After reading it once more, Shingi froze in place.

He knew what SPECTATOR MODE would normally mean for the game. Someone would connect a supported headset to the capsule and join the player in the game. The headset player was somewhat limited in the controls and experience, so it was typically only used for crowd demonstrations since they could connect multiple headsets in one capsule. They also used it for support if someone needed urgent help.

Also, the save file code was his or, more specifically, for his past player character, Ameanum.

However, his character should have been deleted 2 years ago as a ban like that would surely be followed by character deletion even if his access was that high.

Shingi was always quite curious about this kind of thing, so he didn't waste any time.

"Enable Spectator Mode." [Shingi]

At that point, everything around him became dark. Then, his body started becoming lighter and lighter. He then started getting heavier and heavier as it stopped. Of course, it was heavier than his child NPC body, but he then noticed the feeling of falling, and soon enough, he felt himself land on the ground and something else. Or, more specifically, someone else.


The voice was coming from behind him, and at the same time, Shingi barely felt the air hitting the back of his neck as if someone tried to grab him but was stopped.

Sure enough, that was what was happening; a fully plated armor girl behind Shingi tried to grab him, but an invisible force wasn't letting her touching him.

That force, of course, was the System itself. Anyone who logged in had thirty seconds of immunity from other players, but that was only in case if they logged in while in a safe zone. Since they seemed to be in the middle of a small town, it considered this a safe zone.

Also, the immunity only worked against players. NPCs and monsters could still attack them.

Shingi noticed a young girl beneath him, no older than 15, by his guess. He could see a name over her head, so he knew that she was a player.

And with that, he got himself up and away from the young girl and started checking himself and his status.

He really was in his old player character, but there were some great differences.

First, his inventory was empty except for the set of clothing he was currently wearing.

Second, even if all his stats and skills seemed to be there, his race was currently showing as Spectating Spirit.

This was the race that anyone using Spectator Mode would have; Spectator Mode was a supportive mechanic to be used and disallowed the player from using any racial features, or skills, or items that could be used by living beings making the Spectator Mode even more undesirable and unnecessary by many players. But of course, being a spirit had its upside, as you wouldn't lose any experience if you died.

"HEY, YOU! STOP IGNORING US!" [Angry female voice]

Shingi now saw the source of the voice, who shouted at him both times. It was another young girl but seemed a little older than the girl he landed on. She was wearing a heavy plated armor covering her whole body, which seemed too heavy for someone that young to be able to wear.

The other girl was wearing simple robes that every Mage Player started with.

Shingi could easily read the situation. The Warrior girl was overprotective of the young girl and seemed to be the brutish kind of girl who wouldn't be afraid to fight, especially in a game. From her equipment, he could understand that she wasn't a beginner but not a very high level either. If he had to guess, she was probably around level 10-13. The other girl seemed to be the shy type as she hid behind her friend. And from her equipment, he was sure that she was a beginner that most likely just started playing and got the Mage Class.

He sighed because he knew he wasn't at fault; the System decided to spawn him there. But, since he never wanted to get into an unnecessary fight, he bowed towards them.

"I'm sorry for the inconvenience I caused you, as it wasn't my intention. There was an accident on my transportation between places, which unfortunately led to the troubling situation we are currently in. I hope you can find it in your heart to consider  forgiving me." [Ameanum]

His response surprised the once angry girl. She was ready to beat him up when he started talking, but now she didn't seem like she would try to harm him.

"I see. Since you understand your situation and it really seems like it was an accident, I will let it pass for now. But just this one time." [Wild Tycoon]

"Thanks for understanding." [Ameanum]

And with that, the incident came to an end.
At that point, Shingi looked around and realized that he recognized the place. This should be Picton, a tiny town that served as one of the players' starting towns.

Even if ten years had passed in-game, some things didn't change enough for Shingi not to recognize them. Sure, there were quite a few new buildings, but the plaza they were currently in the middle of was something he would easily recognize. That was because, in the middle of it, there was a unique white tree of which had branches that ended in a sky blue hue, and its leaves, no matter the season, were a golden yellow.

It was a special tree that only existed in this town. It was rumored to be a gift from Mother Nature to the town's founder and granted protection for the town from monsters. But, of course, the protection was limited, and strong monsters could overpower it. Still, it helped keep the town's peace, as all the monsters in the area weren't strong enough to overpower the tree's protection unless they all worked together. Still, monsters of this area weren't known for working with each other, especially different species.

"Hey, pervy boy, you still with us?" [Wild Tycoon]

Ameanum ignored the way he addressed him and turned towards her.

"Is there anything I can help you with?" [Ameanum]

This time, he was back to his plain way of speaking. Before, he was sweetening his words to convince them of his sincerity, but it no longer seemed necessary.

Tycoon didn't notice this change, and she continued with what she wanted to say.

"You seem like a beginner, so I decided to be the bigger person and help you out. The name is Wild Tycoon, by the way." [Wild Tycoon]

"Shingi." [Ameanum]

Even if he was annoyed that she thought he was a beginner, he understood why she might think that since he wasn't wearing any equipment, even if he was in a safe zone. So he decided not to be angry at her, but he gave his NPC name just to be safe because it may not be wise to let people know about him.

Especially those of the Dark Guild. Even if he doubted the girls in front of him would be a part of it, he could never be too careful.

"Well, nice to meet you, Shingi. We were heading outside to help Little Phoenix level up since she just joined the game, but we could always use more help. So what do you say? It is a good deal, isn't it?" [Wild Tycoon]

Ameanum considered her proposal. Even if he knew he would be fine by himself, he thought it would be interesting to check if any mechanics changed in the game during the time he was gone. And what better way than by watching a beginner level up.

"Sure. It sounds like a good idea." [Ameanum]

He got a notification from the system of Tycoon inviting him to join her party, but he rejected it right away.

"Huh?! Why did you reject my party invite? I thought you said you wanted to join us!" [Wild Tycoon]

"You said you wanted to help her level up. If I join the party, the system would have to share the exp between the three of us for each monster we kill, but if I weren't part of your party, the exp would be shared between just the two of you as long as one of you deal the final blow." [Ameanum]

"I see... that makes sense, but you're a beginner too, aren't you? Wouldn't it be safer to be in a party to at least be aware of what each other's health is currently at?" [Wild Tycoon]

"You don't have to worry about that. I'm gonna take my equipment to be sure that I'll be safe out there as being next to the plaza's tree." [Ameanum]

Ameanum spoke full of confidence as he turned and started his way through the market.

What he said was somewhat true, but the real reason he didn't want to join the party was that they would see his real identity. Of course, to invite someone to a party, you didn't need to know his in-game name. You could send an invite to a person near you without knowing their in-game id, and rejecting the invitation wouldn't let them know your identity.

Even if Tycoon and Phoenix were surprised by what Shingi said, they were curious, so they followed him.

Not long after that, they stopped in front of the town's blacksmith shop. Picton wasn't a big town, and it had only one blacksmith. Still, a Master Blacksmith was what separated it from the other towns of the same size that were most have a dozen Base Blacksmiths, but no Master ones. But even a dozen Base Blacksmith weren't as valuable as a single Master one.

The Blacksmith's name was Varic, a member of the Dwarf Race who was proficient in the Crafting Professions.

And so Ameanum made his way into the shop, which as usual was busy since everyone wanted to use the services of the Master Craftsman even if few could afford them. Even fewer were accepted by the craftsman himself to work for them.

Tycoon got next to Ameanum and curiously asked him.

"What are we doing here? This shop is too expensive for us." [Wild Tycoon]

Ameanum just looked at her with a smirk and said nothing as he started his way toward's the shop's counter.
Behind the counter, a well-dressed human male seemed to be in the front of the shop as he talked with all the customers, and if someone stayed in the shop all day, they would hear him repeat one phrase.

"The master won't see you." [Young human]

But even after Ameanum heard that being said to everyone who made his way to the young human, he didn't stop himself for even a moment. Then, as he got himself to the counter and had the attention of the young human, he spoke.

"The hammer is heavy for the one who can't handle his drink." [Ameanum]

After hearing that, the young human's eyes got wide open as he responded.

"The master will see you right away. This way." [Young human]

With quick steps, he led Ameanum towards a door leading to the shop's backspace. He even opened the door for him and bowed as Ameanum walked in, leaving everyone in the shop shocked.

No one has ever had this kind of response from the young man, not even famous, powerful guild leaders. Still, now he got to meet Varic by just saying that one phrase.

After Ameanum passed through the doorway, the young human didn't follow him inside, but he closed the door instead and returned to his counter.

Now that others had overheard the phrase, people went to the man repeating his words, but they had the same response given to them as before.

"The master won't see you." [Young human]

Curiosity about the player's identity who made this happen, especially the two young girls that followed him in the shop.

"Nat. Didn't you say that no player would be able to see the owner of this shop?" [Little Phoenix]

"Yeah, that should be the case." [Wild Tycoon]

'Just who are you, Shingi?' [Wild Tycoon]

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6 Νοε 2021

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