Chapter 2 – The Guide
Right above the vast continent of Genesis, surrounded with white clouds and the bright streaks of occasionally falling stars, is the place every player in the waiting area comes to receive guidance from the NPC in creating their very first and only character.
It wasn’t easy getting into the game with a queue of that size. Yet, the NPC wearing a weird outfit was not one bit enthusiastic, only constantly staring at a distant location. This caused her, who was experiencing the game for the first time, to be at a loss for words.
Floating opposite her, a white shirt with blue stripes, with a traditional patient get-up naturally is the one and only Li Jianye. He had recovered his human shape when he came out from the data tunnel, but for unknown reasons, only the clothing from his original world did not change.
He lowered his head after hearing the inquiry and while looking at the little girl in front of him, a question arose in his heart; “Such a young player? Has she even gone through puberty? You can enter the game even at such a young age?”
Since the player had spoken to him, Li Jianye could no longer laze around. System had strongly instructed him during the downloading previously on how to handle the task at hand.
He suppressed his anger towards the system deep down into his consciousness, he was fully aware that the current him has nothing with which to go against the system. After throwing out all impractical thoughts, Li Jianye began his dialogue according to the standard process pointed out in the data.
“Welcome to Genesis, I am Guide No.0728. I will be assisting you in the creation of your character so that you may journey into this world.”
“Please choose between selecting from the given character template or creating your own. A reminder to the player, once the character is created, it can never be changed.” Li Jianye unfamiliarly used his thoughts to open up the character template array. A total of eight female public race templates immediately appeared in front of the little girl, attracting her attention.
“Wah, the Elf race is indeed beautiful! The Ghost race is so ugly!”
Human, Elf, Dwarf, Ghost, Half-Beast, Gnome, Centaur, Half-Elf. These eight different public races each had its own advantages and disadvantages. For example: the standard template of the human race gives an average of 6 points each to Strength, Agility, Endurance, Intelligence, Perception, and Willpower (Max. base being 10 points). The stats are mediocre with no speciality, but the humans have a race ability which increases skill experience and prestige gain by 10%.
“Do you choose the Elf race?”
“Mmm, let me think for a while more… the Half-Elf isn’t bad, either…” The little girl was still immersed in comparing the looks of the different races.
During the time the little girl was hesitating, Li Jianye was also doing his own research. He who has played the game before knew that the races available in the continent were countless. There were many other special races aside from the eight basic kinds and the ones he knew of all had a special trait that exceeded expectations, very powerful.
“Opened the special race tab, every guide can go according to a fixed probability to give players a chance to play as a special race. This decision can also be made from the status result after the scan.” A notification sounded in Li Jianye’s soul after he opened up the hidden tab in the panel.
Doing his best to suppress the discomfort in his soul, the youth wrinkled his brows and brought his consciousness into the center of the black-colored data, attempting to gain more information. He hated the feeling but he knew that only by grasping more information can he escape from this cage.
He opened his eyes after a short while, and said to the girl: “If you don’t want to select from the templates, you can also create a character using the scanning method. In addition, your total status points may also be a bit higher and there is a certain chance to receive a reward such as special race, etc.”
“Really? Then… I’ll do the scan, Mainframe won’t leak the private data anyway!” The little girl widened her eyes and asked me to continue.
“Please, give your authorization!”
“Authorize Scan! Please, give me your best!” The little girl shut her eyes and gave off a very serious look.
Li Jianye sent out the request through the thing in his soul. Immediately after the request is sent out, an indistinct white light descended from the sky and envelope the player.
The light disappeared as soon as it appeared. The new, unique, stats appeared on the panel. During the whole process, Li Jianye was distracted, it seems he was also being aimed at for a second by the light during the scanning of the player’s mind, but it was too fast and he was practically unable to see anything.
“It seems that this method is useless in obtaining more information. The scan was too fast, I could only search through the surface of the other party, I’m unable to go deeper”. The annoyed him then returned to acting out his role.
“A total of 38 points, a bit higher compared to the given template. If you choose the Elf race, you have to accept the change of: Agility +2, Endurance -2 in your stats. Race ability, Evasion, will increase by 5%. Magic resistance will increase by 5%. Do you accept?”
The little girl opened her eyes to scan through the new stats and felt happy with a tinge of disappointment. “No special reward? Coco has always been obedient and listened to mother. I’m not picky about food and eating healthy!”
Glancing at the column of special races, Li Jianye knew that if he wanted, he could make the special races available to the player without any conditions and did not even need to rigidly follow the probability chance. However, what benefits could it bring him? He was deep in thought.
“Then, I choose the Elf race! The stats will be using my own, is there anything else?”
Li Jianye, not being able to let go of his still unclear idea, followed the remaining procedure to guide her step-by-step; adjusting outer appearance, choosing an in-game name, etc. The rest of the stuff, like jobs, etc., the player would need to find out for themselves after entering the game.
“The pain level can’t be changed to zero?” The little girl was shocked to find out at the last moment.
“Yes, the reality setting can only be set as low as 10%. Raising it will result in your senses increasing, you can freely change the settings within the given range while you are rank 10 or lower. After that, the settings will be permanent. Your choice is…?” Going by the book, Li Jianye answered while following the standard.
“Of course it’s the lowest! I only came here to relax. What’s the point of putting it so high?” The little girl showed an expression revealing her fear of pain.
Now, the basics of creating a character had finally been completed. Li Jianye waved his hands, enveloping the little girl in front of him with a beam of light that descended from the sky. At the same time, she was being reconstructed at the starting grounds of the continent, beginning her own adventure in the game.
“New player will arrive after 30 seconds, please prepare.” The first player had just left and the system notification immediately blared.
Li Jianye silently cursed the unscrupulous Mainframe and at the same time thought about the plan in his heart that he had just a short while ago.
His current situation is very special, being made an NPC by Mainframe, but unlike other wandering souls or programs, still having his own personality, he has no inclination to serve the system.
There’s no apparent life crisis in this short period of time, but if things drag on, the possibility of getting disintegrated may be just right at the doorstep.
The aforementioned contribution points, he has (luckily) accumulated 2 points. At that time, the points were hidden but, after the check a while ago, he realised it was inherited and adding on to the 1 point he had received for completing the task at hand. It was only a total of 3 points. No matter how you see it, it was pathetic and he didn’t even need to speculate to know he was in the last few of the ranking. It was really hard to say if he can even get past the next clean-up by the system.
Moreover, whether or not he can return to his original world is still a question. If he was trapped here like before, with the duration extending years, and his original body was destroyed, will his current soul still be able to support itself?
“New player arriving in; 5, 4, …”
Shaking his head, putting all these question with no answer aside, Li Jianye can only take one step at a time. Using his inner core of the MK-1 model database, he contacted the system and put forward his request: “Request to change outer appearance.”
Before the new player arrived, he had already been stripped of his patient outfit and changed into a death god outfit. He now wore a full-length black robe that reached the feet accompanied with a gigantic death god scythe. It totally corresponds to the magic and swords theme and doesn’t look awkward anymore.
“Hu! What the hell, making me wait for so long, damn Mainframe. Oi! You must be the one responsible for helping me create my character, right? Hurry up and begin!”
The new player was an arrogant, young man. Perhaps it was the waiting time, but he seems to have a bad temper upon arriving.
Li Jianye didn’t receive him with a smile even though they shared hatred for the same person, “Welcome to Genesis…”.
The other party immediately cut in: “Spare me all that nonsense! Didn’t you hear my request? You bunch of stupid programs.”
Li Jianye suppressed his inner anger. He, also, hated the process regulated by the system, but he was worried that freely changing it would bring about negative consequences. “Please choose between selecting from the given character template or creating your own. A reminder to the player, once your character is created it can never be changed.”
“Remind~ your mother! I already know all that, stop wasting my time.” The young man swore while turning his head to look down at the given character templates.
Li Jianye concealed behind his full body robe an expression as cold as the god of death. Swearing at him was fine, but insulting his parents, this, he cannot ever tolerate.
After connecting to the system, he immediately checked for a method to settle this and made his decision one second later.
“The System has judged the player’s current emotional state to be unsuitable to enter the game. Please, move to the isolation area temporarily, and calm yourself down. You may enter the game after you have stabilized your emotions.”
Amidst the astonishment of the other party, Li Jianye said in a calm tone. At the same time swinging the scythe in his right hand, making use of the power given by the system temporarily to open up an empty area.
“Wait a second, my state is fine, for what reason do you ask me to wait?” The young man reacted with extreme resistance, but, a powerful suction force quickly grasped him, “Don’t! I already cooled down! I apolo-…”
However, Li Jianye coldly executed the punishment, like a machine. He, placing him in the empty area, waved his hands and the translucent area disappeared. Currently, only Li Jianye can see the resentful expression of the trapped young man, “Damn you! Stupid machine, I will definitely report you, just wait till I leave this place… Shit, why can’t I log out?”
The Mainframe within Genesis has the greatest power, but the general punishments are often very light, the cooldown time will not be very long, however, Li Jianye mercilessly set the time flow conversion to the furthest extreme that he was allowed, 20:1, then let the young man be.
Silently waiting for a while, seeing if his rash actions would appear to incur any dire consequences… maybe it was the system that judged his action were not over the top?
This action had led him to understand this: “As long as you are working within the regulations of the system, it won’t catch the attention of the Mainframe!”
After relaxing, Li Jianye applied to immediately receive the next player, as for the player punished by him, just let him be stuck there! The next player that arrived was an aged elder, cursing at the atrocity of the Mainframe, “What bullshit, Genesis, overseeing our every move in reality, and now the right to dream freely is also taken away?”
The other side was still counting the number of atrocities the Mainframe had committed, the list was never ending. From the elder’s words, Li Jianye caught an important point, it seems that entering Genesis is already a mandatory activity. Every citizen has to use their daily sleep time to enter here, ensuring at least 8 hours online daily. Furthermore, when one exits the game the next day, all the memories related to the game will be concealed like a dream which will only be regained during the next log-in, connecting the memories together.
“Scanning? You want to invade our privacy yet again? I am old not stupid. I will never agree to give authorization! You people! Don’t try to con me!” The elder was still rambling on, his target being Mainframe. He ignored the minor guide that was there. Based on his “respect the elderly and cherish the young” mentality, Li Jianye did not bother about it and quickly used the basic template to deal with it.
“Even though it’s a game world, not everything is that simple!” For the persistent plan of Li Jianye who is not even perturbed by the curiosity of this future world, that immature thought of his finally had an outline.
A total of eight people had come but none were to his satisfaction, until the ninth player, a strong male with a straightforward face, gave Li Jianye a good impression. And, during the scanning process, he hesitated for a while before preparing to put his idea into action.
“Ding! Issuing player a hidden quest now: ‘The Origin’. If you choose to accept, player will receive the pre-reward, to choose from a selection of special races not included in the eight basic races.” Li Jianye immediately said this after the scan.
Hearing what he had heard, the boy’s eyes shined, immediately looking at the display panel in front of him. Beside the list of the eight basic races, new races had really appeared, “Vampire, Night Elf, and Half-Giant?”
“The special races, in addition to a difference in appearance, also have an additional personality. Furthermore, each of the special races also have a powerful race bonus making it very easy to create a unique character and have a massive advantage in the early stages of the game. If played appropriately, you can also easily exhibit extraordinary might incomparable to the basic races.” Li Jianye introduced in details.
“Half-Giant: Endurance +5, Strength +5, Agility -2, Intelligence -3, HP growth increased substantially. Innate ability:’Barbarism’, able to double own strength stat for a fixed amount of time and obtains the ‘Resilience’ ability…” The other party was fully attracted by the explanation and only raised his head after a short while, with eyes shining, but asking suspiciously: “But, I didn’t see any quest marker on the panel, can you explain this ‘Origins’ quest in detail?”
LI Jianye inwardly nodded his head while simultaneously wracking his brain; There’s no such hidden quest at all! He only merely displayed the special races which normally need special requirements set by the system, but since the other party had asked, he can only throw out his previously fabricated explanation.
“Quests from the Origins series belong to the most secretive hidden quests, it won’t appear on the player’s game panel. Detailed information will only be released after you enter the game. However, once you accept the quest, your player information will be automatically saved in the system by the Mainframe… The moment your information is entered into the system and you choose to abandon the quest later on, a severe penalty will be issued to you.” Li Jianye explained up till here and, regardless of the other party’s belief,… readied the scythe in his hand, then swung his killer move, starting the countdown at the same time.
“Player has three seconds to decide to accept or reject. If rejected, you will forever lose this chance, 3, 2, …”
When facing this kind of situation, the other party may perhaps realise the loopholes in Li Jianye’s words if they were to think carefully, but he intentionally stripped the other party of the time to think it through. As the pressing countdown was slowly reaching zero, the player finally gave in, as he couldn’t bear to give up on the special races, and loudly shouted: “Wait, wait, I choose to accept the quest.”
“Ding! Player’s data has been entered. Please, continue to create your character” Li Jianye increased the process speed intentionally by removing useless lines and gentle reminders. In less than three minutes, he had sent the player into the game world.
“Huu… Finally done. Tricking a person is indeed not easy!” Li Jianye sighed as he saves that player’s information in his data storage. As for his purpose in doing it, he himself also wasn’t sure. However, for Mainframe, giving access to the special races as a reward was but a part of the resources available to it. If he was to follow the random algorithm to assign the special race, wouldn’t he be doing it for nothing!
“New player arriving in, 5, 4, …” After smoothing out the wrinkles on his black robe, Li Jianye once again began preparations to guide (trick) the arriving new player.