Stage Zero: A World Unknown

*click* *click* *click*

The sounds of a mechanical keyboard echoed inside a dark and silent room.

There were a lot of wrappers and bottled drinks on the floor, indicating that someone wasn’t cleaning their room properly.

Oh? What’s this?

A message suddenly showed up in front of me, Damn, it interrupted me right before my 50th kill in my combo, well, I should check that message at least...

  • Message History

Rikori: I presume that this is Kole Kates?

What the? How does he know my real name? I never reveal my personal details to anybody, even not to my playmates when I game.

ToriaStriker: Yes...that’s me. How do you know my real name?

Maybe it’s just one of my friends, just trolling me, that usually happens with some of them.

Rikori: Finally, I can communicate with you at last.

What?

ToriaStriker: What do you mean, "at last"?

Rikori: As you can see, I’ve been trying to communicate with you for a couple of days now.

ToriaStriker: Why?

Rikori: Because I need your help.

Maybe another fellow gamer got lost in a playthrough?

ToriaStriker: You need a walkthrough? There are many of those on the internet!

Rikori: No, not that kind of help, something worse.

What? Maybe a glitch or something, games are riddled with small bugs.

ToriaStriker: What’s so urgent?

Rikori: It’ll be easier to show you, I’ll send you a file...

ToriaStirker: Oh, ok...W-wait, NOW?

Rikori: Yes, now, this is very urgent. It is a matter of life and death of another world.

He wants to send me something? A broken game file, I guess? And why does it sound like his life depends on it.

Rikori: But first...are you ready for what you’ll see?

What? Is he gonna send me something horrific?

ToriaStriker: ...Yes, I’m ready

Rikori: Then here, I’ll meet you when you land.

Rikori sent a file - venoria.exe (63GB)

This big of a file?!?! Thank god I have speedy internet connection.

ToriaStriker: That’s one hell of a file right there. Why the size?

Rikori: It’s big because...you’ll find out soon enough.

Rikori: Just click on it.

*click*

Wait, what?

And then, I fell from my chair, into a long fall from the sky, towards the barren wasteland of white space.

Across the horizon, there was a big text that was saying DOWNLOADING FILES...

Downloading files? Am I in a game?

The downloading stage was finished, then the world’s scenery rendered, presenting a beautiful world, with a different shaped sun, and a few flying creatures circling a tall mountain.

Where the hell am I?

And then I remembered, I was still falling.

AHH!!!!!!! WHERE’S THE PARACHUTE?!?!?!

There was no parachute, just pure air hitting against my face.

The ground was approaching fast, I prepare for a super painful landing.

*boom*

I opened my eyes, my legs still feels wobbly, but somehow I survived that fall, was there a fall damage resistance buff?

"Good to see you alive, Kole"

Wh-Who’s there?

"It’s me, Rikori, didn’t I tell you that we’ll be meeting once you land?"

I didn’t sign up for this bullcrap, why did you pull me into this world?

"As I said, I needed your help"

And then he touched my head in a specific spot, on the forehead.

Ahh!!!

"There, it should activate your heads-up display."

He was right, a health bar suddenly appeared on the bottom left of my vision, also an EXP bar on the bottom center, and a "enemy info" part on the bottom right, a compass was displayed on the top, with the nearest place highlighted.

A hud?!?!? AND I’M LEVEL ONE?!?!? Who the hell has fall resistance at level one?

"I think your class is...Blade Master."

Great, just great, now, where’s the usual starting equipment?

"You need to buy them first."

Is this guy serious? How should I know that they accept dollars? Hell, I don’t even have my wallet with me.

You know, I don’t have my wallet with me, and I don’t even think that they accept dollars.

"I’ll give you 300,000 Kl (klin) for your starting money."

Wait...300,000 Kl?! And Kl is the in-game currency here?

That’s a lot of money for a starting player...

"Yes, Kl is the currency in the world of Venoria."

Venoria? No wonder the file’s called venoria.exe

Great! Now, let’s go to the nearest town to buy equipment!

"I’ll be joining you on your journey, Kole."

Why? I could handle myself alone.

"I doubt that you know the language here..."

Well, there is that...

"See? Now let’s get a move on..."

Fine, let’s go.

I just hope that the nearest town isn’t hell of a walk...



Next Chapter: Stage One: A Seemingly Impossible Quest