The city of Yudaril is one of trade and commerce. It lies just east of the country of Levatin and does not belong to any nation. Positioned between almost every major country, it’s a bustling city where a large variety of merchants and travelers come to. Naturally, that includes adventurers as well. In fact, back when this was a game, this was where new players began their adventure.
Despite the 200 years that have elapsed, Yudaril remained lively as ever. I felt relieved to see that even a small part of the world remained as I had known it.
“…Dina, it’s difficult to move.”
“Please put up with it for now. You’d be recognized in an instant after all. You don’t want to attract any unwanted attention, do you?”
While wandering this charming city, I hid my entire body under my overcoat, looking as suspicious as one could get. As per Dina’s instruction, my wings were wrapped tightly around my body and an overcoat was forced over them. Moreover, the crimson overcoat I wore had a convenient hood attached to the back. Although this is definitely enough to hide my identity, I think it’s is making me stand out anyways. And I can’t really move my arms in this outfit. What’s this? Some new kind of sex play?
“Now then, Ruphas-sama. First, acquiring funds for our travels is probably our highest hurdle. Anyone would recognize you at a glance, so it’s extremely hard to find a suitable job, you see? There aren’t many people out there willing to hire the black-winged overlord after all.”
“…but those are the events of 200 years ago. In an age without pictures, I doubt anyone would be able to recognize me.”
“Naive. That’s naive, Ruphas-sama. This trading city is where people of every corner of the world gather, you know? And races with long life spans like elves aren’t exceptions. They may still remember you clearly.”
Hearing out Dina’s explanation, I nodded in understanding. Come to think of it, those races exist in this alternate universe. I myself am a member of one of those long-lived races. To begin with, Flugels are rumored to be descendants of angels. And regardless of whether or not that’s true, they boast an average lifespan of a ridiculous 1,500 years. That’s why I’m able to retain my young appearance even after 200 years of imprisonment.
By the way, Ruphas used to be 275 years old, so I guess she’s 475 years old now. In human years, she would be 14 when she was sealed and around 24 as of now …my outward appearance is of a 15 to 17-year-old girl, though.
“Especially those black wings! Even if they didn’t recognize you, your wings stand out too much. For Flugels, those are the wings of taboo after all.”
“They’re normally black, aren’t they? I bet you I’m just a different variety of flugel.”
As I’ve mentioned before, flugels are the descendants of angels.
They themselves believe the same and take pride in their untainted, pure white wings. They went as far as to insist that those wings were the proof of a flugel, and that their sexual appeal was neither decided by their faces nor their bodies, but rather their wings. Apparently, a male would flaunt his wings at a female to display his affection.
To put things bluntly, whether you’re unattractive, obese, pimpled, stink, or wear anime print T-shirts, as long as your wings remain pure white, you’re some pretty hot stuff.
On the contrary, no matter how refined your physical appearance is, if your wings are tainted, you’ll never be attractive.
In this aspect, my jet black wings are completely out of question. They far surpass the jurisdiction of beauty and ugliness. At this rate, I’d only be recognized as a monster.
In human terms… let’s see. It’s like having green skin, no eyebrows and hair sprouting from the middle of my forehead instead of my scalp. Forget about beauty—I wouldn’t even be acknowledged as another Flugel.
Of course, I was fully aware of this backstory and had chosen these black wings with this knowledge at hand. The reason was extremely simple. “Aren’t wings of taboo the coolest?”
Needless to say, many other players thought the same, and jet black wings weren’t so uncommon. Rather, more eccentric designs included golden wings, gradients, and even players that took the liberty to pick out a different color for every other feather. Trying to accept that I stood out while knowing this is… beyond difficult. If I stand out, then what about those crazy rainbow-winged flugels?
“There’s nothing normal about it! Please! Be a bit more self-aware!”
“Okay, I got it, I got it. Stop shouting already.”
Having made Dina mad, I shrugged my shoulders.
Good grief. So this world differs enough from the game that I can’t put my wings on display, huh. How inconvenient.
“Seriously… back to my point. Despite your reputation, there’s one line of work that pretty much anyone could take up.”
“Ah, adventurers—in other words, people who put their lives on the line to earn a living.”
“Exactly. Reputation and social status are unnecessary. Anyone with a mind and body can do it.”
Those who put their lives on the line to earn a living—Adventurers.
It’s an occupation that requires little more than a bit of determination to take on.
Money and social status are irrelevant. Anyone can accept requests regardless of whether they’re a slave or a criminal. In exchange, your safety isn’t guaranteed. Neither the agency nor the client is held accountable if you were to lose an arm or your life while completing a request.
In addition, you sink to the bottom of the social hierarchy. The vagrants and the jobless with no place to stay. Individuals constantly troubled over where they’ll find their next meals. They’re the kind of people who, in their last moments, dream of drowning in gold —then die along the roadside. That’s what it means to be an adventurer.
Whereas in the game, because you could revive limitlessly. this reality remained nothing more than a dark backstory. Rather, the majority of players farmed money and experience as adventurers and then proceeded through the rest of the game. So the number of adventurers averaged from a couple thousand to hundreds of thousands of players at a time. So what about the social hierarchy? …all it really amounted to is some verbal abuse from NPC’s, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
However, this is reality. Death really is the end of the line, and I’m sure harsh acts of discrimination omitted from the game make their appearance here.
…am I going to be alright? This is Ruphas Mafahl’s body, so death is highly improbable. But will I be able to stand the sight of blood? Can I really do this dirty work when I can barely stand the sight of a pigeon getting run over by a car? To be honest, I’m anxious.
“We have arrived. This way please.”
In response Dina’s invitation, I entered the building after her. It was a slightly grimy tavern made out of wood. The first floor was lined with several tables like a cafeteria, and many thug-like figures could be seen sitting throughout. The moment we step foot into the building, several hungry gazes fixed upon Dina. However, with a suspicious individual (me) standing beside her, none of them had the nerve to approach.
“Yeah, this is it. This shitty atmosphere sure is nostalgic.”
“Now that you mention it, you were also an adventurer before establishing your own nation, weren’t you?”
—hm? Didn’t I just say something a bit out of place? Nostalgic… no, this really does take me back. As I said, It’s common knowledge for the majority of novice players to work their way up as adventurers. I was no exception and had completed a great number of requests during my time as one. However… “I” have never taken single a step into a tavern such as this one. And yet, I feel nostalgic. It seems that “I” might be merging with “Ruphas” after all…
“Welcome. Is there something you would like to order? Or would you like to stay for the night?”
“We would like to accept a request.”
“…miss, are you alright?”
The brusque, bald bar-owner shot a dubious look at Dina. At a glance, Dina seemed unsuited for battle with her slender body and delicate atmosphere. Indeed, if I was told such a girl was an adventurer, I would also question her sanity. Dina put on a charming smile in response to the addled shopkeeper.
“Oh, I won’t be the one accepting the request.”
“Oho, so the red guy over there, huh… Alright, I’d like you to step into the back of the shop for a second. I’d like to take a look at your abilities.”
An adventurer is someone who could drop dead at any moment. However, having one die before they could fulfill the request would put a hole in an agency’s reputation. If rumor went around that “no decent adventurers pick up their requests at that agency”, their business would plunge after all. That’s why the agency must confirm the extents of their employees’ abilities …is what I’ve grasped from what Dina whispered into my ear.
I stepped behind the shop as instructed, where the bar-owner stood beside several identical stone statues. Each had a scruffy beard and a friendly smile. If I’m not mistaken, these are stone golems produced by an alchemist.
Alchemists consume tools to create a wide variety of devices, and golems are just one example. As combat-oriented NPC’s, golems are reassuring companions for many solo players. Their strength varies upon the raw materials and the skill level of the creator, but they rarely differ in level or status. Also, golems can only be revived by their creator, so their remains hold little to no value. In addition, once a golem decides on a target, it continues to fight regardless of whether you like it or not. Sure, they’re convenient, but there aren’t many opportunities for low-level players to use them. I also remember preparing a fair number of golems to strengthen my defenses before the decisive battle against the heroes. However, they were little more than hindrances to high-level players.
“I’m going to have you fight these golems in a moment. The number of golems defeated and how efficiently you work will be taken into account of your evaluation.”
To express my willingness, I took a step forward. The overcoat was confining, making my movements slightly awkward. To be honest, this is quite the handicap, but… well, I should be fine. Worst case scenario, I’ll deal with them with [coercion].
“I’m ready when you are.”
“Great. Then let’s get this started.”
With this, the golems’ eyes lit up with life. Without a moment’s delay, I invocated a ranger skill, [Observing Eye]. It’s a convenient ability that displays the level, remaining HP, and even the stats of an opponent if the user is skilled enough. Thus, the target’s abilities were displayed as shown below.
Race: artificial life-form
STR (strength): 73
DEX (dexterity): 36
VIT (vitality): 80
INT (intelligence): 5
AGI (agility): 27
MND (willpower): 5
LUK (fortune): 40
Hm. As you can see, they’re small fry. These are opponents that can be challenged within thirty minutes of playing the game. Now if you tagged along with a more experienced party, a single fight with a higher level opponent could supply you with enough experience. All things considered, it seems that these golems were made with the sole purpose of measuring your capabilities in mind. Rather, it would be for the best if you gave up on becoming an adventurer if you were to lose to them.
I should probably also check my own stats while I’m at it. Honestly though, the gap in power is so large that I’m not sure how much I should hold back.
Monster Tamer: 100
STR (strength): 9200
DEX (dexterity): 8750
VIT (vitality): 10300
INT (intelligence): 8300
AGI (agility): 10778
MND (willpower): 9550
LUK (fortune): 9280
Right Hand: —
Left Hand: —
Torso: Dress of Heaven’s Empress
– Abnormal Status Nullity
– Automatic HP recovery
Shoes: Boots of Swiftness
– Increased Movement Speed
Other: Overcoat of the Seven Luminaries
– 50% Damage Reduction of all Attributes
This is just bullying the weak at this point. On that note, you’re not just seeing things if my statistics seem a bit abnormal. Although the level cap was 1000, there are no upper limits for character stats. This means you can continue raising your stats even after hitting the level cap.
Despite status-enhancing items being notably rare, they weren’t impossible to obtain. In fact, because HP enhancements were so easy to acquire, my health stats skyrocketed as a result.
On a side note, the average flugel has around 70,000 HP once they reach the level cap of 1000. That might give you a glimpse of what I had to go through to raise my HP to this degree.
As one would expect, I was unable to achieve statistics comparable to those of the final boss characters of the game, but I’m confident my stats outstripped plenty of other boss monsters. My alias as the “wild last boss” was by no means a groundless assumption.
While we’re on the subject, I’ll go a bit further into detail about “Levels” and “Class Levels”. There’s nothing special about levels. In RPG’s, it’s an obvious expression of the strength and combat experience that accumulates over time. This number caps at 1000 and there’s not much you can do to overturn it. Even if you were locked in combat with several boss characters, it remains the one unbendable rule of X-gate.
Next, the “class level”.
These indicate the level of each character class you possess and caps at 100.
This number increases in sync with normal character levels and influences how your abilities develop, so they play a large role in character growth.
For instance, if you wanted to be a vanguard but have been acting as a support for too long, you might find that your character stats are unsuited for swapping positions.
This is where the game leans toward to being a TRPG.
Once a class level is maxed out, the game will ask you to perform a class change. Then, unless a new class is chosen, no experience will be gained no matter what kind of monsters you face off.
There are two methods of resolving this issue. The first is to act accordingly and alternate classes. Then, upon reaching level 1000, you will have accomplished a character that holds mastery over 10 different classes. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t switch classes before mastering the previous one. For example, I only raised the priest and esper classes to level 50, allowing me to squeeze in 11 classes instead.
The second method makes use of the cash shop.
If you pay the money, the level cap is lifted, and you can continue to raise the class level to up to 200. However, barely any additional skills are can be acquired along the line. For example, Swordmaster and Grappler classes would exceed the offensive ability and HP of a vanguard, which is one advantage of the cash shop.
In addition, there are also players who aim to optimize the effectiveness of certain skills that depend on class levels.
I didn’t bring any class level past 100. It was the general opinion that class leveling to 200 wasn’t a very intelligent choice. Not that really matters now.
Now then, it’s finally time for my first taste of battle.
Although there will be no resistance, it’s an opportunity sharpen my new pair of fangs.
※A bit of explanation
The race with the highest population in the world. Their abilities are the most balanced among all seven races. Although they have no particular strengths, they possess no shortcomings either.
Humans are capable of breeding with all members of the 7 races. Any “half-breeds” will always have a human parent. While Elf X Flugel would never produce offspring, Flugel X Human could.
Their inherent skill, [solidarity], grants a slight stat and experience boost when they are accompanied by their comrades.
The race of long-eared beauties well rooted in the genre of fantasy.
Blessed with the gift of longevity, the average elf easily lives a thousand years.
Their delicate appearances and poor physical abilities make them poorly suited candidates for vanguards. However, they hold unrivaled expertise over the field of magic.
Their inherent skill, [mental unity], gradually regenerates SP over time.
A race of those who roam freely through the heavens. In addition to their long life spans, they are a well-rounded race with exceptional stats in every field. However, they have no aptitude for offensive magic. That said, their intelligence and SP are superb, so the alchemist and acolyte classes take plenty advantage of their stats.
Their ability to render opponents powerless without dealing damage is also valuable as a monster tamer. Speaking of which, the flugels’ racial skill, [coercion], immobilizes weaker hostiles for a random amount of time.
A race of people adorned with animal traits and reside deep within forests.
They come under two different categories: herbivorous beastmen specialized in speed and carnivorous beastmen specialized in strength. Though they outdo even the Flugel race in terms of close-combat, the same cannot be said for intelligence. And although they can use a certain degree of magic, they’re unsuitable supports.
The beastmen’s inherent skill, [detection], marks enemy positions on the map
The noble race of nocturnals that demonstrate their true powers at night.
In addition their stats being on par with those of the flugel race, they are also capable of wielding magic. A hidden skill also allows vampires to revive infinitely at night. Furthermore, their inherent skill is a broken ability that enables automatic health regeneration.
In exchange, they have many limitations. Vampires suffer from a drastic stat decrease in daylight. However, this may not bother players who, for some reason or another, can only play at night. They also have very low affinity for the holy attribute and cannot use holy magic. The vampires’ inherent skill, [regeneration], allows for automatic health recovery.
A short race that excels in defense, vitality, and dexterity.
However, the beastmen outdo them in close combat, so it wouldn’t be a reason to deliberately choose this race.
Their true value lies in their nimble fingers. It wasn’t uncommon for a dwarf to completely devote their time to weapon creation and never step a foot into the battlefield. Their inherent skill, [craftsmanship], doubles the success rate of item creation.
A race of small-sized humans often referred to as “hobbits”, “halflings”, or “grass runners”. They’re cheerful and nimble little creatures that are well adapted to the ranger class. Hobbit’s don’t boast of the most impressive magic or offensive ability, but they’re the most reliable when it comes to dungeon exploration.
The hobbits’ inherent skill, [locate], multiplies item drop rates by 5.