[Welcome Back to The Mythical Age!]
And with that message, Nex was back in the game.
The first thing that he did when he entered is to look around. This is the basic standard operating procedure for any experienced gamer. Always check your environment upon re-spawn so as not to be killed by either monsters or another player.
More so for Nex who found himself in Amberdawn, also known as the Southern City.
"So that damn old man has teleported me to the city, huh?"
In the Cloud Kingdom, aside from the capital, there are four major cities; one for each direction. Each city has its own background story and specialty, but since Nex was too lazy to learn about them, he doesn't even know their names.
"Who needs to learn about boring stuff like that? How exactly is it going to help me?"
Here is a fact about Nex: he is a gaming idiot.
The earlier display of careful examination of his surroundings was just him sight-seeing and nothing more.
This is something that goes back even before he arrived at Perias. When it comes to games, he is the laziest. He will not bother to learn about quests or back stories and just jumps straight to exciting stuff for him like fighting and crafting. Unless it is a precursor for his favorite parts, he will never do any quest or try to raise an affinity with NPC.
His incompetency extends to his skills selection. He will always pick the flashiest or the most damaging but only single hits. He never bothered thinking about combos so he could increase his maximum damage output nor going through conditions that could give critical hits.
With this weakness, he was easily beaten by players with even lower levels than him!
These shortcomings, except the skill part that he had to fix in order to survive in Perias, have remained throughout all these years. Sadly, even in his current time in this particular game, he does not plan on changing his gaming habits.
"Yeah. Yeah. Let's go to the Explorer Guild and do this class upgrade so that I could learn how to cook already!"
After a few minutes of walking and asking people around for the location of the guild, he found himself standing in front of a large building with worn out walls and a peeling sign.
Thinking back to the strange faces he received from the people he had asked for directions, he could only sigh. 'I guess there isn't much to expect from the people here.'
And with those discouraging thoughts, he opened the door.
"Who wants to put lotion on my muscles?"
"Hey! This is not fair! If you will be like this, then I'm gonna get naked too!"
"Stop! Don't you dare touch my collection! Do you know how hard it is to get paintings of old people in their underwears."
"What is this entire ruckus about? You are disturbing me in the middle of testing a potion that makes you speak only in Z's!"
For a moment, Nex was petrified as soon as he was greeted by these various scenes but he quickly recovered and entered surreptitiously so as to avoid attracting someone's attention.
Luckily, he succeeded and managed to arrive at the counter without any misfortune befalling upon him. There, a smiling receptionist of a young boy in his teens is waiting for him, dressed in maid clothing and petting a skull.
"Welcome! I see that this is your first time here, right?"
"Yes," Nex said with a wry smile, "I'm here for my First Awakening."
"Is that right? Did you bring your recommendation letter from your Village Head?"
"Recommendation letter?" Nex remembered something. He did not get any letter for his Explorer Class. He had gotten the damn tattoo instead!
"Can I get this recommendation letter from somewhere in the city?"
"No." The boy slowly shook his head and patiently explained in a voice that was neither fast nor slow. "For travelers like you, the only way to do the First Awakening is by using the recommendation letter that you have received from your respective Village Head."
Understanding that he had been left with no other alternatives, Nex could only show the tattoo on his hand begrudgingly to the receptionist.
"A tattoo? How rare! Let's check." The boy pulled out an item that pretty much resembles a very fancy magnifying glass.
He placed the item just above Nex's hand and peered at it. His initial calm and encouraging face gradually morphed into unsettlement.
"This is… Wait here! I am going to call the Guild Master!" Even his steps are harried as he moved upstairs in a hasty manner.
'I'm having a sense of déjà vu right now. Let's hope it's not another muscle-brain.'
Nex did not wait for a very long time. The receptionist ran back along with a thin middle-aged man, who was wearing a bunny girl uniform.
'…on second thought, I think I want the muscle-brain one.'
"So you are the one with the special crest?" The Guild Master's eyes surveyed him once from head to toe before asking.
"I guess so." His tone didn't show it, but the wariness inside Nex is gnawing at his heart. 'Hopefully, that man won't give me a "test" as well.'
The Master stared deeply at the tattoo before his face suddenly froze and then turned solemn, "So you're the one that old man picked, huh?"
"What do you mean?"
"It's not important right now." The Guild Master shook his head and handed him a map. "Go to the temple marked in this map. There, you could do your First Awakening and probably get some answers for your questions."
With his piece done, the Guild Master turned and walked back upstairs. He was gone as quick as he came in.
Seeing that there isn't anything he could do in this place right now, Nex went outside and perused the map.
After studying it for a minute, he sighed in relief. "Luckily, this place isn't far from here. Let's go and finish this quickly."
With his declaration said out loud, he went forth on his journey.
"I am going to beat the crap out of that pervert!" Nex grunted while he dodged another claw.
At first, the way to the temple seemed like a normal desolate road without any dangers but as Nex progressed forward, monsters started appearing. The further he went on, the level of the monsters increased. The aggression also increased.
It wasn't long before Nex found himself being sandwiched by two wild bears out of nowhere.
[Strong Bear (Normal) LV:18]
[Strong Bear (Normal) LV:18]
Although they were Normal Rank, because of the level difference, they were as dangerous as Level 10 Elite Rank ones. Not just your everyday average next-door Level 10 Elite Rank mobs but ones that had undergone their First Awakenings already!
After a being does its First Awakening, even if their level and stats stay the same, the effectiveness of their current stats are doubled, hence a being should be twice as strong as it had been previously.
So if any other player or even a party was put in Nex's situation, they will just be slaughtered by these bears in a blink of an eye.
The level gap should never be taken lightly! First awakening have a tremendous impact on a player and should be given utmost priority once the required level is reached!
These two key points aren't the sort of things that Nex really pays attention to. So aside from getting pissed by the Explorer's Guild Master, he really wasn't disturbed much and just effortlessly dodged a couple of attacks from the bear duo.
Momentarily blinding the two bears in front of him, Nex immediately got behind of the left bear and swung his sword upwards.
Having its spine sliced in half, the bear died instantly. Its body began to fall to the ground but Nex didn't wait for it to reach its destination and continued to dash towards its still-breathing companion.
Unfortunately, the surviving bear has superb instincts that it was able to sense where Nex would appear. The moment he came out from behind the falling corpse, a large paw is already greeting him with hostility.
Nex with his sublime reflexes --- as sublime as his stats allows him to, went down and rolled towards the bear's legs. He slashed at them.
The bear let out a roar of pain but Nex just quickly went to the side to dodge the giant bear that had lost its balance and came crashing down.
Nex took a deep breath and jumped lightly. He landed on the back of the thrashing bear.
"Maybe in your next life, you won't be just a chess piece."
And with those words, he stabbed his sword through the bear's heart, ending its un-bear-able life.
After the last breath has been snuffed out of the monster, Nex withdrew his sword and shook the blood off it. He started having some thoughts.
With his keen senses, there was no way that he won't notice the duo's arrival but for some reason, he couldn't.
'There are two possibilities for now.' He continued his analysis while picking the loots up.
'One is that the area here has some kind of an array or a trap that camouflages the presence of the monsters here. Which is highly unlikely as something that can affect my senses won't house monsters this weak.'
He started walking again.
'While the other possibility…"
After a minute of moving around, a large ancient-looking temple appeared in front of him.
"…is that there is someone who deliberately hid the monsters' presence."
"Greetings, young man! I heard about you before and I want to see a little bit of your capabilities."
Inside the temple, there was no one else aside from the old man wearing worn-out robes with a cordial smile.
Which was greeted by a frown from Nex and a litany of complaints.
"Damn it! Old man, if you are going to give me a bunch of tests and trials, I'm going to rip every strand of hair on your face!"
Hearing the threats, the old man froze as both his eyebrows and beard trembled a little. It was just a passing reaction as the smile quickly returned. "Tell me, which Class do you think is the best?"
Without any hesitation, Nex answered promptly, "The one with the most Profession slots! This reminds me, if this Awakening touches any of my three, you will lose the rest of your hair on your whole body!"
"How can it be?" Feeling the same tremors but now, they ran all throughout his entire body. He started averting his gaze from Nex and denied the young man's claim.
"You will retain all three Profession Slots. But who knows? Maybe there will be something extra."
"What do you mean extra?" Like a boy who had been told he gets candy before dinner, Nex's eyes widened. "Old man, you better tell me the truth!"
"Hmm? Look at the time! Young man, off you go to your First Awakening!"
In a familiar way, the aged man waved his hand and soon enough, a magic circle appeared beneath Nex.
"You bastard! If there is some kind of freakish trial, I will find you and ---"
Nex wasn't even able to finish his renewed threats when he disappeared, making the old man feel a great sense of relief.
Nex found himself inside a place that seems like an underground that had stone walls. He was still caught up in splitting curses.
"I am so going to beat that old man into fine powder when---"
[First Awakening Test Begins!]
A prompt halted his words.
"That old man should hope that it won't be a crazy test or something." Nex grumbled while checking the details of the message.
[First Part : Determination of The Worthy]
-Defeat 100 Rare Skeleton Warriors that are inside this underground labyrinth (0/100).
"Son of a b*tch!"
Author: matanman. Proofreader: bet2z.
Open to any review and will be open to questions on my di*cord channel: https://discord.gg/TXFKER6.
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