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Beta Testing the Apocalypse Beta Testing the Apocalypse original

Beta Testing the Apocalypse

Author: Einlion

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Chapter 001

"Ugh, my head..." groaned a young man named Leon Asheford. However, when he reached up to massage his head, there was only the phantom sensation of movement and no contact.

"What the hell...?" Leon muttered, looking down to find empty air where his body should be. The hand he thought he moved also didn't exist, only a floor that resembled a smooth black surface covered in a layer of liquid.

Looking up from his non-existent body, Leon noticed nothing above or around him but impenetrable darkness. Under ordinary circumstances, he would have assumed he was in a dark room with the lights turned off, but when he looked down, he could make out the surface of the floor and the liquid covering it. That, and his inability to feel or touch himself, indicated he was either dreaming or...

"Congratulations, you've died~!" exclaimed a cutesy, high-pitched voice, accompanied by a tiny figure with bright pink hair, a frilly pink outfit, and pink, butterfly-like wings appearing in front of where Leon's face should have been. The figure was roughly 10cm tall and possessed pointed ears, but what caught Leon's attention were her amethyst eyes, heart-shaped pupils, and the fact she looked like a character from a high-quality anime.

Blinking back to awareness, though he possessed neither eyes nor eyelids, Leon furrowed his non-existent brows and asked, "I died...?" in a tone heavy with skepticism. The last thing he remembered was wrapping up his dailies on the way to his apartment complex's communal gym. The trip took less than three minutes, and there weren't any streets for him to cross along the way, so what could have possibly killed him?

Demonstrating that she could read his mind, the fairy explained, "The kid of your downstairs neighbor found the gun his mom had stashed away. He got caught, and while his mom was taking it away from him, she ended up pulling the trigger. The bullet passed straight through your brain stem, so now you're here~!"


Though he felt an overwhelming urge to pinch the bridge of his nose, Leon remained silent and motionless for a few seconds before asking, "So, what now...?" in a neutral tone. He was fairly certain he was having a lucid dream, but even if he weren't, there wasn't much he could do but go with the flow.

"My, you're quick to adapt, aren't you~?" asked the fairy, covering her mouth to stifle a bell-like titter. Then, fixing her posture, smoothing out the creases of her skirt, and placing her hand over her chest, she bowed and explained, "My name is Mirabelladonna Liebesfee, the Spirit of Lust and Unrequited Love."

"That's quite the title..." Leon remarked, imagining himself smiling wryly as he lacked the face and facial muscles to do so.

Spreading her hands and shrugging, Mirabelladonna replied, "What can you do?" before dropping her hands and stating, "Anyways, you should consider yourself lucky that I was put on your case. If you had any vices or committed any particularly heinous acts throughout your life, spending a few hundred years in Purgatoria is the norm. Your existence might have been boring and ultimately inconsequential, but you were generally well-liked and never did anything to harm those around you."

"Harsh, but fair..." conceded Leon. He knew better than anyone how little he had accomplished with his life, but at least he was relatively happy and healthy. That was more than a disheartening number of people could say.

"Mm-hmmm~" replied Mirabelladonna, nodding in approval. "The issue is that the world you're passing from, Earth, is what we Transdimensional Fairies refer to as a filter world. We use it to evaluate people's characters before recycling or shipping them to other worlds. Moderates and fence-sitters such as yourself are tricky to sort because you haven't earned the right to receive any boons, but you also haven't done anything to merit a punishment and have your suffering become our nourishment..."

"Well, that's terrifying..." remarked Leon, beginning to feel a little anxious at the realization his fate was about to be decided.

"Oh, you don't have to worry," said Mirabelladonna, waving her right hand dismissively. "As I said before, you should consider yourself lucky. Things have gotten fairly out of hand back on Earth, so we'll be 'overhauling' it in the next couple of years. We're looking for Beta Testers to try out the Trial Towers and potentially serve as their Administrators, so if you're willing, I can process the paperwork and send you on your way. The alternative is trying your luck with another Fairy, but that would be like playing Russian Roulette with five rounds in the cylinder."

"What does being a Beta Tester entail...?" asked Leon. There was a very real possibility that Mirabelladonna was trying to trick him, but as he was dealing with forces he couldn't comprehend, he reasoned it was better to hear her out than risk dealing with someone else.

"It's honestly a pretty leisurely job, but you shouldn't relax too much as we'll be using it to get a better feel for your character," Mirabelladonna explained. "As for the specifics, we'll be marooning you on an island in Purgatoria. Your goal is to reach the top of your appointed Tower, and to facilitate that, you'll have access to a provisional Administrative console. Here, take a look."

Following Mirabelladonna's words, a transparent blue display similar to a video game's menu appeared before Leon's non-existent face. The right side had four open spaces, presumably for Party members, while the left had eight options, specifically:









Preempting Leon's query, Mirabelladonna explained, "The beings you summon are memory fragments pulled from your subconscious. When you first arrive, you'll be permitted to summon a single powerful memory fragment free of charge. After that, you must explore the Tower, defeat powerful monsters, and harvest natural resources to summon additional allies and support."

"That sounds remarkably similar to some of the gacha games I played in my past life..." Leon noted.

Seemingly disregarding Leon's remark, Mirabelladonna added, "Also, as you've no doubt noticed, you don't possess a body. To incentivize you to work hard, that will remain the case until you've defeated the Guardian of the Tenth Floor. Before that, you will exist as a disembodied spirit, able to move around and communicate but unable to affect the world around you without using your console. This is a failsafe to prevent would-be Admins from abusing their authority too much, so if you wish to acquire a physical form in a timely manner, I suggest you treat those you summon well."


As it wasn't particularly difficult to imagine how someone might use the Administrative console to exploit their summons, Leon remained silent and deliberated Mirabelladonna's proposal. The notion of spending days, months, or even years as a disembodied spirit wasn't very appealing, but if it allowed him to float or move about freely, it could prove invaluable for scouting...

"That's a good mentality to have," remarked Mirabelladonna. "Many who receive this proposition use it as an opportunity to live out their fantasies. You're welcome to do so, but remember that your objective is to reach the top of the Tower. There's no time limit, but you can be sure your progress will be monitored and evaluated by myself and others. Yet, even though I give them this exact warning, you'd be surprised by the number of fools who think they can hole themselves up on their assigned islands, playing the part of Gods..."

"Well, I'll do my best to avoid that outcome," said Leon. "Though, before I consent, there's one thing I'd like to ask..."

Reading Leon's thoughts, Mirabelladonna explained, "Towers start with one hundred Floors but can acquire more depending on various factors, including the number and strength of the people you have living on your island. It's best to keep your numbers low, but unless you intend to have your fighters perform manual labor and other menial tasks, establishing a city or developing a nation to support them and harvest resources is fairly typical. Just trust your instincts. If you can't, delegate the responsibility to one of your summons."

"Thanks. I'll be sure to keep that in mind..." replied Leon, adopting a non-existent smile. In response, Mirabelladonna approached where his chest would have been, placing her hand against empty air as she mused, "We'll see," before giving him what looked like a light shove. In reality, Leon felt a sensation similar to being hit by a truck, numbness overtaking his mind and body as he was unceremoniously sent through the portal that opened behind him. What followed was a feeling of falling, compelling Leon to flail his non-existent arms and legs as he fell toward the white sandy beach of a sizeable tropical island.

"How am I falling without a body...!?" Leon exclaimed, his mind racing as he felt a sensation similar to wind flowing 'through' him as he flipped over to at least see where he was falling. He couldn't describe the anxiety he felt at seeing the ground rapidly approaching, but what followed was even worse as he felt himself impact the sand without disturbing it. There was, thankfully, no pain, but he couldn't move for several seconds as it felt like his mind had been fragmented and strewn across the beach. This wasn't an exaggeration, either, as Leon's perspective had been split into multiple viewpoints, requiring him to gradually 'will' himself whole...




After what felt like hours, Leon pulled himself together and forced himself into a seated position. He noticed that he could feel the wet sand beneath him and feel the water pass through him as the tide gradually came in, but he didn't leave an impression in the sand, nor did the waves break against him. Falling had also taught him that a sufficient impact could harm or at least temporarily incapacitate him, so while he was a little bitter, he didn't resent Mirabelladonna for shoving him.

Shifting his attention to his console, which appeared as a tiny blue hex in the corner of his vision when not in use, Leon considered Summoning his first companion but ultimately decided against it since what he assumed to be an artificial Sun was beginning to set. Instead, he decided to take a look at his other console functions, starting with his Storage.

"So it's a list-type storage..." muttered Leon, imagining himself smiling wryly as he remarked, "I would have preferred a box storage or inventory to start out. This is...oh?"

Ostensibly in response to Leon's words, the list-style panel separated into sixty-four empty boxes with a plus and minus icon to add or subtract from the total amount. He could also revert it with a simple thought, prompting him to muse, "As expected from an Admin console...the only question now is, how do I put stuff in?"

After trying and failing to deposit sand, water, and a few seashells into his Storage, Leon inferred that he was either unable to store miscellaneous items or needed someone else to do it for him. Fortunately, trying out the other menu options revealed that Settings allowed him to adjust the time and even the weather at will.

"It's no wonder others developed a God complex..." muttered Leon, fast-forwarding time to the following morning. He also tried going in reverse, just to see what would happen, but while he succeeded in pausing time, he felt like he was pressing his forehead against a wall and that his body was locked in place, compelling him to let it resume so he could move.

'Then the only thing left is to try summoning...' thought Leon, followed by his perspective abruptly shifting to the interior of a large stone chamber dominated by a giant, slowly rotating blue crystal. Strange runes and murals covered the chamber's walls, floor, and ceiling, but Leon's gaze was fixed on the transparent blue notification that appeared before him, asking if he wished to perform an Adjutant Summoning.

"It would probably be smarter to look around the island first..." muttered Leon. However, as his curiosity was far too great for him to turn and walk away, he ultimately reached out with his imaginary hand and pressed the big, blinking [CONFIRM]. He expected the oversized crystal to illuminate or some kind of dazzling special effect to occur as a result, but the reality was as disappointing as it was astonishing as, following a simple flash of blue light, a short but athletic girl with golden-blonde hair fashioned into a ponytail and incredibly scant, predominately crimson attired appeared...

'Is that...Mordred...?'




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