1 Sent Back to the Pas
Xu Chao looked helplessly at the scene that was unfolding before him. His level dropping to show the pitiful number of 1, the particles that were slowly making his body dissipate while dispersing into the air and then dissolving into nothingness, his fallen items being taken from him, and the scene of carnage happening in the background. The legend that he once created was in tattered ruins.
"Why?!" An enraged shout came from Xu Chao.
"I can't say anything about that."
A calm voice answered as a person stepped out from seemingly nowhere, appearing next to Xu Chao. His face was covered with a jagged, black helmet and his body seemingly blended in with his surroundings while a cloak covered the visible parts of his body.
"What do you mean you can't say anything! I'm already level one and all of my precious items are gone, what more can you take from me!"
"That is something I'm not obliged to answer."
"Stop dodging the damn ques-!"
Before Xu Chao could say anything more his vision blurred as he found himself in a respawn point surrounded by numerous other players, with many reappearing as Xu Chao looked around.
"Dammit!" shouted Xu Chao smashing his fist into the pavement that surrounded him. Xu Chao gave off a heavy sigh before deciding to log off for the day. He thought that as long as he wasn't completely barred from being able to play he could make his way back up as the famed number 1 blacksmith.
His connections with multiple apex players and guilds were not lackluster. The connections may not have been strong enough for most of them to sacrifice their manpower and risk an attack, only sending in squads of people that wouldn't be noticed. However, they would still be willing to carry him. The only problem was that some of his one-of-a-kind items were now in enemy hands.
"Sorry we couldn't prevent anything."
Xu Chao heard a regretful voice coming from his left. What greeted his eyes was a friendly player who had partaken in defending him. His skills weren't anything special however Xu Chao appreciated the sentiment.
"It's alright. Levels shouldn't matter too much and I can just reforge my equipment," replied Xu Chao trying to cheer the player up.
Even though Xu Chao said that, inside he felt like his heart was bleeding. All of his hard work for the past 7 years disappearing in just a matter of 2 weeks.
Looking back at it, because of the level difference between him and his enemies, Xu Chao could've stopped his level from dropping long ago by just staying in a safe zone. Xu Chao, however, would lose the feeling of adventure. He was also not the type of person who would let his allies fight for him while he just sat in a safe zone. His important items were gone from the first few battles, so Xu Chao gave away or used the remaining ones to try to help.
"Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow," said Xu Chao as he decided to log off.
But right before he tapped the log out button, a message appeared in the corner of his screen.
"Actually, the blacksmith that ranks 2nd joined us and wanted to dispose of you to "prevent any problems" (get rid of competition)."
"Why would tell me nooooowwwwww! Tell me when you're killing me or just don't say anything!"
"And he logged off. Great. I'll join him in being offline."
Xu Chao stood up from his bed and walked outside while sighing.
"What to do now?" contemplated Xu Chao as he would need lots of time to catch back up to the top.
During his stroll, which he was doing so he could take a breather, Xu Chao saw a truck come out of the sky and fly towards him.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE TRUCK-KUN‽ ISN'T YOUR TERRITORY JAPA-!"
Xu Chao was instantly killed by the truck.
"-N!" Xu Chao sat upright in his bed suddenly. "Did a flying Truck-kun just run me over‽ Wait, I should be dead right now. Why am I in bed? Was it a dream? No, that was way too real and I can remember those things too clearly."
"Is this like one of those second chance novels?" said Xu Chao after he spent some time in a daze. He decided to look at his watch for some answers. "I got sent back in time to the day of Mystic Realm's release‽ But isn't Truck-kun's role isekai and not sending people back in time?"
He immediately discarded all of the questions roaming around in his mind as he knew he would most likely never find any answers and decided to do what every other person who was in his situation did. "I should use my knowledge to become the best in my game, right?"
There was just one problem with that plan. Xu Chao was a blacksmith and was not someone who competitively fought in PVP or PvE. However, he was still decent in terms of combat capabilities. "I guess I'll just learn along the way."
"I should write down everything I need to remember," said Xu Chao thinking that he wasn't confident enough to think that he'd remember everything that would happen in the future with the exception of information relating to blacksmithing, major events, future common knowledge, and things that affected him.
After spending some time to write down his thoughts, Xu Chao pondered about how he was going to get his revenge. "Let's see, the 3rd and 4th ranked blacksmiths along with a few others were part of that army that helped obliterate me. I guess I just won't give them advice this time."
"As for the other guilds, since I can't just openly oppose them for "no reason," I'll just give them lower quality gear when they require my services in the future," thought Xu Chao. While slightly worse gear wouldn't be that bad for anyone who casually played, for people for would compete against each other, it could make a big difference.
"Well, exactly how long until Mystic Realm's release?"
As Xu Chao looked at the time, his mouth slowly opened in shock. "I ONLY HAVE A FEW SECONDS LEFT‽"
Xu Chao hurriedly picked up his headset, which had already contained Mystic Realm, and put it on.
Xu Chao's vision blurred and he opened his eyes to find himself in a completely white room.
System: Welcome to Mystic Realm. Please adjust your character's appearance.
An emotionless and robotic voice entered Xu Chao's ears while a figure of himself appeared in front of him. Xu Chao started designing the character he always used when playing games. The end result was the most average appearance you could find. Why? Because when Xu Chao first started playing games, he was too lazy to think of a cooler design and then it just stuck with him. Xu Chao confirmed that he wanted the appearance before him and the figure before him vanished.
System: Please choose your class. Elementist, Summoner, Berserker, Knight, Swordsman, Assassin, Priest, Pugilist, Gunner, or Archer.
Figures that represented the epitome of their classes appeared before him with information about the classes above them.
Elementists used the elements to assist them, Summoners summoned beasts or undead for support, Berserkers were similar to glass cannons, Knights could either be tanks or DPS, Swordsmans were lightly armored and focused more on high attack speed, Assassins had high burst damage, Priests supported others, Gunners used guns or cannons, and Archers used bows and arrows.
"I choose Knight."
Xu walked into the figure of a glowing knight and confirmed his choice. Knight was the class he always chose and liked and the one he had previously used.
System: Please choose your name.
Wooden Hammer represented Xu Chao's identity in the gaming world. It was a good thing that people knew his name and nobody would normally want this name so no one took it as a result of Xu Chao being slightly late and make him rack his brain for another terrible name.
System: Please select your starting village.
A large map appeared in front of Xu Chao with multiple glowing dots. Xu Chao tapped multiple dots until he zoomed in far enough to tap a dot with the label [Red Rock Village] attached to it.
Once again Xu Chao had his vision blur and found himself in a pillar of light with other players spawning around him
"I'm only a minute late, I should be fine," said Xu Chao proceeding to open up his status.
Character: Wooden Hammer
Level: 0 EXP: 0/500
Stat Points: 5
Money: 10 Copper Coins
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Endurance increases your HP and stamina, Intelligence increases your MP and magical damage, Strength increases your physical damage and the amount of force you can put into an action, Agility increases your movement speed and makes anything you touch feel lighter, and Spirit increases your 5 senses and HP and MP regen. Defense was a stat that reduces the damage you take both physically and magically, and only improved with gear or other means that didn't involve stat points.
You would get 5 stat points for every level you gained and for every 2 levels, each stat would increase by 1. Additionally, you would get a skill point, which could be used to either unlock new skills or improve skills you already had, every 5 levels. Ignoring the skills tab, Xu Chao allocated all 5 of his stat points into Strength. He then tapped on the [Equipment] tab.
[Wooden Sword] (Common)
Type: One-handed Sword
Description: I'm not sure if you can call this a sword. This is just a sturdy stick that anyone could tear-off of a tree.
[Torn Shirt] (Common)
Description: I'm pretty sure this is just the shirt of a deceased civilian.
[Torn Pants] (Common)
Description: I'm pretty sure these are just the pants of a deceased civilian.
The descriptions were actually true. There was a group of people in Xu Chao's past life who researched descriptions and found out that if you robbed a civilian's grave, you would get the [Torn Shirt] and [Torn Pants]. You could also grab a strong branch in good condition from a tree and get the [Wooden Sword] with varying stats depending on the tree.
Durability slightly affected the equipment's performance once it gets down to its last 10% and once an equipment's durability hits zero and is hit, it would break apart. Equipment was divided into Common, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Epic, Legendary, and Mythic. Quests were also divided into the same tiers.
When Xu Chao appeared, people took notice of the current 9th best blacksmith, which he achieved with his previous accomplishments. Still, no one gave him special privileges and just respectively greeted him.
Looking around, players would see multiple long lines that stretched beyond their vision. After the first few VRMMORPGs were released and chaos occurred whenever they were first opened, people learned and made an orderly system. Of course, there would always be some people who were either new or were troublemakers.
Xu Chao immediately went to accept the quests he could rush through and tried using his first advantage, the fact that other players would normally spend some time getting used to the game's movement while he already had plenty of experience with it. He went around and found two NPCs who weren't crowded yet. The tailor asked him to bring some [Rabbit Fur], while a farmer asked him to take care of some pests.
Quest: [Tailor's Request] (Common)
Objective: Bring back 30 pieces of [Rabbit Fur] (0/30)
Reward: 150 EXP and 10 Copper Coins
Quest: [Pest Control] (Common)
Objective: Kill 45 Stone Rats (0/45)
Reward: 300 EXP and 35 Copper Coins
Thus, Xu Chao went out into the fields to complete the quests.
Even if some order had been previously established, there was no stopping how much the players outnumbered the enemies. As soon as a Rabbit spawned, it would be immediately devoured by a swarm of players. It was a good thing that players couldn't attack each other for the first day of Mystic Realm's release otherwise, there might have been quite a few deaths.
Even as beginner mobs, Xu Chao could see some poor fellows, who were experiencing their first VRMMORPG, being trampled by the Rabbits. It was quite a funny sight and whenever this happened, an audience, who would pit the rabbit and the player against each other, would form.
After running across the fields for a few minutes, Xu Chao finally found an area that wasn't swamped by players.
Xu Chao easily avoided the Rabbits trying to tackle him and swung his sword at them, killing them in just 2 attacks. He could easily take one down in a few seconds but waiting for them to respawn was another thing. After a few minutes, Xu Chao very easily gathered all of the materials needed for the first quest and had gained 60 EXP and 6 Copper Coins.
Next, Xu Chao ran to a place with many towering boulders which blocked his sight. One could still see plenty of players roaming around in the maze-like area and players were still constantly moving in and out.
After walking around for a bit, a Stone Rat ambushed Xu Chao, but couldn't even touch him before being slammed against a boulder, smashed by the [Wooden Sword]. 3 more Stone Rats then came out to attack Xu Chao.
"This is going to be a little tough," said Xu Chao as he quickly kicked the previous rat away and swung his stick at the incoming attackers. Dealing with 4 medium-sized rodents who had level advantage wouldn't be easy, especially with limited room for movement, though that worked both ways, just a lot more against Xu Chao.
One by one, Xu Chao smacked them away and engaged them in a one-on-one fight until one of the previously knocked away rats would come back and then he would smack the current rat away.
Xu Chao disposed of the rats after a brief fight but still got hit multiple times and waited for his health to regen.
Looking at his health bar, which was only 1/10 of the way filled, Xu Chao sighed and said, 'I really can't compare to those guys who can take on dozens of these rodents at the same time without getting a single injury."
Xu Chao proceeded to kill the 45 Stone Rats required for the quest and then left. He had gained 135 EXP, 32 Copper Coins, and 2 pieces of Common equipment.
[Stone Rat Tunic] (Common)
Requirements: Level 1
Description: Made from Stone Rat carcasses. How does it feel to wear your enemies' remains?
Players were starting to not like the descriptions.
[Shabby Sword] (Common)
Type: One-handed Sword
Requirements: Level 1
Description: It's not a stick and therefore not the worst thing you could use to defend your life with.
Xu Chao swapped out his equipment, ran back into town, turned in both of his quests, and reached level 1.
"Well, I shouldn't be too far behind the top rankers," said Xu Chao as he checked the leaderboard, which had already been released inside the game, and realized the top rankers had already reached level 2.
Xu Chao decided he needed to step up his game, put all of his stat points into Strength once more, and rushed to accept the blacksmithing quest now that he was level 1. He suddenly stopped while running and looking at the center of the village. There, stood a man who was level 2.
"Hey, Little Brat, how are you doing‽" yelled out Xu Chao
"Didn't I tell you to stop calling me Little Brat‽"
"But aren't you one‽"
"Well, I'm not little!"
This "Little Brat," was a legendary player who took on an entire medium-sized guild in a previous game and won in the end. 1 man against thousands. He was also one of Xu Chao's best friends.