Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 2 – Transported to another world?!
It wasn’t a particularly famous game, nor was it fairly balanced. With a continuously dwindling player population, it struggled to justify its existence each passing month. While nothing about the game was particularly outstanding, there was a unique gimmick it tried to draw players in when it first launched.
‘Multiclassing’; the concept of ‘classes’ did technically exist, however there was no strict barrier between them. Players were free to learn skills from any classes and customize their character skill builds however they wanted. A ‘Warrior’ could easily pick up a bow and start learning ‘Archery’ skills to intermingle them with his already raised abilities to create a ‘hybrid ranger’ type character. Then once they had both classes mastered it was possible to move on to another class, perhaps a ‘Magician’, ‘Alchemist’ or any of the other ten available classes. Though, of course there were a specific number of ways to ‘min-max’ and customize for the most effective and efficient damage.
Each class contained a level ceiling of 200 and on average took slightly less than half a year of casual playing or around two months of hardcore, devoted playtime to reach their maximum cap. Once they had reached the maximum level of a class, a lengthy and difficult quest-chain would open for a chance to obtain what was known as an ‘Ultimate’ skill.
The various classes were divided into:
If a player managed to obtain all skills and reach the maximum level of 2000, a secret 11th class known as the ‘Demi-God’ would become available. It was a class so incredibly rare that only five players in the game’s entire history managed to unlock. Of course, reaching maximum level was only the prerequisite. An arduous quest that could take months must be cleared first, even after that an exorbitant amount of in-game currency must be pledged as well.
To those five players… they who had reached the top, were given a special title. They were known as the ‘Polymaths’. After all this time, only one Polymath remained in the game.
The strongest: Mordred.
“I think that’s enough fun for one day,” a certain young man spoke to himself as he logged off his online game. He sat quietly at his desk, staring blankly at the log-in screen and sighed. Ever since he had reached the pinnacle of power in that game he found his enjoyment drastically dwindle each time. All motivations of grinding and getting stronger were thrown out the window the moment he obtained the title of ‘strongest’. ‘I guess that’s why they all left,’ he thought to himself as he reminisced about his Polymath peers. They were all members of one guild: ‘Summit’.
He wasn’t quite bored of the game, but it had been dangerously teetering along that line. For the last few months he had only played around in fun unofficial events like the player ‘manhunt’ raids. He turned off his screen and shook his head, “Haah… I think I’ll take a shower and go to bed.”
He turned off his monitor and lazily dragged his scrawny body towards the shower. Warm water ran down his back as he once more fell into deep contemplation. “There’s school tomorrow… Guess I’ll skip it,” he told himself. It wasn’t that he slated compulsory education or scorned those who enjoyed their high-school lives, merely that it wasn’t something he had a personal interest in.
“School… the future, huh?” as he stepped out of the shower with still wet hair he wondered about it. If it was about that then there was one thing he was genuinely interested in. He opened his drawer to take out some clothes. Several business cards fell to the floor from his hasty withdraw. Cards with the names of various professional acting schools and talent associations.
After he finished washing up, he climbed down stairs to his bleak and empty house. A dimly lit lounge with eerie silence. He made his way over to the answering machine and checked to see if there were any though only one person came to his mind that would send him any message.
Right on point.
“Umm, hello? Hey! It’s your uncle, you haven’t been answering your smartphone for a while so I was worried if something had happened. Anyway, I checked past your house earlier today and saw the lights on so I think everything’s okay. Well, I received a call from your school saying that you’ve been skipping a lot and that they’re also getting worried. I understand how you are but I still think it would be a valuable experience for you to attend, else they might resort to holding you back. Other than that, I’m also calling about a Christmas party we’re having and that you should come celebrate with my family. Your cousins said that they wanted to see you as well… so, hope to see you soon okay? Just… be careful, all right buddy?”
The young man sighed as he listened. A dry, self-loathing smile etched across his face. “… Sorry uncle, it’s impossible for me.”
He felt no enmity towards his uncle and relatives and in fact was extremely grateful that they continued maintaining this relationship. However, due to this he felt wrong about barging into their happiness. His parents had long passed away when he was younger and ever since had lived on his own to not become a burden to other relatives. There was no thought to change that lifestyle now.
Just his uncle dropping by a few times a month was nice enough for him.
With a sigh, he checked for more messages but there were none. “Of course not,” he shook his head and retreated to his room to sleep it off. Climbing back up the stairs he noticed a strange light coming from his room.
“Huh? Did I leave my monitor on?” he wondered to himself but distinctly remembered that he turned it off. Puzzled by this he rushed back into his room to investigate the matter. The source of the light, his monitor, was black as though it were off yet strange visible writing could be read on screen.
“Welcome to… Aria?” he walked forward and turned back on his monitor and checked his computer. The message had disappeared, “can’t be a virus…” he had kept up-to-date his computer with the latest anti-malware programs and regular maintenance. It was a doubtful proposition but he still needed to solve this problem else he wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly.
“There’s nothing here…” a few minutes went by then perhaps an hour or two but even after extensive search the origin of that message could not be tracked. No viruses, no anomalies, his computer didn’t slow down, didn’t have any other weird pop-ups and none of his files were erased or altered. It was almost as though it was just his mind showing him a hallucination. “Tch… just what is it?”
It would have been better if there had been a virus, yet now the only thing he found was a migraine. It aggravated him further that nothing was wrong but clearly something was as that message was real enough for him to investigate. “Dammit!”
He stood up, sweat from anger trickled down the side of his face. Another shower might have been necessary and perhaps a drink to calm him down. Yet as he turned back to do just that the migraine intensified, bringing him down to the floor. On his knees, he held his head in pain and anger as his face turned beet red from all the blood.
“Shit…” it hurt, perhaps more so than actual torture, or at least that’s what it seemed like to him at the moment. It was as though his brain was literally burning up. Unable to endure the pain any further his vision started to fade. Sense eluded him and breathing becoming harder…