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Chapter 2 - Brave New World

It was as if an irresistible ethereal hand of steel had grabbed his soul, pulling it from his body and then shooting through the empty space that was the Void at an astounding speed. He traveled for a long time, days turning into months, months into years, and years into centuries. As time passed, his power was slowly sapped from him, reverting him back into a mere mortal's soul.

After thousands of years, the hand seemed to pass through an invisible barrier, leaving the Void in outer space close to an enormous planet. The hand stopped briefly before moving towards one of the planet's continents just as quickly as before.

In that continent, there stood a big mansion with a pregnant woman. Unseen by anyone, the hand entered the woman's womb, the soul was placed inside the future-stillborn, soulless fetus, and the hand disappeared.

At long last, the soul had been reincarnated in a new world.

Exhaustion from traveling for so long and being integrated into a new body overwhelmed Aaron, and he fell into a deep sleep.

 


 

The first thing Aaron felt when he woke up was the amniotic fluid around his new body. The second, more important thing was the sea of energies around him, and it made him surprised.

As the most powerful energetic manipulator ever born in his old universe, it was only natural that he had made sure to scan what energies this universe had before coming to it. It had been a pleasant surprise to find that both universes had the same four kinds of energies.

This world, however, only had two energies in useful amounts, Origin Energy and another one completely new to him. Undoubtedly, that was due to the meddling of the World Sovereigns.

He took a few moments to feel and 'taste' the new energy. His first impressions of it were interesting.

The four energies in the universe could be rated from most powerful to the least, them being Origin, Prime, Divine, and Spiritual. In this world, Prime Energy was nowhere to be found except for the eventual particle he felt now and then, while the new energy — which he named 'mana' due to it being found in a world with mage genetics and things like magocracies — felt like a mix of Divine and Spiritual Energy.

If classified by power, it would be between Prime Energy and Divine Energy.

If classified by versatility, he felt it wouldn't lose to Prime Energy, only it seemed to have completely different properties, which he couldn't exactly pinpoint yet.

That was all he could conclude with his mind being limited by his barely-formed brain, and it was already a miracle he could think so much. Thinking about this 'miracle,' he realized something was wrong. He shouldn't have been able to feel energies like that, or even think with such clarity in his current stage of formation.

But before he could think further about it, overwhelming tiredness befell the fetus, and he couldn't resist the allure of sleep.

 


 

A couple months later, after countless brief moments of consciousness, he realized what allowed him to think so much despite being a fetus without a proper brain. In this world, the energies weren't the only things that had been changed by the powers that be. Life itself had been meddled with.

All living beings in both universes he had visited could be divided into five parts: body, spirit, soul, consciousness, and willpower. The body was entirely physical; the spirit existed both in the body and in the soul, linking both; the soul was an ethereal entity; the consciousness resided in the soul; and willpower resided in the consciousness.

In this world, however, there was only body and soul. Life had been twisted in such a way that the spirit had become a simple glue between body and soul. As for consciousness and willpower, they had been merged into the soul instead of merely existing inside of it.

He felt like an aberration. The universe's division was perfect, or as close to it as possible, but the World Sovereigns of that planet had created something that could barely be considered a living being by his standards. It was akin to a human body being changed into an exposed brain and a deformed mass of flesh beneath it. His very self disgusted him.

It didn't help when he found out after self-examination that such 'construct' had genes that could be used to limit or completely remove the ability to manipulate mana, which should be available to anyone. In fact, the 'mage genetics variant' further disgusted him now that he understood what it meant. With his literal eons of experience, he could easily conclude these genes were a means used by the World Sovereigns to determine who would be the ones in power, and who would be the sheep.

It was no wonder the selection screen had said this world was on the verge of collapsing, for twisting Creation itself had such consequences. At least he had got a good discount thanks to it.

For now, he could do nothing about it. In time, he would save this world and then, he would save the universe from the Cage that made these disgusting things possible!

...but only after he took a nap.

 


 

He was on his mother's arms. She was a beautiful lass, about twenty years old, with blue eyes and blond hair. A newborn's vision should be blurred, but he could perfectly see her due to this world's changed body.

She spoke something in a foreign language, tears rolling from her eyes. She seemed happy and longing at the same time. He did his best to smile to her.

Soon, sleep found him again.

That was the first and last time he ever saw her.

 


 

It didn't take him long to understand she had died. Moreover, with his limited brain curbing his thinking capabilities, it took him a few months of listening to the servants of his mansion to grab a hold on the local language, and a few extra months after that to learn the reason for her death.

She had died to a magical variant of cancer.

It wasn't fatal to anyone who could use mana, but she had only been a klutz, as people who weren't capable of manipulating mana were called. It was already considered incredibly lucky that she had managed to give birth to a healthy baby before passing away.

He felt saddened. For a young mother to die after birth without being able to see her child grow up was a heartbreaking thing indeed.

Even though he had lived long enough to literally see multiple stars born and die, and having a mother again after all this time would be awkward, she was his mother in this world. And she had been taken away from him in such a pitiful manner, a simple disease. Amid sadness, there was also rage for the World Sovereigns.

Such disease could only exist in the twisted bodies they had created. If not for that, she wouldn't have died.

The night he learned about it, he swore revenge just before he took another nap.

 


 

He crawled, walked, and started speaking at the right times for a baby to do these things. When he turned one year old, something he had been missing appeared before his eyes, the transparent white rectangle with fancy golden borders, filled with written content. The videogame-like window that people in this universe called the World's Writ.

It was written in a language that was directly added to everyone's minds so that they could read it.

 

HUMAN-VARIANT T-76620's critical age reached!

Setting permissions... Success.

Initiating overlay... Success.

 

He felt flabbergasted. His body was so unnatural that even the Cage didn't consider him a proper human, but a variant instead!

A moment after the World's Writ appeared, something changed inside him and the same text from the window appeared on the bottom left corner of his field of view. It was almost transparent, but he only needed to focus on it for it to become opaque. By willing it, he could even enlarge the text or change its location.

The text window had appeared only for a few seconds before disappearing, and he would be willing to bet that he was the first person to know that only at one year old would humans get access to the Will of the World, as the overlay was called.

His objective was freeing the Universal Core from the Cage that created this game-like system, but until then, he would use it. Just like a man in a capitalist environment required money to survive even if he didn't like capitalism, it was to his advantage if he used the tools available to him even if he wanted to get rid of them when the right time came.

Show Full Status, he thought of the name of the Heavenly Skill, as the system skills were named, and the World's Writ appeared before him.

 

Full Status

You're trying to access your Full Status for the first time.

Would you like to see the tutorial?

 

Yes, he thought. Although he had done so in his previous world, it wasn't like he had better things to do and this world's system might differ from his last one.

 

Full Status

Name: Aaron von Valdivia

This is your full name.

Real names are powerful things and you should do your best to hide yours.

In your lifetime, you can only change your own name once, except under special circumstances.

To change it, use the Heavenly Skill 'Change Name.'

 

Level: 1 — One Star Mage

This is your level.

The minimum level is 1, the maximum is 12.

Levels have names. Level 1 is known as 'Klutz' for those without mana-manipulating capabilities, and as 'One Star' for everyone else.

Since you have the mage gene and your level comes from your soul (more on that later), you're a One Star Mage.

To access the level name table, use the Heavenly Skill 'Show Level Name Table.'

 

Elements: —

This shows all the elements you can turn your mana into, besides Pure mana.

 

Body: 1

This is your body grade.

Your body grade is determined by the average of your physical attributes, rounded down.

All klutzes' bodies are limited to the first grade. Humans whose level come from their bodies (more on that later) are known as warriors.

Like levels, grades range from 1 to 12.

 

» Strength: 1 | Speed: 1 | Resistance: 1

These are your physical attributes and their respective grades.

Strength refers to how much raw power your muscles can deliver from a resting position.

Speed is how fast you can move.

Resistance is how well your body can resist physical attacks.

Their grades also range from 1 to 12, with klutzes being limited to grade 1.

 

* Soul: 6

This is your soul grade.

Your soul grade is determined by the average of your soul attributes, rounded down.

This is the higher graded between your body and soul, as shown by the asterisk. Because of that, your level is determined by your soul attribute with the lowest level, as shown by another asterisk.

 

» * Mana: 1 | Control:  7 | Resistance: 12

These are your soul attributes and their respective grades.

Mana, also called mana pool, refers to the maximum amount of mana you have at your disposal at any time. It regenerates passively over time, or actively by other means, like consuming the right substances or meditating.

Control is how well you can manipulate mana.

Resistance is how well your soul can resist non-physical attacks.

 

Aaron read everything without any hurry.

It wasn't a surprise that his soul resistance was 12, the max grade. His merged consciousness and willpower, which likely affected the control and soul resistance attributes, had been perfected in his eons of life, after all. The only reason his soul resistance was only level 12 was that his consciousness, willpower, and soul themselves were being suppressed by the Cage to the max grade allowed to that world, 12, else his soul resistance would have received an even higher grade.

His lack of control, which was only level 7, was a bummer, albeit expected. He had never manipulated mana before, and it stood to reason that he couldn't perfectly control it. In fact, it was already great that his understanding of energetic manipulation as a whole, and his great willpower, could boost his control that much.

All in all, it wasn't a bad status. He closed and opened it again, now without the tutorial text.

 

Full Status

Name: Aaron von Valdivia

Level: 1 — One Star Mage

Elements: —

Body: 1

» Strength: 1 | Speed: 1 | Resistance: 1

* Soul: 6

» * Mana: 1 | Control: 7 | Resistance: 12

 

He considered changing his name since it was supposedly important, something he had never experienced before, but he didn't know if his family might need to know his real name to perform some ritual for his own good. What if they did, and his father found out that the one-year-old baby had changed his own name somehow? Therefore, it was better to postpone it.

And as much as he wanted to experiment with mana as soon as possible, he also didn't know if he would end up being exposed for it. The tall three catches more wind; there was safety in being unremarkable, as those who distinguish themselves attract attention, and the wrong kind of attention could be lethal. Until he got a better grasp on things and understood better the consequences of dabbling with magic, he would bide his time and take things slowly, rather than risk a calamity befalling him or his family.

To his surprise though, the day after the Will of the World became available to him, his grandfather visited. The old man entered his room and, as soon as he saw Aaron in the crib, he spoke.

"Well, boyo, it's time to stop lazing around and grow your mana pool."

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edwardcastle

  • Brazil

Bio: I'm Ed, a writer of GameLit. So far I have released only two books, but I'm working on increasing this number by tens! No, by hundreds! Maybe thousands! xP

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