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Richard woke up to the sun rising over the horizon; he could see the horizon easily over the forest from his position in the branch of the tree he was sitting on. A blue notification box popped up in front of his face as soon as he was awake.

Using physical training, you have improved your endurance. +1 END

I guess I've had more exercise over the past two days then I'd had in years.

“Status”

Name: Richard

Race: Human (3)

Class: None

Age: 26

Strength: 3 (2.4)

Dexterity: 4

Constitution: 10

Endurance: 6

Intelligence: 24 (28.8)

Wisdom: 4 (3.6)

Perception: 7

Charisma: 11 (13.2)

HP: 66 (Max: 66)

SP: 28 (Max 28)

   

Divine Class: Champion of Ikar

Humor: 12

Cunning: 6

High Stakes: 9

Glory: -918

Divine favors:

Gift of Tongues: May speak, understand, read, or write in any mortal language (may only speak languages you have heard and only write in languages you have seen).

Special traits:

Offworld Education (Legendary): +20% to effective intelligence, -10% to effective wisdom. Learns skills 50% more quickly than someone with an equivalent intelligence, gains experience 25% more quickly. More likely to learn unusual skills.

Pampered: Compared to most humans, this person has spent his whole life eating the best food, doing minimal physical labor, and generally living what most would call a life of luxury. -20% to strength, -20% to stamina points, +20% to hit points, +20% to charisma.

Without Glory: This person is extremely lacking in Glory, one of the 3 virtues of Toran, and as such may be instinctively distrusted or even hated by followers of Toran. -10 to reaction from followers of Toran.

Explorer (Human racial trait): Humans are known for wanting to explore the world, and for wanting to discover what's over the next hill. Gains a small amount of experience for discovering and exploring new locations.

Skills:

Pratfall (2): You have the ability to fall in a hilarious fashion. Likely to make people laugh if executed well. All falling damage reduced by 20%.

Mathematics (14): You are extremely skilled at mathematics. +140% to calculation speed and accuracy. +70% to learning speed of other skills with a mathematical component. Small bonus to other math related skills and spells.

Pathfinder (forest) (2): You have a basic level of skill at moving through a forest quickly. You have learned the basics of how to travel through a forest, can see where to step and where to avoid, and can identify good paths to take while traveling. +20% to movement speed through a forest. -20% to SP cost for moving through forest. Increased chance to see and avoid natural hazards.

Stealth (1): You have a basic level of skill at moving quietly and in a stealthy manner. Decreased chance of being detected while trying to move quietly and stealthily.

Climbing (1): You have a basic level of skill at climbing.

Thrown weapon (rocks) (1): You have a basic level of skill at throwing rocks. +1 to-hit bonus with thrown rocks, +1 damage.

Quest: Try Not To Die. To succeed at this quest, merely live through your first two weeks in the world without getting killed. Shouldn't be too hard...right?

I wonder what it means to “discover” or “explore” a location? I wonder what counts as a location? Richard wondered. Evelyn would probably know.

He sighed. I hope Evelyn is ok.

It does look like my SP has gone up a little bit with that boost to endurance, and it also went up when I gained levels. Maybe I can move a little more quickly today.

He carefully untied himself and his backpack from the tree, climbed back down to the ground, and took stock of his situation.

He was barefoot, unfortunately. He had one shoe in his bag, and the muddy and damaged remains of his socks. He sat down against the tree, drank the rest of the water he had in his waterskin, and ate some more of the salted and dried food he had taken from the soldier. Not much of that was left either.

He did still have the weapons he and Evelyn had taken from the soldier. The sword, which he carried on the scabbard on his left hip, and the dagger, which he had strapped around his chest in a smaller scabbard under his shirt. Carefully, he drew the sword out, and tried a few slashing motions with it. At least it wasn't that heavy, nothing like that great sword he'd tried to use his brief time as champion of Toran. It still felt awkward and cumbersome to swing it, and he was well aware he didn't really know anything about sword fighting beyond what he'd seen in a few Hollywood movies.

I wonder if I would just stand here and wave a sword around like an idiot for a while, would that count as “training”? Probably not. He put the sword back away. Although apparently, I have a skill at throwing rocks at people now? He picked up a couple of hand sized rocks and put them in the side pockets of his backpack where he could easily reach them.

Anyway, I don't have time to mess around right now. I have to get to that town Evelyn was talking about, see if she's ok. Then maybe I can find out more about this world and make a longer-term plan.

...what would a longer-term plan even look like? All I know is that I want to “try not to die”, and I'm apparently a champion of a god. Beyond that, I don't know anything. Am I supposed to eventually defeat all those orcs? Fight a dark lord? Throw a ring into a volcano?

He shook his head. Worry about that later. For now, I need to keep moving.

Heading to the west, away from the direction of the rising sun, he walked quickly through the forest. He had a much easier time moving then he had the day before and avoided stepping on anything that would hurt his bare feet. By midday he had passed through the forest and reached a road.

You have now partly explored White Deer Wood. +62.5 EXP

 

You have discovered Old River Road. +12.5 EXP

Old River Road was much narrower than the road he had seen yesterday. It was primarily dirt, but he could see bits of old cobblestone in spots that made him think the road had once been paved.

Richard didn't see anyone within eyesight on the road, and so he crossed it quickly and ducked into the undergrowth on the other side.

His original thinking was that he would cross the road, travel farther west, and then circle around and come to the town from a different direction. However, as he crossed the road, he realized that but only a few hundred yards past Old River Road was, well, a river. A wide, slow-moving, muddy river, with occasional pieces of wood or leaves drifting down it.

Not sure why I didn't see that one coming.

Richard walked towards the river and found that alongside of the river was a trail, parallel to the road. It was far enough away from the road so that nobody on the road would likely see him through the underbrush.

I guess I'm less likely to run into anyone while on that trail then on the main road, and I still want to try to avoid those soldiers. He started running up the trail north, alongside the river.

Running along the path was much easier than trying to run through the woods, at least, especially barefoot. He fell into a jog, paying attention to keep his breathing even as he ran. He had done some jogging back on Earth, and always found it relaxing, even if he hadn't had time to really get out and jog for the past few years.

Skill level confirmed, Jogging (3)

 

Level up, human level 4. +1 END, +4 additional max HP, +1 max SP. HP and SP restored

Richard was jogging along the path, making pretty good time, when he heard a strange “shloop” sound in the mud to his left. He turned and looked and saw...something...climbing up out of the river towards him, up the muddy bank.

It looked humanoid but didn't look like any person he'd ever seen before. It had long green hair, and pointed green teeth in its open mouth, and a pig-like nose. Its skin was covered by what looked like fish scales, and it had a long lizard tail between its two legs. It had two short fin-like arms, with claws across the front of them.

It hissed at him and tilted its head sideways. A lizard-like tongue flickered in and out of its mouth, tasting the air.

Richard started backing up quickly. Not wanting to turn his back on that thing, his legs started quickly carrying him backwards down the path. The creature hesitated, and then started to run after him. It was fast.

Richard was now running backwards as fast as he could, still facing the thing. He grabbed one of the rocks out of his back and threw it at the creature, the rock bouncing off the deep blue scales in the center of its chest. The creature hissed again and continued to close on Richard. The second rock Richard threw missed completely, striking the dirt in front of the thing, while the third hit it in the face. It stopped for a second and blinked, then started running towards Richard again.

Richard pulled out his sword and swung it wildly at the creature. The creature stopped and dodged backwards, easily avoiding the blade. Richard slashed at the air in front of him a second and a third time, backing up slowly and waving the sword back and forth in front of him like a baton. He didn't really think he would be able to hit the creature but hoped he could at least keep it at a distance.

The creature stayed out of reach of the sword but kept advancing on Richard as Richard backed up. It leaned forward slightly and snapped its teeth towards Richard's face. Richard wildly swung the sword up towards the creature's head. The creature easily ducked under the sword blow, as if it had been expecting that, and brought both sets of claws up raking across the bottom of Richard's arms. Richard cried out in pain and dropped the sword.

You have acquired the status condition (Bleeding), -2 HP per minute.

Dammit, I think that damn fish-man-thing just outsmarted me ran through Richard's head as he wildly backpedaled, his hands empty now, and blood coming from both of his arms. He only had one weapon left, the dagger he'd gotten from the soldier which Richard had been carrying tucked inside his shirt on his chest. He pulled it out and held it up between him and the creature, his hand wavering and unsteady, as he kept backing up. The creature crouched down and rushed towards him, crouched down and charging headfirst like a football linesman, and Richard threw the dagger towards the creature.

The dagger flipped in the air, once, twice, and then as if by a miracle the blade struck directly into the front of the creature's face as it charged forwards. It sunk several inches deep, and the creature suddenly collapsed, its momentum still carrying it forwards as it slammed into the ground.

1 Merrow-Man defeated, +350 EXP

 

Skill earned: Thrown weapon (daggers) (1)

 

Skill earned: Thrown weapon (rocks) (2)

 

Skill earned: Parting shot (1)

 

For throwing your last weapon at an enemy you have earned +10 High Stakes points

Fuck. That thing almost killed me. Richard bent forward and gasped for air. Let me get my weapons and get the hell out of here before any more of those things come out of the river.

Richard grabbed his sword and it back in his scabbard. The dagger was a bit harder; the damn thing seemed to actually be stuck in the skull of what the notification window had helpfully called a “merrow-man”. He had to wiggle the dagger back and forth a bit to get it out, which (along with the blood loss) gave him kind of a queasy feeling, but he pushed through it. Once he had the dagger out, he left the trail and pushed through the underbrush to get away from the river and back to the road.

When he got back to the road, he was starting to stumble, and was surprised to see a group of men with swords and crossbows ready pointing in his direction. They were standing around a wagon, and most seemed to have the same kind of leather armor.

“Hey, kid! Who are you, and what just happened over there?” the one man shouted at him.

Richard froze. “I was attacked by a merrow-man. I killed it.”

The man looked at the scratches on Richard's arms, and nodded. “Are there any more of them?”

Richard shook his head. “Not that I saw, but I got away from the river before any more could come out.”

“Ok. You two, go check it out.” He pointed to two of his men, who nodded. Then he looked at Richard. “Just put your weapon away and relax while we get this sorted out. We're just here to guard this wagon until we get to town.”

Richard nodded, and sat down. He almost collapsed, in fact. Once he sat down, he pulled out a few rags from his backpack and used them to bandage his arms, and then took another rag, and used it to clean the blood from the dagger before putting it back into its sheath.

A few minutes later, the two men came back. “Yeah, it's as he said. Full grown merrow-man. Looks like he managed to kill the thing with one stab to the center of the face. Very professionally done. I didn't see signs of any more of them, but I didn't hang around to see either.”

The leader of the guards nodded and looked back at Richard. “So, you an adventurer?”

Richard hesitated. “Not...well, not really. Not yet.”

The man laughed. “Oh, so looking to get into it, huh? Well, it seems like you can take care of yourself, that's a good start. You know there's a bounty on those things?” The man paused. “Why don't you walk with us, and once we get into town, I'll vouch for you that you killed it, so you can collect? Can't pay you beyond that, but it'd be nice to have another man with us who can take care of himself. Always better to travel in groups on these roads, especially these days, right?”

Richard nodded. “Yeah, I'd appreciate the company.”

The man smiled and reached his hand out. “The name's Hadrian.”

“Richard.” Hadrian had a very firm handshake.

Richard joined them and talked with several of the guards along as they walked. They were escorting a merchant to Bromwich to trade. The horse-drawn wagon didn't travel any faster than they could walk and was more for transporting good than for speed, and the guards walked along the road next to the wagon. The merchant and two assistants of his rode in the wagon, talking quietly to each other.

“Yeah, being a merchant guard is a pretty decent job for someone with a couple of levels in a combat class,” Hadrian said. The man had been talking almost nonstop since meeting Richard. Richard didn't mind, it was nice hearing a friendly voice. “Although these roads have been getting more dangerous of late.”

I really need to see what those skills I got do. “Status.” Richard whispered to himself.

Name: Richard

Race: Human (4)

Class: None

Age: 26

Strength: 3 (2.4)

Dexterity: 4

Constitution: 10

Endurance: 8

Intelligence: 24 (28.8)

Wisdom: 4 (3.6)

Perception: 7

Charisma: 11 (13.2)

HP: 44 (Max: 71)

SP: 25 (Max 37)

   

Divine Class: Champion of Ikar (1)

Humor: 12

Cunning: 6

High Stakes: 19

Glory: -918

Divine favors:

Gift of Tongues: May speak, understand, read, or write in any mortal language (may only speak languages you have heard and only write in languages you have seen).

Special traits:

Offworld Education (Legendary): +20% to effective intelligence, -10% to effective wisdom. Learns skills 50% more quickly than someone with an equivalent intelligence, gains experience 25% more quickly. More likely to learn unusual skills.

Pampered: Compared to most humans, this person has spent his whole life eating the best food, doing minimal physical labor, and generally living what most would call a life of luxury. -20% to strength, -20% to stamina points, +20% to hit points, +20% to charisma.

Without Glory: This person is extremely lacking in Glory, one of the 3 virtues of Toran, and as such may be instinctively distrusted or even hated by followers of Toran. -10 to reaction from followers of Toran.

Explorer (Human racial trait): Humans are known for wanting to explore the world, and for wanting to discover what's over the next hill. Gains a small amount of experience gained for discovering and exploring new locations.

Skills:

Pratfall (2): You have the ability to fall in a hilarious fashion. Likely to make people laugh if executed well. All falling damage reduced by 20%.

Mathematics (14): You are extremely skilled at mathematics. +140% to calculation speed and accuracy. +70% to learning speed of other skills with a mathematical component. Small bonus to other math related skills and spells.

Pathfinder (forest) (2): You have a basic level of skill at moving through a forest quickly. You have learned the basics of how to travel through a forest, can see where to step and where to avoid, and can identify good paths to take while traveling. +20% to movement speed through a forest. -20% to SP cost for moving through forest. Increased chance to see and avoid natural hazards.

Jogging (3): An unusual running practice, primarily designed to improve the health and endurance of the human or for recreation rather than for practical gain. -30% SP cost while running slowly on roads or even ground, -15% SP cost for other running. +15% endurance and constitution training gains while running.

Stealth (1): You have a basic level of skill at moving quietly and in a stealthy manner. Decreased chance of being detected while trying to move quietly and stealthily.

Climbing (1): You have a basic level of skill at climbing.

Thrown weapon (rocks) (2): You have a basic level of skill at throwing rocks. +2 to-hit bonus with thrown rocks, +2 damage. 5% chance for a thrown rock to stun an opponent.

Thrown weapon (daggers) (1): You have a basic level of skill at throwing daggers. +1 to-hit bonus with thrown daggers and knives, +1 damage.

Parting shot (1): You have a basic level of skill at using thrown or ranged weapons while moving. -15% to ranged penalty for using thrown or ranged weapons while running or riding.

Quest: Try Not To Die. To succeed at this quest, merely live through your first two weeks in the world without getting killed. Shouldn't be too hard...right?

I guess not a lot of people in this world go jogging just for fun, huh?

“Oh, checking your status books, huh? Did you just level up?” Hadrian asked

Richard waved the screen away. “Uh, I just got a new skill while fighting that Merrow-Man.”

“Oh? That's always nice when that happens in a fight. What skill was that?”

“Parting shot.” Richard didn't want the man to know just how green he was at fighting, but that seemed like a safe one to share.

“Oh, that's a pretty useful one. I don't see you carrying a bow, though; do you use a lot of thrown weapons?”

“I'm...pretty good at throwing daggers.” Richard exaggerated. “That's how I killed that Merrow-Man.”

Hadrian nodded. “Ah. Not a lot of soldiers spend the time to train at throwing knives, but I've known some adventures who did.”

They walked down the road, Hadrian talking his ear off the whole time.

About two hours later, a group of 4 of the Duke's solders were standing by the side of the road. Richard schooled his face to not show any of the dread he felt at seeing them.

“Halt. We're looking for a fugitive, a Mage who is wanted by the Academy for practicing forbidden magics. She's a young woman, tall and thin, with red hair and a red dress. Have any of you seen anyone like that?”

Hadrian shook his head, “No, haven't seen anyone like that.” All the other guards shook their heads as well, and so did Richard, trying to blend in with them.

“We're going to have to look in your wagons, make sure you're not hiding her or anything else.”

Hadrian looked at the merchant. The merchant gave a small nod, and all the guards relaxed slightly. If the merchant had wanted his guards to refuse the soldiers they might have, maybe fought if necessary. He was the one paying them after all. But none of them wanted that to happen.

The merchant stood up and looked at the soldiers. “You may search, just be careful.”

The soldier nodded and gestured for two of his men to climb up into the wagon.

There wasn't really much room for anyone to be hiding in wagon. The back of the wagon was stacked with textiles, cotton and wool sheets that some tailor could make into clothing, towards the front of the wagon they had books and spices.

“Lot of books you're carrying, huh?” the leader of the soldiers said.

The merchant nodded. “Yes, you know how it is; most of the people in the Academy have scribe as a minor class, they want to get experience in it, so they're willing to do a lot of copying for good prices. You want to buy any of them?”

The soldier shook his head. “No, thanks. Alright, you can go.” He paused. “If any of you do see her, there's a reward for her, but I wouldn't suggest trying to take her on yourselves. Just let us know where she is, and we'll take her and give you half of the reward.”

The group of them walked the rest of the way to town in silence; even Hadrian didn't feel like speaking much after that.

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Yosarian

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zootar @zootar ago

Thanks for the chapter.

Jballaustin @Jballaustin ago

I really like this so far keep up the good work . What is your release schedule .

dbpeel @dbpeel ago

his reading skill and wirghting skills will probably be higher than mathmatics unless if they are language specific.

FirstDragon @FirstDragon ago

Given some reasonable wise / streetsmart like decisions and an appropriate amount of caution and intuitive actions, I would think his wisdom would be higher than 4 unless it is definitely defined as something more like priestly or religious power or the like. As a physicist he’d likely be somewhat philosophical and creative which isn’t just about intelligence but how to use that intelligence and that is pretty close to what I have always understood wisdom to be ~ effectively using what you have at hand to consider and resolve problems posed by people and the world.

So 1st I’d likely give him more wisdom u less you portray him as an absent minded and somewhat foolish professor type ... which he doesn’t seem to show much Then I’d likely raise his wisdom like his endurance for his behavior which assumes the system is recalibration get its initial assessment of him in the same way it awards past skills only when now used in this new world.

obviously it is your call as author but I think my arguments are valid and having s somewhat higher wisdom shouldn’t disrupt the flow of the story but rather make the litrpg element more realistic.

And of course...cool story Bro.

    Author

    Yosarian @Yosarian ago

    Part of the problem is that he's lacking this world's version of common sense; that's why his otherworldly education actually lowers his effective wisdom in this world. He didn't have a lot of common sense/ street smarts even in his own world, and a lot of what common sense he did have would guide him in the wrong direction here.

Zeal Iskander @Zeal Iskander ago

Right, so looking at his stats and thinking back about what Evelyn told him...

Wouldn't he be completely OP as a mage? Apparently, mages get INT bonuses as their level goes up, so if he can get +6 INT, he'll have exactly 36 effective INT (assuming there's no other ways to get more INT effectiveness... which there probably is?), which is about 7.7*0.6*0.6 = 2.77h/skill, but he learns skills 50% more quickly, so that'd be... 1h50 to learn a skill.

With his current level in mathematics, learning a skill that has mathematic components (eh, there must surely be some high level spells that require difficult spatial calculations...) takes him about an hour.

Heck, he could probably sit down and grind his mathematics skills to a high enough level with the speed he has and then completely obliterate the whole system.

... which, to be honest, would be pretty satisfying to read...

Rikum @Rikum ago

Thx for the chapter.