Alex was currently standing in front of a large tree that stretched higher than he could see and would take him several hours to walk around the trunk of. It looked similar to a normal oak tree but scaled up massively and thrumming with the powers of mana, Ki and possibly undiscovered energies as well. New discoveries were still not uncommon in this strange new world.
Around Alex were the other 2 teenagers from the community that were turning 15 today and would be awakening with him along with the two guards assigned to help them with it. One was Todd, a smaller shy boy that didn’t talk much or play with the others. He was always exploring the dangerously crumbling buildings or running off to the forest despite the trouble it got him in.
The other person was Rose, a bright-eyed outgoing tomboy that was also pursuing the path of the swordsman like him. They had trained under the same mentor most of the time and thought of each other as friendly rivals continuously pushing each other to be better.
“Ok! “As you may or may not know, my name is Thomas and my partner here is Howard, and we are the members of the city guard assigned to watch over you during your awakenings today. Now that everyone is here, let’s go over the ground rules again.” Said the guard Thomas.
“We will go in one at a time, with the other two waiting out here with Howard. This is to ensure that the individual who is awakening is not rushed in the choice by any nearby danger and so that those of you waiting are not jumped by something from the forest.”
Howard continued next, saying. “The order will be as follows. First Todd, then Rose and finally Alex. This dungeon has been farmed and scoured many times over the years by the community built around it so we know what to expect from it, but if something unexpected does happen that Thomas cannot handle alone, remember to run out of the dungeon and not deeper inside.
Come out and tell me quickly what happened and then you will all run back to the town's barrier as quickly as possible and alert more guards.” Most of the thriving human settlements left had a magical barrier around them that kept out monsters.
If too many attacked the barrier or one that was too powerful it would crumble, however. The barrier generator was an orb hidden within the town hall and needed to be regularly fed with mana from the populace as well as copious amounts of monster blood in order to stay powered.
Howard gave everyone a stern look as he finished speaking and Thomas took a step towards Todd. “Ok Todd, let’s go get you a class! I'm sure you're plenty excited.” Todd quietly said, “Yes sir!” And followed Thomas into the giant wood arch in the base of the tree leading inside.
Rose turned wild-eyed to Alex and explained loudly and excitedly “I hope we both get an amazing swordsman class! I'm going to be the greatest swordsman alive and you can be my sidekick forever!”
Alex grinned defiantly and replied “Oh well see about that! How about a duel after we get back tonight?” “You're on!” She replied happily. It wasn’t until now that she seemed to notice the dull blue glow surrounding him though. “You’d better get that shield dispelled first though before our fight. Having a healer as a mother is cheating!” Rose said with a pout on her face. As they finished their exchange Thomas and Todd could be seen coming back out already.
Todd quietly told the group “I got the archer class. Hopefully, when I class up in the future I can advance to a scout type class.” He shuffled his feet as he stood back in line with the others. “That's a good fit for you.” Remarked Alex. ‘Too bad it’s a basic class though. Hopefully, I get a good fit for myself as well.’ He quietly thought to himself.
“My turn! Let's do this!” Yelled Rose as she jumped up and down. Thomas sighed as he and Rose half jogged through the entrance. The three of them left outside stood in silence since Todd was not really one to talk much. While Alex waited impatiently for his own awakening he took another moment to study his right arm and the numbers that lined it.
Alex was reasonably proud of his current stats. They weren’t anything amazing like Rose or his sister, both of whom had gotten stats inherited from their parents, but his strength was still higher than most of the children his age and he could beat most of them in a fair fight with only Rose really posing a true challenge. The rest of his stats were fairly average and on par with the other trainees in his age group. Generally, the other children his age had stats around 60 or so depending on how hard they worked and what they focused on hence why his agility was a bit lower than average but in exchange, his strength was higher.
Thankfully Rose and Thomas came back out even quicker than Todd had. She must have seen something that made the other options not even matter.
“Alex! Alex Alex Alex ALEX GUESS WHAT!” She screamed excitedly getting louder with each repetition of his name. “I got an advanced class right off the bat! All these years of training paid off big time! You're looking at a level 1 soldier, only the best for the best.
“Wow!” Exclaimed Alex in awe. The soldier was well known to be one of the more powerful classes you could start as for someone wanted to advance along the path of the sword. It is known that when given your class choices they are heavily based off of your training up till this point along with your personality.
Someone who wanted with all their being to become a swordsman and trained the best they could for it was likely to see the class. If they only pretended to want swordsman however to appease a parent but still did the training they would likely see only the lower tier sword-wielding classes but also some related to what they truly want to be. For this reason, children are rarely forced into doing training for something they do not aspire to be great at.
As you gain experience and level up it gets harder each time and your class gives certain bonuses to your attributes. When you reach level 15 and get to choose an advanced class one of the perks it comes with is increased attributes per level. However, if you started with an advanced class, you also had much higher attribute gain from the start.
“That's just like you Rose. Looks like your claim from earlier about becoming the greatest swordsman wasn’t just a boast.” Alex said as he gave her a warm smile. “I just hope it gives me the fighter option at least so I can still advance to swordsman later.”
“You're up Alex, let’s head in.” Said Thomas as he jerked his head in the direction of the dungeon. “Good luck!” Rose said and waved happily as Alex left for his own awakening.
‘This is it’ he thought to himself, ‘the day I have been training for! I can do this!’ As he mentally psyched himself up he studied the entrance to the dungeon within the trunk of the giant offshoot of Yggdrasil.
Naturally grown right into the base of the trunk was a large archway tall enough for a grown man riding on another mans shoulders to walk through fine and easily four men wide.
The bark was decorated with numerous arcane glyphs that helped humanity jumpstart its research into enchanting and scrollwork by a bit, although since there were so many woven together it was still a challenge to find out what each one did and how they interacted together. Any attempts to completely recreate the archway did nothing as well for unknown reasons.
The purpose of the arch seemed to prevent people under the age of 15 from entering the dungeon and give those over the age of 15 a class when they first pass through one of the many arches in the world. It did nothing to prevent the creatures inside from roaming out but the town guard and adventurers kept the dungeon culled enough that it hasn’t been a problem for years.
As Alex and Thomas walked through the entrance Thomas took his battle-ax off his back and assumed a ready stance as they slowly entered the dungeon. Alex began to feel a tingling sensation all over his body and couldn’t suppress his wide grin as he waited for the System to appear to him.
As the tingling grew and the System did not appear, he started to become slightly worried. ‘Why is it taking so long? I was always told it appeared almost right after you walked in.’ Suddenly the tingling turned into agonizing pain as his body shone like the sun. “Argh!” Thomas wheeled around quickly and nearly dropped his weapon as he stared slack-jawed at a sun shaped like a person. “Alex…?” He breathed out in nearly a whisper before the light was snuffed out and a shockwave accompanied by a thunderclap exploded from where Alex had been standing.
Thomas was thrown back several feet but being a seasoned guard quickly recovered. To his surprise, Alex was gone and just a scorched spot on the ground remained in his place. ‘How am I going to explain this to the others!?’ He thought in a panic as he ran his hand through his hair. ‘What the hell happened to you Alex?’ He thought as he sprinted out of the dungeon to tell the others.