As Wilbert left the grounds, he could not help but feel that the weapons were a little much for him to carry. It was not that he was ungrateful, but for an untrained youth, carrying a sword, a shield, a bow, a quiver of arrows, and a magic staff was unfeasible.
Planning to take off all of the equipment and reorganise it into a more comfortable arrangement, Wilbert moved to the side of the road and placed everything on the ground.
However, just as he was removing the quiver from over his shoulder, he noticed another strap. He turned around to take a proper look and saw… a backpack?
'I just put on the quiver a moment ago. When the hell did this appear?'
With a frown, Wilbert tried to remove the strange backpack but found that it was seemingly stuck to his shirt. No matter how he tried to remove it, after removing one of the straps, the second strap would not budge.
Having no other option, Wilbert removed his shirt. Yet, as if it had suddenly turned ethereal, the shirt passed right through it, and the backpack stayed where it was.
Ignoring the odd looks from the other people on the street, Wilbert put his shirt back on and sat next to his pile of equipment, deep in thought.
'I don't understand…'
As that thought was floating in his mind, he noticed that the system chat icon in the bottom left of his vision was flashing. He tapped it and saw a message.
[Congratulations, you have completed your basic training. You have gained access to the backpack function.]
The backpack function, a staple in all modern video games, needed no explanation for the players. However, Wilbert—someone who had not even heard of electricity, let alone a video game—did not understand it. However, the appearance of the backpack did remind him of something else—the backpack icon in the bottom right of his vision.
He tapped the icon, which appeared to be brighter and more vibrant than before, and an empty box appeared above the icon. The box was large, but it was completely blank, containing no words, gridlines, or graphics.
'This…' An idea suddenly came to him. 'What if…'
Wilbert picked up the smallest item from his pile of equipment—surprisingly, the sword—and attempted to put it in the backpack. Logically, the sword would not fit, but due to his hunch, the fact that his bag appeared as if by magic, and him not actually wanted the backpack, Wilbert decided to test his mad theory.
'If this works, with something tangible given by an external party, this will prove that this interface and those boxes are real, that I'm not mad.'
As he slide his sword into the hole, his heart thumped with trepidation.
The sword kept sliding, and it met with no resistance, meaning that it had not yet cut the bag. When the sword was fully in the back, it disappeared from his grip, and a small mosaic-like image of it appeared in the blank box.
"It worked! I'm not mad!" Wilbert leapt to his feet, cheering, once more attracting the attention of passers-by.
He sheepishly sat back on the grass and placed all of his equipment in the backpack.
The sunlight beaming down on him felt invigorating, and he sat there, soaking up the sun, thinking about this interface.
'There are two confirmed benefits outside of the help centre. One—I can easily store items. Two—I can learn skills faster. I will need to test it further, but there's a chance that it is not limited to combat skills.
'Once I get my revenge, perhaps I can use it to master a trade and earn an honest living.'
Wilbert smiled at the thought. There was nothing honest about killing, and he was sure his parents would not want that for him. Heck, he did not want that for himself. However, sometimes, one had to do something they did not want to do.
After dropping by a local adventurer tavern to enquire about the directions to the Frost Gale Republic. As it turned out, the Frost Gale Republic was one of the largest countries on the continent, covering most of the continent's northern shore.
Since Fluebridge was located toward the south of the central region, Wilbert had quite a distance to travel. Thus, he decided to head off immediately.
'The place where the largest population of cyrmexes live… Even if I cannot find him, I should be able to track down his family, right? There can't be that many members of their race who are so powerful.'
When Wilbert arrived at the northern gate, he checked his belongings, particularly his camping gear since he would be sleeping rough, and set off.
He did not need to take many provisions as he could forage for food if need be, and he did not need a map or compass due to the geography of the Frost Gale Republic.
Apart from the time that it would take to travel there, Wilbert did not foresee any major difficulties, so he was relatively relaxed.
However, just as he was passing through one of the villages in the periphery of the castle, Wilbert overheard something that he could not ignore.
"Ok, so we've finished the basic training. Since this is your first MMORPG, I've made this smurf account to help guide you through the not so obvious stuff."
The man speaking was an average-looking human. His height, weight, face… everything about him was average.
Conversely, next to him was an incredibly attractive young man. He was slightly taller than his companion, and one could see his toned muscles through his shirt and the patches in his armour.
The attractive man sent an embarrassed emoticon. "Thank you again for this. You really didn't need to."
"Nonsense, its a bit of fun and a welcome distraction. Anyway, where was I?"
"You mentioned the not so obvious stuff."
"Oh yeah. You have access to your backpack, skills, and weapons. Now you need to know what happens when you die and some of the intricacies of farming XP."