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A note from Etzuerm

This novel will be undergoing a rewrite from today (21.05.2019) and no new chapters will be released during the process. I hope to have it done by (27.05.2019) but I will take the time it needs to be in line with my expectations. New chapters will be put on hold until then.

 

The reason for this is to clear up the story and make it far more solid, giving me enough to work with to avoid it feeling like the plot is constantly changing. The overall content shouldn’t be different, although the way it’s told and the sequence of events will change a bit.

 

I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

 

I have for the past 15 years done everything I could to elevate this company to the top. Every decision I made was meticulously calculated. With my help, Elecur became one of the overlords in Garius Online. The profit they made would make any normal person go insane with greed.


Despite all I have done they still threw me out. Giving no reason, no compensation and no hope. My character in Garius Online was cleaned of all its gear, reset to level 0 and kicked out of Elecur Guild. 15 years of work completely gone overnight.



Seven directors sat in a conference room at the highest floor in Elecur Headquarters.


“Are you sure this is the right decision?” Said an old man.


“I agree, given his achievements why throw him out?”


They all directed their questions and concern over the decision towards Karlos. Karlos looked at each of them before responding to their criticism.


“I understand your concern, but this had to be done. With the Saints Trials starting soon we can not afford to have him interfere with our plan. I will not take the risk.”


The directors looked at each other solemnly. They knew what Karlos said was reasonable and understood that it had to be done. In their hearts however, they still could not fully accept it.

 



Leo sat in front of his computer after walking home. No matter how hard he thought about it, he still could not understand why he was fired. He could only assume it had something to do with the Saints Trials. The timing was simply too conspicuous.


“System, open file #331-Trials.”

Accessing files…

ERROR! Credentials denied.


“Too late huh?”


“I guess I can only blame myself for signing such a stupid contract.”


Leo thought back to when he first started working at Elecur. He had just finished his master’s degree in Analytical Science when he was approached by Elecur’s upper management. At the time he was ecstatic that his achievements were recognized, blinded by money and prestige.


Although he found it unusual that they would offer such luxurious benefits just to analyze a game and administrate in their Guild, he still chose to work for them. How could he possibly know that Garius Online was far from a normal game? That this “game” would forever change the life of everyone in the Alliance of Nations.


When he read through the contract he knew that if he ever left the company he would never be able to play the game normally again. Although the contract was a death sentence for his future character in the game, he still signed without any hesitation.


Why wouldn’t he? He never had any interest in playing the game in the first place. His character would just be a way for him to perform his job and nothing more. If he could go back in time he would kick himself in the face for being so stupid.


Leo started searching for any information he could about the Saints Trials. There had to be something he missed. Something important enough that the company was willing to kick him out.


Unbeknownst to Leo, his insistence on pursuing the Saints Trials left Karlos with no other choice. To protect Elecur he could not allow Leo to live any longer.


Outside Leo’s house were four masked men in black outfits, killing intent radiating from their bodies. They were elite assassins sent by Karlos to ensure Leo never found out the truth.


“Viper in position.”

“Cobra in position.”

“Security system disabled. Proceed with the operation.”


The men walked straight through the front door, quickly searching for their target. While the assassins closed in on Leo’s location, the man himself was none the wiser.


With no suspense at all, a cold dagger found its way to his neck killing him instantly. Without ever seeing his killer, Leo died without knowing the reason why.

 



Far away from Earth four lifeforms more advanced than any on Earth discussed his very death.


“Are you sure you wish to do this?”


“If you go through with it, we will no longer be able to try again.”


“If this fails we will all die.”


The lifeforms voiced their concern to their leader. They could not understand what their leader was thinking.


“We have fought long enough. The decision has been made. Either he saves us or we all die. I am tired of trying and failing over and over again.”


The lifeforms looked at each other, doubt still in their hearts. Although they did not agree with their leader, they could not change his mind. They could only sit back and hope for the best. Tied down and unable to directly help their people had exhausted them for far too long. Maybe finishing this seemingly never-ending battle, whatever the outcome, would not be so bad after all.

 



Leo opened his eyes with a jolt. His hands instantly moved to his neck in response to the dagger. No matter how much he tried, he could not find any blood. His neck was completely fine as if his death was just a dream. A voice reached his ears before he could think about it.


“Is there something wrong?” A woman in business attire asked confusedly.


“Ah, n-no.” Leo answered, unsure of what was happening.


“In that case I will continue explaining the contract. Your character in Ekalius Online will belong to Elecur and be bound indefinitely. Should you, for whatever reason, leave Elecur, you will have to give up any items and gear on your character. Your character will also be forced back to level 0. Although this sounds extreme, as your job will be administrative in nature we believe there should be no problems with the arrangement.”


Leo looked at the woman, still in confusion. He remembered this exact moment. 15 years ago he sat in this very chair, this woman in the other and the contract in front of him.


“I’m terribly sorry, but did you just say Ekalius Online? Not Garius Online?” Leo asked timidly.


The woman looked at him like he had just asked if the grass was green or purple. She had spent the last hour talking about Ekalius Online, yet it seemed like this was his first time hearing about it. How could she not be annoyed?


She answered his question in a clearly fake polite voice after calming down.


“I do not know what Garius Online is, but I can assure you that there is no such game currently in existence, nor planned for the near future. Ekalius Online however, will open its servers worldwide in three months. As we discussed earlier, your job will be to research everything about the game before launch and continuously after in order to give Elecur a solid foundation in the game. We feel confident in your ability to perform this task. Although we acknowledge that you are not a professional gamer, we believe that you will be able to display your talent to its fullest extent in Ekalius Online.


Leo listened to her words dumbfounded. He could not make sense of the situation at all. Even with the immense advancement in technology for the past 200 years, there still had not been any definite proof that time travel was possible, yet here he was. Seemingly 15 years back in time.


He could only hypothesize that he somehow entered a parallel universe or that his original universe somehow changed. The fact that Garius was replaced with Ekalius was the only difference he could find.


Leo thought back to the Saints Trials and his death. He could only conclude that they were somehow related. Garius was the first ever VRMMORPG incorporating close to 100% immersion. The technology appeared out of the blue five years before Garius Online’s official launch and was never fully disclosed to the public.


Leo almost made his brain explode trying to wrap his mind around this sudden realization. The dots in his mind abruptly connecting together was difficult to comprehend. Bits and pieces suddenly came together to form a bigger picture, bigger, yet not complete.


He suddenly remembered his own vow. If he could somehow come back to this very moment in time, he would kick himself in the face. He immediately stood up from his chair.


“I thank you for the offer, but I have decided to decline.”


He walked straight out the door and rushed home. With his prayers answered he would not waste this heaven given opportunity.


 

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Etzuerm

  • Norway

Bio: I am a hobby writer way in over his head. Seriously, send help! This is not following the simulations.

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Shanktt @Shanktt ago

Interesting premise, have seen it in a some shapes or forms before but I must say it's the first time I see it from a developer point of view, or at least the pov og a person who helped shape the game

The One who Knows @The One who Knows ago

Wow, I think that this is the first vr novel in rrl to actually have a situation where the mc traveled to a parallel world instead of just time traveling. Also you should remove the reincarnation tag because that's time travel and not reincarnation.

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    Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

    You know what, that’s actually a fair point. There’s not a specific Time Travel tag (as far as I know), but using Portable Fantasy / Isekai would probably be more accurate. I completely overlooked that Isekai is a genre I can use. Thank you for pointing that out.

Irrelevant @Irrelevant ago

So, I'm disappointed, after that last Paragraph I expected him to kick himself.

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    Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

    I'm sorry. Here's an alternative version just for you:

    He suddenly remembered his own vow. If he could somehow come back to this very moment in time, he would kick himself in the face. He immediately stood up from his chair.

    Leo sent a powerful kick towards his head. His leg stretched like a ballerina in a perfect arc as it flew towards his face. The leg connected with his face splendidly and sent out a loud sound like a boxer hitting a sandbag.

    The kick was so powerful that Leo fell backward and hit the floor. His vision distorted for a few seconds before going back to normal. Leo lifted his body from the ground, politely declined the job offer, and walked out the door.

    The woman from Elecur had a confused expression on her face. She could not make heads or tails of the situation. How messed up do you have to be to kick your own face?

Artorias the Abysswalker @Artorias the Abysswalker ago

Modern day assassins with "killing intent" dressed in black garbs, who has the technology to disable security systems but uses daggers? This is clearly written by a person who doesn't understand realism.

Artorias the Abysswalker @Artorias the Abysswalker ago

"He could only hypothesize that he somehow entered a parallel universe or that his original universe somehow changed." How? There are multiple things that could have happened to produce illusions and memory altercation, but he immediately jumps to the conclusion that he is at a parallel universe or that is original universe changed. Completely unrealistic, for no sane person would jump into that conclusion instantly.

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    Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

    I think you’re misunderstanding the word ‘hypothesis’. A hypothesis is the complete opposite of a conclusion. A hypothesis takes any idea, however unlikely, and tries to either prove or disprove it.

    It doesn’t really matter if the starting hypothesis is realistic or not. It’s just a place to start and form conclusions based on observation. The conclusion can be completely different from the initial hypothesis, which would then lead to a new hypothesis forming and the whole process starting over again.

    The words ‘his original universe somehow changed’ also references the possibility of it all being an illusion of sorts. This is, however, very difficult to prove as it would all be in his head.

    You’ll notice that throughout the novel (assuming you didn’t drop it at chapter 1) that Leo never makes a final conclusion on his current situation. It is always vague phrases like ‘his world changed’, ‘there’s a difference’ etc.

    Also just to address the assassination part. The reason a dagger was used is due to the assassin’s personal preference. The same goes for their outfits. The part about ‘killing intent’ is complete BS though. There’s not really anything done to justify that as a legitimate thing. It just serves to make some interesting situations and help the story writing. This is, after all, a fantasy novel.

    There are hints throughout the novel about how the game and reality mix together somewhat, and this is one of the earliest hints.

    I have planned a chapter that will elaborate on this part of the novel more in the future. Realistically speaking, the fact that Leo could even be killed in his own home is the unrealistic part. I don’t know if you’ve read further in the novel, but Leo is not considered to be just an ordinary civilian.

      Artorias the Abysswalker @Artorias the Abysswalker ago

      Even still, a normal person would not instantly jump into such a far-fetched hypothesis.

      Also, there is literally no reason to wear black clothing, for the entire purpose of such clothing is camouflaging in the dark, and the novel makes no mentions of a dark area. Not to mention that even if anybody saw the assassins, black clothing would make them seem incredibly suspicious, and wearing simple things such as a civilian disguise will make their work easier if they are seen.

      His universe being changed cannot be a reference to an illusion, for if everything was an illusion, his perspective is altered, not the physical things of the universe. An illusion cannot alter the physical world.

      Using a dagger would require one to approach another closely to execute a stealth kill, thus assassins would never use a dagger for assassination. A silenced gun is much, much easier to assassinate with, and assassins are not even properly trained to wield anything other than a gun anyways.

      Why would four people be needed to assassinate a man without any ways to defend himself? Four is too excessive, and the killing only really requires one person. Four people are not required to take down security systems either.

      Although you make sound arguments, your chapter still is very unrealistic.

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      Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

      I can see how many of the details seem unrealistic when you think about it as a normal event. It was specifically written to be very open and explained in more detail in a separate dedicated chapter. There’s so much more to it, making conclusions without knowing about it is not possible.

      For example, did you think about where Leo’s home is? What’s the surrounding like? Has fashion changed in 200 years? Does the clothing have any symbols on them? I feel like calling wearing black clothing unrealistic is like saying wearing only a bikini is unrealistic. If you’re in the middle of a city in winter it might be weird, but if you’re close to the beach then it suddenly becomes natural.

      The chapter is unrealistic when you analyze it as a standalone text and not a part of a much larger novel. It’s also mostly due to my writing style of leaving things open, making readers question it then slowly realize why things happened like they did as the novel goes on. It’s really not a good way to write, but I’m doing it anyway!

      The first thing you need to understand is that the game allows for a very realistic experience. A player who has, for 15 years, played the game with a dagger and experienced countless life and death situations would obviously be proficient at using it.

      I think you are leaning way too much towards how a normal assassination in today’s world would be. They also carry guns, but the one murdering Leo leans heavily towards using a dagger instead (yay foreshadowing).

      The reason they needed 4 people is to quickly find and kill Leo. Disconnecting the security system is guaranteed to send out multiple warning signals via various methods, eventually alerting someone. They also need each other when escaping from the estate afterwards.

      Also, you’re thinking about the universe, not his universe. The universe is all existing matter and space, while his universe is by Oxford dictionaries’ definition ‘A particular sphere of activity or experience’. It’s a way to broadly encompass everything that makes a person a person in a very general term. A change to this would, therefore, be a change to the person themselves. It’s basically a somewhat complicated way to say ‘either this is a parallel universe or something changed’. That something could literally be anything. When faced with countless possibilities, where you start hardly matters. The only thing he can do is go along with it until anomalies show up to guide him towards a conclusion.

      The parallel universe part takes care of the possibility that the actual universe changed, while his universe takes care of everything else. At the end of the day, he basically just said 'something's different'.

      Artorias the Abysswalker @Artorias the Abysswalker ago

      First, while playing an incredibly realistic game may provide you with dagger proficiency, gaming has negative consequences that will hinder an assassin from assassination. Gaming does not give one the grace or the muscle control to move silently, either.

      Second, an assassin does not need dagger skills to literally slice the throat of an unaware, unmoving person. Anybody can do that. Dagger proficiency is not needed for a fight either, for a dagger is useless in a gunfight.

      Third, since the setting is 200 years in the future, there must be a better weapon than a dagger to assassinate with.

      Fourth, you argument about fashion and stuff is invalid. Since you made no mentions or whatsoever about such, the reader is free to assume whatever they wish. Maybe black clothing is acceptable. Maybe not. Since you did not set the details in the text, you cannot use this fact against me.

      Fifth, slicing throat do not require 4 people. Having four people does not make the operation easier or faster either.

      Sixth, you are thinking of the metaphorical definition of universe. So desperate to prove me wrong, are you? When searching up universe definition on the Oxford dictionary you purposefully chose the second meaning of universe to use in your counterargument. The context all point toward to the literal and first definition of universe being used.

      Seventh, you said that the term universe in this case are the things that make a person a person, which is obviously not true. And if universe is being used as such, than his characteristics are changed, which make no sense, again.

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      Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

      I think it’s best to leave it at agree to disagree. I’m sorry if my response was seen as me trying to attack you personally. It was meant to explain how I interpret the novel. I can look at it from the perspective of the entirety of the events as a whole, but you as the reader obviously does not have that luxury. I can definitely see how my response can be taken as aggressive when it was meant to just be my thought process for the chapter.

      For example, I consider a change to the universe to be the same as a parallel universe. It is, after all, not the same universe after a change has happened. Therefore the metaphorical meaning makes more sense to me. Obviously, this is not how you interpret it, nor may it be how anyone else interprets it, but it is what I meant to have it be like. As the reader, you decide how a text is interpreted. It doesn’t really matter what I meant it to be. A novel is only a novel when it’s read. If my version of events does not come across then that’s on me as the author.

      There’s really not a final answer to this. I consider the realism based on the context of the entire novel while you consider it from the information in this chapter. Neither is inherently right or wrong.

      Again, I’m sorry if I offended you. It was meant to be me casually explaining how I personally think about the event. You do not have to agree with me, nor do I have to agree with you. At the end of the day, this is a fantasy novel. How realistic it is doesn’t really matter. As long as it's somewhat plausible within the context of the novel’s world, we’re all good. I really do not know why I made such a big deal out of this. I truly apologize for that.

      Artorias the Abysswalker @Artorias the Abysswalker ago

      It's fine. In fact, it is I who must apologize. My dog, whom I have shared companionship with for many years, died recently and I was in a terrible mood. I am sorry if my commentary was belittling or offensive towards you. I am still a hot-blooded middle schooler, who we all know make impulsive decisions. I apologize profusely. However, this verbose argument had helped me momentarily focuse on something other than grief and sorrow at losing someone who I lived alongside for most of my life. For that, I thank you.

      Truthfully, I should have ended this earlier, but alas, pride and grief proves to be hindering once again. Again, I apologize, and I will reattempt to read this story, after calming myself.

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      Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog. I still remember when I lost my own dog 10 years ago. It’s a difficult thing to overcome but I promise that it will get better. It’s important to remember the good moments you had together with a smile.

      As for the story, I’m glad you’re giving it another try. You can alternatively read chapters 1-3 and skip directly to chapter 23 if you feel the story is taking too long to progress or feel like it’s boring. Some of the finer details will be lost, but it's not enough to make a significant impact. It won’t guarantee that you’ll suddenly enjoy the story, but it’s at least more representative of the story as a whole.

riles656 @riles656 ago

Killed by a knife welding assassins in this day and age huh? Sounds like he’s from Britain. They are afraid of knives there. Like to the point of trying to take all of their subjects knives away for some reason.

Kole @Kole ago

Hey!

Just found this story, and notised it is going throu a rewrite.

Should I read this now or will you be adding new stuf(meaning I should wait until rewrite is done)?

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    Etzuerm @Etzuerm ago

    I would honestly wait for the rewrite. A lot of people enjoy the story as it is, but depending on your standards, you will notice that there’s a lot of things wrong with it. There will also be a few significant changes that, although doesn’t change the essence of the novel, still changes the way it’s told.