An Old Man's Journey

An Old Man's Journey

by Allanther

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

NEWS: The majority story has be taken down in preparation to go to kindle.  An Old Man's Journey originally started posting in October of 2019 and the final chapter of the draft was posted on June 21st, 2020.  

At the end of his life, Charles was left with one question: What was it all for?

After his tour of duty and an unremarkable post-Army business career, Charles spent his twilight years watching old movies and waiting for his grandkids to call. He'd lived a good life, been a decent man, but now that his wife was gone he was... Lonely.

Until his old friend Bert introduced him to Crossroads, the new VR sensation. In this virtual world he can move without pain, explore new lands, and most importantly - see his family again. For as long as he can hold their interest, in this fast-paced modern world of instant gratification and VR thrills.

The solution: Build a place his family wants to visit. Armed only with a magic stick with game-breaking powers that should be nerfed, Charles sets out on a journey to find a place to call his own. Along the way, he will be mistaken for an NPC quest giver, become the antagonist in epic questlines, and attempt to teach the next generation proper behavior - even if he has to beat it into them.

This is the story of one man's search for belonging in his second virtual life. A search for a place to belong, and what it takes to get there. It's also a hilarious romp through online fantasy cliches that will appeal to fans of Ready Player One, The Wandering Inn, and slice-of-life comedies.

Because at the end of a man's life: What's more important than family?

The following chapters are the draft format of Old Man's Journey. The complete, edited version is available on Amazon in ebook, paperback, and hard copy formats, and is part of Kindle Unlimited. 

You can find it here: 

This excellent cover image by artist Caleb Smith.  The guy is a phenomenal artist.

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This story reads like a fever dream. It's extremely fast paced with a bunch of plots at once.

It's an overall humorous story with an unique main character.

You should read this in one sitting and at as high of a pace you can. 

If you do not like the main character in the beginning, you will not enjoy the rest.

If you like world-building, I do not recommend this.

Please don't read below spoiler if you are interested in the story. This story does have its merits and I don't want to poison your perception of a story that should be read as a fun romp.

Spoiler: Criticisms

 You should read this in one sitting and at as high of a pace you can. (So important, I said it twice.)



Have read up to chapter 10.

The writing is easy to read. There are some grammar and spelling issues, but nothing too egregious.

The story is fun, old man casually messing with other players and

Spoiler: Spoiler

 I really like Bert

Spoiler: Spoiler

(which of course is vital to the plot).

Might want to add the Short Story tag, and unless there's a major change in the last few chapters I'm not sure Villainous Lead is appropriate.


Absolutely beautiful. A wonderful comedy that has gotten me into some nice laughing fits. 

Tired old man just wants his family to visit him. In trying to get the rest of the world to leave him alone, he creates never ending cycles of get off my lawn and senile rants. Perfection. 

Please send comfortable shoes.


 Its soo hilarious imagining an old man hitting people with a walking stick.


story has a lot of promise, fun to read

Reviewed at: 37

really entertaining MC, old man just wants to be left alone but ends up trolling the hell out of everyone he meets.  probably one of the more realistic fivr litrpgs I've read yet here on RR.


Simple wants. Simple needs.

Reviewed at: Vol 2 Epilogue

An enjoyable story that falters due to a lack of focus.

The first arc where an old man just wants to settle down and meet his family in a VRMMO is brilliant. The juxtaposition of this simple desire with the outrageous plots the game tries to entice him with is good. Combine that with his deft deference of those plots to other people and a supporting cast of younger more typical VRMMO players as foils for his major skepticism and you've got something great.

Where things start to take a turn is when that supporting cast leaves and new ones start rotating in. They aren't as good as foils towards the MC and they aren't as interesting as characters in their own right. I wish the reincarnation side plot wasn't retconned, it had a lot of promise. It was an interesting twist on my preconceived notions of what a game like that in a genre like this could do. It's the far future, make it how you want to and explain it (predictive AI or whatever) if you like. More importantly it looked to be a fun setup for character hijinks where they know and are unfazed by some things and are flabbergasted by others.
Charles actually does become a dungeon master which is less interesting to me than having him be a fulcrum that chaos spirals around. It's funnier to me when he is less oblivious and more just unimpressed. There's a lot of plot threads in the second half where he's more oblivious than anything else and the story just kind of jumps around.

The originals do come back for closure on their story and it does feel good. Missing hours of climactic action for your scheduled bathroom break is pretty funny. The troll thing I could've taken or left. I would've rather had the squid mess things up and have Charles shake his stick at it providing an opportunity for the people to take it down. It would've made a nice change of pace with him taking action instead of passively reacting to it.

Finally I'd also like to mention something I wish was in the story. Charles uses quests to get rid of his problems and he's usually fairly indifferent about it. When he was with his family I would've loved to have seen him try to lean into that ability to help his grand kids (in a way that the game itself hasn't already done.) Maybe give a rebellious grandkid a quest to fish with their parents that ends up becoming a good memory or a shy grandchild a quest that'll have her come out of her shell a little bit and make some friends.

All said it's still a great read I'd recommend to most people.


Perhaps the worst ending to ever be written.

Reviewed at: Epilogue

Now, I'm a assuming the so called epilogue, is the end, even though this story is still labelled as ongoing.


It is beyond clear that the author got bored. Why? Because the ending comes completely out of nowhere, leaving so many loose plot threads it's genuinely infuriating.

Like, a character is introduced and the LITERAL next chapter is a half assed ending. And the author has the gall, the AUDACITY, to be like 'welp. That's the end. No more. Bye bye'. 


Where did the rest of it go!?


Very funny and surprisingly entertaining even if it is sort of slow/slice of lifey.


Story overall is great. Lots of clever humor, but (spoilers for chapter 22)

Spoiler: Spoiler

This wouldn't be an issue in a "gamer lite" magic world, but this is a video game.

Even with time compression, game time and real world time both progress in parallel, in a linear manner. The story is good without this gimmic, and this confuses the setting.



An old-man's companion book

Reviewed at: 34

Ever wondered what you would want your father or grandfather to read on a birthday? Well, this is what you need to read before you have to explain the book. 

You get a wish-fulfillment story for an old man.  However, this old man is playing a VR game. And this my friend is were things became totally enjoyable. 

Just imagine it: 
Old man lv 1
Weapon of choice: Stick. 
Class: Harem slayer and the honorable guy behind the library. 
Attitude: Teachy, doesn't want to hear about the game, grumpy about others messing with his tranquility. 

If the above isn't enough to get you to know Charles. Then let me add how he progresses in the story and survives the pokes of the damn system that is made specifically to trouble him... Ok, its a game, the system is made to make the people that enter it play, right? there is nothing wrong with that, right? The old-man a slayer, the system a stalker, and the reader the observer. 

And thus, you get a story that deserves a five in every aspect. Since the style and the grammar are well-done enough for that. 

Thanks for the story, dear author!