Advertisement
Remove
Settings

We exit the vehicle of our local [Uber] driver and go to the lovely land known as Griffith Park.

It’s a quite nice area with many trees and tourists of all kind, just like the two of us. In fact, it’s pretty enough that even my system agrees that it’s worth it.

Ding!

[+1 DP.]

[Total: 66 DP.]

“C’mon,” Francis says. “We can see the Hollywood sign up ahead. That’ll get you so many points. Or just one, I don’t know.”

“Most likely only one. But it is, as they say, beauty that is in the beholder’s eye.”

“I think you messed up the phrase a little.”

“Oh well.”

“How’s your Destiny Cards and stuff going, anyway?” Francis asks. “I don’t think I’ve asked in a day or two now.”

“Somewhat swimmingly. I am advancing through the C-Rank [Adventurer] levels somewhat quickly, and I am already at level 8. Actually, my Destiny Points are getting low due to—due to using a few cards in my, uh, dreams, that I should probably level up now just to be safe.”

Now it is time for me to level up again!

[-30 DP.]

[Total: 36 DP.]

[20,000/20,000 LP.]

And now I become Level 9, Destroyer of Worlds!

Strength

54 (+5)

Speed

8 (+1)

Agility

8

Wisdom

8 (-1)

Defense

26 (+3)

Charm

11 (-4)

Viscosity

13 (+2)

Deftness

21 (+1)

Charisma

11

Manners

19 (-1)

Power

71 (+2)

Sturdiness

22 (+11)

Yes, look upon my stats and weep, for they are the void that will stare back at you. My [Sturdiness] stat in particular is growing at an absolutely unprecedented rate, especially considering that I did not gain any in that stat whatsoever until I entered Rank C.

I tell Francis my stats, and he’s impressed as well.

“The sturdier you are, the better you’ll do in combat,” he says. “Though I’m a little concerned about that loss of four points in [Charm.] Are you sure you’re supposed to LOSE stats when you level up?”

“It is all a part of my destiny, young Francis Bacall,” I say. “If The Goddess wills me to become less charming in exchange for more [Power] and [Strength,] then so it shall be.”

“Makes sense.”

“My Destiny Cards are also in need of a boost. Let me draw more and I shall tell you about them all.”

I draw two new cards and fill out my current roster:

Time Deceleration. Rank 4. Slows down time x5 for what feels to you like 5 minutes. Cost: 800 LP.

Fourth Wall Break: Rank 10. Obliterate the fourth wall for 1.6 seconds. Activates immediately upon drawing. Cost: 0 LP.

The first card is good, but the second is...

HOLY...

Huh? Huh. It’s gone.

Well then, I now have need for yet another card.

Cancel: Rank 2. Stop the effects of an ongoing Destiny Card skill you have activated. Cost: 39 LP.

Yes, good. I can use this whenever the Clone Eryk is no longer needed.

Now my full cards look like this:

Empathetic Link: Rank 7. Create a Mental Link with a target sentient being. Cost: 5500 LP.

Achievement Hammer: Rank 6. Unlock any Achievement Board reward instantly. Cost: 2600 LP.

Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Suitcase (Size: Large).

Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow (Santa Barbara Royal Inventory).

Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow (Mystix Adventurer’s Guild Outfit).

Cancel: Rank 2. Stop the effects of an ongoing Destiny Card skill you have activated. Cost: 39 LP.

Energy Sword: Rank 2. Summon a temporary lightning sword that lasts for five minutes. Cost: 160 LP.

Skill Check+: Rank 5. Examine the variables around you. Choose one; you may manipulate that variable at will. Cost: 869 LP.

Time Deceleration. Rank 4. Slows down time x5 for what feels to you like 5 minutes. Cost: 800 LP.

Now I am down 15 Destiny Points, all the way to [21 DP.] I must strive for more Destiny Points so I can level up again soon.

Francis is indeed very moved by some of my Destiny Cards as I tell him about them.

“Damn, don’t you think [Skill Check+] is a little overpowered?” he asks.

“What do you mean?”

“You can ‘manipulate a variable at will?’ Isn’t that, like, crazy?”

“Hmm... I hadn’t given it all that much thought.”

“Well, just imagine if there was some hot lady with big boobs over there,” he says, gesturing to some area of the woods beside us. “You could see the variable of her affection for you or something like that, and then you could change that from 0 to 100 instantly so then she’d want to kiss you and let you touch her boobs.”

He is overcompensating a little with the boob talk. “I imagine you are correct,” I say, “but I have a very honorable ethical code that prevents me from manipulating people around me in such a way. Even if I could, though, I don’t think the system would allow me to simply, say, execute a foe by lowering their heart rate to zero. It would be unconscionable.”

“If you say so... I’m just blown away about how powerful some of these skills you have are. [Time Deceleration] alone is probably enough to kill half an army, with your stats.”

“If that is a compliment, I will accept it gladly.”

...

We hike through the park and chat some more. Francis is still down in the bluest of emotional states, but I am doing all I can to lift him up... even if it means listening to him ranting about many things.

“...never wants to admit she’s wrong. It’s so friggin’ annoying.” He is referring to Taylor, as he has been for the last ten minutes. “She’s always going on about her little kid as if she’s doing this revolutionary stuff for the world. She’s not. She’s just some lucky baby that got picked by a random producer and a random agent after that. Nobody cares about babies. No offense to Victoria; she’s great.”

“None taken,” I say based on a phrase I have heard a few times by now. I hope I used it correctly.

“If I work my ass off doing streaming daily and then my sister can make ten times my salary just by curling her daughter’s hair well, then I just have no idea. Like, I’ve been thinking for a while about streaming, and maybe it’s not the career I should be going for. It just doesn’t feel RIGHT anymore, and I can’t figure out. I want something else, but I still don’t know what it is. I hoped the adventure would help me, but so far... nope.”

“All in due time, my friend. Your destiny is written in the stars, and—“

“Enough with the metaphysical bullshit. I get it.”

Now we come upon Griffith Observatory, a very famous landmark in Los Angeles, and a wonderful Ding to my system. [22 DP.] We walk around for a while until we see exactly the sight Francis had promised... the Hollywood sign! Giant white letters on a mountain.

Ding! Again. [23 DP.]

It’s a massive gaudy structure that has no purpose here, but I still like it anyway. As the sun stretches on in the sky, Francis and I stand there, sweaty and together and more than a little bit contended, if only for a second.

Francis looks at me and says, “It’s alright.”

“Not fantastic, but definitely memorable,” I say.

“But I’m glad I’m here with you,” he says.

I smile.

We just stand there for a while as all sorts of other people walk by, taking photos and yammering about their instas.

...

“Francis, I dare to ask something. Who is ‘Dalton?’”

He does not look my way. “Taylor’s such a jerk, isn’t she?”

“I would say yes, indeed. But she did pose an interesting question.”

He shrugs. “Dalton was just this dude from high school. We were both mathletes. And we were pretty good friends. After I dropped out of college to do streaming, I stopped hanging with him as much. That’s all there is to it.”

“All you are willing to reveal,” I correct.

“...Yeah. I don’t really want to talk about it, honestly.”

“I see.”

Oh, Francis. I didn’t mean to upset you further, but I wanted to know... And now, to some extent, I do.

He seems hurt, but then he steels himself and looks at me with a certain giddy quality.

“Want to go back into town?” Francis asks. “Plenty more stuff we can do. The day’s still young.”

“Yes, of course. That’d be swell.”

Advertisement
A note from Thedude3445

Two months with consistent updates, twice a weekend... This is honestly the longest stretch of consistent updates this story has ever had, lol. Barring unforeseen life events, it'll continue this way for the entire rest of the series, so I hope this is the way you enjoy it.

By the way, is anyone else a Battle of the Bits fan? I buy all their releases...


Support "Reborn on a Systemless Earth... With a System"

About the author

Thedude3445

Bio: I like to watch movies.

Avatar art by Mikayla Buan. https://twitter.com/mikayla_buan

Achievements
Comments(1)
Log in to comment
Log In