An option? That sounds pretty weird. Don’t tell me it can change the resolution of what I’m seeing right now. I might as well try. Open option… please.
Status Bar: On/Off
Seriously, this is it? Are these even necessary? What’s the point of having… Relax John, calm down. Don’t let it get into your head.
He was quick to get mad but also quick to calm down. It was one of those things he learned after interacting with assholes on a daily basis. A skill that was hard to learn, but grew over time.
Let’s put options aside and open the Character menu.
Name: John Brown
Arcane Resistance: None
P.S a random Unique Trait will be chosen after the user initiates Gacha process. Refrain from using Gacha if the user is not ready.
Well, what a surprise. Even the status and whatever game mechanic it has is different from what I’m used to. There’s even a lottery mechanic for a Unique Trait, I’m definitely going to fail in that. Never a fan of RNG, and I’m kind of suck at it.
His first look at the character menu brought some mixed feelings. It was interesting and kind of made him want to try it out, but the current situation didn’t suit the interesting part. He was thrown in a strange land with these game-like interfaces, and having fun wasn’t on the top of the list of his urgent things to do. It would have been better if he was familiar with the game mechanic. At least he won’t be silently panicking like right now.
Relax John. It’s just a phase. You just need to go with the flow.
He looked out of the window and gazed upon the swaying long grass. They were tickled by the slight wind passing through the plains. The scenery was doing good in calming him down.
Now, where am I? Oh yea, I can see where the quintessence went to. No levels, but from what I see here, it seems like the leveling is based on separate attributes. So what happens if it reaches a hundred percent? Do normal change to uncommon or something?
The leveling mechanic baffled John as he wasn’t sure of how things would advance in the latter period. But for now, at least he knew that he could rely on these attributes to survive in this unknown world.
So what now? I’ve no idea where I should go.
Then he remembered something he missed before.
Ah! Turn Map on… and please.
A little bit of courtesy to an unknown reception, and perhaps there was someone in the back of all of this user interface. You would never know what would happen in the future, and being polite didn’t hurt anyone. At the right corner of his eyes, he saw a translucent rectangular shape appeared.
The map blew out, covering almost half of his vision as he saw something blinking on it.
That must be me.
A blinking light in the middle of what appeared to be a grass plain. The map showed a considerable amount of areas. There were mountain ranges and forests depicted on the map with an old drawing of trees and mountains. The absence of names on the map was one of the flaws he saw. Yet his eyes were drawn to a particular place in the map.
I guess I found my next destination.
An illustration of a city depicted with a medieval castle. He had a feeling after seeing the castle, and he didn’t feel good about it, and it was within reasons.
I know I’m being hopeful, but I hope there’s a functioning flush toilet.
He pressed down the clutch and changed the gear. The Dodge Charger rolled down the plains as John made his way to a place that might have the answer he sought.
A Dodge Charger slowly came to a stop. The driver came closer to the front windshield with his hands on the wheel.
Woah, that’s definitely a castle. Okay, another check for a non-existing bucket list.
He stared at the castle at a distance. It was built on top of a hill with great walls surrounding a portion of the lands. His previous intention to go inside the castle broke down as he realized he was in a car of all things. It was bound to attract unwanted attention, and he wasn’t the type to seek it. Tapping on the steering wheel, John searched for a solution.
Hmm, how am I going to get through this? Should I just wing it?
He was still far from the city gate yet uncertainty worried him. He looked around and saw a sea of trees, it was close to the city, and it wouldn’t be a problem if he traveled on foot since the city was pretty close by.
John turned the wheel and drove straight into the forest. He made sure to park at a denser part of the forest with outgrowing shrubs and overgrown bushes. He could hear the branches scratching over his car’s paint job. Immediately it threw him back to a young age where he winced hearing a classmate of his clawing at the chalkboard.
He hated that sound, but he had no choice in the matter. His Dodge Charger was already being poked around by sharp feathers of a gorihawk. He might as well sacrificed the paint job for the sake of his car safety. Who knows what those people were going to do if they saw his sleek muscle car.
He covered the car with some tree branches and leaves that he could find around the area, enough to hide it from plain sight. It would have been better if he had a camo-pattern tarp, but he didn’t have one. He looked at the car from a distance with his hands on his hip. He nodded as he did a pretty good job in hiding it.
“I’ll be back,” John said.
He left, not without glancing a few times at his Dodge Charger. He loved that car, and he didn’t want anything to happen to it. His accidental arrival was unexpected, and for some reason, he came here along with his car, a partner in crime, one might say.
He walked through the long swaying grass as he felt the brush of the gentle wind over his cheek. He was dressed lightly, a pair of three-quarter pants and a graphic tee depicting a Batman logo. His worn-out sneakers adorned his feet as it was still intact even after years of being worn. Luckily, he kept it in his car. Since the flip-flop he brought from his house definitely wasn’t suitable for a long walk.
The long grass was gone from his view, changed into fields of golden yellow wheat. He saw a few houses reminiscent of a time in the olden days with the chimney puffing out smokes at an interval.
Oh, a person.
Not far from where he was, a man was walking towards John with a rake hanging on his shoulder. John continued his walk as he tried not to appear nervous. It was his first contact with a person from another world, and he wondered how he should greet the man. He was an easygoing man, but that didn’t mean he was eloquent with his words.
“Hello…” a higher pitch than he normally used to since he wanted to appear more friendly. He even raised up his hand for a wave, but it all ended up in failure.
The man with the rake passed by him, ignoring John without even taking a glance. John stood there with his hand still in the air. He froze like a statue contemplating his life choices.
Well, that went well. I guess I’m not that different from them.
A conclusion he made since the farmer-like man ignored him like he hadn’t existed. It made sense since the farmer-like man appeared Caucasian in his eyes. The farmer-like man was a bit tanner, and it might be due to his job. But his facial structure and complexion were not that different from a typical Caucasian.
Fuck that. Let’s just move on.
He threw the embarrassing moment into the drain and walked as nothing had happened. He thought it would be a brisk walk since the city was already in sight, but his flimsy legs started to feel the fatigue.
Okay. This is more tiring than I expected. I should have taken the car.
A belated regret. One that he wouldn’t rewind back in time since it was his car of all things. He might as well sucked it up and took it like a champ. He was closer to the city gate as he saw more people walking on the dirt road. There was even a group of horsemen passing by as some of them gave a weird gaze at John. While a few who walked around also did the same thing.
Like I thought, my clothes look weird to them. That first man I met was probably an eccentric or something.
With a few curious gazes directed at him, John continued his journey minding his own damn business. Another half an hour later, he stood in front of the huge gate of the city wall with his head tilted back. He was just like a tourist admiring the sight of old history, except it wasn’t history.
“You there!” a loud shout caught John’s attention.
A man adorned in a rustic looking plate armor approached John with a spear in his hand, pointing at the clueless looking John.
“Woah,” John raised up both of his hands in the air like a fugitive caught red-handed by the police. He unknowingly retreated a few steps.
“Don’t move!” said the guardsman. The spear in this agitated man’s hand pointed closer at John’s face.
“Relax. I’m complying. See? My hands are empty,” said John. He did his best not to get a stick up to his neck.
“Speak, stranger! Are you in cahoots with the Bat Lord?”
A strange question from the man with a spear. John had his brows up high as the mentioned name was the strangest thing he had ever heard.
“Bat Lord?” he asked.
The tip of the spear pointed down at the bat insignia on John’s tee.
“The mark of the Bat Lord etched on your strange tunic. You’re one of them, aren’t you?” said the guardsman.
More of his comrades with spears in their hands surrounded John in every direction. The situation was getting worst for the newcomer. John gazed at these men who had eyes of hostility directed at him.
“Let’s all calm down, and chill for a second. Whatever Bat Lord you’re talking about, I’m not with him. I don’t even know him,” John said.
“What proof do you have?” the guardsman asked.
Aw, man. He’s asking for proof. How am I… Wait, I do have that.
“Stop! What you’re trying to do?” the guardsman asked as he saw John moved.
“Relax. I’m just grabbing the proof you want. Try not to poke at me, will ya?”
John’s hand reached out to his pocket as he took out his wallet.
The guardsmen were wary about seeing the strange thing in John’s hand.
“Halt. What contraption do you hold?” the guardsman was cautious but it didn’t stop him from doing his duty.
“It’s nothing. There’s nothing to be alarmed about. It’s just my wallet,” said John.
“Wallet?” the guardsman narrowed his eyes, staring at the faux-leather wallet.
“Okay. I’m going to open it and show you the proof,” said John.
The guardsman grew nervous seeing John’s reaching inside the wallet. He heard a lot about the Bat Lord and his devious contraption, and it was never a good story for the one who was struck by it. The guardsman felt the urged to stab John right at this moment as a quick glance at the insignia on his shirt instilled an anxious fear.
But John beat him to the punch. He managed to take out the proof as all eyes were at the sight of John’s waving hand.
“Here’s the proof,” John said. He handed out his identification card at the guardsman in front of him.
The guardsman snatched it out of John’s hand and looked at it from afar. A cautious man at work that didn’t even dare to put a strange thing close to his face.
John waited with his hands up in the air. The awkward smile on his face was the result of him trying not to get stabbed by a spear. John paid attention to the guardsman’s eyes, shifting from side to side, probably comparing the picture on his ID to his real one. He just hoped that his awkward smile matched the cringe smile on his ID.
“Can I go now?” John mustered every courage he had and asked the question.
“Chain him up, and lock him at the Iron Bars,” said the guardsman.
“Wait, what? I’ve shown you the proof,” John refuted the decision made by the guardsman.
“By the orders of King Uther the Hundredth, anyone with suspicion of being related with the Bat Lord shall be prison until further notice,” said the guardsman.
“The fuck? What kind of fucking law is that? Do I look suspicious to you, you dumb fuck?” John released the restrain of his anger as the curse spewed like no tomorrow.
“Quit yer yapping.” The guardsman threw a punch right at the pit of John’s stomach, rendering him speechless. The guardsman pulled John’s medium length hair as both stared at one another. John was still wincing in pain, yet he couldn’t deny the anger towards this unscrupulous guardsman.
“Your eyes piss me off,” the guardsman smacked another right at John’s head. He felt it. A pain that was much worse from before. His head went limp as he blacked out.
“Humph, take him away,” said the guardsman.
“Ugh.” A groan echoed in a dark cell. A man lay on the cold dirt floor, squirmed as he woke up.
Shit. My head.
A massive headache greeted John as he tried to grab his head. Yet he couldn’t reach it as he heard the clinking sounds of metal chains.
I’m in chains?
The barely illuminated prison cell made him hard to see the chains that tied his hands. Only a wall candle was placed outside of the iron bars that prisoned him. John frowned as whatever rotten odor he smelled was making him on the verge of puking. It was a blend of nasty smells that you better not imagine. John swallowed down hard as he kept himself together. He was a fool for cursing at the guardsman, and he regretted it.
I should have been calmer.
He couldn’t help it. He did what he was asked, and yet he was still taken by whatever reigning power that controlled this city. Who wouldn’t flip out after getting such an accusation?
I mess up big time. But at least I didn’t bring my car along. Who knows what those fuckers would do to my car if they see it.
He checked his pockets and felt the shape of his car’s key, a big relief for a man who valued his car. John started to look around as he had never been to a prison before, much less a medieval one.
The walls were made out of black stones, and the ground was just merely dirt. Then his eyes trailed upon the thing that separated him from the outside world, the iron bars. He tried to come closer to the bars, but the chains restrained his movement, chaining him closer to the back wall.
“Shit. I might have a better chance of living in the woods than in this shitty backwater city,” John said. A tint of anger hidden in his voice. He thought reaching civilization would save him the inconvenience of living in the wild, but that thought was betrayed by the reality of it, and it was all because of one thing.
“Fuck. Now I hate Batman,” he looked down at his t-shirt. He loved it since it was a gift, and he did like the crime-fighter vigilante trilogy movies. But all of those loves went down the drain after being imprisoned because of it.
A couple of deep breaths later, John calmed down and turned to his usual self. At least some part of it, being in prison hardly made it easy for him to calm down. Then he heard a cough. John turned to the right. His vision which was slowly adapting to the darkness, made out an outline of a figure close to the sidewall.
I’m not alone.
A thought for celebration, but a second after realizing he was in jail, a terrible gut feeling invaded his mind. There was no way a person in jail would be a person to be glad about. Even if they were in the same kind of situation as John, he still needed to be cautious. Since the odds of another prisoner falsely accused like him was rather unlikely.
“Why are you staring at me, human?” said the person who was hidden within the darkness. It was hoarse yet modulated the person might have a cold or something. But a word drew John’s attention.
Human? Why is he using the word human? Unless… he isn’t one.
John didn’t feel good about his new cellmate. To made things worse, John had a thought that he might be eaten alive since he got a hunch that this cellmate of his might not be the same species. He shuffled his feet a bit, retreating to the wall behind him. The best he could do was maintaining distance.
“An oddity,” said the cellmate. “I can never grasp the reason why you humans fear me.”
“Uh… No, I’m not,” John tried to be friendly as it might be the only way of making him stay alive.
“It’s my back,” John said. “I’ve got a bad back, so I need something to lean on. It elevates the pain.” John leaned his back over the wall.
“How terrible,” said the cellmate. Then a rustling sound of metal chains being dragged over the ground echoed within the prison cell.
John stuck himself closer to the wall as if trying to merge with it. The metal sounds were like death, approaching him, step by step. Yet as the unknown cellmate stepped into the dim light of the wall candle, John saw who it was. The fear he had was gone, replaced by something else.
“Oh? I no longer see your fear,” said the cellmate as his face was clear for John to see. Then John uttered a question of his own.