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A note from Eldwurm

Rewritten a bit. 19/04/2021

Max stood alone in a meadow. The unexpected breeze came blowing from behind, flapping his oversized clothes. He looked back and saw the same Rupture, glowing in its radiant light. “Well, here I am.” Max took a quick look around. There was nothing different about here and back on earth, the same green grass, the blue sky, and the white clouds. Max had more or less expected as such. He had experienced another world, and it was also more or less the same.


Welcome Player


His eyebrows raised. This one definitely wasn’t in his expectation. Now I know what Kate meant. He recalled how Kate said that humanity had a way to fight back. A way different from guns and bullets. Max arched his head up, staring at the sky. I wasn’t able to detect it. Max questioned about the ‘gift’ he gained. A ‘gift’ that slipped past his Chakra Sense. And even now, I still can’t figure out what it did to me. Whatever this ‘game’ like thing was, he sure as hell knew that it didn’t pop out of nowhere. Whoever or whatever it is, I’m pretty sure its way above strong.

“Max!” Max turned to the voice. He saw Kate standing there, panting for her breath. Her knees grew weak and fell to the ground. Max frowned. “I told you not to come.”

Kate frowned and stood up. She went close to Max and slapped him right on the shoulder. “Ow,” Max exclaimed. “What’s that for?” he questioned. Kate slapped him again and again, venting her frustration. “Do you really want to die that much!” Kate’s eyes gleamed. She was on the verge of crying. Then she stopped, staring at the text panel Max saw before. “Is this?”

“Growl…”

The growls of beasts pulled their heads around. Max and Kate saw the eyes of predators lurking within the tall grass. Kate stepped closer to Max as her hands searched for something. “My gun!” she said. “Max, I can’t find my gun.”

Max didn’t look away from these beasts who were still hiding most of their bodies. “Where did you put it?”

“I don’t know, when I jumped into the Rupture, I was still holding it,” Kate said. Her eyes were shifting around as she grasped for Max’s hand. “Shit, I knew this was stupid. Fucking stupid,” she regretted her decision. But it was a bit too late. Her hands felt the bony arm of Max, and she realized her brother wasn’t fit to protect. She bit her lip and made her decision. She let go and stepped in front of her brother.

“Kate, what are you doing?” Max asked while keeping his eyes on the beasts around them. For now, he spotted two of them at his front. He just hoped nothing else was behind them. Kate spread her arms as she vowed she won’t be useless. Not anymore. “I.. I’ll protect you,” Kate said.

“How sweet of you, but…” Max’s eyes turned sharp to his right. He turned and braced himself. The beast took action. A low rumble echoed in Max’s ears as the creature revealed itself under the sunlight. A wolf, a green wolf? It leaped in the air, baring its fangs. Max swung his fist at an angle, timing it well with the green wolf. But…

Shit!

Both fell down to the ground, rolling a few times until the momentum stopped. By a stroke of luck, Max came on top. He held down the green wolf with every weight he had as the green wolf struggled. It tried to chomp Max with its jaw and his weight barely able to ground the squirming wolf. Yet Max took his chance. He didn’t hesitate and went for its eye. He shoved his fingers into the green wolf’s eye as he felt the bones of his fingers crack. But he didn’t stop even after the green wolf struggled even fiercer. He pushed deeper into its eye socket, doing whatever he could. He squeezed whatever he could grab, and after a few more seconds, the green wolf stopped moving.


Level up to Lv.2


The message sealed the deal. He took out his fingers as he saw it was covered by a mix of blood and eye juice. It was warm and disgusting. But then, a blood-curdling scream made him turn. A green wolf was on top of Kate. She struggled to protect herself, covering her face with her forearms. The constant screams echoed even louder as she fought to defend herself. Max stood up and rushed, yet his knees buckled as he fell to the ground. He overestimated this weak body of his. His last scuffle with the green wolf was enough to exhaust every fiber of his being. Not to forget, he just woke up from a coma. Damn it!

“Max!” Kate shouted his name, and yet he could do nothing. She screamed as the green wolf’s jaw locked on Kate’s forearm. It thrashed its head, ripping apart the flesh of Kate’s forearm as blood spilled over her. She cried and screamed as the pain unbearable.

Fuck! Max didn’t know what to do. Not with this fatigued body. Then, he remembered the ‘gift’. Menu, Character Menu, Character Window, Character Status. He tried every possible term that he knew, and by luck, it appeared.


Character Status

Name: Maximus Cain

[HP:111/150][MP:0/0]

Class: None

Level: 2

Strength: 3

Agility: 3

Dexterity: 4

Vitality: 3

Arcana: 0

Perception: 10

Charm: 5

Point: 5


A brief look and he found his solution. Five points to Arcana. He dumped it all, and then came a surge of energy, swelling inside of him. He was familiar with the energy, and not a second too late, his hands started to move. Different hand seals formed one after another as he ended with the last. “Agni Art, Mado Flame,” Max mumbled. A fireball the size of a baseball manifested, floating at the tip of his index finger. He whipped his whole arm at the green wolf as the fireball flew. It hit the green wolf, and the flames burst, spreading to every inch of the canine. The green wolf let go of Kate and squirmed around, jumping erratically. A text panel appeared in his sight, but there was no time for him to pay attention to it.

Max felt the energy in him sapped out in an instant. He coughed out blood as his pale countenance only got paler. Move! He forced himself, and his knees rose from the ground. He wobbled on his feet and reached Kate. She was in shock with her arm trembling. “Kate?” He caressed Kate by the cheek, begging her to respond. This isn’t looking good.

Max carried Kate in her arms and lifted her off the ground. His feet were trembling, and his arms too weak. Max couldn’t lift his own sister. Okay, I think I was too reckless. The whimper of the green wolf turned his head. It was burning in agony as the flames seared its flesh. He knew what he should do. He grabbed a stone and went closer to the green wolf. He smashed the green wolf at the head as many times that he could muster. His actions hastened the death of the burning green wolf, and by the time he struck it the tenth time, the green wolf stopped moving. He stared at it as he waited.


Level up to Lv.3


He smiled. He gained the things he wanted, the precious points. He distributed three points to Strength and the remaining to Vitality. In just under a second, he felt his body was alive, brimming with strength. He went to Kate and carried her in his arms. His gait was stable, better than before. Yet the howls coming from afar made him turned. He frowned. There’s more of them. The thought of killing them came to mind, but Kate was the priority. Next time, he thought. He jumped into the Rupture and vanished.

***

He emerged back in the dark woods, back in their original world. He glanced down to his sister and saw something metallic shining in her trembling hand. Her gun? The lost gun was suddenly within her grasp, and Max had a few assumptions about it.

Disembodied growls came louder from the Rupture. Their return would only hasten a monster breakout from the Rupture. But to hell with that. Max had other priorities in mind. “Hold on, Kate.” He ran through the woods and reached back to Kate’s old Camry. Max got on the driver’s seat and throttled down the road, leaving behind the pizzeria, with its patrons not knowing what was coming. From the woods, the howl of wolves echoed through the night.

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Eldwurm

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