“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m fuckin’ starving, and this whole dome after dome thing is starting to piss me off,” Troy said with his hands behind his head. “Gonna go grab some grub from the tutorial store. Catch you guys later.”

With that, the group began to disperse and headed towards the tutorial shop.

Marcello absentmindedly opened up his notifications tab, but his head was still lost in thought about that strange surge of rage he had against the hobgoblin. That just wasn’t him. It was uncharacteristic. Marcello knew himself pretty well. At no point in his life did he manage to lose his cool like that, not even when he got the news that his best friend was killed in a hit-and-run by a drunk driver.

When that wave of unbridled uncontrollable rage captured him during the hobgoblin fight, the very essence of his personality seemed to reject it, recognizing it as a hostile foreign entity, and every fabric of his body tried to expel it.

He frowned as he stared at Emma walk away. He had a hunch, just an oddly persuasive feeling, that the black haired slim waisted girl was the cause of it. The thing is, he didn’t feel like she caused it intentionally. Marcello squinted at her, trying to gauge her intentions.

If Marcello told anyone else that he was trying to guess a girl’s intentions by staring at her back, he’d get some strange looks and maybe a call to the psychiatrist or even the police.

He never mentioned it for that reason. It was a bit difficult to explain, and nobody would believe him anyway. He believed he had a special sense of some sort. Yes, yes, the concept sounded absolutely fantastical, and a little bit deluded to say the least, but he swore that there was something more to it than just fantasy.

Ever since he was a kid, Marcello was awfully observant. During second grade, there was a school-wide contest to guess how many marshmallows were stuffed into a giant plastic container, and the whole cavity inducing container would be rewarded to the kid who guessed the closest number to the real answer. Marcello just learned multiplication that year, and he envisioned layers of marshmallows and estimated a length times width calculation for a single layer, then multiplied it by the number of layers that he eyeballed. He ended up taking home the whole container and stuffing his face full of fluffy marshmallows that night. It was a logically sound intuition, but he swore that he just had a hunch to lower his guess from 250 to 247 that day.

During fourth grade, he went on a field trip to a nearby museum, when the trip suddenly got ruined because one of his classmates went missing. All the teachers and supervisors went absolutely ballistic looking for him, checking the bathroom, the hallways, and every single corner in the museum. Nine year old Marcello remembered that the boy was staring at a sample bubble gun in the gift shop when they first entered the museum. Marcello had a feeling that he just went to play with the bubble gun. Maybe he’s at the gift shop? he suggested to his teachers. Five minutes later, they found the missing fourth grader at the gift shop.

Back in the trial room, Marcello felt that something was off after their initial victory against the goblins. He cross referenced his video game knowledge to come to the conclusion that the torches in the corridor were not lit because the room was not clear yet. Again, a logically sound intuition, but the trigger for the intuition was just a hunch that something did not seem quite right.

Marcello always chalked up these events to just be coincidences. But he could never shake the feeling that there was something more. Something he was missing. Why did he keep having these feelings?

Those feelings were the same reason why he found writing a detective novel so addicting. It almost felt like he was nurturing his special sense when he designed scenarios, and challenging that special sense’s potential whenever a commenter pointed out another solution.

Why didn’t you think of that? Marcello would ask himself. He wasn’t just asking his conscious brain, though. He was asking his special sense, goading it and provoking it to see how it would react. Like poking a sleeping dragon.

Right now, that same special sense was telling him that Emma was the source of his out-of-character violent fit of rage against the hobgoblin. Some way or another, she managed to mind-control him and whip him up into a frenzied rage. It was quite an intriguing form of mental control too, using suggestion and nudging rather than true slave-like control. It only coaxed out emotions that he already had within him, amplifying them to an exaggerated degree.

Unlike his marshmallow episode or the missing boy episode which he solved by examining fact patterns, this time Marcello’s sense that Emma was the culprit was not based on any logical conclusions. The girl was no different from the rest of the earthling initiates in the first area, having just received her class and entered the first area. Last time he checked, mind control was certainly not one of the (basic) spells given to mages.

But he knew it had to be her. Even if all the facts pointed elsewhere.

She is special, his sense told him. She has one too. A powerful one.


Have one what?

She has an Inheritance as well.

The voice in his head echoed with depth, as if it spoke from a place of a vast, imposing void that threatened to swallow anything that approached it. And yet Marcello felt unafraid to approach it, and even question it. He felt that the source of power came from within him, from the very essence of his being, and that this strange power would not hurt him. Just another one of his hunches, but this time he knew it was true. He just knew.

At that moment, something within him changed violently. Marcello fell to his knees, his body burning up as if he was doused with gasoline and thrown into a bonfire. “Gaaaah!” he shouted.

You have awakened your Inheritance.

*Inheritance obtained*: [Despair Intuition (unique)] – Pierce the veil of despair. Enhances logical thinking beyond physical limits. Offers protection against mind afflictions. All effects are multiplied in a state of despair. +10 all stats when the end is near. +10 presence. Sense stat has been added. +100 sense. New skill paths are now available. Inheritance may be developed further. You are the sole owner of this inheritance.

“Haah….. hah…..” he breathed, sweat dripping from his forehead. Several other initiates that he didn’t recognize glanced at him for the outburst, but looked away quickly after registering that it was just another guy with ptsd from his trial.

Emma, Troy, and the rest of the gang were already at the tutorial store and didn’t hear or see him gasping awkwardly on the ground.

After a minute of taking a breather, Marcello read over the description of his inheritance skill. He was very curious about what exactly an inheritance was, and tried to use the system’s identification to get some more information. No dice. No tooltip showed up when he focused on the word inheritance, mirroring his prior experience with the presence stat.

You are the sole owner of this inheritance.

Marcello instinctively knew that this skill was one that truly belonged to him, and to him alone. The last sentence only served to reaffirm what he already knew. This was his inheritance, and it was a strong one at that.

Pierce the veil of despair.

Despair Intuition was kind of a strange name for a skill, and the usual skill rarity in parentheses was replaced by an enigmatic inheritance tag. Marcello had absolutely no idea what pierce the veil of despair meant, nor did he wish to find out any time soon…

Enhances logical thinking beyond physical limits.

The next effect made a bit more sense, and sounded a lot like what he experienced in the past with his special sense. Enhances logical thinking beyond physical limits. That skill just made sense intuitively to him, and he’d been using it subconsciously for the majority of his life since childhood.

Offers protection against mind afflictions.

The third effect was a quick and dirty mental debuff protection, which sounded almost like his own inheritance throwing up the middle finger to whatever the hell Emma’s inheritance was.

All effects are multiplied in a state of despair.

After that was a multiplier for when he was in a state of despair. Marcello rocked his head back and forth in thought trying to figure out what that meant, and he eventually concluded that despair was an emotional state.

+10 all stats when the end is near. +10 presence. Sense stat has been added. +100 sense.

Then came the stat buffs. Marcello’s eyes nearly popped out when he saw that buff that gave +10 to all stats, only for his happiness to quickly fade when he realized that the buff was gated behind an ominous activation requirement.

Speaking of the all stats verbiage, Marcello noticed earlier that all stats actually meant all the core stats, which meant they did not include presence or this new sense stat. He still had absolutely no idea what presence did, and now he just got 100 points in another stat that the system refused to identify.

New skill paths are now available. Inheritance may be developed further.

And finally, to top it all off for this absurd skill, it explicitly opened up new skill paths and also specified that the inheritance itself could be upgraded further.

Overall, Marcello concluded that his inheritance was a strange one. It could be extremely powerful, but only in his hands. He just knew that if he plopped this thing into Troy’s system, Troy would find absolutely no use for it. And if he put Despair Intuition into Emma’s system… well… Marcello knew first hand that two inheritances did not play nice when in the same host.

“Hey, sense,” Marcello muttered to himself like a madman. “Who’s more powerful? You or Emma’s inheritance?”

There is no inheritance more powerful than Intuition, his sense replied.

“Good to know that my own intuition has a sense of ego,” Marcello mused out loud.

He chuckled, fully aware that he had now officially joined the ranks of the black room insane gang, by bringing his own flavor of mental illness to the mix. Then again, a healthy dose of voices in his head telling him to do things couldn’t hurt, could it?

Marcello whistled a happy tune as he walked over to the tutorial shop, still quite ecstatic about awakening his very own inheritance ability.

He almost forgot about the absolute buttload of points he received for clearing the 50% survival rate room with flying colors. The whole party got a first party to clear a hard trial bonus, and he even got a personal bonus for being the top contributor for bringing down the hobgoblin.

Overall, that netted him a total of 10263 points. Marcello felt like a kid that just hit the jackpot at an arcade, bringing rolls upon rolls of hard earned tickets to the raffle store to trade for some sick prizes.

He approached the tutorial shop that was shaped like a convenience store and read the sign at the side of the door, peeking over five people who were also lined up and reading the sign.

Welcome to the Area 2 Tutorial Store. Food will be sold here for a small amount of tutorial points, although eating is not permitted in the store. A small points deduction will be taken from your total if violated.

The store has been stocked with items to meet your survival needs. Please make sure to accrue enough points to purchase items for your survival.

Because space in the tutorial store is limited, new instances of the shop will be generated to allow for simultaneous browsing of the shop’s interior by many initiates at once.

Personal weapons must be kept in inventory at all times while inside the store. Fighting inside the store is strictly prohibited. Punishment will range from a points deduction to termination of initiate status depending on the severity of the infraction.

Marcello’s guess was right, the tutorial store sold more than just food. Otherwise it probably would’ve been named Tutorial Restaurant or Tutorial Canteen, and he’d be one very fat initiate by the end of this if he had nothing to spend his tens of thousands of points on except hot food.

Having read and understood the rules, Marcello squeezed his way over to the entrance of the convenience store and entered. His surroundings spun for a moment as the shop warped, until he found his footing in what was now a single room filled with all sorts of items on racks and hung from the walls. A male warrior and a female healer were pacing around, inspecting the items wordlessly. Marcello thanked the system for creating multiple instances of the store, so that his shopping experience would not involve dealing with stampedes of people moving in and out of the shop.

In the middle of the room was a flashy mana-fueled vending machine with projections of various food items ranging from soups to noodles to kebabs. Some of the ingredients looked questionably foreign, as in not-from-earth, but overall the selection of food was appetizing and clearly made for human consumption.

Marcello remembered that eating within the store was not allowed, so he decided to take a look at the wares first before getting some food to eat outside. The only complaint he had so far was the lack of chairs and tables both inside and outside of the shop. He found the premise of eating without chairs or tables a bit uncivilized.

Now that he decided to peruse the shop more carefully, Marcello took a closer look at the items currently available for sale in the second area tutorial store.

[Mage robes (basic)] - 60 points

[Warrior’s chainmail (basic)] - 60 points

[Longsword (basic)] - 60 points

[Refillable quiver (basic)] - 60 points

Upon closer inspection, neither item quality nor item variety in the equipment section was particularly great in the second area shop. Many of the items for sale were simply copies of the basic items that everyone got during their class selection. Marcello guessed that this let players replenish damaged equipment as well as try on gear from other classes, if they were dissatisfied with their current class or simply wanted to try a different combat style. Nothing was stopping a mage from using a longsword, after all, but in the long run the lack of proficiency in that weapon type would disadvantage the growth of sword skills.

However, the other sections were a lot more interesting. He already caught a glimpse of a magic scroll section, and an amulet section. But every grocery shopper knew that getting milk and eggs was the most important, before you got distracted by all the shiny other stuff. Marcello moved past the weapon racks and equipment displays, to the consumable aisle. A silky blonde haired healer was browsing the consumables aisle as well, as a short haired warrior was still looking around the weapons racks.

[Health potion (low grade)] - 20 points

[Mana potion (low grade)] - 20 points

A maximum of 10 potions of any type may be purchased in a single area.

Oh baby, it was time to hoard some milk and eggs.

“You were one of the people who went through the black door, right?” the blonde healer asked Marcello, looking up from the rows of consumables placed carefully on a velvet-covered wooden stand. Her eyes were calm as she stared at him, analyzing his behavior.

A note from HereBeTreasure

If you'd like to throw your author a bone, please rate the story. I'll bark like a dog. My endgame is three thousand followers or die trying. 

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