“Wow! What a nice shopping you did! I would sooo like to do it myself! Since your new stuff is just an image of possible things, and your old ones are only a memory, you can pack everything where you want it here!”
That was a nice touch.
Prof imagined spawning in the middle of a street and having to scramble to find his clothes in a messy pile. Probably there was some law regarding public decency around, and probably no one cared that a poor foreigner just spawned and hadn’t time to don his clothes. He got dressed without further prompt: Boots, the green trousers, beginner shirt, armour, cloak and scarf. The beginner knife he fastened to his back, his two new axes found a place on his belt. He put his spare clothes, beginner hatchet, rope and bedrolls into his backpack, the foodstuff and cutlery went into the sack, everything else into the messenger bag.
He took a few moves to make sure, everything was comfortable and easy to reach, and started to ask Sandy a few last questions.
“Say, Sandy… I’ve got a lot of things, because I asked for the Rule Book and the Store, but what about those, who doesn’t read the rules, doesn’t ask about the store and such?”
“Oh, I sooo knew you will ask about that! Actually you also asked about the cultural Skills, so that you will get a reward for that too! My friend believes strongly in rewarding effort and doesn’t just give out presents for free!” Sandy looked a bit uncomfortable for once.
“You know, if you haven’t asked for the Rule Book, we would have either assigned random numbers to your Stats, or more likely sent you to the world with your last-life-Stats! Probably he would have given you a very nice Perk – some of those more expensive than 5 – because he is a sooo nice guy! And the hidden Perk [Utter Moron]. As for money and gear… Well if you wouldn’t have figured it out and haven’t asked about them, that would have meant the you don’t need them… Ehmmm...”
“What?!? You mean, if I haven’t asked about the shopping, I would have gotten the beginner set, and set lose broke?” Prof suddenly got the chills. In a new world without money and just the cosplay-costume would have netted him an early grave. Assuming, roaming monsters had the decency to put him into a grave, and not just eaten him. There was probably some records sponsored by a beverage company, how fast you would die after relocating!
“Oh, no, you got it wrong!” Prof relaxed a bit. “Since you figured out the money-thing, you would have still gotten your money! However, if you hadn’t asked for gear and shopping, you wouldn’t have gotten anything else!”
“No beginner set either?”
“No beginner set either!”
“And where would have I put the money? I had to buy my own pouch for the coins!”
“Ehmm… There are places you could… No, I’m not talking about places!!! Lalalalala”
“So, to make it clear: If I hadn’t figured it out and asked for it, I would have been set loose naked and broke?!?
“Yes! But you did figure it out, and have asked! Also, you asked about cultural stuff!”
“OK, and how would that help me? I still can’t assign any species, culture and country to the Skills!”
“Weeeeellll… I told you, that you would be placed randomly into the world, yes? If you hadn’t asked for the Rule Book, you would have kept your Skills from home.”
“That’s not that bad!”
“I clarify: you would have kept the exact Skills and Skill Levels, as you had on Earth, and they would not have converted to Skills in the new world. Despite your fictions on Earth, no one speaks English outside of Earth. Do you understand?”
“Oh...” That was bad. Worst case scenario: he would have arrive in the new world butt naked, broke, could not understand anyone and wouldn’t even have a clue how to behave properly. Do you know what those kind of people are called? Dead. Or with a bit of Luck: Slave. At least he asked for that damned Rule Book!
“Of course, since you asked for the Book, your Skills will be converted. And since you actually asked about the cultural Skills and why you couldn’t select a country, those will be converted to the place’s where you arrive! Isn’t it neat?”
No, it wasn’t. Prof already figured out, how the World Administrator liked to play.
“So, if I hadn’t asked, the Skills would have been converted into random places’ ones, not necessarily where I would have arrived?”
“Oh, I knew I liked you! You are sooo smart! Yes, it means exactly that! Isn’t the Administrator such a nice guy!”
No, he wasn’t. Prof would have rather used the words “Asshole”, “Bastard”, or a few others, but no, nice guy he wouldn’t have called him. At least Prof dodged the bullet, and got a new self, passable gear and a chance to have a shot surviving. Still, he could not make himself comfortable.
He was still basically a noob in the endgame town – where the town was the whole wide world. He seriously doubted the Administrator would be such a nice guy to make zones for certain level brackets and put up signs: “Oy, Noob, don’t go there!”. There was probably some barely-inhabited patches out there, where the true monsters lived, but even in a normal environment, he had to assume, there was something crawling along in the night. Something that could or would eat him if given the chance. He was too under-leveled, and he needed to catch up fast.
“Oh, yeah, he really is a nice guy” Prof retorted finally. There was absolutely no sarcasm in his tone. None. Really! Not, that Sandy would notice it anyway. “Those other people would after all not die in short time.”
“Oh, yes! My friend has a whole library full of novels written about them! The few absolute morons not counting, most manage to survive, and even reach really high levels! There was this boy who became the best Mage on all the world, and that girl with awesome healing powers! And that other guy! All of them started without reading the Rule Book, or asking questions!”
Sandy went on and on and on about this guy and that chick, how they did became famous and whatnot. Prof managed to filter out the droning again. He wasn’t exactly sure those people were real, and not just Main Characters in novels – a few of the stories he was certain he read. Either Sandy confused novels for reality or there was some interdimensional copyright-scam going on. Prof gave it even chances.
Of course publishing the same book in multiple dimensions and pay the author only for the sales in his own world would be right in the alley of big companies. Or take the manuscript, scrap it in the home-world, but publish it elsewhere. Ah, of course no company on Earth would do such a thing, or siphon revenue out of a foreign subsidiary, or find tax heavens or any such a thing! Our companies are exemplary on being exemplary!
Khmmm…. Back to Prof and his musings.
“Hey, Sandy. You mentioned an open-air dungeon previously. I always though that dungeons are these subterranean murder holes. Isn’t an open air thing something other than a dungeon?”
“What else could it be? You got challenges, mazes, you got doors you can open only with the right keys, the home team is everywhere and aggroes on you if you do something bad! Like having a weapon, going where you should not or having a bad attitude! It’s a hassle to get from the beginning to the very end! What would you call it? An Airport? Hahaha!”
Prof should have learned already not to ask questions about how the world (any world!) worked, or at least expect a meaningful answer. He figured, this time was as good as any to say his goodbyes (and finally drink that quality beer).
“So, Sandy, I think I got everything. Can I go on?”
“Oh, you are the very best dead person… oh, sorry, I should use the phrase vitality-challenged, you know there was this cadaver who took offence at being called a dead person, so we have to use vitality-challenged individual in official communications. So, Prof, you are the very best… ah, I can’t say it, it’s so ridiculous… Customer in a long time!” Prof could swear, there was a teardrop in Sandy’s eye. She gave him a big hug and said cheerily “Take good care! I will enjoy watching you!”
What da frell?!?! Watching? Is this some kind of sick reality show?!?! Prof tried to get the point clarified, but the place of the office was replaced by the Capital-lettered Nature and his new life.
“I think I have arrived...”