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Thinking back, I missed much of my childhood, huh.

Born to an average farmer's family, the sleepy village we called home was as ordinary and predictable as you'd expect. "Which villager had an argument with his wife last week?" or "So and so's donkey ran off? Well, I never liked that fella in the first place." That was my understanding of excitement at the time. Our village stood at the edge of a kingdom in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, so we weren't what you would call 'worldly' people.

Despite all this, we were happy there, satisfied.

Well, when I say 'we', I really mean my parents. I -I never really felt satisfied. I don't know why, but even if I think as far back as my first memory, I can't remember feeling that it was ever... enough. Yes, that's the word. Enough. Maybe that's the reason why everything went wrong, maybe that behaviour fed the attribute that would throw me off of my calculated path. Or maybe my affinity caused that behaviour.

Welp, Chicken or egg, and all that.

If there's anything good that came out off this all, it's that I learned.

Thanks to nothing going as I predicted, as I planned, I learned to be free.

"..."

What do you mean 'It was all luck'?!

Listen, everything I received, I received due to luck. But everything I became, I became because of myself. My skill, my effort, my accomplishments.

Why don't I tell you the story. Let's start at the beginning. This might take a while, but that shouldn't be a problem, right?

We've got nothing but time, after all.

 


 

It all began one auspicious autumn morning, in a sleepy village on the border of a small kingdom.

In a tiny cot, a woman was giving birth. As a little angelic baby was born and it gave its first cry, the heavens opened up.

And by that I mean it started raining. A lot.

I don't remember much from my time as a baby. I know, unbelievable. How could I neglect such precious memories? So much character development, all gone, forgotten!

What I do remember, was the first time I met my uncle. He worked as a royal guard in the palace of the royal family. He visited our little hamlet during one of his few vacations.

I think I was five-ish when he walked through our small wooden door?

My stats were as pathetic as any five year-old's stats.

Name: Arthur
Titles None
Class: None
Strength 4
Constitution 5
Dexterity 3
Intelligence 4
Wisdom 3
Affinity 15

10 was the average of a statistic for an adult, with the exception of Affinity, which depends on the circumstances, really. At birth, people are randomly assigned one or multiple affinities, sometimes none. Affinities are finicky elemental predispositions which fluctuate depending on certain emotions and behaviours which emulate that element.

Anyway, back to my uncle.

Golden armour, a sword embedded with jewels of many colours, and a red tabard covering his upper body. To put the proverbial cherry on the cake, he had a big, blue [Title] above his head. '[Royal saviour]', it said. I didn't really know what that meant at the time, but just the impression his strength left in me was enough to wake me up.

Or rather, something within me awoke.

After a late night dinner my parents prepared for our guest, and after a slew of infantile questions I had to ask him as if my life depended on it, the trio asked me to head to my room.

Trading a meeting with -in my eyes- a legendary warrior for my small wooden alcove decorated with a small wooden frame covered in furs was not a deal I would usually have accepted, no matter the consequences.

Something, though... there was something in the air. Tension, I think. That alerted me enough to leave them to their business.

For two or so hours, I could hear an argument rage on in our meagre living room. Shouting, slamming on the table and throwing objects we could ill afford to lose, convinced me my parents were serious this time. More serious than I had ever seen them before anyway.

After a while longer, it died down. I heard my mom crying, my dad comforting her, and my uncle awkwardly apologising.

I heard footsteps approaching my room. My door swung open and revealed my uncle. I didn't know what to think anymore at this point. Was this man someone to be admired? Envied? Avoided, hated?

He crouched down and put a hand on my shoulder. With his remaining hand he reached for his pouch, detached it, and held it out for me to grab.

"Take this, nephew. I received this as a gift for saving the king's life. It's a very valuable object, called an [Affinity class jewel]. Keep it safe, and don't tell anybody you have this. If you manage to keep it, it will help you achieve a better class when you awaken as an 18 year old."

Awestruck, I held out my hand to receive the pouch. I opened the strap a little, and peeked inside to see what this treasure looked like. A dull grey stone peered back at me, seemingly staring into me, as if it was a reflective surface.

I closed the pouch and looked my uncle in the eyes, trembling slightly.

"Why did you argue with mom and d-dad?"

My uncle hummed a little, a corner of his mouth lifting, before his gaze turned serious.

"This stone will help you become strong, kid. But becoming strong isn't always a blessing, especially if you aren't strong enough to stand on your own. Listen to me, nephew. If you remember one piece of advice I ever give you, then remember this. If you intend to use this stone, make sure you are prepared for the worst. Practice and raise your stats as high as they can go. If you don't, you will just become a mediocre fighter, an easy target for the truly powerful."

"Can I become a royal guard like you?"

"Maybe. You would probably best focus on your physical stats, then."

"Alright! I can do that! I'll run every day! And I'll lift heavy things and climb mountains and..."

"Alright, alright. I see that you have motivation. Don't waste your gift, Arthur, but don't forget about being a kid either."

Convinced of my path, I became determined. The planning phase had commenced.

 


 

Several years later.

 

Name: Arthur
Titles None
Class: None
Strength 13
Constitution 16
Dexterity 13
Intelligence 11
Wisdom 8
Affinity 56

 

All of my stats had grown in the past few years. My age still limited me, but compared to most adults with common classes, I was already exceptional. That is, if you don't count their classes of course. All classes award stat points, sometimes free stat points, which you could allocate as you wished.

My affinity in particular had risen a lot. I didn't understand how, at that point.

"Art! Get inside! A storm is brewing!"

"Coming mom! I've just got a little ways more to go before I finish my run."

"Now, young man!"

"Just a second, mom, give me just one-no, two minutes!"

"Arthur! If you don't get inside right this moment, I'll lock the door and leave you outside to finish your run in the downpour! Then you'll learn your lesson properly for once!"

"Alright, alright! I'm here, I'm here."

I ducked under the small wooden entrance that I had outgrown when I was around 12 and sat down at our small table. My mom went back and forth, filling bowls with stew for the family.

"I swear to Helios, ever since you got it into your head to become a royal guard, you haven't done anything but train. You don't help out on the farm unless it involves heavy lifting, you don't talk to the other village boys and you completely ignore the neighbour's daughter! Can't you just be happy here, in the village? Can't you just stay home? Sometimes you have to forget about your dreams to become happy, Arthur."

I looked down and played with my food to avoid answering her. In my heart, I knew I would never be happy in the village. The void that giving up my pursuit would cause left me with a creeping fear. I wanted this.

"Your father and me had dreams too, Arthur. We wanted to open a bakery in town, like your grandfather used to have, before the dungeon break. You never got to meet your grandfather, but he would have loved you. And you him. Helios knows, your father sure did. Even now he still thinks of it sometimes. But that's just not going to happen anymore. We have to be satisfied with this now. As long as we have each other, nothing else matters."

"... Are you happy like this mom? Satisfied, I mean? I think that if you keep reaching for your dreams, you'll achieve them someday. That's what the system is for, isn't it? You always told me that as a kid. Don't give up now."

 


 

Several more years later.

Name: Arthur
Titles None
Class: None
Strength 22
Constitution 23
Dexterity 20
Intelligence 13
Wisdom 10
Affinity 100

After all this time, I had finally achieved the first step of my grand plan to power. All physical stats at 20, practically unheard of for someone unawakened. The affinity stat at 100 before awakening. Something most people wouldn't even dare imagine.

"Arthur, will you deliver this tray of apple tart to the Lombards in the crafters district please? I'm still busy finishing this morning's batch and your dad has to stay in the bakery."

"Mom! Today is my awakening ceremony, I don't have time!"

"Now, now. The ceremony keeps going the whole day, you have time to help out your parents for once. We've let you keep up that silly training until now, help out just once. Starting tomorrow, you can actually start learning baking from us, so that you can take over eventually. We're not getting any younger."

I stayed quiet this time, and grabbed the tray, running off to deliver it. I didn't want to confront the fact that tomorrow, I would probably not be here anymore, instead heading over to the academy in the capital, with a strong class, in hopes of getting accepted. I think we both understood that. Maybe she wanted to pretend, for one more day. Out of guilt, I played along.

 


 

Several hours later.

 

"Sir! Sir, I still need my awakening!"

"Well, you're just in time boy. I was just about to close up shop."

My mother ended up keeping me busy the entire day, only letting me go as the sun was setting. I ran for my life, and caught the royal appraiser right as he was about to leave. He led me inside a small, humble room inside of the local lord's bastion. In the middle of the cobbled room lay a glowing orb on a table.

"Just approach the awakening orb and touch it, young man. I will remain here for your safety. Feel free to ask me any questions about your class when you receive it. Good luck."

Not wanting to wait any longer, Arthur practically threw himself at the orb.

He opened his pouch and touched his affinity jewel with one hand, while reaching out with his other hand to touch the awakening orb.

Ding! Awakening stone detected! Host 18 years of age: Affirmative.

Ding! [Affinity class jewel] detected. Effect of [Affinity] stat on class assignment tripled. 100 x 3= 300.

Undergoing awakening.....standout factors detected....strength: HIGH....constitution: VERY HIGH....dexterity: HIGH....Affinity: IMMENSE....Affinity element: Darkness element....

Assigning class....[SkeERROR, cannot assign undead class to living entity....Reassigning class....[KnigERROR, cannot ignore affinity stat due to [Affinity class jewel]....Searching for solution....Found available classes: 1. ERROR, cannot assign tier 4 class as starting class....Adjusting class for tier 1....

Assigning class....[Death Knight].

 

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Belgianfri

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Bio: I like fries. The belgian kind.

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