Fog blanketed every corner of the globe’s highlands as dense and dark clouds clustered and accumulated in the sky. Chilling winds mixed with icy snowflakes billowed past the throngs of people gathered atop the highlands. Everyone was lined up a little messily in the biting cold as they inched toward those massive and chilly spaceships with all kinds of complicated emotions bottled in their hearts...
The day was the 25th of December, in the year 2220. This day was supposed to be Christmas Day, but there wasn’t a single thread of cheerfulness or celebration across the entire world. There was only exasperation, sorrow, and reluctance, because this was the migration day for the citizens of the entire world. All nations had ceased their conflicts for resources, and come together to organize space defense forces to protect their own immigrants’ safety.
However… they also had to stop those citizens who weren’t eligible for immigration from rioting...
There was someone in the crowds who couldn’t possibly be eligible for immigration. Nobody knew how this youth, who had a long fringe hanging from the left side of his face, managed to insert himself into the crowd with the current level of technology.
But there weren’t any emotions in his eyes. There was only coldness and indifference… almost like this matter had nothing to do with him at all...
“Announcement to all passengers. Our spaceship is about to depart for our new home in the Outer Stars. Please enter your nourishment pod and check that it is working properly. At the same time, please note that…”
Chen Feng didn’t pay attention to those boring announcements, because he already knew everything a long time ago. Chen Feng never liked to repeat activities a second time, let alone listen to the uninteresting system voice.
Furthermore, he seemed to have sunken into his memories...
He realized that the system announcement was over when he came to. Everything around him was pitch-black because his nourishment pod had closed. He glanced around at the darkness around him, and he couldn’t help but touch the closed icy door in front of him.
Chen Feng began to mutter under his breath in a self-deprecating tone.
“Why are you thinking about all that? Is there anything worth thinking about? Damn…” Chen Feng’s expression still revealed unwillingness even as he muttered to himself. He was reluctant, but he could feel the relief that came from liberation.
Leaving was more like a relief to him.
“I’m about to leave...”
Chen Feng was lying down in a small and dark space, and raised his hand to touch his pod’s cold cover. There were some lamentations in his heart, as he was about to stay for five years inside this game pod, which was also a nourishment pod.
“I should be able to get through these five years easily, and I don’t have to think about things that happened in the past…”
Chen Feng mumbled some strange words to himself as he stared blankly at the darkness around him.
“That’s roughly it…”
But it didn’t matter to Chen Feng where his five years were spent. Five years were just five years to him, and they were always the same. Everything was just a gray and colorless world.
He was always alone in this world...
Chen Feng waited for a long time before he heard a beep. It came from a system notice, and everything around him began to light up, just before his vision turned white.
Ding! “Attention, all passengers. The ships are now full, and everyone who has not been assigned eligibility for immigration has been settled. The ships have been checked for safety, and all ships are about to depart for space. All ships will leave the Earth and Moon and enter orbit. The United Nations Defense Fleet will follow from behind to form a protective perimeter. All passengers will be sent into a deep sleep and into the game world after ten minutes. All safety protocols will be activated. May you enjoy your five years in the game. Goodbye!”
Chen Feng could feel his body being paralyzed, and he started feeling woozy at the same time. His mouth curved into a faint but mocking smile just before he entered his slumber.
“Settled… United Nations… Ridiculous…”
Everyone who had lived on Earth knew that those youngsters who weren’t eligible for immigration couldn’t possibly be ‘settled’. They were probably suppressed with violence.
‘The United Nations’ was another absurd name. The nations had been at war for countless years, and everyone had probably gradually forgotten what the United Nations was about.
Chen Feng gradually came to from his deep sleep ten minutes later, and realized that he had entered the game’s registration system. He didn’t pay attention to the game’s exciting introductory video, as it was just an uninteresting loading screen in his eyes. Even though the video could aid him with the game, it was entirely unbeneficial for Chen Feng. He was indifferent to this game.
Chen Feng loved reading, and he had already seen the background which this game was designed on. There wasn’t anything surprising or unique. Instead, he had several doubts.
In the beginning, the world inside this game was a peaceful continent, and many different strange, mysterious, and powerful species resided there. Humans possessed superior reproductive abilities, and were the dominant race inside this world as they were dispersed to almost every corner of the continent. The living beings in this world had their conflicts, but these conflicts were relatively mild.
But life in this peaceful continent was finally shattered...
Every race had their own faith, and these faiths were roughly divided between worshipping God and the Devil. However, the continent had never seen God or the Devil, and so those were just legends to those races, after all. The majority of races worshipped them due to various myths and legends. Humans were naturally one of those who worshipped God.
One day, a ray of holy light shone down upon the continent, which turned out to be a prophecy sent forth by the formless and illusory God. The prophecy declared that those who worshipped the Devil were living in desperate circumstances, that they were lusting for the continent’s resources, and they were about to invade the continent to pillage its resources. This piece of news made those who blindly worshippedGod both excited and infuriated.
They were excited because God existed, but they were angry because the Devil was truly despicable.
Indeed, it didn’t take long before an incredibly powerful race appeared on the continent: demons!
The different races, separated by faith, seemed like they had a mutual agreement as they started a war with each other at the same time. Both claimed that they were fighting to defend their homeland. Even though humans were the worshippers of God, were numerous, and had strength in numbers, they suffered repeated defeats because the demons were too powerful. The worshippers of God weren’t strong enough to match the demons.
Their savior, God, finally descended upon the world during their most dire crisis!
However, the war eventually stalemated because the worshippers of God had sustained excessive losses, and continued for thousands of years...
That was the background, and a very uninteresting and unsurprising one.
One could even say that the story had been created impromptu. Perhaps… that was the case…
“So boring. Hopefully, this game will be more interesting.”
Chen Feng’s expression was still so cold, and his tone didn’t carry a single tinge of color at all.
Chen Feng pushed away the boring background as he entered the hall used for registration. There wasn’t an attractive female NPC. Instead, there were eight NPCs who all looked different from one another, and who represented the game’s eight different classes.
The eight classes were: Warrior, Swordsman, Thief, Archer, Wizard, Priest, Summoner, and Tactician. There were four physical-type classes and four magic-type classes, while Priests and Tacticians were support classes.
Beep! The system notice rang out beside his ear, “Please walk in front of the NPC of your choice for inauguration.”
Chen Feng had already decided the class that he would choose a long time ago. He wanted to be a Swordsman, because he didn’t intend to socialize inside the game, and just wanted to train by himself. Even though Thief was probably the best choice for individual training, Chen Feng didn’t like that class.
No, more accurately, he didn’t want to become a Thief because it reminded him of things that he wanted to put behind him...
Chen Feng walked up before the Swordsman NPC without hesitating at all. The tall and straight Swordsman NPC said, “Are you willing to become an outstanding Swordsman? If you are, let me bestow upon you the Swordsman’s talents.”
Seems like the game was crafted very hastily. The NPCs are so rigid and lifeless, Chen Feng couldn’t help but think. He hadn’t gamed before, but he had seen certain materials regarding the subject, and knew that NPCs should possess a certain standard of intelligence. At least, NPCs should be able to boast and tout their own classes, and they should be able to fight and argue with each other for gamers to choose their respective classes.
The NPCs’ graphics were substandard. There was nothing to say about their appearances because he didn’t really care anyway, but looking at NPCs who looked different from real people...
“Forget it, doesn’t matter anyway,” Chen Feng continued to think indifferently...
After all, the gamemakers had already said that such situations would arise. Graphics and capabilities would be developed continuously as the game progressed, and it wouldn’t take too long.
Furthermore, this game was just a dream that Chen Feng could live with or without, except this dream was a little too long...
Complaints were complaints, and Chen Feng still followed the system.
“I am willing to become a Swordsman.”
The Swordsman NPC replied, “Alright. Let me bestow the talents of a Swordsman upon you, so that you can become an outstanding Swordsman!”
This boring conversation ended as a system notice rang out beside his ear once more. “Please enter the name you wish to use in-game.”
I’ll use a name that sounds simple by combining the color that I like with my own name. I hope nobody is using that name, Chen Feng thought to himself as he entered his choice.
Ding! “Your registration is successful, and no other players are using this name. The system will automatically enter other details. Unfortunately, you aren’t lucky enough to choose your race, so you can only become a Human Swordsman. The game is about to begin, please wait for a few moments.”
The game was designed so that there were many more humans than the other races, so there were very few players who could choose other races. The gamemakers had to consider players who wanted to choose other races, but they also had to keep their game’s storyline in mind, so they added a lottery system to allow about twenty percent of the game’s players to choose. These players could also choose to become Humans.
Players who weren’t afforded the privilege would have a chance to become other races some time during the game, except that would be a little difficult.
Beep! “Please customize your other characteristics. First, you have to customize your sensory settings. These include your sensitivity to pain, cold, heat…”
What came next were some normative settings that games typically required. Chen Feng chose his settings exasperatedly. He had seen the system’s default settings, and he didn’t like them.
But he was also very lazy. He didn’t want to customize his settings, but he had no choice because this was related to his senses and whatnot for the next five years. Therefore, he had no choice but to be obedient and customize his settings. Even though this was just a very prolonged dream, a little more comfort would always be great.
Chen Feng took a long time before he finished customizing his various settings.
Fortunately, nobody chose my name. Otherwise, thinking up a new name might be troublesome, Chen Feng casually thought to himself as he finished his labors. Perhaps he was a little quicker than others because he had ignored the game’s introductory video.
He glanced at his own outfit and realized that he was dressed like a citizen from ancient China. He was clad in white linen, and his shoes were just normal hemp sandles.
I can see my own appearance without a mirror, but it’s a little weird. I’m dressed in clothes from the old days after all, but I have a modern haircut. Chen Feng suddenly hesitated as his thoughts stopped there.
Chen Feng lifted the fringe on the left side of his face to take a look before he lowered it gently...
There was another cold, clear eye beneath his fringe. His eyes were apathetic to the world…
Chen Feng glanced at the registration hall around him. He didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, and just spent his time staring at the countdown as he waited for the game to begin.
Several minutes passed, and a warning beep was heard as a white light flashed. Chen Feng felt like he was falling, and he was actually falling, because all players would enter Newbie Village by falling through the air like shooting stars.
They were like a gift from the Heavens for the worshippers of God.
Chen Feng quickly found his footing on solid ground, and the white light vanished from his eyes. The image of a small and peaceful village gradually appeared in front of him.
“Is this where I’m going to live for the next five years?” Chen Feng surveyed the unfamiliar surroundings around him as he lamented.
He looked up at the beams of white light that flashed across the sky, and he knew… the game had begun...Next Chapter