Chapter 1 – Adventure – Start!

Hello my name is… Cupcake. Well, not really, but I want my identity to be hidden for now.
I’m a dark gamer. Right now I’m preparing to enter “Loiterous” new VRMMORPG game that has just come out.

Although I say it has just come out, I’ve been waiting for this game for 3 months, right after its releasement was announced.
It’s launching in 10 minutes, oh I can’t wait to play!

Well there are still 10 minutes, might as well tell you a little about myself.
Where to start… oh, right. I’m a highschool graduate, I’ve graduated in 2024, right now, a year later I’m 20 years old. I live alone in a small city in a 60m² condo.
The world hasn’t changed much.
I’ve concluded that going to the University now is useless, unless you want to become an engineer, some kind of scientist or a doctor.

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I’ve always loved video games so I decided to play them for a living.
I’m earning a living by selling various items from popular MMORPG games.
You may worry how I am going to get by now, that I’m about to start playing Loiterous.
The answer to that question is quite simple.
I’ve sold most of my items in all the other games I played, leaving only one geared character in case something happens in this “game”.
You can’t really call it a game, it will be a virtual reality after all…

I have concluded that my items in all the other games will become worthless after Loiterous comes out, that’s why I sold everything, except the gear I had on my main farming character.

‘It’s better to be safe than sorry…’

Anyways, the game is about to start, and I’m really hyped.
The developers promised that apart from the cost of VR helmet that is 150$ and the game that cost you 50$, you won’t need to pay for anything, well, no wonder they’re the only company with the only VR game.
There was no subscription fee either.

I guess they want to reel the players in and so far they’re doing good job at it.
There are many people waiting for this game with bated breath.

It’s not like they’re doing it for free. Albatros Company is an enterprise after all, they are not releasing this game just out of their goodwill.
They have announced that there will be an auction house where you can sell your items for both in game currency and real money.
Both these transactions will have some kind of a fee.
This is probably one of the sources of their future income, but who cares, for a dark gamer like me it’s music to my ears.

Loiterous’s official website had a post that stated it will be an open world boasting 95% reality with pain dulled to 20%.
One can decide not to do any quests and still enjoy the game however he or she wants.
That’s the sandbox a lot of gamers have been waiting for!

I don’t really know much more about Loiterous, because the information the Albatros Company released was scarce, all they said is that the VR they are planning to release won’t have any kind of a webshop, just so the players are sure this game won’t be pay to win.

Soon I’ll be able to enjoy this new world or should I say my “second life” to its fullest!

Let’s check the time. Damn!
Seems like 9 minutes have passed, I need to log in. I don’t want to be left out with no place to grind…
Donning my VR headset with a solemn look on my face, as if it was a crown, I was once again astonished that such a little device can transfer me to another world.
World of fantasy and adventures that sounded so much better than this dull, bleak world.
Plugging the headset to the power socket, I turned it on and launched Loiterous.

[Would you like to connect to Loiterous?]

I obviously thought yes.

With my consciousness fading, I was transferred to Loiterous.

It seems I’m in some psych ward, it’s all white everywhere I look. I can’t even see the door, let alone the doorknob. Have I really gone that crazy?

NPC: Welcome adventurer, your brainwave scan determined that you are a new player.
Would you like to create your character?

‘Female voice…? Oh right I connected to Loiterous, soI should be in the character creation screen…guess my sanity is still intact.’

After sighing inwardly, I’ve regained my bearings.

MC: Yes please.

With a few flashes, a blue interface appeared before me.
There I was, black hair, hazel eyes, 180cm, 75kg, I wasn’t muscular nor fat, just what you would call a healthy male I guess.
My eyes seemed sharp, like I was in a battle or about to kill something… or someone.
Maybe it was taken when I went into my focus mode…yeah, games changed my personality quite a bit.

NPC: This is how your character looks.
You can’t change your gender nor meddle too much with your appearance due to technical difficulties.
Basically, you can do only minor changes.
Our company doesn’t want to endanger players’ lives after all.
The only available race is human.
You can change your hairstyle, color of your eyes or add some scars and tattoos to your character.
Would you like to do any of that?

‘Hmm… I don’t really need to change my hairstyle or eyes’ color let alone adding tattoos or scars. What if I meet some lovely girl… let’s keep my appearance as it is.’

MC: No thank you. Keep it as it is.

NPC: Choose the name for your character.

‘I don’t really want to be recognized from my other games, people will ask me for money and to party up. I should keep my identity hidden. I’ll choose a different nickname. Something that sounds harmless and ridiculous.’

MC: Icicle.

NPC: Is “Icicle” correct?

MC: Yes.

NPC: Very well. As there is no tutorial, you will be automatically teleported to a random starting location. May the goddess of wisdom guide you, adventurer.

Right after the female voice announced it, I’ve appeared in a what looked like a middle-sized city… no it seems more like a town.
Before I could even behold the wonders this town held, a blue pop up immediately appeared before me.

[System message]
Welcome to the Vilen Town.
Vilen Town is known as the capital of the starting area.

Alignment: Independent
Ruler: Marcus Vilen
Population: ???
Contentment: ???
Military: ???
Navy: ???
Security: ???

Information you have no knowledge of or no access to remains hidden.

‘So I’ve arrived at the capital of the starting area. Let’s check out combat then I can do some sightseeing later.’

Let’s see my status and inventory first.
Oh right, there’s no keyboard so there are no keys as well… Maybe I should open it through thinking?

‘[Status]’

Name: Icicle
HP: 100/100 Mana: 100/100
Race: Human
Class: None
Subclass: None
Alignment: None
Stats:
Strength: 10
Agility: 10
Dexterity: 10
Vitality: 10
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 10
Luck: 10
Skills:
None.

Special effects:
Newbie protection: You can’t be player killed and your satiety and thirst level don’t drop for 72 hours. Decreases only when online.

‘So these are my stats, now for the equipment.’

‘[Inventory]’

[Enchanted Novice Backpack]
Allows you to carry 500kg of items without hindering your movements.

[Rye bread x5]
Bread made of rye. Tastes bland but keeps you full nonetheless.

[Canteen]
Canteen filled with water. Quenches thirst.

[Rusted sword]
This sword has definitely seen better days.
Damage: 2-4
Requirements: Level 1

‘At least developers provided us with a sword, backpack, food and some time to adapt to this world.’

Walking down the street I saw a gate, there were already players around, fighting some things that looked like wild dogs and horned rabbits.
Equipping my sword I’ve decided to join them.

[Wild Dog] [Lvl 1]
Species: [Monster] [Dog]
Attack: ???
Defense: ???
Health: ???
Skills: ???

[Observe] skill is required to see hidden information.

Can’t even check its stats… great

“Arghhhhhh!”

‘What was that?’

Turning around I saw a player dying. What a noob, dying to a level 1 monster… you surely won’t get far mate.

*growl*

‘Aww, what’s wrong with my leg..?’

Blue interface popped up directly in front of my eyes.

You’ve taken damage
-15 hp
You have received negative status effect.
Bleeding: -1hp/sec for 10 seconds.

That little whelp… that’s what I get for looking away.
Don’t worry, I’ll pay you tenfold for what you just did, you little critter.
I swung diagonally towards my left leg, ending it with a curve to change to a horizontal slash.
Although Wild Dog tried to dodge it, I’ve managed to land a hit!

[5]

Wait.. what? 5 damage? And it’s health bar seems completely full! What the hell! Let alone damage, just how high is its defence and health?
No, no, no. Calm down. Maybe it was a bad roll on the damage. Let’s test it with few more hits.
Swinging my sword like a madman, I dealt the following damage.

[3]
[5]
[4]
[5]
[8]!

That 8 damage was a critical hit…
It seems like 20% of its health was gone. So his total health is around 150? Are you serious? 15 damage on hit, causing me to bleed 10 more health points… this is ridiculous.
Wait… can it be… no, impossible. But what if… what if the 95% reality means that while fighting monsters humans are inferior?
After all, this dog was listed as [Monster]. Yeah, that would make sense.
So if this dog requires a party to be killed, then going solo hunting, let alone farming dungeons is way out of my league… at least for now.

I can’t really kill this [Wild Dog] by fightning it this way.
If I were to make a party I won’t get combat experience. This sucks.
I need to run away before this furry whelp kills me.

“Hahahaha, look at that guy, running away from a lvl 1 monster!”

I could hear all sorts of laughter and mocking coming from the nearby players.

‘Laugh while you can, bastards, you’ll see how it is when this [Wild Dog] shreds you to pieces.’

Here I was, thinking that I’ll challenge dragons, phoenixes and all the other extremely hard to kill bosses by myself.
*sigh* it’s good I haven’t proclaimed it out loud, I would be a laughing stock right now.

Oh well, guess my sightseeing trip will happen sooner than I have thought.

After walking and asking around the town for a good 30 minutes, I’ve discovered that Vilen Town is square shaped, with 6m high stone walls.
Each wall had a watchtower in the corner, 4 in total, making it look like a stronghold.

The gate through which I’ve entered the fields was known as the North Gate, the only one leading away from the Starting Area.

East gate led to the Hunter Village which was known as the place that trained Rogues and Archers.

West gate was connecting Vilen Town with Seaman Village, it was a costal village where you could become a Sailor and travel the vast oceans in search of fame, riches and glory.
Seaman Village had a Mercenary Guild as well, where you could become a Mercenary or a Crossbowman.

It seems Mercenary was a kind of a warrior class with additional survival skills.
At least that’s what the guards told me, before they became annoyed about my pestering and told me to leave them alone.

South gate was leading to the docks. I didn’t get it when I saw the Navy part in the welcoming message, but it seems Vilen Town was coastal.
Now for the interior of the town.

Warrior guild was located in the north west corner of the city.It took quite a large amount of land, there is most likely a training field behind it.
It seems like a good strategic location in case of a raid or monster attack.
As the name implies, you could become a Warrior there.

Right in the middle was a town hall, where the lord resides.
I am saying town hall but it looked more like a keep, 10m tall, with 3m walls around it and only one gate leading there that was facing the North Gate, with 2 guards in front.

The church is located to the west of the townhall.
From what I’ve gathered, it is a branch of a main church, that’s why it’s not a cathedral.
Some priests told me what God they believed in, but I didn’t really listen, as I’m not planning to join the clergy nor am I religious in real life.
Apparently, you can become a Priest or a Paladin if you are willing to join the clergy.

South East corner of the town is a place belonging to the Mage Guild.
It seemed comparable in size to the Warrior’s Guild.
Mages are divided into groups based on their affinity.
There are 5 basic affinities one can learn: Fire, Wind, Water, Earth and Lightning.

I don’t know who made the layout of this city, but he was a good strategist.
Keeping mages close to the docks provides protection from the sea, in case of some kind of coastal attack, while Warrior Guild near the North Gate should deter any possible land attacks.
I can only imagine what kind of sea creatures can attack such a town…

Residential houses close to the town hall were belonging to the richest people.
Same goes for the shops, the closer to the town hall, the richer their owners.
Seems like the ruler likes to keep his “important residents” close…

On the east side of the town hall, there was an artisan district where you could learn blacksmithing, tailoring, cooking, fishing, enchanting, alchemy or become a Merchant.
These were some of the subclasses available, as it was just a starting area not all of them were here.

Some subclasses can be find only in specific areas, for example Miner subclass can only be found near the areas with, obviously, mines.
Subclasses just like the skills are divided into 5 categories: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and Master level.
There are some rumors about people that have exceeded Master level, but there’s no one who has actually seen them.

You can have 3 subclasses.
One of them is the main subclass and the other two are secondary subclasses.
Secondary subclasses can’t be leveled past Advanced level.

I haven’t seen anything about the players’ guilds yet.
Guess I’ll find out when I’ll be able to leave the Starting Area.
There is a requirement of clearing the dungeon or something like that.
I can’t really tell as the townsfolk weren’t clear on that part, all they said is that you need to venture into the dungeon.

You can only choose one class, so I’ve decided to become a mage.
I’ve never been much of a mage player, but it seems easier to learn swordplay than magic.
I assume there will be many monsters I can practice my moves on.
With that resolution I headed to the Mage Guild.

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14 thoughts on “Chapter 1 – Adventure – Start!

  1. Sorry to be a Negative Nelly, but… I’ve noticed a lack of criticism in the comments. So, here’s a bunch. I only hope it’s constructive in nature for you, as it’s meant to be. 🙂

    I’ve read further than this, but just can’t finish. Another OP character of a VRMMORPG? Who winds up with a very predictable element, if you’ve been reading any other essentials? And, who is, incidentally, even more of a Marty Stu than most? This… is a touch cloney, don’t you think?

    I’m not even sure he realises that he’s a straight-up Villain Protagonist, and a fairly shallow one, at that. Not seeing how he interacts with others day to day IRL gives us no context when he acts as he does in game, so some of his behaviour is both disjointed and inexplicable. Getting a handle on how he thinks is is versus how he acts is far from easy, which made the experience of reading him a wallbanger for me. 😐

    Heck, I’m afraid most of your characters are flat, obvious tropes on two legs or a slither (and, do not get me started on the female characters you depict — yick: I don’t think I’ve ever encountered women or girls actually like that, unless they have faced some form of abuse as children which they have failed badly at dealing with). -_- At least the NPCs have the excuse that they’re designed that way: the gamers… not so much (although, having played enough Second Life, I might be expecting too much from young gamers). You’ve missed a very possible golden chance for that 2D character writing to jar players out of the VR experience with a heavy dose of the Uncanny Valley in a possible arc, for example. There’s almost no exploration of the metagame in relation to the protagonist’s own character arc — that I got to, at least. :/

    Also, the pacing throughout is not varied enough. Nor are episodes given time to mature or settle: it’s all *boom*, *bang* “did this, doing that, moving on to the next thing” without giving readers a chance to breathe beyond the wait for a new update. That is not good pacing, for a story or a game. 😦

    Might I suggest hitting Extra Credits videos? The Pacing one, specifically? And, there are a few others you may well find worth your time. For something completely different and divorced from my carping, try the South Sea Bubble. 😉

    Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed a lot of the work you’ve put into this and cannot fault your scenario-building. But, the problems jumped out and strangled my engagement. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Finally someone with the criticism, I was waiting for it. I know what you’re getting at with the characters, there are mainly two reasons. First of all, I never understood “normal people”, I was always an individual, trying to find a different way to approach things, maybe that’s why my characters are … different. I had no intention of making them flat, bland, basically walking cardboard. On the opposite, I wanted to show characters that are out of the usual, that is “tsundere” “shy boy/girl” “hero who needs his friends to win” “I do have a useless class, but it will work out somehow” “What am I even doing here” “How a boy without much time reached greatness” and so on and so forth. I realize these characters are definitely unique, but there are people like that in the world, it’s just that authors always want to depict their average Joe. I’m sick and tired of that. If someone wanted to read about a boy who reaches greatness by being humble and having plot armor, yeah, that’s definitely not the right story.

      To finish off this characters talk, I’ll be perfectly honest, I couldn’t do it the normal way. Show the lively girls and boys who play for fun… These characters wouldn’t be suited for the MC. He needs someone who is at least a little twisted. Otherwise they won’t fit. Everyone has some quirks, some authors decide to just ignore it, others do showcase it even too much, how well do I show it? Probably pretty bad. Why is that? Because I haven’t shown what other characters are doing, at least as of yet.

      I should’ve said it at the start, but I planned this story to be told with the narration.
      While I was starting to write, I challenged myself to keep it in the first person view.
      It probably was dumb, because I could depict everything better, show the world and other characters more and so on, but for some reason I stuck to it.
      I just had a feeling that keeping it first person will make the reader interested, not knowing much about what will happen, enjoy the series as if they were playing.

      Hiding real life on purpose may have not done me well, I probably should have made the transitions more smooth, use dreams and such… what can I say, I do enjoy surprises. Judging on the plot I have thought of, if I included all the descriptions, characters, events, real life and so on, the series would have to be like 1000 chapters. I don’t want to make another Naruto. It was fun at first, then it was just a complete circus.
      *sigh* I am just so conflicted, in the MMOs I do enjoy the early game, where everyone is weak and equal, but there’s always someone who lucks out, gets some strong item and gets ahead.

      Pacing, well, yeah, I placed a lot of things that were not supposed to be there at the first place, but they simply fit the overall story and “late game” nicely. I knew that making transitions will be hard, it would take a lot of chapters and energy, that I would rather spend on writing the actual story, that’s why it is what it is.

      I am simply a reader that focuses more on the plot and action than on the descriptions, that’s why there is not much said about the other players, environment, metagame.
      To be honest, I wanted to put characters somewhere, show their adventures and so on, but then when I tried with MC’s sister, my readers made me realize that it can be done with side stories.
      Being under a heavy load as of now, I don’t really have the time to write them, but they’ll definitely happen.
      That’s when everyone will be able to see what an average Joe does in Loiterous.

      Real life, more player to player interaction is supposed to happen in the next volume forward. (I don’t know how far have you made it)
      As for the mechanics of the game, it will be shown later on in the story, I have figured it all out, but I can’t show it just yet.

      It probably is egoistic, to write the way you like, not really minding the readers, but I’m trying. Making the MC who he is, just so he can be judged preemptively, than showing his situation, most will still think of him as unredeemable, but well, not everyone is a good person.
      I am starting to show that Icicle realizes that he’s a villain, not some superhero.
      It took me 45 chapters to get there, but here we are, it’s happening!

      Anyways, thanks for the advice and the video, I’ll edit this comment after I’m done watching it.
      There are still few things that require my attention, so it may take few hours.

      If you do decide to read the rest, be sure to give me an opinion, it will be highly valued.

      Like

      • Whoa, some miscommunication, there. Which is probably my bad. <_<

        I wasn't suggesting you stick to Everyman, Everywoman or Everydude (also, I could go on about how so many people over 600 years have messed up on what an Everyman character can be), but that's another story. Many OP characters face conflict and challenge while still being well-rounded characters: one that springs to mind is Taylor Hubert; or, for a classic Flying Brick with World Of Cardboard issues, there's always Superman. The Ace (Trope c/o TV Tropes) can be a fine character type to explore, so I'm never one to argue against doing so. 🙂

        Reducing even an NPC to just one character trait strips them of potential and turns them into a walking clichè that's been done so many times… even if you don't know it. Doing that to a recurring character, NPC or not… eep. -_- Nobody in RL is just one thing. Writing a full character sheet for everybody, however, is not easy. But, there are shortcuts. Like the only time I'll ever recommend using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for anything. 😀

        About the Tsundere character type: another way to describe those characters as depicted in manga, anime and JPEGs? "Passive-aggressive abuser with anxiety and/or anger-management issues. At worst, substance abuse, psychosis, schizophrenia or unregulated bipolar are indicated.” How cute. 😛 The linking of behaviour that should be a warning that somebody needs help to “hot sex; get it here” is something many psychologists and therapists could pin you to the wall for hours railing against. -_-

        Like

        • Dayum, I’m dealing with an expert here!
          Finally feeling so small, I missed that!

          I have character sheets written, it’s just that I can’t show them fully at once in such a high-paced story. It will slow down in some points, but I definitely will make it plot-driven.

          I watched the pacing video, and although I have never looked at the charts, I knew it instinctively. I am experiencing with the chapters, there are a lot of bold, risky moves that may deter the viewer, but I won’t be able to grow as an author otherwise.

          As for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am definitely INTP, maybe that’s why my “social display” isn’t as it should be… T__T

          I don’t think that “let’s have sex on the floor” is necessary a bad behaviour, as long as it’s kept private.

          To whoever’s reading this without knowing the story, STOP, spoilers ahead!

          The scene in the dungeon, where these two lovebirds are almost tearing their clothes off, making out with a rough play is 100% controversial. That’s how I wanted it to be.
          No weak, shy boy who’s a shounen protagonist, it’s a game, go with a bang!
          At least until you realize it’s a person, not a robot…

          As for the overall conversation we’re having, I’m sure there are many esteemed authors who can write better than me, especially following the “pacing chart” of keeping tension just to setlle it down and rile the readers once again.

          As a new author, clearly without much needed experience, I can’t count on this way to take me, hell I don’t know, somewhere! To the top… T________T

          I made some things on purpose, especially in the earlier chapters, but I won’t discuss it here, as it’s not appropriate for viewers to read. (I would simply spoil too much stuff).

          Once again, I enjoy reading your opinion, it is definitely from my “future, experienced” point of view, at least I hope I’ll reach such heights.

          If you want to discuss the earlier chapters and the overall flow further, feel free to mail me, it’s in Here .

          Btw, I think I have seen your name on batoto, on the tower of god chapters to be exact. I was reading the forums pre-season 2 of ToG and some chapters after. I learned a lot of new words just reading your comments, thanks for that 😛

          Like

          • Yeah, that’d be me pre-my-laptop-died. Batoto and mobile typing are painful, so I lurk there these days. *blushes*

            A warning about the MBTI: use on real persons is not recommended. :/ Mainly because how somebody tests out is highly variable. And, partially because it’s based on a lot of debunked psychology (looking at you, Jung). Not to mention it’s over 100 years old.

            However, as a shorthand for character creation, it’s top notch! 😀

            Like

            • All these discrepancies in human behaviour make the world interesting 😛

              I’ll look all of the MBTI “options” up, I won’t base my characters just on them, but that may help me with the general direction.

              Like

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