Tom awakes from his slumber only to find himself in a bed in a room that looks like it came straight out of a TV fantasy series he watched. The series was about a Wizard that secretly protects the prince of a certain kingdom while receiving advice from an ancient dragon.
Where am I this time?
There was a small candle on the table next to his bed. He began to look towards the door but then his eyes spot a figure in his peripheral vision; he immediately turns towards the person.
The moment Tom realises that the person in question was staring right back into his eyes he almost jumped out of his skin in surprise. After closing his eyes momentarily and taking a deep breath he returns his vision towards the person.
The person was a girl looking around 14 years of age; she was wearing a simple light blue dress and an apron, her hair was blonde and tied back in a ponytail. She was currently kneeling with her arms resting on the bed and her head resting on her arms. She was looking at Tom with curiosity in her eyes.
Should I say something or remain silent…
Whilst Tom was looking towards the girl he was unsure as to how he should treat the situation in question. Firstly if this was another world then it is unlikely they would know the English language. On the assumption this world has developed without encountering any influence from Earth they should have developed a completely different language by which to communicate.
Tom realising that in the likely scenario they can’t speak English he would become a very suspicious character if he were to suddenly try to converse with them using an unknown language. It wouldn’t be too surprising that such an act would get him accused of heresy or espionage. Realising the potential dangers Tom decided to remain quiet. The girl also remained silent, thus an awkward atmosphere was created. Tom, unsure whether he should take any sort of action, remained frozen for a couple of minutes.
Girl: “Are you perhaps… mute?”
What, she’s speaking English? Why does she know English? Perhaps this isn’t another world after all…
Tom began to think about his previous assumptions and what clues perhaps he had missed. Perhaps everything he experienced and saw yesterday was due to the hallucinogenic side effects brought on by unknown narcotics? Would that mean that all this was an elaborate prank?
What was I thinking? There’s no way this could be another world. I’m so stupid…
Tom suddenly realised he was slipping back into his bad habit of ignoring people when he was deep in thought.
Tom: “Sorry, that was rude of me, I should have introduced myself. I appear to have become rather lost, if it’s not too much to ask can I ask for your help in ascertaining my location.”
The girl gives a small smile and responds in a cheerful voice.
Girl: “Sure I can! At the moment you are at the Bear’s Head Inn, The Best Inn in all of Rhimesville!”
Tom gives out a worried expression as he has never heard of Rhimesville before.
Tom: “Where is Rhimesville in relation to Cambridge?”
The Girl gives Tom a look as if to say “Cambridge, what’s that?” The girl’s face shifts to a similarly worried expression.
Girl: “I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of Cambridge…”
The room remains silent for a few seconds. The girl’s face returns to her previously bright expression.
Girl: “Maybe mother will know.”
The girl then leaves the room in search of her mother.
Tom: “She’s never heard of Cambridge? That doesn’t sound good… *sigh*”
As Tom moves to the side of the bed he notices he is wearing plain cloth clothes.
Tom: “Did they change my clothes while I was asleep?”
Tom checks under his new trousers. He gives a sigh of relief.
Well, at least they didn’t change my underwear.
Tom looks over to his pillow; it looked slightly damp in front of where his head previously was.
Did I dribble in my sleep? Damn, that’s embarrassing. I hope no one saw me…
After turning over the pillow to hide the slight wet patch Tom came to the conclusion that he was quite thirsty. It’s probably because of all the dribbling he did while he was asleep.
He goes over to the window but to his great surprise he could see two moons in the sky. Tom rubs his eyes and takes another look; nothing changes. The moons were not as visible as the last time Tom looked as it was day now, but they were still very clearly there. The moons seemed to be in the same position they were last time.
Tom: “You’ve got to be joking, right?”
This makes no sense?! It can’t be another world as they speak English, it can’t be a VR as I feel pain and the detail is just too extensive, can’t be a dream as I don’t wake when I fall and it can’t be hallucinogenic side effects as they shouldn’t be this consistent and long lasting… What does this mean?
A status screen appears in front of Tom.
Chanting omission, Mana conservation, Eternal youth, Sense
So if I say status, a status screen opens? When did I become level 5!? Wait; don’t tell me… the forest fire must be the reason…
Tom notices there is an icon in the top corner of the status screen that looks like two swords crossing each other. He touches the icon with his finger, as he does a new screen opens up.
Is this a combat log?
8 hours ago: Grey Wolf dies. You gain 11 exp!
8 hours ago: Grey Wolf takes 5 damage from fire.
8 hours ago: Grey Wolf takes 40 damage from falling tree.
8 hours ago: Brown Bear dies. You gain 41 exp!
8 hours ago: Brown Bear takes 5 damage from fire.
Wow isn’t this really convenient? Though I’m not sure how it knows this…
Tom: “3 wolves, 1 bear, 5 deer, 12 squirrels, 3 rabbits and 1 living wood?”
What is a living wood? Well, whatever it was, it gave a hell of a lot of experience points. Giving 412 exp it gave more than 10 times the exp of the Brown Bear… Is it some kind of monster?
Tom deliberates over the meaning of what he sees.
Tom: “Well at least no humans got hurt.”
Not sure how I would take it if I found out I’d killed humans. Could I handle the guilt that it would bring? Well, whatever would have happened I’m glad I don’t have to worry about it.
Wait, so that means magic is still a thing!
Tom can’t help but feel slightly happy about the opportunity to use more magic. He had always played the mage characters in RPGs. The idea of a character causing the creation of unexplained physical phenomena based on his intelligence and the unknown substance called mana is just too appealing for Tom to resist.
Ok, I should try out some magic when I get the free time! Though I did go up 4 levels it did bring a huge element of unpredictability and risk, so for now fire magic is off limits.
Tom: “I’m thirsty so maybe I should try some water magic.”
Ok I’ve got to be careful; I don’t want to accidentally create a basketball sized water ball.
Tom focuses on his palm and manages to successfully create a tennis ball sized sphere of water. He notices the water appeared to be spontaneously created rather than collected from the air. This was outside what he expected. He speculated that mana must have some kind of equivalent energy value, for example 1 MP must be equivalent to a certain number of joules of energy.
To his surprise, once analysing his status it seems the formation of the water ball seemed to only cost 0.1 MP. Even considering the volume difference this was miles outside his expectations. The energy equivalence of the mass he just created should have been much larger than the energy equivalence of the fireballs he made the other day. Though it seemed like the water was created he decided that perhaps he should reconsider the possibility of the water being collected as otherwise the numbers just wouldn’t add up.
Tom: “Maybe if I use earth magic I could get a better understanding…”
Tom decides to make a bottle out of earth magic for his water to go in. He focuses on his other hand and successfully creates a ball of earth. He then imagines the ball changing shape until the desired bottle shape was formed. He then condensed the earth to a point where it was sturdy and smooth.
After successfully creating the bottle he quickly inspects the smooth outer surface. After deeming it to be capable of retaining water Tom then makes the water flow into the bottle.
So it takes 1 MP to make a bottle out of earth; 0.2 MP to create the ball, 0.3 MP to change the shape and 0.5MP to condense the earth to suitable standard. The ball seemed to have roughly twice the volume of the water. So earth costs just as much to make as water? Also, it definitely seems to be created and not collected. How does this work?
When Tom grabbed the floating bottle he almost dropped it as the bottle seemed to weigh a lot more than he anticipated. After carefully controlling the bottle he collapsed to the floor making sure the bottle doesn’t spill the water he had made. He decides that next time he was to use less earth and make the circumference of the bottle thinner. He then just about manages to drink from the bottle after using both hands to lift the bottle and bring it to his mouth carefully. After drinking the water he carefully places the bottle on the floor.
That was close; I almost had my hard work go to waste. It seems the weight applied the moment I touched the bottle. Interesting.
The door to the room opens as two figures enter. Tom recognised the first figure; it was the girl who went to look for her mother a little while ago. The second figure was undoubtedly the girl’s mother. She looks like she’s a little over 30 years old, perhaps around 32 or 33. She has blonde hair in a ponytail similar to the girl; she wore a white dress with an outer brown corset. Her breasts are noticeable but not large, probably about average sized. She looks towards me as she enters the room.
Mother: “You must be the man Dave brought home last night. My name is Celia and my daughter is called Mia.”
Dave? Interesting, from what I remembered I collapsed shortly after creating a forest fire. I wonder what happened afterwards?
Tom: “My name’s Tom, my memory of how I was brought to this Inn is a little fuzzy. I was wondering if you could elaborate on the events that brought about my presence to this establishment?”
Celia: “It’s no surprise giving the state my husband found you in yesterday.”
Tom: “My state?”
Celia: “My husband found you collapsed surrounded by burning trees, it was fortunate you had not died!”
Ah, I see. This man must have found me not long after my collapse. It’s likely that, unable to awake me, he brought me back to the Inn his family runs.
Tom: “It seems I owe your husband and yourself a great deal of gratitude. It is a pity but I have no money on my person.”
Celia: “that’s OK, given the circumstances I won’t charge you for last night’s stay. However, if you wish to stay here again the charge will be 3 copper per night.”
3 copper? Not pounds or euros but copper!? I guess I really am in another world…
Tom: “Thank you for your understanding.”
Mia: “You wanted to know something, didn’t you?”
The Girl said I wanted to know something? Is there something I don’t want to know…? Oh, I remember now; I asked for directions to Cambridge. It’s the reason she brought her mother…
Tom just realised that since he was in another world there’s no way they could guide him to Cambridge. However considering he had already asked the girl and the peculiarity that they spoke English he decided to ask anyway.
Tom: “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I’m a touch unsure of my exact location and was wondering if you knew which direction Cambridge was in.”
Celia: “Cambridge? I’m sorry I can’t say that I do.”
Celia looks troubled by the unknown location. It’s understandable that she wouldn’t know considering it’s likely it doesn’t exist here.
Tom: “It’s fine, it’s a very remote and small village, I wouldn’t expect many to know about it.”
Celia still looks troubled by not being able to provide any information about the unknown village called Cambridge.
Celia: “Perhaps the receptionist at the adventurer’s guild knows. She has lots of knowledge of the geography of the nearby towns and villages from all the reports and requests she receives.”
An adventurer’s guild exists? As in those adventurer’s guilds you see all the time in manga and anime and such? I must investigate at once!
Celia: “Ah, you probably want your clothes back before you go. I had them washed by Mia when you were sleeping. They were very odd clothes.”
Tom: “Ah, I see. Sorry about that.”
Celia: “I didn’t want the bed covers to get dirty after all.”
I suspected as much. The ground I collapsed onto was quite muddy.
After receiving his clothes and changing, Tom heads out of the Bear’s Head Inn. He was eager to see this adventurer’s guild with his own eyes. He also needed to find some way to earn money so he could afford a place to stay for the next night. After going around in circles in the town for a while he finds the building he was searching for. He enters, hyped for his debut as an adventurer!
A young girl is sitting on the floor inside one of the guest rooms in the Inn her mother manages. Her gaze was fixed on the peculiar object standing on the floor in front of her. The object was not too rare, it was a simple looking bottle made from some kind of shiny dense black material. It was not the bottle’s shape or composition that she was concerned with. The thing the girl was most curious about was its origin. No such bottles had been seen around the house previously and the room had no such bottle when the girl tidied it in the morning. Yet the bottle was there right before her eyes, even after consulting her mother it still remained a mystery. This girl was called Mia and the room recently accommodated a mysterious person wearing mysterious clothes from some village not on the map who was found on the brink of death collapsed in a burning forest.