Chapter 4.5 ~ So This is the Path I Chose (Part 2)
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Prison Realm is huge.

Comparing it to the size of an island or a country is truly an understatement. A realm, in general, is always twice as big as the current earth in the real world, and the one we’re standing on right now is much larger than that.

Splitting them into 3 layers, the first is the Inner Prison, which is where all of the prisoners being kept, mostly. And it's just this massive dungeon area where it's so hard to navigate. However, that was then when the first-ever players don't know where to go.

Then there is the area where players call it “Circling” which in itself is quite self-explanatory. You just circle around this large open space with monsters scattered around it. This is where the environment changes, from a dungeon or cave-like area to an open fortification of a dreaded castle.

The last one is of course, what lies beyond the 4 Gates.

*Stab *Stab

{12}

{12}

Plucking it out of its stomach, I grabbed the mindless Draugr and stabbed it again right on the head.

{80}

{+50 Exp}

Brushing the dirt with the lower part of my clothes, I turned around to see how the others are doing.

We have 4 injured, and one of them is an essential damage dealer of our team. That means only 3 of us are the only ones that are able to do the attack and we have to protect the rest of the 5 members while doing it. And yes, Civilians are just utterly unable to do anything related to defending themselves or attacking. Blame the system for it.

From what I know, at the time I was making this one classless character, I was forced by that notification saying that once you take arms for yourself, I would get a class appropriate to the weapon you are holding, or I can choose randomly.

It’s shitty for the nerds who want to be edgy by being jobless like their real-life self, and it's the same for the NPCs as well. Mainly because they are not fucking immortal like us players!

*Slash

{8}

Felt like a slow-motion, I knew that my next move is going to deal higher damage, and thus I pulled the draugr by the hand, and then stab its neck.

{120}

{+50 Exp}

This meatless draugr is the second weakest creature here, ‘And it seems that I don’t get any additional Exp when pairing with NPC, that’s messed up. Looks like the update for that feature has yet to come.’

Fewer and fewer players can be seen in this area, which means we are close to the South Gate, I’m sure of it.

“Sir Boland! You guys okay?!”

*Slash*

Cutting the undead in half, “Yeah! Everything in control!”

Mm, I should worry less about them. They’re all double digits in levels. Worrying about myself more who is still a newborn baby would be a better decision for all of us.

Several hours passed and we’re already exhausted, and yes… me too.

*Pant *Pant

It all went so smoothly that I didn’t realize that I was not playing in normal mode. My vision, are blurry as hell.

“Lass, take this.”

“Huh?”

Water in a bag, “Thank you.”

*Gulp *Gulp *Gulp

“Hey, leave some for me too, kid” said Kenmartha, one of the warriors in our team, and the only one who is unassociated with a guild.

'Kid, he said. Fine, I'll let it slide this time.' I gave the old man who looks like a Viking, my first indirect kiss. ‘Well, to be fair, the bag must’ve run through the— Gyaaaaah, what am I even thinking about this?! I have more problems to worry about.’

‘Hm?’

There shouldn't be any player around here so why is that guy, “No wait… HEY!” I ran up to him and yelled again, “Galliano!!”

When the black man turned around, it turns out, it was really him.

*Tak*

“Ah.”

*Thud*

I fall flat to the ground.

{-30}

‘Come on, did I really lose that much health just because I stumbled a little?’

“Hey, hey, are you okay?” assisting to lift my body.

“Ah yeah, that was… quite unsightly.”

“Haha, what are you, a noble?”

Kind of insulted a little bit since I was in fact am one, mister.

Boland must’ve seen me falling, he’s coming straight in this direction, “Lass, who is this?”

I went to introduce them, “An acquaintance, sir. I owe him a favor and he will be joining us in getting out of this place.”

“What? You’re a friend with this Traveler?”

“Hm?”

That’s odd, ‘Wait, he words it as if he is not treating me like one. Hm?!!’ recalling the words of the System.

[Become a part of them]

‘Hmmmmmmm?’

Wait, more importantly, “Not much of a friend but it doesn’t matter, we need all the firepower we can get. The both of us, can benefit from working together.”

Galliano was about to say something, but I tapped his stomach to silence him. Though I was originally intended to tap his chest, it’s just that I don’t wear my high heels right now so…

“Fine, I’ll take your word for it.”

I nodded to him and once he left us, I sent an invite to Galliano.

"Hm? You haven't named yourself yet?"

"Ahh, maybe later."

! {New Party Member Added}

~ {Galliano / Lv. 6 / Monk / Unassociated}

“Huh, you’re still level 6?”

Rubbing the back of his head, “Haha, I kept getting killed by that bitch so my levels keep going down no matter how much I grind for them.”

“Just who exactly is this bitch, I wonder?”

“Nasty one, I tell ya. White armor, kind of like a knight with a dragon armor or something. Kept laughing at me whenever she slit my throat, but thank god I max out that Pain Reduction to 0, you know.”

So jealous!

“Right, who are those geezers?”

“Huh?”

Then it hits me again, my intro felt the same as I was back then when I first boot the game up but then why is he asking this? Does it mean that he has a completely different intro then?

‘Gah, I can’t make any sense of it!’ so I answered, “Met them on the first layer, I just kind of went with the flow and this happens.”

“You sure they’re not dragging you down?”

“Hah,” closing in on him with my forearm on his stomach, “We kind of scratched each other’s back so no loss on both sides,” tapping him as I walk away, “Come on, let’s get you out of here.”

Him smiling as he joined our little group eased me a little bit, particularly about him not hating on NPCs.

But not long after, that smile faded as he saw me lagged way behind, panting.

“Hey, what’s up? You ran out of stamina or something?”

“F-Fatigue.”

“You mean, you wanna sleep?”

“No, I kind of enabled the Realism Mode.”

“What?” his gasp can tell it all, “Dude, that’s just insane. Are you sure you can get me out of this place?”

“Don’t worry about it, my plan for our escape won’t change just because of this. Not involved in me fainting as long as we can get past the South Gate.”

“Lass,” Boland came, “You all right?”

*Pant *Pant

“Just exhausted, nothing to worry about. Hehe.”

Trying to keep that positive mindset and making the group not worried about this little miscalculation I did, ‘Shit, I was supposed to lead these guys!’

“Come, we gotta move,” posing in a weird yet familiar way, “Don’t keep me waiting now, lass. We have to hurry, I sensed something is coming for us.”

A piggyback pose!

My face red all the way right now, “Uwu, thanks, sir Boland.”

“Wait, why don’t I do it for you instead?” asked Galliano.

“No, we need to optimize our firepower. Sir Boland will not have a problem with me in his back but you and your attacks would be hindered.”

He is a Monk after all. At least if I go with Boland, he can still attack with his sword without shaking much from this uncomfortable posture. Besides, his back is much… thicker.

Galliano accepted it without grief, “All right, shall we move on then?”

I nodded at him.

About an hour later, we’ve arrived at the so-called South Gate.

It’s freaking enormous.

The height and width of this gate are like a fully grown skyscraper but so much wider. It feels like the gate was meant for a giant to go through. Not only that, it’s so extravagantly ornated.

I never know much about Prison Realm, mainly because this place is the "Starter Camp", a place that is meant to serve as a Tutorial are for players to get a hang of what they are going to be doing, and never to be visited again.

“Wait, why is it closed?” confused Galliano, “I’ve walked through here before and it was so wide open before. In fact, I’ve seen some Travelers went in.”

‘…’ okay that was confusing, ‘But why is he also calling players, Travelers?’

Boland put me down and I noticed that some geared undead are closing in, “There must be a trigger to open it, but we’ve arrived now. All the wounded stick close to the wall. Kenmartha, you guard them while we take care of these things.”

“Kid, wait!” Dura, the bearded old man called out to me, “Take this with you!” throwing me an ax.

"Gyaaaaahhh!"

*Grab*

! {Item Received}

~ {Rooted Spirit Axe / Rank F-Rare / Physical Attack: 20 / Magical Attack: 15 / Innate Ability: Can be used as a Catalyst}

*Pant *Pant

"You wanna kill me, old man?!" noticing something, “Wait, why did you even have something like this when you’re a Rogue?”

“Hah, didn’t notice the blade in your hand?”

“Ah.”

With a one-sided tilt on his mouth, he said, “Don’t you dare lose them, you hear?”

*Groooah*

The undead is too close for comfort.

Turning my head around, “Hmph!” so he was hiding the item that was meant for the players, huh. Rotating the ax with the appearance of a big ass root, I readied myself along with the other two and tell him, “I got this, old man.”

==== Quick Status ====

Combat
Physical Attack: 20 (+7) / Physical Defense: 0
Magical Attack: 15 (+5) / Magical Defense: 0
Health Regeneration: 1 / Mana Regeneration: 2 / Stamina Regeneration: 1

==== Quick Status ====

Now that I have a Magical Attack, the bonus from my Intelligence stats finally kicks in which is roughly +5 per 10 points. This works the same for Physical Attack with the Strength/Dexterity weapons, just a bit more complicated since it’s hard to differentiate it sometimes between which one is the Strength Weapon and which is the Dexterity one.

'Let's talk about that a little bit later though, these undead feels like they want to chew on my skin.'

Even without magic, I can still fight.

Dashing forward as we scattered, I smoothly and stylishly play with my new toy before swinging it down and rip the armor off the draugr. I don't like to move around like this, and sometimes, I would even make a totally fatal mistake when in close-quarter combat, but it doesn't mean that I can't do it!

*Slash *Stab *SLASH

{+100 Exp}

More and more are coming, but something is weighing my mind down. Even though there is already a player in my group and he’s already killing it with his fists, why am I still not receiving the party bonus?

*Grrraaaaaaah*

Ducking as the draugr attacked.

I just reached a conclusion to the problem. Basically, that just renders any teamwork contribution I did and will be doing… useless, ‘Damn shitty System!’

*SLASH*

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