Chapter 1 – A dream is a dream because you cannot make it real
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2 September 2021

18:30, No Good Apartment

 

 

Being a Vtuber[1] sucks!

First, it is such a niche market that the viewers who want to watch VTuber compare to other content are like only 0.01% (a totally accurate number).

Second, the market was so saturated that only newcomers that had strong backing like a big company can make it out. For an independent streamer? You must be extremely lucky to make it to the third-digit number of viewers zone.

And that is exactly where I am.

On my debut stream, the number of live viewers stayed at the same level from start to finish. Pretty impressive, right?

Except it stayed at zero all the time!

You cannot lose your viewer if there was no viewer to begin with!

Wow!

Wow!!

I don’t really know what to say, so I just repeat the “Wow” twice.

And that was not the end of my miserable life, but rather the start of it.

I streamed every day under the avatar of “Sage Khun”, a 12,000 years old sage that has supreme wisdom and godlike magic power. It was an avatar that I used almost 50% of my saving to commission an artist to draw and animate.

And that goes on until today.

It has been 3 months since I first start streaming.

The numbers of live viewers in each stream ranged from around 0-8 people.

Needless to say, there was zero donation.

Also my last, final and for emergency use only, bank account depleted 2 days ago...

Well…

Maybe I should just let it end.

After all, a dream is just something you wake up from.

As a 25 years old adult I am expected to be able to provide for myself and here I am wasting my life away.

When mom called yesterday and went like “Vincent, how are you doing with work?”, I couldn’t even answer her and just distracted her away with some random answer.

Today will be the last.

If there is nothing change, I will wake up from this dream...

That was my thought when I started the stream.

It was only a chatting stream in which I acted like a sage and tried to answer questions from the viewers as sage-like as possible.

The stream went well and there was even 1 more viewer than my highest record so far.

The change is coming, but it is too little and a bit too late.

Sigh...

I guess this is it.

“I will accept one last question from you. Those that already asked please refrain from doing again if possible.”

This should be the last question Sage Khun would answer...

I close my eyes, feeling like a powerless defendant waiting for a guilty verdict.

Ding!

The notification comes.

I am a little surprised when I open my eyes and see the question as the message is exceptionally long.

This is probably the longest message I have gotten so far.

The sender must be passionate, huh?

To not disappoint them, I must answer this question as seriously as possible!

That what I was thinking before I look at the message but...

[Greetings, great sage Khun.

Please forgive me for my rudeness, as this is my first time granting access to your wisdom chamber. Seeing you for the first time already inspires me to be a great sage like you. As a young mage apprentice, I have some difficulty on the path of magic which I would like to consult you, sir.

My question is this: “Every time I tried to condense my magic power into a magic circle, I would feel unbearable pain in my chest. It was like someone tried to stab and pull my chest apart. The pain also grew stronger as time goes on so that I could not complete the breakthrough. My teachers and some peoples around me said that it was because I have no talent in magic, and it was a rejection symptom from my body. Is it really the truth, sir?”

I tried to ask around, but nobody in my family seemed to have this problem. All the books that I have read so far didn’t mention it either. Now my magic cultivation progress stopped completely. Everyone in my class had already surpassed me. They are all in the middle phase of the first stage already.

Please help me.

I beg of you, Great sage.]

...

..........

“...?”

What the f**

Why is this question have such an extreme vibe of last stage Chuunibyou[2]?

What answer are you looking for asking some random streamer for a question like this?

No. No.

Calm down, me.

I cannot let this troll get ahead of me.

I could just ignore them for sure, but is really that the best option? This is literally my last question, after all. If I let this troll ruin it, my reputation (not that I have much) would be destroyed instantly!

I have to say something, right?

But what can I say…?

I cannot just say that I don’t know, right?

How can Sage Khun the wise be ignorant about this puny thing?

While I did intend to stop after today, I must be in the character all the way until the end. I am a professional after all.

“Well… child. How about… you start your story from the beginning for me?”

 

 


2, Month Fall-Quatre, Year Elizabeth 402

04:05, Claude Mansion

 

As fall just began, the day was still warm, but that would only apply during the day. As the time now was not exactly morning but more like night, the air was still chilly enough for a 10 years old girl. Alice Claude, tugged in her white coat and scarf of the same color, walked on along the forest trail with a warm orange light lantern illuminated a path ahead in her hand. Her creamy white ear, now red from the cold, could be seen every time she took a step that otherwise would be hidden by her long blonde hair. There was a thick dark brown leather cover book in her hand which seemed old and tattered—a thing that little child seldom carried around in a forest—but she didn’t have much of a choice.

Why am I the only one?

A question like that drifted around in her head times and time again.

Alice started out as the brightest genius in class. Her magic power grew significantly faster in the accumulation stage than all her peers. All her teachers said that she will probably be the youngest mage the school ever produced in the past decade.

But that was all in the past now.

Somehow, she always failed to condense her magic circle, and it was because of something she could do nothing to fix at all.

Pain.

There would always be an excruciating pain in her chest in every attempt of her at breakthrough. The pain was so strong that her concentration ended immediately, and that was not the worst of it all.

Every attempt followed, the pain would grow even stronger!

The pain in the last condensation of a magic circle was so strong that—to be honest—made Alice a little scared to try attempting it another time.

But she couldn’t allow that to happen.

As the Claude family was a family with a duke title, reputation would always be a priority for every family member, and that was especially true for Alice Claude—the eldest daughter of the current family head. The current incident was already spreading around the noble circle. Those that want to overthrow the Claude family even tried to escalate the issue and said that Alice is talentless and would never become a mage. The fact that she used to be one of the blazing geniuses also made the matter appeared worse.

I cannot fail father and mother.

Duke Ryan and Duchess Marine had always been supportive of her.

Alice even sensed that they tried to hint her that she didn’t need to continue in the path of magic anymore… but how could she do that?

If the eldest daughter of the family had no talent to become a mage, then the prestige of the family would be crushed instantly.

As her parents were two of the most talented mages in the kingdom, everyone was very hopeful about Alice’s future. Now when it became that she cannot make a breakthrough to become a mage, there was even a nasty rumor that she was in fact not the true daughter of the family!

That was just slandering!

Father… Mother…

I will not fail you…

Alice silently repeated those in her heart as if it was a chant, all while carrying along the silent path in the wood.

Alone.

 

 

[1] VTuber or a virtual YouTuber is an online entertainer who uses a digital avatar.

[2] Chuunibyou is a colloquial Japanese term used to describe early teens who desperately want to stand out that they have convinced themselves they have a superpower or secret knowledge.

 

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