Cast shadows flickered to the shift of television lights, revealing erotic elves lined in perfect symmetry. Pink nipples stood firm and shiny on busty chests of pale, robbing all the attention from an inconspicuous wall. At the edge of brightness, drawn curtains prevented color breaches from outside. But crickets sung of the late hour.
"For fuck's sake! Where's the invalid variable?" a voice hinted anger; its source— a culprit of the shade.
The bulky screen drew the young man's silhouette— cross-legged, back curved towards the light. Restless limbs gave away frustration and his raised fist shook in preparation for a strike.
"Where is it, god damn it! It won't even tell me!"
Four knuckles made contact with the floor, their thump muffled by a carpet. The vibrations spread and caused a can of soda to dance perilously close to his console with a fizz, but regain balance eventually.
He examined every line on the screen, running a cursor along them in order not to lose track. As a result, he slowed down upon reaching a place that looked out of the ordinary.
"Hah... Hahaha! Yes, yes, yes! I found you!"
His eyes fixated on a specific word amid rows of text. Further inspection brought a glint of certainty to his pupils while the press of a controller's button confirmed his findings, as well as the changes. Three simple options appeared on the screen, lacking a background, music, and sound effects upon selection.
|🡆||[ New Game ]|
|[ Continue ]|
|[ Exit ]|
"Start already." he said, no traces of his former outburst.
The screen lit up white and a cutscene began. Kingdoms were being drawn as the snow faded, villages spreading out in between mountains on the world map. Not long after, a question took shape in the middle of the screen, but he didn't even bother read it.
|[ Skip Cutscene? ]|
|🡆||[ Yes ]|
|[ No ]|
"Faster, damn it! I want to get to the fun part. 'Yes' it is. Come on! I already selected!"
The white stopped fading, but so did everything else.
"No... No! What's wrong?! What did I do wrong?!"
His voice turned pained, as if it was a theatrical play, squeezing the controller's buttons with all his power. But the game wouldn't respond no matter what he did.
He raised his fist once again, its speed parting air with a whistle, and unleashed its fury on the carpet below. Yet, it was not enough for him because he repeated the motion until he triggered an event. Pungent sweetness spread through the room, harsh lime and sugar, soon accompanied by burned plastic as well.
In turn, light left the room and darkness took over as an impulse for him to stand up. And that he did. He rushed to the nearby light switch, groping the bare bodies displayed on posters as he pinpointed its exact location. Eventually, the room turned bright with a click, exposing the skin of fantasy races decorating the walls.
"Fuck! Of course! The thing I needed most right now!" he shouted.
It was just then that he realised what happened. A soda can laying sideways was his first clue, transparent liquid soaking the carpet, and the smoke rising from the console his last. He rushed to a counter in the same room and took a knife, with the intention of inserting it where two pieces of the console's plastic met. Forcing it open, a thick cloud of smoke covered his face. The smell was disgusting, reaching to the back of his throat as it protruded every orifice and stinging his eyes red.
In his hurry, he waved his hand to spread it, coughs helping the slightest bit, and reached inside the circuits with his other.
★ ★ ★
He could feel wind blowing on his face, and could hear the tickle of grass dancing in its path. His eyes opened to a forest extending out of view, unable to figure out where he was. But the memory of reaching inside the circuits was still fresh, futile hint to the fact that he was electrocuted.
Out of all the things I could dream... A forest?
Wind picked pace and carried a scent of herbs throughout the woods. It came to a halt on the boy's skin, but golden rays balanced the chill, bestowing a feeling of bliss he had never felt before.
The wind feels amazing...
Three lines appeared in front of him, trapped in a transparent box. And he realised there was more to the dream than just a simple forest.
|[ Welcome to Kingdom of Lust! Would you like to play the Tutorial? ]|
|[ Yes ]|
|[ No ]|
"Eh?" he sounded out. "There's no controller. How do I select?"
He turned his head to look around him for an answer, but the message followed his sight.
"Holy shit, that's so cool! Wait, what?" he voiced out in exaltation, changing his mind along the way.
I'm in my own game? Ohohoho!
Shifting between emotions, confusion became shivers of excitement. He rubbed his palms in expectation of the possibilities because, knowing the world all too well, he wondered if his subconscious mind crafted it pixel for pixel. The title 'Kingdom of Lust' was underlined just like he programmed it, and it was time to confirm if the tutorial was the same as well.
He pondered before reaching out for "[ Yes ]", considering his finger as the cursor. A pleasant sound accompanied his decision from the transparent screen in front of him, and the world was set in motion.
The forest growled, thick foliage hiding unknown dangers. He noticed a pair of eyes approaching from the darkness, glowing yellow with a frown. But he was not afraid and returned a smile.
He made his hands two balls he rested on his hips and brought out his chest with a perverted smile. Soon, a wolf took shape with small steps, examining its prey and planning the kill. Above it, a transparent square displayed its name and information, the slightest turn of a head causing it to follow.
|[ Lv. 1 ]|
|[ Male Simple Wolf ]|
|[ 10/10 ]|
"Come on, doggy!" he taunted the beast.
He attempted a whistle to hasten its movements, but failed miserably and instead stepped forward. The animal took notice of it and charged towards him, taking the boy for a fool. Its approach seemed flawless, greedy eyes staring wide open in hopes of seeing red. The wolf leapt towards his neck with the intent of crushing his throat, but just before its teeth reached flesh, an arrow penetrated its head and sprayed the animal's blood with a jolt.
|[ -999 ]|
The power of the arrow was obliterating, and the comparison between the number vanishing above the wolf and its health stood as proof of it.
"Nice shot, hunter!" he wiped his forehead, taking notice of the warmth.
Eventually, the owner of the arrow appeared from behind trees and approached the boy. He shot a quick gaze at the wolf's remains, appraising the goods that could be salvaged.
|[ Lv. ? ? ? ]|
|[ Hunter ]|
|[ ? ? ?/? ? ? ]|
"Are you okay ... ?
|[ Your name is ... ]|
|_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _|
The boy brought a hand to his chin and smiled. He touched the blanks that appeared in front of him, causing a transparent keyboard to materialise, weightless to touch. And he lost no time to think of a name.
|[ Your name is ... ]|
|G r e y _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _|
|[ Yes ]|
|[ No ]|
Of course yes!
He tapped twice at "[ Yes ]", aware that the following message would be the confirmation. But what actually followed reminded him of the feature he implemented to prevent the exact thing he did from happening.
|[ You must wait three seconds before confirming! ]|
|[ Are you sure? ]|
|[ Yes ]|
|[ No ]|
He tapped "[ Yes ]" again and a new message popped up while his friend resumed speech.
|[ You have unlocked Statistics! ]|
"Are you okay, Grey?"
"Shut up for a moment. This is so much fun knowing these are all about me and not my character!" his tone picked a high pitch.
He wondered what would happen if he didn't answer, but the hunter just froze up and stared at him, unblinking eyes. Grey closed the new window screen, rounded the well-built man a few times and pulled at the bow on his back, breaking its string.
"Oops." he said casually.
I wonder how else I could fuck with him.
The bow lost its original purpose in Grey's hands, who wondered if the hunter would react to stimuli. He took a baseball stance in front of the hunter and prepared to strike.
"Are you okay, Grey?" the massive man repeated the question.
"Holy shit, you scared me! I almost dropped my bow. Take this, bastard!"
He spun his body, holding tight on to the piece of wood and aimed for the hunter's chin. It took no time for it to make contact with the 'bastard's head, and Grey felt all the feedback of the blow, grunting during impact. The former owner of the bow staggered before resuming his stance, with the mark on his chin as proof he was hit, and a red digit vanishing as it rose. The number, however, Grey didn't care for.
|[ -2 ]|
"This is so much fun!"
Grey proceeded to check the contents of the hunter's every pocket. He came across a hundred coins, currency of the world, as well as a dagger for skinning and various survival meals.
I wonder how much his clothes will fetch at the shop.
"Are you okay, Grey?" the hunter spoke.
So it takes thirty seconds for him to repeat the question. That's useful.
"I'll be taking your jacket buddy. The wolf head hood looks sick! I want it." Grey's face muscles broke into a grin.
The hunter stood a head taller than him, staring blankly. There was no reaction as Grey moved his arms to take off his coat, or undershirt, boots, pants. He even shaved his beard for the fun, with the hunter's own dagger, of course.
Fuck! I have no inventory yet.
He threw the pile of clothes and robbed goods some distance away from the wolf. Its blood spread and soaked into the dirt and he didn't want to damage the merchandise.
"Are you okay, Grey?" the hunter ceased his thinking.
"No, I'm not! I don't want to carry these all the way to a town."
"Don't worry, I have some medicine. You don't need to pay me back for it because it was my fault in the first place that the beast injured you." the giant spoke his predetermined line.
The naked man started doing a set of scripted actions, something that didn't escape the boy's gaze.
"Ooooh? What's this?" Grey stared with intrigue.
Wind slapped on his bare skin, but Grey was considerate enough to leave a pair of underwear to cover the man's junk. His smile grew wider and wider as the hunter made a motion of reaching into a pocket to take something out.
"Ahahaha! Oh, fuck! Stay back!" he panicked and stepped backwards.
The golem-looking man moving by his own around him was not a pleasant thought in the end, especially when he was wearing nothing but underwear. As he approached with an empty palm reached out, Grey raised the curved stick as a threat.
"Back off!" he warned, menacingly pointing the former bow at the hunter.
"Here. Take it. I have plenty of it and I can always make more." the hunter declared casually.
He stepped in at the now frozen NPC and made a motion of grabbing something from his hand, but there was no response.
Did I break it?
Grey started going through his pockets and noticed a small cube he missed previously. He took it out, only to place it on the hunter's palm and retrieve it.
"Good. You don't really seem to be holding your own around here, so I'll teach you how to mix medicine. It saved my life a lot of times, and it will surely save yours as well."
Now that he speaks to me face-to-face, the dialogue is too arrogant. I should fix it when I wake up.
|[ You have gained knowledge about Medicine! ]|
|[ Recipes will become available after the Tutorial. ]|
"I must skin the animal before the meat is ruined. You should always skin and clean your hunts right after the kill, or they will drop in quality as time passes."
|[ You have gained knowledge about Survival! ]|
The hunter motioned towards a non-existent pocket to presumably take out the dagger in Grey's possession. The deviant boy got an idea and quickly got to work with it. He took the dagger and placed it in the hunter's grip as he attempted to skin the wolf with his bare hands, turning it into a waiting game.
He watched the motions of the knife for future reference, but never did he expect he would be rewarded for it with more Survival knowledge.
As soon as the hunter was done skinning the wolf, Grey took the fur and placed it next to the pile of clothes. As soon as the hunter was done cleaning the rest of the animal and removing the bowels, Grey was there to pick the freebies.
He did not forget to amuse himself as he watched the hunter pick the air and hand out a piece of nothing to him. The knife he tried to place in the fur coat's pocket was now sticking to the dirt with arguably fresh blood.
"Fuck. I'm breaking it again." said Grey, displaying amusement rather than anger.
Grey picked the dagger and stopped to think, previously intending to place it on the hunter's palm. With a new idea in mind, he raised the blade and dropped it towards the hunter's hand. A fleshy sound reached his ears and caused him to cringe, regretting his decision. There was no blood until he took the dagger out, causing wondrous fascination for Grey.
"I can't have you dying yet. I don't want to be stuck here until I wake up. No more messing around until I get the game master commands." he talked while healing the hunter's wound with a cube of medicine.
Hard at first, upon unraveling the leaves for a cover it turns a paste that can be spread on skin. Grey thought it was curious how it worked and wanted to make one of his own to find out. The hole disappeared completely, without a scar. And even the mark on his chin was nowhere to be seen anymore.
Grey took a piece of the meat and placed it on the hunter's palm, retrieving it the same way he did with medicine.
"May our paths cross again." the hunter shared a smile, turning to depart.
|[ Congratulations! ]|
|[ You have completed the First Tutorial! ]|
|[ You have unlocked Inventory! ]|
|[ Follow the path to continue with the Tutorial. ]|
The icon of a bag appeared at the corner of Grey's sight, next to the icon of a person. Upon tapping it, he noticed that the inventory had an item limit. But it was far from reachable with only the items he got so far. His goods disintegrated and appeared with a name, as well as a question mark next to them inside the screen. Touching the encircled symbol provided a description of the item, rarity, quality, use, effect, obtainable method, quantity, and value.
"What the fuck?" Grey shouted.
He touched the question mark next to "Hunter's Beard", causing a new window to pop up. It was the only rare item in his inventory, but the provenience should claim otherwise.
What am I supposed to do with his beard?!
So if I remember right... This path leads to a village. There should be a shop there. I wonder what they'll say about this.
Merchant Votes: 5 17.9%
Shopkeeper Votes: 3 10.7%
Villager Votes: 11 39.3%
Tavern keeper Votes: 9 32.1%
A suggestion from the comments Votes: 0 0.0%