A Magical World, A Normal Life
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"And now, the King of the Elves and the Dwarfs meet up with the Chairman of the Interna—"

 

-Bzzt.

 

The TV snapped shut with a buzz and the screen turned black again.

 

"Who dares interrupt—" I turned back to see a tall black-haired lady with an apron looking down on me, the remote in her hands.

 

"Ralph," she said. "Are you planning to be late for the registration?"

 

The angry frown on her charming and young face did not look good, for me at least.

 

"B-but I was watching the news... It's been a hundred years since the alliance against the demon king was formed! It's a historical moment!"

 

"Get ready to leave. Now."

 

I jumped off the sofa at my mother's threat and rushed back up to my room. While the news was important, she was right to be angry. Being on time for the registration was much more important.

 

After all, even the most talented of people fell short of fulfilling the qualifications and getting the chance to even reach the registration before the entrance tests of the Agriche Academy.

 

I swung open the door to my room and stepped inside. Taking the bag from my messy desk, I opened up its zip and placed it on a chair.

 

Then, I collected all the documents I needed from the desk and checked them before placing them in a file.

 

"Check, check, and... Argh, my certificates."

 

I clicked my tongue and placed the file back on the table. Over the years, I had participated in a lot of competitions in places a bit away from my home. From simple strategy and math to martial arts and magic. I definitely needed those for the registration.

 

I searched on the shelves above my desk, then looked in my messy closet. I raised my toes to reach the topmost compartment of the closet, feeling around for the certificates.

 

"There they are."

 

I pulled out the certificates from the compartment with the tips of my fingers.

 

-Crash.

 

Along with the certificates, a thick and heavy book fell down from the top of the closet.

 

Dust covered the hardback black cover of the book. I bent down with a bitter smile and picked it up. My fingers wiped over the cover of the book, taking the dust away as the words etched in gold on its cover revealed itself.

 

{World Domination Plans! Not for Mom!}

 

"Hah..." A soft chuckle escaped me when I saw the title. With a sigh, I stood up and put the book back on top of the closet.

 

I picked up the certificates again and added them to the file before packing it all up in my bag. Sighs escaped me involuntarily as my mind fluttered back to the book.

 

I lightly tapped my cheeks and said. "C'mon Ralph. Make the most of what you got... World Domination was just a childish dream. Yup, just a dream."

 

I tried my best to get rid of the thoughts and slung the bag over my shoulder. Checking the time on my wristwatch, I went back downstairs.

 

"I've got everything! I'm leaving." I announced and put on my shoes when the sounds of hurried footsteps answered back.

 

"Ralph."

 

"Yup?"

 

My mother's apron had disappeared and was replaced by an official suit.

 

"You'll manage on your own, right?"

 

"Hm? Of course!" I said, waving my hands.

 

"I'm sorry, I have to go to work today." My mother apologized with a wry smile.

 

"Haha, you can trust me with this much!"

 

"Ralph..." I turned back to the laces of my shoes when a hand settled on the top of my head.

 

"Just getting in the entrance exams for Agriche is a big achievement..." My mother softly pulled me into an embrace. "I'm proud of you."

 

I stayed quiet for a few seconds before smiling back and pulling myself away. "I'll get going now."

 

"Hm, be careful."

 

"I will." The front door opened up, and I hurried out of the house. We lived in an apartment complex, so I still had seventeen more floors to go down.

 

Just as I reached the lobby of our floor, the pod-like lift came up and opened on its own. I entered the lift and a keypad with different numbers appeared on the wall. Hitting 'zero' on the keypad, the lift zapped downward and reached the ground level in the blink of an eye.

 

I ran out of the lift and through the apartment complex. The blue morning sky overhead gave a serene look on the brick pavements and the small lights floating above it. The pavements worked as footpaths around the small area of the apartment complex, with a tiny park and a bunch of benches around it.

 

"Hey Ralphy! How's it goin?" I turned and jogged backward, waving my hands at the elf who greeted me.

 

"Yo Mr. Samantile! Found a wife yet?" I said back with a giggle and turned again, running through the entrance of the complex.

 

My race continued through the boulevard and to the junctions, going past the cars all around me. A few people turned and looked at me, but I aptly ignored them and soon came up to the tram lines going outside the city.

 

I went to the makeshift station made on the side of the tramlines. A few other people were already in there, including a foxkin father and his children and a rare old elf. I lined up next to the human at the back of the line and waited for the tram.

 

After a few seconds of waiting quietly, the man next to me made conversation in a small voice.

 

"Hey kid."

 

"Yes?" I politely asked back.

 

The man pumped his eyebrows, gesturing at my bag. "Are you going to the Agriche Academy?"

 

Tsk.

 

I had carelessly left part of the zip open and now the letter from Agriche Academy was peeking out.

 

"Ah...haha yes. I somehow got invited to give the entrance exams." I awkwardly laughed and answered.

 

"Woah, that's awesome." The man was fortunately keeping his voice low enough for only the two of us to hear. "I never thought I'll get to see a kid about to go there this close up."

 

"Go there? No, no." I waved my hand and dismissed his words. "Nothing that special. I'll only be taking the entrance tests."

 

"Ahh..." The man showed an understanding nod and patted my shoulders.

 

Yes, that was it.

 

I was only going to take the entrance exams, and that would be it. A good score will go a long way for me, and if I passed, my portfolio would be cemented with success, but that would already be a difficult feat.

 

Entering Agriche was nothing more than a pipe dream. Even if one passed the test, for an academy where talents from all over the world gathered, the money required was nothing short of insane.

 

Though there was a full scholarship for the top hundred students in the entrance exams and many sponsorships too, getting those was impossible for me.

 

And even beyond all that, this was... My very first step towards a successful normal life.

 

It was for the best.

 

There was no reason to get into Agriche. I would just use the status I get from the exams to join a technical institution and dabble in academics.

 

It was for the best—

 

-CRASH

 

Shards of glass and bits of stone flashed past my eyes.

 

A giant blue object swept through the walls of the station. In the blink of an eye, the top half of the station had disappeared.

 

None of us could react as a blue giant with four arms stood appeared in front of the station out of thin air.

 

Everyone was too stunned to even process what was happening. The monster was definitely not going to let this opportunity go.

 

It was necessary for everyone to get out of here right now.

 

I hopped backward and pushed the door to the station open. Then, taking a deep breath, I mustered all the air from the depths of my stomach and screamed out loud.

 

"RUN!! IT'S A TROLL!!!"

 

My shout was loud enough to snap most people out of the trance. Color drained from their face and their bodies shook at the sight of the troll.

 

"ah...a-ah.. AAH!!"

 

"RUN!!!"

 

"GET OUT! SOMEONE CALL THE AWAKENERS!"

 

I went to the side of the door and let everyone escape first. The few people inside the station pushed each other out of the station in desperation.

 

I looked at the troll lifting its arm again. By some miracle, it was not aiming at us. This was our golden opportunity. I shouted and pushed them out of the door. Within moments, everyone had left the station.

 

I rushed behind the rest and got out of the station. The giant troll still looking away from us.

 

"No! My son! My son!"

 

The foxkin parent in front of us was running back towards the station.

 

A chilling sensation spread through my spine as I turned back, almost on instinct.

 

"PAPA!!"

 

The reason the troll was ignoring us.

 

Was because one of the foxkin children had fallen to the ground...

 

The troll had swung its hands downward, aiming right at the child.

 

All the muscles in my legs contracted. Mana burst from my heart and coalesced near my feet.

 

-BAM!

 

A ball of dust and smoke was left behind as I rushed through the broken station.

 

The troll's arm was mere inches away.

 

I slid to the ground and swooped the child in my arms.

 

Not even a whole second had passed.

 

Turning back. Bursting again. It would take too long.

 

With the Troll's hit right overhead, I pulled my hands back and threw the child outside the station.

 

-THWACK

 

... And then, light left my world.

.

.

.

{You have died}

 

{All conditions have been fulfilled}

 

{The dormant system has absorbed the death}

 

{Initialising... 17%}

{Initialising... 48%}

{Initialising... 72%}

 

{Initialisation completed}

 

{Host details

•Name: Ralph Rubinstein

•Age: 16

•Rank:?? (Calculating)

•Stats:??????? (Calculating)

•Skills:??????? (Calculating)

•Inherent Abilities:?????? (Calculating)

•Gifts:?????? (Calculating)

[email protected]@lity: Kind :ERROR:

.

.

.

•Personality: Kind (Active) / Insane, maniacal (dormant)}

 

{The system greets its host}

 

{System Rank: F}

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