Guild Wars - Chapter 2

Published at 21st of November 2020 10:19:54 PM

Chapter 2: 2
When Draco woke up, he realized that his head was throbbing painfully . Cursing darkly, he got up and checked his surroundings, expecting to see his expensive suite . What he saw instead, was a ramshackle room that looked like it could barely house a family of rats, much less a human being .

Blinking with surprise, he looked at his chest sharply . No wounds . Just a scrawny body that looked like it could barely take a punch from a child, which was the opposite of the power packed form he was used to .

Despite this different scene from what he expected, the sense of familiarity did not escape him . He knew this place and he recognized this body . This was his home and himself from 15 years ago, when he was a cowardly young man who could barely afford to feed himself .

He picked up his brick phone and checked the time – 7:00 am, 21/03/2065 . Despite his calm outward appearance, his mind was reeling from this . This date meant that Boundless would be launching in exactly five hours . Shops selling the basic game helmet for the Boundless servers would close in less than three hours .

His memories of the past which had been blurry, become crisp and clear . These memories were after all, fresh and recent in the mind of this body . Yet, he could also remember everything beyond this date as easily as one with perfect eidetic memory would .

He remembered that he had painstakingly saved every scrap of money for the two years Boundless had been announced and was in closed alpha and beta, starving himself in bursts to gather enough to buy the most basic helmet .

Since he had very little time, he decided to follow his past self's actions and purchase the helmet before closure . He walked out of his attic-like bedroom and washed up under his leaky shower which only shot out icy water . Shrugging the discomfort away was easy for the current Draco, while his old self used to spend 10 minutes alternating parts of his body under the shower in order to get used to it . After cleaning himself, he put on his outgoing shirt and wore some summer shorts and slippers before heading out .

Walking along the boulevard, he was forced to look at the filthy surroundings of this underdeveloped area that existed on the outskirts of town . Despite the progression of society in the area of technology – or perhaps, because of it – nothing had really changed . The poor were getting poorer and the richer were getting richer . While Draco wasn't yet at the bottom rung, he wasn't that far off . Thanks to the leftover insurance money from his deceased parents, he could afford to keep off the streets .

Even though this part of town was indisputably shitty, there was still some level of patronage, so it didn't take him long to reach a small outlet store with a blue banner stating "Get your FIVR helmets for Boundless here with a basic starter's package for $300!!!"

Still, he didn't head into the shop, rather waiting for a certain event to occur . In less than thirty seconds, four familiar faces emerged from the corner . The moment these fellows locked onto him, they started snickering meanly .

The leader of them, an ugly rotund fool by the name of Jarko, walked up to Draco while his man tits shook the heavens and earth . "Well, well, if it isn't the Draco the cowardly dragon . What are you doing here? Coming to donate money to us so we can start our guild? Oh gee golly, how kind of you . "

The three skinny and ugly fools behind him took their cue to snigger . Rolling his eyes, Draco sighed . In the original scene years ago, he had been stammering and shaking, eventually being beaten and extorted . The shopkeeper had taken pity on him and loaned Draco a used helmet that was for beta testers in order to play the game .

However, Draco decided to rewrite the script for this scene . In the years to come, he would remember this day as the moment when the God of Chaos who threw him into the past had achieved the foundations for his goal .

"Piss off Jarko, your stink is clogging my nose . What I'm here to do is none of your fucking business, shitbag . "

Draco's reply was met with silence . Not even in their wildest dreams did these four idiots expect him to retaliate to their provocations . Draco could choose to walk by them and let this matter blow off, but he had a different idea . With a dark smirk, Draco sent his fist flying into the guts of the fat fool before him, which made them all gasp . Talking back was one thing, suddenly attacking was another . Just what had this dude eaten that made him so ballsy?

"This is for all the times you bullied me, cowtits . "

However, tubby didn't fall over in pain . With a surprised grunt, he realized that the fist he thought would hurt him actually did nothing at all . The moment he and his lackeys came to this realization, their previous fear and alarm blew off as they burst into laughter .

Draco didn't make any other move, simply smirking coldly while gazing upon them as one would an insect . This act made the bullies cut their laughter as they grew angry at this scrawny fellow's scorn .

"Alright Draco, I'll give it to you, you've finally grown some balls . But clearly, they're far too small to… to… urgh… . ARGGHGHHHHH!!"

Tubby's words cut of the moment he started talking too much, realizing that every word he spoke brought exponentially increasing pain to his chest and abdomen area . At the current level, he could barely remain standing and fell to the floor, gasping and shrieking in pain which further increased the ferocity .

The faces of the mindless fools behind him turned white as a sheet from the sounds their boss was making . This wasn't the normal level of agony, this was advanced torment . He wouldn't sound out of place in a terrorist torture video as a victim right now .

Turning to face the other three, Draco spoke slowly but dangerously . "You have 10 seconds to give me every single dollar you have on your body otherwise you'll end up worse than him . He's only enduring 50% of the pain thanks to his fat body . You skinny fools will have to bear it all . "

"Choose wisely . The countdown starts now . "

The coward inside them reared its ugly head at this moment, as they clamored over each other to drop every single penny they had on them, including what Jarko possessed . Without wasting a second, they dragged the tub of lard away hurriedly, casting fearful looks at Draco as if he would change his mind and attack them .

Scoffing, he entered the outlet store to purchase the helmet, but was met with a surreal scene . The cashier, who was a college girl working part time, was trembling like she had been shocked with electricity . Draco had a good impression of her since she had been very kind to him in his past life, so seeing her terrified of him made him feel awkward .

Sighing, he decided to try and fix things lest it escalate indirectly . "Sorry about that . Those boys have been beating me up for the past two years and I always took it quietly . Recently, a martial master decided to teach me a few moves, which I used on them, as you saw . If I didn't, well…"

He let her finish the thought in her mind and she realized that four against one would have ended a lot worse than what had just occurred . With that in mind, she regained composure, but still watched him warily . "What do you need, sir?"

"I'd like to purchase the Boundless helmet," Draco replied with an easygoing smile . Seeing this, she let go of her wariness as her occupational demeanor fully returned .

"Excellent, sir . That would be $200 . Would you like to purchase a package as well?"

Draco leaned on the counter easily and pretended to be deep in thought . "What are the available packages?"

"Well sir, we have the basic package which includes two potions of the health, mana and stamina type, a common weapon of each type which can be resold in-game and a basic kit of the light, medium and heavy categories . This would be $300 just for today . After today, it will move to $1000 . "

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"There's the advanced package which includes everything in the basic package with the inclusion of three basic tradeskill books that the player can select in-game . There is also the option for a player to choose between basic crafting resources to start off your trade career without having to grind! This is the optimal package for those who want to double as lifestyle players . This package is priced at $500 for today, but will be $1200 for newcomers after tomorrow . "

"The final package is the Master one . It includes everything in the two packages mentioned earlier as well as some rare resources, two rare weapons of your choice and three combat skill books that are uncommon . This package is recommended for veteran players who are looking to build an empire in-game . This package costs $700 and will rise to $1500 after today . "

Draco already knew about all this, but he still paid close attention to see if there were any changes . Seeing as they were none, he contemplated his choices .

I came here with $200 which should have been taken, but I managed to keep . After beating around those fools, I got an additional $1700 since they all planned to buy the basic package while the fat idiot was targeting the advanced one . That means I can buy the master package as well as some basic necessities to carry me until I can profit off boundless .

Draco's brain was alive with rapid fire thoughts, plans being hatched and choices predetermined . Upon reaching a conclusion, he decided to follow the most powerful path, the one that would bring him into opulence long before the date he achieved in his previous life .

"I'll take the master package and three 3rd grade NuSmoothies . Here's the money," he said, removing $1500 and handing it over to the cashier .

After processing everything, Draco left the outlet store with his new helmet and three small flasks of the precious NuSmoothies, which were extracted nutrients that were of an optimal balance to increase muscle mass, general fitness and lifespan . He had only gotten to taste this wonderful elixir after a good seven years last time round .

When Draco entered his bedroom, he didn't immediately tear open the box and jump into the game . After all, it was launching in roughly four hours' time .

Instead, Draco stripped until he was in his boxers and began a simple strength exercise . Nothing too strenuous, as his muscles were weak and his body malnourished . After barely five minutes of optimal training, he hit his limit .

Well, it seems like this body is too weak to even finish the set . He thought with a frown .

He downed a full flask of the NuSmoothies immediately to replenish his body's stock and to refresh his aching muscles .

"Urgh!! . . . Arrghhh… . " He coughed in pain and fell to his knees as what felt like liquid mercury pulsed through his body .

I almost forgot how potent NuSmoothies are at the first consumption . It seems mine was pretty intense since my body is so weak .

He managed to climb to his feet after the pain elapsed . The moment he did, he felt the qualitative difference in his breathing and movements . Of course, he hadn't suddenly transformed into an all-star athlete, but he went from a nude chicken to a chicken with plate mail .

After that, Draco unboxed the special FIVR helmet and marveled at its beauty . He'd previously stopped using helmets after rising to vice guild leader in Darkrow, instead switching to the full immersive long term pods . However, that technology wasn't available yet . It would arrive sometime next year and take the world by storm . That would be when Boundless would blow up to become the new world .

So I have one year to build an unshakeable empire in boundless before the masses filter in and muddle everything up .

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Draco didn't wear the helmet, even after unboxing because there was still a few hours to go until global launch . In the past, he had pretty much done what every other excited kid did: wear the helmet and lie there four hours watching the countdown with excitement .

But after almost fifteen years in the game, he couldn't muster that same level of excitement . Not that he hated the game, he had long treated it less as a "game" and more like another reality . After five years, these people would too, but at this time, it was still a fancy FIVR MMO to them .

Draco rummaged through his supplies and surprisingly came across some pins, torn clothes and some plain A4 sheets as well as some of his old notebooks . He pulled a table over and surveyed his room carefully, laying down the design in his mind . When he reached a conclusion, he walked up to the wall opposite the foot of his bed and cleared one side of it .

After cutting the old clothes into yarn-like strings, he took various unused sheets of A4 as well as from his old notebooks and pinned them on the wall against each other . With an old and barely functioning marker he unearthed from his old school supplies, he began using the papers as a canvas for his art .

He wasn't doing anything fancy, just drawing a rough layout of the Domain he had started in and based his guild in his past life, Sturgehaven Kingdom .

The Kingdom had twenty mid-tier cities, four high-tier cities including the capital and countless small-tier cities scattered across the territory . Right now, Draco wasn't going to bother himself with the thousands of kingdoms in the first update of Boundless . Trying to rule the whole game in such a short time would be a pipe dream . It would be definitely possible for him to reach the pinnacle of his past life, but it would require time and there was no shortcut for that .

He labelled each of the key towns that had resources, rare quest lines and hidden quests that would immediately set him apart from the common folk . Having once ruled the whole land, he knew almost everything there was about it, which dungeons gave what loot and resources, which zonal areas had the rarest hidden chests as well as legacies and which NPCs granted one time rewards that could never be duplicated .

Draco spent over two and half hours listing them all on his makeshift canvas . Even though it was arguably large, there still wasn't enough space for him to write it all without cramming . Probably he was the only one who could read this legibly, which he didn't really care about .

After taking a short rest since his arms felt like lead after all that writing, Draco studied it for a while to determine his path forward . He had just splattered all the information he knew onto his canvas . Now was the time to analyze and find the path forward .

"Yep, so it's gonna have to be that way, huh?" He murmured to himself, lost in a mixture of remembrance and contemplation .

Nodding to himself, he turned to the FIVR helmet and strapped in on dexterously . There was no need to read manuals and ponder over its assemblage, he had done this every day for over seven years in his past life .

「Loading . . . 」

「Brain scan initiating… please wait… 1% . . . 2% . . . 3% . . . 」

「Brain scan complete . 」

「Welcome to Boundless! This world is governed by the unique AI hive mind of the GloryGore studios and for all intents and purposes…」

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The annoying disclaimer came on, the devs explaining how they had no hand in anything going on in-game apart from small issues . The usual corporate lingo that essentially meant "Hey, you bought it, so don't sue us if it messes up" .

「Would you like to initiate the tutorial? Y/N」

"No . "

「Please create your Boundless account . 」

「Username: Draco

Password: *********

Account type: Free

Package: Master」

With the account created and his details set, Draco was brought into a room that had a starry backdrop, as if he were floating in space . Overlaid on his vision was a countdown timer that told him there was less than fifteen minutes to go until the game launched .

Draco decided to use the time wisely and opened the character creation menu . Selecting the human race, his character appeared before him in full glory . In the age of VR and FIVR, there was no such thing as catfishing or the like anymore . Avatars would resemble their owners with only certain changes to cosmetics available . You couldn't change skin color, height or build, but simple touchups could be made to make you look more attractive than in the real world . Of course, a monkey with makeup was a still a monkey so without a foundation, nothing would change .

Draco nodded his head at his appearance . Although he was skinny and looked somewhat malnourished, there was no way to effectively smother his above average handsomeness . It wasn't overbearing, but not negligible either . Enough to make you take a second look and fantasize, but not enough to make you put in the effort . His dark hair was curly and messy, forming bangs on his forehead . He had bright green eyes and thin lips . His face was developed and angular which was the basis for his attractiveness .

His avatar was garbed in a basic tunic and some trousers . He had some leather battle boots on his soles that allowed him to fight and run at the same time .

Naturally, no weapons or ornaments were on the avatar's body at this juncture . Satisfied, he made his selection and confirmed it . Just as he was done, the area reverberated and the world seemed to crumble slowly .

「Select starting town: ___________」

Draco quickly chose the town he planned to initiate his path to victory . "Stagnant Moss town . "

「Town selected, transferring…」

With a 'pop' sound, Draco's consciousness was pulled into the world of boundless and his new journey in this land was about to begin .