I Don’t Want to Be A Protagonist!!! Concept Chapter

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I wrote this and completely forgot it existed until I stumbled into it. It was supposed to be a comedy. Only wrote a short first chapter. I’d make a cute short story. I don’t see it being a long, multi-volume thing without turning into the very cliche it is making fun of.


I was reincarnated to another world. No, I don’t particularly remember my original world all too much. So, how do I know that I reincarnated? Well, it’s the little things. Things like cars. Planes. Trains. I remember the internet. I remember Manga. Anime. Webnovels. Most of all, I remember video games.

It’s strange that I remember these things because these things don’t exist in this current world of mine. This is a world of magic and swords. This is a world of monsters, classes, nobles, and demon kings. This is a dangerous and scary world. However, I personally never found this world to be all that frightening.

The reason was simple. From a very young age, I realized the truth. I was the protagonist. I certainly didn’t volunteer to be the protagonist. Had there been a day where everyone needed to raise their hand if they wanted to be the center of everything, I would have continued to sit quietly with my hands firmly at my side.

I’ve always wanted to live a quiet life, a life where I was free to do whatever I wanted. Perhaps I would find a good wife, a small home, and a simple job. I certainly didn’t want to lead armies. I didn’t want to be responsible for the lives around me.

Although, perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. You see, I realized I was a protagonist fairly early on in life.

“Honey, can you please return this book to the shelf?”

[Mission: Return your mother’s book to her library shelf! Reward: A cookie Accept Mission? Yes / No]

I was only three when I received my first mission. Of course, I was a bit smarter than your average children, and after learning to speak by age 1 and already capable of reading book by age 3, my parents excitedly encouraged me to excel. I was already being taught rudimentary magic.

I waited until I left the room to give a sigh as I stared down at the book. Of course, even if I hadn’t remembered where my mother’s small library was, it was impossible not to see the giant arrow shining in the direction I needed to go. I followed the arrow, and it lead me into the appropriate room. There sat an obvious gap in the bookshelf which glowed.

As I approached the book case, I made another observation. Even though the spot to put the book back was obvious, according to the alphabet it would have been out of order. As soon as I thought that, more text suddenly appeared in my eyes.

[Optional Bonus: Alphabetize mother’s book self. Bonus Reward: A second cookie.]

Oo, a second cookie. I alphabetized the bookshelf. It only really had three books out of order, and since every single one of them let off a glowy light, it was pretty quick order to sort them all out.

“Ah, Driden! You sorted out Mommy’s bookcase? You’re such a good boy!” a voice came from behind just as I finished. “Here, I’ll give you a second cookie!”

[Congratulations, you have completed your quest!]

Celebratory music started playing in my ear, and my entire body seemed to explode in light. I expected my mother to shriek at the sight, but she didn’t even seem to notice. It looked like completing this quest had caused me to reach level two. Prior to that, I had never bothered to look at those sorts of things. It never occurred to me that this world existed like a game.

At first, I thought this would make things fun. I started trying to train myself and learn skills. In a game world, skills were built to rapidly increase over 80 some hours of gameplay before you can max them out. That’s all fine for a game, but translating that to real life caused things to become a little too easy. In my previous life, I seemed to remember that personal talent had a lot of influence on how good you could be become at anything. Now, as long as I practiced something, the levels kept rising and I kept growing better and better.

For example, in the world I remembered, if you picked up a book written in another language, you’d be helpless to read it. You’d need a teacher. They teach you about the alphabet, that would move to common words and phrases, steadily growing your vocabulary. Within a few years, you could gain a basic understanding of reading and writing. However, the first time I picked up a book…

[You have learned the Common Script: Lvl 1]

I immediately started to understand some of the words. I had been left in my crib that particular day and had nothing better to do, so I continued to stare at the book.

[You have learned the Common Script: Lvl 2]

“Seriously?”

I mumbled in disbelief as within 3 hours of fiddling with a book out of boredom I was already up to a 3rd grade reading level. When my parents figured out I could read, they started pushing more books in front of me… and I quickly reached…

[You have learned the Common Script: MAX]

Max turned out to be level ten. I knew every word in the common script, at the level of a palace scribe, at the age of three.

“One hundred hours.”

That was the amount of time it took me reading to bring Common script from LVL 1 to Max. That was a considerable cheat, right? That’s cheating!

Well, I didn’t feel that way at the time. As a simple 3-year-old. I was excited by seeing skills rise, and so I did other things as well.

[You have learned swordsmanship: MAX]

My father, a known adventurer, wore a tight grimace as he struggled to keep up with my sword techniques. Well, he was an advanced swordsman LVL 2 so he still won the fights, but that didn’t make him feel good. I was only 5-years-old, after all.

[Mission: Protect the girl from her bullies. Reward: Becoming her first love and childhood friend. Accept Mission? Yes/No]

No! I was currently working on increasing my stamina, which was requirement to start Advance Swordsmanship. Then, I came across a six-year-old girl. She was crying as two bigger bullies were throwing her doll back and forth and generally just doing the stupid things bullies do. I had already developed a habit of sticking to myself. I even had rejected my parents desire to put me in a school so that I could avoid learning too much and have to deal with other children.

The girl herself might have been cute, although I wasn’t interested in those kinds of things. She had cat ears and a cat tail, she was one of those so-called Neko girls. Well, the beastmen in this country were all treated like second-class citizens. Slavery had been outlawed only twenty years prior and many people still saw beastman as inferior. Pitifulness aside, I had no desire to get involved in these kinds of politics, so I turned around and walked the other direction.

[Are you sure you want reject this quest? It may have unexpected consequences!]

Yes! I’m not going to get involved. I neither want nor need some cat girl following me around. I sighed as the text faded away and then I took two more steps.

“Hey… what’s that kid over there up to?” I heard a voice shout.

Suddenly, bright red-light flashed in my face and I was forced to stop since I couldn’t see two feet in front of me.

[Warning: Mandatory Mission Started: Bullies are targeting you! Beat them up! Reward: Becoming her only love and lifetime friend. Mission has begun!]

“Eh?” my voice leaked out as I saw this new text.

“What’s that now? Is your boyfriend coming over to protect you?” One of the boys jeered at the girl.

“Run! Don’t worry about me!” The girl gave a shout as one of the boys laughed and shoved her to the ground.

The two boys started to descend on me with completely unfounded cockiness. True, they were both twice my size, but in a world decided by skills and statuses, that was never a smart way to determine people. I could easily be a few levels higher than they were, which meant that appearances were useless. Meanwhile, I stopped as I glared at the red text as it slowly dissipated. Why did the rewards become even more troublesome?

Well, if this mission gave me no choice! I spun around with a kick. The boy didn’t even have time to put on a surprised face as he went flying across the street and landing in a mud puddle about twenty meters away. His friend couldn’t even acknowledge what happened before I was in front of him. A single thrust with my hand and he collapsed onto the floor coughing.

{Congratulations, you have completed the quest!]

“What is this?” I suddenly noticed something in my pocket, so I pulled it out. “Waifu Collector Card?”

It was a card which had the girl I just rescued pictured on it in a pose with two fingers up. Under, it had some text.

[Samantha, Age: 6, Species: Catgirl, Current Moe: Loli, Boob size:…]

Ignoring her stats, I turned the card over in curiosity.

[Collect all 9 of her Waifu cards and gain access to her ‘private’ 😉 gallery.]

“She’s six…”

[She won’t always be! 😉 😉 😉 ]

“…”

The girl Samantha ran up and looked at me with eyes swimming like stars as congratulatory music played in my head. I let out an annoyed sigh as she grabbed my shirt, lowering her head and blushing.

This was the first moment I realized that being a protagonist wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Like most games, I really didn’t have the choice to refuse to play. You go down the path the game has set for you. In this particular case, that meant that I had to go down the path of a protagonist. This world wouldn’t allow it any other way.

That was a lesson that would be reinforced over and over again. No matter what I did, no matter what I said, things would keep happening. While it’s always fun to play the protagonist, fighting monsters and winning damsels… actually being a protagonist is hard work. You keep ending up in one ridiculous situation after another. You get beaten up. You lose things. No matter how much you have plot armor, getting hit still hurt, even if none of it mattered in the end. I found this lesson out a few years later.

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