“What, are you stupid?”
Those were the words spoken to me the day I asked the girl I was interested in out. She completely dismissed me. I could only stare in shock as she laughed and then walked back to her group of friends. She whispered a few words, all of them turned to me and then laughed.
Ow… that really hurt. We had worked on a project together. I had even done most of the work while she went to her cheerleading finals. In the end, I had gotten her full marks. I really thought that would have meant something. However, when seeing the disdain on her face now, I realized that she had just used me.
After school, I got my ass beaten by the school sports team. How should I know that a guy on the baseball team liked the girl, and took offense to me asking? Wasn’t the fact that she rejected me enough? Apparently not, because the bullies said I needed to be shown my place in the world.
“Don’t even try to talk to her again, fatty.” The guy in charge kicked me one last time while I was already in a fetal position.
After getting thrashed, I finally managed to crawl to my bike and made it home. My house was empty. My father died a few years ago in a car accident, and my mother worked all of the time. I had no other siblings. That means no cute sisters or loyal brothers. Well, that was probably for the best. I was overweight and unpopular. I would probably just be an embarrassment to any sibling who knew me.
I headed over to the bathroom and pulled out a medkit. One thing I had always been good at was taking care of myself. First aid, sewing, cooking, cleaning… I was responsible for all those duties. I carefully cleaned up my wounds and tended them. I swear my wounds healed faster when I was the one tending them. Ah, well, I finished quickly and leaned back, taking a small break.
“I want a girlfriend.”
Even after my bad experience, I still really wanted to be in a relationship with someone. I just wanted a girl to come home to. I was okay with even being an at-home husband. I could take care of the kids and clean the house. That would really be the life. Was it too much to ask for? I sighed as my stomach grumbled. There would be no food unless I got up to make something.
Heating some water, I opened up some instant ramen and ate it. I wasn’t fat because I ate too much. Instead, it was the quality of food. My mom and I didn’t have a lot of money, so naturally, I ate mostly cheap junk. It was rare when I could have a decent meal, and my mother never cooked. She was always way too tired to do anything, so I ended up being the cook in the house. If I had access to decent ingredients, I might have even been a decent cook.
After eating supper, I headed to my room and sat down in front of my small 22-inch TV. Picking up a bag of games I had picked up from the used media store, I started glancing through them. I was always thrifty, so the games I selected were from the discount bin. My games were always last-gen and clearance. That meant I got a lot of stinkers, but they passed my time. Once in a while, I found a hidden gem, and that was what I loved the most. I liked hunting for hidden treasures. The gains usually outdid the losses.
“What is this one?”
I noticed a game that I didn’t remember picking up at all. It had no labels on the outside at all. I glanced at the back, and there were absolutely no words on the case at all. Out of curiosity, I pulled off the wrapping and opened the case. There was a game cartridge, and written on it were just two words in a simple font.
It was called Dungeon Life. I noticed an insert in the case and pulled it out. Like the game, it contained no art and was just a paragraph of words.
Are you tired of your world? Do you want Adventure? Money? Food? Women? Join the Dungeon Life, where you make money hunting monsters, obtaining rare drop items, and earning treasures. Form a party of various classes to help you work your way down each dungeon and eventually defeat the dungeon boss. Each dungeon you conquer earns you wealth, fame, and dungeon points. Let the adventure begin.
“Dungeon Life…” I repeated, and then shrugged, sticking the game into my Nintendo. “Well, it doesn’t hurt to try it out.”
The screen finally came on, and I immediately had to shake my head. Seriously… no graphics! This might as well be an Atari game. It was a completely black screen with white text on it that said Dungeon Life followed by the words, ‘Start your New Life!’
I clicked the start button. Was this game more like second life? It might be one of those Java Mudd games that were popular a decade ago. I wasn’t above playing a text-based RPG, especially if the story was pretty good.
“Pick your class.” I read what was on the screen. “Your class is not your job. The class will dictate the type of skills you’ll gain to navigate the Dungeon Life. Choose wisely, as your play style will vary greatly based on your class.”
The classes were not what I expected at all. Rather than traditional RPG things like mage and warrior, they were far broader. The first class was Weapon Offense. The second was Shield Defense. The Third was Stealth. Then there was Long-Distance. Hand to Hand. Magical Attack. Magical Defense. My eyes went down the list until it fell on one that caught my eye.
Support. That was all that was written. Well, none of them had any descriptions of what they did. This appeared to be a game worse than I expected. It wasn’t very intuitive at all. However, I always played as a supporting character. I didn’t like my character to be the high hitter. Instead, I’d often play as a monster tamer or a necromancer and summon legions to fight for me. Then, I would sit back while they gave their lives, using little spells to help amplify and keep them going. I didn’t see anything like a necromancer, a druid, or a monster tamer… so Support seemed to be the closest I could come up with.
I selected the Support, and then another screen popped up. It asked me to choose a job.
“Ah, this is it.” I nodded in affirmation.
This list gave the more familiar things I was used to. There was a herbalist, a white mage, a monster tamer, a support mage, and many more. On top of the screen was some text.
Your job can be whatever you want it to be. With the appropriate class, you can switch between the jobs at will. However, other than your starting job, all other jobs must be unlocked. You must discover how to unlock your jobs on your own.
I frowned at the somewhat confusing instructions. So… basically, I could have any job I wanted as long as I unlocked it? That seemed really overpowered to me. In the end, I decided to go for the white mage. It wasn’t that I wasn’t tempted by the monster tamer, but I’d be able to pick that ability up later on. In the beginning, I found the thing that aggravated me most in games, and that was the inability to heal. Potions were usually really expensive, so a simple healing spell went a long way.
Of course, I wouldn’t have very much in the way of attack, it was probably fine. White mages were usually given a pass in earlier gameplay. Once I switched to something like a monster tamer, in conjunction with white mage skills, I figured I’d be pretty powerful. Thus, I selected the white mage job. I had my doubt about the game’s quality, but I was a bit excited to try it. If it sucked, I’d just play something else anyway.
Are you sure you’d like to go to another world?
Job: White Mage Level: 1}
“Yes.” I said out loud as I clicked, “Let’s get on with this.”
You have unlocked the White Mage skill: Weak Heal.
“Wait… what?” Those words didn’t flash on the TV, but they flashed in the middle of my vision.
A moment later, I was surrounded by a white light as the world around me vanished.
As the white light faded, I found myself in the center of a town. Yes, this was a town, but it wasn’t an ordinary town. Rather… it looked like a medieval town from a fantasy video game. The roofs were thatch and straw, and the houses were made of cheap wood. The pathways were made of dirt. I saw horses in front of various buildings and even a few riding them, and everyone was walking around in really grungy looking villager clothing. One or two people had armor on, and I even saw a few weapons in sheaths. Where was I?
“Where am I?” I asked out loud.
“Eh?” A passing big sister with large breasts stopped as she was walking by. “You’re in Chalm, a village in the corner of the Aberis Kingdom.”
“Ah…” I said, scratching my cheek.
Where was Chalm, and where was the Aberis Kingdom? Well, I wasn’t going to ask this pretty big-breasted woman such questions. I’d start to look crazy. What was going on? Was this another world? Had I been taken to an isekai world, just like those web novels I read?
“Um… in that case, do you know where I can get information?” I asked.
“Wouldn’t the best place be the Adventurer’s guild?” She offered with a pleasant smile.
She was pretty nice, so it instantly gave me a good impression of Chalm. I really wanted to bury my face in her chest. However, those kinds of actions would probably be frowned upon. I figured I had two options. One option, this world was fake, and I was in some sort of dreaming state. In that case, there were no consequences to my actions, and I should just enjoy myself. The second option was that I was in another world for real, in which case I could die really easy. That was kind of frightening. Either way, I wouldn’t step out of line until I knew which it was.
“Can you show me the directions?” I asked.
The girl pointed in the direction of a larger than average home with a sign in the front that I couldn’t read. I decided to follow after giving her thanks of appreciation. She smiled and gave me a wink in return. I found myself blushing slightly as I stumbled to the building. If she wasn’t busy, I might have been hoping to flirt with her a little more. Well, I still didn’t know if this world was real. I didn’t really have the confidence to do that sort of thing, so it was left for just my perverted fantasy.
As I walked down, I noticed more of the people around me. Some of them had tails and ears that came out of the top of their head. Would these be animalkin? I had never seen a catperson or dogperson before, but the buff looking guy who just passed me totally looked like he had cat-ears on his head. This place was quite cool.
Entering the Adventurer’s Guild, it resembled any other adventurer’s guild one might expect. It had a man upfront. There was a bar to the side with tables. It smelled of sweat, alcohol, and something that might be blood. I walked up to the front counter, where a beautiful woman was standing and doing her nails.
“I’m new to Chalm,” I said awkwardly. “Where can I make some coins?”
Unfortunately, I was still wearing the clothing I had come to this world in. My body was still my typical fat self. There was no new, handsome body nor impressive upgrades. I was still a chubby teenage boy, through and through. Thus, when the lady looked up, she saw me precisely for what I was. I had been dismissed by enough women to recognize that look. She wasn’t at all nice like the girl outside. My opinion of the Adventurer’s Guild went down.
“It’s one gold coin to join.” The woman behind the counter spoke as if she was disinterested in my presence. “The guild gives out assignments. We take 70% of the awards.”
“70%!” I let out a cry of surprise.
The girl sniffed. “Not only do we set up the assignments, but we also protect adventurers. We won’t give you more than you’re qualified to take, and we insure you and your equipment. The least we could do is take 70%!”
No… actually, that seemed rather intrusive, I decided to ask more. “How am I insured?”
“Naturally, if you die, we will cast a resurrection spell on you.”
I let out a cough, my eyes widening slightly. This world actually had resurrections? So, insurance was a literal life insurance. If I didn’t come back from a mission, someone could theoretically bring my life back from the dead. Suddenly, 70% did seem like a pretty good deal.
“Of course…” The girl spoke on. “You can be one of those crazy people who choose the dungeon life.”
My excited expression froze a bit. The Dungeon life? That’s the name of the game. That meant that’s the direction the game expects me to play.
“What is the dungeon life?” I asked cautiously.
The girl shrugged. “You try to tackle the dungeons. No one will insure you. If you die in the dungeon… you can’t be rezed. One life.”
I gulped. Of course, I’d get only one life.