Chapter 0: Prologue

Chapter 0: Prologue


A man hiding behind his shield stood his ground as the beating of the griffin's wings hurled great pressure at him. An Archer let loose an arrow but the wind was too much for it to settle the remaining bits of health that remained.  The mage beside me cast a spell quietly, my ears not picking up the spell, but the griffin's right wing suddenly crippled as it collapsed toward the ground. Another man came up behind it, and having waited for it to crash the entire time, finally heaved his axe into it. I stood there, waiting for the match to end so I could do my job.


Finally! We beat Floor 20!


Having been playing ‘Tethralin’ on Easy, I was excited to finally beat Floor 20. I used three lives to get this far, and death never felt good. I originally started playing on Normal, and quickly died on Floor Four—a random trap taking my life. So I tried again, reaching Floor 10 but was squished by a boss. I had to make a decision. It wasn’t a really tough decision, however, using a life to move down a difficulty, placing myself on Easy. It’s definitely been worth it as I finally passed Floor 20, albeit not by myself.


“Hey, Zaro. Hand over some potions.” The man with the sword and shield loomed beside me. He had been the party’s tank, a Sentinel who was playing on Normal. Unfortunately, he never got my name right. I was an Alchemist, having picked my class from the classes offered based off of my attribute allocation. Alchemists were primarily healers, one of the very few available.


“No problem, Carl,” I replied, “Um, great job tanking the boss.” I handed him a potion, reminding him my name was Zeryn.


I was in a party with four other players. After Floor 10, ‘Tethralin’ opened up to multiplayer through a service provided by the Hub. The Hub was a small town-like area available after every boss, and people tended to gather there as many services were available—one being ‘Party Creation’, allowing up to five players to group up.


[System Notice: Floor 20 completed. Congratulations. Please continue to the portal and move to the Hub.]


[System Notice: Player-versus-Player (PVP) mode now active. Players may now fight each other. Defeating other players gives you a chance to learn their abilities! For more information about PVP, refer to the {HELP} section.]


I shook for a second. PVP? No, PVP was never mentioned before. I looked over to the others, “Um, guys? Why is there—”


The Sentinel interrupted, “Hah. Take a look at the portal. The [3] above the portal indicates only three of us can pass.” He looked at two other party members. “Alright, team. Let’s get rid of these noobs playing on Easy. We need to get revenge on those assholes who cheated us.”


As he finished his words, the Barbarian, Harold, raised his axe and sliced into the back of the Archer in the group. The Archer died instantly. “Hoh, I didn’t get an ability out of him. I hate Easy players. Their growth rate is just so low.”


I looked at him in fear, falling to the ground. I then glanced back at Carl, his face holding an evil smirk as he laughed, “Hopefully I will get my hands on the Alchemist ‘Creation’ skill. Hehahaha!”


I tried to get up and run, but I could only crawl as a sudden pain twisted my ankle. I crawled as quickly as I could but a foot slammed into my back. “Argh!” I barely reached the portal, raising my hands towards it and touching it. I'm... safe.


[System Notice: Unable to move through portal while in combat.]


“The hell... I’m not in—” I couldn’t even finish my sentence as the Sentinel’s sword stabbed into me.



I opened my eyes, and I could only see luminescent lights blurring my vision. I put my hands on my face, “I really wish I could quit this game. I thought being in a fantasy would stave off what happened before I started playing. But now I only have one life left—then I’m dead for good. And there is no chance to leave this game.” I sat on the lone couch in the enclosed area, surrounded with bright lights and white walls, making it quite difficult to concentrate.


“Screw it. I’ve got one life left. What do I need?” As I talked out loud to myself, I had an idea. That asshat Harold mentioned growth… Why am I just noticing my growth slowed down? One life leftI’ll just…”


“System! Put me on Hardcore!”


Edited: 21.07.2019

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