Chapter 1: Multi System | Cultivator Integration
The late sunlight beneath the cloudless sky shone across the great forest. The dense-leaved trees block out enough sunlight to keep the forest floor cool. Shrubs and grasses are exposed enough light to grow under the trees shade in the forest.
If there are no patches of blood and monster carcasses the size of a bison laying around, then The forest would be a great place to relax.
A middle-aged woman sits with her legs stretched back against a large tree, sharing the stability from the roots. She afraid that if she lays down, she will never be able to get up again.
Looking at her torn left arm above her elbow, she couldn't help but think that if she lay down on the grass, everything would be over. The ability to end suffering and adversity is seductive. She sighed, looking at her wounded again. The cloth that wrapped her wound was firmly evidence that she hadn't given up. Despite her difficult and miserable life, she still needs to survive in this forest.
'I think I have to learn to use a sword with one hand.' The middle-aged woman thought. She and called the information window to check if there was a change after successfully killing the boss.
The novel feeling from the information window that look like a floating computer screen has faded thirty years ago. At first, an information window like this appears in front of people on Earth. People is full of excitement and wonder what this novelty is. This rectangular panel displays the same message for the entire world to interpret for meaning.
[Welcome to Player System]
The English text on the panel caused uncountable chairs to flip and fall to the ground. Comics and fiction readers who stand up with excitement cause chairs and objects to fall all over. Compared to people who primarily seek other types of entertainment, this group of readers is more familiar with the so-called System. They know that it is what will bring superhuman superpowers. Something that exists only in the imagination of readers, writers of novels and comics. What turned out to be true in front of them.
The excitement and expectation of supernatural powers morphs into horror and despair when [Player System] immediately begins testing [Player].
Many monsters are unleashed simultaneously in all communities. Few people understand how dangerous the claws and the fangs of domestic dogs intended to take their lives are, and that is only the beginning of the new era.
Era of [Player System].
The middle-aged woman sighed when she saw that the information panel of her own had not changed.
[Please leave a special area to receive an assessment]
This is a message that has been displayed on the information panel for almost thirty years. If she could get out of here, she would have been out thirty years ago. High walls are still visible even when obscured by large trees. Most of the letters on the wall are hidden behind the leaf bushes, but she remembers the text on the wall very well because she has read it countless times.
Quarantine area number 4.
If she gets into the area of 100 meters from the high wall. The turret on the wall will shoot automatically. It doesn't matter if it's a monster or a human. When she can't leave a special area, how can she assess the capabilities required by the [Player System]?
So tired. A middle-aged woman muses in her heart. She is confident that leaving a special area is part of her development in the [Player System], but she can’t.
"You are capable." The man's voice next to her made her eyelids twitch, her right hand clenched tightly on the handle of the sword beside her leg, but she was still conscious enough to hold herself from attacking. With her injured and weakened body, plus the fact that the surviving people in quarantine area has a similar level of combat ability. Attacking mean death.
Are there still people left? The middle-aged woman asked herself because she hadn't seen humans in quarantine for more than ten years.
She slowly turned her head to the side, looking to see who this uninvited guest was. She saw a figure in an old leather jacket, wearing a helmet, squatting, looking at the monster carcass in front of her. Behind him was a blue-haired young woman floating one meter above the ground. Her skin is fair like a peeled egg, her hair is shiny and silky.
"Can I ask if there is a tower in the world called Babel?" The young man's voice came through the windshield of his helmet.
The middle-aged woman shook her head slowly, assessing how the other person had come to be.
"No, um... so I ask, if you have a normal life like that without fighting these monsters, what do you want to do?" the man in black asked.
The young man's question stunned the middle-aged woman because it was a question that she didn't expect to get in such a situation, or if this was a way to confuse the other party before taking action.
‘Go with the flow’ She thought.
"Sell a miscellaneous stuff," the middle-aged woman replied truthfully. This is what she concluded after spending more than thirty years in quarantine zone. It's something she thinks she'll do after she gets out of here.
"It's not bad, but the world is like this and it's going to be hard to sell." The man in black replied.
Although the expression on the other person's face could not be seen, the middle woman could hear what the other person said with a smile. She could only pull up the corners of her mouth a little, because the truth was just that. What little things would she sell in the world, especially in the quarantine zone where she lives?
"You don't have to be that tense. If I were to do anything, I would have done it." His tone has a tint of mockery. But the middle-aged woman had to admit that he was telling the truth. If he wants to get rid of her. Even if she had to fight, it would be a waste of time. The discouragement she had just received after a meaningless fight with the boss shook her heart again. This feeling of helplessness forced her smile to be filled with bitterness.
The right hand that clenched tightly to the sword, relaxed. Laying down and waiting for death is a betraying of oneself. But if she is killed by this stranger, she will accept it. At least it's a truly dead-end situation.
"My name is Bancha, a cross-dimensional traveler," the man in black introduced himself. The middle-aged woman lacked the ability to see through the windscreen on the other person's helmet, so she could only think in her heart if he was smiling and teasing her.
"Wai" The middle-aged woman replied with her name.
"Ms. Wai, I know what is in your head because I've been through this many times, you're still good at having a sense of self-awareness, you still talking to me instead of attack immediately. To summarize in short, I have a goal to do, so I have to travel across dimensions a lot. On each of my interdimensional journeys, I have a custom to give a system to people in the dimension that I came to."
A middle-aged woman named Wai looked at the other. She didn't believe the other person's words in the slightest. Her more than thirty years of experience of surviving alone filled her with caution.
"Hmm," Wai nodded in acknowledgement. In her mind, whatever she thinks, it's one thing. Outside, she had to follow the other person first to avoid trouble. She doesn't want to provoke the other person to attack her.
The man in black shrugged before taking out a flat metal plate the size of a rice plate from his backpack. On a shiny metal plate there are five white dies.
"This is Entropy dies, you don't have to pay attention to detail, its ability is to estimate how many systems you can use. Roll these five dice on a plate, you already have one System with you. One of the dice will come out gray in front. Please."
Wai looked at the five dice, looked at the man in black, and then used her right-hand which was still working to grab the five dice and roll them on the plate. She saw the dies bouncing on the plate and thought she was exerting too much strength. Many dice would have fallen off the plate, but the dice that bounced off the plate hit an invisible wall and bounced back into the plate. The five dice clashed against each other, making clear noises several times before stopping.
Of the five dice, two showed a blank face. One dice shows three gray dots, while the dots on the other two dice are black. Three and four points, respectively.
"Three, three, four, nil, nil, not bad, it's mid-to-high, you can have three systems, the first one you already have is the [Player System], it's a third-level system, I'll give you another of same level system, and then one of fourth-level system. Mila, pick a system that's a little more about selling things, and then [Portal System], so Ms. Wai can a channel to sell her things."
The man in black turned and spoke to the blue-haired girl. The girl closes her eyes for a moment before raising her hand in front of her. A brooch in a shape of two ring chained together float on top of a tablet computer appeared over her slender, white hand, both of which swirled slowly like a product display video.
The man in black grabbed a pair of looped brooches the size of a coin and examined them, then knelt next to the middle-aged woman. Wai tensed. Her hand instinctively moved to grasp the handle of the sword next to her before loosening her hand. She let him pull down her collar without resisting.
Bancha pierced a ring-shaped brooch onto the skin. She could feel the brooch piercing deep into the sternum. Red blood immediately flows out, but this level of pain is considered minor compared to the wounds she suffered in thousands and tens of thousands of monster battles over time. 30 years ago
It’s strange, she felt that after the man in black stabbed the brooch into her chest, her body recovered slightly.
Having successfully pinned the brooch to her sternum, the man in black moved his attention to the tablet computer. He pressed and held the tablet power button. Swipe back and forth on the screen several times before removing Wai's gloves. Her gloves were soaked with disgusting bloody mucus, but the man in black seemed unconcerned, as if this was a common occurrence he regularly encountered.
He held the tablet in front of Wai so that the tablet's camera could clearly photograph her. An image of a middle-aged woman with a bloody and dusty face appears on the screen. It looks like a dying woman. He also held her finger, pressing it down on the screen several times to confirm the fingerprint. Having obtained her fingerprint, he turned the tablet screen back and swipes several more time.
"It's just a ceremonial activation and it's going to run like a normal system. The tablet itself can be called out or stored inside your body like a normal system’s items. This tablet is a tool of the [Cosmos Store System], a level 4 system that is higher than the [Player System] and [Portal System] that I gave you."
He handed the tablet to Wai. When she received the tablet and tried to collect and retrieve the tablet as she did when she used her thought to control the operation of the [Player System], everything went smoothly, no problem.
"I chose [Portal System] for you to use because this system won't directly enhance your capabilities like the skills in [Player System]. Simpler and less conflict between system.” The man in black explained further.
The distance between Wai's eyebrows was slightly shortened. She looked at him hesitantly because she still couldn't see the picture clearly. Bancha saw that and explained further.
"The core mechanism of [Portal System] is to send users from one world to another. 90% of the system's energy is spent on sending people back and forth across the world. People who cross the world will use knowledge from their own old worlds in other worlds. It's like someone who use their guns knowledge in the magic orient world. Knowledge from other worlds can also be applied to this world. Both systems benefit from two worlds as well, so they can be shared without problems."
Wai thought as she nodded. She understands what the [Portal System] is. She rubbed the brooch on her sternum with her fingers. She looked at the tablet in his hand before asking, "So, what about this [Cosmos Store System].”
"[Cosmos Store System] is a level 4 system with a higher level than both systems, compared to the third-level system, it’s like grocery stores and department stores. The fact that your human world was chosen by the [Player System] as a Level 3 system is because of the technological advancements and the potential of the people on this planet is suitable for the Level 3 system. This world is not suitable for level 4 system. "
The middle-aged woman nodded again before frowning. "If that's the case, then why did you give me a System Level 4?"
"I gave you a Level 4 system because you rolled the Entropy Die by a score of 4, meaning you are qualified to use the Level 4 system. It’s a universe will.”
"The universe ..." Wai blinks, thinking about constellations and galaxies swirling around.
"Don't pay attention, you don't need to know." The man in black looked at Wai left arm that had been bitten off by a monster and turned to speak to the girl next to him. "Mila, find the materials to use to improve her body, when [Portal System] sends her to another world, it will be easier to do a body strengthening mission."
The blue-haired girl nodded in acknowledgement. She raised her fingers to the sky and created a long-pointed ice crystal that launch into the sky in large numbers, much like archery of an ancient army. Those ice crystal arrow moved through the green roofs of the forest and dispersed all around, disappearing in all directions as if they had their own goal.
Wai looked up at the magic use by a young woman named Mila. In her mind, she thought that if Mila was a player, she would have to be the strongest player she had ever met. Seeing this, she felt that the Bancha’s words that he was a trans dimensional traveler seemed to carry a lot more weight. But she herself has only experienced the ability of the player in quarantine area, so it is impossible to tell how capable the player outside the quarantine zone is.
The blue-haired girl lowered her hand. Moments later, a large number of monsters remains floated from all directions and piled up a hill not far from the three of them.
The man in black nodded to Mila. He created several strangely shaped magic circles stacked on top of each other. One ring press through the Wai’s head down to the toe. At what point the Wai’s muscles and bones split into tiny particles, leaving only the brain and nerves floating in mid-air.
Rattan still conscious about what is happening to himself. She acknowledged that the particles floating around her were her body that was fragmented into super-small molecules no different from the foundation elemental atoms, but something even more terrifying happened after her muscular bones were completely dismembered. Another magic ring moves through her brain from above and separates all the remaining elements of her organs into another particles group.
Wai can’t see, can’t hear, can’t feel anything but have an understanding about everything that is going on. She understands very well that her true self is not an organ or body, but another thing that exists in another realm, something that transcends physical possibilities, transcends the laws of physics and biology.
The man in black uses one magic circle to separate the monster carcasses into another set of particles, just as the Wai’s body is separated. The blue-haired woman sends the monster carcass into the magic circle.
The particles obtained by separating the elements of the monster gathered into a stream moved towards the spot where Wai was leaning against the tree.
These particles form several types of cells. From the most subtle parts of her brain to the epidermis, even her armor was completely rebuilt.
Wai sensed the difference in the new body she received. She knew from the looseness of her armored clothing that she now had a smaller body. She rubbed her cheeks and could feel the firmness that had previously diminished with age. This is a skin of young girl, not a rough skin of middle-aged woman who fighting monsters for more than thirty years.
"I rebuilt your body based on the time you connected to the [Player System]. Usually, you have to complete the task of [Portal System], collecting raw materials until you can create a suitable new body. But I wanted to heal the injury for you, so I helped you find the materials and rebuild your body altogether, but this body wasn't perfect. You have to go on missions in other worlds because there are no suitable materials in this world."
Rattan misses the moment she became a player. If she follows the words of the man in black. That was thirty years ago. When she was only sixteen years old. She looked at her shrinking hands. The arm muscles obtained from swinging the sword for more than thirty years have collapsed. Only the thin arms of high school students who are barely exercised.
She really has the body of a sixteen-year-old, but surprisingly, she doesn't feel weaker. She felt even stronger than before. Either her optic nerve or her ears improved entirely.
"Ms. Wai, don't be surprised." The man in black spoke as if he could read her mind. "This is the standard body of people in another world connected to this world through the [Portal System].
"What kind of world is that?" Rattan asked. Her voice was as small as it was when she was a teenager. She covered her mouth with her hands because she wasn't used to her "new voice" being her "old voice."
"It's a unique world, you can say it's the Xian world, because there are people who call themselves Xians."
"The Xian world ..." Wai echo. She rubbed her face with her hand and found that the large scar that ran from her right eyebrow through her eyes down to her cheek had disappeared. "Can you get my scar back?"
Bancha did not ask why the other party needed a scar. He wiggles his fingers slightly, Wai’s smooth skin suddenly cracked, forming a long wound from the right eyebrows down to the cheek in the original position of the scar. The wound heals.
"I'll be in this dimension for a while, maybe a few days, maybe months, maybe years, maybe we'll see each other, or we won't see each other. You don't have to think about thanking, because meeting each other is the intention of the universe. The system I gave you away may seem like something very special, but at the cosmic level it means almost nothing."
"Thank you," Wai said with heartfelt appreciation.
"Then, I’m going now. Don't forget what you told me, that you said you wanted to sell a little small thing." the man in black floated up and disappeared into the clouds with a blue-haired young woman. Wai, who had a new body, stood up and looked at the two until they disappear inside the clouds. At a time when she thought everything was coming to an end, she was incredibly given a new life.
She vowed to her new life firmly that from now on she must not just be “alive” but “living” as much as she is could, given the opportunity to start a new life.
Wai couldn't help but feel like a dream. She stroked the skin above the chest and felt the convex ring of brooch and metal rings embedded into her skin and bones as one.
This is a reality, not a dream.