Drezo Regalia V1 ch.1

Chapter1

Chapter 1
The egg

<Kiyro>

“Hello. My name is Kiyro Koga.”

No, that’s not right. I need to make a bigger impact, he thought while he combed his messy black hair. On his left side it was longer, where a black feather-like earring blended in perfectly with his hair.

He looked into the mirror and straightened his back, trying to look mature. Looking at the reflection, he saw a tall young man with jet-black eyes. His friends teased him and nicknamed him baby-faced for having such long eyelashes and pristine skin. What stared back at him was a mixed descendant of European, Japanese, and Korean.

Today, he was wearing clean, jet-black pants and a collared white shirt. Even though he looked very slim for a young adult, he was actually very lean and muscular, thanks to his training in mixed martial arts. He specialized in Koga Ninjitsu up to 5th Dan and had a black belt in Muy Thai.

“How are you? My name is Kiyro. I am 19 years old and will be going to college this year.” He coughed.

I sound like a complete idiot. His hands smacked against his head. He wasn’t too thrilled at where this speech was going.

It had been a week now since he moved into his new apartment. It was a cozy one-bedroom apartment. He especially enjoyed the sunroom, which was between the living room and dining room. On the day he moved in, he’d installed a small hammock against the two walls where the sun would cast its light, but today no sun entered through the large windows. Instead it was cloudy and dreary. How he disliked those days most: overcast with light showers. He wished those days never existed.

For a couple of weeks now he had been searching for a job. He hadn’t had any luck till last night. It was different down south than up north. Traveling between places actually took time. In New York, he didn’t even need a car. Everything was close by. All he needed was money for the train. It would take him everywhere, even to another state. Walking around here in Georgia was literally a death wish. He remembered the first time he arrived; he was walking underneath the hot sun in June. It was only ninety degrees, but it felt like one hundred degrees. The heat waves beat down upon his skin, making it somehow both dry and clammy with sweat. He had to stop in different stores to cool down before heading towards his destination. It took him three hours longer than it should.

Jobs down in Georgia were a lot more difficult to find as well. Without a car, it took longer than he wanted. He was burnt out the past week from traveling in the hot summer heat. He almost had a couple of heat strokes. Luckily his friend had informed him about an upcoming job interview at a game company. It was for a paid internship, and it was not too far from his place. There wasn’t much time for him to stay jobless; he calculated about three months of leeway before he ran out of money.

He had been scraping by ever since he’d abruptly left his family. He and his father had had a heated argument over how he wanted to live his own life. He really didn’t want to follow his father’s footsteps by taking over their small sushi shop business, nor did he want to live close by. Freedom was what he wanted, without his father telling him what to do. He wanted to explore new things and places. He wanted to meet new friends and possibly find his soulmate.

Kiyro had heard that the money obtained from working in the game industry could be an easy way to start saving up for necessary expenses. He hoped the interview went well and that he got the job. Playing games all day and earning easy money: this was a dream job, and he wasn’t going to miss this chance.

The digital alarm on his desk rang: it was 9:15 am. Kiyro’s hands knocked over the digital clock on the desk in surprise.

“I’m late!” Taking his first step, he tripped on his digital clock in midair. He grabbed his keys, extended his arms, and did a perfect roll out, all in a single motion. It was quite an amazing feat.

He dashed out of the apartment, sprinting at full speed in an attempt to make it to the bus. The morning dew and fog had made the roads wet, making the shuttle bus brake squeak as it came to a stop. Kiyro arrived with only moments to spare.

“Safe!” he shouted, breathing heavily. As he tapped his bus card on the machine, bystanders and passengers looked at him with mixed expressions. Embarrassed, he kept his head low and went his way towards the back of the bus. While he searched for an empty seat, his eyes were drawn to a very beautiful, stylish girl.

She had an unusual aura around her that gave off an unearthly calming feeling. Something about her caught in the back of his mind. He didn’t know what; it was literally at the tip of his tongue. She was wearing ripped white pants, a white blouse, and a blue scarf that looked like a mix between a hoodie, a scarf, and mittens, which was wrapped neatly around her neck. Her long, lavish, dyed greyish-blue hair and sea-green eyes complemented each other. She didn’t seem to look short to him.

“What are you staring at? Move on,” grunted the buff bald man who was sitting next to her. He snarled at Kiyro as he put his arm across her back. She rolled her eyes and turned her head to look out the window.

Kiyro didn’t even reply, and he kept walking. He plopped down onto a seat, leaned back, and closed his eyes to doze off.

Last night he had been wide awake from nervousness for his interview. He had tried out hundreds of different poses and phrases in front of the mirror, trying to get his introduction right. Every time he thought he got closer to what he wanted, it just made him look like a complete fool.

“Hey! Quit it, you jerk. Leave me alone!”

Kiyro snapped awake from his nap and looked around. He was a few seats back from the girl he’d made eye contact with.

“Come on, just once. Can’t you give me a kiss?” said the bald guy as he leaned into her. He was trying his best to steal a kiss from her lips.

“Hands off!” she said as she pushed him away and got up.

Kiyro leaned forward slightly as the bus came to a complete stop. The girl stood up with her small purse in hand and quickly went toward the exit. Not once did she look back at the bald man, and she quickly descended the steps.

“Wait up, babe! I know you’ll like it!” yelled the bald man, and he rushed down after and closely followed behind her. He was intent on getting what he wanted. Crap. This is my stop, thought Kiyro. He got up and quickly brushed out the creases on his clothes.

When he exited the bus, a cold rain fell lightly on his face. Drivers honked their horns, making loud blaring sounds as they angrily cursed at each other. Dirty-looking flocks of doves flew over a pushed-over trashcan as they pecked on littered food. People ran for cover from the light rain.

Passing by the park just ahead of him, he noticed the two from earlier having heated argument. He had no intention of involving himself in their mess and passed them completely, ignoring the situation.

It was best not to get into other people’s private lives unless it was absolutely necessary. Putting himself in harm’s way could get him into more trouble and possibly escalate the situation. This was not something people should carelessly walk into.

“Let go!” He heard a loud slap from behind him.

Keep moving. Best not to get entangled with other people’s problems, he thought as he sped up his pace.

“You bitch! You’ll pay for that!” yelled the bald man.

The girl screamed.

“Damn it!” Kiyro swore under his breath. He turned around and rushed towards them in order to stop whatever was going on. The bald man threw a straight right-punch at her face.

Bastard! He was against violence on females unless they were clearly at fault and had instigated the situation, but he knew from what he’d seen on the bus that it was the bald man who had started bothering her.

Yet, the girl surprisingly side stepped out of harm’s way, dodging the punch, and grabbed his right wrist with a firm hold. She quickly stepped behind him with her shoulder against his back, making his body turn quickly with her, and with the harsh pull of momentum his body fell towards the ground with a loud thump as all the air in his lungs was released. In an instant she quickly put her center of weight down on his wrist making it into a wrist lock.

“ARRGGHHH!” The  man’s scream could be heard ricocheting throughout the park. “Let me go! When I get up I’m going to kill you! ARRGHHH!” shouted the bald man, screaming in agony.

“Oh really? Just a small joint lock and you’re already crying like a little baby,” snorted the girl as she put more pressure on his wrist. The bald man struggled to get up as he wildly tried to grasp her with his left hand. His attempt failed.

“Are you going to stop?” asked the girl as she looked down at him in anger. She was going to teach him a lesson.

“Bitch, you’re dead!” yelled the bald man. The girl took it a step further. She locked the wrist against her chest, giving her more leverage, and twisted it sharply in the opposite direction. A loud pop was heard as she dislocated his shoulder and kicked him hard on his temple. From the solid blow, the bald man was knocked out cold.

“Disgusting. Just because I was nice to him once, he gets all touchy,” she said as she stomped hard once on his ribs. Kiyro stopped and stared with a completely dumbfounded expression. She turned around and grinned at him, sending shivers down his spine.

“I’m guessing you were coming to help me. Don’t worry about it. Thanks for the thought, but I got it all handled.” Turning her back, she dialed the police.

I am not pissing her off. Cold sweat fell down Kiyro’s face, and he left the scene like a frightened doe.

 

#####

 

Kiyro arrived at his destination. The thirty-story building was quite intimidating, but in the front of the building was a serene, Japanese Zen garden. Rows of neatly cut trees stood in place next to the sidewalks. Rose bushes of different varieties bloomed enormous white roses. Hummingbirds busily flew from flower to flower, drinking their sweet nectar. He’d heard that this was just one of the many buildings that the company owned. Even in the dreary weather, the place felt refreshing.

As he walked further in through the garden, he found the entrance door. Above it in big bold letters was the Yami Hikari sign.

Yami Hikari was one of the budding entertainment industries that had created the next generation higher sensory full dive system, Embryo. He noticed its logo had an interesting swan or wing-like design between the words Yami and Hikari. The right wing was blue and the other was red, and in the middle was the letter A. The A’s center line was replaced with a triangle, colored red on the right and blue on the left, the opposite of the wings.

Kiyro breathed deeply as he entered the building. His hands trembled as he approached the reception desk, where a young lady greeted him warmly.

“Hello! How may I help you?” asked the reception with a smile and slightly bowed.

“Hi. Umm. My name is Kiyro. I’m here for the interview at 10 am?” said Kiyro softly.

“Ah. I see. The gaming convention is being held down the hallway on the right, first door on the left. Here you go. This is our schedule for the day,” said the receptionist, handing him a brochure.

Gaming convention? I thought this was an interview, he pondered. He didn’t expect the interview to be at a gaming convention.

“Well then…um, thank you,” said Kiyro as he took the brochure, a bit confused.

“Have a nice day.” She smiled and nodded as she went back to her usual business. Kiyro continued on toward the convention. His legs shook with every step; he felt more nervous by the second. As he walked towards the door and reached for the handle, he was surprised to see that someone else was reaching for the door handle as well. He looked to his left, in shock to find the same girl who had just beaten up the bald guy not too long ago.

“It’s you. Keep your mouth shut. You got that?” She glared at him. Kiyro nodded and opened the door to let her through. He did not want anything to do with her. It wasn’t that he was scared of her; it was the possible headaches that she could bring now that he knew her secret.

Following after her, he was amazed at the thousands of people packed into the game convention. Different booths were lined across the walls in rows. Colorful banners were displayed over their booths from different companies to personal names. Varieties of art from fans were on display. People were busily buying new games that were on sale.

This was heaven for gamer nerds. Hot female cosplayers were wearing outfits of their favorite game characters. The majority of them wore skin-tight costumes with their boobs spilling over. There were many people clamoring to buy up trinkets and fanart left and right. Even genuine Japanese swords were for sale.

Suddenly, all the lights turned off, and in the middle of the room a spotlight beamed down on a single person. This man was wearing a white shirt with the Yami Hikari logo and black baggy pants that looked too big on him. His geeky glasses slipped down his nose, and he looked like he hadn’t shaved for a couple of weeks. You could say he was a complete gaming otaku. People gathered around him with curiosity and enthusiasm.

“Hello everybody! Welcome to the very first Yami Hikari Gaming Convention! You are all here for one reason, to obtain the new up-to-date second generation of Embryo! Our Alive and Sense Embryo gear! Everyone here today will receive this equipment free of charge!” The crowd went wild, while he raised the gear for everyone to see. People screamed till their throats went hoarse.

“Now, please calm down—there is a second announcement. I would like to inform you, all that we are looking for are qualified testers for the game called Growth. If you are interested, there are a couple of facts that you must be aware of. These are the rules you must remember to pass: First, the testing period will last a month, exactly thirty days. Second, the player must reach level 150 by the end of the month. Finally, you will have to obtain a unique job class. No normal jobs will pass. To find these unique jobs you will need to search throughout the World of Noriene. Additionally, there is a monthly fee of $70. We have a total of twelve different servers around the world and the game has only been out for eight months. Quite an achievement, don’t you think?”

Kiyro gasped. “What, no interview?” He couldn’t believe his luck. He was hoping to get in with the company, but instead he had to play the game to even attempt to join. He didn’t expect to work as a game tester. Instead he thought he would be working as an intern, in either programing or customer relations. This sounded like an easy job, but he didn’t know if he could really invest a full month just to see if it would work out.

I have to pay my monthly bills. I won’t have enough to play for a long time. Not to mention that there is no guarantee that I’ll make it. He pondered on what to do about his bills. If he was careful, maybe he would have enough to play straight for three months, and all he needed was a month to pass the test.

“Ahh, one more thing,” the announcer continued. “Your ultimate goal is to leave a mark in the game world and the real world. I know this is a bit confusing, but you will slowly understand as you play. I can’t tell you everything, or what would be the point? This new updated dive system will allow players to fully immerse themselves in the game and experience the marvel of virtual reality. You will be able to feel, taste, smell, hear, and see everything the game has to offer as if it was real life. We will be handing out two different types of gears.”

The announcer showed them a very sleek-looking glass. “This is the ‘Alive’ dive gear. You can access the game and interact with your avatar anywhere, anytime, and anyplace. In addition to being waterproof, it will also enable a basic connection with your in-game avatar.” He demonstrated how to put it on. “Please remember you can only make one avatar. This is your second life, a second chance to change the real and the virtual worlds.”

Then a second Embryo gear was taken out from a small decorated box. It resembled a motorcycle helmet. “This is the second Embryo gear, called ‘Sense.’ This allows you to experience the full dive. Please remember these dates. In a year from now, on June 11, 2055, there will be a grand prize of five million dollars and a one-year contract with the company. The second date is on November 6, 2057, with triple the amount. The final date is undecided and will be announced later. This prize money is not for the testers only, but for all the people who play the game Growth. You got that? Now become the mover and shakers of this world!”

Ball-like objects fell from the ceiling and popped open, releasing confetti. The whole crowd was ecstatic, applauding wildly and yelling to one another.

“Really? Are they serious? A five-million dollar reward? How do they have so much money?” Kiyro heard someone ask.

“And then they’re even going to triple it on the second event. That’s insane. Are they that confident?” another person said with a gasp.

“I heard it’s from investors that are backing up the company. I think there were three supposed major tycoons funding them,” said another audience member who was talking to the first.

“I am so pumped to win this,” said a young lady.

“Anyone wants to start a party with me?” said a young teen male wearing the latest top game shirt. He was ready to begin the game right then and there.

“Making a party already? You haven’t even logged in yet,” said his friend.

He stopped to think for a moment. Five to twenty-five million dollars. If I win, that could really help pay off a lot of debts and school fees, and I’ll be fine for at least three years if I manage the money right. Nowadays the things are a lot more expensive. Kiyro’s heart slowly became dark with greed. No. No. Keep your mind focused on graduating and getting a stable job, he thought like the average college student.

The audience rushed toward and gathered around a table. Behind it were boxes of condensed packages of the gear. The announcer and his staff were giving out both packages at an alarmingly fast rate. Kiyro quickly lined up and got his.

I have about three months’ rent ready. The first semester’s tuition is covered for now, but I don’t have enough to cover next semester. He wasn’t going to squander this chance. Once given a task, he would always finish it to the end. This was one thing he could feel proud of, even though he was lazy and clumsy at times.

Kiyro walked out the convention hall, deep in thought about his predicament. There was no guarantee things would go his way—he had to face the harshness of reality. Without the support of his parents, whom he had left, he would have to rely on his wits. Since high school, he had saved up enough through side jobs in order to live comfortably for a while, but things were slowly getting desperate.

I can’t splurge on food anymore. Discount prices are the best way to go. I should also keep a log book and start keeping my receipts. Every dollar counts. Plus this new bill for Growth was an unforeseen cost. No matter. I need to be stingy with my money. Even if I make a surplus amount, I have to store it away. Kiyro’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted as he suddenly bumped into someone.

“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” yelled a female voice in an annoyed tone.

He looked up and saw the same girl that he’d bumped into twice already today. What dumb luck! It was like the world was setting him up with her for some reason. He wished the world would make her disappear instead.

“I swear. You’re a stalker. Can you get your foot off my phone?” she exclaimed, looking at him with disgust. The word stalker rubbed him the wrong way. It infuriated him.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said with sarcasm in his voice as he lifted up his foot so she could pick up her phone. The beautiful girl tried hard to wipe off the smudge with her hands.

“You even cracked my cellphone.” She shook the phone angrily in front of his face and one of her hand beside her hip. He noticed the phone’s screen had broken in half right down the middle. Her attitude was starting to make him want to throttle her.

“I can’t believe this. I’m having such a bad day,” she grumbled under her breath. You and me both, thought Kiyro. “Give me your name and number,” she said as she fumbled through her small Louis Vuitton purse. “Damn it. Now of all times I don’t have anything to write on,” she said.

Her face scrunched up in an annoyed expression, but then she brightened. “Actually, let’s use the Embryo gear to register each other,” she said. She poked him with enough force on his chest to make him step back. He swatted her fingers away like an annoying fly. He breathed in slowly, trying to calm his temper.

“Lady, it’s not my fault that you dropped your phone. You should have kept a firm hold on it. Plus I don’t have any money on me so you’re out of luck,” said Kiyro, rolling his eyes. The last thing he needed was another bill to pay.  Still, he wouldn’t have minded paying for it if she wasn’t so rude.

“That doesn’t concern me. You should have watched where you were going. Hurry up,” she said as she glared at him. She pointed at his box of Embryo equipment. Slowly setting it down, Kiyro purposely peeled the tape off the box extremely slowly.

“Come on. Hurry up. I don’t got all day.” She tapped her foot impatiently as she crossed her arms.

“Well, excuse me, Mrs. High-and-mighty. How do you know if I’ll even keep this gear or just delete you off of my list?” said Kiyro, annoyed. He wanted to leave her behind, but he did not want to give away such expensive game gear, especially if it was for his job.

“Look, buddy.” She bent down and glared at him. “Nobody in their right mind would give away such expensive gear. You will either sell it or make money off it in game.” said the girl.

“Wait, you can make money in-game?” asked Kiyro as his eyes lighted up with interest.

“Yeah,” said the girl impatiently.

Kiyro rolled his eyes and stood up. When he put on his Embryo gear Alive, a digital menu popped up with a prompt.

 

Welcome to Growth.

An unidentified user has logged in. Would you like to register with us?

 

“Yes.”

 

Voice imprinting…..please wait….

What would you like your name to be?

 

“Zero.”

 

What race would you like to be?

Elf? Dwarf? Human? Troll?

 

“Human.”

 

What subcategory of human would you like to be?

Human or Hybrid?

 

“Hybrid.”

 

Would you like to choose your hybrid race or let it be random?

 

“Hmm… Random.”

 

Please wait a moment……

Would you like to change your face or keep your original one?

 

“Keep original.”

 

Because you did not want to change your face, no menu for face appearance change will be given. For additional details about your body, please use your dive gear.

What town would you like to start in?

Terra Kingdom, Lilac Kingdom, Tano Kingdom?

 

“Terra Kingdom.”

 

Thank you for registering. Your avatar will be waiting in your deep dive Embryo gear. Please call out “Status window” anytime and you will be able to see your avatar’s status.

 

“Status window.”

 

Name: Zero                             

Title: None

Race: Hybrid Human unknown

(Form Egg)

Level: 1 Main Job: None

Secondary Job: None

Health points: 100 Mana Points: 500
Attack: 10

Defense: 10

Agility: 10

Endurance: 10

Luck: 10

Leadership: 0

Magical Attack: 10

Magical Defense: 10

Wisdom: 10

Intelligence: 10

Fame: -225

Skills:
Both:+ Transform beginner level 1 (0%)
Hybrid Form Specialities:+ None
Human Form Specialties:

+ None
Origin Form Specialties:

+ None

Info: A hybrid human that is born from an Egg. The egg is ready to hatch. The species data is currently unknown. A small bounty is placed on your head. The bounty will not be active for a month in game time.

 

An egg and a bounty? How does one start out with a negative fame? I must have started with a seriously bad hybrid character. Damn it, I should have chosen it by myself. I can’t do anything now. Sometimes he hated how he threw things to chance when he did not care about what he was going to get.

“Your name on the account,” said the girl.

“It’s Zero,” grunted Kiyro with a tinge of reluctance to give her his name.

“Register Zero,” said the girl with a hurried tone.

 

Would you like to register Agnis?

 

“Yes.”

 

Friend has been added.

You will be able to look up your friends by calling up “Friend List.” To scroll up and down, just call out “Scroll up” or “Scroll down.”

 

Friend? Highly unlikely right at this moment. He wished he could change it to acquaintance or even better enemy, but the chance of getting continuously honed in on as an enemy could be a problem later down on the road.

“So, your game name is Zero. What’s with the egg avatar?” she asked, perplexed.

“You’re able to see it? How?” Kiyro raised an eyebrow, surprised.

“Did you even read the manual before you joined the event?” said the girl with a bit of shock in her tone. “All you have to say is ‘Friend’ and then the name of the friend that you want to call up. A basic information window can be brought up. I’ll hit you up later so be ready.” She left in a hurry. Kiyro felt vexed as he watched her leave.

That prick, glared Kiyro. Oh how she gets on my nerves. Are all women like this? Probably not—just the rare few like her. He could not believe that he was going to be stuck with her for a long time. Just over a stupid phone. One way or another, he was going to find a way to completely cut ties with her.   

As Kiyro turned around, he didn’t notice the man jogging right behind him, and they collided with a thud. Kiyro fell.

“Hey!” shouted Kiyro. He was already pissed off today, and now he had to deal with another problem. He was starting to absolutely hate today.

The tall, enigmatic man wearing a dark gray hoodie and black jogging pants looked down at him. Kiyro noticed a jagged scar on his left cheek underneath his dark gray hood.

“Sorry about that.” The man helped him up.

Kiyro sighed as he brushed dirt from his clothes. “It’s alright. It was my fault, I should’ve looked.”

The man smiled, even his eyes casted him a warm smile. “Well then. Have a nice day.” He turned around and kept on walking.

“Kyle?” he muttered under his breath as his hands rose up trying to stop the man. With faltering steps he walked forward, but he stopped himself short and pulled back his arms. He stared at the back of the man who was walking away. His grin reminded him of his twin brother who had been missing for three years now.

Kiyro did not know where he went nor had a single contact from him in years. The last time he had seen him was the day his brother had left the house in rage, and that was three years ago. He remembered it like it was yesterday: the screaming and cursing between father and son, fingers being pointed, things breaking, and the strong scent of heavy cologne that his father wore. It was war.

The casualties were minimal, but broken hearts were many. Even the fight between him and his brother was bloody with broken bones. The last thing he remembered was seeing all white and darkness followed after. Any other memory of that time was foggy and was hard to recall.

In reality the next day, he was in the hospital. A doctor told him he had amnesia with a throbbing headache like now if he tried to recall that day. All he remembered was bits and pieces. He raised his hands near his temples.

It did not matter anymore; he did not have a brother anymore. A traitor was what his brother was. An old wound was best left alone, though never forgotten.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed two small trinkets. The first one reminded of him of a six-pointed star with the Eye of Horus in the middle. In the center of the eye was a small, simple design of three snakelike dragon creatures in a triskele pattern. As he wiped the trinket with his hands, it began to blink red in the middle of its eye.

“What?” Startled, Kiyro held it up close to his face. He hadn’t noticed this trinket in the game convention, but he also hadn’t explored even half of the convention. A message appeared before him in his Alive gear.

 

Hello, child of Adam. You have found the path of illumination: The light that shall break through darkness and bring revolution to this world. We are the hope of this wretched world. The guide of pure light. The heroes of tomorrow. Would you like to join our cause and become a hero of this world?

 

Kiyro looked upon it with curiosity. He once again pressed the trinket and the message disappeared. He pocketed it. It was something he was going to look into later on.

The second one looked exactly like the Yami Hikari Logo, the one he saw on the entrance. As he slightly tipped it back and forth to its side, he noticed the color of both wings either turned completely blue or red. When it was left flat, the colors perfectly divided down the middle. It glowed light blue as a message appeared in his Alive gear.

 

Hello, child of Adam. I am happy that you have found the emblem of hope and dreams. Like many, you will either go through life following the crowd or you will walk a difficult and narrow path that many will not be willing to take. Not everyone will be able to get to the end. Would you like to walk the path of enlightenment?

 

He was surprised these trinkets had messages embedded into them. Pocketing his new found trinket, Kiyro continued on his way out of the game convention. People walked past him with glee and excitement in their voices over the new convention. He even saw many famous comic heroes that he loved to read.

He glanced around with his new Embryo Alive Gear and was surprised to find question marks labeled on almost everything except people. Curious, he approached a tree, waved his hands in front of the question mark, and noticed that it shimmered like water through his fingers.

“Question marks?” said Kiyro, confused. He did not expect to see so many.

 

Would you like to identify?

 

Identify? Identify what? The tree? thought Zero as he tried to understand the situation that was in front of him.

“Yes?” he said slowly as he was unsure of what to do. What he was going to get he didn’t know.

 

A willow tree.

Basic info: This tree can be used for medicinal purposes. The bark of the willow tree can be soaked in tea to create a natural headache remedy.

Would you like to save data?

 

Okay, so all it does is identify the tree’s information, thought Kiyro. He was surprised that it gave him a precise answer to what the tree was. The technology was quite advanced to decipher what he was looking at in that split moment.

“Yes.” Without any doubt, he was a bit excited on what else this new equipment could do.

 

Capturing image…..Saving….please wait.

A new electronic library has been set up. If you want to check your library database please call out “Encyclopedia.”

Would you like to set up an automatic saving point on nature?

 

“Yes”

 

Would you like to learn a new recipe for willow bark tea or look into other features?

 

“Yes.”

 

Please wait one moment……. I am sorry, but you are out of range of a wifi signal. Please go to the nearest wifi area to download the recipe. Or would you like to buy a data plan?

 

“What!? More money to spend! I swear this game is trying to cheat me out of my money!” Kiyro grumbled. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. He liked this job test less and less. He was close to just getting rid of it altogether; he might be able to sell the equipment and gain something out of it, but doing that would bring him back to square one. At least this was going to give him a chance for a possibility to gain an easy job.

“Yes. I would like to buy a data plan.”

 

What data plan would you like? 500 gb, 900 gb, 5tb or 500tb?

 

“The cheapest one.”

This is just to help me out with this game, he thought as he calculated his monthly expenses. They weren’t so bad, and he was still able to support himself. Spending it right without overspending was his priority.

 

It will be $10 monthly. Do you accept?

 

“Yes. Yes. Hurry it up.”

 

Thank you for your purchase! A receipt has been sent to your inbox, and the data plan will be added to your monthly fee. A package of your external storage drive will be sent to your home in one business day. Please look forward to your shipment.

 

Kiyro cringed. The loss of money was making him feel light-headed. He had already spent so much this month.

“I swear this company thought of everything to rip me off,” sighed Kiyro.  If he wanted to get the job, he knew he had to put money into possibly earn it back. Kiyro continued to scour the area for different plants throughout the day.

 

#####

<Kiyro>

Evening arrived and Kiyro was looking at a purple flower-like plant. It was the last one for the day.

“I have identified about forty-nine different plants. Only half of these plants are edible and the others are toxic. Plus having a personal data collection of information of nearby plants could be useful in the future for survival training. Okay, this is the last one.”

Kiyro looked at the plants with interest. He was learning interesting facts about plants that he never knew about, especially the beneficial uses that they provided. All these plants that he had collected were close by to his neighborhood. He had taken the initiative to walk back home and try to find any new plants he could score nearby.  It took him about two hours to walk back.

Stopping by a gas station not too long ago, he picked up a couple napkins to wrap around the plants to store away for personal use. He picked the freshest greenest plants.

“Identify.”

 

You have found a lavender plant.

Lavender plants can be used medicinally, as a smelling agent, or made into oil, each with a unique benefit to the body. Would you like to read more?

 

“No. Download all herbs data.”

 

Error. I am sorry, but large amounts of data cannot be stored without the necessary space.

 

“Hmm.”

 

+1 to intelligence.

 

“What? You can gain status points by doing activities in the real world? This is pretty awesome.” He looked with interest at the amount of plants he had collected to take home with him.

Already he felt like he was getting smarter by reading different facts about the plants that he didn’t know much about. He already knew a good amount about plants already, but the new information was enlightening. The Alive gear told him if it was edible or poisonous, what part of it was used for food and medicine, where its natural habitats were, and even the history behind it if he wanted to delve deeper.

Not only that as he was playing with Alive gear for a bit, he noticed that all the information that he had collected in the real world could be used even in game. There were a lot of similar plants even in the game. He knew how to make homemade medicinal remedies, and he knew that the game might have the same functions. In game it was essential to have remedies ready to use to heal oneself throughout battles and status ailments. By collecting data of the plant he could create many different versions of remedies to use.

He had begun to walk back home.

 

#####

 

Hot steam rolled out of the bathroom and made the room feel warm and moist. After a hot shower, Kiyro came out of the bathroom in his pajamas. Moonlight cascaded down onto his bed as its soft illuminance gently lit the room giving it a warm homely feel. His bed welcomed him home. It was a long day.  He slowly crawled into his bed and put on his Embryo gear Sense.

 

Welcome to Growth.

Please wait while we load….

Please input your body structure…..

Saving…..

Thank you and enjoy the game.

 

Kiyro felt a sensation akin to falling backwards into cold water. All his senses connected in sync with his avatar.

Trembling with pure excitement Kiyro opened his eyes to see a pitch black scene displayed.

“What? Is it broken?” said Kiyro, confused. This was something that he never expected to see. Squirming around, he tried to see if his body even worked, but instead he felt trapped. He heard the faint muffled voices of people conversing in the distance. Even opening his eyes were difficult, he felt like it didn’t even open because all he saw was complete darkness.

“Hey, look. This one just moved. Do you think it is ready to hatch?” said a man’s voice.

“I don’t know. Supposedly each hatch time is different,” said a young female’s voice.

“I heard this is the new implemented pet system.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. You can buy random monster eggs and grow them. It’s pretty cool. One of my friends has one and he uses it to carry items.”

“That would be really convenient. I dislike carrying my bags.”

“What do you think about buying this one?”

“Nah. It’s too expensive. It’s really cute though. I like the happy face drawn on the egg,” said the female’s voice.

The voices faded off into the distance.

Kiyro once again tried to move but failed. He thought he felt the egg move with him.

Pet system? What the hell! I hope I don’t get bought, thought Zero as he started to panic. The thought of being owned was horrible. It was like being a slave. As he calmed down he pondered what the girl had said about his egg. Wait, a happy face? What kind of egg shell has a happy face drawn on it?

“Help menu.”

A menu popped up in front of Kiyro.

“What’s the hatch date?”

 

6 days 3 hours 24 seconds left

 

“You’re kidding me, right? What am I supposed to do in the meantime?” He was unamused by the situation and tried to tap against the shell. Can’t do anything about it now, he thought.  He let out a heavy sigh.

“Log out.”

Getting up from his bed, Kiyro went to his computer and searched through the “Growth” forums, looking for answers.

This was the plight of being newbie player: there weren’t many game tutorials or guides, so new players relied heavily on the help menu, guides written by others, and scanning through forums.

 

Growth> Forum>Help for Noobs.
TerryBear >Hey did you know that doing real life activities during the first week of beginner’s period can get you some status increase. You can get up to +30 stats.Vendetta > What you serious? But that’s going to hinder your leveling. I think that’s a waste of time. The double experience points during that one week will be wasted.

TerryBear > Well it all depends how badly you want those extra stats, even though you’ll miss out on a week of leveling those stats will last throughout the rest of the game and it can be a tremendous help at early levels for newbie players leveling up The way to get them is to repeatedly push your physical and mental limits by doing exercise or studying. To maximize the amount of stats you get, its important keep it up throughout the entire week and maintain a rigorous routine. The average human body can take the strain only to a certain degree and so its essential to rest to recover the body. Probably only hardcore athletes or bookworms can do it.

Vendetta > Nope, it’s not for me.

Charlie > Goodbye free stat points.

Tino > Only idiots would do that.

K.K> Hey I’m the idiot that actually did it and it definitely helps. Though getting free status points was not easy, I fit it into my work schedule as I do construction work I got them naturally.

 

“So I was right. You can do actions in real life to increase your status points. Well, I’ve got six days to kill. I might as well use this time to gain all 30 points.” He didn’t have much to do as an egg, so gaining extra points while he waited wasn’t a bad idea. Plus, seeing if there were any extra functions and learning the ins and outs of the Alive gear wasn’t so bad.

 

Growth> Forum>Important Events and News.

TJ123> Hey did you hear. Hercules guild just conquered a B Class Quest!
Seaman > You serious? Already?

TJ123 > They got a chain quest and their next one is a special Quest.

Jam > Damn it. I should’ve joined them when I had the chance.

Kiyro scrolled down some more.

Snow > Hey guys the new pet system batch is uploaded. You can buy it specifically at Tyno’s Egg Shop at Terra Kingdom. It’s the store that just opened yesterday. There been quite a lot of customers lately.

SilverKnife > Can anyone get one?

Snow >No. You need to be over level ten to be able to get one. A contract has to be formed between the pet and the owner for it to be finalized. Also the price of each varies as well. I’ve seen one that was over a hundred million gold.

DragonEmpress > You’re kidding right? That must be some awesome pet.
Snow >There’s a rumor going on that someone found it and sold it to the store owner. Apparently it’s supposed to be one of a kind. It’s completely white with a smiley face drawn on it. It’s so adorable.

DragonEmpress > Hundred million gold? That egg better be able to serve me breakfast every day or becomes a golden goose that poops out gold.

Dino> Nobody in their right mind would spend that kind of money in the game, just for a pet, it could buy an entire city/village/ship/fleet/whatever for that much.

Snow> Did you hear about the strange things that been happening in the game of Growth.

SilverKnife> What do you mean?
Snow> There supposedly this weird anomaly called Seeds that people can get.

Dino> And?

Snow> There nothing much about it. Couple people had gotten a Seed, but they said it just disappeared. It’s so strange.

SilverKnife> Probably a data fragment in the game system.

DragonEmpress> Oh I heard about another one. There supposed to be these two special trinkets. The first one is a six pointed star with an eye of Horus in the middle. In the center of the eye is some kind of odd triskele pattern. You can find a lot of those anywhere. The second is the Yami Hikari Logo. There are a lot of duds out there, but there are supposed to be some kind of message embedded in them.

Dino> I heard about that but what use would those do. There nothing special about them.

“Saved by the price tag,” Kiyro sighed with relief. He did not want to be someone’s pet.

“But why am I worth a hundred million gold?” This was an unusual predicament. He looked towards the two trinkets on his desk. Kiyro turned off his computer. As he got under his covers, he drifted to sleep thinking about his avatar.

#####

<Kiyro>

Saturday. June 13, 2054. 6:00 am.

Kiyro’s daily schedule was as follows:

–       Two hours of running from 6 am to 8 am.

–       Breakfast at 8 am.

–       Five hours of running from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.

–       Lunch at 1:30 pm.

–       Seven hours of basic martial arts practice.

–       Dinner.

–       Shower.

–       Check forums.

–       Sleep.

Throughout the day, he made sure to examine as many new plants as possible and accumulated 5 more stats points: +2 endurance, +1 attack, +1 defense, and +1 intelligence. His intense workout had made him sweat so much that his whole shirt was heavy with sweat. He was glad he didn’t wear white for the day. By the time he got home, he stank horribly.

 

The stinky smell that is coming from your workout has created a new skill. Stink Bomb!

 

A long silence filled the room. He wasn’t sure how to take the message: offended or disbelieving.

“Check Stink Bomb,” said Kiyro, with a slight curiosity in his voice.

 

Skill Stink Bomb. Level 1 (0%)

A special skill where you can let out a foul smelling breath attack. Does a temporary stunning effect. Cannot be used in human form.

 

Kiyro literally shook his head in disbelief.

“Halitosis? How does my stinky body turn into bad breath? Nevermind…this game likes to offend people quite a lot. I know I brushed my teeth,” said Kiyro as he puffed into his hand to check his breath.

Kiyro rushed through his shower scrubbing himself extra clean. Then he snuggled into his warm bed and checked on his avatar.

 

5 days 3 hours left.

 

His vision faded into pitch black. Being unable to see, his other senses were heightened, and if he focused he could make out distinct voices coming from the shop. A male and a female voice conversed with one another.

“Hey, look, that expensive egg turned black. Wasn’t it white yesterday?” said the man.

“Even its adorable happy face turned into an angry face,” said the women in disbelief.

“Did it go bad?”

As he heard the couple approach, Kiyro smiled wickedly.

Let’s try this out, thought Kiyro as he formulated a prank.

“Stink Bomb!” yelled Kiyro as he activated his skill.

A pungent smell like a month-old rotten egg was spread across the whole area. Many coughs were heard.

“Ugh, gross! What the hell?” yelled the man in horror.

Serves you right. Heheheh. Kiyro enjoyed his little prank. He hadn’t pulled very many pranks lately, even though he loved them. He and his brother had always pulled the pranks, each having turns to see who could get the most laughs, screams, or surprise.

 

Fame has decreased by 1!

You have damaged the reputation of the Store Owner’s Shop.

 

What? That’s not fair. He clenched his fist in annoyance.

“Nobody will want to buy this now. Put it in the back with the rest of the duds,” said another man.

That should get me out of trouble for a while. He knew this bought him only temporary relief. A message appeared in front of him.

 

Child of Adam. We have noticed your crossroad between two paths. Would you like to walk the path of a hero or of an enlightened?

 

“Again? I thought I got rid of this message.” Once again he closed out the message. He did not want to choose either. It was a bother.

 

#####
<Zero>

For the next four days, Zero did his usual routine. Every night he turned on his Embryo Deep Dive “Sense” gear and listened in on other people gossiping. By doing this he was able to hear the latest news and gossips. He even learned a new skill that allowed him to listen in on other people’s conversations.

 

Keen hearing

A special skill that allows you to listen to a person’s conversation. The radius is about 5 meters. Can be used in all forms.

 

Finally the last day before hatching arrived.  Zero reached his goal of +30 status points and rested. His body was aching all over from his strenuous activities. He entered into the game.

 

20 minutes left till hatching.

 

Zero closed his eyes and meditated. The shop owner and a male customer’s voices were heard off in the distance.

“I’m looking for the hundred million gold egg. Did you by any chance still have it?” said a male customer’s voice.

“Yes sir. But I don’t recommend that you buy it,” said the store owner.

“Why?”

“Why don’t you come and see for yourself?” Footsteps could be heard coming towards Zero.

Zero opened his eyes wide in dismay. No! I made sure no one will want me. I don’t want to be bought. His mind raced to quickly formulate a plan. Loud footsteps hitting the wooden floor came towards Zero and suddenly stopped in front of him.

“Are you sure you’re showing me the right thing?”

“Yes, I am. Just out of the blue it turned black with an angry-looking face. It’s truly a puzzling specimen.”

“So, you’re saying it’s a dud?”

“Yes, it’s not worth your time to buy.”

Zero was suddenly shaken viciously. It felt like his whole world was spinning around him.

“Sir, I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said the store owner with panic in his voice.

“Why?” the male customer asked, perplexed by the store owner.

Zero scrunched up his face and was ready to hurl. His head was spinning from being shaken so hard.

“Stink Bomb!” yelled Zero.

 

Fame has decreased by 1!

You have damaged the reputation of the Store Owner’s Shop.

 

“Ugh! What’s that smell?” said the male customer as he coughed continuously from the smell.

KATHUMP! The egg fell on the floor, but miraculously it did not break.

Zero had only one option as of now. He opened up his friends list to see that there was only one name on there. Agnis.

“Call Agnis,” said Zero in a hurry. He prayed that she would pick up.

Ring! Ring!

Come on, pick up, he thought desperately.

“Hello? Zero? What is it?” said Agnis on the other end of the line as they telepathically communicated.

“I need your help,” Zero said.

“You’re asking me for a favor. Aren’t you supposed to pay off your debt first before asking for favors?” she said, a bit annoyed.

“Look, I can’t move. I’m not even hatched yet,” said Zero as he was trying his best to explain the situation as quickly as possible.

“Wait, you’re saying you’re still an egg?” asked Agnis, sounding shocked. “I’ve never heard of anyone taking that long to hatch.”

“Yeah. I am about to be bought by a guy,” exclaimed Zero. He did not want to take any chance of being a pet to a user he especially didn’t know. It made him feel uneasy, plus he was running out of options. The only person he knew in this game was Agnis, even though it was a only a day, and it was better to be contracted with an opposite gender who he knew a bit about. He could deal with Agnis’s personally and talk with her about the contracts, plus he still did owe her a phone even though he did not want too.

“Where are you now?”

“Tyno’s Egg Shop in Terra Kingdom. Please come quickly,” Zero pleaded.

“You’re in luck. I’m just around the corner. I’ll be there shortly.”

“One more thing. You need to buy me. I swear I’ll pay you back,” said Zero quickly. He knew he wouldn’t be able to get out of that place without someone buying his egg. It would be worth it, even though he would be in another steep debt.

“Sorry buddy, I don’t buy male prostitution.”

“No. Buy my egg. I’m the supposed hundred million gold egg.” Zero’s cheeks turned red with embarrassment. Zero was glad that she wasn’t able to see his face.

“Wait. Wait. Wait. You’re that egg?”

“Yeah. Right now I can’t do anything. You need to come here quickly, before this stun effect wears off of him.” Even though he couldn’t see, the stun effect should last for a short duration.

“Give me five minutes. By the way, how am I supposed to buy your egg? You’re so expensive,” said Agnis, a bit worried. “I don’t have nearly enough gold.”

“Don’t worry. I have an idea,” he said confidently. Zero wasn’t sure if the plan was going to work, but he took the chance. It was also to make Agnis feel better about his plan. She was the key to making this work. Agnis hung up.

 

Five minutes left till hatching.

 

For the next five minutes, Zero continually spammed his skill. It was either his fame going down or possibly becoming a pet to another male. He cringed. Right now the second option might not be reversible for a long time, while getting back his fame sounded much easier.

“Status menu!” shouted Zero.

 

Name: Zero                           

Level: 1

Race: Hybrid Human unknown

(Form Egg)

Level: 1 Job: None
Health points: 500 Mana Points: 700
Attack: 16

Defense: 16

Agility: 10

Endurance: 22

Luck: 10

Leadership: 0

Magical Attack: 10

Magical Defense: 10

Wisdom: 10

Intelligence: 16

Fame: -255

Skills:
Both:+ Transform beginner level 1 (0%)+ Keen Hearing beginner level 2 (50%)
Hybrid Form Specialties:

+ Stink Bomb beginner level 2 (50%)
Human Form Specialties:

+ None
Origin Form Specialties:

+ Stink Bomb beginner level 2 (50%)

Info: A hybrid human that is born from an Egg. The egg is ready to hatch. The species data is currently unknown. A small bounty is placed on your head. The bounty will not be active for a month in game time.

 

Not bad. His hard work and training had paid off.

The male customer coughed repeatedly. “Did that egg just stun me with its foul odor? I have never seen an egg being able to do that,” he said as he choked on the putrid smell. They didn’t have a moment to say anything in between Zero’s stink bomb until now.

“Sir. I’m telling you. It’s a bad idea to buy it,” said the shop owner as he was gagging from the smell.

“Waaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiitttt!” yelled an exasperated voice.

It was Agnis, running into the shop with loud footsteps. She was breathing hard, like she’d been running.

“And you are?” said the shop owner.

“I came for that egg. Can I please have it?” said Agnis in a hurried tone.

“Lady, are you sure you want to buy this egg?” said the shop owner, perplexed.

“Yes. Why does it smell like rotten eggs in here?” said Agnis, confused.

“It’s because of the egg you want to buy,” said the male customer.

Zero privately chatted with Agnis.

“Okay, this is what we are going to do. Make them believe that this is an egg that only female users can hatch,” said Zero.

“Ahem. Sir, that egg is my quest item that I’ve been looking for. Plus, it can only be hatched by a female. Let me show you,” said Agnis confidently.

Zero could felt the egg shake as it was picked up.

“What? There is no pungent gas attack,” said the shop owner, bewildered at what he was seeing. Whenever the shop owner had held onto the egg, Zero had used his Stink Bomb until he had to put it down.

“Let me try,” said the male customer curiously.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said Agnis, sounding worried.

“Give it to him,” said Zero. He was going to make sure that they never ever touched his egg again. Once again Zero felt the egg pass to another person.

“Thirty seconds, Agnis,” whispered Zero on the private line. He wasn’t going to let anyone else touch his egg except Agnis. Zero tensed up and activated his skill.

“Stink Bomb! Stink Bomb! Stink Bomb!”

 

Fame has decreased by 1!

You have damaged the reputation of the Store Owner’s Shop.

 

Fame has decreased by 1!

You have damaged the reputation of the Store Owner’s Shop.

 

Fame has decreased by 1!

You have damaged the reputation of the Store Owner’s Shop.

 

“Aggggh! Keep that thing away from me! You made your point! I’ll sell it for one gold. I don’t want it stinking up my shop anymore! I’ve been losing a lot more customers because of it,” cried the shop owner desperately.

“Thank you.” Agnis breathed in. “Here’s your one gold.” There was a sound of metal sliding across a wooden desk.

“Before you go, we need to set up a contract with the monster. Give me a few seconds,” said the shop owner. A message appeared in front of Zero.

 

Welcome again, child of Adam. What path would you like to take? A path towards a hero or a path towards the enlightened?

 

The two emblems appeared in front of him. On his left was the emblem with the six pointed star and the eye of Horus. In the center was a three-headed, snakelike dragon. It looked like triskele as it slithered around. On the right, the Yami Hikari symbol flapped its wings.

“Again? I thought I got rid of this. I’m assuming this will keep popping up if I don’t choose now.” Zero sighed. He was sure those trinkets were in his desk drawer. The thought of being a hero sounded interesting, but being a hero right now didn’t sound like a smart path to take. It brought too much unnecessary attention.

“I’ll take the enlightened path.”

 

You have chosen well. Go and find your path.

 

He could feel his body become stronger; it was getting close to his hatch time.

“There you go,” said the shop owner. He was gasped for air. “Your magic contract has been fulfilled.”

Magic contract? He thought but it quickly disappeared when the message appeared.

0:0:0

 

“FINALLY! I’m hatching!!!!”

A ray of light poured through the egg as a small crack was formed.

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2 thoughts on “Drezo Regalia V1 ch.1

  1. Pingback: Drezo Regalia V1 ch. 2

  2. Pingback: Drezo Regalia Prologue

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