As my consciousness merged with Astron's, the boundaries between us blurred, and I became one with his being. It was a surreal experience, like opening my eyes for the first time but seeing the world through his perspective while still being able to feel his agony and his emotions.
And then, I opened my eyes.
The darkness that had enveloped me for so long dispersed,
"Ah…." I tried to open my mouth reflexively to speak. But, at that moment, a heavy metallic taste entered my mouth.
It was a familiar taste, followed by aching…. All around my body.
"Kurgh-!" I groaned from the pain I was feeling; my whole body was overwhelmed. However, rather than making me uncomfortable, I felt like I was alive once again, thanks to the pain assaulting me.
"It has been so long….." I muttered, even if it caused my whole body to be filled with pain.
I don't know why or who did this to me. Who was the one that trapped me? Who was the one that suddenly brought me out of my life? I didn't know anything about them.
But I was alive. I was able to feel the sensation of my body once again…. That was enough.
"HAHAHA!" I couldn't help but laugh crazily…. Since nothing I had experienced could be said to be normal. "Kurgh-" Followed by another groan, as I felt my whole body sore once again.
However, that wasn't all there to it…. The anger in my heart was increasing as the feelings of Astron returned.
No, it wasn't merely about his emotions; I remembered everything now. It was no longer about Astron or me…. We have now become one, our purpose merging….
"So, my entire existence was nothing more than being an expendable extra, destined to die... all to glorify a stupid protagonist..." The realization hit me like a thunderbolt, but instead of fueling anger, it sparked an unyielding resolve within my core.
"Bullshit. I refuse to accept this," I declared. "I am here to exact my vengeance; that is it.
The pain that ravaged my body became an instrument of my unwavering determination. Muttering like that, I raised my body, in the midst of the pain I was feeling, but I ignored it.
"This pain…. It is nothing like how she must have felt at that time…." With that short mumble, I started looking around, only to see I was in an isolated place.
"This is where they always targeted me." Remembering the events of the last month, I thought. "The backgrounds of academy…."
Of course, as one of the most prestigious Hunter academies in the human union, Arcadia Academy occupied quite a vast land.
Therefore, it wasn't that hard to find a place where people were isolated.
Looking at the sky, I saw it was already close to evening as the sun was slowly setting down. 'It is around 4 pm.' I mused, seeing the position of the sun.
'I need to tend my wounds first….' With that thought, I dragged my body to my dorm….
As I reached my room, I immediately threw myself into the bath.
Arcadia Hunter Academy.
It was a place to nurture those who had the potential to become hunters, meaning Awakened People.
'Status Window.' I mumbled inside my head, trying to open my stats.
It was the most important perk of being an Awakened human since that would mean you were able to access the Status window and awaken your powers.
And it was a global rule that one's status window was only visible to themselves.
Soon following my command, a panel appeared right before my eyes.
▶Name: Astron Natusalune
▶Occupation: Weapon Master (level 1)
▶Talent Limit: 4
lightsΝοvel- Strength: 1.2 --> 1.2
- Dexterity: 1.5 --> 1.8
- Constitution: 1.2 --> 1.2
- Agility: 1.8 --> 1.8
- Intuition: 1.5 --> 1.8
- Magical Power: 0 --> 1.2
- Mana Capacity: 0 --> 1.5
- Perceptive Insight (Unique)(Unchanging)
- Basic Dagger Style (Common Grade) - %12
- Basic Nonarmed Combat Style (Common Grade) - %29
- Dash (Common Grade)
- Keen Eye (Uncommon Grade)
To simply explain the status window, the attributes are where one's parameters for related subjects can be seen.
'This is why I was always weak….' I mumbled to myself. 'Just look at these stats:'
Considering an average adult's stats would be 1.5, the stats I was seeing was something very disappointing. That was because of the talent shown on the status page.
'Because Astron's talent limit is 4, he can only reach stats of 4 in his lifetime.'
That was the setting of the game, which was the most important. The thing that determined one's rank was this setting since that would mean your future position. 'What a bullshit. 4, this is way too low.'
As it could be seen, stats meant whatever they meant. Strength stat was the strength output of your body; dexterity was the smoothness that your body was able to respond to the commands your brain gave, while the constitution meant the physical capacity of your body.
Intuition meant the strength of your senses and the way you were able to grasp the things happening around you, and the magical power and mana capacity was evident.
The mana capacity and magical power stats did have a question mark beside them which always plagued Astron's mind before. In the beginning, when he was awakened differently from others, he was not able to use any mana at all.
Why was it zero? Why couldn't he use mana before? That was the question he was asking himself. But he never found the answer.
But I know it. I know the reason.
'It was sealed.' I thought, looking at the stats. Because, in the game, only when your stats were sealed could you see a question mark.
'But, why?' That was the question that needed to be asked. Looking at everything, I couldn't put up any thought to myself… Why is it now active? Why can I use mana now?
Those questions wandered in my head, and the answer soon came to me.
'Because of me. His soul was incomplete.' The moment the realization hit me like that, I felt like the reason I was dragged here was more apparent. 'Because I never meant to be on Earth in the first place.'
'That also explains why I was randomly dragged here. Something must have triggered it. His sister's….My sister's death….' As those thoughts lingered around my head, my attention was drawn to the occupation part.
'This was not here before.'
The occupation means the field of talent you have in terms of stats.
For instance, if you have a talent for spears, your occupation will be 'spearman,' and if it is swords, then it will be 'swordsman.'
That was also the case for Astron in the beginning. His occupation was 'Daggerist,' so he trained hard for his dagger skills, trying his best to get stronger. Because if you don't have an occupation at the weapon, that means you wouldn't be able to grasp future insights by raising the level of your occupation.
'But it seems with my soul merging with him, my talents are also merged with him.' I thought. The occupation of 'Weapon Master' was one of the rarest occupations in the world; thus, my having that meant my talent shone in every type of weapon.
'Maybe that was what he would normally have if his soul were not incomplete. 'That might also be true, but I had no way of knowing that from now on.'
Finishing looking at my stats, underneath was the section on talents.
Traits were basically a type of innate talent one did have. It could be analytical computation, mana perception, mana usage, or anything. But not everyone has one of those, and awakening them is pretty hard and is very important for successful hunters. Especially it was very hard for the newly awakened ones, for instance, students of the academy.
That was also the case for Astron.
'Perceptive Insight.' This was not here before. I thought, looking for the description.
The Perceptive Insight trait grants the individual a heightened ability to observe and comprehend their surroundings with exceptional clarity and depth. Those possessing this trait possess an acute sense of perception, allowing them to notice subtle details, patterns, and hidden aspects that often go unnoticed by others. This talent encompasses both keen observation skills and a deep understanding of the information gathered.
The moment I looked into this, I realized why this was here. 'That whole time I spent while observing the outside…. trapped. At least it didn't go to waste.'
Seeing the grade of the trait, I felt at least relieved. 'Unique Grade.'
Grades indicate the level of rarity for traits, skills, and arts that one possesses. The order of rarity is as follows:
Common < Uncommon < Rare < Unique < Epic < Legendary
However, there was something else that caught my attention. A lingering sense of mystery that demanded further exploration. 'Those question marks. I have yet to awaken my second trait.' I thought, thinking about what the reason could be, but was not able to come to a conclusion, thus saving it for a later time.
Aside from the trait part, there was a tab related to Arts. In the game, they were shown as the techniques of combat one had mastered in their lives.
For instance, the technique Astron was trying to learn was the basic Dagger Skills given to any awakened. That was expected since he was simply an orphan that didn't have anybody to rely on now.
Then there were skills.
Skills meant the type of fixed patterns one could use by activating, and then it would consume mana. They were hard to get, and most normal hunters would have four or three at most.
Astron was the same, as he only had one simple skill.
Description: A versatile and dynamic skill that allows the user to move with exceptional speed and agility, surpassing normal physical limits. It enables swift bursts of movement, granting the user a significant advantage in both offensive and defensive situations.
Output: 2x of normal speed
A simple skill that allowed him to move at a fast speed. Pretty common skill for a hunter, which most would have at the beginning.
However, thanks to my merging with him, there was one more skill in this part.
Skill: Keen Eye
Description: An uncommon-grade skill that enhances the user's visual perception, granting them the ability to see with exceptional clarity and an extended range. By channeling mana, the user can increase their visual range, allowing them to perceive distant objects or details that would be otherwise difficult to discern.
Output: Depending on the mana supplied for the skill
Looking at this new skill, it was pretty evident that it was also parallel to my trait. 'That means it is essentially my soul's skill.' I thought.
Then, the last thing we had on the status page was the body imprints. It was one of the hardest things that one would be able to get at the beginning. Since the body imprints meant a special type of physique that one would have, acquiring it was a lot harder.
Just like that, I finished studying the status window and got out of the bath….
This chapter mostly contained a lot of info dumps, I know, but it was essential to explain how things worked.
Now, we can finally start the story.
You can check my discord if you want. You will be able to see the illustrations here and engage in a conversation with me if I am available.