But there was a slight problem.
You see, even if I somehow manage to evade my fate of getting beaten to a pulp by the protagonist, avoiding what happened in vol. 2 would be troublesome.
"Fuu!" Letting out a lazy sigh, I massaged my brows. "Nevermind. I'll think about this plot stuff later!"
First, I needed to get used to this absurd situation. Everything was happening so fast that it felt surreal.
An author killed me for rejecting his novel in a competition. And after my death, I found myself reborn in the very same story that I rejected.
No matter how I see it, this all felt like one big distasteful joke.
So to get myself used to my situation, I decided to get out of this one-bedroom apartment and walk around the city a bit.
Besides, I was a little bit excited to take a look outside.
If the description from the web novel was on point, then the scenery outside would be a sight to see.
Thinking that, I stood up from the edge of the bed and headed for the apartment door.
But as soon as I got up, I felt a lag in my movements. My body didn't respond according to my brain.
Right then, before I could even collect my thoughts, I felt a sharp organ rendering pain piercing my head.
"Mhmm!" A pained, muffled scream escaped my sealed lips.
It felt like someone was hammering a nail in my skull. It wasn't very pleasant, to say the least.
After a few seconds of agonizing pain assaulting my head, it calmed down a bit and I managed to take in a deep breath.
"Ahhh! What was that- khuuh!"
But just when I thought it was over, a myriad of memories surged into my mind.
It felt as if a water dam was broken and everything was gushing in at once.
The sharp pain I felt earlier was nothing compared to this.
This time the scream wasn't so muffled. It was loud. I was screaming at the top of my lungs.
It was like someone was squeezing my mind and grinding it in a juicer.
My knees gave out and I fell to the ground. My body started to convulse in pain violently and I thought I would die… again.
Tears coursed down my eyes as memories that weren't mine along with emotions that I had never felt, flashed before me.
I experienced around 17 years' worth of memories in just a few seconds.
Panting heavily when the pain stopped, I tried to get myself up from the ground but my body refused my command to move.
Beads of sweat formed on my forehead- actually my whole body was drenched in sweat.
After a few minutes of lying on the ground, I mustered up what little strength I had left in me and got myself to stand up using the edge of the bed to support my weak legs.
"W-What was that?" Startled by the pain, I questioned no one in particular while rubbing my forehead.
"We-Were those my memories…?" A frown wrinkled my face as I stood there confused.
"N-No! Those memories did not belong to me. Those belonged to Lucas. I'm not Lucas. I'm… Huh?"
…Something was wrong.
"... Wh-Who am I?"
I tried to recall my identity but it seemed like I couldn't. I just stood there blankly staring at the air with wide-shot eyes.
Only after an unusually long moment of silence it finally came to me.
"Yes, right! I'm Noah Lambert!" I exclaimed in confidence. "The pain must've messed up my brain!"
I meant it in a literal sense.
That pain really did mess up my brain. For a split second, I even forgot my own name.
In a flash, I saw Lucas' whole life's worth of memories. It was like I was spectating.
Like I was living his life, but I had no control over the actions he was taking.
From his first memory to the very last birthday that he celebrated. From his first walk to the fight he had with his father.
I saw everything in mere moments.
Because I've read the web novel, I already knew what little was told about Lucas' life.
I knew about his future, and I knew about his role in the story. I even knew a little about his past too.
But experiencing his life firsthand, like it was me who lived it was a different feeling altogether.
I felt like I was Lucas myself.
I even thought that maybe my life as Noah Lambert was just a dream. But I dismissed those thoughts as soon as they appeared for obvious reasons.
After all, I had lived for 26 years in my past life. No chance in hell that it was all a lie. I knew for a fact that my past life was real.
Although calling it 'past life' so soon is a little weird but it is what it is. It was real.
But then the life I had just experienced as Lucas felt real too…
Shaking my head slightly, I cleared my mind of such thoughts. The last thing I needed right now was to start doubting myself.
But I couldn't help and notice some things differently now.
It felt like I had just recovered from amnesia, and I merely remembered something that I had forgotten.
This one-bedroom apartment, for example. It felt foreign to me just a few minutes ago but now it was starting to feel familiar.
Although Lucas was an elite by birth, he was disowned by his father not too long ago.
With the money he was given, Lucas came to the outskirts of the Global City and rented this apartment.
Then he enrolled in the Global Military Academy for his mandatory military education since he could use mana.
Even though only workers could rent housing in this city, Lucas was able to rent this apartment since he was soon going to be a student here anyways.
Although he had a vile personality, experiencing his life firsthand, I could tell that Lucas genuinely loved two people in his life– his father and his elder sister.
But his father disowned Lucas when he made his twin brother, Adel Morningstar, the next head of the family candidate.
The root of his vile personality actually lies in his childhood and his jealousy toward his twin brother.
This world works on a society that is structured to favor strong individuals.
That was especially true in high-background households where elites put a great deal of emphasis on the individual strength of their children.
You must've guessed where this story is going by now, right?
Lucas was destined to be stuck at ‹Gold 3› while his brother Adel awakened an ‹Immortal 2› rank potential.
A contrasting difference.
While ‹Gold 3› rank potential was no joke either, it couldn't be compared to what Adel had to offer.
Especially since his elder sister, Yelena Morningstar, was also a ‹Diamond 3› rank potential.
In short, Lucas was just a disgrace in the family of heroes.
So all the love and attention that was distributed evenly among the twin brothers since birth was then shifted solely to Adel as soon as they awakened at the age of 9.
Lucas started being neglected not only by his parents but also by his elder sister, the one person who Lucas thought would never leave him.
His friends distanced themselves from him too, and in the end, he was left all alone. He became a misfit.
There's a memory of him celebrating his 13th birthday alone present in my mind.
Soon after, the stress from solitude began affecting him and he started acting out in order to get some attention from his family.
Of course, that didn't work.
So he started seeking solace in venting out his anger on others— on commoners or servants who couldn't fight back against him due to his status as a General's son.
Well, needless to say, that didn't work very well for him either.
First, he was beaten to a pulp by the protagonist in the 1st volume and then the Vampires used him as their pawn in the 2nd volume.
Lucas' feelings were never mentioned in the web novel, so I always thought of him as your arrogant young master-type villain.
But damn! His backstory really had some depth in it…
After witnessing those memories, I couldn't help but pity Lucas.
Despite knowing how trashy his personality was, I felt like his life was nothing short of a tragedy.
I felt bad for him… I felt bad for myself.
It's like I had two personalities. One was of Noah and the other belonged to Lucas.
Needless to say, I was still the more dominant one as I was the one in control—'I' as in Noah.
Bringing my hand to my forehead, I started massaging my eyebrows. I needed some time to get back to normal.
Looking around my surroundings, I found a mini fridge right next to my desk.
I walked up to it and took out a bottle of cold water and gulped down its contents.
"Fuu!" Letting out a satisfying breath after quenching my thirst and cooling my mind, I looked at the clock.
The clock was displaying [5:08 P.M.]
Before, I wanted to go for a walk and look at the scenery outside, but now I wasn't in the mood for a stroll.
Now that I had experienced Lucas' life, I knew I didn't have the luxury of wasting time.
"What can I do, though?" Touching my chin, I thought.
Although Lucas was an elite by birth, his battle prowess wasn't that remarkable.
Don't get me wrong. He could fight well but he was pretty weak compared to the other elite kids who had been provided all kinds of resources since childhood.
The reason for that was simple.
Never in his life did Lucas ever try to train himself over his limit. He just did the bare minimum.
He never made use of the resources he was provided. Instead, he always tried running away from the training.
Not that I could blame him. Coming from a peaceful world, the training he had to go through did seem like a hellish routine to me.
But potential aside, that was another reason that despite being a few minutes older than his twin, Adel Morningstar, Lucas was never seen as a worthy candidate for the next head of the family.
Lucas' mentality was that he could get through anything as long as he had money and backing.
It proved to be right in many instances but that mentality was soon shattered when he was disowned.
Not to mention, it didn't help when he got his ass kicked by the protagonist.
Nor did it help him when he was used by the vampires as their puppets.
And although he wasn't mentioned after volume 2, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have helped him get through the destruction caused by the war in volume 7, either.
"No! I can't let what happened in the web novel come true!" I declared while gritting my teeth and biting my thumbnail.
I had the knowledge of the future. I knew things that were yet to happen. I could use that to my advantage somehow.
"But how? Most of the artifacts or ancient spells won't appear until the start of vol. 4! So what can I possibly do now?"
I started wracking my brain to recall anything. Anything that could prove useful to me.
Yes, I was thinking of stealing a cheat item or two from the MC.
I knew the risks. I knew that I could potentially create a butterfly effect and destroy the whole plotline.
And by doing so, I'll also lose the information I had about the future.
But I couldn't care less about all those things right now.
It was precisely because I knew the future that I was willing to take such a big risk. The future of this world was grim.
And it's not like I was going to cause a very big ripple in the plot line either.
The protagonist was showered with cheat items like crazy, so stealing one or two will not present a problem. I think…?
But you see, every big cheat item started appearing only after the 4th volume.
Why? Because that was the time when opponents stronger than the protagonist started appearing.
Before the 4th volume, the protagonist was so overpowered that he didn't need any power-ups.
pαпdα-ňᴏνêι·сóМAnd even after that, most of the cheat items were designed solely for the protagonist.
That means I could not steal them even if I knew their time and location of appearance.
I know, right?! The plot was so forced!
And even without most of his cheat items, the protagonist was overpowered as fuck!
No matter what the odds against him may be, he would always come out unharmed!
No one likes to read about an invincible protagonist! That's why I was not too fond of this story in the first place.
Sigh, but fate is a bitch. I just had to be reborn in this story.
"Fucking plot armor- wait!" I cursed out loud before suddenly recalling something. Something that I almost forgot.
"How did I let that slip my mind?!"
Yes, how did it slip my mind?
If I had 'that', then I would almost be invincible!
With that in my possession, I wouldn't have to worry about my safety!
"Yes! I need to get that!"
I picked up my phone from the desk and opened the maps. Then I typed in the name of a certain location.
As soon as I did that, the search result appeared on my screen.
A grin appeared on my face and my lips quivered from excitement.
Without wasting another second, I rushed to the apartment door.
Opening the door, I stepped outside and slammed it behind me.
Before getting out of my apartment, I remembered to check the date just to get an idea of upcoming events.
Today was February 15.
Academy will start on February 29.
The duel between Nero and Lucas didn't happen until the end of the first month of the Academy— March 31.
And that duel marked the start of the main story in the first volume.
In short, I've been reborn 45 days before the start of the main plot.
"Let's do this!"