Hey, welcome to my DC - Gamer story. Don't expect anything too new, exciting, or gripping. If you've read a 'Gamer' story before, you will most likely understand all the elements that will be present in this story. That being said, there is a lot of explicit adult content a couple of chapters down the line so if you are not down for that well...why are you in the NSFW section to begin with? The plot will not be that salient until like chapter 6 or 7. Anyway, in the past, I had been battling with this idea and I just couldn't help but put it on paper...or screen technically. I hope you all enjoy and I'll try my best to make as little grammatical mistakes as possible.
You have slept in a bed. Your HP and MP have fully recovered.
I stared blankly ahead at the glowing letters in front of me. A quick memory sweep told me, no I hadn't even drunk last night and I made sure to stay away from any of the crazy shit they had going on the streets, after all,
This was Gotham.
This shithole of a city was a cesspool of criminal activity and I could guarantee you that at least 30% of the people you met, on any particular day, were/would be involved in some form of crime. You'd be lucky if you went a single night not hearing gunshots a couple of blocks away, or the occasional scream of bloody murder_that happened quite often around here.
Some may ask the obvious question of "Why don't you leave?" or make some asinine comment like "Well as long as you stay out of trouble-" and I would simply end the conversation there. The thing about Gotham was that 60% of the people were poor, 30% were homeless, 9.99% had decent homes, and 0.01% lived lavishly in their obnoxiously large mansions with rows of butlers and handmaidens to tend to their every need.
Even better, about 99% of that 0.01% got their wealth through means so obviously dubious that people wondered why those rich assholes even bothered to try to hide them. Everyone who had some form of common sense knew that the 0.01% were so damn shady that not even the fucking sun could illuminate them (not that we got much of that here anyway), the 0.01% knew it, and they also knew that everyone else knew, but so what?
It wasn't like the police was going to do anything. I felt as if most of the police force in Gotham would be better off just merging with the local gangs so they wouldn't be forced to put up this facade of authenticity. Everyone also knew how corrupt most of them were; as long as you stuffed a couple 100$ in their pockets, they would overlook the dead decaying body across the street that was getting bagged up by shifty-eyed individuals of questionable identity.
Where the hell was I going with this? To be honest, the last paragraph of thoughts were just a tangent that I felt I needed to go to, but my earlier ones explained why people were more or less stuck here. It was quite simple, to be honest; the people here were just too poor to move out of this death zone and even if they somehow managed to get out, living a life of constantly looking your back wasn't the most helpful for reintegration to "normal" society. This place always left a mark on even the most hard willed individuals, and that was more often than not a terrible thing.
With my hands behind my head, I noticed that those floating letters were still in my field of vision. I was beginning to question my sanity at this point and I irritably waved my hand in from of my face before I scrunched my brow. I stared at my hand in confusion because I had felt something when I waved my hand on the letters and it wasn't a normal feeling either. It felt...internal or something. I couldn't even explain it. Thankfully the letters disappeared and I breathed a sigh of relief.
"Thank God, Imma have to check the expiration dates of my food-WHAT THE HELL!" I abruptly stood up from my bed-
"WOULD YOU SHUT UP!"
"SORRY!" I fought back a cringe as the neighbor on the other side of the wall yelled at me. I was living in a small apartment and our two rooms were the cheapest due to some design flaw where they put the bedrooms right next to each other with very thin walls. Of course, it was never fixed, but it was the only thing I could afford so I was grateful.
With the distractions out of the way, I stared intently at the new string of letters in front of me with a seriousness that even I didn't know I possessed.
Thank You Host For Allowing Us A Place of Residence
My hand on my chin, I scrutinized the message. I could feel the gratefulness if that even made sense. This was seeming less and less like some fucked up hallucination and more and more like something I should genuinely be concerned about. As I continued to stare, I decided that there was nothing I could lose by asking a question.
"...Who or what are you."
I had almost decided that I was insane after getting no immediate reply, before him/her/it/they (and whatever other SJW pronouns I could think of) decided to give me a bone.
We Are A Symbiotic Cosmic Entity That Binds To A Single Host So That We Can Both Grow
My gaze hardened as the multiple meanings of that last word dug itself into my skull "...are you using me as some type of Incubator?!" I was all fine for helping abstract cosmic entities as much as the next guy, but not at the risk of my well-being thank you very much.
I could almost feel the entity thinking of a way to describe themselves to me in a way that wouldn't have me pissing myself. To be honest I was surprised I was taking this as well as I was. I honestly thought I would be driving myself halfway to Arkham by now.
We Represent The Concept Of "Growth" Not Just For Ourselves But For Our Host As Well. We Are Symbiotic
In Nature And Our Presence Alone Can Not Harm You.
By now I was pacing back and forth in my little room, thinking about their words (they seemed to like referring to themselves as such-wow that's weird). I couldn't just believe them at face value cause for all I knew they might want to take over my body. Years of living here on the streets of Gotham had made me suspicious of just about everyone that wasn't me and even a supposed Cosmic Entity wouldn't change that. All my paranoia, however, boiled down to a single question.
"Why me?" I was not special by any stretch of the imagination and I highly doubted there was anything unique about me. I was a 5'9, 18-year-old African American with hazel eyes and short black hair. I guess my looks could be considered to be slightly above average, but that might just have been my bias. My grades were alright and while I was constantly maintaining a 3.0 GPA it still wasn't the greatest by any means. I, at the bare minimum, kept up in shape if only to have a greater shot at wooing the opposite sex, though my life made that a difficult endeavor.
My parents had died in some gang-related shooting a couple of years back, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was fortunate that they were smart enough to get some life insurance since this was Gotham, so it wasn't like I was suddenly left with nothing. With what meager amounts of money they had, I was able to survive long enough to get a job to keep myself fed and housed. Since then I had been doing odd jobs to keep myself at Gotham University and pay for new housing. I couldn't afford the mortgage on our home so I had to sell it and move to this crapfest of an apartment. I wouldn't say that my life was complete shit ever since, but I had been able to make do with my circumstances.
Your Body And Soul Was The Closest And The Most Suitable Environment For Us. They Both Have An Incredible Potential For Growth
I stared at the words as if I was looking at the entity itself behind them. I really could not say whether my situation was favorable or not, yet I also couldn't sense any malice from it. Even then I didn't think I would have been in any position to fight against them. After all, if they had wanted to use me for some nefarious purpose, they could have simply hidden inside my body and taken what they wanted when they were strong enough. The fact that they had shown themselves even after hitching a ride on my body showed me that they weren't trying to harm me in any way, but this lead to the most important question.
"...How can I trust you?"
Trust Must Be Grown Through Effort Patience And Time. It Needs To Be Cared For And Managed Properly In
Order Breed True.
I nodded my head. That was a universally accepted truth of the world, especially in a city like Gotham where people would rather stab than trust each other. I couldn't find anything wrong with them and as of yet, they didn't seem to be harming me. "So what now?"
We Will Give You All The Tools Necessary To Grow And Through Your Growth, We Will Prosper.
"Was that what that thing I saw this morning was about?"
...We Apologize, But Our Time Remaining Conscious Will Not Be Longer-
I could somehow feel the exhaustion coming from the words alone. They spoke of endless tiredness and I could now realize just how much this took out of them. They must have been serious when they said they needed a host to survive and grow.
We Will Leave You With A Guiding System So That It May Help You Navigate Your Path To Growth. We May
Meet In Full Again When You Have Grown. Farewell Will.
And with that, I could feel his presence dissipating to the deepest recess of our minds. I wondered what he meant as growth though? Was it like Physical growth as in getting taller-yeah, that was kind of stupid. If it had just been that, then there was no way I would have been the best option. Regardless I was kind of looking forward to seeing how they would allow us to grow. My question was shortly answered with a few short words.
Welcome to the tutorial!
Well, this just got interesting. I could feel the difference in these words compared to the ones before. These felt more scripted..sort of like the automated message on a phone, except like 1,000x more sophisticated.
To provide a host with the best opportunity for growth, we created an optimized system of measurement and development. This system is based on the characteristics of the host and has high ease of access. Please think 'Status'
I raised a brow. Comparing the message I saw this morning to the words I was seeing now, It seemed as if they based my system of growth off of game mechanics. I shrugged and played along with the tutorial.
Name: William Meyers
Race: Homo Magi
Level: Lvl 4 Next Level: 0/1,000
HP: 375/375 Regen: (4.16) per Minute
MP: 375/375 Regen: (4.12) per Minute
Stat Points: 20
"Interesting, but how do I know if this is good or bad?"
The system is built in a way that it is easy to understand and interactive. Regardless, a breakdown of the status sheet will be provided.
Hit Points (HP): HP determines the amount of damage or 'hits' you can take before your body fails to function and you essentially die. The more HP you have, the more damage you can dish out and the longer you will survive in this world. Hit Points are calculated through the following formula
Base HP (100) + (Vitality * 25)
Mana Points (MP): Mana is the life energy of every magical being and is a versatile and powerful form of energy. It is essential to every technique and can be controlled and manipulated to create an effect that would not be possible otherwise. Mana Points are calculated by the following formula:
Base MP (100) + (INT * 25)
Strength (STR): The Strength attribute determines the person's overall physical power. This attribute affects the amount of damage a person can inflict on another with hand-to-hand combat, bladed weapons, or blunt objects. It also affects the amount of weight they can lift, or throw. Strength also affects the rate of HP regeneration.
1% of the Strength stat is added to the HP regeneration rate
Vitality (VIT): The Vitality attribute determines the person's overall health. This attribute also affects a person's ability to regain health outside of combat and resist specials types of damage from things such as poison, paralysis, burns, etc.
Every point in vitality increases the user's HP by 25 points.
Dexterity (DEX): The Dexterity attribute determines the person's overall movement. This attribute affects a person's accuracy, evasion, speed, and ability to land critical strikes on an opponent in close, mid, and long-range combat. Dexterity also plays a major role in pickpocketing, stealth, use of weaponry and the ability to dual-wield weapons properly.
Intelligence (INT): The Intelligence attribute determines the person's overall ability to think quickly and innovation. It also affects their ability to learn, memorize, retain information, and determines how smart they are.
Every point in Intelligence increases the user's MP by 25 points.
Wisdom (WIS): The Wisdom attribute determines the person's common sense and perception. Wisdom also allows an individual to make better overall decisions in day-to-day life. Wisdom also affects the rate of MP regeneration
1% of the Wisdom stat is added to the MP regeneration rate
Charisma (CHA): The Charisma attribute measures a character's force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. It represents the strength of personality, not merely how others perceive you in a social setting. It can also affect your reputation with others and how easily you can make friends.
Luck (LUCK): The Luck attribute determines the person's overall chance. Luck is unique compared to all the other attributes as it is capable of influencing anything from finding or looting random items, winning money while gambling, to encounters and outstanding successes/failures (such as critical hits).
Please note that the average value for STR, VIT, DEX, INT, WIS, and CHA in a regular adult homosapien is around 10.
There was so much to deconstruct from this that I didn't even know where to start. Well, the biggest thing was that I was no longer completely fucking human...I think. I hurriedly slammed open the door to the bathroom and quickly looked at my reflection in the mirror. I opened my mouth, checked my neck and arms, took off my shirt and pants to check my stomach and legs, then turned around to check my back as I turned my neck around as much as I could to get a glimpse of my whole body.
"No elongated teeth. Check. No gills. Check. No scales. Check. No fins or other protrusions. Check. Nothing sticking out of my back like wings or something." I breathed a sigh of release as I noticed no real physical difference between my body now and my body which was (probably?) human before. "But there's still one more check I have to make...it's important."
I grimaced as I looked at my boxers. I could still feel it which meant that I hadn't lost it, but I needed to make sure nothing bad had happened. I slowly peeked at it in trepidation before letting out a huge sigh of relief. Wait did it become bigger?
"No. fucking focus."
The important thing was that I could fucking use mana now, but considering what the world was like today I could safely assume that being able to do magic wasn't the weirdest thing out there. I would rate it top 10, right before the alien that flew with his underwear outside his pants and that woman with the supposed invisible jet. Why she used it when she could fly was anyone's guess but I guess it was for the coolness factor or something. I could never wrap my head around that one.
The next big thing was the value of my stats. They were just around average which made sense to me. It also seemed like I had average charisma...I guess I did have some bias when I thought I was at least slightly above average. Nevertheless, these values could be worked with and I could always increase them by training.
Finally, the last, but not least, important parts of this thing were the level, stat points, and my money. I couldn't say if being at level 4 was good or bad but I assumed that level 5 might be the average level for most humans. Furthermore, using basic math I could see that I gained 5 stat points per level which would be helpful down the line. Finally, the cosmic entity knew how much money I had in my bank account and I had to wonder what good knowing that information would do for me. Was it possible that I could somehow take my money from here instead of having to walk a mile or so to the nearest ATM? I mean compared to being able to do magic, it wasn't that far fetched; I guess I would soon find out. Regardless I had already come up with a basic game plan after looking through all these different variables:
Study as much as I could to increase my INT and hopefully WIS
Train as hard as I could to increase my STR, VIT, and DEX
Avoid spending my stat points unless it is necessary
...try to increase my CHA
For planning and making great decisions, you have gained +1 INT and +2 WIS.
Certain actions and/or thoughts of the user can result in rewards and increases in your ability.
My eyes opened wide at the implications. I didn't have to bury myself in books and writing to increase my INT and WIS but instead, my actions alone could increase them. This gave me more avenues to work from and improve myself. This was good because while I had more free time on the weekends like today, during the week there were just too many responsibilities I had to handle and I wouldn't be able to focus on improving myself as often as I would like.
As you grow, you will learn new and various abilities. It is possible to keep track of these abilities through the 'Skills' menu. Please thinks 'Skills' to gain access to your repertoire of abilities.
Skill List Window
Gamer's Mind (Passive) Lvl Max: Allows the user to calmly and logically think things through. Allows a peaceful state of mind. Grants immunity to all psychological status effects. Only negative emotions are cleared from the host's mind.
Gamer's Body (Passive) Lvl Max: Grants a body that allows for the user to live the real world like a game. After sleeping, HP and MP are restored and all negative status effects are removed. The need for sleep is removed, but it is recommended you sleep when critically damaged.
"A game huh?"
A game character is a symbol of growth. There are no limitations to his/her except for those imposed by the game maker itself. In real life, however, the only limitations are those that you set for yourself.
My lips twitched in a sorta smile. I could now understand why I had not been going into hysteria as soon as this shit had started. It was odd for me to be so damn calm in this sort of situation, but I was thankful for it. It was good that I could still feel emotions though, I just wouldn't be able to feel the more negative emotions. Gamer's body was very very interesting and it made me wonder if I was still all human or not anymore. Well aside from the fact that I was a Homo-magi...
Last but certainly not least! No game character is complete without a space to keep his loot. When you think 'Inventory' you'll have access to a personal pocket dimension where you can store and take out your materials.
This was insane! Just this inventory system alone would have been extremely useful. With a quick mental command, I gained access to my personal storage space and right off the bat, I could see that one of the slots was already filled.
Curiously I mentally clicked it and noticed that it contained all my money.
Now, this was interesting.
I had been wondering if I could take out or put money in here and it looked like I could. I wanted to test something so I took out about $100 worth of 5's.
I took one of the bills and looked at it, carefully inspecting the cash to see if it was legit. I brought it up over my eyes towards the dim light in my room. I would be the first to admit that I didn't know what I was doing and I wasn't sure if I was making a fool of myself, but from what little I could glean, the money all checked out.
Now the real test came when I took out my phone and quickly logged into my bank account.
Deposit Accounts: $4,274
This. Was. Amazing.
I didn't have to go the ATM anymore and I could just deposit my money and all my important items here without worry. I honestly didn't even bother to think about how this even worked, I was just glad for the added convenience.
Finally, for completing the tutorial you have been rewarded with the skill book "Mana Manipulation". It has been automatically placed in the inventory.
I had wondered how I was even going to train in using my mana, but of course, the system had already planned for me.
I took a deep breath and sighed, the entirety of this morning's escapades catching up to me in full force. I honestly didn't know what I would have been doing this Saturday; probably staying to catch up on sleep and work.
"Hahahahaha!" Despite everything, I found myself laughing at my situation. It was just too fucking funny for me NOT to laugh. Here I was thinking about how best to waste my day and a goddamn (supposed) COSMIC FUCKING ENTITY hijacks MY body of all things, gives me a full-fledged method of unlimited growth, and then leaves me to my own devices, how could I not laugh at the incredulity of this situation. Even if Gamer's Mind was protecting my sanity, I somewhat felt like I was starting to lose it. I found it funny how when the high of a situation wore off, you realized how insane it was, to begin with. I didn't even care anymore. I would abuse this tool to the best of my capabilities just to see where it lead me.
"WILL YOU KEEP IT THE FUCK DOWN! CAN A MAN GET SOME SHUTEYE!"
I barely acknowledged my ass of a neighbor as my laughter died off into dull chuckles, "It's already 9 in the morning. Maybe you should do something with your life you lazy ass." The walls were so fucking thin that as long as someone was close by in the opposite room, they could hear you when you weren't being loud.
"YOU WANNA SAY THAT TO MY FACE BITCH!?"
"You mean that mug that only a mother could love? Well, maybe not your mother..." Low blow, I know.
"WHY YOU FUCKI-"
I tuned out the rest of what he said. We never really had a cordial relationship but for whatever reason, he was being bitchier than usual, this city tended to have that effect on people. I wasn't too worried since he would snap out of his hissy fit soon enough.
With a sigh, I stood up from my bed again and stretched out my numb and stiff limbs. Who knew talking to a Cosmic Being would be so exhausting? I didn't.
"What to do, what to do…" I suppose I could try and increase my intelligence or something but before that, I had to take
care of something. With a simple mental command, A book appeared in midair and softly landed on the upturned palms of my hands.
You have acquired the skill book 'Mana Manipulation'. Would you like to learn this skill?
I scrutinized the work of literary art before I opened the book to try and see what was written. After 5 seconds I realized that I had no clue what language this thing was even in and just based on the diagrams I could tell that I wouldn't have understood it regardless. It was interesting how this was an actual book though; If you had the ability, it was readable and from what I could see, you could learn from it the old fashion way. Did this mean that other books could also act as skill books?
Congratulations! For your logical deduction and reasoning, you have been rewarded with +1 INT and +1 WIS.
I guess that confirmed my thoughts. I mentally selected yes and-wow I shouldn't be surprised. The book just up and disappeared into notes of light before flying into my forehead. I closed my eyes as the information came rushing through my brain. It was surreal how I could just understand what the book had been describing and I could feel and access my mana.
Mana Manipulation (Passive) Lvl Max: Allows the user to freely manipulate mana which is the energy within most living beings. Passively increases INT by 10%. Passively increases mana pool by 10%.
My vision suddenly became clearer-it was the feeling of suddenly gaining a new sight. I could see the mana not only in my body but also in the room and atmosphere of Gotham. It was no surprise that the mana around me felt...tainted for lack of a better term. It wasn't like it would make people evil or anything, but the mana around Gotham sort of created a sort of dismal atmosphere that even normal people could subtlety perceive. I always knew the atmosphere around Gotham was pretty fucked, but seeing it first hand was an eerie experience that I would, unfortunately, have to get used to.
Ignoring Gotham's gloominess I focused on myself, more specifically the internals of my body. I felt as the mana flowed through my veins, creating a full circulation before it settled back in my core. I tugged at it and it seemed to obey my command, moving whichever which way I wanted it to go. It had a mystical surreal feel to it, which was to be expected of this type of unique energy.
I tried to get in a more comfortable position to put my body in so that I could try and see if I could do something with my mana. Before my parents left me, I used to play some basic RPGs and MMORPGs, but that had been some time ago. With responsibilities cropping up every which corner of my life, I never really found the time nor motivation to continue playing them. With what little I could remember about magic from games, I tried to think about some things I could do with it.
I went with the most basic option and imagined a ball of mana floating on the palms of my hands. I allowed the mana to flow into my palms and concentrated on the image I was creating. I could feel the hum of the energy and I opened my eyes as I witnessed a small ball of concentrated mana being formed on the palms of my hands and I watched as it hovered above my hand.
Congratulations! You have created a new skill!
Mana Ball (Active) Lvl 1 [10.8%]: Mana blast is a close-mid ranged technique that constitutes the basics of mana manipulation. The user focuses mana into the palm of their hand in the form of a dense orb of energy and can release the attack as a projectile towards their enemy. The further the technique travels, the weaker it becomes.100% of INT Concussive Damage 10% chance of enemy stun Range: 10 Meters. Cost: 100 MP
I couldn't help but crack a smile at what I had just created. Word couldn't describe how I felt when using magic, however, the novelty of the experience eventually wore off as I realized that I didn't know what to do with will my ball of destruction. I sure as hell couldn't throw it somewhere, and I didn't know how long it would take for the mana to dissipate, so I thought for a moment and decided to see if I could somehow reabsorb the mana back into myself.
It was a lot easier than I thought, probably because this was a basic skill and my mana made it up in the first place. I looked at my now empty palms and thought of some other magical things I could do with mana at my disposal. My first thought was to make a fireball, but I deemed it too dangerous to experiment with something like that indoors. I skipped water since it wasn't too interesting to me and as for the earth element, that would have to wait till I was outdoors and I already had other plans today regardless.
That left 2 other elements: Wind and Lightning. It was of my opinion that Lightning was the coolest element in the world and there was nothing that could change my mind about that. It had power, speed, and beauty all into a single destructive package. I would be the first to admit that I always imagined how cool it would be if I could encase myself in like a lightning armor or maybe even just let sparks of lightning flash around my body for the coolness factor; the applications were endless.
I reigned in my somewhat reawakening geeky tendencies and focused on the image I wanted. There was always thunderstorms in Gotham, so I imagined that majestic power. I thought about all those times I got shocked by electrical appliances and doorknobs. I could feel that something was happening, however, it wasn't enough, so I thought of that time I got tased on the streets...In all honesty that was considered a decent night in Gotham because I was still alive and had no permanent bodily scars.
My stray thoughts shattered as I felt a pull in my gut. I realized that my mana was sort of vibrating at a high frequency so I focused that energy into my palms. I was rewarded with the sound of a spark and opened my eyes to see lightning jumping from my palms and fingertips.
Congratulations! You have created a new skill!
Electrokinesis (Active/Passive) Lvl 1 [45.34%]: Lightning is one of the strongest elemental forces in nature and is both powerful and destructive. This lightning is created by vibrating your mana at a certain frequency and has a mystical nature. As a result, it is not as powerful as natural lightning, but in time that may not be so. The skill grows using Lightning Elemental skills and creating Lightning Elemental skills.Increases damage of Lightning Elemental skills by 50%. Decreases cost of Lightning Elemental skill by 0.5%.
Affected Skills:Lightning Palm
Lightning Palm (Active) Lvl 1 [90.68%]: Lightning Palm generates an electric charge to your hands. The charge can be used to incapacitate, or in extreme circumstances, kill opponents.50% INT damage A Fixed 50% Chance to stun Cost 55 MP
I was one step closer to living out my previously dead geek fantasies. I was interested in the skills I had created for myself and I couldn't help but clench my fist in determination. I had been planning on taking an extra shift tomorrow, however, circumstances changed.
For starters, I needed to make the best use of my ability to increase my knowledge. In any situation, knowledge was key and if I could build up my repertoire of information while also increasing my INT, and WIS stats, then I would be ahead of the game and more able to appropriately react to any situations that were thrown my way. This was Gotham city after all, and even if you never bothered anyone your whole life, that wouldn't stop people from bothering you.
With that out of the way, I decided that my best course of action would be to take a quick trip to Gotham Public Library and read a few books. I would probably start spending more time there as well.
Compared to before where I could spend hours studying and still not understand a subject, as long as I had this new ability, I would be duly rewarded for my hard work which was one of the main reasons why I was happy.
There were so many people in the world who had trouble increasing their knowledge or comprehensive capabilities and there was little they could do about their situation except for studying harder. On the same token, there were those lucky individuals who could easily understand information as long as they put their minds to it and cared enough to learn.
Then there was me; an individual who had no clear limitations on the amount he could increase his intelligence and other mortal capabilities. All I had to do was read and study thereby increasing my INT which would allow me to better understand what I was studying in the first place. I might be able to leave this shithole after all, as long as I did well enough in college.
You realize that you have the potential to become more intelligent and knowledgeable than any other human. Make use of your advantage and add to your repertoire of knowledge. Increase your INT and WIS to 20 by the end of today
Reward: Skill Book. Your increase in INT and WIS is a reward unto itself
Failure: No reward. You lose out on an amazing skill that you REALLY don't want to miss
I looked on at the quest with amusement and interest. I was curious about what conditions needed to be met to trigger a quest, but I wasn't going to complain about what I had gotten. I was also interested in what this skill was that my ability was hyping it up so much. I figured I was going to find out because there was no way I was going to fail this quest, but this also meant I would definitely be spending my entire day at the library.
I put on some pants and sneakers then grabbed my school bag before I headed out the door. I didn't forget to put my important items in my inventory and I made sure that the door was locked behind me. With that, I made my way down the stairs, out of the apartments, and took a deep whiff of that toxic Gotham air.
Ahh, what a good day to be me.
Walking down the streets of Gotham was always a cautious affair. Every street corner you had to look in all the cardinal directions before keeping your head low and moving on. In the mornings it wasn't too bad though so I was able to make it to the library without much incident. As opposed the like 95% of Gotham, the public library was well built and maintained. This was primarily due to Wayne Enterprise's donations to keep the library up and running so that people would have more access to peace and knowledge.
I hadn't been here in a while because there was not much I had wanted to do here at the time. Now, however, I planned to spend most of my days here, after work, learning whatever new material I could.
I walked up to the librarian and flashed her a smile. She looked to be in her late twenties and damn was she beautiful. I had to wonder why she would want to work here of all places "Excuse me, ma'am, may you please point me to where I could find books on the Natural Sciences?" I asked, slipping my hands in my pockets. I wanted to improve my grades and science was an interesting subject so why not start there?
I could tell the lady was kind of surprised that anyone would come here at this time of the day on a weekend no less, but she responded nonetheless, "Just take a left around that bookshelf and walk to the back. You should be able to find what you are looking for over there." She replied, gesturing at a certain area of the library.
"Thank you," I said before I turned and followed the simple directions she gave me. I didn't see a single soul here at the library until I got to my destination. I looked carefully at the figure who donned red hair. I couldn't identify her with her back turned towards me so I squinted my eyes as I futilely tried to see her at a better angle. Was that_
Congratulations! You have created a new skill!
Observe (Passive/Active) Lv 2 [9.89%]: Through continuous observation, a skill to observe objects, situations, and people was generated that allows for quick information gathering. The higher the skill, the greater the data obtained. You can view the information of people 22 Lvls higher than you.
Cost: 5 MP
My eyes widened as I took in the new information that had been displayed to me
Name: Barbara Joan Gordon
Title: Prodigious Intellectual
Level: Lvl 26
How the hell did Barbara Gordon have those kinds of stats? I knew she was the daughter of the police chief so maybe he got her on some sort of training regime, but that alone could not explain the difference in physical stats between us. Not only that, her Intelligence, Dexterity, Wisdom, and Charisma were off the charts. I was becoming curious about what kind of training she had done. Heh, maybe I could ask her to train me?
"You know, if you take a picture it'll last longer."
My thought processes were suddenly halted as I heard the sound of her voice. "I'm sorry I thought you looked familiar but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to make it awkward if I was wrong…." I replied while scratching the back of my head. It was always an embarrassing situation when you were caught staring, even if you didn't mean to do so.
No doubt hearing the familiar tone of voice laced with her curiosity, the redhead turned around with furrowed brows and gazed at me like I was some rare breed of animal. "Will, is that you? What are you doing here?" She asked with confusion in her tone.
I rolled my eyes, "No I'm a clone, and I thought that this was a public library."
"Sarcasm doesn't suit you." She shook her head before sizing me up again as if I was new to her. "You know what I meant. I'm just surprised you are here instead of you know…"
While Barbara and I were more acquaintances than friends, we knew enough about each other's circumstances. We shared a couple of courses in school and there were times where we had to work together on some assignments. Talking about our lives was how we usually broke the ice.
"Usually I would be wasting my weekends away or working to make ends meet…" I started with a thoughtful expression. "But recently I felt like there is a lot more I could be doing to help myself move forward in life. My grades aren't bad but they could be better and since my Saturday is free, I thought 'why not?' and here I am." I finished while grabbing some books.
"Do you mind if I sit down?" I asked, pointing at the empty chair on the opposite side of her. She shook her head and motioned me to sit and I gladly obliged. I wouldn't mind being alone, but since we were the only two people here and we kinda knew each other, it would be weird if I just at on the opposite side of the library soon after greeting her. It wasn't like we were strangers.
Taking interest in the textbooks I had taken out, Gordon asked, "So what are you planning on working on?" She glanced at the books with unveiled curiosity and raised a brow as she saw the titles of the books. "Anatomy & Physiology, Intro Physics, and General Chemistry?"
"Yeah, I kind of like science but I was never too great at it. I'm hoping to make up for it with some extra practice." I stated as I opened up the Physics textbook. "I'm thinking that I could take an advanced level science course if I do well this trimester." I took out a blank notebook from my bag and placed it on the table after opening it. I then got a pen from my bag, twirled it on my fingers a few times before clicking the end of the pen. Heh, I'm the man.
The young Miss Gordon regarded me with a genuine smile on her face as she heard my words. "You have no idea how much of a breath of fresh air it is that someone else from Gotham is trying to at least try and do something with their life." She shook her head ruefully "I just feel like so many of the kids at school just give up without trying to aim for something harder you know?"
I understood what she meant. Rarely did the kids at Gotham High try and it almost felt like some of the teachers were giving up. Of course, this wasn't every student and teacher as other people wanted to escape the streets. It was just that many people just accepted their crappy lives and were afraid of getting out of their comfort zone...then again I might have ended up the same way, if not for extenuating circumstances, so I had no right to judge.
"Anyways-" she started, shaking her head, "-If you need help with a certain subject, don't be afraid to ask. I might not know everything, but I think I should be able to help out."
"Of course, I'll definitely ask you for help," I replied with a smile. With that, we lapsed into silence as we focused on our respective tasks. I took a quick peek at the books she was working with and had to stop myself from whistling in appreciation. There was no doubt that Barbara Gordon was a genius; I knew this even before I could read her status, so seeing her work on Advanced level Physics and Biology books was no surprise. I was only slightly more surprised that she was working with a book on Computer Operation. She must have been teaching herself the language because there was no computer programming class in Gotham High, at least that I was aware of. No wonder she was confident she could help me out.
I decided to focus on myself for now and opened up my physics textbook. Taking handwritten notes allowed me to more easily understand the information I was putting down so I did just that. It was only after a couple of minutes of studying that I got a notification which helped me drastically.
Congratulations! You have created a new skill!
Note Taking (Active/Passive) Lvl 45 [23.04%]: Jotting down notes helps you remember and better understand the things you write. 45% increase to the amount of knowledge you retain form the notes. Increases writing speed by 45%
Speed Reading (Active/Passive) Level 36 [24.45%]: Speed reading allows you to read faster while still understanding the content you read: Increase reading speed by 36%.
I had to force down a grin as I saw the descriptions of these skills. While in any other circumstance they weren't really special, for my particular purpose, they were a godsend. I continued to study with renewed vigor and visibly noticed the increase in my reading and writing speed.
My hand flew through the notebook, and pages were full within minutes. While the Physics textbook wasn't that long, there was still the other subjects that I wanted to focus on, so I marked the page and planned to take it home with me if need be. After 2 hours of non-stop reading and writing, I had managed to go through over 150 pages of the 500-page textbook and was able to fill up about 100 pages of my notebook with...well notes.
I put down my writing utensils and cracked my fingers to relieve some tension while stretching my limbs. I doubted I needed to do so because Gamer's Body covered for me, but it was more of a habit.
"...Wow, when you said you were going for some extra practice I wasn't expecting you to go so hard." Barbara stated with a smile. She pointed at my notebook before asking "May I?" I shrugged and gestured for her to take a look at it.
She flipped through the pages skimming through the pages of the notebook and stopped about halfway. "Wow, these aren't too bad. Quite comprehensive if you ask me." She flipped through my notebook a couple more times before she put it down. "You should probably take a break you know. Give yourself some time to digest the information and whatnot. I'm actually about to head out and get something to eat. You're welcome to join if you want."
"Inviting me to lunch already? Did my work ethic manage to charm you?" I asked with a slight tilt of my lips.
Barbara just rolled her eyes. "Don't flatter yourself. I just think it's better to each lunch with another person rather than doing so alone."
CHA increased by +1
"I wouldn't know, but I would love to find out," I replied while standing up and straightening my pants. I guess this was a sign that I should get out and socialize more. I wondered how I was going to increase that stat, aside from slimming down a little more and building some more muscle, so I was happy that I could find a direction to improve myself in.
I was kind of a loner in the sense that I didn't hang out much with people outside of school and there was the fact that I had to work quite often to sustain myself. It had been a long time since I ate with other people, let alone a girl as gorgeous as Barbara, so I wasn't going to decline.
With a smile on her face, the beautiful Redhead walked me out of the library.
What a good day to be me.
After Barbara and I had gotten our fill at a nearby diner, we took some food to go and went back to the library to continue the grind. It felt pretty good to have someone to talk to especially when your work started to get more tedious, but it, in the end, I managed to get a lot done and complete my objective for the day. I had spent more than 10 hours straight in the library just studying. I swear I would have gotten a migraine if it wasn't for Gamer's mind.
Reward: Skill Book. Your increase in INT and WIS is a reward unto itself
Skill book has been automatically deposited in the inventory
Name: William Meyers
Race: Homo Magi
Level: Lvl 4 Next Level: 0/1,000
HP: 375/375 Regen: 1.11% (4.16) per Minute
MP: 775/775 Regen: 1.2% (8.6) per Minute
Stat Points: 20
I still didn't know what type of skill book I was rewarded, but if my roommate was hyping it up so much, then I was sure that it was going to be a great boon. While packing my things, I smirked despite myself. I could already feel the increased INT and it was just weird. I could see the world slightly differently now, but it wasn't an overwhelming sensation or anything but more like a small discovery that wasn't worth noting. I was able to get my INT to above 20 due to my Mana Manipulation skill and I was very thankful for the bonus.
"Checkmate." A feminine voice sounded and I furrowed my brows as I looked at my phone, but no matter how I looked at it, there was no way out for me.
It also didn't help that the CPU had already decided that I lost.
"You know I'm pretty sure the CPU is usually right on these kinds of things," Barbara stated, amusement lining her lips.
I, however, beg to differ, "Who knows? Computers are known to have glitches, I'm just making sure that it's not one of those things..."
She scoffed, "I'm pretty sure that a CPU that can think more than 10 moves ahead will be able to tell whether a move is a checkmate or not."
"You never know…"
"Ohh give it up already and accept your loss like a big boy." She was enjoying this for sure.
A sour expression marred my visage, "Whatever, I'll beat you soon. Just give me some time." She was SO enjoying this.
"I'll be waiting. What does that make it now 20-0 me?"
My lips twitched. "22-0, you, but you already knew that didn't you?"
"Yep." she started as she popped the 'P'. "I just wanted to hear you admit it."
"...yeah rub it in why don't you?" I stated as I shook my head. We had been playing for the past hour and I hadn't won once. Compared to the beginning where I lost only after like 15 moves, I was getting notably better, though still nowhere good enough to beat her. As a result of our little competition, I gained a very useful skill.
Increases WIS by 10%
Increases INT by 10%
It still didn't help me win this damn game though...l looked at the time on my phone and commented offhandedly, "It's kind of getting late...but I won't mind keeping you company if you want?" I didn't have much else to do anyway, though I would prefer to go home and play with my magic a little...
Barbara smiled at me and shook her head, "Don't worry about it Will, I've been doing this for a long time so I'm kinda used to being here by myself. I can tell that you have other things to work so please, don't wait for my sake."
CHA increased by +1
I nodded in response then smiled. "Alright then, it was great seeing you here."
"Likewise. I'm here most days of the week, especially on the weekends. Don't be afraid to say hi next time you drop by." I smiled at her response. She seemed so sure that this wasn't some spur of the moment one time moment of mine...not that she was wrong.
With a tilt of my head in acknowledgment, I finished packing the last of my materials, stood up and slipped my backpack on. It was pretty late at night, around 10 or so, but Barbara was still going at her work with a vengeance. It made sense that she was able to become as intelligent as she was with this sort of work ethic. The Gotham Public Library closed quite late, but as it was a library, it was less subject to being targeted for gang-related activity. I mean I highly doubted you would make much from selling stolen Physics textbooks anyway...
I picked up the books that I planned to check out while glancing at the hardworking Gordon before I said one last goodbye. Barb was a big girl and she had stats that would put most adult humans to shame so I wasn't really worried about her finding her way home. There was also the fact that her father was the police commissioner so it wasn't like she was going to be in any danger.
I made my way to the counter to see the lady there on her phone. It wasn't until I was right in front of her that she looked up from her cellular device. I took a good look at her and sighed appreciatively at how gorgeous she looked. Olive skin, dark hair, and green-eyed, She stood at around 5'8. She had an ample bust, a gorgeous face and a nose ring that just added to her charm. Seriously what was she doing here?!
"Ahh, are you all set?" She asked almost catching me staring.
I nodded my head quickly and placed my books on the counter. "Yeah, I'm good. I would like to check out these books, but I don't have a library card or anything."
She nodded in understanding before she quirked a brow when she took a look at some of the books I was taking. "The Art of War Sun Zhu? Intermediate Military Tactics and Simulations? Chess Strategies? What are you, preparing for war or something?" She asked in interest.
"I mean it is Gotham City we live in so…" I replied while scratching the back of my head. When I was studying, I realized that my WIS was not increasing as quickly, but then I remembered that it impacted my decision-making capabilities. That was when I can up with the idea of studying strategy books and playing chess with Barbara. I could train my strategic capabilities while having fun at the same time.
My opponent had enjoyed the breath of fresh air as we used our phones to download some chess app and face off against each other. Needless to say, she enjoyed the thrill of triumphing over me and in that way time flew by. I also discovered that my INT increased as well when playing so I was killing two birds with one stone.
The Librarian nodded her head in understanding. "Alright then General, let me get you all set up." She had an amused smile as she spoke and typed a few things on her computer. She asked for some information from me such as home address and some ID before she printed me a plastic card.
With a smile, she tossed me my goods. "Try not to misplace or damage the books. You'll be held accountable for any harm on the books and I know where you live." She stated with a wink.
I raised a brow at her antics; was she flirting with me? I mean she was gorgeous so I wouldn't mind. "...You aren't doing much to discourage me you know?"
"Well that's a problem isn't it?"
A smirk couldn't help but form on my lips, "Regardless, thank you for everything, Miss…"
"Jaina. Jaina Hudson." She replied beaming.
"Thank you, Jaina. I'll try to return them in one piece."
She waved before going back on her phone and doing whatever she was doing.
CHA increased by +1
I really needed to get out more.
Leave it to Gotham fucking City to rain during the worst time of the day. You never really wanted to be caught out on the streets of Gotham in the middle of the night. It was a relatively full-proof way to get yourself Kidnapped, killed, or worse.
The reason I brought this up?
"Hehe what do we have here? A lost little lamb all fattened up for the slaughter."
Seriously, it was bad enough that the water was reaching my ankles, but now I had to deal with 1, 2, 3….6 goons who wanted to kill me for whatever reason. How could this night get any worse?
"Kev we can't kill him remember? The boss wants a new test sub*cough* 'volunteer' for his sick-*cough* 'innovative' experiments after the last one went insane."
I learned that night never to tempt fate. I looked at the perimeter trying to find an escape route-
Fight or Flight?
A night in Gotham wouldn't be complete without the usual criminal activity rearing its head. Right now you can try and escape OR you can use your abilities and teach these low lifes a lesson
Reward: 100 XP and +1 stat points per thug defeated
Failure: No reward. You'll probably suffer inhumane torture and/or death
'Hmm, decisions, decisions' It was dark and raining which prevented them from seeing the expression on my face. With that knowledge, I decided to stare at the shitstain in front of me
Name: Common Thug 1
Level: Lvl 5
LUCK: 0 (They decided to fuck with you)
A common street thug with no redeeming qualities. His name isn't even worth getting remembered.
Name: Common Thug 2
Level: Lvl 6
LUCK: 0 (They decided to fuck with you)
A common street thug with almost no redeeming qualities. His name isn't even worth getting remembered. Though he at least has a sense of humor.
I had to desperately fight back a chuckle as I read the descriptions (I filed away the fact that they had descriptions for later). Who knew my roommate had such a sense of humor? Just based on their stats, there was no way I was going to be able to physically beat them which just meant I had to magically beat them. Common sense and logic would dictate that I find a way to run away from this situation instead of confronting them. However, common sense didn't apply to magic, did it?
"-HEY ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME?!"
I was snapped from my thoughts as I heard the obnoxiously loud and irritating voice of thug one. I recall that Thug 2 said his name just a minute ago, but my neighbor was right, it wasn't even worth it for me to remember. "I'm sorry what did you say?" I asked.
I seriously hadn't heard what he had said.
I noticed that he got quite incensed by what I assume he perceived to be a snarky remark, even though I was being serious. "You know what brat!? We were told to bring you back alive but not necessarily in one piece."
I stared at him blankly, "...That's such a cliche villain line."
That did it.
With a roar, the common thug ran towards me in fury. I took the time to quickly lament the fact that I had decided that I didn't want to train in water magic because in my own words "it wasn't too interesting to me." My regrets aside, I focused on my genius for having picked lightning as the element to train in first. My mind had been processing the situation and the most effective way for me to win in this battle with minimal losses on my person was still going to sting a lot.
The key to my victory was born of the question, "What happens if you put a toaster in a bathtub while you are in it?" I was sure that everyone knew the answer.
My thoughts disappeared as soon as they appeared as I focused the lightning mana to the palms of my hands. No later was Thug 1 upon me and I was forced to duck under his wide swing. Time seemed to slow as I quickly assessed the distance between me and the rest of the thugs. They had been slowly inching towards me probably in an attempt to quickly subdue me, however, they failed to realize that that would be the cause of their downfall because they were so going to feel this.
With my hands encased in Lightning Palm lightning, I brought them down to the flooded ground.
I heard the thugs screen and had to grit my teeth as the lightning not only affected all the thugs around me but also myself, though I could tell they had it much worse. I could see the surprise and hints of fear on their faces as they watched me generate lightning seemingly from nowhere.
Lightning Palm has leveled up by 1!
Lightning Palm has leveled up by 1!
Lightning Palm has leveled up by 1!
Lightning Palm has leveled up by 1!
Lightning Manipulation has leveled up by 1!
Lightning Manipulation has leveled up by 1!
I kept activating the technique until I heard the thumping sounds of the thugs' dropping bodies and it nearly took all my mana for me to accomplish. I wish I could say that this had been some hot-blooded battle that I barely won with my guts, grit, and lots of personal damage, but sorry to disappoint. If there was an easier way to win the battle and I could take it, then I would. Not all battles had to be hard-fought as long as you used your head and imagination.
The thugs were all unconscious and I was still slightly numb, though my body was quickly repairing itself. I supposed that while magical lightning had some of the same properties as natural lighting, it was still generated from my mana so the resulting reaction between my lightning and the water didn't affect me as much...at least that was my working theory.
For deducing some of the inner workings of mana, you have gained +1 INT.
For making the most logical decision in your battle, you have gained +1 WIS.
Huh looks like I got it.
Thug 1 defeated. You have gained 100 XP and +1 stat point(s)
Thug 2 defeated. You have gained 100 XP and +1 stat point(s)
Thug 3 defeated. You have gained 100 XP and +1 stat point(s)
Thug 6 defeated. You have gained 100 XP and +1 stat point(s)
Fight or Flight?!
Reward: 100 XP and +1 stat points per thug defeated. You won't suffer inhumane torture and/or death
Name: William Meyers
Race: Homo Magi
Level: Lvl 4 Next Level: 600/1,000
HP: 250/375 Regen: 1.11% (4.16) per Minute
MP: 35/687.5 Regen: 1.23% (7.56) per Minute
Stat Points: 26
Electrokinesis (Active/Passive) Lvl 3 [45.34%]: Lightning is one of the most powerful elemental forces in nature and is both powerful and destructive. This lightning is created by vibrating your mana at a certain frequency and has a magical nature. As a result, it is not as powerful as natural lightning, but in time that may not be so. The skill grows using Lightning Elemental skills and creating Lightning Elemental skills.Increases damage of Lightning Elemental skills by 56%. Decreases cost of Lightning Elemental skill by 1.5%.
Affected Skills:Lightning Palm
Lightning Palm (Active) Lvl 5 [34.25%]: Lightning Palm generates an electric charge to your hands. The charge can be used to incapacitate, or in extreme circumstances, kill opponents.60% INT damage A Fixed 50% Chance to stun Cost 55 MP
I had to say that I think I kind of looked badass; what with the sparks dancing all around me (even though they hurt) and the occasional stray spark that jumped from the water. I checked on the thugs and focused on how much HP they had left.
Thug 1: HP [25/500] (Unconscious)
Thug 2: HP [125/650] (Unconscious)
Thug 3: HP [100/500] (Unconscious)
Thug 4: HP [75/525] (Unconscious)
Thug 5: HP [60/500] (Unconscious)
Thug 6: HP [55/490] (Unconscious)
I wasn't happy or sad that they weren't dead and to be honest, I was perfectly fine with just leaving them here. If they died, well that was a risk you took when you became a crook, especially in Gotham. When you lived in Gotham for as long as I had, you got desensitized to seeing dead and/or dying bodies. You would usually come across one at least once a week if you lived in the shittier areas of town. With one last look at my adversaries and my body finally following my commands, I walked away from the scene.
If they survived, well they couldn't have seen my face so they wouldn't know who I was or where to find me. I looked at my hands and clenched my fists as I thought of this exciting night.
I just hoped that my nights weren't always this exciting.
"What the hell was that?!" I thought as I gazed on the unconscious forms of 6 full-grown men. I was donning my Batgirl Costume, my red hair now soaking wet from the rain. When I had noticed Will at the library, I of course was surprised. I more or less knew of his circumstances and I had never pegged him as someone who would spend hours on end studying for anything. It just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover.
I was actually kind of glad that I was wrong about him. He wasn't a bad kid per se, but he had a demographic that many others his age and even younger were unfortunate to have. The loss of a close family member was always a sad experience; my mother had left me when I was young so I kind of understood, but I always had my dad to set me straight and guide me when I needed and I knew I was fortunate to have him.
I assumed that Will might have had repressed hatred or something since he never really talked about what his parents were like. I realize that it was wrong of me to assume that he might turn out bad just because he didn't have someone to guide him, and I was glad that I was proven wrong. Studying together and playing chess with him was an experience and I had to wonder why he hadn't put more effort into school? I could tell that he was brilliant, yet it wasn't until recently that something happened to have caused him to want to exhibit that brilliance. I had a feeling that was probably the paranoia talking in me from living in Gotham so long.
I barely noticed the time fly as I hung out with him and I was grateful that he saved me from excusing myself by leaving before me. It had been almost time for me to do my nightly rounds as Batgirl so his departure saved me from awkwardly leaving, though I don't think he would have taken it to heart.
Since I was about to go on patrol, I figured that I might as well watch over Will and make sure he made it home safely. It wasn't that I didn't believe that he could take care of himself, but the streets of Gotham City at night on a weekend was not a place you wanted to be, especially when you lived in a less hospitable part of town. It wouldn't take me any effort since I was patrolling that area of Gotham anyway.
I couldn't say I was surprised when he found himself surrounded by 6 thugs and I was starting to wonder how he had survived for so long around here, but then again this might have been his first time staying out so late. I had been about to move into action until I noticed that he summoned Lightning from his hands and electrocuted all the thugs by using the rainwater as a conductor. I take back what I thought earlier and needless to say, I was shocked (No pun intended).
"I wonder if they are alive?" I thought as I gazed upon their unconscious or dead forms. I couldn't tell if their body was twitching because of the residual electricity or because they were alive and, to be honest...I didn't care too much. Unfortunately, I would probably get grilled by Bruce. I moved the bodies from the soaked street onto the concrete and cut a couple of powerlines to make it seem like they were the cause of the electrocution. "You owe me, Will."
Speaking of Batman aka Bruce Wayne, "I wonder if I should tell him about Will…..Nah that's a terrible idea. He'll more than likely try to confront him and end up scaring the kid away which will cause MORE complications down the line." For all he was good at, let it be known that Batman wasn't a people person and he didn't realize that some situations called for a more subtle approach.
As long as Will didn't willingly (that pun was soo not intentional) harm innocent people, then I saw no reason to bother him about his powers. Maybe I could get him to open up to me? I mean I had already found him kinda interesting before I found out he was some kind of metahuman, this was just a side quest. "This kind of situation calls for a lady's touch." all the more reason not to tell Bruce.
I was broken from my internal monologue as I realized that I had followed him all the way home. Was that creepy? "Nope, I'm was just making sure that he gets home safely. Yes, that's it." After successfully brainwashing myself and taking note of where he lived (Obviously for his safety) I decided to leave and patrol other areas of my section of Gotham. Batman and Robin had the rest covered. However, even after patrolling till well past midnight, I couldn't help but think about Will again.
I wondered if I would see him tomorrow?