Published at 10th of April 2023 10:08:33 AM

Chapter 11: Learning The Way

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The lesson Astaroth received brought him well into the day. He eventually had to log out, so he thanked the old mage and prepared to leave.

"Call me Aberon, young man. Calling me master all the time will make me irritable." The old man said.

For the first time since meeting him, Astaroth scanned the old man.


Level: ???

Grade: Rare

Class: ???

Health: ???

Mana: ???

While he was scanning and reading his info, most of what he could see were question marks. Aberon huffed.

"Don't waste your time, lad. You are years too early to scan my info out of me. And don't do that to just anybody."

"Stronger people, especially mages, will feel it when you probe into their business. So I recommend you don't do it to people who look stronger than you." The old man said, a look of disapproval on his face.

"Ahh. I'm sorry, Master Aberon. Far from me the intention to be rude." Astaroth quickly apologized, bowing repeatedly.

"Bah. Water under the bridge. Just don't make a habit of doing it." Aberon said, waving his hand.

"I need to go now, sir. I wish you well and will be back in a couple of days." Astaroth said, bowing one last time.

He turned and headed out. The old man simply waved him goodbye.

Astaroth walked back to his alcove, lied down, and logged out. He had work in the morning, he couldn't play anymore.

Of course, he could have taken the week off if he wanted, but that was not his type at all. He liked his job and wasn't at a level of gaming where he could join Esports and win his bread that way.

It was his wish, but he just wasn't there yet. Apart from winning some amateur competitions in his last game, he wasn't competent or lucky enough.

After logging off, Alexander took a shower and opened up some forums to read up on game news for a while.

From those, he saw many people complaining that Ash Elves were a bust since no one could walk out of the villages because of the levels of monsters all being over 30.

On another topic, he learned that the first player to reach level ten had unlocked the level leaderboard. Now players were competing to have the limited spots on it, and there were only a hundred.

'I'm pretty far from that for now.' He thought.

Alexander kept reading through the post and found the leaderboard lower. He read through the names to see if there were players from the heavenly thousand from 'ToB'.

He found none for now, but he could guess that those players had insider information and that they were probably strengthening their foundations.

He scrolled to a different post, where the user was complaining about how the game was too hard. He cried about how most players could not fight over one monster of a similar level at a time and that most monsters traveled in groups.

People responded to him, calling him 'dumb' or 'weak'. Others told him to do like everybody else and form groups.

Some even complained about how forming groups didn't fix the problem that much if the group had no healer. Overall, the players felt like the game was hard.

After reading that post and chuckling a little, he closed his computer, ate a bite, and went to bed.

A good night's sleep later, Alexander woke up fresh and well-rested, like a Monday morning. After creeping his way to his kitchen counter, he tapped his coffee machine until it beeped and waited for his cup to brew.

He only started feeling alive after three sips of coffee. After which, he went to purge.

He then sat down in front of his television and watched the morning news whilst drinking his coffee. It was the same as usual.

The world kept turning; the economy kept getting worse, and people kept getting poorer.

'Oh, well.' He thought.

Alexander lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment because that was how he could keep saving money. He needed nothing fancy, and although he would love to splurge, he was ok with his life as it was.

Alexander finished his coffee and got ready for work. He took public transit for thirty minutes and walked another five before reaching his workplace.

He was a welder in a factory. Nothing too prestigious, but it paid the bills and then some.

He clocked in, worked his shift, and clocked out. Alexander talked little to his coworkers and mostly ate his lunch alone with music in his ears.

He was not reserved or anything, he just hated the people there. Alexander had tried making friends when he got the job, but when he talked about how his dream was to become a paid Esports player, most of them started laughing and shunned him.

Some even went as far as calling him a 'loser' for thinking it was a realistic career choice.

He stopped talking to all of them at that point. It wasn't worth his energy to socialize with people who couldn't do better than to drag others down because they couldn't achieve their goals.

He would just keep trying until he could prove them wrong.

After eight hours of repetitive work, Alexander clocked out and took the commute back home. He stopped at a convenience store after walking off the bus to get a frozen meal and walked back home.

He entered his apartment and heated his frozen meal, ate it, and hurriedly sat in his chair, reclining it back. He then pressed the power button and launched 'New Eden'.

*Launching 'New Eden'*

*Logging in*

*Welcome back player Astaroth*

With the short feeling of free fall and the flash of bright colors, he opened his eyes to the familiar ceiling of his in-game alcove. He had around twelve hours of in-game time to play.

So he rushed out of his alcove and ran straight to the barracks.

The trainer was waiting there for him as he had told him he would. He walked up to the man and bowed.

"Teacher, I am ready for training!" He said as he bowed.

"Perfect timing! I just came back from my training in the forest. Now I get to toy with you until you drop." The sword trainer said, grinning mischievously.

"Let's get this training started, shall we?" He added.

The trainer grabbed a polearm from a nearby rack and threw it at Astaroth, grabbed one other for him, and walked to the sparring zone. Astaroth followed him there.

"What I will teach you is the ways of the 'Weapons Master'. Since you can manipulate mana well enough to be a mage, but still want to learn martial arts, I will teach you how to wield many weapons." The trainer explained.

"The reason for this is that mana can reinforce your attacks, so you won't need to learn any specific art to be strong. That will also widen your arsenal enough that you never end up in a disadvantageous fight." He added.

"This training will require many days. Are you ready?" The trainer asked.

"Yes, Teacher!" Astaroth said, getting in a fighting position as best he could with this unknown weapon to him.

"Good! That's the spirit!" The trainer said, before getting in position too.

They spared for most of the day, with Kloud giving Astaroth pointers every time he clapped him. After almost all day sparring, Astaroth finally got proof of his advancement.


*You have learned 'Basic Polearm training'*

Before he could celebrate, the trainer smacked his polearm hard, forcing it out of his hands, before sweeping him off his feet.

"Oof!" He said, dropping on his back.

"Keep your eyes on me, next time lad, aha!" The trainer laughed.

He then helped him up.

"You have reached a level high enough for now. Let's call it a day and train another weapon next time. What say you?" He asked.

"I shall follow your recommendations, teacher!" Astaroth said with a nod.

"Good. Then go wash up and rest. I will wait for you here when you are ready for your next lesson." The trainer said, before walking inside the barracks to do the same.

Astaroth bowed and left. He walked to the river, washed up, and walked to his alcove.

He had been connected for a little over eleven hours in-game. So he had to log out now.

He lay down on his cot and did just that.

After logging out, he repeated what he had done the night before. He showered and then browsed the forums for a bit.

He looked up the level leaderboard and saw that the ranks had moved little and the top of the board had barely leveled 3 times ever since last night. From that, he could glean that leveling became increasingly hard the higher you were.

That was good news. That meant he wouldn't lag too far behind.

He closed the forums after a while and went to sleep.

The rest of his week proceeded in the same fashion. Wake up, go to work, come back home, eat, log in and play, log out, wash up, forum surf, and go to sleep.

The closer he got to Friday, the more the weekend crept up, and the more he was excited. After clocking out on Friday, he kept stomping his foot on the commute home, and he almost ran out of the bus once there.

He stopped at the store, grabbed food for the weekend, and ran home. This weekend, the trainer has promised to bring him out during his patrols, to help him gain experience in actual combat situations.

Alexandre couldn't wait to patrol. That meant he would level up!

He quickly ate, showered, and got ready to log in.

'I'll be catching up now.' He thought, smiling.

*Launching 'New Eden'*

*Logging in*

*Welcome back player Astaroth*

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