Chapter 3: The old man who picked up a girl (2/3)

Turning my head around the room, I saw a blue vortex hidden behind the statue.

The magical vortex was a teleportation device which only appeared in the deepest area of the dungeon and anything that enters it will be teleported back to the entrance of the dungeon.  This was convenient as adventurers who enter dungeons for hunting items can escape the cave with lesser baggage than they had when entering the dungeon. It is especially dangerous to retrace one’s steps after travelling this deep into a dungeon considering the fact that all consumables would likely be depleted at this point.

In my case.

The situation was worse, as my level was reset to one.

If I came back the way I entered, I would die one hundred percent of the time.

I jumped into the vortex while carrying the girl, and felt the sensation of being teleported to another location.

Leaving the dungeon is easy, but the hard part has yet to come. The path to the village is filled with demons about level 20. I have to remember to avoid them at all cost.

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Well I made it home safely.

I placed Raptor in a stable and pampered him for awhile. I pet him and fed him a lot of water as thanks for his hard work. Thanks to his hard work, we barely managed to make it back to the village.

We encountered multiple demons on the way back as expected. I thought that Raptor would be able to outrun the demons easily. However, I forgot to account for the girl as his movements became much slower and we were nearly caught multiple times. I had even considered throwing the girl as bait for us to escape, but luckily it never came to that.

 

[Well now what do I do with this sleeping beauty.] (Yuuya)

 

It would be simple for me if i could just pushed her into an orphanage in the village, but judging by her looks, she seems to be about 13 or 14 years old. It would be impossible as the orphanage only takes children up to the age of 12. I myself was raised in the orphanage and kicked out when I was 12. As long as her age is unknown, it is impossible to give her to the orphanage.

Sigh, if only the girl was capable of surviving on her own. It is likely that she wouldn’t survive on her own since she had been encased in the crystal until I found her.

Well no point thinking too hard about it, I’ll just ask her about it afterwards. While waiting for her to wake up, I left the house in search of dinner.

You know what they say. Days where you don’t have time to drink, are days you enjoy a special meat pie.

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Night came and the girl was still sleeping soundly.

I was planning on waiting until the girl woke up, but my hunger started to take over as I lit a fire in the furnace and began heating up the meat pie in the oven. A delicious smell resonated throughout the house as the meat pie started to heat up.

*grrgrrgrr*

Suddenly I heard the sound of a stomach rumble. However it wasn’t mine, but the girl’s stomach.

 

[You finally woke up?] (Yuuya)

 

The girl finally woke up. She had one hand grabbing the towel I used to cover her body and her ears twitched back and forth. It was a gesture just like a pet, and it was extremely cute.

 

[Uncle.. Who?] (Girl)

[Uncle is an adventurer. My name is Yuuya. I picked you up in a dungeon that I visited. What about you? Whats your name?] (Yuuya)

[Me..? I’m….uhhh…who?] (Girl)

 

The girl started to scratch her head and wobbled back and forth. It looked as if she was a bubblehead. I expected this could happen as she appears to have amnesia. It was the worst case possible for her as she would not be able to survive alone in this harsh world.

 

[Well this uncle doesn’t know either. For the time being, let’s have dinner. You are hungry aren’t you?] (Yuuya)

 

I took out the hot meat pie from the oven and cut it. Afterwards I took out two wooden mugs and prepared cheap ale for myself to drink while preparing milk for the girl.

I placed the mugs and the meat pie on the table.

The girl noticed the food and walked over to the table sloppily, although she seems to be wary of me. Her eyes seem to be inspecting me as well as the food on the table

 

[Uncle, can this be eaten?] (Girl)

[Yes it is. It was too big for me to finish by myself so I cut it for us to share.] (Yuuya)

 

The girl inspected the meat pie carefully before sniffing it. After seemingly confirming it was safe to eat, the girl picked up the meat pie and bit into its contents. Her eyes started to quiver and shone brightly. Her whole body was shaking and her tail moved back and forth furiously.

It was extremely cute.

 

[Is it delicious?] (Yuuya)

[Yes! It is extremely delicious!!] (Girl)

[Hahaha that’s good. Eat up then. There is plenty more for us to eat in the kitchen.] (Yuuya)

 

Watching the girl eat the meat pie so wholeheartedly made me hungry as I picked up a slice.

This scene made me realize, how soft-hearted I have become.

Back in the days, I was only trying to survive. I was so desperate that I had never looked out for others. Most likely, I would had abandoned even this cute little girl for my own life.

However, I became an exclusive adventurer and learnt to nurture the new generation. When I realize that I could use my own power to save the lives of others, I felt a new sense of joy that I had never felt before.

Ah wait a minute

At this rate she’s going to finish the meat pie

Hey the meat pie is for me too.

Don’t finish everything by yourself!!

Sigh do all girls her age eat like this??

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Chapter 3: The old man who picked up a girl (1/3)

Level reset.

The Phenomenon that allows a person to reset their level back to one, with additional benefits. Their status will be reset to the values it had when the person was level one, with a boost of 10 points to all stats. An average person gains about 2 points to all stats per level, equating to a total of 98 points when they hit the level cap at 50. In comparison to the values lost to gained these 10 points, it may be insignificant. However, what made these points significant was the fact that they were bonuses, and whenever that person who manages to hit level 50, they will have an additional 10 points above everyone else.

In addition, the person will be granted an additional 20 skill points. One skill point is granted every level, leading to an additional 20 levels in terms of skill points above everyone else. Both these factors give an overwhelming advantage for someone who is aiming for the top.

[Although, it isn’t a laughing matter for a 36 years old man to be level 1. Normally, an adventurer who is level 1 enters a dungeon for the first time at an age of 11. If that is the case, they would achieve level 50 by the age of 27. Following this rate, I would already be 52 years old by the time I achieve level 50..] (Yuuya)

Although I know that won’t happen. When I started adventuring, I was just a mere adventurer who was trying to earn a living. I was desperate to stay alive back then. I couldn’t just throw my life away seeking adventures, there were many things I had to do besides becoming stronger. However, more than anything, I was completely clueless back then and had to learn everything from scratch.

The adventuring life is not a kind one. Adventurers are competing for resources, hunting the same monsters in the same dungeons for the same items. Even completing quests that are the same just to earn a living. So newcomers are often left in the dark as veterans wouldn’t teach the art of adventuring to beginners in order to secure as much resources for themselves as possible.

Back when I was an exclusive adventurer, I was one of the minority who were willing to show the ropes to beginners. I wasn’t too concerned about sharing the limited resources and took on the responsibility of mentoring new adventurers. Another reason why veterans avoided teaching beginners was the fact that it was just outright annoying. Newcomers had to be helped with everything and because even simple mistakes could had dire consequences. Strict supervision and multiple checks were required.

However, that is not the case for me right now.

I am not new to the adventuring lifestyle nor will I make simple mistakes. I have a large amount of savings as well as the equipment necessary to keep myself safe. In other words, I have the experience accumulated in this world from my first round, as well as the memories of my past life. With these, it wouldn’t even take me three years to achieve level 50. After that, I will challenge the Tower of Trials.

However.. Before any of that..

[What am I supposed to do with this girl..?] (Yuuya)

Whether it was my experience living in this world or my past life’s memories, I have never seen nor heard about a girl who was trapped in a giant crystal. She looks just like an event character, but I don’t recall an event where a girl was trapped in a gigantic crystal back in the game. Such an event didn’t exist in the game. Now that I have the memories of my past life, I can tell that the girl has the tail and ears of a fox as foxes didn’t exist in this world.

There were many demihumans that existed in this world. Dog-kin , Cat-kin, Elves, Dwarves and dragonoids. However, fox-kins were not one of them.

Well regardless, I should take her away from this room. If I were to leave a defenseless girl in the middle of a dungeon like this, I would feel guilty for the rest of my life. She probably didn’t need to eat any meals when she was trapped in the crystal, but now that she isn’t, what’s there to say that she didn’t need nutrition to survive? If she were to leave the room in search for food, and got attacked by a demon, there would be no one to help her.

I took the mantle that was used to cover her body and wrapped her instead, and started carrying her.

Heavy.

The weight wasn’t from her body, evidently by her small stature but rather the level reset has reduced my strength significantly. It has become much more difficult to perform intensive activities just due to my decrease in stats.

I smiled to myself.

I am glad to have this heavy body.

It is proof that I will be able to become stronger from now on.

Chapter 2: The Old man who reset his level (2/2)

It has been four hours since I started exploring the dungeon.

I could feel my fatigue accumulating as I ventured deeper into the cave. My body started to feel sluggish and my mind started to shut down as I look at the unchanging scenery around me.

Whenever a person’s field of vision was limited, battling becomes much more difficult as they unconsciously become more attentive to their surroundings. In this case, not just my field of vision, with my battle capabilities hindered due to the torch, I was in an uncomfortable situation where I suffered multiple handicaps whereas the monsters which dwelled in this area have the advantage as their battle capabilities weren’t hindered. Not to mention that the monsters would not require light to maneuver in combat and skills such as paralysis. Entering such a dungeon alone would be suicide.

To make matters worse, this torch also served as a moving beacon, luring every monster in the vicinity to my location. It was as if I was serving myself to them on a silver platter. I knew this the moment I entered the cave, and my instincts were screaming at me not to lower my guard. This pressure pushed my mind into hyper drive and consumed my stamina much faster than usual. However, thanks to this pressure, I have survived thus far and I have finally arrived at the third floor of the dungeon.

[This place looks exactly the same as the image back then] (Yuuya)

If my memory is correct, the hidden room that contains the level reset function should be somewhere in this area.

As I investigated the area, I found a pure white stone monument standing in a corner. According to the image, this monument should be the entrance to the hidden room.

I walked to the side of the monument and leaned my body weight onto the monument to push it, revealing a secret door hidden in the wall. For some reason, I knew that it was a door that was sealed using magic, and that it required specific conditions before a person could open the door.

I placed my hand on the door.

*RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE*

The sealed door started to rumble and opened itself, revealing a secret room.

Just how did I know, that I needed to be level 50 to open this door?

In the first place, it was impossible for anyone to discover this place, much less figure out how to open this door.

For an adventurer to coincidentally discover this dungeon, decide to enter the dungeon despite its difficulty and inefficiency compared to normal dungeons. After spending their energy and stamina travelling in the dungeon for over four hours, push aside a white monument that could possibly be a trap, revealing a door that can only be opened by a person who was level 50. There were too many variables and even if the person was blessed with the best luck, it was still unreasonable to expect a level 50 adventurer to enter a dungeon filled with monsters leveled 30 at best.

The person would need to know about the hidden room to actually find it.

Thinking about it calmly, it was even more unreasonable.

In the first place, resetting their levels was every adventurers’ dream. If they had obtained unsatisfactory statuses like I did, they would had chosen to reset and start all over. If anyone knew about the level reset function, news about it would had spread all around the world.  Which means that if it was still unknown, then the conditions was impossible to be discovered by mere coincidence.

[Could this really happen…??] (Yuuya)

As I wondered to myself, I entered the hidden room. My heartbeats became harder and louder, and my expectation was growing more and more.

[What the hell is this room?] (Yuuya)

I turned off my torch as the room was illuminated by a magic stone called Photonic Crystal.

At the back of the room, there was a statue of a goddess made by chalk. It was the very same statue that appeared in my mind. The vision I saw turned out to be reality, I did find the room that contained the level reset function. However, I did not know what to do.

[How do I activate the level reset function.] (Yuuya)

I was clueless and afraid. I knew that this place existed and what it could do, but I did not know how to activate its function. When I thought that I might not be able to reset my level despite discovering this place, I couldn’t stop shivering in fear.

[Wait a minute, what’s that?] (Yuuya)

As I looked around the room, I noticed a large transparent crystal at the side of the room.

[A girl with animal ears… and a tail?] (Yuuya)

The crystal contained a girl around the age of 14. Her eyes were closed and she had beautiful reddish golden hair with animal ears and a tail. If they were dog ears, she would be a dog-kin, however it was obvious that her ears and tail was much larger than a dog-kin.

For some reason, I felt myself being drawn to the crystal as I extended my hand and placed it on the surface of the crystal. As if I knew what would happen, I quickly extended both my hands. The crystal shattered as my hand touched the surface and I grabbed the girl in a princess carry. Any normal adventurer would never do this. It was a risk to expect the girl not to be a monster, especially when the person was alone. However, I knew that she wasn’t.

[Are you alright?] (Yuuya)

As I carried the girl, she started to open her eyes. She sloppily turned her eyes and looked at me.

[I…Was…..Waiting…Forever…] (Girl)

[What do you mean by that?] (Youya)

[It’s time to remember. The memory of your distant past.] (Girl)

The girl extended her hands, placing them on the back of my neck. She pulled my face towards hers, and I felt my lips connect with hers. After kissing me, the girl went back to sleep, and I laid her on the ground.

Information started flowing into my brain like an open dam. Information that felt like memories. A huge influx of memories starting swirling into my brain. Memories about a man, born into a country called Japan. He grew up and became a typical salary man. It was a normal life where the man worked everyday without any trouble, but he would not be successful in life. No matter how much he tried, his achievements would never be his. Other people would present the results he produced and gain the achievement. Even so he continued trying his best. That man felt strangely familiar, as if he was close to him. As if it was him himself.

[What the hell is this?? What is going on?? This isn’t me. That CANT be me.] (Youya)

No.. It definitely is me, but yet it isn’t. That isn’t me.

[It’s my previous life…] (Yuuya)

As I came to that conclusion, the memory about the man, spending all his leisure time into playing a game flowed into my brain. A game that looked exactly the same as this world.. My world.

[If that was truly my previous life, then according to the memory, I know how to activate the level reset function] (Yuuya)

I took one of the light crystals that was set onto the walls of the room, and placed it into the necklace of the goddess’s chest. The light crystal fit perfectly into the necklace and starts to emit a soft light.

[Welcome, adventurer with power. Congratulations on your journey thus far. I am an artifact created with the goal of making adventurers stronger by sacrificing their levels. Are you willing to give up the levels you have built up thus far, in exchange for becoming stronger?] (Goddess statue)

According to the memories, this statue allows a person to reset their level, in turn sacrificing all the experience gained. My journey had been a painful one. I had no choice but to stick with my weak status, fighting battles with a handicap. I wish to restart and be reborn, and be rewarded for all my hard work.

[I do.] (Yuuya)

[The ritual has been accepted. Adventurer Yuuya. From now on, your level will be reset back to level one, and you will be reborn.] (Goddess Statue)

The soft light starts to illuminate even further, becoming harsher and hotter. The light started to overflow from the necklace and envelop my body. My body started heating up, as if I was being disintegrated. After a brief moment, the light starts to dissipate.

I was reborn.

[You have been reborn. You are now level one and every skill you have attained up to this point has been lost.] (Goddess Statue)

A status card was displayed from the statue.

My status had reset back to how it was at level 1, and I was no longer a “Warrior” class. I was released from the miserable status that gave me the worst stats ever possible.

[Exactly the same as my memory…] (Yuuya)

In addition, I received a 10 point bonus for each stat and 20 skill points. Normally an average person’s stats increased by 2 points and gained one skill point per level. This meant that I had a 5 level and 20 level bonus respectively.

[With this, I will be able to aim for the top. To be the strongest again.] (Yuuya)

I walked to the fountain in the middle of the room, and looked my reflection.

I saw the same 36 years old middle-aged face.

However, this time it looked full of vitality, as if it was a young adult who had the face of an old man.

[I am convinced now. That the reincarnation was real.] (Yuuya)

Apparently I was reincarnated into a world similar to the game that I had played, and lived without any memories of my past life. It was a blessing in disguise. If I had my memories right from the beginning, I wouldn’t had been able to adapt to this world. It would had been impossible to fight monsters and endure the rice in this world.

[Looks like I have finished my first round in this world.] (Yuuya)

Normally it would be a disaster to have your level reset back to one as an adventurer. It would be impossible to accomplish anything and death would come before you even hit level 50 again. Normally.

With my accumulated experience as an adventurer from round one, and my knowledge accumulated from my previous life. If they are used together, nothing is impossible. I will be able to become much stronger.

It is about time I was rewarded for my efforts.

There are many things I want to do, but for some reason, I know that I absolutely must not abandon this girl.

[I wasn’t planning to anyway] (Yuuya)

I placed a mantle over the girl’s body.

This was the start of my second round in another world.

Chapter 2: The Old man who reset his level (1/2)

In a forest far from the village, a man could be seen riding a horse-like creature at a speed impossible for horses. The creature’s species was known as Raptors. Raptors were faster and stronger than average horses as well as more useful in combat than trained horses. They were useful creatures that can be found in dungeons and were often tamed by adventurers due to the massive advantages that they provided.

In their current situation, if a person were to determine their destination, that person would merely assume the adventurer to be travelling into the wilderness blindly seeking adventure. That person would never guess that the travelling adventurer destination was a room which could perform the impossible.

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It appeared in my mind again… The hidden room.

Why can’t I stop thinking about the room?  Why do I continue to believe in a fairy tale?

A room capable of resetting a person’s level.

I just can’t imagine such a convenient room existing in this world.

If it did exist, why wasn’t it discovered long ago? Such a room would had been famous worldwide in the blink of an eye.  

If it was impossible for such a room to exist, why am I still trying to aim for the dungeon that appeared in my head?

Sigh I must look like an idiot. I know that it is impossible and yet, I still want to go to that dungeon to confirm it for myself. I never realized it but I really am bad at giving up huh. Probably the worst in the whole world.

I probably realized it a long time ago.. That if I had given up my dream of becoming the strongest, I would had fell into depression a long time ago.

Subconsciously, I knew that even if I did obtain a power beyond my status, even with all the training I have done.. No. Even if I did have a normal status, I would not have been able to clear the Tower of Trials, and continued running from it without giving up.

It feels like I have been waiting all this time, waiting for something.

At this moment, something appeared in the distance and the heat in my chest started to radiate even further.

For the sake of resetting my level, I continued to ride towards the entrance of the dungeon that has to contain the level reset room.
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In this world, dungeons weren’t considered a national threat, but rather a form of resource. If the monsters within were defeated, they would drop items which could be used or sold for money. There were also monsters that could be tamed as well as treasure chests containing rare items. These monsters and chests would re-spawn once every week, thus dungeons were a resource that provided endless amounts of materials and treasures. Seeking this valuable resource, towns and villages were often built near dungeons. Time to time, monsters would escape from the dungeons and wreck havoc inside the towns and villages, however people were still willing to take the risk as the dungeons had provided more benefits than the risks provided.

Dungeons located away from human civilization were called Wild Dungeons.

These dungeons were often considered more dangerous than normal dungeons for various reasons. For domesticated dungeons,  adventurers frequently enter in hopes of hunting valuable materials or discovering treasure chests. This causes the number of monsters in the dungeon to be regulated every week as adventurers continue to hunt for their income. However this wasn’t the case for wild dungeons. Wild dungeons were dungeons that were uncontrolled. As there are rarely adventurers entering these dungeons, the dungeons are filled with monsters and it would be impossible to ask for help once caught in a dire situation.

If the secret room existed, this is likely the reason why it was never noticed.

The dungeon I arrived in appears to be a Wild Dungeon.

[It seems that this dungeon is a cave-type.] (Yuuya)

Cave dungeons were one of the most disliked dungeons among adventurers due to their low visibility and low efficiency. They are one of the dungeons that requires utmost diligence from any adventurers who aim to conquer them as adventurers are required to carry a light source with them, thus hindering their combat prowess. In addition, many monsters that dwell in cave dungeons typically hide in the shadows to attack unsuspecting adventurers from their blind spots or incapacitate them. With such a high difficulty rate, many adventurers often neglect cave-type dungeons as their rewards was not worth the effort that was required to conquer the dungeon.

[If only I had a magic flare with me.] (Yuuya)

 I muttered unknowingly as I took out my magic torch and held it in my left hand. Magic torches were torches which illuminated the surroundings whereas Magic Flares were capable of serving as a similar light source while repelling monsters.

Magic flares were especially effective for cave explorations as it was a light source that did not attract monsters, but rather dissuade them from approaching as monsters disliked the light it emitted.

I continued my exploration of the dungeon holding a short sword in my right hand rather than my usual two-handed long sword as my left hand was currently holding the torch. Being unable to hold my trusted sword made me feel extremely uneasy as I wouldn’t be able to perform at my 100%. I tightened my grip onto the short sword as I resolved myself to enter the cave.

Just as I was feeling comfortable walking inside the cave, I felt a sudden chill rush down my spine. Following my instinct, I jumped to the right and turned to my original position as I regained my footing, catching something launch itself onto my previous location. It was a Tyrant Snake, a large snake the size of an adult’s neck which produced a paralytic poison on its fang. It was also capable of moving soundlessly and managed to enter my blind spot before launching its attack. If it was successful then I would had easily been paralyzed and slowly suffocated as the snake wrapped itself around my neck. However, I am a trained swordsman who was capable of unconsciously detecting presences entering my range, a skill which only the best swordsmen possessed.

Taking advantage of the recoil from its rush, I dropped the torch onto the ground as I ran over, grabbing the snake’s head with an eagle’s grip and forcing it onto the ground with my iron boot, immobilizing its head as it’s body thrashed around trying to break free. However, before that happened I swung down my short sword onto its neck severing its head from its body as it’s body turned into blue particles. Judging from the experience points from the battle, the dungeon seemed to be around level 20 to level 30 as I picked up my torch, continuing deeper into the dungeon.

Chapter 1 – The old man remembered

As the night ended, the sun could be seen in the horizon, rising into the sky.

It was sunrise, and it was time for my daily training. Grasping my trusty, overused sword, I left my home. My sword wasn’t a flashy sword by any means. It was merely an easy to use, thick and heavy long sword. However, it was a magical sword which possesses a highly advanced magical enchantment, “Restoration”, possessing the ability to recover any damage sustained to the blade. It was my trusted sword which has kept me alive until this point. I prayed that it would never break and I would continue to wield it. It was the sword that I loved, and will continue to until the very end.

I began my training which became a daily routine for me every morning. I closed my eyes, pictured an imaginary enemy to battle with in my mind. Then I slowly traced the techniques and skills that were ingrained into my body during my adventuring days, slowly allowing my body to remember the sensations when I was risking my life fighting powerful enemies.

In this world, things such as “Levels” and “Stats” existed. It determined a person’s Attack power, Defense, Agility and Magic Power. However, a person’s strength did not come just from his stat parameters or his level. It also came in the form of a person’s spirit and their training. At the very least, in the most desperate of situations, only a heart of steel honed from vigorous training will a person be able to survive.

If an attack is unable to land, it doesn’t matter how high your attack parameters are. If a person’s defense is inadequate, it does not matter how high your defensive parameters are. If an attack misses or a defense is sloppy, then it is pointless. Hence a person’s status does not measure his full combat capabilities. However, with training and proper techniques, a person’s combat effectiveness could surpass the limit of their status. Techniques allowed one to utilize their whole body to add weight to their attacks as well as target vital points and defend against attacks beyond their defensive parameters.

I believed this. No, I had to believe it.

If a person’s combat effectiveness was determined by their status, then I would be the laughing stock of all warriors. An average person would have their stat parameters increase by 2 whenever they leveled up, but my stats was inferior to that. My stats had only increased by one. This went on as Youya approached the level cap of 50.

Even so, I desired to get stronger and realize my dream, refining my sword techniques and training my body everyday, refusing to give up. I believed that a person’s “Status” was just a strength that existed to compensate for the lack of training required to become stronger and training would be much more beneficial to becoming stronger and obtaining a heart as strong as steel.

    [Phew. Feels like my body isn’t as old as I thought. I can still move pretty well.] (Yuuya)

Every-time I swung my sword, I could feel my body’s senses sharpen to their limits. It was as if my nerves were connected to the tip of the sword and my whole body moved as one, following the image in my head.

However, techniques wasn’t enough to fill the gaping hole in my status. At level 50, the difference in my stats and an average person was so large that no amount of training and swordsmanship would be capable of filling that gap. In order to overcome that gap, I had obtained a secret power. A power that no one was aware of, a power only I possessed.

I was always curious about the phenomenon known as “Status”. I wanted to know why and how a person became stronger as his level increases. However, curiosity killed the cat as I had found myself in a dangerous situation piqued by my curiosity. Thinking that my life was over, I closed his eyes assuming it was the end. Suddenly, I saw a door appear in front of him. When I tried to push it open, I understood that the door that signified the limit of my status. I understood the mysterious power that is the “Status” in the world and obtained a secret strength which no one has seen before.

A power which allowed me to obtain a status on par with others, a power given to me by the world.

A world, that was only for me.

After completing my morning training, I headed over to the guild.

I approached the reception lady to look for requests to complete. Fortunately, there wasn’t any request that required my attention. However as it was my last day, I wasn’t going to say it out loud as the guild staff approached me, giving me gifts and their words of thanks. Loneliness crept up into my heart, as I knew that I would miss everyone in the village.

After visiting the guild, I returned home to prepare my luggage. As I was preparing my luggage I came across a set of photographs that I placed faced down when I arrived. They were the photographs depicting my party before we decided to challenge the Tower of Trials.

One of the photos showed Youya’s party in one of the big cities starting their adventure, with another photo showing everyone in the party.

In the photos, there was a young verison of me, another young man, an Elven girl  and a large Dragonoid man laughing together. It was a fairly young party who were aiming for the top and were challenging a super high difficulty dungeon at the moment. The young man and Elf were both my disciples. They were people who were brimming with talent and blessed with high statuses, surpassing me extremely quickly and becoming even stronger.

    [Seriously. After living in this village all these years, I never expected someone to invite me to the Tower of Trials once more. Thanks you Ain, you helped me remember things that should not be forgotten.]  (Yuuya)

Feeling nostalgic, I smiled towards the young man in the photograph, remembering the young man’s words as he hit level 50.

    [Master let’s challenge the Tower of Trials together! If it is us, our party, we can definitely do it! And once we do, we will finally be real heroes!] (Young man)

At the time, I felt a wave of despair rush over my body. The tower was something that could only be cleared by forming a party composed of the best adventurers in the world. It was as difficult as it was rewarding. Clearing the tower would allow a person to go past level 50 as well as treasures that one could only wish for. However, that wasn’t all there was to it. Entering the tower would cause the party to be cursed, preventing any of them from leaving the tower. The only way to escape the tower was to clear the trials that appeared in the tower. The tower itself had a survival rate of 2%.

I refused the young man’s invitation and left the party knowing that with my incompetence, I would only be dragging the party down. I was too weak to utilize my hidden gift and that would ultimately lead to the party’s demise. Thus I found a substitute for myself and left the city.

After that, I threw away my dream of becoming the strongest. Time passed and I became an exclusive adventurer in a secluded village, challenging intermediate dungeons for my retirement savings while looking after the novice adventurers there.

However, just as I was about to enter retirement, one of my former disciples, Ain, asked me to challenge the Tower of Trials together with him, reminding me of my party mate, Leonard. The flames that were extinguished when I ran from the Tower, started burning once more. The passion that was distinguished, the urge to become stronger and the drive to move forward. The waves of emotions became stronger and stronger.

    [Whats this? You left your talented disciples behind. The disciples who respected and believed in you because you were afraid of challenging the Tower. Why would you behave like this now? After all these years? No, you knew the answer from the start. You knew it all along.] (Youya)

As I reprimanded himself, I knew the answer in his heart was always there. I always wanted to become stronger. I always wanted to be the strongest, even with the setback of having a bad status, I wished to become stronger. It was the reason why I continued training everyday. It was impossible to maintain a person’s techniques and experience without practicing everyday. It was also the reason why I did not sell my powerful magic items despite being worth a fortune. It was a necessity for me to challenge a dungeon with these items. Realizing my own weakness, I thought I gave up on my dreams, but deep down I never did.

When I heard rumors about my first disciple, Leonard attempting to challenge the Tower of Trials with a new party, my feelings weren’t pride of having a disciple who cleared the tower, nor was it the relief of knowing my disciple survived the tower, but regret that I could not be there to challenge the trial with him.

I have always felt frustrated at my status, thinking that if only I did not have such a weak status, at the very least I wished to go back to level 1. I thought that if it meant getting a better status, I would not mind restarting over. In fact I would welcome it. However it was impossible. The only other way he could compensate for his weak status was with extremely powerful magic items.

At that moment, waves of emotions begun taking over my body. My hands felt hot and my head felt heavy. Unable to control the emotions, I stumbled and pushed my hands against the wall.

Suddenly, several sentences appeared into Yuuya’s mind

    A person who has reached level 50 can have their level reset in a hidden room of a dungeon

    When their level is reset, their stat parameters will rise and they will obtain skill points.

    Although the way to reset a person’s level is limited, there are ways to raise a person’s status to its maximum potential

    Based on research, the best way to increase a person’s stats would be a Magic Warrior

    Magic Custom can create cheats and other magical numbers

    Using magical equipment allows a person to exploit a bug in the status system

    Do not challenge the Tower of Trials. The Tower is adjusted based on the assumption that the challengers are made of parties with the highest status.

    [HAHAHHAA. That sounds ridiculous.](Yuuya)

    [That is basically all I ever wanted isn’t it? Despite finishing with this shitty status. I can just reset my level to increase my status!? And add the skill points I gain to become even stronger??? That sounds so ridiculous.] (Yuuya)

I felt bitter. Ever since I considered the possibility that my stat increments could be fixed instead of random, I gave up. It was impossible to become the strongest. If someone was blessed with the best status in the world, obtained the strength that I took decades to obtain. The strength to compensate for my lack of status. That person would truly become the strongest.

Suddenly, the image of a hidden room in a dungeon appeared in my mind. It was like a dream come true, like a delusion. A passion that could not be thrown away, after many years, was showing me visions. Is it was possible to have something this convenient?

However, even so.

    [There is no reason for me not to go. I should go even if theirs only a 0.001% chance.] (Yuuya)

I am definitely crazy. My brain is telling me that it is impossible for such a thing to exist but my heart and body are telling me otherwise. I am definitely bad at giving up. If I had truly given up adventuring then I would had stopped my daily training to maintain my body. I knew that it was futile to try and improve my status and merely accepted my bad luck as my fate.

Still remembering the actions, Youya prepared himself for traveling and left the city, heading towards the dungeon containing the hidden room, convinced that he would be able to start over.

Still remembering the image of the dungeon, I prepared myself to travel and left the city, heading towards the dungeon and trying to convince myself that I would get a second chance.