Prologue: Daichi (Part 1 of 2)
I never remember my dreams. In fact, I can’t remember one dream I’ve ever had.
Sometimes when I wake up, I wonder whether it’s normal not to dream.
I forget almost as soon as I think it though. It feels too hard to stay interested in just about anything.
As I wake up and open my still sleepy eyes, I look up at my ceiling. Speckled and white, like most. It’s the same thing I see everyday when I wake up. It’s just about as interesting as anything else that I see or that happens in my life.
I open my <Status> window.
| -Status- |
| Name: | Daichi Seishin |
| Level: | 5 |
| Race: | Human | ??? | ??? |
| Title(s): | None |
| Divine Protection: | None | Attribute(s): | None |
| Health: | 100/100 |
| Mana: | Sealed |
| Strength: | 8 | Dexterity: | 8 |
| Vitality: | 8 | Endurance: | 24 |
| Intelligence: | 40 | Wisdom: | 40 |
| Magical Aptitude: | ??? | Luck: | 1 |
| Skill(s): | | None |
| Ability: | | None |
| Inheritance: | | None |
My status window appeared right before my eyes, not too far and not too close. My Status window has barely changed since I unlocked it. All humans unlock their status window when they turn 12.
Of course it’s possible to strengthen yourself, your stats (which are a representation of your abilities) without seeing or knowing what’s on your status window, but the window quantifies it. It is one of the oldest forms of magic in existence. Every human has it, and my father has theorized that all sentient beings have a status window ability, after all, it’s a magic that is enforced by nature, by the very laws of the universe (or so we assume). That’s why it doesn’t cost any mana to activate and deactivate the spell. It’s because the spell is powered by nature (probably).
I might not work out but I jog. It allows me to do something productive while trying not to think. My dad won’t let me train so I can’t get much stronger, he won’t let me, never has. Luckily he let’s me read. He encourages me to learn. Although I think his main purpose has been focused on teaching me right and wrong. I find it ironic considering he’s not particularly moral, and yet it’s been one of the things he’s focused on me the most.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so cold towards him for the past few years and honestly I can’t even remember why anymore. Every time I try to remember I get this annoying headache, a pain starts forming in the back of right eye. I always play it off and try not to think about it… But that never stops the curiosity from eventually seeping back in. I’ve laid awake at at night a few times wondering why it feels like instead of not remembering it feels more like I’m trying not to remember. Which makes me wonder whether I should.
I’m 5’8, not tall, but not short. I’m of average build, leaning a bit towards the skinny end, but it suits me. I have black hair that curls up at the ends and I never bother to cut it until it’s long enough that it goes past my eyebrows and curls enough to bother my eyes. Like now, like routine, I’ll need a hair cut soon. Perpetual bed hair no matter what I do, so I never bother too much. Besides, it doesn’t look bad me, it just makes me look like I don’t care. My eyes are dark brown with flecks of amber near my irises. I’m well aware of what I look like, I spend a good amount of my time on introspection. I’ve long since come to believe that only by getting to know who you are can you understand others.
Even as I think think these thoughts I wave my status window away. I am not strong, but it doesn’t matter. In this world, the strong are rare and weak are everywhere. Even at a mere Level 5. I am not much weaker than most people my age, in fact most people my age even the ones that work at it aren’t really much stronger. Sometimes I wonder how the window quantifies our levels when the stats and levels don’t seem to match up before level 10. There have been some books written on this, because it’s so widely commented on, one of those unexplained phenomenons that make something reliable less so. After all if the purpose or the use of the status window is to quantify our strengths, then naturally people would find it strange to trust the windows when not only do we not know how our strength is being quantified but how our levels are being gauged before level 10.
Although the research on this has been limited of course. Keeping the information on your status window secret is widespread practice. No one wants to just give away all of the knowledge that essentially makes up who they are. At least that’s how people see it anyways.
With my looks I don’t come off as weak. I am not particularly handsome, but I know that when I look at someone, when I really look at them, my eyes capture them and as I look right through them they always look away first. I think I learned it when I was a child… But no one feels comfortable being stared at with an expression they can’t figure out. It’s unsettling to most people.
Nothing ever changes here. I’m not allowed to make anything change, no one is, no one wants too. Everyone is so damn happy. I don’t understand why everyone thinks happiness is such an amazing thing. I’ve always thought being content means being bored. Everyone is so happy… and I don’t understand why. How can they be so happy day in and day out without having nothing to excite them is what I always wonder. Perhaps what I’m actually wondering is how they can truly believe they’re happy if they’ve never had loss, or pain. All of them are happy, or think they are… But I think they are just content. Content and unwilling to risk losing their peaceful lives and experience pain for something more.
The knowledge that my tomorrow is going to be no worse and no better than today leaves me feeling empty. That’s how I start my day. Feeling emptiness because of my discontent. Discontent for no other reason than because I think about why I should be content and reason that it’s just not enough.
Even as I am stuck wondering these things (that I’ve thought before and that I know i’ll think again) I hear my dad calling me from downstairs. He always wakes up early. He’s a philosopher and he spends most of his time wandering about aimlessly. Always claiming that “Only by being aimless and you see purpose where others thought there was none” I think it’s just bullshit.
He’s pretty worthless, but I have to admit, every so often he says something interesting, thinks something interesting.
I suppose when you spend all of your time thinking about things that would ordinarily not matter to most people, eventually you stop thinking what everyone else does and start thinking something different even original.
My mom died at childbirth, I think that was one of the reasons he fell apart, became a shell of himself and stopped bothering with trying to achieve and settled for trying to understand.
In my limited experience, which has mainly come from watching him… I’ve come to the conclusion that aiming to understand (while admirable) is ultimately meaningless without the desire to achieve. Knowledge without application is just knowledge waiting to be forgotten and lost.
My mother must have meant a lot to him. I sometimes wish I had that, I wish for a lot of things sometimes, only as much as a passing thought though. I spend a lot of my time wishing for things, just because I want things to change, I want things to be different, I don’t even care how, I just want… Purpose?
Hah… That makes me feel pathetic. I feel pathetic when I start to realize how similar I am to my dad and how I’m really no different. I complain in my mind to myself constantly… Yet I’ve never done anything about it.
My dad doesn’t talk too much about the world as it used to be, but we still learn enough in school and I love reading. Reading allows me to learn and I love to know more, I love to learn the things that other people refuse to tell me. The world used to be very violent. There were unexplored and uncleared dungeons. People struggled to get stronger, Monsters lived in packs and close enough to towns and cities that people feared for their lives.
The Adventurer’s Guild used to be one of the most prominent powers in the world. Almost everyone was a member, and almost everyone struggled to some extent to get stronger, not because of ambition but need.
The Church had power on par with all of the kingdoms. People prayed to different Gods for their blessings.
War between the Kingdoms wasn’t uncommon, in fact it happened (from what I’ve gathered) cyclically. Every 20 or so years one Kingdom would trigger some sort of event with another and war would soon breakout. The history books write about the many reasons why these wars happened, because of the animosity between the people, because some Duke or King was assassinated, because the Church willed the people to move against some unknown evil.
I think I take up after my father in this regard too. I think a lot of it seems too… Straightforward, as if these accounts of the past; in their effort to speak of the past evils of man, are still trying to barely scratch the surface. I think there’s more to it than that. After all if there weren’t, why would these people keep making the same mistakes? Not even the mistakes of their grandfathers or more but their own fathers?
Over 1004 years ago peace began to reign throughout my world. Of course it’s written that is wasn’t as simple as that, peace didn’t come over night and nor was it was simple as the Gods saying so and it being done. Apparently it was at that moment that the Gods chose to stop paying attention to us, they just up and left I guess?
No one knows and even know the controversy still continues over what happened to the Gods. The Church has barely any influence over the people, I can’t imagine what it used to be like based on what the books say. It’s just so unimportant like everything else now. Even the Adventurer’s Guild that used to matter doesn’t anymore.
Soon after the Gods made their announcement of peace. The levels of the Dungeons dropped. Heroes and warriors and adventurers noticed it quickly and flocked to make their mark on the world, to claim quests and complete dungeons only to realize that once a dungeon was cleared, the monsters would be gone.
Monsters no longer randomly spawned into the world anymore. No one knew where they came from before and the major running theory used to be that they were created through Mana by the world. That theory was clearly proven wrong. Mana still exists, it’s weaker, but it still exists, we still have mages, magicians and wizards but no longer are their jobs what they used to be. They make inventions and make the world even easier for the masses. As if everything wasn’t easy enough as it is.
Monsters still exist of course, some can still breed, but with their numbers dwindling and seemingly nothing in comparison to ours, they closed themselves off from the world. Rare magical beasts disappeared altogether.
The world became man’s.