Ever since I was a child, I was considered average.
Nothing happened especially at the time I was brought into the world. There weren’t any planets or stars that aligned at that exact moment, nor was there a disaster signaling the end of an era. It was a perfectly normal and uneventful birth.
Growing up, I lived with normal working parents inside an average neighborhood. I went to a school near my home, just like most children my age. I made friends like a normal kid, and played with them sometimes right after school was over for the day.
That’s right, I, Sairenji Kyouya, had been living an average lifestyle.
Although I had no talent for sports, nor moving my body, I was fairly proficient in playing games. Like most kids out there, gaming was something you could try your hand at, no matter who you are.
In middle school, I started getting into games too much since it was a hobby of mine to play everyday. Before I even noticed it, it became an essential part of my everyday life. I don’t know if it was a good thing though..
During my 2nd year in middle school, I accidentally got into an argument with a group of delinquents. Long story short, I rambled on and on about how wrong they were about a certain game that I don’t even remember now, nor did I remember why I did that in the first place, which led me to get beat up.
I could not do a thing about it except regret. Naturally, I could not fight since I didn’t have any fighting skills like they do in games. Adding to the fact, that even if I did know one, I would still lose due to being outnumbered, and that I had no physical strength to boast about. Not a one.
After that incident, I got singled out by the delinquents that was, by the devil’s luck, in fact, my classmates.
Days passed by, and I was made a gofer, and got kicked around all day. As a result, I was ostracized from the class, because they wanted to avoid trouble. Even the few friends I made kept their distance from me.
It was understandable that they didn’t want to end up like the weak me, but it still hurt having no one on your side.
But it was those days that made me struggle to find a solution. In the end, after graduating from middle school, I moved into Tokyo, a city where no one knew who I was, or would treat me differently. There, I got into a high school that could recommend me into a good university. Mainly majoring in game development.
My lifelong dream, for as long as I can remember, was to make my own game. For people to play my game, and enjoy it every day. Just like I was, when I first discovered it.
But I knew that I couldn’t stay the way that I was, or nothing would change. Just like in middle school, I would get bullied because I was branded a game otaku, and I didn’t have the strength to fight back. Making all the preparation I made into a futile endeavor. The only thing that would change was where I would get ostracized.
Because I didn’t want it to happen again, I tried training my body. The result was outstanding. By that I mean, the only thing I got from training without any physical prowess to speak of, was a trip to the hospital.
While getting depressed after being released from the hospital, I went to the game store to purchase a new mystery game that came out. After I went home and played it to the end, I was enlightened.
The main character inside the game, solved all of his problems by letting the enemies think that he was stronger than himself, when it was as a matter of fact, the opposite. Thereby, avoiding difficult fights until he got stronger. I was surprised at how this one game could have related to my current problems, so I researched more about it on the net.
It turns out, the skill was called ‘bluffing’ or ‘misleading the other party’. It was a godly skill in the ways of communication. I was reluctant to try it in real life, but I had no choice. If I wanted to have a good school life, I had to make an effort.
I was rusty at first, getting nervous for no reason. But over time, I got used to saying what I didn’t really think, almost like I was unattached to my new facade. I built an image of a normal high school boy once I debuted on the first day of class.
It was pleasantly surprising to see how making other people think that you were not a closet gaming addict, worked wonders for my daily life. Well, I wouldn’t go far, but at least I was treated like a normal student again.
Like this, hiding my true, weak, average, game-loving self, I got into the university I wanted to study in. Now I was 19 years of age, and in my first year of college. I got enamored at the concept of coding and was excited for the future.
To celebrate my success in entering the college I wanted, I took a detour from my normal route home, to pass through the street where I usually bought games, to see if they had new releases and such. Though, it wasn’t any different from every other day.
But to my despair, the game store I frequented closed its doors for good. With no warning whatsoever. I stood there, in front of the closed down store, for a good ten minutes before I walked away with a heavy heart.
When I went home, I found out that I left my computer on, though I don’t remember even turning it on this morning. Just when I was about to turn it off, I noticed that the page was open on a shipping site. The famous website that you could buy almost everything from.
This particular page interested me since it showed a game that made my eyes sparkle. It was a brand new type of role-playing game that was based in a fantasy world. With dragons and elves, angels and demons, even god-like bosses were shown. It was chock full of varieties of races. The character selection was tempting as well.
The game was called in a chuunibyou-like way that made my heart shudder. ‘Aragnor, Conqueror of Worlds’.
Needless to say, it was on sale. I clicked the ‘Buy’ button as fast as the wind, and confirmed it immediately.
The next day, after running home in a hurry, I was more than happy to find out that a package was left outside my apartment door. I quickly picked it up, and rushed inside the room, not minding where I threw my bag.
After running the game, I was awed by the graphics. It was so realistic, you wouldn’t even believe that it was a game made for a console. Though I had some problems with the character creation, mainly stuff like the starting class. Which by the way, was unchangeable, except for the already inputted one, being ‘Ruler’. There was also some problems with creating my appearance but it didn’t hinder me starting the game regardless.
My stats were horribly low. Though I picked a cool username, taking the character ‘Sai’ from my last name, and ‘Kyou’ from my first name. A play on words, resulting in my new username, ‘Saikyou’. I always liked these kinds of game-like names for some reason.
When I had started playing, some bugs came up. It didn’t hinder my progress that much, so I just inwardly thought that it was no wonder that it went on sale. With idle thoughts such as that, I enjoyed grinding levels into the late of night.
After noticing that it was way past my normal curfew, I paused the game, saved my file, and shut it off, albeit reluctantly. But it couldn’t be helped. Since I still had class tomorrow morning.
Dragging myself to the bed, I fell asleep almost immediately. I had a good dream about how I was going to clear the current boss dungeon I was in right now tomorrow. With excitement in my heart, I drifted off..
When I awoke, I did not find myself looking at my ever-familiar apartment ceiling. No, I was staring at a dark, metallic, rectangular roof. Since I thought that something happened, naturally, I panicked and got up so quick that I hit my head on the black object above my body.
“Oh, he’s finally awake. Quick, go tell the chief.”
I heard unfamiliar voices, gruff and deep voices that could have belonged to muscular men. When I turned my head, I could only find a nightmare staring right at me.
Two bright, blood-red eyes, black, ashen skin, long, dark horns, sharp teeth protruding from their mouths. They looked as if they were harbingers of death, to come drag me to the fiery tips of the underworld. I never believed in the presence of a god until that moment. I was praying to every one of them, in different religions, to come save me.
Alas, it never came. So, with my adrenaline levels through the roof, I thought of running away. It sounded like a good idea until I noticed a blaring obstacle surrounding me. Dark, metal bars, seemingly made out of iron.
The gaps in between were so small that I doubt even a mouse could successfully pass through it.
Yep, it seems that I was stuck inside a cage. A cage large enough to fit a human such as me. To this, I could only let out a stupid voice..