Start from Zero (从零开始) by Thunderstorm (雷云风暴)

edited December 2016 in Translations
This novel is what accompanied me though my high school years and I want to give the translation a try.
I'll leave some notes beforehand:

First, the story is not actually Xianxia, it's based upon a virtual reality online game.
Secondly, Chinese readers sometimes call it a "YY novel", I don't know if there is a word to describe it. It basically means the protagonist is extremely / insanely lucky that everything he encounters in his adventure is over-satisfying. Resulting in his big favour most of the time. It may look unacceptable to quite a lot of readers.
But it's not a silly 100% straight level up run, there will be pretty intense battles/challenges etc, rest assured. This novel used to be one of the most popular "YY" novels for a reason -- it's good, to those who loves it.

Through some searching, I found this work already done:
It seems several people tried the work but...the progress seems, well, nice and slow.
I will not continue from anyone's work. I start from scratch.
If this is not allowed, like, I need to ask for anyone's permission to post my updates, please tell me.

Mind that this novel is extreeeeeemely long (several times longer than Coiling Dragon?), I can't guarantee how far I can go. No, look at the character count I'm certain I'll drop out somewhere. I'll try hard before that happens, though.

I'll try to use English style for all kinds of names when I can, instead of pure pinyin.

The novel may contain offensive/mocking content to several nations (the author tried to tease Japan in the very first chapter). Please don't take it serious.

Translator is me. There will be no editor/PF for now. I'll finish chapters first and see how many reader are willing to read. I don't have much free time either x(



  • Book 1, Chapter 1

      "For God's sake! I've been waiting for too long!" A young man complained.

      "You know what? I didn't even have any breakfast. You at least ate a hamburger!" Wayne murmured.

      Wayne Reno, my sidekick plus roommate. We've known each other since childhood. Same class in middle school, same high school, same class in college AND got assigned to the same dormitory room. We started playing games together since middle school. The game room at Wayne's house was our favorite hang-out spot! Now we've gotten into university, we live in a twin room. That's because I'm quite a loner, I don't have many friends besides Wayne! Now we are freshmen, and there's plenty of free time before our courses begin. It would be a good idea to play games in the dorm!

      Wayne's family is pretty rich, they do real estate business. I don't know exactly how rich but definitely no richer than mine. He got his own game room beside his bedroom, with several tens of gaming machines and consoles in it, all from his family! My family however, is a bit more complicated. My father runs a multinational corporation called the Dragon Fate Corporation. The corp doesn't have any focused business. We do anything that is profitable. In fact, our biggest source of income are specialized military projects.

     Um? You don't know what "specialized military project" is? It means producing special weapons, for example biological weapons, electronic weapons, space weapons and so on. Weapons that require highly advanced technologies and are not largely used. If I'm not the young master of the family, I wouldn't know that Dragon Fate produces these stuff! My grandpa gave the corporation to my father, and it's now the second largest group in the whole world. My father owns 51% of the shares. I don't know exactly how much those stock worth... But it should be more than last year's Gross National Product of our country. My mom is the president of the Zhong Hua Company. Not like dad, she established her career from scratch on her own, thus she holds 78% of the shares. Zhong Hua Company is not a big one, but her share should be somewhere more than hundreds of millions. Compared with Dragon Fate, though, that's like a drop in the ocean! Because of the rich family, I didn't get to experience an ordinary childhood. Wherever I go, there would be hundreds of bodyguards following behind. Even when I'm in the toilet, a small group would have to form a circle around me (with their backs against me of course!) My parents are always busy with their affairs, on my tenth birthday, they each reached a business contract with someone! Because of the guards I couldn't make friends, plus the fact that most people who tried to talk to me were mostly drawn by the money, I don't easily trust friends. As a result, Wayne is my only friend now (Actually my parents hope I can be happier this way), and my family started to try to make me feel normal, without getting bothered by all the superior perks. So my identity is now hidden, father found some connections to help change my records and information. Now most people wouldn't know whether my father have a child or not, let alone who I am. The best thing is my hundreds of stalker guards are now several hidden guards, and I can attend school like everyone else. (My primary school years were held by a teacher exclusively employed by Wayne's family, we studied together) This strange childhood caused my solitary personality!

      There's another reason that made it hard for me to make friends: my appearance and voice. I don't look horrible. It's the opposite, I'm beautiful. Yes you heard it right, beautiful. I would win several rewards if I'm to participate beauty contests around the world. But the problem is, I, a pure-blooded male, got a body shape nowhere like a man. I'm not transsexual mind you, from biological perspective, I'm 100% male, I have everything a man is supposed to have and I don't have anything I shouldn't, even my sexual preference is totally normal. But! 99.99% people will get it wrong if they try to guess my gender when they haven't known in advance! (Gah!) Every time there's a guest visiting my home, the first comment would be: Mr President, your daughter is absolutely stunning! Yes, most people's first impression on me is a super pretty little girl, and for some reason it seems I never went through a voice mutation, I sound like a child which makes it even harder to distinguish my gender! Just imagine, a bunch of guys staring at me and drool on the ground, how do I make friends like that?! For my face, I never experienced a stable school life. Now there were more than 200 cases when I scared groups of boys out of men's toilet! Thus, Wayne is the only who has been considering me as a buddy, a best friend. (He doesn't get attracted by my beauty is probably because he grew up with me, he didn't feel anything when he's little and now he got used to it. Wayne loves pretty women too, he complained that he won't find a girlfriend easily because of me---I raised his standard! Well I'm pretty sure he gets all "tensed up" when he meets a woman, any kind of woman.)

      Today we're queuing up for the newest online game, [Zero]. It's the release day, the first 10 thousand players who claim their account can receive special gift. The gift is the VR Helmet specially designed for [Zero], plus random hidden in-game reward. The helmet is no big deal, it's 2062 now, it only costs like 300 Yuan, not that expensive. Actually it's the random hidden reward that is tempting. In fact, [Zero] is a cooperated product between my father's corporation and world's largest company, the European Union Countertrade Association. My mother's Zhong Hua company will be running the game. But father said I shouldn't use my privilege, I have to wait in the queue myself if I want an account. So here we are!

      Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Sairin, from New Nanjing City. I think you may need to know about this "New Nanjing". In 2012, there was a major military conflict between China and Japan, over ocean boundary issues. It developed into a large-scale war. During the war, Japan launched 37 heavy Fuel Air Explosive Missiles towards us, 36 of which were intercepted by the Space Directed Energy Interception System (This system is Dragon Fate's very first successful military deal, when my grandfather was still the president), but the last one hit Nanjing City and burned the entire place to the ground. The death toll was more than 4 times the total number of victims during the Nanjing Massacre in WW2, 1.35 million. As a revenge, we detonated a Crust Bomb at Honshu Island, sending it beneath the Pacific Ocean (Today Japan only has three main islands left). The resulting tsunami severely damaged neighboring nations, for this, China paid about 5.22 trillion Yuan to South and North Korea. This "New Nanjing" was built upon the ruins of the original Nanjing City.

      "Look, they opened the doors!" Wayne dragged me out of my thoughts.

      Now we need to strain every muscle to push forward. Dang it. The orderly queue is no more the very moment they saw the door open. The crowd pushed me into the release hall without letting me touch the ground at all. It's even more chaotic inside the hall. It's not big, and there are already about three thousand people stuffed in here. I guess there are at least another ten thousand on the outside trying to get in. Wayne was behind me but is now nowhere to be found. Must have been carried away to somewhere.

      The account sales booth ahead already started selling, now I also have to squeeze forward with all I got. The security is trying their best to keep no avail. "Help..." I heard a faint call for help, it came from...under me? I tried to lower my head, and saw someone down on the ground being stepped over, and obviously cannot get up. This poor soul will definitely die if it goes on. I tried to push the surrounding crowd away. And using my shoulder to keep them from coming back, stretching out one hand and pulled the downed man over.

      And now I'm stunned. The one I just saved is a girl beautiful like a descended angel! More beautiful than me! I haven't met many girls this pretty and few ones are willing to walk alongside me -- I took all the spotlight! She looks miserable with all the footprints on her, but that doesn't cover her absolute beauty.

      "Thank you so much, sis!" Although the voice is pleasant to hear, I still feel like crap. Another one! Misunderstood!

      "It's ok. I can't just watch you die from trampling can I? Need me to take you out of the hall?" I instantly regretted after saying that. If I really send her out, I don't know if I can get back again and seize the top-10,000 account. Besides, the game is being released around the world at the same time, even if the main publishing company is here in New Nanjing, we could probably have 3 to 5 hundred accounts at most.

      "No! I want an account!" That's a relief.

      "Alright then, follow me close!"

      We continued to fight our way towards the booth, and I'm able to make a way. Exhausted, I finally swam to the booth. Yes, swam. My feet never touched the ground. "An account please!" I shouted to the sales lady.

      "An account here too!" The girl also made it to the booth.

      The sales lady quickly passed two helmets to us. "The account is affixed inside the helmet. Read the instructions if got any questions."

      There's no other way, we have to push through the crowd again, to the exit. We finally got out. Looking at the dense mass of a crowd outside, I don't even know how I got in there before. I heard panting from behind, and looked back at the girl.

      "Thank you! The name is Lica, Lica Lin. If not for you, big sis, I'd probably died in there! Let alone the account!" She reached out with her hand.

      I shook that black-ish (it should be white) hand, and I don't want to explain for now. We probably won't see each other again anyway. "You're welcome. Since we both got the account, let me remember yours and I'll send you message when I'm in the game."

      "Sure!" Lica wrote down her account from the helmet and gave it to me. "I'll go now. Let's talk later!"

      "Alright!" Watching her leave, I glanced back at the crowd. It looks impossible to find Wayne, so I started heading back to the dorm.


      I finally arrived at our room, but Wayne is not back. I started eating the breakfast I grabbed along the way while reading the instruction. The game server officially opens at 8 pm tonight.

      There's not much instructions, only 17 pages in total. It seems the 10 thousand accounts are associated with helmets, the actual account isn't important, it's the helmet that matters. The first time the helmet logs into the game, the system will consider the used account as a gifted account and initialize rewarding procedure. Of course each account can only accept the reward once, using two helmets and log into the same account twice will not work. The system only recognizes the first reward. The second will be ignored. The instruction also mentioned that each individual can only use one account. When logging in the first time, the helmet will scan user's brain wave and iris then bind them. Once bound, no one else will be able to use the account. This method completely prevented powerleveling and account hacking. Each individual's identity will also bind with the account. No one can register a second one. The other instructions are all omitted. It only says that you can ask the system NPC once inside the game.

      Wayne is back when I just finished reading.


    "How was it?"

      Depression is written all over Wayne's face:"Forget it. I got pushed out from the beginning. I didn't even see the helmet! You got one?!" Wayne saw my helmet. "Well no big deal. I'm no professional. A normal account is fine."

      "No worries. When I leveled up I'll help you, it would be faster than others." I comforted him.

      "Deal! Don't forget it!"

      I ate lunch early and caught some sleep to get ready to work all night. I woke up at 7, had dinner, and waited for the game to launch. After a painful wait (less than half an hour actually), it's 8 pm!

  • Thank you I've been waiting for someone to pick this up
  • Hexwolfx said:
    Thank you I've been waiting for someone to pick this up
    You will probably need to wait for some time before I reach a "new" chapter though.
  • LZ_Wolfy said:
    Hexwolfx said:
    Thank you I've been waiting for someone to pick this up
    You will probably need to wait for some time before I reach a "new" chapter though.
    Ok *wink* wink*
  • OMG good luck with this one... It holds the record of the longest novel on that site (and trust me, it's saying a lot) and is still UNFINISHED...
  • edited December 2016
    cacue23 said:
    OMG good luck with this one... It holds the record of the longest novel on that site (and trust me, it's saying a lot) and is still UNFINISHED...
    Aye. The fastest pace I can go (without affecting my job) is like 1 chapter per day. And at that rate this novel would take about SIX freaking years to finish, if I do it all by myself.
    Looks quite hopeless indeed.
  • edited December 2016
    Book 1, Chapter 2
    Character Creation (Part 1)
    Note: There will be a lot of term inconsistencies from now on, like magic/spell,  mage/wizard/caster, physical attack/physic attack, so on. These are fatal mistakes in technical translations but I don't think they are a big issue as long as readers know what I mean.
    Oh the "SP" is not a mistake, the original author used "SP". I'm pretty sure he will switch to "MP" later.


        I activated the helmet, everything went black. Then I found myself in a light-blue colored room. Then there is a mechanical voice: "Iris locked, accessing brain wave."

        Two seconds pause.

        "Access successful, body scan successful, identity locked, configuration completed. Welcome to the system. The Mother Brain will guide you from now on!"

        Another two second pause, then a female voice came to. It's doesn't sound charming, but pleasant enough.

        "Greetings! Welcome to the realm of [Zero]. Your account is a gifted one, please draw your reward item now."

        A giant wheel suddenly appeared inside the room. I asked, confused:"Can you explain this reward item thing?"

        "The number of rewards each account will receive is random, it is decided upon the result of your drawing. The max is four, while the minimum is zero."

        "Wait what? Zero? Zero means the account would become a completely ordinary one right?" What's the matter with this system? People broke several bones to get the gift account, and they can get no reward at all?

        "Please begin your drawing." The system urged.

        Fine. Five numbers, I got only 20 percent chance to get a zero. I walked over and rotated the wheel with full force, it started spinning fast.

        Watching it slowing down, I'm getting nervous.

        The pin is now pointed at Three, it's still going but will probably stop soon. I prayed, no not zero, please not zero.

        Wheel is still moving, now it's One. I kept praying. One is fine too!

        The pin reached Zero, the wheel didn't freeze but it looks like it will not leave the area. I closed my eyes, this is hopeless.

        *Ding* there is a clear sound, and then a system notice. "Congratulations! You hit the biggest number, Four!"

        "Huh?!" I can't believe my eyes, I'm pretty sure that pin stopped right at the middle line between Zero and Four. But the system is always more accurate than human eyes, that's for sure.

        The system confirmed for me:"You indeed reached a Four. Please check your character, your account is allowed to create two characters, do you wish to assign rewards to different characters, or put them on the same one?"

        Your kidding! No doubt on this one! "The same one!" You only need a main char in a game. Spreading on two is waste!

        "Please create a character first. The reward will be applied to this character."

        "Okay, but how do I do that?"

        "Please call out the name of your character first. The name will be permanent, you will not be able to change it once character is created, unless you delete and re-create one. It is recommended to use Chinese characters only."

        "Ziri!" I've always been using this cool name in every game.

        "Character: Ziri, is now created. Initializing rewarding procedure." Two seconds passed. "You first reward item is determined. You will be able to choose hidden race. Please now choose the race of your character."

        "Race? What are the races I can choose from?"

        After a bright flash, two rows of characters appeared in front of me. The second row is floating in mid-air for a better view. Upon closer inspection, these guys look quite familiar.

        Wait a second.

        These They all look like myself!

        The system seems to noticed my question. "These race models are configured upon your own appearance, you need to choose a race, then modify the character whose appearance differentiation cannot go beyond 10% of your own. The bottom row contains races that are available to anyone, the top row are the ones only available to those with hidden race reward. There are 12 normal races: Orc, Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Fire Elemental, Water Elemental, Earth Elemental, Undead, Air Elemental, Fairy, Monster. And 7 hidden races: Angel, Demon, Half Elf, Spirit Elemental, Half Orc, Half Angel, Divine Demon."

        Well it's obvious the hidden ones are the better ones. "Can you introduce the features of those races in the top row?"

        The system instantly removed the bottom row, and the remaining ones flew closer to me. "You can watch and check their outer appearance, now I'm explaining their attributes.

    First, the Angels. Their trait: with the same attribute points, angels have higher Attack and Defense, with higher HP as well. They are born with the self-healing magic "Holy".

    Second, the Demons. Demons have high Defense and Magical Attack power, and regenerate HP faster.

    Third, the Half Elves. This race possesses the same high-level dexterity and night vision ability as other Elves, but at the same time they have higher HP than Elves, usually similar to the level of Humans.

    Fourth, the Spirit Elementals. They are born mages, all spells cast by them will have a +5% attack bonus, and they regenerate SP faster.

    Fifth, the Half Orcs. They have the same high Attack and Defense as other Orcs, but also possesses the Dexterity and Intelligence of Humans. Orcs will never become mages, but Half Orcs can.

    Sixth, the Half Angels. Their Attack and Defense are similar to Angels but usually a bit lower. They can learn attacking spells which other Angels cannot, and they have higher resistance to Dark magics compared to Angels.

    Lastly, the Divine Demons. A peculiar race. Divine Demons are the children between Angels and Demons, they possess high Physical and Magical Attack. They don't have the 50% resistance to Light magic like the Angels, nor the 50% resistance to Dark magic like the Demons. But Angels and Demons have absolutely zero defense against the opposite magic, while Divine Demons don't. In a word, it's a race between Angels and Demons. Also, the system will restrict the number of Divine Demons, after ten accounts have chosen this race, the following players will only see six hidden races."

        Ha! Now I get it. But I still don't know which one to choose. They're all so good! "Can you remove the race when I say so?"

        "Exclusive method? Of course!"

        Woah! This system... They got some real artificial intelligence here! That aside. Let's start picking. "Not the Spirit Elemental. They look terrible!"

        The Elemental up front turned into blinks of stars and disappeared. Six left.

        "Half Orc looks too violent. Pass."

        Blink. Five to go.

        "The perks for Half Angel and Half Elf is not that obvious. Not them!"

        Last three! Oh how do I choose...

        "My name is Ziri (the Purple Sun), not a proper name for an Angel. So pass!"

        Two left!

        The Demon is obviously a caster class, I prefer warriors and knights.

        "It's decided, I choose the Divine Demon!"

        The system instantly responded:"Race: Divine Demon, has been chosen. Congratulations, you're the first one to choose Divine Demon, the system will grant you one Base Attribute Point. Now please set your character's appearance."

        There's only the Divine Demon in front of me now. I took a closer look. The height is same as me, about 172cm, looks like they don't have any body height bonus. Balanced limbs, the face is a bit wicked, and a pair of black feather wings stretching out behind the back. Apart from these, we're almost identical. "Can I remove the wings?"

        "Sorry, you can't! The pair of wings is one of the main features of Divine Demons. Just like you can't create a dwarf above 160cm. But do not worry, you can fold the wings, no one can see them if you don't want them to."

        "That's good! Modify the lines on my face, a little more straight, there are too many curves. Nose bridge, more angular, oh and my eyes, sharper!" The character is changing in front of me, pretty good too.

        "You modification has reached the limit. Do you want to use this appearance?"

        I tried to make the character more manly, but no matter how I look, he still look like a female! Sigh. Never mind, I'll go with this.

        "I will use this appearance!"

        "Appearance confirmed! Character generated!"

  • edited December 2016
    Double posting. Deleted.
  • 从零开始都有人翻译了? 我看能太监多少人……
  • edited December 2016
    从零开始都有人翻译了? 我看能太监多少人……
    "Lemme see how many are going to give up."
    This gentleman here made a brilliant point.
    This novel has a total number of 20 million characters. 20, million. I say again, 20, million.
    I already stated that I will certainly drop out somewhere.
    Well, thanks for the reminder. It's really clever of you to predict something that is obviously 100% to happen.
  • Not bad looks interesting.
  • LZ_Wolfy said:
    从零开始都有人翻译了? 我看能太监多少人……
    "Lemme see how many are going to give up."
    This gentleman here made a brilliant point.
    This novel has a total number of 20 million characters. 20, million. I say again, 20, million.
    I already stated that I will certainly drop out somewhere.
    Well, thanks for the reminder. It's really clever of you to predict something that is obviously 100% to happen.
    Lol, there's a saying "normally it's the writer who gives up a book, but for this book, it's the readers that give up". It took more than ten years to finish (just checked, it's finished). Really, it's a legend. The author who always comes back after a period of time of non-updating (instead of just silently fading away like most authors would do) and ultimately finishes this insanely long book is highly admired for his dedication.
    Book 1, Chapter 3
    Character Creation (Part 2)

        The system notice sounded again. "Now commencing procedure for the second reward."

        Two seconds pause.

        "The second reward is an extra Main Class and an extra Side Class. A normal character can have one Main Class and two Side Classes, so you will be able to have two Main Classes and Three Side Classes. Please now choose your Main Class. You are a Divine Demon, so you can only choose part of the classes.

        You can choose from: Warrior, Spellsword, Dark Spellsword, Dark Fighter, Tamer, Assassin. Tamer is hidden class, it's only available to limited players."

        "Can you explain them?" I continued to be careful. I'll listen before making decisions.

        "Warriors are pure physical damage dealers, they enjoy bonus to Attack, Defense and HP regeneration speed. Warriors can lately become Knights, then Holy Knights, and Dragon Knights at last.

        Spellswords can wield both Physical and Magical attacks, they have bonus to Attack, Defense, Magical Attack, Magical Defense, HP regen, SP regen. But the bonuses are not obvious. Spellswords can later become Spell Lute, then God Warrior, and Half God, at last stage.

        Dark Spellswords have bonuses similar to Spellswords, they later become Dark Musicians, then Evil Warrior, and Grand Devil as the last stage.

        The attributes of Dark Fighters are similar to Warriors, they can advance into Dark Knights, followed by Ghost Knights, and then Dark Sanctuary Knights.

        Tamers rely on Companions and Servants for fighting. They can wield magical attacks, and have bonus on Magical Attack, Magical Defense, SP regen speed, number of Companion slots and Servant slots. They will become Beast Wielders, then Beast Spirits, and finally Beast Masters.

        Assassins are also physical damage dealers, they have bonus on Attack, Dexterity, number of Servant slots. Assassins later become Killers, then Hitmen, and finally, Champion Hitmen.

        That's all the brief introductions about these classes. Have you decided which one to choose?"

        My name is Ziri (the Purple Sun), I should choose something related to Dark. So Warrior or Spellsword is no-go. Dark Spellsword can learn both magic and physics...but is strong in neither, so pass. Assassin, the sneaky type, not my way, pass.

        "Excuse me, I can choose two Main Classes right?" I feel that I shouldn't mess with the system so I began to try to be polite.

        "That's right!"

        "Then I'll choose Dark Fighter and Tamer."

        "Main Classes confirmed. Now please choose your Side Classes. The available options are: Blacksmith, Pharmacist, Appraiser, Breeder, Stonemason, Carrier, Mailman. Breeder is a hidden class. Now which three would you choose?"

        Same, let's listen first. "Can you tell me about the features?"

        "Blacksmiths can use gathering skill to collect special items. They'll become Forgers.

        Pharmacists can gather medicines and produce potions, they can become Alchemists.

        Appraisers are able to identify items and monsters on their own, they become Appraisal Specialists.

        Breeders can catch Companions and Servants on their own, gain a bonus to Companion and Servant slots. They later become Monster Experts.

        Stonemasons can build houses, collect gems. They turn into Architects.

        Carriers have no speciality, but they will have higher HP and Endurance, they can become Strongmen.

        Mailmen do not have any speciality either, but they enjoy Endurance and Dexterity bonus. They later become Intelligence Agents.

        That's all about their features and characteristics. Have you decided which ones to pick?"

        "I'm using exclusive method again."

        "Of course."

        "Stonemason makes houses but I don't think that will be needed often. Pass."

        "Six classes left, you need to remove three more!"

        "Pharmacist makes potions, but I don't have time to wander about in the mountains and forests to look for stuff. Pass."

        "Five left!"

        "Carrier and Mailman...Their bonuses don't look they will be that much, no use for them. Pass."

        "Only Blacksmith, Appraiser and Breeder left. Are you certain you want to choose these three?"

        "Right! Confirm!"

        "Classes confirmed, now commencing the third rewarding procedure."

        Two second pause again. "The third reward is determined. You will gain four random Attribute Point bonuses."

        "What is random point bonus?"

        "It means these four points will be randomly added to your character when you've finished assigning attribute points, you will not be able to know which attribute will get the bonus beforehand."

        "What? So I have to take it as 'no bonus' when assigning points right? Fine. Better than nothing."

        "Then please distribute attribute points for you character!"

        A status window suddenly appeared before me.

        "You have to assign points to the following attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, Spirit, Constitution. Six in total. Standard character have 30 basic points. Divine Demons have 3 more points as bonus, your have an extra one point bonus for choosing Diving Demon as the first player. So you can assign a total of 34 points. Also please note: Your basic attribute points will be affecting your attribute growth in the future, and you will not be able to change it. In later games, attribute points will be automatically added according to current ratio without asking the player. Have you decided how to assign your points?"

        "What do you mean by according to current ratio?"

        "Upon each level up, you will gain another 34 points, and these points will be immediately added to your attributes according to your current assignment. For example, if you add 30 Strength now, then each time you level up, your Strength will get 30 points. Or if you added no points to Strength, then your Strength will zero in the future regardless of how many levels you gain."

        "I understand now! Can you tell me how do these attributes affect the character? What are the calculations? "

        "Sorry! The detailed calculation formulas are for the players to experiment, the company is only allowed to tell them how these points will affect your status in general."

        "Tell me the effects then!"

        "Strength affects your Carry Weight, Physical Attack, Physical Defense, Endurance.

        Dexterity affects your Movement Speed, Spell Speed, Physical Defense, Magical Defense, Physical Accuracy and Magical Accuracy.

        Intelligence affects your max Mana points and what kind of magic you can learn. Every magic has Intelligence requirement, your need to reach it to learn the magic.

        Charisma affects your number of Companion and Servant slots, and how NPCs will react to you. Character with high charisma can sometimes accept special hidden quests from NPCs. A side note: Charisma is one-shot investment. Further charisma increase will only affect your relationship with NPCs. Your number of Companion and Servant slots, and your appearance, are based on your initial Charisma, and will no longer be affected in the future.

        Spirit affects your Magical Attack, Mana regeneration speed, Physical Accuracy and Magical Accuracy.

        Constitution affects your HP point, HP regeneration speed, Endurance when moving, and Mana points."

        "Oww this is too much! God, give me some time!"

        I started to do calculations in my brain.

        20 minutes later.

        "It's decided. I have 34 points to use right?"

        "That's right. 30 as basic, plus 4 as reward, that's 34 in total."

        "I'll add 2 Charisma first. It doesn't look much of use."

        "You still have 32 basic points."

        "I'm not planning to play caster. 3 to Spirit should be enough."

        "You still have 29 basic points."

        "As a warrior class, I need good attack power and HP. I add 13 to Strength and 8 to Constitution."

        "You have 8 basic points left. You still haven't added points to Dexterity and Intelligence."

        "A low Dex may cause a lot of misses. I add 6 to Dexterity. And the rest to Intelligence."

        "Attribute assignment completed. Now distributing random attribute point reward."

        The status bar flashed, and the system notice sounded again. "Randomization result: Charisma."

        "Huh? Well shoot! I got the bonus on the most useless attribute?" But it's still acceptable. I get it for free anyway.

        "Do I have anything else to set?"

        "Creation for your character has been completed. You status are displayed as follows."

        Strength: 13

        Dexterity: 6

        Intelligence: 2

        Charisma: 6

        Spirit: 3

        Constitution: 8
        Attack: 11-16

        Defense: 11

        Speed: 7

        HP: 230

        Mana: 30

        Companion Slot: 3

        Servant Slot: 4

        "Not bad! Not very superior but looks above average."

        When reading the numbers, the system notice came again. "Now recalculating statuses according to your Main Classes and Side Classes. Status after calculation is as follows."

        Another flash. Now I'm getting dizzy!

        I opened my eyes. Now this character looks nothing ordinary. It's beyond badass! The first statuses are:

        Attack: 16-26

        Defense: 14

        Speed: 9

        HP: 275

        Mana: 40

        But the last two ones are becoming scary. The Companion slot is now 7, and the Servant slot is 10. Now I'm worrying if the system has a mistake.

        "Excuse me, am I supposed to have so many Companion and Servant slots? Is it a mistake?"

        "There is no mistake! You have 6 Charisma, Companions slot is equal to 50% of your Charisma which makes it 3. Your Main Class Tamer has a bonus of 1, your Side Class Breeder has another bonus of 1. You are Divine Demon, you have two initial slots. Thus your actual Companion slot now is 7. As for Servant, it is calculated by multiplying your Companion slot with 150% then remove the fraction, which results in 10. Additionally, Companions will level up through battles, but Servants will remain at their level when they're captured. Once decided, a Companion can no longer be changed, please be careful with it. But you can release and change for new Servants freely."

        "Thanks! I get it now. Can I start the game?"

        "Please wait, you still have one reward not yet claimed. Now processing the last reward."

        This time it took half a minute. I thought the system crashed!

        "Your last reward is 5 bonus points to the hidden attribute, Luck."

        "5 Luck?"

        "That's right. "You cannot see this attribute in your status window. But Luck will affect every calculation that involves probability. Each Luck point increases positive probability by 10%, for example, you have 50% more chance than others to discover equipments, you have 50% less chance of losing your equipment upon death, your physical attacks are more likely to use the max damage tier(*) for calculation and critical hits which cause double damage will appear more often. If you hold a shield, then you will have higher chance to block enemy attacks."

        "Hell yeah! Brilliant! Among all the randoms, this one is the best! Ahahaha!"


    (*)  Damage tier: I don't know if there is a correct word for this. For example someone's base attack "2-10", when attacking, the system will randomly choose a number from 2 to 10 as the base attack calculation factor, sorta like throwing a dice when playing DnD.

  • edited December 2016

    Book 1, Chapter 4
    Class Registration


        After a white flash, I'm teleported to an antique village, while still laughing like a lunatic.


        There are people everywhere, and they're staring at me like they have seen an idiot.

        I quickly rushed to another street, and called out the clock. It's almost 10 pm now. I nearly spent two hours to create my character! But they say "sharpening your axe will not delay your job of cutting wood", worth it!

        Because I spent so much time, the rookie village is full of people now. The system considers anyone under level 20 as rookie. Rookies cannot leave the rookie village and the training area within 5 kilos around the village. From quick guess, I think this not-so-big area is populated with at least five thousand players. I don't like crowds, so I decided to find somewhere quiet to level up.

        I'm thinking about getting familiar with the place first. I called up the item window (in [Zero], players only need to "think" about these actions and the system will catch it.) , there are only flax topwear and flax pants, with 2 defense in total. And a "Rookie Sword", a one-handed long sword with an attack of 1-1! These should be the equipment for rookies!

        They suck, but since everyone on the street is wearing the same thing, I don't feel too bad. Now, I need to beat some mobs and level up first.

        I ran for about 10 minutes to reach the training area outside. Rookies got low Dexterity and Speed so this can't be helped!

        And when I got out, I realized things aren't good. Outside the village, there are full of scenes where 3 to 5 players beating up a poor deer, or a group of 10 players chasing behind a boar! The monsters are respawning fast, but there are even several times more players! Joining them certainly isn't a good idea now, and besides, I hate crowds!

        In [Zero], the rookies will not appear on the ranking list, so I have no idea how many levels the fastest player has already reached. But I can still take a vague guess, I think someone should already reached level 16 or 17. This isn't good! I can't fall behind now. I never fall behind, be it in game or in real world! I need to catch up with leveling up.

        I ran further from the village, there are still much players but everyone can at least face one monster on their own now. Good!

        A small deer ran close. Sword drawn, with a slash. Then came the system notice:"You killed a deer. Gained experience point 200."

        Crap! One hit! I'm this strong?! My character is OP, but it's all about the pet slot. My attack power isn't supposed to be much of a surprise. I saw a "60" over the deer's head, that should be the damage I dealt. Was it a critical hit? Likely!

        I found another deer, and slashed. A red "30" appeared. The deer is still running. Yes, a critical hit for sure.

        I hit the injured deer again, and got a 35. The deer collapsed and disappeared. It seems the deer has around 50 HP, maybe less.

        Another three deer down, I reached level 2. Now my statuses are:

        Attack: 24-32

        Defense: 20

        Speed: 10

        HP: 290

        Mana: 41

        (With equipment on)

        A normal attack should kill a deer now. I slaughtered deer for half an hour and reached level 12, now my statuses are:

        Attack: 68-98

        Defense: 65

        Speed: 20

        HP: 440

        Mana: 51

        There are still plenty of people around killing deer, and getting crowded. From experience, I should go somewhere else. I ran for quite some time and reached the border of the training area. I can see through the border but cannot walk over it. There's an invisible wall blocking me.

        There's no other choice, I have to keep looking for monsters. And I found something new soon enough -- A boar. Rushed over n slash, one hit KO. I added more Strength to my character, and it will only get crazily high on higher levels, so my current Attack is pretty overpowered. Later I heard that 44-70 Attack is pretty good for an ordinary level-12 player. A Warrior at level 20 will probably have an Attack of 60-90.

        I was lucky to find a boar cave. Boars spawn faster here, basically faster than my killing speed. It's good that boars return attacks when provoked, but they don't initiate. I maimed them for about a quarter and reached level 18. Called up the ranking list, I saw more than 30 people on it. This means they have gotten beyond level 20. This is no joke, if i don't go there soon I basically am hopeless.

        Level 20 is not only a dividing line between rookies and formal players. The first skill for all classes becomes available at level 20 too. Skills would raise your level up speed ten fold! The top player on the list is now level 25. They need more experience points to level up, but they have skills, plus that the outside world has fewer people and you don't have to fight over other players for monsters!

        I need to be fast. I kept working for 20 minutes, and finally heard the blessed system notice sound.

        "Congratulations, player Ziri, you have reached level 20. You're the 79th player to breach the rookie barrier. You've become a true fighter now. Please proceed to the Occupation Institution to register, and obtain your Class Skill."

        The scenery around me shifted, and suddenly I'm standing in a teleport array of a giant plaza. I opened the map and saw that the city is called the Cold Jadeite. This giant plaza is the teleportation point plus resurrection point of Cold Jadeite. It's empty, looks like the previous arrivers have gone leveling up somewhere. Even if they're all here, it wouldn't be much people! I'm the 79th to leave rookie village, that's to say there are a total of 79 players scattered around the world of [Zero] outside the village.

        The world map of [Zero] is designed based upon the real world map, and the rookie village is located in an alternative space, only those below level 20 will appear there. They get teleported out once they reach the level. As for the other city maps, they just changed the names and then built the city in ancient style. So there are only 79 people in this vast world now. Maybe I'm the only one in this city!

        Never mind those, I followed the map and rushed into the Occupation Institution. The big hall is decorated with marble tiles as the floor, it feels much like the hall of a bank. There are 30 or so marble counters aligned along the wall, each with a bronze sign on it. The ones in the middle are "Main Class Registration", while the side ones are "Side Class Registration".

        Let's do the main registration and get my skill first. I went to one the the middle counters. "Hello! I want to register my Main Class."

        The beautiful Elf lady behind the counter admitted me politely. "Greetings sir!" She knew I'm male! Finally someone recognized it. "Welcome to Occupation Registration. Which occupation are you going to register?"

        "I have two main ones. Dark Fighter, and Tamer."

        "Oh! A gifted player! You need 1 Gold to register Dark Fighter, and 2 for Tamer. That's 3 Gold, payment first please."

        "Huh? That's expensive!" I opened my item window, just 307 copper pieces in there!

        (Conversion: 1 Crystal Piece = 10 Yuan = 10 Gold Piece = 100 Silver Piece = 1000 Copper Piece)

        After paying I got only 7 copper left! I'm broke!

        The Elf lady is quick on her work, she said:"Congratulations, you have become a Dark Fighter and Tamer. The skill books for main classes are sold in stores, but the number is limited. The real good ones are for the players to discover on their own, please try your best."

        "Wait what? On my own? Oh shucks!" I turned and prepared to leave. The registration cost all my money, forget about buying skills! I'll put the Side Classes for later too, I need to make some money first!

        The Elf lady called for me, however. "Please wait a moment!"

        "Anything else?" I'm starting to worry. Don't tell me they need more money!

        "You're the first to register as Tamer in the game, according to the rules, you will receive a reward."


        Ha, jackpot! Pity it's only Tamer. Looks like someone else got the Dark Fighter one first! I think I'm becoming greedy! Heh heh!

        It makes sense though, Tamer is a hidden class, there won't be many Tamers, it's about right that I'm the first one. But reward is always welcomed. I asked:"What is the reward please?"

        "It is random, come here and I'll help you draw it."

        I walked to the counter and the Elf started drawing prize for me. I reached my hand into a black hole that suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and grasped a red paper. The Elf lady took it and looked at it.

        "Congratulations, your reward is special equipment: Collar of Protection. You can control seven Companions, so you will be receiving seven collars."

        "Collars? Why do I need collars? There's only one neck, I'm not a Hydra or something! How do I wear seven?"

        Is the system making jokes?!

        "Pfff!" The Elf laughed while trying to cover her mouth. "The collars are not for you to wear. They're for your Companions."

        "Companion? My companions can wear equipment in this game?" Now that's awesome!

        The Elf immediately explained: "Not like that. Normally Companions cannot equip items, but with the exception of some special items. This Collar of Protection is one such item."

        "So what does this collar do?"

        "These collars can link your life with your Companion's lives. For example, you have only 3 HP left and you take 7 damage, then you will only lose 2 HP, the remaining 5 HP will be drained from a random Companion of yours whose HP is beyond 5. Note that the protection is one-way, when a Companion is dying they will not drain HP from you."

        "That's amazing! So as long as my Companions got health, I'll not die?"

        "Basically. Unless every one of your Companion's HP is not enough to deduct the damage, you will die then."

        "YES! That's quite a neat trait. Looks like I got to find Companions with a lot of HP. Ha! Ahahaha!"

        The Elf interrupted me. "You can't capture Companions at free will. Remember once you decide on a Companion, you can never change it."

        "Oh! I see now! Thank you!" I reached out my hand and asked for the collars.

        Then the Elf lady looked at me with a strange look.

        After some staring, I asked:"The collars. Give them to me alright?"

        "Ah!" Then she knew what I meant. "I will not issue the collars to you. Once you capture a Companion and tamed it, the collar will automatically appear on its neck."

        "So that's how it goes! Ok then, thanks. I'm leaving. Bye."

        The Elf lady waved me goodbye too.

  • so.... he chose not hav a class that could become half god/ grand devil... bet he'll still be OP cuz MC

  • Book 1, Chapter 5
    Side Classes


        Walking out of the Institution, I began to consider how to level.

        First I walked into a store called the "Cloud Hill", and bought a small health potion using 6 copper. Ah, the pain!

        Ouch. Just one copper left in the wallet. There's no other way. Go kill mobs and collect money!

        I ran for about 20 minutes to leave Cold Jadeite. This grand city is just so different from the rookie village. It's freaking huge! Outside the city is grassland, there are many yaks here. I remember from the official introduction, yaks are level 27, and they're passive offensive. Best targets for new players.

        I found a yak at the outside of the herd, rushed over and slashed it. A red "200" appeared. The angered yak hoed at the ground and charged at me. I side stepped and avoided it, then slashed at the yak's back legs.

        *Ding* "Leg of Yak injured. Actions slowed by 3 points."

        Huh. Attacking different body parts can have various effects, it seems. Looks like I'll have to do some experiment about it. It's good there are plenty of targets here. Let's finish this one in front of me first.

        The yak quickly turned around and charged back, I dodged again. And then swiped at the yak's side part. 500 damage.

        I see, in [Zero], you get different results by attacking monsters in different areas.

        I made another normal attack which caused 150 damage, the yak collapsed. I continued with 4 to 5 yaks and estimated that yaks have around 1k HP. I guess they are the squishy type with a lot of HP.

        Since I found out the rules, I started grinding. And reached 24 with less than an hour. I looked at the rankings, and shit these guys are crazy! Now the one on the top is a Warrior called "Big Blade More Killz", now 32. Following him is a level 31 Warrior, then 2-3 people at each level. It's the beginning and the situation is already intense. It would only get even worse in the future! I got no idea how these guys leveled so fast, I can use my OP attack power as advantage, but how did they manage it?

        This isn't good! I need to get past them. I need some way to do it.

        Right! I should get into the forest, maybe I can run into a high-leveled boss or something. That would level me up quickly! I checked my inventory. One small HP potion. This won't do, I need to buy some more. I've collected 79 Copper on me.

        Sigh, maybe this is enough to register my Side Classes. I decided to go try my luck.

        When I'm back at the Institution, I've reached 25. This time I went to the Side Class counter. Another pretty elf girl behind it. "Hello, I'm here to register my side classes."

        "Of course. Which side classes are you going to register?"

        "I'm becoming Blacksmith, Breeder, Appraiser."

        "Ah! You are a gifted player! The registration for Blacksmith will cost 20 Copper, 30 for Breeder, and 30 for Appraiser."

        "Eh? That's expensive!" I took out the only 79 copper pieces I have on me. Red faced.

        The young master of the corporation, now lacking 1 single copper coin! "I only have 79! Can I register two classes for now?"

        The elf cover her mouth and giggled. "You're funny. 79 will do!"

        "What? You mean, I can just pay 79 Copper?"

        "That's right!" Her giggle turned into laughter.

        I passed her the pieces. She wrote down several papers and put them up.

        The system noticed:"Player Ziri has become Blacksmith and obtained skills: Gather, Forge, Reinforce.

        Player Ziri has become Breeder and obtained skills: Capture, Breed.

        Player Ziri has become Appraiser and obtained skills: Identify, Secret Knowledge."

        "New skills! Haha, I wonder what they do!"

        The elf girl saw my mind and explained to me:

        "Blacksmith's Gather skill lets your see minerals available for collecting when you fight or travel, or directly find materials from monsters for forging stuff.

        Forge skill lets you craft weapons or armors from raw materials, but your skill is now level 0, so you will have a poor success rate. When forging, if you fail, the equipment and materials will disappear. It is recommended to find something cheap to grind your skill level first.

        Reinforce allows you to upgrade your equipment. When you find gems or other special materials, you can use them to reinforce your equipment to raise its attributes. But please mind that if failed, you will lose all the materials, AND the equipment will have random attributes lowered. Sometimes the equipment will even break apart.

        Breeder's Capture skill is used for acquiring Companions. Tamers are not able to catch companions themselves, they rely on companions to fight but they have to buy them, unless they are Breeders just like you. You can't use Capture skill freely. In theory, all monsters in [Zero] can become your Companion, but if their level is too high, you will only get yourself attacked and killed.

        A side note, a monster after capturing is a companion. The Servant of a Tamer means the soul of the companion after they die, not the companion itself. If you want a Servant, you will have to kill your companion and use Capture skill. But you need to be fast, for the companion will disappear after 30 seconds of death, you cannot capture it as servant after that.

        Breed skill is long-term, it leverages food and training to make your companions stronger.

        The Identify skill of a Appraiser is very practical, players with this skill can directly identify a equipment's attributes. You can also use this skill on monsters and other players, there is a chance you will able to get their names and attributes.

        Secret Knowledge is a particular skill, it raises the power of your weapon. For instance, a weapon has a hidden skill which doubles its Attack, then players with Secret Knowledge skill will enjoy this double attack bonus, those without the skill will not.

        Okay, that's all I need to explain. You can come ask me if you got any other questions later."

        "Thanks! I'll come again. And I'll bring you some perfumes next time."

        The smile on her face got larger. "Really? You'd better remember it!"

        I left the hall. That elf girl was obviously over-passionate, was that the effect of a high Charisma?

        Good! I got to put all these skills to good use. Let's get into the mountains and dig for treasures.

  • Love the genre,any similar novels ?
  • Book 2, Chapter 1
    Golden Dragon


    Note: The dragon's species appeared three times in the title/main story, and each time they're very different.

    I don't know how to amend that. I'll just convert what the author originally wrote.


        My goodness!

        Why is this happening to me?!

        I've been wandering around this god forsaken forest for a whole day! I finished my side class registration yesterday, and decided to come to this forest to dig some minerals. Then I realized I didn't bring any town portal scrolls. Now I either find my way back, or find a monster and get killed to get back.

        But in [Zero], death will result in a level penalty. You lose 1 level for each death.

        And I definitely don't want that!

        In my thoughts, the trees ahead are getting fewer, which usually means the edge is near. Looks like I found the way out! I rushed outside in joy, I'm saved!


        The instant I'm out of the forest, I bumped into something head-on. In [Zero], before something reaches lethal level, the feeling of pain will only reflect 50% of the real deal. But I still feel like I was rammed by a container truck!

        Ah, I see stars around me... And why is the ground sloped? I fell down again when I tried to get up!


        A noise like when a locomotive is releasing steam dragged me out of my dizziness. I shook my head, and saw I'm facing the forest again. I'm in the wrong direction because of what just happened. I turned around, drew my sword and decided to punish whatever just hit me.


        Ah you don't have to wonder, that was my Rookie Sword dropped on the ground. Do you know why I, a true fighter, dropped my sword? Have a look at what is in front of me. Really.

        "DRAGON!" I stumbled back while screaming. The thing ahead of me is at least the size of a bus, it's blue-white toned scales glimmering with light like the water wave when it moves.

        "Don--don't you come closer! I--I'm a warrior, I--I'm not afraid o ya!" I tried to convince myself with something I barely believed while picking up my rookie sword, though this stuff seems useless against a dragon.


        This thing made a sound like when a puppy is scared.

        I stepped back to the edge of the forest until I'm backed against a tree. This thing didn't attack me, it just looked at me and kept grunting. Slowly, my mind is able to think again. I remembered, there are like billions of different monsters in [Zero], but they actually introduced some of the most powerful ones, and I've seen some about dragons.

        I tried to recall it. Dragon is the strongest species in [Zero], and the only level-1000 boss. An adult dragon is usually more than 100 meters in length, it can use human language and other monster languages at ease. Every one is able to use all spells that belong to the same element of the dragon itself, plus all other non-ultimate spells of other categories. The Physical Attack of an adult dragon would usually exceed 10k, and they ignore Defense with a 75% chance. Even a new born whelp would have a physical attack beyond 300!

        With these in thought, I'm both happy and sad. I'm happy about the fact the the 10 meter one in front of me is obviously a child. The sad part is, even if it can't use magic, it probably have 300+ normal attack power. Even a level-100 tank warrior wearing the best gear wouldn't need several hits from this thing before he gets killed, without a chance to heal up!

        I'm dead meat!

        Sigh. Such a bad day. The top guy on the ranking list has reached level 54, I was planning to catch up, now I've lost my way and will get killed. It's hopeless!

        Never mind. I need to die to get back anyway, it doesn't matter what kills me. With this in mind, I'm not scared anymore.

        "Hey Mr dragon, I don't have anything on me. I have two Lightning Beasts here (level 18 minion), I was going to snack on them tonight (you won't starve in [Zero], but eating will grant you HP & MP regen speed for a while, can be considered as potions). Here, you can have them. But promise me to make it quick! Don't chomp me in half or something and let me hurt!"

        I threw the beasts over, and the dragon swallowed them in one go. I closed my eyes, waiting for my demise.

        But why am I feeling something cold on my face?

        I looked. It's licking at my face. Ha ha, this guy isn't going to kill me is it? Maybe I can ask it to lead me out of here!

        While I'm thinking, the dragon's head twitched, and let out a "CHOOOOWWW!" My sight went blurry. My body is pushed flying by a strong force and hit against a tree, and I think several of my bones aren't in the right positions.

        That thing sneezed at me! What kind of genius wrote the program? Oww ow ow my waist!! Crap, my HP is 930 and I'm left with 3! How strong was that thing? A sneeze almost one-shot me, dragons are powerful but they are THIS powerful?!

        I tried to get up, but found myself frozen. Oh god please no!

        I waited for seven full seconds to get free. I wonder what this dragonling will be like when it grows up! If only I could keep one as companion...

        And it came to me. I have nothing else to do about it anyway, why not just try to capture it? Ha!

        I slowly walked up to this "little guy". "Good boy!" And quickly used my Breeder skill: Capture.

        The dragon jumped and stepped back, then stared me with hostility. The elf girl was right. Trying to capture a high level monster will only provoke it! Well I'm not planning to live anyway, I used Capture again when I still have the chance.

        *Ding* I heard the system notice. "Player Ziri has successfully captured boss monster, Ice-blood Dragon Lord!

        Player Ziri is the first player to capture a companion, and will receive a random treasure as reward."

        Ching! I saw a ring fall on the ground. It's blackish, the status only reads one word [Ring], it looks a lot like that ring from the Lord of the Rings.

        The system prompted again. "Player Ziri has become the first player to defeat a level-1000 boss monster. Receives 5 skill points and a treasure."

        Ching. Another ring dropped down. This one looks a bit strange, a black bat standing on top of a black gem. The eye sockets of the bat are embedded with red gems, shining with a feeling of temptation.

        This skill point is nice stuff. Attribute point raises your basic attack and defense, but skill point is used to level up your skills. Normally, a player needs to use the skill often and gain experience to level it up. In this way, each skill can reach level 100. Plus, after level 20, a character can obtain 1 skill point for every 10 levels. Each point can raise a skill by one level. And now I just got 5 points. I'm blessed! They're hard to come by. I decided to save them later for those hard-to-grind skills.

        The system notice is still coming. "Player Ziri's Capture skill has reached level 2, Player Ziri's Capture skill has reached level 3, Player Ziri......" "......has reached level 13."

        Hell yeah! Woohoo! Top prize!

        During my insane laughter I realized my dear dragon disappeared. I searched anxiously and finally found a white colored ball. Wait, is this a dragon egg? I examined the egg for quite a while and found nothing to do about it. I gave up, and put it into my inventory.

        Now I can't just sit here, I started to check my surroundings. This is an open area, a cliff is behind. I ran over and saw a big cave on the cliff. This must be a dragon cave!

        Ha! Dragons collect treasures right? Just maybe...!

        I rushed to the depth to the cave like a maniac. Bingo! There really are something here. ...The heck is all these stuff?! They are all junk. Not much better than my rookie equipment. I guess the game didn't run for much time and they haven't accumulated much here! I dug around for a while, and found a Common one-handed heavy sword with an attack of 5-10; A darksteel armor, 9 defense, also Common; A Superior Leg Guard of Glory, 4 defense, with a bonus 5% movement speed; A pair of leather boots, 1 defense and 1 speed, not bad; A pair of gauntlet, 2 defense, increases attack speed by 5%; A buckler, 7 defense, block rate 25%. (In [Zero], the rarity of equipments from low to high are: Common, Superior, Golden, Elite, Sacred, Artifact) They are not good, but at this moment when almost everyone is wearing starter gear, they'll suffice.

        When I left the dragon cave, I remembered there is a "Help" function in the system. I opened the chat window to find it being the first option. I heard the sound like when you're making a phone call after I chose it.

        "Hello! This is customer service system, Operator 2237 at your service!"

        "Hi there, I want to ask, I just captured a monster, but it disappeared!"

        "Did you see a white egg around you?"

        "Egg? Ah Yes! I found a white ball where it happened!"

        "That's the pet egg! In this game, companions will become level 0 and turn into an egg when captured. Players need to drop their blood on the egg to claim mastership. Of course, you can choose to sell it too. The egg will hatch when mastership is determined, and it will become level 1. Later, players can fight alongside their companion to level it up, until it reaches its peak level. Every companion has different peak level. Some companions have a chance to over-evolve which allows them to exceed their peak level, but the chance is slim and dependent on players' Luck.

        Please keep it in mind, once mastership is decided, a companion's master will never change. Players cannot just find a temporary companion and change for a better one as they like. Companions will resurrect upon death, but you cannot summon them again within 20 minutes. Also, they'll lose a level as well."

        "Got it. Many thanks!" Now I know this white ball is an unclaimed pet egg. I can either sell it or use it myself.

        But there is no doubt on this one! To sell is a one-off, done, over. But if I keep it to help with my grinding, I'll get tons of gold! "I'm claiming it to be my Companion."

        I cut my finger using my sword and dripped my blood on the egg. The system immediately said: "Player Ziri confirmed mastership toward companion. Please give it a name."

        "A name?" Now I think about it, this guy brought my a lot of good fortune. One heck of a lucky star!

        "Lucky. I'll call it Lucky!" I do hope it can bring me even more surprises in later days.

        "Confirmed. Player Ziri is now the master of Companion, Dark Dragon Lord, Lucky."

        Crack! The egg cracked open, a blackish little creature crawled out of it. It climbed onto my body and started rubbing against my face.

        YES! I'm going to attract a lot of oohs and ahhs if I carry a dragon around!

        Ha! Aaahahaha! I just can't help feeling overjoyed.

        But wait a second. Black? Wasn't it a blue dragon when I bumped into it? Is it because of my class is "dark"?

        Nothing to worry about though. A black dragon is cool!

        Oh right, I haven't checked Lucky's status. I brought up its status window.

        Physical Attack 100-200

        Defense 150

        Speed 200

        HP 1500

        Mana ∞

        There are other notes below. Ignore Defense, HP regen + 10/s, attacks have a 25% chance of freezing the target for 7 seconds, Magic Resistance 75%. Holy mother of Jesus. I got lucky to catch this one, if I met another dragon in the future I better run fast! Insane attacks, resist magic, fast heal. I need to put this into my mind: Dragons = Dangerous = Death = Drop level and equipment. However I just can't believe that status belongs to Lucky, who is barely one feet in length!

        I discovered that there are actually inventory slots on Lucky. It can wear equipment too?

        I called:"Lucky's equip and item window."

        Bingo. A window popped up. I saw Lucky wearing a headwear and a collar. That collar is my reward, the Collar of Protection. The headpiece is called the Headwear of Dragon Lord, there's only one attribute: Attack and Defense are doubled when battling against dragons. Holy--Lucky is a dragon lord?

        Below, I saw Lucky got 300 inventory slots and without weight limit. 

        But I got only 120 slots myself! Haha! Lucky can be my mobile storage from now on!

        I also obtained two rewarded rings back there. I took one out. The black ring is just an iron hoop, there is no design nor decorations. I spammed Identify on it until my Mana is empty. I got the skill to level 4 but the ring remained unidentified. Defeated, I asked Lucky to bring me out of the forest. It got tiny but it's still intelligent, it seems. I waited for my Mana to recover while walking. I tried to Identify the ring whenever I got enough MP.

        Finally I was able to identify the ring when we left the forest. The ring turned from black into dark red. It's called the Hermit's Ring, Luck +1, plus two additional bonuses. One is a special skill called "Hindsight", it belongs to the equipment so the skill cannot level up. The effect is EXP obtained +5%. Nice! (My eyes turned into dollar marks) The other bonus is to erase a player's name from the level ranking list, the player's weapon from the weapon ranking list, and the companion, from the companion ranking list. Now I see why it's called the Hermit's Ring. That's some nice hiding. Lastly, as long as you have this ring on, other players will not be able to Identify your status regardless of how many levels their skill is at. This ring doesn't have class or level restriction. Anyone can wear it. Ha haha! Now I feel like someone living in the legend! Pity, I never managed to Identify the other ring.

  • edited December 2016

    Book 2, Chapter 2
    The Forgotten City


        I felt like I just survived an apocalypse when I left the forest. I took several deep breaths, and decided to return to Cold Jadeite and get some potion supply.

        But wait!

        What is this?! Where is Cold Jadeite?!

        What is in front of me is not the vast grassland outside Cold Jadeite, but a mass grave, more than 10 kilos long from the looks of it. The sky is dark gray, there are broken tombs and messy weed everywhere.

        Where the hell am I?! To some relief, there is...something ahead. I don't know whether I should call it a city, or a fortress.

        It's too big for a fortress. I can't get the full view of it, but from a vague observation I suppose it takes at least 3 times more space than that of Cold Jadeite. But I don't think a city would be built upon an island in the middle of a giant lake, with a 3-kilo long stone bridge as the only connection to the outside.

        I shook my head to get rid of the thoughts, collected some courage and started walking towards the "city". Whatever it is, I just need to take a look myself!

        The grave land is HUGE, if there are real corpses buried underground, I'd guess the number would exceed a million. Good thing that you don't need to sleep in this game, and the view is wide, I won't lose my way again.

        Along the way I can see bones of whatever creatures near those broken tombstones. Sometimes human skulls. The whole area reminds me of the Necropolis from the game Might and Magic. What is Zhong Hua company trying to do here, creating such a big graveyard?!

        I finally made it to the bridge when I realized that it looked shorter from a distance, but it's actually more than 5 kilometers. And the lake, something is wrong about the lake as well. The surface of the massive lake is calm, actually the water looks a bit gluey. It's pitch black, occasionally some bubbles would burst on it. There is no weird smell, though.

        As I'm considering whether I should cross the bridge, Lucky flew out of my arms and snorted at the lake. I think it tried to breath fire but is still too small to learn that skill.

        Shifting my view from Lucky to the lake, I saw some big bubbles coming out of the water, followed by a giant fin with membrane and sharp spikes grown all over it. That fin stood 20 meters above the water. And I think I know what kind of horrible creature would be lurking under the surface. From it's direction, it isn't coming for me. That's good.

        There is a even bigger fin appeared not far. Looks like the two monsters are going to fight.

        And yes, the two fins started to rush towards each other. With a BOOM, a water pillar exploded above the lake bringing all kinds of stuff and junk into the mid air. I covered my head and ran in panic.

        In the chaos, I tripped over something and fell to the ground face-first. The moment I raised my head, a long sword stabbed right into my arm. I scream. Blood burst out. With great effort I pulled the sword out. The wound is still bleeding and my HP is dropping like mad. I quickly gulped down my only health potion. After a red flash, the wound is sealed.

        Oh damn this bad luck! I was just watching monsters fight why would something hit me from the sky?!

        I stood up. Clang! A heavy shield dropped on my head right on the mark, I almost fall again.

        Shit! Is this a prank??

        I immediately picked up the shield, raised it over my head and ran towards the woods. Ding! Thung! Clank! Unknown objects kept hitting the shield. My arms almost went numb.

        I've almost reached the woods when I realized I'm covered by a big shadow. What's going on?? I poked my head carefully from under the shield and looked upwards. And I nearly wet my pants.

        A huge eel, which must have been above a hundred meters long, is falling. Unfortunately I am standing exactly at where it will land.

        Out of instinct, I dropped to the ground and pointed my sword upwards. I only felt a weight on my arm and then my mind went black.


        The coldness on my face woke me up. Looks like Lucky is licking at me again. I checked my body. Nothing serious. I tried to look around, it seems I'm buried. Obviously that thing above my head must be the damn eel. My sword is stuck on the ground, with the pointy end keeping the eel above me, creating a small space.

        I was thinking about how to get out when the eel disappeared in a white flash. With another "Clang", my newly obtained sword broke into two pieces. Then I heard the system notice:

        "Player Ziri has reached level 25.

        Player Ziri has reached level 26.

        Player Ziri has reached level 27.

        Player Ziri has reached level 28.

        Player Ziri has reached level 29."

        "Huh? That worked?" This system is funny! But free EXP is always welcomed. It's a pity this eel is only a high level monster, not a boss. Or else I would be receiving reward again.

        My happiness came to an end when I picked up my sword, or the remains of my sword. Argh! It broke in half! It's not anything valuable, but how do I level with my only weapon gone?! Why did I throw away my Rookie Sword in the first place?!

        Then I felt something cold with my hand. Isn't this the sword which stabbed into my arm earlier? Ha! There is always a way out!

        However, my mood instantly fell again, because I just found out that I cannot equip this sword. My attributes are:

        Level 29,

        Strength 377,

        Dexterity 174,

        Intelligence 58,

        Spirit 87,

        Constitution 232.

        The requirement of this sword is:

        Level 30,

        Strength 300,

        Dexterity 160,

        Constitution 150.

        Ergh! Why is this happening?! Why can't I equip it?!

        I searched on the ground, the eel dropped something like a bead, or a fish eye. But I can't Identify it. There are also 17 gold pieces.

        And some equipments flushed onto the shore now scattered around. Most of them are broken, I only found three usable pieces.

        One is the shield which hit my head, I Identified it as "Wall Shield", a Large Shield, I can use it alright. Defense 75, block rate 35% and 10% chance of reflecting damage.

        A leg guard called "Dark Protection". Defense 80, 10% Lightning resistance, 10% Dark resistance, 5% movement speed. Level requirement 37, can't use yet.

        The last one is that shitty sword I can't use! I put everything I can't use into the inventory. I can sell them to exchange for something else anyway.

        Knowing there is a scary monster in the lake, I crouched over the bridge and moved forward, keeping my head low. Maybe that thing can leap out of the water and kill me!

        I reached the end of the bridge in fear, ahead of me now is the gate of the city. The grand gate is made of heavy stone, 18 meters tall and 7 meters wide. Above the gate are two big words "Forgotten City". I got goosebumps just by looking at it!

        I'm even more scared once inside the city. It's deserted. I'm not saying the city is ruined, it's the opposite: the buildings in the whole city look magnificent. All of them are built with blackish stone blocks, they look really sturdy. But all these black buildings under the dark sky really creep me out!

        "He-hello?" I shouted. But my voice is trembling with fear.

        Shiing! Two black long swords appeared at my neck.

        "This is the city of the dead, the living ones are not welcomed! Leave now!" The speaker is a knight fully covered in black armor, and four followers, in black armors as well. Even their mounts are enclosed in full black armor. The speaker is obviously their leader, because a red plume is decorated on his helmet.

        There are already players with such cool equipment? I used Identify and almost had a heart attack.

        The leader is a Mythal Legion Knight Centurion, level 250 Dark Knight, my Identify can't reveal anything else. His followers are Mythal Legion Knights, level 200, their skills are Group Charge and Intimidate, and I can't see their further information either! They are NPCs. Now I know why they look so strong!

        Because I didn't give any reaction, one of the knight decided to slash at me. I closed my eyes but nothing hit me. When I opened my eyes I saw Lucky hovering in front of me, shrieking at the knights.

        What I didn't expect is that all five knights got off their horses. Their leader spoke: "I didn't know this is the Black Dragon Lord. I apologize!"

        Lucky is still fluttering its wings and shouting at the knights, but they just answered with obedience: "Yes! At your command!" And then they jumped onto their horses and rushed into the city. Lucky turned around and called at me in delight. I petted it to show my gratitude.

        With the five knights gone, I started to stride into the city. Looks like Lucky is well respected here!

    Ugh. Got some nasty work here. Sorry but can't update anything during weekend.

  • Book 2, Chapter 3
    Official Announcement


        I wandered around the city for three full hours without buying a single pill or piece of equipment. It's not like I can't find any store, the problem is, they're all closed! I was unable to find a single soul ever since that group of knights left.

        The city is huge, I mean, HUGE, there are countless roads and streets and I'm not really good at remembering directions. Now I'm totally confused.

        I lost patience. I found a small alley and logged off. Took off my helm, I saw Wayne sitting in front of the computer.

        "What you looking at?"

        Wayne called me over with excitement. "Look over here. The official site of [Zero]!"

        "Hmm? What's in it?"

        "There are some game rankings and announcement and such." Wayne explained while strolling though the menus.

        "Anything worth noticing?"

        "Hold a sec. I think I saw some. Ah, here!"

        I stood up to Wayne's side and began to read the announcement he just pointed out.

        "According to Zhong Hua Company, there are a total of 10,100 accounts issued today. These players will be the Public Beta players. All these accounts will have a chance to draw a number of rewards, 4 is most while 0 is minimum."

        Wayne turned around and looked at me in shock. "You can get no reward at all? I thought everyone would at least get something! So how many did you get?"

        I made a V-sign and smiled. "Your awesome boss here is born lucky who just got a FOUR! Hahaha! Now what do you say?"

        "Nice! Right, when I get my account I'm totally depending on you!"

        I scowled. "I'll try."

        Sensing something amiss, Wayne asked: "What's wrong? Someone killed you?"

        "Well that would be better!" I dropped on the bed. "The system must hate me. I encountered two NPC monsters fighting each other. One of them got knocked over my head, I used my sword to block it and now my sword is broken!"

        "Huh? Don't tell me you broke your only Rookie Sword?"

        "Ugh! You know what? I found a Common sword in the forest, it isn't good but at least is better than the rookie one, which cost only 1 copper even if I sell it, so I just threw the Rookie Sword away. And now I'm stuck with no weapon to use!"

        "Boss! Then how are you gonna level up like this?"

        "I'm thinking about it. I got into a city and tried to buy a weapon first, but none of the stores in that city was in business! Never mind. Nothing serious. I just need to spend more time to look for a shop!"

        Wayne shifted back to the webpage and continued reading. "You're really lucky boss! It says 5,307 players got zero reward, so the number of actual gifted accounts is only 4,793."

        "Really? So many people got a Zero?"

        "Right. The company said the success rate is configured based on ratio, zero has the biggest chance and higher numbers are harder to hit!"

        "Did they tell us how many players got the other numbers?"

        "They did! 3,797 players got One. 792 got Two. 203 got Three. And Four is---wait what the fuck?!

        You're the only one who hit Four! Omg boss, in the whole world, you're the one and only who got all the reward! Now I'm beginning to worship you! You're my god!"

        "Is that true?!" I'm surprised too. I thought at least hundreds of people will get four rewards.

        "Anything else on it?"

        Wayne continued reading. "Now the top player in the game is level 68, a Warrior named...Big Blade More Killz."

        Then Wayne paused.

        "What's wrong?"

        "Oh I saw something interesting."


        "The number two, is a female player called 'Red Moon', a Dark Wizard, she is level 67 now! I wonder how she managed it. Aren't casters supposed to be slower when it comes to grinding?"

        Sigh, now I'm becoming more and more unconfident seeing these guys. "Geez. I'm only 29, and they're already beyond 60. That's more than double my level! How do I catch up?!"

        "Come on you will make it!" Wayne comforted me while looking for anything else interesting or useful. "It says here that there are a total of 7 Companions appeared in the game so far! The top one is the companion of that female wizard, called 'Mist'. It was a level-800 boss monster 'Mutated Night Spirit Lord', and now it's level 38. Now I know how she did it. She got a really nice pet!"

        Strange. Lucky is level 1000 boss and it isn't top 1? It is only level 1 now but still...

        Oh, is it because of that Hermit's Ring?

        "What about the other ones?"

        "The other ones?" Wayne read through the list. "The rest are all junk. Number two is only a level 80 boss, something called the wild horse leader, level 21."

        The ring definitely worked! I told Wayne, "Go on!"

        Wayne continued . "The game now has officially entered auto-management mode, all controls and operations are done by the system, anything about quest generations, event occurrences, NPC action patterns...The company will not interfere, everything will be handled by Zhong Hua Company's supercomputer, Nebula. They will not appoint any game masters and such personnel in the game. It's gone full-auto."

        "For God's sake! That's crazy! What are they trying to do?"

        "It says this is for testing purposes, they want to see how well the AI system handles emergencies."

        "That makes sense." While listening to Wayne, I grabbed some fast food from the fridge and began to munch. "Anything else important?"

        "They will issue another 100,000 accounts at 8 am tomorrow, and then lift the restriction after tomorrow. When that happens players will not need to register, their ID number will be their account."

        (Now people in the world use universal ID system. The first three numbers represent country, the rest are determined according to reach country's own rules. Wherever you go, you'll be fine as long as you bring your ID with you, it is bound to your bank credit card. Although the ID number is pretty long and can be troublesome under certain circumstances.)

        "That's all. They say they will update anything new on the page, and at the same time publish them in-game."

        "Alright. Now excuse me. I need to rest for a bit!"

  • Book 2, Chapter 4
    NPC Friend


        I woke up from my sleep at exactly 0 o'clock midnight. I ate something, done business in the toilet, then got online.

        I appeared in the same alley after a white flash. Weird. Why is it so noisy around here?

        I looked around, and oh you must be kidding me! Guess what I'm looking at!

        "Ghost!!!" A gentle-looking old man with complete white hair is ahead of me. But his body is transparent, and he has no legs. There is something like cloud under his waist part.

        "Oh? How did you get here kiddo?" The old man, I mean old ghost, floated toward me.

        I shook my head clear. This is a game, and ghosts are totally ordinary here. With that in mind I'm no longer scared.

        "I lost my way. I arrived in the morning but saw nothing here so I logged off. And now I just got on."

        The old man stopped in front of me. "A rare guest indeed! It has been such a long time since the last time someone alive visited us!"

        The old man seems kind, I'm even more relieved. "Why is no one coming?"

        "Sigh..." The old man told, "You see, I'm dead, you should have already known what is this place by now right?"

        "This is where the souls of the dead rest?" I tried.

        "Not true, but near!" The old man dragged me out of the alleyway. The street outside is now full of people. I mean ghosts. It looks like a real busy city now.

        "This is where the dead gather, but not where they rest. You saw the name at the city gate, no?"

        "The Lost City!"

         "Yes. This is the place for those souls who refuse to rest in peace for various reasons. We've all lost souls!" The old man looks really sad.

        I comforted, "Cheer up, it doesn't seem like a bad place!"

         The old man changed his expression. "Sigh. Let's forget these sad things. Now follow me." The old man flew towards something, I followed.

        While his age is enough to be my grandpa but man he flies fast! I rushed all the way and almost got a side stitch.

        The old man stopped at a large plaza. He flew onto a platform and called me there. When I climbed onto the platform, he shouted: "Everyone gather around! We got a live friend here!"

        Crap, he's over-passionate!

        What makes it worse is that all kinds of demons and ghosts immediately gathered around me. I spammed several Identify and WOW, there are level 130 dead soul, level 200 phantom, level 320 evil spirit, level 210 death knight, level 150 undead fighter, level 350 necromancer...All kinds of monsters, this is a freaking monster paradise! Besides I saw some dark creatures coming this way. I already saw several cerberuses and devils!

        The old man shouted: "As you can see, beside me is a living friend. We haven't welcomed any living ones for a long time, let's celebrate!"




        Damn! These creatures got some hospitality! That's not how I remembered about monsters!

        Looking at all those dancing monsters down there, I don't know what to do!

        Just when I'm dumbfounded, a giant-looking warrior with black armor came to me. "Hello! I'm Clark, a blacksmith running the weapon shop around here. Come do business with me if you need any equipment!"

        "But aren't the stores here closed? I ran around the city in the morning and no one is open for business."

        "Heh heh heh heh." The warrior laughed with roughness. "Of course no one is here in the daylight! This is the Lost City, there are no one other than the guards between 8 and 18 in daytime!"

        "Ow why didn't I think about that. You guys can't touch the sunlight right?"

         "We can. It's just that we hate sunlight. Look at the tower over there."

        Someone high and slim wearing black robe walked behind me. Woah this guy is tall! I'm 170 centimeters, a middlebrow, and I barely reached his shoulders!

        I looked at the direction he pointed out. There is indeed a tall tower. It's a square tower similar to an obelisk. It's not black colored but it looks really dark. From a vague estimate the tower is at least 300 meters high. None of the buildings around it stands above 100 meter so the tower really stands out.

       There is a diamond shaped frame at the tip of the tower, and a red eye pupil inside it, it feels...really overwhelming. The pupil is now a vertical line, I suppose it is closed now. I don't want to know what will happen when that eye opens.

        "That's the Dark Tower of the Lost City, and the Eye of Underworld. The eye will open when this city is under attack, or is attacking a nearby city. Once the eye opens, the dark creatures in the city will no longer follow the day and night routine. And, all dark creatures will get a 50% bonus to their Attack and Defense."

        "Really? That's awesome! You're unbeatable!"

        The robed man let out an evil chuckle. "Not exactly unbeatable. But quite powerful indeed. I haven't introduced myself. I run the Chemist Shop in the city, you can call me the King Chemist!"

        "The dead ones need medicine?" This system is so weird. Every race will need to use medicine?

        "Why not? Let me tell you. My meds are specially made and can't be acquired anywhere else within the whole continent. They are effective AND cheap! 20% off for you if you come!"

        It's not long before I'm surrounded by all kinds of NPCs, mostly shop owners, and they all offered 20% off for me to visit their place. I can't do anything else but to start visiting the stores one after one.

        I first got dragged into Clark's weapon shop. We reached his shop just past several streets. I came here before in the morning, of course it was closed.

        "How about it? Nice place huh?" Clark boasted.

        I looked around. The weapon shop is big, with wooden walls and floor. Several NPCs are buying and selling stuff at the counter. It feels quite like a big store.

        "Nice! Your shop is pretty cool!"

        Clark's smile got bigger. "So what about you? Anything you want to buy?"

        "Absolutely! I broke my weapon yesterday, and none of the stuff on me is usable so I need a really good one!"

        Clark saw my expression and said: "Oh don't worry, you can just leave an IOU if you don't get the money at the moment."

         "Well I can't just do that! Let me see." I dropped everything in my inventory out. "You take these. I got another 3 gold. I'll owe you a debt if this is not enough. I promise I'll return the money."

        Clark checked over my stuff and said: "These should be around 13 gold, that's 16 in total. Here, come with me!"

  • This novel, OMG, how dare you, not afraid of death(no zou no die)

  • Book 2, Chapter 5


        I followed Clark to the second floor. It happens to be a small quest room. He asked me to sit down and went into another room. Soon he came running back with a blood-red long sword in his hands. He put it in front of me. "This is a sword I forged when I just finished my apprenticeship. See if you can use it."

        I lifted the sword and started checking it. It's a very ordinary long sword, without any decorations, everything looks standard. But for some reason the blade is emitting a red glow.

        I looked at the attributes.

        Long sword: Soul Guardian of life steal,

        Attack 25-40,

        Attack Speed--Fast,

        15% Life Steal,

        Dexterity +1,

        1% chance of knockback.

        Good stuff! Especially the attack speed and life steal feature. In [Zero], a weapon's Attack Speed has 5 levels: Very Fast, Fast, Normal, Slow and Very Slow. Most short weapons are Normal, long ones are Slow. A Fast weapon is really rare, let alone Very Fast weapons! This sword is Fast and can absorb HP, the absorb rate is good too. A really precious weapon for a warrior type!

        Out of fear that I may not be able to use it, I quickly looked at the attribute requirement.

        Level 29,

        Strength 370,

        Dexterity 170.

        Ha! I just hit the mark. Now I'm level 29 with Strength: 13 x 29 = 377, Dexterity: 6 x 29 = 174. All barely above the line. I'm so lucky!

        Seeing no reactions, Clark thought I couldn't use it and started to comfort me. "Hey Ziri, mate, don't get depressed! I made this one out of an accident. It's good but the Strength requirement is too high. Low level people can't use it while high level people got better weapons so this sword is somewhat useless. I just kept it as a momento of my works. It's my first product after all!"

        (With my high Charisma we soon became good friends and he started to call me "mate".)

        Then I realized I haven't answered Clark's question, "Oh right! No that's not it. I can use it, it's perfect! How much does it cost?"

        Hearing these, Clark told me with excitement: "Well it ain't useful for me anyway. I'll just charge you the base cost, 7 gold. Here you can take the other 6 gold back."

         I didn't decline. For I don't have much on me either, I need to buy some potions later! Besides, Clark isn't someone to haggle over such kind of matters. I just need to help with his business in the future.

        I equipped the sword, took out the shield I picked up outside the city and looked at myself. I'm wearing all kinds of stuff, a total mess actually. But at least I managed to cover myself up.

        When I'm just feeling good about it, Clark interrupted: "Oh dear what is all these junk?! This black, white and that--red thingy, you look hideous!"

        "Why? I think it's good! At least I'm fully armored!"

        "You call that fully armored? Where is your helmet? Shoulder armor? Gauntlet? And belt, tasset, and what about cape? You can wear six rings but you only have one!"(In [Zero], a player can wear ten rings in theory. But only the ones on your index, middle and ring fingers will have effect. Other ones are considered decorations!)

        I interrupted: "I have another one here but I haven't identified it!"

         "Right. That makes it two rings. You need another four! And you don't have amulet, no bracelets either. Two bracelets can bring you lot of buffs! And head accessory? None?"

        Damn! I thought my set-up was decent, but after what he said I feel like a beggar!

        "Alright. Today I'm gonna dress you up even if it means I need to throw money in it. If other undead citizens saw you walking out of my shop like this, my reputation will be ruined! Come, take off everything and lemme see how to improve it!" And then Clark began to help me undress.

        I ran away. "No, nononono! I can't take free stuff from you again. I'll just level up and come back for some better equipment later!"

        Clark thought about it and nodded. "True. You will be leveling fast, you need to change your gear pretty soon anyway. How about this, Tell me your base attributes, I'll prepare a level-200 Dark Knight set for you. The highest level is 1000 but once you reach 200 your grinding will become nice and slow. Work hard till then!"

        "Thank you!" I thanked him while jotting down my points and handed it over to Clark.

        The instant I left Clark's shop, King Chemist snatched me away in a blink of an eye. He seems to have been hiding there for a while now. He's slim but he's strong! When we reached his shop I realized that it's not too far from Clark's. Only several storefronts apart.

        King Chemist came to me with a bunch of meds and an evil smile on his face. "Hee hee. Let me introduce you about these medicine." He took out a black-ish pill. "This is called the Wraith Pill. It's all black but it's effective!"

        "What does it do?"

         "The main effect is health recover. Each pill gives you 500 HP, with twice recovery speed compared to those red potions you bought from other cities. How about it? Neat stuff eh?"

        "Is it expensive?" Nothing good comes cheap. I'm sure of it.

        "Expensive? Of course not! I told you we're 'effective AND cheap' and I meant it! The pill comes in packs, each pack cost a gold."

        "What? That's rip off!" I quickly jumped to the exit.

        And the King Chemist dragged me back even quicker. "Calm down! Just listen until I finish. You will know this is actually cheap!"

        "Go ahead then!"

         "Right. First, each pack contains 10 pills. Which means a silver for each pill. A normal big health potion in other shops costs one silver, and they only recovers 300 HP, besides their effect is slower than my pill. Now tell me, is it cheap or not?"

        Now I think about it, yes this is quite a bargain! "The price is good!"

        King Chemist got more excited upon hearing my approval. He quickly brought out a pile of Wraith Pills and said: "If you buy 10 packs now you get another for free. Whaddya say?"

         "I only have 9 gold on me!"

        "That's no problem. I said I'll give you a 20%-off.  11 packs for only 8 gold!"

        "Thank you very much!" I jumped out of excitement!

  • edited December 2016

    Book 2, Chapter 6


    Ugh. That name list looks terrible. But dunno how to fix that.


        I carried what I got from King Chemist, satisfied, and rushed outside the city.

        Here I come my dear monsters!

        I checked over the ranking board. There are some changes, several new entries popped up.

        Rank  Name                                   Race             Gender   Level    Class                            Pet

        1        Big Blade More Killz           Half Orc            Male        71     Warrior            Level 11 Wild Horse Leader

        2        Merciless Autumn Wind      Angel               Male        70     Warrior                          None

        3        Red Moon                     Divine Demon      Female     70  Dark Wizard       Level 38 Night Spirit Lord

        4        I Luv Money                       Demon            Female      69   Priestess                        None

        5       Sky Fire                              Human             Male          69  Spellsword                      None

        6       No Dating                           Gnome             Male          69 Rogue+Black Mage         None

        7       Descended God                  Angel              Male          69     Warrior                          None

        8       Sunshine                            Half Elf             Male          68     Archer                          None

        9       Tender Heart                      Half Elf            Female        68     Archer                         None

        10     T-Rex                                 Half Orc           Male          68    Warrior                          None

        Look at all that. I'm only 29. This is embarrassing!

        I took out the grinding map King Chemist gave me. Now this is something really useful! This is no ordinary map. Apart from the landscape around Lost City, there are detailed information about the levels and characteristics about the monsters at various grinding sites.

        Following the route on the map, I came to a valley behind the city. I searched for a whole morning in order to find its entrance, during which I cursed the designers of this city plus their families over and over! The city got only ONE exit, ON THE LAKE, I came out from there and ran half a circle around the lake to reach where I am. I'm so asking my mother to find that designer and give him a mouthful when I get back!

        According to the map, this is called the Dark Valley. It is said those evil souls who refuse to live in the Lost City would stay here. The chemist said that monster here spawn really fast, besides their levels will get higher as I go deeper. Their level patterns are clearly divided here so it is a perfect place to level up.

        I tried walking into the valley and didn't encounter anything for half a mile! Don't tell me that King Chemist guy is trolling me!

        I kept on walking and finally saw a figure ahead. As I got closer I made out its identity. A zombie, its body is highly corroded and is giving out a serious stink which makes me want to puke right away. Why in the world would they implant so much reality into the game?!

        With the ethic of being a professional gamer, however, I still charged forward against the terrible odor. This may look strange to people but personally I love grinding. Many people hate it when they need to spend time leveling in an online game, but to me, the whole process is something worth enjoying.

        I slashed at the zombie. Oneshot kill. So weak!

        Another zombie wandered closer, I used Identify first. It succeeded in one go. My Identify skill is now level 4 after all. It reads Rotten Zombie, level 30 monster, whose normal attacks have a chance to poison the target. Slow movement, head is weakpoint. Only level 30. No wonder they're so easy. I have pretty insane Attack now, killing something at the same level in one hit is totally normal.

        I cut at the newcomer zombie. It stumbled but didn't fall. I quickly finished it with another hit. Looks like I can't guarantee one-hit KOs!

        I found a third zombie pretty fast. Just as the chemist's map said, there are a good number of monsters here and they usually come in groups with only one kind stuffed together, good place for grinding. 

        If you don't mind the smell, that is. 

        Most zombies went down with one hit. About 1 or 2 out of 10 would need a second finisher. 2 hours passed and I already reached level 35. Damn this is fast!

        Knowing that my Attack is high, I started to march deeper into the valley, killing zombies along the way. Another zombie appeared. Nothing new. I cut--wait it didn't die. I hit it again. It's still running! Realizing that this is no ordinary Rotten Zombie, I used Identify. Not surprised, there's something different about this one. The name is Zombie (without "Rotten"). Level 40 monster, its claws carry potent poison. Slow movement, head is weakpoint. Ohh something stronger. No wonder two hits won't kill it. I stepped to its backside and made another slash. And then kept chopping around it while watching it turn around in slow-motion. It finally died after 7 or 8 attacks! Cling! Two silver pieces dropped on the ground. Aha! Now that's a lot richer than those rotten ones!

        After I traveled further into it I got a bit tired. So I found a stone wall and logged off while leaning of it. I checked the time after removing my helmet. 3 pm. Wayne is not here. I got some quick snack, toilet, then continued my game. When I appeared I found myself surrounded by a group of zombies. Somewhere more than 30 of them! But I'm facing their backs. I zigzagged outside the monsters through the gaps. Man they're so slow.

        I recalled that I should level up my Lucky as well. I need it to help me grind or PvP in the future! After a command in my mind, Lucky appeared in front of me. It flew into my arms and began to rub against my chest. "Hey Lucky! Now you need to train hard! No one's going to bully you if you got high levels! Now try yourself on those ugly ones!"

        It seems to have understood what I said. Lucky stepped onto my shoulder, began to cast something using its tiny claws. Then a small fireball flew towards one of the zombies. Poof. Now a charred zombie is standing in front of me. But looks like it didn't take much damage. 

        Seeing the fireball ineffective, Lucky dropped its head. I patted its tiny head. "No worries, they look terrible but they are level 40! Even if you're dragon you are level 1, of course your fire won't do much to them."

        Hearing my encouragement Lucky lit up. Again, at the same zombie, Lucky shot another---wait, not one, but an array of fireballs! Oh for the love of--- How fast can dragons cast spells?? There are almost no intervals between Lucky's fireballs which makes it like a machine gun. That unfortunate zombie took at least 20 shots within 10 seconds, then turned into ash and disappeared, leaving three silver coins behind.

        Seeing the zombie went down, Lucky hopped on my shoulder joyfully. A system notice followed up: "Congratulations! Your Companion has reached level 5!" Before I can react I just felt my shoulders suddenly gained a weight. Lucky became a lot larger. It was barely a feet in length including the tail, now it's almost one full meter! My goodness at this rate he's gonna get bigger as a small hill!

        As I'm thinking, another zombie approached me. Lucky went up and smashed the zombie with one claw swipe! The system notice sounded again. "Congratulations! Your Companion has reached level 8!" Now Lucky is one and a half meter!

        When I'm standing dumbfounded, Lucky has began to displaying its super speed. It just dashed up and down in the zombie crowd, while I hear countless "Congratulations" from the system. When I recovered from my shock I immediately shouted: "Stop! Lucky! Come back!"

        Lucky spread its now 5-meter-long wings and appeared in front of me with one leap. Then it began to pose and display its huge body to me as if trying to ask for compliment. Oh good heavens. Lucky is already level 36 now after such a short fight. Because I share the experience, I'm now 36 as well. The Lucky in front of me has reach the size when we first met, like a bus, its body covered with shiny black scales!

        "You're awesome!" I patted Lucky's head. "With your help my level's gonna skyrocket. But I got to keep you a secret! If anyone knows about such a nice companion they'll try to take you!"

        (In [Zero], a companion who already has a master can be captured too. But companion with a Loyalty above 80 will only have a success rate of less than 0.01%. While the ones with 95 or higher Loyalty are totally impossible to capture.)

        Hearing this, Lucky immediately grasped me with its front claws and whined. 

        "Ooouch! Let go! You are killing me!" 

        Lucky quickly released me. I sat on the ground and breathed hard. "Well your strength is just as big as your body! Don't do that again alright?"

        Lucky nodded its head rapidly.

  • Book 2, Chapter 7
    Catching Up


        I led Lucky towards the depth of the valley, as usual, Lucky just cleared everything we came across along the way. But for some reason its leveling speed is becoming slower, almost the same pace as me.

        We finally saw something new, a zombie with long fangs and enlarged sharp claws. Identified as "Mutated Zombie", level 60, whose attacks can paralyze the target while carrying a deadly poison. Movement is somewhat fast and is resistant to attacks, vulnerable to fire. Heart is weakpoint.

        I approached it quickly, asking Lucky to deal with targets around us while fighting it one-on-one myself. I'm 38, could try it.

        Just when I tried to slash this thing, I found its claws already in front of my face. I jerked my blade back in mid-air and jumped backwards. Damn that was close, my face was almost ruined!

        I tried to move to the back and attacked, but the monster turned quickly and parried my sword with one claw, then swiped with the other one in an instant.


        I took a direct hit and lost 600 HP. Man that hurts, if I eat several more hits like this I'm a goner!

        Just when I'm trying to back out I took another claw hit on my back. Turing around, I saw another Mutated Zombie just spawned behind me.

        I got no other choice but to make some distance with a side-roll. But the two zombies leaped towards me while waving their big claws. This isn't good, they're too fast!

        When I'm about to give up, a serial of fireballs blasted the two mobs away. I sprung myself up and got ready to dodge further attacks. But then I realized the two zombies are burning. No wonder it said they are weak to fire!

        I recalled that my second class, Tamer, can use some magic too, so I started to throw small fire bullets. However with my low Intelligence they barely did much damage. Fortunately, Lucky's fireballs are quite effective.

        After dealing with the Mutated Zombies, we came to a hollowed-out part on a cliff, just enough for us to hide inside. We stand at the cave exit while Lucky blocks the whole entrance, I stood on its back. (Now Lucky is above 15 meters. Of course it can't stay on my shoulder anymore!) And spam some fireballs here and there. The spawning rate here is very fast, we can't clear the area even with our full speed! Because we're killing something that is way beyond our own level, we rose fast. I reached 58 at around 8 pm, and Lucky is 58 too, just like me. During our grind I found out that the level of your Companion in [Zero] is limited by its master's level, it will never exceed master level no matter how much exp it earns. Lucky just obtain one level every time right after I level up myself.

        Despite the time (the time in [Zero] is consistent with the real world), the place is still pretty bright due to our endless fireballs. Zombies outside kept trying to rush in while waving their shimmering green eyes and claws but they never succeeded. I felt hungry so I recalled Lucky and logged off.

        I removed my helm and saw Wayne readying food on the table. "Aha! A perfect time to come out!"

        "Pffff! Forget it. This is mine. No share for you!"

        I dropped my face and pretended to be considering. "Sighhh. I finally found a nice secret spot to grind. I was planning to bring someone along, but now..."

        "Boss you're the best! I'm always admiring your coolness, oh please help me level up and show that magnificent and selflessness image of yours for everyone to see! Here this dinner is my gift to show my loyalty to you! Enjoy!" Wayne immediately ran over and started to flatter.

        "Haha. Now that's what I'm expecting. But seriously, are you going for an account tomorrow morning?"

        "You bet I am!" Wayne passed me a bowl of food. "So what's your level now?"


         "What the-- Weren't ya only like 29 yesterday?"

        "Heehehe! It's a secret! Tell you what, the spot I mentioned is really good. A heaven for new players to train up. Only problem is the terrible air condition. Do you have the latest system news?"

        Wayne put down his food and went carry his laptop to me. "Not much. Only two important ones. One is the female player Red Moon I told you yesterday, she got a Sacred equipment from a system reward. The other one is the system is now in auto mode, all NPCs will run according to their AI! From now on Zhong Hua Company will not manipulate anything in the system and will guarantee absolute fairness."

        "Sacred equipment? What is it?"

        "Rea fa ya felf!" Wayne mumbled with his mouth full.

        Then I saw it on the web page. The player has obtained a Dark Bracelet, Magic Attack + 20-30, Luck +1, and can control a monster whose level is more than 100 below the wearer, but can only control one at a time. Looks nice but not that useful at the moment. My Hermit's Ring is way better!

        I rested after finishing my meal, and woke up at 5 am. Dang it I overslept! I checked Wayne's bed, he's already gone to join the queue. I ate something, satisfied my toilet needs and entered the game again.

        I appeared in the cave. It's totally dark, I didn't see any zombie eyes which would otherwise look like green light bulbs in here.

        I called Lucky, it came out with a thunderous dragon roar which probably traveled really far. Now I know what a monster king looks like!

        The roar was imposing but its only result seems to have been attracted a horde of zombies. I saw countless green dots coming this way! We're surrounded not long after that. Lucky filled the place with fireballs because it got infinite Mana points. I just stood on its back, bored. I could throw some small fireballs for fun at the beginning, but my miserable mana pool became depleted pretty fast. Considering that wasting Mana like this is meaningless, I remembered I still have an unidentified ring on me, so I took it out and started to Identify.

        I never knew what the ring is, I didn't success after using Identify for somewhere like hundreds of times. The skill is now level 7, it should have pretty decent success rate by now, but I just couldn't get the ring identified. Lucky, however, is working really fast. The dawn is about to break and both of us have reached level 67.

        I checked the rankings. The order didn't change but the guy on the top of the list is now 74! Man he's good!

        Because of our level, the level 60 Mutated Zombies around here have begun to yield less and less exp to us. So we started to move deeper into the valley.

    Um. Can't update during weekend. Just saying.

  • Thanks for the chap.
  • thanks for the chap so glad you're quickly catching up to the last set of translators
  • So you really started to work on this book?Twenty million words!
    God bless you, pal.
    Wechat: vanose
    Welcome friends overseas!

  • Book 2, Chapter 8
    They are after me!


        We marched deeper while clearing those Mutated Zombies on the way. Then I felt a decrease in their numbers. Looks like we're near the next monster zone. And just as expected, we saw something ahead, almost 2 meters tall. Its body is fully covered in black armor, without any part exposed.

        I used Identify from afar. Undead Fighter, level 100, attacks will absorb HP, high Defense, adept at using combo skills, 20% resistant to Dark magic. No particular weakpoint.

        Ohh this thing looks strong! I ordered Lucky to stay guard. I'll try this loner out on myself. Lucky started to protect the surrounding area while I charged at the Undead Fighter. He spotted me soon, with a shift in hand, a jagged black sword appeared in his grasp. I rushed to his face and slashed downwards. The fighter dodged it with a neat side-step. Using my great Strength, I forcefully jerked my sword from downward slash to a horizontal sweep.

        A hit. Clang! A really big recoil pushed me back three steps. Jesus that's some hard defense. The hit only dealt 113 damage!

        Just as my attack has finished the Undead Fighter charged toward me. He's fast. He reached me in an instant and I don't have time to evade. I kept stepping back but he still hit me spot-on with a sweep. I felt my body shook and blood came out of my throat. That was like getting run over by a truck. But the attack didn't end. The Undead Knight used the recoil force and spun in a circle, slashing from the other direction, then followed by a fast third sweep. Now I'm totally crashed, I took three hit! My HP is down to 19. Shit he almost finished me with just one combo! Anyone else in my shoes would have been dead by now. But I got pretty high HP. Plus I'm no ordinary people, I have the Collar of Protection!

        I didn't get the chance to finish my thoughts before the fighter charged again. Damn it, there's no breather!

        "Lucky! Help!"

        Hearing this, Lucky immediately reached us with a powerful gust, which caused the Undead Fighter to lose his balance and started spinning funny. I took the chance and cut him several times. I may not kill him but at least that felt good!

        Realizing it's not good idea to mess with Lucky, the Undead Fighter started to flee without hesitation. But those two legs have no chance against Lucky's wings. Lucky quickly caught him in a claw swipe, sending him crashing into a cliff, then he disappeared in a white flash. I ran over, ah I'm rich! There are two gold coins on the ground! Ah hahaha! It's not surprising that high level monsters carry more money. Pity he didn't drop his equipment. If I can get my hands on such cool armor set I'll be the center of the crowd!

        While I'm daydreaming, I heard noise coming from the valley. It felt like the footsteps when an army is marching. And it didn't take long before I saw what it is. A row of eight Undead Fighters appeared around the corner ahead, running towards me in an orderly formation. What's worse is that there are more arrays coming behind them and not stopping.

        Well all I did is killing one of the outer guards, do they have to send a freaking army on me?!

        Lucky deserves to be a top-class companion, it reacts fast -- Lucky just grabbed me and started to escape without a second thought. God knows how many tens of thousands of Undead Fighters are after me, I sit on Lucky's back and can't even make out where this crowd ends! Lucky is fast but it's only level 67, and couldn't fly very fast with me sitting on its back. I watched the undead force getting closer, and threw some magic missiles now and then, to no avail at all. But my actions inspired Lucky. It turned its head around and started to shoot explosive fireballs. Totally different from my pathetic spells, each of Lucky's fireball can crumble a small mess of them with ease.

        Frankly speaking, this could have been a nice way to grind up only if we're not being chased like scared puppies. Those undead fighters ran after us all the way the the valley entrance. When we exited the valley, I looked back, praying that those undead would stop their pursuit. Because they're already out of bounds!

        Unfortunately the God didn't hear my prayer. (I'm a Dark Fighter, maybe I'm praying to the wrong god? Lemme try Satan next time!) The valley exit didn't stop the huge army any bit, they just rushed towards us without stopping. We turned and started running right away. I patted Lucky's back and ordered it to fly into the Lost City. The valley faces the backside of the city and the city gate is on the other side. Let's see if you can just jump into the lake and chase me, the monster in the lake will definitely do something!

        We dropped flat on the ground as soon as we're past the city wall. Lucky is down out of exhaustion while I'm too scared to stand! Man those guys are terrifying. I'd better avoid them in the future!

        But we reached level 70 after all this run-and-blast. Aha! Level 100 monsters got nice exp reward. It's a pity I couldn't pick all those gold coins back!

        While I'm panting I hear a familiar voice above me. "Ziri? Hey mate, what happened to you?" Clark stared at the cracks on my armor and asked.

        I saw Clark and answered: "Just my luck! I went to train in the Dark Valley and met those Undead Fighter or something. I killed one of them and a whole damn legion is on my tail now. They chased me all the way here!"

        "You...killed an Undead Fighter in the Dark Valley?" Clark raised his voice.

        "Yeah. Did I do something wrong?"

        "Well aren't ya a brave one!"

         "So...what happened?"

        Clark just laughed: "I sure can't tell you the whole thing, come with me now, I'll find you someone who'll explain to you."

         I followed Clark into an Appraisal Shop. Then Clark introduced me to the shop owner, who is the guild master of the Appraiser Guild in Lost City. Hearing that I killed a fighter in the Dark Valley that old man laughed hard and almost choked himself to death. Oh wait, he doesn't need to breath!

        "What's this all about?" I'm starting to get annoyed because they just laugh.

        Seeing I'm getting angry, the old man tried to hold back his laughter. Hard. " really don't know?"

        "Know what?"

         "You took the wrong turn in the Dark Valley and encountered the guards of Dark Palace. You're lucky it's just one of the outer minions!"

        "Huh? Minion? That was level 100 Undead Fighter! And thousands of them! Those were just minions?"

        The old man chuckled: "The Dark Palace is a forbidden realm for us denizens of the dark. All of us vowed to protect the place with all we have."

         "That serious?"

        "Of course. The place is the source of dark powers. Legend says that the Star of Genesis which created the world split into two halves, one of them is dropped inside the forbidden area, becoming the source of darkness!"

        "Is there a reward for taking that dark source? Any quest for it?"

        "Take??" Guild master and Clark stared at me, agape. The guild master claimed: " It's impossible to take the dark source! There are way too many guards! What you saw today is the outer most part of the forbidden area. There are endless level-250 Undead Guardian Knights behind those fighters, and level-350 Dark Sorcerer Formations. Suppose you can sneak past these ones and reach inside the forbidden area, you won't get the source either. Rumor says there are eight identical Hidden Palaces, each with 7 floors, and each floor is protected by countless guards ranging from level 400 to 800. Now do you still think you can do it?"

        I'm not convinced. "I have Lucky, I can raise it to level 800. What kind of monster can fight against a top leveled dragon companion?"

         "Let's not ask whether you can reach level 800 at all. You won't do anything even if you are 900. The last two guardians of the dark source, are two level-1000 Dark Fiend Dragons!"

        "Ugh. That looks hopeless."

    P.S. That reminds me. The author is going to tease various gods and deities of different culture and religion in the future, too.   Again, please don't take it serious.

    P.S.2  Ohh someone put my list onto  Well thank you!

  • thanks for the chapter
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