Wild Beast Appears

The scan on your iris and vein has determined that you are an unregistered user. Do you want to create a new account?

* * *

When Lee Hyun was connected to Royal Road, the first sound that reached his ears was a feminine voice.

He looked around to see who had spoken to him, but there was no one else; a space within the universe. Then he realized that he was in the middle of the activation process of a new account.

“Yes!”

— Select the name of your avat­—

“Weed.” Weed, the lowliest of the low in the plant kingdom. To Lee Hyun, it sounded most suitable for him.

— Select your gender from male, female or neutr—

“Male!”

— Royal Road has forty-nine races. You may select your race from the primary twenty-nine­—

“Human!”

  • You may alter your appearan—

“The way I am.”

— Your account has been activated. Your stats and class shall be determined while you are playing Royal Road­—

“Pass!”

— Select a city and kingdom you want to start.

“The Citadel of Serabourg, Rosenheim Kingdom!”

— Welcome to Royal­—

“Pass!”

Afraid to waste even a second, Lee Hyun skipped the tutorial stage and made quick decisions according to his prearranged plan. Three hundred thousand won monthly bill for the game was a great expense to him.

* * *

In Royal Road, there are over a hundred major cities and thousands of towns. A new player begins his adventure in a capital or a major city of comparable size.

Similar to where Weed is starting out.

Flash

With a flash of light, he appeared in the Citadel of Serabourg, Rosenheim.

“This is…”

Weed was swayed by the sight of countless avatars, users and NPCs—Non-Player Characters—alike, that he thought he was lost in the middle of Seoul.

“Where am I? Unbelievable!”

Astonished, Weed couldn’t believe his eyes as he looked around. The racket of those haggling and chattering rang in his ears. The view unfolding before his eyes was exactly the same as the real world, with people busy coming and going.

He lowered his eyes to his legs standing on the ground. His senses told him that it felt absolutely solid. Strangers passed him by as he stood still in a daze.

“Look at him. I’m sure he’s a newbie.”

“It looks like he’s never played a virtual reality game before.”

While passing by, some users threw fleeting remarks over their shoulders. They stung him enough to pull himself together.

They’re right. It’s Royal Road here. The world of virtual reality, and my new workplace.

No matter how thoroughly Weed had prepared, his knowledge of virtual reality and his research into the game system came second to the strange experience he was having now.

He had been bewildered, but it was temporary, and he soon calmed down, differences also began to catch his eye.

His senses were consistent with reality, yet people around him were clad in armor or wearing leather vests.

Close to the spot where he had shown up was a bulletin board exhibiting maps and descriptions of Rosenheim Kingdom, and directions for using the basic interface.

It’s time that I start.

Weed clenched his fist, and then he started to exercise. He sat down and stood up, and then proceeded with standing high jumps, tumbling, kicking and punching.

He twisted his waist around and carefully tested one joint after another. He wiggled fingers and toes, and jerked his head back and forth.

Even though a tsunami of humiliating comments gushed forth from other users nearby, Weed was determined to overcome it.

“What the heck is he doing now?”

“It looks like he’s moving his body. I guess he’s still uncomfortable with the virtual reality game.”

“Oh, I see. But what’s the point of making a show in the middle of a crowded street?”

The sense of humiliation which Weed had been fighting so hard to keep back prevailed over his determination. What a scene he’d been making in front of strangers.

“Dammit!” Weed left in a hurry and headed elsewhere.

A newcomer in Royal Road is confined to the city of origin for a week in real world and four weeks in the game, thanks to the parallax between one place and the other.

A great majority of newcomers were getting down to basics, simple quests, or learn craft skills, such as tailoring, blacksmith and cooking, which are relatively easy to acquire.

The game boast of its unrestricted flexibility, almost to the extent of disorder, and while all the highest ranking positions arc still occupied by NPCs instead of users, this reinforces the need for personal contacts.

On the other hand, a considerable number of users work in libraries or stores to make money.

The Central Square brims with merchant wannabes who set up kiosks to buy and sell with fellow users and many new parties in pursuit of adventure are formed on the spot every minute.

After watching them casually, Weed didn’t hesitate to head for the Training Hall.

The Training Hall is open to any user as long as he pleases, and most users visit the hall to experiment with newly acquired skills.

It is nearly impossible to find someone who, like Weed, would go straight to the Training Hall as soon as he created a new avatar.

It’s not only that newcomers are more interested in finding out what the kingdom and city where they were born look like, but it’s also largely because training in the Training Hall is deemed rather ineffective.

The moment the instructor saw Weed walk in the entrance, his eyes glared fiercely.

“Young adventurer, I presume you have arrived at the Versailles continent very recently,” the instructor said.

“Yes, Sir” Weed said shortly. He was still upset that he had made a laughing stock of himself on the first day.

“You shall find sword training absolutely necessary when you come to confront monsters. Do you need my guidance? I tell you, take any unattended scarecrow and strike him in any way you want. A wooden sword is placed in front of a scarecrow, and it is all yours.”

“Thank you, sir. That’s enough. I don’t need any more guidance.”

“Godspeed”

Weed clutched the wooden sword and walked to a scarecrow standing alone in the most remote comer. Then, he began beating it, once, twice, thrice. His hands were gradually getting accustomed to the weight of the wooden sword and the sense of hitting the scarecrow.

In Royal Road, a new avatar’s level is locked for the first four weeks, for he is forbidden to travel beyond the city’s gate and to hunt monsters in the field.

It is most common to carry out as many quests as possible, thus building up favorable public service points, earning money and forming your own web of personal contacts.

Nonetheless, Weed silently carried on striking the scarecrow with the wooden sword.

There are about a thousand scarecrows in the Training Hall of the Citadel of Serabourg, and an unlimited supply of wooden swords on the walls, which could come in handy. The Hall is usually frequented by users who crave to test their skills.

At this moment, however, everyone’s eyes were fixed on somewhere in particular.

“This guy’s definitely got iron guts.”

“He’s freaking tough.”

“Can’t believe any sane man’s going so far”

Weed was soaked in sweat.

The white shirt and pants issued to him in the beginning had absorbed sweat and stuck fast to his body. He still dealt one blow after another to the scarecrow without a minute’s break.

Strength increased by 1 point. (+1 STR)

After six hours of striking the scarecrow, Weed heard good news. He felt as if the muscles in his hand clutching the wooden sword were getting lighter.“Stats window,” Weed mumbled while striking the scarecrow.

Character Name

Weed

Alignment

Neutral

Level

1

Profession

None

Title

None

Reputation

0

Health

100

Mana

100

Strength

11

Agility

10

Stamina

10

Wisdom

10

Intellect

10

Luck

0

Leadership

0

Attack

3

Defense

0

Magic Resistance

Fire

0%

Water

0%

Earth

0%

Black Magic

0%

Weed’s avatar was so feeble that there was nothing remarkable.Five hours later—

Vitality rises by 1 point. (+1 VIT)

Agility rises by 1 point. (+1 AGI)

The two stats rose almost at the same lime.

“Whew.”

Weed finally put down the wooden sword and look a short break. Without eating or drinking, he had been hitting the scarecrow for nearly eight straight hours.

He was physically fatigued, and worse, his throat was burning with thirst, his stomach empty and hollow.

“Inventory window”

Given the preset keyword, the semitransparent images of all the belongings in Weed’s inventory floated in front of his eyes. Inside his inventory were a canteen and ten pieces of rye bread. That was all.

In Royal Road, you have to get hold of what you need on your own. Other users make money by carrying out easy quests for the four weeks, but Weed could not spare even a minute.

He took out a piece of rye bread and the canteen, and nibbled a mouthful of bread. As he ate food, it appeased his hunger and the satisfaction factor rose.

“I’m supposed to have a meal every five hours. I’d better eat more often if I exercise intensely, but I don’t need to raise the satisfaction factor to the full. All I need to do is just stay away from death.”

Once Weed finished the meal swiftly, he took the wooden sword in his grip and stood in front of the scarecrow.

“He’s at it again.”

“He’s nuts.”

“I think he holds a grudge against it or something.”

“I don’t think he’ll stop until he breaks that scarecrow into pieces.”

Was it an illusion that the scarecrow looked like it shivered at that very moment? Weed’s wooden sword struck every inch of the scarecrow. The same type of questions arose among all the spectators.

“Why the heck is that guy striking the scarecrow?”

“I don’t think it will help at all—if he wants to raise the expertise rating for a skill, it’s much better to go out to the field and use it on a rabbit than the scarecrow here.”

“Look at what he’s doing. He’s not using any skill. To me, it looks more like he’s beating up the scarecrow on impulse.”

“Maybe he’s bringing up his stats,” a knight in dazzling armor commented, immediately attracted the attention of everyone else on the scene.

“Can you improve your stats by just hitting the scarecrow?” a dark-­skinned ranger asked.

“Huh? Ah, yes, that’s right,” the knight said.

“Then, why don’t you just keep hitting a scarecrow instead of sweating hard to raise your level?” the ranger asked again.

The knight named Pluto had a considerably high level, so he has learned a wealth of information from reliable sources. He was also the only man who correctly guessed the motive of Weed’s actions.

If an avatar uses up his stamina, his vitality and stamina will develop as a consequence, and if a wizard casts a great many spells, his wisdom and intelligence will rise.

But such an increase is trivial compared to stat bonus points accompanied by a level up.

Half a day of hitting a scarecrow without a rest might yield one or two stats. Considering that the number of stat bonus points as reward for a level up is five, what Weed was doing looked idiotic.

“It really is silly.”

A sorceress shook her head when she heard Pluto’s explanation. But he thought otherwise.

“It works,” Pluto said.

“Excuse me?”

“You