《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 4 - Beta Stage Begins

Vol. 1 - Chapter 4 - Beta Stage Begins

Waiting for something that you expect the most could be your worst enemy at times. It was like the feeling of someone punching you in the stomach. A feeling, or better said, is something that probably anyone experienced once in their lives, and even has to combat it to this day.

Sunday was the day that this feeling was running amok in the fledgling community of new players of the upcoming VR game Satisfy, which showed promising results even before being released to the general public. However, this day wasn't the one where the general public would enjoy the experience of playing in another reality. It was up to a selected 50.000 people to check the early version of the game.

Mathias was one of those selected people to test the game and report any possible bugs or glitches to the development team.

Yet what was he doing currently on this awaited day? He was cooking some food as if this wasn't that big of a day.

What was he cooking exactly? There seemed to be tomatoes sauce with tuna in the pan. While the other pot contained water.

Mathias looked at the pot and made an expression as if he forgot something essential. Quickly he took some salt and used an old meme's movement. He sprinkled the salt on the boiling water in one smooth move.

"This should be better now. I always forget the salt before the water starts boiling. Let's taste the sauce to see if there's a need to drop a little bit more black pepper."

Tasting the sauce, he let it cook for a bit more before turning the heat off.

Not long after that, after he boiled his pasta for the right amount of time, he moved to drain the water from the pasta pot, and only after that did he put the sauce into the pasta pot and along with a stir using a large spoon, he mixed the sauce with the cooked pasta.

"Good enough, now let's let it rest. What time is it now?

As Mathias asked himself, he looked at his phone clock, and when he saw that the time indicated 12:20 PM, a run went in his mind.

"The game is supposed to be live at 14:00. I have enough time to eat before entering the capsule."

It was only when Mathias finished eating, and the time was 13:25, that he moved to his laptop, checking his emails and the new information about Satisfy around the forums, that he began preparing to enter the capsule and tag in the standby interface of the game.

Placing his laptop in sleep mode so his electricity bill wouldn't skyrocket too much, he moved to the VR capsule, and after making himself comfortable, he pressed the "CLOSE" button that began sealing his vision and enclosing his head, the most essential aspect of the technology.

Only after that did he press "START-UP" which shifted his vision toward the loading interface of the game, slowly fully immersing him into a character standing in a gray room that only had a big timer counting the minutes passing.

[13:56:35]

"Huh, I guess I still have to wait a bit before the server is live. No problem, we got all the time in the world."

Mathias walked around the plain grey room that was empty except for the ticking clock, reminding him of the passing of time.

[13:58:25]

Looking at the time, he gripped his fits a bit as if to exercise his movements, he tightened his muscles a bit to feel their sensation and from nowhere, without even noticing that the clock showed 14:00, his vision changed, and he could see a blue sky. Not too long after that , he could see a large piece of land that had many pointers on it.

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Staring at this continent, he later heard a mechanical voice, which belonged to Morpheus, speaking to him.

,.

"Welcome to Satisfy user. You have already created your avatar, granting you direct access to the starting point spawn location. The highlights shown on the continent are the kingdoms users can choose. From Titan of Saharan Empire that sits at the center of the world responsible for the users to the 16 kingdoms. Gauss on the North West of the continent, Eternal at the North Central part of the continent, Rottemon, Arc, Glusian, Hakken, Murrey, Ultima, Belto, Media who sit at the eastern part of the continent, along with Greenich, Kaysang, Ulterna, Pault, Violet who are close to the Empire.

User take your time to choose your location before looking carefully at the locations highlighted on the map. Those are your only choices as a user of Satisfy. Each one of those locations will have their bonuses to deliver the best playing experience to any type of user." abruptly ended Morpheus after explaining and showing Mathias all the starting locations available.

'So I have 16 locations to choose from? Plenty of freedom, I guess, where there wouldn't be a single location flooded by the players. From what Morpheus said, each location would guarantee the user a bonus and unique experience. The developers especially wouldn't want their game to be centered only on one place such as the Saharan Empire.'

'Still, my target would be Titan because it is the only starting zone that could be like the Roman Empire. I always liked to see how the Roman Empire looked at its glory days, the time of Emperor Augustus. Probably the devs who designed the Saharan Empire took inspiration from the Empire in its glory.'

'The rest of the players will probably spit the beans and talk about the rest of the kingdoms, so when the beta stage ends, I will carefully choose my start. Until then, I'll mess around in the game.'

Looking at the continent from a great altitude, as if he was standing in the realm of gods, Mathias told Morpheus. "I select Titan as my starting point."

"Registered. Prepare for your journey, user." ended Morpheus' with his seemingly standard protocol.

Suddenly Mathias could see his vision darkening, and quickly enough in that darkness, a bright light appeared like a bright sun that continued to engulf his vision.

'Damn, there was no need for such an overdramatic start of a game. Do the developers intend to get the old people or little brats to have a heart attack?' thought Mathias as he closed his eyes in the face of this bright light.

Not long after that, he felt that the atmosphere around him had changed, and the voices of many people assaulted his senses.

"WOW. This game entrance was so extraordinary for it to create such an entrance for us beta players." commented someone close to where Mathias stood.

"You are right man, I felt the sun was going to eat me alive." commented another player who spawned in Titan.

"Let's go, guys, get some information on Titan and maybe start questing around. Right, check your status interface. I have all my stats at 6-8, you?" asked another player feeling excited by the game so far.

.

On another side, Mathias, who still had his eyes closed, slowly began opening them and his green eyes turned, shocked all of a sudden.

"My God, this square is close to how the Roman Forum used to be. Wait, it seems even bigger and seems to have medieval elements on it." said Mathias while looking around the square.

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When hearing Mathias said this, the players looked a bit weird at him. One even said a bit scornfully.

"What is with this nerd? Dude, did you buy the game to look around places?"

Turning to that player wearing the beginner's clothing, which consisted of simple rags, he said while looking a bit calmly at him.

"Is there any problem if I actually did that?"

"Haha, this guy even got access to the beta? Tsk, hey devs, if you listen, take his access and give it to someone else who really would like to play the game." replied the guy who made fun of Mathias.

Meanwhile, Mathias shook his head and moved away from that group of players which made them curse him behind their teeth. "Loser." or "Nerd," and all sort of badmouthing.

Yet, all of their attempts at disturbing his first day in the game was simply a failure. Mathias was now into a state of excitement like a little kid who couldn't contain his joy.

"This is what I was looking for. Look at those columns and even the podium. Ahh, there seems to be a person on the podium, where people are gathered."

Just as he spotted the square forum, he walked curiously to the crowd of people that seemed to be formed out of NPC's. When he got closer to the crowd, he touched the shoulders of the NPC's who reacted just like an average person.

"Sorry for disturbing you. Can I also join here?"

"AHHH, the cursed ones have appeared just like the Archbishop was prophesied it would happen." screamed a woman that was first aborded by Mathias.

Not knowing how to react, Mathias tried to calm that woman who was wearing decent clothing that was far apart from his rags.

"Please calm down. While I am indeed from lands far away, I come with peaceful intentions."

More NPC's turned to Mathias, and some who looked at him with real emotion. Some were curious, others scared. Even the person who was wearing wealthy clothing saw Mathias and told the crowd.

"Calm down, everyone. The Archbishop said that the cursed ones are just like us, people with intelligence who follow common sense. They are just cursed or rather said blessed by Great Goddess Rebecca to never die, holding their existence to the world."

"So they don't want to hurt us?" asked another woman from the crowd.

Mathias quickly responded to her question. "No, madame, do I even have a reason to hurt you? Please act normal with me. I was just interested in the speech the sir on the podium was delivering to you."

"I see, then come join. The speaker brought an interesting subject to the podium." said a male NPC called Wells.

"No need to bring me to the front if I make it hard for the others to see and listen you. I can listen from here, just fine."

.

Settling down, he began listening to the NPC Reid speak about his advice for a better life. On how to make better choices in spending their money, or how to educate their children. He moved from subject to subject until he prepared to end his speech, which was slightly a warning for the rest of the public.

"Just now, I thought a bit about friends after meeting Mathias, but we shouldn't expect every cursed one to be the same. Am I right, Mathias? Most of the cursed ones wouldn't be like you."

Being asked such a tricky question, he thought to himself. 'These people seem so real as if they can comprehend human emotion and also show their emotion to me. It seems they received some news from this Archbishop that warned them about our coming. I guess it wouldn't hurt to warn them that the guys who came with me only think of this as a game and might kill them without even a second thought.'

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"Sir Reid, to be honest with you. I don't really know what others think about you, but you should still be a bit wary of them because there are also bad people among them. People who wouldn't hesitate to kill you all, just because you said something they didn't like."

Compared to Mathias, Reid, a small stature man, nodded thankfully, understanding what he said, yet he still said his part.

"Don't worry, Mathias, we are protected by the Imperial Knights, the Red Knights, along with the Black Knights. Not to forget the mighty Dukes and Five Pillars overlooking Saharan. All those criminals would find their end at the hands of our guardians."

[You have learned about the forces of Saharan Empire]

[Inteligence has risen by 1 point]"

"I hope you are right because it would be sad to not see you in the future here, speaking to people about their concerns, advising them on what to do, and talking from your experience in life."

The speaker Reid, laughed a bit, giving off a genuine smile before saying to the crowd.

"Let's end this meeting, friends. We will gather here again in two weeks, okay?" said Reid as he prepared to move away from the podium.

"Yes, Lord Reid." replied the rest of the people who began moving out of the square.

When Mathias began moving away from the square, another notification appeared on his face.

[Your reputation inside Titan has grown by 5]

[Affinity with Speaker Reid has risen by 5]

[The people who took part in the forum led by Speaker Reid have their affinity increased with you by 10]

'Hmm, what is this? Does the game have an affinity system that concerns the NPC's? But why give me so many points? I only talked and behaved normally with them. Is there something wrong with the people? Or does it mean that because I am the first among the users to participate in a small event, I get some bonuses?'

'Well, I don't know. I will look at the forums to see what others think of the game so far. Now let's see where I can go now. I should try writing a bit on my story if I can do it on my computer.'

'Where can I get paper to write? Library? Tavern? No, I doubt a library would exist in such an era, aside from keeping books. As for a tavern? What would some drunkards give me, except for alcohol? What's on the list? Right, a church. Let's see where the church is located in the city.'

Moving on his journey, a new adventure for Mathias of discovering Titan and its hidden wonders. Yet, not even a minute passed since he moved toward another location except for the square. He saw a group of 5 people wearing rags like him that were running with scared faces.

They quickly passed him, ignoring him, but he noticed that this group was one of those who badmouthed him. After some seconds, he found out who was after them. Two guys were wearing black guard attire, almost similar to the knight attire in the fantasy stories.

"You cursed one. Have you noticed 5 criminals who killed an elderly person to take his belongings?" asked the guards who were running in the direction of the ones who used the streets of the city to hide and get away from you.

"Huh, those 5 split up, 3 on the right side of the street while the other 2 on the opposite side."

"I hope it is as you said cursed one. Otherwise, we will remember you and place a bounty on you for assisting the criminals." said the other black attired guard without even giving a chance for Mathias to said something back.

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A bit surprised by this unexpected situation, he continued to where a regular guard who was wearing a bit of a simpler attire compared to the black ones, and when he got to him, a new notification appeared in his eyes.

[You assisted the Black Knights in catching 5 criminals who murdered a citizen of the Saharan Empire. Reputation with Titan has risen by 5]

"A cursed one? What do you want from me?" asked the guard looking at Mathias a bit sharply.

"Sir guard, please don't put me in the same place with those bastards who already caused trouble in the city. All I wanted to know was if you could help me if it is possible."

"Ohh, sorry for my reaction. It's just that there have already been many cases of people among the cursed ones who committed crimes. Tell me, what do you want to know?"

"I want to go to a church. Does Titan have a church?" asked Mathias, at which the guard started laughing a bit.

"Hah, we the people of Saharan have the biggest Cathedral dedicated to her divine light, Goddess Rebecca. You have a bit more to walk to reach Light's Cathedral situated at the city's center. Look here, Mathias, you have to walk straight ahead using the main road, and you will slowly see the figure of the Cathedral and another point for you since you just arrived in Titan. If you look to your right, you will see the Imperial Palace when you get to the center, while on the left, you will see the Celestial Palace belonging to the Grandmaster.

Out of the periphery of the city, you will see the Mage Tower of Magician King Goldhilt."

[Your understanding of Titan and Saharan Empire has increased ever so slightly. You will not get lost while wandering the streets of Titan]

"Thank you for your guidance. Take care of yourself and if you meet any criminal among the cursed ones, don't kill them, just capture them. That would work the best on them."

"I see. Thank you for the information." replied the guard in a slightly grateful tone.

Mathias nodded his head and began moving towards the center of Titan, where he could see many people walking on the streets wearing clean clothes, from simple to extravagant, a show of the wealth of the Empire and its citizens.

Slowly, while looking around the city like a little kid fascinated by what he saw for the first time, he also said in his mind, [Status], which brought out his character information.

[Status Window]

.

Name : Mathias / Class :Beginner

Level : 1 (0/400) / Title :none

Health : 126/126 / Mana: 20/20

.

Strength : 7 / Stamina : 7

Agility : 5 / Intelligence: 9

.

"Hmm, I don't know what's with those stats. Are they similar for each one of us, or will they fluctuate according to their life experience?"

"My class is even Beginner. I guess this will change when I choose a path for my character. Haha, not now. I don't care about this now."

Closing the status window, Mathias, who still walked like a regular citizen of Saharan, stopped in place when he noticed what was in front of him.

"This is incredible. I don't know a cathedral that could even run a competition with this one in terms of beauty."

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