Keens senses start to reconfigure with his consciousness.

The lightheadedness brings him at the brink of vomiting. Slowly, his motor nerves allow him to twitch a finger. His heartbeat is hardly conceivable, it almost feels nil.

Wait… he jolts with a straining gasp. His eyes open in an adrenalin rush, looking around at a sky-colored room. Clouds literally surround the transparent glass-room!

Still startled upon waking up on the base of the mysterious box, he automatically puts up both arms for defense and studies the perimeter. All glass and white clouds beyond. However, on one corner of the room stands a human figure in ruby-colored burnoose carrying an hourglass.

”Welcome to Esprit, Keen Calisto. We are honored to have you here. I am an Adjudicator. ” The mans croaky voice sounds unamorous.

”Esprit? ” Keen studies him. He tries to remember how he got in that place. He cannot bring his feet to move much; it is hardly noticeable if the floor is present everywhere else. The fear of falling at such height is greater than the presence of the mysterious man. ”Did you kidnap me? ”

”Esprit is the best place to cultivate your mind and reach your own nirvana. ” The man steps closer without a hint of agitation, completely ignoring his inquiry.

”Not interested. ” Keen sees that talking to the guy may be unproductive. Instead, he attempts to find a way to leave the place and have his feet back on solid ground.

Upon having the serious idea of leaving the place, a white drop-down Menu bar appears before him, projected in the air. It then shows a list of game-like interface. The first in the list is his name. Next to it is Stats, Skills, Inventory, Friends, Guild, Party and some other features. At the last of the list is the word Logout in grey color. Although feeling foolish, Keen tries to tap the projected button with his left index finger.

Logout is unavailable at this moment a female electronic voice echoes in his head.

Is this a virtual reality game? the idea comes to his mind. With this kind of surrealism and full-body immersion, this can only be a VR game. The electronic voice makes sense if it is part of the system.

”But why is Logout unavailable? ” Keen wonders in dismay. His words are loud enough for the other person to hear.

”First, let me tell you the rules of this place, ” the burnoose guy steps even closer. Looking closely at the hourglass floating above his palm, a countdown timer can be seen.


Again, Keen studies the sky room, this time with more focus to any clue of a way out. Seeing a timer is almost always related to some bad news when all values have zeroed.

”As a login requirement, we have chopped off a portion of your memory. ” The Adjudicator exposes his maniacal smirk against the shadow of his hood. ”We are a high-priced entity, after all. Not everyone can afford cash. But since we are generous enough to bridge the pursuits of the mind into fruition, a piece of your mind is of highest price here. ”

”Chopping off a portion of my memory. Is that even possible? ” Keen asks, intent on figuring out an escape as soon as the Adjudicator gives him enough information. If being a VR game is true, perhaps the strange man is an NPC or Administrator that will give initial information about the virtual world before Keen is set on his journey.

”Indeed. ” The man replies. He then continues his speech. ”There is only one way to logout in Esprit: by collecting all your memory fragments. ”

The situation becomes even more complicated as more information is given. Answers lead to even more questions.

Without even seeing his face, Keen understands the slight excitement from the Adjudicators voice.

”How, you ask? Monsters and beasts contain human memory fragments called Release. By killing them, the memory is automatically awarded to you, whether its yours or not. You wouldn even know its not yours. ” The man finally breaks into a chuckle.

The Adjudicator seems to predict his next question, or perhaps owing to the psychological suggestion of the conversation. With a pair of yellow orbs as eyes, the robed man stares into Keens.

”An ability class is awarded at the moment you enter Esprit. You can think of it as a bargain for the memory we get from your login. Your ability class is displayed under your character feature.

Keen quickly summons back his Menu and opens the first feature in the list.

Name: Keen Calisto

Ability class : VAMPIRE (Rogue mythical-type)


Weapon (Left) : None

Weapon (Right): None

Head: None

Ear: None

Neck: None

Body: None

Shoulder: None

Elbow: None

Arm: None

Hand: None

Hips: None

Thigh: None

Knees: None

Legs: None

Feet: None

A vampire? Keen switches to the next feature: Stats

Level: 1

HP: 200

MP: 100

Memory: 500 / ????

Exp: 0 / 100

Agility: 300

Strength: 120

Intelligence: 400

Magic Affinity: 0

Charisma: 200

Luck: 100

Instinct: 360

”Now this really is a VR game. And a MMORPG, I think. ” Keens lips start to curve upward. ”The memory loss about gaining knowledge in this kind of technology must be a side-effect. I haven even heard about technology of this caliber in the news. I can even feel the faint brushing of a breeze against my skin. ”

Keen browses over the other features in his interface as the Adjudicator continues his speech. Only two skills are currently unlocked in his Skills Page: a passive skill called and an active skill named .

is automatically set as long as his opponent cannot see him with bare eyes, while allows him to devour the enemys life, along with their knowledge and memories.

The last phrase of the description catches Keens second glance: devour the enemys life, along with their knowledge and memories.

The Adjudicator is just mentioning something about the memories a person has upon first entering Esprit being completely gone into he system within six months.

”You mean that aside from the login requirement you took from me upon entering this game, my remaining memories also fade away within six months? ” Keens emotion shrinks back to concern.

”I assure you, your memories are indeed fading in real life. ” Burnoose Guy looks toward the direction of his hourglass. ”We conduct extraction at random intervals, but it happens once a day. I hope everything is clear to you now. After this welcoming, your six months in Esprit will officially begin. Have fun with nirvana, Mr. Keen Calisto. ”

Right after his statement, without entertaining other questions, the Adjudicators hourglass starts counting down.




At that moment, Keens first mission also appears…

[ Mission 1: Consume the Adjudicator ]

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