Possessing Nothing - Chapter 1
“You're from another world, aren't you?”
A passerby called out to a boy. The boy was standing in the middle of the street, gazing into thin air. It felt... familiar, if that was the accurate way to describe this feeling. It was almost as if he had missed it.
The boy blinked slowly before he realized that the passerby’s words were directed at him.
"Tsk, tsk! I understand that you're flustered, but you need to remain alert and stay on your toes. otherworlders like you may be common here, but it doesn't mean that this city will be kind to the likes of you."
Chaos reigned in his mind. The boy’s attempt to search through his memories was in vain and it only resulted in the onslaught of a vicious headache. He dropped down, groaning loudly. The man was flustered by the boy’s actions and offered his hand to him for support.
"What's wrong? Are you sick?"
"Ah, no. It's just a mild headache..." The boy answered while clutching his head with both hands. The memories that had previously been locked away flooded his mind like a tsunami. The boy gasped loudly. As he took in a deep breath, his body began to tremble.
“Huh? What? I thought you were an otherworlder?”
The man’s face was etched with bewilderment as the boy murmured a name, Genavis. The City of Beginnings. The city where the summoned otherworlders first arrived at.
“...What in the world happened to me?” The boy blankly stared down at his hands. They were… small. All the callouses that should have been built up on his palms were gone. No, it wasn’t just that. His line of sight was lower than usual. Which meant… he had become shorter. The boy hastily raised his hands and rubbed his face all over.
His palms came into contact with nothing but soft, smooth skin; the scars that had covered his face were gone. He immediately threw his hands down and lifted up his shirt.
Nothing. No defined abs, no scars, nothing.
“...Are you sure you’re alright?” The man looked genuinely concerned, since all he could see was a young boy who had been standing dumbly, suddenly stripping off his clothes.
“...What year is it right now?”
“In the Erian calendar, what year is it?”
The man answered tepidly. 1103 Eria. There was no doubt about it now. He had returned to the past.
Eria. He himself had no idea about what this bloody world was. However, this world had summoned various people from all dimensions - otherworlders - to itself. 13 years ago, Lee Sungmin was suddenly summoned to Eria without any reason.
13 years ago, when he was summoned as an otherworlder to the continent of Eria, that was the class bestowed upon him. No Class- in other words- meant that the host was a blank page; able to learn anything with a special growth bonus. In a way, it was quite a “fair” rule, since some had trained in martial arts long before they were summoned to Eria, and others in magic.
But in reality, No Class possessed nothing. They hadn’t trained themselves in martial arts nor did they study magic in the past. If they hadn’t been summoned to Eria, then they would’ve been destined to live normal lives without an inkling of knowledge regarding the existence of such skills and techniques.
In short, No Class referred to the absolutely normal and mundane.
Before he returned to the past, Lee Sungmin survived for 13 years on Eria as a No Class. He didn’t show any outstanding abilities, yet he proved that he wasn’t one to be taken lightly.
Nevertheless, he died.
It was an insignificant death. Lee Sungmin mused as he leaned against the wall of an alleyway. Yes, it was a worthless death, that was certain. As long as you started as a No Class, your limits were clear as day; no matter how much of a blank page you were and possessing the ability to learn anything, how could you learn when there wasn’t anything to learn in the first place?
Some people were summoned to Eria with full command over unrivaled martial techniques. Even more people started while possessing first-rate magical abilities. No Classes- without any learnt abilities to speak of- started at a fundamentally different level when compared to them. Even if they may have all started at Genavis, while Lee Sungmin, a No Class fought low-class monsters tooth and nail in a desperate attempt to not die, the others breezed by, slaughtering monsters left and right.
‘...Stone of the Past Life.’
He racked his brain for any remnants of past memories. He was certain that he had heard such a phrase before he came to.
A memory flickered brightly. It was regarding a dungeon he had entered while shouting ‘How lucky I am!’.
Lee Sungmin had met his death in that very dungeon. The disappointment he felt when he opened the first treasure box he encountered and found nothing but a small stone was still vivid.
Nothing had happened even when he tried using Appraisal. He had contemplated on chucking it, but decided to keep it and show it to a professional Appraiser later, hoping for a possibly different conclusion.
‘Stone of the Past Life… haha! I thought I was just an unlucky idiot, but I guess it turned out that I have some luck, after all.’
His memories were becoming clearer by the second. The Stone of the Past Life could not be activated again. That voice remained strikingly vivid in his memories. Which meant that him returning to this life was a stroke of luck; Fortune had smiled on him for the first and last time.
Name: Lee Sungmin
Occupation: NO CLASS
Unsurprisingly the unrealistic expectations he had were shattered. He managed to return to Eria thirteen years in the past, but that was it. Neither did his occupation change, nor did he gain any skills.
‘No. What’s important is the fact that I came back to the past and survived death.’
He decided to look at it in a positive light. The fact that he didn’t die and returned to the past; that alone was enough. Lee Sungmin quickly pulled himself up.
Skills that he possessed from his past life? Nothing much, really. The idiots who commanded unparalleled martial arts skills rarely taught others. And, whatever Scrolls containing martial arts secrets that popped up once in a blue moon were far too expensive for Lee Sungmin; and that went for magic as well.
That being the case, the skills that Lee Sungmin was able to learn in his past life were all within the limits of his wallet. Second-rate, at best. They were skills that he had taught himself strenuously over the course of 13 years, surely, but he felt no regrets over their disappearance.
No, he actually preferred his current state as a renewed blank page without any learned skills. And, the 13 years worth of memories from Lee Sungmin’s past life. Not all of them were clear, but he still remembered the events worth remembering.
“Hey. You alright?”
The man who had assisted Sungmin lie against a wall leaned over him. Sungmin lifted himself up and bowed slightly in reply. Genavis. Like the man said, this city was where all the otherworlders initially arrived, but it wasn’t a kind city to the likes of them.
That was why Sungmin felt a sense of gratitude towards the man. Even though he was aware that Lee Sungmin was an otherworlder, he at least showed him a minimal amount of hospitality.
“I am alright.”
“...That’s good. Here you go. I brought you some water.”
Smiling, the man handed over a water bottle, which Sungmin accepted with both hands.
“No problem. People gotta help each other out. You’re a No Class, right? I could tell when I saw you, you know. No Class… it’ll be hard to adjust here. You’ll be going through some tough times, that’s for sure.”
The man looked at Sungmin with pity; it was a common attitude towards No Class. As they were hopelessly unprepared, it would take a near miracle for a No Class to survive on this godforsaken continent of Eria.
“You’re right.” Sungmin murmured as he brought the bottle to his lips.
Lee Sungmin gave thanks for the intact memories of his past life. The ‘experience’ that Sungmin held would become a powerful weapon, especially for ‘these kinds of moments’. There was a faint, fishy smell from the water that he would otherwise not have noticed, if not for his cautious stance. However, it was only suspicion, for now. He opened his lips to let a very small amount of water to slip past.
It cut sharply against the edge of his tongue. It was fine, though; as long as he didn’t swallow, the poison would have no effect. Genavis, this city. It had gotten the best of me plenty of times 13 years ago.
“Pfft!” Lee Sungmin spat out the water he had been holding in his mouth at the man’s face. The man, who had been eagerly waiting for Sungmin to drink up, made a startled noise. “Uwack!”
The otherworlders that make a sudden arrival in Genavis are easy prey for its residents, especially the No Class who have no skills to speak of. What if he had drank the water? His body would have been paralyzed. And then? He might have been sold to a dark magician or a slave trader.
It would not have been good, that’s for sure.
“Wha, what are you doing?!”
“Same to you.”
There was a lesson he had learned the hard way while leaving in Eria for 13 years. Never trust anyone readily. He’s not saying that all the otherworlders who come from all kinds of dimensions are bad. But it definitely does not mean that they’re all good.
This place is filled with idiots who aren’t above stabbing others in the back for their profit.
The man was moaning painfully; the paralysis poison had gotten into his eyes. Nothing deadly, no, but it would be impossible for him to open his eyes anytime soon. Lee Sungmin rolled up his fists and ran full-force at the man.
Even though he possessed no skills, his past experiences made it possible for him to use his body aggressively. It was a pitiful thing, the body from 13 years back, virgin to any and all incidents, but Lee Sungmin had experience. He threw his fist at the man’s neck, and with a dull thud, the man’s jaws dropped. Sungmin then lifted his knee to strike the man’s groin.
Although the strength of a kid was pretty feeble, one hit at a man’s c*ck was enough to bring him down. His balls might have exploded, but Sungmin couldn’t care less. He followed up with a hard kick at the sprawled man’s head.
Blood spurted out from the man’s mouth. Sungmin kicked the man’s head a few more times before stopping himself. He drank in breaths greedily; even this bit of exertion was straining in this body.
“What a f*cking city.” He spat, rummaging through the unconscious man’s body finding a hidden dagger in his bosom and a wallet. It wasn’t much, but it would do for the time being.
Hold on. Lee Sungmin pondered whether he should let the man live or not. The answer was obvious, of course. Things would become troublesome if ever should he come back for revenge.
The Lee Sungmin of 13 years ago was nowhere near familiar with ‘murder’. The Lee Sungmin at that time was a normal 14-year-old middle schooler, whose only experience of killing consisted of things like ants, cockroaches, and flies.
That was the mental weakness that crippled most No Class.
But not Lee Sungmin. Sungmin drove the knife through the man’s chest without hesitation, sticking it in between his ribs, stabbing his the heart.
It was one less annoyance to look forward to.