Divinity: Against the Godly System

Chapter 4 - 4: Host Selection

His three years of journey in the first Virtual Reality game 'Divinity' brought him to his mysterious death. Even that wasn't enough for Maya as she made his remaining consciousness an NPC.

He could still think, and he had retained his memories, but he couldn't do anything other than the specified tasks that were assigned by the game.

Every day tens of newbie players would come to him and ask, 'If he needed any help?'.

He couldn't say anything other than telling them about his lost stick and the three beans that he will reward them with if they find his stick.

"What the hell! Why in the world would I need help with finding a stick? I need help with breaking the restrictions of the game and free myself!" 

Ryder wanted to scream his thoughts out loud, but he couldn't even do that.

It was nearly evening when the situation turned even worse.

"Hey, NPC! I heard that you're telling people to find your stick. I tried, but I didn't find the stick! Why don't you give me those three beans anyway?" 

A bulky man was standing in front of him. There was not a single hair on his head, but his beard was quite long that came down to his chest. The man was over 6 feet tall and had a muscular build.

"Please help me find my stick! I will give you three beans as a reward," 

Ryder didn't want to offend the man, and he wanted to say yes to whatever the man desired, but the predefined reply came out of his mouth.

'What the heck! Why can't I give any other answer? When I was in the novice village the first time, all the NPCs were much more interactive and seemed like they had intelligence! They never felt so robotic! Why is my character so messed up? Is the game intentionally fucking with me?' 

Ryder couldn't help but blame the game as he thought about his reactions carefully. It was not the normal behavior of the NPCs in the game.

"You trash! Are you making fun of me? Do you think that you are smart? I'll kill you right here and right now! Let's see how you will try to act in front of me then!" 

The bald man screamed at Ryder as he brought out his sword and pointed it at Ryder.

'This fool! He's definitely a newbie. Doesn't he know that as soon as he attacks an NPC like me, the Village People will come to save me? The whole village will turn against him, and he won't get any quest.'

'Wait a minute. What am I thinking about? Even if the village Elders turned against him and stopped giving him quests, I would still be beaten badly!' 

Ryder started sweating at the thought of getting beaten. He was an NPC now… He wasn't sure if he would feel any pain, but he was definitely afraid. 

"Please help me find my stick. I would give you three beans as a reward."

The words again came out of his mouth without his control. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry at his misery.

"What the hell! Maya, you idiot! What kind of restrictions did you put on me! Why do you want to kill me? I never offended you?" 

Ryder screamed loudly, but his voice was limited to only his brain. No words came out of his mouth, which remained closed. He had no control over his body.

"You bastard! Are you messing with me?" The bald man screamed as he punched Ryder's face.

Ryder fell down to the ground as blood started coming out of his lips.

'Aaaahh… So much pain! Is the pain setting turned to 200%? Maya! Why are you punishing me!'

The pain was too much for him. As someone who played the game at 90% pain settings throughout his three years, he still couldn't handle the pain. It was in a completely different league altogether. 

'That was only the effect of a punch; what would happen if he killed me?'

Ryder started sweating as he thought about it. He wanted to run away, but just as before, his body didn't listen to his brain.

'Hey? Why the hell are you guys not even looking at me? I'm a fellow villager! You are supposed to group together and help me!' 

Ryder fumed in anger, but his mouth didn't say the words.

The whole situation was bizarre; no NPC came to help him. Even the village elder stood nearby, but he didn't interfere. It seemed like none of them could see him being attacked.

'There's something unusual. That's not how it's supposed to go!' Ryder thought with a frown on his face.

"Please help me find my stick. I will reward you with three beans." 

Again the words came out his mouth. 

That was the moment… he realized the universal truth… He was fucked.

The Bald man roared in anger as he finally attacked with his sword. He stabbed the sword right through Ryder's chest.

The pain... all he could feel was the pain. The pain was even worse than the death itself. He wasn't even sure if this was the end of his pained existence.

His vision started blurring, and darkness shrouded his whole world.

The world turned dark as everything went blank. There was no sound, nor any light. It was as if he was floating in the boundless space of nothingness.

<Ding... The system has started… Host selected. Would you like to become the host of the system?>

A male voice echoed in the boundless void. The voice sounded like it belonged to a 13-14-year-old boy and contained some sense of immaturity.

"Host? System? Maya, are you again playing with me? You better let me die in peace. Don't toy with me again!" 

Ryder roared in anger. He was tired of being toyed with. He was killed by the malfunction of divinity and then again killed because of its Artificial Intelligence Maya's restriction.

<Wrong. The system is not Maya. The system has no name, and only the host can select a name for the system>

The voice said again.

"Are you the system developed by the Necrosis Corporation?" Ryder asked with a thoughtful look on his face.

<Wrong. No mere mortal can make the system>

"What? Who made you then? How did you come into existence?" 

Ryder couldn't understand anything; in fact, he was starting to feel like he was going crazy and hallucinating by now.

<You don't have the privilege to get the answers. If you decide to become the host, You will be revived. You will have a chance to get your real body back as well>

The voice told Ryder.

"I... If I can get my real body back. Then I am ready to do anything. I accept to become your host." Ryder said as he floated in the darkness.

"What other choice do I have? If I could get my real body back, then that is the only thing that matters to me. I can't leave Alice alone in the world."

<Ding... Host selection successful. Please select a name for the system>

"Alright. Since you're helping me with my new beginning, You'll be called Janus."

That was the name he came up with. It was the name of the Ancient Roman God of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings.

<Ding... Successful. The system will be called Janus>

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