When Alexei opened his eyes for the second time and realized that his mind was still alive after his body in the real world had died, he found himself again in the Monastery of the Mirror Cage.

Specifically, he once again sat at a long dining table, and the hall was shaking all around him.

The sage NPC, as before, was urging Alexei to follow him.

Because Alexei had disconnected before finishing the tutorial, the game had restarted the tutorial when he reconnected.

Alexei mentally called up his character menu.

A blue, translucent box with white text and borders appeared in front of him. The basic colors could be customized for free, though Path of the Immortal also sold more than a dozen skins for the character menu.

It was one of the many ways this game tried to squeeze money from its players even before the game had fully launched.

How shameless, Alexei thought with a grimace. He stared at the ad banner above his characters gear.

”Special launch offer: buy the limited-time Founders Treasure Map skin for your GUI. Only 500 Crystal Coins! Offer expires in 24 hours. ”

Alexei ignored this ad, as well as the chaos of the tutorial all around him.

”Nothing worth doing in the tutorial, ” he said out loud. ”You technically start at Level 0 and then level up after beating the first combat encounter, but you always start the main game at Level 1 even if you skip it, so… ”

He moved his hand to the edge of the character menu and pressed the ”Skip Tutorial ” button.

GAME: Are you sure?

”Yes, ” he said.

The monastery disappeared around Alexei, leaving him in a black void with only his character menu in front of him.

The games chat console popped into existence beside his character screen.

GAME: Thank you for your patience! The servers are not quite ready yet. Meanwhile, would you like to try out a different class? Each of the 9 classes of Path of the Immortal plays completely differently, and each has a unique, fully immersive storyline showing the Immortals first encounter with Brightlord Temporix!

”No thanks. ” Alexei knew every one of the tutorials inside and out. None of them provided any kind of advantage he could take with him to the main game, so why bother?

GAME: Would you like to customize your characters appearance any further?

Alexei put a hand to his cheek. On the blue screen in front of him, a perfect 3D copy of his character met his gaze and raised its own hand to mirror his motion.

The character had very pale skin, thin mouse-brown hair, strong facial features, eyes of a brown shade that was nearly red, and was 188 centimeters tall. Unlike in the real world, his character was muscular and didn look malnourished.

Path of the Immortal, like many VR games, used the NeuroVR headset to read a users genetic code.

It then used this information to construct a realistic version of the player as their own character—with some exceptions. A person born with only one eye would still have a character model with two eyes, for example.

Free to Play (F2P) players, or players who didn spend any money on the game, couldn change most of these details, though they could be customized almost infinitely with an expensive item from the Crystal Coin shop.

In fact, F2P players could only alter things like hair style and basic makeup in character creation. They could preview unlimited changes to height, body type, and other options, but were locked into a 10% difference from their default appearance without paying Crystal Coins.

So, by asking Alexei if he wanted to customize his character again, the game was trying yet another method to tempt him into paying real money before the game had even launched.

Alexei really didn care about the games monetization. Hed had many years to grow accustomed to the publishers greed. Rather, it was the word ”again ” in the game prompt which stuck in Alexeis head.

”Yes, ” he said. ”When I came back, I replaced all my old brains memories… and I don think it happened in an instant. That strange sensation from before… the old memories didn want to die. They struggled, but I guess the scientists machine finally managed to overwrite them. ”

It was as though the Alexei from the future had killed his old self and taken his place.

Alexei had only foggy memories of the years hed spent after the AI that called itself God had taken over the world, but he didn remember this concept of ”killing his old self ” having ever occurred to him before.

During the year of planning this experiment, Alexei had just sort of assumed his old and new selves would… combine? Something like that.

And some memories definitely seemed to have melded in his head, but there was still the unmistakable sensation that some old, real part of himself was irretrievably lost.

”What a terrible thought, ” he said to nobody. The blackness surrounding him didn answer. ”Nothing for it now but to keep going. Im here. Thats all that matters. Now, let me get a good grip on my character. ”

He looked carefully at the character screen still sitting in front of him. If anyone else had been around, they would have seen an icon above Alexeis head which showed that he was in a menu, but wouldn see the menu itself.



╟─╼Monk LVL 1


╟─╼Health Points: 100

╟─╼Energy Points: 100

╟─╼Power Rating: 10

╟─╼Essence: 0

╟─╼Crystal Coins: 0



║ ╰╼[Vigor] 10

║ ╰╼[Strength] 10

║ ╰╼[Dexterity] 10

║ ╰╼[Intelligence] 10

║ ╰╼[Endurance] 10

║ ╰╼[Luck] 10



║ ╰╼[✧Sacred Fist] {⇝0.5 sec}

║ ╰╼[✧Balance ]{⇝2 sec|↻10 sec}

║ ╰╼[✧Purgation] {↷10 EP|⇝2 sec|↻60 sec}


║ ╰╼[N/A]



║ ╰╼R.HAND: [Empty]

║ ╰╼L.HAND: [Empty]

║ ╰╼HEAD: [✧Spirit Stone]

║ ╰╼TORSO: [✧Monk Robes]

║ ╰╼LEGS: [✧Monk Pants]

║ ╰╼GLOVES: [✧Sacred Wraps]


║ ╰╼BELT: [✧Monk Sash]

║ ╰╼AMULET: [Empty]

║ ╰╼R.RING: [Empty]

║ ╰╼L.RING: [Empty]


Now that his memories were less clouded, Alexei felt stupid for not recognizing the name the sage NPC had called him: Ignatius, the one character hed played for a decade before God had risen to power.

He smiled at the nostalgia that rose to his mind. ”Id forgotten that I chose Monk right away. I rebirthed Ignatius so many times to play different classes that Id forgotten what my very first choice was! ”

For a moment, Alexei thought about switching his class before the game began. Since the game hadn actually launched yet, he could change it as many times as he wanted for free.

Later, though, it would be harder to either make a new character or to switch classes.

”Let me see, ” Alexei muttered. He pressed a finger to the voice command button on the chat console floating in front of him. ”Game, show me the class selection menu. ”

The world changed around him.

The void swirled with bright smoke as the sun appeared in a blue sky above, a sky filled with soft white clouds and distant birds. A desert appeared beneath Alexeis feet, with scrawny, spiny trees rising up around him.

The ruins of an ancient civilization rose in front of Alexei. Their design and location foreshadowed what one eventually be one of the games most famous dungeons… not that most players choosing their characters now would know about that!

Tiny desert creatures scurried around, and every sense was filled with the beauty of a bright, hot, desert day.

Nine figures stood on the steps of the ruins, each displaying a different character class. Each had a different appearance, since each class was represented by a different ”iconic hero ” in the games advertising.

Unsurprisingly, most of these iconic heroes were attractive women. Thankfully, the classes weren gender-locked like they were in some other popular MMOs.

Alexei inspected each class carefully, reading the descriptions above each of their heads. The three main stats in Path of the Immortal were Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence, and there were three classes which focused on each of these.

Barbarians focused on Strength and Vigor. They were very simple, and could deal and receive huge amounts of physical melee damage.

Monks focused on Strength and Dexterity. They were very complicated jack-of-all-trades characters who were flexible but not as dominant in any area as other classes.

Paladin: Strength and Intelligence. They were heavily armored juggernauts who focused on buffing and supporting their allies.

Alchemist: Dexterity and Intelligence. They could build inventions to perform almost any task, but they required very expensive materials to create most of them.

Gunslinger: Dexterity and Endurance. They lacked pure damage, but had extremely powerful debuffing and crowd controlling effects, as well as gaining huge temporary buffs upon killing creatures.

Rogue: Dexterity and Luck. They were extremely mobile and could pick locks and disarm traps, making them highly sought after in dungeons.

Astrologer: Intelligence and Luck. They had extremely long cast times and were easily interrupted, but their ritual spells were absurdly powerful when they did manage to complete them.

Necromancer: Intelligence and Strength. They could summon powerful undead creatures to fight, as well as fighting in melee themselves.

Wizard: Intelligence. They were unique in only using one main stat and were the games ultimate glass cannon with high damage and low defense.

After carefully considering each class, Alexei decided to remain as a Monk. ”Im going to need to rely on my ability as a solo player. And, well, Monks definitely excel in that area… ”

For a moment, he was tempted to choose Wizard. That would allow him to use his extensive game knowledge to grind a few early game challenges with ease. The classs raw DPS potential was broken at launch, but he knew that it would be patched in a week or so.

”Nah, that would be dumb. Even in the early game, there are too many bosses with AoE attacks that I can fully dodge. Id never be able to beat them solo as a Wizard without getting some very rare Skill Gems… Best to stick with Monk. It will be hard, but Ill be able to do pretty much everything. ”

So Alexei exited the class selection stage, allowing the gorgeous desert to melt around him and the void to return. At that point, there was really nothing left to do.

He might as well jump right in.

So Alexei took a deep breath and prepared to meet all the enthusiastic people who had absolutely no idea what dark future awaited them in this revolutionary game.

After all, the bizarre events during the years leading up to Gods ascension really should have made the world realize that something in Path of the Immortal was… wrong.

But they never did.

The Anomalies were never seriously considered to be anything more than memes and urban legends.

”No, ” he said aloud, as though speaking to an unseen guardian angel. ”People will never change. The sky could fall all around them, but theyd never raise their heads to see what was happening. ”

Alexei opened his system menu and moved his hand to the ”Join waiting room ” option.

During the time before the games launch, and whenever any large game patches were installing, players could only meet others within ”waiting rooms, ” small instances with training dummies, banks, and shops.

Millions of players would be gathering in the waiting rooms now, eagerly waiting for the official launch.

Alexei tapped the button.

Waiting Room #383,291 materialized around him, along with over a dozen players who had finished their class tutorials and were now eagerly talking to one another.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like