Everholde was home to thousands of adventures, it is the labyrinth town where many come in search of fortune and glory, many die along the way, and few achieve the riches they seek. Out of all the adventures which come to the labyrinth town, one among them stood out among the crowd. With a swing of their blade, they could cut down any monster crawling around the labyrinth, and when they walked the streets, people would talk and stare. A Swordmaster in every sense of the word that everyone wanted to be like. But one day everything changed with a cry leaving the master of the blade lips.

"Why the hell am I back a level one?!"


Part 1: Reincarnation


"Where am I?" I do not know where I am, but this is not my home. It looks like my home, smells like it too, but I cannot hear my parents argue or see my pet dog Eiva who normal never leaves my side. This is not my home, which becomes clearer as all I see is a white space when I look out of the window. Gone are the mountains and trees, the bird songs, and the distant howls of wolfs. This is not my home, no matter how much it appears to be so. "So, if this isn't my home then where the hell am I?"

The door creaks opening bringing in the sweet smell of flowers, the strong smell of alcohol, and fresh air as three figures walk in that I recognise anywhere. "The three gods!" I would recognise these three anywhere they are the three gods of my favourite game, Labyrinth Crawler where your characters live in the world Edra filled with monsters, labyrinths and overrun with bandits where your characters make a name for themselves by exploring the many dangers of the world.

The first god or goddess I should say that carries the sweet smell of flowers is Grokhena, Goddess of Nature. She is a tall woman wearing a green dress with blue eyes and blonde hair with a crown of flowers on top of her head. Out of the three gods, she is the most popular with players due to her kindness and good looks. The second good who smells like he has been drinking is Igborh, God of Pleasure. Igborh is a Dwarf with no hair on top of his head but a grey beard slightly darker than his grey eyes. He wears a white tunic with a red slash across his chest and walks around barefoot. The final good is called Dolorr, God of Life & Death. He is an average size man who also wears a white tunic but with sandals on his feet. In his left hand, Dolorr holds a black scythe symbolising death, and in his right, he holds a single flower representing life. Dolorr is always smiling, and his green eyes always shining brightly, but his brown hair is always a mess. Out of the three gods, Dolorr is the one players interact with the most as he is the god you see when you revive at the Church of the Three Gods.

"I must be dreaming," I pinch my cheek and feel pain, but maybe it is normal to feel pain in a dream, and people saying, "Pinch me I must be dreaming," is nothing more than a saying rather than a full prof way to see whether you are awake or not. "I must be asleep. There is no way this is real," I probably feel asleep playing Labyrinth Crawler, and any minute now my mother will shake me awake and yell at me for spending too much time on that game. If this is a dream, then I do not have to worry about the three gods I just dreamt up. They will not smite me or make me disappear, so I find myself relaxing, feeling safe and sound in my own peaceful sleeping mind.

"It seems you are relaxed and not needing my soothing scent to calm you down after all," Grokhena, Goddess of Nature smiles as the three gods line up in front of me.

Grokhena soothing scent is another reason why she is so popular among players that you make enough offerings to her at the church. You can gain that ability which half's monsters attack damage and slightly lowers their speed, making the monsters easier to hit. All the gods can gain from making offerings to them. Igborh gives the player the Energize ability, which doubles the amount you recover from Health and Magical Potions. Finally, Dolorr gives the player the Revenge ability, which doubles the player's damage to the monster type that killed them for one day.

"Well then since you are calm, let us explain why you are here," Grokhena continues with that sweet smile of hers slowly disappearing, making me feel worried. "I have good news and bad news for you," She pauses to take a deep breath. "The bad news is that… your dead…"

"I'm dead…" I stare at her in disbelief feeling my world shatter around me.

I cannot be dead. I just cannot be. This is just a dream and only a dream. I know this is a dream because of them, the three gods. "If this were real then I would meet a god from my own world and not from the world of Labyrinth Crawler," I take a deep breath realising the truth. It is just a dream, and I will wake up any moment now at my computer desk with my mother yelling at me for wasting my time on my games. I feel my heart rate state to slow down and my breathing steady. "It is just a dream," I repeat to myself. "It isn't real, I'm not really dead," I tell myself. This is just one crazy weird dream that I am going to wake up from any second now.

"How did I die?" If this is a dream, I might as well find out what crazy reason my mind has come up with for my very own death.

"You slipped on a skateboard your brother left at the top of the stair then fell down the stair and broke your neck," Igborh explains slurring his words slightly.

That sounds like something Alex would do, he is always leaving his stuff laying around, and I broke my leg tripping over his skateboard before. Alex just never learns and always gets yelled at for dumping his things wherever he pleases. I remember stepping on his skateboard just today when I was going… "I stepped on his skateboard…" I cannot remember anything that happened between then and ending up in this imitation of my home. "It what they are saying true?!" I feel my heart start to race once again and my breath coming in short. "Is this real?! Am I really dead?!"

"It's okay," I barely notice Grokhena moving until her hand starts to rub my back gently as a sweet aroma enters my senses calming me down slowly but surely.

"How can things be okay?!" I almost yell at her. "I'm dead and talking to gods from a video game!" I take deep breaths taking in that sweet aroma. "I'm dead, and that is not going to be okay in a million years!" I take a few more deep breaths, and after a minute or two, I can feel myself calming down as everything sinks in. My brother killed me. We always joked that one day his habit of dumping his stuff wherever he pleases would kill someone, but I never thought it actually would be the death of me.

"Feeling better?" Grokhena asks after a few more minutes pass.

"…" I weakly nod my head feeling calmer but still not up to talking.

"Death doesn't have to be the end for you," Dolorr speaks up as both he and Igborh steps forward. "We have brought you here because people who have died at a young age are given a second chance."

"A second chance?" I ask, looking up at him.

"Yes, since you died before your time, you get a second chance at life, and since you found more joy in the world of Labyrinth Crawler then your own world it was decided that you will be reborn in our world as your character," Dolorr answers. "But since the world of Labyrinth Crawler is so dangerous and you will not be able to respawn once you are reincarnated, so we have given you a blessing that will hopelessly make it harder for you to die. When you are ready, we will send you on to your next life."

"The sooner, the better," Igborh says giving me a hard pat on the back that nearly kills me all over again. "I have a barrel of ail waiting for me."

"Are you ready to go?" Grokhena asks still wearing her sweet smile.

"Yes," I nod my head.

I am still not fully recovered from the shock of hearing that I am dead, but I hope I can find something to take my mind of things when I start my new life. Labyrinth Crawler was a virtual reality game with some of the best graphics around, and I poured close to a thousand hours into the game, so I already know what to expect in the world. Hence, I am not nervous about being sent there, but the fact that respawning will be disabled does worry me greatly. "I just won't die," When I played the game it had been over a year since my character last died so it cannot be that hard.

A blue circle forms on the ground glowing lightly and giving off a warmth that tingles my skin. It looks so pretty that I cannot help but feel drawn to it and do not hesitate to step into the centre of the circle when Grokhena starts to guide me there. It is so pleasant and warm in the circle that I cannot complain even as the glow brightens, forcing me to close my eyes.

"You will wake up in your characters home in Everholde," Dolorr tells me as I feel like I am slowly drifting off to sleep. "Good luck in your new life."

"it was nice meeting you," Grokhena says.

"If you feel like joining me for a drink you are welcome in the church any time," Igborh tells me just before I finally fade away.


Part 2: Restarting my life and my character


"Well, here I am?" I am waking up in my bed, well my bed in my home in the game known as Labyrinth Crawler, blinking my eyes open and staring at the wooden boards of my ceiling. Sitting up and looking around the room, I see everything is in place, the three other beds in the room may now be empty, but they are exactly where they are meant to be. The other three beds belonged to my party's other members, but I guess they will no longer be with me. I never met those girls in real life before, but they were friendly, and we made an effective team making it all the way to the further down the labyrinth in Everholde then anyone else reaching floor one hundred and twenty-three. No one knows how deep the labyrinth here in Everholde and the admins were very secretive about it. Still, one clear thing was that my party barely reached the halfway mark judging from the difficulty of the monsters we faced compared to those in other labyrinths.

Getting up the warm floor greets my feet. "It seems like the heating system my party's mage installed is still here," The heating system worked through magic circles in the floor that gentle heated the room and requires so little magic to work that you would recover more then you spent keeping the system active. "It really is my in-game home," I smile a little seeing the familiar environment greeting me. The four chests at the foot of each bed only open for their owner, but I see my former party members' chests empty and unclaimed by the icon that pops up while mine still holds some objects. "I should be okay in this world," I smile as I open up my chest. I have a rare sword that was approaching level thirty and some mithril armour that I have improved greatly using Plus One Gem's that increase your weapons and armours stats up to plus ten. With this equipment, I will be as unbeatable as I was back when I was just playing…

"It's gone!" I want to scream and smash my chest to pieces seeing my stuff is gone from my chest replaced with my classes starting equipment consisting of a short iron sword, a set of leather armour and five silver coins. I feel like pulling my hair out, seeing all my hard work amount to nothing. My rare sword took me months to find, and that mithril armour cost a small fortune not to mention all the time I spent fighting Floor Bosses and hunting monsters with bounties placed on them to get at the chests they drop so I could find some Plus One Gem's now turned out to be a waste of effort. I lost everything, even my stat-boosting items that took a long time to collect.

"If my stuff is gone and I have starting equipment then am I…" I freeze fearing that my level has been reset. I hope it is not or my dream of breezing through the labyrinth will be fruitless and the threat of dying increased to the point that even the weakest monster could kill me. I close my chest and start to figure out a way to check my level. "This used to be so much easier when this was just a game." I groan feeling no buttons at my fingers' tips to press to bring up my character's information and inventory. "How am I going to… oh!" I figured it out the moment I spot a silver bracelet on my left wrist. It is an Identification Bracelet; a magical tool used to record your character progress and monitors your stats. If I remember correctly to activate it all, I need to do is touch the smooth jewel in the centre.

"Ownership of Identification Bracelet complete loading information,"

"It worked!" I almost let out a little cheer at my success as I look at the four options on the menu that displays like some holographic display you would see in some sci-fi film. CHARACTER STATS is at the top with Character Inventory just below followed by SKILLS and ABILITIES and finally ending with MAGIC KNOWN at the bottom. "Well here goes," I take a deep breath and cross my fingers hoping for the best as I lightly tape the CHARACTER STATS option.

"CHARACTER STATS Loaded…."

"Character Level: 1…"

"Health Points: 30…"

"Magical Points: 10…"

"Class: Swordmaster…"

"Class Weapon Restrictions: Character can only use Swords…"

"Class Armour Restrictions: Character can not use Shields…"

"Dam," I fill even more frustrated seeing that worse has happened and my character has indeed been returned to level one. I am sure they have a good reason for this, but I wish they would have told me that I would lose everything apart from my home in this game once I reincarnate. But despite the unwelcome news something other than my characters shockingly low level catches my eyes "Health Points: 30," My Health Points should only be at twenty while my character is at level one by, they are ten points higher for some reason. "Is this part of the god's blessings that they gave me before I was reincarnated?" I wonder as I go back to the main menu and check my inventory to check what I know is true and confirm that I have nothing but the clothes on my back on me. "There's no point in letting it get to me," I sigh taking a moment before I move on to check my character SKILLS and ABILITIES.

"SKILLS & ABILITIES Loaded…"

"Ability: Tough: Plus, Ten Extra Health Points Per Level…"

"Ability: God's Blessing: Plus, Ten Extra Health Points Per Level and One Defence to Character…"

"So that is it," My eyes widen seeing my two abilities. The first one Tough I already knew about from playing the game, but the second ability God's Blessing is really something boosting my Health Points and raising my defence by one that could be lifesaving, especially in the initial stages of the game. "I can't believe the three gods would give me something so powerful," The God's Blessing ability is a real game-changer.

The final option on the main menu is something not worth checking, but I do so just in case the three gods gave me something extra. "Empty just as I expected." Swordmaster's cannot use magic, so it was pointless to check, but I had to do so just in case I was given something that could save my life down the line. I am happy about the new ability I have from the three gods, but I would have preferred to keep my weapons and armour in place of that skill. "I wonder why they took everything away from me?" I am sure there is a reason.

Seeing as standing around will not get me anywhere I close down the hologram from my Identification Bracelet, I decide there is no point moaning about it, and I should just move on. "I will get everything back," I clench my fist as I vow to myself that I will get everything back that was lost and reclaim my place as the strongest swordsman in Labyrinth Crawler. My first step is to get registered at the Guild so I can go into the labyrinth and start earning money. It may not have said in on my CHARACTER STATS, but there is an icon that shines red when you are not registered at the town you are in Guild and green when you are, and right now my icon is shining red.

"First things first," I open my chest back up and retrieve the starting armour and sword that has been so kindly given to me. I slip on the leather armour finding it slightly more difficult now than when this was still just a game, but I manage to get it on in the end. The leather armour increases my character defence by three, and with the boost from my God's Blessing ability, I know from experience that the monsters on the first floor will no longer be able to harm me. "Hopefully, I can cut my way through the first floor quickly and reach the second floor where the labyrinth really begins." I think as I strap my iron short sword to my hip. It does five damage and is okay for the first floor, but I need to upgrade before tackling the second floor of the labyrinth.

"Now then, lets head out." I smile as I walk to the door. My home in this game was not a big one with only one room contain beds and chests, but it was my own and something I was proud of. Not many people own property in Labyrinth Crawler, so even a player owning a home as small as my own was quite rare. I can understand why as logging out meant you never needed a place to sleep and people even mocked me for wasting money on my home, but I guess it was worth it, in the end, seeing that I am now living in the fantasy world of Labyrinth Crawler.


"Everholde is completely different," When I think that I do not mean different as in the towns layout or architecture has changed but as in that the limitations of the game could not quite capture the town in its fullest. The town looks even more beautiful now that I am here and twice as busy with people crowding the streets. Signs and banners are attached to the buildings, and flower baskets hang from lantern poles adding to the town's attractiveness. Then there are the things you could not experience in the game like the feeling of the uneven stones beneath your feet, or the smell that hangs around in the air, neither of them is pleasant. Still, after spending countless hours playing the game, I cannot say I am not enjoying these new sensations.

"Here goes nothing," I take a quick breath before stepping into the street, and I start weaving my way through the crowd. Normally I would find the ordeal of forcing my way through such a large crowd of people to be a hassle, but I do not find it that bad this time seeing how diverse the crowd is. I can see cat people, dog people, fox people, dwarves, and elves in the street mingling with humans, and everyone's clothing is so different that I struggle to find two people matching. I know I should not stare, but I could not help it as I pass by such colourful people seeing one new thing after another. "This world is great," I smile and must look crazy as I make my way down the street, but I do not care what people think at the moment.

The town's layout is just like it is in the game and I quickly find the town square where the three most important buildings of the town are located. Everholde's Church of the Three Gods is smaller than most but still looks beautiful with its glasswork depicting the three gods in a very life-like way that almost has me believing they are really there. The Town Guard Headquarters still looks as intimating as I remember with thick cold walls and a set of gallows out front which the admins have used to kill several players characters, they found cheating in a public execution that the admins always turn into a show and use to set an example of what happens to cheaters. The Guild building, a three-story building, made from wood rather than stone like the rest of the town's buildings with a small crowd of people already hanging around out front.

"The Guild is just as busy as it normally is," I look around and see groups of adventures waiting for the rest of their party to arrive before heading to the labyrinth. The sight brings back memories of how my party used to meet up before I brought my home. We would sit down and just talk about life as we waited for whichever one of us was running late. It was such a nice peaceful time that I can feel tears welling up in my eyes as I realise, I will never get to experience anything like it ever again no that I am dead… I suddenly feel down remembering the reason why I can experience the world of Labyrinth Crawler this way. "I need to stop thinking of it," I tell myself as I step further into the Guild Building. Crying and feeling down will not get me back my old life, so I have to move on. I know what I need to do by it is so hard not to wish that I were still only playing a game.

Stepping in line to register to the Guild, I see more things are still the same as most people are waiting to see a busty blonde woman who was popular amongst male player back when this was still only a game. The woman was always so friendly with customers and combine that with her supermodel looks it is no wonder she popular now and back when this was a game. In the end, I end up being seen to by an elderly woman named Asvor who was the opposite of the popular blonde as this woman or hag as some players started calling her was a by the books no-nonsense woman who would cut players down with her cold personality more than she picked them up. "She hasn't changed either," If one thing changed, I wished it would have been her as she goes through the process of registering me in a mechanical manner. Unlike the blonde who would have welcomed me to the Guild Asvor just called out next dismissing me without even a good by, so I move on to the next thing on my agender.

"Now I need to move onto recruiting party members," Thankfully the Guild has me covered when it comes to recruiting. I have to wait in another line for a bit and fill out a form, but after this, the Guild will handle most of the work down with my party's recruitment. This has always been one of the more helpful things the admins added to the game as all I have to do is tick the boxes on the form telling the Guild what kind of people I am looking for and write anything extra on the bottom of the form. For me, I was looking for people to explore the labyrinth with so I asked for combat or combat support skills or magic, but I did not ask for a specific class seeing as that will only delay the formation of my party.

At the bottom of the page, I wrote that I am only looking for three members, and they must be female as I offered to let them stay with me as a benefit to joining my party and I do not feel all that comfortable in sharing a room with the other sex. "Now all I have to do is wait," I smile as I hand in the form. The Guild will screen for protentional members, but I still get the final call on whether they join the party or not by meeting any adventure the Guild has selected before I agree to let them join the party. "Hopefully, someone will be interested, and when I check in with the Guild in the morning, I will be able to recruit a new member to my party," The Guild usually are pretty quick, but that was when this was only a game, so I have no idea if that speed will still be the same.

"Now onto the final thing on my agender for the day before I can set foot in the labyrinth," I am smiling as I leave the Guild Building feeling my new life starting to take shape in this new world. The final thing I need to do is to check the big board to the side of the room where people leave notes, and the Guild issues statements warning players about dangerous monsters or events that could affect players once they enter the labyrinth. Nothing sticks out for the first floor, and the only bounty I may encounter is on a monster called a Swift Goblin that has wonders the first floor of the labyrinth attacking players with great speed. It could be a problem, but I will not go looking for it until I get at least one more party member.

"Now that I have all the information I need onto the labyrinth," I notice several eyes on me as I leave, but I pay them little mind as I figure they are just bored people sizing me up like they do with every other new member. They look away as soon as they realise, I notice them staring, so I am confident it is nothing to worry about. Stepping out into the fresh air, I feel their eyes on me once again, but I am soon out of site so its not a big deal. "It is not like I am not used to people staring at me," Back before my character was reset to level one and my equipment was taken people would always stare at me as I walk past them. "It didn't bother me back then, so I try not to let it bother me now."


Part 3: The Labyrinth


"Scary as always," Back when this was still just a game the wall protecting the town from the labyrinth would send a shiver up my spine. The tall, thick walls covered in creaks and scorch marks are constant reminders of the power some of the monsters in the labyrinth possess. Tons of guards watch the entrance to the labyrinth from the top of the wall and the gate through it, adding to the intimating atmosphere. This type of thing is common at the entrances of labyrinths, but here in Everholde the defences always feel more secure for me.

The guards look at me with concern, but no one tries to stop me. "They must think I am crazy or have a death wish to enter the labyrinth by myself," I have to cross a small bridge over a dry moat to reach the entrance to the labyrinth. The walk feels longer than it did in the game, but I finally reach the entrance of the labyrinth and enter what resembles a Greek temple made from white stone and built into the side of a mountain. The skull and crossbones carved above the entrance are a fitting symbol of death, considering what awaits anyone brave enough to pass through the entrance.

A familiar cave tunnel light by touches greets me once I step inside and while I am used to the sight of the poorly light tunnel what I was not expecting was the sudden drop of temperature that resides within the darkness of the tunnel. It is not enough to make me shiver or to turn my breath into visible puffs of smoke, but it is impossible to ignore the lack of warmth within the tunnel. "I don't remember anyone ever saying it would be so cold inside of the labyrinth," I read through every guide and announcement the admins made and never once did I hear anyone mention anything about the labyrinth being colder on the inside than on the outside.

At the end of the tunnel, I finally reach the checkpoint that blocks off the entrance to the first floor of the labyrinth. Again, the guards watch me with concern but again nobody tries to stop me. This checkpoint is meant to stop anyone who is not a Guild member from entering the labyrinth rather than keep monsters out. Despite how strong the stone door may appear it will not hold out long against the monsters so if threatened, the guards will abandon this area and retreat to the wall outside. To pass through the door is a simple task as all I have to do is stick my arm in a small hole in the wall and let my Identification Bracelet be scanned by some magical device that causes the stone door to slide open.

"Now the real challenge begins," I think as I step through the stone door to find several more guards and the entrance to the labyrinth's first floor. A pair of knight statues stand either side of a small cut out in the wall marking the entrance and causing me to stop as I feel fear for the first time since I was reincarnated into this world. "Calm down," I tell myself taking a deep breath. "You have done this before." I have explored the first ten levels solo before but never like this when I could actually die. "You can do this," I am starting to think I might have been better off waiting until I could recruit one more member to my party before I came, here but I realised it too late to turn back now and step through the entranceway.

"Reached Everholde Labyrinth Floor 1,"

"Experience Points Earned:"

"Ella Willis: 10 EXP,"

"It used my real name," I cannot believe I did not notice before, but when I saw that notification, I see my characters name has changed to my name from the real world. "Did the three gods change the name, or was it just an unavoidable consequence of being reincarnated into this world?" It is not really important, so I push the question to the back of my mind, but if I were ever to meet the three gods again, I would like to ask them that among other things like what happened to my sword and armour. I cannot waste time figuring that out myself right now as I walk deeper into the labyrinth where monsters could appear at any moment. "I need to focus," I take a deep breath and banish the last of those thoughts from my mind.

As I walk, I find that Everholde is not the only thing more beautiful now that I am in the world of Labyrinth Crawler as I find the glowing blue crystals that have taken the place of the torches on lighting the way are a lot more beautiful not that I get a closer look at it. They look like a giant diamond that glows dimly, and you can see your reflection on its smooth surface. The glowing blue crystals do not provide much light, but what little they do is more than enough to guide you through the maze of tunnels that make up the first floor of this labyrinth. "Hopefully, the layout is the same as it is in the game."

It does not take long to reach the first choice you have to make when entering this labyrinth as after only a few minutes of walking I reach a T-junction. If I head right, it will take me near an underground river that if I remember is a good place for beginners to level up, so I take a right and head that way and run into the first monster I have seen since I was reincarnated. "They are even uglier," I draw my sword as I see the green wrinkled face of a goblin glaring at me with red eyes and a mouth hanging open showing off its razor-sharp teeth.

A single goblin is not much of a threat by themselves, but they can be deadly in a group. Standing at only three feet tall, they are not that big or well-armed with only a wooden club to attack with and a torn brown rag covering their body. The rags offer no defences body and the wooden club only deals four damage if I remember correctly, so in theory, this goblin should not be able to hit me thanks to my defence level. "But knowing that doesn't make this any less scary," I have never fought anyone outside of a game before, so this is my first real taste of battle.

"Goblin A Level 1 has appeared."

"Goblin B Level 1 has appeared."

"Goblin C Level 1 has appeared."

"Two more of them…" Two more goblins jump out from behind the first raising their wooden clubs as all three of them growl at me. To magic and support classes goblins can be a real threat due to their lack of armour and low defence level, but for a combat class player like me, this fight should not be a problem. "Especially because I have that God's Blessing ability," That ability will prove it is worth more times than I can count raising my weapon I take up the stance I would always use when playing the game and wait for the goblins to make the first move. Goblins are extremely aggressive fighters, and the easiest way to beat them is to counter their attack or dodge them and strike once they are off-balance. "I've got this."

"Goblin A uses Rush,"

This move is almost always guaranteed to happen whenever you fight goblins. Rush is one of the goblins favoured moves as it allows its user to charge their opponent and adds one extra damage to their attack. This is almost too easy as an amateur could start to predict this move and sidestep the attack before stabbing the goblin in the back as it wonders why it missed.

"Goblin A Attack Missed,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Goblin Defence subtracts Zero from the Attack,"

"Goblin Losses Five Health Points,"

"Goblin A has become Enraged,"

"Goblin A Attack increased by One,"

The most annoying thing about fighting goblins is that they can stack up the damage they deal slowly whittling down their prey bit by bit in a group. If you are not careful, things can get out of hand quickly, and the goblins ability to raise its attack by becoming Enraged only makes the situation worse meaning you have to deal with each goblin quickly before they get out of hand. "I am not going to let that happen," I have died before by making that mistake in the game and seen countless rookies meet the same mistake ever to let myself get into that kind of situation. I quickly pull my sword out of the goblins back the trust it back inside before it could get away.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Goblin A Defence subtracts Zero from the Attack,"

"Goblin A Losses Five Health Points,"

"Goblin A Defeated,"

Goblins only have ten Health Points, so all it takes is two strikes of my sword to bring them down so as long as you are careful goblins are not that hard to deal with. "One down two to go," I look at the two remaining goblins and hear them his at me as their fallen comrade turns into a cloud of black smoke. They growl and hiss looking so furious at their friends defeat that I am surprised that did not enter their Enraged state right here and now.

"Goblin B uses Rush,"

"Goblin C uses Leap Attack,"

"That's new," Normally goblins do not attack the same target together. I should not have let my guard down just because I knew how this monster type attacked. But despite my shock, I cannot help but admire their attack and think it was a pretty smart move. One attacks from below and a Rush attack and the other strikes me from above with a Leap Attack which is similar to a Rush attack only instead of a charge the goblin jumps at its target. If this tunnel was thinner, their plan might have worked, but thankfully I have enough space to step out of the way of their attack and slice into the leaping goblins stomach knocking it to the ground.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Goblin C Leap Attack Interrupted,"

"Goblin C Defence subtracts Zero from the Attack,"

"Goblin C Losses Five Health Points,"

"Goblin C has become Enraged,"

"Goblin C Attack increased by One,"

"Goblin B Attack Missed,"

I do not let the goblin have a chance of using its newly increased attack and quickly finish off the monster by stabbing my sword down into its stomach before it can even get back up on its feet.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Goblin C Defence subtracts Zero from the Attack,"

"Goblin C Losses Five Health Points,"

"Goblin C Defeated,"

"Two down one to go," Goblins really are easy to deal with once you know how to handle them and are careful during an engagement. You just need to dodge then attack making sure you are aware of every goblins location and are quick to finish off any goblin that becomes Enraged. Now all that is left is to finish up the last one, and we can move… my stomach drops the moment I saw the whistle in the last remain goblins hand and realise I am too far away to stop him from blowing into it. "This is another reason why goblins can be an annoying foe to fight."

"Goblin B uses Wolf Summoning Whistle,"

"Tamed Wolf Level 2 Appears,"

Wolf Summoning Whistles are a rare piece of equipment only goblins can use, and they do when they feel like they are pushed into a corner. I should have watched that goblin more closely, I bite my lip as a Tamed Wolf appears. A Tamed Wolf is twice the size of a normal wolf covered in grey fur with red eyes and sharper claws and teeth than a regular wolf. Tamed Wolfs are fast and deadly and almost certain to disrupt any battle plan you and your party has developed to take down a group of goblins. The last reaming gobbling hides behind the Tamed Wolf as the wolf itself gets ready to charge.

"Tamed Wolf uses Rush,"

Tamed Wolfs basically have the same attack moves and pattern to goblins only they are faster, and while a goblin deals only four damage, a Tamed Wolf can inflect a six damage with its attacks. You have to be more careful and much faster with Tamed Wolfs, but you can take them down the same way as you would take down a goblin. Moving fast, I step out of the way of the Tamed Wolfs attack and slice its side as it passes by.

"Tamed Wolf Attack Misses,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

I growl in frustration seeing how minor damage I can inflict on this monster. "At this right, I will be here all day," Tamed Wolfs have a total of thirty Health Points, and I can only take away two of them with each hit I land. "Just fourteen more hit," I tell myself working out in my head what I need to do in order to win. "Just fourteen hits and then I can move on to the last remaining goblin." Goblins usually do not attack when a Tam Wolf is present, but if that double attack earlier taught me anything, it is that I cannot rely on that knowledge anymore.

"Tamed Wolf uses Rush,"

"Here we go again," I watch the wolf rush me and roll out of the way striking the Tamed Wolfs rear legs as I come out of my roll.

"Tamed Wolf Attack Misses,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

"Thirteen more hits to go," I think as I get back to my feet.

"Tamed Wolf uses Leap Attack,"

This time I duck under the wolf and slice its belly.

"Tamed Wolf Leap Attack Interrupted,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

Like with the goblin before it, I strike the Tamed Wolf while it was down and land three blows before it can get to its feet.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

"Nine more hits to go," I tell myself as the Tamed Wolf takes a jump back to put some distance between us. I am starting to sweat and feel the begin of fatigue set into my limbs. "I should have anticipated such a thing," I am kicking myself for not realising that I could feel tired even though I should have.

"Tamed Wolf uses Rush,"

"Here we go again," I try to catch my breath as I sidestep the attack and slice the Tamed Wolfs side again.

"Tamed Wolf Attack Misses,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence subtracts Three from the Attack,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Two Health Points,"

"Eight more hits," I breath in trying to fill my lungs as my arms and legs start to ache.

"Tamed Wolf uses Rush,"

"This monster still hasn't learned its lesson," This time my sword cuts into the side of its face blinding the Tamed Wolf in one eye and causing the first cry of pain to leave its lips.

"Tamed Wolf Attack Misses,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Critical Hit Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence Bypassed Because Of Critical Hit,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Ten Health Points,"

"That's right!" I could kick myself for not remembering this sooner, but I can just aim for the head and end this quickly. Tamed Wolfs and Goblins have the same weak point in their heads that is guaranteed to score a Critical Hit. Critical Hits work by allowing your damage inflicted by you attack to bypass the defences of the target and deal an extra five damage. If I can land one more Critical Hit, I can take this monster down with my next move.

"Tamed Wolf uses Rush,"

"Just like last time," I tell myself as wait and allow the Tamed Wolf to get closer before I strike. At the last minute, I jump to the side, catching the wolf in the face with my sword as it passes by.

"Tamed Wolf Attack Misses,"

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Critical Hit Plus Five Damage,"

"Tamed Wolf Defence Bypassed Because Of Critical Hit,"

"Tamed Wolf Losses Ten Health Points,"

"Tamed Wolf Defeated,"

"Now onto that last goblin," I smile enjoying my victory while I look around for the last remaining goblin.

"Goblin B Uses Rush,"

"So, it is coming to me," I think as I spot the goblin charging towards me with its wooden club raised high above its head. The goblin may be fast, but I am fast slashing it across the chest before it can hit me with its wooden club.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Goblin B Rush Interrupted,"

"Goblin B Defence subtracts Zero from the Attack,"

"Goblin B Losses Five Health Points,"

"Goblin B has become Enraged,"

"Goblin B Attack increased by One,"

I strike again as the goblin stumbles backwards before it can recover slicing the goblin across the chest, making a bloody X shape on its green flesh.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Goblin B Defence subtracts Zero from the Attack,"

"Goblin B Losses Five Health Points,"

"Goblin B Defeated,"

With the final monster in the area defeated, a new notification pops up, listing my hard-won victory rewards. I lean against the wall as I look at the notification and small at what I see.

"Experience Points Earned:"

"Ella Willis: 60 EXP,"

"Monster Drop:"

"Goblin Meat x3,"

"Goblin Bone x3,"

"Tamed Wolf Pelt x1,"

"Tamed Wolf Meat x2,"

"Tamed Wolf Bone x2,"

"I am on my way to level two," I smile reading the notification as I lean against the cave wall to rest for a few minutes. "Just a five minute break and then I will move again," I tell myself as I sink down and sit on the cave floor.


"Goblins really are easy," I manage to take down another pair of goblins before I start to head back to the surface seeing as my inventory is starting to fill up, it could only hold up to twenty-five items, to begin with, and I already have fifteen items so stay long will mean I may have to start carrying excess items making me an easier target. You can buy backpacks to increase your storage space, and some classes even have abilities that expand your inventory, but my class does not have those abilities and buying a backpack is not something I can avoid right now so I have to really on quick trips in and out of the labyrinth until I can gather scrape money together to buy a simple backpack.

I did not reach level two, that was one of my goals. However, I still think that today was not a waste as I learned the goblin attack patterns are still the same apart from multiple goblins can attack the same target know, and I also discovered that Critical Hits are still a thing in this world. Considering what I learned today, I can confidently call today a success, so a smile works its way onto my lips as I continue to follow the tunnel back to the surface. Hopefully, I can explore more further tomorrow after a new member joins my party and determine if the layout of the labyrinth is the same now as it was when I still explored this place as a girl playing a video game.

Part of me still cannot believe this is real, but as I glide my fingertips along the cave and feel the cold, rough surface, I know it feels too real not to be real. Everything is too real for this to be a dream and I do not think I am capable of coming up with all these smells I am smell or create such a diverse group of people like the one that populates the town of Everholde. "This is real…" I sigh, trying not to let it get to me. "This is my new life…" Like it or not this world is my home now, and I am going to have to adjust to life here. No friends, it is not like I had many, to begin with, but I am going to miss the few I had. No family, we were not that close, but I still loved them all. And finally, no SilentGamer111, I did not know much about them, they never spoke or took off their heavy armour so I could not say what their character looked like, but I trusted them always to watch my back and felt strangely close to whoever this SilentGamer111 was. "I am never going to see any of them again…"

"Stop thinking about it!" I scold myself as I feel my eyes start to water up. "I can't cry here," I tell myself as I wipe my eyes dry. "Who would want to join you with a cry baby?" I take a moment to calm myself down. I may see my friends and family again as you never know they could be reincarnated in this world too, or maybe they could already be here with me. I know it is unlikely to happen, but thoughts like that make me feel better despite being fruitless dreams but… "I hate that I am alone here…" For the first time, I do not have a friend by my side as a make my way out of the labyrinth. I wish I could joke and laugh with my former party or find myself being teased for some mistake I made that day. I really miss that laughter, especially now that I am alone in a dark, cold, and creepy tunnel with no one in sight and monsters that could attack without warning.

Hopefully, tomorrow would b different. Hopefully, I have a new party member that I can get along with, and our voice can fill this dark, quiet void of a tunnel. Anything is better than this deafening silence. At this moment, I almost wish for a monster to…

"Ahhh!"

A chill runs through me hearing that scream making me regret wish for something to break the silence. "This is not what I wanted!" I wanted some laughter and joked, not screams and fear. I run towards the scream, unable to help someone in need. I was like this when exploring this labyrinth was just a game to me as my party, and I would always come to the aid of another party when they were in need, so I run in the direction where I heard the scream come from.

"Get away from me!"

When I arrive on the scene, I see a full-grown man with a large wooden shield crying and desperately trying to keep a Warrior Goblin away with his shield. I can see the man's iron-tipped spear laying on the ground in front of him broken and under the Warrior Goblins feet. Unlike a normal goblin, a Warrior Goblin is a foot taller, wields a mace that lets it inflect five damage with each attack and a patched-together metal suit giving the Warrior Goblin a one in defence. Its speed and attack patterns are similar to a normal goblin, but a Warrior Goblin has a slightly less delay between actions. The sight would be comical with a six-foot man crowing behind his shield before a four-foot goblin if the man's life were not endangered.

"Please help me!" The spots me and begs with tears falling from his eyes and snot dripping from his nose.

I cannot leave him now, not after seeing the state he is in and receiving a request for help. "I don't think I could live with myself if I ran away now." So, I draw my sword and charge. Slicing the Warrior Goblins head as it bounces off of the man's wooden shield.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Critical Hit Plus Five Damage,"

"Warrior Goblin Defence Bypassed Because Of Critical Hit,"

"Warrior Goblin Losses Ten Health Points,"

Warrior Goblins only have twelve Health Points so it does not matter where my next strike lands so I slice through the goblins arm before he can recover.

"Iron Short Sword Hit for Plus Five Damage,"

"Critical Hit Plus Five Damage,"

"Warrior Goblin Defence Subtracts One from The Attack,"

"Warrior Goblin Losses Four Health Points,"

"Warrior Goblin Defeated,"

"Experience Points Earned:"

"Ella Willis: 20 EXP,"

"Monster Drop:"

"Goblin Meat x1,"

"Goblin Bone x1,"

"Ella Willis Level Increased to Level 2,"

"Health Points increased by thirty…"

"Magical Points Increased by ten…"

"Skilled Learned: Slash Level 1: Effect: Deal an additional Two Damage to your attack… Cooldown: Sixty Seconds…"

"I made it to level two," I smile seeing as not only have I saved a life, but I also achieved one of my goals for today. The man looks okay although he is still crying, and his shield looks like it may break like his spear but overall, he looks okay. I do not see any blood or other signs of injury, so it looks like his life is no longer endangered. But if he wants to remain that way, he needs to stop crying and pull himself together as standing still in the labyrinth us a bad idea as monsters could easily surround you before you know it.

"Have you seen a girl about your age with Purple hair and eyes wondering around the labyrinth by herself?!" The man is faster than I thought quickly grabbing my shoulders, making me drop my sword as he violently shakes me as he asks his question. "It's not safe for her to go wandering through a dangerous place like this by herself even if she only stays on the first floor, so I have to find her before something bad happened to my little girl!"

"I…" I cannot get a word in with him as the man continues to shake me and cry.

"She may have already reached level two, but it is still far too dangerous for her to be by herself here!" The man continues to cry, soaking the ground with his tears and making me feel sick with all the shaking. "I have to find her please if you have to tell me if you have seen her!"

"Relax Mr Kispingdottir," He stops a group of heavily armoured people suddenly burst through one of the tunnels. A young man with a hairless face and brown eyes steps forward appearing to be the one who just spoke up. "Your daughter is fine. She just left the labyrinth and sent us to come and rescue you again."

"My little girl is okay!" The man thankfully releases me and runs off unfortunately down the wrong tunnel. "I have to catch up with her and make sure she isn't harmed."

"Wait! Mr Kispingdottir that not the… Dammit!" The young man curses, turning to his fellow guards. "Get after him!" He then turns to me. "Will you be okay on your own?" I nod my head. "Sorry but I have to go before Mr Kispingdottir gets himself killed."

I get the feeling that those people have to deal with Mr Kispingdottir regularly from the way they quickly give a chance and call him by his name. Hopefully, they can catch him and bring him out of the labyrinth before he gets himself killed. Mr Kispingdottir seems like a good caring man so I would hate to hear something happened to him, but it looks like he is in good hands now so I should be on my way and heading back to the Guild Building to see if the prices of selling goods have changed since the world stopped being a game to me.


Part 4: The Branch Manager


The Guild Building is not as busy as earlier with only a few adventures hanging around, and most of the embers of staff appear to be on their break. The busty blonde is still here surrounded by men asking stupid questions after the other to get her attention. "I mean come on even a rookie knows where the labyrinth entrance is and wouldn't need to ask a Guild member six or seven times and still not know," Those guys are such idiots. It is not like they even have a chance with her, to begin with as the busty blonde is already married to the Mayor of Everholde and even has a six-year-old son, her looks end up blinding most people, so they never notice the ring on her finger.

But that busty blonde is not who I am here to see. I am here for the chubby man sat behind a desk with a large set of scales. Many players are afraid of him because of the bloodstains on his apron and desk and his distant personality. Still, after you sold him a number of goods, he starts to treat you as if you were his own child being kind and caring towards you even adding a few extra coins to the price he offers for your goods. But judging by how he stares at me, I guess he is in his cold phase with me as I feel the temptation to run away from him. "Another thing I lost," It took me several months to get on his good side, and all that work was for nothing.

"What do you want?" His voice rumbles as he crosses his arms over his chest.

"I have some things to sell," I tell him swallowing the fear this man incites in me. "He's really a nice man," I tell myself to stop myself from running.

"In the scales," He points to the scales, so I dump my inventory inside.

"Six pieces of Goblin Meat two copper coins each… Six Goblin Bone's two copper each… One Tamed Wolf Pelt one silver coin… Two pieces of Tamed Wolf Meat five copper coins each… and two Tamed Wolf Bone's five copper coins each…" The cubby man pulls out some coins from under the desk, putting five silver coins and four copper coins onto the desk for me to collect concluding our business and I cannot wait to leave his sight. "I cannot wait until I get back on his good side."

"Well, that is everything I had planned for today," I stretch out my arms above my head as I conclude my list of tasks for today. There are still several hours of daylight left, so I guess I will just take a stroll around town and see the local prices stores are charging. I have confirmed just now that the Guild prices match their prices from the game, but that does not mean that every other place is the same. "Swords, armour and potion are my main goals, but I should also look into buying a change of clothes for when I am not going into the labyrinth… then their bathing supplies spare bedding and cleaning supplies for my home…" I am starting to get a headache thinking about all the things I need. "No wonder my mother was always yelling at my dad for drinking away his wages if she had this many things to buy for our home."

"Excuse me, Miss Willis,"

"I will also need to buy food," Since my class cannot use the cooking skill, I will need money to eat out for my meals.

"Excuse me, Miss Willis,"

"Then there may also be property tax involved," I am starting to wish I never brought my modest home as renting a room at an inn sounds more tempting. "At least at an inn, meals are included in the price, and most are affordable even for a level one adventure like me."

"Excuse me! Miss Willis!"

"Ahhh!" I jump hearing my name being yelled and a hand tape me on my shoulder. Turning around, I act on instinct, bowing my head and muttering excuses one after another before letting out an. "I'm sorry."

"No, I should be the one apologising Miss Willis…" I see a pair of feet fidget, and when I look up, I can see the rest of a young man's body is just the same. "I'm sorry I didn't mean to interrupt your trail of thought or make you jump like that, but the branch manager wanted me to fetch you…"

"The branch manager…" If I remember correctly the Everholde Guild branch manager was rarely present always running around the labyrinth chasing after someone. I never met him when playing the game, but I heard rumours that he was spotted frantically running around the labyrinth and from time to time needing rescuing.

"Yes, he asked to speak with you in his office," The young boy replies nervously fidgeting on the spot. "Please follow me and I will take you to him."


The nervous boy knocks on the large oak door guarded by two of the Guilds guards and decorated wood carvings of bears and less then a second later we are summoned inside. The two guards open the large oak door for us, and I follow the nervous young man inside before nearly jumping as the two guards slam the door shut behind us. This room must be directly above the entrance as a large window looks out over the town square, which provides plenty of light to the room making it easy to spot the branch manager and my jaw drop. "It's the crazy man from the labyrinth!" The man who I last saw being chased down by guards for his own safety.

"I have brought Miss Willis as requested," The nervous boy announces bringing a smile to the now calmer man's face who sits behind his desk and looks me over.

"Leave us," He says, standing up from his desk.

"As you wish Mr Kispingdottir," The nervous boy bows his head and quickly backs out of the room.

"First of all, allow me to thank you for rescuing me earlier today," Mr Kispingdottir smiles suddenly sounding a lot friendlier than he was a few moments ago. "I would have been in real trouble if you hadn't had come along when you did. But I didn't just call here to thankyou please have a seat." He gestures to the spare seat opposite him as he sits back down. "I understand that you are looking for party members."

"Yes, I am," I nod as I sit down.

"The reason I asked for you is that I want you to consider someone for your party," Mr Kispingdottir tells me pausing for a second. "My daughter has become obsessed with becoming an adventurer and goes into the labyrinth every day by herself. Early today, you saved me as I was searching for her. She is a good girl and a strong fighter, but I would feel better with someone watching her back when she enters the labyrinth so would you please consider her for your party?"

"Can I meet her first before I make a decision?" Mr Kispingdottir does not seem surprised by my request.

"Of course," He replies before looking towards a side door just to his left. "Send Tufa in!"

Seconds as Mr Kispingdottir's demands are issued a young lady who looks to be the same age and height of me is pushed through that side door. She has long purple hair and a matching set of purple eyes that stares daggers into her father as she regains her balance after being thrown into the room.

"You could tell your guards to be more careful," Tufa moans sounding upset with her father.

"I will have a word with them dear, but first I have someone I want you to meet…" Mr Kispingdottir tells her gesturing towards me, causing her hate-filled gaze to fall on me. "This is Miss Willis, and I would like the two of you to form a party together."

"That isn't going to happen any time soon," From the way she glares at me I can tell she would rather kill me then work with me.