Chapter 1:

Death Is Only The Beginning!

An Adventure Beyond Greatness!

Another day at school, another girl beating some random skinny kid up 'for being a pushover'. Bookmark here

On the rooftop of the school after class, the weak-looking boy named Alex Stuman felt his fair share of suffering... at the hands of one particularly sadistic girl in his class. How 'great' was that?Bookmark here

A wise philosopher once said that existence supersedes human nature... No matter what your past is, you are not defined by them. These are really 'optimistic' words when taken out of context.Bookmark here

Who can go against their nature? For some, their actions are determined by their past. Just like a certain young girl who had started bullying her classmate after a harsh trauma she endured.Bookmark here

"What are you looking at?" A frown appeared on the girl's lips. She looked down on the frail youth before her in disdain. Did she have a big reason to take her stress out on him? Not at all. Those who think they are 'strong' tend to harass the 'weak'.Bookmark here

It was a mentality formed through practice...Bookmark here

You can't think of another with empathetic lens while also bullying them. It doesn't work that way.Bookmark here

All the mattered was a bully's satisfaction...Bookmark here

"Where AM I supposed to look at if not in your direction?" The youth retorted softly.Bookmark here

This naturally earned him a kick to the stomach. A look of disdain appeared in the girls around him.Bookmark here

He felt anger well up within, yet couldn't retaliate. Bookmark here

After all, he was so weak that any of the girls surrounding him could take his skinny self on...Bookmark here

It was the unfairness of the human body.Bookmark here

The kid just wanted to get through all this without causing a commotion. It wasn't that he couldn't fight, but that punching someone can't stop them from coming back to harass you again later on.Bookmark here

On top of that, picking on girls wasn't in his nature; nor was it something others would overlook. He'd definitely be criticised for 'hitting girls' even if they were the ones who started it. It was just so unfair...!Bookmark here

Meh, I'd spank them if I was in his shoes...Bookmark here

What a big NEERRD!!!Bookmark here

"Why didn't you just listen to me? We could have had that arrogant 'princess' if you just invited her over. You even broke your own phone while struggling... Is it really worth the pain? Bookmark here

That prideful girl won't ever look your way no matter how much you deny it." The violent girl, who lead the other female delinquents, grabbed the frail youth's hair and spoke in a voice of ridicule. Bookmark here

The venom in her heart was leaking out to cover her sharp tongue. Did she get a kick out of this?Bookmark here

I wasn't able to empathise...Bookmark here

"You ask too many questions... I may not be that strong... but I'm a trustworthy guy. By the way, you owe me a new phone." The 'pushover' once again showed no fear while talking back to the female delinquent, earning him another kick in the gut.Bookmark here

He winced in pain and held onto his chest. When she saw how his eyes kept on scanning around like cameras, she felt a bit disgusted. The bully didn't like the way this guy looked at them whatsoever.Bookmark here

I guess it was 'hate at first sight'...?Bookmark here

Alex wasn't bothered though. His father had always taught him to never betray someone's kindness so long as he lived, and as such: He took this lesson to heart. Quite the responsible guy, right? He was a 'perfect' protagonist no matter how you saw him!Bookmark here

Useless, weak, pathetic, yet still stubbornly clinging onto a moral high ground in his defence... Bookmark here

How WASN'T he the template protagonist for a Heroic Journey? There was so much room to grow!Bookmark here

I mean...Bookmark here

...look at how pathetically he laid: _('ཀ'」∠)_Bookmark here

Alex was holding onto his stomach and kneeling to the ground; feeling most helpless in this situation.Bookmark here

Just from looking at this young lad from an Anime Otaku point of view, you could tell that he was definitely of demon descent. Aren't they all like that? They didn't know it, but it's always a shock.Bookmark here

He had no eyepatch signifying his Magic Eye, nor bandages covering his Dragon Seals, but he was definitely someone who would be sought by an influential master. One who would teach him some kind of amazingly awesome magic... or something.Bookmark here

Anytime now... He is definitely going to awaken his innate power or something special anytime now.Bookmark here

Just give it a few seconds or minutes...Bookmark here

Or hours, or days, or maybe even a few years...Bookmark here

Well, it's either that or he will be transported to another world that he liked more after a bit...?Bookmark here

Hah! What were the odds of that happening~?!Bookmark here

I guess it's better to get back to the point. Ahem...Bookmark here

At school, Alex was considered both a loner and a pushover. An awkward nature was the reason why.Bookmark here

That, and him being a sack of bones...Bookmark here

He couldn't even fight back against the delinquent girls his own age. That was how PATHETIC he was.Bookmark here

However, there was one young girl who took pity in him, and offered her friendship out of the most sincerest kindness of her heart: The school's most pretty and popular beauty, Samantha Turner. Bookmark here

He was a deep and complex character with a lot of things that lead up to him being bullied like today.Bookmark here

But in more simple terms: He was a loser. Bookmark here

The manliest type of loser!Bookmark here

Could he secretly be a Harem Protagonist in disguise? His lack of features and personality being pretty much something you can sum up in a sentence seems pretty reminiscent of them. It's either that or something much more... off-brand.Bookmark here

Was it his fringe that covered his eyes that was appealing? Or was it his lack of defining features?Bookmark here

Just look at that jawline and charisma...! Who cares if his new friend was way, WAY out of his league? Bookmark here

It's not like the so-called 'Winners' in life got anything good out of popularity anyway... Bookmark here

Just look at how Samantha was schemed against by delinquents? 'Popularity' itself was a chain.Bookmark here

Having popularity also meant having the envy of other girls who didn't shy away from trying to take her down a notch, and the sadistic girl in front of him was one of those girls jealous of her popularity.Bookmark here

It didn't take a genius to understand what the girl was planning to do after luring his only friend over to the rooftop. Why else did they gather? It was obviously to do the same to her as with himself.Bookmark here

Alex was already used to getting bullied, so he figured it would be fine if he took a beating instead.Bookmark here

Anything to keep his father's teaching. Bookmark here

One would call this the courage of a 'hero', or being so stubborn that l nothing could persuade him. Bookmark here

The latter would suit him better in this case...Bookmark here

"Martial arts is about cultivating the heart... This is nothing compared to training everyday." He weakly murmured as he felt his head get lighter. The boy knew right away that his consciousness was fading but didn't resist the sweet urge to... 'fall asleep'.Bookmark here

Though the frail youth was left in terrible shape, he felt pride in the fact that no one could make him submit to them. He was unafraid of danger, and had no intention to ever bend his moral standards.Bookmark here

See~! I told you he had the qualities of a great protagonist. An 'Action Hero' seen in movies.Bookmark here

Why else would his actions endanger himself?Bookmark here

'Sam said to smile more and things would definitely get better... But that that really the solution? Do I come off as gloomy?' The weak youngster thought sadly. He was still thinking about his closest friend.Bookmark here

His eyelids grew heavier by the moment. Alex took the sadistic girl, who was currently laughing at him, as nothing but air. To him, the more important thing right now was to change his 'loser' image a little... Bookmark here

In truth, the frail youth really DID have a huge crush on Samantha... Who the heck wouldn't?!Bookmark here

He too was just a regular youngster!Bookmark here

She was kind, smart, adaptive, and very good at keeping the people around her happy... like a social butterfly. It was as if her 'livelihood' stats had broken through the roof! That type of girl...Bookmark here

She knew how to do everything from cooking to mathematics. A dream girl who excelled in whatever she put her mind to! It was to the point that most guys felt they didn't deserve her...Bookmark here

The kid wanted to talk to her and get to know her better... To him, this was just human nature.Bookmark here

How could someone exist on their own?Bookmark here

However, just as he opened his eyes again, he found that he'd awoken in a strange place... Bookmark here

The youth was sure he had never visited before. Bookmark here

It was nicely lit library... with rows of neat and tidy bookshelves that seemed to stretch on endlessly. Bookmark here

Alex rubbed his eyes, but nothing changed at all. Bookmark here

This was definitely reality... but the abruptness of this strange situation all made him stiff in shock...!Bookmark here

Where the hell was he?!!!Bookmark here

'A library...? Am I still at school-? No, this place seems a lot more cleaner...' The young lad thought while checked his body, only to find that his injuries seemed to have disappeared. What happened...?Bookmark here

A tremor ran through his mind. Suddenly, the frail youngster realised that 'world' around him was different from that of Earth. There was no way this kind of absurd place could exist there at all!Bookmark here

There was a sunless purple sky overhead, and yet there was enough luminance to allow him to see the 'outdoor library' clearly. This scenery definitely went against the natural laws of physics!Bookmark here

'I died?' He immediately came to a conclusion. The fact that he was brought here to this strange world after falling unconscious meant that it was either just a dream, or a place in the so-called 'Afterlife'.Bookmark here

Since he had full awareness right now and could even feel pain on the hand he pinched... that meant the only explanation was the second theory he came to: That he died after being beaten too much.Bookmark here

He really didn't know how to react after realising that the bullying towards him lead to his doom...!Bookmark here

"Isn't killing me going overboard?!" The frail youth shouted out in disbelief after fully realising this.Bookmark here

He no longer cared if anyone was watching or not.Bookmark here

Alex grumbled insults at the dumb girls, who'd essentially clobbered his loser self to death...! Bookmark here

Just as he was about to look around for someone to talk to, a reception desk appeared before him...Bookmark here

...along with the mature figure of a regular librarian.Bookmark here

The face and looks was just like his teacher... Or was staff in the afterlife professional these days?Bookmark here

His eyes scanned her up and down, but couldn't find the common sense to explain this situation.Bookmark here

The frail youth looked on a little like this: ( º _ º)Bookmark here

His eyes were blank for a second before they regained their light. The boy shouted out in fear:Bookmark here

"Am I being interviewed here before going to heaven?" He was definitely a good person!Bookmark here

There's no way he was going to hell, alright!?!Bookmark here

"Who said you're going to heaven?" The woman asked back with a smile that didn't match her glaring eyes. This made him feel like a chicken bone got stuck in his throat, chocking air...Bookmark here

"Wait! I don't want to go to Hell! At least let me haunt those bullies who killed me first!" The frail youth- I mean, nice lad, shivered like a deer in Antarctica. He then wailed at the top of his lungs. Bookmark here

Alex didn't want to go to hell! Bookmark here

He was a good lad!!!Bookmark here

There seemed to be a naturalness in the youth's movements. He went from standing up abruptly to preforming a perfect dogeza after a deep bow towards the woman, who seemed to be in-charge.Bookmark here

"You're not going to Hell." The librarian held her head in a dumbfounded manner at his reaction.Bookmark here

"Then am I in Limbo?" He instantly got up and was about to bombard her with multiple questions, but-Bookmark here

"I do not wish to banter." She interrupted his words without giving him time to say more nonsense.Bookmark here

"Let us move on to the main topic... I am Gaia, the World and its 'Will'. As for you, you're the fool who crossed over from another dimension. The one who caused a disaster in my neat and tidy world.Bookmark here

Look at the mess you've made in my library of destiny!" The real reason for the beautiful woman's anger was finally revealed. She angrily pointed at all the colour coded books on the bookshelves. Bookmark here

There was somehow a complicated look in the frail youth's observant eyes... He couldn't help but follow her finger to see how none of these colour-coded books were in their right order anymore...Bookmark here

Oh, so she really WAS a librarian!?Bookmark here

Makes sense~ (NOT!)Bookmark here

"That sounds really bad..." He replied after a pause, all while trying to not convey his anxiety.Bookmark here

"It is." Gaia finally acknowledged his response.Bookmark here

"And also unbelievably META!"Bookmark here

"...What?" The Librarian was distressed with a face that was astounded like this Text Emoji: ( ̄□ ̄;)Bookmark here

"This is like one of my Japanese anime!Bookmark here

I mean, everything from the point I woke up sounds like a metaphor. If you're the 'will' of the world, why do you look like a librarian? And on top of that, why are we in a library with colour-coded books of destiny?! It's not like I'm ALSO going to be reincarnated into another world as well, right...?"Bookmark here

"..." He hit the nail on the head. What was she to do about this observant guy who knew the tropes?Bookmark here

"This doesn't even seem real anymore..." Alex sighed deeply. His eyes held an 'Otaku mysticism'.Bookmark here

"You think this is a dream?" The woman smiled dangerously. She then got up off her seat with a clenched fist. The frail youth reacted a beat too late. He was too enamoured to notice her actions.Bookmark here

Though how would he know that she held a grudge against him for something he couldn't remember?Bookmark here

Perhaps he'd learn the truth of this 'event' later on.Bookmark here

"I... Wait! What are-" Once again, he was cut off by this 'librarian', but this time it was by a strong knockout punch to the jaw! He could faintly see a bright red boxing glove appear in Gaia's hand before it landed squarely onto his chin...Bookmark here

'Is this a dream or not!?" He couldn't make sense of things anymore as once again fell unconscious.Bookmark here

It was then his figure faded into the air like mist and joined Gaia's cycle of reincarnation... From the outside, it seemed that he was destined to be the protagonist of his own Isekai story out of pure luck!Bookmark here

(Ahem... I technically called it!)Bookmark here

What Alex didn't know right now is that nothing that happened up to this point, whether it be his crossing to another world... or his meeting with Gaia, was coincidental. This wasn't part of reality.Bookmark here

Everything had a reason and a cause... and he too existed for a purpose. Because he was fictional...Bookmark here

And all fictional main characters had an 'Essence'.Bookmark here

Are things moving too fast? You readers are likely wondering what is with this generic youth... How dare he ruin a perfectly good beginning by saying something so brutally honest! What a scoundrel...!Bookmark here

Being META isn't about slamming it into your reader's face about how 'META' you are being. Bookmark here

Is it too much to ask that he respects the generic tropes without saying them out loud? Bookmark here

A subversion of a subversion is redundancy!Bookmark here

Some might think that I'm using him as a mouthpiece to show how literally every meeting with an Isekai God would happen. This isn't the truth though! I'm trying to narrate a complex story!Bookmark here

Does that sound sarcastic? Take what you will about how serious I'm narrating these words...Bookmark here

Sometimes, stories only start off simple...Bookmark here

Anyway, after being transported to another world without getting any explanation. He had a totally radical survival adventure with his newly acquired Bro (companion) and unique magical abilities.Bookmark here

They'd fought the forces of evil together!Bookmark here

A mysterious plot was uncovered and all those Hero's Journey tropes were straightforwardly done! Though he never 'Returned to the Ordinary World', he DID return to the old lifestyle he had...Bookmark here

It really does sounds like an interesting journey filled of wonder and legendary feats, right?Bookmark here

This story... ISN'T about that. Instead, after the rollercoaster of a beginning, we set years AFTER he had his own adventure in another world. After a great adventure filled with dangers and threats...!Bookmark here

Now let's look at how he is currently doing lately:Bookmark here

"Excuse me, you've arrived at your destination. That will be to two silvers." A lean man, who worked hard to transport people to far places using his carriage, casually woke Alex from his daze. Bookmark here

There was a trace of surprise in the youth's eyes. Bookmark here

He quickly paid the driver of the carriage and followed others to the gate of Lancia Kingdom.Bookmark here

It had been fifteen years after he had been reborn into 'another world', and seven years since finding his place in human society. A lot of his life has been skipped, but he was still the same youth as ever.Bookmark here

The moral, stubborn, and principled youngster.Bookmark here

Alex's scholarly robes and dignified appearance were clear signs showing that he wasn't a penniless vagabond. The young magic user didn't only relied on solely adventuring to fill his stomach.Bookmark here

There was much more to him that met the eyes.Bookmark here

His clothes was a good indicator to that point, as well as his rare hair colour in this world of blondes.Bookmark here

Such an appearance would allow him to blend into the crowd... so long as they didn't pay attention. Bookmark here

Well, that's only because he had so many features that contrasted to that of a regular scholar... Bookmark here

For example: Despite having an outer robe of a scholar that he wore like a jacket, the scholar still wore his own personal brand of shirts and pants underneath the clothing he crafted by himself.Bookmark here

His dazzling hair was even more outrageous...!Bookmark here

It almost seemed similar to the one of the most beautiful rays of moonlight in the darkest night. Bookmark here

A few onlookers, who were sitting on long benches around the central plaza past the main gate he entered through, couldn't help but look at him in interest. This was mostly due to his hair colour. Bookmark here

Though that didn't seem to move Alex. He got used to such things in this magical world called 'Gaia'.Bookmark here

'Arthur... It has been years since we last met. I wonder if he changed? Well, I'm sure I have!' The scholarly youth thought to himself. There was nothing more pleasing than a long awaited reunion.Bookmark here

He toured around in order to find the place both he and that old pal from his first 'adventure' planned to meet up at. There were a lot of shops at each corner and streets, so doing it was a little difficult,Bookmark here

A happy-go-lucky smile appeared on his face. Bookmark here

Alex was in no rush to search for the right building.Bookmark here

There were a few reasons why he came to Lancia after spending years making a name for himself as a scholar in the arts of magic... and one of them just happened to be his curiosity for culture! Bookmark here

He loved observing things intently...Bookmark here

Gaia was a largely peaceful place if you ignored the tensions between Humans and Beasts... In fact, the conflicts these two races had didn't seem to stop the Bards around him from preforming catchy songs on the streets without a care in the world.Bookmark here

"Good job!" He, despite being the scholarly magician that he was, shouted in admiration towards the entertainers scattered around the Southern District of the kingdom. Bookmark here

There wasn't even a hint of hesitation in his movements. It was only on such occasions Alex threw copper coins towards the every entertainer he came across. He wanted to show his gratitude...Bookmark here

The scholarly youth appreciated 'Art'...Bookmark here

"Thank you for your patronage!" The bards thanked him with warm smiles, then they continued singing and dancing with even more vigour. The musical admirer felt rejuvenated by their songs.Bookmark here

Alex walked with the rhythmic tapping of his feet...Bookmark here

He really enjoyed his first impressions of this place after getting to know the entertainment... and fast food on the streets. A meat skewer was in his hands as he put on quite a comical appearance.Bookmark here

'Found it.' His eyes flashed after noticing a popular restaurant that went by the name of 'Silver Spoon'.Bookmark here

It was a place where many customers seemed to be part of the Mercenary Guild judging from their armour and clothing. A change occurred in the youth's eyes as he noticed one particular person with a sword tattoo hidden under his sleeve.Bookmark here

He put the skewer he held into a nearby trash bin and decided not to enter the restaurant hastily. Bookmark here

Alex wasn't confident in wether his conjecture was actually correct, or if he was just imagining things.Bookmark here

His last journey had taught him a lot...Bookmark here

'The 'Radiant Sword Mirror Cult'... There's no way they're alive, right?' The scholarly youth thought inwardly. He vividly remembered the kind of madness the members of that cult displayed when he fought against their members in his childhood. Bookmark here

Back then, he thought they'd disbanded, but it looks like he was far too naive for his own good... Bookmark here

A runic glow arose in his pupils...Bookmark here

He scanned the people inside Silver Spoon's large and busy establishment one by one, without pause.Bookmark here

'This is really serious... but they're not something I can go against by myself. Arthur... You can't be thinking of taking them on again, right? This isn't a joke...! Are you planning on getting us killed?!Bookmark here

You should stop bringing along troubles whenever we meet!' The scholar of magic sighed inwardly.Bookmark here

The runic glow within his two pupils vanished. Bookmark here

In his point of view, he had already retired from his position as some wannabe hero a long time ago.Bookmark here

As Alex was figuring out what to do, the shadow behind the curtains began to move... A stage was being set for the musical theatrical set to shake Lancia at its core! The fates of many started to intertwine even as he was lost in thoughts...!Bookmark here

A wandering warrior, a charming physician, a battle mage, and an abandoned priestess of the Cult would now have their destinies collide... while the person at the centre of would be none other than the otherworldly prodigy of magic, Alex Stuman!Bookmark here

This would be a tale of Hidden Dragon of the Murim fighting against ACTUAL Dragons!Bookmark here

The world was about to be flipped on its head!Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.