Chapter 2:

First Tile

Path of Pandora – My Worldbuilding System

Tanuki chose 'Expansion' with his finger and the interface changed to a grid-based map full of tiny squares with a purple one in the middle. He chose the purple square and information rose up about the grid.

[ Field (Gaia Core) ]

[ Quality: Common ]

[ Level: 0 ]

"Quality… level…" He repeated the words on the screen. "It's just like in games."

As he raised his finger, the information disappeared. Next, he touched the grid above the purple one.

"I wonder…" He whispered as another bubble popped up.

[ Choose a tile! ]

[ Expansion Points: 1 ]

[ Available options: Field, Forest, Hill ]

Tanuki picked 'Field' again. As he did, green blocks fell from the sky north of the already existing field. They looked like large building blocks, and their deep and loud noise reminded Tanuki of the mountain collapses he used to see on Tv.

It took a few seconds for every block to fall into place. Once done, to the north of the already existing field was another with the same appearance as its neighbor's. It was completely indistinguishable from the original, as a perfect continuation of the first field.

"Perhaps my job is to build up this world?" He said before turning back to the map and choosing another grid. "Alright, then for this one I'll have a…"

[ You have no Expansion Points! ]

The words appeared with flickering red light. They even had one of those cute exclamation-mark-inside-a-triangle thingies at the end.

He was unable to place another tile.

"Oh, come on, you can't just give me god-like powers, only to take them away seconds later! That's just mean!" But his whining quieted once he saw something had appeared on the field he placed. "Huh? What the…"

Leading into the void was a thin dirt road. It was barely wide enough for one man to fit comfortably.

"Has it always been there?" Tanuki whispered to himself. His doubts didn't last too long though, as he noticed the road was leading to the purple obelisk. "No. I'm sure it wasn't there before."

As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. Thus, this road's existence could be interpreted as a sign of civilized life out there.

"Maybe if I keep placing tiles the way it's going, I will find a town?"

If there was a civilization out there, that meant there must be cities and towns, and that also meant there must be people in there!

"Maybe others like me are out there. If I could meet up with them, we could form a team and find a way out of here!"

Yet, he couldn't help but doubt his theory. The main reason for that was the other option on the system interface, the "Waves" menu.

Choosing it revealed something far less welcoming than the map from before.

[ Wave: 1 ]

[ Title: Beginners' Trial ( 1/3 ) ]

[ Challenge Rating: 0 ]

[ Active effects:­­ ––– ]

[ Incoming enemies: Goblin (1x) ]

Besides the words and numbers was a clock. Below that were other statistics.

[ Current time: 1st Day, 12:15 ]

[ Next wave: 1st Day, 18:00 ]

[ Time until next wave: 5h 44m 36s ]

"The next wave is coming tonight? Wait... Does that mean I'll be ambushed by a goblin?" Tanuki raised his shoulders nonchalantly. "Alright, I guess."

Goblins are considered the bottom-tier monsters in fantasies. They are usually featured in tutorials, due to having little to no health, providing new players with a satisfying first kill.

Tanuki didn't feel any fear. He tucked his hands into his shirt's pockets and looked at the sky.

A small breezed picked up on the field.

"I guess my dream became real. I got my chance to start all over again and leave behind that pathetic NEET lifestyle."

An image of his parents appeared in his mind. He remembered the scent of his mother's freshly baked cookies and the awful jokes his dad used to make.

"I worried so much I would disappoint you two. I wasn't good at anything throughout my entire life. I was stupid for science, weak for sports... I thought maybe art was my thing and, for the first time in my life, I thought I was good at something. But even that was denied from me when I got rejected by every major art school."

He couldn't help, but let out a bittersweet smile.

"I'm happy I died so young. I never had to see you two realize you've spent eighteen years raising a failure."

Tanuki scratched his head.

"Well, this was a pretty depressing goodbye, eh? I can already hear you two in my head arguing about how stupid this was, and how I should have more self-respect. Don't worry though! I promise, this time it'll be different. I'll rebuild this world from the ground up and turn it into a paradise! Then when we meet again, I can invite you two to my cool-ass house on the side of a pretty beach. Teehee, I have to learn how I can place beaches~."




[ Time until next wave: 0h 1m 16s ]