Chapter 0:

Escape from weakness

Hacker Class

Alden had been a single child and he was loved unconditionally by his parents. Being their only child, they would spoil him by buying him whatever he wanted, and they would always let him have things his way.

However, when Alden went out into society, he learned the true nature of life. The world didn't revolve around him. The strong made the rules and the strong decided good and bad. The weak could do nothing but follow.

But when Alden had learned this, it was far too late. Compared to others he was weak, he had grown weak after being shielded from the harsh truth of the world by his dear parents. It was then that Alden's suffering began.

Primary and high school. Alden stayed at the bottom of the pile. Some were bigger than him, stronger than him, and faster than him and so, due to his weakness, he was treated like trash.

The fire of truth burned Alden in a way he had not known possible and all of that resulted in his once confident self transforming into an insecure wreck. Alden became an introvert and would shut his room door and remain in his room for hours, playing with his computer. After discovering his helplessness in the real world, he attempted to escape reality by living a life in an online world.

After playing around with something, Alden came across a way to hack a game he'd been at some point playing but he realized something, he enjoyed hacking the game more than he enjoyed playing it. Alden found a new hobby, he began to hack games and soon he became so good at it that he'd change and edit a game until it was unrecognizable. Alden gradually became better at hacking and at some point decided to learn to hack other things and not just games. Very soon, Alden became a master in his very own world.

But reality does not change and Alden's mastery of online hacking gave him very little help in his actual life.

Alden who was constantly bullied in school did not see his life improve, instead as time passed, the bullying also increased. The day of graduating from scholastic education was not a sad one for him, he was relieved that he had finally made it through the torture, but then university stood before him.

Alden was desperate to change his life, he could not stay weak. In school, he had tried his best to climb up the ranks but it seemed like his position at the bottom of the food chain was permanent up until the end of his schooling career. Alden decided that he would not fall back in university too so he made an effort to change.

With his fashion style, appearance, speaking tone, and even his mannerisms, he made sure to improve upon everything. His effort paid off and Alden soon found a new position for himself, he was no longer an insecure, depressed loser but he found himself at the top of the pile, he stood above everyone around him. For the first time in Alden's life, he had found himself friends and he finally felt like he was living a life that was worth living.

But alas, how easy is it to fall when one is at the top, Alden found his past coming back to haunt him. Videos he never knew existed made their way through the internet and soon Alden was famous for all the wrong reasons. Videos that had been taken of him when he was in high school had been released and the content within included him being forced to run around with barely anything on and it also included him being forced to say some humiliating phrases.

Alden saw everything he had worked extremely hard to build crumble away in a matter of minutes. His position as the king of the university had been lost and others had waited patiently like scavengers to seize the crown that had at some time been his. Alden could feel his confidence break down once more and he knew that to once again rebuild it would take a lot more effort than it did the first time.

Alden slowly lost hope, he closed his eyes to the possibility of light and he embraced the dark. He was tired of constantly fighting and trying to build himself up as the strongest man in society. He dropped out of university and stayed in his room learning more about hacking rather than trying to find a job or trying to make something out of his life.

Alden had no friends and no support. His parents had given up trying to convince him to work and decided he was too far gone for them to intervene. Alden however, did not care. He hated them, he hated every person he had ever met because he felt that everyone he saw would just judge him. He believed that they all had an innate reaction to stepping over and insulting someone weak.

Alden grew thinner and paler and he grew more and more depressed. His nightmares would break him down every night when he tried to close his eyes and reality did its fair share during the day, when he tried to open his eyes.

But power is a light that shines bright enough to be visible even to those who try to stay blind to it and that was exactly what happened to Alden. One night when Alden was making a quick trip to the bathroom, he saw something on the TV that his father had left on after falling asleep on the couch.

It was an advertisement by RSARA(the Republic of South Africa Rangers Association) calling youngsters to come to awaken their abilities and acquire a Rangers license.

Rangers were individuals who after awakening, had certain special abilities which allowed them to enter dungeons and fight monsters within. Rangers earned good money depending on their rank.

The job first appeared 70 years ago when a few years prior, people began to suddenly acquire super-abilities. It was later that dungeons first appeared and monsters would leave the dungeons and attack humans.

It was then that Rangers were made official and soon ways of awakening those who had not awakened naturally were acquired. Some people even after using those ways of awakening got no abilities but a majority of them acquired the powers.

Although getting super abilities seemed to be something very intriguing, not many liked the idea of it. Although acquiring a nice ability might be fun but the chances of acquiring a good ability were low and the occupation was a dangerous one.

If one was awakened they needed to register as a Ranger to get a license to live with the ability and even if one was pardoned from working as a Ranger, in case of a major dungeon outbreak they had to return to assist.

So the occupation was not a very famous one as the risks of it seemed to outweigh the benefits.

But to Alden, this was not just a job, it was an opportunity. An opportunity to change and improve his life. If he acquired ability, he would be strong not just amongst humans, but he could potentially acquire a high position even amongst other rangers.

This was his last chance to escape weakness.

Ataga Corliss