She Remembers Me (1)
Who said that a new life opens when you reincarnate?
There were no special privileges. No cheat items. Not even possession.
Who could envy me, falling into the game with nothing but my bare body?
I’ve played countless games until now.
I’ve embraced various genres, from fantasy and romance to simulation and dating sims.
I’ve enjoyed both famous games and those unknown to many.
Out of all those countless games, why did I have to be reborn into a dark fantasy game?
Every breath felt like my throat was tightening. Words wouldn’t come out properly.
My heart was pounding violently, as if it would explode.
My vision blurred from exhaustion.
But I couldn’t collapse like this.
With eyes strained, I surveyed my surroundings.
The group of goblins, which had numbered more than ten, had decreased considerably.
Only four goblins remained, facing me.
The surroundings were filled with goblin corpses.
The remaining goblins hesitated at my shout.
Even with numerous goblins surrounding me earlier, they couldn’t defeat me.
Could these remaining four unite to overcome me?
Amidst the tense standoff, I calmly observed the opponents.
The aggressive attitude they had when they surrounded me earlier disappeared.
Instead, fear filled their trembling eyes.
I couldn’t afford to miss this opportunity.
I firmly held the bloodied iron club in my hand.
Suddenly, with a strange scream, the goblins fled.
I threw away the club I was holding and shouted after them.
There was no strength left to chase them.
I didn’t relax until the goblins disappeared from sight and the commotion subsided.
Finally convinced they were all gone, I sat down in place.
It was absurd. Almost dying in a mere tutorial.
“No matter what…!”
I wanted to say, “Isn’t this too much?”, but my voice couldn’t even come out properly.
Only a sense of exhaustion and helplessness remained.
With my burning thirst, I desperately needed a sip of water.
But there was nothing around.
In a hopeful moment, I checked the goblin corpses.
Unfortunately, there was nothing useful.
All I had was a crude wooden axe that they were carrying.
Thinking of keeping it for now, I raised the axe, and the handle snapped.
Frustrated, I threw away the axe.
A clattering sound was heard as the broken axe flew away.
I sat on the ground in the now silent forest.
The rustling wind echoed with the chirping of birds.
As the tension left my body, fatigue suddenly overwhelmed me.
But I couldn’t sleep here.
With strained eyelids, I resisted the drowsiness.
Lifting my head slightly, I spoke with a severely hoarse voice.
The same silence.
“Quest! Settings! Status window! Please, show me something!”
I screamed out of frustration.
I barely held back tears welling up in my eyes.
How could I survive in this world with just my bare body?
Suddenly, two windows appeared in the air.
With clear letters, familiar words came to mind.
Age: 23 years old
Magic Power: 24/100
[Quest: Defeat the Demon King.]
I knew there would be something.
In a game world, there should at least be a status window.
“Yeah. Well, I’m not exactly dead.”
Status window and quest list.
I didn’t know why only these two were open.
Still, in this desperate situation, I felt a sense of grasping at straws.
First, I carefully examined the status window.
However, as soon as I checked the stats, my face stiffened with disappointment.
It was a dismal state.
Stats over 30 were completely absent.
Even the level was a mere 3.
Luck was the highest stat, at least.
“This is not a joke.”
Just the fact that I ended up in this world proved my misfortune.
And yet, ironically, luck was the highest among the stats.
I wondered if I could do something with the status window.
I tried to touch it with my finger, but to my disappointment, my hand passed through the screen as if it wasn’t there.
‘I expected this much.’
In the first place, even in the game, you couldn’t freely raise stats.
Could it be possible now?
In the first place, in this game, there was no concept of stat distribution.
When the level went up, a random number increased by 1.
There was no more information to be found in the status window.
Next, I turned my attention to the quest window.
[Quest: Defeat the Demon King.]
I knew about this quest.
The last quest one could receive. Defeat the Demon King.
It was comical, considering I, who almost died facing goblins, had to defeat the Demon King.
It was nothing short of a comedy.
With a bitter laugh, a burning sensation welled up in my chest.
Only the anger that had nowhere to go lingered in my heart.
Out of curiosity, I checked my legs again.
There was a black tattoo on the thigh of my left leg.
It wasn’t an illusion. It was proof that I had received the goddess’s blessing.
“Blessing, my a*s.”
In reality, it was practically a curse, no different from a debuff.
The word “blessing” was nothing more than a facade.
Hastily, I pulled up my pants to cover my legs.
If someone saw the mark, it would be troublesome.
In a world where assassins and cultists target those with blessings, getting exposed would be disastrous.
Finally, I closed the quest window.
I checked if there was anything else, but calling up other windows yielded nothing.
‘Let’s first assess the situation.’
I slowly looked around my surroundings.
Even though it had been a year since I quit the game, the memories were vivid.
A dense forest filled with trees so thick they blocked out the sunlight.
A faint howling sound was heard along with the gentle wind.
Tutorial area. I had recognized it right away when I first opened my eyes here.
Literally a space to teach how to move, swing a sword, and block with a shield.
And this was the place where goblins, the weakest of all monsters, pop out.
“And I almost died to that goblin.”
It was a funny thing, but many players did die in the tutorial area.
In the beginning, goblins appeared one by one, but deeper inside, a horde of dozens surrounded the protagonist.
It was literally a section where you would just die if you didn’t know what to do.
But I survived. At least I avoided dying in a ridiculous way.
Not that surviving the tutorial was something to be proud of.
“Now, what should I do?”
The dilemma didn’t last long. I had to head towards the capital of the kingdom.
After the tutorial, the protagonist immediately moves to the capital.
There, they become an adventurer, receive quests, and various events unfold, progressing the early story.
More than anything, the safest place in this world was the capital.
At least it was one of the few places where security was guaranteed.
‘Let’s go anywhere for now.’
I got up from the spot and picked up the iron club from the ground.
This was the only thing that could be used as a weapon.
Even though it was crude, the iron club was enough to knock down the goblins.
As I moved away, I sensed something strange.
I stopped and assessed the surroundings.
It was eerily quiet.
Just a moment ago, the forest was filled with the sounds of birds and the rustling of squirrels.
But suddenly, the cries disappeared.
At the same time, a sense of presence was felt through the grass.
I quickly adjusted my posture.
Calmly scanning the surroundings, I spotted figures in the distance.
Not just one, but dozens gathered and emerged from behind the trees.
The goblin horde was setting up an ambush.
There were twice as many as the group I had just faced.
“A truly crappy game.”
It felt so unfair it was driving me crazy.
The unpleasant experiences I had felt throughout the game flashed before my eyes like a nightmare.
Even while moving through a normal field, returning to the village, or facing a boss, surprise attacks were commonplace.
And now, I was experiencing the real-time absurdity of an ambush event.
“Just for goblins.”
I firmly held the iron club with both hands.
Perhaps thanks to the short break, I came back to my senses.
The dozens of eyes gleaming with hunger were focused on me.
If I lost, I probably wouldn’t survive.
Could I really win? I wasn’t at all confident.
But I couldn’t die like this.
I had to give it my all in this last struggle.
With cries like screams, the goblins started rushing towards me.
I had to deal with the goblin in front first.
As I swung the iron club towards its head,
A bolt of lightning struck right in front of me.
A blue light descended from the sky, causing a flash of brilliance.
Simultaneously, the thunder reverberated through the ground.
Numerous branches of lightning surged towards the goblin’s head.
With a strange voice, the goblin’s body split in half.
The one next to it had its head charred black.
The one directly hit by lightning was torn in half.
With the thunder, the screams of the goblins echoed through the forest.
The surreal scene that unfolded before my eyes was chilling.
The encircling goblin trap turned into a chaotic battleground in an instant.
The goblins died without even knowing what was happening to them.
In the haste to escape, I found myself frozen without realizing it.
There was a white female knight.
Long, shiny hair flowed over her pale skin, white like the first snow.
Red eyes, like roses, sparkled in the sunlight.
Her tall stature, contrasting with her slender figure and delicate appearance, was so beautiful that it momentarily left me breathless.
On the other hand, her white jade-like armor and the longsword in her hand showcased overwhelming power.
My astonishment wasn’t just because she was beautiful.
She looked exactly like what I remembered.
A character I had created, customized, collected equipment for, progressed through the story, and played for hundreds of hours.
Erina appeared before my eyes.