In the morning, Jules was somewhat more fluent in Uesmethi, and he’d spend all night playing again, minus a couple hours. Then, he hadn’t been able to fall asleep, because he hadn’t been tired. This worried Jules a little bit. He messaged his friends about it.
“Have any of you felt tired after playing Many Worlds? Specifically, I haven’t and still don’t feel tired, and I’m on… 5 hours of sleep in 72 hours.”
The immediate response from Isaac was, “Go to sleep.” Then, after a few moments, “… I haven’t been tired either.”
Soon, all the results were in. None of Jules’ friends had felt tired after playing Many Worlds.
“Maybe it’s because it puts you in a dream-like state while playing,” Robert theorized.
“No way,” Jules immediately rejected, “My brain is way too active when I play for it to be that. I’m not sure what’s going on though… it sure is convenient.”
“Maybe you just can’t tell you’re tired,” Isaac cautioned, “It’s best to get some sleep anyway.”
Well, Jules had tried, but maybe he’d devote more effort to that tomorrow. Maybe.
When Jules logged in, he prepared himself for a somewhat repetitive twelve hours. Well, better make that eight, since he needed to try to sleep. Although it would be repetitive, it wasn’t like he hadn’t been having fun. It just got very… samey. Plus, he was running out of things to point at. He checked his friends list, although of course only Mary was on it. Jules still needed to find a way to meet up with the friends who had convinced him to play this.
As he was looking at the icon for Mary showing she was logged in, he wondered where she was. Immediately, he got the vision of an arrow pointing off into the distance. That feature… was somewhat creepy, actually. Jules turned it back off. He wondered if it was part of his “Information” class or not. Probably, based on what he had seen.
Jules looked up at the wall to see if his favorite guard was there. He wasn’t but there was an odd third member on the wall that was definitely not one of the guards. Specifically, the guards were covered in armor, and this person was definitely in civilian gear. It was the first time Jules had seen any of the inhabitants of the city without a helmet on, and only now did he realize that they were really aliens. They had all the expected facial features, but there was something a bit off about all of them. Placement of the eyes, shape of the nose and mouth… everything was just far enough off to let Jules know they definitely weren’t human. As he thought this, the person on the top of the wall spoke.
“Ohh! They really do just come out of nowhere! Fascinating.” The man turned to one of the guards. “Is this the one trying to learn our language?”
Jules decided this was a good time to speak up. “Yes, that’s me. I’m Jules.”
The person on the wall clapped his hands together in excitement. “Oh, wonderful. You speak so well already! I am Markot. I’d been hoping to be able to meet one of you-” the word “lunatics” was probably a more accurate translation, but Jules chose to pretend it was “adventurers”.
“Well, here I am.”
“Great! It is somewhat awkward to talk from this distance, would you mind entering the city?”
“I’d love to, but I don’t really have permission.”
“You do now!” The man turned to look at the guards. The guards had helmets on, so Jules couldn’t see their expressions, but their body posture told him that they were trying not to sigh. They did turn off the laser gate/lightning portcullis though. Jules took the chance to enter the city, since it seemed he had permission.
Enter the City
You have gained experience!
Jules completed a quest he didn’t know he had, and gained a level. This put him at… level 1, actually, since Many Worlds started at level 0. It made sense, because otherwise at level 50, you would have 49 advancements, instead of 50, unless you started with some. However, starting with something is not really an advancement. In Many Worlds, what was gained at each level appeared to be 10 attribute points. Jules had no idea what to spend them on, so he saved them.
Markot, apparently some kind of scientist, sage, wise man, or just someone who liked learning, came down from the wall. “Let me show you around the city.”
Very quickly, Jules ran into another barrier. Obviously, he was being introduced to buildings that had specific functions, but he could not tell what they were. In addition, they obviously had signs stating something, but that was not much help. “I can’t read,” Jules admitted.
“Oh! Well, of course not. You’ve only been learning our language for a couple days after all. Here, let me show you some basics.” He pulled out something that obviously fulfilled the role of a computer- quite advanced compared to the structures, Jules felt. It projected an image into the air, something Jules wished real computers could do. Well, affordable and portable ones, that is. Markot showed Jules what appeared to be a phonetic alphabet, and said the sound for each character. Then, he paused. “Well, this is just the basics, but you do not seem to have a computer to copy this to?” Jules was of course guessing about computer and some other words, but Markot gestured to his thing that was obviously a kind of computer.
“I don’t.” Jules was trying to think of some way to store the information while he looked around the street. Then, he was surprised. All the signs were translated. That is, he still saw the actual characters, but his brain immediately was able to read it. What an amazing learning system! Jules wasn’t sure why the game even bothered making him learn, if it was just going to make it instantaneous. “Actually, looks like I’ve remembered it.”
“Yes?” Markot tilted his head inquisitively. “Already? That is impressive.”
“Well, it’s a feature of the game.” “Game” was in English.
“Game? What is that?”
“Hmm… It’s kind of hard to explain.” Jules probably could have explained, but he didn’t want to get into the situation of explaining a game to a game character, even one run by a powerful AI system. “Well, the other adventurers and I learn quickly.”
They continued the tour of the city, which Jules realized was quite functional and had many of the things games would usually leave out, such as grocery stores. Well, it still had some typical game elements such as weapon and armor shops. Then they went to Markot’s home. Jules was nervous about social niceties, but fortunately Fesmoilia’s residents, and maybe every one of the race, didn’t have a strong focus on politeness nor a strict set of social rules. That was one bullet dodged for the adventurers.
After discussion about various things, they finally got onto the topic of adventurers. “Truthfully, we weren’t, and still aren’t, sure of your intentions. Some tried to climb the walls into the city, but most did not seem particularly violent. It is unfortunate we had to kill some of you before we could communicate.”
“Don’t worry about it, they’ll come back to life at some nearby structures.” Jules really said “un-die” or “become not dead”.
Markot was obviously taken aback at this knowledge. “Come back to life? How terrifying.”
Jules shrugged. For a game, something like that was obvious. Well, it seemed like NPCs wouldn’t respawn though, which is why there was a strict prohibition against attacking them. “There isn’t really a good way to explain it.”
“Well, what is the purpose of your adventurers coming here?”
“Hmm…” Jules thought for a moment. “To gain classes and get quests, I guess.”
“Err… to learn things, and to do jobs.”
“So, you are scholars and migrant workers from another planet? Why come here?”
Jules was really stumped, but then he remembered the backstory for the game. “Well, our planet is running out of room, and we need to expand. Thus, we traveled here through warp gates.” Jules was a bit fuzzy on the details of the story.
“Err, the places where we come back to life.” Jules didn’t know the correct words, but he was pretty sure Merkot could understand the concept of teleportation. Not that it had been done in the real world though.
“Well, the important thing is, the adventurers mean no harm?”
“Yes, that is right. If we excessively harm NPCs we’ll get banned, so we really can’t.”
“Err, if we harm natives we’ll be teleported off world, basically.”
“Ohh, I see. Your planet wishes to be friends. Well, we do not wish to be enemies, and now that we know your intentions, we can allow adventurers to access the city, at least for now.”
Open up access to the city of Fesmoilia!
You have gained experience!
Level up! x2
Another accidental quest fulfillment. Even more, two levels! This was a pretty extreme amount of experience to be giving out. Well, it didn’t hurt that gaining access to the city for all the adventurers was a pretty significant achievement.
Jules continued to talk with Merkot, and learned much more rapidly with someone who wanted to teach him than he had before. He spent too much time, though, and forgot to try to sleep. After about eleven more hours of practice, he had a very solid grasp on the language.