Prologue: Would You Like To Be A Dimensional-Traveler?
"I have finally gotten the nickname of the Ultimate African Chieftain! The only SSR card that I got was a Two-faced Buddha that accumulated from card pieces, I have never once gotten a Bird Sister or a Goldfinger before… I don’t want to play this game anymore!"
Lin Huang was expressionless. He had been playing Master XX for half a year, after obtaining tens of thousands of amulets, he had never gotten an SSR card; not even an SR card Bird Sister or a Goldfinger. He only managed to get those by accumulating card pieces so he did not have any hope for the 10 card draw. He had completely given up on the game since he got the nickname and began losing in battles.
He placed his finger on the game, took a deep breath and deleted the game. Just when he was about to keep his phone in his pocket, he felt a vibration. He then looked at the screen. It was completely black with a gold-colored sentence in the middle.
"Would you like to travel through dimensions?"
There was only one option at the bottom.
It seemed like an online game commercial.
"Yes, my a*s!"
Since he had just deleted the Master XX game, Lin Huang did not have the mood to download any new games. He tapped on the home button on his phone. Just as he attempted to keep his phone in his pocket, his phone vibrated again. He took a look at his phone, it was the same page.
"Stop it! This mobile game is like some online game with endless pop-up commercials, who would want to play such game?" He frowned and closed the page. Just as he wanted to keep his phone, the same page popped up again.
"Could this be a virus?" Lin Huang frowned.
He was in love with his iFruit7 smartphone that he just bought. He spent one entire month's salary to get it after all. He restarted his phone and looked at the screen for a while. The page did not pop up again, he was relieved. When he picked up his phone, his phone vibrated and the page popped up again.
"Would you like to travel through dimensions?"
There was only one option at the bottom.
"F*ck, this is not going away!" Lin Huang was furious.
"Since I’m getting it fixed later, I shall see this what kind of stupid game this is and I will report you!"
After some hesitation, Lin Huang pressed ‘yes’ on the screen. As he tapped 'yes', the screen began changing.
"Dear respectable dimensional-travel candidate, thank you for accepting our request. Please read the terms and conditions carefully. If you agree, please clic-k ‘accept’ and you will officially be a dimensional-traveler. After obtaining your travel code, we'll send you a Goldfinger and transfer you to another world. Enjoy!"
The words appeared for about 20 seconds before the terms and conditions appeared.
"1. The current death rate of travelers are as high as 73%, please prepare yourself before your travel. Causes of deaths are as below:
Suicide - Death rate: 48%"
Death through battle - Death rate: 33%"
Natural death - Death rate: 10%"
Assassinated - Death rate: 6%"
Failed to activate Goldfinger - Death rate: 2%"
Bad luck - Death rate: 1%"
Lin Huang only glanced at the first few pages as there were 118 pages to the terms and conditions. He was too lazy to read the entire thing so he scrolled to the bottom and clic-ked on the ‘accept’ button.
"Respectable candidate, you are now officially a dimensional-traveler. Your traveler code would be 142857. Entering Goldfinger page…"
The screen changed again, there was a spinner of 36 columns on the screen. Each column was the same size and there was a golden question mark on each of them with a pointer pointing in the 12 o’clock direction. There were two buttons at the bottom of the spinner, one was ‘start’ while the other was ‘stop’. There was also a description of the rules beneath the buttons.
"Press ‘start’ and the pointer will start to spin, press ‘stop’ to stop the pointer. The item that the pointer stops at will be your Goldfinger. If you did not press the ‘stop’ button, the pointer will stop automatically one minute after the spin had begun.
"Until now, they have yet to show me the name of the game. Let me know what game is this!" Lin Huang pressed ‘start’ and the spinner started spinning fast. A few moments, he pressed the ‘stop’ button. After gliding for a while, the pointer stopped at one of the question marks.
It then became a black card and the spinner disappeared. The card was enlarged and occupied the entire screen. Lin Huang raised his eyebrow, the card was nicely designed with metallic black and gold patterns on the edges.
"Not a bad card design…" Lin Huang complimented. However, as he thought of the Master XX game that he spent half a year playing, he became upset again as it was also a card game.
While he was immersed in his thoughts, a black glow shot out of his phone into his forehead. Lin Huang did not notice it at all as he looked at the screen of his phone that began changing.
"Goldfinger has been sent, now randomly picking an initial world for this travel…"
"Am I finally getting into the game?" Lin Huang smirked.
"As soon as I see the name of the game, I'll take a screenshot and report this stupid game!"
Soon, the screen on his phone changed again.
"The initial world that was randomly picked is ‘Monster Paradise’."
"Traveller 142857, enjoy your trip!"
His gold iFruit7 phone dropped on the floor. The screen was destroyed, Lin Huang disappeared from where he was…
"Traveller’s Serial Number: 142857"
"Name: Lin Huang"
"Age Before Traveling: 25 years old"
"Age After Travelling: 15 years old"
"Initial World: Monster Paradise"
"Travelling Identity Setting: Lin Huang, Male, 15. His 13-year-old sister is the only family member he has left in the world. Born with a broken Life Wheel, his lifespan is 10 times shorter than ordinary people."
"Remaining Lifespan: 91 days."
"Memory Integration: 98%"
"Number of Travels: 1"
"Goldfinger Status: Deactivated"
Looking at the semi-transparent page, Lin Huang was slightly startled. He could not recall how many times he had looked at that very page this week.
It had been a week since Lin Huang traveled to this world and became a 15-year-old juvenile. He was outstanding, bagging first place among the fresh graduates at the Hunter Reserve College where he obtained a full score for almost all his papers. However, he had one fatal setback - his broken Life Wheel.
There was a crack in the Life Wheel which looked like a gray stone in his body. It was almost broken in half. Among the 360 Life Light columns, only three were lit and the third one was quite dim.
To ordinary people, these columns would represent three years of life but as his lifespan loss was 10 times faster, Lin Huang was left with only three months to live.
"I look better now, perhaps the only thing I can be happy about." Lin Huang threw his head back as he laughed at himself in front of the mirror.
He had black, puffy short hair with eyes that were dark and intense. Lin Huang had nice features. Despite that, within a split second, he tightened his fists and frowned.
"What’s the use of looking good? Although the Goldfinger that you promised to give me before I began to travel is with me, at least send me a manual on how to use it. It has already been a week and I still have absolutely no idea on how I can activate Xiao Hei..."
Xiao Hei was the Goldfinger that Lin Huang randomly selected before he time traveled. It was a black card and he had tried every possible way he could to activate it but failed. He had no idea what the function of that card was.
"I’m back, brother!"
Just as Lin Huang pointed the mirror, playing the blame game, he heard the voice of a girl from behind the door. The door closed shortly after and he figured that the girl must have entered the password and entered the house.
He then shut the semi-transparent page before him and took stock of his emotions before walking down the stairs. He lived in a small double-story penthouse where both bedrooms were on the second floor.
He arrived at the ground floor and smiled at the girl who was changing her shoes.
The girl seemed like a 13-year-old with short, black hair with a length slightly below her earlobes. Her bangs covered her eyebrows entirely and her eyes were bright and naive. She wore a printed white t-shirt, a pair of faded blue jeans and white sneakers. In all honesty, her clothing made her resemble a boy.
"Xin Er, you’re back! Wash your hands, we’re having dinner soon."
They sat across each other at the table. While they were eating, Lin Huang’s left pinky started to tingle. Soon, a semi-transparent video was projected in front of him. The same thing happened to Lin Xin! Her eyes popped when she saw her ring projecting a video.
The ring was given to everyone after they received their birth certificate. It contained information that included a personal identity account, and a small space for storage. It was also the only tool connected to the Heart Network. Projections like these were rare and if something like this ever happened, it usually meant something big had happened.
"Hmm?" Lin Huang stopped eating and stared at the projection. Lin Xin found it strange as well.
There was a middle-aged man with a serious expression in the video. Lin Huang recognized him, he was the news reporter from No.7 Safety Zone, quite the popular dude.
"Breaking news! Somebody found a new Virtual Eye 310 kilometers southeast from No.7D101. There’s a high possibility of a monster invasion. Those who reside in that area, please be aware. Do not leave the foothold, stay indoors tonight."
After watching the video, Lin Huang frowned as the area number, No.7D101 was the official code of Wulin Town, his home!
Based on the area size, Wulin Town was categorized into four grades A, B, C and D which respectively represented an area size that was large, medium, small and a core size, which was the smallest. The number 7 before the letter D was the safety code while number 101 at the back was the foothold’s code.
The Virtual Eye mentioned in the video was the portal that the monsters opened to invade the human world. It was named the Virtual Eye because it looked like a semi-transparent giant pupil that protruded towards the sky.
"Brother, the virtual eye is so near to our home, would monsters come to the foothold?" Lin Xin asked worriedly.
"Don’t worry about it. Now that the news is out, the Monster Hunters would’ve received the news as well. In fact, they’d get the news earlier than when we did. There’s also a defensive shield at the foothold which cannot be broken so easily." Lin Huang assured both him and Lin Xin and then exclaimed joyously, "Let’s eat!"
After dinner, Lin Xin went back to her room to get started on her homework while Lin Huang washed the dishes. The sky was getting darker. Lin Huang returned to his room and looked at the Heart Network’s page to check for updates regarding the Virtual Eye. On the Heart Network, ongoing news about the Virtual Eye was being broadcasted continuously after they received the alarming notification during their meals.
"The Hunters have arrived at foothold No.7D101, close to the Virtual Eye to hunt down the monsters."
"Silver Hunter Li Lang appeared near foothold No.7D101!"
"Silver Hunter Li Lang led 18 hunters to hunt down the monsters."
"After more than an hour of hunting and killing, all monsters iron-level and above within 100 kilometers of No.7D101 were destroyed. More hunters joined the hunter troop to continue with the mission within that area."
Lin Huang was relieved when he read the news. He sounded so sure when he was comforting Lin Xin but in reality, he was not sure at all. After all, he had just arrived into this world for a month and it was his very first time encountering a Virtual Eye. But from what he read on the Heart Network, there were no threatening monsters from that Virtual Eye.
The time and location a Virtual Eye would open were completely random. The number and level of monsters cannot be predetermined. If the number or the level of monsters were too high, they would definitely be able to kill more than 10 hunters, including the Gold Hunters. The defensive shield in a small foothold like Wulin Town would be insignificant, like paper glue when faced with a massive crowd of monsters. It would be hopeless and useless to try stopping those monsters then.
During Lin Huang’s first week since his arrival in this world, although he did not figure out how to activate his Goldfinger, he somehow figured out what kind of world he was in.
There were many history channels that spoke of monster attacks on the Heart Network. Lin Huang was taken aback the first time he saw it.
What he thought was unforgettable was the ruins of a huge foothold. He remembered each and every detail of the video recording.
A giant bloody pupil was opened in the void and countless monsters charged out of it. Within seconds, they broke through the defensive shield of the big foothold. That day, almost a billion people were killed by millions of monsters within a few hours.
The foothold was covered in blood with dead bodies floating on the sea of blood while monsters feasted on their remains…
The foothold that Lin Huang was located in was just a D-grade foothold. This small town had a small population of fewer than 100,000 people. Such a foothold was the least secured within the safety zone. If this foothold was attacked by a strong monster, everyone would perish even before any hunter could even arrive to rescue them. Fortunately, the opening of this Virtual Eye only released small monsters and hunters were able to kill them.
Lin Huang fell into deep thought after closing the Heart Network.
"From the speed of lifespan lost earlier, I’m only left with 91 days to live. The most important question right now was... How do I get the Life Crystals to replenish my Life Light? I have no idea how to activate Goldfinger so I best leave it aside. Life Crystals are up for purchase on the Heart Network but it’s too expensive. The minimum purchase, a year’s worth of Life Crystals costs 100,000 credit points. I don't even have 30,000 in savings!"
Life Crystals were a unique item that barely dropped from hunting monsters. There is a massive amount of Life Light in each crystal. It must be chewed in the mouths and the Life Light in the crystals will then enter the Life Wheel.
"The fastest way to get Life Crystals is by hunting monsters and selling the materials on the monsters’ bodies. It’s certainty that there would be Life Crystals achievable from the hunt. However, with my ability now which isn’t even at iron-level, the kind of monsters I’m able to fight are worthless… Worry not for I shall try my luck outside the foothold. Perhaps there would be at least one Life Crystal. I shall get ready tomorrow and head out the day after!"
It was late at night; Lin Huang stared at the dark sky from his window. After a short while, he emptied his mind and went to bed.
In the middle of the night, a noise that sounded like glass breaking woke him up.
Just as Lin Huang woke up, he heard a girl scream in his blurred state. The scream came from close by and he could tell; it was his sister, Lin Xin’s voice.
He jumped down of his bed and dashed to Lin Xin’s room. He did not even have the time to change; he was still in his pajamas.
He flung the door open.