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Elf Collector

EC – Chapter 5

The Vault, Day 4

On the fourth day’s morning I was so freaking hungry. I have been cutting the remaining sandwich into parts of four. So I ate the last bit today. Now there isn’t anything left. I can refill my water from the weird looking steel faucet near the fridge, but it had initially taken some time to work through unjamming the pipe valve because it hadn’t been used in awhile.

The zombies seem to spawn at the same time every day. That’s how I’m sure it’s the fourth day. It happens sometime in the early morning.

This morning three zombies had spawned also.

I’m getting better at keeping the shivs from getting damaged by their biting. I’m also getting a bit better at avoiding their bite attempts but it’s very hard still. It took a full hour of stabbing at them through the slots to get this to work right.

And in every case, the zombies are stronger than me.

So undead are stronger and tougher than humans it seems, wherever we are.

But I’m lucky that the metal door keeps them out permanently.

After the last undead was killed off a blue popup screen appeared in the air.

[Congratulations user 29506-B! You have successfully completed the tutorial! Also you have completed the bonus rounds! Your ingenuity has surpassed 90% of other users.]

What the fudge…?


Are you freaking kidding me?!

I almost broke the shiv in a fit of rage.

[Quest rewards calculating…]

[Bonus acquired for optional quest of staying in the same place and finishing ‘endurance mode!’]

[Bonus for slaying multiple zombies everyday instead of only one zombie.]

[Bonus earned, for obtaining new skills, without the help of other survivors or new world inhabitants.]

[Bonus earned, for ‘enduring to the end’ before entering Spirit World. Bonus for valiant endurance of ‘probation world; Earth’ in enduring physical death and spiritual death before being downloaded’]

Wait that’s weird wording isn’t it?

‘World Inhabitants?’

So I’m in some kind of new world?

And it seemed to imply Earth was a testing ground before being downloaded here?

That makes sense because I knew I wasn’t in some VR or game. It’s too real to be computer generated. And nobody is THAT good at painting textures on walls and objects to make them look that real. Computer generated imagery is good, but not so good that you can’t spot flaws on even the most cutting edge stuff. And when imagery is perfect, there’s also flaws in how AI can only mirror life but always has certain flaws.

It sounds odd to say it like that. I can’t help but wonder why it’s worded that particular way.

The blue screen with the calculation thing had a loading bar with percentages across it much like a game loading screen bar. It keeps going up, but is doing so slowly.

[Congratulations user 29506-B! You have earned the right to choose your name! Please enter your name in the box below.]

Hmm weird…

Somehow I said a name even before I was ready. I’m not even sure where it came from. I still don’t remember my name from when I was on Earth.

Maybe I need more XP for that?

That’s weird huh? But strangely I have an ‘awareness’ about myself and don’t feel panicked. Maybe that’s part of the transition of this system, ‘blanketing’ me from panicking and freaking out?

“Max. My name is Max.”

Yeah, Max is a good name. I still don’t know if it’s the same or different from my Earth name. My head feels fuzzy and I get headaches trying to remember Earth. Maybe it’s some kind of blocking software? Even if I’m not in VR I might have some kind of mind tampering…but I don’t see any surgical interference on my body or scars.

And thank goodness I don’t look old, or like a hag.

Sigh…just more questions.

[Congratulations Max! Help tutorial is loading…click me to continue.]

I clicked on the screen to continue.

Then a new screen popped up.

[So chances are you don’t know who you are or where you came from. You don’t have amnesia. You aren’t sick. What you are experiencing is called ‘world transfer’ jetlag from being downloaded into the new world, and a ‘world transfer buffering’ software to adjust to your new life on a new world to help ensure mental stability on transfer. As you adjust to your new world, at a certain point your Earth memories will be softened and returned so that your old life won’t interfere with acceptance of your new life.]

“So what happened to me, did I die?” I asked verbally.



[Your life on Earth came to an end. You were chosen with other users to be transferred to another world afterwards. This world, is a type of world similar to Earth, but is also a world of many spirits and races. You’ve arrived in the ‘Spirit World’. The complexity and bounty of many creatures on this world is rich and abundantly diversified reflecting a rich and pure world where more options are available. Humans aren’t the only creatures that live there. This world has much to offer, but is caught between rival Gods, trying to win over the hearts and souls of men; good and evil, virtue and vice, paraise and hell, it all really exists. To this end, your application to go to heaven was evaluated based on your faith, repentance, and enduring to the end in your previous life.]

Fuck…hell exists?

I feel a bit worried now.

“Wait, so faith and being good really mattered huh…?” I mused thinking about it.

[With 100% certainty, being good does affect the reward system of the transition to the new world after your Earth life probationary testing ground. All Earth ‘downloaded souls’, have gone through ‘physical death’ and ‘spiritual death’ and have had to endure them before going through the download process.]

“Wait, Earth was a testing ground?!” my eyes widened.

[With 100% certainty, Earth life is…and was … a testing ground to determine rewards for the next life.] The computer fed this to me on screen and I’m staring at it for a while.


I’d thought there was something about being good mattered and faith too. But I didn’t have any proof you know. Also my brother was always an asshole…oh what was his name again?

I guess its funny that I remember he was an asshole but not his name or what he looked like. I also…

Ouch that made my head hurt just now. Maybe I’m not ready for that.

“Oh right…I have a brother…?”

The system won’t respond to that.

“So which world are we on?” I asked.

“Or better yet…how is it determined what world I go to?” I asked.

[You were given a choice of worlds. You supplied a few variables of input on what kind of world you wanted to go to. However, this type of world is classified as a ‘Spirit World’. And then you were allowed to choose between several choices. The tutorial system was to help you understand and transition, yet also give you a small test and taste of adversity. The physics and features resemble Earth but just with more enhanced options; it still follows rules like gravity, and needs for hunger, thirst, and resting the body, and working for a living.]

The system is very good at explaining.

“If that’s true, what kind of world variables did I put in before I …got my mind censored?” I asked.

[You chose a world with the following attributes; many races, has a magic system, has some technology, but also has a technology lock by the gods, conflict on this world is enabled, dungeons and dungeon systems are active on this world, progression and upgrading self such as through acquiring more and other powers is also enabled, good and evil are in constant conflict on this world, and also this is a world dominated by evil. Reminder; caution that evil gods are trying to take over this world and wrench it away from the pure and good gods, you have been warned.]

What? Why would I pick that?

I don’t want to be evil. I’m also sure uncensored mind me would also not choose to follow evil.

Perhaps I chose a world to do good in? That seems to be the only answer.

Click to continue…

I did so.

The screen popup continues.

[God felt you were righteous and faithful in your previous life. To this end, you were chosen to help the people on this world. And you were assured, you could still survive in a combat enabled and hostile world with good and evil struggling over it like this one while trying to win souls into your new family. In it, you will have the chance to carry his torch and rescue the people of this world, the world of spirits! You will be able to win them over and provide for them, and help them. In all other aspects of life, it will resemble life forms such as on Earth, with the exceptions of more racial diversification and magic.]

[This is a world of spirits. People will look and feel tangible and have physical bodies. But magic amplification and spiritual bodies of the soul are magnified to a higher state resulting in a better higher set of life forms on this planet. As a result, magic is enabled, and people will look better and healthier on this world with more diversity, and more beauty.]

“How do you define a soul?” I asked.

[Soul definition; three parts of physical body, magic body (not all life forms have a magic body), and spiritual body. But Earth only had physical body and spiritual body enabled, which is why there was no magic there; but also because man on Earth hadn’t endured through physical and spiritual death yet.]

Wow, I hadn’t anticipated that. I thought it would say physical body and spiritual body. But I hadn’t thought magic body would also be in there too. Maybe that’s why people couldn’t do magic on Earth?

I clicked on [continue].

[But for this to be a world of faith and free will, where you can help and rescue others, you must choose to do so. You will be tempted in all areas of your life. You won’t have the heavens open to you even though you chose the side of good. Others, agents of darkness will also try to win you back over to their side, and may offer rewards or pleasure to try to sway you to do evil. Some of their offers may seem to be genuine but not really be enduring, and may in fact be lies. You must be wary! Also you must make the choice to accept the side of good on your own without being entice or seeing the end result. This is what ‘faith’ is.]

Interesting…as I ponder on the box of text above, it’s not telling me the means it will give me. It’s spelling it out right there in the box though that this is based on faith.

The box continued.

Before continuing you will need to choose whether or not you will serve good or evil again while under mind censorship, or somewhere in between. This is done to preserve free agency. You must choose and make many choices from here on out. You can’t be a fence sitter in the end, though many try to do so. Your rewards will also be calculated based on what you choose and why. This will affect your class, race, racial bonuses, profile, and stats, among other things.

The screen then changed a bit. It flashed blue a few times.

[Do you choose to be on the side of good? Click here.] OR [Do you choose corruption and evil? Click here.]

Duh, this is a no brainer. You can’t fool around with this kind of stuff. Picking evil is long term loser-ville and will destroy your identity. I remember my grandmother told me that. And there’s severe harm from making bad choices when you…


Huh…I just remembered something from my previous life. Apparently I have a grandmother out there somewhere. I still don’t remember everything yet. I also have an impression that choosing evil eats you up inside and makes you weak.

Grandma must have been a good inflluence, I think. But still I don’t remember what she was like.

I clicked on the good side. Yes! Thank you grandma!

I know lately people had thought it would be popular to pick evil or be the bad boy. People even thought if they picked evil they’d get cooler stuff, or live a life of luxury. But something about that made me think of something fuzzy in my memory. I can’t remember the source.

But there was a story I read somewhere in my previous life where the hero and villain are competing and it becomes obvious that the side of good suffers a lot but is supported in their afflictions and lasts longer. The side of evil looks like it’s winning, and looks like they have the life of ease but then suddenly they lose everything and get no help from their allies, and live short glamorous lives that are snuffed out by violence and the effects of their choices.

When I read that story I knew it was true.

I can’t say why I know its true but I do.

[Rewards calculating…please wait!]

[ star kit available.]

Also I couldn’t help but notice there were several stars in the notice of that blue screen. There were four of them in fact.

What does that mean?

4 star kit? Is that what that means?

[Congratulations, user Max!]

[You have extensive rewards from faithfulness and good works from your previous life. This has unlocked several options from you to choose from. See below. Click to continue.]

[Farmer, Noble, villager, knight, mage, jester, soldier, city guard, warrior, craftsman, merchant, slaver, blacksmith, nomad, hunter, ranger, necromancer (error!), paladin (has kit limitations), martial artist, specialist, thief, error code syntax B189s8…, error code syntax B193s4…, bounty hunter, mage, mystic, celestial agent, angel’s helper, musician classes available.]

[Bonus class unlocks; dungeon keeper, dungeon lord, demonologist, fae keeper.]

[Bonus class unlocks; you have 4 sponsorship options available! Click sponsorship link for more information.]

[You did not qualify for the angel kit. Please accept our apologies.]

Angel kit huh?

Oh well, who needs that anyway. I realize I’m stewing in my funk from not liking that last one.

When I click on them I find some others of them that I’m disqualified from. And others depend on if I have ‘sponsorship’, whatever that means. I guess I’ll find out about that in the next few steps.

Necromancer, is cancelled out I find. I had the stats for it, but lack enough evil ‘points’. I guess because it’s linked to picking the evil side. That’s OK, since that sounds gross to play with bones and disease, or intestinal worms. Also demonologist is cancelled out too. That’s because it’s from the evil side, also not enough evil points on the status screen for that.

But I had to stop there.

I need more information. It seems the ‘sponsorships’ are important in order to be able to get some of the prestige classes. Paladin for example, requires sponsorship from a guardian deity.

Also it seems that dungeon keeper and fae keeper are basically close to the same thing, except that they are from opposing sides of good and evil. A dungeon keeper is usually evil and skirting along the lines of such. The side of good uses ‘fae keeper’ as a class instead, though they might not be the same thing. I only see the chart putting them as opposites. Dungeon Lord is also evil and has censorship preventing me from knowing more.

But for some reason it’s harder to be accepted as a fae keeper than it is to be a dungeon keeper, but I don’t know why. I guess this is one of those things were sometimes good struggles but looks like it will still win in the end?

I shrugged.

Also from what I can tell, if I hadn’t achieved bonuses in the tutorial part of my trial, then I wouldn’t have access to the bonus prestige classes. Like if I hadn’t killed any zombies, for example, then I’d probably be stuck with really crappy job options right now.

And for some reason there’s an absence of race options right now. I’m not sure why on that either.

I went back up and clicked on the sponsorship options.

[Sponsorship option #1; the side of evil’s representative wishes to give you another chance. They think your misguided sense of direction has made you racist and condemning of others. They offer a rehabilitation program. They encourage you to be more open and accepting, not being a racist or bigot like the others that rejected them and condemned their lifestyle choices, with less bias in your discriminations against them. Don’t be a racist or bigot! Accept all humanity! In your racism you forgot that good and evil don’t really exist, there is only seizing what you deserve through your own strength. There is no consequences except losing! If you choose this option, we’ll also boost your reward options with a few bonus stats.]


Are they trying to disarm me?! This is bull shit…

[Sponsorship option #2; The Lycan god wishes to give you a chance of stewardship in his kingdom. Yet, you can choose this option at any time, and won’t be forced to choose now if you still want to think about it. A special hidden notification mark will be left in your character sheet that can be used at any time to pursue this further.]

Lycan god? That’s interesting…

[Sponsorship option #3; what’s left of humanity is enslaving the other races. This side is exploitative but we don’t believe in good or evil. If you side with us, the slaver job will unlock. This has options of coming with a bonus slave. Further evolution into a high human pure race later can be unlocked with enough stats and experience, hard work, and spilling some blood. Click here to choose, but don’t wait too long. Offer good for 30 days!]

[Sponsorship option #4; there is a shortage of fae and elf races in this world! God wants to give you a chance to help them rebuild what they’ve lost, including building a gathering place for them. This offer has an expiration date. You must choose this option in order to continue, or the offer will be lost.]


So many options.

When I look at them…I still am choosing blindly.

Some of the options are basic. Mage is still a mage. Paladin is still a paladin. A farmer in all worlds is still a farmer. There’s a lot of interesting choices actually.

I’m curious about the prestige classes especially. They sound really cool, and I’m sure their skills are pretty awesome too.

I’m lucky too I find out as I sort through the data. Because I was ‘good’ in my previous life I have tons of reward stats all piled up. This is the only reason I had access to the prestige classes, the paladin class, and a few others. Mage class even though it’s not really super strong, had really tight stat limits because you can do things with it that normal people can’t do.

While still thinking about it, I rejected the evil offers. Even if they say they don’t believe in good and evil that’s a lie anyway. There’s always good and evil. To say there isn’t, is an illusion to snare people. I rejected the slaver sponsorship options as well, since I’m not into that.

But then something odd happened while I was looking at it.

A new popup in a smaller side window appeared. This one was a white screen with black text.

[Congratulations, user Max! Good has seen your valiant efforts in rejecting evil! If you pick good sponsorship, you will incur bonus stats of 5% for resisting temptation!]

Wow, that’s cool!

In games it was about stats. Even your skills were dependent on core stats.

But then a side window popped up on the opposite side of this one. So now, there’s a white box air screen on the left that’s small, then the middle big blue main screen, and now there’s a black box on the right with bright murder red text on the right that’s with an air screen slightly bigger than the left most box.

[Congratulations, user Max! The alliance of daemons has seen your valiant efforts in rejecting those that claim to be good! If you pick the real ‘good’ sponsorship, free of racists and bigots, and side with the daemons, you will incur bonus stats of 10%! They invite you to become their hero instead!]

What the heck?

Is this…competition?

I also didn’t see [Hero] as a job unlock. Was that a mistake? Or do you have to unlock it later on somehow? If I go bad, I get to be a bad hero now?

Then just as the screen on the right had its side raise the stakes, the left most white box disappeared and a new one just like it appeared with different wording and new numbers! I can’t believe what I’m seeing!

[Congratulations, user Max! Good has seen your valiant efforts in rejecting evil! We see that you are fighting hard with new distractions being thrown at you! But if you pick good sponsorship, you will incur bonus stats of 11%!]

I didn’t even have a chance to respond when the daemon side’s window also had their popup, still in the same murder red text.

[Congratulations, user Max! The alliance of daemons has seen your valiant efforts in rejecting good! If you pick the real ‘good’ sponsorship and side with the daemons, you will incur bonus stats of 12%!]

But if that wasn’t enough, then the terms changed again.

Wait…this is…

The good side box also seems to be labeled the ‘alliance of angels’. They claim good and evil definitely exist. Your future depend on making good choices! Be careful! Don’t give in! They also say that God exists, and that there’s one real God, and there are helper Gods under him that sponsor the various races in the spirit world, where we are. Currently their offer jumped to 13%

The …bad side? Or are they just self serving…I’m not entirely sure…but they claim to be the daemon alliance. But they aren’t the same as demons, so they say. They claim that good and evil don’t exist. They claim it doesn’t matter what you want or what you choose; eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die; offer jumps to 15% bonus stats.


Suddenly I realized I’m in a bidding war.

What do I do?

I feel so much temptation. I’m afraid of making a decision on the spot. And the offers just keep piling up.

Also how do I even ask questions, using this system? What if there are strings attached? They couldn’t just keep piling up offers right? Won’t they cap out at some point? And what if the offers aren’t what they really seem?

What if, I won’t get the bonuses right now, but only after I do certain things to prove myself? And what if those strings attached are really awful things to do, or things that make me miserable?

I decide to wait a bit.

Also the bidding war is still going on.

Alliance of Angels new offer update; 16%

Daemon Alliance new counter offer; 16.5%

A of A; 16% + newbie tool.

Oh? What kind of newbie tool?

Daemon Alliance new update; 17%

It keeps going on and on, and up and up…

How high will it go actually?

“Computer, is there a way to save the offers and come back to this later? I need a nap?” I asked.

To my surprise the main blue screen had a popup;

[Saving New Life Simulator state…please wait…]


Then another minute later.

[Save state completed. You may reopen the window at any time to continue.]


What do the four stars mean?

[WARNING; New Life Simulator does not guarantee multiple free lives, reset buttons, resets, or anything similar of any kind. You have only one life to live so use it wisely! There is no respawn points, nor any free resurrects. Dying even one time is permanent! This is not a game!]

[**Warning restriction**; because of bonus stat offers, your class/job will be locked into place.]

Ugh…that’s very sobering to think about.

And that’s why I need a nap huh?

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