(This was a story I was writing for fun, it wasn't originally intended to be an erotic story but my mind just kind of took it there later on down the line. Please bare with me, I'm not a great writer but I do my best to make sure things are grammatically correct)
Sitting at my old dining room table, I did my best to take stock of my situation.
I'm now 25 years in the past…
My brother is alive again…
My wife doesn't even know who I am…
My kids haven't been born…
Infinity isn't released for another 5 years…
*How the fuck can a game take me back in time… especially to before the games own release date*...
*And this option is somehow supposed to save humanity? Save it from what?*
"From the Life Binders?" I muttered to myself, trying to guess what I was supposed to be doing.
"Are you serious about joining me in Fantasy World?" Ethan asked, distracting me from my thoughts.
"Yeah, I'm done with horrors, I want to join you" I answered honestly.
"Excellent, I knew you'd come around… Now we best prepare, fighting in VR is similar to fighting in real life, so we need to decide carefully how we progress your character" Ethan stated confidently, his usual high optimism being something I sorely missed. Though whilst I played as a Rogue in Infinity, I didn't want to repeat that same style of class again.
"Is there an Archer styled character I can play? I don't fancy getting up close and bloody" I asked, knowing full well there was but Archery was something that I had picked up, my skills with daggers was always somewhat lacking but even as a Rogue in Infinity, my use of a bow was great, I just lacked the Archer class skills which was a shame, though to delete my account and start over would result in years of effort wasted.
"Of course, if you want to be an Archer you should join my gym as well, it tailors to VR gamers so it teaches you sword-fighting as well as archery" Ethan said excitedly.
"Let's do it… I'll be your scout and backup and you can be the muscle" I smirked, though to see Ethan smile from ear to ear filled my heart with joy.
Arriving at Ethan's gym, I'd been reborn for just over a week now and Ethan was desperate to get me gaming with him. Though whilst I waited for my unique copy of Fantasy World to arrive, Ethan spent every night online, preparing armour, weapons, potions and food for me, ready to help me level up.
"Welcome Joel, Ethan has told me a lot about you" The head archery coach said excitedly as I smiled back to him politely.
"I'm going to do my own training, don't go easy on him Matt, he's more talented than he lets on" Ethan said before entering the sword-fighting area, the metal sword on the side quickly getting picked up as he swung it viciously into the wooden dummy.
"Come on then… let's get you set up" Matt said excitedly as he picked up a nearby wooden longbow and handed it to me. "We try to use as historically accurate weapons as possible, it makes it easier to adjust when online".
Holding the bow in my hand, it felt satisfyingly familiar, despite it being a week since I was last online in Infinity, I had missed holding a bow. Drawing back the arrow, I was confident in my ability, but this was because I had nearly 20 years of experience using a bow in Infinity, 40 years, if you include the slowed time rate when online.
Releasing the arrow, I aimed for the second row from the centre, my precision still there as it landed right where I wanted but since it wasn't a bullseye, I hoped I would pass as an amateur.
"You're a natural Joel!" Matt said in shock.
"But I missed?" I replied quickly, trying to play down my shot.
"Yes, but your form was perfect. A couple of months and you could be deadly online and offline"
Thanking him for his praise, he soon left me to practice, others showing difficulty in their own form and needing his attention. Shot after shot landed exactly where I aim, though I never aimed for the centre. Every few minutes I'd catch Ethan looking over, a huge proud grin on his face.
*First I'll train, then I'll hunt down anybody who tries to create Life Binders*...*I'm sure that will lead me to some nasty corporations but it's a good job I've got 20 years to prepare*.I thought to myself, assuming that to save humanity this was what was expected of me. *I have no idea what I’m looking for to save humanity, I have no connections, I’m back to being a regular 20 year old* I thought to myself, though an idea suddenly struck me as I looked to Ethan whilst he trained… *With my combat experience, I could maybe get a job here. Might take a few months though, building up my accuracy so that I don’t go from amateur to pro in just one day*.
Logging into Fantasy World, it felt so sluggish and clunky in comparison to Infinity, but that was to be expected. Infinity was a state of the art game, it had its own VR headset which was far more powerful than the current models for sale.
"Hey! J!" Ethan called out as he came running up to me inside the Town of Beginnings. His heavy plated body looked mighty and heroic whilst I started off in rags.
"Level 57! You sure do level fast" I chuckled out at seeing his level though Ethan never lost his smile for a second.
"Don't worry, you'll catch up quick. I can't fight for you since you won't get any EXP if I fight, but I can guide you".
Equipping the level 1 armour he had picked up, he also had a number of items ready for me once I levelled up a couple of times.
"Here's some bags so you can carry more, don't worry about weight, these have 40 slots each and you can carry 3 of them, that should be enough for your level… No take these potions, you're an Archer so you don't use very much mana for your skills so I've only got you healing potions...Also, we should head here for your beginner quests, killing monsters gives you EXP but quests give you more".
It seemed like a bit of a blur as Ethan handed me over a dozen items and then dragged me over to meet several NPCs to collect quests. Before I could even get a word in, I was out in the nearby forest hunting boars for a quest.
"Aim for their heads, that'll give you a critical hit bonus" Ethan said confidently as my last arrow hit the boar's leg.
*I guess this game isn't very detailed* I thought to myself, my mind still familiar with Infinity's realistic combat where damage to joints would slow and maim targets.
Within two hours I was level 3 and by the time the alarm rang that it was 8am, I was level 5.
"Enjoy it while you can, every 10 levels is a milestone and the amount of EXP required jumps by a tonne"
"I'm sure I can still beat you to level 80" I chuckled back, already feeling confident inside the game. Whilst it is incredibly basic in comparison to Infinity, with my aim, I knew it wouldn't take long to excel.
“What are your plans for today?” Ethan asked curiously as we both exited our rooms and met in the kitchen of our small two bedroom apartment. It was mainly paid for by our parents, but Ethan already had a day job to help bring in some extra money.
“I’m thinking about going to the gym, I want to get my Archery skills up so that I can catch up to you. I was also thinking about looking for a job” I replied cheerfully.
“You can always join me at the arcade in the back office. I usually spend most of the day on forums reading up on Fantasy World”
“Hard at work I see”... “Hey, what about a competition?” I shot back, Ethan’s competitive glint in his eye sparkling at the notion.
“A competition? Go on…”
“Having been to your gym, I quite like it. I think we should both work out more to improve our fighting capabilities and I want us to spar… I saw some blunt swords and rubber tipped arrows”
“Oh your on. What’s the wager?” Ethan smirked though I couldn’t help but smile with him.
“How about this. When the next big VR game comes out, winner gets to be guild leader and the loser is vice-leader”
“Next big VR game? Do you know something I don’t?”
“I’m just saying, you’ve got a massive head start in Fantasy World but if there’s a new game we play together, then this competition is for then” I answered hopefully. Ethan looked at me with his usual big smile before accepting.