'Efforts never betray you'
A saying widely respected and repeatedly preached across the world.
Some people regard this quote as a personal mantra to follow throughout their whole life, while others simply scoff at it as if it were a mere joke.
I mean, why put effort when you have a super-rich dad who provides you with all you need?
'Hello, Dad! Can you buy me a house?'
'Daddy~ There's this new car that I really love and was wondering if...'
There are also those that live in luxury simply because they are lucky, like the ones who win a lottery.
I mean, how much effort does it take for someone to win a lottery?
'Congratulations! You have won 200 million'
How does 'efforts never betray you' apply here?
Of course, setting those examples aside, there were many cases in which the saying proved to be correct.
For example, have you seen the movie- hmm, what was it called?
the 'Pursuit of Happyness'.
It is your perfect example of 'efforts never betray'.
It's a touching story about a homeless dad living on the streets with his son, who, because of his pure love and dedication for his child, managed to succeed and became a millionaire. Very touching.
What about me?
What have I got to say about 'efforts never betray'?
It is utter bullshit. Period.
'Efforts never betray?' I could spit at such a ridiculous notion. Sure, if you put in some effort you would definitely achieve better results than the regular mob out there, but is that really all there is to it? Is this the key to success?
No. It simply isn't.
The key ingredient to success is 'talent'.
No matter how much effort you put into something, you would never be able to surpass the insurmountable gulf known as talent.
Look at football, for example. Many people train just as hard as Messi or Ronaldo, but in the end, they don't even come close to their level.
No matter how much they train, no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears they shed, they would never be able to even touch their ankles.
What kind of bullshit is that?
Getting back on topic. Why do I have such a grudge against the quote 'efforts never betray'?
Simple. It is because I was one of those idiots that wholeheartedly believed in those words.
You see, my parents died when I was 14. Some bastard got drunk and ran them over. I couldn't remember how many times I had cried myself to sleep because of the accident.
My parents didn't have siblings, and my grandparents, both maternal and paternal, had already left the world long ago. I was orphaned.
Luckily, they had enough money in their bank account to last me until school finished. Thus, I studied as if my life depended on it. It literally did.
I would study hours and hours on end, just so that I could enrol at the most prestigious university out there, and later find myself a suitable job.
But hold on. How could I possibly afford to go to university? It usually costs a hell of a lot of money, doesn't it?
A bank loan? Would they lend a loan to an orphan with neither family nor assets? Well, I still tried to get one. But in the end, I got rejected by the government.
But there was still a way. A scholarship.
If I managed to secure myself a scholarship, I could attend university without paying a single cent.
Luckily, University A, the only university near me, offered a scholarship program that perfectly suited my needs.
One of my teachers heard that they only offer one scholarship a year for students of the school I attended. But that was enough for me.
If I studied hard enough and achieved an exceptionally high score, I could create a chance.
And so I studied.
Studied so hard that all the friends I had made over the years became estranged. But I was fine with it.
As long as I could attend university I could make all the friends that I wanted... Was what I thought at that time. But looking back at it now, I could only laugh at how naive I was.
Thanks to all the effort I put in, I managed to get in the top 1% of the national exams. But in the end, the scholarship I so wanted never came.
Funnily enough, I only found out later that the one who got the scholarship was actually lower ranked than me.
Apparently, his father was a highly influential person and helped secure the scholarship for him.
That scholarship should've been mine! All the sleepless nights and lonely days that I had spent became worthless!
I remember screaming my heart out that day.
What's even more frustrating was the fact that the father could totally afford to send his son to university without a scholarship.
Since you could afford it, why not give it to someone who actually needed it?
I wanted to apply to other universities for scholarships, but they were all outside of my city, and I couldn't afford to move.
At that point, having exhausted all my family's savings, I was dirt poor.
I could barely feed myself through part-time jobs. How could I possibly study in another city where the rent was levels beyond my contemptibly small budget?
And thus, left with no choice, I dropped all my studies and continued attending part-time jobs.
I slowly sank into depression. I found an escape route in food, manga, and web novels.
As I gained weight and found myself putting on more pounds with each passing day, it became increasingly harder for me to continue going to part-time jobs as I would always run out of breath after standing for over 10 minutes.
Fortunately, I found myself a new hobby. Writing web novels. At first, I took it as a hobby to pass time, but later, as more and more people started reading my novel, a fire that had long been extinguished ignited inside of me, prompting me to continue writing.
And I succeeded.
My first novel was a hit, and money started coming in.
[Descent of the Hero]
Description : Sypher, an orphan boy from a poor village, hopes of one day becoming a hero and embarks on a tough journey to fight against all odds and fulfil his dreams.
Rating : 4.7 (513 reviews)
Views : 5.5M Words : 1.3M
Sure it was your typical story of Hero vs Demon King, but what could I say? As long as I liked it, and it made money, it'll do, right?
At least that's what I thought at first. But as time progressed and my second and third novels came out, I found myself slowly and slowly losing interest.
It was not because I hated writing. No, it was simply because of what I was made to write. Because I was catering to my readers, I slowly started straying away from what I truly liked writing.
I started writing things that I did not like.
For example, people loved fan service, but it was really uncomfortable from a writer's point of view. Especially for a virgin like myself.
Fortunately, I had the internet to help me, but it was stuff like this that made my passion for writing decrease. Who would want to write about putting some cucumber in their mouth? Certainly not me.
And though I did exactly as my readers asked, apart from the first novel, I never found my books making it in the rankings.
Here I am today, blankly staring at my laptop.
Click Click Click Click Click
The monotonous sound of a keyboard typing echoed inside of my room.
The same boring pattern repeated like any other day.
Finishing my last sentence, I pressed the save button at the top right of my screen and clicked [Send].
Letting out a long sigh, I dazedly looked at my ceiling.
'How long will I have to continue to do this?'
Bitterly shaking my head, I gazed at the novel's comment section.
Goodguy85 : Ugh Author-san, I feel like your writing is becoming worse and worse.....
—> Weeboo : Replying to Goodguy85, I totally agree with you. This novel had so much potential, but I feel like the story started derailing lately.
—> TruckDriver : I totally agree with you man. There are too many plot holes and Deus Ex Machina. It's getting ridiculous.
Boywonder : ~Thanks for the new chapter!
TwilightStar : Dropped
BoobMonster : hey hey hey, where the ecchi scenes?
Roosterboy65 : Dude is married to mary sue.
"Fuck! What do you mean my writing is getting worse!"
Slamming the table with my fist, I raged at the computer.
"I'm tired of this shit!"
Closing the laptop down, I forcefully tried to calm myself. Getting angry was not good for my blood pressure.
I actually quite liked my new novel. This novel was the result of my frustration and desire to try something new so that I could ignite the last remaining embers inside of my heart.
It was your typical weak to strong story, but unlike my previous novels, this one was set in a modern, futuristic setting.
The story's background starts in 1980 where the 'Great Cataclysm' occurred. A three-stage disaster that hit the earth, causing the world to drastically change.
The first phase of the 'Great Cataclysm' – A shift in tectonic plates all over Earth. Moving countries from where they were previously, it resulted in tsunamis and earthquakes, killing millions.
The sudden shift in tectonic plates caused the world map to permanently change, with there only being one landmass surrounded by water.
The planet's landmass had become a single supercontinent.
Then came the second phase of the 'Great Cataclysm' - Huge portals started appearing all over the world, unknown species emerged from within.
They were later identified as demons of the world's oldest mythology.
Yet, they were not the only ones to come from those portals.
At first, they were docile, but as soon as they deemed humanity weak, they started rampaging all over the place.
But, with great disaster comes opportunity.
As portals appeared, humanity managed to gain access to mana.
A special force that lingered throughout the atmosphere and originated from other worlds. It would allow humans to do things they could've only dreamt of doing in the past, like summoning fireballs or cutting through metal.
Lastly, the third phase of the 'Great Cataclysm' - This happens near the end of the novel, and it is when the Demon World forces launch a full-scale invasion of Earth.
Ten years after the Second Cataclysm, three factions ruled the world. The Demon faction, the Human faction, and the Fantasia faction which was compromised of Orcs, Elves, and Dwarves.
The Fantasia faction was sort of an alliance between the elves, dwarves, and orcs. And that was because they were practically forced into one.
Demons were the manifestation of 'greed'.
They were created with the sole goal of devouring planets.
They would first start by entering a planet.
Then, as time progresses, they would reproduce like crazy. And slowly, once they gained enough strength, their armies would devour the whole planet.
The elves, orcs, and dwarves were all refugees and survivors from the demons, who had already conquered their home planet.
At first, when the three races arrived on earth, they chose to observe.
They wanted to see if the humans were worthy enough to join their alliance to fight against the demons.
At first, they were excited with the prospect of gaining a potential ally, but as time passed their excitement turned into disappointment, which later became disgust.
For the prideful elves, the selfish acts and schemes they witnessed during humanity's darkest moments made all thoughts of collaboration vanish, only to be replaced with utter disdain.
To the orcs, the weak and frail body of humans was not only disappointing, but their lack of knowledge in the mystical arts made them feel humanity was even dumber than them.
Lastly, the dwarves found humanity's primitive technology worthless. Furthermore, their arrogance made them seem like brainless monkeys who roamed around flaunting their power and intelligence with no substantial backing.
In all honesty, all three races carried similar traits, the only reason they could tolerate each other was because they were all strong, unlike the humans who had nothing to offer.
In the end, the demon faction and the Fantasia faction each claimed three-eighths of the earth, while humans only claimed two-eighths of their own homeland, which was mainly inhabitable land, making them a mistreated minority.
Initially, the story begins with the protagonist enrolling in the 'Lock', a specialized school established with the effort of all humanity, to raise warriors who can defend the borders against attacks from both factions.
He is your typical MC with a tragic past:
—His parents died due to war at the hands of demons.
—He seeks vengeance against all Demonkind.
...and so on.
It was what you would expect from the MC.
It was my masterpiece. At least that's what I thought, but looking through the comment section, I couldn't help but rage.
I mean, how would you feel if what you think is your masterpiece gets insulted?
Letting out a long breath, I try to calm myself again.
Lately, I've been having anger issues. The simplest thing could get me mad, which just goes to show how bad my temper has become.
But it couldn't be helped. With how shitty my life was, I was bound to develop a twisted personality.
Just when I was about to close my laptop, a sudden pain struck me in my chest. More precisely, my heart.
Clenching my chest, I kneeled on the floor. With heavy pants, I forced my way to my desk.
"I need my medicine..."
Because of my poor living conditions, I took a lot of medicine. There was one for my blood pressure, another for asthma, and the last one for depression.
And right now, I was looking for my blood pressure medicine.
Because of my sudden outburst, my blood pressure must have increased, causing this reaction.
So as long as I could take my medicine...
Falling to my knees, my vision became blurry.
It was starting to get increasingly harder to breathe.
"Ah, is this how my shitty life ends...?"
Suicidal thoughts clouded my mind. Those were the last words that escaped my mouth before I found the whole world become black.
Chirp Chirp Chirp
Awaking me from my slumber was the peaceful sound of birds chirping.
I could faintly feel the warm, gentle sunshine envelop my whole body, causing my lethargic self to feel more energetic.
Opening my eyes, I found myself inside a one-bedroom apartment.
Rubbing my eyes to make sure I was still not sleeping, I blinked a couple of times and once more looked at my strange surroundings.
'Aren't I supposed to be...dead?'
... Was what I thought at first, but seeing that I was still breathing and seeing just fine, I thought that perhaps someone had rescued me moments before I died, and maybe, I was in a hospital right now.
But with each passing second, I realized that this was not the case.
Simple... It was because a large screen appeared right in front of me, startling the living daylights out of my mind.
Name : Ren Dover
Rank : G
Strength : G
Agility : G
Stamina : G-
Intelligence : G
Mana capacity : G
Luck : E
Charm : G-
--> Profession : [Swordsmanship lvl.1]