1 I've become a goblin

The stars glistened in the night sky as a young man finds himself deep in the final moments of his favorite virtual reality game, Battle Worlds Online. The game had taken the entertainment world by storm, quickly rising to the highest played game worldwide.

The view-screen flashed with yet another mission successful notification; a common sight for the young man. His notoriety as Battle Worlds Online's Rank 1 player was a well-hidden part of his private life. His secret known by only a few close friends. They urged him to reveal himself to the world and join a game club, but he flatly rejected them all. The true joy of this game was not found in the fame or the wealth, but in the escape to a world where anyone can be whatever and whoever they want to be.

His name was Souta Ieshi but those who inhabit this world knew him as Blood.

Oblivious to the danger that was soon to approach him, Souta prepared to log out and stretch his legs, as the capsule he had been confined to for several hours now was starting to take its toll. As he reaches for the logout option, his screen filled with "error" symbols in large bold red text. Desperation and fear filled Souta's heart as he attempted to force the logout, however it was already too late. The capsule that Souta resided in experienced an unprecedented surge of power, shooting electricity through his body. A blinding white light illuminated the room as the capsule exploded.

With a boom that shook his apartment complex, Souta was dead

To cover up the failure of the machine, the media was silenced, not allowing a whisper of the events that had caused the death to come to light. Soon, Souta and the incident would be forgotten and become a nameless statistic, an integer.

"Argh!"

A moment passed as the throbbing pulse within the creature's head started to subside. He felt as if his entire body was on fire and his head had been struck with a metal bat.

"Damn! It hurts!" He placed his hands in the hard, brown dirt and slowly pushed himself into a seated position.

"Huh? Where is this? What the hell happened?" As his eyes began to clear, he found himself focusing on the environment around him. Wooden torches cast shadows on the high stone walls. The room itself was poorly lit, but he could still see enough to determine that he wasn't anywhere familiar. The damp air felt heavy in his lungs, thickened by the scent of wet earth and dust and his mouth was filled with the taste of iron.

"Dungeon?" He couldn't remember where he had gotten the word but as foreign as it sounded to him, it felt that it was the most appropriate word to describe his surroundings.

He gathered his strength and stood up, noticing that the torches that lit the room were still a foot or two above his line of sight.

A grimace spread across his face as his eyes drifted to the floor where he could see a pair of dark-green covered feet; each one matched with five grotesque toenails covered with filth and dirt.

"Huh? What am I?!" His confusion grew as he lifted each foot, staring at his soles, calloused from walking without any footwear. He turned his attention to the rest of his body, noting that his entire body was covered in the dark-green skin. It clung desperately to his bones, as his gaunt figure which has obviously suffered from extreme malnourishment didn't have much muscle on it. He rubbed his hand along his chest, feeling the rib bones pressing against the flesh as if it were trying to escape his body. His hand continued up to his head, pressing against his scalp as the last of the headache subsided. Not only was he green, skinny, and weak, but he was also bald! This was not his day.

A light blue screen appeared before the creature, mildly startling it. He glanced over the information on the interface.

Name: <unnamed >

Race: Goblin

Level: 1(0/100)

Class: «none»

Health: 10/10

Stamina: 3/3

Mana: 2/2

Strength: 3[+]

Agility: 6[+]

Dexterity: 4[+]

Intelligence: 1[+]

Vitality: 5[+]

Free attribute point(s): 3

Skill(s): [Dash], [Stab]

Skill point(s): 1

"I guess I just don't have a name." He had hoped that he would at least have something he can call himself, but now was not the time to come up with a name. Getting as much information about himself as possible was much more vital.

Next was his race. "Goblin. Well, that helps I guess." Having the knowledge of at least what he was soothed his anxiety slightly.

Quickly reading through the stats, he noted that outside of his health, none of the numbers were double digits. Even with the little knowledge he possessed, he still could easily tell that he was a very weak monster.

He continued down the list, stopping on the skills section. "Skills?" the creature thought aloud. Another screen appeared atop the first, seemingly closer than the larger information interface.

[Dash] Level 1: Increase the movement speed by 10% when running on a straight line. Stamina cost: 2

Proficiency: 0%

[Stab] Level 1: Increase the piercing effect by 10%. Stamina cost: 2

Proficiency: 0%

As far as skills go they seem fairly basic and with only 3 stamina, they could only be used once before he would be exhausted. However, they are the only skills he has, so they will have to work.

Seeing as he currently had three free attribute points and one free skill point, he had to think wisely about how to use them. Scratching his barren head, he thinks to himself that he doesn't have enough information on his situation. "I'll just hold onto these for now." he decides.

The goblin swiped at the information screens, causing them to disappear from his view. He searched his immediate surroundings for a weapon of any kind. After settling on a rock that was just larger than his fist, he made his way to the worn wooden door on the far side of the room.

The door groaned loudly as it gave way to his tiny green hand. The rough wood matched the rest of the room, having seemingly not received care in several years. He had entered a long hallway that stretched into the darkness from his left to his right. It appears to have been decorated similarly to the room he had just left, with lit torches sporadically placed in metal sconce. The flames on the torches seemed to be ready to die out at any moment, but continuously held on, maintaining the low level of light in all directions.

Turning to his left, he silently crept along with the dirt and rock floor, keeping a low profile as he followed the corridor.

The long, dim passage came to an opening. The creature carefully searched the dimly lit room from the entrance of the corridor. The goblin's beady eyes darted left and right, finally settling upon a shifting shadow in the middle of the room. The light from the flames revealed a dull, off-white complexion clad in leather armor. The dull shine of iron came from the mysterious creature's hand. 

The goblin's breathing became slow and calm. The skeleton soldier's defense was much tougher than his and fighting would be impossible without a weapon. As he reasoned in his mind, his heart began to beat faster, his blood rushed through his body, and his mind filled with delight. He knew it would be almost impossible to win, but his instinct lifted his body and moved his hands to clutch his rock tightly. 'Let's do this!' he thought as he rushed towards the skeleton, letting out a feral goblin howl.

The green monster threw his stone with all his might, splintering the skeleton soldier's barren skull with a sickening crack. The skeleton stumbled from the force of the blow, opening an opportunity that would be perfect for the quick-witted goblin to take advantage of. While the skeleton was off-balanced, the goblin leaped into the air, using all of his weight to kick the skeleton to the ground. Once fallen, the skeleton was barraged with a flurry of goblin punches, each one echoing the sound of snapping bone throughout the room.

As the skeleton attempted to rise again, the goblin would use as much force to kick the berated soldier back onto the ground, allowing the goblin to quickly unleash another round of blows upon the fallen victim.

A cold sensation shot through the spine of the goblin. Reflexively, the green monster jumped back as far as it could as the wind from the blade of the skeleton's wild swing sliced through the air a hair's breadth away from the creature's green flesh. The goblin had sensed that he was weak, but even after landing several powerful blows which caused his hands to tingle from numbness, the soldier was still alive. The skeleton was now coated with dirt from the floor where it had been lying and cracks had formed on the left side of the skeleton's head where the rock had hit it. Several pieces of the skull had fallen onto the floor from being struck by the goblin's fists.

The skeleton soldier found its way to its feet and staggered its way towards the goblin. The goblin backed away from the creature, hoping for another opening to attack. As the skeleton soldier lifted his blade into the air, the goblin seized the opportunity to rush the skeleton, disrupting its swing. The iron sword crashed heavily against the stone, ringing loudly into the corridors. The goblin kicked at the inside of the skeleton's knee with all his might. To his surprise, instead of feeling the resistance of the skeleton soldier's bones, the goblin's foot pressed against the joint, causing the lower leg to become dislodged from the upper leg. The skeleton once again fell to the ground, where the goblin rushed to the skeleton's skull and stomped as hard as he possibly could onto the creature. With another dry crack, the skull gave way to the goblin's foot.

A dinging sound pierced the goblin's mind and a screen appeared before him.

You have earned 52 Experience for defeating a skeleton soldier.

Experience (52/100)

A heavy sigh escaped the goblin's lips as he fell back onto the now-disintegrating soldier. His stamina had all been used up, causing his body to refuse his command to get up. After a few minutes of rest, the goblin arose and inspected the sole remaining artifact of the skeleton's existence. The iron sword felt heavy in the goblin's hands. As he looked over it, a notification appeared over it.

[Rusty Sword: +10 damage. Durability: 2/5]

The Goblin inspected the worn blade and led both hands to the hilt where he gripped tightly onto the cloth-wrapped handle. He waved the box away and lifted the blade onto his shoulder where he could carry it comfortably. As he started to continue through the room to the opposite side of the room from whence he arrived, another ding echoed in his mind, revealing another translucent box in his path.

Quest(s) Received:

Survival: Survive for 5 days

Reward: 200 Exp. 1 AP (Attribute Point)

Raiding: Complete the dungeon

Reward: 100 Exp and 1 SP (Skill Point)

The goblin sneered at the box. If he was this exhausted from fighting just one skeleton, how could he hope to clear the entire dungeon. The battle had highlighted his weakness. Against one skeleton he would be at an advantage due to his speed, but if there were more then he would be as good as dead. The goblin decided he would use his attribute points to boost his power.

As he finished his thought, the attribute list appeared before him again. He placed his first two points into strength sending a surging force throughout his body. His muscles had definitely felt stronger after allocating just those points, however, he hesitated before placing his third point on strength. Inside his little green body, he could feel that he would need more than just strength. His eyes wandered to his intelligence stat. He scoffed to himself, thinking it absurd to waste points on intelligence when he could be even stronger, however, the feeling refused to fade. Slowly, the goblin's bony finger hovered towards the [+] on his intelligence.

As he pressed the button, his mind felt as if it was splitting open. He dropped to the floor on his knees and grunted in pain. Thoughts, ideas, and memories that felt out of place, yet familiar flooded into his mind and a single name sounded through them all. 'Souta Ieshi'.

As the pain subsided, the goblin could recognize his own thoughts again. He was Souta Ieshi. He had died and from his experience this far he could tell that he was no longer in the world he once knew. He fell on his butt with a mixed expression on his face as he had come to realize that he had been reborn into another world as a goblin. He held his head in his hands and curled up in the corner of the room.

His thoughts raced at breakneck speed. 'How could this have happened? This can't be real! I can't be a goblin, they're so weak!'

Puzzled by his predicament, Souta struggled to grasp the reasoning behind his situation. After a few minutes of panicking, doubting the reality of his situation, and finally bargaining with himself, Souta cleared his mind and took a deep breath. Souta slapped his face with both hands, filling his ears with a hollow "pak". If he didn't get a hold of himself, he was doomed to die in this dungeon.

Souta opened his stat window again and sneered in dissatisfaction. Although goblins were known to be weak, it was much more despairing knowing that those low stats belonged to him. He sighed and waved away the window. He reminisced of when he was playing his games. This world reminded him most of his favorite game of all, Battle Worlds Online.

In the game, there are players from all over the world, but most player characters belong to one of three groups, the humans, demi-humans, and monsters. It wasn't often that someone chose a monster character. The beginning is extremely difficult since most monsters start off with weak stats in comparison to the other two. Humans and Demi-Human characters had fixed stats that increased gradually as they leveled up. However, monster characters didn't have fixed stats, instead, they had to grind as hard as they could to evolve into stronger versions of themselves, as long as the character didn't die, they could even become as strong as a field boss.

"Evolution." The concept was firmly in Souta's mind, however, a fog seemed to cover any details of how it worked.

Souta closed his eyes and focused on his next evolution. As he thought, the name of his evolution seemed to come to him through the void of his newfound information. He needed to become a Hobgoblin.

Souta cleared his head, now focused on his quest to become strong enough to evolve. More information was coming to him, but it was becoming harder and harder to sort out what it meant. The fog felt as if it was slowly returning to his mind, taking information with it. 'The intelligence stat!' he thought. By using the intelligence stat he was able to get his memories back, but with as little intelligence as he currently has, he can't hold onto all of it. As his mind continued to slip back to that of a goblin, he swiftly opened up his attribute menu again. In the name field, he struggled to put in his name. 'It's a new start, a new life. I could name myself anything I want.' His thoughts pressed against him, but at that moment he knew that he could only choose one name, his name. The name that his mother and father had given to him as a celebration of his life and the name that he had kept hidden from the world until his death. The tiny fingers pressed hurriedly on the keys and confirmed his entry. Even as a goblin, there was one thing he shouldn't forget. His name is Souta Ieshi, in his world and in this one.

Souta picked up the sword at his side, his mind now calmed to its original state. He felt as if he had forgotten something, but wasn't sure what it could be. Bits and pieces of information swirled about his head, making derailed trains of thought that would continue to cycle.

Now armed with a sword, executing his skill [Stab] would be possible. This would make fighting mildly easier, however, the main issue still existed, he had no idea where he is.

Souta breathed a silent prayer of thanks to the system for giving him a way to survive and slowly stepped into the corridor, pressing forward through the dungeon.

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