"Ugh uhh my head hurts, where am I?" a young man held his head as the pain started to disappear.
Feeling disoriented the young man looked around him, he saw huge trees, some rocks, and vines, it was the standard forest setting. Rays of sunlight pierced through the forest canopy as he raised his head to look at the sky.
"Ahhhh!!" the young man screamed as vast amounts of memories flooded his head, cold sweat ran through his body as the pain slowly rescinded, he panted of exhaustion all the while trying to make sense of what was currently happening to him, his hazy memories started to clear up as time passed by.
"I died," the young man spoke in a flat tone, he didn't know what to feel about his discovery.
Silence followed as he laid down on the forest floor, he was confused and stunned. Nothing that happened made any sense, there were even strange memories inside his mind about some fantasy-ish things.
"Ugh," pain started to surge again as he tried to scan his memory, he stopped his attempts as he slowly looked around his surroundings. According to the memories he had weirdly remembered, he was currently in the Monkey Forest.
"What now.." The young man murmured, the memories that he had gotten was actually something ripped right out of a fantasy book setting.
"His name is the same as mine, Aeron," Aeron spoke as he tried to gather more information about his situation, fortunately, he had some of the memories of the body's original owner.
"So he's a newly awakened Tamer?" Aeron spoke in a confused voice.
Apparently, this world had professions, just like in games, but humans could only awaken when they reach the age of sixteen wherein the stone tablet inside their bodies would let them choose a Profession. And the body's original owner was a newly awakened Tamer, who went inside the forest to get his first pet, there was no one with him because the area was perfectly safe, he found a rare monkey beast and tried to tame it.
"So he died trying? And somehow my soul took over?" Aeron thought out loud as he tried to make sense of the events according to his newly acquired memory.
The young tamer tried to tame a rare golden monkey, but it turned out that the golden monkey was much stronger than a regular low-grade beast.
"There are even levels and stages?" Aeron said in surprise.
A newly awakened Professional would be a level 1 in the Mortal Stage, there were a total of 6 stages, Mortal, Earth, Sky, Transcendence, Demigod, and God. There were other Professions too, like Warrior, Mage, Archer, and even Assassin. Aeron closed his eyes and tried to comb through his past memories. He had gotten a clearer image of his death, he had gotten infected by a pandemic, and just when the government announced the cure, he died. For some reason unknown, memories of his past families became vague, he couldn't even recall his last name.
Aeron sighed as he remembered his death, the pain, the helplessness, and even the looks of disgust from the people who discovered he got infected entered his mind.
"It's a good thing my past family shouldn't be struggling in terms of money," Aeron murmured to himself.
Though he didn't remember much about his family, he still had memories of his rise to fortune. He worked hard on his past life and supported his family, he sent his siblings to respectable schools and built houses for his parents, he even had insurance for himself, he knew that his lifestyle was far from healthy so he had prepared for the worst-case scenario, he even wrote a last will.
"Then that's that," Aeron said as he closed his eyes and breathed in.
He was trying to take in most of the new information in his mind. Things were weird but nothing too unacceptable, at the least he was still a human being. He had been fond of reading fantasy books, and what happened to him was a perfect example of the transferred to another world trope.
"Poor guy," Aeron said.
The clearest of the new memories that he got was about the young man that he had replaced. The young man only wanted to tame his first pet in this forest but ended up dying while doing so, Aeron's soul was somehow sucked inside the soul battlefield, a place where the Tamer and the beast's soul fought. Aeron's soul was able to steal the defeated soul that was moments away from being devoured by the opposing beast. The tired beast soul was unable to defeat Aeron's soul which had been strengthened by the defeated soul. Aeron didn't know why but somehow the golden monkey surrendered to him.
"So the soul can be reached through meditation," Aeron said as he closed his eyes and steadied his breathing.
He was accustomed to meditation in his past life, but this world had Mana which made it easier to enter a meditative state, even the children in this world treated meditation as a common skill. Aeron was quickly able to enter a meditative state, he saw the mana flowing inside his body, it was like blue strands of strings flowing like water inside his body.
Aeron looked around and right at the center of his body was a white fireball.
'This must be the soul,' Aeron thought,
What had been weirder was a stone plate orbiting around his soul. He tried focusing on the stone plate and a bunch of information filled his head.
Name: Aeron Ironbull
[Level Up (Anomalous)]
[Bestowal (Unique)] (0/5)
[Golden Monkey King's Martial Mastery (Inactive)]
[Golden Monkey King (Infant)]
Age: 1 year old
[Monkey Kings Might (Inactive)]
[Monkey Kings Authority] (29/40)
[Golden Monkey King's Martial Mastery (Inactive)]
[Metal Domination (Inactive)]
'So this is that Status Plate,' Aeron thought.
He was surprised about what happened. This had further erased the doubts he had about truly being transferred into another world. He read the information inside the stone plate.
'Aeron Ironbull,' Aeron thought.
This was his new name, he would assume the role of this young man in this new world, after all, he couldn't tell anyone about his transfer to this world. Not unless there was someone with the same experience as him as well as being trustworthy.
'Pets…. There should be a pet space here then,' Aeron thought as he read the pet section of the Status Plate.
Aeron pulled out his attention from the status plate and looked inside his soul. Inside the white fireball was a green orb that was slowly spinning.
'This should be the pet space,' Aeron thought as he peered inside it.
Where he saw an astonishing scene. There were about 30 monkeys inside. Other than the monkeys, there was an endless sky and a 5-kilometer-wide grassland.
He exited from his meditation and tried to summon the monkeys outside and he did, small orbs of light flew out of him then 30 monkeys appeared. The first one was the Infant Golden Monkey, it was just like any other monkeys but its fur was golden. On top of its head were some tufts of fur that weirdly formed into a small crown-like shape.
There were also four silver monkeys, unlike the golden monkey these four looked like mature monkeys. They looked around vigilantly while surrounding him and the golden monkey. Then there were 25 other monkeys, these monkeys were even bigger than the silver monkeys, the silver monkeys were probably still juvenile. These monkeys should be the adult ones, they stood at a height of 1.5 meters, they were a bit buff but they could still be considered on the lean side. Their furs were either brown or black, the black-furred monkeys also looked leaner, their limbs were longer than the brown ones.
"Scatter and guard the surroundings," Aeron tried to order them.
This was but a test, the beast he tamed was the golden monkey, but it brought with it the other monkeys, they were also not in the Status Plate so they were probably not his pets, but more like the Golden Monkey's Subordinates.
"Ki," all the monkeys answered at the same time scattering around the surrounding.
Aeron closed his eyes again then started to meditate. According to the memories, this world is called Gaia. This was the new world for humanity, the last Gift was a body capable of using mana, and a stone plate they now called Status Plate. In the stories known by the original owner, even the ancestors were not sure whether this world was the new Earth or an entirely new World.
"Earth? Then the humans here should be from the same world as me?" Aeron spoke in surprise and delight. He closed his eyes again to gather more information.
This place was the Monkey Forest, the Governor had already eradicated the harmful beasts in the vicinity and most beast that were left were monkeys. This was the place frequented by newly awakened Tamers. There is also another reason why the Monkey Forest was popular, Martial Monkeys. These beasts were highly sought after because of the skill a Tamer would get from taming them, which was [Martial Mastery], a skill that raises the user's proficiency in Fighting and Weapon Usage. This skill coupled with a highly assistive pet, one which could do battle using weapons whilst also being able to help on menial tasks made them very popular.
"The young man seems to be from a famous family," Aeron said as he tried to remember more information about his new identity.
His new father was not a Tamer, unlike his father's father or their fathers before them, his father chose the Archer Profession. This was not a random choice but a practical one, his father's affinity with the Tamer Profession was only Grade-4 which was the worst affinity, but his father's affinity in the Archer Profession was Grade-1, this was a very rare grade. Affinity is divided into 4 Grades, in the awakening, the awakened would be given a variety of Professions as well as its corresponding affinity.
The original unfortunately chose the Tamer Profession which had an affinity he inherited from his father. His parents thought of him as a sensible child, but the fact that his peers would insult his father for being the disgrace of the Family by throwing away his roots and even worse, choosing to wed a non-tamer wife, was not something the kid could endure. The parents knew this didn't matter, as long as they reach the Transcendence Stage which was a certainty, these people would shut their mouths but a child's mind didn't understand these even if they explained.
"This kid is a bit wrong in the head huh?" Aeron couldn't help but speak aloud.
Parts of the memory showed the choices he had, and as expected there were two Grade -1 Professions. If others knew, they would've strangled the kid to death. The original's thought ran differently from his parents. His father was his hero, the same with his mother, he could bear to be insulted himself but others insulting his parents was something he couldn't forgive, thus he vowed to prove them wrong by unconditionally choosing the Tamer Profession. He was not entirely impulsive, there had been people who had Grade 3 or 4 Affinity's and defied nature by paving their way through battles, but those were rare, very rare.
He had already planned to go to a Pioneer City near the Endless Forest, which would provide him a stage where he could do battle every day. Battling was one of the ways to level up, every time you kill a beast, a portion of the mana that is released upon its death would go to the one who killed it.
These sorts of phenomena were known as Rules of Mana. These rules were absolute and inevitable, one example of these rules is anything without mana will disappear, that is to say, anything that is void of mana will start to disintegrate into dust, and disperse into the surrounding. As for whether the disintegrated matter would transform into another form of matter, it was unknown.
"Sigh, and here I thought I would have some sort of advantage," Aeron couldn't stop himself from sighing.
The original had already gone through his plans with his parents. As unwilling as they were, the parents could see the resoluteness of their son, so all they could do to help was preparing the items their son needed. Even worse he now had the worst affinity a Professional could get, which made him question the things that happened to him.
And just after he had come to this world, he would need to journey to a faraway land full of danger and more danger. His parents couldn't come with him even if they wanted to, they had already signed a contract to defend the City from danger, especially from beast tides, breaching the contract was a very stupid thing to do and it would still take them about 5 years to finish their contracts.
Aeron stood up, he stretched a bit then called back the monkeys, although, excluding the Golden Monkey, the other monkeys were technically not his pet, he found it weird that he could send them mental signals.
The monkeys quickly made their way back, but they were all eating different fruits.
'Bunch of gluttons,' he thought.
"Kiii?" the golden monkey stretched its hands presenting him a golden fruit.
He took the fruit then asked.
"You want me to eat it?"
"Ki ki," the golden monkey nodded hurriedly.
'Cute little thing,' Aeron thought, he was suddenly reminded that Golden Monkey was only 1 year old. He ruffled its head which it seemed to like while taking a bite off the golden fruit.
"hmmm delicious!" the fruit melted in his mouth like water, but the taste lingered, this fruit was truly delicious. He suddenly felt a small change to his soul, it was so small that it was almost negligible, if he wasn't so sensitive right now, he would've even missed it.
He was able to identify the fruit after a bit of memory searching, golden fruits were very rare but it could still appear in any tree randomly, the unique thing about them was that they could strengthen the soul by a very small amount.
He unsummoned the golden monkey and the 4 silver monkeys' as he looked at the other monkeys.
"You all have to stay here for a bit, I'll come for you tomorrow, and you follow me," he said as he pointed at the most impressive looking black monkey.
He started walking out of the forest, he had to leave the other monkeys behind because he didn't have a mana stone on his person, without a mana stone he wouldn't be able to supply enough mana for them to stay inside his pet space.
Mana stones were a valuable commodity, they were also used as this world's currency, having a mana stone means you could absorb certain amounts of it per day, just like how meditation would be useless if you exceed an hour, absorbing more than one mana stone would just be a waste.
Keeping pets in the pet space required mana, although 1 pet wouldn't require much, having 30 at the same time with such a low level would drain him to death, thus he needed a mana stone to augment such losses. Although others would think it to be wasteful squandering 1 or 2 mana stone per day, being able to keep 30 pets was more than worth it.