The last thing you ever want to hear a literal god say as they’re bringing you back to life is, “Shit shit shit oh fuck.” As far as variations of “oops” go, it’s one of the more impactful of the bunch. And it’s one that I never imagined I’d hear out of the mouth of a cosmic deity. Not that I knew it was an “oops” at the time—back then, I didn’t know what it meant. But it wouldn’t be much longer until I found out.
When I woke up, I was lying in the middle of a grassy field—and surrounded on all sides by men in suits of armor, holding swords and other weapons in my direction. Holy shit.
My first instinct was to jump back in fear, but I was frozen in place by one of them stepping forward and holding the tip of his blade to my throat. Deer, meet headlights.
“State your Rank and Class,” he snarled at me. “Before we tear it out of you.”
It took everything I had to keep my voice steady, and it still wasn’t enough. “Uhh… Entry level developer… Class of ‘17?”
My enraged interrogator looked like an action warrior straight out of a movie I would never watch. Shoulder-length hair, all of it a charred dark gray and flowing back like a glorious mane of vengeance. He had a two-inch scar on his right cheek, and atop his left eye was… a monocle? At that point, my fears were split between thinking Seriphen accidentally sent me back to the middle ages, and thinking Seriphen accidentally sent me to the far future, after World War 3 and nuclear armageddon, to a point when knights with swords existed again and wore monocles.
The man grimaced. “Is this a joke to you? I suggest you take a look around and think very hard before you speak again.” The other knights, just as monstrous and just as unhappy, took that as their cue to all shift into more battle-ready postures.
I can be a very obedient deer, especially when being held at bladepoint, master-class snark-tongue or not. (Suddenly I was very relieved that I didn’t think to say that as my class and rank.) I looked past the grizzled warriors, to the field beyond, and what I saw horrified me.
Bodies, dozens of them, strewn about the landscape like ragdolls dropped on the floor. All of them knights like the ones standing above me, and all of them dead. It was the most gruesome thing I had seen in my lives.
“Oh my God… Did I do that?” It was horrible. Could the massive amount of energy that Seriphen used to push me into this universe have created this literal field of destruction, killing all those in its radius except for these lucky few survivors?
“What? No—You just showed up here in a flash of light right as we were finishing up our battle. The victory you see before you belongs to none other than us, the Gray Guard of Beleria!” The other knights all raised their weapons and cheered—until Mr. Interrogator silenced them with a decisive swipe of his arm.
“Now hear me, intruder,” he continued. “You may have fooled my Inspection Oracle, but no matter what or who you are, if you are an enemy of the Court of King Valion, the Gray Guard will show you as little mercy as it showed these rebels.” He gestured to the bodies behind him. “So I’ll only ask one more time: state your Rank, your Class, and your allegiance.”
I started to raise my arms in what I hoped would be recognized as a universal gesture of submission—but the stiffening of the knights’ stances in response to my movement made me stop in my tracks. I spoke slowly, loudly, and utterly without confidence. “I can explain everything…”
“By all means,” Mr. Interrogator said.
“I’m… from another world, and I’m unfamiliar with your ways?”
There was dead silence for the longest ten seconds of my life. Then, Mr. Interrogator broke out into heavy, hearty laughter, shortly followed by all the rest of them. I joined in too, more out of nervousness than any real understanding of the joke. Unless the joke was me; I knew that one pretty well.
“This one’s funny,” one of the knights said. “Let’s kill her quickly.”
“Yeah,” Mr. Interrogator agreed, grinning as he raised his sword for a lethal slash.
“Wait wait wait!” I screamed. “The Goddess Seriphen just reincarnated me here! I don’t want to die again so soon!”
“There is no such goddess,” Mr. Interrogator said, and he prepared to strike.
I closed my eyes and braced myself for the end. For a second I hoped that heaven had second life speedrun leaderboards, because surely I was going to break records with how fast I got my second ass second handed to me. Heh. I snickered out loud. Second Life was already the name of a real video game. Oh God, I was going to spend my final moments alive thinking about that dumb old video game Second Life.
Mr. Interrogator spoke solemnly. “May your soul forever rest in the palm of—uhrgh!”
For a second I thought that was a stupid name for a local deity, but then I heard two other knights shriek, the shuffling of feet, and weapons being drawn. I opened my eyes to the circle of knights, down from seven to five, all focused on something far behind me. Mr. Interrogator, still standing, had an arrow sticking out of his chestplate.
“Show yourself, coward!” one of the knights called out.
“There!” another pointed. “Behind the body!”
Something round flew through the air and hit the pointing knight in the head, knocking him out—and then zapping him with a bolt of lightning. He fell limp to the ground.
“Grennick! What does the Inspector say about his Rank and Level?”
Mr. Interrogator’s monocle began glowing a deep green. “Low stats, hardly any STR… It’s just a Stone-rank!” His sword disappeared into thin air, and was replaced by a large bow. A second later, his metal gauntlets disappeared and were replaced with three-fingered archery gloves. He pulled back on an arrow. “You have no chance, Stone! Surrender quietly, and we’ll let you live a proud life of servitude to Beleria!”
The magical lightning grenade that knocked out the last knight magically shot back into the air at head height, and slammed straight into the unprotected skull of another knight. And then another. And then it zipped straight for Mr. Interrogator, who blocked it by creating a magic purple forcefield shield in front of him. The lightning grenade exploded against it, releasing a cloud of black smoke that covered all of us.
In the midst of all this action, several thoughts raced through my head. First, I realized that this world’s collective psychic subconscious was apparently not well developed enough to intuit the existence of the Goddess Seriphen. That was a very pointless epiphany right now, and I forced myself to save it for another time. Second, in what was quickly becoming a common refrain, I realized oh shit, magic is real.
Oh, and I also realized I might survive this after all. That was important too I guess.
A hand grabbed me and pulled me off the ground. I didn’t even resist when it kept pulling me and I had to run to keep up. Behind me, I heard the last two knights—Mr. Interrogator and the asshole who wanted to kill me quickly—get knocked out by other magical means. Mr. Premature Eradication may have shrieked like a little girl.
My savior and I reached the edge of the smoke cloud, and I could finally see that he was just a kid—just a few years younger than me, panting with exhaustion. “Don’t stop running—they won’t stay down for long,” he raced to say between breaths. “My name is Bohriam Sen Kahl, and I’ve been waiting for you for the last four years.”
And that’s when everything clicked. A world with a System. Magic. Classes. Stats. Levels. Medieval knights and mysterious young heroes.
I wasn’t just reincarnated in a brand new world.
Oh God-fucking-shitting-fuck of a shit-fuck… I’m in an RPG world.