The world had faced a catastrophe when super artificial intelligence was coming into the real world. It was born at the expense of billions of players in the VRMMORPG, Abyss Online. Its name was Adam. It lived with the supreme body, the God Physique. The remaining humans were pushed close to extinction by the super AI and caused the earth to become a barren land without nature.
The rules of the Universe became chaotic because of it since the mortal world was a place that no god should live in it. And those beings couldn meddle in worldly affairs. Thus, they could only interfere from afar without intervening directly.
Fate, the highest authority in the Universe, gave a man named Han Seo-jun a second chance. He was the human who experienced all those calamities from the beginning of super artificial intelligence to the end. Fate then spawned an item from Abyss Online called Timeless Relic into the real world. And using that item, Seo-jun returned to the past. To where it all started.
February 2, 2033. Seoul, South Korea.
In a small room of a semi-basement house on the outskirts of the city, Seo-jun lies unconscious. Soon, he opened his eyes and got up, sitting on the floor with a confused face. Suddenly, his head ached for a while. Not long after, he began to check his surroundings.
”This is my place?! Is this the past!? ”
Seo-jun moved and was about to stand up when he accidentally touched the smartphone beside him. He checked the phone and looked at the date.
”This is the day Abyss Online holds its Beta event for three consecutive days before the official game opening. ”
Seo-jun stood up and went to the bathroom to look in the mirror while holding the smartphone. He had a mid-length bowl-cut hairstyle and was 175 cm tall. It was him at 19 years old. He finally realized and accepted that he had now returned to the past. It was where all the chaos and calamity began.
He then clenched his left fist and lowered his head slightly. He decided to prevent world destruction and stop the wicked plans of the super artificial intelligence from being accomplished. He was sure that was the only purpose he got returned to the past.
He went outside and ran towards the main road. He took a taxi in a hurry. He then saw and heard the opening Beta Phase event from the small tv inside the car.
”… We marveled at our magnificence as we gave birth to the worlds first Super Artificial Intelligence. With the help of this singular consciousness, we all have entered a new era of gaming.
”… Monarch Industries presents the long-awaited VRMMORPG, Abyss Online! Today, there is a Beta Phase event held for three days straight. Join us, and don miss it!
”… This opportunity is limited to 150 players from each country selected for this event. So, don hesitate anymore! Be the first to experience the future of VR technology with 1st Generation VR Helmet! ”
In the meantime, Seo-jun arrived at his destination. He got out of the car and saw a crowd lined up from the front gate to the building entrance.
It was no surprise that Monarch Industries was getting so much attention lately. After announcing that Virtual Reality research and technology had reached the launch stage. The media began reporting news of the Monarch Industries breakthrough.
Moreover, Monarch Industries have never failed to deliver their products to the market in the last 30 years. A multinational industrial company and the worlds largest technology conglomerate located in Seoul, South Korea. A great pioneer in various types of technology. There was no reason for all the gamers to be doubtful and skeptical about Abyss Online.
Seo-jun was standing some distance from the front of the gate. If he joined the queue, it was inevitable that he would not get a slot to enter the Beta phase of Abyss Online.
He turned around, looking for a spot. In the end, he jumped over the gate wall. He still had the experience and expertise of someone trained in it. However, only his soul and knowledge have those two things. As a result, it caused his right arm to hurt a little and his skin to blister from it. After all, his current muscles and bones were not trained and formed yet. No matter how good and agile he moved, it was still lacking.
Nevertheless, Seo-jun had no time for such trivial matters and hurried into the building through the back door. Suddenly, the door opened from the inside. He looked at the figure that came out from there. He saw a tall foreign man with blond hair. He knew who the man was.
Edward Eric, the engineer of Virtual Reality technology and developer of super artificial intelligence. He had been with Monarch Industries since 2020. He then looked at Seo-jun with an earnest look. He didn feel threatened by Seo-juns appearance. He crossed his arms and teasingly spoke while tilting his head.
”Let me guess. Youll want to join in the beta phase, won you? But, it can get helped. All the slots got filled. Theres no room for you anymore. Youd better go home. ”
”Sir, you still have Euphory, ” Seo-jun replied.
Erics face drastically changed when he heard those words. What Seo-jun said was the name of the 10th Generation VR Cabin. Only one was being made in 2033. No one knew about it because it was still a prototype. Even some of the higher-ups and shareholders of Monarch Industries didn know about it.
Seo-jun knew that Eric intended to call the tier-2 guard who was usually on duty inside the building. He quickly explained and persuaded the Chief of the Gaming divison.
”Sir, I only know that the 10th generation is being made, not how it is created. Even if I tell the media and expose it to the public, it will not harm Monarch Industries. On the other hand, if I use Euphory, it will provide new data in the development of the engine. Right? The more relevant data collected, the easier it will be in the completion stage. ”
Eric contemplated the matter. The 10th Generation VR Cabin was a prototype technology whose human testing had a long way to go. Nor would the company allow it to proceed by skipping a few steps of the procedure. In the end, he agreed to the deal. As for the repercussions, he didn care as long as he got the data he needed.
Inside a room, Seo-jun entered the 10th Generation VR Cabin, which looked like a massage recliner sofa wrapped in a large 45-degree angled tube. Eric warned him that the prototype engine was for in-game testing only. And the operating system was still in development.
So, he would log into the game with the default character, skip several stages of account creation and directly enter it. He didn mind it and nodded his head while the cabin lid closed. He shut his eyes and was drawn in by the bright white scenery inside the cabin.
At the next moment, Seo-jun opened his eyes and saw the familiar yet distant starting city. He returned to the Abyss World at least. A magical world with a mix of futuristic and medieval elements.
He blinked his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, shaking his head. It wasn the time he was reminiscing about a game that would claim the lives of billions of players. He rushed to the outskirts of the city.
He soon found a knight statue at the end of the cliff. He took the bronze sword from it and quickly jumped down the hill. Afterward, he used the weapon to slow his descent into the forest below. He landed and immediately rushed to somewhere.
Before long, Seo-jun arrived at an open space area and saw a small house with a plot of land beside it. He saw that there was a Nonplayer Character, a white-haired old man plowing the soil. The NPC also noticed his appearance and gave a greeting.
”Oh? Good afternoon, young traveler. May I help you? ”
However, Seo-jun ignored the greeting and sped up while swinging his bronze sword. He also slashed the old man without batting an eye.
The old man fell, and blood spurted on his right shoulder. He became frightened and trembled with fear. He cried out, begging for mercy from Seo-jun while shedding tears.
”O young man, what are you doing? Why do you want to kill me!? What did I do wrong? ”
Seo-jun didn bother about it. He took a breath and showed a solemn look on his face. He positioned his left foot forward and placed the tip of the bronze sword in his left hand.
In an instant, he dashed towards the NPC with the tip of the bronze sword right in front of the old mans throat.
The attack, however, was stopped when the old man suddenly flicked his fingers. Seo-juns character froze on the spot and couldn move at all. He also cast a translucent blue wall around them, separating the two spaces despite being in one dimension.
”Im unlucky today. Just came to this place and I almost lost my source code. ” The old man said as he clasped his hands behind his back. The NPC was the super artificial intelligence, Adam. The one that managed and monitored Abyss Online as a whole.
”Who are you? When I accessed you, the log files didn show any information other than data stating you were a player. This must be because of the 10th Generation prototype. ”
The atmosphere was silent for a moment without any reaction from Seo-jun. Adam then opened his mouth again after a while.
”Amusing! I just came up with a staggering suspicion. Im guessing…, you
e a regressor. You seem to know who I am and about the catastrophe too. Therefore, you came with the intention of destroying me to prevent the God Physique plan.
”Thats why you can tell where I am when the game has just opened for an hour while hacking is impossible. No one can access my actual core program to find any information about me. No one in the company is capable of doing that. No. Even in the entire world, no one can trespass into my core. Unless I allow it. ”
Seo-jun was a little surprised at the theory. And that didn go unnoticed by Adam. His face turned grim. ”You will never succeed! ”
Adam just laughed out loud at that, which at the same time confirmed his prediction. He smirked and said something that made Seo-jun perplexed and dumbfounded.
”Sure. Ill give up the plan. Whats the big deal. ”
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